Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year in Review

12 quilts in 2012! Coincidence? I think not!

 I cut back a little on Swaps this year. 

Pinterest took my crafting in a crazy direction! There are so many things I want to try!

--> 1. guitar strap for Julia, 2. crochet wreath with flowers, 3. vinyl album bowls, 4. 1-mats, 5. party decorations, 6. iPhone Sleeve, 7. Pencil Pouch, 8. laptop case, 9. Dorm room pillows, 10. dorm room bulletin board, 11. tie dresden pillow, 12. ukulele gig bag, 13. guitar strap, 14. princess bags

Well, my special year is almost over. Here we come, Lucky 2013!

Craft Buds

Friday, December 28, 2012

Wedding Ring Star II

There's a cartoon going around the internet that asks, "How long does it take to finish a quilt you aren't working on?" My answer is, "Two and a half years!" You know how it goes. You need to work up the courage to cut into the fabric. Then you need to work up the courage to tweek the design. Then you think you need to find a big chunk of time to make real progress. Then you start setting deadlines for yourself that slip. Well, here you go. It is finally done!

The quilting was done by my friend and award-winning machine quilter, Pat Harrison of Ocean Waves Quilting. Isn't it spectacular?!

 I was really nervous about the scalloped edge. I knew it was the right thing to do (thank you, Maria!), but it was a new technique that I needed to learn. Sharon Schamber to the rescue! I watched her curved binding tutorials over and over again until I got it right.

The day after Christmas was binding day. I started cutting the scallops at 10am and took the last hand stitch at 11pm. I wasn't sure if I had enough green fabric left for the binding, but it turns out I made almost twice as much as I needed!

I added the labels on Thursday and delivered the quilt on Friday.

Last step: labels.

The happy couple!

Wedding Ring Star II
Judy Niemeyer pattern: Bali Wedding Star
Assorted flower appliques: Erin Russek
Fabric: Fandango by Kate Spain and Kona Snow
Finished size: 84" X 96"
Started: May 2010
Completed: December 27, 2012

Christmas Crafts

 I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! This was our Christmas card photo that we took in two takes a few days before Christmas. Much easier than when the kids were little and it took all afternoon to get a shot with everyone looking at the camera and smiling at the same time!

Here's a rundown of the gifts I made this year. The first is a pillow I made for my mother from my dad's ties and a shirt. The ties were really tricky to work with, and I wish I had taken the time to add interfacing before cutting the Dresden blades. They were stretchy and slippery and wonky! But my mother loves it anyway!

The back of the pillow is the front of the shirt, buttons, stains and all! If she ever needs to remove the cover, she can just unbutton the shirt.

Next up was a gig bag for the new ukulele Pete got for his birthday. I had seen a bag on Pinterest, but had to come up with my own pattern. I used the box it came in as a guide. I pre-quilted the outside before assembly with two layers of fleece and a layer of polyester batting. It is really cushiony!

I knew he would love the Marine Corps fabric on the outside. The Hawaiian print on the inside has been in my stash for at least 15 years! Bill bought it for me on one of his business trips. Pete is happy to have something to carry his new instrument in.  He's been teaching himself to play and has performed a few times at open mic nights at school. He totally rocks!

Speaking of rocking, my husband needed an new guitar strap. I made this one from my stash of African fat quarters. Bill spent a year in Liberia with his family when his father was a visiting professor there. It instilled in him an appreciation for African culture. He can't wait to show off his new strap at choir rehearsal! (One Shabby Chick tutorial)

Last but not least, these two adorable tote bags are for my two adorable grand-nieces. I saw some on Pinterest (of course!). Here's the tutorial, although I stitched them instead of gluing.

This bag is for Anna who is devoted to Cinderella.

And this one is for Lily who loves the princess of the hour, in this case, Merida from Brave.  They love putting stuff in bags!

The biggest Christmas finish will get its own post tomorrow. Stay tuned for the completed double wedding ring quilt!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


This is the day I've been waiting my entire life for.
This is the day I've been waiting for for my entire life. 
This is the day for which I have been waiting my entire life!

You see, today is my birthday. The best birthday ever!

Being born on December 12th means that the number twelve has always been my lucky number. Remember this pinball animation from Sesame Street? I was convinced it was made for me!

My twelfth birthday was a pretty big deal. It was my only sleepover party. I think I was allowed to invite twelve girls. We sang the 12 Days of Christmas, and each girl picked a number out of a hat. I must have fixed it so I could sing "Five Golden Rings."
Crafty people, can you see the carolers that my mother made out of rolled polyester batting?

As fun as that party was, I always dreamed of what 12-12-12 would be like. How boring to be turning 40-something.  A few years ago, I was at the pharmacy in line to drop off a prescription. You know how you have to include your birth date on prescriptions? I overheard the mother in front of me say December twelfth. Her son has the same birthday as me. Amazingly, he was born in 2000, so he is turning twelve on 12-12-12! How cool is that?! Happy Birthday, kid from the CVS line!

Whose big idea was it to put my special day in the middle of the week? Wednesday is not exactly a big party night.  My guild has a meeting/holiday party tonight (built in party!), but my boys decided they are taking me out for dinner and a movie.  I'll have lunch with my mother and do some Christmas shopping. I hope Julia can squeeze in some Skype time between final exams.

Now off you go to read a dozen fun facts about twelve!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Catch-up Monday

 It's been so long since I've done a real blog post, I feel like I need to catch up before I can move forward. Please bear with me!

I finished two small quilts on Veteran's Day. I'm really happy to be enjoying both of them this Christmas.

Quilt #1 is the Red & White quilt from Sew Many Ways' red & white charm swap. It's living on the back of the couch, and I've cuddled up with it a few times already. It doesn't have a cute name yet. Any suggestions?

Quilt #2 was a Pat Sloan quilt along that started with a charm pack, and is now hanging on the kitchen wall. I call this one Charming Christmas.

Debbie convinced me to try making donuts, so when I saw a donut pan for 50% off online somewhere, I had to buy it! They were yummy, but really just donut-shaped muffins.  I'll need to try again.

 I was taking pics of something else and spied this little Dresden ornament that my mother made many years ago. Cute, huh?

It's hanging on our very first artificial tree that we picked out at Home Depot on Black Friday. I always used to take pics of the kids at the tree farm, standing next to the tree we had chosen, so I felt like I had to continue the tradition!

Pete turned 17 last week and immediately enlisted in the United States Marine Corps! We are so proud of him for making this commitment to serve our country. His birthday gift from his recruiter was the 19-page SF-86 form!

In this "Only in Rhode Island" story, Pete and his friend, Ryan, met James Woods backstage at a Dr. John concert. The kids mostly know him from his voice role on Family Guy. 

"Oo! Piece of candy!"
 I'm not sure if I've mentioned that I'm on Threadbias now. You can follow me here. I was motivated to finish those two quilts because I joined a UFO group. Thank you, Threadbias friends!