Friday, December 31, 2010

A {Sewing} Year in Review - 2010

2010 Sewing



2010 Completed Projects:
Breath of Avaignon Quilt (Dec), Flat Megan (Dec), Shopping Bag (Dec), Rag Quilt (Dec), 10 Crayon Wallets (Dec), Cow Top (Dec), 4 Pillowcases (Dec), 8 one-yard-hugs (Dec), Gift Bag (Nov), Holiday Pillowcase 1 (Nov), Sock Monkey Flannel Quilt (Nov), Christmas Top (Nov), Firefighter Top (Nov), Tinkerbell (Oct), Arm Splints (Sept), Teddy Bear Aline (Sept), Fresh Cottons Baby Quilt (Sept), Plume Puppy (July), Fresh Modern Bee Block (July), Mini-Jelly Filled Quilt (June), Fresh Modern Bee Blocks (June), Migration Quilt (June), Toddler Two-Piece (June), Bird Talk Crayon Apron (May), Quilt For Kids (May), Urban Home Goods Swap (Apr), Crayon Apron (Apr), Pillow Case #7 (Apr), Pillow Case #6 (Mar), Pillow Case #5 (Mar), Faith Double Layer Top (rodeo) (Mar), Faith Double Layer Top (zoo) (Mar), Spool Birds (Mar), Pillow Case #4 (Mar), Pillow Case #2 & 3 (Feb), Skirt (Feb), Pillow Case #1 (Feb), Rag Flannel Quilt x2 (Feb), Valentine's Day Easy Fit Pants (Feb), Mobius Wrap (Feb), Siggy Blocks (Jan), Ruffle Butt Diaper Cover (Jan), Wrap Dress (Jan), Cookie Monday Scarf Along (Jan), Charm Twirl Skirt (Jan), Apron (Jan)


Stash Report
Added in 2010: 373.75
Used in 2010: 161.00

Net Used in 2010: -212.75

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Crafty Goals

I've been giving some thought to my crafty goals for 2011. Last year I came up with a long list of projects for 2010 - and ended up with 4 out of 24 items completed. So this year I'm taking a different approach. Rather than a list specific items, I've come up with a couple of categories:

1. Plus Quilt

Plus Quilts

I've admired a number of these on Flickr over this last year. And I think I've finally committed to what fabrics I'm going to use.


2. Schnibbles Time Two

Schnibble Times Two

Have you seen the Schnibbles Time Two book? I love every quilt in it! I really want to make a couple of these quilts this year. And you know what... there are 12 quilts in the book... 12 months in a year... wonder if it would be possible to piece 1 top per month...


3. Sewing Machine Cover

Sewing Machine Cover

I've had my new sewing machine for a year now, and it is about time I make a proper cover for it.


4. Play with Color

Color

I've been loving quilts made from solids. And I credit Cherri House and her book City Quilts for getting me to think about solids and color in a new way. And I think a square-in-a-square pattern would be perfect for playing with color.


5. Dresden Plate

Dresden Plate

I've had this in the back of my mind... a "someday" project... but now that I have some new dishes I think the dresden plate might work well for some new placemats.


6. Clothing for Me

Clothing

I do lots of clothing sewing for Megan, but none for myself. I have patterns & fabrics, but just haven't gotten around to it. So maybe I'll make some skirts, a top, a pair of Easy Fit Pants.


7. Make Something For the Home

Something for the Home

Some new pillows, a coupon organizer, a mail center, a new apron... the choices are endless.


8. Learn to Embroider

Embroidery

Those 2 cats in the upper left picture... the patterns are 2 of the 10 in a book published by Better Homes and Gardens in 1981. How do I know that? My mom used the patterns to make me a quilt. I have a copy of the book and I'd love to learn how to embroider so that I can make an updated version for my daughter.


9. Sew from my Fabric Stash

Fabric Stash

I could say that I won't buy new fabric in 2011... but we know that's not reasonable. But I will be making a point to work more from my fabric stash.

Click the pictures to go to Flickr and see the links to the original posters of all the pictures used.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Flat Megan

I finished Flat Megan just in time for her first trip... to snowy New Hampshire.

Flat Megan

I can't wait to see all the places this little girl travels!

(Tutorial from Moda Bake Shop)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Megan

Megan


Where does the time go?

New Bike


Happy 3rd Birthday to my sweet, loveable, funny little girl!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Life Flight

My house sits less than a mile from a local hospital that is home to one of the area's Life Flight helicopters. Life Flight comes and goes so often that most times we don't even notice it. But there are times, maybe because of the approach path it uses, that it sounds like they are trying to land that thing in my backyard.

This morning I heard the helicopter approach... didn't think much about it... until I realized minutes later that it STILL sounded like it was on approach to the hospital. I peeked out the front door and saw this...

Life Flight



I don't know which neighbor was being transported, and I can only guess that they were being taken to the Texas Medical Center. My thoughts and prayers are with my neighbor and their family.

So in these last few days before Christmas... with the shopping, the wrapping, the sewing, the cooking, the to-do lists... take a minute or two to hug your loved ones.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Grocery Bag

I tried out the Grocery Bag from Keyka Lou Patterns this weekend.

Grocery Bag


It went together super fast and I love my new bag. I wish I had picked up this pattern earlier... these would be great Christmas gifts for some friends and family. Oh well, there's always next year.


We woke up this morning to find our elf Jake sitting at my sewing machine. I figure he was either checking out the Grocery Bag pattern or my cool new rotary cutter (Christmas came early thanks to my lovely hubby!)

Jake the Elf

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Week 51 Stash Report

Busy... Busy... Busy... That's how I'd describe life right now.

My daughter's 3rd birthday party was yesterday. I made her this outfit:

Megan's Birthday Outfit

{The party was at Chick-fil-A}


And made these Crayon Wallets for the guest gifts:

Crayon Wallets


Next up are Christmas (still have some sewing I want to do for that) and Megan's family birthday party (and more sewing I want to do for that).


Week 51
Added This Week: 0.00
Added Year to Date: 373.75

Used This Week: 12.50
Used Year to Date: 157.00

Net Used This Year: -216.75

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all that entered my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway!!

I had so much fun reading everyone's comments on their favorite fabric from my shop. There were some obvious favorites... Bliss (Moda), Dr. Seuss (Robert Kaufman), Bloom & Grow (Riley Blake Designs)... but there was also a lot of love for some of the lesser-known fabrics... Frolic Treasure Map (In the Beginning Fabrics), Sanibel (Henry Glass), and Opal Owl (Freespirit).


And now for what you've been waiting for... The winner is Becky who blogs at My Fabric Obsession. (Becky, I've sent you an email.)

Hope everyone had a great Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day and found some great new blogs (I know I did!!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

Its that time of year again... Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!! I love hopping around Blogland checking out all the new-to-me blogs.

This time I'm stepping away from offering a handmade item, and am offering up some fabric and Quilt Market goodies. I hope you enjoy!

First: A yard of fabric from my shop:

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day


Second: Some Quilt Market Goodies:

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

A couple of quilt patterns, some Michael Miller fabric, and some goodies from Moda.


To Enter: Hop over to my shop, then come back here and leave me a comment with which fabric you'd pick if you're the winner.

If you'd like a second entry, become a follower of my blog. Just leave me a second comment that you're a new follower (or existing follower) and you'll be entered in a second time.

Entries will close at the end of the day December 17th. I'll draw a winner Saturday evening or Sunday morning, and everything will be ready to mail out Monday December 20th.


Have fun!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pillowcases

I was in pillowcase making mode last night...

Pillowcases


...I'm now caught up on my weekly Holiday Pillowcase sewing (totally forgot about last week's!!) and I got a couple of gifts made.

And I made these with French Seams rather than using the serger. As much as I love my serger, I think I'm sold on French Seams for pillowcases!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Week 49 Stash Report

I added some fun out-of-print fabrics to my stash this week.

I found a couple of Flutterby Jelly Rolls on Ebay. And a trip to a downtown fabric shop ended up with a yard of Anna Maria Horner Chocolate Lollipop and 2 yards of an adorable Alexander Henry print. The Alexander Henry was on sale (50% off), which made the $11.99 price of the Chocolate Lollipop a little easier to bear.

Sunday Stash




Week 49
Added This Week: 8.50
Added Year to Date: 373.75

Used This Week: 0
Used Year to Date: 144.50

Net Used This Year: -229.25

Saturday, December 4, 2010

One Yard Hugs

8 one-yard-hugs completed and ready for the NICU.

One Yard Hugs


Feels so good to finally put some of this flannel to good use.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fabric Gift Bag

I don't know about you, but I've gotten so tired of buying paper gift bags that just end up in the trash after the event. The time... the money... the resources... just seems like a waste to me.

We went to a little one's birthday party a couple of weeks ago, and instead of the usual paper gift bag I purchased one of the store's reuseable shopping bags for the gift... it was super cute (really cuter than any of the gift bags), and only $1.49 ... much better deal in my book!

Last weekend was my mom's birthday and I took this a step further... I made a gift bag.


Gift Bag for Mom's Birthday Presents


A little fabric from my stash + a great pattern by The Happy Zombie and I had the perfect gift bag! And I think Mom was thrilled when she found out the bag was part of her gift and she got to take it home.

The pattern was published in an older copy of Quilts and More magazine. But if you don't have a copy of the original magazine don't worry... the pattern is also available online (you just need to register on their site before you can download the pdf.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sock Monkey Flannel Rag Quilt

The first handmade gift of the holiday season is done!

Sock Monkey Rag Quilt

Wow, does that feel good!!! Now to go tackle the remaining 20,000 things on my list.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week 48 Stash Report

I got the Sock Monkey Flannel Quilt from last week's stash report finished... I'll show it a little later this week. But that wasn't the end of my work with flannel.

You'd think we live in a cold weather climate with all of the flannel I have in my stash. But every year, when Joanns has their great after Thanksgiving sale on flannel, I have visions of making lounging pants for the whole family. And then it never happens.

So I've cut into some of the flannel to make One Yard Hugs that will be donated to a local NICU.

One Yard Hugs


I just need to finish up the edges... can't decide if I want to do a rolled hem on the serger or stitch up the edges on my sewing machine. Maybe one of these days I'll learn how to crochet and then I could make some with a fancy crocheted edge!


Week 48
Added This Week: 0
Added Year to Date: 365.25

Used This Week: 10.00
Used Year to Date: 144.50

Net Used This Year: -220.75

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Pillowcase Week 1

Holiday Pillowcase Week 1


Fabrics:
Opal Owl in Red by Tina Givens for Freespirit
Chocolate Essential Dots by Riley Blake Designs
Milly Red Tonal by Erin Ries for Clothworks


Holiday Pillowcase Week 1

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week 47 Stash Report

Tuesday afternoon I got a sudden urge to make a flannel rag quilt. A quick trip through my fabric stash and I found everything I needed.


Sock Monkey Flannel


I started cutting blocks Saturday... got the top/middle/backing fabrics stitched together for each block Sunday morning... and got 2 rows put together between dinner and settling down for some mindless TV time.

I've got enough of the Sock Monkey fabric (and probably enough solid flannel) to make 1 or 2 more of these... might have to think about sewing up a couple of gifts.

Week 47
Added This Week: 0
Added Year to Date: 365.25

Used This Week: 10
Used Year to Date: 134.50

Net Used This Year: -230.75

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving = Pies

Some people love the turkey... some people love the sides... but for me Thanksgiving is all about the pies! Thanksgiving and Christmas would not be complete without them.

When Liz announced a Thanksgiving recipe blog hop, I knew I had to share these recipes.

So here... from the super secret Zerkel Family Cookbook... are Fudge Pie and Pecan Pie

The Zerkel Family Cookbook



Fudge Pie
1 unbaked pie shell
1/2 cup butter
3 squares unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs
3 Tablespoons white Karo syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla

In a double boiler, combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate.

In a bowl, beat the eggs and add the remaining ingredients. Once melted, and slightly cooked, add the chocolate mixture to the bowl and mix. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Pie should shake like custard when done.



Pecan Pie
1 unbaked pie shell
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter; add sugar gradually and cream together until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake on lower shelf at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pillowcases

Earlier this year I made some pillowcases for the APQ 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.

Spring Pillowcases for 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge


And, I think it is time to make some more!

It seems that every year, no matter how "simple" I declare THIS holiday season will be, I end up over committed and over stressed. And I end up losing sight of what this time of year should really be about... being with my family, appreciating what we have, and sharing our good fortune with others.

So this year, one of the ways I'm going to share my good fortune with others is through pillowcases. I'll make at least one a week from Thanksgiving to the New Year... 6 pillowcases to be donated to a worthy organization.

Want to join me? (pssst.... I have a super-simple tutorial here)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fiesta

For the last 7 years we've had white dinnerware. Nice, but plain.

I've been itching for something new... something with some color. And nothing says color like Fiesta dinnerware! My biggest problem was picking out a color. Eventually I got it narrowed down to 2 colors... Turquoise and Peacock...

After much back-and-forth I finally decided on Peacock... the color is just so bright and rich! I love it!!


Fiestaware


I've purchased 7 place settings so far. And I have a 30% off coupon plus a $20 gift card so I'll probably pick up another couple of place settings this week. Or maybe I'll pick up one of the large pitchers.

We used these for the first time tonight and I'm in love! But now I need new placemats... maybe after the holidays I'll make us some.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 46 Stash Report

Okay... this isn't going to be pretty... since my last update (week 43) there has been Quilt Market and Quilt Festival, plus I'm starting to prepare for Megan's 3rd birthday party. Let's just get to it...


Week 46
Added This Week: 42.75
Added Year to Date: 365.25

Used This Week: 2.00
Used Year to Date: 124.50

Net Used This Year: -240.75

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Houston Fire Museum

We went to a birthday party at the Houston Fire Museum today.

Megan's Party Outfit


Wow - what fun!!

The kids got to dress in bunker gear...

Megan in Bunker Gear


...slide down a fire pole...

Megan on Fire Pole


...and sit in the cab of a fire truck...

Megan Driving the Fire Truck


Patterns: Molly Peasant by Scientific Seamstress and Apron Jumper by Sadie James (both at www.youcanmakethis.com)
Fabric: red dots = JoAnns; fire trucks = pillow case purchased at HEB

Friday, November 12, 2010

Almost Complete

With the addition of the brown flowers today, I only have 2 more prints to track down for a complete Katie Jump Rope collection.

Katie Jump Rope

I'll keep looking for the missing 2 fabrics until I'm ready to start on the project I have planned. Maybe they'll magically pop up somewhere... wishful thinking.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Winner!!

And we have a winner... Mary on Lake Pulaski

If you haven't checked out Mary's blog, please rush right over and take a look! I'm always inspired... Bliss Between Friends (I'm working on my own version of this after seeing hers), Pure Pillow, Authentic Merry Go Round... everything is amazing!!!


Thanks to all who entered.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

One Last Quilt Market Post

Have you seen pictures of Ruby Star Rising by Melody Miller? ADORABLE!!! The tea pots, the ladies, the view finder... I fell in love with the whole line.

I had the opportunity to spend a delightful evening with Melody, her buddy Allison, and Lizzy House sewing a few things for Melody's display at Market.

Tea cups on a little girl's apron... could anything be sweeter?

Ruby Star Rising Apron





Still time to enter the book giveaway... I'll draw a winner tomorrow evening.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Quilt Festival

By now you've probably read post after post about Fall Quilt Market (including some here). But did you know that the weekend after Fall Quilt Market is International Quilt Festival here in Houston? The Market vendors move out Monday/Tuesday and the Festival vendors move in Tuesday/Wednesday. Doors open 5pm Wednesday for preview night.

For the last 10+ years I've cleared my calendar to spend Thursday at Festival. Classes, 20+ aisles of vendors selling everything quilt-related you could ever want, and displays of some of the world's most amazing quilts... its inspiring and overwhelming all at the same time. Remember that picture of Sample Spree I shared? That's about what all of Festival looks like... you walk the aisles shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of your quilting buddies.

This year I scored some really exciting things! The first booth we stopped at had charm packs of Sweet by Urban Chicks. And I found 3 fat quarters of Ladybugs from Flutterby and 1 fat quarter of Full Moon Forest in the clearance bin at another booth (she also had probably a dozen Nest charm packs).


Treets from Quilt Festival


My biggest purchase of the day was mini-bolts from Polar Notions. The first time I saw these, I thought no way would I ever buy them... that's valuable fabric budget money to spend on plastic boards. But as my stash of fabric has grown (especially the yardage I buy for making clothes for Megan) I really began to see the value in them.

I love that I can add all the fabric for a specific project to a board and slip in the pattern... now everything is ready for me when I'm ready to sew.

Mini-Bolts


I spent some time Saturday wrapping fabric... hope I bought enough boards!

Mini-Bolts... a good start


P.S. There's still time to enter my Market giveaway.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall 2010 Quilt Market - Day 3

I skipped Quilt Market Sunday (wicked allergy attack) and went back on Monday by myself. The day was spent with more looking around, more book signings, a little time playing with the Gammill long-arm machines, and meetings with fabric reps.

I took home a truck-load of stuff that day... literally.

Quilt Market donations to Fort Bend County Women's Center

Bari Ackerman, Elizabeth Scott, and Jana Nielson had furniture in their Market booths that they couldn't take home with them. And rather than toss it out at the end of Market, we loaded it up in my truck so I could donate it to the Fort Bend County Women's Center. The Women's Center runs a resale shop, so even if they can't use the items, they'll be able to sell them to raise needed funds for the center.

A GREAT BIG THANKS to these lovely ladies for lending their support to a worthwhile organization.


I know it has been a couple of weeks since my last Weekly Stash Report... I'll have any update next week.

And if you're looking for the giveaway, check out this post.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fall 2010 Quilt Market - Day 2

Day 2 of Fall 2010 Quilt Market was all about checking out vendor booths.

I spent the day touring the George R Brown (GBR) convention center with Dianne. Want to see a picture of us? Happy Zombie snapped a couple... (here)... Dianne is in the white shirt and red sweater and I'm behind her in the black and white sweater.

We saw lots of booths and got to meet some really cool people! And once again this year I took my camera, but only took 3 or 4 pictures.

So instead of booth pictures I'll show a picture of the books I picked up last weekend. Some I won, some were from author signings, and some I purchased.

DSC01684 (2)


I can't wait to sit down and spend some time with each of these! Maybe I'll do a little review of each as I read through them.

In the mean time, how about a giveaway? I now have 2 copies of Material Obession and would love to give one away. Leave me a comment (and make sure I can get back in touch with you). I'll draw a winner sometime next week.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Minimalism By Theft - October Results

Remember this little experiment?

It didn't go too well... three things were in my box:
Minimalism By Theft

Fancy soaps that had been in the guest bathroom cabinet
Buzz Lightyear Mr. Potato Head
Moo Cow Creamer

* The soaps I'm getting rid of... no problem there.
* Mr. Potato Head I'll have to think about... I have a bit of a Mr. Potato Head collection (don't judge)... I need to think about pulling it out of storage so Megan and I can play with the pieces.
* Moo Cow Creamer... he's not going anywhere. End. Of. Story.

Maybe we'll try this again... and try for a few more things in the box.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall 2010 Quilt Market - Day 1

Day 1 of Fall 2010 Quilt Market was all about Schoolhouse and Sample Spree!

Schoolhouse is a day full of classes - 15 sessions (each one 15 or 30 minutes long) with 267 different classes to choose from. It was hard to pick only 15 classes to attend!!

This year I sat in on classes from Pillow & Maxfield, Swirly Girls Designs, Michael Miller Fabrics, Lecien, Lila Tueller, Moda Fabrics, Craft Apple Creations, Melissa Averinos, Elizabeth Scott, Sarah Fielke, Kay Whitt, Deborah Moebes, Andover Fabrics, and Elizabeth Hartman


Swoon Quilt
Swoon by Melissa Averinos for Andover Fabrics


Friday evening was Sample Spree. An opportunity for stores to purchase samples... samples of new products, samples of new fabrics... in order to have samples and displays available before the new products arrive. It is a wild and crazy experience... one that truly has to be experienced in order to fully understand the craziness that it is.


Sample Spree Crowd
The crowd, shortly before the doors open.



Sample Spree
My Sample Spree purchases (except for the Red Rose Farm - I picked that up Saturday from P&B's booth).



Monday, November 1, 2010

NaBloPoMo

Wow - November already!!

And did you know that November is NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month? I didn't until just a couple of days ago.

My first thought was... No way I can do that! I don't have enough to say to post every day through November. But then I thought about it... I have been wanting to do more... get into a better habit of posting, and sharing what I'm working on... So maybe this is a push in the right direction. I may not hit every day, but I'll do my best.

So, what should we talk about tomorrow... the wrap-up of Quilt Market... the upcoming Quilt Festival... my attempt to give up white flour, sugar, and bread for 30 days... the projects I'm working on...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Blogger's Quilt Festival is here again! As soon as Amy posted about this Fall's event, I knew which quilt I wanted to show.

When I found out my friend Aimee was expecting a baby I began knocking around the idea of making the little one a quilt. And when I found out she was having a girl I knew Fig Tree's Fresh Cottons line would be perfect!

Fresh Cottons Baby Quilt


So I knew what I was going to do, and what fabric I was going to use, but just hadn't gotten around to starting on the quilt yet. Then I got the baby shower invitation... but I still hadn't started the quilt. Then a week before the shower the little one made a surprise early arrival.... okay, now its really time to get started!

Fresh Cottons Baby Quilt

This quilt came together so quickly! I pieced and basted it one day, and the night before the shower I quilted and finished the binding.

Few things better than a new quilt for a new baby.