Meet Nina, my NEW Brother Project Runway PC420. Hubby surprised me on Valentine’s Day and it came in the mail on Tuesday. Got my desk all cleaned up and ready to do some sewing. I’m not a big Valentine’s Day gal so this was a big surprise.
Happy Quiltiversary to me! Did I just make up a new word? I think I did!
January 18, 2014, I completed my first quilt!
It was a simple quilt design with simple straight stitch quilting. The stitching is not even. Many seams don’t line up right. The binding is wonky. But I still love it! It took me several months to make and the most important thing of all: my son loved it!
Here he is napping under it with all of his stuffed animals. So sweet. He still sleeps with it and k make sure that this is the quilt we bring with us when we travel.
This month I’m dedicating to completing a very large unfinished project.
Last February I started this flying geese quilt with Amy Butler Love collection. Have I mentioned how much I love Amy Butler? Her fabric collections are always so beautiful and fun!
Piecing this quilt took a long time since I made 244 individual flying geese! I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t have too many of the same color and fabric combination.
To make sure my seams lined up straight, I pieced the flying geese in columns of four then sewing two columns together. Then I worked my way into larger then larger sections.
Here is the top all pieced together. I am so excited to see how well it turned out.
It took a couple of months to piece the top. However, once I finished piecing it I couldn’t decide on how I wanted it quilted. Did I want to hand quilt? Or machine? What kind of design do I want? Modern straight lines? Traditional feathers? Quilt it myself or send it to a long arm? The possibilities are endless. It was just way too hard to decide.
Enough is enough and it’s time to make a decision. After spending hours checking out Pintrest and Facebook quilting groups, I made a decision on how I will quilt it! Here is the design I am going to attempt to achieve.
A quite traditional design for a modern looking quilt. We will see how it goes. Since it is a free motion quilting (FMQ) design I am going to have to practice the design first. I have not done much FMQ, a few minutes here and there but no real practice time. So not only will February be the month I finish a large quilt that I started a year ago, but I will be learning a new skill. FMQ has always fascinated me and I have always loved the beauty it creates. Thank goodness I have plenty of scrap fabric and batting to practice. I am going to need it.
I started making dolls! How adorable are these? I know three isn’t many but it is a nice start.
The first one I made was this fox. I made it for the Craft Junkies monthly auction. This month’s theme is Sweetheart Auction. I felt a rose fabric would be perfect for that theme. I used fabric from Amy Butler’s Love collection.
Here is the second doll I made. A beautiful mermaid. A few things didn’t turn out they way I wanted with her and I spent extra time making small corrections. But with some hand sewing I was able to make her look great. She was definitely s learning experience. She is currently available in my Etsy shop.
This is the third doll I made. A little monster loving boy. This little guy is so cute. Definitely proud of how he turned out. I was able to take the things I learned before and make this guy just right. He is available in my Etsy shop.
I loved making these dolls! They were so much fun. I have tons of fabric for making more dolls. Just check out some of my stash! I’ve got lots more fabric, too! I’m just itching to make more. Oh, the possibilities.
I’m just itching to make more. Each doll I make will be available in my Etsy shop.
Another type of doll I plan on making is the Tilda doll. I love the endless possibilities with making these dolls, too.
Last year I participated in several sewing swaps. The biggest was a block swap. I am quite proud of being able to complete 11 12 1/2″ blocks. The 12th person in my group had to drop out at one point so I only needed to make 11 instead of 12.
I used a variety of fabrics and patterns. Some blocks were made from scraps from previous projects and some were made from charm packs. I spent a lot of time scrolling through Pintrest for patterns that I hadnt yet tried and wanted to give a shot. I think my favorite block is the August block. It is a disappearing nine patch made from One For You, One For Me by Moda.
Here are the blocks I received. Although I should have received 12, I am super happy with the ones I did get. They are so beautiful and all the ladies did a wonderful job! I am so excited to put this quilt together. I received blocks from as far away as the Falkland Islands, England, and Australia! These ladies are incredibly talented.
The other two swaps were a pillow and tote bag swap. Both of those swaps have me a chance to make something I had never made before and I loved that!!!
Here are the totes that were made. The one I made is on the right and the one I received is on the left. I love my bag! It is super cute and just my style. This was my first time making a tote and I have to say that, even though the construction is simple, it was a little challenging. The pocket was not my strongest suit but I am very please with how it turned out.
The pillow swap was fun, too. The pillow I made is on the left and the one I received is on the right. I quilted the pillow I made with scraps from my flying geese quilt (one that I am still working on getting quilted.) I told my swap partner that my living room is chocolate and teal and this is what I got, a perfect pillow!
There was one more swap that I participated in last year but sadly I don’t have any photos. It was a Christmas stocking swap. I don’t know why I didn’t take a photo of the stocking I made before I mailed it off. It was a lovely lavender with Christmas ornaments. I received two from my partner. One was a small denim and the other was red plaid. The one I received has been packed away because of the move and is in storage.
I probably won’t participate in many swaps this year be jade I want to focus on my business and bringing you more quilts and dolls.
It’s New Years Eve and I am reflecting on this past year (how cliché). But seriously, this has been a whirlwind of a year. My first born started preschool, lost a beloved pet to a tumor, we had our second boy, made the decision to buy a home out of state, and moved in with family to save up to buy a home. I don’t know about you but I am exhausted just typing all that up. 2015 brought huge changes to our family. 2016 will bring even more! The biggest, God willing, a new home for my family with a big backyard for my boys.
Here is me and my littlest on Christmas.
My oldest was not interested in posing for photos.
As for the shop, I can’t wait to start offering dolls! I have several patterns and styles that I will be working with. Here is the first one I will be working on.
I will still be offering a variety of quilts. I have several already lined up.
I will definitely be blogging more. There is so much I want to share. Also, I look forward to live streaming either on Periscope or Facebook.
As I watch my husband do the last of the cleaning up at our new temporary home and my 3 1/2 year old run around like a nut and my newborn’s spit up run down my cleavage, I can’t help but wonder what 2016 bring, even through all our plans. I wonder which friendships will strengthen and how many new friends I will make. I pray that our family, and yours, has a prosperous and happy 2016.
In case you missed it, my family is moving. The moving van arrives on Saturday. I am really going to miss living in this city. It has been a great home.
All of my stuff packed up and ready to move. I found these awesome decorative boxes at Jo-Ann and they work great for storing my fabric.
This will not be our last move either. We will be living with family to save up and buy a home. That is the most exciting part! I so look forward to the day when we purchase our own home. The biggest part of it is that we will buy out of state. That’s right. We will leave California and head to Oregon. I am very nervous, yet excited, about that part.
Another big thing I want to tell you is that I will be adding dolls to the shop!!! I have several different patterns I will be working on as soon as we get settled after the move. I have a few patterns from Dolls and Dayreams and Bit of Whimsy Dolls.
I went shopping and got some beautiful fabric. I will leave it up to your imagination which dolls I will be working on.
I even will add some felt paper dolls to the shop! Check out the design from Charlaanne
Ah! I am so excited to make all of these dolls!!!!! I won’t forget about quilting though. I have three new projects lined up.
The new year will be keeping me very busy with all this quilt and doll making, and caring for two growing and beautiful boys!
I know I am going to sound so very cliche, but I really do love Christmas. I have such vivid memories of looking out the windows at night at our colorful Christmas lights, of looking at my favorite ornaments on the tree and pretending the toys were alive, and watching my favorite movies. There is something so special about all the lights and colors and decorations. And now as an adult I can finally appreciate the time in church. To make Christmas really special and personal for someone, try making gifts this year.
Want a simple way to decorate but also makes a statement? This ribbon candy wreath will do the trick. Plus it brings back that nostalgia of the sweet ribbon candy of your childhood.
So get your shopping lists ready and make someone’s Christmas memorable. However, the best gift to give someone is your time. Spend a little extra time with those you love and, if you can, some time volunteering or donating to those in need.
It has been four weeks since my little guy arrived! I am not a first time mom so I know what people mean when they say “kids grow up fast” or “it goes quickly,” but oh my goodness, it never ceases to amaze me just how fast time goes.
Here he is, my little Matthew. Born October 6th. He was a little smaller than his big brother.
Big brother welcoming little brother home. He is such a happy and excited big brother.
We hired a professional photographer to take family photos. I took a couple behind the scenes photos.
We enjoyed pumpkin patch fun! Although my oldest was a little scared of the fake rats and scary decorations.
This year, we got lucky and he only wanted one little pumpkin. The last time we went to this patch, we got a few too many pumpkins.
This is also a you pick farm and get to see a goat and horse.
They had rows and beautiful sunflowers and corn.
Back to quilting. I am working on hand quilting this Dresden plate with size 8 perle cotton thread. I started to machine quilt it but was not happy with how it was turning out. This will make a stunning wall hanging!
More exciting news! I signed up for Periscope, an app that lets you live stream from your phone. I hope to make my first broadcast this week and hope you will join me. You can find me @kalebarre. The app can be downloaded for free.