Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a christmas swap

Last night at our monthly LAMQG meeting we enjoyed an awesome holiday swap.
My partner was Kelly, who asked for something that was Christmas themed. Now, I have to tell you this kinda stumped me at first, outside of stockings and advent calendars, I haven't sewn something holidayish. So after a bit of hum bugging I finally got to work. Kelly had mentioned that she kept two 20 inch throw pillows on her coach and with all the pillow inspiration I have been getting from Angela's blog, I decided to go for it.

Now I have to admit, this little flea market fancy hexagon christmas tree was not easy to part with.

I mean really, look how cute they looked on my sofa!!

Kelly really seemed to love them as much as I did, so it made it easier to say goodbye to these two babies. Besides.....look what I scored

six amazing placemats made for me by Alissa!! 
I L-O-V-E them!!! 
I am in awe of how she was able to make something for me that truly is "me", they are a perfect reflection of my home and style. She rocks!! The only thing is, no child will ever eat over the babies, oh no, mama will be pulling them off the table before dinner is served. I know this may defeat the purpose, but beauty just can not be comprised by ketchup or spaghetti sauce!

Now....back to all that holiday sewing that I am way behind on.

Monday, December 6, 2010

tree shoppin....

what do your kids do when you are busy trying to find the perfect shaped christmas tree? for some reason, mine always end up doing this!

Monday, November 29, 2010

no pins.....

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. We spent ours up in the Bay Area (right outside of San Francisco for all of you who are not familiar with California) with family. We only go up a few times a year and it is always a joy when we do! It was also where this quilt found it's new home.

I made this quilt as a gift for my sister in laws birthday, which was back in August....but better late than never, right?
Since we were going up for Thanksgiving, I decided to rush it's finish so that I could give it to her in person.
Now normally I don't like to rush the finishing of a quilt, but this time actually forced me to try something that I haven't had the nerve to do yet...


machine bind an entire quilt with no pins!! I can't even tell you how exciting this was for me, the whole time I kept looking at my husband going "I can't believe I am actually doing this". Amazingly it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and took a fraction of the time it does when pinning. I didn't get a picture of me sewing it to the front of the quilt, but that was done without pins also. 
Here is what it looked like when finished. 

I didn't have enough time to picture the finished quilt before leaving, so we did it while my sister in law was out shopping, before giving it to her. I really love the simplicity of this quilt and have a feeling it is a style I will play with more in the future. In the beginning, I was nervous about leaving solid squares, but it turned out to be one of my favorite features of the quilt.

Quilted with diaginal lines in both directions, but not in similar patterns. 

Which you could really see on the back of the quilt.
 Just in case anyone is curious this quilt was made with Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush line and Kona cotton in Ash and Snow. I have been on an Ash kick for awhile now, I think it may be time for me to give another solid a try!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

slow going

Just a few things that I am focusing on.....


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you celebrating 
and have an awesome weekend to those who are not!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I don't wanna.....

Sadly, this past friday was my birthday (Izzy thinks all birthdays are her's).

Why do I start the sentence with sadly you ask...well because it marked the start of my last year in my thirties. I know that for most people this is no big deal, but for me it was a hard. I have no desire to be 40!! I just don't like the sound of it....I like 30 something much better. So to make my self feel better, I took a birthday trip to the Purl warehouse here in Socal and bought myself these little pretties..

Liberty of London can chase away the worst of moods! That and my awesome husband taking me away for the weekend (without the children) made the fact that I was 39 feel much better. Although, I have warned everyone that next year we are skipping the day!! I don't wanna.....

I was able to sew up a few new ipad covers yesterday...

One or my sister, made with Heather Ross's Far Far Away 2 and lined with some Liberty to keep her screen nice and safe from scratches.

And a new one for me, made with some cool Echino.

The two together really represent the two of us really well....

I forgot to get pictures of the backs, but I incorporated the same zipper pocket on the back, like the one I made months ago.
I also knitted Izzy a new pair of socks last week. It was my first time knitting child size socks and I love it. They are a breeze to get through, since they are so small.

She loves them and wears them all the time, totally worth making!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

knit knack

I can't believe 3 weeks has passed since my last post....it really feels like it was a few days ago. Life in my world has been all about the kids and schedules. It has gotten quite busy with all boys full swing in their chosen sports and Izzy being at an age that she demands a bit more of my attention (in a good way). 

I have been debating the ways I could lighten the load in my life....because honestly, time has become a precious commodity as of late. No matter how hard I look at the situation, I don't seem to be able to find a solution, so I have decided to give in to the fact that right now my family requires the majority of my time and attention. Why am I telling you this? Because it means less of ME time for now and sewing, blogging and spending time surfing all my favorite blogs falls under ME time.

I am not willing to give it all up (I enjoy my blog and all my blog friends WAY too much to let it go) but I am willing to cut back for as long as necessary to keep up with the real world, because as it turns out, having 3 teenage sons and a preschool daughter is very, very consuming....and I am not willing to miss one moment of it! I will blog as often as I can and keep up with everyone else's blogs as much as possible, but please understand if it's only once or twice a month!

And because no post should go without pictures, here are a few shots of the knit knacks I have finished. Knitting it such a great "on the go" craft that I am turning to it more and more these days to let out some creative frustration.

I finally finished my first pair of socks!!! This was a very satisfying accomplishment for me, not only because I finished, but because I taught myself how to read patterns and grids in the process. I found the pattern for these socks in "Socks from the toe up", these are the Van Dyke socks. I ordered Australian super wash merino wool to make these and it was so worth the postage!! 

A new hat for Izzy! This hat was made using a pattern called "curly cabled helmet" by Sublime. The original patterns calls for ear flaps, but since the hat I crocheted her last fall had ear flaps I didn't want them on this one too. I am going to make her a pair of matching leg warmers in that deep purple next!!

This picture was just so sweet that I wanted to share. Izzy getting some love from her big brother Trenton. It warms my heart in ways I can't even express when I see my two babies together. There may be 10 years between them, but they are still two peas in a pod. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Amazingly, there have never been handmade items that hang in my home (except for the few trimmings that my boys made that come out for the yearly christmas tree). It's not that I wouldn't hang them, it's just that I am the only one in my family who sews/crafts and I just don't have the desire to hang my own stuff.
With this said, I am so excited to show you the first handmade item to live on my walls.....

See that beautiful potholder?! Ashley made it for me a while ago and I have been eager to get it up in my kitchen. I can honestly say that it is the perfect match to my kitchen. All the greens and blues compliment the accessories that live on my counter tops, not to mention my tea kettle. 
Thank you Ashley, it really brightens up my kitchen and makes me over look that fact that my kitchen is small and obviously built in the 70's!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

that girl is a genius

A while back I stumbled onto Elizabeth's tutorial on how to make a TV tray pressing table. I loved the idea from the get, but it got put onto the long list "things I wanna make", which quite honestly never seems to get done. Then we moved, my sewing space shrank and neither one of my ironing boards seemed to work on a daily basis....so guess what popped into my mind this weekend??

My sister was kind enough to pick me up a tv tray, then after spray painting it white and soliciting my husband to help...I have a new ironing table. I have to tell you that that girl is a stroke of genius. This little table is not only the perfect solution to my creative space, but will also be a breeze to take with me to my weekend LAMQG sews. Small, portable, works great for piecing all my blocks and to top it off, it's cute. What more could a girl ask for?


Well, except for an entire sewing room filled with unlimited amounts of fabric and a pressing table big enough to press an entire quilt top at once....but we must live in reality, right?

Covered with a linen cotton blend by Lecien found at Fabricworm

Monday, September 20, 2010

up to par

I am not feeling up to par today....I think that staying up until the wee hours of the morning trying to get this quilt finished has caught up with me. I'm anxious to share it with you, but not really feeling the motivation to type...so forgive me if I am a bit blah today. The pictures aren't to great either....the sun didn't want to come out and I haven't really found a good place to take them yet.

It's actually upside down in this picture, but it was one of the few decent shots I got of it, so it will suffice. The details of this quilt are sad and long, including a weeks worth of paper piecing, a completely different quilt top, four attempts at quilting, more torn (no not ripped, literally torn) stitches than I can count and staying up til 5:30 in the morning to piece a new top at the very last minute.

It was all worth it to have created this beauty though. I enjoyed every late hour/early morning minute of piecing, quilting, basting and binding this quilt. It came together so nicely with no thought or plan but just going with the moment. I think that is just what works for me....whenever I plan a quilt I end up not really feeling/loving it. Weird I know, but it's me.

All folded and ready to be wrapped! It was actually hard for me to let this one go (really hard) but I was strong and gifted it to my girlfriend yesterday for her birthday and as always got my dose of satisfaction when she squealed with joy and got giddy over getting her very own quilt!

Fabric details: all patterned fabric is Hope Valley by Denise Schmidt
all solids are Kona cotton in Herb, Ash, and Snow

Thursday, September 16, 2010

random images

I have been busy working on a quilt that I hope to show you soon, but since it's not ready, I thought I would share some random images from this past week.

Izzy has been dressing herself on days that we aren't going anywhere besides the park! Which never seizes to make me smile!

My colored stacks for the Tokyo Map quilt along. I am waiting for one more package to come in the mail and then my collection will be complete.

891 kona cotton white 2 inch squares!! WHEW...that was some serious cutting.

and lastly, my current project all cut up and ready to sew. 
I will be burning the midnight oil trying to get this finished by Saturday for a birthday gift.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

trenton's quilt

Thankfully I was able to finish quilting Trenton's quilt before we moved. He was so excited to use it and hasn't let another person touch it since I handed it over to him.

This actually took me a few weeks to finish. It has lines going vertically, horizontally and lastly diagonally in both directions. 

I absolutely adore the way the intersections on the border turned out...they make all the work worth it. I have acquired a recent love for complex straight line intersections. 

This is a close up of Trenton's favorite block, not only because it is his hexagon block but because it was made with his favorite Quicksilver shirt (I literally had to pry it from his hands to get it out of his closet, even though it was 2 sizes too small). I think that he would of loved the quilt regardless, but this makes it extra special to him. 

This is what he looks like everyday now. He comes home from school, grabs his quilt and stays wrapped in it all afternoon (even when it's hot out)....I have to tell you, seeing a quilt I made loved like this makes my heart explode with joy and reminds me why I love this medium!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

this. that and getting unpacked

Let me apologize for slacking on this blog for so long....I can't believe it's been over a month since my last posting!! We are finally all moved and mostly unpacked. I can honestly say that I completely under-estamated how hard this move would be!! It was completely overwhelming and had me feeling like my whole world was turned upside down!! I know in part that my personality didn't really help (I am a bit on the OCD side...and can't handle things being out of order) plus enrolling and registering the boys in 3 different schools, signing them up for athletics and starting my taxi services back in forth from the multiple practices a day. To top it off my husband has been going out of town for 3 days every week for work...it's a wonder that I'm not completely grey by now (just added some to the collection). I wish I could say that I am super woman and pulled it all off without a hitch, but sadly I am not, and apparently me and moving just don't get along!
But yesterday I finally turned a corner...the house isn't fully unpacked yet, but it's close and most importantly, Nina got unpacked!!

This is my new sewing corner...I am really looking forward to breaking it in! 
Before I packed my machine up, I made her a new cover for the new location.

I was inspired by Megan's sewing machine cover to try my hand at the flying geese...and I just adore them! They were so fun to make (and a bit challenging) but most of all I just love looking at them!
For the inside of my cover I used a Kei pattern that I stashed a while ago with no purpose.

The quilting on it turned out really nice too....even despite the fact that some of my geese were flying a little crooked!! 

Lastly, I couldn't resist the temptation of Oh Fransson's new quilt-a-long. I loved her original version of the Tokyo subway quilt...and the one she designed for the quilt-a-long is just irresistible. So, as soon as Nina was put on her perch, I started sorting my scraps.

Originally I wasn't going to buy any new fabric for this project, but with only 3 purple scraps and no purple stash, I have no choice but to buy some! Its one of those moments I wish I had a quilting neighbor that I could borrow a cup of scraps from (i've got plenty of sugar)!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

something accomplished

As you all know, we were scheduled to move last friday....but at the last minute, we decided to post-pone it for another three weeks. Now this of course means that life has been chaotic and stuck in limbo for me. I don't do good in limbo (chaos I can handle). We are now living in a 95% packed house with four kids and as if that wasn't enough....we have also had out of town guests for the last week. It's all about frozen pizza's and cereal at this point. 
My saving grace is that I was leaving my sewing machine for the last minute pack up....so I can at least still spend some quality time with Nina to keep me sane.

Trenton's quilt top is finished....and we are both in love!! This was a complete collaboration between the two of us and the whole process just made me smile. I enjoyed seeing his choices and hearing his opinions along the way. I have never done a traditional square in a square quilt before, but love all the ones that I see (examples of a few of my favorites that inspired me here and here)...I also feel that it is a good staple pattern for a boy, Trenton agreed. 

My boy has asked for a solid patterned backing verses a pieced one....so I will be basting this evening. I am really excited that it will be ready for his new bedroom before we move (so is he).

Saturday, July 3, 2010

the softest ever

Theres something about moving into a new place that makes me want a fresh look. New colors to add an element of excitement to the change. So, last week during my faze of procrastination, I made the softest pillows ever...

Made with little folks voile on the front and essex cotton/linen blend in putty on the back. I find the voile fabrics a bit tedious to quilt with...but worth all the effort. 

I went all out and did my first zippered pillows. I have always been too intimidated to try putting zippers in my pillows, but then I stumbled onto the best tutorial by Katie from Sew Katie Did. She made putting zippers in as easy as 1,2,3!

The pillows are so inviting that izzy couldn't resist the temptation of just jumping on the pile while I was trying to photograph them! 

Then proceeded to roll around and bury herself in them! She always seems to do exactly what I want too, with no hesitations.