Page Buttons

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Taking a Little Break

I kind of feel like I've been coasting a little with my blog since right before Thanksgiving.  I just haven't had the time to read and comment on as many blogs as I normally do, and my sewing has been mostly limited to small projects to finish up Christmas gifts.

Anyway, we're in the holiday home stretch, and I'm pretty sure I just cannot cram one more thing into these next couple of weeks.  Aside from all of the holiday hoopla, tomorrow also happens my 15th wedding anniversary!    The weeks will be filled with wonderful things, but a full plate, nonetheless.

                                                       Needle and Thread Thursday

So, all this is to say that Needle and Thread Thursday will be taking a two week break.  Don't worry though!  I'll be back on Thursday, January 2nd.  If you're like me, you're just waiting for your days off to steal a few extra minutes of sewing time, and I hope you'll share it then!

I wish you all the happiest Christmas ever, and a wonderful New Year.  I hope you are able to share it with loved ones.  And maybe...just maybe if you've been very good this year, I hope Santa brings you all of your fabric wishes!  Catch you in 2014!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

One More Quilt Before Christmas

Recently, I got a sewing machine with a special history.  It's an Elna 6003 Quilter's Dream, and was purchased brand new by my great aunt when they were first introduced.  The machine made only a few quilts before my aunt passed away, and the machine has been sitting in the closet of one of her daughters ever since.  I rarely see that side of my family, so I don't think they realized that I was such an avid quilter until I started posting my finished quilts with blog links to facebook.  To make a long story short, the machine was offered to me, and as a "thank you" I am making a quilt.

My grandmother ended up with almost all of her sister's stash when she passed away, and she asked if I would like to choose from her fabrics for the quilt.  I only added a few fabrics from my own stash to balance the colors a little bit.  Although the fabrics are more traditional than I would ordinarily choose, I like the color palette a lot.  I have plenty of fabric left to make a great, scrappy pieced backing, and I'm planning to get this one all finished up this week so I can take it when we visit family for Christmas.  

I absolutely love my Bernina, but after being without it for two weeks in October for regular service, I realized that a backup machine is essential.  This machine has all of the accessories and tons of feet, and still works beautifully, even after sitting in storage for several years, and I'm sure she'll be just perfect after a tune up!

Even though I've been reducing my grandmother's stash, I've actually been adding to my own (bad girl!).  I could not resist these gorgeous Amy Butler prints.  These are a mix from the Cameo, Alchemy, Lark, and Love lines, and I'm cooking up a plan to match their fabulousness.

If you want to add to your own stash or get a gift for your favorite fabric hoarder, I'm totally willing to be your enabler!  There are some great deals going on that you won't want to miss.

Southern Fabric has daily deals going on.  Each day has a new way for you to save on your favorite fabrics.  Check it out!
Southern Fabric
Here's the run down of what's going on-

December 15 - Free U.S. Shipping Code: freeship
December 16 - 25% off all Full Priced Yardage Code: 25yardage
December 17 - 10% off Store wide - Code : 10off
December 18 - 25% off all Full Priced Layer Cakes Code: 25cake
December 19 - 20% off Store wide all full priced items Code: 20off

Although I feel like I haven't been able to be as present in the online community as usual, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Postage Stamps and NTT

Hey all!  Welcome to another Thursday!  The days between now and Christmas are dwindling fast!  I had planned to leave my Christmas sewing list finished as it was last week, but Monday was just one of those days.  You know- the kind of day where all you can think is, "I really need to sew something, or else I might just go insane!"  Yeah.  One of those.

Our school district and community are currently in upheaval as municipalities break off and form their own school systems, and it so happens that my school is caught in the crosshairs.  Of course, I live and teach in the same neighborhood, and wild thing attends the school as well, so many different facets of my life are in a bit of turmoil.  Definitely one of those days where sewing is badly needed to distract from the drama.

So, instead of dwelling on things, Monday night I did some late-night sewing, and made a Christmas postage stamp pillow.  You know I love a fast project and it was a great scrap buster!  The squares are 2 inches finished, so the pillow is 18 inches square.  'Tis the season for giving, so this one will go to a friend for Christmas!

Last week, I had so much fun browsing through all of the links and marveling at all of the accomplishments.  Y'all rock!

Made by Chrissie D did a little holiday sewing and finished this gorgeous quilt, all for herself!

If you missed this quilt by Growing Stitches, you should definitely check it out!

and Christa Quilts linked up her finish for the Modern Trees QAL.  I simply had to show you Christa's quilting in all of that negative space- love!

Y'all inspire me each and every week.  So, without further ado- show me what you've got!

1.  You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post to make it easier for others.
3. Spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Welcome Back to NTT!

I hope you all had a fantastic week last week.  I missed hosting Needle and Thread Thursday, but I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family.  Other than working on my holiday gift sewing in fits and spurts, I haven't been able to get to my machine very much since getting back home.  You can read all about how I've been spending my time HERE.

While I was in Baton Rouge, I visited a new quilt shop.  By new, of course I mean it didn't exist the last time I actually lived in my hometown- which has been 15 years, but I'm sure it's much newer than that.  For me, anything that didn't exist at the time I left is "new," but I digress.

Oh.  my. goodness.  I could have gotten into some serious trouble in there!  As it is, I couldn't resist putting together this mix of Bonnie and Camille fabrics (all are B&C except the aqua dot fabric, but I thought it blended so well).  I'm working on a plan to really show off these gorgeous prints.

Well, it seems like two weeks was forever ago, so here's a little reminder of a few of the fabulous projects linked up-

Kelly @ Blue Bird Sews shared this happy, scrappy log cabin!

Samantha @ Making Life Prettier showed off her beautiful orbit quilt.

and Lauren @ Charlotte's gRACE For a Cure linked up this sweet quilt!

Although I was able to do some blog reading over the holiday, I've still felt a little bit out of the loop for two weeks.  So, I can't wait to see what you're up to!  Let's party!

1.  You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post to make it easier for others.
3. Spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

Advent Calendar

Right from the outset, I'll let you know that this is not a sewing post, which is very unusual for me.  In almost 7 months of blogging, I've never written a post that didn't have at least something to do with quilting or sewing.  Well, I am unapologetically getting only a little bit of sewing done these days, and the reason is very special to our family.

I just love Christmas time;  and as much as I love quilting as one of my favorite activities to do year round, when Advent rolls around, I don't get a whole lot of sewing done.  And that's okay by me.

My family has an Advent calendar (as many families do) to count down the days until Christmas.  I made the calendar out of small galvanized buckets (4 inch) and used stamps, cardstock, scalloped scissors, and twine to give each bucket it's number.  The buckets are hung on an antique iron screen in our family room.

The thing that makes our Advent calendar different from many I've seen is that we don't fill our buckets with treats, but with experiences for our family to share together.  Each bucket has a card (handwritten by me) with an activity for the day.  We read the card together in the evenings and look forward to the surprise inside.

The cards have a mix of cooking, arts and crafts, outings, scripture, and service.  Some of the activities are quick and free, like calling grandparents and singing a Christmas carol to them (these are great for school nights).  Others require more time and expense, like going to the local pottery studio to paint ornaments.

If you're interested in creating an Advent calendar for your family, it doesn't have to be a big craft project.  And it's still early December, so there's plenty of time left!  The activities would be just as much fun typed out on plain paper and put into numbered envelopes.  The "cutesy" is not what makes it special.

The activities have brought us closer as a family during a time of year when it is so easy to get wrapped up in shopping, to-do lists, and hectic schedules.

You can make the activities personal for your family, of course, but here are a few of my favorites if you really want to jump right in and are stumped about what to include.

*read the Christmas story in the Bible and set up your Nativity
*make hot chocolate, put on pj's and take a drive to look at Christmas lights
*purchase a toy and donate it to help a needy child have a Merry Christmas
*make Christmas cookies and surprise your neighbors with a plate
*make paper snowflakes
*make a gingerbread house
*purchase mittens, scarves and gloves and donate them
*make a winter bird feeder with a pine cone, peanut butter, and bird seed
*make a list of at least 10 things you're thankful for.  Say a prayer of thanks to God for each thing.
*make reindeer food with oats and glitter for sprinkling outside on Christmas Eve
        (Santa's reindeer smell the oats, and the glitter sparkles in the moonlight, which guides the sleigh  
         right to your house)

Of course, there are more than these ten and if you're interested in the rest of the list, I'll happily send them to you!  I wish you and your loved ones a happy Christmas season.  Although I won't be completely absent over the next few weeks (I'm sure I'll get a little sewing time in), now you know what I'm busy doing lately instead of quilting!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Sewing

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!  I really enjoyed being home with my family for the long weekend.  Now that I'm home, my lights are on my house, and my Christmas trees are decorated, it's time to get some serious holiday cheer.  It'll be here before we know it!

I feel like I've been a little out of touch for awhile with Thanksgiving last week and traveling.  I have been able to read and keep up with lots of posts, but I haven't had time to comment as much as I would like.  I have been doing some sewing though.  I've managed to get some more of my Christmas gifts finished up!

I've finally finished that huge stack of Christmas coasters- all 52 of them.  They're just waiting to be all tied up into sets of four.

I have to be honest here.  I'm pretty sick of looking at coasters.  I actually thought of a couple of other people that really should be on the list to get a set, but I just can't bring myself to make 8 more.

I've also managed to make two pillows- my first two ever!  The first one is made from an orphan Purse Strings block left over from my table runner.  It's 14 inches, and is destined for my family Christmas swap game (along with the table runner).

I made the second pillow by improv piecing some Christmas scraps.  It measures 18 inches, and I hope my friend loves it!  Of course, I still have to get the pillow form for it, but you get the idea.

So here's the thing- I had the best of intentions when I was thinking of what to make as Christmas gifts. I had planned to make another pillow (or two), but I'm not so sure I'm going to do it.  I absolutely LOVE Christmas, but I'm really ready to look at some different fabric.  And with the rest of my hectic holiday schedule, I just don't know that it's going to happen.

More than that, I'm ready to make another quilt.  Since finishing Around the Block, I've been focusing on getting my gifts done.  Although I love being able to get things done so quickly, I've missed working on an actual quilt.

Has that ever happened to you?  Have you ever had the best of intentions with gift-making, and then just lost steam?  I hope I'm not the only one!

09 10 11 12
Blogging tips