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.