Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas wrap-up

Now that Christmas is over, I can finally share some of what I've been working on!




1. DSCN3727, 2. DSCN3711, 3. DSCN3710, 4. DSCN3709, 5. DSCN3703, 6. DSCN3653, 7. DSCN3652, 8. DSCN3759, 9. DSCN3783

Since getting my embroidery machine, EVERYONE has asked me for embroidered stuff. The first picture is a saddle pad for my sister-in-law--I thought that was absolutely adorable when I found it, and then I embroidered her horse's name on it. The towels and sweatshirts I did as a favor to my mom, for my cousins and their kids. The Bride tank was for my other sister-in-law, the coasters were for cousins, and the monogram wreath was for decor at my house. (Not pictured are the two sets of placemats that I embroidered--one for my parents, one for my grandparents--and the 4 pairs of boxer shorts that I embroidered with the words Thursday for my brother because he is strange.)

Then we get to the big ones--quilts!

My Skill-Builder Sampler quilt has always been intended for my mother-in-law. I knew she wanted a Christmas throw so since I was beginning that quilt-along, I started it in Christmas fabrics. I've posted six of the blocks already, here are the remaining six--


Virginia Star


Breaking Out--LOVE this block, will do more with it in the future


Ohio Star

Then I decided that the Skill Builder blocks were either not to my taste, or didn't go, or involved paper piecing (my printer just wouldn't cooperate, making paper-piecing a challenge!) So I ventured outside the Skill-Builder blocks and did the following:


Quatrefoil block, from Modify Tradition (LOTS of great blocks here, I'll have to remember that as a resource)


Christmas Star block, from Happy Quilting via the Celebrate Christmas Quilt-Along


Starflower block from Ellison Lane Quilts


And here they are all laid out.

At this point I decided to use 3.5 inch white strips for sashing. I wanted wide sashing because I used embroidery applique in the corners. I did 6 appliques total. This was on December 23, while my husband ran our last-minute errands prior to leaving to drive 5 hours to his parents' house for Christmas. Then I realized that the only batting I had on hand was about 5 inches short of what I needed... and I realized that I was not going to get the quilt finished before Christmas. Oh well. I wrapped up the top, backing, and binding and his mom was thrilled!


Here you can see some of the appliques--the Christmas tree and ornaments were laid on there for test purposes, but I did go ahead and do those directly on the quilt top as well.


Finished quilt top--opened on Christmas Eve! The green and red flannel there is going to be the backing fabric. More pictures will be forthcoming once I actually finish the quilt.

The secret project that I couldn't say anything about? Well, I haven't mentioned anything about my Supernova quilt in quite some time... with good reason.


It was a birthday present for my mom! Her birthday is two days after Christmas, and I really wanted my mom to have a quilt of her own. She is also a quilter, and has made beautiful quilts for various family members. Her big thing is photo quilts, so she and I have different tastes, but I'm confident I wouldn't have started quilting if I hadn't been exposed to it my whole life. And she has NEVER made herself a quilt!! So the Supernova quilt was for her.

I backed the quilt using a navy fabric with tiny yellow and green flowers (which actually, Mom picked out from my fabric stash!) and bound it using a yellow fabric from Connecting Threads. I used straight-line quilting through each of the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines--three lines of stitching for each. (You can't see in this picture, but the center line is variegated orange and yellow, then the outside lines are variegated purple and variegated green--to match the colors of the quilt.)

Unfortunately, because I had so much going on leading up to Christmas, I was stitching on the binding the morning of Mom's birthday. She had a hair appointment before we went out to lunch, so I got as much as I could done, which turned out to be not quite all of it (hence the lack of pictures and the clips still on the binding). Rather than give it to her and then immediately take it back, she held on to it to show to my family members, and I'm going to finish it after the next time I see her, in January when I travel down south to take my kiddos to a math competition. I'll take more pictures then, too.

So that was my handmade Christmas. I took on a little bit too much, probably, and stressed myself out. I also managed to break the embroidery unit of my sewing machine--lesson learned, don't travel with embroidery unit! But everyone LOVED their gifts, even the ones that weren't quite finished. So everything ended well after all.

And what did we receive for Christmas? The highlights--

  • A Keurig coffeemaker from my in-laws (SO looking forward to hot chocolate in the mornings before work!)
  • Tickets to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure from my parents (YAY, Harry Potter World! I've only wanted to go there since it was announced!!)
  • Tickets to see Cirque du Soleil--La Nouba from my in-laws (we saw it the day after Christmas, and it was wonderful!)
  • Joann's gift cards (I'm saving up for a Cricut!)
  • The best present of all (IMO... my husband would probably disagree)--a KITCHEN-AID STAND MIXER!!! I've regretted not putting one of these on our wedding registry for sooooo long. My mom paid attention and kept it totally secret from me--I had no idea! So now, thanks to my mom and dad, I have a gorgeous blue stand mixer sitting in my kitchen, just waiting for me to bake something. I didn't get to bake Christmas cookies this year (no time--whose idea was it to work up until the 21st, anyway?) so I'm going to have to make something soon to get it out of my system.

I hope all of you had similarly wonderful Christmases, and best wishes for 2012!


Linked up to


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pay It Forward

I'm participating in a Pay It Forward! I saw it on Little Island Quilting's blog during Giveaway Day, she had only ONE spot left. Sadly, I was too late for that one spot, but.... I got this e-mail from her--

"It is but as it's Christmas and the season of goodwill to all men, I don't mind doing a fourth!

Send me your full name and address then sit back and wait!
So in honor of Alison's generosity, I am likewise going to send FOUR handmade gifts! :)
The Rules: (copied and pasted from somewhere out in blogland... actually from My Quilting Addiction because hers was most convenient)
1. Important! You have to have a blog.

2. I will make a little something for the first FOUR blog owners who comment on this post. It will be a surprise and I will make it and send it to you some time during the next 365 days after you have commented.  

3. Make sure you let me know your email address, or that you aren't a no-reply blogger so that I can get your contact details.

4. To get a handmade present from me, you have to play too! This means YOU pledge to send a little handmade something to 3 readers of your blog. It doesn't matter what you give, as long as it is handmade by you!

5. Once you comment here, you need to post about your Pay It Forward on your blog(within 48hrs) to keep the fun going! *you can just copy the rules from me and please include the Pay It Forward badge in your post. Also, feel free to join the Flickr group to see what else is being sent!

6. Follow my blog - I'd like that but you don't have to :)
How fun is this?? So, the first four commenters (who aren't no-reply bloggers) will be in! And you will get a handmade gift from me, sometime in the next year. Hope you'll decide to join me!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Thank you to EVERYONE who entered! I loved reading all your Christmas crafting ideas, and I will definitely be trying some of them out in the future.

The winner of the handmade ornaments is commenter number 50!


And commenter number 50 was...


Congratulations, hwscutie! I've just e-mailed you to let you know you are the winner!

This weekend... sigh. Here's the list of things that have to be finished before Christmas:

  • Finish Christmas sampler quilt for my mother-in-law (I've finished 10 of 12 blocks... need to assemble top, quilt, and bind... gahhhh!!)
  • Finish something else... no details until after Christmas
  • Embroider 3 sweatshirts and 2 towels for my mom (as a favor to her, not a present) (2 sweatshirts and the towels are done)
  • Embroider 2 sets of placemats, one for my parents and one for my grandparents
  • Embroider saddle pad for sister in law (first have to purchase saddle pad)
  • Christmas present for my mom... no details as she reads my blog, but will require a fairly significant amount of time in front of computer
  • Embroider boxer shorts for my brother (he wants all of his underwear to say "Thursday" on it... how weird is that?? He's a 20-year-old college student, so I've stopped asking questions...)
  • Embroider tank top for other sister-in-law
  • Figure out one more gift for each grandparent (3 total)
  • Buy presents for my husband and my sister (I know what I'm getting my sister, but the husband... not so much)
  • Holiday baking (cookies for my coworkers and both families, dog treats for the approximately 12 dogs in the extended family)

Oh and I also have three more days of work in which I have to give (and then grade) 5 midterm exams. Fun!

This is the first time that I've really done any major crafting for Christmas presents. I usually give a couple of handmade ornaments but that's been the extent of it. Clearly I have bitten off a little more than I can chew... wish me luck!

(Christmas cookie recipes are coming later this week...)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

It's been two months since I posted last... holy cow!

Most of what I've worked on I can't post, or don't have pictures of yet. But I've been pinning up a storm on Pinterest, decorating for Christmas, and trying to get all my Christmas presents done (more on that later!)

And since today is Giveaway Day, I have my very first giveaway to share!


I LOVE decorating for Christmas and I have had so much fun doing Christmas crafting. So up for grabs is this set of handmade ornaments!


These were made using this awesome tutorial that I found on Pinterest! This giveaway is open to international entries.

To enter:

  1. Post a comment telling me your favorite holiday crafting project!
  2. (for a second entry) Follow my blog and post a comment telling me you're a follower.

This giveaway will close on Friday, December 16 at 8:00 Eastern!

Thank you so much! As soon as Christmas is over I will have LOTS to share!