Monday, December 31, 2012

On the Seventh Day of Christmas.....Ornaments!

Seven swans a swimming.....  Have you guys ever noticed how many birds are in that song?  There are giant hordes of birds that come every fall and nest on the parking garage at work on which I park and they continually cover my car with bird poop.  Yuck.  Walking out in the dusky evening after work is like entering an Alfred Hitchcock movie or something.

Anyway,  not a big fan of birds.

But what I actually wanted to talk about today was the fun Christmas ornaments I made this year! I've decided I'm going to do an annual ornament for Anna Banana,  and this year I was inspired by Mollie over at Wild Olive.  Back in the fall she presented this cute, simple paint and embroidery combo, and I decided to use the approach for Anna's ornament.  I made and ironed down a freezer paper stencil of the letter A then painted it in with watered down acrylic paint.  Mine doesn't look as "washed" as hers, I think I'd have done better using watercolors, but after bit of embroidery and assembly with some trim: POW! Cute Christmas ornament!

For Mike this year I decided to go BMW themed, as I always try to pick something relevant to his current interests.  Past years have included the Wi-fi/Ampitheater ornament, the Evernote ornament, and the Sons of Anarchy ornament.   He got his BMW motorcycle in March or April of this year and was very proud to have ridden it ~22,000 miles by mid-October, so I thought the BMW logo would be a good choice for this year's ornament.  Unfortunately, I don't have a very large selection of silver fabric (I think a solid silver would have been better) and have still not mastered the art of sewing a circle, so there are pointy-outy-bits, but that's ok.

Hope any birds in your Christmas celebrations refrain from pooping on you!

Friday, December 28, 2012

On the Fourth Day of Christmas....Moxie the Doxie

Some time back, the fabulous BadSkirt Amy gave away her adorable Moxie the Doxie pattern to her blog readers.  As soon as I saw it, I just knew I had to make one up for the darling Anna Banana.  Since it's for a little baby I didn't want to put buttons on the leg joints, or sewn on buttons on the eyes, so instead I used thick embroidery floss to secure everything very well.  I think she turned out super cute- what a great pattern!  Hope Anna likes it!  For my sister I made one of the great big mouth pouches using the tutorial over at Noodlehead.  It was so easy to follow: I'd been wanting to make one of these for a while and the instructions were very easy to follow.  I hope she finds it useful!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On The Second Day of Christmas.....Cathedral Window Trivets

Hoping you are all having a happy and joyful Christmas!  I thought I'd check in and share a few of this year's holiday projects I've been working on behind the scenes.  First up, these three Christmas trivets/potholders.  My friend Linda saw my cathedral window pincushions a while back and thought they were cool, but she's not a sewist, so I thought I would make her some trivets instead.  They're made the same way as the pincushions, just much larger (they finish about 9 inches square), and have insulbright batting inside rather than polyfil.  I used up a bunch of fun Christmas fabrics I had lying around, and made fabric covered buttons for the centers.  I think they'll look cute on her Christmas table or laid out as a runner on her bar.  I hope she likes them!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wherever you are, and however you're celebrating,
 I hope you're with people you love.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WIP Wednesday: The Christmas Scurry

My biggest craft decision of the week is that I've decided to throw in the towel on finishing Linda's memory quilt before I go home for the holidays.  I got the top all pieced together as well as the back, but the thought of basting it (it's too large for spray baste) made me shrivel.  When my mom suggested I bring it home to quilt on the longarm over the holiday, I jumped at the chance.  I think it will work very well, especially since I'm planning mostly large open quilting.

I did have a bunch of miscellaneous finishes in the past week, I made the Christmas totes which were presents for Mikes daughters and finished some other Christmas surprises not to be shown until after the holiday.  More excitingly I made five plain muslin skirts for the Twelfth Night Festival just after Christmas and finished the alterations to the king costume worn by our priest.  It was supposed to be an exciting-completely-finished-with-that-project, but I just found out last night that we need two more costumes I hadn't heard anything about.  We'll see if I can come up with anything from the current stash of costumes, but if not, back to the drawing (er sewing) board!

My other finish this week was my first ever frame purse.  I'd wanted to make some ever since I won a gorgeous frame clutch from Andrea over at Stitch Parade over a year ago.  I ordered a selection of 8x3 frames from While Baby Naps.  I'd been kind of nervous about the glue, and didn't have an urgent need for another purse,  so hadn't gotten around to doing anything.  I wanted to make something for my boss's adorable granddaughter though, so I figured the time was ripe to try it out.  Worked great actually, not nearly as bad as I'd expected.  I put Minnie Mouse on the inside since that's her favorite.

I also finally got around to making a yarn tree.  I'd been seeing them around blogland forever, but never actually did one.  The other day though I used up the end of some yarn that was on a cone, so I took five minutes and made one.  It's hard to tell in the photo, but the tree is a minty green color with sparkly green flecks.

Hope you're all making good progress on your WIPs!  Linking up with Lee as always!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Totes

Mike's daughter Melissa asked for a sewing machine for Christmas (hooray for spreading the crazy!), and so his other daughter Michelle got one for her.  She's never sewn before and doesn't have any sewing supplies at all.  I got her a bunch of notions (thread, scissors, pins, measuring tape, etc.) but wanted to make her some sort of sewing caddy to put it all in.  I had something in mind, but hadn't really made anything quite that shape before.  I thought it would be wise to make a test bag, so I found this fun yellow gingham and blue plaid in my stash.  The blue plaid is leftover from a tablecloth I made a long time ago and don't use (the dogs run away with tablecloths), and I had about a billion yards of the yellow gingham.  I bought it once to make some curtains which was a stupid idea from the beginning since I love the yellow gingham but it's not really my style for home decor.  Anyway, I made up the bag and I think it turned out really cute, although I decided  the pockets on the outside were a little much for the style of his daughters- I wanted something a bit more sleek and modern.  I'll save this one for a giveaway sometime- it turned out surprisingly well for being a prototype!

The one I made for Melissa uses some of the leftover fabric from my Amy Butler bag as well as some fun lime green.  It doesn't have anything on the outside except a green patch pocket.  No pictures of that side, because the pocket is embarrassingly off center!

I went ahead and used up all the leftover fabric to make this heavy duty book tote for Michelle.  I'm happy to have these done, they were the last to-be-made Christmas presents.  Now I just have to deal with the 12th night costumes.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mug Rugs for Santa Ministry

Happy Friday everybody.  If you haven't entered the giveaway yet, there's still time, just click here.  In contrast to past years, we aren't going to New Mexico until the 26th this year, so all through December I've been thinking that I had much more time than usual to get ready for Christmas (since we usually leave the 21st or the 22nd).  Just yesterday, however, I realized that all our Christmas celebrating here begins on the 23rd, and I have just one more week to finish everything up!  Eek!

So while I'm busily sewing away, here are a couple of mug rugs I made last weekend to tide you over.  I try to make a little something handmade to slip into the rest of the Santa Ministry presents I'm taking to church (they're gifts for nursing home residents, clothes, bath stuff, etc.).  I had two names, a man and a woman, so I made these two mug rugs using some hexie flowers I had on hand.

This one really didn't look very good in person, the aqua fabric was much more see through than you can tell in this picture and the yellow print was shadowing through making the whole thing look dingy and stained.  Add to that the actual black stain on the top right hexie (no idea where that came from), and I couldn't imagine giving it to anyone.  So I just appliqued another flower on top of the first one.  Much better, although the colors in the picture are not true to life.  I wanted to get it packed up so couldn't wait for better lighting.  Happy third Sunday in advent everyone!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quilters Blog Hop Party Giveaway

Update!  Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway.  The winners are:





Look out for e-mails from me!

Hey everybody, it's time once again for the Quilter's Blog Hop Party and Giveaway.  Special thanks to the Quilting Gallery for hosting.  If you haven't been over there yet, click through because there are tons of awesome giveaways!

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

If you're discovering my blog for the first time, welcome!  I'm Shannon, a research scientist by day and art quilter and general crafter by night.  I hope you'll take a few moments to look around and maybe come back in future!  Here are a few of my recently finished quilts; you can see more by clicking the pages at the top.

Rejoice Rejoice, Shannon Conley, 2012

S is for... #3: You Cleared My Name, Shannon Conley, 2012

Spring in October, Shannon Conley, 2012

Now for the good stuff:

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below telling me something interesting about you.  Whatever you like, your favorite Christmas/Holiday tradition, your favorite type of project to do, or maybe your favorite flavor of toothpaste.

That's it!  If you want to follow me or add my blog to your reader, that'd be great, but it isn't required.  I'm willing to ship internationally, but please make sure that if you are a no-reply blogger that I have a way to get in touch with you.  I'll use to draw a winner on the evening of December 15th.

I'll be giving away two prize packages to two different people:

Package 1:  This is two patterns, the Kitschy Corset Apron (which has a bunch of different cute variations) from Brassy Apple,  and the Jack and Jill hat pattern from Izzy and Ivy Designs (these are adorable for the littles in your life).  It also includes Denim by Design by Barb Chauncey which has tons of great ideas and patterns for recycling/upcycling old jeans into a variety of fun accessories/bags etc.  I'm also putting in one of the cathedral window pincushions I recently made using a bunch of fun Christmas scraps.

Package 2:  This is a fun lined zippy pouch with a paper pieced flower, a crocheted cotton granny square dishcloth (seriously guys, these are so scrubby and great for cleaning up, I never use regular dish cloths anymore) and the book Simply Sublime Bags by Jody Kahn.  It has tons of pretty and easy bag/purse projects. 

Hope you enjoy and good luck to all in the giveaway!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

WIP Wednesday

I haven't had a terribly productive sewing week, but I have one tiny finish:  this Christmas tree skirt for my work Christmas tree.  Sadly I didn't get any pictures of it before I took it to work, so they're all taken in the ugly fluorescent light.  Basically, I just made a case out of the large satiny piece of white fabric that came in my yummy box from Spontaneous Threads  and then FMQed with random fillers all over it.  No batting or anything, but the thread is lime green which goes nicely with my bright pink tree.  I can't put out my wonderful tree skirt at home until right before our Christmas celebration since the dogs carry it out into the back yard and try to nest in it, but at least I have this simple one at work now.

Progress this week:

I had good forward movement on the memory quilt, I made one block for my crochet afghan (slowly slowly with this one it seems), and did make a bit of progress on secret Christmas presents.

No progress this week, UFOs/WIPs/Things I have supplies and plans to make

Finish 12th Night Costumes (Must finish this within next week)
Fix corner blocks and put crystals on Spring in October (Must finish this by Christmas)
Secret Christmas Projects (Obviously must finish these by Christmas)
Next Art Quilt (Going to be an entry in SAQA text messages and the MQS fabric challenge, in the initial design stages)
Snowflake Christmas table runner  (this may just be the Christmas project that doesn't get done for this year)
Dog Quilt
English Paper Piecing Mini
Thanksgiving Quilt (I'm probably going to try some quilt as you go on this.  Someday. right now it's a sandwich on the shelf)
Sun Printing/Cyanotype Blocks
Anna Butterfly Blocks
Bobbin Quilting
Quail Screen Printing
Crochet Something with the beautiful yarn I brought from Germany  (I'd love to do a bolero shrug thing but I'm not sure I have enough, and in any case one crochet project at a time)
Boxy Bag (this has been on my wish list for a long time)
Frame Purse

Linking up with the fabulous Lee!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Design Wall Monday: Another modern quilt!

I hope everybody had a great weekend!  I had a bunch of non-sewing related things going on, but have been trying very hard to make progress on a memory quilt for a dear friend of mine.  It's been on my to-do list since August, and I'm hoping to finish it to give her at Christmas.  The white blocks are all blocks our church parishioners wrote sharing memories or wishes for Linda.  I decided to adapt Amy Smart's  yummy pattern for the setting.  So far, it's just all pinned up, but my goal is to get it sewn together in the next couple of days!  Sorry for the crummy photo, I snapped it as I was rushing out the door to go to work this morning.  

I hope you're all coming along well with your to-do lists!

Linking up to patchwork times!