Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Giveaway!

This contest is now closed. The winner is JOY! Congrats! Hope you enjoy your new bag!

Lucky for all of you my error is now going to be your gain. I wanted a new tote and when I found this fabric I told the cutter the wrong yardage. It was too late to fix, so I ended up buying two pieces. With the smaller piece I made this cute little tote--to give away.

If you would like a chance to win this tote, then leave a comment about your Crafting Resolution for 2009. My resolution has to be to reduce, reduce, reduce the mess in my sewing room. That means finishing a bunch of projects and trying really hard not to buy any more fabric for a very long time.

You'll be able to comment and link through January 7th and we'll draw on January 8th (or 9th).


Finished dimensions 11" H x 8" W x 4" D
Hot pink nylon straps 16" long
Front pocket fully lined
Lime green lining
White snap closure

Fully washable and dryable!

Good Luck!

And Happy Crafting Resolution Making to You!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Here are the assymetrical ponchos I made for my bigger girls for Christmas this year.

I used JoAnn's brand Sensations Angel Hair Stripes for L. I think that I bought a discontinued color (story of my life)--Turquoise/Cream Stripes, but the Angel Hair yarn is so yummy to work with. If you ever want to try some super soft yarn I would recommend this. It would make a delicious scarf and hat.

For M. I used Moda Dea Ticker Tape color pink passion. Mine is made out of this yarn too--only a camel/tan color.
The pattern I used for the ponchos was Moonlight Mohair Poncho--I adjusted it slightly to fit the sizes of my girls. Only cast on 44 for Miss L. and 38 for Miss M. For myself I had cast on 48 since I am so tall.

This is just straight knitting for about 40+ inches and then fold it in half lengthwise, sewing partially shut and leaving an opening for the head and adding fringe. VERY EASY!! but they are fun to wear.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sound of Music quilt update

O.K. I added a double border on the quilt top--3" strips for each of the edges. No method to the madness with my color choices. It was just what scraps were left over. I did want the darker print on the outer edge however.
I bought the batting this morning and ordered a walking foot for my sewing machine. That may not arrive until next week. So until then I'll figure out what I am doing for the back and get it all pinned together so that I can be ready to machine quilt--and hopefully not screw up all the work I've already put into it. Scary!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I did it! ....Now what?!

O. K. I made another denim quilt for son #2. See denim quilt for son #1 here. Both were excited about them for Christmas. Daughter M. wants one too. I think I have enough denim for one more blanket. I'll have to check into that.
I made this quilt slightly different--a bit offset--so that they could easily determine which quilt belonged to which boy. The center of each nine patch I used my double needle and white denim topstitching thread to give it a little something extra. I had used dark blue on the first quilt.
Anyway, I then decided I would try my hand at the Disappearing Nine Patch for real--with actual quilting type fabric. I used the scrap fabrics from all the Sound of Music pajama costumes that I had made earlier this Fall. This is what I came up with. L. will get it as a memory quilt since it was her school musical. It measures 54" square. I made 12 nine patch blocks--using 6" blocks, and then ended up having to make one more quarter square, if that makes sense.
But the big question what do I do??!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tree Mini Quilt

Now that December is practically over I am finally finding time to do some Christmas crafting. Here is a quick mini quilt I've had in my head all month.

I've been seeing trees all around blogland, so I came up with this simple forest idea. I'm not sure if I'm going to turn my forest into Christmas trees by putting star buttons on the top or just leave them regular trees. I kind of like the simpleness of regular trees.

(Measures 16" by 32")

I really like the paisley and the camo-looking print. I will probably use one of them for the back and the binding just to add some funkiness.

Here and here are some other cool tree designs I've seen--a little too complicated for my skills--but cool none the less. I really like how the advent calendar is quilted in diagonal lines. If I get brave, I'll give it a try on this one.

I have some more ideas up my sleeve for these particular fabrics, but it involves a different "green" holiday. Stay Tuned...
Finished Quilt can be found HERE.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Homemade Gift Idea--Snowman Soup

I was under the weather earlier this week and a friend of mine brought me a little "cheer me up" for later. Today we whipped up these little "gifts" so that the kids could take each of their friends at church a present.

Contents to be placed in small ziploc jewelry/craft bag --3 3/4 in. x 5 in. long.

1 Individual Hot chocolate packet
3 Hershey kisses
A small amount of mini marshmallows (or 2 lg. ones if you run out)
1 mini candy cane

Here is what the little tag reads:
Snowman Soup
Was told you’ve been real good this year
Always glad to hear it!
With freezing weather drawing near,
You’ll need to warm the spirit.
So here’s a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick.
Add hot water, sip it slow.
It’s sure to do the trick.

I printed off 6 labels on an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of cardstock. Fold the label in half and attach with stapler to baggie. All the kids were excited to make them--it was SO EASY and QUICK!! And their friends thought it was great too.

If you don't want to come up with your own tag you can print tags here, or here, or use a completely different tag saying here, or here. There are actually a NUMBER of sites for this cute little gift idea if you google "Snowman Soup". You're sure to find a tag and saying that works for you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas 2009 (I hope)

I just about fell off my chair when this pattern came out. How cute can it get! The local fabric stores did not have many options for pre-pleated tape (pattern calls for this). So I made my own trim with the selvage edge. Just cut a long strip and gathered it myself.

I used KONA cotton solids from JoAnn's only because it is slightly heavier and made a size Large (guessing since we haven't had much luck with sizing lately) which ended up being the equivalent of 18-24 months size at BabyGap (had a dress in her closet to compare). If she stays on the smaller size like she should fit perfect next December. If not, that's ok too. She'll wear it when it fits.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quilting with Denim

I am not a quilter, but here is my attempt at a quilt for one of my son's for Christmas. I wanted to make a denim quilt for him since I STILL have lots of recycled denim. So I did make this quilt not buying anything new. It was all fabric I had in my stash. I tried following Emily's Disappearing Nine Patch style. I made my squares 6" square instead of 4" square. Here are a couple of the nine patches before cutting (above) and after cutting and rearranging (below).

I forgot to take a before of this one--This one was 3 dark diagonally and 4 in an + shape and then 2 others in opposite corners.

Here is another before and after arrangement.And finally the finished product. I just put grey fleece on the backside. Sewed them right sides together and left an opening to turn it--slipstitched the opening closed, and then topstitched around the outer edge about 5/8" seam.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm in skirt heaven

I finally purchased a basic skirt pattern. This particular one starts at age 2 (hard to find) and goes up to age 7.

Here are the first few I made for L. I made a size 2, 3, 4.

The bird fabric was spotted by Emily at our local JoAnn's. It's Alexander Henry. I'm on the prowl for a black and white stripe boatneck tee to go with it.

This is the size two skirt paired with a clearance top from baby gap. Last night I had my two year old niece model cute! I can't wait until it fits L.

And I'm dying with excitement over this skirt. I think I'll be making lots of versions with the yo-yos. ...more for L and some for gifts.

this view is just showing how I attached them...all by hand. typically, not my favorite task, but kind of theraputic this time. I just randomly attached them. No method at all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kids Winter Hats

Since I have NO time to actually accomplish a project this month, I thought I'd post this idea from a few years back (that's already finished). It's one of my favorites! I made these Reindeer Hats for my (then) 3 kids to wear one year for our Christmas card picture. The idea and directions are from Family Fun Magazine!

(And as an added bonus: I'm pretty sure I'll be able to use this picture to keep my kids in line when they are teenagers. I'll threaten to show it to all their friends or post in the yearbook if they don't behave!)

The instructions were pretty easy to follow (as with most things from Family Fun) with only a minimal amount of sewing

But, since Christmas is rapidly closing in on us, maybe a Snowman Hat would be more appropriate. Some day I'll make that version, too!

Ornament memories

I got this idea from my BFF: Each year we buy an ornament that represents that person, their interests, or an event from the past year.  Here are our past two years:

2007 - Nathan (Noah's Ark) for surviving tough financial year @ work
Shauna (thread tree) for her interest in sewing
Joshua (car) for getting his driver's license in July & getting a car in Sept
Bethany (cell phone tree) for breaking 1 phone & dropping 1 in the toilet (don't ask) & constant use
Hannah (bicycle) for getting a bike and overcoming her fear of learning to ride

2008 -  Nathan (life jacket) for water skiing after 25 years
Shauna (butterfly) for spreading her wings & starting to fly
Joshua (graduation frame) for graduating from high school & seminary & getting his Eagle
Bethany (dog) for getting one after 5 years of dreaming/asking
Hannah (baby) because she is in constant demand for babysitting (2-3 jobs/week) - couldn't find $ one

So maybe y'all would like this, too.  It makes for an interesting tree & conversations & memories.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Homemade gift idea--Rice Packs!

Today seemed like a great day to share this project as we woke up to nasty blowing snow, and -8 degrees, before the windchill was factored in. That sure makes for a brutal wait at the bus stop for my kids. Oh doesn't cancel often here.

In the midst of sewing new pajama pants for all my kids before Christmas Eve, I am also taking care of a really easy project--Hot/Cold Rice Packs! I have also heard them called bed buddies--which is so appropos as that is exactly what my kids like them for. Heat them up and then throw them in bed with you so you can fall asleep all roasty toasty!

Last year for the first time I made each of my kids their own rice pack, that actually matched one of their pairs of pjs, so that they could each get warmed up before falling asleep. And it helped to eliminate any arguing over who wanted which one, etc. They are ready for new ones this Christmas as the old ones are looking rather ratty and dirty. (Once they get the new ones the old ones are going in the trash.)

Here are the basic instructions:

1. Cut a piece of flannel or cotton fabric (nothing stretchy) so that you'll end up with a finished bag that will measure about 12" x 6". You can either cut a square 13 x 13, or a long strip to fold in half lengthwise, or even 2 pieces that are about 13 x 7. **The beauty of this is you can use scraps and make the rice bags whatever size you want or need.

2. Sew your fabric, right sides together, so that only 1 short end is open. Use 1/4" - 3/8" seam allowance.

3. Turn bag right side out and fill with rice, not instant, filling the bag half-way full.3. Fold the open edge in toward the inside of the bag, about 1/2" and sew closed with a little topstitch seam.

4. To warm--put bag in microwave for 1-2 minutes depending on how warm or hot you prefer it.

Enjoy being toasty on a cold winter's night!

These are a couple that I've made this year for my kids.

Here's a little side story about these rice bags:

Last Fall I made about 10 of these for the ladies in my ECFE (early childhood & family education) class. We had been talking about things we do to help calm our kids when they can't quite do it on their own. One of the women said she had a rice pack that she had made out of old nylons and rice that she gave to her daughter when she couldn't get to sleep at night. She just tied a knot in the end of the cut off nylon. Not real pretty, but effective.

I went home and told Hubby about our discussion and he suggested that I make them all nice ones, since I did have so much scrap fabric. I hoped that woman wouldn't feel like I was trying to show her up; however, we all know that we don't always follow through with great projects ideas when we hear about them. So I went ahead and did it--They were a hit!! I heard complimentary things for the next couple of weeks as they were all using them. Everyone was so appreciative--and since, of course, none of them sewed, they all thought pretty fabric rice bags were great.

Just this Fall I ran into one of those ladies again and she made a point of letting me know how much she just loves that rice bag and uses it all the time, especially when her husband is out of town. That is how she can get to sleep easier when he is gone. I was so glad to hear that as I had truly wondered if this might have been a goofy gift--but apparently not.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Postmark Update

Received this e-mail this afternoon from the website,, concerning the not so special holiday postmark from one of their posted cities:

"Thanks for letting me know. I'm sorry you ended up getting a regular postmark. The list on my site came from the official postal service site, but it hasn't been updated for awhile, so they must have stopped offering the special cancellations. I've updated my site so other people won't have the same problem. Thanks again for letting me know, and I hope you have a happy holiday! Lisa"

I'm glad they responded, and got the website updated, but I'm still bugged especially since I received some cards today from friends in my home city area, and from Utah and this is what their postmarks looked like:
At least they got a Happy Holidays, in a fun font, without even trying or thinking about it. AAARRGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! And a Ho! Ho! Ho! to you too!

Christmas Napkins

I found these unique Christmas Tree napkins from one of our followers, Rose, over at her blog: Rants 'n Random Ramblings. She has a great tutorial to follow if you're interested in making some yourself. Thanks, Rose, for the great idea, and for keeping track of what we're doing too. A very Merry Christmas to you!

Here are the colors that I chose--not necessarily traditional, but a bit more funky, retro and kid friendly. That middle polka dot piece is actually hunter green. It looks black in this pic.

I didn't buy fat quarters as Rose did, but instead bought 6 different 1/2 yd. pieces of fabric (45" wide). That cost me $6 total, which is a rather nice price for 12 napkins total. You can cut out 4 half circles from each 1/2 yd. piece. The end result: 3 different sets of napkins--4 each style.

These are my finished napkins. I'm not sure we'll be waiting until Christmas dinner to use them. My kids are just about as excited as I am to try them out. Once again, a big thanks to you, Rose!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Postmark Disappointment

This year I tried sending my Christmas cards to Frost, MN for a special Holiday postmark as Emily has done in years past. See her post HERE. I chose Frost because it was one of the cities listed on this website that supposedly had some sort of special Holiday postmark.

This is what I got back--nothing special there! I'm sure that no one will even pay attention that our card has been sent from somewhere other than where we actually live. So that makes for a waste of $7 additional postage and handling. I'm bugged!!

I e-mailed the webmaster of that website to inform them of what happened so that they could change the designation on their list. I'll keep you posted if I hear anything back from them.

So I guess my caution would be to hope for the best and expect that it may not be exactly what you'd like as you are choosing cities with holiday postmarks.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Teddy Bear

This little guy will be from Santa.

the pattern has a face, but I don't really care if he has one or not. So I chose not. I kind of like the homemade-ness of it. L tried to swipe him several times during construction so I think she might actually be interested in it. So far she hasn't cared one bit about any of the toys I've made her. My two year old niece sure likes them all though.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

L's stuffed elephant

I've been meaning to post this little project I finished. It was another "been in the pile way too long" project.

Simplicity 2921

I don't have pleasant feelings about this little guy because I hated sewing it. It is full of little tiny curves and small seams (I should have known). It's the same reason I don't do dolls (the only exception) or doll clothes. Too tedious.

I also made L a teddy bear for Christmas. But only after thoroughly reviewing the pattern instructions. (I learned my lesson with this pesky elephant). There are only two pieces and about four seams. That's more like it! It is so much cuter. I ran out of poly-fil so I'll post when I get more.

Friday, December 5, 2008


The winner of our apron giveaway is......

Congratulations Estherfair. It looks like Baby L is your new best friend. :)

Estherfair said:

"One Christmas we planned cutting down a Christmas tree after work. We told the kids & called ahead, not remembering that it gets dark by 5pm! Luckily the tree farm had flashlights! We spent the next 1/2hr hunting with flashlights for the perfect Christmas tree (not easy!). It ended up being a great memory and quite the adventure.
The kids now look forward to our moonlight tree hunting each Christmas."

***Please email your mailing address to so we can send your apron.

Thanks to everyone who commented. This was so fun for us. We loved, loved, loved hearing your traditions. My particular favorite was posted by Lullabylane who wraps Christmas books and puts them under the tree. And Renae liked it so much she went out and did the same thing for her family! Apparantly, it is already a huge hit with her kids. And we all laughed about TheBakers ugly Christmas sweater party. Another idea I'm seriously considering this year. Too funny!


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