Skylanders party

Working on some goodies for my son’s 8th birthday. He wanted skylanders, but we’re doing a party at a place that provides everything (food, plates, napkins, etc.), so there aren’t so many opportunities for decorations. Also, he doesn’t like regular cake, so I’ve got to somehow turn a pumpkin bundt cake into a skylanders cake?! We’ll deal with that later. Here’s what I came up for the goodies…my kid is crazy about the loom bracelets, so we made one for every kid and used some cardstock and avery stickers to make these little things.

8th Birthday

8th Birthday

8th Birthday

Field Trip!

wedding wheel quilt by jen hoverson
wedding wheel quilt by jen hoverson

I love PurlSoho. I dream of taking a class there. I am a frequent reader of their blog, the purl bee, and often find inspiration there in the beautifully photographed and carefully described projects. So, I’m reading this blog post where Purl owner Jennifer Hoverson has taken her lovely hand-sewn wedding napkins and turned them into a wedding quilt. The whole thing is a fab idea…the backing fabric for the quilt is the personalized cake table cloth they had ordered from spoonflower.com. I LOVE these ideas.

Anyway, so I’m drinking in the pictures, and I see that the wedding (which was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings!) happened at Dana Point, which is not far from here. And I’m thinking, “why would a New York city fabric shop owner have a wedding in Southern California?” Well, turns out, the warehouse for Purl is in Costa Mesa…also not far from here. Warehouse. That’s not that exciting, right? WRONG! You can shop there!

After a little googling, I found out that you can shop there from Tue-Fri from 9-4. So, you can figure out what you want by looking around the website, and then go buy direct at the warehouse!!! I can’t tell you how exciting this is.

Now, if they’d just offer a west coast Heather Ross workshop every now and then, I’d be in heaven.

Spoonsisters

I get little email newsletters from Spoonsisters, a super cute online shop full of fun gift items. This week, I got one with a Mother’s Day theme – and there are a ton of cute gift ideas. But one thing I noticed is how many of them I could easily sew myself. Here are a few pictures of things I think I could make…so many fun ideas out there. And the sewing is so simple! By the way, this is not a paid post…I realized as I was typing it that it seemed like one, but honestly, look how much money people sell small sewn objects for! I can’t really even believe it.

Needle and Pin Booklet, $24
Needle and Pin Booklet, $24
The Drop-In: Pursket for small purses, $18
The Drop-In: Pursket for small purses, $18
Satin Pillowcase for Satin Hydration Therapy (???), $33.95
Satin Pillowcase for Satin Hydration Therapy (???), $33.95
Doorganizer, $15
Doorganizer, $15

Gems on the Web Baby Edition

It’s been a while, but since I’m in search of good baby patterns for a slew of new babies on the way out, I’m finding some real treasure on the old www. Here are some links worth following:

To sum it up, I can’t believe I buy so many patterns. There are so many free ones on the internet. It took me longer to copy and paste these links into this post than it took to find them.

Enough looking – time to get sewing. There are two baby boys on the way – one by induction tomorrow, and one in a few months. I’m thinking quilt, wipes case and a couple burp cloths. Sound good? Now I need to buy some fabric. The best part.

some things I want to make

Awesome tutorials from around the web:

Patchwork drawstring bag:
http://ayumills.blogspot.com/2008/09/tutorial-reversible-patchwork-bag.html

Fabric Gift Card envelope
http://www.craftpudding.com/2007/07/fabric-card-holder-tutorial.html

And I haven’t even begun to go through this treasure trove of tutorials listed on Meika’s Little Treasures! Bounty!

Thanksgiving is a little early – I’m very grateful to all these awesome crafters making the holidays more handmade and more full of love!

holiday spirit

I’m working hard on Christmas gifts. I’m trying to avoid the last minute purchasing spree because all the crafts I had planned never got made. So, so far, I’ve completed two quilt tops, one back and binding – ready to be sandwiched, one waiting to be ironed.

I’ve also finished cloth napkins for everyone. These are about 8″ x 10″ – one fat quarter makes two. I’ve got enough here for six different families :) This is one part of my “green” Christmas, where everyone gets a reusable grocery bag and cloth napkins. And maybe something else – but I haven’t decided what yet. Any ideas? Here are my napkins:

cloth napkins

Thanks to Unspeakable Visions for providing this fun naughty and nice list for planning gifts. I love it! Also, thanks to the Handmade Holiday 2008 group on flickr for keeping me honest and inspired. I do still plan to give a few Oxfam gifts this year though – if you haven’t been on Oxfam America Unwrapped, you should check it out. Lots of great gift ideas – especially for people who have everything!

Just a note about those cloth napkins. I instituted them at my own house about six months ago, and I thought they might be a pain, but actually, they’re awesome. First of all, I love to use them – they get softer and softer with each wash because they’re made of good quilting cotton. Second, they make me feel fancy, even when I’m eating ramen. Third, we have been using the same roll of paper towels for about 4 months now – and it’s still over half full! When they’re dirty, I set them on the washing machine, and they just get thrown in with whatever load I’m doing. If they get too stained with spaghetti sauce or whatever, I’ll just make some new ones, but so far, they are perfect. I highly recommend them for everyone! Reduce – Reuse – Recycle!

Owl’s Party!

So there I was, all proud of my own mini quilt, and then I get this in the mail. How lucky am I? I get the super cute chickens in August, and then get this precious Owl having a party for September. I love my mini quilt swap group on Flickr!
DSCN0881
She also sent me some fun owly halloween socks!
DSCN0880
A special thank you to JMBMommy…the fabulous creator of my quilty. I LOVE it!

my mini quilt swap group

I’m in a swap group on flickr for mini quilts. August was the first month I participated, and I made a pretty traditional pattern. By flickr standards, it was a dud. Only one or two comments. This month, with the theme of mushrooms and/or owls, I endeavored to have a much more successful flickr showing. So I decided to try my hand at an art quilt. I drew a little sketch, enlarged it on my scanner, and then cut out templates for raw edge applique. I have a ton of awesome fabrics that I don’t have a plan for, and I decided to cut into my gorgeous collection of Heather Bailey’s Bijoux and Pop Garden…it was actually kind of hard to cut into those pieces. Especially for little things like the snail’s head or the mushroom’s underbelly…it felt very wasteful. But I’m glad I did it! So here’s the result:
mushroomquilty-5
Here’s my sketch and and the back of my quilty – which are both pretty boring:
DSCN0691

mushroomquilty-7

Next post – the awesome quilty I received!

Recent projects

Here’s a sneak peak of my free-motion quilting practice quilt. It’s going well so far, I’m getting more and more confident.
redflowers-9

I got my first mini quilt from my swap group on Flickr. It was also my first mail from Canada! Very exciting :) Look how cute. The challenge was for the project to be all hand-made – no machine stitching. I LOVE my new mini quilt! Jill posted a really nice story about it on her blog, which made me love it even more.

DSCN0592

That’s it for the craft update :)

halloween

I was just telling you about the cute panel I bought that has three trick or treat bags that you cut out and sew. The thing is that even though halloween is a marketers dream, with more cute products than you can shake a stick at, I always feel a little funny about it. Like I’m celebrating the devil. Is that crazy? I think a lot of people feel that way. Which is why churches have things like harvest festivals, where kids dress up as biblical characters and walk around the church (or church parking lot) and get candy. All the fun, no Satan :)

This year was the first year that I actually bought Halloween fabric. Am I going to hell? Well, if I am, I bet there are cute Halloween invitations to invite me.