November 29, 2010

The Christmas Rush

Being a basketball coach's wife, my Christmas rush is really before basketball season starts.  Once the season gets going, it seems like what little spare time I had goes with it. We do love basketball season and especially our players (and all of his other students too, of course) - so it's well worth the sacrifice.

I say all this as an explanation to my absenteeism.  I've been trying to get as many things on my Christmas to do list done as possible the last few weeks.  I have lots to catch you up on!

The beginning piecing class I've been working on is this Saturday!  It's been a lot of work, but I'm excited it is finally here.  Here are some of the kits that the students will be using to make their quilts - for several of the students, this will be their first quilt - so exciting!

I wanted them to look special so I packaged them up with Mom's help (thanks so much, Mom - you really need to move closer!!) and added some little tags using my new Sizzix Christmas dies. 

I reused the cardboard squares that came in some of the fat quarters as the base for the tags so they would be sturdier.  On some of them I used a Stampin' Up snowflake punch (who doesn't love snowflakes?!) - those wound up being my favorites.

I finally finished the example quilt top this evening that we will be making in class.  This guy is also doubling as my brother's Christmas gift - I'm not too worried about him reading my blog, so I feel safe telling you about it.  :)

Sorry the picture is so dark - silly daylight savings makes it dark before I can even get home from work.  My tree has been decorated for a couple of weeks now - again, if it doesn't get done before basketball season, it doesn't get done.  If you look closely (click on the picture for an enlarged view), you can see my newest decorations.... pheasant feathers.  I love how they look in the tree.  Mom came up with that idea last Christmas when we were decorating her tree so I took some feathers back with me to decorate my tree this year.

I have plans to start 2 different "series" on my blog, I'm in the process of gathering information and resources, so stay tuned, I think they're going to be a lot of fun.

Speaking of a lot of fun, a blog I follow, Lolly Chops, helped post 12 days of Christmas tree ornaments tutorials on the Little Blue House blog - use the blog archives links on the right to see all the days.  This one is my favorite!  I would love to make some of these and decorate my whole tree, but I'll just have to live vicariously through them.  :)

November 12, 2010

Painted Fall Plate

Isn't that a cute little dish?  I think I just need some yummy pumpkin muffins or mini pecan pies to go on it now.  So who wants to make them for me?  :) 

My sweet friend Kendra had a plate painting party at her house where we all painted plates following this tutorial.  Of course I can't do any kind of craft without incorporating fabric somehow, so I dreamed this up.

I free handed the tree and wording, then used leaf and flower shapes from one of my Sizzix dies to trace the outline of the leaves and flowers.  (Sorry I don't have any in-progress pictures here.)  I cooked the paint to let it set, according to the instructions in the tutorial link above.  Then, I used the same Sizzix die with some fall-colored fabric to cut out the colorful leaves and flowers.

I Mod Podged the flowers and leaves to the plate.  Just like when you are painting, you need to think in reverse and the items you want in the "front" need to go down first

After all the flowers and leaves were on, I traced the shape of the tree onto some paper by holding the plate right side up to the light, then cut it out.  Now, trace the REVERSE image of the tree onto the WRONG side of the fabric.  This will make sure the right side of the fabric is up and that you won't see any tracing lines once it is cut out.

I noticed that even though the Mod Podge dries clear, you could still see traces of it through the glass, so I just took advantage of the look and painted on Mod Podge in swirling patterns to imitate the leaves blowing in the wind.

This was a really fun and pretty quick project.  If you really get motivated, you could make some cute chargers for your Thanksgiving table.  :)

When I can put some time together, I want to share my pictures from the International Quilt Festival.  It was AMAZING, as always.  I am always blown away by the talent that is out there!  So, stay tuned, there are some really pretty pictures coming your way!!

November 1, 2010

A Relaxing Weekend

My husband and I got to spend the weekend at Round Top Retreat for our friends' wedding.  It was so beautiful and relaxing!  The retreat has several houses the guests stay in that are chalked full of antiques (it is Round Top after all) and quilts - I was drooling the whole weekend!

The day of the wedding the string quartet practiced outside of our bedroom, it was magical.  Between the house and the music, I felt like I was in Pride and Prejudice.  :)

I'm not sure how I have not talked about this before, but I'M GOING TO THE QUILT FESTIVAL FRIDAY!!!!  The International Quilt Festival is in Houston this week and I am going this Friday.  I put in a vacation day with work about 2 months ago in anticipation.  Ok, I really can't get to talking about it or I'll never go to sleep tonight and it's getting late.  Much more to come on this topic - I'll share some pics of the AMAZING quilting talent I see from around the world.

Going to find some chamomile tea to get me calmed back down...