Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ahoy mateys, there's a giveaway!

I had a couple of goals for yesterday - to finish another green pillowcase shopping bag, to put borders on my Birdie Stitches BOM quilt and to finish the book I was reading.  The shopping bag got done...

but the quilt borders didn't because a demanding little pirate shanghaied me and pressed me into service to make a Jolly Roger for his pirate ship.

I also finished reading my book.  I read Riel Nason's debut novel, The Town That Drowned
Some of you probably know her from her blog, The Q and the U, and all of her wonderful selvege creations.  She's made more Halloween quilts than anyone I've ever heard of!  So, from her blog, I knew she was clever and creative and talented, but reading her book has really solidified my awe of her.  It was AMAZING!

The setting was described in a way that I could visualize where everything took place.  The characters were believeable, complex and human and diverse.  The plot built up to a climax that had me forgetting to breathe and then sobbing out loud.  My nose ran for a full hour after finishing the book.  And while the book wasn't about quilts, they were weaved in here and there, fun details to remind me that quilting is her favorite hobby.  I highly recommend the book to anyone looking for something to read.  And to start things of, I am giving away my (once read, but otherwise new) copy of the book.  (because I'm going to buy 3 more copies for myself and family members and try to get them signed!)

Since I missed the gift exchange with my guild, I'm adding my gift to this giveaway - a bundle of Laurie Wisbrun's Urban Circus scraps, a winter travel sized tissue holder, and some Ghiradelli chocolates. 

To enter to win, simply leave a comment.  Be sure I have a way to get in touch with you.  I'll leave this open until the end of my first day back at work (Tuesday, January 3rd).  I'll need something to look forward to at the end of what is sure to be a LOOOONNNNGGGGG day! 

Happy New Year, everyone!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I knew it had been a while since my last post, but 17 days!?!  Wow!  I feel like I should have a lot to show for 17 days absence.  The pressure is on!

I made 3 shopping bags from pillowcases that I got from Goodwill.  I am anti-plastic bags, and avoid them as much as possible.  However, my stash of "green" shopping bags has been dwindling due to unforeseen calamities (the exploding groceries left in the car for 4 days, a carsick dog, etc.).  It was either buy some more shopping bags or make some.  What is the point of knowing how to sew if you can't make your own stuff?  I used the tutorial found here - very easy, quick, and I love that now all my shopping bags are unique!  Some great features of this pattern are that the bags are fully lined, machine washable, with boxed corners and a reinforced bottom.

I finished the Christmas quilt top.  I think the pattern is called Flurry, but the quilt in the pattern is so much prettier than this one, I don't think I can call it that.  Gonna need a new name.  Honestly, I think my version is hideous, but it used up some of my Christmas fabrics, and that makes me happy.  Sometimes quilts start to grow on me after I begin quilting them.  I am hoping this is the case for this one. 

I finished my Birdie Stitches BOM flimsy.  Well, kinda.  I finished the blocks and the alternate blocks and I sewed them all together.  However, I want it to be bigger, so I'll be making some borders, at least for the top and bottom.  I love all the color!

And on a whim, I also made a circle zippered earbud pouch. It was my first zipper, and was super easy. What is all the zipper phobia about?

I have 4 more days of freedom before it is back to work and karate and basketball and cub scouts and exhaustion. I'm sleeping in, eating lots, exercising, playing with the kids, reading, watching McLeod's Daughters, and getting quite a bit of hand quilting done. I don't want this vacation to end!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Orange Creamsicle Dreams

Do you ever have a string of failures so long that you think you should be banished from the sewing room forever?  That was me this weekend.  And it's my own fault.  This Saturday was our guild Christmas party, and I wasn't prepared with my gift to swap.  It was supposed to be small, something valued at $10 or less.  On Friday night, I wrapped 4 Urban Circus scraps (each less than a fat quarter but more than a fat eighth) together with a ribbon to start things off, but I wanted to add more to my gift.  I should make something, right?  I trotted down to the sewing room with my iPad and all the inspiration that can be found on the World Wide Web.

First, I tried some fabric origami to make an ornament - FAIL!
photo from

Then I tried to make a hexagon needle holder - FAIL!
(photo from

OK, how about my (new) old standby, travel tissue cover - FAIL!
(How did I fail with this when I've already made so many and they are SO EASY, you ask?  I got carried away boxing the corners and made them into tall, narrow fabric containers.  They are still cute, but there is no way tissues will fit in there!)

I'm getting frustrated now - how about one of those cute little fabric tote bags that I made a couple Valentine's Days ago?
Where did I find that tutorial online? - - - fast forward a couple of HOURS, and I STILL couldn't find the tutorial.  Then, in a belated stroke of sanity, I remembered that they were called "baskets" not "totes" and I found the tutorial first try!  By now, however, it is so late that I can't see straight and would not be safe with sharp instruments.  Off to bed and I'll try again in the morning.

Saturday morning rolls around and I head down to whip up one of those little baskets.  An hour should be enough time, right?  Well, it SHOULD have been, but it turns out that 1) I am not looking at the same tutorial as before - this basket is different and bigger, but OK, I'll go with it, but then 2) I sewed the darned thing inside out and had to haul out the seam ripper for a workout.  By this time, the meeting is starting without me, so I gave up.  :(

On Sunday, thinking that maybe I've got the gremlins out of my system, I ventured down to the sewing room again.  I fixed the basket.  OK, this is good.  I made two travel tissue covers.  All right, maybe my sewing mojo is back.  But did I contine to ease my way into things?  Heck no!  I chose CURVES!!!

Truth is, it worked out.  While waiting for our take-out pizza to be ready, the kids and I wandered around Goodwill, where I found a twin flat sheet the color of an Orange Creamsicle that I was inexplicably drawn to.  What on earth could I make with that?  But somehow, it landed in my basket, along with a king sized flowered pillowcase.

A few hours later, after the pizza was gone and the kids were happily ensconced with a Christmas movie they've never seen before, I started sewing some Drunkard's Path blocks, no pin style.  And they worked!  Check out what I have so far:
(OK, the colors are off because it was midnight, but you get the idea)
I have no idea what I will do with it, or who would want an upcycled creamsicle-colored quilt, but the sense of accomplishment I got from sewing something without mistakes and for a whopping total of $2.50 for the materials, it was definitely worth making.  I stopped when I realized that I should have added the alternating strip of 2" squares to the other two sides before adding the outer border - I'll figure that out tonight.  But I tell you, last night I dreamed of Orange Creamsicles, which I haven't even seen since I was a kid. 


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Are you joining the party?

The 2nd Annual Neighborhood Party over at Beth's LoveLaughQuilt blog, that is. There is still time to join!

I had a ball creating my block to send.  Nearly all the fabrics in my block have special meaning:
  • Snake fabric - I live on Rattler Road.  There is a reason why my road is called Rattler Road, and it involves creatures with no legs.  Ugh!  But the view makes their presence worth it!
  • Teacup fabric - I love, love, love drinking tea and coffee, hot when it is cold outside and iced when it is warm.  Yum!
  • Basketball kids - Not only am I married to a basketball coach, but my boys both play basketball, not just in a league in the winter, but at camps during the summer.  Needless to say, I am the proud owner of a cushy stadium seat, and I get lots of hand sewing done in the stands.
  • Bug fabric - I guess bugs are part and parcel of living in the country but, UGH!  I can't stand them, but they are everywhere.  In particular, we have lots of ladybugs (and to think I used to think they were CUTE!  Until they invaded my house by the thousands a couple years ago) and shield/stink bugs.  The stink bugs are now reigning supreme, as they apparently compete for resources with the ladybugs.  I'm not sure which I prefer...
  • Tree from made fabric - I live in the country, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with 7 acres and deeded access to the George Washington National Forest.  Trees dominant my views, and I love them.
Besides the creepy crawly things, I LOVE where I live, I love my house, I love my life.  Won't you join in the Neighborhood party and share with us a bit about where YOU live?  Although, truth be told, I'm hoping to be one of the winners of a neighborhood of house blocks this year...

Monday, December 5, 2011

The most wonderful time of year?

While I am definitely getting into the holiday spirit, December STINKS in the world of college admissions. I am taking files home every night to read, answering 3,167 emails daily from panicked kids who want to know if their second teacher recommendation arrived by the scholarship deadline, and talking to countless parents on the phone to calm their fears about the affordability of college. I love my job, but December is like receiving a mega-dose of work; too much of anything is not a good thing! Especially since my "other life" (wife, mother, quilter) hasn't slowed down at all either.

So while this should be the season of sitting under a quilt, watching Christmas movies while sewing on the binding, very little sewing is actually getting done at my house. I did finally finish the November Birdie Stitches BOM on December 1, but I haven't had time to add the border yet.

I also whipped up this quickie table topper for my dining room table to put my centerpiece candles on. (Thanks for the tutorial, Beth!) The fabrics are the same that I used in my tree skirt last year (my tree stands in my dining room windows). I am still sewing the binding on this, but hopefully I can have it on my table by tomorrow night.

Other than that, no sewing, but I did receive my winnings from the giveaway I won on the House of Wilson. In addition to the Charm Pack, I got these two neutrals and her TV Squares pattern. I think I want to make her pattern with some different fabrics. Anyone have a favorite (free, online) Charm Pack pattern I could make with this City Weekend Charm Pack?

Going out in the mail today will be my package for Leona's holiday fabric swap. I hope that my partner likes these Fat Eighths from my stash. I also made her one of the postcards I made with the cub scouts, and threw in a tissue cover that could be seasonal, but not necessarily. I'll be picking up some chocolate from the chocolatier in town, The Cocoa Mill, to round out the package.

So, since I am not sewing, what have I been doing, you ask? In addition to going to work every day, and maintaining our household...

Monday - take a karate class, read a stack of files at home
Tuesday - Jason's basketball practice, read a stack of files at home
Wednesday - teach karate class, then Adam's basketball game
Thursday - Jason's basketball practice, make cars for parade and cookies for Wounded Warrior Project, read a stack of files at home
Friday - make rice krispy treats for Wounded Warrior project, arrange and march in town Christmas parade with the Cub Scouts
Saturday - Jason's basketball game, go in to work for a few hours, Adam's basketball game, dinner with my brother and his family, get lost on way home from basketball game, read a stack of files at home
Sunday - help kids clean their rooms, visit radio station with cub scouts, go Christmas caroling with cub scouts, read a stack of files at home

Where's the down time in there? Do you see any??? Actually, last night I thawed the Turkey Pot Pie filling that I made the day after Thanksgiving, popped it into some pie crusts, and baked that for dinner, using the spare moments from making something that I had made ahead to sit and watch Akeelah and the Bee with my boys. Jason was in the school spelling bee earlier this week, so I ordered this from Netflix and it was nice to sit in the theater with some popcorn and my two little buddies and just chill for a couple of hours.

But back to yesterday afternoon, when we went Christmas caroling...

We first went to a nursing home in town, sang our whole repertoire of songs, and then caroled down the street, knocking on any door with cars in the drive, on our way to another nursing home about a third of a mile away. What absolute FUN!!! Why don't people go Christmas caroling anymore? People were so delighted, asked to take our photograph, clapped their hands, called to others in the house to come see. It was such a treat! Are you looking for something different to do this holiday season? I encourage you to go caroling!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Quickie Post

I think I promised to post photos of my completed November Birdie BOM next time I posted. Oops! While I did work on it a bit this weekend, I also finished a book, watched lots of movies, slept, read files (for work), went to two basketball games, swam laps in the hotel pool (twice), and took my kids to the Virginia Living Museum. Oh well. My son's basketball season has started so I will have plenty of time to stitch on the bleachers.

My reason for posting is that I had MAIL when I got home last night. Above All Fabric is going out of business, so I bought up some of her lovelies. First, some solids,

and then some lovely prints,

all at least 1 yard cuts and all for less than $4/yard. No purpose in mind, just building stash.

I'm looking forward to getting home and firing up the sewing machine this afternoon. It has been entirely too long since I've sewn anything of substance!

Friday, November 25, 2011

A themed Thanksgiving

My son got off the school bus on Tuesday bubbling over with excitement about his plans to have a "First Thanksgiving" themed Thanksgiving.

"We can make Pilgrim hats for half the boys and loincloths for the other half, and bonnets for the girls. Can we go to the fabric store right now? We need felt and leather and cotton prints, and..."

(WE!?! You know what that means, right?)

"Um, no, kiddo, I have to COOK! And clean toilets! And make Daddy's office and my sewing room into guest rooms for our overnight visitors! And COOK! I can't also make costumes for 12 people in 24 hours!?!"

So he went to his room, got on his computer, and printed out instructions for making bonnets out of construction paper, which we already have at home. He came down to get his instructions off the printer and went off in search of instructions for the loincloths and Pilgrim Hats. (sigh) How could I not cave in to his persistence and enthusiasm? Really, if my guests are in costume, perhaps they will be too distracted looking at each other to notice how dirty my house is. So I compromised - Pilgrim Hats made out of felt for everyone, and he and his brother had to help.

On Wednesday, we headed out, first to see the Muppets (priorities!!!) and then to WalMart to get felt. Thank goodness I was riding the feel-good high from the Muppets or WalMart on the day before Thanksgiving would have completely undone me! What a zoo!

Using a hat that he already had from Colonial Days at school as a guide, we used an assembly line to crank out 11 more hats - I cut and sewed, and the boys operated the glue gun.

When they went to bed, I started cooking and cleaning. Usually, my mom and younger sister are around to make the pies, but since they are in New Hampshire now, I rolled up my sleeves and gave it a whirl. Only to find out that my oven, which the appliance guy fixed on Tuesday afternoon, wasn't actually fixed. It heated up all the way to 250 degrees before it started cooling off again. Uh oh...

Do you know how long it takes to bake two pies and an apple crisp in the toaster oven? Three hours!!! I didn't get to bed until 2 AM on Wednesday night! But, during that baking time, I was able to make homemade Cranberry Sauce (first time - yummy! And I don't even usually LIKE cranberry sauce!), Broccoli Raisin salad (again, first time, but they serve it a lot down here in Virginia, and I've developed quite a taste for it), bread (in the bread machine), Candied Yams (boiled and peeled and layered with the good stuff, ready to be baked the next day), and prepped all the veggies to be sauteed and added to my stuffing.

Stuffing for the turkey. Fo which I did not have an oven to bake it. Hmmm...

On Thursday, woke up early and started on everything else. First, the turkey. I have a gas grill, and while shooting a prayer up to heaven to let this work, that's how I cooked it. I couldn't believe the compliments I got on the turkey! It didn't look so good - it was much darker on the outside than I usually make it, and the wing and leg tips were flat out burnt - but it was GOOD! My guests were surprised to learn that I had grilled it on a gas grill.

And collard greens, per my husband's request. I've never made those before either, but they turned out great! I'm so glad there were some left over! I finished the stuffing and heated it in the broiler on low - I think I actually like it better outside the bird than inside it! Who knew? The candied yams got finished off in the toaster over, and the squash and mashed potatoes were made on the stovetop. I can't believe I made a whole Thanksgiving feast on my own - I usually have siblings and a mom around to spread the work around. But, as I told my husband, it is the one time a year when I actually don't mind cooking.

And my guests were such good sports about the hats! We wore them while eating, while playing football,

while playing air hockey, while playing cards.

And everyone got to take one home as a souvenir of Thanksgiving 2011 at the Hutchinson household.

(Um, yeah, I'm on my hands and knees. You see, I wanted everyone in the photos so I set the timer on the camera and rushed back to get into position. It just wasn't supposed to be this position...)

Right now, I'm in Newport News, Virginia. The boys and I hopped the bus with the basketball team this afternoon to watch them play in the tournament at Christopher Newport University this weekend. I think we set a new record - we checked into the hotel at 10:09 PM, and by 10:15 PM, the boys were in the pool. Ha! But it wore them out, so when the security guard kicked us out at 11 PM, they went straight to sleep. Which is what I should be doing, too. And this weekend, while cheering the basketball team and supervising twice daily trips to the pool, I vow to finish my November Birdie Stitches BOM. Next time I post, there will be a photo, I promise!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My family ROCKS!!!

On Thursday, the boys and I boarded the bus along with my husband's basketball team to travel to Massachusetts and cheer them on at their tournament while spending time with my family. Adam and the team stayed at a hotel, but the boys and I stayed with my twin sister and her family. My brother and his family also drove up and stayed with us (got there an hour before me), and on Saturday, my mom, my younger sister and her baby drove down from New Hampshire. All the siblings and my mom haven't been together like that since my sister got married last fall, so this was great fun! And look, the bookstore at Washington and Lee gave me a discount so I was able to get 20 matching t-shirts at a great price so we could really represent at the game!

We won the first game on Friday, but lost on Saturday. Then it was back on the bus for the 10 hour drive home. We got home at 4:30 AM on Sunday. (UGH!) I'm just glad I didn't have to do the driving. If you recall, I was planning to read, stitch, watch movies and sleep on the bus. I gotta say, I did WAY MORE sleeping than I thought I would. I brought 4 books and didn't even finish the first one yet! I brought my November Birdie BOM and never even took it out to work on it! I did spend several hours hand quilting a couple more blocks on the Pick and Choose quilt. That was pretty handy, because when I got tired, I just secured the needle and cuddled up under it. I'm really growing attached to that quilt, and if the woman who commissioned me to finish it for her still wants it when it is done, I'm going to be more than a little bit sad! And while snuggling down, I caught a couple of movies. I'm still shaking my head at the choices of the team - I was the only female on a bus with 26 people on it, and they watched BRIDESMAIDS! There was a scene in there, though, that had me laughing so hard that I was crying! (the bridal shop after lunch at the Brazilian place, for any of you who have seen it - hilarious!!!)

I paid my neighbor to dog sit while we were gone and Rosabelle ran away. That dog is so much trouble! It is a good thing she is such a sweetheart, or I'd be tempted to give her back to the animal shelter! But someone found her right away and called our vet (the number is on her rabies tag) so she spent two nights there until we got back. I learned my lesson, though, and already made reservations for both dogs to board there this weekend when we head to Newport News, VA with the basketball team again for their next tournament.

In the meantime, I am frantically trying to fix my oven before Thursday, as there will be eleven disappointed people in my house if we don't have turkey and pie for dinner that day. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Little Things

Last week was BRUTAL! It was super busy at work and I was cramming to make a signature quilt in just 5 days. It all got done, but all I felt like doing this weekend was little things. Luckily, I had two Bee blocks to complete, so I started with those. They were both made with fabric that is very different from what I have in my stash, so that was fun.

We also had a Tiger Scout Den meeting on Sunday afternoon for which I had to prepare. We are going Christmas caroling at a nursing home in early December, before our next Den meeting, so we made Christmas postcards to distribute to residents while we are there (I know, I know, it is early to be thinking Christmas when we haven't even eaten turkey yet, but we wouldn't have had any other time to do it.) On Saturday, I spent several blissful hours cutting letters and green triangles out of old quilting magazines while oogling the quilts. I also cut out some postcard sized rectangles from old cereal boxes, and covered each with a snowy background cut from some Christmas wrapping paper. Here's my sample card:

The ornaments on the tree were made with a 3-hole punch - easy peasy!

Here are the Tigers and their parents working on their cards:

And here is the final result of our efforts:

(Looks like that second tree in the third row is getting chopped down, doesn't it?) I love them! All the boys signed all the backs of the cards.

We also packed 4 boxes of goodies for Operation Christmas Child to send abroad. Can you tell we talked about part of the Law of the Pack, "The Cub Scout gives goodwill"? We defined goodwill as kindness, and these boxes and postcards are physical manifestations of our goodwill towards others this season.

I also spent some time straightening up my sewing room yesterday. I still have a long way to go to make it presentable, but it is better. Part of making it better was cutting up some of my flannels so that they fit back into my flannel bin. I'm hoping to whip up a rag quilt that I can work on snipping later this week on the team bus when the boys and I and ride with my husband's basketball team up to Amherst, Massachusetts where they will play in a tournament. My sister lives within walking distance of the College, so we get to visit family and support the team all at once. Bonus! I will also be working on my November Birdie BOM on that trip. It is nice to have travel projects!

Know what else is nice? Winning giveaways! I won TWO yesterday - 5 fat quarters from Annie at Annie's Ruby Slipperz and a pattern and Charm Pack at House of Wilson. There are more giveaways coming from both of them - I encourage you to pop on over for a peek!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Who needs sleep?

Not me! Donald's joy at seeing his completed signature quilt, ready to be delivered to his departing student teacher today at her going away party, cleared the cobwebs from my head that lingered after getting less than 4 hours of sleep.

I just hope I don't nod off in the middle of something important...ZZZZZzzzzzzz.....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Signed...and partially sealed

Donald collected all the signatures at school on Monday, and I spent Monday evening rearranging and putting the top together. Here's what I finally came up with: (and yes, I said "I"; Donald deserted me to watch TV, the little stinker!)

Then on Tuesday, I sandwiched it and started quilting it with straight lines outlining the diagonal blocks using my walking foot. I am almost done quilting, but not quite because I had to go back to work to speak on a panel on College Access for Underserved Populations last night, and then had to read applications until 11 PM. Ugh! Busy season at work, yet again!!!

I had to come back to work again tonight, and I will be taking files home to read again, but I am determined to finish quilting and attached the binding tonight, because this baby has to be delivered on Friday - the student teacher's last day. Wish me luck (and copious amounts of caffeine!).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Scrap attack!

Have you noticed I haven't done much quilting lately? Reading, yes. Sewing up little gifts and whatnot, yes. But quilting, no. I couldn't take it anymore! I had to get up to my elbows in scraps and work on a quilt (or two, or three).

I started by helping Donald work on a quilt. His student teacher is leaving at the end of the week, and he wanted to make a quilt for her, so I helped him sew up blocks for a signature quilt using some pre-cut 5.5" squares that I inherited from someone somewhere down the line. He picked out the fabrics to use (from a stack of coordinating sqaures), he used the presser foot while I steering the fabric under the needle, he cut the chain pieced segments apart, and he pressed them open on the ironing board. He got a bit tired of it all, and started lamenting the fact that there were 23 kids in his class.

"I should have done this last year in kindergarten when there were only 11 of us," he sighed.

I sent the blocks in with him this morning for the teacher to have all the kids sign one, and then we'll hopefully put it together tonight with the upper and lower borders that you can see in the photo above that I made to make it more square. It is only about 30" square, and I plan to machine quilt with some straight stitches. I've even already made the binding!

I also made a couple more of my leader and ender blocks using 1.5" squares (these blocks finish 6.5" square, and the whole purpose is to use up that black floral - I had a bunch of pre-cut 4.5" squares of it that I wanted OUT of my scraps tin).

I also worked on whittling down my stash of strings because they no longer fit in my strings tin. I whipped up a couple more Virginia Bound blocks (an adaptation of a Bonnie Hunter quilt in her Scraps and Shirttails book). I love these blocks, and can't wait until I have enough to sew them together and have a quilt already! (only 37 more blocks to go...ugh! when I put it that way, it seems like it will NEVER happen!)

I've also had time this past week to work on hand quilting my Pick and Choose quilt.

No new photos, but slowly, slowly, it is coming along. Dare I say that I hope to have it done before Christmas? Did I just jinx myself?

I also want to share with everyone the bag that I received from Janet. I won a giveaway on her blog, and she made me this bag. I love it!

She made the handles in a very clever way so you can use them either long or short - genius! And check out her free motion quilting - I am in awe and so envious of her ability!

She included a beautiful fabric postcard that she made, but I forgot to take a photo of it. Thanks so much, Janet!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thank goodness, it's November!

I swear, our lives have been consumed by Halloween in the Hutchinson household! First, all the angst about what to be. Then the angst about whether or not the costume parts that we ordered online would arrive on time. Then Friday night, we went to a costume party at the karate dojo. Saturday, after I worked all morning, I hosted a Halloween party for 11 scouts and siblings at my house, followed by a 5 kid sleepover for a Halloween Movie Marathon (kid Halloween movies, not THE Halloween movies). The extra kids were gone by noon on Sunday, and no one will be surprised that I spent the rest of the day laying about in bed with occasional trips to the kitchen for sustenance. I'm proud to say that I also managed to sweep floors, wash dishes and do two loads of laundry - but besides that, I was a complete slug!

Then, of course, came actual Halloween! We trick-or-treated til we couldn't trick-or-treat anymore! (Do you like my homemade rosary? The cross is cut from a cereal box and covered with red fabric. The beads are actually a red fish necklace that my son brought home from fish release day at school when they released the trout babies that they were raising in a tank at school.)

We will have candy until my children have children! The kids are thrilled, but all I can think about is my non-existent willpower. (sigh) Pass me another Snickers, will you?

Today, I am happy to put the costumes away, and head home after school/work to SEW! I already warned the kids that I wasn't leaving the house this afternoon or evening. Today is for me! I wonder what I will sew today...

And thank you to everyone who voted for Jason's Halloween quilt this weekend. He didn't win, but he was so tickled to see that he got votes and came in 5th!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The EASIEST thing I have ever made!

Not too much sewing going on. I think all the travel and karate build up and painting my basement burned me out, and all I've felt like doing lately is curling up with a book. My regular readers know that cozy mysteries are my books of choice. I finished the second Leann Sweeney, Cats in Trouble book, The Cat, The Professor and The Poison. Enjoyed it!

I have another Arlene Sachitano to read, but they really aren't my favorite, even with quilts involved, so I'm sitting on that one for a while. Instead, I picked up Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton, the first of the Farmer's Market Mysteries. Enjoyed it!

Now I'm reading one of Maggie Sefton's Knitting Mysteries, Dyer Consequences. There's a certain formula that works for me:

  • female protagonist

  • making it on her own with a home business or crafting business

  • character development! I don't just want to know what they do, I want to know why and how they feel about it and what scares them and what their sense of humor is like! (I think that's why I don't like Arlene Sachitano's books - there isn't much character development)
Anyway, I forced myself down into my sewing room and started working on some Christmas presents. One is for my sister who periodically reads this, so I can't share a photo, but I also worked on some stocking stuffers. I was thinking of making snap shut change purses, and I probably still will, but I also found a tutorial for a travel tissue case. I started with one for myself, since I hate when the plastic wrap crinkles up in my purse and then the tissues appear dirty.

Oh my goodness! If this wasn't THE EASIEST THING I have EVER made! Even with the boxed corners, which, I think, makes it look much more finished (and cute!). It took so little time that I made two more while timing myself. 18 minutes from start to finish to make a pair! No way!

So I made 5 more - IN 35 MINUTES!!!

Folks, if you are looking for a quick stocking stuffer that uses up scraps and takes practically no time to make, look no further! I followed the tutorial found here. Tonight, I'm going to change my thread and make some light colored ones (I had black thread in the machine, so these were all with dark fabrics). I'm addicted! I'm almost hoping people get the sniffles so I can offer them some tissues!

Are you dressing up for Halloween? I'm going to be a nun. Not sure I can pull that off, because I sure as heck am not a saint, but I'm gonna try! And I need to hang up Jason's Halloween Quilt. Remember this, his first quilt from two years ago?

I added it to the Quilting Gallery Weekly Theme Quilt Contest. Take a peek, and if you vote for him and he wins, I promise that HE will get the fabric winnings! He is already letting me know that he needs to build his stash! Love it!