A Christmas Quilt

It’s been a while since I shared a finished quilt!

It’s my Christmas Quilt! I have a Halloween quilt and I have a ton of amazing Christmas fabric, so I knew I needed to make a Christmas quilt! I’m a huge sucker for both Halloween and Christmas fabric. especially Cotton and Steel Christmas fabric…. I can’t get enough so I had to do something with it!

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The only problem with Christmas fabric is that it isn’t solids! It’s prints, hence the Christmas theme, right! And I’m not real good with prints! I get totally pushed around by print fabric.

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Quilts pictures here are by Katie of Sew Katie Did, not my work! 

In October 2017, the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild had one of our members, Katie Pedersen of Sew Katie Did, come teach some classes. One of the classes was her Split Personality Class. I signed up! But I didn’t want to take solids. Katie is so good with prints, so I was trying to let that rub off on me during this class. But what to take??? Christmas!

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I love describing what I do as a quilter to non quilters! So basically the technique involves cutting up fabric, sewing it together, cutting it, mixing the pieces up, sewing it back together, cutting it again, mixing again and sewing it back together again! Yep, that about sums it up! You do that and end up with lovely little improv pieced blocks!

But then what to do with the blocks??? 

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I decided to use one of the designs I came up with from the Quilt Design a Day challenge. I forget what the picture was that inspired this design. Anyway, I thought it would be a fun design inspiration for this quilt. 

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I also used another technique that I don’ tthink I have ever used before. Fussy cutting… Well, sewing with solids doesn’t lend itself well to fuzzy cutting, does it now?? Ha!

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And another technique… Pattern matching my fabric for the back!

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Did you know those reindeer came in flannel? So soft! and adorable!

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I liked how the blue binding didn’t totally scream Christmas for the quilt.

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I really like it turned out! And I’m loving watching the family curl up in on the couch this holiday season!

 

 

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A Halloween Cross Stitch!

Did you have a fun Halloween? We had a great night! Friends over for chili dinner before trick or treating and the rain held out! All week they were saying it was going to rain tonight, but it didn’t! Yippie!

And then the evening ends and the lights go off so those older kids don’t keep coming to the door while I’m in my pj’s and my son is running around in his oldies like a crazy kid from too much sugar!  That’s when you need a sign on the door that says Keep Away! or maybe, Sorry, We’re Closed…. Or even, Sorry, We’re Dead! Ha!

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Originally, that’s exactly why I bought this cross stitch pattern from Satsuma Street. I wanted to hang it on the door to tell people we’re done handing out candy. Only, there were a couple of flaws in my idea! I live on a hill, so it’s not like anyone would see it without climbing the stairs to my front porch anyway! And secondly, you can see that my from doors are glass doors, so once you get to my porch, you’ll see me and I’ll end up giving you candy anyway….

Like the monster wreaths? We made those 6 years ago and still put them on the front porch every year!

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So instead, I hung it on our art wall in the dining room!

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I may not be quite as old as my assistant, but my eyes aren’t what they used to be! so a little hint about working with black Aida fabric… I always put a white piece of fabric in my lap while I worked on it. It does really help see the holes in the fabric!

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There are many tutorials out there about how to finish the back. First, I layered a piece of black quilting cotton with the black Aida fabric. I then happened to have a piece of back foam core. S oI cut that the size of the inside of the inside hoop. I was planning o nincluding hot glue in this, but I didn’t end up needing hot glue. I put the design and the black quilting cotton in the embroidery hoop just as you would anytime. then I folded it over and put the black foam core inside the hoop, from the back. The foam core fit so nice and snugly, that it didn’t need hot glue!

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So, my husband took my white backdrop and used it in the decorations. I wasn’t sure how I would actually take pictures of all my Halloween projects. Then I saw my assistant in a whole new light! He can actually hold things! He’s more than just a pretty skeleton sitting on the porch!

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I hope everyone had a super fun Halloween! Now it’s on to Thanksgiving projects, a QuiltCon quilt and Christmas projects! What are you up to now that Halloween has passed?

 

A Halloween Pillow

Well, I had started a Halloween quilt back in January, I think… Despite the 10 months, I didn’t get it done….

No quilt, but I did get a pillow done! And I love it! I keep looking at it admiringly as I walk by the couch!

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I also like seeing it with the other pillows I’ve made over the years. I love seeing the different styles and fabrics I’m into over the years!

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For the pillow, I’m using a lot of the fabrics that I’m using my quilt. Or a different color way… Most of the fabrics are from the Cotton and Steel collections. I LOVE their holiday lines! LOVE them! Was this the best fabric to use for tiny piecing? I don’t know, really!

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Last month I took a paper piecing class with Giuseppe Ribaudo, aka Guicy Guice. I’m not sure why I did, since I’m pretty well versed in paper piecing. Honestly, when I signed up, I thought it was a small piecing class, not paper piecing. It never dawned on me that his small piecing was paper piecing! Ha! Anyway, I’m glad I did! He shared his Mini patterns with us and I picked Courthouse Step block. I almost didn’t go because I had so much birthday party stuff going on and the whole paper piecing thing. But I’m glad I did! he was super nice and a lot of fun. And I loved seeing what everyone else made from the patterns! And I love my block!

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Guicy Guice centers a lot of his minis in a neutral background so I thought this neon bat fabric would be great. And I did some matchstick quilting. I love doing matchstick quilting on small projects. One day I’ll do it on a larger project. maybe… ha!

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I loved this fabric so much that I bought it in two color ways!

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And if you know my pillows, I always do envelope backs because I’m kinda lazy that way… But this time I decided to put a zipper in it. I used to always put zippers in pillows. Especially when I was selling pillows. If I can do it when I’m selling them to other people,, why can’t I do it for myself? I did use Sew Katie Did’s tutorial to remind myself how to do it. Its’ not hard at all, but I used to be better at hiding the zipper than I did on this one. Luckily the fabric matches it!

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Have a Happy Halloween from my photo assistants!

Happy Halloween from my little Demon!

This year the kiddo didn’t go with a handmade costume. And it totally makes me sad! I hear other parents cheering when they don’t have to make a costume, but not me. It makes me sad!

Last year he wasn’t going to have a handmade costume either and it made me sad then, too! Last year he was going to be Harry Potter. We had the whole costume! But he got so sick we had to call off all the Halloween festivities that we typically do. And no trick or treating. So sad…

He did get to wear his costume when we went to see Harry Potter at the Seattle Symphony. So this year he was going to be Harry Potter for sure for Halloween! No getting sick!

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That is until we went to Value Village….

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He picked out a costume, a mask and this scary pitchfork thing… Being the mom that I am, I kept saying ‘No…. I don’t know….’ The kiddo kept trying! Then he said, It is creative. I didn’t just pick out an already made costume. I’m picking different pieces and putting them together to be my own costume!’ And then Dad reminded me that it’s his costume not mine and he can pick his own. Ok, fine. Y’all, got me! How can I say no to those two arguments???

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What about a cute bear costume? um, no, mom….

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What about this used costume? By Dad’s expression, you can probably tell that that didn’t work! To get the exact thing he wanted and that fit, we had to go new. We could have gone used and altered it, but when they had the exact ‘cape’ he wanted in the exactly right size for only a couple more dollars…. We went new. And he’s super excited!

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We went to our neighborhood cemetery for the photo shoot. It’s an odd cemetery with not a lot of people resting there. I should find out the story behind it. Either way, it made for some kinda creepy photos!

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What do you prefer? Handmade, store bought completely put together or store bought mix and match?

 

Happy Halloween!

 

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

 

 

A Quickie Halloween Decorating Upgrade

I looked at my blog and noticed that I’ve posted about 8 times since last Halloween! And I have about 4 Halloween posts for this year… That goes to show you how much I love Halloween! And how much I miss blogging more often! Anyway, here we go with more Halloween fun!

My sister in law also likes to do it up for Halloween and she posted a a picture of her mantle with these fanastic mirrored skulls! They were beautiful. They totally inspired this project!

 

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When I went to Value Village I found these pumpkins that I thought would be fantastic nice and shiny silver! They are a little too ‘country chic’ for my décor, but a little paint can change that in about ten minutes. So I grabbed them! Not only does Value Village have a ton of costumes, but there’s also a lot of fun décor to be found there.

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And I just happened to have this mirror spray paint at home. So I decided to use it for this project. Notice the bottle says ‘Looking Glass’…  Well, it’s meant for painting on glass…  But whatever, right? Why not give it a try. These aren’t fine heirlooms that I’m dealing with. Just some nice secondhand decorations that need a new life, so let’s give it a try!

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The first coat had the look of old glass that the spray paint is supposed to give, so I was having some high hopes that it would work. The second coat covered it and gave it a just a nice flat silver color. Not exactly the look I was going for, but I love them none the less!

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The experiment did not get me the fabulous mirror look that my sister in law’s décor has, but I do love my new pumpkins! And the more matte finish may even be just the right finish for my décor!

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I love them! What do you think? How many projects have you updated with a quick bit of spray paint? You check out others I’ve done, like Christmas reindeer and more reindeer, sea shells and Easter bunnies!

 

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

 

Halloween Decorating with Value Village

My husband always decorates the front porch for Halloween. For years we had this paper mache alien head that he would use for our ‘scary front porch friend.’ The last couple of years the head was getting damaged, and then it got so beat up that he went away…

So this year we needed new pieces to make our ‘scary front porch friend.’ Then I was contacted by Value Village to post about using the resources at their store for Halloween costumes or decorations. So I said, ‘yes,’ of course!

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So the whole family headed to Value Village to see what we could find! It’s always fun to try on masks! We love it! The store had a huge selection of new masks, but some of our favorites were the used ones!

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Tons of costumes! They have so many new costumes, but I wanted used. It took me a little while to figure out the difference between the new and used. Tons of everything else you need to make a scarecrow from just the normal everyday selection. And tons of heads! Mannequin heads. Why I wonder! Are they for Halloween? Or do they always have such a huge bin of Styrofoam heads?

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We came home with more than we needed, actually!

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We got the skeleton costume for $4. I thought it was going to great on the ‘scary front porch guy.’ I thought it would be cool to see the inside of our friend. Then we thought he’s wear the flannel. When we actually started stuffing him, we ended up going a little bit different route. But we did use the knife, the mannequin head and the creepy mask! Everything here is used except the knife. I almost didn’t get the knife because I thought I could find it cheaper somewhere else. I got it anyway and I’m glad I did. I haven’t seen another one at all and especially not one cheaper!

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We were going to use the flannel shirt for our friend, but thought the kiddos might get a kick out of seeing him in their school sweatshirt!

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Another new purchase we made was this skeleton guy! We love him! He’s fully articulated and posable! He and ‘scary front porch friend’ are going to be great friends for years to come!!

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Do you love to decorate for Halloween? Halloween and Christmas are my favorites for decorating!  What’s your favorite holiday to decorate for?

 

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

This year was a bust… First off, I didn’t get to make a costume. The kiddo decided to be Harry Potter and we had already purchased most of the pieces. He’d been planning this for months! And then tonight he came home from school with 102 degree fever. So, while the other kids were getting dressed and heading out for some haunting, we hunkered down and watched a movie. The worst Halloween he said. Poor Kid!

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But I made another Halloween pillow! I’m so excited to trade it with a friend for a piece of art!

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I used my bat pattern that I have on Craftsy! It was fun to break out the pattern again! It’s pretty quick and easy!

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I through is a little piece of with one of my favorite Halloween fabrics! I used this same fabric on my Halloween quilt from a few years back.

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I always say I’m going to add a zipper back, but then I never have one when I need one. So I always resort back to the envelope style back. And I’m fine with that! At least until I buy a stash of zippers…

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According to this guy, it’s pretty comfy too!

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If you decide to make a bat pillow, be sure to tag me! I’d love to see what everyone else makes with them! I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! I can’t wait until next year!

A Halloween Centerpiece Craft

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything besides sewing or quilting projects! So I’m excited to share a Halloween craft!

If you have been following me for a while, you know I love Halloween! And crafting for Halloween! At our house we decorate almost as much for Halloween as we do for Christmas. We change our art wall, we hang a bunch of bats, decorate the porch (Of course),  bring out the bat and ghost pillows, switch out the mantel decorations…. And this year we even filled the fireplace with pumpkins! But today I wanted to share a centerpiece we made!

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It’s a pretty easy project! It involves a trip to the dollar store! And who doesn’t love that??? You need plastic skulls, black paint, hot glue and a round piece of plywood. The skulls are from the dollar store and the amount you need depends on the size  of your round piece of plywood. I got my plywood at Lowes. I got 7 skulls, but you can always get a few extra ot be safe. Who doesn’t need a few extra skulls to decorate with??

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The first thing I did was to paint the plywood. In hindsight, I might like a bit thinner piece of wood, but this came with the finished edges and I didn’t have to cut or sand anything! So I went with the slighter thicker piece!

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Next, I laid out the skulls on the plywood to confirm the right amount. Then just hot glue them to each other in a circle.

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And the third and last step (see I did mention it was pretty easy, right? Glue the top on! I used hot glue here as well!

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It’s ready to go with whatever decorations you want to use!

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What do you think? Is it something you’d want on your dinner table? Or is to creepy, staring at you while you eat? Maybe just bring it out for the party? It could also be a fun place to display party favor bags for your spooky party… We might have a spur of the moment party this coming weekend! I should probably make a decision about that!

 

 

Easter Egg Decorating- A New Technique to Us

Have you ever used the shaving cream technique to decorate Easter eggs?

We tried it! You might have seen it on Pinterest or other places around the internet, but we tried it! I thought it was fun. The kiddo not so much. He’s not one to get very messy…. The result is a very pastel egg…

Here’s what we did:

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We did them two ways… The traditional PAAS way and the shaving cream way. The used shaving cream, food coloring, a pan and a BBQ skewer. And of course, don’t for get the eggs because it ‘s very hard to dye eggs without eggs!

 

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Pretty easy…. Line the pan with shaving cream. Add food coloring. Swirl the shaving cream and food coloring combo with s bbq skewer (or anything for that matter). And lastly roll eggs around in the shaving cream.

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It is messy. If you don’t want to color your fingers, this project might not be for you! The kiddo thought it was the worst idea for decorating eggs ever and said he’d never do it that way again! He said, ‘Who came up with this idea anyway?’ Ha!

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Then you just let them sit. I let mine sit for about a half hour. Maybe if you let them sit for longer, they might become more vibrant… I didn’t have the patience to leave them fro too long!

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I decided to try it in yellow… Don’t recommend only yellow for this technique!

And the results:

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Pretty? Yes. Vibrant? Not so much… Fun experiment? I say so! there may be people who disagree (and I might just live with one of those characters!)

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The kiddo went back to the old fashioned way that he loves. And you can see the results are much more in your face. I guess it depends on the look you are going for.

How do you decorate eggs?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Cupcakes

Have you started planning for Easter? Easter baskets, snacks? Family meals? Egg decorating?

I admit that I am not a great cake decorator, but we had fun with these cupcakes! I came up with three different ones! It was just one of those days where you weren’t planning on making something, but the idea came and you had everything you need. I love those days!

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So, I am trying to come to terms with my cake decorating limitations, but I have another kitchen flaw… I’m also not good at boiling eggs! It seems like one of those things that everyone can do. You put eggs in water and boil the water, right… Well, I still have not made a batch of hard boiled eggs without cracking at least a few.

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So I had an idea of what to do with those broken ones! I carefully cracked them and removed the eggs. Then cleaned out the shells and dyed them just like the hardboiled eggs. In the nice little old fashioned Paas dye kits!

For these I just filled the eggs with robin’s egg candy and secured the egg shell in the icing!

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Here’s the OMG moment when I realized I had a whole bag of pompoms down stairs! A bag of different sized pompoms, a bit of red paper and some hot glue and you’ve got some chicks!  Oh, yea! You know that crafty feeling I’m talking about, don’t you? I was running back and forth with this big cheesy grin, decorating cupcakes and making pompom chicks!

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And for my third idea…

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I wanted to make a birds nest! The kiddo says it looks like a birds nest…  With jelly bean birds eggs. I think they turned out cute, too!

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But I’m pretty sure the pompom chicks are everyone’s favorite!