Sunday, December 30, 2012

ruffles, ruffles, and more ruffles

I love ruffles.  I really do.  But I'm not a huge fan of actually making them and sewing them on to various objects.  Unfortunately for me, 95% of the CPL (Christmas Project List) contained ruffles. Therefore, I am taking a vacation from ruffle making for at least 6 months.

Yeah, we'll see how that works out...

First, came the aprons.

Aren't they adorable?  This is one of two sets that I was hired to make (Thank you, Miss Chris!!!!).  I absolutely love this fabric and was thrilled when I had a little extra to go in my stash!

I also made 4 more of the full sized ones as gifts which, I regret to say, I didn't get any pictures of.

This is what "helping Mana work" looks like. ;) 

I have no idea what these things are actually called, but I just call them drawstring backpacks.  I really don't remember where the original idea came from, but this is what I came up with.  This isn't the greatest picture for details, but I just thought it was adorable of the girls. :) 

The straps are just nylon cording doubled up on both sides.  I ran these through a grommet in each of the bottom corners and knotted them together.

I made six of these bags.  Two of them were for the boys so, thankfully, that was 8 less ruffles to do.  Yay!

I still can't believe that I managed to make something for everybody.  Well, everyone except the guys.  What do you make guys as gifts?  I have never been able to figure that one out...

Now that Christmas is out of the way, I am really looking forward to the New Year.  I've had so many ideas for projects over the last month and a half and I can't wait to roll my sleeves up and dive into some of them!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

the biggest secret in the history of me

One cannot keep anything a secret from my mother.

She knows everything!  We can't even let her see her gifts until it is time for her to open them because one look and...whamm!...she knows exactly what it is.  Not even our most clever attempts at wrapping can prevent this.

So, back in late September, when I started scheming about the Christmas gift I was going to make for her, I wasn't all that confident that I would be able to keep it a secret.  After all, when you create something that is so big that there is no floor space in the house big enough to lay it out on, you can bet that it won't be easy to keep hidden...

What is this secret project?

Well, I'll tell you.

For as long as I can remember, Mama has been saving every scrap of fabric from our old dresses, costumes, etc.  She always said that one day she wanted a memory quilt made out of them.


...and here you have my biggest sewing achievement to date.  :)

It started out small, but then I started thinking that she would probably want to put it on her bed, so I started drafting a bigger pattern.  It just kept getting bigger and bigger.  I wanted to be able to focus on each individual pattern instead of having all the fabrics mesh together, so I incorporated as much white as possible.

By the time I was finished drafting the pattern, my little quilt measured 100 inches square.  For those of you not familiar with quilt measurements, this is king size.

At this point, not only was I worried that I wouldn't be able to keep it a secret, I was also wondering if I'd even be able to finish it!

I shocked myself by finishing it in two months. 

Who knew you could piece and hand quilt a king size quilt in 2 months????

Needless to say, I now feel like I can do absolutely anything!

I am happy to say that Mama was completely surprised!  How I managed it, I have no idea.  She knew I was making something and the hours and hours I spent upstairs watching movies made her rather suspicious (I should have kept track of how many movies I went through while quilting!), but she had absolutely no idea until Christmas morning!

*happy dance*

Now, my fingers are itching to start another one...  I started drafting a pattern last night.

We shall see what happens! :)

Hope y'all had a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful time with family and friends!  I know I did!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

the long road to recovery...

You'd think the dog was sick too... :)

After almost exactly two weeks, and despite still having a nasty cough and runny nose, I think I am finally, finally on the mend.  Thanks for all the prayers!

My biggest problem at the moment is that now I have lost two weeks of prep time for Christmas and so I am now faced with the task of cramming it all into one week.  Joy. 

Fortunately, I was able to hand finish my biggest project last week while I was shivering on the sofa.  (Can't wait to reveal pictures!!!  So excited!!!)  There are a few finishing touches to be done on some other things, cleaning to be done, baking, company coming, present wrapping...I'm sure you can all relate!

So, for now I will leave you to your preparations and I will get back to mine!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2012

oh yeah...i have a blog!

Please pardon me, dear readers!  I haven't forgotten you.

Unfortunately, I have been (and am still) battling the flu.  I am one of those lucky people that has a hyper-active immune system.  This means that I never NEVER get sick and on the rare occassion that I do come down with something, I come down hard. 

Therefore, I have been living on the couch with a fever and a terrible cough for the past 8 days. 

There was about a 24 hour period where I felt positively dandy and I was convinced that I was over it.  I was well just long enough to go to a Christmas party - now, I'm back on the couch with my tea and tissues.

Thankfully, I managed to drag myself to the library earlier this week, so I have C. S. Lewis, George Bernard Shaw, and The Lord of the Rings to keep myself occupied. 

Hopefully, I'll be good as new in a few more days and then I can get back to posting regularly again.

In the meantime, stay well and happy Christmas shopping!

Saturday, December 1, 2012



- when you suddenly realize that it's December 1st and it is warmer outside than in the house.  73.3 degrees, to be exact.  So, you turn the heat off and go around opening all the windows trying to air the house out.  To top it all off, just as you're opening a window, the radio starts playing, "Come on weatherman - give us a forecast of snow tonight..."

- when the entire family is outside trying to catch a stray (and very, very fast) chicken. Ahhh, memories!

-  a car full of mostly adults who are singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the top of their lungs...

-  This one can go in either category, but I decided to put it under awkward. 
   When you intently stare at the guy behind the fabric counter at Hobby Lobby as he proceeds to CORRECTLY answer a couple of clueless college girl's questions about how to make and put letters on a hoodie.  After he finished, I simply couldn't resist such a perfect opportunity...I smiled and said, "So, you been sewing long?"  The look on his face was priceless.

-  when a friend points at a star and asks you which one it is.  Not having a clue, you're encouraged to just take a wild guess, so you say, "the North Star".  This is followed by one of those "you've gotta be kidding me" looks...  So, you look at the star again and only then do you realize that the moon is hanging just below it...


-  when you go evening gown shopping with your bestie for a Christmas party she's going to, and not only do you find the PERFECT dress (for a mere $25!!!!!), you manage to get it altered and a matching shoulder wrap made AND watch The Phantom of the Opera all in one day.  Yes, we are awesome. :D

-  when you send a toddler upstairs to wake up your sister.  She comes halfway down the stairs and says, "Mana, her not wake up."  So you tell her to go back and be a lot louder.  "Ok, I be more louder."  Then, a few seconds later you hear, "SAWAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!  WAAAAAKE UUUUUP!!!!"  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!

-  when you talk to a very special life-long friend on the phone that you haven't seen in a couple of years and you end up going out to dinner the next day.  Awesome. :D

-  when you're home alone and get the uncontrollable urge to clean EVERYTHING.  It's a shame this doesn't happen more often...

- going into a local quilt shop and finding the most adorable airplane pattern!  I literally squealed when I saw it!  I know a couple of little boys who are going to have one of those in the near future!

-  when your 3 year old neice is "helping" you make aprons and says, "I wanna be like you, Mana."  My heart melted!

Sorry about not having pics.  I'm having trouble uploading again. :\  Hopefully, I can get it all straightened out one day...
Hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!