Friday, December 14, 2018

One down, two to go!

Remember the Christmas stockings that I posted about recently?  Well, check this out!   

I used a 12-wt Aurifil thread to quilt the front of the stocking and 40 wt on the back.  

Just two more to go!  All three of them will have the same red fabric on the front, but different white fabrics.  And they're all being made using my stash!  🎄  Fabric is Cotton & Steel Tinsel from a while back (maybe 2015?)  Stocking template is a free download from Sunny Day Supply

Stay tuned for the other two, hopefully in the next day or two!  

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Too Many Quilts?

As we were rearranging the living room to make room for the Christmas tree, I started piling all of the quilts in one place.  The stack was growing and growing.  Then I got the quilts out of our bedroom and added them to the stack.   
This stack includes the very first quilt that I made, quilts that I quilted on my domestic machine, and some quilted on my longarm, and even one that needs to be repaired because a special little dog ripped out the stitches with his tiny little puppy nails. This isn't even all of them.  By the time I took this picture, we already had the Christmas quilts back on the couches and a couple others that we like to cozy up with in the morning.  

There's also one hanging on the wall, one draped over the banister, two rolled up waiting for binding, and of course quite a few more in various stages of completion 😄

Do you have a lot of quilts in your home?  Is there any such thing as too many quilts?  Personally, I don't think so.  My dude seems to have a different opinion. 🙄 I'm not quite sure how to prepare him for all of the quilts that will no doubt be added to our home over the next 20+ years.  Any suggestions? 😁

Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas Cross-Stitch

As I've been organizing my sewing room, I'm finding all sorts of good holiday stuff!  You know, like the gingerbread countdown to Christmas, unfinished pillows and wall hangings (see previous posts).  🙄

I'm also finding completed Christmas cross-stitch projects that I've never framed!  
I started cross-stitching in my twenties.  I was so amazed at my mother-in-law's counted cross-stitch projects and I wanted to learn!  She patiently taught me more than once and I was hooked when I finally got it.  I cross-stitched for many years and still have all of my DMC floss, needles, hoops, etc.  I'm sure I'll pick it up again, someday when I'm not sewing and quilting every day 🙄

Here's another one I found! I even have a frame for this one already that's the same color as that deep red ribbon. 
I admit that I have a lot of WIPs, but just look at all the stuff that I've finished!  Ha ha ha!  And I KNOW for a fact that most of my crafty friends have just as much unfinished stuff as I do!  You know who you are 😁😁

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Christmas Stockings

I posted on Facebook and Instagram the other day about my plan to make new Christmas stockings this year.  We've had the same stockings for over 20 years.  We're ready for a change.  We decided that we would try to keep the color scheme fairly simple, maybe just red and white.  

While I'm not set on having just Christmas-themed fabrics, that's where I started when I got to my sewing room.  
 Then I came across my scraps and some yardage of the Cotton & Steel Tinsel fabric that I used in my Christmas quilt last year.  
This is some of the best fabric!  I used the Bundle Buster Quilt pattern by Yvonne Fuchs (Quilting Jet Girl) to make this fun quilt.  If you have a FQ bundle just hanging around, use this pattern to turn it into a quilt in a day....seriously.  OK, mine took a little longer than a day because I cut the fat quarters the wrong way and had to order more fabric.  Oops! And that's how I ended up with extra fabric 😀

Sooooo....this is what I have left over from that quilt, and I think it's plenty to make three stockings!  
I'm using the FREE stocking template from Sunny Day Supply.  I'm using the wide template because I want BIG stockings! These should go together pretty fast since I'm not going to do a ton of piecing or quilting on them.  Keepin' it simple....mostly because Christmas is in 16 days😏 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Baking for the holidays - Maple Roasted Pecans

I love the holidays and how I always get in the mood to bake ALL the goodies!  While it's not necessarily good for my waistline, it's SO good for my soul!  Baking had been my passion for a very long time, and I even had the thought of one day opening up a bakery, but quilting replaced baking in 2008.  I still bake but mostly just around the holidays. I'd much rather be sewing! 

Last night, I made some Maple Roasted Pecans for my dude to give to friends at work.  We always taste test before they leave the house, and they did not disappoint!  If you want the recipe, keep reading! 

When these are first thrown in the pan, you'd never know that they are eventually going to turn into something so delicious.  
There are only three ingredients in this recipe.  Ready? 

4 cups pecans (mostly halves, if possible)  
1 cup powdered sugar
2 oz maple syrup

  • Heat pecans & powdered sugar in a saute pan over low-medium heat until caramelized, folding constantly.  ***This takes quite a while!  
  • When sugar has almost completely caramelized, stir in maple syrup and cook 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. 
  • Spread evenly on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Separate pecans and allow to cool.  

I saw on the news recently that there's a pecan shortage this year so I stocked up at Costco last week.  

Oh, and if you really like pecans, I have a great pecan pie recipe!  Let me know if you want it, and I'd be happy to share it with you ;) 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Countdown to Christmas

Well, I missed day 5 of the 31-Day Blog Writing Challenge, but I'm not gonna worry too much about that.  At least I'm back today, right?  

What kid doesn't like to count down to Christmas?  The excitement of a little surprise every single day before the BIG day!  🎅

When our son was little, I made a gingerbread man countdown, using a gingerbread man cookie cutter, brown grocery bag, and some puff paint.  He and I decorated the gingerbread men each year with the paint, and then I would write something fun inside each one.  I know I still have those around here somewhere, probably in one of the many boxes of Christmas decorations.  

After several years of making these, I thought it would be a good idea to make a permanent one out of felt.  I thought it would be cute to stuff them, so I made just one.....and that was enough to make me come up with another design.  Although it was adorable, I knew it would take me forever.  
So I decided to leave the stuffing out and just sew around the edges, and eventually add the face & buttons, although it appears that hasn't happened....yet.  
The pocket on the back is for a piece of paper with the fun activity of the day written on it. 
I just love the homemade look of this!  I started these close to 20 years ago and then they got put away in a cute little snowflake bag and were never finished.  My son is 29 years old now so probably doesn't want it, but I kinda want to finish it.  This should be a relaxing little project to work on while watching Christmas movies, right?  🎄🎄🎄

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Handmade Christmas

I'm just now getting around to decorating for Christmas, and while I have plenty of handmade decorations already, I always want to make more.  I haven't started any new ones yet this year, but there's still time, right??? I decided a while back that I wanted something simple for the dining room windows, so I made these simple valances.  

I just cut two width-of-fabric strips about 15" wide, sewed them end to end, and backed them with a solid white fabric.  As you can see, I just use those little rings with the clips to hang them.  My idea was that I could change them out for the different holidays.  Great idea, right?  Ha!  I have two sets -- This set for Christmas, and the other set for the rest of the year :) 

I made matching pillows that were super simple.  I found this great pillow cover tutorial by Jaybird Quilts on Sew Mama Sew and have used this multiple times.  The tutorial doesn't show how to make the patchwork, just the construction of the cover with an envelope back, and it gives the measurements for multiple pillow form sizes.  Oh, and don't forget to check out the Handmade Holidays at Sew Mama Sew!  
We always love to decorate with these beautiful ribbon pinecone ornaments that my mother-in-law used to make.  

I found this beautiful little tree at one of our downtown shops and it's perfect to hang them on.  I think someday I'll make some more of these to fill up the tree.  
I've been trying to not start anything new, but I recently found this really cool fabric star ornament so might have to try just one ;) 
If you're looking for some fun handmade items, be sure to check out Handmade Holidays on Sew Mama Sew

Happy Holiday Sewing! 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Scraps, Scraps, and More Scraps

I've been quilting for about 10 years now, so I've accumulated some scraps from all of the quilts I've made.  SO many scraps!  There are quilters who throw out their scraps, but I just can't bring myself to do that.  And I can't give them away either.  I want them all.  I'll even take yours if you want to give them to me :)  

I tried sorting them by color into separate 2-gallon bags.  That worked for a while, but it became a pain in the rear when I had to empty the bags every time I made a house for my Village quilt.  Yes, this quilt is made entirely of scraps, except for a very small amount of white fat quarters for the background.   
Whenever I would bring up the subject of needing a better scrap storage system, my dude would say something like "Well, you're going to run out of scraps eventually and then you won't need all that storage."  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

I think after I made the Village quilt and still had so many scraps, he realized that my scraps weren't going anywhere anytime soon and there was no way that pile was getting any smaller.  So I ordered these really cool Ikea Algot baskets.  
I have them sorted by color, and there's a separate basket for selvages and solids.  It's working pretty well for me so far.  

I've been working on a few different scrap projects.  I just keep them up on my design wall and keep adding to them.  

This is the X-Plus block by Amy Badskirt 
And there's the popular Plus block.  I'm not even sure which tutorial I used for this, but you can just search for "plus block" and you'll find a ton of tutorials out there for whatever size block you want to make!  

And last but not least, the Scrap Vortex quilt by Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts.  I started sewing my scraps together for this earlier this year.  I haven't even made a dent in my pile, so I can easily make a few king-size quilts....eventually :) 
Do you save your scraps or give them away?  If you throw them away, please reconsider and send them to me :)  Kidding!   But I'm sure there is a local group who would gladly accept them to make scrap quilts! 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Magic of Sewing

Have you ever noticed how the process of making a quilt is kinda magical as you're piecing and things are slowly coming together?  Like this Measure Twice quilt that I made about two years ago, for example.  
It's pieced in small sections (just like you would make quilt blocks but they don't look like anything in particular like a quilt block might) and then you piece those sections together.  Each section on its own isn't very impressive, but once you start putting them all together, it's magical!  And all of a sudden you have a gigantic pair of scissors!  Pattern is Measure Twice by Katy Jones that was in an older Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine.  

Or this one!  It's the cutest little....or BIG panda ever!  This is the Bamboozle pattern by my good friend Kelli Fannin.  I made this for a friend/neighbor when her baby was born last year.  It was so fast & fun to make!!  

Then there's the magic of garment sewing.  Have you seen the reversible Metamorphic dress from Sew Liberated?  I made one of those earlier this year.  So fun to make!

And just last night, I was sewing together a Farrow dress by Grainline Studio.  When the instructions stated how to attach the top section of the front of the dress to the bottom section of the front, I had to tilt my head and do a flip to get a good look at the pics to make sure I was understanding it correctly.  I was seriously trying to figure out how in the world this was going to work, especially when it came to the magic of the pockets.  All it took was a little stitching, flipping, and pressing, and a slit front pocket appeared!  Look close in the second pic where there are two pens clipped to the pocket.  Pattern designers amaze me, and I'm so grateful for them!!!

As frustrating as it can be sometimes when trying to figure out a pattern, it really is fun and exciting, and magical!  Hope you find some magic in your everyday sewing, too!  

Saturday, December 1, 2018

I'm Back!

Hi everyone! Welcome!! I'm Lisa Lisa, and Quilting is my Jam!  

It's been over a year since I've blogged and I have really missed it!  When I saw the 31-Day Blog Writing Challenge by Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin, I knew this was the perfect kick in the pants that I needed to get going again!  

I started this little blog in 2012 as a way to document my quilting journey, and then I discovered Instagram, and down the rabbit hole I went.  So that's where I've been posting my sewing and quilting pics for quite some time.  But I've heard quite a few people say that they don't even read the posts on Instagram....they just scroll on through to see the pics. Don't get me wrong, I love Instagram!!!! A lot!  Maybe too much.  But I do miss sitting down at my computer and writing a little story to share my makes, and sometimes even receiving comments from other quilters and sewists.  

To see what I've been making, take a peek at the Instagram pics in my sidebar ➨➨
As you can see, I've branched out a little from quilting, but quilts are still my favorite things to sew! 

So, with this challenge, our goal is to post every single day in December.  And while I'm sure I won't be writing a post on Christmas Eve & Christmas, I will plan ahead and schedule my posts.  I can do this!  

Thank you so much for stopping by! I sure hope you'll stop by again to take a peek at what I'm making and to make sure I'm posting every day ;) 

~ Lisa