Notes From Home Advent Calendar

(You can see Gram’s tie-dyed cast.)

I’ve probably told you before, BF’s mom is currently in the Peace Corps and it’s that time of year again when it’s time to send presents.

In addition to a few DVD’s to keep her occupied during the cold winter nights in Eastern Europe I decided to make her an advent calendar.

Last year after the holidays I bought a few yards of Sherri Berry Christmas fabric on sale. I planned (plan?) on making myself a cute new tree skirt with them. I was a little torn because I had plans for that fabric in my head but to be honest, I knew that project wouldn’t come to fruition for a long time.

I asked my Twitter friends for tutorial suggestions which some how turned into me writing my own tutorial. I drew up the pattern and attempted to write down step-by-step what I did. I’m not sure I will post the tute, I haven’t quite worked out a way to get my point across clearly & succinctly.

I have asked BF’s brothers, sisters, aunt, uncles, nieces and nephews to write a quick note to BF’s mom. I printed the notes and stuffed them in each pocket. So everyday from Dec 1 to Dec 25 BF’s mom will read a note from her loved ones at home.

I’m still with Gram 24/7 taking care of her and her two broken legs so I don’t have all of my sewing supplies handy. I didn’t have any thread to match the house fabric or the tree fabrics and I didn’t want to have ivory thread all over so I left all of that mostly un-quilted. I did a little stitch in the ditch quilting around the house square and the tree. I figure it’s a wall-hanging that won’t need to be washed much so it would be alright if I didn’t totally quilt it up.

I machine appliqued the star and used a back stitch with red embroidery floss to add the numbers to the pockets.

I am horrible at making hanging sleeves so I decided to sew four tabs into the binding for hanging.

I think it’s pretty cool that my quilt is traveling thousands of miles. (Labeling a quilt is one of my least favorite things & they are usually an afterthought, if they make it on at all.)

I’m very excited to get away for a week. We are going to the Jersey Shore. *fist pumps* It’s just far enough away to feel like we are going away. We will freeze to death walking on the beach, win millions at the casino, eat lots of turkey, and celebrate BF’s big 30th birthday. It should be fun!

After I get back I will be teaching an 8 year-old girl to quilt. She wants to make quilts for her American Doll. Spread the craftiness!!

One day my photos will be amazing. I keep telling myself that. Santa, if you’re reading, I wouldn’t be sad to receive a dslr. Oh, and some daylight. HA!

Fabrics: Kona Ivory, Lemon & Grass Green. Sherri Berry. A random Christmas FQ. Kaffe shot cotton.

Dizzy Geese Quilt

I finished my Dizzy Geese quilt over the summer, just in time for my Old Lady Quilt Guild quilt show.

I gave you a little taste of Dizzy Geese here. When I showed you my tiniest block, less than three inches!

Well, here I am with the finished quilt at the show.

I really like paper-piecing, it’s so easy & the seams come out perfectly every time. (As long as you sew the correct line. I had a few mess-ups along the way) I also love the super tiny pieces!

I think eventually I’d like to add some hand quilted circles with embroidery floss in pink, blue & green but I’m sure that will never actually come to fruition. A girl can dream…

Fabrics: Patty Young’s Flora & Fauna line for the geese, Kona Charcoal for the background & Paula Prass Summer Soiree for the binding and some geese.

BQF Fall 2010 – Always With A Book Quilt

Can you believe it is already time for Bloggers’ Quilt Festival again? I really love this virtual quilt show. Thanks Amy for all of your hard work!

A while back I mentioned a super secret quilt I had started. As it seems all of my projects go these days, it was started, then shoved into my WIP drawer for months. It was a housewarming gift that I didn’t want to ship because I knew eventually we would visit the actual house it would live in.

After months in the WIP drawer I whipped it out, we were visiting it’s future home soon!

BF’s sister and brother-in-law bought a new house and we were finally going to visit. BF’s sister is a prolific reader. If you are ever looking for a good book recommendation visit her blog, Always With a Book, she reviews everything she reads. It’s a really great blog.

I had seen bookshelf quilts around and thought that would be a perfect pattern. I cut strips of varying height and width then laid them out on the design board then added the white background. If you are in a super hurry you could machine applique the books onto the background fabric & could easily have the top finished in a few hours.

I had three rows of books pieced and I knew I wanted it bigger but I couldn’t decide if I should add another row of books then boarders or just make bigger boarders. Yet again, I turned to twitter for help. (Seriously, I am way more interesting over there.) Jenny was still up with me and gave me the permission I was secretly hoping for to go the easy route, big borders. I am so happy with that decision, they look great and it took a heck of a lot less time to do!

I put myself in a bit of a time crunch, (I see a pattern emerging), so I stippled. I like beautiful, imaginative quilting but I don’t see anything wrong with a little all-over stippling every now & then. I love the crinkly-ness after the quilt is washed, nothing compares to stippling & it’s crinkles.

I finally finished the binding on the last day of our visit. The recipients kept asking questions while I sat in their house binding this quilt but I gave noncommittal answers.

When BF’s sister unfolded the quilt and finally saw the design she exclaimed,’ it looks like books!’ Yup, it does.

I used one of my favorite Ikea fabrics for the backing. I didn’t even have to piece it! (Time saved.) I think the backing is perfect for a housewarming gift. What do you think?

BF & I stopped by Ikea on the way home to pick up more of that fabric but they were out. If anyone spots some at their Ikea, let me know, I’d love someone to pick some up for me!

Oh, by the way, I used some of my Essex linen for the first time & I love it!

If you are new here, thanks for stopping by! If you have yet to check out the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival, check it out, there are hundreds of awesome quilts linked up.