Finally Finished.

It is DONE. Bound. Washed. Crinkly. Yummy.

It wasn’t done in time for Christmas, but at least I finished it within the month of December!

Here are a few of my favorite blocks, and you can see my mistakes too. I’m such a amateur quilter but actually, I’m totally okay with that.

The middle of the block is from the line Holiday Happy by Monica Solorio for Lecien.  She calls that funky guy “Gnoma Claus.”  The border is also a Lecien fabric, which is a Japanese line.  Lecien fabric is a bit more pricey, but also more kooky and therefore worth the extra money (in my opinion).

This is Dave’s favorite block, and one of my top five. The turquoise poinsettia fabric in the middle is from Kate Spain’s 12 Days of Christmas line, and the border is from my stash, not sure what line it’s from.

I cannot remember what the middle of this block is from.  I got it last Christmas, or maybe even two years ago.  The border is just a solid apple green from my stash.  This block wasn’t one of my favorites until after it went through the wash.  I love how vibrant it is with the red thread.  You can also see that I had to make the block bigger.  I don’t know what happened, but it was way shorter than the rest of the rows. Oops!

I love this block.  The polka dot middle is from Riley Blake, and the Fa-la-la border is again, Kate Spain’s.

I think this is my absolute favorite block in the whole quilt.  The middle is from Kate Spain (again) and the border is from my stash.  Unfortunately, I bought that border fabric about two years ago and I have no idea what line it’s from.  I realized when it was too late how much I loved it and have never been able to track it down.

I used this candy cane stripe for the binding.  It’s from the line Hip Holidays by Barbara Jones for Henry Glass.  I used a few others from this line throughout the quilt as well.

I backed it with flannel from Kate Spain’s 12 Days and I’m so glad I did. The flannel makes it surprisingly much cozier.

I’m not sure why, but any time I lay it out on the floor to take a look at it, she quickly comes over to walk around on it, point to different parts of it, and “talks” about it in her little toddler language. Then she sits down on it and claims her territory.

I’m really proud of it and will be sad to pack it away until next season. I’m also glad that the whole family likes it.

Fellow sewers (as in one who sews, not sewer as in a place for waste disposal): for what it’s worth, about halfway through piecing the top of the quilt together, I decided to invest in a quilter’s foot for my sewing machine.  In past projects where I have just done simple blocks, there was more room for error when it came to lining up (or not lining up) the blocks.  This quilt was not nearly as forgiving. I can’t believe how much of a difference it makes! It’s an expensive foot, but definitely worth it.

THE Puzzle

Now that Christmas is over and things are much more calm around our house, we pulled out the newest puzzle. It’s 1000 pieces and it’s taken over my life.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but our house is small.

So small.

So very small.

Therefore, puzzles are done on our kitchen table where we eat every meal when it’s not covered in coloring books, markers, crayons and papers that the girls are working on. So this puzzle had to be completed as quickly as possible so that our daily routine could resume.

I had to include this last picture since my baby bump decided to make a cameo.

I try not to think about how much smaller our house will become once the baby arrives. It wasn’t this small when we bought it!

I’m Not Quite Ready

I don’t really want to take Christmas down yet.

Is it really over already?

Merry Christmas!

We wish you a Merry Christmas, from our home to yours.

Now bring us some figgy pudding!

Christmas Eve 2010

After a busy morning, afternoon, and evening, we were able to take some time for our Christmas Eve traditions. We sing Christmas songs, recite/read The Night Before Christmas, open one present (which are always new jammies), read Luke 2, write letters to Santa, and put our stockings out.

Olive just cruised around, chewing on a magnet.

Inez writing a note to Santa.

Gwen also writing a note to Santa, reiterating what she hopes to get.

Dave helping Gwen.

New Christmas jim-jams! Can you tell that Olive didn’t want to stand still for very long?

Now Santa and his elves have to get to work!

Christmas Stockings, Finally!

Making Christmas stockings for the kids has been on my to do list ever since Inez was born. I made some for Dave and I the first year we were married but our kids have never had their own. We have used stockings from our childhoods in the meantime, but it has always been my intent to make some specifically for the girls.

Here is a view of the front:

I am proud to say that this year it didn’t get pushed off my list like it has for the last five to six years. I used Robert Kauffman fabrics and I tried to make Inez’s with more pinks and reds, Gwen’s with blues, and Olive’s with green. Inez’s favorite color is pink (with red coming in at a close 2nd), Gwen’s is blue, and the girls have designated Olive’s favorite color to be green. Whether that will prove to be true or not, I didn’t think using green in a Christmas stocking would be a bad thing.

Here’s a view of the backs:

Since I couldn’t spend a ton of time making them, I intend on perfecting them sometime during 2011 (way before December!), adding a few embellishments. I will also need to make another one for #4 anyway, so I’m hopeful it will get done and not put off for another six years. Wish me luck because I have no idea how life with four children will be! I’m expecting it to be even more crazy.

But it’s good crazy. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Our Christmas Cards

You know what you get when you are married to a graphic designer? Amazing and very intricate ideas. This year that was evident in our family’s Christmas card. Dave came up with the idea in 2009, right when I was in the middle of working on those cards. So I told him he had to wait a year. He did. He had a vision and by hell or high water he was going to achieve it.

Hell and high water indeed! I cannot tell you how many times we were cursing these cards, wishing we had done things differently, wanting to scrap the whole thing.

But no.

We had already dug ourselves into a deep, dark hole and there was no going back.

These cards contain a lot of blood, sweat, and tears from us. I hope they are enjoyed. I’m sure some people rolled their eyes when they got them, and I shudder to think that some were even thrown away (I might be weird, but I always save the ones we receive). But we know that some people really appreciated them. And knowing that has made all the hard work worth it!

Looking back, we are glad we did it. I’m pretty sure I won’t have as much input on our cards from Dave, well for a few years anyway. There’s no holding his mad design skillz down. And actually, I would never try to. It’s reason #6,905 why I love him.

*Disclaimer: I did not write this post with the intention of receiving praise for the cards. If however, you do want to say something nice, you can direct your comment towards Dave. He really does deserve all the credit. If you have any questions about any of the languages (I know I did!), you may also inquire. We aren’t trying to hide anything.

Wrapping Presents

This is my new favorite way to embellish Christmas presents this year. It was so easy and extremely affordable.

I got this roll of polka dot wrapping paper from the dollar section at Target in 2008 or 2009, which went really well with the crepe paper I used. I have a huge roll of off-white twine that I used to reinforce the crepe paper.

Unfortunately, I was in a hurry this day and had to settle for scribbling names on the wrapping paper. If I had the time, I would have made small tags out of card stock using a paper punch, not very time consuming. I couldn’t even find our good sharpie, so my writing is extra sloppy here. Oh well, you get the picture.

Wrapping paper: $1 from Target
Crepe paper rolls: $1 each (and I still have TONS of both red and green rolls left) from Hobby Lobby, but easily found at any craft store.
Twine: $12 but I only used a very small amount of the roll I have. I believe it has 800 yards on the cone. Twelve dollars is really nothing considering how long it will last me. I found it at Xpedx a few years ago.

My Name Is Olive

…and I really enjoy pushing the shopping cart around the house these days.


A Note From “Gwem”

When Gwen writes, her ‘n’ is always written as an ‘m’. So the other day when the girls were playing something in their room, Gwen made this sign to keep Olive out so that she wouldn’t destroy their creation.

It should read, “No babies allowed”. Also, I’m not exactly sure how “allowed” became “allowem”. Nevertheless, this sign makes me smile every time I see it.

I find it a bit ironic that it actually reads, “Mo babies” as if they were saying more babies are allowed, in which case this sign is very appropriate after all.