Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas and Quilts

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Well technically its no longer Christmas but its okay. I didn't make as much this year as I had the years before, mostly because I'm lazy and there hasn't been enough time. That and I also don't feel that the effort I put into making things isn't exactly appreciated. Anyhow I did make my first full-size quilt for my bf and his grandma as Christmas presents. I mean, who doesn't love blankets? I case you haven't noticed I DO! I have like a million that I just keep around at home. (which my sister never fails to remind me about) Dunno, there's just comfort in them. Like Linus and his blanket. Anyway.. 

The first quilt is supposed to be a 'quick quilt' in that it should be something easy, quick, and done in a day. I, however, beg to differ. I found the idea here  It was time consuming, and my sewing machine threads for some reason kept getting caught up and tangled. I wonder if it was just because I made it at a larger scale. It did take a day to make.. albeit an entire day but still a day nonetheless :) Anyhow here's how it turned out. 
Not tooo bad. I think the contrasting stitches make my mistakes stand out A LOT though haha. 

A close up. Looking at it again, it looks better with more lines all over it like the tutorial shows. Oh well. Maybe next time.

The quilt I made for my bf came out so much better than I thought, and I was super happy about it :) The fabric is this really cute fabric (Camp Sur by Jay-Cyn Designs for Birch Organic Fabrics) I found from one of my favorite online fabric stores.. and reminded me of the trip we took to Yellowstone. An inspiration for a camping quilt! The pattern is loosely based on this quilt from a blog I frequent. Many firsts with this quilt. I ran out of basting spray.. and it being Christmas eve at 10 at night, I resorted to using my quilting pins for the first time. 
It wasn't too hard using them.. but I also ran out of quilting pins. I guess the blanket was too large. If I had a choice, basting spray wins. Even though it makes my room smell like glue. 

Aaaaand here's the final product! Love love this camping quilt. I would say it's almost a full-size quilt. 

 A close up of my favorite piece.. the tent and SUV and trailer :) 

Things to keep in mind for the next quilt. Don't make anything bigger than full-size. Unless of course I upgrade to a better sewing machine. My old Target Singer can't handle it. Too many lines to quilt and it kept jamming on me :( 
Also, I previously read tips on how you need to keep the back of the quilt and the batting larger than the quilt top itself. Which I didn't ever do with my baby quilts and didn't understand why it was necessary. Until now. The quilt top was so big that I guess I didn't realize I lined it up wrong and ended up with about two inches of the bottom part hanging off the edge. And I couldn't just cut that part off.. it was part of the design of the quilt! So what I did was take a two inch fabric remnant of the same color and added it to the backing. It worked fine but it was still annoying taking extra time that I didn't have. Surprisingly, the quilt didn't take too long. A day of cutting and sewing and second day of quilting and binding. I'm sure though, if I ever get around to making that chevron quilt it'll take a big longer :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chevron Stockings and Hot Cocoa in a Jar

Yay! So the holidays are here, and my sister and I decided not to get a tree this year.. mostly because of the canines in the home and the uncertainty of a certain animal that likes to make his mark everywhere :). Anyhow I still wanted to decorate a little to make the apt feel just a little bit more festive.

Burlap bunting and lights for the window

I made some felt chevron stockings to hang over the fireplace.. using the exact same technique that I used for Grayson's chevron quilt :) 

The layout. I made the minimal amount of squares needed haha. 

Annd cut out a stocking for the backing and used it as a template to cut the pattern out.. sewed it together and voila! A stocking ;)

I used my silhouette to cut out letters (smiley monster font) for an outline for the names. If you look at it up close.. you can see my squares are super crooked..

Buuuuut not from far away!! And yes.. I did not forget my dogs. I mean, they are my children after all :) 

I recently went to a Christmas party with my coworkers.. and since they already got the gifts I thought I would post it. It's a super cute idea I found here from pinterest A"Grown up hot chocolate gift" idea. I made my own hot chocolate mix with a recipe I found here . One batch that I made was enough to fill a dozen mason jars, using half a cup per jar. 
Here they are ready to be packaged. I added chocolate chips and marshmallows. 

If you add one and a half cup of hot water (or hot milk) it's enough for a full mason jar to drink out of :) I tried it myself with the jar just to test it out and realized that the glass makes it too hot to hold.. so I took extra felt and made some personalized cup sleeves! 

The finished product. It was pretty well received.

I added some tags with instructions on how to mix the cocoa and, of course, the Bailey's. Cute and simple. And you get a canning jar out of it :)