Friday, January 2, 2015

Off to a Productive Start!

I spent some quality time with my sewing machine on New Year's Day and managed to finish 2 small projects. Today (January 2nd) is my Mom's birthday. She had mentioned a few years ago that she'd like one of these hanging cases that she had seen in a catalog. At some point I ended up finding a Kwik Sew pattern to make one. After procrastinating for a few years, I finally made her one yesterday. She wears a lot of floral print shirts, so I thought this print would fit in well in her closet. I already had the fabric in my stash, so I'm giving myself bonus points for not running to the store to find something I thought she'd like! I'm usually really bad about doing that!

After finishing the hanging case, I decided to keep up my momentum. I've had 6 or 7 fabrics to make pillowcases for my kids and my nieces and nephews for probably 3 years now. I dug it out and made my first of the pillowcases. It's Christmasy, so I'll have to wait until December to gift it, but it was fun to see it finished and to check another stash project off of my list. Be prepared for more pillowcase pictures in the near future!

Our Christmas vacation is coming to an end. We start homeschooling again on Monday. I've enjoyed the time off to just relax with the kids, but I'm also looking forward to getting things back to normal. I just wish there were more hours in the day. I spend my time on school, housework & cooking, so I don't have as much time to sew as I'd like. I hope that changes at least a little bit this year.

Happy New Year! Time to Recap 2014's Projects!

I haven't blogged in almost a year and I figured a new year was a good excuse to start up again. 2014 ended up being a really busy year and I hardly sewed anything after finishing my fair entries in August. I wanted to make a list of the things I finished this year and figured this is a great place to do that!

The year started off with this Rock Candy quilt for my Mom on her birthday. It's made using Kona solids in their "Sunset" line with Kona lavender as the background.

After making a Rock Candy for my Mom, I decided that I needed one for myself. This is the one I envisioned when I bought the pattern, an ombre in pink for Valentine's Day.

I made this mini for an online quilt swap. The solids I used were textured solids. I had never worked with them before and I love the look they gave the quilt. I came up with this pattern when I couldn't find one I liked for the fabrics I had chosen.

I sewed 4 pillows to use on my couch, in hopes of brightening things up during the cold, dark months of January & February. I used the fabric line "Summer Breeze" along with a variety of solids from Kona and Moda.

I was inspired in late spring to make another version of the Rock Candy quilt. I made one for me and one for my Mom, with a slight change in fabric layout.

I sewed this charity quilt at my annual quilt retreat in Nebraska in April. It was donated to an organization in Africa through my aunt's church in North Carolina.

This quilt was sent to the same charity.

A finished picture of the Rock Candy I made for Mom.

I made these doll pajamas for my daughter's 18" doll. I entered them in the local fair and won a first place ribbon!

These pajamas were made for my nephew for his 13th birthday. I have made him more pairs of pajamas than I can count in his life, but this was the first pair I had given him in a long time.

This nightgown was for my daughter. She has 2 brothers, so cars have always been a big part of her life. I was thrilled to find this girly car print knit fabric a few years ago.

I quilted this Valentine's panel. It has more quilting on it than any quilt I had made before. It won a 2nd place ribbon at the fair.

This is my favorite accomplishment this year! I sewed this tiny baby outfit and entered it in the fair. It won Best in Class for the infants division!

I entered one of my favorite bibs I've ever made and it won a blue ribbon.

This was a last minute fair entry. I've always wanted a sewing apron, so I made one and it also won a blue ribbon!

My plastic bags were out of control, so I made a holder for them. I just love this orange floral fabric.

This is a "Lots of Pockets Tote" (by Michelle Patterns). Aqua is my favorite color and I just love it in this gray pattern. This bag also won a blue ribbon at the fair.

This is a divided basket (pattern by Noodlehead) that also won a blue ribbon.

I made these boxy pouches in the last days before we left on vacation in September. Each kid loved having a place for their own toothbrushes & things.

In September & October, I helped teach a crochet class to 5th and 6th grade girls at our homeschool co-op. As an end of class gift, I made each of the girls their own water bottle cozy. They were a big hit and I think each of them got a color they liked.

This was probably my most tedious project of 2014. I remember making a Christmas ornament this way when I was a kid, but I didn't remember it being such a chore! I had intended on making more than one of these, but one was enough. I do love how it sparkled in the Christmas lights, though. Maybe I'll make another one next year. Maybe....

This Frozen tote bag was a gift for my daughter's friend on her 8th birthday. She (like most girls) loves Frozen. We even found out when we got to her party that the party was "Frozen" themed. Our gift fit right in! I didn't see her open it, but my daughter said she loved it.

I sewed pajama pants for my 3 teenage niece & nephews for Christmas, but I forgot to take of picture of them before I gifted them. They were all I managed for handmade gifts this year. I'm hoping to do better for Christmas 2015.

Thank you for looking through my project recap of 2014. Here's to 2015 being a much more productive year! I've joined in the the group that is sewing through their stash in 2015. Check out the hashtag #SewMyStash2015 to see my projects and lots of others.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Sewing, But Not Blogging

I can't believe that February is over and I have yet to blog this month! I've finished a few projects, but I haven't had nearly as much time to sew as I would like. If you are a homeschool mom, or know someone who homeschools, you probably know that February is one of the hardest months of the year. February is always our worst month and it tempts me to throw in the towel. It doesn't help that most of the private schools around here start enrolling next week for the fall semester.

We're plugging away, hoping that spring will come and relieve our winter blues. March is coming in like a lion, though, with a winter weather advisory for this weekend. We are expecting anywhere from 5" to 12" depending on which weather report you read. I guess spring will have to wait for now!

On to the sewing!  I finished one of my very favorite quilts this month. It's one I'm keeping for myself and I love how it turned out! I went out of my comfort zone and quilted feather circles on this quilt. I traced a stencil onto the quilt top, then basted and quilted it. It turned out pretty well for my first time. It's so hard for me to control a quilt well enough to do complicated stitching, even with my Janome 6600 and it's larger harp space. Just when I thought I was doing well with free motion quilting, I find something new I need to practice! The quilting journey never ends, does it?

I also finished 4 pillow covers for my living room. My house is decorated with a lot of earth tones, so this chevron from Hobby Lobby was a perfect match. These pillows are 20"x20", plenty big for the kids to use to build forts and jump into like a pile of leaves.

One of my oldest UFOs saw the light of day this month! I started this Swing Bag (pattern by Amy Butler) for my Mom more than 3 years ago. It is reversible and the other side is a dark blue denim. I took this pic in a hurry before my Mom left with the bag. She loved it and I'm glad I was able to mark it off of my list!

My final finish was a doll quilt for an online swap. A website I'm a member of does these swaps 4 times per year, once per season. Most of us involved use them as wall hangings, so we stick to more grown-up fabrics & themes. I used textured fabrics for the first time on this one and it was an adventure! All of the solids are textured, while the print is regular quilting cotton. The quilter who received it seemed happy with it, so I'm so glad she liked it! I received the one she made in return and it's beautiful!

I'm hoping big things will happen in March! Maybe I will blog more. Maybe spring will show up? Maybe I'll finish a few more UFOs. We'll see how productive I am. I will spend a good amount of time cutting fabric and packing up a couple of quilts into kits for a quilting retreat I'm going to in April. I leave on April 1st, so I have a lot to get done in the next 31 days! I hope March is very productive for all of you and may spring come soon for all of us!

Here's a sneak peek at 2 of my projects in planning!

I'm linking up today with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts. Head over there and be inspired by everyone's finishes!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Happy New Year! I Quilted!

I know I'm a little bit late in my celebration of the New Year, but I wanted to say it anyway. I hope 2014 is treating you all well so far!

We have had a whirlwind of a month! My sister, her husband & their 3 kids, who had always lived within an hour of us, left for 6 months of Spanish immersion language school in Costa Rica on January 15. It's been strange and emotional knowing that they are so far away and we anxiously await their return in early July. We are so thankful for Skype and Facetime! It makes the distance not seem so bad.

I had a finish done for 2014 on January 2nd! That's my Mom's birthday and I made her a table runner for her buffet that she had requested. I was in such a hurry to wrap it that I forgot to take a picture of it! Thankfully she lives just a few blocks away and I will be able to get a picture of it soon.

This week has been very productive! I got the "Rock Candy" pattern by Jaybird Quilts, along with the Sidekick ruler that the pattern uses and went to work. I was in the middle of fabric selection (Kona Sunset charms) for the first one when my Mom stopped over and commented on how she would "love one of those" using the fabrics shown on the front cover. She is not a big fan of black, so she requested one of the lighter colors as the background. I chose Kona in lavender because it matched and I had enough on hand. She hasn't seen it yet, but I have a feeling she's going to love it!

When I bought this pattern, I had envisioned it with just 3 colors, in an ombre-like pattern. I found these Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids at my LQS and they were exactly what I was looking for! I paired them with Kona in white and I finished the binding just this morning. I love how this turned out and it will really help brighten my house, which looks very bare after taking down all of our Christmas decorations.

I love how different a pattern can look by just changing the fabrics used. I can't say enough about how wonderful Jaybird Quilts is in her pattern design. I had never worked with diamonds before and both of these went together easily and without a lot of puckering. Most of my seams even match! I've been a big fan of Jaybird Quilts for a long time and I can't wait to see what she will come up with in the future! I saw that she is introducing a line of mini patterns and I will definitely be trying those!

This is a rough time of year for (most) homeschoolers, thanks to cabin fever and the slowing down of life after the holidays. I'm trying to pass the time with a lot of fabric, sewing and designing. I can only hope February will go as fast as January has!

I'm linking up today with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts. Head over there and check out everyone's finishes this week!

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013: My Year in Quilts

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas this week. I received a thread sampler and a Michael Miller Cotton Couture color card in my stocking, so I'm a very happy girl! I hope Santa left something "quilty" in your stocking this year.

I've decided that I need to do a "year in review" post today to celebrate all that I've accomplished in sewing & quilting this year. At times I don't feel like I've accomplished much, but then I look through the pictures on my computer and I'm surprised at how many sewing-related pictures I find. It's interesting to see how I sew in spurts, when I finished absolutely nothing in some months and blocks and quilts like crazy in other months. I think my goal for 2014 should be to be more consistent in finishing projects! 2013 in completed sewing projects!





I always go to a quilting retreat with my BFF in April, so I spend April cutting out new projects & sewing quilt tops. Therefore, no finished projects in April. :)



Another no finish month...






I hope you all have a wonderful end to 2013 and a very blessed 2014. Happy New Year!

Linking up today with Crazy Mom Quilts.