Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Christmas Tradition

It's our first year having a Christmas tree, and I love that B and I decorated it together. Having company made it so much more memorable!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Thanks

  • A husband who loves me unconditionally
  • Family members who value time spent together
  • Friends who share in my love of sewing, scrapping, and all things crafty
  • Couples who get just as excited about appetizer parties as B and I do
  • Colleagues who make me feel like I'm a part of something special
  • A boss who inspires me to learn and do more in the classroom
  • Students who remind me daily that my work is meaningful 
  • A home that is safe and warm
  • A life that is fulfilling

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quilt Update

So tonight and tomorrow night we host parent/teacher conferences at school. Technically, I could have gone home between the regular school day and my first conference at 5:30pm, but I would have lost a third of my "free time" just driving back and forth. I came up with a better solution... I brought my sewing machine to work! That's right: for those three hours between work and conferences, I sat merrily at a student desk with my sewing machine and worked on sewing my blocks into strips. Just to make things a bit more fun, I put Funny Girl on the big screen and belted the songs out along with Barbra. Gotta love it! It was way more fun than traffic, and it allowed me to get a lot accomplished. (Here's the actual "quilt update" part: All my strips are sewn, so all that's left to do is to sew the strips to one another to make the quilt top).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Disappearing Nine" Quilt - My Process

I've been gearing up for a new quilt, and finally got all the pieces (pardon the pun) in place. This quilt is the first gift I'm making for someone else, and I'm super excited about it! Because I have someone special in mind, I wanted the colors to be just right. This person always complimented me on how fresh and pretty the color combination of my first quilt was, so I did my best to find an equally appealing color combination for their quilt. Within minutes of walking into my favorite quilt shop, I had found my "base" print. You know, the one to which I would match every other fabric. After much deliberation (and not much help from the quilt-shop ladies) I decided upon 10 prints. I bought one fat quarter each of the nine orange/red prints and two fat quarters of the green one. I had it in my mind that I was going to use the green print for the "middle" squares of the disappearing nine block. Then I did some research using Google Images (thank you!) and I realized that I wanted a randomized look that would have been impossible to achieve by using the green print repeatedly as the middle block.

Not random. Not my style:

Random! Yay! According to this blogster, the key to her success was four prints used repeatedly in no specific order.

Since I had already bought 10 different prints I was going to have to get creative in order to achieve a state of randomness. I went back to the fabric store (JoAnn's this time since I had exhausted my options at the other place) and found two more prints that I felt would balance my 10. I felt like too many of my original ten were prints on top of a cream background. I wanted a couple more that had saturated backgrounds. So I found a predominately red and another orange to round out my collection. I got rid of the duplicate green print and decided to work with these 12 prints.

I have since cut twelve 5" squares out of each fat quarter:

Then, in order to make sure that every print ended up in every position in the Disappearing Nine pattern, I sorted the fabrics into three piles: "middle," "4 middles," and "4 corners."

Then, one 9-block at a time, I laid out the squares and then sewed the rows of threes together.

I needed some technique to help me remember which row went on top, in the middle, and on the bottom. I was mulling over this while driving, so that's probably why I decided upon using color-coded pins (like traffic lights). A red pin marks the bottom row, yellow in the middle, and green at the top. So far, it's worked like a charm!

I ironed the seams flat in alternating directions: top row left, middle right, bottom left.

I'm now at the point where I'm sewing each of the three rows together in order to make my 9-blocks. I was so excited to be at this point already that I went ahead and "finished" one of the disappearing nine blocks.

I sewed each of the rows together and ironed the seams flat...

Then I used my rotary cutter to cut the 9-block into four blocks...

Once I'm done creating each of my finished blocks, I can then decide how to combine all of them for the most impact. Here's a sneak-peek of what it might look like (keep in mind, that it will look more random than this because not all of the smallest squares will be in that red print):

Stay tuned for more (I might just turn this into a tutorial)!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Apparently, "housewife" is what one calls a needle holder. Who knew?! I made one tonight out of some fabric scraps: cotton and felt. Now I have a cute little place to keep my needles. Sweet!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Project

Tonight I cut out the pieces for my next sewing project. Too bad I can't show you anything more than the fabric... it's coming up on Christmas and I need to keep some secrets!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ribbon Blanket for Baby

B and I have some friends who just moved here from the UK so I've been putting together a little "welcome" package for them. A plant for mom, some whiskey for dad. Neither of these gifts were really appropriate for their 6-month-old daughter, so I decided to make her a ribbon blanket. Apparently these things are all the rage among the infant crowd. I hope she likes it!

*UPDATE: Baby Ward loved her new ribbon blanket. Yay!

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