Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fabric Fast 2014

The end of the year is fast approaching and again I'm noticing that I have enough fabric and future projects planned to keep me busy for a long time. I've said that in the past, but I've always fallen off the wagon. This year I really need to stick to my decision. I have absolutely no more room in my storage space for fabric. It is too crowded for me to enjoy it. I have such beautiful fabrics and projects planned it really is ridiculous for me to spend anymore money on fabric or spend anymore time planning new projects. I recently stumbled onto Fabriholics Anonymous and the goals seem to mirror mine, so I've decided to go for it. No fabric purchases from January 1 to July 1 2014. I actually would like to do a fabric fast for the entirety of 2014, but we'll see how the first six months go before I make that pledge! 

- To use the Stash I already have!
- Finish UFOs without distraction by shifting to other new beautiful fabric.
- Stop the insanity of constantly buying the latest and greatest fabric.
- Save the $$ I spend on stashing. (This is an important one for me. No starting a new hobby with the money not spent on fabric. SAVE IT!)
- Destash the fabrics that I realize I am never going to use. (I really need to get rid of some of my old fabric.)

1) No fabric purchases for 6 months beginning January 1, 2014.   
2) At 6 months reevaluate status and decide whether to keep going for full year.  Evaluation July 1, 2014.
3) Create a UFO list and complete them!
4) Exceptions
  • Backing: purchasing a backing to finish a quilt top is permissible.  However, attempting to use fabric in your possession for a backing is preferable. (I will allow myself fabric for backings, bindings, and sashing. However, I MUST try to use what I have first)
  • Books and Magazine purchases are allowed as they are not fabric.  Notions acceptable too. (I have plenty of these, so I'm going to cut this out too)
  • Swap Mama Fabric: if hosting a swap you are permitted to by fabric to execute swap duties, but you may not join a swap simply for the sake of being able to buy fabric! (No swaps for me!)
  • Quilts for Publication: if you are making a quilt for a publication and need certain fabric to execute it correctly then that is a major exception - who can blame you?

I'm not going to give myself hard and fast rules about what I have to work on. Since I'm not going to allow myself new fabric, I'm not going to focus just on UFOs. If I want to start a new project I will. In my experience if I give myself too many rules, I don't stick with it.

Without further adieu, here is my list of projects for 2014:

  1. Make quilt for my Mother-in-Law for her birthday
  2. Finish my Going Coastal quilt
  3. Finish my Innocent Crush quilt
  4. Finish Grinch quilt for my son
  5. Finish Nicey Jane quilt for my Aunt
  6. Finish baby quilt for cousin
  7. Make two baby quilts for my nephews
  8. Wonky Star quilt with Constellation fabrics
  9.  Finish Cherry Christmas quilt for me
  10. Finish Christmas quilt for my BIL and SIL
  11. Finish two Quilts of Valor 
  12. Organize my scraps and then do a scrappy project.
I know I won't finish all of these and that new shiny projects will come along, but some of these have been on the pile for a long time. I want to finish some of these and use them! I know there are other UFOs I'm not thinking of right now that I might want to finish up too. I will try to update the blog once a month on my progress, but I can't promise anything. Blogging is just not something I do very often, but I'm going to try.

Interested? Please consider joining us! I'm hoping this will really help me meet my goals.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Now I am not someone who shops on Black Friday (don't even talk to me about Black Thanksgiving), but I do craft long before December 1st. Once the boys take their Halloween costumes off, I'm planning for Christmas! Christmas carols have been playing around here since the end of October at least when my husband isn't home. He is passionately against anything Christmas until after Thanksgiving.

My oldest son on the other hand loves to start Christmas planning with me. This year I want to have a lot of handmade ornaments on our tree especially ones the littles help me make. I saw this tutorial to make a Gingerbread man Christmas ornament that teaches children a "safe" way to needle felt. I thought it would be the perfect craft to do with Hurst. He had such a great time and listened to his mother so he wouldn't get poked by the needle. I wish I had taken my own advice and gone a little slower because I did get stuck and boy are those felting needles sharp!

 We made four ornaments so far, but I think his favorite was the gingerbread man. It is pretty cute!

These won't be the only needle felted ornaments we make this year. If you are looking for a fun craft give it a try! I got the Felting board and needle from Michael's and the roving yarn from Purl Soho.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US! I can't wait to see what everyone is making this year for Christmas!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It has been a long time since I've posted to WIP Wednesday, but never fear, I have been sewing. I'm trying to finish up my Going Coastal picnic quilt. In a couple of weeks we are going to Maine for a week and I really want to take it with us! I think it will be the perfect quilt for the beach!

Right now I'm doing one of my least favorite parts of quilting: squaring up the blocks!

I'm so tempted to skip this part, but in the long run it will make the process of sewing the rows together so much easier. It just takes so much time! I'm really loving it though. It is just a simple patchwork quilt that shows off the prints in the line perfectly. I can't wait to take it to the beach and on picnics with the family.

To see what everyone else has been up to this week, head on over to Lee's for WIP Wednesday!

Graham's Stocking--Finished!

I am so thrilled that to have finished the stitching on Graham's stocking! I can't believe that my children will finally have stockings this year. Gorgeous, handmade stockings even (if I do say so myself). I still need to attach the beads and buttons to the stocking and actually sew it together, but the time consuming part is finished.

I absolutely loved stitching these! If only had more children to sew stockings for. I can't wait for Santa to fill them with toys!

I'm going to take a little break from Christmas sewing for a bit. I wanted to make sure these were finished in time for Christmas this year and I'm pretty pleased with myself that they are almost finished and it's still summer. I can't wait to start my next cross stitch project, a Halloween Sampler. It's so cute!

The pattern is Thomas Stocking by Shepherd's Bush. If you'd like to see what Hurst's looks like, click here.

I can't wait for Christmas this year!

Friday, August 2, 2013

July Ornament

I have another small finish to share with you. I'm becoming addicted to these ornaments. I can't wait to decorate the tree this year!

This is French Country Ice Skate from JBW Designs. I think this will be so cute on the tree with the Alphabet Snowman.

I will hopefully be back soon to share some of the projects I've been working on recently. I've made good progress on Graham's Christmas stocking and our picnic quilt, I just haven't gotten around to taking pictures yet. Hopefully this weekend!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Small Finish

I am pleased to show off my latest finish. It is a Christmas ornament that I just finished last night. It's called Alphabet Snowman. It is in the mini book called "A Winter Sampler" by JBW Designs. I'm still learning how to do the finishing, but I'm pretty pleased with it!

My goal is to make an ornament every month for the rest of the year. I've recently joined a new blog where a group of us blog our progress every month. I'll be updating my progress here and over there every month. It's going to be a fun year.

Never fear, I'm still quilting. It is just easier for me to stitch while I'm doing my mommy thing during the day. I'll post an update soon of my progress on my Going Coastal picnic quilt.

Have a great week!

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hurst's Christmas Stocking

I know, I know, it's hotter than blue blazes and I'm writing a post about Christmas. Please just understand that it takes me forever to finish projects! If I'm ever going to have the handmade Christmas I've dreamed of since I was a little girl I have to keep Christmas projects in the rotation all through the year.

I am pleased to say I have finished the cross stitching portion of my son's Christmas stocking. I would also like to point out the it's not even Memorial Day yet. Maybe, just maybe, there is a chance that my children will actually have stockings to stuff this year!

Of course I was able to make such good progress because H was constantly reminding me to work on it. Not just when he saw me working on other sewing or craft projects, but anything. If he caught me on Pinterest or blogs, he'd ask me "Mommy, could you work on my stocking, please?" Of course how could I say no to such a sweet, polite request especially when he was always so excited to see each section appear on the cloth! I'm so happy that I am raising him to appreciate things that are made by hand.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that whenever we had company over he would show this to them and say that I was making it for him because I loved him and that he was going to keep it forever and ever.

And of course, he is absolutely right! I did make this for him because I love him and every time he sees it, I want him to remember that, even when he's big!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Blogger's Quilt Festival--Spring 2013

Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival - AmysCreativeSide.com

I am beyond thrilled to be participating in the Blogger's Quilt Festival this weekend! While I have been blogging for awhile I've never been able to join in the fun until now! I have loved looking at all of the quilts, meeting new bloggers and can honestly say I am truly honored to have my work displayed among so many beautiful quilts.

Today I am sharing my latest Quilt of Valor with you. Quilts of Valor is an organization that is near and dear to my heart. As much as I love to make quilts for my dear ones, there really is something very special about covering our nation's military service members with a quilt. If you would like more information about this fine organization, please follow this link.

I have wanted to make to "Outside the Box" ever since I first bought "Modern Quilt Workshop". I was so pleased to see that even though it seems complicated it was so easy to make. I am so thrilled with the results! When I was planning for my first Quilt of Valor I knew this was the pattern I wanted to use. I thought it would be the perfect pattern to highlight some of my special patriotic fabrics. As with many of my projects it took a bit of time to complete, but I think it has been worth the wait. Here is the first post I ever made about this quilt all the way back in January 2012 here. I can't believe it took that long to make, but better late than never!

I made this quilt while sewing with the fabulous Quilting Angels in Germantown, Maryland. If you live in (or are in town for a visit) the metropolitan DC area do yourself a favor and stop by one of the meetings. I don't get to spend nearly as much time with them as I'd like, but I can tell you I leave every meeting revitalized and ready to quilt my heart out when I get home! I am honored to be involved with such a talented and generous group of people. I can't say enough nice things about them! One of the best things about the group is we have several seriously talented longarmers who quilt our quilts for us. Sharon G quilted this for me and I think you'll agree with me that she did a great job!

I can't wait for the next session of the Quilting Angels so that this beauty can be presented to a very deserving member of our military!

Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of blogland! If you have never been here before please feel free to stay a little while. Especially if you like pictures of adorable children because what can I say, my sons are pretty cute! Enjoy your time perusing the other quilts on display for the festival, I know I will!

Quilt Stats: 

Pattern: Outside the Box from Modern Quilt Workshop by Kerr and Ringle

Fabrics: Various red, white and blue prints from my stash and Kona Marine for the sashing.

To be donated to the Quilts of Valor Foundation

Thanks so much to Amy for hosting this glorious event! You can't imagine the excitement that surrounds everyone of these events!

Linking up with the Throw Quilt category at the Blogger's Quilt Festival

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day Weekend

I know it's a little late to talk about the weekend, but I had to share. Somebody had a big birthday party this weekend. My oldest son just turned 4. I know everybody says it, but how did that happen? Where did my toddler go and who is this little boy? He looks and talks like an eight year old! I can't believe not only is he four, but he's about to finish up his first year of preschool. Crazy! Before I know it he'll be in school full time, his little brother will be in preschool and I'll be in tears!

I've known for months my budding paleontologist would want a dinosaur themed party. Needless to say, I've been scouring Pinterest for all of the best dinosaur party ideas. What did mom's do before Pinterest? It is such a lifesaver, a time suck, but a lifesaver!

The first thing I found were these dinosaur tails. Jessica from Running with Scissors really out did herself with this tutorial! I knew I had to make them for all of the kids. I thought it would be adorable to see them all dressed up as dinosaurs and with a mask, I knew they would be the perfect thing for the kids to take home. Now that Hurst is in preschool we have been to our share of birthday parties and I have to say as a mom, I really don't like the bag of plastic junk that comes home with him. He loves it, of course, they drive me nuts! I was determined to do something else. I really think the mom's appreciated it and the kids loved dressing up like a dinosaur! I'm definitely glad I took the time to make them.

Here they are tied to our stairwell so the kids could see them as soon as they walked in. Not only were they a hit, but I was able to use fabric from my stash that I have been hoarding for a long time. As in before I got married ten years ago long. If you have been reading my blog for anytime at all, you know I need to do some  stash reduction! A good project all around!

We played some cool games:

Here's Pin the Tail on the T-Rex (which I made from this tutorial):

We had a pinata. Here are the kids after it was on the ground, gathering the fruit snacks and candy. See some of those dino tails?

After pizza and cake (quite a combo, eh?), we all went out to the front porch to dig for dinosaur fossils and dino eggs (tutorial here). It was the best! They had so much fun and played so nicely together. Here are my munchkins in the bottom right digging together. What little loves!

A good time was had by all, but most importantly this guy had a blast at his birthday party.

 If you have a little one who is dinosaur obsessed, any of these tutorials would make for big fun this summer. I'm already saving coffee grounds to make more dinosaur eggs to dig up this weekend. I think we will be doing a lot of that this summer!

Sunday was the perfect Mother's Day. My husband got up with the boys and let me sleep in. That was seriously the best gift he could give me! After the party, I was pretty wiped out! Once I finally got up, we went to the park and flew Hurst's dinosaur kite and played on the playground. As usual, my wonderful Mother-in-law met us there. Toots (as she is known to the kids) always is such a big help to me. She took two days off from work last week to help me make the dinosaur party happen. I really couldn't have done it without her. Needless to say, I wanted to make sure she got a nice present for Mother's Day.

I made her a Figuring the Eight Scarf from Anna Maria Horner. If you haven't made one yet, do yourself a favor, buy a kit and make one. In voile. Seriously, it was so easy and the scarf is so silky and soft.

Doesn't her scarf look beautiful on her? I think these are definitely her colors.

This turned out to be a long winded post! Thanks for reading all of it! It was such a great weekend. I love making memories with my family!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Quilts for Those in Need of Comfort

The last ten days have been brutal for the state of Texas and the City of Boston. When these horrible things happen I know as a quilter I always wonder what I can do to help. One of the things I love about this addictive hobby of mine is that quilts are so comforting. Quilts help cure the most simple to the most complicated of ills. While it is a small gesture, it is amazing what a quilt and the love that is sewn into it can do!

The Boston Modern Quilt Guild is collecting 12.5 inch tall by width of your choice blocks in blue, yellow, gray and white to make quilts for those in need of support after the bombings at the Boston Marathon. They also need donations of fabric for sashing, binding and quilt backs. More information can be found here. There is also a Flickr group to upload pictures of your blocks once you are finished. If you can, I think this would be a great way to help the Boston area start the healing process!

Quilts for Boston

Judy who writes over at Patchwork Times is collecting quilts for the people of West Texas who are in need of comfort after the fertilizer plant explosion and fires. She is collecting completed quilts of any size or if you have completed tops and she has time, she can quilt a limited number. You can find more information about this quilt drive here. I'm sure some of you have quilts that are either finished or nearly finished that you don't have plans definite plans for that could provide comfort to those in Texas.

I hope you can find some time this week to sew for people who I'm sure would love to know that they thought about and loved. Spread the word to your friends, co-workers, church members or blog readers.

Tonight after the kids are in bed, I think I'll pull some fabric to make this block for the Boston Modern Quilt Guild. I collect the charity quilts for my quilt guild, Burke Quilter's Unlimited in Burke, VA and one of the very nice members gave me a quilt last week and I will send it off to Judy this week for the people of Texas.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I've been busy, busy, busy sewing lately! Unfortunately I don't have much to show for it, but I've been making good progress.

This one just needs the binding sewn to the back and it's finished. My plan is to wear my children out this morning and then work on it this afternoon after they've crashed. I really want to take it to my Guild meeting tonight for Show and Tell. I just love this quilt so much! I can't wait to show it to you once I'm finished!

I really need to add the borders to this one, but I just haven't found the time or space.

 I think I will work on it Saturday with my Quilts of Valor sewing group. There is always lots of space there. Not to mention I get to sew without my children around. That always helps my sewing progress!

Remember this?

 I just need to do one more row and then I'll have a completed top. I really want to finish this in time for Mother's Day this year. I think I said that last year too, but this needs to be the year. My aunt deserves her quilt! I love Nicey Jane! It's a good thing I love her otherwise I don't know if I could give this one away...

I have finished two Quilts of Valor Anniversary blocks. If you would like to make a block (or two) to help celebrate please see this post. They are really easy to make and good for using up scraps of red, white and blue fabric!

Last, but certainly not least Hurst's stocking. I'm making good progress on this one! I think I can, I think I can finish this by Christmas. I so wanted to finish Santa's head, but he really wanted me to make the train. Needless to say, he won. I think it's looking pretty good!

I'm really hoping to keep up the momentum this week. A couple of these quilts have been in progress for a long, long time and it will be nice to finish them. My one big goal this year was to finish most of my WIPs. I have way too many and it will be such a relief. I hope this year will cure my bad case of "startitis". I have such lovely projects in the works. I really hate that I lose interest in them so easily.

I joining in today at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday. Won't you join me?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I'm so excited this year about the Blogger's Quilt Festival! I love to look at all of the quilts every year, but this year is special for me because I think I'm finally going to be able to participate. I can't wait!

What about you? Are you a Quilt Festival pro or have you just been admiring the quilts every year like me?

Start thinking about what you might want to share with everyone and mark your calendars! The Festival starts on May 17th and lasts until May 31st. See Amy's blog post for more details.

Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival - AmysCreativeSide.com

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Quilts of Valor 10th Anniversary Block Drive

I wanted to write a quick post about something near and dear to my heart. As I'm sure you have noticed, I am a big supporter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation. If you have ever wanted to get involved, but haven't been able to commit to a whole quilt, I have a great alternative for you.

To celebrate the ten year anniversary of the foundation, a block has been designed and all the blocks are being collected at one central location. The blocks will then be made into beautiful Quilts of Valor. I can't wait to see all of these beautiful quilts that are going to come from this block drive. How special for our nation's heroes to have quilts made by people throughout the nation!

This little block is super easy to make and will make good use of your red, white and blue scraps! So you wanna make one (or two)? Follow this link to the Quilts of Valor website and download the directions. Please feel free to pass this on to your friends, family, guild members, church congregation, anyone who you think might be interested!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday

This past week did not find me spending much time in my sewing room. I have made absolutely no progress on my Quilt of Valor. Instead I have spent the past week making valentines for H's preschool class. We've also been taking advantage of the awesome weather lately and playing outside practically non-stop. I do wish we could get one real snowstorm before this season is over, but I have to admit all this sunshine is giving me spring fever! Yesterday I cleaned out the birdbath and dug around in the flower beds. H kept asking if we could go to the store and buy flowers. Not yet buddy, but soon!

I did get to work on the Christmas stocking a little in the evenings. I finished Santa's sleeve and his pipe this week. Last night I started on his pants, but I think I might have made a mistake. I'm going to look at it later with fresh eyes. I really hope I didn't mess up! I hate unpicking all those little stitches!  

I wish I could say that things will be different this coming week, but I don't think so. The rest of the week is going to be busy in the evenings and this weekend my husband has a rather big home improvement project planned. Wish us luck! My husband is pretty handy, but I have to admit I'm a little nervous about this one! It's going to be pretty hard to play with the kids while my fingers are crossed and I'm holding my breath! Needless to say, I don't think I'll have much time at the sewing machine. Since he's not planning on starting his project until Saturday morning, I'm going to try to spend most of Friday evening working on my quilt.

I'm linking up with everyone else at Freshly Pieced this week. Later today I'm hoping to look at everyone else's progress and maybe that will encourage me to finish that quilt top!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

W.I.P Wednesday

I've made good progress this week. I like having a daytime project vs. a nighttime project to work on. That way I can tell what kind of week I've been having. This week I've been sleeping until the boys wake up, so I've had very little time to work on my latest Quilt of Valor. I have managed to sew all of the blocks into rows during naptime. Now I just need to join them together and add the borders. I think I'm going to have to sacrifice a little couch/cross-stitch time this week to work on the quilt. I really want to finish this one up so I can work on my other W.I.Ps. This is a free pattern called Bricks-RWB designed by Mary Johnson of Mary Quilts. The quilt goes together really quickly, but makes quite a striking quilt.

I am very pleased with the progress I've made on H's Christmas stocking! Every morning when he comes downstairs he asks to see what his stocking looks like. Needless to say, that little extra pressure has given me the drive to work on it a little bit every night, even if it's just one row. Maybe I need to have someone in the military call me everyday and ask about the progress I've made on my Quilt of Valor!

Here's a picture of Santa's tummy:

I can't wait to finish this! I think it's going to be so cute!

I'm linking up over at Freshly Pieced for W.I.P Wednesday. Won't you join me? If you're like me and have some projects that need finishing, W.I.P Wednesday really helps you accomplish your goals!

Until next time, have a great day!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday

Oh, it's been a long time since I've done one of these posts! I'm hoping if I get back into doing these it will inspire me to work on my projects. I really need to clean out my sewing space especially of the WIPs!

I'm still plugging along on my Quilt of Valor. I haven't made as much progress as I would have liked, but slow and steady wins the race!

I try to do most of my quilting in the morning before everyone else wakes up and if there is time in the afternoon while little G naps. At night, after the boys go to sleep, I like to do handwork. That way I can spend a little time with my handsome hubby on the couch. It is a little too messy in the sewing cave currently for him to spend time with me in the basement (hanging head in shame).

I started this cross-stitch Christmas stocking for H this week. I was going to make quilted stockings for the boys, but I fell in love with cross stitch again last year and subsequently Shepherd's Bush's stockings. I'm making Harry's stocking for H and Thomas's stocking for G. Won't these be beautiful over the fireplace I WILL own one day??

The pattern is pretty easy, but these babies are huge! I'm hoping that since I'm starting in January at least one of them will be finished this year. H really wants his stocking, so I'm getting lots of encouragement/nagging from him. I think I'm going to have to get some of these labels for these stockings!

Sometime this week I need to sew the binding onto another Quilt of Valor. Saturday I'm going to the Mother Seton Parish Quilting Angels meeting and I want to turn this in. I really want to work on the cross stitch in the evening but, I will have to start sewing on the binding tonight if I'm going to finish it by Saturday. Oh well! It will feel really good to finish a project and get it off of my couch downstairs!

I'm joining in the fun at Freshly Pieced today, won't you join me?

Grab a button

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Friday Night Sew-in Results

Well, I wasn't as productive as I wanted to be, but I did make some progress on my latest Quilt of Valor.

I'm using this great pattern from Mary Johnson for this one. It is a very simple block that comes together quickly, but the magic happens in it's arrangement. If you are in need of a quick project I highly recommend this pattern! While obviously I'm working with red, white and blue, I think any combination of colors would be beautiful!

My fabulous husband has taken the boys to the local Children's Museum for an afternoon of fun, so I'm off to work on the quilt top. I'm hoping to make some real progress today! Oh, and clean up my sewing space. It's an embarrassment!

Friday, January 25, 2013

January Friday Night Sew-in

It's the first Friday Night Sew-in of the year, and I'm so happy to be participating! I made dinner for the boys and headed down to the basement to work on my latest Quilt of Valor. I would love to be able to show you a picture of it, but my camera's battery died. I'll have to show you a picture of my progress later.

Hope everyone else has a great time sewing! It's cold and snowy here, so it's perfect for quilting!