Saturday, December 31, 2011

One More Thing!

I also wanted to add that I have a family blog.  If you are interesting in reading more about our daily life and what I do when I'm not sewing, I invite you to come take a peek at Magnolia Manor in the new year!

2012 - The Year of the Perfect Exposure

I'm not one for making resolutions.  I'm much better at making plans than I am implementing them, so I kind of save myself the disappointment.  However, I do have fun making creative goals.  The kind that are fun to achieve.  Not the "lose ten pounds" kind that you have to work too hard at.  I like the "buy more fabric and make things" kinds of goals.  ;-)

To that end.....I'm declaring 2012 the Year of the Perfect Exposure.  I have a new camera.  She's a beauty.  But you know what?  Good cameras don't take good pictures.  You still have to learn how to operate them!  So, it's my goal to learn.  I enjoy taking photos of my craft endeavors, and now I'll be even more motivated to keep up with that.  This is still a quilt blog - it's my first love.  But I'm also excited to nurture my growing interest in photography and hopefully make this space here even more fun to look at.

I'd also be breaking with an awful long standing tradition if I didn't give my sewing space a once over and make a very unofficial list of goals (not resolutions!) for the coming year.  There are some obvious ones that stand out to me, so I'm going to put them in black and white and see if that motivates me to stick with them.  :-)

1.  UFO Management.  The increasing number of UnFinished Objects around here has officially exceeded the number of projects completed in 2011.  I have things stashed away that I'm still very excited about and would really love to see finished.  (Anyone else harboring pinwheel blocks from Rachel Griffith's pinwheel sampler??)  SO....for each new thing started I'd like to see one half worked item completed.  This surely tops every quilter's list.  It's trite but true....I'm tackling the stack!

2.  BOM.  Wendy and I are doing a block of the month together, and I aim to keep up.

3.  I want to have a pillow fight.  Pillows.  Specifically, new pillows for the couch.  I'm adding that to the list of acceptable reasons to buy new fabric.  When I see the right collection, I'll know it.

4.  I want to SWOON.  This is my year to finally use my Thimbleberries Swoon pattern.  I've had it for several months and have a few things I need to finish up first before I feel justified starting it.

5.  I have a Christmas quilt that I need to finish.  I know, I know.  Trust me, I know.  :-)

Whatever you do and where ever you are tonight, I wish you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday, December 30, 2011

We Made A Little Merry

We had a busy and full Christmas here, and the party continues well into January while Hannah is still home from college.  Lots more in store in the next few weeks.

This is Christmas Eve and my gift from my son.  He's quite the shopper, yes??  I loved it!

I hope you had fun making merry too.  I'm actually thinking of Valentine projects.  Anyone else in my boat too??

Sunday, December 25, 2011


May the PEACE of the Christ child fill your heart and your home today.
I value the friends I have found in this space, and I pray a special Christmas blessing for each of you.

Merry Christmas 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

Look at the cute gift I received from Wendy.  She made me a set of Christmas tree napkins!  I think this is a really creative idea.

A semi-circle of fabric...

...with the edges serged.  The secret is to stitch the folds in the proper spot, so that when they are folded,

they look like trees!!  This also makes it easier to "re-assemble" them after washing them.  I love the contrasting fabrics that she chose.

What a lucky girl I am, and what a lovely table I will have this week.

Thank you, Wendy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Boy, Oh Boy!

I just finished a baby quilt for a little boy due this spring.  I chose some bright, contemporary fabrics that made me happy.  Of course, the oranges are my favorites.  The dark brown fabric has vintage cars on it, and that piece was my inspiration fabric.  The other fabrics were chosen to match the colors in the cars.

Both front and back are rather simple on this one.  I machine quilted using a tight stipple.

I embroidered the label with the baby's name.

The verse for this quilt comes from I Samuel 1:27,

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him."

I took a cue from Rita at Red Pepper Quilts. She is forever binding quilts in a black and white stripe, and I love it.  Every. Single. Time.

So, I copied.  And it was a good decision I do believe.

This one is ready to travel to Houston, Texas to welcome a new baby boy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Mini Table Runner

It isn't at all unlike me to set aside some could be/should be projects in favor of chasing a creative whim. Such was the case the other night when I sat down at my sewing table, heavily laden with Christmas projects, and spied a small handful of Christmas charms left over from a previous quilt.

Inspiration started flowing and I was helpless to resist.

A few years ago my mother gave me this sweet nativity set for my birthday, and it is one of my very favorite Christmas decorations.  I'm captivated by the sweet innocence of the faces.

This set is "living" atop an old pine cabinet this season; one that isn't particularly attractive.  First I set fake snow beneath my figures, then I tried a holiday placemat.  Nothing was right, so the little figures were just sitting on the naked cabinet.

I decided they needed a cozy place to rest.  One with a little color and sparkle.

I cut my small handful of charms into thirds, and pieced them into strips.

Then I got the idea to make the center piece a little wider, and add a touch of tender embroidery.

I'm quite pleased that my old pine cabinet now has a cozy topper, and that my favorite little Christmas figures rest sweetly on something handmade.

And there is chapter one of why my Christmas sewing isn't getting done very quickly......

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dear Santa....

I love my local quilt shop.  Every year they do milk and cookies with Santa, and it is marvelous.

Beats the mall, hands down.

It is a treasured annual tradition, and today it was extra special.

Because TODAY was this little visitor's FOURTH birthday!

What was the wish she whispered in his ear??

A Tinkerbell flashlight.  I'm so glad she didn't ask for a king sized hand pieced quilt.  :-)

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Teacher Gift

I made a table runner for Emma's preschool teacher and sent it to school yesterday.  This necessitated staying up until 1:00 in the morning with a season of Everybody Loves Raymond on DVD and a super sized sweet tea from Whataburger.  I took treats to school yesterday morning to celebrate Emma's 4th birthday and I really wanted to give her the gift at that time.  I knew if I didn't make the deadline this project would likely get set aside and never finished.  I'm proud I got done, and I was even up early to run it through the washer and dryer!  It was a simple patchwork design, so I added a personal touch to one of the squares.

I used a tutorial from Camille of Simplify.  You can find it on her sidebar.

My touch of embroidery on the back.  Can you believe I forgot to add the Bible verse and sign it?  Sleep deprivation got me at the end!

It was made from one entire charm pack of Makin' New Friends by Moda.

My Mom was leery of that giant ric rac in the wash since it was on a white background sash.  So, I paced around in front of my washer with a big mug of strong coffee in my hand at early o'clock hoping my color catcher would come through for me.  It did.  :-)

I should never "try things out" in my own house.  It makes it harder to give them away.  :-)

The backing...

All tied up with candy canes and ready to go to preschool!

Her teacher loved the gift, which made me feel great because we ADORE this teacher!  The first thing she told me when she opened it was that her grandmother was an avid quilter and some of her most treasured possessions are her grandmother's quilts.  Right away I knew I had made a good decision to give her a homemade gift this year.

One gift down, several to go!!  :-)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


 I used Vanessa's tutorial for this cute ornament.  Super quick and fun to make.  If you don't already have her on your daily reads, you really must go check out her blog.  She's the total package...great tutorials, beautiful photographs, and a super cute haircut.