Saturday, December 31, 2011

Quilt of Shaun

My final post of 2011 is dedicated to a quilt that has taken me most of the year to complete. I first envisioned a quilt dedicated to my uncle Shaun a little over a year ago. In October 2010 he passed away suddenly, leaving my aunt and her 3 kids heartbroken. I enlisted the help of my sister Amber and my mom in the project. Amber, who is great with design and drawing helped me figure out which aspects of Shaun's life we should include and how to do so. She drew most of the images that became the stitcheries. We divided the 10 blocks between the 3 of us. A few months later I collected the stitchery blocks. We collaborated on fabrics/quilt designs, and from our collaborations I created this quilt. Just in time for Christmas too!
I love how it turned out. The colors, the design, the fabrics, the stitcheries, the straight line diagonal quilting, even the back.
Fabrics used in this quilt: Kona Cottons (Lemon, Banana, Medium Grey & Ash); Michael Miller's Dumb Dot, Peacock Lane- Meadow and Going Coastal- Sea Kelp; Free Spirit's Soliel and Silent Cinema- Iris Yellow; Ary Gallery's Modern Affair; and Cloud9's Cut Out & Keep- Poplin Avenues.

Now for a brief look into Shaun's life:
Family was always the most important part of Shaun's life. His wife, his children and his extended family.
Shaun married my Aunt Karen in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple.
He served a religious mission to Japan.
He was a farmer, and operated a red combine. He was one of the hardest working men I've ever known.
Shaun attended and graduated from Brigham Young University.
He taught his kids to ski when they were small and it was always a favorite family activity.
He loved scouting and was involved in it his whole life.
Shaun enjoyed read, and I always remember that there was stack of books on the table beside his chair.
He was raised in and lived his life in a small town in Idaho.
He went to Oakley High School and enjoyed sports.

My uncle Shaun was a great man, a man whom I want to try to emulate in my own life. Creating this quilt about him has helped me to remember that and I hope that it will have that same affect on others, especially his children and future grandchildren who won't have met him but can still benefit from his example and love.

Christmas Gifts

My goal was to wrap up all my Christmas/2011 posts before the new year, and that just didn't happen. But I'm back dating a couple posts because when I look back I want to be sure that these finishes are documented in 2011.
I made this drawstring pouch for my sister for Christmas, I was inspired by this one.

I had a lot of fun with this wee little bag, I think because it combined so many different elements but didn't take me so long that I got sick of it. Plus it's grey and yellow which is my current favorite color combination.

Adding the drawstring was the most challenging part for me, a challenge that I didn't quite overcome, thus there is only string on one side of the bag.

I also made a guitar strap for my brother in law, although to be perfectly honest I really recovered a guitar strap. I had known that I wanted to make him one for a while and then I happened upon this fabric and knew that it must be. Because you see, he is partial to the color orange and has a thing for rockets.

My search for a guitar strap tutorial didn't lead me to exactly what I wanted to do, so in the end I had to wing it. And honestly it wasn't hard. In fact the hardest part was taking the original strap apart, oh and turning that long thin tube of fabric so that the right sides were out. If people are interested maybe I'll try to write a tutorial sometime.

I personalized it just a little more by embroidering his name on it. Giving handmade gifts is my favorite part of Christmas, I hope the recipients don't mind too much!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oven Mitt and Hot Pad

I've been considering making an oven mitt for a while now, and finally decided to take the plunge, as a Christmas gift for a friend. I loved doing the patchwork and the quilting. I used the pattern piece that is on the Insul-Bright wrapper. I think it turned out cute, but it is a bit small (even after I enlarged the pattern). Also if I make another I'll change how I do the binding, because sewing this one on was not fun.

I used a collection of Christmas-y fabrics that I have on hand. Unfortunately I don't know the names of any of them.

I made this hot pad to match too. I love doing embroidery and I think this tree is quite charming.

The back of the hot pad (I used this fabric as the lining for the mitt too).

I've decided that I really like making hot pads, and with a few modifications I'd like to make more oven mitts. A quick and fun holiday gift for someone on your list this year. T minus 11 days and counting!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Savvy Season Swap- My Turn!

Saturday afternoon brought an exciting package to my box. It was from This Crafty Fox and contained this lovely pillow cover and 2 matching hot pads. Part of the reason I was excited was because I've actually been able to get to know This Crafty Fox (we've shared a few e-mails about running) and then to get a package from her, so fun!
I don't have the right size pillow yet, but couldn't wait to enjoy it which is why the cover looks a little lopsided. I love the colors! And I like that I can technically use my gifts all year round.

Here is one of the hot pads, which were both quickly put to good use for our Sunday dinner with friends. This was my first true swap and I am so glad that I did it. Thanks again partner.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Savvy Seasons Swap

I've been wanting to post these pictures for a while now, but decided I should wait until my partner received her package. Because even though I am quite certain that she does not read my blog, there are some items that could have ruined the surprise if she had stumbled across my neck of the woods.
This is the whole of it.
The large item was the tree skirt, or more appropriately the tree pants. It is very similar to the one I made for myself a couple years ago. I used Crazy Mom Quilt's tutorial for it and went very scrappy with the log cabins.

I sent one of my fabric bunting cards with a little holiday note.

My partner was The Plaid Scottie (I know! a bit intimidating for me!), so I decided to make her a selvage ornament Scottie! I don't mean to have a big head, but I love how he turned out. I also sent a couple of plaid napkins but forget to take a picture of them.

I couldn't resist including a fortune cookie tag, although I'm sure I'll get docked points somewhere for the use of a card and a tag for the same gift.

A back shot of the tree pants, with three covered buttons for closure.

Here you can see the backing fabric along with delicious White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies.

And finally a little personalization on the back.

Here's hoping that Ms. Plaid Scottie loves and get lots of use out of these items this Christmas.

Update: As it turns out, she's already putting everything to good use, what a relief!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Greetings

Tis the season for cards, tags and pictures, and I have one of each to share.
I made a few cards based on these cards but with a holiday twist. They whip up so quick and I love that I get to use up little bits of my scraps. They are "Blank Inside Cards"!
For our November Card Group meeting we did tags instead of cards. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what tags I wanted to make. Then I was preparing to make some of these fortune cookie ornaments and ding! Light bulb! So I turned the ornaments into tags.
Each cookie had one of the following fortunes:
"The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear!" Buddy the Elf
You will soon receive an unusual gift.
"You'll shoot your eye out kid!" A Christmas Story
A pleasant surprise is in your future.
Finally, our contribution to the postman/postwoman's overflowing bag this season. The picture was taken this summer and I can't believe how much bigger Kennedy is. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

If You Like it Go Vote

Remember this fun little stitchery a couple post ago? Well it is a finalist in the November Celebrate Color contest! Hooray! If you like it, go here, look under the Needlepoint category and vote for me! Thanks.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale

(My contribution to dinner today, links- recipe and bunting printable)

Here's hoping that you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving with lots of yummy food and family.

I'm stopping in to announce that I'm having a sale in
my shop this weekend.
Starting tomorrow morning (Black Friday) and lasting through Monday Night (Cyber Monday), shipping will be free for everything.
And for any order over $20 I'll include a free selvage ornament.

Happy shopping!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Autumn Stitchery Finish

Before Christmas totally takes over I thought I would post one last fall colors project. This finish is a year in the making. Last year around this time I really needed something to stitch on when my baby was sleeping but I was too tired to do much of anything else. Enter this darling Autumn sampler from Crab-apple Hill Studio. It didn't take me long to finish it, but then it languished in my unfinished projects drawer. Until this week when my husband brought this frame home from work.
The border is Kona Ash.
My favorite parts- the "Autumn" stitched in variegated thread, and the tiny wool leaves and flowers.
My not so favorite parts- the fact that the muslin I stitched on is all wrinkled. No matter how much I iron it this is how it looks- frustration. Also I'm not sure how I feel about the frame. I had planned to paint it, even bought the paint but had second thoughts.
What do you think?
Hooray for the weather finally feeling like autumn just in time for the Christmas decorations!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

For Your Christmas Shopping Pleasure

I've been working hard the last couple weeks to get everything loaded into the Etsy store for the holidays. And I'm happy to say that I'm finally done. At least for now. Depending on how the selling goes, I may or may not add more.

If you're in the market for ornaments, Dear Santa Mug Rugs, hot pads or just want to browse around stop by the shop. Thanks!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Seriously So Exciting!

Last night I was speeding through JoAnn's picking out a yard of fabric before we needed to be to a dinner engagement I noticed the magazine rack. Now I'm not generally the type who will stop and peruse the magazine rack (not my thing) but this little one caught my eye.
(This isn't actually my picture all though I swear that I did see it and did take my own picture, blogger just won't load it so I had to go to the company's site to get this one, but click on it and it will take you to their site)

And in that instant I was reminded of correspondence I received 5 months ago. To summarize, the corespondent had seen and liked my selvage ornaments, and thought they could jive with a publication her company would be releasing during the holiday season. Would I be willing to submit one of my ornaments along with instructions on how to make said ornaments, for possible publication? Uhhh... YES!

I knew that the Simply Handmade Holidays publication had been released, but I hadn't seen it and didn't know if my submission had been included. So as I waited in the horrendously long line at the cut counter (behind a customer who was having yardage cut of nearly everything in the store) I thumbed through the bright holiday pages. And then yes, there it was...

My creation (and name) in print! Along with blog and etsy shop mention!

I began looking for someone to tell. Unfortunately all my fellow cut counter line customers were zombied out and less than interested in my few moments of fame.

"Instead of discarding the selvages on your favorite fabrics, turn them into a lovely handmade ornament!"

I'll take pictures I decided, so I can tell everyone when I get out of Zombieland. Commence rummaging through purse. More rummaging. Panic setting in. No phone! Ahhh... not only was I cut off from all communication but how could I share with no pictures!

The following two pages include the instructions with corresponding pictures.

Luckily for me and my about to explode self Travis showed up right then. Unluckily for me he was rather miffed that I was taking so long (and not answering my phone) and that we were on track to be late to our fancy dinner appointment.
But once I explained what was up, he was nice enough to give me a high five and snap these pictures while I paid for the fabric and we skedaddled. No it isn't a book with me as author/co-author, and it isn't my own fabric/pattern line, and it isn't like suddenly I'll start selling lots of ornaments, or dozens of people will start reading this blog, or that I won the lottory (because as they keep telling me if you don't play you can't win). However, in my little corner of the universe it's seriously so exciting!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back By Popular Demand

I've been spending a lot of time making hot pads. And I've finally finished and listed them to the shop. Hot pads are fun to make, because I get to make and create new and different things without having to invest a lot of time and energy in a big project. And I'm improving, like using this technique for the bindings.

I've even paired a couple hot pads with dish towels as requested. These dish towels were a blast to make. For my ruffle inspiration see this link.

The only sad part to my story is that the Holiday House/Handmade Boutique isn't happening this year. I'm pretty disappointed, especially after all the work I put into it. But I guess that's just how it goes. On the plus side, I'll be listing the whole lot in the shop, so hopefully all that work won't be for naught.

And hot pads aren't the only things I've been working on, however, everything else is of the Christmas gift persuasion and I love surprises to much to risk letting them get out before the big day. But I can tell you that there is a lot of yellow and grey on my cutting table and despite my previous vows I've joined this swap. On that suspenseful note I'll leave you for today.