Felt Christmas Ornaments Progress

Well, that was easy ... I got all the pieces cut out!  Look out people, Mama's on a roll!  Haha :)

There was a moment of panic with this one ... I somehow lost the green for the top section of the tree.   I suppose that's what you get when you open a kit and then take all the things out several times and play around with them as you contemplate starting and then eventually change your mind and end up ignoring it for far too long. 

But I found a green felt scrap in my cupboard.  I don't think it's a PERFECT match to the original, but it's pretty darn close so it'll do.  I may change the floss color, though.

Ooooh, she's gonna be so cuuute ... I love the sequins and stitches on her hind quarters.

LOVE this one - even though it looks ... er ... more involved ... than the other two ornaments.

Now ... which one do I do first?  You'd be smart to bet on one of the easier ones.  I'm in the mood for more of the "instant" rather than "delayed" kind of gratification ... ;)

Oh, and by the way, does this "shrubbery" ...

remind anyone else of this ... ?

LOL!  It's been like over 20 years since the last time I saw "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (yes, seen it more than once ... cult classic when I was in University) and STILL that word cracks me up every.single.time.


Felt Christmas Ornaments

When I was growing up my mom always gave us a new ornament for Christmas - sometimes store bought, sometimes handmade by her. 

When she found a kit she liked, she'd make them and we'd each get a different one.

I never once saw her working on them - she was very sneaky stitching away while we were at school or in bed.  To this day, the ones she made remain among my most treasured ornaments. 

And I miss seeing the ones that belong to my siblings. 

Guess I'm uber sentimental about some things.

So when I found this kit (now available as a PDF) at Posy Gets Cozy a few years ago, I NEEDED to make them.

Well, I got as far as cutting out all the templates and then sorta lost steam. 

Not sure why. 

It's not like me to not finish something I'm so excited about. 

But I'm determined to finish them this year.  I'll keep you posted ... ;)


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 29

More Red, Green & White

#42 - Fruit Basket

This is another one of those blocks that needed just a hint of red.  When I read the name, "Fruit Basket", of course my basket was going to hold apples. 

Or in this case Christmas apples - also known as pomegranates. :)

#60 - Noon & Light

Well, this one didn't turn out QUITE the way I had in mind.  I was THINKING wreath with berries & little red blossoms.

But when I did the final press and turned it over, the wonky hot pink berries on a lime green wreath just seemed very ... Dr. Seuss-ish ... like it belonged to a Who down in Whoville!  Haha!

Lucky for me, I love Dr. Seuss and I especially love "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" - watching it on tv was a family tradition when I was growing up and it continues to be one with my girls.  But since the invention of DVDs, they don't have to haunt the TV Guide to find out when it's going to air only once a year ...

So this block is going to stay exactly the way it is - with all its Grinchy green-ness - and I will giggle every time I see it. :)


Humility Bootcamp?  

If you're not a parent but plan to become one some day, take my advice and practice humility.  You're going to need it.

For example if you live in a cold climate, your child might make an announcement that goes something like this ...

"Hey Mom, I just farted in my snowpants and now I'm all extra warm!"

... followed by hysterical laughter ... in the produce department of a grocery store ... with lots of people around. 

Just sayin'.


Mystery Block Of the Month

Thanks to those of you who commented on my framed blocks in yesterday's post.  FYI, they fit a 5" (finished) block and I got them from Ikea a few years ago.  I'm pretty sure they're still available for something like $6 / pair.

And also thanks to everyone who shared their delinquent holiday decorating habits.  I feel better. :)

                    *               *               *               *               * 

Wohoo!  Halfway for my Fat Quarter Shop's Designer Mystery Block of the Month project!

I confess I breathed a sigh of relief when I opened this package.  Thank goodness it was an easy peasy lemon squeezy design.  Things are a little hectic around here with Christmas etc. and I needed a break!

This is the first block (for this project) where I did some fabric swapping.

Each block in this quilt is a flower head with stems & leaves under each block.  The finishing kit comes with the same green as the bottom of this flower (shown on the pattern), but I prefer the blue-ish green color (on my block) so I switched it. 

Which created another problem ... I don't like it when the same color bleeds into each other so I had to switch both of the blue prints.

Then I switched the large red floral for the smaller print - I think this small floral is my favorite print in this fabric collection. :)

MAN these mosaics are fun! :)


Making Room for Christmas

So, does anyone else have to take down Valentine's Day decorations ...

and/or (in my case AND) Easter decorations ...

to make room for the Christmas stuff?




Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Midway Mosaic

It didn't occur to me until mid afternoon yesterday that I could make a nice midway mosaic of my FW blocks.  (Well, I snuck in next week's blocks too ... ) 

What do you think?  This is just a random arrangement via Flickr.  I didn't feel like manually sorting them.

Yep, that "Bat Wings" block (top right corner) is definitely too red.  I'll have to redo it. 

I've never made a quilt like this before and I'm loving the entire process. 

Do you ever look at a quilt in progress and wonder where it will be 100 years from now?  Will it be preserved as a family heirloom and end up behind glass in a museum with a sign saying "maker unknown" because I was too lazy to label it?

Will it perish in a fire or a flood?

Or will it be loved and cuddled with and snuggled under and maybe even barfed on by a sick child and end up all stained & thread-bare in someone's attic? 

And will someone ever look at this quilt and wonder about me?  And will they know that I started making it to have fun with a wonderful online community of blogging quilters?  And will they have any inkling of just I had making it and sharing it with you? 

Sometimes I wonder about these things.  But I always come to the same conclusion.  I honestly don't care what happens to it after I'm done making it and maybe enjoying it for a while.

One thing that would absolutely devastate me is if one of my daughters felt obligated to keep something I've made, even though they don't like/want or need it.  I know what it feels like to not be able to get rid of something I think is absolutely hideous just because someone I loved made it.  I hope my daughters understand that getting rid of something I made doesn't mean they're getting rid of me or my love for them.

I think I'm going to make them pinkie-swear on that. 


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 28

THE OFFICIAL HALFWAY MARK!!!  These are blocks 55 & 56 out of 111! :)

Red, White & Green

Considering the stores have been playing Christmas Carols since like EASTER, I thought I'd show a little restraint by waiting until DECEMBER to make Christmas-themed FW blocks.

#97 - Waste Not

I L.O.V.E love this block.  The first time I saw it in the book I KNEW the windmilly thing needed to be red.  Because the red pieces are so skinny, I fussy cut the fabric to avoid blotchiness.  I think the solid red (well, there IS a very tiny dark dot for interest) is fabulous. 

See, I've had it in my mind's eye all along that red would just be an accent color here and there in this quilt.  This block is EXACTLY what I had in mind.  Nice, strong, crisp contrast, but not too much red.

#85 - Square Dance

This Flower Sugar print is responsible for all the gingham I've been using. 

I love this panel type print - especially when you fussy cut ... its like 2 prints for the price of one.  But until now I hadn't found a way to use these pretty little wreaths.  I was SO happy to find this block with such a big square in the middle. 

PLUS, I like how the wreath sort of references my Christmas theme for this block too.  Almost like it was planned ... ;)


Daisychain Sampler "I"

I is a cute flower made almost entirely with lazy daisy stitches.  Love it.

Whenever I mark out a lazy daisy stitch, I ALWAYS use just 2 dots.

One for where the needle goes DOWN and one for where the needle comes UP.

See?  This way, if I pull the stitch too tight (or not tight enough) there are no markings underneath to tell on me.

Nifty, eh? (And yes, those are 3 Colonial Knots - not French Knots - in the flower center.)

My daughter just walked into the room as I was writing this post and "informed me" that 'hi' is a word in the alphabet.

"Did you know that, Mummy?"

Love her.  :)


"It's Personal"

Remember these monogrammed drawstring bags I made back in June?

I made them for my daughter's friends.

Some of you asked if I'd write up a pattern.  Well, I am nothing if not accommodating ... ;)

So when Lecien asked if I'd like to contribute a free pattern to their ZAKKA recipe collection I already had the perfect project in mind.

It took me a while to get it done because I couldn't decide on what fabric to use ... that is until I got home from Quilt Market with the most ADORABLE FQ bundle of "Woodland" by Natalie Lymer of Cinderberry Stitches.

So if you'd like to make a few (or several) of these for Christmas, the pattern is free and you can download it from here.


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 27

Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue & White (again)

I'm fascinated by how Flickr traffic can tell you what's popular.  Sometimes I'm a little slow with all the technology stuff, but it finally occurred to me that I can tell what people prefer - in terms of my FWQAL blocks - based on the # of view & comments etc.  Apparently this color combination is a favorite ... and we aim to please!

I love it too, especially on a day like today when the warmth of the sun has DEFINITELY left my part of the world for many many MANY (and a few more) months.  If I can't have happy colors outside, might as well find them here. 

(That reminds me, better go get the family some Vitamin D supplements for the winter ... )

#108 Periwinkle

So, remember my thing about gingham?  I decided to experiment and see if the same visual disturbance happens when different colors are used.  What do you think?  I'm both surprised and pleased with these results!

#66 Windmill

This block just cried out for 4 different colors.  And this is the first time I used this white print for a background.

It is one of the new "Flower Sugar" prints and I used a leftover scrap from the backing of my Quilt Market quilt - which is a free downloadable, just sayin'.  I will forever think of that quilt whenever I see this fabric. 

Makes me happy. :)


Daisychain Sampler "H"

Ok.  This wasn't so bad, satin-stitch wise, I mean.

I didn't worry as much about the edges being perfect.

'Cause I knew they would be hidden ...

... with a little outline. :)

You know, with all the yellow I've been using lately in my FWQAL blocks and now this pretty little letter, I really need to rethink my relationship with this color ...


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 26

Yellow & Gray

Is this color combination still trendy?  Or is it like so totally last year and I'm just embarrassing myself?  I gotta say, when I started seeing yellow & gray everywhere I was getting a little annoyed.  Never really warmed to either color.  And putting the two together looked like ... well ... kinda sorta like dog pee on the sidewalk.

Sorry.  But it's Friday and I'm allowing my self a little grossology license today.  Have I ever mentioned I have an occasionally-difficult-to-restrain gross streak in me? 

(All my friends are going, "OCCASIONALLY?!!")

HOWEVER, since the new Flower Sugar line has both gray AND yellow in it, I've been forced to reconsider yet another one of my very narrow-minded opinions. 

Happy me.  Another horizon broadened. :)

And despite the typically modern look this color pairing always seemed to have, I think these blocks look decidely old fashioned ... I think because of the pretty little rosy posies.

Block #29 - Economy

Why oh why am I compelled to fussy cut all these center blocks?!  Can't - help - it.

Block #77 - Seasons

I think this week is the first time I've used the same prints in reverse colors.  This block has the gray version of the yellow print & the yellow version of the gray print in the first block.  Love it.

Now if I tried to explain how exciting that is to a non-crafty quilty person, they'd look at me like my big toe was trying to come out my nose. 

But I know YOU get it.  :)  YOU know what I'm talkin' about.  YOU know that such considerations are not only rational, they're critical to our general well being.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Pincushion Prettiness III

We have a winner  ...

"Archie the Wonder Dog", congratulations!  I know you're going to enjoy Gigi's beautiful pin toppers. 

And remember, Gigi's Etsy Shop is just a click away if you're looking to treat yourself or find that perfect little something for the crafter in your life.  She's always coming up with new designs so you never know what treasure you're going to find!

Here's my last pincushion for you this week.  Yep, that's an egg cup!

Ok.  I didn't make this one.  Gigi did.  In fact, it was part of the FIRST giveaway she made for my blog.  But you never saw it.  Even if you've been reading my blog every day from the beginning.  See, I have a confession to make.  When she showed me this first giveaway set last summer, I held it in my hands (I may have even snatched it ... I can't remember) looked her dead in the eye and apologized because unfortunately I was going to keep it for myself because I really really really needed it so could she please make another one. 

True story.  I can be embarrassingly obnoxious.  (Please don't blame my parents ... they really did try to teach me better.)  But apparently I have enough other redeeming qualities that she overlooked my terrible manners and agreed.   (Love you, Gigi!)  (Oh, and I DID compensate her accordingly ... I'm not THAT horrible!!!)

Anyhow, this perfectly pretty little trio - plus yet another Shabby Cupcake of hers that coordinates so nicely colorwise - sits here in front of my computer screen and I look at it countless times a day. 

I love it.  I don't know if it's normal for such things to make me feel so happy.  But I don't care.  Knowing the person who made these beautiful pin toppers - AND being able to call her friend - makes them even that much more special. 

Thank you Gigi!  This was fun.  We should do it again sometime ... ;)


Pincushion Prettiness II

I got yet another adorable pincushion kit at Quilt Market.  (Last day to enter my giveaway!)

This one is from the sweet Brenda Riddle.  Her new Durham fabric line with Lecien is soooooo pretty.  We're shabby chic soul sisters, me & her. ;)

One of the prints in this line features an uber-feminine paisley and Brenda used that motif as the inspiration for the design on this cushion.

Like Lynette's cushion yesterday, this one also  uses a single skein of COSMO Seasons variegated embroidery floss.  Isn't it just so lovely? 

I woke up very early one morning at Market - like dark o'clock early - and I couldn't get back to sleep so I parked myself in front of the tv and happily stitched away until the rest of the world woke up.  (Why sleep when you can lazy-daisy stitch yourself senseless!)  A few more moments here and there and I had all the stitchery done before I left Houston.

The kit came with a tiny ricrac trim and a square of the gray paisley print for the bottom.  Brenda showed me her finished cushion and suggested I quilt the bottom fabric.  I loved the idea so much that I did the same with Lynette's design that I showed you yesterday. 

The original shape for this cushion was a basic square.  But I got this idea in my head to echo the shape of the stitched paisley motif (I later came to my senses and modified it into an oval) which left the perfect little spot to hold a few of my favorite Gigi pins.

And I added a scrap of pink fabric to form the sides ... I wanted the cushion to be "3-D".

I've had this little set of Gigi's cupcake pins for a few years now.  I'd LOVE to put them in this pincushion, but somehow I just can't bring myself to take them out of their pretty packaging!

I keep these on a message board above my computer so I look at them several times a day and smile.

I have one more cushion with a set of Gigi's pins to show you tomorrow.


Pincushion Prettiness I

I'm rescheduling Farmer's Wife blocks to Friday this week because I decided to run with the theme of my current giveaway (still time to enter - and Gigi has added a few more things to her shop since yesterday ... better go check them out ... seriously!) and thought I'd share a few little things I've made lately. 


I was a very lucky girl at Quilt Market last month and got a sweet little pincushion kit from the lovely Lynette Anderson.  Here's the cushion all finished.

If you're at all familiar with this talented designer, you didn't need me to tell you this is her work.  Lynette's  style is very distinctive ... and incredibly popular.

(Can't you just imagine these 'lil guys in this cushion?)

I started this pretty little stitchery on the plane home from Houston - managed to get the border and almost one corner done before I landed (the movie onboard was terrible ...  )

Can you believe all this embroidery is done with ONE skein of embroidery floss?

Dude!  I know!!!

It's a COSMO Seasons variegated floss.  The hues in this one skein range from light brown through dark brown and then a lovely purple!  I'd actually been stitching away for a few hours before I had good enough light to even notice the purple.  I almost squealed out loud when I discovered it, but I was in the audience of my daughter's string orchestra rehearsal (seriously, I WILL stitch just about anywhere) so good thing I was able to control myself.

And I got a good idea from someone (will share that tomorrow) to quilt the backing.

I filled it with ground walnut shells ... available at your local pet store as some sort of creepy reptile aquarium filler - which is precisely why I decided to have daughters instead of sons.  ;) 

(Honestly, I don't think my constitution would have survived boys!)



Happy Monday! 

I know, I know what's to be happy about with no more quiltlets, is probably what you're wondering.  Well, as a sort of olive branch offering, I have another giveaway for you.  You're welcome. ;)

               *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Ok.  Do you remember what it was on Etsy that you had to have so badly that you became a member just so you could buy it? 

I do. 

It was this adorable set of pin toppers - impossibly tiny sewing notions ... IN PINK!  (You may have noticed them in my banner photo up top.)

I've bought many pins from this artist since I discovered her 3 years ago.  And I've even managed to keep a few for myself.  But these pins have become my go-to gift for crafty family members, dear friends and very special people who mean a lot to me.

Now, I'm normally a little shy when it comes to introducing myself (I know, you're probably surprised - but it's true.  My natural tendency is to be introverted.)  But I was so excited about starting my blog I wanted to tell her that I'd included her pins in my banner.  So I emailed her and a  conversation started.

(Are you serious?  LOOK at this little mushroom!)

This past summer, my family spent several weeks in California very near - it just so happens - to where she lives.  So at the risk of making her think I was a crazy stalker person, I asked if she was interested in meeting.  She said yes.

(I'm dyin' here ... now I need to make myself a pink tomato pincushion!  You know I'm gonna.  See what she does to me?)

We got together a few times - for breakfast, hanging out, burgers and yes, crafting.  I begged her to come to our place with all her pin-making paraphanelia just so I could watch her work. 

(Dude ... !!!!!!)

I gotta tell you, it was the absolute weirdest, out-of-body, "pinch-me-I-can't-believe-I'm-sitting-here-with-HER" time of my life.  HER as in SHE MADE ME SIGN UP FOR ETSY HER!  (Can you tell I'm a little excited?!) 

(Can't you just imagine THESE in your pincushion?)

I mean, of all the merchants and crafters with shops on Etsy from all around the w.o.r.l.d,  SHE'S here.  Drinkin' my Pellegrino and hangin' out with me. 

She's amazing.  She is Gigi Minor of Pinks & Needles.

I am just SO HONORED (you really have no idea) to have this opportunity to share Gigi's fabulous talent with you because she's designed this exclusive 4-piece pin set especially for one of my lovely readers. 

Gigi suggested making something that reflected my style.  Naturally, it had to be pink. :)  My favorite beverage is tea and I always blog with a cup beside me.  So she started with this sweet little cup of tea, complete with a tag and string from the teabag!  (Omg, can you beLIEVE her?)

A tiny pale blue blossom that she was inspired to make when she noticed the blue flower in the fabric.

A spool of thread because, well, you know ...

And then the piece-de-resistance, ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!  This rose - the quintessential symbol of pretty, romantic, shabby chic, flower sugar ... everything that makes my heart so happy.  (I watched her make this rose and I still don't know how she did it, but to quote a very famous Vulcan, "Fascinating" - except I have to add these ... !!!! ... even though Vulcans don't have emotions.)

She even fashioned a pincushion out of a little pink egg cup and a scrap of fabric from my stash.

She makes every single pin - one at a time - by hand.  Incredibly tiny, detailed and no-holds-barred ADORABLE!  And let me tell you she is a perfectionist.  She takes great pains to ensure all her pins are flawless.

So here's the deal (still with me?).  To enter the draw to win this 4-piece pin topper set PLUS eggcup pincushion - all hand-crafted by Gigi Minor - go to her Etsy shop, have a browse, come back and leave me a comment telling me which are your favorite designs ... and I'm warning you - it's impossible to have just one! 

I've already done some Christmas shopping myself ... and it's possible everything I bought will end up in my stocking from Santa, just sayin'. ;)

Comments will close Wednesday Nov 23 6:00pm PST (west coast United States) and I'll announce the winner Thursday Nov 24th.

PLEASE double check your email address to make sure it's spelled correctly when you leave it for me. 

And now I'm going to try to calm down and hope no one enters so Gigi will send the pins to me.


Probably ...



My Cup Runneth Over

Winter arrived last night.  Ugh.  But the bright side is that now my daughters are old enough to shovel.  (And so the rewards of midnight feedings and poopy diapers begins ... mwah ha ha ha.)

So, I was here in my sewing room working away and the little monkeys started banging on the house outside my room to get my attention.  I went to the window and was about to give them heck for trying to wreck what is already a house that has seen better days when they directed my attention to this:

Good thing I don't have PMS 'cause this would have totally made me cry.  I am one lucky mom. :)

(And I didn't think I'd have anything to blog about today ... )


Mystery Block of the Month

Confession.  This block - #5 of Fat Quarter Shop's Designer Mystery Block of the Month Club - arrived in the mail the day before I left for Quilt Market.  I was in the middle of packing & stuff when I heard the mailbox squeak.  I dropped everything and was pressing & cutting before the mailman got to the end of the street.  (Yes, I was one of those naughty kids who would snoop under beds and in closets before Christmas!)

This month's block "Vintage Posey" was designed by Brenda Riddle.  Super sweet and talented lady. 

In truth, I wanted to make the block so I could tell Brenda at Market that I made it and I loved it and it came together so nicely.  That is all true.  And the block is adorable. 

But I totally forgot to tell her!


Daisychain Sampler "E"

I decided to just go for it this time and not do the pre-outlining before I satin stitched.

Lazy or brave?

You decide. ;)