Showing posts from December, 2011

The Year that Was 2011

Wow, what a year 2011 has been! Last year (pre-blog), I made a commitment to quilt more and do something quilting-related everyday. I wanted to take advantage of my leave of absence to learn as much as I could about quilting.

Then I hosted our guild's Tips and Techniques table in the Spring. I chose to show members a variety of options for documenting their quilts. One of the options I wanted to show people were blogs. I started checking out blogs at the end of March and my world changed. I learned how to free motion quilt with the help of Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project. I found Modern quilts, tutorials, quiltalongs, linky parties, giveaways, and lots of quilters my age! Oh my! It was a whole new wonderful world.

A year ago, I also never would have predicted that I'd have my own quilting blog, let alone be addicted to reading so many other blogs! I feel so fortunate and thankful to have found this online community.

I still think it's so cool that I can chat wi…

TGIFF! - A Scarf, A Pillowcase and A Mug Rug Walked Into A Bar...

"I see you've got things covered," said the bartender. Sorry, that was bad, but I couldn't resist.

While I didn't get Micah's growth chart finished yet, I did finish a few other Christmas gifts that I thought I'd share with you.

My husband and kids are big fans of the Ottawa 67s so I thought I'd make them some fan scarves. I got a bit of practice making these last year when I made a whole whack of them for a friend's kids' hockey and ringette teams. I was a little scarved out last year, so my boys got them this year instead. (Sorry for the bad photos - these were taken at about 1 a.m.!)

They are very simple to make - just cut 4"-6" wide fleece in your choice of colours. Stagger the colours in the arrangement you want and then sew with matching thread four or five times so that all the layers are secure.

Another option is to stack the fleece fabric, sew once or twice along the middle and then cut every 2" or so perpendicular towa…

Coming Out From Under the Tryptophan/Egg Nog-Induced Fog

Man, what a great Christmas! I'm slowing coming out of the Christmas tourtière-mad about chocolate cheesecake-monkey bread-my mom's homemade egg nog (heaven!)-turkey-mashed potatoes-cherry pie-tuxedo cake-croissant haze. All I can say is thank goodness for Dance Dance Revolution and Just Dance 3. Without them, I'm pretty sure I would have gained 10 pounds!

We had such a great time with the kids and our extended family. Although the kids got sick and one of them even slept through Christmas Eve dinner, they all rallied the next morning just in time for opening presents. Funny how that happens.

A definite highlight was playing "Who ruined Christmas?" anytime some little thing didn't go as expected. It was brilliant, especially after a few drinks. Thankfully we have one of those families where no one takes themselves too seriously so the "blame" could be passed around and accepted freely. :)

I haven't been quilting for a week, but I've been dev…

Feeling the Heat - A Work in Progress

One of the gifts I'm trying to finish for Christmas is Micah's growth chart. I finished Patrick and Daniel's growth charts earlier this year. I'll share them with you on Friday.

The original push for these was the realization that my boys will probably end up 6 feet plus and I couldn't find a growth chart that I (and they) would like that was tall enough. So, of course, there's nothing to do, but make them myself, right?

Originally, I had designed very kid-friendly growth charts with bold shapes and bright colours. I wanted to hang them in the downstairs hallway, all three together. The more I thought about the fact that we will have these growth charts hanging in a common area for at least twenty years, the more I thought that they should be designs that will (hopefully) appeal to the kids when they are older, rather than younger. Cutesy is great when they are six, but not so cool when they are 16 or 26.

I thought going a little more artsy would work better (I&…

Winner of the Charm Pack Giveaway / Goat Cheese, Pesto and Sundried Tomato Dip

The giveaway for the Charm Pack is now closed. Being that it was the first time I'd participated in a Blog Hop Giveaway or Sew Mama Sew Giveaway, I have to say that I was blown away at the response. Thank you all for entering!

Here is another favourite recipe of ours that I thought I'd share with you to thank you for playing along. It is a very simple, but elegant and, most importantly, delicious dip. When we serve this, there are never any leftovers.

Goat Cheese, Pesto and Sundried Tomato Dip

Press a log of goat cheese (200-250 g) in an oven proof ramekin or bowl. Spread 1/2 cup of pesto onto the goat cheese. Top with a layer of rehydrated sundried tomatoes (To rehydrate the tomatoes, just soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes). Heat in 350F oven for about 10 minutes or until pesto is bubbling. Serve with sliced baguettes, melba toast, or crackers.


So to the winner of the Blog Hop Party Giveaway Charm Pack:

True Random Number GeneratorMin:Max:Result:55Powered by RA…

Winner of the Advent Calendar Giveaway / Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Thank you to everyone who entered my Quilting Gallery's Blog Hop Party and Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day giveaways and decided to follow. I'm still making my way through the entries, but I'm loving your travel suggestions and goals for 2012 so far. What a well-travelled and goal-oriented bunch y'all are!

As a thank you to everyone for participating, I thought I'd share one of my all-time favourite recipes. Unfortunately, my youngest son now has a peanut allergy so we won't be enjoying this treat this year. But just because we can't indulge in this chocolatey-peanutey goodness, doesn't mean you can't.
Fair warning: You won't be able to eat just one of these bad boys and you probably won't make just one batch. Don't say I didn't warn you. :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

2 cups peanut butter
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3 cups rice crispy cereal
1 lb (approx 450 g) icing/confectioner's sugar
600 g chocolate chips (appro…

TGIFF! - Mug Rug Mania

I must say that I'm feeling a lot better after my little freakout on Wednesday. I even called the lady that I elbowed out of the way to apologize. Thankfully, my mom was pretty cool about the whole thing. ;)

I managed to finish 15 of the 20 mug rugs yesterday - yeah, baby! I haven't slept a lot and I think I'm beginning to get a tick in my left eye, but they are done. Woo hoo!

To avoid going completely insane doing these mug rugs, I decided to make them as a quilt top, sandwich and quilt them and then cut them to the finished mug rug size (5" by 7"-ish). Way simpler than making each individually.

I used an unused block and a couple of strip sets from some old projects. The block, which was 15" by 15", was just sandwiched and quilted. For the strip sets, I slashed them up and inserted black strips in varying widths and in various directions. A fun, improvisational method.

For the quilting, I wanted to practice a motif that I want to do on my Christmas tabl…

Works in Progress Wednesday - The Freakout Edition

I had a post all ready last night for today -- it's the strikeout section below. But when I woke up today, I realized that it's only 10 days until Christmas Eve! 10 ... days ... until ... Christmas ... Eve, people! Aaack! There's too much to do between now and then. Plus, I have to be ready early because our visitors start arriving on the 22nd. So that's actually only 7 days for me.

Beware, what you are about to read will undoubtedly shock you. I know I look all calm and laid-back in that photo on the left, but my hair is on freakin' fire right now!If you do not want to have your image of me as the cool-collected-quilter-mom-extraordinaire dashed to bits, skip to the strikeout section below, where I am my normal, blow-sunshine-everywhere self. ;)

I'm "We" are hosting Christmas this year! Okay, so Iwe hosted last year and I'm we are only hosting Réveillon on Christmas Eve and probably brunch on Christmas day this year, but it still means making a ton…

Christmas Table Runner - A Work in Progress

Last night I participated in the Friday Night Sew-in for the first time. Even though I regularly spend an evening quilting, it somehow felt different knowing that others were doing the same. Fun!

I started and finished the top on my Christmas Table Runner. It wasn't what I had intended on working on, but I'll take progress on any of the items on my crazy-ass list of projects. And as this is Christmas-related, I can totally justify this. :)

On Wednesday, I had mentioned that I found these cool red felt pot protectors at the dollar store. I loved the asterisk shape and thought they could be put to better use than protecting my pots.

One lesson learned -- the asterisks should not be ironed. Trust me. :)

Thanks to Heidi and Bobbi for hosting a fun night!

P.S. If you haven't entered my giveaways yet, check them out.

P.S.S. Saw Hugo tonight. Fantastic!

Double the Pleasure, Double the Fun Giveaway!

Welcome to the Blog Hop Party and the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day Giveaways! This is my first time party-cipating (yeah, pretty bad, eh?) in a giveaway party like this. Looks like a lot of fun!

For those of you who are new to my blog, welcome! I'm a quilter from Ottawa, Canada. I'm currently at home with my three young boys (2.5, 4.5 and 7 -- you have to get the partial years in, I'm told). I started this blog in May and am having a great time meeting other quilters from around the world.

Laura from Quokka Quilts and I started TGIFF! (Thank Goodness it's Finished, Friday!) a couple of months ago. It's a touring linky party for quilty finishes. We're having a blast -- and getting more projects finished to boot! I'm hosting this week and the wonderful and cheeky Lucy from Charm About You is hosting next week. If you have a finish in any given week, you are more than welcome to join in on the fun! You can also host if you like too. Check out the TGIFF! site for m…