Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Squirrel Apron

This is the apron I made for my sister-in-law, who struck a pose but made me promise not to post her head. (Thanks again for the pot roast!)

I think the Japanese squirrel fabric came from Superbuzzy last year. I don't see it online now, but here's a similar one.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The List

I just corrected my last post...turns out I made 20 Christmas gifts this year. (No wonder my sewing room is such a disaster!) Here's the list:

6 tea towels
4 potholders/oven mitts
4 crocheted caps
3 pillowcases
1 afghan
1 apron
1 taggie

In my haste to finish and wrap gifts, I forgot to photograph the apron and one of the pillowcases, but there are still some embroidery pics in the queue. This is a cowboy snowman towel I made for some friends who are Texans at heart.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mountain Streams

I made 20 Christmas gifts this year. I enjoyed every project, but this was my favorite: an afghan for my mother, who has had a rough year. When I'm feeling blue, my favorite thing to do is snuggle under a homemade afghan or quilt and nap or read a book. I'm hoping this afghan brings some comfort to my Mom, who takes such good care of her family. I named it "Mountain Streams" because it reminds me of the beautiful property on my parents' farm here in the Blue Ridge.

The pattern is Lion Brand Yarn's Motif Afghan. I increased the width and length by a couple of rows/columns.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Meet Mavis, Deirdre, and Tom

A few weeks ago I commented that I'd like to get my hands on a styrofoam head for modeling hats. Turns out Santa was listening.

Poor Mavis is still a little chilly. Deirdre is modeling my latest Urban Chunky Newsboy Cap. And Tom is wearing the Boy Beanie I tucked into Jeff's Christmas stocking.

Thanks so much, John and Deuce! And a merry Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Handmade Christmas

By Thursday, if all goes well, I'll have made 15 Christmas gifts. (Hopefully I won't be sewing all night on Christmas Eve!) Now that my girlfriends and I have had our gift exchange, I can post a few of my projects. These are the towel and oven mitt I made for Gina.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cookie Time

Olivia amazed me by going to bed early (!) last night, so I was on my own with our favorite sugar cookie recipe for today's class party. But Harry Connick Jr. kept me company. Yum.

Also on my Christmas baking list are these two, blogged by Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson. Can you say "Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies" and "Praline Cookies" without your mouth watering? Neither can I.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Our Projects

Here's a sneak peek at what I've been working on. (That's supposed to be a Juniper berry in her beak.)

And here are Olivia's projects. She's been sick with the flu and double ear infections, but she perked up yesterday and built a "movie quilt."

Then she treated Mama Kitty to a makeover.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I am sitting! I am drinking!

This cotton tape is so doggone cute.

I ordered it from A Little Goodness and was saving it for coasters, but the sentiments seemed just right for Milo's Christmas taggie. Milo, my 6-month-old nephew, is the happiest, chubbiest little guy you ever saw. Sitting and drinking are right up his alley.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Special Order

Gina sent me an airplane-themed standard pillowcase from The Company Store and asked me to create a tot-sized pillow and blanket from it. Finally, the fleece I stockpiled three years ago came in handy! I tailored the pillowcase to fit a small (12x16) pillow form and used the rest to bind and applique a square of blue fleece.

The package wasn't complete without a Butter & Sugar onesie; this one features a patchwork airplane.

Monday, December 08, 2008


Olivia just had a birthday, which we've celebrated twice so far (cupcakes at school, Christmas pageant party with friends) and will celebrate once more tonight (family party). Excessive? Definitely. Shameful, really; we're determined to figure out how to consolidate next year. But oh, the cakes have been grand.

I ordered these precious ballerinas (and other lovely cake toppers) from the delightful cyber-shop Bake It Pretty.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

And the winner is...

Huge, heartfelt thanks to everyone who visited yesterday and left a comment. You truly made my day.

Congratulations to "Mommy's Home," who won the random drawing for a onesie from my shop. In fact, extra-special congratulations are in order...she wrote that she's expecting a baby!

Good luck to all who entered other Give-Away Day contests!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Etsy Shop Give-Away

Hooray! My Etsy shop has just been launched, and it's Give-Away Day. For starters, the featured items in my new shop are patchwork monogrammed onesies, now available for customization.

In celebration, I'm giving away a customized onesie. Just leave a comment today and I'll randomly select a winner.

If you haven't done so already, check out Sew, Mama, Sew's list of other Give-Away Day contests!

Settling down for a long winter's nap

Warning: Christmas spoiler...Rudie, no peeking!

To me there's nothing cozier than putting on a pair of warm pajamas and curling up in bed to read a good book. Hence the inspiration for my gifts to several of the children on my list this year:

* A handmade pillowcase,
* A pair of PJs,
* And a book.

These are for my niece. I'm keeping fingers crossed that she'll love The Boxcar Children as much as I did when I was her age.

P.S. December is "Holidays at Home" month at Sew, Mama, Sew!. Visit them for more gift compilation and handmade holiday ideas.

Monday, November 24, 2008

One-Trick Pony

Honestly I'm making other things too, but I can't post my Christmas surprises. And so here are yet more embroidered towels. These were thank-you gifts.

I mailed the Nevada towel off to the inspirational Bean; and the Arizona towel went to Trina, whose fabulously lovely antiques will be featured in an upcoming post.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Give-Away Day: December 3

I just signed up to participate in the Sew, Mama, Sew! Give-Away Day...which means one lucky commenter on December 3 will win one of my custom monogrammed onesies like these.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two Onesies

Gina commissioned these latest onesies for her cousins' babies, Meghan and Riley, born within a day of each other. I'm pleased with the improved monograms...chain stitch stands out much better than the backstitch I usually use.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hat Joy

I've discovered an amazingly gratifying project: crocheting hats. I made these two recently for Bean's Winter Warm-Up Drive. The pattern is the "Boy Beanie," originally published in Stitch & Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker (an awesome book!) but also available for free on the Open Source Crochet Project. I added a couple of extra rows to make it warmer.

And this one came together while we watched the delightful Kit Kittredge movie this afternoon. The pattern is the Crazy Easy Urban Chunky Newsboy Cap by Nutella Dreams Late Night Crafts.

I really need one of those styrofoam hat models!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Words of Wisdom

Courtesy of tonight's cup of tea.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Turkey Placecards

Olivia and I were feeling crafty this afternoon, but we couldn't decide what to make so we went outside to swing. That's where the gorgeous autumn leaves caught our attention, and she saw them as turkey tail-feathers. Ah-ha! Together we hot-glued sweet-gum balls, leaves, and helio-seeds to make placecards for our Thanksgiving dinner guests.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sugar Rush

These are our first attempt at "Fairy Cakes," which I've long admired at Yarnstorm. We used the glossy, lemony icing recipe in The Gentle Art of Domesticity.

Wishing you a sweet and happy Halloween.

P.S. Heartfelt thanks to all who left comments in response to Monday's post. I really appreciate your kind and caring thoughts.

Monday, October 27, 2008

In loving memory

My sweet Sula passed away this morning. We were together for almost 18 years. Olivia says I'll see him in Heaven, but until then I'm going to miss my little man dearly.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Coyote Kindness

I've been a long-time admirer of Bean's Coyote Craft blog, not just for her inspiring projects (her crochet hook/knitting needle organizers are my favorites), but also her focus on charity, kindness, and tolerance.

I'm working on a hat for her Winter Warm-Up Drive, and I'm also working on a thank-you gift for the awesome package she recently sent. To celebrate her Patchwork Hot Pads tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew, she held a give-away for the completed set of hot pads. Although I didn't win them, Bean sent me a surprise package featuring a sweet note, a handmade pincushion, vintage embroidery and sewing patterns, some luscious skeins of embroidery floss, and an embroidery hoop.

Hooray for the online crafting community and the generosity of bloggers. Bean, you rock!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Afghan in the Works

I've been carrying this cheerful orange bag around with me everywhere, and the segments of a new afghan are starting to pile up.

The growing stacks, sorted by size and color, make my inner Virgo very happy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cowboy Pillow

I made this pillowcase for our little friend Jimmy, who needed a smallish, toddler-size pillow. The pillow form came from Ikea years ago...I wish I'd stocked up on more of them because kids love this size.

The hem features a lasso-type stitch.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Little Wooden House

This was a birthday gift for a crafty little girl in Olivia's class. O and I had such fun putting together the bag of supplies, and the birthday girl's mom reported that it was a big hit. Best of all: total cost was only around $12. I purchased the wooden house from our local Michael's for $6; paints were on sale for $1.49; and the rest of the goodies were scraps from my sewing room.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Kathy Mack sent me these luscious Pop Garden FQs for being one of the first people to participate in her Pink Chalk Fabrics Pool. (Big thanks, Kathy!!)

Sadly, I'm going to have to remove them from the table so I can focus on the PowerPoint briefing I'm supposed to be writing. They've been noisy this morning: "Grab your scissors! Turn on the sewing machine! You know you want to. We'd make such a lovely pillow...."

Monday, October 06, 2008

Monogrammed Onesies

More onesies decorated using Angry Chicken's 2007 Mailorder foundation-piecing instructions. These were monogrammed for triplets Sarah, John, and Sam.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why I Love Autumn (Hint: Involves Fruit)

Signs of Autumn here in the Shenandoah Valley...

Warm pies, applesauce, and cake are in the works.

Afghan Adventures

Gina, who received the soy afghan blogged last week, sent me this photo of her sweet dog, Pilot. She wrote, "Pilot is strictly forbidden to be anywhere near the afghan, but a special 2-second exception was made when he saw Violet snuggled on top of it on your blog! Notice him licking his lips: did someone say 'soy'?"

Monday, September 29, 2008

Owl Towel

Embroidery is becoming an obsession around here. This project is the result of a tee-ball game and a camping trip. The pattern is #3771, "Hooty Owls," from Colonial Patterns. (This little fellow is the Thursday owl.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Today's the Day!

I've been so excited for Sew, Mama, Sew to post my bulletin board tutorial. Here's the one I did for "Sewing for the Home" month, using a tea towel.

And this one, made last year for Liv's pink bedroom, inspired the tutorial.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Soy Afghan

I finished this afghan last week. (Actually I finished putting it together in June but didn't get around to weaving in the ends and blocking it until the last minute. My mother was a hero and helped me with the ends. There must have been thousands!) Violet was hoping we'd keep it...

...but it was a birthday gift for Gina.

The silky soy yarn from Bernat was a joy to crochet. The pattern is "Garden of Flowers" from Afghans for All Seasons, Book 2.