Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Mom's handmade Christmas: tablerunner and treeskirt

My mom saw my tree skirt and wanted one too so this is what I made her for Christmas.

She gets a table runner and a tree skirt! I should have sent these to her at Thanksgiving, but I didn't even know she would like them then. She can use it next year!:)
The tree skirt is 3' square and the table runner is approximately 5 feet long.
I have another table runner in the making for me which did not get done in time for Christmas this year. That is okay because it will be ready for next year!

Edited to add:
I was inspired to make the tree skirt by this tutorial over at crazymomquilts. I changed the size of the blocks to make them bigger, sashing, and the layout, but the construction of the blocks and the rest of the quilt (binding, hole in the middle) was made utilizing her helpful tutorial. This inspired the tablerunner as well. I also made one for a table top tree for me here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Star Lap Quilt

I can finally post one of my Christmas presents to my mother-in-law! I made this star lap quilt using six of crazymomquilts tutorials. I then added a square border around in Amy Butler fabrics-this idea was inspired by Jacquie's quilt. Although it is hard to see in the photo, I made my first pieced binding which I love! It took a while to do, but I am very happy with the end result.

I then pieced together the back to showcase a few of the fabrics and give the backing a little something extra-or since I am currently down South we can consider it lagniappe. I love pieced backs and I really like that when it is in use the top can be folded down to see a little of the fabric strip on the back.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

May you have lots of good surprises this Christmas and over the New Year as well! Thank you to all of my new and old friends who I have reconnected with this year through my blog!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Quiltdad's Blog Giveaway

Look what came in the mail for me today! It is like an early Christmas present.;) A couple of weeks ago, John aka Quiltdad had a giveaway on his blog and I won! I thought I would be getting the gorgeous bag at the top....

I didn't know it would be stock full of other goodies as well. I received four little fabric croissants which I adore. I really like the one in the front. I am already thinking of what I can make with these-hmmmm....

I also received some Amy Butler fabric tags which are really neat. I had not seen these before but I can't wait to include them in a project. There are also some neat paper tags and a nifty little tissue package which is going right into my purse immediately.

There is even more! Some yummy chocolate reindeer, a Mary Englebreit notecard packet, and a magnetic list pad also found their way into the bag. The reindeer have been consumed, the notepad is on the fridge for grocery lists, and I am already planning who I can send cute little letters to.

There was also this cute quilt block puzzle! Thank you so much John! You really put together a wonderful prize package and I love everything. It is fabulous!

I have been busy sewing away trying to finish up Christmas presents which I can't show quite yet. The two pictures that follow are a hint of what I have been up to-a little teaser for you.

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Christmas Eve full of good times!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Photo Challenge

I was tagged by Karen today for this photo challenge. The instructions are "Go to your fourth photo file, post the fourth photo, and explain the photo. Pass it on to four people."
Okay, so my fourth picture is very blurry. I am not very good at cleaning up my files as I upload pictures, obviously. This was taken at my friends' wedding in New Orleans in October of 2004. I believe it was at the chapel at Loyola. We had just moved to Colorado and it was wonderful to be able to see our close friends again.

This is the fifth picture in the file-or the fourth picture if you only count non-blurry ones!:) This is a street near the French Quarter closer to Jackson Square taken the next day. I loved the reddish building with the old paint peeling off and the bright turqoise green surrounding the storefront on the building to the left. The architecture in this city is wonderful. I love visiting here.:) Please notice the guy in the pinkish shorts-it was in the eighties! It was already cold in Colorado when we left and I was so happy to wear a sleeveless dress in October at night comfortably!

So I am passing the challenge to APA, sewamy, bearbear, and Amy. Hope you have fun with this!:)

Monday, December 15, 2008


It is so cold here in Colorado! When I woke up this morning, the thermometer on the back porch read -5 degrees Fahrenheit! The car thermometer confirmed -4 on the way to work at 6:30. When I drove home from work at 5:00 it was 7 degrees-Fahrenheit! I took a picture of the thermometer at 6 this morning but it didn't come out-sorry mom! It snowed some yesterday and the roads were a little icy today, but it wasn't horrible. I think we only received a couple of inches overall. It is supposed to snow tomorrow, though.

I will be happy when I am in 50 degree weather along the gulf coast over Christmas! The snow is pretty, but I swear I can feel my nose hairs freeze when it is so cold outside. Gigi runs outside to go to the bathroom and immediately is ready to be back in. I can't blame her; who would want to have to go outside to use the bathroom and stand in bare feet in the snow when it isn't as warm as zero outside!

On the crafting front, I am sewing but it is slow. I am trying to wrap everything up at work this week before break and it is super busy. I also am working on Christmas presents so I can't share pictures! I also may be getting sick or am sick. I have had a sore throat since Friday and I keep waking up in the middle of the night severely dehydrated. I feel as if my tongue is twice the size it should be and I am drinking two huge glasses of water a night. I must make it until Friday when I am off for Christmas then I can be sick for a couple of days before we travel to see family. I will probably not be posting here very much as a result for the next couple of days.

I did post a review of a book I read recently here. Happy Monday everyone!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I recently was the lucky winner of one of John's bags over at Quiltdad. I am so excited about it because he makes the most beautiful things, and it is the first blog contest I have ever won. Thanks John!

So on that note, there are two other contests going on around blogland!

1st: My friend over at em's scrapbag is having a contest! She is giving away an adorable pincushion and a pattern for a cute wintery tablerunner with accompanying fabric. Woohoot!

2nd: Freda's Hive is having a massive giveaway to celebrate her one year blogiversary. Go here to check out the rules. Today she is giving away the cutest towels that I would love to win!

I am hoping my luck continues.:)

Monday, December 8, 2008

New Reading Blog!

I have decided to keep my reading lists and reviews separate so I started a new blog! It is still in the works so nothing fancy yet. I do have my first (new) review over there though. I am going to use it as a place to list all of the books I read and short reviews of (hopefully) most of them. Go here to check it out!


SewConnected Block for SewHelpMe

I finished my sewconnected block for sewhelpme last week and it has been received so I wanted to share it here. I love the fabrics she chose! I started off with some flying geese units and slowly just started piecing it together. I did not use a pattern but I think a pattern may exist out there for this block. Either way, I am happy with the way this one came out.

On the other crafting front, I have been super busy with work so I don't have much to share right now. Plus, there is some Christmas gift crafting currently underway so I must be secretive... Happy Monday everyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Margaret Bag

I finished a bag that I started about a week ago. It took me awhile. I have never done pleats and so many pockets before. I do love it and may make a few for Christmas. It is really big and roomy inside. I used this pattern and tutorial over at OhFransson!

I am so used to making flat objects that it took me awhile to do some pretty simple things like sew the liner into the bag. I tried and the straps were sticking out the sides in a weird way so I had to rip it apart and start over. I did eventually figure it out. It has pleats so it will expand and it will fit across my chest, which I really like. I also added four pockets to the interior with velcro to keep everything safe. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out and am going to try it out tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!

Merry Sitsmas!

Over at The Secret is in the Sauce they are giving away prizes every hour! Go here to check it out.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Break in Pictures

We were lucky this Thanksgiving to have my in-laws come visit us for several days. We did a lot of cooking and some exploring. I didn't get pictures of everything, but here are a couple snapshots from our days.

This is the beginning of the Thanksgiving table. So far there is only turkey and rolls on the table!

I made my great-grandmother Zerah's dressing for the first time. Check out that nice golden top! I was quite proud of myself for this one.

Here we have butterbeans, broccoli casserole, two types of cranberry sauce and brownies. Not pictured is green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
This is the Thanksgiving turkey before it was cooked. It was so delicious!

On Friday, we went to the Garden of the Gods outside Colorado Springs.

It is so beautiful there! I love the red rocks against that blue sky.

Saturday we woke up to snow. On Friday night, we went to downtown Littleton to the lighting of the Christmas tree and SANTA. It was really neat. They light all the trees along the main street and slowly Santa rolls down the street in his sleigh. We ate at Merles which is a new restaurant downtown. We have eaten there three times in the past week and every single time they had delicious food. It is awesome to have a local eatery with good food that is reasonably priced that we can walk to. They were singing Christmas carols on the street and it started snowing-which may be the only time I have really liked the snow!:)

This is our lovely snow covered tree in the front yard.

We did do some shopping this weekend. I found several books I needed to buy. We went to Tattered Cover in LoDo (independent bookstore), an independent store in Manitou Springs, CO and the borders outlet at Castle Rock.

I also made turkey stew with the left over turkey bones. This is really good and it did not use any of the good turkey leftovers!

I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving weekends!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh Christmas tree skirt...

I finished my Christmas tree skirt last night. I pieced it and quilted it this past weekend. It actually went together pretty quickly. I was inspired and loosely used the tutorial over at crazymomquilts. There were a couple changes due to the fact I needed a little tree skirt not for a big tree.

We have a table top tree at my house. This is the first year we have actually had enough ornaments to completely cover it! I collect an ornament from every place we visit so it is full of places we have gone. I like that aspect. It also has many snoopy ornaments from my husband's childhood, too.

I am proud of the fact that I did not have to purchase a single thing to make this skirt. It all came from my stash! I had leftover Christmas fabric from last year, leftover batting cut away from previous quilts, and scraps of red and green fabric.

I also have enough scraps leftover that I am going to make a table runner based off the same design with bigger log cabins.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New fabric and no more stains!

Look at all these pretty things! I broke down and bought a new iron yesterday and a new ironing board cover. My old cover was very stained. It seems that my old iron had rust inside which would leak out occassionally and make spots like these.

Those lovely stains came from my iron! If the cloth was wet, this is what would happen. Yesterday I was working on a tree skirt for our little Christmas tree and it sputtered out a couple little brown spots on the white portion. Yuck! They came out, thank goodness, but I was done with the old iron.

Just to make sure I didn't get any more spots, I purchased a new ironing board cover, too! It is cute with the little brown irons all over it. It is from K-mart. I had no idea that you could buy a ironing board cover based on how often you ironed; they had daily, weekly, and monthly. The more use it would get, the more expensive it was. I went for the weekly but I do iron almost daily; Really, could there be much difference?

A local quilt shop was having a 20% off everything in the store sale, so I picked up some more pinks for my pink star quilt a long. I am going to create borders around each block in one of these fun Amy Butler patterns. I love these fabrics! So pretty!

Edited: The ironing board cover I picked out was $9.99-the daily cover was almost $15! Brand new iron-only 19.99. (Good deal for the relief and prettiness it brought me!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Art on Youtube

Saw this at Mayfly

This is awesome. I love everything about it.

Pink Star Quilt A Long

I finished some star blocks this week using crazymomquilts tutorials. This will be the second quilt I have made using some of these star blocks. Here is the first It is amazing how much quicker they go together the second time!

I suppose I should start quilting some of these tops before I keep making new ones, right? That will be my New Year's Goal for 2009-finish all of my tops! Later this week I will make a to do list. I don't want to think about how many half finished projects I currently have right now...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friendship Star Swap

These stars will be going out in the mail today for a swap that sewmanyquilts is sponsoring. I have two more that are almost pieced together. I will get an equal amount of stars back in the end! I love the Alexander Henry fabric I used on the bottom three.

See there has been sewing going along with all the cooking lately. I hope everyone is having a great day!

P.S.-I just found another blog that has a couple of recipes that can be made ahead of time for Thanksgiving-Sweet Potatoe Casserole and Sweet Potatoe Cheescake!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sausage Pinwheels

Here is another easy recipe for making the holidays a little easier. Plus, they are really tasty! We always had these Christmas morning when I was growing up. They are also really good as an appetizer for parties.

All you need is a roll of ground sausage and a can of crescent rolls.

Lay out your crescent rolls.

Smush those seams together. (Yes, I just made up a word!)

Spread your sausage out on the crescent roll.

Roll up the crescent roll long end to long end. Be careful that you don't let this happen!

You then have a log like this! I keep rolling it out so it is longer and thinner than it is when you first rolled it up.

I then roll it up in freezer paper and freeze overnight. It will make it easier to slice into pieces when it is frozen. When it is fresh, it is easy to smush but you can go ahead and slice it up.

Slice into pieces. Then bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until the sausage is brown and the crescent rolls are a golden brown.

I go ahead and make the roll and then slice it into pieces and freeze all the pieces in a gallon sized freezer bag separated by freezer paper. You can then cook all of the pieces at the same time or you can pull out only what you want to cook that morning. This way you can cook an individual meal or for mulitiple people.

We, as a family of four, would generally be able to eat the entire roll in the morning but this is snacking on these throughout the morning. One roll could easily feed 4-6 people without any sides or more if it is a side dish. They are really good.

On another note, a friend of my family just started a blog bearbearcreates. Her husband has been friends with my father since they were in high school. I am sure that they have very funny stories of my dad that I will not hear because they were quite the rascals when they were young. (I know that much!)

She is new to the blogging community so go on over and say hello. I know that she will appreciate it! She is making the cutest dresses for her granddaughter and some lovely paintings.