Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bee blocks for (ahem) November

These are my bee blocks for Bee Vintage. Yes, for November. Total slacker.

The pattern is called Lady of the Lake and while I think it's lovely now that it's done I think I would go insane if I made a whole quilt with this block! one thing is for sure - I learned a lot about half square triangles while making these.

If you're new to HST there are a couple of tricks that helped as I assembled these blocks:

Measure slightly larger (I rounded up from 2-7/8" to 3" for the small squares) and then trim to square after sewing the HST. Seriously, this is what saved me.

Use a scant 1/4" seam. And go slow enough to maintain that seam allowance. (This was a little bit hard for me because I like to sew fast!)

Again, this bee has been a wonderful experience because I'm getting the chance to learn a LOT about making some more traditional quilt blocks and blocks I wouldn't necessarily choose for myself. It has really expanded my skills at piecing and pushed me to try new techniques.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Patchwork presents

I made these little patchwork and linen fabric baskets for some friends for Christmas. They're from this tutorial and I only did a small amount of tweaking. Like the handles. Cotton webbing was a real time saver since I was making a total of 14 baskets!

Here's the other side:

I'll definitely be making more of these since they're such a fun way to feature cute patchwork. In fact, I've already put a few to work in my sewing space to hold my (rapidly growing) assortment of ribbons and trims.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Whoo whoo who wishes you a Merry Christmas?

We do!

From our family to yours, here's hoping your holiday is filled with love and laughter, joy and peace.

Friday, December 24, 2010


The first ever visit to see Santa went surprisingly well! Miss B was a little freaked out at first but was totally chatting Santa up by the end. And in typical little girl fashion, the "official" Santa photo taken by the photographer has her lifting her dress. Priceless.

Owen was thrilled. I think he feels great relief at being able to tell Santa, in person, what he really wants for Christmas.

A super fun way to start Christmas eve! Now we're all at home, watching Rudolph and baking cranberry pumpkin bread for tomorrow morning. We assembled a few last minute gifts of apple spice muffin mix in a jar for our neighbors and there are two pans of Bailey's nutty bars to give to family we'll be seeing later tonight.

Ho ho ho!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Feeling the crunch

(source unknown, lifted from a friend's wall on Facebook.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This is what happens when there's a fire in the fireplace, the lights are twinkling on the tree and Daddy and Owen sit down to read a book.

I've been sewing like a crazy person. Can't wait to show you!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Suzuko Koseki

I have been extremely fortunate to be included in a special project for Japanese fabric designer and author, Suzuko Koseki. Ayumi over at Pink Penguin first mentioned her idea for this project in this post. Basically, a group of 18 crafters from 8 different countries are each making one 4.5" square coaster to be presented as a gift to Suzuko Koseki at the Tokyo Quilt Festival.

We were each assigned a letter or symbol to incorporate into our coaster and I got a heart. Here's my contribution:

This was so much fun to work on and now I want to make a set of coasters for myself in this same manner!

Here's the back, made with scraps from the front heart:

And a detail of the hand stitching and teeny tiny raw edge applique scraps on the back:

Each of the tiny squares is only half an inch across. I made a little quilt sandwich of the coaster top, some warm and natural batting, and the coaster back. The edges were left raw to echo the raw edges on the applique pieces and it is my hope that they will fray a little bit and soften over time.

You can see some more of the front detail here:

This was such a fun project to be involved with and I thank Ayumi for letting me be a small part of it. You can see more of what everyone's working on by checking out the flickr group here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Granny's Brooch

Last Christmas was the first time I hung this ornament on our tree. When my grandmother passed away I received some of her costume jewelry, including two brooches with the most fabulously blingy rhinestones imaginable. I went out and purchased the red tassels and just pinned the brooches to the tops of the tassels and had instant tree ornaments! I love them and they always make me smile and think of her.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

100th Post ~ and another giveaway

***This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to SS Sews! I've sent you an email.***

I can hardly believe this is my 100th blog post! Crazy, but true.

As a special treat for YOU - and who doesn't want special treats during the holidays? - I have been able to partner with CSN stores to offer a $40 gift certificate for you to use however you wish!

CSN is comprised of over 200 online stores, so there's something for everyone from cookware to children's backpacks.

My son would probably faint if he found this one under the Christmas tree:

And my daughter might need this sweet one when she starts school next fall:

At one point I had entertained the notion of making them both backpacks but I think this is a much saner way to go! And it guarantees that they will actually HAVE backpacks for school instead of me just having another pile of fabric on my cutting table.

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment and I'll randomly choose a winner on Monday.

Good luck!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


This giveaway is now closed. For real this time! Winners have been notified via email. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Welcome to my little giveaway! ***The giveaway for the two pouches is now closed. But because I am a dork and didn't realize the giveaway was to remain open until the 17th, I'll do this: Check out my etsy shop and let me know which bookmarks you like best and I'll be happy to send the winner a set of two! If you've already entered, no need to re-enter. I'll choose a winner from all comments received.***

I have been busy crafting up a storm in preparation for the holidays and thought someone (maybe you!) would love a little stocking stuffer for yourself or a special someone.

I will be giving away two cute snappy pocket keychains:

These are made from some of my favorite Japanese fabrics and are fully lined.

Perfect for carrying change for the parking meter or some coffee cash for a quick run to your favorite cafe.

Now for the nitty gritty:

This giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry to my international friends!)

To enter leave a comment here telling me your favorite handmade gift to either give or receive.

If you are so inclined, please visit my etsy shop (100% of the proceeds go to charity) and if you see a bookmark you like, let me know. I just might have to include one if you win!

This giveaway will remain open through December 15 and two winners will be chosen at random. Winners will be notified by December 17 and prizes will be shipped by next Monday, December 20. Be sure to leave a way to contact you if you win!

Good luck! And be sure to visit the many other talented crafters participating in Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


We always had Christmas stockings when I was growing up. In fact, I still have my green felt stocking that has hung every Christmas of my life. When I met my husband-to-be, we talked about our different holiday traditions and he said that he had never had a Christmas stocking. His family just didn't do them. (WHAT?!?!?!?!?)

With all due respect to his family, I made him this stocking for our first Christmas together and we will continue to hang it every year by our fireplace. There are two other felt stockings now, for our kiddos. They are all simple and made of felt, embellished with embroidery and buttons and a few jingle bells.

(You can actually see all of the stockings hanging behind our fireplace in my family photo at the top right of this blog.)

I love holiday traditions and can't wait to show you a few more things we do around these parts in the remaining time before Christmas.

PLUS, there will be a giveaway (or two, or maybe three) in the coming weeks so keep checking back. First up will be Sew Mama Sew's big giveaway day on Monday, December 13th! then I'll be celebrating my 100th blog post (say what! where does the time go?) and I've been asked by CSN stores to partner with them in offering a giveaway as well. Lots of exciting things going on!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm Ba-a-ack!

Sorry to have been gone for what seems like forever. But I am on the mend and things are beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

This is our tree. The kids helped decorate it last night and we had a great time. You may notice that the bottom branches are quite bare. That would be because of the kitties. They do NOT have good tree manners. In fact, Grrl Kitty was found earlier today near the top of the tree. Seriously. Earned herself a nice trip outside to think about her behavior.

I've been working on a few crafty things here and there and will share in the coming days.

It's good to be back!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


...but hopefully not for too much longer.

We have been dealing with some unexpected health issues in our little family. Very little crafting/sewing/blogging going on in these parts. We hope to be on the mend soon and back to creating big fine crafty messes!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

From our family to yours, wishing you a wonderful day of gratitude and thanksgiving.

Look at this little 23 pounder just waiting to make the house smell amazing.

And then there's this little 42 pounder:

And his sidekick/cohort/groupie/impersonator:

Gobble gobble!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lookie here!

I went and got myself a serger!

It's so awesome! Very very basic model but it got excellent reviews. Love. It.

Whipped up these little snack bags to test everything out. Tutorial here.

I went ahead and made them with two layers of fabric to give them a lining. Seriously - including cutting, sewing and pressing, it took about 20 minutes to make 6 of these puppies.

Best of all? They match the kiddos lunch sacks!

Okay, I'm off to see what else I can serge!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A change of pace

Or at least of material. These are some coasters that I like to whip up for the holidays.

What do you know! They're not made out of fabric! They are a heavy paperboard, just like the coasters you get at a bar or pub.

I do my jerry-rigged version of letterpress on them and I think they turn out pretty nicely. I love that little bird.

They are flat on the back and the image contains no ink or anything. It's just pressed into the thick heavy paper hard enough to make an impression.

They are a wonderful addition to a holiday (or anyday!) party and they also make a lovely hostess gift.

Oh, and these ones are available in the shop!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wee little shop update

I've added a bunch more bookmarks to the shop.

As well as some other fun goodies, like these keychains:

And the infamous "Zippiphany" pouch:

I know I will be stuffing stockings with the likes of these this year:

Looking forward to tonight's PMQG meeting. And I just discovered that I've almost reached my "100th post" milestone. Hmmmm.... a little giveaway may be in order!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

IKEA love

SNÖVITA Card with envelope  Length: 4 ½
Okay, so I'm at IKEA returning a shelf and what catches my eye but these cuter than cute holiday cards! And a roll of gift wrap covered in these same gnomes! I'm not sure how it happened, but they jumped right into my cart and came home with me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Super Snack Sacks!

A friend of mine, one of the mom's at Owen's preschool saw his lunch sack the other day and really REALLY wanted one. So, I kinda made a whole pile of them:

They all have a coordinating pocket on the back and some also have a pocket on the inside. These ones are all for sale in the shop. *** And don't forget that 100% of the proceeds benefit Camp JAM!***

I have found these little snack sacks to be a perfect size for carrying around everything from a granola bar and a juice box to a full-blown lunch and snacks for the kiddos. I even made one for myself because mommas need snacks too! The kids also have ones that they use for toting around a small sketch book and crayons (and all the other various things that preschoolers "need"). I'll probably whip up a few more this holiday season to use as gift bags.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Comfort food

It is nothing short of miraculous that a pile of simple tools and ingredients like these:

Can turn into something like this:

And don't forget the vanilla bean ice cream.

What are you baking these days?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Raw talent

My precious daughter discovered that she can do this with some large game pieces we have.

And of course, my not-to-be-outdone son had to get in on the act.

I would never have thought to try to do this. Just one more reason why kids are awesome.

Back to crafty posts soon. We were without access to my beloved internet for what seemed like an eternity. On the plus side, without the distractions of facebook, flickr, and all the online fabric stores I can't buy anything from (because of the whole fabric fast insanity - what was I thinking????) I found I had LOTS of time to, um, sew. Funny how that works.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bee Block

Here is my October block for Bee Vintage:

My first ever wonky/liberated star. So much fun to make. I know I'll be doing more of these.

And I really REALLY love the different bright vintage sheets prints I used in this one. Another great thing about this block is that we were asked to use a white tone on tone print for the background and I found that piecing the vintage sheets with a cotton fabric made my machine much less likely to try to "eat" the sheets (pushing them down into the stitch plate on my machine). Nice little discovery!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween was a hit!

Oh my goodness! Halloween was a blast!

This was the very first year we did real, door-to-door trick-or-treating.

The rain held off and both of the wee ones really got into the spirit of the evening.

Now if someone would just hide the rest of the peanut butter cups from me....