Trim the Tree

My favorite swap every year is the Trim the Tree Handmade Ornament Swap.  I've been working on some prototypes.

This ornament comes from this Danish blog tutorial from Sofie Legarth.  It ended up a little thick from all of the folded fabric and a bit floppy.  I think it would work a lot better with pretty paper and a bone folder.

Trim the tree trial

I adore this knitted glove, but even with my love for tiny knitted things, I can't tolerate making four more of these.  My wrists ache just thinking about it.

Trim the tree trial

So, I'm going to knit tiny mittens instead.  Both the glove and the mitten are from the Mini-Me pattern by Julia Mueller on ravelry.

Trim the tree trial

I absolutely adore handmade ornaments. Do you have any favorite tutorials or examples to recommend. I'd love to see them.

Slowly finishing

I have a big stack of quilt tops that need batting, backing and quilting.  Thankfully, a friend recently gave me a gentle nudge to finish a few of the baby sized quilts.

This quilt started as a stack of gifted ladder blocks from Amanda of crazymomquilts plus a stack of Connecting Threads solids in the oceanfront colorway.   I may still do a little text stamping or applique to this one, but I haven't decided.


This quilt was an attempt to use up a bunch of Nicey Jane fabric leftovers, the green solid I had intended to use as a backing for another quilt and decided against it, and as a practice for baptist fan quilting. 


And this last baby quilt uses a little more of the Connecting Threads solids, some white and aqua Kona solids and three of the blocks I received in my first round of the 3x6 bee


I'm sick today and spending too much time on the couch, but we finally had a little sun here so I had to take some pictures of my finished quilts. I'd like to take them outside and hang them on the line, but the couch is calling me again.  

I'd like to give an additional shout out to the kind people that continue reading and commenting on my blog.  I've been absolutely lousy about responding to comments and reading other blogs.  Please know that I'm just scraping by over here with some big changes ahead and I appreciate all of you that send a little note to brighten up my day.  It means the world to me.


I have been asked by many, many people how I was going to beat last year's Halloween costume.

Officer Buckle

And, I have honestly replied that I don't think it is possible.  A toddler in a mustache is just too funny so the best I can do this year is to try to match it.

He is a big 3 year old that won't wear hats...except this cool fireman's hat that he got from a safety talk at school.  So...fireman it is. 
halloween costume

 I got an XL men's barn jacket from a secondhand shop, a pack of reflector tape and 3 buckles from Joanns.  And then I used a current sweatshirt and fabric pencil to attempt to size it correctly.  The front, back, collar, sleeves and pockets were all resized to 3T-ish.  I flipped the collar around, I took off the buttons and covered part of the buttonholes with reflector tape.  I used some French seams to make the inside look a little presentable and other seams I just sewed as best I could and didn't worry about how they looked.  (The armholes were quite a challenge with that many layers of fabric and reflector tape in the way.)

The jacket should be sturdy and warm considering he has 4 or 5 places to wear it in the next week.  

Perhaps he'll run across a real fireman that can teach him why fire hoses don't go in the mouth.  


Knitting Tiny Things 2

I've been having a lot of anxiety lately.  That is an odd thing to admit on the internet, but it is true.  There are many things going on in my life that are out of my control and it makes me awfully uncomfortable.  Anyway, when that happens to me I have a few things that help.  One is clutching tiny needles and knitting silly things like Barbie clothes.  

tiny knits 2

The patterns came from this site again.  The skirt and wrap around top are pattern number 248 and the dress is a shorter version of pattern number 849.  These will be sent to my young friend that adores handknit Barbie clothes.  I passed my last model doll over to her, too.  And then I sent my husband out to get me a new doll with the bendy elbows.  Just take a moment to imagine my sweet husband in the store and on the phone with me at home, debating the merits of different dolls for about 15 minutes.  (This one is Hispanic Presidential Barbie 2012.  Thank goodness she stands on her own so I didn't have to talk my husband into lying outstretched on the floor to hold her up for the photos again.  He is a ridiculously nice guy.)

tiny knits 2

And here are two newborn hats for the babies of the Pine Ridge Reservation.  I'll be donating these through Bundles of Joy again.

tiny knits 2

I have more charity and Barbie knits coming up. I know some of you have hinted that you'd like to see some sewing project finishes, particularly the Farmer's Wife quilt and the hexies.  I will get there eventually, but the tiny needles and tiny yarn are attempting to soothe my fraying nerves right now.  

A few blocks more

When I started the Farmer's Wife quilt project, I had no idea how much I'd learn along the way. I knew I wanted to use my favorite fabrics in it, but my tastes changed dramatically through the year.  I thought carefully about contrast and value and scale when planning, but what makes a block interesting to me is very different now.  I knew I'd learn some block construction, but I had no idea that I'd decide to take out multiple block seams.

farmer's wife sampler, block 73
Here is my first block remake.  I loved the orange fabric but the fine stripe did not belong any more.  I replaced it with one of my favorite prints from Momo Freebird.

block remakes

farmer's wife sampler, block 84 My first spool block has two American Jane fabrics.  One from Snippets and one from Punctuation.  I love those lines, but I no longer love them enough for this project.  I decided this was the perfect block to use some of my larger scale fabrics that wouldn't fit in another block.

I used Rashida's washi tape fabric and then took out the HST and 9-patch seams.  Instead I did four y-seams to complete this block with the least seams possible to keep the washi tape fabric uninterrupted.

block remakes

farmer's wife sampler, block 31The contrasts in my first evening star block never turned out to my liking.  I knew I would redo this block long ago, so I have already used the green DS Quilts gingham in another keeper block for the FW.  And the blue Snippets fabric will have to be saved for another project.

I fell head over heels for this camper and tent fabric from Dear Stella and I had to find a block pattern that would highlight it.  Evening star seemed like a great camping themed block so I made the dark star from Oval Elements by Art Gallery.

block remakes

farmer's wife sampler, block 10And, lastly, my first bowtie block always made me think of a circus clown's bowtie.  I knew the orange Ta Dot had to go. 

I think that using the Joel Dewberry as the background and classing up the tie with some Anna Maria Horner works much better.  I used some Y-seams again to take out all of the seams in the center block of the square.  I think the effect makes all of that work totally worth it. 

block remakes

So, I know that the two blocks below are no longer my style, but maybe they are yours?  Leave a comment if you like them and if there is more than one person willing to give them a home, I'll randomly pick a name.  Both blocks are 6.5" unfinished and would like to go live with someone who will put them to good use.

blog giveaway

Stop the presses!

Whoa!  Can it be the first of the month and I haven't missed it?!  Shocking.  For those that don't know, the 1st of every month is Fresh Sewing Day over at Lily's Quilts.  And I have quite a bit of September sewing to display.

Fresh Sewing Day

There are so many favorites in there.  Even the batik quilt, which was sorely neglected for 4 years is now on my list of favorites because my mom will love it and I'm so happy to get it out of my sewing space.  I'd like to get back to the Farmer's Wife project in October, but the siren song of the hexies is still calling me.  We'll see.  And we'll see when I next remember to participate in Fresh Sewing Day.  Now click on over and check out all of the other yummy sewing that has been done in September!
Lily's Quilts

If you are up for a little more trivia about me, check out my 50 Questions photo over on flickr today. I was tagged by a friend to answer the questions and then tagged another batch of friends.