It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It’s my favorite time of year.

The time when I get to pick out presents for my loved ones and show them how much they mean to me.

This year, I’m focusing on my nephews – or The Littles as I call them.

Because my brother and I each had two sets of boys.

Mine are the BIG boys and his are the LITTLE boys.

Hence, The Littles.

It’s an easy way to distinguish between them when we’re discussing “the boys.”

This year, for Christmas I purchased two sets of white cotton pajamas.

Boring, plain old cotton pajamas.

Then I got a tie dye set from Amazon so that The Little can MAKE THEIR OWN PJS!

They love tie dye and I think they’ll enjoy working with all the colors to make something unique and handmade.

Every year, I always get them a personalized ornament with their names and the year and THEIR HALLOWEEN COSTUME.

My oldest nephew was the grim reaper:

My youngest nephew was a zombie from Minecraft:

It’s not easy finding their costume every year on an ornament.

Last year, my youngest nephew was Venom.

I had to commission a Venom ornament from etsy to complete his gift.

This year, I’m also getting something different – a ten inch “layer cake” of white fabric and fabric pens.

I noticed that both boys are really artistic and I thought wouldn’t it make a great gift for their mom (my best friend from 5th grade – yes, my brother married my best friend) to have them design fabric squares over the next few months that I can then make into a quilt for her?

I sure am crafty when it comes to presents and I hope The Littles enjoy what they get.

Australia Quilt

My whole life I’ve dreamed of going to Australia.

I have a small obsession with it.

It’s a beautiful country with amazing wildlife and I can’t wait to see my first kangaroo out in the wild when I go there.

I can only imagine how breathtaking it would be to see something so foreign just out and about, like it’s no big deal.

It’s a kangaroo!

My friend Michelle and her husband took a trip to Australia and I was so envious of them making that trip.

They’re global adventurers to say the least.

I was right there after their trip, asking questions.

What did they do?

Where did they go?

What did they see?

Someday my sister and I will take a trip to Australia and I will get to experience firsthand what my friend and her husband got to enjoy.

All the diversity of life and the people of Australia.

In keeping with my passion for quilting, I’ve started to work on my Australia quilt.

Now, remember I make quilts for other people so making a quilt for myself is a rare occurrence.

The last time I made a quilt for myself was about 8 years ago – a beautiful pinwheel quilt very similar to this one:

I’ve decided I’m going to make myself an Australia quilt and I’ve selected the perfect wildlife fabrics from Spoonflower (naturally) to make this quilt:

I like this pattern for the quilt because it allows you to focus on the fabric design.

It’s called Craftsman by Amy Smart:

And because I want to surround my quilt with a beautiful border and binding, I’ve selected this wonderful ocean wildlife fabric for the border and geometric waves fabric for the binding:

Should make a GORGEOUS quilt no?

Almost as gorgeous as all the critters, small and large, who make up the fabrics I’m using!

Spoonflower Sale!

Spoonflower is having a sale on fat quarters.

For those of you who don’t know what a fat quarter is, it’s when you get a quarter yard of fabric that’s 18 inches by 20-22 inches instead of 9 inches by 40-44 inches.

It’s a FAT quarter yard, hence the name.

Spoonflower has the MOST DELIGHTFUL fabrics on the internet and if I was a rich retiree, I’d spend thousands of dollars buying their fabrics for my quilts.

They’ve literally got every design you can possibly think of.

My niece is turning 12 this year and while there’s no way I can possibly make a quilt in time for her birthday this November, I’m putting a quilt in the queue for her.

Hopefully I’ll get to it in the next 6 months.

This is the design I am looking at online, but instead of being pink and orange, I’m making it BLUE AND VIOLET (on my cousin Jennifer’s recommendation).

It’s a 16-patch combined with a pinwheel, in an on-point (diagonal) pattern:

quiltJust because I want to see all the fabrics in one place, I’m posting them here for you to see.

Most have some sentimental meaning to either me or to my niece.

Here are all the blue fabrics I’ve selected:

And here are all the violet fabrics I’ve picked out:

Yes, I’m aware there’s Daryl Dixon from the Walking Dead in there.

My niece happens to be a HUGE fan so I have to work it in somehow.

The rest of the fabric makes me think of her = be it baby chihuahuas, wizard fabric, or footballs (go Niners!).

Can’t wait to get started on this quilt, right after I finish the three I’m already working on!

Turning into a pumpkin

I have a thing for carving pumpkins.

It all began when I worked with a bunch of really spirited Halloween coworkers.

Costumes on Halloween were encouraged and there was always a pumpkin carving contest.

Being a Type-A overachieving woman, I prepped for the competition by planning my pumpkin weeks in advance.

No, I didn’t use a template.

But I did make some pretty decent pumpkins – one with an upside down mouth (by accident) which actually turned out pretty good, and one that was supposed to be Yoda:

I also made a pumpkin of my son’s face, dramatically lit for the sake of carving.

I made a template in Photoshop and then transferred it to my pumpkin.

It turned out okay, here’s the original image, the pumpkin, and the pumpkin all lit up:

Well, this week my company had a pumpkin carving contest and I won for the scariest pumpkin:

I made. Jack Skellington pumpkin and my only regret is that I was so busy carving I didn’t have time to go around and collect pumpkin seeds, which make a delicious fall treat when toasted with a little salt and garlic.

 

I bleed for the best

If you’re wondering who is affected by the power going out in California due to the PG&E outages, the answer is ME.

My house has no power.

Needless to say I have some strong feelings on the matter regarding the giving of millions of dollars in bonuses to PG& E executives while aging infrastructure isn’t maintained properly.

The power has been off for nearly two days now and I had to go to Tejas’ house nearby to take a shower.

Le sigh.

Anyway, what did I do while the power was out?

I cut fabric for a quilt.

I discovered my old method of cutting fabric on the floor wouldn’t work for me because it gave me SUCH AN ACHE IN MY BACK I was walking like a grandma when I stood up.

So I had to modify my kitchen table to accommodate my cutting and thankfully, that seemed to do the trick.

I just can’t sit on the floor, bent over a mat, cutting fabric anymore.

So I managed to cut all my fabric, even the 100 white triangles that I COMPLETELY forgot about until I was getting ready to put things away.

One thing did happen though.

I cut my index finger on my rotary blade while cutting fabric thereby ensuring that this quilt will be magnificent.

I bleed for all the best quilts.

Quilting Frenzy

I guess it’s the season.

All of a sudden I’m getting SUPER domestic and I’m quilting up a storm.

Maybe it’s because I’m not dating so I have free time to actually work on my projects.

In case you want to see them, here are the latest quilt projects I’m working on:

That should be enough to keep me busy.

I’m planning quilts for my mom and my sisters.  Maybe even one for my niece Bella.

Despite looking complicated, these quilts are at best intermediate skill level, which means I won’t be tearing my hair out trying to piece them together.

Wish me luck and if you like any of them, let me know!

Which one would you like?

Plan B

Oh dear.

I may have planned out my next quilt a little too hastily.

Just out of curiosity, I went and photoshopped the pattern another way and I like it the color arrangement much better than my first attempt.

The teal/aqua combination looks much better than the teal/lavender combination.

Like by a LONG SHOT.

I think I will have to scrap Plan A and move on to Plan B.

It’s no big deal however.

I haven’t done any real work on the cutting and piecing yet.

I haven’t even received the fabric in the mail yet and the difference between Plan A and Plan B is less than a yard of aqua fabric.

So I’m making an executive decision and going with my second color arrangement instead of my first.

If I didn’t make the change, I’d forever be looking at that quilt thinking, “oh, it could have been SOOOOO much nicer.”

Boring crafty quilting life

I’ve begun working on a new quilt which is a nice way of saying I sat down and bought fabric for the quilt.

Personally, I wanted to see if the fabrics I selected would look good together so through photoshop magic I swapped out the blue and green colors in the original quilt for the teal and lavender fabrics I selected.

Not too shabby.

Then I found 108” wide fabric for the backing with a BEAUTIFUL watercolor floral pattern in blues and purples and I WAS SOLD.

The fabric is PERFECT for the backing of the quilt and requires no sewing on my part since it’s 108” wide.

It also ties in all the colors quite nicely and will make a good contrast against the pieced side of the quilt.

Honestly, I’m so excited about working on this quilt.

My least favorite part is cutting the fabric, and I can already tell that’s going to take the LONGEST time with this quilt.

For Barbara’s quilt, it took me 6 hours to cut all the fabric.

This time, I’m guessing it’ll be about 9 hours.

Who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky and find a short cut.

But you know I’m in a domestic mood when talking about “getting lucky” means the quilt I’m working on will take only 9 hours to cut.

This is my boring crafty quilting life.

Queen

It’s my favorite time of year – the build-up from Halloween, and my birthday to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Needless to say I do not suffer from season affective disorder, though I know a few people who do and it’s a terrible thing to have happen.

I love the holidays.

I EVEN love holiday music.

Yes, I’m one of THOSE people.

I think my love of the holidays comes from my mother.

Growing up, we’d decorate, cook, and listen to Christmas music during the holiday season.

I remember Mom would put on Christmas music and we’d bake cookies and pies until the dining room table was FILLED WITH TREATS!

This year I’m doing what I did last year and I’m QUILTING for the holidays.

My work shuts down for two weeks during the holidays and it’s the PERFECT time to start a quilting project.

This time, I’m looking at two quilt patterns:

The trick is that I really should make the Spruced Goose quilt because I have all the supplies to make it.

However, it’s a gift for a friend and the Star Gazing quilt is actually a more appropriate color scheme for her.

So I’m stuck.

Do I make the quilt that’s better for her or the one I’ve got all the supplies for?

Oh, the dilemma.

Turns out, I may just try to make both and decide what to do with them later.

Also, I have THIS quilt top which needs to be finalized and I haven’t created the backing for it yet so maybe I’ll finish THREE QUILTS this holiday season.

What can I say?

I am a quilt making QUEEN!

Spoonflower

I sew a lot.

I just finished a quilt for Barbara and I’m taking a break before making my next quilt:

It’s called the “Spruced Goose.”

Even though I know how to sew clothes, I seldom do on account of I usually get bored with my project and never finish making it.

But lately, I’ve been thinking it might be nice to work on some clothes for myself.

Specifically, leggings.

I found a website called SPOONFLOWER which sells AMAZING unique designs which they custom print onto your desired fabric – spandex, cotton, cotton jersey, etc.

Lately my inspiration has been coming from things I see online.

  • Mushrooms
  • Narwhals
  • Cocktails
  • Mermaids
  • Sloths
  • Butterflies
  • Candy
  • Pineapples
  • Geek

To be honest, it all started when I tried to find mushroom leggings.

I didn’t like anything I found so I figured, why not make it?

And thus, I started shopping Spoonflower.

What do you think?