Thursday, December 29, 2011

Homemade Christmas: An Apple a Day

Hello and Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a amazing celebration. Christmas was so much fun this year, as our kids are getting old enough now that they understand a bit more of what it is all about. We celebrated our very first Christmas in our own home - we've always travelled to grand-parents - but this year they came to us. It was wonderful. I don't think we'll ever go back to travelling during the holidays.

Anyway, I have another homemade Christmas present to show and tell before the year is out. My mom was a high-school teacher for 30+  years, so I decided to make her an apple mini quilt. I was inspired by Tamiko's Pillow, so I used her paper piecing pattern and fussy cut apple fabrics for the centre.

An Apple a Day Mini Quilt

It took me a bit to get the paper piecing down, I'm by no means an expert, but once I figured it out, I loved how precise I could get each block.

An Apple Close-Up

Unfortunately, I didn't get it finished before my mom arrived, so I had to work on it in front of her. I did manage to finish hand-sewing the binding on Christmas Eve so it could go under the tree.

I had so much fun swapping for the different apple fabrics on flickr. Sometimes I find the process of tracking down different fabrics and prints almost as much fun as making the quilt itself.

Our company left Boxing Day, and we're now enjoying family time. We've been x-country skiing, skating on the outdoor rink and 10-pin bowling. And of course watching cheesy Christmas movies. I hope you are enjoying your family time too!

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Stocking and a WIP

I had a couple of questions from my last post about my own stocking since it wasn`t hanging from the mantle. I`ve had the same stocking since I was a baby, and it`s looking a little bit rough. But I`m sentimental. So I`m keeping it.

Yup, I really was called Barbie as a kid.

And here is another homemade Christmas present in the works. My daughter asked for a Oliver + S messenger bag. Then she found my stash of Amy Butler Love FQs. I`m having so much fun on this one,  and since I only had FQs, it will be a scrappy bag. I`m just waiting to pick up some strap hardware before I can go any further.

What are you working on

Friday, December 2, 2011

Handmade Christmas: Stockings

Stocking are one of my favourite Christmas projects. And since it is Little Miss S's first Christmas, I worked hard last week to make her one before December 1st.

Inspired by Camille's stockings, I dug out a 12 Days of Christmas charm pack from my stash (there may be more, wink, wink), and added some Bliss, Amy Butler and Cosmo Cricket, and started cutting hexes. I used the same template as for this little quilt, and pieced the hexagons with the machine. Then for the shape, I traced around the stocking I made for my son three years ago.

Here's all of the stockings hung up on the mantle. (Note to self: Decorate mantle for Christmas). These four stockings really show my progression as a quilter. I made the first one for my husband 9 years ago back when I thought that fabric only came in country colours. I also followed the pattern exactly as I was terrified and lacking the skills to just wing it like I did with this last one.

As I look at this group of stockings, part of me is so tempted to remake the first three in more modern colours and patterns. I know that as a group they don't 'go.' But the reality is that none of my house 'goes' together. I'm a terrible interior designer because a) I'm a terrible planner and fly by the seat of my pants b) I'm a procrastinating perfectionist and I always feel like there is something better out there and c) I'm cheap.

But when we hung up the stockings yesterday, my oldest two kids were so, so, so excited to see their stockings with their names on them again. The kids don't care if the stockings coordinate. To them, they are special because their mommy made them, and of course, I'm not kidding myself, because Santa fills them with lovely toys.

So I'm resisting to modernize the stockings. We'll just have to go with an eclectic theme for Christmas this year. And every year from now on.

What about you? Do all of your decorations match or are you eclectic like me?