Only 3 months to go!

Is it sad for me to celebrate the fact that I’m only 3 months behind on my virtual bee? I finished up two blocks this weekend, so now, I only have Jan, Feb and March to finish! Here are Oct and Nov’s blocks…those girls were so patient! (Thanks, Rosanna and Natalie!)

For Nov, Rosanna had us do a big Single Girl block. I’ve owned this pattern since Denyse published it, but as soon as I opened it up, I knew I would never make it. Denyse uses templates in a lot of her patterns where I don’t feel like templates are so necessary. Look at me – questioning the methods of Denyse Schmidt! But really, I love her quilts so much, I’m just too lazy to put the effort into them that the patterns call for. I guess that’s why they sell for so much money!

So anywhoo…Rosanna cut ALL THE PIECES! She sent us these nice little packages of all the little shapes that make one ring. I can’t imagine the time she¬† spent preparing those packages. All I know is that I got to do the fairly simple sewing on this awesome block without doing any of the mundane or tedious pattern tracing and cutting. So thanks, Rosanna! Taking this pattern out for a spin showed me that it’s not the big, awful pain I thought it would be. And if I cut multiple pieces (stacked fabric, cut four or five at a time), I could almost see making a quilt with it. The finished block was huge, so six would make a great baby quilt.

Rosanna's Single Girl block-2

And then for Nov., Natalie wanted porthole blocks. This was a fun new technique for me. Although, I never could get my seams as smooth as I wanted. We used Ric Rac’s tutorial – which is super easy. I’m sure I’ll use this technique again – and really, you could do any shape.

Natalie's Porthole blocks-3

In other sewing news, I finished up the Here We Go bag for my aunt Jamie. Using the pattern in Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings – Jamie picked her own fabrics, and I put together this GIANT diaper bag. Pretty easy pattern, and the technique used for closing up the top and sewing the inside and outside together was suprisingly easy. I normally make bags using the ‘birthing’ method – where you flip the whole bag right-side-out through a small hole in the bottom. This bag uses a bias strip sewn around the whole top like quilt binding. I ended up hand-stitching it down, just like I would do a quilt. Not bad at all.

Here We Go bag-3

The bag has a center divider with pockets on both sides and pockets around the inside lining. There’s also a little elastic loop that holds the changing pad.

Here We Go bag-4

And I found a great laminated herringbone fabric on fabric.com – perfect for the changing pad. Although, I really need to get one of those slippery feet for sewing on vinyl and stuff…what a pain in the neck!

Here We Go bag-6

Happy New Year!

Whew! What a whirlwind. Holidays…I’m on the fence about them. Seriously.

So, we’ve had company for a while, and we’ve been unpacking, and of course there was Christmas and New Years and my kid’s 5th birthday and my birthday and Thanksgiving…I’m pretty sure it’s naptime.

Anyway, I got this month’s issue of Everyday Food at the grocery store, and there was the easiest little recipe for cream puffs! I seriously love cream puffs. So I made them. I didn’t have the ingredients for the filling, or for pastry cream, so I just made a box of vanilla pudding and piped that inside. YUM!

Everyone should try this recipe. SO EASY.

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I also made eclairs! (Same recipe, but instead of piping the dough into round blobs, you pipe rectangles…too easy.

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I also unpacked almost all the fabric bins and organized all my fabric. In the bins, it was all by fabric line…but I’m not really into using pieces of a line all together anymore, so by color is going to allow me to mix and match a little easier. Pretty eye opening to see all the fabric I own…a little overboard, really. It was much easier to be in denial of my hoarding when I had the majority of my ‘collection’ in bins in the garage.

Bins before (under the table):
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Bins unloaded, colors sorted:
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Mostly put away…still a few colors to go:
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It’s awesome to have such easy access to all my fabric!

Hope Valley

I’m sure you mod quilters¬† and crafters are all over this already, but it’s been a while since I’ve just wandered the internet in search of crafty goodness. Did you know Denyse Schmidt had a new line of fabric coming out? Put me on the waiting list, Free Spirit! This will be worth a trip to the Purl warehouse. Here’s what Denyse has to say about it. I think I’ll need to see it in person…the style is kind of 40s reproduction with a really unique palette. I’m loving the Piney Woods color family – here’s one swatch:

Quilt Show and Baby Shower

Fun time at the Long Beach International Quilt Show today. So much treasure seen, just a little purchased. There were some truly awesome quilts on display, but sadly, I forgot my camera. Well, I didn’t forget so much as I forgot to charge the battery beforehand. Anyway, I did take one blurry picture of my most favorite quilt of the day, Red Owls by Karin Pierce.

Red owls by karin peirce

And here’s an even blurrier picture of the whole quilt.

Red owls by karin peirce

I’m not sure where my love of owls comes from. It may stem from my lifelong need for glasses. Or my total acceptance of my own nerdiness. HOO knows :)

I also finished a sweet little baby quilt for some good friends of ours. They had the most kick-ass baby shower this weekend. There must have been 100 people there – and that was only the wife’s family. They’re having another shower with the husband’s family in a few weeks. I can’t imagine that they need ANYTHING else for that baby. I’m so happy for them that they got so much loot.

So here was my contribution. A little quilty, based on these by Ashley over at Filminthefridge.com.

Daniel's quilt-01

Here’s the back:

Daniel's quilt-03a

I also made a couple “everything” cloths – cloth diapers with cute dino fabric down the middle…

Daniel's quilt-04

And wrapped it all up in cute drawstring bag.

Daniel's quilt-10

I was pretty happy with how it all came out. But I always feel wierd giving my cornball homemade gifts. Doesn’t make the making part any less fun, though.

toddler sports and sewing

We’ve been a whirlwind of activity around here. From 3-year old sports classes every day, to a possible impending move, there’s hardly been time to sew! That’s not to say I haven’t been preparing to sew. Which means buying stuff – fabric and books! Here are my newest books…all of which I’m dying to dig into. There are at least 3 projects in all of them that I love.


The third book is a new Aranzi Aronzo book called Cute Stuff for Babies. There are the cutest little appliques in there. My favorite pattern is a bottle holder pouch in the shape of a little quilted bottle. Oh, and the little diaper covers with a bear and bunny face on the baby’s booty. Awesome.

I did finish a couple bow tucks bags. Well, I finished one and one is almost done.

And did I post this already? I’ve just been working on hand sewing all the bit down since I really haven’t had time to sew.

AuntMillie'sGardenBlock2-3

We’ve also been spending time at this lovely place:

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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!

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!
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She also sent me some fun owly halloween socks!
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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:
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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.

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That’s it for the craft update :)