Baby Sammy Stuffie

I want to share a quick little stuffie I made for my niece. 

I took a piece of that really plush fabric I had left laying around.  Put the right sides together and loosely sketched out a simple Sammy dog shape.

Cut out the shape and sew it together.

Flip it inside out, fill with stuffing or left over batting bits, close the hole and tie on a cute ribbon. 

Cute, right?


A Christmas Gift Quilt Finish! {Sisters Are a Plus}

I made a quilt this year for my Sister-in-love for Christmas.  It was so much fun to dream up and make since she mostly likes what I like.  And can you believe that I put this together from cutting to binding in just under one and a half weeks?  Insane.  I know.  And now you know why I was quiet on the blogging front during that time.

I can't promise that I will be putting any quilts together that fast anytime soon.  In fact, I also have to admit that I haven't touched my sewing machine since Christmas.  I know... nearly four whole days... how am I surviving?

With that, here is the making of the quilt I am calling "Sisters Are A Plus" from beginning to end.  I don't seem to have a picture of the stack of fabric I started with, but here are the rows in progress.

It's made mostly from a fat quarter stack of Lizzy House's Outfoxed fabrics.  They are so bright and colorful and covered in the cutest foxes, hedgehogs, and bunnies!  I also added in some Alexander Henry pieces and others that I had been saving for something special.

The quilt was well tested along the way by the best Quality Inspector in training.  Every time I'd have the quilt on the floor for one reason or another Sammy would dashed onto it like lightening and make herself comfortable.

Don't worry, Katie was not to be left out.  After all she is the one training little Sammy in the ways of quilty Quality Assurance. 

I did something different with the binding than I normally do.  This time around I tried out making a continuous bias binding.  And really like the whole process.  I followed the instructions I found here and here.

I found this method quicker than strip piecing and really enjoyed only having to iron one long strip of binding in half at the end.  This orange binding is so pretty... I just wanted to pet it!

And here she is.  Sisters Are A Plus!!  I used a modified version of the the Plus quilt pattern from In Color Order.  My changes added a few rows and columns to make the quilt bigger and square; finishing at about 75 x 75 inches.

And yes, if you noticed this isn't my normal grassy photo spot.  Because of the quickness of this quilt's making... it was in the washer/dryer late on Christmas eve and I found myself taking pictures of it (in a panic) Christmas morning before my Sis showed up.

All that aside.  Isn't she beautiful?  I nearly pulled the "puppy ate your quilt card" and kept this one for myself.

A closer look at the pluses and quilting.  I did the quilting in a bright orange thread and outlined each of the pieced lines 1/4 from the edge.  It's a lot of lines, but the straight quilting went quick.

You can see the result of the quilting a bit better on the back where all the resulting squares give this quilt a ton of texture!! 

I made the back from 1 yard each of five different solids which more or less coordinate with the fabrics on the front.  I put them in rainbow order... and in hindsight I might have mixed them up instead.

All in all this comes ridiculously close to my favorite quilt made of all time.

But, I am also so happy that this quilt will be adored in it's new home as much as it would have been with me.  And hey.. I can always go over for a dinner party and wisk it home with me, right? 

Ha, not happening.  You'd understand if you knew my Sister in love.

My quilt using advice to my Sis was:
  • use the quilt often -- snuggling with a quilt can be like the biggest longest hug ever
  • don't be nervous washing the quilt -- and hey, dirty happens
  • over time, your quilt will only get softer! 
Her answer to me?  She said... yes, I know.. you make your quilts to be used. 

I have trained her well!!  Such a happy moment as another quilt leaves the nest!

I only hope that you had as much fun and success making and giving homemade gifts this year! 

It's an amazing feeling isn't it?  To give someone you adore something that you created from nothing but a stack of fabric and string.  A wonderful feeling!

Updated to mention I will be sharing this Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story!


Holiday Wishes & Cheer!

Hope you enjoyed a lovely Christmas!! 

Wishing you & your family love, peace
and an amazing start to the new year!


Almost Winter Hiking

A few more snaps of our recent time spent outdoors.  For the last three weeks, every chance we had, we would get up before it was light and dash out the door to enjoy the woods. 

It's creeping on to that time of the year that we don't wander as far or as often.  But I'm hoping this late dose of hiking will carry me through the winter months.

Our lake on a crisp, clear, still morning.

One of the first times I have seen such a calm water surface.  Just stunning to see double the amount of trees through the water reflection!

We wandered upon a few root cellars (or stone structures) that were built long ago.  This is the one we normally see from the trail.

This is a new to us root cellar that we found tucked into the hillside not far from where we normally wander.

A closer look through the opening.  And swear the mister and I talked ourselves into the fact that a bear might be nesting in this one.  So much so that I snapped this in a hurry as we rushed off.

This is an old well that I nearly stumbled into.

And this is the third one we saw on the same day. 

A closer look at the front.  Love how it really nestled into the ground!

The sun has been brilliant; even with the weird fall angle in comes down in.

And the woods around us never fail to spark my imagination and remind me how beautiful the world is.

And it just me, or do the few greens that are left look alive and brilliant?  Just takes my breath away.

Wishing you peace and center as we are about to leap into full festivities.  Do so with a clear mind and an open heart so that we may continue on our paths to kick start 2012 with a bang!!


Life is Dog-gone Awesome!

~I'm sewing up a storm and still holding strong. 
~The dogs got a nice walk to the lake and back. 
~I'm watching episodes of Game of Thrones and loving every line.
~The dogs got to meet and got biscuits from Santa on a fire truck. 
~I got candy canes from Santa.
~Seeing Santa still makes me smile from ear to ear; even though I know he's a firefighter dressed up.
~There are tiny little snow flakes in the air.
~It's about one week till Christmas.
~Life is dog gone awesome!!


Friday Finish {NY-NY Quilt}

I have finally taken pictures of my finished NY-NY quilt!!  And here they are!  Looking at these picture... the fall/winter sun is pretty harsh... I may try and retake a few this weekend, but that said I still wanted to share the quilt!

I free hand drew the shape of NY state and then using reverse applique I cut out the state.  Nerve wrecking and awesome at the same time. 

The gray portion is one full yard and then I added the border to make it about 55 x 40 for a decent lap size quilt.

The backing is simply a yard of awesome NYC green fabric with the coolest version of the statue of liberty!  The cream border is that minky-like soft fabric I also used on Big Blue.

I added a little hand sewn heart to personalize this quilt -- marking a special birthplace.

The quilting is hard to see, but on NY State I added in all the major highways and roads in yellow thread from Long Island to Albany, and Niagara Falls toward Canada.  It was a really fun exercise to learn what roads stretched the length of the state.

And then I did echo quilting around the shape of the state in the gray fabric.

A closer look at the back.

All rolled up and ready to go!

Yes, of course I had to dangle it from a tree.

And just for a fun a flying down to the ground shot....

...because it landed with such grace.

Hoping you are ending or starting your week with grace!!  Have a lovely weekend... and wish me luck...I'm still sewing till my arms fall off :)


Shadow and Timber at the Park {done}

Presenting to you... Shadow and Timber at the Park!  These adorable labs are having a fabulous play date at the park with their lunch and frisbee.  Adorable, no?

I am so happy with how this piece turned out!!  You can see it's beginnings here.

I love the addition of the picnic basket and quilt.  And the multi colored french knots field of flowers.

A close up of the puppy faces, noses, ears, and smiles!!

Sometimes a piece takes a little longer than expected...

...but when it finally comes out .... it's love at first sight!


I hope you are experiencing your own finishing moments as we are all frantically wrapping up creative things before the stroke of midnight on Christmas eve.  Only two more quilts to go... wish me luck!


Here's What's Going On...

Has anyone else (like me) just blinked and realized that it's nearly mid-December already?  My brain is still telling me that it should be Halloween time.  Heck, we just broke open the last of our pumpkins in the woods yesterday.  I guess it was getting funny to see pumpkins on the stoop with a backdrop of Christmas lights.

> We woke to a tiny coating of snow last week which is serving as a reminder of the month we are in.  So pretty as it coated all the tree limbs and wood pile!

> I have been sewing like frantic to finish off some cool gifts and am making a lot of progress.  I am also giving a demo at tomorrows art quilt guild meeting.  I'm so excited, but need to finish my demo piece tonight. 

> I am spending most of my down time outdoors with the mister and pups trying to soak in any available sunlight... or just plain day light for that matter.  It's helping beat back the winter blahs.  It's been fun to take my camera with me too!

> I love the frost crystals on the moss. 

> I am amazed at how green the moss looks.  Makes me wonder if it's always this green, or if I am just noticing now because everything else is so gray?

> I got a henna tattoo last week.  You know the kind of temporary tattoos that originated in India?  It was my first one... and it's been so much fun to have! 

> Having a henna is making me want to pick up the dye paste and try it again on myself.  The designs are limitless and it was so darn quick/easy.

> I am amazed at the crispy-frosty edges on the leaves and how they all get so much texture when they are coated like this.

> I am head-over-heels in love with this girl.  She's a silly as she is beautiful and I wouldn't mind spending every minute hanging out with her.

> Meanwhile, this one is reminding me what it is like to be puppy to the max.  Everything is being hunted, tissues and shoes aren't safe, and running circles through the house is great entertainment.  For every moment I am cross with her, there are fifteen that I want to cuddle and adore her.  She's not quite ready for prime time yet, but we made it through puppy school and I can tell she is a great dog in progress!

> And as if the season and time of year aren't confused enough... I walked through my garden to find these flowers in bloom... despite the snow fallen around them.  I also saw other plants and bulbs like the crocus budding and thinking of blooming too. 

Sorry to be quiet for so long, but hoping to get back into the routine this week with blogging and show you some of the things I am working on... even if some have to be kept secret. 

Cheers to a great start to the week!
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