Monday, December 31, 2012

Done, doner and donest.

My Spools quilt is complete!  Several people from our quilt guild participated in a strip exchange so we could each make this quilt.  Or, really any of the strip quilts in Edita Sitar's book.  I finally got the quilting done!!!!  I was quilting this when my sewing machine first started acting up.  It's the first time I had quilted something that was mostly batik, so at first, I thought it was the fabric.  Well, 4 trips to the repairman later, I realize it was a lot of things.  I still can't free motion quilt without skipped stitches but at least it's 99% back to where it should be.  And, I remember why I loved my machine in the first place.

Every time I look at this, the colors make me so happy.

Christmas Wishes is also complete.  I was trying and trying like a mad person to finish this one before the guild's Christmas party.  It was quilted and unquilted twice during the great machine drama of '012.  Well, it wasn't finished for the party but I brought it anyway.  The binding was about 1/2 sewn on.  I love the wavy border.  I ended up quilting it with a walking foot.  I may eventually try some free motion on it but for now I call it complete.
These are the flowers that will eventually be on some of our quilt show ribbons.  Some of my color choices are a little non-conventional but I think they're going to be beautiful.  These freaking things take 30 minutes per flower to assemble just the top of the ribbon.  I had no idea how labor intensive this was going to be.  That 30 minutes doesn't count cutting and sewing the pieces.  Now I've got to make the tails and put the whole thing together.  Thank goodness a group of ladies came forward to help out.  We're making 12 sets of 3.  I would have lost my mind.  As a side note, I really want to win second place so I can have that red gingham flower :)

Last but not least, I made boot cuffs for Sierra.  You wear them at the top of your boots, over your pants.  It looks a little like you have super plush socks on.  I hope she likes them.  I found the pattern on

Pinterest Update:  I made card hangers on my cabinets this year.  Don't judge me for how few Christmas cards I have.  The picture was taken in early December.  However, I don't have a lot more if I'm going to be honest.  And, 2 of the 3 were Anniversary cards.  I used to get tons every year.  Now I end up with about 15ish.  Either people no longer like me, or the Christmas card is a dying art.  I remember I used to hand make about 50 to send every year with a letter about our family and an adorable photo of the babies.  This year, I sent out 30 and didn't do the letter.  I did, at least, include a picture of the kids.  I suppose I'm just as guilty as anyone.

Oh, and get this, I've been mailing a card to my grandmother-in-law to the same address for 20 years.  This year, it was returned stamped with no such number.  Really?  How?  Then my father-in-law tells us he doesn't think that's her address.  He doesn't mail things, he just goes there.  So, have they been delivering it because they know where I meant to send it?  Or, has it not been delivered for 20 years?  Mystery.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kids, You Gotta Love 'Em

Bethany had an extra credit assignment in Honors Chemistry.  She had to make a compound into a mole.  She chose sucrose as her compound.  So she made it from cupcake fabric.  Sewed on crystalized sugar eyes, and gave him a dollup of whipped cream and cherry hat.  Then, he's sitting in a cupcake wrapper.  Isn't he cute?!  I promise, she did 99 percent of the work and I'm super proud.

After this, and the few Christmas presents she made, she's hit her crafty quota for the next few months.

Sierra also made t-shirts for her friends with crazy sayings on them.  Of course, didn't think to get a picture.  Dang it.
Ethan turned 12.  Yes, that is a horned troll, sitting in a wheelchair, surrounded by the Zodiac.  Can you believe I couldn't just go to Walmart and order that?  Yep, had to do it myself.
He also wanted a purple and black cape for a costume he's assembling.  Had to make that one myself, too.  Sierra's a bit jealous.  She wants one so she can dress like Loki in Avengers.  It's totally normal for kids to be so into CosPlay, right?
This might explain why I find so much crap in my bed.

Friday, December 21, 2012

So. Many. Presents.

Sometimes I expect way too much from myself.  Since I was going to be on layoff for a few weeks and I was going to have all this extra time, I decided to make lots of gifts that I normally wouldn't do.  Plus all the stuff I would normally do for the holidays.  Then Ethan's birthday is the week before Christmas.  And, I wanted to get a head start on the quilt show stuff.

I bought this snowman fabric a couple of years ago on sale at Sweet Annies'.  I knew it was perfect to make those cute towels everyone makes and I've been meaning to get to them forever.  So, I made 3 sets.  2 for gifts in Christmas exchanges and 1 for myself.  They took longer than I expected but I like the way they look.  I'm probably going to make some for other holidays.  Maybe adding some applique instead of just the strips. 
Baking has taken up tons and tons of time.  I made these Hot Cocoa Cupcakes for the quilt guild's Christmas party.  Nobody could figure out that they were supposed to be cups of cocoa until I mentioned it.  It was so obvious on Pinterst:(  I used the Hershey's chocolate cake recipe with marshmallow frosting.  They at least tasted good.

The really funny thing was when I brought the leftovers home, I put them under my cake dome.  The moisture from the frosting melted the candy canes all over everything.  The carnage was amazing.  That's the picture I should have taken.

Not to mention the massive amounts of cookies I baked.  I didn't take pictures.  My thought was to blog about each recipe because this blog was started to keep track of my baking escapades, hence the name.  Then I started thinking about how much work that was going to be, so I  told myself no.  I made 6 large trays, 2 boxes for mailing, 1 large batch of chocolate covered pretzel rods and 4 batches of Oreo truffles.  The Oreo truffles were amazing...  One package of crushed Oreos, 1 pkg of cream cheese.  Mix together.  Make 1" ball.  Dip in chocolate.  Sweet Holy Mother of God...

A few months ago, I saw this snowman pattern on pinterest.  Then my friend Judy, in California, asked me to make one for her.  So, I began a search to find the pattern.  It was on somebody's blog but no mention was made of who's pattern it was.  Then, by a stroke of luck I happen to follow the blog of the designer that it belongs to.  The designer is Sweetwater, in case you're wondering.  I was so excited when she posted that they were re-publishing the pattern!

First, I turned the snowmen into pumpkins for the guild's auction.  Can you believe I forgot to take a picture?  Dang it.

Then, I made 6 snowman runners.  When Bethany saw them, she said, "Oh, I thought they were going to be penguins."  Ugh, opportunity missed!  I'm going to have to turn them into penguins.  But, during the making of these, my machine was really messed up.  So, by the time they were done, I wanted nothing more to do with them...  I made them 3 ways, some were quilted, some were done with buttons and one was done with brights.  My niece Shelly got that one because she had a pink and purple Christmas tree.

Then, I made a Thomas the Tank bag.

And, a purple tutu.  I love making these tutus.  Bethany has one in pink.

And 10 pillowcases.  My siblings are all quite a bit older than me.  So, my nieces and nephews are just a little younger than me.  Therefore, I have lots of great-nieces and great-nephews at the age that Christmas is really amazing right now.  I wish I could be more a part of each of their lives but we live all over the country.

Deveda has a girl and a boy.

Shelly has 6 kids of varying ages.  So, I tried to get a little bit of everything in there.

My nephew Gib is Jewish and he married a Catholic.  So, for their kids, I did 1 Hanukkah and 1 Santa.  Something for both sides.

I love making gifts for people.  Really love it.  But, next year, I'm going to try to spread it out over the year.  But, we all say that, don't we?  Does it sound more believable when you know what you want to make?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Well, It Won't Pass Inspection but It's Cute

I feel like I'm not getting anything done but I'm busy all day long...

I've been having such terrible sewing machine drama since I've been on lay off.  I thought I'd be so productive and it pretty much has been the opposite.

These are some towels I managed to finish for a Christmas party exchange.  I'd like to get 2 more sets done for some other gifts but we'll see if that happens.  I also want a set for myself:)

I have quilted and un-quilted Christmas Wishes.  I was trying to get it done by Tuesday - the guild's Christmas party.  Doesn't look like that's going to happen.  A number of my wonderful friends offered to lend me their machines while mine was being repaired.  But, I was afraid my bad juju would rub off on their stuff and then I'd have to pay to fix their machines, too.  Not good. Not to mention, I got to the point where I didn't want to even look at that quilt again.  My machine is supposed to be done Monday.  I'm hoping for the best.

I also started making a bunch of snowman table runners.  I was trying to get them done before my in-laws came to visit for Christmas.  That didn't happen, so there they sit until I'm ready to get to it again.  One of the ribbons from the outside of our house feel off and my Father-In-Law wore it as a bow tie.

Then I started cutting and sewing the ribbons for our Quilt Show in June.  These really need to be done before spring or I'll never get them done.  I'll post pictures as they come together a little more.

Something else I've been working on is my very first Gingerbread house.  I think I did pretty good for a newbie.

The construction elements weren't perfect.  Some of my walls were too thick.  I didn't know which wall went where, so when I put in the windows, they aren't evenly placed around the house.

I took one whole day to bake the walls.  Then another to put it together.  Then another week to decorate.

I used Necco candy on the roof, Fruit Stripe gum for the shutters, rice crispy shrubs and graham cracker doors.  I filled the 2 windows I made with butterscotch.  The rest is frosting.

It's not going to pass with the Code Inspector... My roof is a little wonky.
Looking at this picture, I realized that I didn't edge this last side with frosting.  It's now fixed.  Good thing I wrote this blog before the Christmas party...  It's going to be a table center piece at our Guild Christmas Party and given away as a door prize.

This was a lot of fun.  I will definitely make another one next year.  If you're thinking about doing one, I suggest you go to this website to get recipes, ideas and tutorials.  It has everything you need to know!