Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas greetings

Ho Ho Hoping everyone is having a jolly Christmas!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happiest Time of the Year

Just two more days until Christmas. I'm feeling the holiday preparations almost done, but there always seem to be one more. I finally got the final gift purchased (I hope it's the last) and now to wrap them all. The kids will help bake cookies for Santa tomorrow.

I'm wiped out. For me, this time of year is such a frenzy (but I know that it's like that for everyone!). Just had two birthdays and I am anxiously awaiting the priceless expressions on the Christmas faces! I'll know then that it was all worth it.

I had just finished making some Christmas gifts today (cutting it pretty close, I know).

I had made some easy candy jars for the kids' teachers, one for the hairdresser... you get the idea. They were so simple to make and the turned out pretty cute. I had gotten this idea when I was browsing other blogs a few months ago (so sorry, I couldn't locate the blog name). It's made from a coffee drink bottle, some Christmas themed fabric, ribbon, and card stock.

I had made these lil' Scrabble pillows, too. These turned out so adorable, they turned out to be pretty addicting. I had made them to spell out the names of the recipients. The pillows are only 8 inches square or they would have be wrapped up in a huge box otherwise. I would like to make some more of these for my future Etsy shop. Perhaps I would make them in several sizes.

I'm finding myself taking a short break tonight before I'll start on the Christmas yummies tomorrow.

I wish everyone happy holidays and a whole year filled with joy!!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Gonna Get Quilting

Been busy lately. At this time of the year, I've got the Christmas to-do lists, like everyone else. But in addition, I have two birthdays to take care of. Yes, both of my babies were early Christmas gifts. : ) I feel like I've been running around with my head cut off - lots to do that doesn't seem to involve quilting.

While I was doing some Christmas/birthday shopping the other day, I stopped by one of the quilt shops. They had started selling quilting machines. They had mentioned that they were planning to let their customers rent time on a machine to work on their own quilts. My dream come true!!

I hate to admit it, but I am not enjoying the quilting process on my sewing machine. I know that it can be done, maybe I just don't have to patience.

One of the associates at the quilt shop gave me a peek at the machine and a quick demonstration. I was in awe!! The machine moved so smoothly over the quilt, she was able to move it with just a few fingers. The stitches were perfectly even with its stitch regulator. And the hum of the machine was so relaxing.

I wanted to start right away, but the classes won't be starting until the first of the year. I hope it's enough incentive to finish those quilt tops, that are almost finished, so I can get it on one of those machines. Although I love to hand-quilt, it just takes me too long to finish a quilt.

January can't come soon enough!!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Trying Another Look

Found another template that uses different backgrounds. I happened to find one using blueprints. Not sure if you can tell what it is. But I think it's better that the other "blueprint" template idea I had before.

Now, I just need to figure out how to place my photos in the banner! More work to be done!


New Look

Just messing around. Trying to make my blog have a "blueprint" look. Not sure if it is working yet.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Note to Sis

My sister was feeling under-the-weather this last weekend, so I had given her a call a few days ago, to see how well she was doing. She is now doing so much better. She had told me that she was crocheting when we were talking and coincidentally, so was I!

"You see, I really was crocheting the same time you were!!"

I was making some Santa hats for my two boys. For our Christmas cards, each year I dress them up for a photo. I know that they might be a little too big for that now, but they are still my babies!

I'm working on a mustache and beard to attach to the hat for the full Santa effect.

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is right on top of us again! Where did the year go? I am currently cooking up a storm to prepare for tomorrow's get-together. I will wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving today since I'll be busy with the festivities tomorrow!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Applique Update

Now that my son is playing basketball, he is very busy with practices. That was one reason I started my Reminiscence quilt. I needed something to work on while I sat in at practices. But I've been doing more watching than appliqueing, so my progress has been quite slow.

Here's a quick peek at where I am now.
Finished with:

block 3

block 11

Still working on:
block 1

block 2
block 4
block 5
block 12
Little by little, stitch by stitch, it will get done.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Just recently got back from the Fall Festival at the kids' school. The boys had a blast with their friends and enjoyed a little independence while I volunteered to work at one of the tables.

I didn't win anything at the raffle or Chinese auction, nor did my older son, but...
my baby had won a gift certificate for his apple-pumpkin! He was quite thrilled! Of course, Mommy wouldn't allow him to cut the pumpkin but he did a great job with the painting and gluing. Great work!!
Now, we have to out-do everyone and win "Best Over-all" next year! It's never too early to start planning!

More Pumpkins??

So, what's with the pumpkins??

Our school is having their annual Fall Festival. It is a PTO fundraiser that the kids always look forward to. Inflatable bounce house and obstacle course, games galore, cake walk, raffles and auctions, and the food... fun for both kids and parents!

As part of the festivities, they have a pumpkin contest. So, of course, my kids are participating:
My older son's pumpkins.

He's such a boy!

And my younger son's pumpkin.

Prizes will be won, and we hope that we will one of the lucky ones. After all, the money that is raised is all for the school and the kids! It's all worth it!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

As Autumn Fades Away...

The cold weather is slowly approaching us. The temperature is dropping and as my younger son puts it, "I hate wearing my big fat coat!"

The leaves, that were once on the trees, are now fallen to the ground. We now have half-naked trees.

Yet, I'm still wanting to make some autumn quilts. With all my UFOs, I'm going to have to put them on my wish list.
Jackie Robinson's "Tessellating Leaves" -
love how every leaf is the same shape and fit right next to one another
(from Keepsake Quilting catalog)
Susan Probst's "Haunted Hill" -
love the batiks used, just three different colors
(from the front cover of Keepsake Quilting catalog-Autumn 2007)
I don't know the name of this quilt.
It was shown in some information about the
Shipshewana Quilt Festival, advertising the
Little Helper's Quilt Shop -
love the color gradation of the leaves, they seen to shine!
I can only hope to get more of my quilts done, so that I won't feel so guilty to start one of these!

Diversity of M&Ms

"I have always liked M&Ms;
the most diverse, multicultural, integrated candy in the world.
You have red, yellow, orange, brown, green, and blue;
all in one package, all co-existing TOGETHER.
One color doesn't think that it is superior to the other.
All colors look different on the outside,
but have the same ingredients on the inside.
M&Ms all have the same flavor, and they all taste GOOD.
Wouldn't it be nice if all people were judged by what was
inside rather than you see on the outside?"

If we would all follow their example.

I came across this saying recently and it stuck with me. As I am teaching my younger boy about GOD had making everybody on his earth in different colors - my older boy about differences in languages, culture, and religion in our world: we are all still the same.

It should all be as simple and easy as M&Ms.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's a Little Bit Late But...

Candy corn is typically a candy for Halloween. Unfortunately, I don't like candy corn but their colors and the shape of them make so adorable. With my love of homemade pincushions, I thought they would make a perfect pincushion or mini pillow, but I couldn't find a pattern like the one I was seeing in my head.

So I had to make my own pattern!

They were so fun to make, I made multiples.

This is usually what I do, especially with pincushions. I have to make more than one. Although Halloween has already passed, I couldn't help myself. They turned out so cute!

I hope you enjoy the photos! I hope they make you as happy as they made me! : )

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!

How great would it be to be a child again. To have one night to dress-up in cool costumes and go to neighbors', friends', and families' homes (and they are expecting you!) to receive a boat load of candy!

view of my front window - I hope it isn't too dark

To have a night like that when you're grown-up! To go to other people's homes to receive, perhaps in may case: fabrics, matching threads, pins and sewing needles. Just one night isn't asking too much, is it?!

But back in reality, we try to make fun and happy memories with our children. We have the inside of the house decorated and the jack-o-lanterns placed on the front porch.

I hope you and your families have a fun and safe Halloween!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Einstein Has Arrived!

Done at last! I know I could have finished a week ago, but one thing that I hate to do is buttonholes. There is five buttons running down the lab coat. Buttonholes are fast and fairly easy to do, but the slightest mistake can make them look really funky. So, before it got too late, I got down to it and finally got the buttons and buttonholes done.

Then I added some straight-line stitching to the upper pocket so he could add a pen and a memo pad for a geeky look!
The school was having a Halloween Walk this morning. The students, all in costume(along with the teachers who were also in costume!), were to walk up and down Main Street businesses to collect candy. The temperature this morning was a chilly 38 degrees! Quite a cold walk for all that candy!
Next year may be the time that he decides that he is too big to go trick-or-treating! Until he realizes that might mean he doesn't get any candy!
I can't forget my little one. He had to have the "purchased" costume. : ( But he promised that he would allow me to make his costume next year!!
We're gonna be busy this weekend with Halloween. We've got more trick-or-treating to do as well as carve some pumpkins!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quilt Labels: Part Four

At last, the label is finished. I am planning to use a red and white check fabric for the backing of my Round the Block quilt. I think the bold red border on the label will stand out on the back of the quilt.

Once the quilt is quilted, I usually applique the label to the lower left hand corner.

Some other information that can be added to a quilt label is name or names of other people who helped construct the quilt, name of the quilter (if it isn't yourself), or the source of pattern of your quilt.

For example, in my Granny's Garden quilt, I had added the name of the quilter and the name of the quilt I had copied it from (I wouldn't necessarily use the word "copy." The pattern was in an issue of Quilter's Newsletter). I had embroidered that information half the size of the other letters.
I used fabrics that I had used in the quilt top to border the label. The ladybug was added because I had appliqued ladybugs to the quilt top. And the heart was added for Granny. I will miss her.

Brye Lynn, from her blog/pocast Sew Stitch Create (, she had mentioned adding your maiden name on the label. I had never thought of it and I think it would be a great idea. With my married name, history will not link it to my maiden name family, nor will it link it to my mother's family. So, perhaps, I might start adding my extended name on the label:
Jannie _______ Stamper (____)
That's gonna take up a lot of space on a label!
Halloween is just around the corner and I have to finish the lab coat my son will be wearing. I still have to think of a way for him to have the fuzzy eyebrows and mustache.
I'm gonna have to get back to sewing.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quilt Labels: Part Three

Once the front-facing fabric is securely pinned to the aida cloth, I can start on the letters.
Please excuse the appearance of my hands. Once the photos were taken, I couldn't believe how my hands looked. I should have gave myself a manicure beforehand.

I may not use a hoop, but some people may feel more comfortable with a small hoop.

I can either work from the back using the marked letters as my guide.

Make sure to flip it over to the back side, to make sure there aren't gaps between the stitches.

Or, I can work from the front, This way, I can have a good view of the result. I will need to take a peek at the back to see where the stitches should be placed. *this is the method I prefer*

The holes in the aida cloth will show me exactly where to place my needle.

From the front, I make sure they are no gaps between the stitches. I'll place the needle in where the last stitch ended.

The letter "n" with gaps (what not to do).

The letter "n" without gaps.

The finished hand embroidery. I decided underline the name of the quilt to make it stand out more.

I should have the border placed in the next post.


The Next Book

I had just got a phone call from my local library that they had just received the latest Elm Creek Quilt series, The Aloha Quilt. I feel as if I still have tons of things to do, but I'm gonna have fit some reading in there somewhere!