Santa knocking at the door.

It's getting down to the wire now.  Christmas is just around the corner and I believe this year all of the presents will be completed before Christmas!  Christmas Miracles do Happen!  This weekend I managed to finish up the last of my last minute gifts.  Yahoo!  The first is this adorable Santa Door Banner. 

 I am going to have to make another for sure.  This a a Debbie Mumm pattern with great directions and tons of cutting.  Once the cutting was over the piecing was a breeze.

She mentions in the introduction to the pattern that this is one of her most requested patterns and after completing it I can see why.  Too cute!  You can find this pattern here.  I played around quite a bit with the quilting on this wall/door hanging.  I quilted holly leaves around the scrappy boarder, snow flakes on Santa's hat and coat and swirls on the beard.  I even added trapunto to the mittens and boots for extra fluff.

The second project I completed  were these two throw pillows.

  I got the idea from this post over at Crazy Mom Quilts.  I happened to have just enough of my scrappy boarder left over to make this pillow sparkle with holiday charm.

The pillows ended up being a bit bigger than I originally thought coming in at 20"X20".

I did quilt the top of the pillows using a basic meander just for time conservation.  I think they would have looked just as cute with the snow flake or swirl background.

 Just to be sure they recipient stayed in the holiday spirit I finished them off with red piping and red and white striped backs. HO. HO. HO.


Let us Sew, Let us Sew, Let us Sew.

I have had Christmas Carols running through my head for weeks now.  You really cannot escape the tunes that seem to play constantly from Thanksgiving through Christmas.  It has been helpful keeping me motivated, and in the "holiday spirit."  I find myself humming tunes at random intervals through out the day.  I have worried, only briefly, that at some point while out in public someone else has noticed my humming as well.  Perhaps I only imagined the woman at Wal-mart stepping back ever-so-slightly from me as I loaded groceries onto the belt.  Maybe it is normal for people to choose a longer line rather than stand behind me.

The one song I find myself being drawn back to over and over is the classic Christmas carol Let it snow.  Only in my world I hum, Let us sew, let us sew, LET US SEW ALREADY!  Sewing for many, and I am no exception, is a wonderful form of escape.  It provides a creative outlet, as well as giving one a sense of accomplishment.  As an extra bonus if your sewing machine is loud, as mine is, it provides a means of drowning out the screaming children and the excessive volume of the Wii.

If you stop and think about the lyrics to the song, they really convert quite nicely to any sewing application.  Just take a look.

Oh the weather outside is frightful 
But inside it's so delightful 
And since we've no place to go 
Let us Sew! Let us Sew! Let us Sew!

We don't show any signs of stopping
And my machine, it still is hopping
So, turn up the lights and go!
Let us Sew! Let us Sew! Let us Sew!

When we finally stop for the night
My quilt will be bound and warm! 
If you really don't want a fight 
I suggest you go back to the dorm.

The bobbin is slowly dying
And, my friend the quilt needs tying 
But as long as you love to sew!
Let us Sew! Let us Sew! Let US Sew!


Quilting "In the Memory"

I've spent the last few weeks since Thanksgiving completing a custom order for 2 t-shirt quilts.  My client was having two t-shirts made for family.  His older brother had past away this fall and he sent me his items to have made into a quilt.  I must admit I was honored to have been trusted with this task.  I was not however prepared for how difficult it was going to be for me to cut up the clothing.  It was a daunting task to look at these items that meant so much to his man.  I believe I just looked at the shirts for days, worried about how to start.  I had a pattern, that was not the problem.  The problem as I saw it was that, These used to belong to someone. These were special to the family of this man.  Now, I was responsible for preserving the memory of him in fabric.  HEAVY STUFF

Eventually I just jumped in and started cutting.  Once the shirts were cut up I could just look at them as fabric and things proceeded quickly.  I am proud of the way these turned out. I can only hope I did the man they belonged to justice.


Ho-Ho-Holiday Wreath

Here's my Jolly Happy Holiday Wreath Santa, just in time for the end of St. Nicholas' Day.  I had every intention of posting this morning and then, life happened.  The wreath has actually been hanging for several days.  Today was the first day I remembered to take a picture while it was still light out!

This is aptly named, Santa Face block from quilterscache.com was simple to put together and the directions are clear.  The eyes are navy buttons.  The nose and the mustache, that doesn't show up well in the picture, are fused.  I even dug up a bell to put on the top of Santa's hat. (I hear Mrs. Claus put one there to keep tabs on Santa:)  My biggest beef with this block was my apparent inability to match just one seam!  I guess some day's you got it, and that day I seriously didn't have it.  Not to worry I have a block for January in mind that I can hang in just 25 days!



the Truth of the matter

This year I had to break down and tell my 11 year old the truth about Father Christmas.  I am always sad when I have to take this step, but I fear my kids will be taunted and teased if they "Believe" when others clearly know the truth.   Being a fifth grader is hard enough.  I was terribly anxious about telling him the truth.  I worried that somehow he will feel betrayed, lied to or even hurt that we kept this secret from him for so long.  Mark was easy.  He took the news well and was quite excited to be able to help keep the secret.  With the thought that Mark took the news well in the back of my mind, I set out to tell Jack.

It just so happens that on Tuesdays Jack has band.  During this drive to practice it is usually just Jack and I.  The perfect time to have a heart to heart. I started out easy, talking about the Holidays and who was coming to visit and who we would see.  I then transitioned quickly to Santa, presents and The TRUTH.  I have to say he took it as well as I could have hoped.  His only response was, "REALLY? How about that,"  and that was it!  Just like that it was over.  With this first Truth over, I decided I would move onto other magical creatures.  I said, "You know, the Easter Bunny isn't really either."  I got an eye roll first.  Then with all the sarcasm of middle schooler he said, "Seriously,  A Giant Bunny that delivers baskets full of candy isn't real?!"  Okay, it appeared he had that one figured out.


Jack Turns 11

Today is Jack's 11th Birthday!  Thanks for all of you who sent him well wishes and phone calls.  It was a wonderful day for him.
Jack Age 11
Oh!  How he has grown!
Jack age 20 months


The arrival of The Ellen Bag

Many of you know that I designed a sling bag this past summer.  I had it posted on Scribd.com until they started trying to make money off of what was originally a free posting.  I was, along with about 100,000 other people slightly annoyed that they were intending on making money off of others patterns, designs and such, when the designer got nothing. Needless to say I pulled the pattern off when several people emailed me wondering why they had to pay to access the pattern.
The pattern can be made with coordinating fabric and embellished on the front with the name of your favorite girl.

I have since updated, revised and composed a new Ellen Bag.  I am happy to report the pattern is now for sale in my etsy shop!  Check it out.

This bag pattern is an eight page pattern that I will mail to the buyer.  Can also be bought as a PDF, at the purchaser requests.


Candle Mat

I'm a few days behind on my blog post.  I received my candle mat a few days ago and I wanted to share it will all of you.  It was sent from a wonderful woman in Seattle!

She embroidered the cutest little holly leaves and used buttons for the berries.  Unfortunately the picture doesn't even begin to do it justice!

As a bonus Charlotte added these two beautiful cards.  A woman in her Quilt Guild makes a new watercolor poster every year for their group!   Can you believe that!  Check out there quilt website here That is one talented woman.  I am happy with my mat, I cannot wait to use it this Christmas!  thanks Charlotte!


The scoop

Well, I believe I am sufficiently recovered not only from my Upper Respiratory Infection & Bronchitis, but also from the craft show I have been building towards.  For the last 8 weeks I have been sewing and quilting almost non stop.  So much so that I believe I worked myself sick.  Not a wise move.  Never fear as of today I am much improved and almost back to normal, as if there were such a thing.

The Craft show was an interesting experience.  I am glad that I tried it.  However, I will not be attending any in the near future.  This particular show was held at the Elementary School.  Every year they have a big Veteran's Day program and follow it up with the Holiday Extravaganza.  This year was no exception.  The School had about 35 vendors selling, jewelry, candles, bags, wreaths and of course quilts.  The set up was done on Wednesday evening and went quite smoothly considering  I had 3 kids helping me.  Here is what we ended up with.

Thursday was just slow.  All of the vendors I talked with had poor sales and it seemed like the only people who were buying were the vendors.  With the few people we had most of the vendors had ample opportunity to wander and look at each others wares.  I gave out lots of cards and fliers.  Which in hind sight was my ultimate goal, Get my name out there.  I didn't sell any quilts but I really didn't expect much.
As a result my Etsy shop is full of beautiful quilts!  Stop on over and take a look.

In other news:  I finished and shipped my candle mat for my quilt blogger's swap.  I was pleased with how well the mat turned out.  I must admit when my swap partner gave me her color choices I was unsure how the mat would look.  Would you believe I liked the look so much I made two others!

I embellished the corners of the mat with glass beads hoping they would sparkle in the candle light.  I dug out my old white and free motion quilted a poinsettia in the center of the mat.

I also added these coasters to my care package as a "bonus" gift.  These I am definitely going to make again! Check out the tutorial at The Sometimes Crafter.


Plating a Turkey-November Wreath

I was so sure that I would make a pumpkin quilt block to represent November.  I was so sure, I already had my stash of orange scraps sitting out.  I was so sure I was going to do a pumpkin, that eventually I got sick of the idea and scrapped it.  This explains why it is now November 5th and the wreath is just getting hung up.  That and this seriously wicked cold my children (and their friends) were nice enough to share with me.

As I lost intrest in the pumpkin, I began to investigate other traditional Thanksgiving themed quilts or quilt blocks that I could use for my wreath.  I found, much to my horror, that many if not all of them required applique.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind applique, in fact on long car trips it is sometimes the only way I know to maintain my sanity.  However, on a day to day basis I would rather not applique.  I am just not that good at it.  Okay, I am getting better.  I am really not comfortable enough with my skills to hang my applique on my FRONT DOOR and announce it to the world.  "Look at what a shitty job she did with her applique!" That being said, I was really getting discouraged.  I started to printed out several applique patterns just to "look" at.  

That is when it happened!  I was watching a pattern come out of the printer when it dawned on me.

This looks a lot like a dresden plate pattern!  Hey!  Why not make a turkey block out of a dresden plate!
Don't these little pieces look like the feathers we used to cut out of construction paper!  It does.  I asked the experts. They agree.

Here is what didn't dawn on me until much later. You still have to applique a dresden plate. (a little slow on the uptake.  I blame it on the decongestant)

Fortunately, I already had gone through my orange fabric stash for the pumpkins.  I selected a few and added them to my turkey feather stash.  After more digging I came up with my background, the body and a red for, um what ever that red thing is called. .. a waddle? or is that what penguins do?  Perhaps I am getting my birds confused.  Regardless, I chose a lovely red fabric.  I also chose to add trapunto to the feathers.  And they totally ROCK.   (In my humble opinion.)

I was slightly disappointed in, not only my applique abilities, but on my color choices.  I wanted the "Plate"  to stand out so I purposely picked a neutral color for the body.  However, my body and background colors are too close to the same hue.  

I heavily quilted the background, again, to show off the feathers.  
I think he turned out pretty cute.  Maybe he needs an eye or some feet?  What do you think?

I am definitely going to use this little guy in some future projects!  I am adding this post to Sew and tell fridays, HERE at amylouwho.  Stop in and see the other awesome projects!



I am a strong supporter of any Random act of Kindness.  As a result I feel that a lot of goodness comes my way.  Recently a post on the etsy blog caught my eye and I wanted to share it with you.

The two women in the blog post are trying to establish a non-profit organization to support and promote the handmade community.
 "We want to help independent artists in the handmade community achieve their dreams by awarding micro-grants to polish off their businesses."
What a wonderful Idea!  Check out their video for yourself at the link above.



Once again Amy's Creative Side is hosting a Blogger's Quilt Festival.

 I entered a quilt in the Spring Quilt Festival and had a great time looking at all of the beautiful and amazing quilts that are entered.  Seriously once you start browsing through the blogs you start to really get inspired to break out and do something new and different.  

I am entering Here's Looking at you! You may remember it from my post here.  This really is one of my favorites from this past year.  Not only is it the first quilt I designed, and was able to assemble, I also love the new quilting designs I was inspired to try.  I was way out of my comfort zone on this one!  

I also wanted to share my new quilt rack with all of you.  You may recall that I am entering my first every craft show this Month.  (OH, my is it this month already! EEK!)  I was faced with the problem of how to display the quilts I was bringing.  I have never been a fan of stacked quilts.  They just don't get the traffic they deserve.  I thought of tables to lay them out, and possibly shelves to lay them on but nothing seemed right.  Then I stumbled upon the idea of hanging them, but the question remained HOW?  I drew up several plans and finally landed on this.  

John and I, ok mostly John, have been working on implementing my design into a concrete piece that would be easy to assemble.  

I have to say I am very excited with how it turned out and HOPE that it works well.  We may have to make modifications at some time but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.  

To be honest I am a little skeptical over how the craft fair will turn out. If anyone has had success at a craft fair I would love to hear your suggestions!



Happy Halloween Everyone!  Here's a few pictures of our pumpkin carving and trick or treat garb.

What a transitional year for Pumpkin Carving!  Traditionally Mom has been the one to "help" with the cleaning and carving of the jack-o-lanterns.  This year the kids were able to do almost all of the carving themselves.  Let me tell you that the "Control Freak" in me was really bothered by this.  I had to step away and leave, just to stop myself from taking over!  I walked away and left them to clean out their pumpkins, despite the fact that my "Mommy Senses"  were tingling.  Wouldn't you know they had pumpkin food fight not minutes after I left them.  Fortunately, they were outside.  It was also fortunate that my deck really needed a good cleaning and now I had three volunteers to clean it.

Mark became,"too old" to Trick-or-treat this year.  It was sad for mom to think back to when he was little and went as "Bob the Builder."  They do grow fast.  Not to worry Mark hung out at home and watched football and ate, I mean passed out, candy.

Jack and Emma were still ready to go and collect their treats.  This  year they teamed up and decided to go as Hermione and Harry!  They looked Great!

John and I tagged along behind them, just far enough away so we wouldn't completely humiliate them.


Candle Mat Swap

This month, because I obviously didn't have enough to do, I signed up to participate in a Quilt Bloggers quilt swap.  This swap is trading Candle Mats, Designed by Sandi Anderson. Check out the pattern.

The Pattern called for a charm pack of Christmas Fabric.  My swap partner, who is to remain anonymous, said she liked Blue and Silver Christmas Fabric.  I was unable to find a charm pack in a color other than Red and Green so I ended up ordering these lovelies.  They are from the Holiday  Renaissance collection from Hoffman Fabrics.

I was ever so pleased with the colors!  They are just beautiful!  I also ordered these additional white, lavender and teal with silver accents. These are also from Hoffman Fabrics but are from the Wrap it Up collection.

 I don't think I'll use them for the candle mat but aren't they just beautiful?


We've been BOO-ed!

Until moving here I guess you could say I was innocent in the ways of Halloween Neighborhood edict. That is to say I had never been BOO-ed.  Oh, sure I've had the occasional "boo!" or "Oh, that was bad!" after one or two of my slightly sarcastic comments.  I was always boo-ed by a family member or friend.  Never had I been BOO-ed by a complete stranger before. At first I wasn't sure what to feel.  Fear, confusion, excitement they were all muddled up.  Now after being a second year rookie I can honestly tell you "It is so much FUN!"  If I would have known I would have boo-ed my neighbors long before now.   For those of you who still may be in the dark, I'll educate you.
The Boo Gifts 

To qualify as a Boo-er you must be alive at the time the Boo-ing is going on.  I am sorry but that part is essential.  You must have a Halloween gift basket of sorts to share with your neighbors.  Nothing big or extravagant just something to say,  "HEY, IT'S HALLOWEEN!" You and your cohort must be sneaky, quiet and above all FAST!  The object in Boo-ing is to not let the person you are Boo-ing know who the gifts came from.  You need a boo sign and a boo poem to instruct the Boo target on what they are to do next.  You see one of the really great things about boo-ing is spreading the joy of Halloween to your neighbors.  

You have your kids sneak over to the neighbors  house with the treats, ring the doorbell and RUN!  It's a lot like ding-dong-ditch with permission.  Your neighbors are so excited you left them treats they forget the fact that you rang their bell, made them get up from their favorite chair, miss the ending to their favorite TV show, just to answer the door when no one was even there!  "I'm just sayin', perhaps that could be a scenario."  Here's a link to help you figure it all out!

Boo TReaT BAgs

This year we left these really cute, I mean scary, treat bags filled with sugary goodness.  I found the pattern, Small Treat Totes,  on Allpeoplequilt.com.  They were quick, easy and made completely from scraps.  If you are the ambitious type these would make great goodie bags for a kids party or baby shower!


crazy quilt-er

I have been busily sewing this last month in preparation for the elementary school "HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA!" (echo,echo,echo)  I have never participated in a "craft fair" as a vendor; and I am interested in seeing how it goes over. An experiment of sorts. I have days when I am optimistic and see myself selling out of all my quilts and then there are days when I envision myself sitting, bored out of my mind for hours.  I am sure it will be a mixture of both but my anxiety level is running high theses days.

I had hoped on posting more frequently, however until they perfect cloning I will have to settle for this random method I have going now.  Here are several of the quilts I finished up last week.
I added a couple of baby quilts to my stash, to be able to offer some lower priced items.  And, to be truthful, I just got really tired of making College quilts.
Baby Quilt
OH!  Look!  A Clemson University Quilt!  Notice the blocks in the corner.  These blocks evolved from the post I made here.  Thanks to everyone who commented!  Your comments were inspiring!


This is the second baby quilt I made this week.  It is quite obviously a Girl Quilt.  I was inspired not only by the pink but also by the sweet treats the fabric is covered in.  Sugar and Spice and all that.  My son's comment was "BOY, is that PINK!"  This quilt I love because it is backed with the softest lavender flannel.  Yummy.
Baby Girl Quilt
SURPRISE!  Another college quilt.  This time it's an OHIO STATE BLOCK "O" Quilt.  Go Bucks!

Block O
This is my latest attempt at the OH-IO quilt.  Not sure I really feel the mojo on this one.  Still have to get this one loaded and quilted.

Now I must be off to drop off my truck for a few "minor" cosmetic repairs.  (Just a Little run-in with the garage during a blinding hail storm!)

The Damage

Ginger slightly confused (ok even more than usual) at the sight of the fog.

Their was so much hail on the ground and the temperature was so warm we were immediately engulfed in a sea of fog.  Happily the rest of the hail damage was minor.  

Tomorrows post:  Severe weather and the effect on your quilting:)