Thursday, December 20, 2012


Merrrrry Christmas to all and to all a good.......hat? Yes! Santa is bringing "teeny weeny hats" (name that Muppet Movie from which I stole the quote for bonus points!) to some teeny weeny preemies this year, and I'm acting as elf. As in I'm makng them all but letting the fat man take credit. No wonder Hermie wanted to be a dentist! I kid, I kid. :)

But seriously - once my spontaneous Christmas quilt was finished my fingers were itching for something else to make. And just as spontaneously as the quilt came about - so did a plan to knit a preemie hat to include in each of my family members' gifts this year and then donate to the NICU in their name. Though it would be my preference, I know that switching to an only charity gifts system in my family would NOT go over  well. So I decided to play within the system and do a little of both. And I loved makeing these little guys - so quick and satisfying! I hope they add comfort to some sick little babies and their tired and worried families.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

a Christmas Quilt is a Bowl Full of Cherries

So I made a Christmas quilt. I totally wasn't planning it but somehow I was at the fabric store and a bunch of Aneela Hoey's Cherry Christmas prints jumped into my arms and somehow made it out the door with me. (I did pay for them!) And a few days later I was making myself a Christmas quilt. Backed with minky.  Could it get any more cozy? Only when shared with a wiener dog and a cup of chai latte.

I used a quilt as you go method on this quilt - I think there are a few different types. The type I used (and I basically just winged it without looking at many instructions - as per my M.O.) was to quilt each individual block onto batting and then piece the quilted blocks together. Once I had a completed, quilted top I basted it to the minky backing and then stitched in the ditch along my block seams. In the end, I don't really think it saved me much time and the whole thing was rather bulky to stuff through my machine on account of the thick batting/block seams. This would be a good method to use if you wanted to do some really intricate or complex quilting that you felt you couldn't accomplish when quilting the piece as a whole with a regular sewing machine. But I think I'm done with this method for a while - didn't seem worth it to me.

But making a Christmas quilt totally was worth it! Randy is in love with it and it may be the warmest quilt we have ever owned. I plan to take it out of town with us over Christmas to brighten up our hotel room. In the mean time we are snuggling up underneath its cheery warmth while watching Christmas movies, drinking Chai lattes, and stroking our wiener. :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Who's The Leader of the Swap thats Made for You and Me?

Are you tired of the Secret Santa swap yet? Well, if you are - too bad! Because I'm writing about it again! You've seen what I got in the swap and now I'm going to show you what I gave. I learned that my swap partner is Elisabeth from Woozy Quilts. She is a crazy talented quilter AND a Disney fanatic AND someone who requested a knitted item in the swap. I'd say we're a match made in swap heaven. (I did knit two entire Kermit hats while waiting in lines at Disney World a couple years ago.) Elisabeth lives in California and frequently visits Disneyland. A little birdie told me that her favorite character is Minnie Mouse - and an idea for a hat was hatched.

Here is the final product - a mini mouse earflap hat with pom pom mouse ears on top. I've included two pics because the first one is inexplicably glowy - which I think is a cool effect, but which may be a little hard to see.

Elisabeth received the hat and loves it (I think!). Unfortunately, she has a nasty cat allergy and I have a bit of a cat infestation at my house (well, two cats may not be an infestation, but it sure feels like it sometimes). Sooooo she is working on figuring out how to clean the hat so that she can wear it without it making her sick. Bummer! But who knew we weren't allergen compatible? I have since researched to see if there is something I can do to eliminate this problem in the future for gifts and custom orders. Turns out that cat allergens are suuuuper sneaky and are transmitted through the hair, and saliva, and dander. So its not just a matter of lint rolling a hat to get rid of the hair. As I continue crafting and growing my business, this is an issue I'll have to explore and experiment with. I'm thinking we could encase the cats in their own plastic bubbles.  I think that plan would have the added benefit of making my house MUCH easier to clean!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Have the BEST Swap Partner!

Attention: This is a message from....wait for it....THE FUTURE. I know - its amazing. Why have I come back from the future to write a message here? Well.....because I got kinda busy in November and December of 2012 AND I discovered Instagram - so I basically became a total blog slacker. But come January 2013 (the FUTURE) my slightly obsessive brain didn't like the idea that there were no blog posts for November or December. And despite advice to just do a catch-up post in January, I decided I MUST finish the year of blog posts IN ORDER. So I've come from the FUTURE to write posts here in 2012. The post you are about to read has traveled through space and time to hang out here in tidy chronological order for the rest of eternity. Ahhhh....this feels right. :)

 Remember when I posted about the Secret Santa Swap I am participating in? Well, my swap gift arrived today! Early!! From Austrailia!!! And it is the BEST gift I could have possibly ever gotten. Ever. Its a bag. With a zipper (which I haven't attempted on my own yet). With a Zipper (weiner dog). It has a weiner dog. It also features some of my favorite fabric lines, including Half Moon by Moda and Reunion by Sweetwater. AND it has a little elephant block. AND it has a little mini dachshund block. It is 100% perfect in every single aspect. I am using to hold my knitting and I take it everywhere!

Here it is:

Didn't I tell you it was perfect? It was made by Cat from Cat and Vee - a crafty duo who specialize in screen printing and other fabric goodies. They weiner dog featured on the bag is called Pip Squeak, which i think is the most perfect name for a little illustrated sausage dog (as they say in Austrailia). Have I used the word "perfect" too much in this post? It can't be helped - its true! You can purchase some of their goods right here in their Etsy shop!

The front of it is not the only awesome part. Look at the back!

Here's a view of the all powerful and mysterious ziper:


And the final test? Turns out its Zipper approved!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I like to think of myself as an ambassador of craftiness to the outside world. And I recently discovered that many in the outside world don't know about swaps. In the internet crafty blog world, Swaps are ALL the rage, and it just so happens that I'm participating in one right now.....SO I've taken it upon myself to enlighten the uninitiated about the world of swaps. 

Swaps are like Christmas and pen pals all rolled into one fun event that can happen any time of the year! Here's how they work:
  • One benevolent blogger coordinates the whole shebang out of the kindness of her heart and maybe the desire to make new friends and let more people know about her awesome blog.
  • The swap coordinator outlines the details of her particular swap on her blog and invites people to sign up. Each swap has its own guidelines and personality. Sometimes people swap fabric that meets a certain criteria or theme, fabric scraps they have in their stash, quilt blocks that follow a particular pattern or style, or finished craft projects like tote bags or potholders.
  • Once you have signed up to participate in the swap, the coordinator typically matches you up with a partner - sometimes based on similar personal styles and sometimes randomly. In fabric swaps the coordinator usually receives all the fabric and then parcels it up and sends it back out to each participant so that you (and everyone else) ends up with a fun new variety of fabrics. In project swaps, you usually create for one person while a different person creates for you.
  • You mail out your fabric or project by the deadline and patiently (or not so) await your goods to arrive in the mailbox. Then, one day, the mail carrier smiles upon you and brings you a surprise! When its all said and done you end up with fresh new crafty goodness, a few new cyber friends, and maybe some new blog readers. A good deal all around!
I am participating in the Secret Santa swap coordinated by Kara from Me and Elna. Its her first swap ever and there are about 20 people from all around the WORLD participating! Participants have been tasked to make a special crafty gift for their partner to lead up to the holiday season when many of us make for others but don't often receive handmade gifts ourselves. I am soooo excited to be involved and I can't wait to get my present! I'm also having fun making the gift for my partner - I think we'll be pals after this. But unfortunately I can't post ANY pics yet, since its a surprise! But I'll post allllll about it in less than a month after my partner has received what I hope she thinks is a fun gift!
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