Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Free Holiday Cards at Shutterfly.com!

Hi fellow bloggers!

I know it's a little bit scary that I've mentioned the holidays and the end of the year in at least my last four posts.  I guess it's time for me to admit that the holidays are truly right around the corner!

Now, if you're like some of my friends and family, your Christmas cards have already been written, stamped, and are ready for the post office the day after Thanksgiving ... but if you're more like me, you're probably realizing that you really should get busy!!

This year I've found my favorite Christmas cards at Shutterfly.com.  I really enjoy the fact that they have modern, elegant cards with lots of photo placement (and editing!!!) options.  My favorites are here, here, and here.

They have some really great personalizable gifts like calendars and photo books as well!  I definitely have some Christmas gift ideas!

While most of the Christmas products are currently on sale, Shutterfly.com is giving bloggers 50 holiday cards for free, in exchange for a write-up or review of their Holiday Cards on your blog.  Details can be found on their website.  Hope you can take advantage of this great deal too!  Thank you to Poppy Seed Fabrics for posting the info on their blog!

2010 Projects

As mentioned in yesterday's post, I've been on a huge cleaning kick lately.  I've decided, while I'm at it, to clean up my blog a bit.  As 2010 is drawing to a close, I've decided to change all the individual headings of my major finished projects this year to "2010 Projects."  Here is a list of finishes this year that now "live" under this heading.

Puppy Dog Tails:


Haunted Home:

Modern Haunts:

Autumn Daisies:

Eva Striped Runner:

Falling Leaves Table Runner:

Martinique Twin Quilts:
(only surviving picture ... bummer!!)


In the Jungle:

Allspice Quilt:

Northern Solitudes Table Runner:

Grandma's Birthday Quilt:

Valentine Disappearing Nine-Patch:

(Any other finishes for the year will go here)

I have to say, it's been a great year so far!  I think this is my largest number of finishes to date.  Yipee!

Monday, November 22, 2010

What's New?

Fall is my absolute favorite season, and I'm happy to say that it is finally hitting the Sacramento region!  While most of our trees have been picking up a little bit of color since mid-October, we've been having some unseasonably warm days lately, making it a little difficult to get into the autumnal spirit of things.  As of Saturday, however, the temperatures have dropped back down to where they should be, and we've some great, gloomy, rainy days -- and even some snow as low as 1500 ft!  Yay!

While this time of year is usually my favorite to either snuggle in with two puppies and a great book, or to hunker down in my craft room for some quality sewing time, lately, I seem to be off my groove.  Hubby and I are making some changes on the homefront, so we've spent most of the last week and a half in a frenzy of Spring-Cleaning-like activies.  I spent a good couple of evenings cleaning up my craft room, ironing and putting fabric away ... and I even tackled my crazy "shove" closet.  Everything is all neat and organized now ... but other than that not much has been going on, craft-wise.

I did happen across a stash of fat quarters that I purchase along with my sewing machine back in 2007, along with my first attempts at "quilting."  I had to laugh, because the blocks were really awful!  I hadn't invested in a rotary cutter or rulers yet, so I traced the shapes onto the FQ's (with no idea that grain direction made a {BIG} difference), and cut them out with scissors!  I hadn't quite figured out the whole 1/4" seam bit on my machine, so those first blocks were incredibly wonky, none of my seams matched up, and most of the blocks were about 3/4" (or more) smaller than they were supposed to be!

Unfortunately, I didn't stop long enough to take pictures ... I was really in "purge" mode at the moment ... but my first blocks really did make me smile and appreciate how far I've come!  I also have to say a big THANK YOU to all of you fellow bloggers - I've learned so much and been so inspired by your shared creativity!

While no significant new sewing has been going on, I have decided to use some of these scraps from my first blocks in a new quilt I'm working on.  My plan for 2011 is to do a series of quilt patterns using modern fabric with traditional quilt blocks.  The first pattern in the series should hopefully be releasing in the first part of January ... provided that I can be a good girl and finish all of my Christmas sewing in a timely matter.

Unfortunately, my super secret Christmas projects haven't received any love, which is scary since Christmas is only like 5 weeks away.  Yikes!  I have several open evenings this week, and a 3 day weekend following all of the Thanksgiving festivities, so I have no excuses for not having some sneak peak pictures ready soon!

I have made some progress on this month's Le Petite pattern (Butter Churn by This and That Patterns ...

... but after playing around with some of the square blocks and the little "ribbon" squares, I decided to make my piece a little bit bigger and completely re-worked the outter border, so that the finished project is about 40" square, instead of the 20-something" square shown in the pattern.  Leave it to me to make a project more complicated, especially when I'm on a tight time frame with other projects!  Oh well, it'll all work out.  It always does.

Happy Sewing!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fun with Wordle

Have you discovered Wordle yet?  All you have to do is enter in a series of words and phrases, or even just a web address, it it creates these fantastic word art pictures.  Just for fun, I plugged in my blog address and came up with this!

I love it!!  Especially, how the biggest words kinda reads like a Nike commercial ... "JUST QUILT!"

Wouldn't this make a great gift for a loved one in your life!  How special would it be to have all the kids and grandkids in your family brainstorm words and phrases describing thier parents/grandparents and then have the wordle printed and nicely framed!  Hmmm ... might have to add that to my Christmas gift list!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stash and "5 Boxes" update

I didn't realize how long it's been since I've posted my stash update and the status of my 5 little boxes - yikes!

Stash Update: Sept. 18th through Nov. 4th, 2010
Used: 10.96 yards on Puppy Dog Tails, Cherish, and an autumny wall-hanging with matching table runner to be revealed soon!

Purchased: 18.78 yards, of which 12.5 will be used on super secret Christmas gifts and 4 yards was already used on Puppy Dog Tails.

YTD:  + 61.06 yards  ... good thing we get to start over in January!!

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5 Boxes Update

Boxes # 1 and #2:  Sorry to disappoint, but these two boxes contain super-secret Christmas WIP's.  I may post some sneak peaks over the next few weeks as the projects, but that's all the detail I can divulge at the moment!

Box #3 has been dedicated to my month Le Petite projects.  While October's Le Petite hasn't been bound yet (and thus, can't be counted as a bust yet), it's time to move on.  November's pattern is Butter Churn by This and That Patterns.  I've decided to make this into a wall hanging, but I can't decide whether to continue destashing (like I did for October's project) or to order that Awesome by Sandy Gervais layer cake.  We'll see

Box #4 still holds the pieces to my Country Inn quilt.  I've made absolutely no progress on it whatsoever, but I love it and can't put in on the shelf just yet.

Box #5 is currently empty.  Technically, it should be holding the 4 or so unfinished Fat Quarter Shop BOM shipments that really need to be completed ... but I'm going to leave it empty in case any surprise inspiriation comes my way!

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Don't forget to check out the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side to check out all the beautiful quilt submissions!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2010

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt FestivalAmy's Creative Side is hosting a fantastic Blogger's Quilt Festival showcasing the many talents of our fellow quilty bloggers.  I was so inspired after looking at all the beautiful quilts that I decided to add my latest finish to the parade.

If you're interested in participating as well, Amy is accepting submission through Friday, November 5th.  All the details are here!

Our family and friends have been blessed with an abundance of babies lately!  Last count, we have 7 babies who are happily on the way or who have just been born.  As my absolute favorite gifts to give at baby showers are baby quilts, there have been a number that have left my sewing room over the past couple of months.  While I've loved them all ... this latest quilt is turning out to be my absolutely favorite!

This quilt is for a little guy who should be making his debut in just a couple of weeks.  I knew that the mommy-to-be was planning her nursery in shades of blue and brown, so I seized the opportunity to get my hands on that Pure layer cake and matching brown polka dot yardage I'd had my eye on for awhile.  I had been finishing up my Cherish quilt when I ordered the fabric online, so it wasn't until I actually had it in hand that I began to get an idea in my head of what I actually wanted to do with it.

I've really had a thing for quilts with a crisp, white background as of late, so I knew that I wanted to use my favorite white-on-white polka dot print behind some sort of a pinwheel-ish block.  After seeing all the 10" blocks laid out side-by-side in their colorways, I decided to pair up the blue/white prints and the brown/cream prints into two-tone double pinwheels.  With a little bit of chain piecing, the blocks for this quilt really flew together!!

One new-to-me technique that I used while piecing the blocks was directional seam pressing, as opposed to my normally favored method of just pressing the seams open.  I know that there is a lot of debate out there over these two methods and that there are pros and cons to both.  I've always personally just pressed my seams open because I felt like it gave me more control over precisely aligning my seams.  After having given the "other" method a shot, though, I have to say that I was very happy with the results and will probably (occasionally) use the method again.

In my mind, I had originally planned to set the blocks with white polka dot sashing and only use the brown polka dot print for the interesting squares at the corners.  Once I had all the blocks finished and laid out, the white was a bit over powering and almost made the quilt a bit feminine.  I set the blocks against the brown polka dot sashing instead and that was it - I was in love!

I've named this quilt Puppy Dog Tails, not only because "... that's what boys are made of ..." but also because when my little pups are happy, their tails wag a-mile-a-minute, kinda like pinwheels.



Thanks so much for stopping by on your Blogger's Quilt Festival parade!

If you're interested in making your own version of Puppy Dog Tails, please visit my etsy shop or my bigcartel shop to purchase the pattern.  Right now, it's on sale for $4.49!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Le Petite - October 2010

Today was the first Le Petite parade.  You can view all the submission at The Pink Pincushion or at A Quilting Life.  It was so much to see all the different interpretations and fabric choices come together from a single pattern.  We all started with Carrie Nelson's Paganini Schnibbles pattern.

The pattern included directions for four different piecing options, but I had had my eye on the pattern cover quilt for quite awhile, so that's what I opted to make, myself.  There was just something about that scalloped border!!

I purchased two Eden charm packs last spring and they seemed to be just the thing for this particular quilt.  I used the pink, yellow, purple, and white colorways, along with my favorite white-on-white floral background and came up with this:

I love how the brightly colored charm squares make the white background POP!

My initial plan for this quilt was to add a scalloped border, in white, just like Carrie's ... but once I had all the squares put together, I suddenly was having a hard time picturing the curvy border, but kept seeing a square, white border instead ... possibly with some multi-colored embroidered daisy-like flowers with a scrolly greenish vine -- perhaps a fantastic variegated matching thread?  This is just a really basic mock-up, but I think you get the jist of it.

I'm still playing around with ideas ... so this quilt top may go into hibernation for awhile until I'm sure of exactly how to finish it.

November's Le Petite project is Butter Churn by This and That Patterns. I'm think of using Awesome by Sandy Gervais to make a cheerful autumn wall hanging.  Please click on the Le Petite button on my side bar if you're interested in joining up in time fore the next parade.  Quilt pictures have to be submitted no later than November 30th.

Paganini pattern review, stash and 5 boxes update, plus new patterns should all be posted soon!!