Wednesday, November 30, 2011

bring on december!

so i hope everyone had a great thanksgiving!  we spent the day at my MIL's, who hosts every year on her farm.  their huge family gets together and the kids run wild, climbing hay bales and making leaf piles, while the grownups play pitch or poker and drink homemade wine.  and the crazy shoppers plan their black friday strategies.  did any of you go out and shop?  i stayed home and went to sleep.  all that yummy food and chasing sawyer around wore me out!

i made stuffed mushrooms, which i made once long ago for my 30th birthday party.  i forgot how delicious those are!  bacon, feta, spinach, onion - what's not to love?  well, the mushroom part, if you ask my mom!  and it's a little time consuming, you cook the mushrooms for close to an hour before stuffing them.  but they can be prepared ahead of time, and warmed up before your party.  mine were cold by the time we got them to lunch, but they were still pretty tasty.

i also finished up the wee woodlands quilt top - finally!  this is my november entry into the craft book challenge.  made it with no time to spare!  the pattern is called "sparkling gemstones" from the book jelly roll quilts by pam & nicky linott.  i think i will send this one out to be quilted.  it's pretty big.  this is the first jelly roll quilt i've made, and i have a few things to note.  first, not all fabric lines are great for a jelly roll.  for example, i fell in love with the alphabet and animals in this line.

but chop it up into 2 1/2" strips, and you end up with goat butts and chunks of letters. i do have yardage of the brown dots, red and teal stripes, and cream alphabet to use for the backing, so no biggie, but definitely something i will think about before i buy another jelly roll!

2nd - check to see if fabrics are duplicated.  this had doubles of each of the stripes, so i had to make sure to include a stripe in almost every block.  i also didn't want to have more than 2 stripes per block, so it took a little thinking while piecing.  something else i didn't notice was that it included black and brown in the prints - i'd normally never put those two together!

now, what color thread would you use to quilt this?  i'm thinking dark brown, but then will it look odd on the multi colored backing?  is it ok to use a different color in the bobbin when quilting?  and if so - then what color would look best on cream, red, and teal?  questions questions!

so as a reward for finishing the top, i allowed myself a little playtime with the jelly roll strips of terrain i won from my friend nikki's blog.  i used a few squares in blocks for do.good stitches, but i saved the rest to try out on this block.  it's from the pattern "ladybugs" in the book  a baker's dozen by that patchwork place.  the pale gray isn't working for me, i think i'll go back with white.

they'll pop so much more against white.  i'm so thankful that we have nowhere to go today, i need a lazy pj & coffee day with some fabric fun! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

the finish line!

finished stitching 10 of 12 rows of wee woods together - gotta love chain piecing!

how do you stitch an elephant?  one block at a time...

this would go a lot faster if zach would stop sneaking bobbins to unwind all over the family room...

i'm trying so hard not to start another project until this quilt top is completed.  it's hard for me, peeps.  i have my fabrics laid out for my bottled rainbow block for do. good stitches, and i know it's going to be challenging, i'm no good at machine applique.  but i will do my best and maybe it will go smoothly.  but not until wee woods is done! she says in a stern voice.

i'm also dying to crack into this wonderland pattern!  i won a copy from mary anne over at quilt logic.  the pattern is from empty bobbin sewing studio, and like all of her patterns, it's very well written.  but you know, i am thinking this may never become a tree skirt.  i may just keep sewing blocks and make it a lap quilt.

simple, yet fun, and it would let me use a bunch of my ds quilts fabric i've been hoarding saving.   and i've had this pattern since the last guild meeting, so you can imagine the restraint it's taken!  i have my fabrics stacked up and ready to go.

i have been trying to avoid the black friday madness, but now it looks like i will be one of the fools at wallyworld at 10:00 thursday.  because of this.

paula deen aqua cookware.  love.  i only wish i were buying it for myself.  anyone have it/used it?  what do you think of it?  thinking of this for my MIL.  but if she doesn't like it, i'd be happy to take it off her hands...  dear paula/santa, if you're listening, i've been (mostly) good all year!

edited to add - holy crap!  there are all these horror stories of people's pans melting and glass shrapnel flying about from their PD pans purchased at target and walmart.  maybe i will rethink my gift idea!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

happy haulidays!

chronicle books is having their 2nd annual happy haulidays!  here's the info!

Happy Haulidays is a book giveaway hosted by Chronicle Books. This contest is awesome!  Chronicle books is giving away $500 worth of books to 1 blogger, 1 commenter of said blogger's choice, and 1 charity of the blogger's choice.

i, of course, chose all craft books and kits!
look at these amazing titles available from chronicle!

1. girl's world 
2. vintage craft workshop
3. instant iron-ons
4. hot type
5. lotta jansdotter's handmade living
6. silhouette art
7. amy butler's style stitches
8. the sock monkey & friends kit
9. french general: treasured notions
10. everyday's a holiday
11. whip up mini quilts
12. embroidered effects
13. denyse schmidt quilts
14. lotta jansdotter's simple sewing for baby
15. the handy book of artistic printing
16. applique your way
17. lace knitting to go
18. instantly antique wall decals
19. cath kidston cupcake liners
20. cath kidston masking tape
21. button girl
22. mobile art
23. masterpiece studio
so of course those are what i want.  and the charity i would donate to is enchanted makeovers.  they transform shelters into "beautiful sanctuaries" and then take it a step further:

"Enchanted Makeovers’ unique projects, programs and events such as sewing classes, hands on cooking & baking classes, gardening, inside-out makeovers, journaling, stepping into the dream and capes for kids provide new solutions tailored to meet the needs of women and children who are living in shelters to re-build their lives. They provide a foundation for success that is missing in most shelter programs. We start by transforming the physical shelter space into an environment that inspires psychological and behavioral change. Creatively, focus, self-worth and optimism for the future are among the transformative results. The programs help to break down the walls of segregation between the shelter and the community while teaching coping skills and life skills. Volunteers and crafters are united from across the nation with the women and children, each given the opportunity to share their talents, share their story and shine their light."  
(excerpted directly from the enchanted makeover's website)

if you are interested in finding a charity to support - craft bits has a list of craft related organizations and there's sure to be something local in your area too!

now if you want to get in on this contest, just leave me a comment and tell me which book is on your wish list this christmas!  or tell me what charity is dear to your heart.  or just say hi!  maybe we'll win a bunch of books!


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