21 November 2010

quilts given and received

Twin gave me a beautiful quilt as a wedding gift. It's now my faithful tv-watching sofa blanket--if I am on the sofa, chances are pretty good that I am under this quilt. It's the perfect size, and so pretty.
It's made mostly of Joel Dewberry fabrics. I love the mixture of floral prints and geometric ones. The best part is I can tell how carefully Twin picked out these fabrics with me in mind. They are the kind of colors and prints I love best, and she got it just right.
I love how the back is pieced with larger pieces of the different prints. I am always too lazy to piece the backs of quilts, but it's so worth the effort.
And this is a snowball quilt that I made for Matt's mom last Christmas. I'd never made a snowball quilt before, but it was a fun pattern to sew. It's one of those patterns where you get the visual impact of curved seams, without actually having to make any curved seams, because the octagons read as circles from a distance. I think to truly get a "snowball" effect, I should have made my squares smaller, but if you step back far enough, my snowballs do look pretty much round.

I used polka dot binding. I love binding, it's always my favorite part.

I'm about halfway through piecing the blocks for a new quilt for Matt. It features gnomes, and I am very excited about it. Am hoping to have it finished by Christmas, though I'm not sure it's going to happen. Luckily he has a birthday in February, so if I miss Christmas, I can just say that I was always intending it to be a birthday present anyway.

10 November 2010

advent calendars on etsy!

For the past few years, I've been making these pyramid garlands as an advent calendar. I fill them with good dark chocolate and I munch my way through December. They look so very cheery hanging from the mantel, though I used to hang them between two bookcases in the days before I had a fireplace.

This year I've come up with an improved template and two new designs. And if you'd like to have a forest of little pyramids of your very own, now you can purchase the kit on etsy! I'm selling them as PDF downloads--you just print and assemble. I will admit that by the 24th pyramid, your scissors hand will be a bit sore. But it's so worth it in the end, to see your little line of trees appear.

The "Starry Trees" design is new, and I love the way it looks hanging from this fallen branch. It was very odd--I had this vague notion that a tree branch would look cool, so I walked out into the backyard and immediately picked up this branch. Perfect size, knobby branches, lovely bark color. The stars are obviously aligned for the Starry Tree Advent Calendar.

The Mod Trees design is similar to the classic one I first made a few years ago. Lime green and red is about the perfect combination.

And I will point out that a Lindt truffle fits perfectly inside a pyramid. I alternate the white chocolate with the dark chocolate. One of these years I am going to tuck in little notes or toys instead of chocolate. Maybe. Probably not.

Happy counting down!

09 November 2010

pillow challenge

Erin's Pillow Week Challenge has me thinking pillows. One of my friends in college had a roommate from France who would always pronounce "pillow" as "peeeeeeellow" in a very charming way and so that is how I always pronounce it in my head. (Sometimes it slips out in conversation too and then people look at me funny.) But I do love making new peeeeellows for my house. I have a little stack of homemade covers that i have made over the years and I swap them out as the season or my mood demands.

I made two patchwork pillows over the summer out of leftover fabrics from the wedding. I had collected a pile of old vintage sheets from thrift stores to use as table coverings, and I wanted to create something out of the fabric afterward as a keepsake for my mother and aunt. I alternated a square of vintage print with a calm gray linen. I actually inserted zippers into these as well, which I rarely take the time to do. (Though Erin's method looks so easy I might be doing it more often!)

I also wanted something new for the sofa with cooler weather approaching, so I sewed two of these linen pillows. I had two small scraps of this floral print from Globalweave Textiles that I bought a couple years ago from Purl. I just did a simple envelope enclosure in the back. I contemplated piping, and then I wussed out.

In case you're interested in past pillow projects from the archives, check out my coloring book pillow, tuxedo pillow, and rainbow pillow. Isn't it funny how when you have a blog you name all your projects...it does make them more memorable I guess.

I have had new dog bed covers on my list for ages, so hopefully this week I can get going on those. I bought an awesome plaid flannel that I think will be perfect. (Matt is lobbying for a new puppy and when I showed him the fabric his response was, "aw, a little black lab puppy would look great on that.") I think we're going to resist a new puppy for now, but I am determined that the new dog beds will have piping. Red piping. Gonna get on that pronto.

Thanks Erin for the peeeeeellow challenge!

02 November 2010

halloween 2010

BOO! Halloween is probably Matt's favorite holiday. He loves zombies, monsters, ghosts, flesh-eating piranhas, really anything that is creepy or grotesque in an entertaining sort of way. I, on the other hand, am a total chicken. But I am trying to be supportive. We have yet to find a horror movie that I can watch, but we are going to keep looking.

I made this linen mask for Matt, sewed the mouth up crudely, and painted the edges with fabric paint. When we moved into the house, we actually found a scythe in the shed (along with an old-fashioned plow), so that came in handy.

Jennie carved the pumpkin on the top step using the tutorial from last week's DesignSponge post. She used linoleum-cutting tools, which proved a challenge. It was difficult to carve deeply enough with the tools so that the light showed through. But the carving is so delicate and pretty.

For this wee white pumpkin, we got out the drill and drilled a ton of little holes in it. At first it looked like swiss cheese, but once it was lit up, it looked more like a starry night sky.

We had fun. We have too much leftover candy, though. It's all downhill from here, straight to Christmas. Might as well enjoy the sweet season.