Tuesday, December 29, 2009

WIP Wednesday - All I got for Christmas.

Pin It Daddy bought himself a PS3. Mommy bought herself fabric. Lots of fabric.

I have a few works in progress.

I still need to get the sashing for Steiger's quilt done (scroll down on page).
Then I need to use this amazing Kona color card to figure out some coordinating solids for the fabric I bought. Fabricshack.com is having a 15% off everything sale for the rest of the week... but, there are 221 different colors on this thing! It's amazing! (I got it here, if you're interested in one of your very own).

I'm going to make some little wall decorations to go with Steiger's quilt... that way, I can practice the actual quilting on the small stuff before I go to his. I really do want his to turn out! Look for pictures soon...
On Saturday, I got one of my Christmas orders (sure, a little late, but I'm not complaining). It's pieces of Lecien's floral collection. I've been wanting to try pieced hexagons, so I began cutting. I originally saw it in this book, but it calls for 10" squares, and I didn't want something that big. I saw a variation here, and then really wanted to make it. My version is a sickeningly sweet, very pastel baby quilt. And I love it. There is very little contrast, but I think once I add my white minky to the back (I want to practice quilting something with minky before I make Steiger's), it will be oh so precious and waitingforthebabygirlIhopetohaveoneday.

Now for a little fabric love.
Each time I buy fabric, I've decided to throw in 1/2 yard for my stash. It's growing nicely, methinks.

These are for some little alphabet books I want to make.

I saw this quilt made with hedgerows a while back, and wanted to try it. This is the fabric for my version.

And I got my first very own full-sized moda fat quarter bundle. It's from the Blush line by Basic grey... I have a few ideas of what I'd like to make with it...that is, if I can muster the courage to untie that ribbon and unbundle its little organized perfection.

The last one reminds me of Strawberry Shortcake...but it's called Caramel Town Charlotte. I think I had to get it because it also reminded me of my days in Taiwan... "hao ke ai!" (how cute! as my students would say... they all loved Japanese stuff, which is where this fabric is made)
And because I always have to show off the baby... and his daddy... and the doggie too.
Dont' forget, you have until the end of the week to enter the miniquilt giveaway!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mini-quilt giveaway!

Pin It As promised, I will be giving away a (mini) quilt.

I'll let you pick a couple things... like, do you want it to be...

A pillow?
or a doll quilt? or a little wall hanging?
What colors?
But, I'm using this project to practice doing my own quilting. (It's a must after this quilting *disaster*)
I'll use fabric from my stash, so the sky will not be the limit, but I'll email with the winner to try to come up with something that builds my skills, and pleases their fancy.

Here's how to enter:
1 - Leave a comment on this entry that answers the following questions:
juvenile or adult?
seasonal or timeless?
solids or patterns?
modern or traditional?
wonky or structured?
wall, doll, or pillow?
favorite color:
Make sure your name is on there, and I have a way to contact you (if I'm your facebook or BBC friend, that's sufficient... you might want to include a last initial)
2- For additional entries, leave a comment on any of the December blog entries (I think there are 7 all together).

I will post the winner on January 3.
My disclaimers:
- this will be a trial project, and will reflect that level of *expertise*
- Completion will be contingent upon my availability of thread, uninterrupted sewing time, and other possible factors (but I'll try to not keep you waiting too long)
- you can't win if I can't figure out how to notify you

Have fun!

(Bonus points may be given if you help me in my quest to lose the last 10 Steiger pounds before his first birthday on 4.10.10)

First... Christmas

Pin It

I must say, this was my favorite Christmas ever... Even though we drove with a tired, screaming baby from Redding, and I didn't even have all of Steiger's gifts wrapped (bad mommy), there is just something utterly delightful about having an 8 month old and his wonderful daddy to share the season with. I mean really, does it get much better than these 2?

(Steiger was quite excited about his book from Grandma Shirley.)

We were back home this morning (we actually came home last night).
We had to have a family picture; the timer feature always seems to turn out pretty good, no? I believe Steiger's expression is entirely appropriate here.

We spent this afternoon at my mom's.

Seeing Steiger with Cousin Cooper almost makes me want another one soon; Steiger LOVES kiddos.

As always, Grandma Cathy's house was gorgeous, and the food was tremendous. I love being at her house at Christmastime.

Cooper has decided that Grandpa is his big buddy now. And Steiger was a sweetheart despite skipping his afternoon nap.

Steiger did not fight sleep at all tonight. All I could think, as I held him there is what a joy he is to know. Each year, on Christmas Eve, the Christmas story is read from Luke 2. My favorite verse, is towards the end of the chapter... Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

I think I could relate to her a little bit this Christmas. Peace on earth, good will toward men... indeed.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Pin It Finally, it feels like it.
- I've been banned from the laundry room (such a pity, don'tchathink?) so that Jay can hide my presents in there.
- In the death to my computer a couple months ago, I also lost my Christmas music. So I downloaded some from amazon today. Can I please recommend this number. It's had me bawling all evening...but the good kind of crying.
- Finished my Christmas quilts
- Finished my Christmas shopping (thank you again amazon).
- We have our festive little corner of the house. (which I'd show you, but apparently my computer doesn't want to recognize the photodrive, and I don't want to wake up Steiger again by the beep when it restarts... grr... yes, I've already done this once tonight; he's a light sleeper, like his mama)...

Here are my Christmasy quilts. They happen to be gifts for the in-laws.
The first one I started last year, but being round and pregnant, I got too uncomfortable sitting at the tall dining room table which I use as a sewing station, so I abandoned it. It was improvised to a finish this year. (Ignore the man behind the curtain)

It's jolly and whimsical. And intended for an amazing scrap-booker, so I hope she likes it.
The next one was inspired by this. The fabric line is really cute, and I'm having a hard time not keeping this for myself. But alas, I will be strong, and use this to justify buying more fabric for next year.

Steiger's quilt is coming along. I notice, by this picture though, that I need to change out the far left block of the third row. Chocolate sashing is in the works. The back is minky; I hope he likes it.

Here's a smile for you.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

WIP Wednesday (but on Thursday)...

Pin It The Christmas tree is actually the biggest work in progress... it has lights on half of it. (Sort of) funny story... Jay decided to burn the lights with the tree last year. No, I wasn't really impressed, but hey, now we get new fancy LED lights from Costco. But we didn't buy enough. Tomorrow Jay plans to go get more lights, pick up his new glasses, see Avatar, and (perhaps) do some shopping for me.

No fear though... if he doesn't shop for me, I've already purchased plenty for myself. I think I have no less than 6 quilts streaming around in my brain.
Now for the ones I've been working on!

I finished the binding on my mom's (wreckuva) quilt. There are some advantages to presbyopia, as she doesn't really notice the minty thread. I have 2 more smallish ones to bind before Dec. 23.

Steiger's blocks are finished, and they just need sashing. I think I'm going to go with a chocolate brown. He's very excited about this, as you can see.

I joined a "block of the month" club a few months ago. I finally got to Block 7

and 6 this week. My goal is to have Blocks 1-5 done this week...uh, month.

In a week, a dear friend of mine will find out if she's having a little boy, or a little girl. That will probably be the quilt I start next. But who knows (I'm rooting for girl because I have some great fabric already). :)
Steiger and the dog have got a great working relationship going already. Yes, he is feeding her cheerios.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Santa...

Pin It I've been so good this year; you have no idea. If you don't believe me, just ask the sweet little 8 month old crawling under my feet... he'd tell you, well, if he could.

The Fat Quarter Shop (one of the places that I just can't stay away from), asked me to make my Christmas list. Here's a little part of it; if I put my whole list, I think it would grow to the obscene. :)

Fat quarter packs from the fatquartershop...

This one:

or this one:

or, really, really, this one (it's my favorite, but a bit pricey) :-/

This roll-up would also come in handy, as I make some wonky log-cabin blocks.

I promise I've been good this year! And really, would this face lie?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

WIP Wednesday - berry binding and Steiger's quilt

Pin It I'm still not over the mint green thread. But I'm moving on. I will bind the quilt (here's over 400 inches of binding half-way pressed and being prepared to be sewn on, but I'm having more fun with Steiger's) I also have another small Christmasy quilt waiting to be bound in red polka-dots. And I'm working on Steiger's quilt! Some of the blocks... I LOVE, and others, I'm not so sure about. I am wondering what to do with it once I put it all together. I decided on the Box Step pattern because I felt it would show the prints better, and leave me with less decapitated moose (mooses? Meese?). I even fussy-cut a few of the block centers so those little forest creatures will be better displayed.

This is going to be a brief update, because I want to get back to sewing while Steiger is sleeping! Here's my next project... which I think will be for me. It's called "Cameos," and while a little more challenging than straight piecing, will turn out great... I hope.

Here are a few of the boy though... he loves Cheerios (and so does the dog). Any other good high chair foods? It's been exciting now that Jay set it up. :)

Oh, and all I want for Christmas is fabric. Well, actually I want a long-arm machine with quilting frame so I can do my own quilting, but I think that's a bit much to ask. Thank you for reading!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The quilt that almost was, and the quilt that almost wasn't

Pin It This blog entry will have a bit of irony to it (situational irony, for those ex-AP students who might be reading). I am going to tell the story of 2 quilts here: 1 is the quilt with the notorious mint green thread on a dominantly sage green background, and the other is a quilt for my Grandma.

When I was sick with morning sickness while pregnant with Steiger, my mom saved Jay (and I) by feeding us (or him mostly, because I could barely eat). When I was too round and tired to pick up groceries, she picked them up and dropped them off. When, after 26 hours of labor and 4 hours of pushing and surrender to unplanned c-section, Steiger was born, she took on nursing duty for 2 weeks, reminiscing the days of sleepless nights she had spent some 30 years earlier.

So I made it my mission to show my appreciation. I found this great fabric line called "Glace." It's Christmasy, but not overly so, and I thought it felt like her house. So I bought it. The design evolved while I was up with Steiger (I started this in August, before he was predictably sleeping through the night), and I would lie there, distracting myself from my fatigue by planning the design. As a new quilter (this is my third quilt), I did not have an overly extensive background of experience to incorporate into my dreaming, but I came up with something I thought would be really nice. It's a disappearing 9-patch, on point, with icy-green flowers for sashing, brown bouquets for setting triangles, a deep red tonal for a skinny border, with my favorite -- a perfect "verglas green" damask set wide for the final touch. Red berries will make the binding (to be completed soon). The back is from the same line, but in flannel holly berries.
I took it to the quilters a couple weeks ago, so excited for when I could give it to her. My heart sank when I picked it up, and immediately saw minty/limey green thread all over the surface. I felt sick.

The quilt still looks beautiful from a distance. The border is directional. To all you students out there -- there ARE times you actually do use math in real life. I also used it to make the setting triangles, because it is a rather complicated equation to get them right (add, divide, and cut).

Here's a shot where you can see the blocks closer:

Now for the part that makes me sick still when I look at it. You can see the color is just all *wrong.* When I called the quilter, her explanation was that "You're not going to match all the colors in your quilt," (thank you Capt. Obvious... but the dominant color would be nice... and FYI, that thread matches NO colors), and "it was the green we had." (I would have happily bought thread and taken it to her, had I known). Ugh. You can kind of see it in these pictures.

On the flannel back

My solution to this is to take my mom to the quilters, and she can pick out some fabric she likes... and I will make her another.

Now for the quilt that almost wasn't...

My grandma Dine (Dad's mom) has been on my quilting list (longer than time I have to get done). I look for fabric for her, and had a couple things in mind. This November, she went in to have a heart stent. That turned in to a double-bypass. That turned in to a 5-way bypass. That turned in to opening her back up. That turned in to "she might not make it through the night." That turned in to a stay in ICU. Then the regular hospital wing. Then a rehab hospital. She's scheduled to come home on Tuesday. And this will be waiting for her. (If we don't take it to her today).

The back:

It's from a line called "Aster Manor." I had a small fat-quarter bundle, and made this quilt very quickly. In faith. She was in very critical condition, and I prayed and quilted. It might sound cheesy, but with each piece going together, I prayed for her. I'm grateful I have the chance to give this to her.

Here she and Steiger's Great-Grandpa Jim are with Steiger a couple months ago.

And now for a few of Steiger from last night and a couple days ago:

He gives "kisses" now too...

Daddy set up his high chair last night! (while Steiger played in the box)

Until next time... we're outta here! :)


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