Saturday, January 31, 2009

Longarmed




Here is my quilt that I had done on a longarm machine. Finally! I was waiting to post until I got the binding done, but it's still not done so here it is anyway! I was also loving my Obama pic up there at the top of my blog!
I'm so happy with this quilt, I just love it! I could really get addicted to having things quilted on the longarm. Too bad it is kind of an expensive addiction!
I actually completed this quilt top almost two years ago. It was one of the first larger than wall hanging size quilts that I did. It's made from Moda brushed cotton plaids and the backing is flannel so it's really soft and cozy. I bought this fabric all together as a set; I probably wouldn't have chosen these colors on my own but I love them! Once again I'm so happy with the quilting done by my longarm gal. She does a great job at an extremely reasonable price- and fast too. She also went and got the backing fabric for me and supplied the batting which was so helpful. I highly recommend her if you want a quilt done and you are in/going to Utah. Or even if you need to ship it to her. The prices are really worth it compared to what you would pay in my area.
My friend Carrie brought this quilt with her to Utah in her suitcase, and it was quilted while she was there for Christmas, then she brought it home in her suitcase for me too, saving me lots of money in shipping! So nice! In this last picture you can see the detail of the meandering loop she did for the quilting. I've been using it a lot (it's been really cold here!) even without the binding.
And that reminds me, my first monthly Christmas project of 2009 is supposed to be done today. Better get sewing!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Christmas All Year!



Last year my friend Ellen and I talked about doing Christmas projects all throughout the year. It didn't quite happen last year but I decided that this year I'm really going to do it! I've been trying to make a Christmas quilt for the past 3 years. The first year, I found this fabric line that I LOVE, called Mistletoe Manor by Moda. Christmas fabric with PINK in it, what could be better than that? This pattern is a Buggy Barn star pattern. It's turning out so cute and I have lots of the fabric so I may even make a smaller wall hanging of it.
So, I bought all the fabric that first year and thought I would work on it during the holidays. Then I got pregnant and the worst of the sickness hit the beginning of December and unfortunately lasted through the holidays. Instead of Christmas crafting, I lay on the couch feeling nauseous for about four weeks. That was also the year that one of my kids had an emergency appendectomy a week before Christmas. So, needless to say, no Chrismas quilt that year! The second year I had a 4 month old baby- nothing more to say about that! This year I did try starting this quilt in early December but got sidetracked by other projects and gift making. So anyway, I decided that my new year's resolution would be to do Christmas all year round so that when the holiday season actually comes I can relax and enjoy it more rather than feverishly working on projects. For instance, this year I decided that I wanted to do homemade stocking for my two younger kids to match the ones I made several years ago for my older kids. I never managed to find the time to do it, then at midnight on Christmas eve I decided that I just HAD to sew those stockings! As a result I was up until 4:30 AM which I would really like to avoid in the future! So anyway, I'm starting with the Christmas quilt and my next priority will be finishing up the details of the hasily made stockings, like the crosstitched names on the cuffs and appliqued design on the stocking. My goal is to work on one project for me, big or small, each month and get at least MOST of my homemade gifts done before December so I can do more reading, relaxing, cooking, movie watching and projects with the kids instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off! Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas eve if I weren't sewing down a quilt binding- some things will never change! So, stay tuned for a monthly dose of year-round holiday cheer!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wrestler




It's taken me a while to warm up to wrestling. when my oldest told us last year that was the sport he wanted to do I was like, huh?! He had never wrestled before and we really didn't know much about it. As a freshman last year he didn't get to wrestle much and lost the few chances he got. Despite this he stuck with it and went faithfully to every grueling, 3-hour after school practice all last winter. And did it while getting up at 5:30 every morning to attend early morning seminary, plus a full day of school! In his fitness assessment at the end of the year, his push ups and pullups score shot way up from the lowest to the highest on the chart. He got in great shape and got really strong. So anyway, fast forward to this year: he has stuck with it and started to win! He has really improved and even when he doesn't win a match, he has mostly lost by points rather than getting pinned which is much better. I'm really proud of him for his perserverence. Here he is at his tournament last Saturday. I've gotten more used to it, but it is still a little weird to me that I have a teenager who is in HS and almost 6 feet tall! He's a great kid.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Last Holiday Post- I Promise!


This is what she does when you tell her to smile:



The other day when we were about to take down the tree, I realized that I hadn't ever gotten a pic of the little gal in her Christmas dress. So we got her and Christmas Baby all dressed up and took some. I got this dress as a hand me down and waited for a year to be able to use it. It is silk- which I myself would NEVER buy for a baby, but I do love it. It's so shimmery and pretty. No one will ever know that the pictures were taken a couple of weeks after Christmas!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Size Matters



A funny story about ordering things online:
So, I wanted to find a Christmas village for decoration this year (my husband says this officially qualifies me as an old lady). I found some really cute Christmas houses at Joann.com, and they were on a big sale, so I ordered the three that they had left in stock- a fancy house, a log cabin, and a pretty church. The pictures online looked small, you know, like a little miniature village. A week or so later, this HUGE box arrived from Joann.com. Wow, I thought, that's really overkill with the packing materials for my little mini village houses. So I opened it up and realized that they weren't little tiny houses, they were great big houses! Like around 14 inches high and that big around too. Yikes, they looked so small in the pictures on the internet! And when you look at something online and it's just that thing with nothing next to it, you can't tell what size it is so naturally I assumed they were tiny! I'm sure it said how tall they were on there, but even if I had looked, I can never imagine how big things are (I also bought a Ty dog online that I thought was a beanie baby, but actually was about 18 inches high. It looked just the same size as all the beanies on that page! I also bought a ginormous real Christmas tree) I would NEVER have imagined these gigantic (relatively speaking in terms of your standard mini Christmas village) mansions. A normal person might have been tipped off by the price, as in, they normally cost $30 each and were on sale for $10 each. In retrospect- yes, that would be a lot for a little tiny 3" high house, but what they heck do I know, I've never bought a mini Christmas village before! Anyway, my husband said I should send back the giant village but I really like it so I may just keep it for someday when I have a little more space in which to display it.
So, it was about a week before Christmas and I was back to square one as far as village decor. I stopped in at a Walgreens and lo and behold what do you think they had? A bunch of slightly cheapo made-in-China Christmas village houses. Bingo! And on sale for 50 cents no less- my exact budget! It even had a little tiny bookshop. So, I bought a bunch of little houses and people, plunked them down on some batting and was very happy with my Christmas Village. Here it is in all it's splendor!

(wow, that was kind of a long story)

Farewell Christmas Tree



It's always a little sad to see the Christmas tree go. They look so forlorn all dried out lining the street to be picked up on trash day. At least here they put them in the chipper to recycle them, that makes me feel a little bit better. So yesterday I realized that I hadn't taken any pictures of our tree so I fixed it up and did a little photo shoot. Our tree this year was huge! It didn't look so big in the lot and then we brought it home and pouffed out so much it barely fit in our living room! I had this whole vision of the tree in the corner, with the little rocking chair next to it, and the stockings hung on the wall behind it. Well guess what? the tree took up half the room and my decorating plan didn't work out exactly. It was a very pretty tree though. We put away all the Christmas stuff and it is so clean in here now, it's kind of a nice relief

Christmas Morning




Friday, January 09, 2009

Family Photo


It's nice to have a new family picture that includes the baby (although she's getting to be not such a baby anymore- boo hoo!)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Black Apple Cloth Dolls



I love these dolls, they are so cute and also easy and fast to make. I made a few for Christmas gifts this year, I think I've done 5 of them so far. You can find the free pattern for them on the Martha Stewart website or on the Inside a Black Apple blog. The creator of the pattern always paints the face on, but I like the embroidered face better.

Quilt



I rushed to finish this quilt top before I left for Utah so I could mail it to a longarm quilter while I was there. I ended up finding a woman right there in S. Jordan to do it for me so I was able to drop it off to her myself. She was very fast and finished while I was there. I was able to take it home all done, which saved a lot on shipping. I am really happy with how this quilt turned out! She suggested this swirly pattern which imitates the paisley in several of the fabrics and I just love the way the quilting looks. This quilt was a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law. I liked it so much that I sent her my quilt top that I finished almost 2 years ago to have it quilted. As soon as I get it back and get the binding on it I will post a picture, I'm really excited to see it!

Temple Square










On our last night in Utah, we went Temple Square to see the Christmas lights. That is one of my favorite Utah Christmas traditions that I really miss. It's so beautiful; for me there just isn't anything else like it. It was a great way to end our trip and get us into the holiday mood right before the start of December and the Christmas season.

Turkey Day

















Whew, that is a lot of pictures! I guess that's what I get for turning my kids loose with the camera. It's kind of funny to see their take on things. We had such a fun Thanksgiving. It turned out perfect that we used a church, it gave the kids plenty of room to run around. After dinner we played a really fun game called "Do You Like Your Neighbor." We also got to watch a very entertaining coed, multigenerational football game. To quote Uncle Doug (aka Uncle Donut) when asked if he should be playing with all the young folk, "I'll just play until I get hurt, then I'll quit."
It's been three years since we've seen a lot of the family that was there, and my kids have changed a LOT since then, and so have all the rest! There have also been at least a few additions to the family. We had a great trip and we were sad for it to end. We're lucky to have such great families.

ps. I wish I knew another way besides a huge long line to post these pictures. I really need to bring my blogging skills up to the 21st century level. It's a little pathetic!