December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  We were blessed to be able to spend time with our families at home again this year.  We even got a surprise visit from Santa!

I know, I know, he’s clean shaven and younger than you would think.  :)  This is my little nephew Myles. 

I’ve had some time to work on several projects, I’ll try to get some pictures up tomorrow. Also, Mom, Aunt Teresa, and I developed a new way to do binding that we used on my brother’s quilt – his made Christmas gift.  I’m putting a tutorial together for you.  I don’t think I’ll ever go back to my old way again.

December 16, 2010

New Sewing Cabinet

Here is a picture of my new sewing cabinet that my oh so sweet husband built - minus the drawers, they are still being painted (by our awesome friend Cody).  The table is 24" deep and 99" long with 16 drawers and 3 pull-out counters!  The drawers to the right were specifically designed to hold my different types of thread - sewing, embroidery, and serger thread.

This drawer will hold my serger and I'll just pick it up and set it on the pull-out counter and have an extra sewing area.

My machine will obviously sit in the middle section and it's acrylic table will meet the height of the towers on each side to make a continuous counter top across the whole cabinet.

I am so excited to get this big fella in my sewing room, but that'll be a challenge!  It is going to take up an entire wall, so some serious rearranging is going to have to take place.  Here are some pics of my current sewing space.  Be warned - it's really messy since I'm in the middle of making Christmas presents (at least that's my excuse)!  :)

I think the cutting table will go in front of the window on the left, the current sewing cabinet will get folded up and moved in the corner where the dress form is (if it'll fit).  The chair will probably have to go - so sad, I take really good naps there surrounded by all the fabric.  :) 

If anyone has some really good spacial orientation skills I'd love suggestions on how to best maximize the space.  I'm hoping to also take this opportunity to reorganize all my fabric.  I've had a couple very brave friends volunteer to be color sorters - I'm depending on you girls!  I'll keep you all posted on the progress.

December 7, 2010

Handmade Christmas Gifts

Handmade Christmas gifts are the best!!  I don't think there is any better way to tell people that you mean a lot to them than by making something with your hands.  I think this is the main reason I get so overwhelmed at Christmas time, I want to make something for every special someone in my life.  Since I have been so blessed to have so many special people in my life, the "I'll make that up real quick" craft list gets a little out of control - ok, a LOT out of control.

Even if you're not a sewer or crafter, you can still make your loved ones something - bake something, write up coupons for whatever they like (make supper, do the laundry, clean my room, give a big hug) for them to redeem during the year, attempt a craft, the ideas are endless.  I think some of the best gifts are NOT precisely made, professionally executed, exactly matching pieces of work.  It's the thought and time - that is the precious gift.

I received a very precious handmade gift (it's even more special because I don't get a lot of handmade gifts outside of my family - my family rocks at handmade gifts, by the way).  My friend Yolanda, who is in her 80s, hand sewed this entire apron including the embroidery along the bottom and on the pocket.

Isn't that the neatest embellishment for gingham?  Click on the picture for a closer look.  This guy didn't touch a sewing machine, she hand tacked all the hems, attached the strings and pocket by hand, everything.  I think it's just great!  Fun to think about how our grandmothers used to sew all their garments by hand.  What a treasure.  :)

We had our beginning piecing class this past weekend.  It was a lot of fun, I think all the ladies enjoyed themselves.  Here is a picture of them showing off their first blocks in the quilt.  They are all quick learners, we may have some budding new quilters among us!  :)  Great work, ladies!

Completely unrelated, but I'm so excited that I have some type of gardening skills - my Christmas cactus is blooming for the first time since I brought it home from the nursery.  Just had to post proof that I've kept something alive and thriving.  :)

Ok, going to get back to that handmade Christmas gift list.  Are you making anything handmade this year?  I'd love to hear about it - and see pics, of course.