Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quilt Books

If you are not a quilter, I apologize in advance for this post ... because it's really quilt-y. ha!

My sister in law and her mom are quilters. I love that about them. I especially love that it makes them easy to make gifts for. ;o) I always know that they will appreciate anything that I sew for them, but especially if it has to do with quilting! So ... this year, for Christmas (and for mama's birthday), I made them each a quilt book. My mom had one of these for when she started her Southern Album Quilt, and I have used it often when assembling my own quilts. It's basically a big (like 18inch square) "book" with fabric pages, so that you can lay out the pieces of your quilt blocks and keep them from being strewn all over the place while you are working on them. It's also a great way to store your quilt blocks until you are ready to sew them together ... it keeps them flat and wrinkle-free, and doesn't take up much space at all.

Anyway ... here are some pictures.

This is Suzanne's quilt book. I saw this fabric at Hancocks and *had* to have it. It's so much fun.
My dad cut 1/4 inch plywood squares to slip in the front & back covers, so the books wouldn't be floppy. What a nice guy!

See the pages ... I made them out of quilter's flannel, so that the cotton quilt block pieces would "stick" on them. I think there are about 12 pages in each book.

I love personalizing things with initials.

Here's Mama's book ... that's an "M" for Mary Anne, not Mama. ;o)

A close-up of the button closure. I used one of my mom's vintage buttons.

I put a little 1/8 inch strip of red fabric in all the seams on the front, just to set off the patchwork. Is there a name for this? I don't know ... but it made it look more fun to me.

So, now I'm debating if I should make another quilt book for myself ...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Curtains for Sarah Jane

My friend Sarah Jane asked me to make curtains for her. It was super-fun going and picking out fabric with her. I love the brown & blue combo in her bedroom, and I think these curtains tie the room together. Most especially, I love that she picked out a pattern that isn't super feminine, so that her husband can really enjoy the room just as much as she does. yay!

Now ... on to the pillows!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

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

I'm not really a Scrooge. Honest, I'm not. But, ever since I graduated from college and have been out on my own, I have decided against decorating my house for the holidays. Everybody I know thinks I'm weird. I typically enjoy making my house a home and spending time on "crafty" projects. I should love Christmas decorating, right? Wrong. The problem I have with it is that I hate going through all the effort of decorating when I'm just going to turn around and take everything down a few weeks later. I'm sure if I had a family of my own it would be very different, but with just me, it's a lot of effort. And, besides ... I'm rarely home during the holidays ... opting instead to be at my brother's house, or my dad's house.

But, (hear the angels singing hallelujah in the background) this year is different. My friend Cynthia insisted that I have a tree this year. Not only that, she came over and helped me decorate it. We made an evening of it ... I made soup. She brought wine and made yummy authentic Italian garlic bread. It was great. And the result ... my house looks (and smells) like Christmas, and - for the first time since my mom died 6 years ago - it makes me happy.

Here's the whole tree ... Halfway through decorating it, Cynthia & I noticed that I only had red ornaments on it. Hysterical. I guess it's pretty obvious that I'm a freak about red stuff, huh?

Here are some of my very favorite ornaments ... some new, some old. All dear to my heart.

I am addicted to Starbucks. Enough said.

This is one of the ornaments my Great Aunt Germaine made me growing up. She is the reason I now make a Christmas ornament every year for my friends & family.
Gotta keep the tradition alive!

This is my 2006 (I think) ornament ... in memory of my mom. I actually made the same ornament in like 5 different fabric combos ... This one is my favorite.
Because of the red, of course.

My sister-in-law's mom (AKA "Mama") made me this last year ... LOVE the red & white!

This is one of my grandmother's vintage hand-painted ornaments. Dad generously gave it to me a couple of Christmases ago so that I would have something of hers. I love it.

No tree of mine is complete without a touch of Paris.

This was my all-time favorite ornament growing up. She's made of corn-husks, and I always thought she was the most beautiful ornament ever. Seriously. She always went in the same place on the tree every year ... right up near the angel on top. Scottie has a matching one ... I guess it's her husband.

And, to top it all off ... the angel. This is the tree topper that I grew up with. It was always a thrill to put it on top of the tree. Dad would lift Scottie or me up to finish off the decorations. She isn't in the best shape anymore, but she's still special to me.

I'm taking some time off to spend with friends & family, so I'll see you after the holiday!
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Doll for Faith

My friend Emily's niece, Faith, needed a new doll for her birthday, and I was happy to make one for her. Emily picked out the fabric ... a happy blue with little white daisies. Lovely. I love how bright and cheery she turned out. Here are some pictures ...

I used a vintage button from my mom's stash to embellish her collar.

She has soft flannel skin and hair, and a cotton dress. Her face is hand-stitched.

I admit I'm a little jealous of her yellow shoes ... too much fun.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Black & White

My friend Jodi asked me to make some reusable bags recently. She wasn't sure what fabric she wanted, so I told her we could go to the fabric store and pick some out especially for her. Of course, neither of us knew how dangerous that would be. You see, Jodi & I live in a black & white world. Color very seldom enters into our existence, except - of course - for the red that appears regularly in my life. Seriously, though .... The other day, Jodi was getting ready for a date and asked which top she should wear ... the black long sleeve sweater, the black button down, or the fun frilly black top. Black is our go-to color. Black is the new black, right?

Anyway ... the point is that we came out of Hancock's with - yes, you guessed it - black and white fabric!!! But, how could we resist??? Just look at the fun reusable bags I made out of it!!!

This is the outside ... fun white swirlies (is that a word?) on a black background. I mean, really ... this fabric was just calling our names from the shelf!! How could we walk out of the store without it??

Here's the inside ... little white dots in stripe formation. Love it. Almost like pinstripes. I love that it's more formal than the whimsical outside. Opposites attract.

Here it is, modeling with some books inside.

I added snaps to the handles so that it will be completely reversible. That way, if Jodi (or her sister in law, who received one as a birthday gift) wants to change it up every now and then, she can do it with ease.

Of course, there still won't be color, but that's ok ... baby steps, people. Baby steps.