Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!

Well, after five different Christmas celebrations this year, with various branches of our family, hubby and I are pooped!  We had a great time, but have definitely enjoyed a couple of days of relaxing and practicing the art of doing nothing.  With how busy we were during the months of November and December, I didn't have time to make as many hand made gifts as I had initially hoped, but I'm really pleased with how my two gifts turned out.

First up was a handmade gift for my hubby.  While he's always more than willing to give me his opinion (when I ask) on which color combination or block pattern looks better for a work-in-progress, and has even been willing to accompany me to a quilt show or two, quilting is just not really his thing.  He has been known, however, to enjoy the occasional video game and really gets a kick out of "vintage" Nintendo stuff from when we were kids.  A couple of years ago, he realized that since the 8-bit images from the original Nintendo games that he loved as a kid were nothing more than a series of colored boxes ....

... that they would translate REALLY well into a quilt pattern.  So, he decided that I was going to make him a Mario pillow and promptly dragged me off to JoAnn's (I KNOW!!!!) to get some solid-colored fabric so that I could get started.  Unfortunately, we purchased some fabric on sale that shrunk when ironed - even after pre-washing - which made the task of sewing together 256 squares into a 1" grid really unpleasant and impractical ... and the project was shelved.

I began playing around with the idea of the pillow again, after I stumbled across a tutorial by Elizabeth from Oh! Fransson on Sew, Mama, Sew's website.  Elizabeth started by drawing a grid on a square of super lightweight fusible interface, and then used the lines as guides to place her individual squares.  She ironed them in place and the seamed the back, and voila! ... she made a perfect mini-quilt without having to individual piece together a bunch of tiny squares.  (Check out the tutorial for some great pictures and more complete directions)

I tried her method with some higher-quality solid fabric for my pillow and was absolutely thrilled with the result!!  The grid on the front was so precise and the whole pillow front was done in less than two hours!!

Hubby was thrilled with it too!  He's dubbed it his video-game pillow and has already asked for a second one (specifically the green 1-UP mushroom) to take into his office at work.

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My second handmade gift this year was for my mom, aka "my fabric-shopping partner in crime."  Over the summer we took an embroidery class at one of our local quilt shops (which sadly went out of business this month.  I'm so bummed!!).  I knew after we finished the class that I wanted to make her a Christmas quilt that incorporated embroidery.

Every Christmas, my mom has this great collection of snowmen that she displays on the wall behind the kitchen table, so I decided to make her a quilt that matched.  I used Bird Brain Designs' Redwork Snowmen pattern ....

... along with Mom's favorite snowman fabric line, Makin' New Friends by Deb Strain for Moda, and Carrie Nelson's (Miss Rosie's Quilt Co) Hot Cross Schnibbles pattern ...

So sorry for the crummy picture quality!  We've had weeks of rain in Sacramento, so it was hard to get pictures with decent lighting.  Here are some close-ups of the Snow-Peeps ...

Mom loved her quilt, and it's now happily living on the back of the living room sofa ... just waiting for someone to come by and take advantage of the dreary weather with a good book!

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So, with those two finishes, I'd like to present the FINAL status of my 2010 stash.
Purchased: 3.0 yards for the Mario Pillow
Used: 6.12 yards as follows:
  • 3.58 yards for Mom's Snowman quilt
  • 0.75 yard for three new mug rugs to be listed in the Etsy shop soon ...
  • 0.69 yard for the Mario pillow
  • 1.10 yards for the December Le Petite project
Grand Total for 2010: +90.78 yards
A bit higher than I had hoped ... but as of today, the numbers all roll back to 0.  Let's see if I can start the next update off with a negative number!!


Sara said...

The gaming pillow is AWESOME---you may have given me an idea for my hubby's quilt-- as he wants a Steelers football quilt: )Thinking of using their team symbol;) Thanks for the inspiration:)

Rene said...

Just wanted to say again I love my quilt . . . everytime I see it, it makes me smile.