Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Thing, One Week Challenge :: 5 So close...

Alas! I had good intentions, but this week's One Thing, One Week Challenge just didn't happen for me.

Amy's Creative Side

Between cooking, feasting, best friend visit, and little boys with colds, there just weren't enough hours in the day to accomplish my stated goal (posted in the comments section of the challenge announcement):
Yay for your challenges, Amy! It is going to be a busy week, but I really hope to get a good start on some holiday crafting. Specifically, I want to get a fabric basket made and a mug rug started. Here’s hopin’! :)
What did I accomplish? I chose fabric picked for the basket and mug rug projects I had hoped to complete. I also managed to plan a design for the mug rug and calculate all the measurements required. I even got the pieces cut out. So, I was definitely off to a good start!

Then, last night I got to spend some time in the sewing room...

...and finished a holiday fabric basket! Because it just wouldn't be the holidays if I didn't make at least one of these! For the third consecutive year, I have made use of the fabulous Pink Penguin tutorial. This time I used 2.5" cut squares for the patchwork and then enlarged the other pieces to suit.

I also managed to complete my first mug rug:

holiday mug rug, front view
I've been seeing these popping up all over blogland over the last couple of months, and decided I needed to give it a try. Using a tutorial from Jennifer of That Girl... That Quilt... as a starting point, I designed this happy holiday mug rug.

holiday mug rug, action shot
Here's an action shot. I love the addition of the pocket. I embellished it with a little embroidered tree and some happy rick-rack. Cute!

These two items are going to packaged up together along with a mug and some tea or hot chocolate mix. I think it is going to be a a fun contribution to the holiday gift exchange I'm attending this weekend.

I may not have finished in time for the challenge, but I sure feel pretty darn successful! Yay!

Monday, November 29, 2010


I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and we had a wonderful celebration here at home. Family and good friends joined us for a happy feast. Of course once again I was so engrossed in food preparation (and then eating), that I failed to take any pictures. Sigh... But-- I can show you my gravy boat!

Robin's (now chipped) gravy boat
A couple of weeks ago, I went to a Mom's Night Out with some preschool mamas at a paint-your-own ceramics place. And for the first time ever, I actually had a gravy boat in which to put my gravy. Huzzah!!! Of course I managed to fumble and chip it just a few minutes before filling it with gravy. Doh! But, it is glue-able and now it just fits right in with the rest of my chipped dinnerware. :P

I can also show you our fabulous centerpiece, courtesy of Big Bear:

gobble, gobble
He made it at preschool. I guess everyone else used pinecones for a base. But he wasn't into those. So he made his with playdough and pumpkinseeds. It is definitely a festive conversation starter!

I truly have much to be thankful for in my life, including my wonderful and amazing family, good friends, the abundant love in our lives, as well as all of the material stuff too (fabric and otherwise). Having a time of year like this, with the idea of thankfulness at the forefront, is a wonderful reminder for me to be grateful for all the good in my life. I just love this season of thanks and giving. And feasting. Gotta love the feasting!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A quickie blankie

A few weeks ago, Big Bear saw this flannel panel at the quilt shop and decided he needed it. Because he was being such a good sport about shopping at the fabric store with me, I went ahead and got it. Then yesterday, I sewed it up using a happy striped flannel for the back. This is the first time I've ever used a panel. I have to say, it sure was quick and easy! It's kind of a funky size (about 24" x 40"), but I don't think it will matter to him.

Sometimes, a quickie is a good thing!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy beverage cup!

Way back in 2001, I bought one of those nifty design-it-yourself coffee cups. I scrapped it up and created my own design with paper and pictures. I called it the "Kitty Cup" because it featured our two kitties. And it has had that same design now for nearly 10 years. In that time, we acquired two more cats and two little boys. It was definitely time for a change!

This weekend, I delved into my digital scrapbooking software (I use StoryBook Creator Plus) and created a new cup design.

cup design
I included a quote:
Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.
--Ninon de Lenclos
I love that quote. Carrie P. featured it on her blog one day and it really spoke to me. I have it hanging on my wall and now I have it on my cup.

Robin's beverage cup
So now my cup includes all of my kitties and both of my little boys (and a quilt, too!) and it really represents me again. Yay!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sleepy blog

I just haven't been in that blogging "mood" lately. Frankly, I haven't really been in a crafty mood lately either (though I have managed to do a couple of things). Happily, the craftin' urge is rekindling. Thank goodness, because the holiday season is upon us, and I have lots to do!

So I still have those last 3 triangles to do for my Jane Stickle quilt. However, in lieu of working on them, I have been busily stitching blocks together. Here's another chunk:

chunk o' Jane, G-4 to J-6
It doesn't look wildly impressive, but this was probably about 5 evenings of work for me. Hand stitching may not be the speediest of methods, but I really enjoy doing it.

I have also had the urge lately both to do some charity work as well as use up some of my stash. This time, I'm working with flannels. I bought a bunch of'30s-style flannel prints some time ago... 2003, maybe? The original plan was to make a big ol' rag blanket. But I ended up making a couple of other rag blankets. And now I'm just kind of done with those. So, the flannel has just been sitting. Inspired by the amazingly productive and generous Evelyn, I decided to start by making a couple of swaddling blankets for Project Linus.

a pair of receiving blankets
Evelyn has a great tutorial on how to make them. I did mine a little differently. I cut them smaller (36" x 36") and then cut some curved corners (just because I felt like it). It was fun using a couple of the fancy stitches on my machine, too.

I've also been busily cutting squares from my flannel scraps. My plan is to create a couple of blankets with those, including a disappearing nine-patch. At this point, I'm not entirely sure when this will happen, but it is the plan. And, if nothing else, having a plan is a good start.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jane Stickle Quilt: BRC

Jane Stickle bottom right corner kiteBlock number/name: BRC “Sarah Jane”

Date completed: November 6, 2010

Number of pieces: 13

Notes on block: Since it worked so well with the last block, I went ahead and used the English paper piecing and appliqué technique for the star on this block. In the original quilt, the star has a white center, but because I used 6 different fabrics for the flower, I wanted to use all 6 fabrics in the star as well.

I love the look of all the different prints! This is a happy block. I’m also thinking I may embroider my initials in this block somewhere.

Only 3 to go!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jane Stickle Quilt: TLC

Jane Stickle top left corner kiteBlock number/name: TLC “Sadie Rose”

Date completed: November 5, 2010

Number of pieces: 16

Notes on block: If it works for hexagons, why not octagons? So I went ahead and tried out English paper piecing for the first time (I used this video tutorial by Connecting Threads). I prepped all of the octagons and then whip-stitched them together and then appliquéd the group to the background. It worked really well!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jane Stickle Quilt: RS-3

Jane Stickle block RS-3Block number/name: RS-3 “Epicenter”

Date completed: November 3, 2010

Number of pieces: 20

Notes on block: I love the name of this block. Not only does it seem to fit the block well, but it makes me think of natural disaster movies. I love natural disaster movies! My guilty pleasures include Armageddon, The Core, 2012, and The Day After Tomorrow. The key elements: over-the-top disaster scenarios, a sense of humor, massive special effects showcasing the awesome power of the given disaster, and happy endings. I especially love happy endings.

Other than this block, not much crafting has been going on this week. I’ve been sick, so my spare moments over the last few days have been focused on rest. I’m feeling better today—so maybe there will be another block in my future tonight!