Friday, December 31, 2010

Year End

I was so busy this week enjoying my vacation and trying to finish up that "Last Quilt of the Year" - which was also the 'winter break quilt' that the Munchkin and I were working on together - that the idea of doing a year-end blog post was very low on my radar.

It is now 11:00 on Friday, December 31, 2010. The quilt is nearly done - and will be by the end of the winter break - the Munchkin is tucked away in bed - and Hubby and I are sitting here winding down the year.

...and the thought right now of recapping 2010 - life wise, crafting wise, Munchkin wise - is just not sparking the muse.

So I will just wish everyone a happy and healthy 2011 for now - and maybe do a more elaborate post when I am not trying to be creative this close to midnight.

Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

How many quilts does it take.... get to the end of a FQ bundle???

At last count... "tha-three" :-)

(...and yes, I totally forgot that there was a turtle in the Tootsie Pop commercial!!! Bonus!!!)

It all started in the middle of 2009 with receipt of a gift - a fat quarter bundle (and a layer cake) of Moda's Wonderland. I totally fell in love with the bright colors, the funky patterns - and the scissors. Oh how I love the scissors!!! Those super-for-a-crafter-gotta-make-something-for-a-crafter scissors.

I was at a loss on exactly what to do with the fabrics, though... and stashed them in my stash for a while as I pondered the possibilities. Since I had the luxury of the entire fabric line at my disposal - I wanted to take advantage of it - I normally don't have that many fabrics that actually "match"...

What to do? What to do??

Most of the FQ friendly quilt patterns I dismissed as being too limiting -as they only used 12-20 of the fabrics - I also wanted to challenge myself with a new pattern at the same time.

But what??? And for who????

I soon decided that my BFF Jill would be a perfect recipient for a quilt from this fabric. She's a crafter - likes bright colors - and I really wanted to make her a special quilt - so I set to work to find just the right pattern.

I soon found it in my blog travels - at Lyn Brown's website. A disappearing 9 patch and half square triangles married together - fun, easy, new and free -it had everything a girl could want.

I set to work - focusing on the pinks and teals - and soon had Sibling Revelry.

And I thought - WOW - that put a dent in that fabric!!! The quilt is HUGE and other than the white and the dark brown centers - I did not add anything other than the Wonderland.

Um.... then why did I have so much left???

And now what was I going to do with it???

I made a couple of Maggies and a Margo and continued to ponder the possibilities.

Then this spring, Shellie and I decided we would do a "quilt along" based on a quilt that I had seen Jill do - and had fallen in love with.. Sunny Lanes by Pat Speth. I started to "inventory" my leftover Wonderland -and realized I had enough to do this quilt as well... so that became the spring project, and "Return to Wonderland" was born.

This is also when I broke down and actually bought more yardage of Wonderland. I had hoped to use some Wonderland on the back of Jill's quilt, but that plan fell through.

This time I went with a different vendor, and was very happy with how the turquoise with the brown vines and the brown inner border (w/ turquoise dots) worked with the rest of the colors. The quilt is quite large - I even had to hang it sideways on the clothesline for this photo. It will come close to covering the top of my king sized bed (when I finally finish it!) and one would think that this would be the end of the FQ bundle... perhaps????

NOT.... SO..... FAST......

There was still a third quilt yet to come.

Quilt "tha-three"... aptly named "Tootsie Pop."

Tootsie Pop was born of the rest of the layer cake as it's base - making 2 4-patches from each fabric pairing. Most of the rest of the FQ's were cut into 10" squares -and those turned into 4-patches as well.

The size of this quilt is a little smaller than I usually make, but was dictated by how much of the turquoise I had left to do the border.

And since my lovely niece Karen had mentioned how much she loved this fabric line -it was perfect that I had enough left over to make her this special quilt for Christmas.

And STILL I am not done with the FQ bundle!!

I even made some covered mini-journals. And it still was not the end!!! There may have even been a few more little projects in there - and those that have been following my "Adventures in Wonderland" may remember some that I have missed.

There is not enough left to make another quilt - unless it is a doll quilt or heavily subsidized with other fabrics - but that has not stopped me from putting together a few more "Wonderful Wonderland" projects. A couple of them are "yet to be finished/yet to be gifted" so I can't share pictures -but just so you are warned that we are not ready to leave Wonderland just yet.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Simply a winner

OK - I don't have anything witty to say today - too much wrapping and last minute holiday sewing I guess. The brain is toast!

I also still have not figured out how to post the picture of the random number generator thingy.

But the result was... 59 entries...random number picked was 23...23rd comment posted was...

Anjeanette!!! - who wrote "Regina, we have a memory box too. I write down what new ornaments we get each year and where we were living at the time. For years I thought I should drop the part about where we were living, but now that we just moved, I'm glad I kept that part!

Loved your post though. We didn't take our ornaments out this year so we didn't get to stroll down memory lane. That is one of my favorite things about Christmas each year."

Anj and her family have a wonderful crafty blog at Roots and Wings Co. and I would not be at all surprised if they have not made something similar to my horsies in one of those crafty households. Another bonus is that Anj has a family of 4 - so these will be perfect for her and her boys!

Congratulations - and thanks to everyone for sharing such wonderful memories. I hope you all have a very merry Christmas, and a wonderful 2011!!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Memory box... and a giveaway

On Saturday as my Munchkin (5) and I decorated our tree, he asked me why we had so many "things" to put on the tree.

I told him that they were not "things"... they were "memories" and that the box we keep them in is the "memory box."

I showed him the ornaments we got when Daddy and I were first married - and how seeing them reminds me of that time.

I showed him the ornaments we got when he was a little baby - and told him stories about his first Christmas.

I showed him ornaments that my Mom and the University women's group made when I was in high school and talked about how we looked forward to each new ornament each year.

I showed him ornaments from when I lived in Japan, ornaments that I had given to his Daddy because of a special event or hobby or interest, ornaments that people had given to me as gifts, ornaments that we had purchased on vacations or special trips, a teeny teeny tiny bear that my sister made that is not really an ornament but sits on an upper branch, and on and on. Needless to say decorating the tree around here takes a LONG time - and we are not done yet!!

We also talked about the ornaments that he made with Daddy at school on Friday... and that when he sees these each year as we decorate the tree, he is not just going to remember the beads and sticks and glue that put them together, but that it was a fun day with Daddy making something special.

One of my childhood memories was of the candy cane horse ornaments my mother used to make. I always liked filling the horses each year with a fresh stash of candy canes, and "discovering" uneaten candy canes when we undecorated the tree. These were also fun little gifties that I remember Mom making for friends and teachers - and each horse seemed to have its own personality.

I did not have a candy cane horse in my ornament box as I moved out on my own, but always thought of them every time I decorated a tree. Last year I finally made good on my efforts to figure out the pattern, and made some for the Munchkin's preschool class (photo above), and these are the same pattern that was mentioned in the Candlestick Horses post.

As part of Sew,Mama,Sew! Giveaway Day, I will be giving away a set of 4 "candlestick horses" (though they will probably be the ones cut out by electrical light and not by candle light) - colors may vary. I will also include the template and instructions so you can make your own.

To enter - please post a comment telling me about YOUR favorite ornament memory. One entry per person, please. (And if you don't celebrate Christmas, please share a special "object related" memory of your own)

Please be sure to include some way to contact you in your message - or be sure your profile is not set as "no-reply" (if I don't have a way to contact you, you won't be able to win!!). This giveaway will be open until Midnight on December 17th and is open to everyone - including international (I am in the US). I can't guarantee delivery before Christmas, but I WILL ship by the 20th, and after that it is up to the postal service.

So - what's in YOUR memory box?

(comments now closed -I will draw a winner later this morning. Thanks everyone for sharing such great memories!)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Coming soon...

Looks like more new projects for the new year!

...with this that I just won!!!
Woo Hoo!!!

With this stretch of good luck, maybe I should play the lottery???

I had been contemplating trying some wool applique - this looks like it will make it that much easier!

Thanks Bradie!!!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Time for a "Snowball" fight!!!

'Cause I just won a whole bunch of adorable fabric for snowball blocks from Melissa. Thanks!!!

Check out her great doll quilt tutorial for these!

Candlestick Horses

Tonight we spent about 90 minutes in the dark, courtesy of a blown transformer on the pole just in front of our house. 9 of our neighboring houses joined us in this little outage - while others nearby were blazing bright, with lights in every window and Christmas lights on every lawn.

The temperature? A blistering 9 degrees F.

While Hubby worked diligently outside, connecting our generator to the furnace, sump pumps, fridge and freezer - keeping us warm and dry, and saving the products of our summer gardening efforts, I was inside, twiddling my thumbs by candlelight. The Munchkin was tucked warmly in bed, under layers of quilts, contentedly going to sleep knowing Daddy had things under control.

I had planned on cutting some felt horses out this evening... so I figured I would do it anyway - by candlelight. How hard could it be? Quilters and crafters in the pre-electric days had worked by candlelight, right? And with my big Yankee Candle jar candle, I should be fine...


Wow - it was so much harder than I thought! I was cutting dark colored felt with dark colored markings, and every time I shifted the felt to get a better angle with the scissors, it got between me and the candle and then I lost the line. Maybe if I had a second candle behind me - but that would have been just decadent!

I cut out 6 felt horses - and these will be my "candlestick horses" - when I get them all done, I will post them - and set them up side by side with the ones cut with those newfangled electric lights.

I can't even imagine sewing, darning, embroidering, or more in that light... and I hope it is not something I will need to get used to.

Lets chalk it up to an evening "interestingly" occupied... and great thanks to Hubby and the village electric crew for braving the cold and getting us back in the brightly lit present so quickly.