Friday, December 31, 2010

Gift to self

As a gift to myself, I have decided to join another block-of-the-month club. This one is through a local quilt shop, Gathering Fabric. They are going to be working on a gorgeous applique quilt from Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts called "Hop to It."

startup pack for my Hop to It quilt
The cool thing about this group is that there is no requirement to purchase any fabrics-- the shop is very supportive of those who want to use their stash. But, for those who want it, they created some beautiful kits. And the kit was too pretty for me to pass up. But no doubt I'll be supplementing with stash fabrics as well.

What I really love about this program is that I get to go once a month and meet with other people working on the same project. I found that to be so inspiring and motivating for me as I worked on my "Greenpiece" quilt last year. I'm looking forward to our first meeting in mid-January!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas joy

Christmas was a ton of fun this year. Big Bear hit the mother lode when Santa brought him a train table and some new engines.

a very happy boy and his train table
In addition to the "official" Thomas engines, he also received a couple of special cars:

custom tar wagons
The tar wagons are featured in a few of the Thomas stories, and BB includes them in his play a lot. However, there is no actual tar wagon toy in the Thomas collection, so he has been using legos and blocks to stand in for them. My husband found some plain wooden trains and then painted them to create this pair of custom tar wagons. Didn't they turn out awesome? And Big Bear LOVES them!

It was such a joy watching him take it all in and then seeing his excitement once he started to play (and he didn't stop... all trains, all day!).

baby boy playing with his new activity cube
Little Bear was not left out of the fun either. He got some wonderful new toys for his first Christmas, including a big wooden activity cube from Santa and some electronic goodies from the grandparents. It is currently very noisy at our house (why don't those toys have volume controls???), but the boys are having a lot of fun.

I received some wonderful new "toys" as well!

Mama's new toys!
My in-laws gave me some wonderful new crafty books, including Amy Butler's Style Stitches, Pretty Little Potholders by Lark Books, and Jelly Roll Quilts & More by Kimberly Einmo. And then my mom gave me a beautiful fat quarter pack the new Sanctuary collection by Patty Young in the chocolate berry colorway. So lovely!

cute little pouch
And look at this wonderful piece of handmade loveliness from the super-talented Evelyn! And it had a cool little seam ripper gadget inside too!

Shabby Fabrics Pincushion Club
In addition to a fabulous gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop, my husband signed me up for a new block of the month at Shabby Fabrics: The Pincushion Club! It is the coolest thing! Each month I will receive a new pincushion kit. Some of the kits will even have enough to create multiple pincushions. And every month features a different designer. The first kit is supposed to arrive at the end of January. I can't wait!!!

I hope all of you have been having a wonderful holiday season as well!

Friday, December 24, 2010

And the stockings were hung...

I finished Little Bear's Christmas stocking last night (just in the nick of time!).

Little Bear's new stocking
That big blur at the top is where his name has been fancily machine embroidered. (That makes two uses of the embroidery unit this year! Woo hoo!)

Because I started this blog after I made it, I don't think I've ever shown the stocking I made for Big Bear.

Big Bear's stocking

I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season. And for those who celebrate it:

Merry Christmas 2010
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa came a little early

Last week, my little 2001 Honda Civic died. Poor Pep-Pep's transmission went kaput.

Fortunately, Santa (aka, my glorious husband) made his visit a little early:

...and now I have a swanky new 2011 Subaru Outback. Woo hoo!!!

And since I can't very well have a post with no craftiness, I'll share this:

Cookie Time!
Mmm... cookies! And my very helpful decorating buddy!

Seriously-- I am a very fortunate girl.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Perpetually behind

Yep. That's me. Always a little behind. Of course, I have no one to blame but myself.

Could I have finished my father-in-law's quilt by now? Probably. If I had gone with my original plan to just do an all-over quilting design on it. And I was going to do just that. But then I was looking at the quilt and was really feeling all those hours I spent in piecing the top. And I just couldn't do it. I've decided that I really need to do it "right"-- a design specifically for this quilt in hopes of truly enhancing all the piecing in it.

Unfortunately, this decision has put me rather behind schedule. I haven't even started quilting yet. But-- now I have a plan!

a quilting plan
I made a printout of one of my photos and tried out ideas by penciling in the lines. Of the options I thought of, I like this one the best.

My husband has next week off from work, so I am hopeful that I can take some time and focus on the quilting. I'm kind of excited because I think it is going to be really cool!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

With only 4 pins remaining

...basting is complete! When I started, that pin bucket was more than half-full. There were a lot of pins. It took four hours (but that also includes a long baby feed break in the middle). Bedtime was 2 AM.

So sleepy.

And now I just have to quilt it!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Basting the behemoth

The top is 86" x 110". Since I don't have a space near big enough to lay it all out, I'm having to baste it in sections. Wish me luck on that!

getting ready for basting across my bedroom floor
Fortunately, it's too late for me to chicken out because it is currently laid out across my bedroom. So now I have to finish it before I go to bed. Unfortunately, it is already 10 pm. Methinks it is going to be a late night. And my back is probably not going to thank me in the morning. But-- I'll have a basted quilt!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Now with borders!

Prairie Pinwheel quilt, now with borders
...and it only took 10 months to put them on!

I am determined to get this quilt finished in time for Christmas. Since it was already "given" last year (in the form of a coupon), I think it would be wonderful to be able to put the actual quilt under the tree this year.

Next up: piecing together the back!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Some more blankets

Since I have all of my flannel laying out and about, I have been feeling this compulsion to get it off my floor and use it. I managed to make a couple more blankets this last weekend for Project Linus.

A receiving blanket:

receiving blanket

And something a little larger too:

starry blue square blanket
This one is made with 5" squares so it is about 35" x 40".

I'm building a nice little pile to take to the next Project Linus workday. Yay!