Just Because

When Jim and I were first married he would surprise me with a “just because” gift.  Usually it would be jewelry, which I completely loved receiving.  He does pick out the best kind! Well, I am a gem (yeah, right) and he picked me, right?  So I rest my case on that subject.

Getting back to my story though, the story that prompted this post “Just Because”.

We have noticed a huge turnover in our neighborhood.  Older folks are moving out and newer, younger folks with small children are moving in.  It is a wonderful hood to raise kids in, and since there is a tiny park across the street from out house, it’s super fun to see the neighborhood kids using it once again.

We are lucky enough to have a new (young) family move in right next to us.  They are so cute, all fresh faced and new- their future so wide open in front of them… and that’s the parents!  The kids are even cuter! It really does bring me joy to see that abandonned cozy coupe with the driver side door open in my neighbors front yard, the memories start flooding back to when my boys were young.  Ugh- I am now writing this with tears streaming down my face! Oh the horror!!!

Getting back to my story.  When our new neighbors moved in, there were three in the family and then THERE WERE 4!  Imagine that!  The young couple moved in with a 2 something year old boy and a little bun in the oven…. a baby girl.  Well, when I heard they were having a girl, I just couldn’t help myself- I had to make a baby quilt with A LOT of PINK!!

I scoured through all my pink stashes of fabric scraps and fussy cuts. I am sure many of you have those same kind of stashes.   img_0772-e1488850926333.jpg

I used my Accuquilt Go! Cutter to cut triangles- and ALOT of them too.

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You can see I have some Heather Ross (vintage and hard to find), some Cotton and Steel and a sprinkling of solids throughout.  It, in my opinion is a feast for the eyes!

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After the quilt top was pieced and “sandwiched” I did a little quilting, with my continuous circle technique.  Every girl wants a banana seat bike with fringed handle bars, right?

I of course had to add a little something extra to the back, because as we all know, “it’s those little things” that make a big difference.

 

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Now, while I cannot say without lying that “I am an expert paperpiecer” when it comes to letters.  These 4 letters litterally kicked my behind.  I sooooo struggled with them.  In the end though- I made my point, and June’s name appeared on the back.  I am sure it only bothers me that the letters aren’t perfect.

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And in my humble opinion, it is pretty darn cute!  Just like the recipient!

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All dressed up and ready to go- but the gnome stays with me! Sorry June!

A Handmade Christmas? Is it even possible?

So here we are at the end of November, and I am just now thinking about A Handmade Christmas!  Wow, procrastinate much?  I have already “bitten off” a lot more than I can probably “chew”.  I am undertaking an 80″ X 60″ quilt for my Mom and Pops.

I started by doing a little research on what I found to be easy on the eyes and just plain easy.  I discovered this beauty on an inspiring blog Quilt Story.  There you will find an easy to follow tutorial done by Megan and Heather.  Gosh, isn’t it pretty?!  I believe mine will be a little bigger than theirs, and also a little different, mostly because as usual, I screwed up!  🙂

I wanted it to be large enough for both my parents to sit together under while watching television, and also if my dad takes a little snooze on the sofa, it will cover him from neck to toes.  There’s nothing worse than having your feet stick out under a blanket just so you can cover your shoulders or covering your feet up and then getting the “cold shoulder”.

Here’s a quick look at what I have done so far:

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Three blocks completed, each measuring about 20″, just to give you some reference to the scale of what you are viewing.

There are many resources available to all of us for creating a handmade Christmas.  One thing I discovered the other day is something that came to me on Twitter.  It’s called A Hip Handmade Holiday from Craft Pack.  

A Hip Handmade Holiday - a digital craft book with 18 projects, 9 instructional videos and over 100 downloads

This awesome pdf can be purchased for 10 US dollars.  It consists of 18 craft projects that cost about $10.00 each to make.  I have it, and will be crafting some of the items included in this clever magazine.

Two other great resources that I have talked about before are, Creativebug.com and Craftsy.com.

I am especially enjoying Creativebug at the moment.  I have once again crocheted the one skein scarf, I bought 5 more skeins of yarn today to crochet more scarves!   Creativebug has all sorts of paper workshops for decorative gift wrapping, party decorations and much ,much more.  Really, you have to stop by and check it out.

Here is a picture of the One Skein Scarf.

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My last resource, is Etsy.  If I am unable to make it myself, then I will purchase a handmade item made by someone else.  Why not?  I think doing this, for me anyway, will make Christmas seem a little less overwhelming, (since crafting to me is therapy) and I love supporting my fellow artisans!  There are some very talented and creative people on Etsy.

Another Item I stumbled upon on the internet was a paper pieced Christmas Tree.  I saw one similar to the one here I have sewn up.   I just drew up my own rendition of a tree and sewed it up.  Really, it is very easy and I think if I make 2 of these they will work quite nicely for a festive table runner hmmmmm…..this might be a gift after all.  Now I just need to figure out how to paper piece a Santa- I wonder if it is even possible?!

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So, as you can all see, I am going to be a little busy, cheap therapy though, eh?  Maybe you also may want to partake in A Handmade Christmas?

Have a great weekend!