Thursday, December 31, 2009

one last 2009 finish!

Here's what I'm working on:

(Left handers hand stitch from left to right, by the way.)
About 2/3 of the way done. Does anyone else calculate the math/percentage finished while quilting or binding? I was teaching my 4th grader how to reduce fractions while I was quilting last night and today: "Ok, figure out what 16/24 reduces down to...." A little while later "what's 20/24?"

I have 7 more blocks around the perimeter to go.
The unfinished part is not in the picture. (Like the painting stuff? My husband has been working hard painting our tall-ceilinged living room, hall, stairs, and kitchen.)

Check back tomorrow for my 2009 recap/mosaic and a little bit of plans for the new year. Hoping to slow down, at least for a while.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

snow kiddos

I spent the longest time bundling up my little sweetie.

She doesn't look like she really appreciated it that much.

Here's some information about our area's 5 day storm. It was crazy, there are parts of my neighbor's lawn where the snow was blown off and you can see the grass, but it is over a foot deep next to my driveway.

The boys had a lot of fun!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas gifts and Christmas kids

Here are a few more of the gifts I made for Christmas this year--lots of dishtowels (I kept one Figgy Pudding dishtowel for myself), a tote bag for my mom, a yoga mat bag for my sister.

I also gave this pear bag to my mother-in-law.

I made pajama pants for the kids to open on Christmas eve. I lost the pieces the first time I cut out Lauren's pants, and still haven't found them. The second time around, I had to cut them on the cross grain to make the pattern pieces fit. It worked out ok though. 

The kids got a good haul on Christmas morning. New jackets for the boys, along with lots of games and books and hot wheels.

Lauren got books, a bath whale, a funny looking pink thing, and some other stuff. She makes great faces.

I hope you all had a great holiday! I'm looking forward to the new year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

dear Mom,

here are the quilts I've been meaning to show you. These are ones I really think I have to make in 2010. I found these while browsing Amy's fall quilt festival. (I still haven't finished looking at all the quilts! I've got to work on that.) The first one is this amazing picnic quilt from Fancy That. Aren't those just the best colors? And I love the denim. The second one is the roundabout quilt from A Commonplace Life. I love the circles and all the bright colors. And how the circles are offset.

What do you think?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

my favorite gift

(That I gave, that is.)

I finally get to post about Krista's quilt! In January this year, the Elizabeth's Fabric Focus project on Sew, Mama, Sew was a lovely quilt made from the House collection of fabrics by Annette Tatum. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make my own interpretation for my sister-in-law Krista, who loves all things baby blue and many pink things too. Of course I had to change things up a little, and I decided to make my quilt with 10" blocks which wasn't one of the options provided in the pattern. That's ok, I can handle a little bit of quilty math now and then.

I got the fabric and worked on sets of 7 blocks at a time, taking big breaks in between. I finished it up in November after we got back for our cruise and labeled it right before wrapping and shipping our family gifts to Utah a couple weeks ago.

I was so excited about Krista opening this up, and I wish I could have been there to see her. I'm trying to decide who I should make a Christmas quilt for next year!

More pictures, better light:
I like the stained glass effect here.

I don't like how you can see my shadow through the quilt here, but wanted to show the whole quilt back:
Please notice the little pink chunk near the bottom. I really like that part.

Had some helpers for this one, and learned that the flash can be a good thing sometimes!

p.s. if you want to make this quilt with 10" finished squares, ending up with a 50"x70" quilt, you'll need 1/2 yard cuts of 10 different fabrics for the stars. I can't tell you how much white fabric I used, because I didn't really measure it or keep track. But if anyone is interested, I can figure that out and I can also figure out the cutting measurements for the star blocks.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

the stockings are hung...

Natalia is hosting a Homespun Holiday Show -n- Tell over at her site, Piece N Quilt. I'm getting my entry posted at the last minute, but at least I got it done! Don't forget to head over to her site (click the image above) to see all the other entries.

I got my daughter's stocking done, it's the one on the right. The one on the left was made in 2002 for Daniel, in the same time frame that the Wreath of Doves quilt was started. I made Jacob's stocking in 2006, when he was 2.

I used the same pattern for all 3 stockings and I took photos this time, hoping to make a tutorial to share with you all. It turns out I'm running out of time and I'm thinking I will probably save it and share it for some kind of Christmas in July blog event next year... what do you think? Do you even want to think about next year's Christmas yet?

Here's a little closer view. Can you see the loopy quilting I did in the white cuff part of Lauren's stocking? I like it.

I wrapped almost all the gifts last night. Just one more. I'm going to make some recycled loopy bows today like this. Aren't they cute?

And I still have some stealth sewing to fit in....we'll see how that goes.

p.s. my husband painted the living room--I really like our new color!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas quilt back

Christmas quilt back
Originally uploaded by vickivictoria
I got the back finished for my Christmas quilt. I like it and can't wait to get this quilt basted and quilted.

I finished my daughter's stocking; still deciding if I'll post the tutorial for it or not, it's getting a little late for that. Besides, we have lots of last minute things to do around here!

Hope you're having a good Monday! I'm off to help paint the living room.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The winner!

Sorry I didn't get to the giveaway until now. The winner is #6, L Johnson aka Laurel! Congratulations! I will be sending an email ASAP asking for your address.

I have been working on the stocking, almost done, and spending some time with my family. I went to a new (to me) little quilt shop today and look what I found:

Fun, huh? I'm looking to swap FQs of this for other Flea Market Fancy FQs. Let me know if you're interested in a trade.

Friday, December 18, 2009

busy Friday

Here's a little peek at what I'm working on today... in between cleaning and laundry and the school program and parties. I'm also going to do yoga this morning... Tara Stiles has some great yoga videos on her site or you can download them from iTunes, if you want.

I'm going to get the stocking done as soon as I can and I'm also making a tutorial for it. This one's for Lauren, her brothers both have stockings made from the same pattern but different fabrics.

I'm a guest blogger at Park City Girl today! Click over if you want to see one of my early quilts and read about my sewing life.

And, check back later on today for the winner of the fabric shopping bag!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I won! and a giveaway.

I won one of 100 bags given away by the folks at Green Bag Lady for the recent Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway day. My prize included a sewn fabric bag, and fabric to make another bag for me to give away.

So... I'm going to give the bag that I sew (from the light blue fabric) away to a lucky commenter here, along with fabric, still undetermined, from my stash to make another fabric bag for the winner to give away.

You can enter by posting a comment here. I'll close comments and draw a winner Friday afternoon or evening. Please only enter if you are willing to sew up a bag to give away!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Santa

You've already been really good to me this year, but I've gotta tell you a few more things on my list. Just in case.

1. Blush Layer Cake
I love all the Basic Grey fabric lines and would be thrilled to get this new collection!

2. Happy Campers Jelly Roll
Ok, I also really like American Jane fabrics and would love this jelly roll. I could make a really cute baby quilt with it.

3. Nicey Jane Jolly Pack.
I'd love this cute charm pack, too. It would be my first Heather Bailey fabric, ever. If I got it, I could make a really cute spring-time charm pack dress for my little girl.

I'll be extra good!

p.s. take a look here and think about writing your own letter to Santa!

random stuff

Look what I found in my pincushion the other day. Cute, huh? I thought my 5-year-old made it, but I was informed that his older brother made it for me.

Here's a little ornament I made for my husband's friend, Mike Brown. The traditional drink at his annual holiday party is called Gators and I made this little guy based on the cartoon in the invite from Mike. The orange ribbon is in honor of Mike's favorite color. I was going to crop the photo but decided I needed to leave it so you can see half of the pop can angel and the scary baby Jesus hanging out there in the tree.

Monday, December 14, 2009

advent garland

This was originally going to have stockings for the first 24 days of December, but I didn't have time to finish it by the beginning of the month, so we have a 12 days of Christmas garland instead.

The stockings are made from grocery bags, machine stitched together with a zigzag stitch. They are decorated with ribbon, rick rack, buttons, glitter, and stamped embossing. My friend Lorilee let me borrow a lot of her stamping supplies for this project and I'm so glad she did.

I really like the #2 button snowman. The trim on #3 is an elastic that came wrapped around one of my orders from Sewzanne's a while ago.

Don't you love the gold embossing on #10? I have to say I really like the glitter heel and toe on #12, and #11 button stocking is my favorite of them all.

Oh yeah, I also wanted to make sure you noticed my Wreath of Doves quilt hanging on the wall in the first photo. If you haven't voted in the Holiday Traditions Quilt Contest, you can go vote for this quilt of mine. (Scroll down to the small quilts contest.) Thanks!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

vintage felt stocking (mine from when I was a kid)

Inspired by this post over on Craft. Doesn't it sound so much cooler if I call it vintage? I think my mom probably made this (and similar stockings for my brother and sister) in 1976. The felt is really soft, it seems different from the craft felt available these days. This stocking was the perfect size for an orange to fit in the toe.

Also. There is a sweet giveaway opportunity over at Twiddletails. Five sets of 4 Wild Thyme fat quarters are up for grabs. Go look, it's cute!

Thanks to everyone who voted for my Wreath of Doves quilt. I have 44 votes now (up from only 4 when I posted yesterday!) and I'm 5th place in the small quilts category. If I can get up to 3rd place or higher, I'll win a prize. If you haven't yet, please go vote for me!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sew and Tell Friday--Wrap and Tell

I am -this- close to being ready to go to the shipping store tomorrow to send my big boxes of Christmas gifts to family in Utah. Here's some of what I've been working on for this Sew and Tell Friday:

Top left: Drawstring bag. What is inside is a surprise. But the person it is for can't read and his parents already know that it is a whole bunch of Thomas duplo blocks and tracks.
Top right: more fabric gift tags, gift cards in sewn wrap. (The sewn gift wrap idea is from Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. Isn't it cute?)
Bottom right: red and white gift. I might have to take another picture of it tomorrow in better light. It's really pretty.
Bottom left: I love this one. The shipping box this gift is being sent in didn't have room for another boxed gift, and I didn't even have a box that would fit it anyway. I wrapped it in (yes, I'm blowing this part of the surprise, sorry) (like you couldn't tell by looking, anyway) a dishtowel that is part of the gift.

I took more photos today that I'll be able to share in a couple weeks!

One more thing--I recently entered my Wreath of Doves quilt in the Holiday Traditions Quilt Contest over at
Holiday Traditions Quilt Contest

Voting is open until the 16th! They are offering some fabulous prizes, and I'd love to win. Please go vote for my Wreath of Doves quilt!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I've been busy sewing last minute (secret) projects, shopping, getting ready to pack stuff to ship, and planning out the last minute sewing of things that don't need to be mailed.

Here's our tree:

I think I need to take a Christmas tree photography class or something.

My baby had awesome morning hair today and I thought I'd show you all:

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

book list

I want to read more good books! Right now I am reading The Hunger Games. Here's a list of books I just put on hold at my library:

The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley(actually the system wouldn't let me, but they do have it and I'll try again)
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
The Year my Son and I Were Born by Kathryn Lynard Soper(not in my county library system, maybe I'll buy it)
The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance by Elna Baker--I'm excited to read this one! It sounds funny.
Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule--I'm #297 on the list so I might need to buy my own copy of this one, too.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Wow, I got over 300 comments on my giveaway post! You guys are amazing. Thanks so much to everyone for visiting my site and entering my little giveaway.
Drumroll, please....
Giveaway #1, the gift tags, go to #147, James & Bess. Go check out their site--Bess has a tutorial for a cute, easy burlap wreath.

Giveaway #2, my Mendocino scraps, goes to #42, Cathy from My Love of Quilting. She just got a longarm quilting machine, lucky!

Congrats to both winners! I'm going to email you both right now for your addresses.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmas came early

Hi! Scroll down to the next entry if you're looking for my giveaway.

Yay! I got a new sewing machine for Christmas. It has a 30 day guarantee so I need to use it now instead of putting it under the tree for 3 weeks. I did some quilting on it right away. Can't show you very much though. (I will later.)

This quilt has dragonflies. These are the last two I did.

These are the first two. See that learning curve. I maybe should have practiced more before starting on the actual quilt. I hope the recipient of this quilt doesn't mind too much, that it was kind of a learning quilt for me.

Here's something I printed out today. I've been wanting to draw more often. I haven't read it yet but am going to tonight. I bet I can get my boys to draw with me, that would be fun.

I have been having fun browsing the giveaways over at Sew, Mama, Sew and enjoying all the comments on my little prize. I have added a few new interesting blogs to my reader. I'll tell you more about some of them in the next few days.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


It's giveaway day! I have two giveaways this time--first,

a set of 5 Figgy Pudding fabric gift tags. The fabrics are machine-sewn onto the gift tags with varied decorative stitches.

I'm also giving away this pile of scraps leftover from a couple projects I made this year. There are a lot of Heather Ross mendocino scraps, including seahorses, mermaids, octopi, kelp stripe, and swim class. I am also including some hand dyed fabrics as well as a few other scraps of coordinating aquas, oranges, and browns.

All you need to do to be entered to win is leave a comment on this post. I'd love it if you take a minute to tell me where you are and what you're making this week. Or just anything about yourself.

Comments will be closed sometime in the evening on December 6 and I will choose the winners with the help of then.

While you're here, take a look over there to the right and check out my tutorials. I have several quilting tutorials, including how to do quilt basting, free motion quilting, and binding. I also have a tutorial for making a t-shirt charm pack dress and easy kids' capes.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

10 capes

Now I can move on to the next thing on my list... tomorrow's giveaway! Actually it is ready to go too. I will be sewing secret things for a while here; I'll try to find things I can talk about to post here.

I wanted to share this with you, from mr. monkeysuit:
traveling art show. Check it out--free pattern for a compact art-on-the-go kit. Once I make my way down my to-do list a ways, I might try making one or two of these.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Gift Ideas for Quilters

Here we are with just a few short weeks of shopping time left until Christmas. Are you having a hard time coming up with gift ideas for your favorite quilter? Here's a list of 10 gift ideas for quilters.

1. Flat Flower Pins. While I was working on quilt bindings for Project Improv I had a bunch of these extra long flower pins of Jacquie's. I gave them back to her a couple weeks ago, and I miss them! I haven't bought new pins since about 8th grade so I'm hoping some of these pins end up in my stocking on Christmas morning.

2. Curved Safety Pins. Great for basting quilts before quilting.

3. Needles. I like this multi-size package of hand sewing needles.

4. Box of 100 Schmetz universal sewing machine needles. Changing your needle often is a good thing!

5. Fabric! Moda precut fabrics like charm packs, honey buns, and layer cakes are all good choices.

6. Gift Certificates are good gifts too! You can get gift certificates for the large chain stores as well as your local quilt shops, and don't forget there are many great online quilt fabric shops. Here are a few that I like: Crazyquiltgirl fabric shop, Pink Chalk Fabrics, and

7. Not exactly quilting related, but necessary: chocolate. I love Harry and David truffles. And Dove chocolate, too.

8. Time. I think most quilters would appreciate the gift of time to work on their projects. Especially those of us that are moms.

9. Rotary cutter blade 5-pack. Rotary blades are something that nearly every quilter uses and they need to be replaced fairly often.

10. Magazines! A few varied newsstand issues would be a great gift for a quilter, as would a subscription to a quilting magazine. Here are a few that look interesting to me:
Australian Patchwork and Quilting
Quilting Arts Magazine
Quilter's Newsletter
Quilter's Home

Did I forget something? If you sew or quilt, what would you put on a wish list? I'd love to know what you're hoping to receive (or give) this holiday season.

And, for more ideas and inspiration for quilty gifts, please visit Amy at Park City Girl and Natalia at Piece N Quilt. Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

basic kids' cape tutorial

All right! Here are the instructions for making a basic kids' cape with a velcro closure. You can vary the length and width of the main cape fabric, or curve the corners for a rounded cape. You can also applique letters or designs or add pockets to the cape if you want. The capes I've been making are about 26" long and 30" wide. The first cape that I made, about 5 years ago when my oldest boy was 4, was a few inches narrower. I am making a bunch of capes from thrift store twin sheets now, and half the width of a flat twin sheet is the width of the capes.
1. Cut your cape body piece 30" wide and 26" long. Cut your neckband piece 22" long and 3" wide.

2. Hem three edges of your body piece, leaving the top unfinished. I used the existing side and bottom hems of the bedsheets when possible.
Fold the neckband piece in half lengthwise and sew across the short end, turn the corner and sew up the length of the band for 1-2 inches. Do this on both ends of the neckband, then trim your corners.

3. Turn the ends of the neckband right side out, poke out the corners so they are nice and square, and press. I also pressed one of the remaining unsewn edges under 1/4". (I don't know, it might be better to press them both but I got good results this way.)

4. Sew two rows of gathering stitches on the unfinished edge of the cape body. For more explanation on gathering, see here (scroll down to steps 12 through 16).

5. Mark the middle of one edge of the neckband and the middle of the cape body piece with straight pins.

6. Pin 'em together, matching up the centers.

7. Gather. Once I had gathers pulled up on each side of the center pin, I adjusted them so the cape body was gathered up to be about 6 inches long on either side of the center. Then, on each side, I pinned the edge, adjusted the gathers to spread them out and make them nice and even, and pinned some more.

8. Make sure you shorten your stitch back up, and sew the cape body to the neckband, stitching in between the two rows of gathering stitches. Remove the lower row of gathering stitches.

9. Starting in the center, fold the open edge of the neckband piece under 1/4 inch and pin the folded edge down right over the neckband/cape body seam.

10. Continue folding the raw edge and pinning it down. The pins need to be fairly close together. This is probably the most fiddly part of making this cape. At the same time you are pinning the free edge down, you also need to make sure you are smoothing the back edge of the neckband up from where it is sewn to the gathers of the cape.

11. Next is topstitching. Topstitch around the whole neckband, starting at the right side of the neckband with your folded and pinned edge on top. Topstitch the gathered edge that you pinned first, and then continue around the rest of the neckband.

12. Here's what it should look like with the topstitching all finished.

13. Cut some hook and loop tape, about 1" or 1 1/4" long. The edges of the neckband need to overlap, so pin the loop side of the tape on the front of the neckband, and the hook side on the back.

14. Use a zigzag stitch to sew the hook and loop pieces to the neckband.

15. You're done!