Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I've been in a state of non-creative blah-ness since all the Christmas giftiness ended. That always happens after the frenzy of crafting. We can blame Shannon for this new bout of stitchery! We are doing a bit of a sewalong (Normally we agree on a project and then she stitches up the whole damn thing while I am still in the thinking about it stage, hopefully to follow along at some point. You know, one of those kind of sewalongs I do so well at.)

Except HA! Not this time Shannon! I actually SEWED A LONG! Here's a peek of what I got done today:

We're doing a quilt-along. See, I only really know one other person as enamored of quilt fabrics and mix/matching prints as me, and that's Shannon. And since my girl Lu won't let me sew much for her from those fabrics any longer, it was really only a matter of time until the quilting bug bit me! Lucky for me, Shannon & I are two halves of the same nut because we both decided we were ready to try quilting (again) at the same time. (We do this alot, btw.)

We're using this super easy pattern from a couple of other blogs that we're calling "Flea Market Fancy" because, well, that's what those other blogs called it. You can find the directions & measurements here: Crazy Mom Quilts

I'm using a lot of my favorite prints in this one, ones I call "juicy color"prints. I've got two basic colorways going, pinks & blues. But in yummy hot pinks & lilacs and turquoise & seafoams. Today I finished piecing the 10 "blues" blocks.

Don't they look like a pile of candy lying there on the floor? Since most quilting bloggers name their quilts, I've just got to jump on that parade. I've been calling this one Candy Dish. Because it's YUMMY.

Can you see all my favorites popping up in there? Some Amy Butler, and Sis Boom, and Heather Bailey...and assorted other prints from stash. I should have waited two days and I could have used this yardage in the stash contest over at PR. Whoops.

Other than piecing 10 blocks (and yes, Shannon already has her 20 blocks pieced & sashed. But who's counting.) I watched 6 of these:

(ooh, hungry zombie Shannon, are you watching?? Holy cow on the Gaeta-ness.)

And 5 of these:

And did 3 of these:And had 2 of these:And sucked on about a hundred of these:

And now I'm going to have some of this & veg some more in front of the tv:

Friday, December 26, 2008

post Christmas post

As per my usual, I was up til after 11 p.m. Christmas Eve putting the finishing touches on one last present for Lu. Meet "Katherine" (named by Lu upon opening), a sweet patchwork-y dolly. I adapted the Black Apple Doll pattern (free pattern & video tutorial at Martha Stewart). I used Paint.Net to resize the pattern pieces (no copier handy here at home) until she was the desired size; her arm & leg patterns were sized to a different scale than her body for the skinnier leg.

For our photo shoot, dolly bundled up for the winter chill. ;) I used all stash prints for body & clothes and it was fun mix-matching the prints! I used 2 different Amy Butler fat quarters for her body and the first pull on skirt, and an American Jane scrap (left over from the table runner) for her legs. I had to adjust her leg thickness (or thinness rather) because I HAD to use this little apple green print!

I made her another little skirt, pink dotty print, for those days she's feeling especially winsome.

She has wool felt hair and a hand embroidered face. Her "blush" is also pink wool felt, running stitched in place.

Her caplet is plum wool felt, with a matching turned brim hat.

A pale green wool felt scarf completes her winter wear!

Lu absolutely LOVED her. And I LOVE her. I really want a funky one with pink or aqua felt hair. The pattern is already on the cutting table for another!

My mom loved her table runner too! It turned out SO cute. I really wanted to keep this one myself!
I used 11" strips of several jelly roll prints. I alternated the starting strip with a 5.5" cut instead to offset the prints. I used a fleece for batting because I couldn't get to the store (of course if I'm off of work then I'm guarunteed to be sick. This time I suspect flu. It's taken 5 days to feel sub-normal.) I backed the runner with apple green gingham, and the binding is a different American Jane blue dot.

Here's a better shot without so much sun (so you can see the yummy colors & prints).

This runner was my first foray into the world of stipple quilting by machine. It was fun! But hard. I need more practice. Mom doesn't care a whit that it's less than perfect, bless her.

Was Santa good to everyone out in blog land?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

To all my blogger friends, near and far, I wish you a very, Merry Christmas.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Mary Did You Know?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


As long as I'm bundled in the covers that is! It's been FREEZING here. (And yes, I'm kind of a wuss about it.)

I uncovered long enough to photo some more gifties though! First, a set of candy cane stripe tea towels, embroidered with this fabulous design from Urban Threads:

Aqua and red are one of my absolute favorite color combos!! I added aqua rickrack and grosgrain trim. The top towel has the Toast embroidery, and it's coordinating towel just has the trims. It's hard to see in this photo, but the lettering says "Feelin Toasty". Here they are tied with ribbon for gifting:

Ten years ago or so, I used to make spool & clothespin dolls when I did the local craft fair circuit. My favorite was always a Wizard of Oz set. I wish I still had one to show you! They always sold out and I never did get around to making one to keep. I do have some holiday dolls left, I'll have to dig some out and snap a few pics for you.

Anywho, I was so happy to see clothespin dolls emerge again last holiday season over at Alicia Paulson's blog (as Santa Lucia dolls). JennyB at Allsorts has been crafting some especially cute ones recently too. They've got my creating juices flowing, so Lu & I did some clothespin doll crafting this weekend! Here's my first finished dollie. Don't you love her big spotted bow and scottie dog dress?

"Dolly Shannon"

Today I'm trying to finish up work on a table runner for my mom's dining room table. (Yup, another Christmas gift). I sort of procrastinated on this thing, and I'm down to the wire (but the end is in site!) I'm going to stipple quilt it this afternoon, but here it is basted:

I used a jellyroll (my first!) It was a real time saver! I can see lots more jellyroll projects in my future! The prints are from American Jane "Recess" by Moda. I wish I had a yard of each of these!!

Ok, off now to run to the post office. I missed the mailman by thismuch this morning. Doh. Still have to get my Christmas cards in the post!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


More little gifts...I finished the snowman pillows for two of my buds at work, just in time for our Christmas party on Friday! They turned out so cute!

The snowman design is from emblibrary, and you might recognize the charm packs from last week. They're called "S'Mores". I pieced 2 charm squares together for each side of the pillow, and added a backing of pink & white dots.

Next pillow was also for a coworker. It's the cutest Prim design from Heartstrings Embroidery. This one I pieced more "log cabin" style with not totally holiday prints. I was hoping the little pillows could stay "out" for the winter season and not just through the holidays.

I made 5 more tissue covers for everyone too. Somehow I only photo'd 4 though. Don't ask me how! :D

And for Lu's Sunday School teacher (who is getting the pretty shabby rose wristlet from last month) I stitched out this beautiful nativity lace ornament. So pretty! It was a freebie (maybe last year?) at Advanced Embroidery, but is now for purchase. It's beautiful!! I tied this on the package bow.

Now I'm off to do some wrapping! I may have one or two little gifts to share later!


Frenetic Holiday Wrapping Song
(You HAVE to click this one to see the timed light show!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Birthday!

to the G-Man!

On a cold winter night 14 years ago, at 9:13 p.m., I first met the most amazing person. His serious little face, all calm and content, looked up at me... and my heart was never my own again.

People stood outside the nursery window to stare at this most handsome baby, exclaiming at his angel face.

At 12 hours old, those big, beautiful eyes turned a rich, chocolatey brown.

At 4 weeks old, a woman in Wal-Mart offered me $10,000 cash for him.

Lady, you weren't even in the ballpark.

Happy Birthday, boy of mine!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday stitchin'

Almost nonexistant mojo has hampered my holiday stitching. I'm also having some joint issues from my antibiotic (does anyone else get this when they're on an antibiotic? It happens to me ALOT.)

In other words...I'd rather be napping!! Instead I'm stitching out this cute snowman design from emblibrary:

It's future is as a little pillow or door hanger using these S'mores charm pack cuts:

I also have three cute prints destined for Grab Bags.

And several tissue covers cut out & ready to stitch up.

But my favorite project this weekend was photo'ing the kiddos for our annual Christmas card mailings. Of course I had to put up with alot of this:

But the end result was smashing.

Cold snap's a comin!! Stay warm & toasty!!

Friday, December 12, 2008


Was it as spectacular where you were?

The colors were incredible...but it's even awe inspiring in B&W.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Today in the life of Ms. A (or Hey Lady, as one is fond of calling me)...

Characters & Setting: Me, Boy Student to my right, Girl Student to my left.

Girl Student: "Here Ms. A, check my letterhead and see if it's good." Hands me a letterhead with a transparent image of hanging Christmas ornaments in the lower half of the page.

Me (checking the printout carefully): "But you cut your balls off."

Girl Student: Bites lip.

Boy Student: Freezes.

Me: Tries not to make eye contact.

We: Look at each other and laugh til we cry.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

tiny lil skirt

I've had this skirt in the planning, started, almost finished pile for a couple of weeks. I kicked my buns in gear Monday night, because it's most definitely a Christmas skirt! And ready or not, Christmas is COMING!!!

This one's for the Lexinator. (Lex, this skirt is a pee-free zone, girlfriend!)

Not my most wonderfullest photography skills on this one, but it was COOOOLLLDDD. And raining. And 7:30 a.m.

No pattern used, just stripwork from a vintage-look Santa fat quarter, lime dot, and red dot. Printed candy cane strip binding finished the hem.

I have more to finish up and share, but I gotta figure out how to eliminate sleep from my day first.

Love, love this one....
(Not just the song, the movie too)

Monday, December 08, 2008

patchwork tissue cover

Still have time to stitch this up for a quickie little gift! It's a patchwork cover to pretty up the portable tissue packs! Who wouldn't want to reach for a tissue housed in this?

And we're off! First, choose 4-8 patchwork friendly cotton prints. I used my old standby, charm packs from Moda. These are from the "Nest" charm pack by Tula Pink. You'll also need a bit larger scrap of fabric for the lining/bindings.

If you're using yardage, cut 4 strips 1-3/4 x 7 inches. OR if you are using charm packs like me, cut 8 strips 1-3/4 x 4 inches.

Seam your 4 strips together using 1/4" seams. I pressed one set of seams to the right, and the next set of seams to the left.

For the charm pack version, sew the two 4-strip sections together to make one long patchwork section. I flipped one over so that they are even more patchy & fun at the center seam!

Press this seam open!

Now we're ready for lining & bindings. I used my pieced section for the pattern piece.

Cut your lining piece the same width but 5/8" longer on each short end as shown below:

That extra length on each end will act as our binding! Yup, we're lining & binding in one step! Match one short end of the binding to the pieced section & stitch RST with 3/8"-1/2" seams (this depends on how wide you want your finished binding. I used 3/8") Next, pull the other end of the pieced section to the other end of the lining. (see below) Obviously the patchwork is quite a bit shorter than the lining so you'll have an odd bump out of fabric on bottom. You'll see the magic in the next step. Just go with it!

Turn your patchwork/lining right side out. You can already see the magic happening!

See how the extra length of lining acts as a "binding"? Press well!

With your patchwork facing up, bring the binding edges into the center. If you used the 4" pieces to start with, you'll have a nice center seam to match them up to! Pin in place along the short edge. You can also overlap the ends just a little for a snugger tissue cover.

Stitch across both ends!

Trim a little and finish up your seams with a wide zigzag. Mine was 5 width by 1.5 length.

Turn your pouch right sides out & poke/roll out the corners. There you have it! A really sweet patchwork tissue cover, perfect for anyone on your gift list!