Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Review...One Stitch at a Time

It's that time of year when we all look back at what we created during the year and say, "Shh, Don't tell  my husband how much all this fabric costs"...I made all that?

There were many zipper pouches made, both large and small. I learned to sew with leather which has added a new dimension to my creative journey. The biggest bag I made also caused the biggest headache. It was my first travel duffle. Luckily, I had 50 friends, all cheering for each other, as we completed our bags together at Sew South Retreat. It didn't scar me too badly because I have made two more, in different sizes, since that first one. Cosmetic bags, open wide pouches and triple zip bags rounded out the zipper department.

And then there were the framed clutch bags. Most of these were made with my pattern sold on Craftsy {see sidebar for the link}. I also have a new design in the works. That pattern should be ready for publication soon.

I made a few Home Dec items. I need to make more pillows. They are a great gift and a fun and easy project to make.

Quilts...I didn't think I finished 20 quilts, but looking back I did. My favorite quilt is one I had very little to do with making. It's that gorgeous word quilt made by my Stitch Tease Bee. It means so much to me and has pride of place on my bed right now.  I did quilt it and I am quite proud of that. As soon as my sewing room is painted, it is going to hang on the wall so I can enjoy it all year long. Also pictured in this  first collage:
Rainbow of Flying Geese mini quilt gifted to Lindsay.
Churn Dash Quilt Gifted to Megan
HST Block of the Month {keeper}
X and Plus quilt (made with blocks from swaps and most I made) {keeper}
Color Block Quilt donated to Siblings Together
Two Flower Girl quilts for my granddaughters who live in Arizona
A quilt refashioned and donated to the Moore, Oklahoma Tornado Charity
And Mr. Romance's favorite quilt of many colors, The Scrappy Trip Along Quilt.

This second collage shows my second Stitch Tease Bee quilt {top, far right}. I will do a full review of it on a separate blog post soon. We finally took it to the park today to get some photos so I could include it in my mosaic.
In honor of 100 Quilts for Kids  I made a quilt and donated it to Alexandria House {a shelter for battered women and children in Los Angeles}
A baby doll sleeping bag for my granddaughter, Eden.
Simple patchwork of Seaside fabrics for my cousin's baby boy
Modern Geese quilt made by my Modern Stitching Bee and finished by me. {keeper}
Larry's Gone Fishing, a memory quilt {gifted}
Swirling Modern Maples I love the way I quilted this one {kept}
Cascade Quilt {gifted to our son and his fiance' for an engagement gift}
2 of Jeni's Giant Star quilts. One was donated to Moore, Oklahoma Tornado Charity. I received the most beautiful note from someone who reads my blog and lives in Moore. She was on the committee to distribute the quilts and she wrote to tell me about the young girl who received the quilt. 
The second star quilt was gifted to my friend, Debbie, for her 60th birthday.

There were other small projects made throughout the year.  Lots of charity blocks and pillowcases. Some projects I forgot to photograph and some were just plain ugly.

That wraps up 2013. There are only a few hours left in the year for us here on the west coast. We saw a movie earlier today and had an early dinner. We are celebrating with a quiet evening by watching TV and drinking pink champagne. The Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Special from 2001 was on TV tonight. It was really good. I know, we are about as exciting as watching paint dry.

I have so many unfinished projects from this year. I hope to get some finished soon. I have also started a mega project with Denyse Schmidt fabric. I think it's going to be a while before I finish that one.

I'm not going to make any New Year resolutions because I never keep them.
I wish you all a very Happy 2014.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Zippidy Doo-Dah

A few days before Christmas, I decided to make a couple of zipper pouches as gifts.
The first was made of linen and some pink scraps. I had some King Tut variegated thread in 40 wt., so I used it to quilt a grid to add some texture on the front of the pouch.

Adding a bright pink zipper seemed like a good idea.

I personalized it on the back by writing the recipient's name in the same King Tut thread.

The lining is one of my favorite pink prints from Bari J's Bijoux line.

For the second pouch I wanted to make a fold-over zipper clutch and also to incorporate some leather into the bag.

I also used a Zakka style metal zipper. This bag measures 12" square when not folded.

It folds down to a great size to tuck under your arm when out for the evening..

I lined it with purple, just because.

I think I might make a few more of these. I like the size and love the leather accents.

The perfect finish was a charm I ordered from Chase at 1/4"mark blog before she moved back to the US from Taiwan.

The last pouch was made with Dear Stella fabrics. Just a simple pouch, approximately 6"x8". I added a little zipper pull to this one too and quilted the bottom with a serpentine stitch.

The scrap of AMH home dec weight I found in my scrap bin made the perfect lining.

So there you have it. 3 zipper pouches. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas, as Seen Through the iPhone

I started out the season feeling overwhelmed and way behind. Our Christmas , this year, would not be one of a huge family gathering, but instead we enjoyed our family in little snippets. I thought it would be appropriate to share those little snippets with my iPhone photos.

"Don't get your tinsel in a tangle" became my motto.

Who knew little cabbages made such pretty additions to a floral arrangement?

We kept the decorations to a minimum this year and the house still looked festive.

We had youngest son, Kyle, and Butterball all to ourselves on the Sunday before Christmas. 

We walked around the lake to enjoy the Christmas lights and decorations.

Since he would not be with us for Christmas breakfast crepes, he and I had a crepe making session and a good time making them together. His help speeded up the process, too.

I had a good laugh when I saw Butterball's ad for her bulldog club.

We went to our annual StRaBuCa party. In case anyone is wondering, the word comes from the first two letters of our last names. The Glamorous Grannies {as Di Quiltova has named us} had fun and many laughs.

I didn't do much baking this year but did make a few favorites. Red Velvet Cupcakes...


and Chocolate dipped and decorated Oreos, to name a few.

We had a great night of tradition on Christmas Eve at my sister and brother-in-law's home with my nephew, his wife and my mom. 

We shared the Oplatki {a Polish tradition} sent from my cousin in Slovakia. 

We played Left, Right, Center and laughed like crazy. It was so fun to see my mom so talkative and having such a good time.

Baby Jesus was added to the manger on Christmas Eve.

I really missed seeing these cuties in person, but glad I got to see them in their Christmas clothes. 

Santa delivered...

and then we enjoyed having Jenny and the kids on Christmas morning. Michael had to work, so they spent Christmas morning with us and then went to the firehouse in the afternoon.

For once Evan did not have to work so he and Lauren also got to spend the whole day with us. 

opening gifts

more gifts.

Santa did good for me. An iPad and the clamshell die. Yippee!

Flutterby Flying Fairy was super fun until she got tangled in a Christmas ornament.

Toring loved his aquarium.

Jenny and the girls always look pretty.

This photo caused a lot of conversation on IG. Why the flip flop on the bar? 
We needed a centerpiece!
It was 78'F on Christmas Day. We got to sit outside for appetizers and drinks.

Just having Evan and Lauren here for dinner made it low key.

Chef Evan is always a help and a goof ball in the kitchen.

We ended the day with a toast to Evan and Lauren.
The next nine months will be spent planning their wedding.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
love, di

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Cards

This year we did not make it a point to get a family photo in time to use for our family Christmas card. So consequently, for the first time in many decades, Paul and I sent out a card with just the two of us. This photo many of you have already seen, from our travels in July. But, I liked the saying that came on the card and the photo is a favorite. Love is all we need.

But then, I always send a family photo, and we were lucky enough to have everyone here for Thanksgiving, so we got a snapshot that actually turned out pretty good. I included it in the card and for this post I spiffed it up using my PhotoShop Elements skills. 
It's a very natural photo, no coordinating clothing or professional photographer, just us in our casual style. No children had to be threatened or bribed and this was actually the first shot taken, so we lucked out.

I hope you all have a very wonderful and peaceful Christmas.

love, di

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Doll Sleeping Bag

If you are anything like me, you have probably decided to see just how many last minute gifts you can make before Christmas. This doll sleeping bag is just one of my last minute ideas.
It started out as a doll quilt for my granddaughter and then I saw a photo on Instagram that @chickenjulie made and decided to make it into a sleeping bag. {Santa is resting up before his big night, to try it out}

I used some Marmalade scraps that I found in my scrap bin and pieced it in a random fashion. Then I quilted it using Aurifil 50wt. in white with a Serpentine stitch, using the Bernina running stitch #4 set to full width and 2.5 length.

Little Eden really plays with her baby dolls a lot so I hope she has fun having sleepovers with her new doll sleeping bag.

I bought about 10 yards of this DS print when it was on sale at Joann's a few years ago and I have never regretted it. I have used it a lot for quilt backs. I also used some of the Britten numbers print from IKEA.

Sorry for the dull looking photos. I had planned to take real photos today with the DSLR but it's a dark and rainy day and I am loving it!
Now I am going to try and make a few zipper bags to slip the gift cards into .