Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Tree Skirt

If you have been following me for awhile, you probably know that when I start a holiday project and it is still not finished BEFORE the holiday?

  I still try to finish it for the next year!

A Ruffled Tree Skirt

For the Kid's Tree.
What's a Kid's Tree?  The tree where all ornaments made at school, given to them by the school, or projects around the season made into ornaments. I had really wanted the skirt to match the rest of the dining room for the holidays with all the red and white.

This tree skirt has been quite a headache, to be perfectly honest!

It started at step one.  To cut a circle.

The tutorial, Moda Bake Shop Ribbon Candy Tree Skirt, did not really map out how to cut a circle.  I am guessing she did the good ole fashion, tie a string to a pencil, center it, and mark a circle out.  However, due to my recent surgery, I attempted to do a folded circle cut..not the best way to do it!

I trimmed it as best as I could into a circle after this lovely flower shape!  Which would be pretty awesome, I might add...but really wanted to downplay "pretty girly" for the boys' tree!

However, I was excited to pull out my Babylock Evolve Serger and actually use it!
 The dust collected on the cover was very telling.  Took me awhile to remember how to thread it.

 At this point, I was feeling confident about the project.

But when I got 20 done and still had 20 to go?

30 down....10 to go. It takes two minutes per strip. I don't want to do the math!

I could not believe how long it was taking EVEN though my serger was fast as a whip. I actually pulled out my phone and started timing it.   2 minutes on each side doesn't sound awful?  2 times 40?  That is an hour and twenty minutes.  Not to mention the time spent when I had to re-thread for some reason.

But when I had them done, I thought...easy peasy.

The ruffled is out now.  I need an intervention. I think I have lost mind ....

All I had to do was run it under my ruffler foot, right?
This is the point where I lost all love for it...

Until I started pinning the ruffles on my circle base.

I'm back in love with this project!!!!!
Scrumptious, right?

But then I realized that I had about 15-20 leftover strips?
  I then realized that when I trimmed the skirt to make it a more circular? 
 I had made it too small.

 So I had to unpin, make a new circle, and re-pin.

Suprisingly, despite the VERY feminine ruffles, Mr. Boss says he likes it!

Christmas Tree Skirt Stats

Fabric: Hobby Lobby Christmas Print (no info on selvage) and White Muslin
Thread: Joann Overlock White, Coats and Clark Red

Project in Review

  • The tutorial is excellent. I have no complaints whatsoever.
  • If I were to do it again, I would still overlock the edges. Time consuming? Yes!  I love the final result, so it is worth it.
  • I would have used a red fabric underneath so I wasn't so worried about overlapping my strips tightly.  Make sure you match up your circle fabric to your fabric strip color.
  • I would not sew down the middle of each strip as the tutorial states.  For the tutorial, she was going for a solid ribbon candy look, but I really liked the ruffled look as I was pinning it. I would probably sew at the top of each strip so that they laid flatly like they did when I pinned it.

Hope everyone got their holiday projects done!  I have learned to not stress if I don't have something done "in time".  This project wasn't a gift and stopping in the midst of it to decorate a Gingerbread house with one of my sons was well worth the time than slaving away into the night sewing a skirt for a secondary tree in our house!

Now to get my Christmas Quilt done...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Your husband feels neglected when...

-He wraps himself in fabrics

-He says he wishes he was an iBoss

-He starts speaking in quilt-speak. Yards, rotary tools, fat quarters.

-He says he wishes he was a QAL

-Your phone buzzes in your sewing room/studio and he has sent you this:

This Christmas I resisted the urge to ditch the family to finish my tree skirt.

Had to unpin because the base was too over.
And today, when I thought I could finally get to it.

I was bamboozled by Mr. Boss 
and have to rearrange a game room and paint.  

I thought I'd show you the before shot.

I think I will start sending my studio the same image from my iphone upstairs. 

I miss it so....

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Beginning

Not an end today...a beginning!  

It is officially the beginning of Christmas Break today here.  It has been difficult to sew this week with me driving the teen boy back and forth for finals in the middle of the day.  It is always tough to start something when you know you will have to stop shortly.  However, Mr. Boss has hinted that I might be able to get some quilting done since he will be around for at least a week!!  Someone must be sensing my frustration?

In the meantime, I've decide to stop staring at my quilt books.

And actually attempt to start a new hexagon EPP project!
  Unfortunately, the pattern calls for 1.75 inch hexagon templates, and there were none to be found.  My search limit is 10-15 minutes on the internet.  I even set my timer so I don't get lost! 

I designed a page of six hexagons (all I could fit at this size) on my Adobe Illustrator.  It took a few tries to figure out how to make sure I was measuring the sides correctly, but success!  I will share the .pdf as soon as I figure out how to upload it to my Google docs to share. It is always the technical stuff that trips me up!

I was able to run 40 copies and then ran out of white cardstock. However, I found some blue cardstock I had from a project ages ago! These are the moments I love to pat myself on the back for saving something!!

As you can see? There are A LOT of hexagons.  527 to be exact!  The front pile is only 190 cut so far!  After I cut them out, I will have to tackle my scraps to find 527 fabrics.  Fun or tedious?  I don't know yet!

The one thing that has me thinking?  
When I was printing the hexies on the blue cardstock, I though that it would be fitting to set them aside for the 154 blue fabric hexagons I need.   

And then I had a strange thought.  Wouldn't it be cool to print your hexagons on paper that coordinated with your project?  You wouldn't have to constantly count how many you needed as you worked, because you would already would know by the number of colored hexagons templates you have? At least for a large project like this one where I need large numbers of only three colors.

Food for thought....
 Tell me if that is a good idea or just redundant?


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Actually Christmas Sewing!

Hope everyone is getting through their holiday craziness.  Things have been surprisingly smooth around here.  I realized last week, that this was the first time in nine years that I have not sewn or altered Christmas costumes for our school musical.  I hate admitting it, but, boy, it took up alot of my time during the holidays!!!

I have actually been sewing this past week!  My arm is still not ready for the long arm, but I did do some small Christmas sewing!!


Three Fabric Envelopes

Unfortunately, I can't be brilliant and pull off any last minute quilted gifts, but I can make envelopes for gift cards!  I abhor gift cards.  I don't mind getting them, but sometimes I feel like I am giving a  gift card because I have no ideas.  I don't like that I can't come up with something perfect for the recipient.

Granted, we try to be unique with our gift cards. Sometimes we actually donate to charity in that person's name if they are the older family member that says that they don't need anything. 
Sometimes we buy a card to the AMC movies and a restaurant so that a couple can make a date of it.

For our parents, we occasionally look up their local theater and buy tickets.  Usually a few months after Christmas so we don't cause any conflicts.  Then there is the situation where we just have to give a gift card to the bachelor family member that buys everything he needs and does not have much room, nor desire, for items for his pad.  It is what it is!

I landed on a great tutorial at Sew, Mama, Sew!!!

At first, I tried to make my own pattern for a letter size (versus card size) envelope.

It was okay, but I wasn't happy with the way the flap turned down.

So for the second two, I followed the instructions...minus the interfacing and it was brilliant! I chose not to do the interfacing because I knew I was putting stiff cards in them.

I didn't embroider the back edges like Sew, Mama, Sew' s tutorial. I simply did a ladder stitch. 
I was running out of time to get it in the mail.

I also skipped the step where you cut the corner and make it straight.

I was lazy and just turned it into the inside and did some quick ladder stitches inside to get the same effect!

In Progress:

Figgy Pudding Quilt

I actually finally added wonder under to the tree appliques on my Christmas quilt.  Now I actually need to iron them ON TO the top and stitch them.  

Cut out trees and trunks.  I am rapidly realizing that I have not even touched my machine during this SEW in. Off to rectify this situation!

This may end up being a two year project at this rate.
 If I do try to use Ole Betsy, this will be the first quilt on her!

Kids Tree Skirt

The kids have their own tree and it really needs it own skirt.

Fabric is ready to go.

I am just trying to work up the courage to take on my serger.  
Another machine that I have a love/hate relationship with!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced! She changed her look and is confusing me a bit.


But she has some great new of them for free if you are interested!  
And her new tutorial for a notebook/journal cover? To die for!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Carseat Cover for Charlie

 Meet Charlie.

Photo courtesy of Gold Hope Project

Yup...feast your eyes on this most amazing gorgeousness!!  He is completely adorable and the barely three month old son of my friend, Jessica, who also blogs at Baby Got Cake with her partner in crime, Brandi.  Things are a bit quiet over there because, as you can see, she has her hands full with this little guy.

If you are wondering why he has all the tubing?  He needs it to survive.  The nasty scar on his head?  A shunt had to be placed in his brain to drain excessive fluid.  He has been diagnosed with Juvenile Leukemia (JMML).  Only 25 children are diagnosed with this disease a year.  Not only is it is usually rare for a baby to be diagnosed this early.  To top it off, he is extra special because he has a NEW leukemia.  A rare genetic mutation that the doctors have never seen before.  Therefore, his treatment and reactions to this world are unknown.  I have cursed the phrase "genetic mutation" myself, since June 2009, when our Jamie was diagnosed with a genetic mutation Thanatophoric Dysplasia

Lottery and lightening strike odds here, people. 

Little did Jessica know that I was looking for a way to help her out.  When she inquired on Facebook if anyone knew any good links for car-seat covers, I first teased her about it not being very cold in Seattle, because that is how she and I communicate.  Then she told me that she really needed it for privacy.  Despite all of his tubing and the fact that, visibly, he is ill, people still like to get up close and personal into Charlie's space.  Being that he is immunocompromised?  Space is important!

I jumped at the chance to make one for him!

I told her to stop all inquiries.  I showed her some fabric selections. Searched for tutorials.

I settled on the tutorial from Cluck, Cluck, Sew.  
I like the simplified rounded corners and really simple instructions on the handles.

I borrowed Button's carseat for placement of the handles.

Yes, my wee guy is still in his infant car seat, and rear-facing.  He is only 22lbs at 22 months.
  We grow them small around these parts.

This project took 45 minutes TOPS from the time I pulled fabrics to the time I was printing my label for a flat rate package.  It would have been 30 minutes if I hadn't personalized it!

I had planned to post this on Friday.  I am still recovering and busy trying to decorate and play "Santa" and knew that I wanted something special to say since I have been missing the past few weeks.  But when I was about to post it, the horrible tragedy happened in Newtown, Connecticut.  I have to brought a lot of feelings about my Jamie Lynn and the "new normal" the parents of those children will have to find. 
 God bless them in the hours, days, weeks, months, and years to come.

Since we can't help those poor babies...I figured posting Charlie's story tonight would be a perfect way for those who are looking for ways to help those that still need us here on Earth.

 I, personally, always feel the necessity to DO something.  

Photo courtesy of Gold Hope Project

How can you help?

  • Go like and follow Prayers for Charlie Facebook page.  There are updates on his health status.  Photos.  There are also links to a Fundraiser a few friends put together. The costs that his parents have to incur on top of the medical expenses are ginormous....gas, parking, or bus passes to get to the MANY appointments they have a week. Christmas is going to be small for his two older siblings. There is also a great link to the local Seattle news station that did a report featuring Charlie!
  • Go check out Gold Hope Project's facebook page.  It is organized by a group of photographers that are taking free photographs to bring awareness to the plight of all the children that are fighting cancer.  This is so important to me because I can never express my gratitude enough for the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization that came and took photos of our daughter at birth. Our only photographs of her.
  •  Be The Match  Check out how you can become a bone marrow donor.  Not just for Charlie, but the many other children fighting leukemia and other childhood cancers.  They need you!

 Thank you for reading this far! 

 I truly believe that every seamstress, quilter, and crafter can use their talents to make this world a great place.  I hope that the carseat cover really truly helps still does not seem enough...and if anyone knows me, it will probably not be the end of what I send Charlie and his family's way!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Winner, Winner....Turkey Dinner?

I know, I know it is Chicken Dinner, but I had to do it!
I have a secret.

I just took down the Thanksgiving/Fall Decorations this weekend. 

Granted,  the surgery set me back, but even the scarecrow was embarrassed.

I swear to you, I found him like that and I wonder which son was expressing his mortification that we were the only house without our Chirstmas decorations up in the neighborhood!!
 Our 10 year old son also expressed his concern at dinnertime Friday night that Buddy, his elf on a shelf, had not shown up.  He informed us that many of his friends already had their elves show up.

We told him that Buddy would probably come when we decorated for Christmas.  Guess who was helping mom decorate this weekend? 

Button seemed very intrigued too...about as intrigued as he is taking them OFF today!

We are about ninety-percent close to the Country Christmas last year.

Guess who arrived this morning!!!

Buddy showed up this morning!  Apparently, he only comes when you decorate the house!



I DO have a winner to announce for the Amy Butler Fat Quarter Bundle for the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day (or rather...week!).  First off, I must tell you that I had planned to draw a winner last night, however, my numbers were missing on my comments!  It took me a few tries, but I had some success adding numbers to my comments and was able to draw a winner today.

I have emailed Lauren 
(if I don't hear from her in the next 3 days, I will redraw)

And since it was a SECOND optional winner, I thought I'd share what she is hoarding away:

Now I just added to her collection.  I am not sure if she will be happy or even more perplexed!

As for everyone else, I REALLY tried to keep up with responding to comments, because if there is one thing that my loyal commenters know, I try to respond to everyone if I can.  However, I never DREAMED there would be 490 comments.  
Seriously outdid yourselves people! 
 I did read ALL of the comments....running theme by my very horrible guesstimates of percentages.

  • 1% of you actually are not want to cut right into them!
  • 2% of you don't have a large collection of fabric so don't have the luxury of NOT cutting it!
  • 30% of you don't have a favorite designer fabric or pre-cuts, but DO have some vintage items or some sort of fabric you just adore
  • 67% of you have a bundle of designer fabric, just waiting for the most perfect project!  I wish I could come up with one for each and every one! 
Mind you there was NOTHING scientific about my feel free to giggle at me!!

The one thing I learned?  I need to just DO it.  Just hunt for a project and do it.  It can't possibly be a horrible, terrible thing, can it?

Friday, December 7, 2012


Ever since Monday when I posted the giveaway and started reading everyone's comments, I started thinking about how quilters use the term stash for their fabric! 

According to the urban dictionary?

We all sound like we are drug addicts or something!!

Which brings me to what I am calling my Black Friday haul that I mentioned on Wednesday.

First, my awesome friend Bree at Distant Pickles messaged me to let me know Joann's was offering their 40 yd roll of Warm and Natural batting for $209.99. It is normally $449.00. Not to mention she shared a free shipping code with me. Wow, right?!?! It was too good to pass up.

I wish I had a better photo of my box and batting, but it is too heavy for me to lift right now.  The boys plopped into the garage.  Just picture it as a HUGE roll of batting.  I think I will have enough batting for the next ten years....or maybe not?


I also noticed that my Facebook quilting friends were abuzz about the sale on I just had an email yesterday and it seems they are still having some really decent deals on pre-cuts! Since I had birthday money I shopped for the first time for bundles that I loved. No plans. No particular person in mind. 

Riley Blake!! 
I couldn't pass them up.  Recently, I have really been intrigued by their lines and wanted them!

Fly a Kite, Scoot, and Simple Life FQ Bundles and Fox Trails Layer Cake

I also picked up these extra pre-cuts. 

 Scamper bundle,  Chicopee design roll, and Bernatex.  


Oh....and it doesn't end there! 
 My friend Tracey at Traceyjay Quilts was destashing.  I couldn't pass it by.  

Yardage and about 32 Fat Quarter cuts.
  Perfect for the quilt I have planned for my aunt who is battling breast cancer!


I am many of you took advantage of all the amazing Black Friday sales?!?!
  I used to hate having my birthday right before Thanksgiving as a kid.  It seemed that everyone was distracted about the coming holiday.  But, now?  I think I am starting to like it!!!!

Speaking of isn't too late to enter the giveaway for the Amy Butler bundle.
I think it would look very nice in ANYONE's stash!!!


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