Thursday, December 31, 2009

Crocheted Baby Elf Hat + Amy Butler!

Is this not the sweetest little baby hat you've ever seen? I wish I had a little model to show how cute it really is! I purchased the pattern from CrazySocks on Etsy.com... click the link and you'll see some examples of wee-ones modeling some finished hats. I'm not very good with 3-d crocheted pieces... thus I usually stick with blankets! But this was easy, believe it or not!

I adore the two rows of trim I added to the brim (hey, that rhymes!) While sitting at the Grandparents house last Saturday in PA... crocheting away... I decided to have Justin look up on YouTube how to do this stitch, which was an example in the directions how to finish the hat. It was under "DIFFICULT" but its actually quite easy! NO, I'm not joking! Here's theYouTube video for Front Post Double Crochet and video for Back Post Double Crochet. Seriously - its my new favorite stitch!

And little sister Carla really went all out for my Christmas gifts! She works for a little company that uses tons of fabric and she snagged LOADS of Amy Butler prints for me!
Five yards worth, plus some scraps! The blue&grey Full Moon Polkadots are one of my favorites... man she's good! And she also gave ne Amy's book called "Little Stitches for Little Ones" which is going to come in handy! I need to make a crib skirt and that book has just the pattern I need! ~~THANKS CARLA~~

Coming up TOMORROW - January 1st: My list of FINISHED items for the Joy In the New Year Challenge! How did your UFO's turn out? Finished, or not so much?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! *2009*


MERRY CHRISTMAS from our family to yours!
2009 had many ups and down, but more ups for sure!
We look forward to 2010 and everything it will bring, especially our first baby boy.

~~~Enjoy this special day, and Happy Birthday Baby Jesus~~~

Thursday, December 24, 2009

26 weeks and meet my little sister


I get the following question about 37 times a day: "How are you feeling?" And I always say GREAT! Because its true. Not just fine, or ok, or hanging in there... but I do feel great! At 26 weeks I've got very little to complain about. I really just feel like my normal self, but just a bit larger with someone kicking me from the inside. As I approach the 3rd trimester I know things could change, so I'm savoring my health right now. I'm hoping the severe fatigue from 1st trimester doesn't revisit... as that was just hard for me to handle, and my sewing machine became lonely from my lack of use. Six months down, three to go! And as you can see, Hazel found a way into this photo. She apparently likes to sit on the plant ledge and pose like a professional. Although I think she looks like a stuffed animal.

I think I'll get yelled at for using this photo, but I don't care. Meet Carla, my younger sister. I also have an older sister, Carrie but she lives in Florida and cannot come home for Christmas. Anyhow, Carla is 2 years younger than me, and lives about 2 hours south of us, in Northern Kentucky. Really just a few streets from the Ohio river. She's VERY excited to be an Aunt and talks directly to my belly, and calls baby "Hank." Cute, eh? Carla is in town for a few days so we hung out today and make cookies and goofed around.

Its almost Christmas so I should get to bed! Santa will be making a stop at our house, I hope!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Sneak Peek #2


I finished the binding last night, and washed & dried it... the label will be added tonight and then a quick photo shoot tomorrow.... then to the recipient later this week... full pics to come! That's another UFO to mark off my list! Phew!

A Surprise Quilt Arrived on My Doorstep!


A week ago I had a mysterious package show up on my doorstep! To my pleasant surprise, I unwrapped a GORGEOUS baby quilt made by my SNTM quilting bee friends! Low and behold they all collaborated to make some yummy colorful blocks, and they mailed it all to Mary and she put this quilt together, quilted it in a fabulous pebble design... and sent it my way! I'm just thrilled - until baby arrives, I'm giving it a home on my couch as a lap blanket... (more photos on Flickr) Thank you thank you thank you to everyone in my quilting bee!


Today I asked Justin to take a few photos of my new quilt... even though the days seem so dark, and we had to crunch through the snow. Sigh -- I love snow!

I love each block as they're made out of ALL sorts of lovey fabrics from Amy Butler, Heather Ross, Erin McMorris, Denyse Schmidt, and Lizzy House just to name a few. Each sewist really put a lot of thought into their blocks, and the colors are just magnificent! And check out that pebble quilting... it shows up really well on the grey Kona. Well done Mary!


One of the girls, Faith, embroidered a piece for the back that reads "Made with Love for Baby From Sew New To Me VQB, March 2010" I just love this personal touch, thanks so much Faith!
I plan on taking this quilt to the park so baby can roll around and enjoy the outdoors, and to the beach for a romp in the sand and water, among other uses! He's going to get lots of use out of it, and I'll tell him all about these friends of mine that I've never even met that were so kind to make him this quilt!


And of course I had to make sure Hazel got in a few photos. She loves napping on a cozy quilt or blanket day or night! (In fact she's curled up on this quilt as I type!) This quilt went straight to be laundered after being out in the grass and snow... and now its absolutely perfect with its crinkly, puckered, quilty goodness!



This was my experiment to confirm that this baby quilt could also double as a nap quilt, as its quite a generous size... about 48" x 60". Justin snapped this without me knowing, but I'm glad he did :-) I guess. Hazel also approves, if you can't tell. She looks pretty cozy. And excuse her crazy fluffiness, she's overdue for a haircut but she's much cuter this way so I'm going to let it go until after Christmas.

We're down to FOUR days until Christmas, can you believe it? Today I wrapped all of our gifts, packaged up my sisters gift to be mailed to Florida, and even finished a quilt! Yes, I'm quite excited! So I'm about ready for Christmas now... how is your Christmas crafting coming along? I'd love to hear of your progress! Another sneak peek tomorrow... Cheers!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

~Wonky Pebble Stroller Quilt Finished~

I have a lot of new favorites recently... and now pebble quilting is at the top of my list! Its more fluid than stippling, not as ho-hum as straight quilting, but it does take a TON of thread. I went through 3 bobbins of thread just on this 29"x28" stroller quilt. Worth it? Completely. And will make for one VERY sturdy quilt I think.
Next - tons of photos - what more can I say?





These three circles I appliqued onto the quilt backing before I sandwiched it all together. A simple zig-zag stitch did the trick.

The following photos I snapped yesterday on my lunch break. Its been quite dreary in Ohio this week, so I wasn't sure I'd be able to take any outdoor pics. My hands were frozen but I can deal with it.


I've used this Amy Butler Lotus fabric WAY too often, so it might be the last time you see this combination from me for a while. I wanted to use up these scraps as there is no way I'm throwing them away!

Now listed in my Etsy shop... I'd love to add even more quilts to sell *sigh* but when? Before baby arrives, hopefully! Hmm speaking of baby, I plan on starting his quilt first thing in January!

So this was another UFO to cross of my list.... how is your list coming? Only about 3 more weeks for the "Joy in the New Year Challenge!" I think I'll get 8 out of my 9 done for sure.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

24 Weeks & Chrismas Tree Hunting


Yup, 24 weeks already! Baby is only a bit more than a pound, most babies are around 7-8 pounds... where am I gonna put it all?? Some days I already feel like I'm gonna pop! I feel him kick frequently now... and I'm still feeling like my normal self. (This photo is definitely adding 10 lbs) :-)

This past weekend we drove up north a few miles to Fly Away Farms and cut down our Christmas Tree. My mom picked one out too, isn't she cute? She was so excited to find a 4ft tall tree for her place. Justin made her cut it down on her own, but she did it! This little tree even fit in her trunk~
(Thanks Amanda!)

We, being the Dave Ramsey followers that we are, chose a tree from the "discount" field where all the trees were $20, a bit wonky, very tall, and bare on the bottom. This poor tree we cut off about 3ft up, and when we got home cut another foot off the bottom.

And here she is! All decorated and brightly shining. NOW I'm ready for Christmas! Well, almost... still have a bit of Christmas shopping to finish, then I'll be ready! Oh, and a quilt to finish! Will be working on that tonight, actually!

Photos of my finished Wonky Orange baby quilt will be posted tomorrow! Wheeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

My New Best Friend - Hand Quilting Thread

A while ago someone blogged about using HAND QUILTING thread to hand-stitch your binding down to the back of your quilt. I took a mental note, thinking "HEY thats a brilliant idea, I should try that!" then promptly forgot. Well last week I finished a baby quilt and somehow the idea popped back into my head. I ran to Joanns and picked up a spool of Gutermann's Hand Quilting thread in grey.



Let me tell you; I LOVE IT! Hand Quilting Thread has a waxy layer to help it slide smoothly thru the fabric, and I didn't get a single knot or unruly bunch of thread while finishing my quilt! If you enjoy the process of relaxing on the couch with a quilt draped in your lap, you should try this AWESOME thread! It really made for quicker, cleaner hand stitching! I know some quilters machine bind their quilts, which I would like to atleast try once... but I typically enjoy the process of hand stitiching the binding. I should mention I prefer to use Gutermann thread for almost everything I sew... but I'm sure there are other brands out there that work just as well. I just haven't experimented with them yet as I haven't had a need to, ya know? I guess I stick with what I know. If you've tried Hand Quilting thread - let me know how you like it, or if you have used other brands.

ps ~ do NOT do NOT do NOT use this thread in your sewing machine as the wax coating will not play nicely.

Cheers! Cristin

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pebble Quilting Finished!

{front}


{back}

And I must say... I love it!
After finishing this quilting last night I went all out and attached the binding too. Now its ready to be hand-stitched down to the back. I should have it finished by this weekend and full pics to show~

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

VQB Fabric Pull!


I've finally stepped it up and joined not one but two Virtual Quilting Bees (VQB) on Flickr! I'm part of the Sew New to Me VQB and the [BEE]-autiful quilting bee. The latter of the two bees doesn't begin until January '10 but for the first bee, my month is January! Yes, THIS January! I've finally chosen green & grey as my colors, and the above stack consists of almost all of the green fabric in my stash... plus some greys. The little folded stack on top is thanks to Rita... we did a little swap for some Amy Butler she needed, and she sent me some greens in return!
I'm still in the process of ordering more greys including THIS fabulous little print all the way from Japan.

So - girls in the SNTM VQB, keep your eyes peeled in December for you package of fabric! Well, probably closer to the end of December, but thats ok. You have all of January to finish your block, of course. And this quilt is for ME!!!! All mine!!!! Or well, ours! Its going on our bed, and I am SO excited! I'm still deciding on the inspiration/style/design for the blocks you'll make, but I have a few good ideas in my head.

And tonight I'll be doing some pebble quilting on this wonky orange baby quilt. Oh yes, I'm excited! I practiced for a bit last night and I'm loving the quilting technique so far! (Great pebble quilting tutorial here by Alissa.) Photos to come this week! If you quilt (or just love quilts,) what's your favorite quilting design, free-motion or otherwise? I adore a meandering/stippling design, straight line, and now PEBBLES too!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Blocks Galore!

Every spare moment I can find is usually spent in my sewing space; I even run home on my lunch break (2 minute drive) and sew for 30 minutes. I'm determined to complete all 8 of my UFO's by Dec 31st.... it would just be great to have my plate clean and move on to making items for the nursery and what-not.

So... I felt inspired to dig in and start sewing wonky blocks out of my scraps left over from this quilt. As you can see, I've completed two so far... which is good for me! I think I OVER-THINK the process... and need to go with whatever placement comes to mind. These blocks are going to turn into a baby quilt/stroller quilt for my Etsy shop, so no pressure, right? Right! So I'll just whip them out and move on.

I've also decided to learn a few new designs thanks to Alyssa and the girls over at Block Party! Quilting. Not only are they graciously teaching us new blocks, but they're writing a book in the process! And they could be using our little ol' photos too! This first one is a Friendship Star, which I've never made before, but I think I like it! I chopped into my Kei Honeycomb stash, but I'm happy to do so! I love how it turned out! Everyone's blocks are also here on Flickr - if you want to see more! I usually am not drawn to 'traditional' style quilts, but this star is growing on me! I haven't decided yet, but my month for the Sew New to Me VQB is January... and stars could be the ticket! Or hexagons, or strip blocks, or something a la Denyse Schmidt or or or~

My spree of procrastination has officially ended as I started quilting the Big Vintage Quilt last night. Just some basic straight stitching diagonally thru each Log Cabin, but BOY is it a bear to move around! Its quite heavy, and the blocks aren't exactly precise so I have to be extra careful to follow the correct line. If I'm diligent this weekend, I could see it ready for binding by Sunday night! Can I do it? Three days will tell!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

21 Weeks... + first nursery goody + progress


21 weeks = half way there, right? I suppose that's almost 5 months!
I'm not fond of this photos, even after taking a dozen and not liking any of them. Weird light, plus my weird curly hair day - which looks MUCH better straight, I promise. Chopped off a good 4 inches last week. What was I thinking? Meh.

On a better note, the above Owl print from YumiYumi on Etsy is officially mine, size 11" x 14" and I love it! It will be framed in clear glass and hanging in the nursery.... um, soon! Its got all my favorite colors: teal, orangey-red, grey, brown, and green. I think it might go above the dresser/changing area. Its printed on a white background which you obviously cannot see, but check out the link - its gorgeous!

And I AM making progress on my UFOs!!! The Zippy Cars quilt is done, the orange birdie receiving blanket is done... and I'm making progress on the Ohio Sky quilt, and last night just started the orange & grey wonky baby quilt top. I need to START quilting the big vintage log-cabin quilt soon... maybe even tonight. I think I'm going to play it safe and go with straight stitching to quilt it. I cannot see this quilt fitting thru the small opening of my sewing machine, all rolled up, and me being able to move it much for free-motion quilting. I see a big headache.
So - safe is the way I'm going. Nothing wrong with that, eh?

What have you been up to? Any UFOs recently completed???
If not, what are you waiting for?! Off you go!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Zippy Cars Baby Quilt Finished!

Baby Rylan arrived about a month early and this quilt was on my "must finish" list to begin with... so his early arrival really motivated to kick it into high gear! The mom, Jenny, went fabric shopping with me at Sew To Speak and she chose these lovely Japanese Prints and polka dots for her new little boy. I added a light tan Kona Cotton to supplement and I love how it turned out! We got our inspiration from Ashley over at Film in the Fridge and her gorgeous "Sea" Gull quilt.

This print is from Heather Ross (for Kokka) from the Rabbits and Race-Cars line. It's apparently hard to find (online) as I've looked for a good link to anyone who sells it, but couldn't find one for this exact print. I love the little zippy cars racing around - great for a little boy!

The square Cars & Trucks print is also by Kokka... and the blue dots matched the squares really well... and I also used it for the binding.

Free-motion quilted, all washed and dried...
Finished size is about 48" square, which I think is rather large for a baby quilt but then again, I have zero experience thus far. I think it would make an excellent play mat though.

Oh the back... I do love the back. Jenny decided to go with a bright polka dot Flannel by Valori Wells and I'd say she made a great choice! I added a bit of the Kokka since the flannel wasn't quite wide enough... thats probably my favorite part~

Its been sunny here all week, which I think is quite odd for November... so these photos are almost summer-like. I'm sure we'll get a blizzard next week or something to make up for it :-)

Jenny asked me to make a special tag to include Rylan's name, DOB, and arrival stats so I whipped one up with linen tape and a black fabric marker. I wish I had better (aka fancy or unique or fun) handwriting skills but my plain 'ol printing will have to do. Do you like my bootleg editing to blur out a few things for identity protection sake? I kind of enjoyed it, don't know why.


And last but not least, I had to practice my free-motion quilting on something so I grabbed my favorite boyish fabric (Seagulls, by Alexader Henry,) sandwiched it, and quilted away... and I think I'll keep it as a stroller quilt for our son this spring... I particularly enjoy the Neo Geo dots binding. I think it just makes it fun and unusual. Its size is about 18"x 22". My first finished hand-made item to keep for our kid, yay!

How is your weekend going? Ours is defiantly busy, but in a good way. I'm hoping to continue the progress on the Ohio Sky quilt, maybe even get as far as starting to quilt it! We'll see!