Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

8 Quilts
  2 Challenges, 2 Gifts,  2 UFOs, and 2 just for fun:-)
I love all my quilts but sharing my love of quilting with the kids in Audrey's class to make Christy's Garden was definitely the high point!

104 books

62 quilts filled with love collected for Quilts for Boston

7 fun months of the Toes in the Sand BOM at Quilter's Way

4 days in quilting paradise at the BostonMQG's annual retreat to Kennebunkport Maine

4 wonderful workshops and an hour of non-stop laughs with Jay McCarroll at the MQG Philly SewDown plus bonus fabric crawl in NYC with my BQF Aimee. 

The chance to meet 3 "famous" quilters: Lizzy HouseVictoria Findlay Wolfe,  AND Denyse Schmidt

1 incredible Lilly Lovin' Birthday Party

1 word to sum it all up: Community!!!
With the creation of the national Modern Quilt Guild and the incredible growth of the BostonMQG (not to mention all my friends in the SeacoastMQG), 2013 is the year I found my quilting peeps.  I certainly didn't accomplish as much as I have in years past but I definitely had more fun doing it:-)

Monday, December 23, 2013


Every year I try to make homemade holiday gifts.  This year I made cloth napkin sets using my Self Binding Napkin tutorial.  They're perfect for fat quarters and stitch up really quickly!  Even so, I cut it pretty close and whipped up the last batch minutes before we had to leave for the airport.  

I picked up this awesome Echino bundle to make napkins for my sister-in-law at the fabulous Sew Fresh Fabrics.  I was worried the prints might be a bit juvenile but since it's handmade, Japanese, and eco-conscious it should meet all the Brooklyn hipster criteria plus she has a thing for penguins.

For Dex's teacher I made another set using these adorable Ann Kelle Jingle prints.  Maybe it's me who has a thing for penguins;-)

I almost can't bear to part with these ones.  I just LOVE this Winter's Lane collection by Kate & Birdie Paper Co.  The colors are gorgeous and the prints are just precious.  I'm so glad I still have some left... maybe something for me next Christmas;-)

Last but not least, here's Audrey modeling the apron I made for my mother-in-law.

I channeled my inner Scarlet O'Hara and made it using her old curtains from our camp after I finally redecorated this summer.

I loosely followed this awesome Classic Apron tutorial from Michael Miller.  Since I wanted to keep the ruffle I just finished the bottom edge of the reverse side and then stitched around the remaining three sides as directed.  She was thrilled and I didn't have to feel guilty about throwing away fabric.

Now I can relax and enjoy vacationing with my family this Christmastime...  with a little yarn to keep my fingers busy;-)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hermione Hearts Ron

I finished my hat!!!  It went really quickly helped along by the fact that I only did 3 repeats of the cable and I had nothing else to do during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

I've had two knitting geeks recognize it but in case you're not a Ravelry stalker it's the Hermione Hearts Ron by Knit Me Together.  I really like the pattern though I can't quite figure out why Christy didn't just write out the rest of the pattern.  A trip to my local yarn shop would have been inconvenient, especially with only 2 rows to complete.  A huge thank you to Synryo for sharing how to finish.

It's just a tad short and now I wish I had done the full 10 rows of ribbing rather than only 8 but I was so worried it would be too big.  I have a really small head and I HATE hats that cover my eyebrows or stick up on top.

Forgive the awkward selfies... we only get about  2 hours of sunlight in New England these days and I couldn't round up a photographer.  Luckily, I'm on vacation now and this is the only hat I'll be wearing for a while;-)

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

W.i.P. Wednesday: Tick, Tock

It's getting down to the wire for finishing up my handmade holiday gifts...

I've got one last set of napkins to finish.  I'm using these adorable Winter's Lane prints.

They're all cut out and ready to sew... now if I can just sneak in some time;-)  Have you finished your holiday making?

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
See what else is in the works at this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

W.i.P. Wednesday: Can You Keep a Secret?

Sssh, don't tell anyone but I've been working on handmade holiday gifts over here...

I'm making stuff with this awesome bundle I picked up from the fabulous Sew Fresh Fabrics...

And some adorable Ann Kelle Jingle...

And these old curtains???

20 days until Christmas and counting...  With hanukkah so early this year many of you are probably already done with your gift giving.  Did you give handmade this year?

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
See who else is making stuff at this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

W.i.P. Wednesday: And Now For Something Completely Different...

It's turned rather cold here this week and I decided I needed a new hat.  Of course I couldn't just go buy one like a normal person...  I have to make my own:-)

I found this adorable Hermione Hearts Ron pattern inspired by this hat on Ravelry, dug out this gorgeous pink yarn I had stashed, and got started.  If ever there was justification for having a huge stash of crafting supplies... it's so nice to be able to start something the minute you get the urge.

The pattern suggests an Italian Tubular Cast On which I'd never done before but Anacapa Knits demo made it simple.  The hardest part was counting to 132;-)

I've finished 2 of the 4 cable and lace repeats and I love the way it looks.  Hopefully I can get it finished up before the spring thaw arrives.  With a long weekend of kids home from school and house guests this may be just the thing for keeping calm;-)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
See what else is in the works at this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding

It seems like it's been a long time since I finished anything which makes it especially gratifying to have this Figgy Pudding table runner done.  This levitated out of my UFO  pile last week.  I made the top back in 2011 as a prototype for my Boston MQG Kitchen Swap.  I decided the design didn't work for my swap fabrics but it was all basted and ready to quilt *someday*.

Last year it was on my Just 3 for December list but it still didn't get done...

It was a great way to practice my FMQ.  I obsessed over every stitch but with the busy prints most of my stitching really doesn't show.  True to form, I had started quilting this with gold Madeira rayon and then ran out:-(  I couldn't find anymore Madeira so I switched to a Superior metallic.  At least I saw it coming and made the change after I finished the ribbon candy swirls...  totally a design decision;-)  The metallic thread in the setting triangles does add a little extra sparkle, it's subtle but it almost looks like twinkling Christmas lights.

It's amazing how quickly the quilting goes once you just sit down and do it!!!  So many things get lost waiting to be quilted when really the could be finished in just a couple of hours....

And with all that practicing I got this fabulous Sparkle Star mug rug as a bonus...  just what I needed;-)

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:

Finished runner is 18" x 66"
Pattern: Original design based on a Bento Box block.
Fabrics: Figgy Pudding, Fruitcake, Jovial and Grunge by Basic Grey
Thread: Madeira Rayon 1055, Superior Threads Metallics #2

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

W.i.P. Wednesday: Christmas is Coming!

This week I've been quilting away on my Figgy Pudding runner.  I tried a ribbon candy swirl on the inside white boxes.  It's not too bad if you don't look at where I turned the corners (which you instantly did). 

I always like to make a sample to practice my design, adjust my thread tension, and choose a thread color before quilting any project.  The fancy term is a Maquette but around here they're referred to as yet another mug rug;-)  In this case I made a sparkle star block and then tried a loopy stipple.  I love the way it looks like Christmas lights.  Once I felt like I had it under control I used this to quilt the setting triangles and finally finished quilting my table runner.

I slapped on the binding and just need a movie night to finish this one up...  just in time for the holidays;-)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
See what else is in the works at this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

W.i.P. Wednesday: Seasonally Challenged

So after failing to finish my Halloween quilts on time I threw them on the UFO pile which promptly toppled to the floor...

At the bottom I found this Figgy Pudding table runner I've been promising to finish forever.  With 41 days until Christmas, this may be the year:-)

These holly garlands are one of the first FMQ designs I mastered...  they're totally forgiving and easy to use to fill a narrow space.  For the center boxes I modified Oh, Fransson!'s loopy flowers to look be pointy flowers so they look like Poinsettias.  Of course after practicing endlessly I realized they really don't show all that much.

And when you pull something off the UFO pile you get to start something new so I've jumped on the Modern Maples bandwagon.  These go together really quickly so maybe I'll be able to finish them before Spring arrives;-)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
See who else is sewing at this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)