Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Good riddance to 2010. Sure, some good things happened this year. But they seemed to be over shadowed with some major bad things. I have hope that 2011 is going to be one of the best years yet!

Focusing on quilting/knitting in 2011, there are several projects I'm very excited to work on. First, I chose fabric for the Daily Spice Apron from Heather Bailey. The next step is to draft the pattern on tissue paper and then cut! 

I'm also super thrilled to have this quilt almost completed. It's the Schnibbles Domino pattern out of MoMo It's a Hoot. Hand-stitching the binding down (okay, and cutting the lose threads) is the last step! 

I used free-motion quilting and played with a darker bobbin thread, which I am happy with. The thread color is a dark aqua picking up the same color in the pattern. It's such a busy pattern, it was difficult to pick a coordinating color. Too many choices!

Making a queen-sized quilt for my bed is my loftiest goal for 2011. I haven't chosen the pattern yet but found a couple that I'm thinking about in the mosaic below. The pattern needs to be simple for speed and success. Otherwise, I worry I'll lose interest. 

1. sunny squares quilt, 2. Phew, done at last!, 3. California Bound, 4. Fresh-Aire-side-on, 5. halloween quilt, 6. Flower Valley Quilt - getting started, 7. unfurnished queen sized quilt in hope valley, 8. workinprogress

What are your 2011 quilting/knitting/crafting goals?

I'll talk more about mine in podcast episode 21, which will be on iTunes by Monday.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tutorial Roundup: Fabric Baskets and Bowls

Get organized in the New Year. So many of us resolve to do this - me included - that a several-week organization theme for tutorial roundups is in order. In the weeks to come, look forward to seeing ideas on how to re-fold your stash, organize projects, and make organizational items.

This week, let's look at a couple of great tutorials on making baskets for your home or studio/sewing space out of fabric from your stash.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fa La La La La

You can thank me later for getting that wonderful Christmas tune stuck in your heads. :-)

In the meantime, here are an assortment of holiday-themed projects from my Flickr Favorites.

1. Tree Pillow - for Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day, 2. M Miller Christmas Apron, 3. a mini ticker tape christmas pillow, 4. A trio of holiday pillows, 5. xmas pillows, 6. Mug rug .......let it snow!, 7. Christmas Mug Rug, 8. Pillow Talk Swap 3 - Sent!, 9. Feature in Fat Quarterly, 10. FMB September blocks, 11. forest of tree ornaments, 12. flock of little birds, 13. handmade ornaments, 14. hej vinter, 15. Savvy Seasons Ready to Go!, 16. savvy_3

The talent on Flickr is simply incredible, and the inspiration source is unparalleled - at least in my humble opinion. Thanks to all my Flickr friends for inspiring me this year! I've had such fun meeting you, participating in swaps, and encouraging each other through projects.

And to all my blog readers and podcast listeners, best wishes to you and yours for a beautiful holiday season. Thank you for your support and friendships. I'm looking forward to continuing this little venture in the new year and seeing what will become of our community. Something tells me we're in store for some serious crafting fun!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Handmade Christmas 2010

With one pair of gloves and two baby doll quilts and pillows left to go, I feel like a new woman - Christmas crafting is almost over! Already working on a list of new projects - more on that later.

I can't believe how much stuff I've turned out since starting this venture in July. And, yet, I can't believe how little too... It could have been much more if only I had more focus... more time. 

And all the knitting... Seems like I knit way more hats than this...

 Here is my finished Marinique Table Runner... 
Never can seem to get enough of the crinkle effect from stippling. Just love it!

I whipped up these little baby doll blankets along with pillows to coordinate for Olivia. She's helping me stuff them as I write. She asked if she could have it for her baby - and I told her "no - I need them for pincushions." Mean mommy! Well - she'll be happy when she opens them Christmas morning. Fabric: Heather Bailey Nicey Jane.

Finally - Here are the mits I'm making my sister in-law. After accidentally making two left ones (I know - seriously!) - these are ALMOST finished. 

That just about wraps it up. The only thing not photographed are the socks I knit, which are presently blocking in my studio. Cheers to finishing Handmade Christmas 2010 - and a second toast to new crafting in the new year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tutorial Roundup: Christmas Meal Table Decor

Like many of you, I will gather around the table with family and friends this week to share in the celebration of Christmas. Love, laughter, candle light, and an abundance of food. We are truly blessed.

With these tutorials, having a beautifully decorated table is just a few pieced blocks away. Because you can whip these up while the rolls are in the oven, right?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stash Resolution Episode 20: All is Merry and Bright

I hope you enjoy the holiday special of the Stash Resolution podcast and it helps to put you in the Christmas spirit. 

My sincere thanks to Sally Williams and Darla from the Scientific Quilter for submitting stories for the show. I appreciate your time and participation.
{Sally William's baby quilt - and the treasure wrapped in it}

All music provided by Mevio's Music Ally.
Jingle Bells by Kati Mac
Joy to the World by Flatland Music Group
Silent Night by Bella Ruse
Silver Bells by Sentinel
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Hollywood Drunks
Carol of the Bells by Inner Splendor Celtic Christmas Music

Download this episode of Stash Resolution for free on iTunes.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Finish Line In Sight!

This time next week, we will be in the very last stretch of Christmas preparations. I must say - I'm kind of looking forward to putting all this busy work behind me. What about you?

Tonight my daughter and I wrapped her teachers' gifts. I took Anne's (from Green Stitch Podcast) idea and made jars of biscuit mix with instructions for the rest of the ingredients, local honey, and the honey dippers - you know the things that look like bee hives? We used scraps of red fabric and pinked circles to go around the lid. Turned out super cute - and she helped every step of the way! Thanks for the idea, Anne!

Meanwhile, I've been working away on these mug rugs. They are meant for my grandma (who is turning 83 this week!). She'll get some nice tea to use with them, plus a few other goodies. Fabric is Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow.

And here are a few shots of some hats I've recently completed using the Irish Hiking hat pattern. I just adore how nicely the cables pop in this pattern and with this yarn (Cascade 220).

Time to call it a night. Don't know about you, but by the time Wednesday/Thursday rolls around, I'm exhausted!
Don't forget to send me your holiday gift-giving stories to share on the podcast this weekend! Please email them to: Thanks!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tutorial Roundup: Christmas Tree Ornaments

Trimming the tree is one of my favorite holiday activities. We have two trees - one is a fussy one that is all matchy-matchy in the front of our house, and another is very homey and mis-matched in our family room. This is the tree that we put all our ornaments from when my husband and I were little and every ornament we've collected since. Olivia has a few on there as well.

Even though I enjoy the sentimental journey of unpacking the boxes of ornaments from Christmas' past, adding new ornaments to the collection is also enjoyable. Here are a few ideas to spark some creativity making some new adornments for your Tannanbaum this year. :-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

One, Two, Three - FREE!

Whew! Things have been busy around here between Christmas, Swell Cloth, and life's usual demands... you know, like cleaning snow off the kitchen floor after the dogs run in from outside, changing Olivia's baby doll's cloths for the millionth time, and scraping stickers off the walls. Yes, life is good. 

Wanted to make sure you knew about the sale I'm running in the shop in case you're interested in snapping up last minute Christmas gifts. 

This week only, purchase 3 yards and get 1 yard free.* Cuts available by the yard, half yard, and fat quarter. Any combination, any fabric line!

NEW! Patterns now ship free in the US. Check out our selection of Amy Butler bags and Schnibbles quilts.

There’s still time to order before Christmas. Last date to order for arrival by Christmas Eve is Saturday, December 19.

Need a last -minute gift for your best sewing friend or favorite crafty family member? Ask me about Swell Cloth gift certificates.

Check out my ad at The Fabric Shopper.

I'm also very pleased to have sponsored Episode 121 of the CraftSanity podcast. You can read about Jennifer's guest and see my ad on her blog.

Hope the holidays are treating you well. See you tomorrow for another Christmas-y tutorial roundup!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Deck the Halls

Well, instead of decking the halls with boughs of holly, I'm doing my best to add a few Christmas sewing projects in the mix this year. I figure if a few are added each year, eventually my house will be full of festive fabric goodies.

This year, I added this table runner (posting includes a quilt-as-you-go tutorial), and am in the process of making this Sawtooth Star pillow cover. In the spirit of "why not?" it is being hand quilting. Yes. Hand quilted. Because I have SO much time on my hands. :-)

 I just love how it's turning out, though. Despite the stitches being quite wonky, it has a nice homey feel to it - perfect for this time of year.

 The fabric was given to my from my mom's stash. I can't recall which line it's from, but I only have enough to make this and maybe a 2.5" square scrappy pillow to match - and that might have to wait until next year.

The finished size is fairly small - around 10". If all works according to plan, I will stuff it with poly-fil and call it done.

What are you working on this weekend? Post pics in our Flickr group - Stash Resolution Podcast - and share the inspiration!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree

A lot of sewing and crafting happening here. But, first, I must share with you some pics from a recent family outing. 

This weekend, we went to Fulton Farm near Troy, Ohio, to pick out our Christmas tree. It was the first time we went as a family to chop down the tree - and we had the BEST time. That is, until I couldn't feel my toes! ;-) Olivia was quite proud of her tree once we finally settled on the perfect one (No, I didn't knit her hat - but I could... that's all that matters, right?).

 They had a beautiful pair of horses pulling a buggy that hulled people and their trees back to the main area.

Aren't these horses unbelievable?

I just love the mark our tree made on the treeline as we were pulled back to our car.

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled programing. Sewing! Here's a little project I've been working on  tonight. I put on the darning foot and have been stippling away on this table runner (fabric: Moda Martinique).

And I cut out a Saw Tooth block (using the Purl Bee tutorial) from left-over Christmas fabric. Am thinking about trying to hand quilt it then make it into a small pillow cover.

Very tired. Think I'm going to call it a night. How is your week going? Are you completing your holiday gifts?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tutorial Roundup: Christmas Tree Skirts

Yesterday, we decorated our Christmas tree. As I spread my store-bought skirt around the tree base, I thought how nice it would have been to have a hand-made quilted skirt. That thought inspired this tutorial roundup.

Hope everyone has a great week of holiday hustle and bustle. :-)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stash Resolution Episode 19: Tick Tock

Show Notes

Please send me your holiday stories for our Holiday-Themed podcast by December 17. You can email me the text to read or send a MP3 file.

What I'm Working On

Bad Stitches Happen to Good People: Why directional prints matter!

Topic: An interview with my BFF-BQF Patty Sorrell. Thanks, Patty, for taking time out of your busy life to share your love of quilting with us!

Download Stash Resolution podcast episodes free on iTunes.

Winner of the 6-Fat Quarter Give Away

Thank you to all who participated in the 6-Fat Quarter Give Away as part of the grande opening of Swell Cloth.

I used a Random Number generator to select the winner. Without further ado, the winner is...  

The Hungry Crafter

The Hungry Crafter commented: How exciting -- congratulations! My favorite line you cary are the AMH prints (love her!); as far as new lines to carry? Pretty much anything from Echino is a winner in my book, as are all of Denyse Schmidt's lines! 

I will get in touch with her to select her fabric from the shop.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to participate. I certainly enjoyed reading your comments and appreciate all the well-wishes!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Home Again

Due to a little travel, the blog has been slightly quiet the last few days. I'm SO happy to be back and ready for a very productive sewing weekend.

I was able to squeek out a little more progress on the Schnibbles Domino Quilt. You can see in the photo I'm missing two borders. Having a little border-block for some reason...  

I am ready to quilt this little table runner. The pattern is a modified Courthouse Square in Moda's Martinique. It's a Christmas gift - the countdown is on!

The prints in this line blend so well, and the polka dots are especially charming.

Finally, I finished a new neck-warmer (started last year and rescued from deep-stash UFO bin). The pattern is a free Ravelry download called Prettybird Neckwarmer by Christianna Wineck. (Check out Christianna's lovely blog called Knitting Pretty in DC. She has an aesthetic I'm envious of!)

 These buttons were found in a mason jar filled with random buttons. They have a vintage look, although I don't think they are. Each is slightly different but they coordinate nicely, if I don't say so myself! All that's left to do is block, stitch buttons, and wear. It's cold enough here that I might ware it around the house.

Okay, back to business. I have an exciting podcast for this weekend. Looking forward to posting it and revealing the winner of the 6-fat quarter give away!