Saturday, December 20, 2008


Winter doesn't officially start until tomorrow...
But after having 11+ inches dumped on our house, I'm willing to greet our great cold season a day early. And so are our little snowpuppies!

This is our first big storm since Kaya came to live with us. I was excited to see how she might react- and I was not disappointed!

Like I did as a child, she sees the snow as one huge excuse to romp and play... sticking her nose into the snow and tossing it upward with a swing of her head. She even got me & her big brother Zack to join in the fun. Usually he & I both prefer to stay inside where its warm and dry... enjoying the beauty of the snow- without all the cold...

But who can resist this face?!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sunflower Bag

Quite awhile go a friend of mine asked me to make her a bag... the catch? She wanted me to use an old family cross-stitch project as the center of the bag. Eeep.

It took me forever to work up the courage to start on the project- and even throughout, I was terrified of accidentally cutting into the cross-stitch (which is beautifully done, btw!). I even managed to do the whole thing in such a way that if they happen at any point to want to free the cross-stitch from the bag, they could without damaging it. That was important to me, just in case!

It also took me forever to figure out the right way to do the project... I didn't want to simply make a bag and sew the sunflower to the front... so I made a sort of quilt block out of the sunflower piece, and four pieces of fabric framing it. Corduroy, to be specific. I felt like the cross-stitch needed a heavier, more textured fabric for its frame.

I even branched out and used strap buckles for the first time... once I started the whole bag sort of designed itself in my mind, and then went off without a hitch. I am so pleased with the result!!

Monday, December 15, 2008


Things are always hardest around the holidays, I find. Its like taking all of the stress in your everyday life and turning it up a notch.

And then turning it up another notch.

I saw this photo today, and fell in love... its by Robert Socha Photography. Available on etsy,
The title says it all, I think...


Thursday, December 11, 2008

An early gift...

The holiday season is alive and well in our house tonight... egg nog, Christmas shows...

And a puppy just begging for an early gift...

Luckily I was prepared, and pulled out a little stuffy with "Naughty" on one side, "Nice" on the other. Guess which side Kaya preferred?

But doesn't she look appreciative? What a smile!

But she spent all day playing in doggy daycamp- and care barely muster the energy to play with her new toy...

Good thing it functions as a pillow too...

Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Felted Gnome

Kate over at two little banshees felted this little dude recently...

I'm just head over heels for him... I'm also half-convinced I could head out into the woods of my backyard and find one of these guys hiding among the mosses... anyone up for a hike?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Brick Path Quilt

Today was the first significant snowfall of the year... the this is the view from my craft studio window...

The perfect afternoon for some quilting... which I haven't had time to do since I finished my "Apples and Pears" baby quilt last weekend (which the recipient seemed to adore, btw)...

This quilt is going to be a Christmas gift, if I can get it done in time... the finished size will be around 6 feet square... my largest project so far, by far!

Its a collection of Amy Butler's Daisy Chain fabrics... using her free Brick Path Quilt pattern.

I've been waiting to try this one out for awhile now... but man, it is large... I finished all of the cutting and about half of the piecing today... the countdown to Christmas has begun!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

FINISHED!!!! (with pattern link & review)

I've finished it!!! The baby quilt I started on November 16th (two weeks is a record time for me, btw, nothing like quilting on a tight schedule!)... is officially done!

In case you haven't been following from the beginning, it is the quilt pattern from oh fransson that I first introduced here. I just love how it turned out, and I recommend it to anyone (especially since at the "download and print it yourself" price, its a steal!).

The piecing was very forgiving- the pattern actually calls for 1/2 an inch to be cut from each side of each block after its been stitched together- and I found this completely negated any little issues I had with matching up my pieces exactly. I may even try to work this trick into any future quilts I make...

The binding is the best I've ever done- but it was the one part of the quilt I didn't enjoy doing- as I had to finish it by hand. Terrible on the fingers- but it just looks so professional and gorgeous- I can't come up with a better way!

Oh... and one significant change I made to the instructions was the back. The original calls for you to quilt the top to just the batting, and then add a super-soft
minky backing to the quilt when you add the binding. Since I've recently gained access to a long-arm quilting machine that requires a three-part sandwich (and won't let me just quilt the top to the batting), I decided to do mine in the more traditional style. I'm sure the minky back would have been great though. I also skipped the applique because I didn't want to either quilt over the design- or stitch it on after I quilted and have the stitches show through to the back. This issue doesn't come up if you use the originally minky-backed pattern!

The one change I might consider for future quilts is adding 1/4 inch to the sides of the blocks that end up on the edges of the quilt. I know its such a little thing that would add SO much confusion to the cutting and piecing stages- but I don't love that the blocks around the outer edge end up with one side thinner then the others... am I just being WAY too picky?

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