Tuesday, December 31, 2013

13 Finishes in 2013 - The Recap

Last January, I set a rather ambitious goal to finish 13 projects in 2013.  Call them UFOs or WIPs, or whatever, the truth is these quilts-in-progress were just languishing in a basket in the sewing room, taking up space and making me feel guilty.  Here was my original list:

 1. Jelly Roll Quilt - Finished March 9, 2013

2.  Fairy Tale Friends Finished - February 21, 2013.  Donated to Project Linus.


3.  3 x 6 Bee Blocks - I thought I had enough of these aqua & red blocks to make one quilt.  Turns out I had enough blocks to make two quilts.  I didn't quite get them finished to complete my May goal, but they were both finished by June 8, 2013 and both were donated to Project Linus.

4.   Citrus Quilts - I thought I had 10 blocks.  Turned out I had 48 blocks! so I ended up making 3 quilts and asking for a few more from the most recent round of the  3x6 bee so I could make one quilt a little larger.  These 3 were completed in August.  I have the final one on the list for 2014.  Two of these were donated to Project Linus, but somehow, I couldn't part with the third one. 

5.  Granny Squares Quilt.  These blocks were from a couple of online bees in 2011, so I had plenty of squares to finish this quilt. It's one of my favorites, in fact.  It's also the only quilt I've had the pleasure of quilting on a long arm (thank you, Marcy!)  This one was finished in April.

6.  The String Blocks Quilt  was finished in October. 

7.  The Bow Tie Quilt was finished in September.  I really had fun quilting this one.  I called the quilting motif a Double Daisy, but the ladies in the guild thought it looked like Sand Dollars.  Whatever it was, it is finished.   Yay!

8.  Bento Block Quilt - I finished this one in December.

9.  Breath of Avignon Quilt - I haven't made any progress on this one, so it will be tops on the list for 2014. 

 10.  Ari's anthropologie knock-off duvet cover was finished in April, 2013 as a graduation gift for Ari and her husband, Mitch.

11.  My Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt is really coming along.  I am actually amazed at the progress I've made on this one, so while it's not really finished, I'm not going to count this as a fail, either.  It's a great project for wintertime, since it's all hand-stitched, so I'm going to put it on the list for 2014 again and see how far I get.  I'm really pleased with my progress on this one.

12.  I have made 2 Weekender Bags from the leftover HSTs from the Swoon quilt, so I'm going to count this one as finished, July, 2013.

13.   I've made virtually no progress on my Basket Blocks quilt.  It's still sitting there in it's little zip lock waiting for some attention.  So this one is going to the top of the list for 2014.

There were a bunch of other finishes in 2013, and one day I will get around to figuring that out, but that's it for this list.  While I didn't get to everything, I'm not going to beat myself up about that.  Overall, I'm pretty pleased with what I did accomplish, and that's good enough. =)

I'm debating whether or not to try to do 14 in 2014.  Is that too much?  Especially considering that my WIP pile is considerably smaller than it was last year.  There are these two unfinishes of course - the Breath of Avignon and the Basket Blocks.  

And then there are a bunch of others.  Some have been sandwiched.  Some are just finished quilt tops. 

And a few are just unfinished blocks - or blocks yet to be made.

It will be interesting to see what quilty pleasures 2014 brings, won't it?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Couple of Recent Quilt Finishes...

As we near the end of the year, it becomes more and more apparent that my quilting accomplishments for 2013 are all but over.  However, I do have a couple of finished quilts I haven't shared here, so I thought I would share them today.

First, I finally finished my Bento Blocks quilt, and I really like it.  A lot more than I thought I would.  It is so colorful and bright that it just makes me happy.  I had thought I would probably donate this one to Project Linus, but I may have trouble parting with it.

I just quilted this one with a basic stipple.  Funny how sometimes it's nice to go back to basics.  I love how the red polka dot and plain white borders tone down the madness of the bentos.

And best of all, this is a 13 in 2013 finish.

I also finished my Wonky Cross quilt.  These are the blocks I won in the ECMQG block lottery last summer.  I finished it off with a gray (yes, gray!) border and a fabric I really like called Peacock Gardens from the ModKids collection by Patty Young at JoAnn's.

I quilted it with swirls in the body and a herringbone in the gray border.  It's pretty hard to see the quilting in the Peacock Gardens border, but I tried the Bernina #4 stitch that I've seen people use, and it turned out OK. 

Here is the back, so you can get an idea of what it looks like.  It's a pity it doesn't really show up on the front.

I really love the way these blocks coordinate and how great they look together.  I appreciate the effort the ladies of the guild put into these blocks.

And now that Christmas is over I can share the quilt I made for my daughter for Christmas.  The pattern is Wallflowers by Allison Harris (Cluck Cluck Sew.)

The fabric is mostly Lush Uptown by Erin Michael which I purchased from my favorite fabric shop, with a bit of Denyse Schmidt Florence and a couple of random color collection FQ bundles from Pink Chalk.

I wanted to highlight the motifs from the Lush Uptown collection and the Wallflowers pattern was perfect for showcasing the lovely designs in the fabric.

 It is king size, so I sent it out to the fabulous Sarah Russett for quilting.

So that's it for my most recent quilty adventures.  Once my Christmas company leaves, I hope to get started on some new projects, perfect for the new year.

All the best!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Super Saturday!

A couple of weeks ago, our ward Relief Society (women's group) held a craft day.  It has been awhile since I have participated in a good, old fashioned craft blowout.  I was just back from being sick and  snowed in over Thanksgiving, so I didn't take the camera, but we had a blast.  I was asked to do a few crafts, and a couple of the ones I did (thank you Pinterest) were popsicle stick crafts.  It's kind of fun to be a little kid again. 

I love nativities, and this one was really simple.  And a lot of fun.

I used my Silhouette and a hole punch to create this little library pocket hot chocolate holder.  This one is a little cross-eyed apparently, but he was fun.

My friend, Bonnie, did this greeting card style one.  It's a little more formal, but super easy and cute.

And these pony bead candy canes were fun.

And I love nativities, and this one is going to be awesome when I finish.  This one was made by my friend, Lisa, who (with her husband and daughter) cut and stained all the blocks, printed the patterns and provided the paint.  Mine is painted now.  I just need to find some sealer to spray on for a glossy finish.  My original thought was to send this one to the grands - the blocks are suitable for the kids to play with - but as usual, I'm running behind so it may not get there by Christmas.  Maybe I'll keep this one and do another one for them next year.

We made Christmas cards and decopaged plates and sewed crayon books and just had so much fun.  I wish I had gotten pictures. And ate.  And ate.  And ate. 

It was a really fun day!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

SMS Hip Holiday Giveaway Winner

Photo courtesy of Westwood Acres Fabric
SMS Giveaway Day Week is over and it always makes me a bit sad.  I've had such fun reading about all of your holiday traditions.  It is clear to me that like with my own family, getting to be together with family plays a huge part in our family traditions.  Food is another big part of our traditions - who doesn't love all those wonderful Christmas treats we only have once a year?!  And combine food and our families and friends?  Now that's a winning combination!

Like with me, Christmas movies play a huge part in our annual Christmas celebrations.  Many of you reminded me of movies I hadn't seen in a long time, or of annual favorites.  Either way, movies help us feel the spirit of the season.

And I even learned a bit about traditions from other cultures!  That was fun!

Perhaps the comments I enjoyed most, however, were the ones that reminded me of Christmas memories, some nearly forgotten.  What a joy those were for me.

A few of you don't celebrate Christmas, and entered anyway.  Thank you.

I hope I was able to respond to everyone who left a comment.  I really tried, although my computer didn't make it easy sometimes.  If you didn't receive a comment, you were either a no-reply blogger or my computer zipped along without letting me respond.  Know that I read and enjoyed every comment.

Photo courtesy of Blend Fabrics

And now...  {drum roll please!}...  the moment you have been waiting for...

The winner of the Josephine Kimberling Hip Holiday bundle from Westwood Acres Fabric is

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2013-12-15 00:17:33 UTC
406.  Reb Thack  December 11, 2013 at 5:06 PM
We read a Christmas kids book all together every night leading up to the 25th. It's super fun to share in the kids' excitement!

That sounds like a fun tradition I wish I had done when my kids were little.  Maybe next year I'll get the grands 25 Christmas books and give them to their mommy at Thanksgiving for their Christmas enjoyment.  (This year I gave them a chocolate advent calendar, and I think the begging was driving their mommy and daddy crazy!)

Reb, I'm off to email you for your address.

Thanks to everyone who entered.  You really helped start my Christmas season off in a splendid way!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fun Mail

 The Sew Mama Sew Giveaway is here.  Today is the last day to enter!

You know, when you do a bunch of swaps, like I did this fall, you not only get to stretch your creative boundaries and make fun things, but you receive fun things as well.  It is so much fun to receive those squishy fun mail packages!  Even my husband has taken to yelling, as he comes in from the mailbox, "You have fun mail!"  I think he's as excited as I am.

But as awesome as receiving the fun mail is, I don't feel the same way about taking the photos.  I wish I was one of those people who could resist tearing into the package until I had taken pictures of the whole outside - and then photograph the process step by step as the wonderfulness inside is revealed.

But that's not me.

I wish that I was uber confident about taking the photos, and that I could be sure I would get a shot of the essence of the item, whatever it is.  I wish that I had a photographic "style" and I could take pictures people would love to see, that would really do the items justice.

But that's not me either.

So I tend to procrastinate taking the pictures.  The weather's gloomy.  I have too much to do.  Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  I've even taken some photography lessons - and my photos are better.  But I'm still not confident.  But maybe...  just maybe...  they're improving.  I hope so.

Enough of that.  Today I'm going to share some of the awesome swappy stuff I've received recently.  This amazing set of baskets is from Michelle (A.Quilter.2) in the FLiRTS3 Swap.  In this swap, you get to suggest several things that you might like, and then your partner gets to pick what to make you.  When I re-did my sewing room, I added some little cubbies, so one of the things I suggested was a basket that would fit in the cubbies and hold stuff.  Michelle didn't just make me one basket, she made FOUR.  Aren't they pretty?  I love that the two big ones have handles on the front.  And you can see that the two smaller ones are in use already.  I have the one on the left on my sewing table holding bonus HSTs from various projects.  (I like keeping these separate so that when I want to use them, they are all together.)  So thanks, Michelle - these are very helpful - and beautiful - additions to my sewing space.

One of the very first swaps I ever participated in - and one I look forward to every year is the Trim the Tree Handmade Ornament Swap.  This sweet little house ornament is from Veronica (Veronica A.M.) 

This sweet little crochet mushroom ornament is from Erin (whynotsewquilts?)

This adorable little gingerbread man was from Amy (nellieanddot) and came with his own little garland to help decorate the tree!

And the very pretty tree is from Kerri at (sewdeerlyloved). 

Kerri also sent along a lovely selection of fabric scraps with her ornament.

And here they are as a group.  Don't they look like they were all made to go together?

And along about the same time I received this fun package from Dorte in Denmark in the Super Swaps Swap.  She made me these traditional ornaments.  Check out the star - it's made with a tape measure!

Here they are all together.  I'm gong to have such fun decorating the tree with all my new ornaments this year!

I also played along in the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap.  This was from my partner Joey in Singapore.  This was the first swap he (or she?) had ever participated in, and he's new to quilting.  Isn't this cute!

I've been taking part in Sewing With Friends for a year or more now.  Every two months we have a new partner.  We started out with mug rugs, but this year, there  is a new project every month.  This time, needlebooks were the assignment.  This is from Mary (Mary P in TX).  It came with a package of quilter's needles and a cute pair of embroidery scissors, but I've already put those to good use

There's lots of room inside for needles and pins.  I like having a number of needlebooks, since I often have several projects going at once.  That way I don't forget and leave a needle somewhere I shouldn't.  For some reason, the husband objects when I do that!

These are three of the blocks I received in the 3x6 Bee (oops - I should have ironed them!)  I think they'll be awesome with the other blocks in my last citrus quilt!

I think this will be a fun quilt.  I'll put this one on the list to finish next year.  Maybe it'll be 14 in 2014?  I'll have to think about that.

And I received this awesome QAYG tool caddy hoop from Betsy Lynn in the Modern Scrappy Bits Swap.  I love the cute Aneela Hoey fabrics she used, and that she sent it FULL of goodies.  Aren't those little aqua clothespins just the cutest.  And if that wasn't enough, there are a ton of fun scraps there too!  I hit the jack pot on this one too!

And I got this awesome paper pieced pillow from Kim (KMJ Creations) in the Holiday Edition Pillow Talk Swap.  Turns out we were partners with each other.  If her favorite palette is gray and purple, I imagine she had as much trouble with my brights on white style as I did with hers.  But isn't this adorable?  I love the fabrics she chose, and the wonky tree, and the fact that Santa looks like he's standing on a wobbly stool.  Just too cute.

The pillow is beautifully hand quilted.

And even the back is beautiful!

And I love that Santa is putting a star on the top of the tree.  I love stars - Christmas stars especially.

There are actually a couple more  swappy things waiting to have their pictures taken, but they didn't make it into the photo gallery today, and this post is already long enough so they will have to wait for another day.

What crafty things have you been working on?