Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Letting Christmas In

I am definitely behind on the making of items and creating of Christmas cheer. I am in the last week of the semester. I have final exams to administer and grade, a dissertation chapter to finish, and I haven't made one, not one!, Christmas gift. I feel a little overwhelmed and a whole lot of stress, and my only remedy to rid myself of those feelings, is to sew.

I am truly in love, obsessed, infatuated, and totally enamored with Aneela Hoey's Cherry Christmas fabric line. I can't get enough of it. I had a list of pillow covers, table runners, and stockings I wanted to make with this fabric. I have made four pillow covers thus far, and still have a table runner in mind. I made a pillow case for my bedroom. My canine sidekick, Douglas, is here to act as Vanna White, and assist in showing you the pillowcase. I swear, this dog acts like a cat sometimes. 

The fabric that looks blue in the photo is a minty green in person. Yes, I need a new camera... yes, I am hoping Santa will magically read my mind and bring me one... 

I used the red fabric for the edge of the pillowcase. I could just stare at this fabric all day. I love the snow globe and the teapot. I really adore this fabric in a major major way. 

I used the white clothesline fabric for the back of the pillowcase. Did I mention I adore this fabric line? I love the little stripey socks and Christmas sweaters hanging on the line.

I made three pillow covers for the living room. I have this Indonesian bench in my living room that I tend to make pillow covers for and switch them out depending on the season. This year, there are Cherry Christmas pillows for the bench!

After cutting the fabric for the patchwork pillow covers, I had some long pieces left that I thought would make for a cute striped pillow. I used peppermint swirl fabric for the back. 

There is a larger patchwork pillow, as well. Please ignore the crooked patches on it. 

The third pillow cover is the funniest log cabin pillow cover ever. 

I stitched the snow globe from one of Aneela Hoey's patterns in her Little Stitches book, and for whatever reason, I proceeded to stitch other patterns all around it. The result was the tiniest, most teeny, seam allowance ever. I had to cut the fabric all crooked, which is why you can see that mint-colored fabric in the upper right-hand corner of the embroidery piece. In order to square it off, I had to add a piece of fabric there. Hopefully, I can make some time to create a table runner after I grade some final exams.

On a different note: I did finish the Wild Olive Autumn Stitching Club project in time for Thanksgiving not too long ago. 

I have to admit that I cheated a bit and machine-stitched the hexagons to the pillow cover. I really liked how this turned out and am really looking forward to the Winter Stitching Club

How are you doing with your holiday preparations?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Finishing the Autumnal WIPs and Starting Holiday Stitching

I am very pleased with myself. I finished my Autumn-themed projects before Thanksgiving. It seems I am always working right down to the wire, but this time, I made it before the day of festivities! For once I am not late!


I found this embroidery pattern a few months ago and had saved it with the intention of stitching it for a new cushion for my living room. I also pieced together some hexes for a smaller cushion. I really like the way they both turned out. I am also very happy that I am getting to enjoy them before the Thanksgiving weekend. 

In addition to these projects, I am very excited that this week is the last week of Wild Olive's Autumn Stitching Club. Well, perhaps I should rephrase that. I am excited for the finished project to come together, but I have had a great time piecing the whole thing together over the last 12 weeks. Participants will receive our last embroidery pattern tomorrow, then we can finish everything up. 

I cheated a bit and machine stitched the hand-embroidered hexies onto the fabric. There was just no way I would have been able to hand-stitch these hexies onto the fabric without them being totally crooked. Once finished, this is going to be a cushion that will join my other two. I am really enjoying the stitching projects that Mollie over at Wild Olive has been putting together, so much so, that I will be joining her for yet another stitchalong! The Winter Stitchalong begins in December, that's next week! Oh my goodness... that's next week... 

We have had a strange few days here in Tucson, Arizona lately. It rained for two days straight. The sun finally broke through the clouds late yesterday afternoon. In addition to rain, it was very very cold. There was really nothing else to do except for stitch through the cold, which is what I did. Holiday stitching is in full swing here. I have one more piece to go before I add some of these to stockings and more cushions for the living room. 

I decided to try out the metallic floss available from Sublime Stitching. Usually, metallic floss is super difficult to work with, but not this one. It wasn't rough to work with at all. The light sparkly floss was perfect for the glass cloche of this pattern. I also used metallic floss for the trees and some of the stars. 

I took this snow man in a mason jar image from a stamp. I copied the stamped image and enlarged it a bit on the computer. I think it will be cute on a stocking hanging from the fireplace mantel. 

The rest of these patterns are freebies I have found on Pinterest. I am going to add these smaller ones to patchwork stockings. I don't know how many stockings I think I am making, but there will be no shortage of embroidery for them. 

As soon as I finish stitching one more embroidery pattern, I will be able to get started on sewing the patchwork pieces I have planned. 

Are you prepping for your holiday projects?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Making Totes

I tend to surround myself with a variety of tote bags. I make them, buy them, and trade them. I have recently fallen in love with a variety of Noodlehead's awesome tote patterns. I had to bargain with myself, though, and make some of these totes for others before making one for yours truly. 

This bag is for my darling friend, Nadia. We met more than seven years ago when I took a job at the same shop she was working at. She is the type of person who inspires me in every way. She is artistic and creative, and loves all things cute! Just like I do. She also has a love for mid-century modern, so when I saw this fabric, I knew I needed to make something for her with it. 

I have used a few of Noodlehead's patterns before and aside from yielding a fantastic final result, the instructions are clear and easy to follow. 

I really want to make a Super Tote, as well. That will have to wait, though. One of my friends saw this tote when he stopped by my house last week, and left me with an order for four 241 Totes that he plans to give his nieces for Christmas. 

I should probably start working on that order. Time is flying by and December will be here before I know it! Off to the sewing room, I go!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Autumnal WIP's

Halloween came and went. I already put my decorations away. I still haven't brought myself to take down my Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) altar, but it will happen eventually. I can't believe it's already November, time is flying by. 

I didn't finish my Halloween quilt in time. It's still in 13 strips that need to be connected. Last week, I took a trip to the fabric store to buy some binding, and they were completely sold out of black binding. Whenever they get more, then I can finish. Until then, this half-finished quilt will be hanging around. 

I wasn't sure if I was going to get into the Autumn mood, or the holiday season, for that matter, but it appears I have. I was browsing the Woodland Adventure fabric, when is was available at Fabricworm. It took me a couple days to decide I wanted some of this fabric, but when it arrived I fell completely in love with it. These little woodland creatures are just too cute. 

I am working on a hexie pillow cover for my living room. I had made three Halloween pillow covers, and now I need to change them out, so there will be a hexi Woodland Adventure pillow. I also found this Give Thanks embroidery pattern, that I will be putting on the second pillow. The third, will be a result of Wild Olive's Autumn Stitching Club. It's not finished, but it's looking so very cute, thus far. 

In later news, my fabric hoarding is still very much present and is really becoming a substantial part of my life. Last year, I didn't get on the horse fast enough, and missed out on Aneela Hoey's Cherry Christmas fabric. It appeared to have sold out everywhere. This year I was quick. I found some in two different Etsy shops, Sew Love Fabrics and Red Brick Quilting. I ordered yardage, fat quarters, and a charm pack. Someone stop me!

I couldn't resist the Hip Holiday fabric by Josephine Kimberling. I just adore the cars and bikes with pine trees! I am thinking I need patchwork pillow cases for my bedroom, patchwork stockings, and maybe some new cushion covers for the living room. If there is enough, I would like to make a small table runner for the coffee table in the living room. 

I know I am getting a little over confident with time and energy. There are only 6 weeks left in the semester and I have exams to administer and grade. Not to mention a dissertation that I am still trying to finish. It's okay, though, all things in good time, right?

Are you preparing your holiday projects?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Feliz Día de los Muertos

Celebrating the Day of the Dead is always bittersweet for me. I love to search through my memory of those who have passed, and relive moments that stand out in my mind. I laugh, smile, and feel lucky to have shared time with each one of them.

I can remember my Grandfather (my dad's dad in the black and white photo above) teaching me how to sip the syrup from a honeysuckle flower or how to pick apples from a tree. My childhood dog, Patch, and all the fun we had running through the desert. My ex-boyfriend, Jake, the greatest drummer, who was so wildly friendly and kind to everyone he met. Most recently, losing a new friend, Chris, and learning how important it is to laugh everyday, even when it seems like there is nothing to laugh about.

I always find that my love and appreciation for those who have crossed to the spirit world is unfaltering. I cannot say for sure if life is greater than death, or vice versa, but I am certain that love is greater than either. Today, I continue to offer my love to those who have passed on. 

Happy All Souls day, to you and yours. May you remember them fondly and continue to love them.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween Stitches

It's been Halloween at my house for over a month. I am actually contemplating keeping Halloween permanently. We'll see how that works out once December rolls around *wink*wink*

I have wreaths like this for almost every time of year. Most notably for Halloween and Valentine's Day. I posted the tutorial a while back, and it's available for you here, should you want to make your own. If you haven't gotten on track with Halloween decor, you can knock this out in an afternoon before the weekend is over and hang it on your door before the 31st!

The table is set and ready for Halloween guests. I kept the banner I used last year over the mantel. All this has been out since Mid-September. I even changed the books on my coffee table to Halloween-themed tales (sorry, don't have a photo of that for you). 

I have also been stitching quite a bit for Halloween. Some patterns have been on the shelf for a while (and by while, I mean a year or more), and I am so excited to get to stitch them up... finally!

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Andrea Zuill's, her patterns never disappoint. This Halloween bat is definitely a new favorite. 

I love these Creepy Critters. I just find it hilarious that these sweet bunnies are spooky Halloween characters. I couldn't resist stitching them up. 

Of course, Halloween isn't complete without a Jack O'lantern. 

I found this adorable pattern designed by Amanda Woodward-Jennings (of the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery) and couldn't resist. I mean, a chubby bat?... I was immediately on board to stitch this up.

I have a large stash of Halloween fabric that I needed to use up, because let's face it, I can't hoard this fabric forever. I made patchwork placements for the dining table. I used Gina Matarazzo's Pumpkin Pal's embroidery pattern for the napkins. Incidentally, the tutorial for the napkins is available on Feeling Stitchy, should you want to make your own. 

I also started working on a Halloween quilt. Told ya... have to use up this stash of fabric. I am hoping to have the top finished before the end of the weekend and finish putting it together by Thursday. Here's to last minute Halloween projects! (My apologies, I had to use cell phone images for this, because I forgot to use my camera, so the pictures aren't as great as I would want them to be).

Are you all set for Halloween?? I can't wait. 

Until next time!