Sunday, December 28, 2008

The road is paved with good intentions

Looking back on 2008, I did have a humble list of 10 things I resolved to do during the year.

If I only accomplished 60% of them, am I operating at less than passing marks?

Maybe I'll implement a bell curve and say that I am doing OK since most people completely ignore their New Year's resolutions.

Either way, here's how I stack up.

2008 Resolutions and status report:

1. Devote more time and energy to our family (my favorite thing to do, this one is a gimme).
Status: Done. Duh, I produced a baby! If that doesn't cover the energy part, I don't know what does.

2. Finish my sister’s
Dear Jane Dear Hannah wedding quilt (this will be a HUGE stretch)
Status: Pathetic. I will admit I hardly touched it all year, sorry sis. You were bumped for the baby quilts (above). You know that's a much higher calling.

3. Fine tune my humble little blog, have a freebee section of patterns and handful of some small things in a little shop section.
Status: Done. My amazing husband even helped me register a domain for my blog,, which I have aspirations to flesh out this year. Gosh, I feel another resolution coming on. I have so many ideas!

4. Write in permanent ink on my Baltimore album quilt blocks.
Status: Zilch. I am still too chicken to write on my blocks. Maybe I'll get up the
moxie soon.

5. Hit the gym more.
Status: Sad, but can I pull the "I was pregnant" excuse and promise to repent in 2009?

6. Do something special for our house that it well deserves (new light fixtures? Paint the scary ugly kitchen?)
Status: Done. New light fixtures help out a lot.

7. Become a certified quilt appraiser
Status: Getting there. I realized it takes several years before you can get certified, so I'm well on my way by having appraised many quilts this year.

8. Attend at least 2 major quilt shows, photograph them, and post comprehensive flickr sets for all to all enjoy
Status: Done.

9. Be more green: seek out a
CSA source for our family, grow more of our own food in the garden, and make an effort to buy locally as much as possible.
Status: Done. We used Two Small Farms all season, and are already signed up for next year. This was one of the highlights of 2008 for me.

10. In another environmentally friendly vein - Keep my over 10 yr old, 115K+ mile, beloved car even though it’s totally impractical doesn’t have a trunk and only holds 4 people.
Status: Done. I have even been known to happily cram my husband and two kids in there with me on rare occasion.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

And to all, a good night!

Santa was good to us all this year. Hope your holiday season is peaceful.

My other holiday wish for you is that you sneak in some time to quilt!

This is a photo of my little Sonny Angels, I couldn't resist picking up a Santa from their holiday collection.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Visions of Sugarplums

Gifts are wrapped.

Holiday meal was done a day early in order to catch friends going out of town, and was a huge hit.

Handmade ornaments are delivered to the beautiful kids next door.

All we need is Christmas itself now.

Please accept my humble thanks for reading along tonight as always, and have an amazing Christmas this year.

Warmest wishes,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Handmade baby gift

Yesterday I got a little knit cap in the mail from my quilting friend Diana, for our baby boy. It is the first ever cap that she has knitted. Wow, so super cute! It was the nicest thing I've gotten in the mail in a long time.

How special that my son is the lucky one to get to wear it on his sweet little head. Thanks Diana!

If you are just looking to relax for a couple moments, I would HIGHLY recommend taking a break from all your rushing around to view this awesome quilting video by Lauren of My Aunt June blog.

It's one of my favorite posts out there, and I really love her style of quilting. So modern, and done on machine. Not my usual cut of tea, since I prefer to quilt by hand, but the results are so beautiful that I just have to try it.

Hope we can squeeze some ice skating in before Christmas is here. I'm already feeling very merry.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What are you wearing?

What are you out there wearing for the holiday this year? Found a perfect little top that is oh so very cute to wear on New Year's Eve?

I'm hooked on LAMade, Michael Stars (picked up a new top to wear on Christmas by him), Splendid (got my best friend a little jacket thingy by them for Christmas, thank goodness she doesn't read my blog), and Ogle (my New Year's shirt from here!).

As you can tell from the above, the hand made ornaments are almost done.

If you decide to make them too, and also want to start a tradition of making them every year - a couple of things I've learned along the way:

- Use at least 1 solid fabric, or some fabric with decent white space where you can write the name of the owner on the ball with your pigma pen.

- Be sure to write the year on there too. It's fun to look back at past years.

- Something I didn't do off the bat, but should have - if you are giving these to kids every year, then write their age on there as well, so they can pick them up in later years and say - wow, 2008, I was 3 years old back then!

- Make a note of how long of a silk ribbon you use on top, you'll want to use the same size next year so the collection looks good. If you give them all away, you might not remember how long it was.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Handmade Christmas Ornaments - year 4

For the 4th year in a row, I am making my own Christmas ornaments.

This year instead of making 5 of them, (kids next door, and my son) I'm making 6!

One for the new baby of course. I can hardly believe he is already three months old. Time is flying too quickly for me with this new baby.

If you want to see pictures/posts from previous years, please feel free to check them out.

I use Jinny Beyer's book on Patchwork Puzzle Balls, and include a silk ribbon on top to be the hanger on the tree. I only stuff them with 100% cotton which I also order from Jinny's web site. This stuff is great, makes the balls really firm, and stands up over time very very well. It works for anything you want to stuff actually, not just Christmas ornaments.

More photos soon of course when I finish them. For some reason, I'm obsessed with making all my Christmas quilt projects with 1930's repro's. I just love the antique look of them in combination with the holidays. It's a very different twist on Christmas.

This year I am even using some real 1930's fabric - feed sack - in one of the balls. Think the kid will appreciate that her fabric is almost 100 years old? Um...probably not. I do though.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quilt Top Mania - More!

Yes, the answer to my last post was "C" - blocks are antiques, and I used other repro's to put sashing on them. Working with other people's quilt blocks is always a challenge especially when said blocks are no where near square.

I'm still pushing my way through my stacks of quilt blocks and making them into tops. The above quilt top was also just completed last week and includes my collection of Oakshott fabrics that I have been working with lately. They are beautiful and very easy to work with.

Now the work to baste and back the little tops in preparation for quilting will start. Have you ever worked with Ecology Cloth? I'm curious to know, why is it different/better than regular muslin? Any tips for me? My local quilt shop didn't carry it, so I suppose I'll be picking some up online.

Who out there has worked with it before? I need the inside scoop!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quilt Top Mania

You know I love quilt blocks as much as the next person, however, isn't it a lot nicer to have a quilt?

I am on a rampage to 'bust' my blocks, get rid of these little pieces of individual fabric, and whip them up with their friends to form quilt tops.

Can you tell me the date the above quilt top was made? Vote for the answer you think is real:

a) This quilt top is antique, made circa 1890, and was bought by Marisa and photographed for her blog.

b) This quilt top was made yesterday by Marisa, she used reproduction fabrics.

c) This quilt top is made from antique blocks Marisa bought from Cindy's Antiques, and she used reproduction fabrics as sashing since all the blocks were crazy different sizes and would otherwise not have fit into the same quilt.

d) This quilt top is not made of any Japanese fabrics, so I refuse to vote!

And if you've ever dreamed of being in New York City for Christmas (which I have only had the pleasure of doing 1 time in my life) then check out Cindy's blog - Quaint Handmade - AWESOME photos of the holiday window displays there. Thanks Cindy!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Doll Quilt in plaids

Kathie of Inspired by Antique Quilts blog sent me a pre-cut out little quilt to be whipped together.

I could not resist these little blocks calling to me and brought my sewing maching out to turn them into a mini quilt.

Thanks a million Kathie! I LOVE the fabrics and putting them together has really be fun.

Lately my tummy has been craving an 'adult' doughnut from Dynamo. I've never had one.

Do you think I'm crazy to want to drive 1 hour for a $2.50 Maple-Bacon flavored doughnut? Maybe I've lost my mind.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

NO THANK YOU, Thanksgiving!

Have you ever had such bad tummy troubles that you stayed in bed for the next 3 days and even 5 days afterwards still did not feel 100% like yourself?

If so, then you know why my Thanksgiving this year was what I will just call "less than fun" in order to spare you the juicy details.

The only thing nice about it was that my folks helped take care of the boys while I was down for the count.

Wondering what Christmas gift to get for the the quilter that has everything in your life?

How about a pair of scissors by Bagsmith? Made in France, with handles that look like the Eiffel Tower (or a bunny...or even mother of pearl!)....who wouldn't want a pair to just slip into their applique bag?!

Yarn balls above are from Purl Soho's Koigu yarn collection which I picked up when I was recently at their warehouse in Tustin, California. I met Jennifer Hoverson (sister of Joelle), co-owner of Purl. I must say that Jennifer is even more beautiful and lovely than her fabrics and yarns.