Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back and Looking Forward

I stayed up way too late last night so I was surprised when I woke up this morning full of energy and excitement about 2012.
2011 was a tough year for a lot of people I love and at times a tough year for me, there was a lot of change and turmoil going on and I am ready for it to be over and done with. I am embracing the New Year and it's going to be a good one!! 

Here is a little look back on the year. It could be called the year of the mug rug for me I made so many they could have their own mosaic! I finished six quilts and really feel like I am finding my voice. The upper left corner is Nate and Kristi's wedding quilt, my first queen size, I'll have a post with more photos soon. 

For 2012 creatively I have a few quilts planed over the next few months that I am so excited about. I'm planning on participating in Rachel's Scrap Attack Quilt Along which I think is getting started this week, it's going to be scraptastic! I will also be doing a few things with Madame Samm because I just can't resist her enthusiasm and kindness. The Sewing Summit is a must for 2012! I am also taking a fabric design class from Lizzy House in the Spring YAY! I am trying to figure out what the next step will be for me on this quilting journey.

I am grateful for my family. My children, 7 and almost 11, are changing right before my eyes and I don't want to miss this time when they still snuggle, give me spontaneous hugs, and call me Mama instead of Mommm or MOther. My husband and I have declared this the "Year of Organization", ok I did and my husband is on board. We are starting this month with his office which is also our home office and organizing a different part of our house/life every month!  It's going to be a full year I can tell already but it's going to be a good one!

Happy New Year and thank you for taking time to visit I appreciate this space and my friends out in blog land so much!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

PMQG Holiday Swap

Another holiday swap was a big success at our Portland Modern Quilt Guild December meeting. After last years amazing quilt made by Rachel I was trying not to get my hopes up but was so excited to receive these beautiful pillow covers by Gail
We are allowed to add one fabric and she added the grey which really ties in with the grey in the pink fabric. I love the quilting detail inside the pods. Thank you Gail!

Out of all the people at the meeting I drew my friend Bianca's fabric bag which I promptly tried to hide from her but she caught me. We had two months to work on this swap but of course I didn't start until two days before, really lame I know, but I felt the fabric with it's retro coffee pots leaned towards a kitchen item rather then a quilt or pillows so I knew I didn't need a lot of time. I finally decided on place mats and used Elizabeth's tutorial for the design but improvised the placement of the fabrics. 
The fabric I added was the green which is actually a stretch cotton sateen that I have wrong side up to hide the shine. I have a whole bolt of the stuff from my knitting needle holder days. I opted to do a simple line quilting that has a retro feel like the coffee pots. I love how they turned out and I think Bianca does too! 
I am happy to announce that I will be the secretary for our guild in 2012! Check out a little more of our holiday swap here we have some really amazing members.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

It's been so busy here finishing up Christmas presents and getting all of the decorations up (still not done). I am looking forward to getting all the loose ends tied up today and just enjoying the weekend. Here's a little bit of our week.

I made another 241 tote this time for my sister-in-law this is a gorgeous japanese linen fabric ecrulat lycéenne paired with Andover's Dazzle. The lining is a little Lotta Jansdotter Echo.

Some little coasters for a hostess gift.

These are 10" Gingerbread men that Lily and Avery decorated. You can see the zombi plague has spread to Christmas it's a shame when cookies attack.

 We took the kids on the Polar Express this year. Its a train ride complete with characters from the movie, hot chocolate, and Santa they had so much fun.

I made about 80 Salted Caramel Macarons using this recipe which was based on Helene's recipe from Tartelette a site I love. They were so yummy and not as hard to make as I expected, if only I hadn't had to give so many away.

Happy Holidays everyone I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!


Friday, December 16, 2011

The Winners!

Alison said...
I would love to win the layer cake! In the new year I'll be finishing my first quilt (the top is almost done, yay!) and making skirts with two gorgeous lengths of fabric a friend just brought back for me from Ghana. Can't wait!

I love the mug rug and would love to win it! Hmmm ... what will I be sewing in 2012... probably the first thing I'd like to work on is a quilt for my new baby boy. He has one, but I'm sure he'd love another!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book CLub

I haven't done our book club post for the month because I was saving it for after our Holiday party. We met last week and the book this month was my choice Our Tragic Universe by Scarlet Thomas. I was a little concerned when I first started the book that I'd picked a dud but I ended up really enjoying the book as did the other members that read. Although the consensus was that it took about 200 pages to get into the book which is a challenge not everyone wants to take on. Out of the 12 members of my book club I am one of the few that compulsively finishes every book I start I just can't give up and in this case it was worth it. Part of the theme of the book is a story less story and for awhile you think that's what you're getting but in the end it really came together for me and the other members that read. I didn't find the New York times review as glowing but the review is helpful to explain such a complicated book. 
Our party was fun as always and full of reminiscing by the original members. I feel so lucky to have been included in this group that has been together for I think 11 years now, I am a newbie going on my 4th. Our monthly meetings are something I always look forward to! Our gift exchange was fun as always and the runner I made was a hit. I think I'll be making something for the party from now on.
What are you reading this Holiday? Our book for January is Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby read along!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas is in the Works

I have been sewing away this week but there are a few things I haven't even started yet yikes so much to do! I'm so in love with this runner I just had to share. It was finished just in time for our book club Christmas party last night, well I had to finish sewing the binding on at dinner. Sorry about the picture quality the photos were taken as I rushed out the door. 

I started with the Tammis Keffe panels and wanted to figure out a way to use them that wasn't a dish towel. With the help of the perfect color linen/cotton fabric and some applique ornaments it worked out perfectly. For the quilting I free motioned around the tree and angels and also added little stars.  Now I just need to make one for myself.

My book club post is coming soon but now it's off to sew. You can find my giveaway post here. I have been reading through all your comments and will try to respond to all of them!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Yay it's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! Did you win anything last year? This year I am going for it and doing two giveaways one for those of you looking for a handmade item and one to start your sewing out right in 2012.

I'll try to make this short but sweet we have a lot of blogs to go through don't we! For anyone that's new to my blog I started blogging and quilting in 2009 and have been obsessed ever since. I live in Portland OR with my hubby, two kids, two dogs, and now chickens. They sneak their way into my blog occasionally. I also love our Portland Modern Quilt Guild and gluten free baking. Now for the reason you're here....

I love snack mats mug rugs what ever you like to call them! I will be giving away this little one I made along with a coffee cozy to match. I am so into the Tammis Keefe Tribute prints right now.

I'll also be giving away this layer cake of Sweet Pickins! That's 42 10" squares of loveliness for you!

  • To enter just leave a comment telling me which you would like to win and what you'll be sewing in the New Year. If you would like to win either one tell me 1st and 2nd choice but if Sweet Pickins or my mug rug isn't your thing give someone else a chance my feelings wont be hurt.
  • I love my readers so let me know in a separate comment if you are one for an extra entry.
  • For you no reply bloggers please be sure to leave your email address (ie petra(@)gmail(.)com ) in your comment so I can contact you if you win. 
  • This is open to everyone out there I will ship to you!
  • I will leave my giveaway open until 5PM pst on Dec.16th and announce the winners over coffee on the 17th!
Good luck to everyone!!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Here they are

#5 Christie S. said...

I'm looking forward to my son coming home for the holiday. That's all I need. :o) Love your pretty gift bags.

#8 Anonymous said...
sew cute ;-)

well, I kinda would like the latest & greatest smartphone for Christmas !!!!

#13 Aimee said...
Oh! What a fun giveaway. What I want for Christmas... hmm... I've got a lot on my list, but no "must haves"...Two items on my list are a sewing machine & an IOU scarf (

Congratulations!! I will be contacting you for your mailing info and Teresa and I will be shipping your bags out soon.
 I loved reading all your Christmas wishes and I think they were all great ideas. My wish is for my family to have safe and happy holidays this year! I would also love a new sewing machine but that's not really in the cards so one of those Aurifil gift packs would be wonderful and something made by my children.

I am whipping up a fun giveaway for Sew Mama Sews big giveaway day on the 12th I hope to see you all then!!


p.s.  A shopping tip, today and tomorrow ALL sweaters and jackets are 50% off at Anthropologie I hope my husband gets that hint.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Wrapping and the Green Bag Lady Giveaway

If you read my blog last year you might remember my post on the Green Grocery Bag Challenge. Our guild got really behind the idea of using fabric to wrap presents instead of the loads of wrapping paper we usually use. I wanted to keep it going this year so I've teamed up with Teresa from Green Bag Lady to give away three of her handy grocery bags and three of my holiday bags!
 If you haven't heard about Green Bag Lady she has already given away 18,000!! fabric grocery bags to help us all cut back on those plastic ones that just end up in oceans or landfills. There are so many free bag tutorials on Green Bag Lady and other websites you have tons to choose from Here's my version of a quick and easy bag tutorial with a boxed bottom you can adapt as you need to. Scale it up or down once you make a few it's a piece of cake.

For this larger size bag I started by cutting two 14" by 18" pieces of fabric. The smaller bag was cut 10" by 15". For my bags I added button holes around the top to thread your ribbon through. For this detail I measured 4" from the top and marked the bag in three evenly spaced spots on the front and two on the back. I made my button holes about 1" in length. Having 5 button holes helps to make a nice tight tie so no present peeking for the kids. Next pin your fabrics right sides together and sew the sides and bottom with a 1/4" seam.

To box the bottom of the bag. With the right sides together still I turn the bag so the seam is on top and flatten the corner so you have a point. Smooth this out and measure the desired distance from the corner point. For this I decided to make it 2" if you want a wider bottom increase to 3 inches. If you are making a smaller bag decrease the measurement to 1" or 1 1/2".Draw a line across pin and sew. Repeat on the other corner. Now just trim off the excess fabric and you have a boxed bottom.

This photo is from the other bag so I measured 1 1/2" from the point.

For finishing fold down the top of the bag 1/4" iron fold down another 1/4" iron and sew all the way around to make a nice hem. 

Now for the giveaway! I will use Ms random generator and pick 3 winners to receive one ready to use gift bag made by me and the fabric ready for you to make one and one green grocery bag from Teresa. To enter leave a comment telling me what you want for the Holidays this year. I will pick a winner Friday morning on the 9th. If you are a no reply blogger please put your email in this form (jane at gmail dot com) in your comment so I can contact you if you are the winner.
Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Too Much to Do!

I have was at a loss for blogging this week because I have been overwhelmed with all the smaller projects I need to work on for the holidays. Today I was inspired to share thanks to Anna Maria Horners post. To me it was all about things you need to do and want to do luckily even my need to do things are fun. I have felt so pressed for time and there are so many want to do's right now! The problem is the things I want to do eventually become the things I need to do and are replaced with the new things I want to do. Make any sense?

I needed to get my package for my twitter Secret Santa Swap out in the mail. It's finally on it's way, where could it be going?

I want to work on my son's quilt it doesn't look like much now but I would love to make some progress.

Really want/need to work on some Christmas decorations and gifts. This will be a runner for our table and also another for a gift.

I need to get started on fabric gift bags for this year. For the second year in a row I am not buying wrapping paper, of course I had a lot of rolls to use up but no more!

Thinking about using my Echo fabric which will have to wait until next year. It's going to be a quilt for our bed! I love this fabric!!

My partners fabric for our annual PMQG Give and Get swap. I need to get moving on this one for sure!

I still need to run over to Bolt to pick up fabric for a 241 tote I am making for someone. I am also thinking about decorating the house for Christmas, Sew Mama Sews Giveaway Day,  getting our cards out, blogging, Birthdays coming up, yeah I am feeling a little overwhelmed!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chicken Update

Because our chickens are in our front yard this is what I am greeted with every time I go out the front door. The chickens now associate the sound of our door opening with getting treats. There are plenty of times they are disappointed but it doesn't keep them from running to the gate with hopes of bread heals or vegetable scraps. 
Coco (Coco  Van)




They're getting so big and you can really see the 1-2 week age difference between the young ones Sprinkles and Coco and the older Peepers and Pippi. I think Coco is really going through an ugly duckling faze right now but she'll get in more feathers soon.

Now we are on egg watch. There's a chance they won't lay in the winter but the expert at Urban Farm Store said in the first year it's pretty common for them to lay right around 5 months. My next post will hopefully be about eggs!