Sunday, January 5, 2014


There was only one item on my youngest's wish list this year.  She is horse C-R-A-Z-Y.
She set her dreams on a specific horse, named Picasso, from the American Girl store.
Luckily, Santa delivered. 
Christmas morning was VERY merry and bright.

But if you've ever shopped at the American Girl store, you know that merry and bright comes at a price.  I actually feel a little jipped to be honest.  For what I paid to spring him from the store, I feel like Picasso should do a little more than just stand maybe help with a load of laundry or two.

Or twelve.

But I digress.

Grandparents on both sides do a superb job of spoiling my children, so I get off on easy street when it comes to shopping for my kids.  Picasso was my only purchase for the little one, but I wanted to have a few "extras" just for fun.  So, I got some bright scraps of flannel and fleece and a pack of pink bias tape and set out to kick up Picasso's fashion sense.

My son works at a horse barn, and every time we drive up there to drop him off, she comments on the feed bags and horse blankets.  I drafted simple patterns, and used velcro attachments so it would all be easy for little fingers to use.  She was thrilled, and that made my morning.

I wasn't the only one hard at work on top secret projects.
I found plans on the internet for a horse barn, and enlisted Papa to help me create Picasso's Palace.

She had NO IDEA there would be a huge surprise waiting for her at Nana and Papa's house.  It was so exciting.  Her siblings and cousins are all much older than she is, so everyone made a big fuss over her new barn and made her feel super special.  It was a sweet Christmas memory I will never forget.

Lucky horse.
Lucky little girl.
LUCKY ME.  My family loves and appreciates the homemade, and I have a super talented father-in-law who made my Christmas dream come true!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year. New Blogging Goals.

I started this blog intending to record my sewing adventures.  I used to share sewing projects on my family blog, but very few of my family member readers are interested in specific Moda lines or pattern names.  :-)  The majority of the blogs I regularly read are specifically quilt blogs, so I thought this would be a fun way to join in that community, but my blogging aspirations proved a tad ambitious.

I've left this space quiet (or stone silent!) for quite some time now.  Blogging is a guilty pleasure for me, and I set it aside to give more time to other things happening in our household.    But truth be told, each time I complete a project, I hear a tiny voice in my head that says I should really revive the quilt blog!

I really have missed spending time here, so I'm stepping up and declaring 2014 as the year of shared projects!  I look forward to joining back in the online fun, and I'm setting two goals for myself:

1.  Don't feel guilty about computer time.
2. Don't let the amount of time I spend on the computer grow into something I need to feel guilty about!  :-)

Ahhhh.....that allusive balance thing!

I actually did a decent amount of sewing for the holidays, which was a first for me.  Also, I kept some of what I made, which is another first!

First up, I used fabric from my stash to make a little runner for my kitchen table.  I love using my wooden bread bowl as a centerpiece because it isn't too high and doesn't get in the way of conversation.  However, I don't want the iron stand it sits in to scratch my tables, so I always keep it on some kind of fabric.  This was made from some old fat quarters I was saving.  The black print has cute elves on it.

The next little runner (more like a big place mat) was an impulse project born of an impulse purchase!  When I was checking out at my LQS on day I happened to pick up a mini charm pack of Moda's Christmas Countdown.  I just sewed 35 of the mini charms together and bordered them with some solid green and red squares cut from my stash.  I bound this one in black solid.

The coffee table in our living room is a massive piece of wood.  It is actually made from an old door from an abandoned building in Mexico.  I love the table, but it is BIG and DARK and needs something soft and colorful to lighten it up a bit.  I hadn't really planned on this project, but it was a happy accident, and I like how it provided a little base for my apothecary jars. 

Lastly, I used up the scraps from another table runner project and made myself a little Christmas purse.  This was so fun to carry during the holidays!  I love how soft it is.  This pattern is called In From the Cold by Kate Spain for Moda, and I'm just crazy about it.  I paired it with a red chevron print for the base and a green print from V&Co.'s Simply Color line for the handles and lining.  That big green button was a dollar on sale at Joann's!  Score!

I based the construction of this purse loosely on a pattern called Mill House Inn Tote Bag from Moda Bake Shop.  However, I changed the sizing to accommodate the size of my patchwork, which was dictated by the number of scraps I had.  It was kind of a figure-as-you-go maneuver!

Recently I find that small projects are extremely gratifying.
I love making quilts, but I have not had as much time to devote to them this past year.
It's sometimes nice to spend an afternoon and end up with a finished project that you can put to use straight away.  And that's just what I did with these three!

Thank you for taking the time to stop in if you are dropping back by after my long absence.  I look forward to posting more of my finished Christmas projects in the coming days!