Monday, December 31, 2012


Last year I made my mom a pair of slippers for Christmas.  I'm not sure why I decided to make her another pair for this year, but I had an idea rattling around in my head about a different type.  On an earlier trip to the mid-west we had visited some shops.  One in particular featured wool slippers hand-made by the shop owner.  They were so lovely.  I really should have bought a pair, but that thrifty side of me said ... "This would be so easy to make with felted wool!"  Have you ever said anything like that before?  ...the "this would be so easy" part?  It should be a clear sign to buy the product then and there and forget about the making it yourself part, but... if you are like me, these kinds of things nag at you until you just have to try it yourself.  All that to say -- here's to making it yourself!  The one and only of it's kind, designed and created by me for mom!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

More Christmas sewing...

As I sit here ready to share another Christmas project, I'm thinking about the "blog year" ahead.  Writing this blog has really been a way for me to journal my creative projects, and hopefully to encourage someone out there to be creative in whatever way they can.  Several years ago, at the funeral of a friend who was an accomplished quilter, her daughter-in-law told me that for years her mother-in-law had kept a log of all the quilts she had completed.  I don't remember what that number was, but I was impressed.  I started keeping a similar log of projects completed.  It has been fun to look back and be able to see evidence of having engaged in creative endeavors!  In 2011 I completed 44 projects.  In 2012 the number of completed projects went up to 62!  What will 2013 bring?

Enough about that...and on to the horse lap quilt!
The pieced front, using the Zakka Block Quilt design by Leslie Good, from the book,  Zakka Style.

The recipient of this quilt loves horses and blue!  I had wanted to do a long stitch by hand, but ran out of time.  Instead I used a basic stitch by machine.

Sewing on the binding.  
Once the binding is stitched to the front, burn it and hand stitch with a blind stitch.

The finished front.

The pieced back ... or maybe this is the front?? :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas sewing

Christmas sewing began early this year, but somehow I was still stitching away the day before Christmas Eve.  Four little girls went home on Christmas evening with "nap pillows" in hand.
Four little bears ready to snuggle into their pillows!

I tried a different pocket design on the last two --- this one a  pieced pocket...

...and this one (a much simpler version) using two fabric pieces for the pocket and pillow hem.

Pillow cases and bears ready to wrap!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

On the 5th day before Christmas...

... Christmas break begins!  The day started with rising early enough to make a Cinnamon Bun Cake to take for an early staff breakfast at school.   Check out the Mennonite Girls Can Cook website for the recipe. It is delicious!  Besides the class parties, whole-school sing-along and sharing of gifts, we got a bit of reading in as well.  I was actually surprised when one of my students came to my room and asked if he could read his list of 100 sight words!  Early dismissal time came with children clutching their bags of goodies, ready to experience Christmas.  I felt about as excited as the kids.  With a few batches of cookies to make, a house to clean,  sewing projects to finish up, grocery shopping to do and gifts to wrap, it's time to go "full-steam ahead!"  I love this time of year.  As each task if completed, I get closer to the time of resting, reflecting and enjoying the warmth of visiting together with friends and family.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Sewing

I have a few Christmas projects in the works -- one of which is a lap quilt.  The recipient does not use a computer so no fears of a sneak preview!
I'm using the same pattern I used for a quilt project in the Zakka Sew-Along.  It was fairly quick and easy.  I'm always amazed when I look at a quilt top at this stage and compare it to pictures of the finished product.  It will be fun to see how the stitching brings dimension to this one.  Some projects I won't be able to show here until after Christmas.  Sorry, Mom.  No sneak previews for you! : )

Saturday, December 15, 2012


The carefree, happy feeling of a personal day yesterday was interrupted by the horrific news of the shooting at Sandy Brook Elementary.  My heart is breaking for the families, the school, the community.     I pause to think of the interruption in life for those who dropped their children off at school, perhaps off to a fun day of Christmas shopping, only to be interrupted by a overwhelming feeling of panic, loss of control, sadness, and fear.  May God bring healing, and somehow -- some day -- restore joy and peace to this hurting community.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Let the fun begin!

Let the fun begin!  This morning I woke at 5:00 -- even before the alarm went off.  How unusual, I thought to myself.  It's usually way too easy to push that snooze button and doze just a few minutes (20 minutes?  30 minutes?) longer.  It's Friday -- one of my favorite days of the week.  But today, this Friday, I've taken a personal day off!  Oh, the things I can accomplish ... baking, shopping, sewing, hair appointment, wrapping.  Sounds a bit ambitious, I know, but even if I accomplish a few of those things, I'll be happy.  So -- with the scent of cookies already wafting through the rooms, and the Christmas music playing -- I'm ready for the fun!