Monday, December 31, 2012

The one where I realize that 2012 *was* a productive year!

I love seeing my friends' year-end blog review posts. I also stumbled upon a few new-to-me blogs today, and was instantly drawn in by the fabulous year's end wrap-up photos! Feeling as if I haven't put my best quilting foot forward this year, I was going to forgo writing my own post, but a quick trip through my flickr photostream snapped me out of my funk rather quickly! While I do have the goal to work more on my quilting projects in 2013, I am pretty proud of everything that I accomplished in 2012.

Let's start with my quilt finishes! 23 finishes, and some of these quilts include a "bonus" quilt on the back. ;) I'm proud to say that most of these are my own design! This doesn't include at least 2 quilts that I can think of, which I hope to share soon (including another pattern!).
2012 year in review

I also created 6 mini quilts!
2012 year in review

And 6 quilted pillows!
2012 year in review

I tend to forget about my garment sewing...I found these projects in my flickr, which doesn't include a Tova dress that I made myself and my first Tova attempt which turned out so tiny that it fits Addy! There are also several pairs of pj pants somewhere around the house, not that those are too exciting!
2012 year in review

And then there are those random sewing/knitting/decorating projects that I've completed!
2012 year in review

Seeing all that I accomplished this year has really motivated me to work even harder next year. A huge thank you to everyone who blogged about their 2012 and pushed me to do that same. And thank you to all of YOU! Constructive criticism (and, of course, a bit of quilty praise) really encourages me!
I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Sewing!

I have a few handmade Christmas gifts to share, but I'm going to start with some custom work! A few years ago I created these family tree quilts, and a friend of mine really loved them. This year she asked me to make a similar family tree for her Mom.

Family Tree Quilt

Here are a few close ups of the hand-embroidered details:

Family Tree Quilt

Family Tree Quilt

On the back I included a blank label, which my friend personalized for her Mom:

Family Tree Quilt - Back

This second custom was a request by my college roomie. She and her fiance are very involved in Barfleet, so she asked me to create a pillow containing their logo. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and she let me know that he loved it too! (The pictures are of the pillow cover. It was much cheaper to send her the cover, which she then stuffed with a 16" pillow form.)

Barfleet Pillow

I appliqued the logo with a narrow satin stitch (red is SO hard to photograph, and we had several cloudy days in a row-not a great combo for photos!):

Barfleet Pillow

The pillow back is all red with a grey zipper. After I took these pictures I added a white label to the pillow back, which my friend personalized for her fiance!

Barfleet Pillow - Back

On another quilting note, this was a really excited week for me. I found out that my Funky Dresden Pillow tutorial was the winner in the Home Decor category of Handmade with Love over at Pink Chalk Studio!
To top off the week, both of the quilts that I submitted to QuiltCon were selected! I can't wait to see them hanging in Austin!

One of my personal goals for 2013 is to decide which direction I would like to take my quilting. This little bit of good news will definitely help to motivate me!

I will be back in the next few days to share the gifts that I made for my family. Until then, have a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A holiday "cheer-me-up"!

I hope everyone is enjoying the bustle before the holidays! I've been working away on gifts, a little further behind than usual this year. I'm hoping to have packages shipped out in time, but I'm not going to stress over it this time!

Yesterday we took a trip into NYC to meet up with my brother and his girlfriend, who were visiting from Chicago. We brought my brother in law along, who was also visiting! It was a really fun day, and the city is so amazing when it's all decked out for the holidays. It was just the festive pick-me-up that we all needed after the tragedy in Connecticut on Friday. (Though I must admit, I was hovering over Addy like a hawk!)

The day was made even more bright when I received Pink Chalk's email newsletter and saw that my "Funky Dresden Pillow" tutorial made it into the top 20 for the Handmade With Love contest!

Modern Dresden Plate Tutorial

Here is the link to the original post, complete with 130 entries! So many great ideas in there, if you are so inclined to add another project to your holiday list!

And here is the post with the 20 finalists. There are 4 categories with 5 entries per category. You can vote for 1 project in each category!

There are lots of great projects in the running, and lots of amazing bloggers behind those projects. I really don't expect to win, but it's a pretty great feeling to be in the top 20!

I'll be back in a day or two with a quilt to share - assuming we get a bit of sunshine for some photos!

Friday, December 7, 2012

SMS Giveaway winner!

And the winner is comment #28:

Blogger jruminski said...
I usually make jewelry, table runners or placemats.

I love that fabric and I really love camping!!

The winner has been notified via email.

Thanks to everyone to participated!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! - CLOSED

Welcome! It's Giveaway Day over at Sew Mama Sew today! Hop on over to their blog to see all of the goodies that are up for grabs!

And if you're visiting for the first time, I hope you stick around for awhile!

I'm giving away one yard of this out-of-print Heather Ross camper van fabric in pink and a PDF copy of my Market Square Tote Pattern!

Heather Ross Camper Van Fabric in pink - Giveaway!!

The yard of fabric is enough to use for the exterior or the lining of the bag. Or do what I do, and stash this print away for a rainy day!


To enter the giveaway, leave me a comment with your favorite handmade gift idea(s).
I love to make my gifts, but sometimes I am lacking new ideas!

Giveaway is open to everyone, I will ship international!
The giveaway ends on December 7th at 5pm PST. I will contact the winner by email on or before December 9th.

Please make sure that I have a way to contact you! If I can't contact you, I will draw another winner. Not sure if you're a "No Reply" commenter? Here is how to check!

(Some of you frequently comment on my blog-if you've never received an email response from me, it is likely because you are a "No Reply" commenter.)

This giveaway has closed. Thanks to all who participated!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

And then, this one time....

I blogged!
Wow, November just flew by in a flash! Here's what I've been up to:
For Halloween, I made a "Blue Fairy" costume for Addy:
Blue Fairy Costume
Bodice detail:
Blue Fairy Costume
I like to take the extra time to create well-crafted Halloween costumes, because in our house they are used for dress up for YEARS! The extra few minutes spent serging the seams provide hours of fun later.
Ok, that was October. Let's move on to November.
Early in the month we drove (yes, drove) from upstate *eastern* New York to Chicago for my sister's wedding. The wedding was SO fun, and well worth all of the hard work (and the drive!).
As I've mentioned a few times, I made the flower girl dresses. My sister's dress was made up of tulle and lace layers - not poofy princess layers, but soft, subtle layers. We both love that look, so my sister asked me to make the girls' dresses in a simple shape with a similar layered lace bodice. They were really simple to construct, but time consuming!
Main fabric is silk taffeta from Mood. Sash in silk taffeta from J. Crew in "Bright Dahlia". Lace is a polyester lace from Mood. Lining is china silk and many yards of tulle.
(These poses are all her. She's such a character!)
Flower Girl Dresses

Flower Girl Dresses

Flower Girl Dresses

Flower Girl Dresses

Flower Girl Dresses

Flower Girl Dresses
The girls looked adorable in the dresses, and they both partied hard all night!

I also have a few pictures of my sister's bridal shower. We had the shower back in July, in my mom's back yard. Come jump in my time machine with me!
I used vintage bedsheets as table clothes and hung fringed linens along the fence (seen in the background):
Wedding Shower!
And mason jars filled with grocery-store flowers:
Wedding Shower!
The other bridesmaids helped set up the dessert table and bellini bar:
Wedding Shower!

OK, let's travel back to November now...
I created a few other things for the wedding as well. I made my sister this tote as a birthday gift (she got married on her birthday), but in her wedding colors, so that she could use it on the big day:
Stacey's Tote
I hand dyed the canvas used for the bag bottom. It was so fun, too! I started with a neutral colored duck canvas and used magenta Rit dye. This color isn't nearly as saturated as the wedding color, but I love it anyway! I also love the mottled look, although that was unintentional.
The main fabric on the bag exterior is the stripe from Bella, by Lotta Jansdotter. I densely quilted the white stripes with organic lines.
Stacey's Tote
The handles are 1" cotton webbing covered with Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Indigo (I love these solids! They are soft as silk!). The lining is my favorite print from Chickopee by Denyse Schmidt.
Stacey's Tote
The style and construction of this tote is identical to the Modern Quilted Tote. I used hair canvas and a layer of batting as a foundation and metal snaps to help support the handles.
Stacey loved the tote, and I think she will use it a lot on her commute to work.

I have one more project to share right now! My aunt requested a custom plus sign quilt including cats, so I hustled through my sewing to finish it in time to hand deliver it in Chicago. The recipient loves cats, and my aunt wanted to include a picture of the recipient's cat on the quilt. I used a cat print from Happy Drawings Too as my starting point and added prints in greys, gold, and purples. (These pics are a bit small. I forgot to take pictures before our trip, so these are smaller files that my aunt emailed over.)
Cat Quilt
The back:
Cat Quilt
My aunt had the quilt for a few days before she gifted it, so she hung it on her quilt rack to admire it!
Cat Quilt
She loved having the quilt hang in her house so much that she now wants her own quilt!

After our trip to Chicago we celebrated Thanksgiving at home and I started to work on a quilt idea for Quilt Con. The day after thanksgiving I traveled to Seattle to run the marathon again, which went GREAT! I took 25 minutes off of my time from last year, and had a blast! After the race I spent a day catching up with friends and then hurried back home.
This week I worked my butt off to finish up TWO quilts just in time to submit in the Quilt Con show. I'm really happy with how they both turned out, but I didn't get very good pictures of one of them. My camera battery died just as daylight was fading away, so I tried taking my pictures inside. They aren't the best, but hopefully I was able to edit them well enough. Fingers crossed!
As soon as I have better pics, I will blog about the quilts!
That's all I have for now, thanks for bearing with me!