Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Wrap Up and Happy New Year!

I love the mosaics popping up around blogland, so I went through my Flickr photostream and put together one of my favorite projects from 2011!

Fresh Sewing Day

I finished 5 quilts, plus 2 t-shirt quilts (with two more almost done) and many other smaller projects.
I learned how to purl when knitting, print photos on paper, stencil a t-shirt with acrylics, and wrote several tutorials.

This next year will be a wonderful one. I feel like the online quilting community will continue to grow. I myself am most likely joining the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild (more on that soon), I'll be student teaching, graduating, and getting married! Lots of craftiness to come!

I hope everyone has a wonderful night celebrating. My family is watching a double feature of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, hopefully watching the end of the Coldplay concert on PBS, and then watching the ball fall in Times Square. Lots of food involved, too.

Happy New Year! :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Handmade Holiday Gifts!

Handmade for the holidays was the way I went this year, and how I plan to go for many years to come. I did lots of etsy shopping, requested some etsy gifts if people wanted to get me something, and made as many presents as I could. :) There's just something about handmade that feels like the holidays - it's not about the gifts you get, but the thought, and the spirit that accompanies gift-giving.

Anyway, here's what I made (and I learned a lot along the way)...

-My sister's Slytherin house/Harry Potter scarf is finally done after many hours of knitting! I got much faster and learned how to add fringe (which was much easier than it sounded) and how to switch colors in a scarf. Next time I'm going to make it skinnier - but I'm really proud about how this came out!


I used Lion's Brand thick yarn.

This inspired me to finish a scarf I literally, I kid you not, started three years ago. It's not a present for anyone in particular (although it may have been three years ago?) - so I've been wearing it - but I'm glad to be done with it! Now I'm learning to purl, finally! More on that soon.

-My brother's surprise stenciled t-shirt. He is SUPER excited about the first part of The Hobbit coming out next December - as am I - and since I made him a shirt for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II premiere, I hoped he would enjoy this.

If you know the story, Bilbo Baggins (the hobbit) is on the left, holding his sword, Sting. I decided to make him without all the details of clothes because that would get complicated. But I made sure to add his furry hobbit feet! Next to him is Smaug, the dragon, who actually won't be seen until the second part of the movie in 2013 (I'm letting alllll the geekiness hang out tonight :) )

On the back, I stenciled the very famous line from the very first page of the book: "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit..." using this great tutorial from Stay-at-Home Artist. The lettering was a bit tricky - I modeled it off of various Tolkien fonts, which I found on the internet (isn't the internet lovely?) I used acrylic paints for the whole shirt.

-A scrappy passport cover for my pink-loving friend Stef. She's going to Italy in 6 days - I'm hoping it gets to her just in time! I used bunnybum's tutorial, which I've used in the past. I made sure to leave a little more room so the passport didn't fit quite as snugly as the directions say. It's a great tutorial though!


All in all, I've been busy. I've been reading as many handmade holiday posts as I can - what did you make for the holidays?

Linking up to:  We Did It Wednesday @ Sew Much Ado
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? At Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, December 26, 2011

Blogger's Choice FQ Bundle Contest at Quokka Quilts

I saw this post at Quokka Quilts and had to join in (thereby delaying sleeping).
You could win your own bundle of fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop (half yards!!) by posting about your dream palette.

Purple and orange are among my favorite colors, so they would definitely be in there. Combined with yellow, it reminds me of sunrise (a sight I should start getting used to as I get up at the crack of dawn for student teaching). I think these prints work well together :) It was difficult to narrow down, let me tell you!

The fabrics are as follows:
Floursack Purple Spring Floral
Outfoxed Peach and Purple Wild Vines
Daisy Dance Purple Tonal Daisies
Morning Tides Purple Water
Impressions Purple Roscoe
Impressions Purple Ivy
Heirloom Dandelion Opal
Pajama Party Orange Dots and Stripes
Meadow Friends Cotton Dragonfly Orange and Girl Curly Swirls
Annie's Farm Stand Yellow - Annie's Big Dot
Crazy Daisy Yellow With Orange Large Daisy Bloom
Crazy Daisy Orange Crazy Daisy

Ready, Set, Go! Orange Pure Organic Solid
Bella Solids Purple Yardage SKU # 9900-21
Bella Solids Yellow Yardage SKU # 9900-24

Now I really want to quilt. But I've learned the hard way that crafting in any capacity while tired is always a bad idea, so to bed I go.

I'll be back tomorrow to show you my Christmas sewing/knitting, finally!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Holocaust Survivor's Story through Needlepoint

Anything that involves the Holocaust or genocide always piques my interest - especially in a world where genocide still happens, and where we are getting further and further way from those that happened in the 20th century.

 I study the subject, and I'm currently writing my senior undergraduate honors thesis on gender representation in Holocaust memorials. I also went on a life-changing trip to Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland in May 2011 with my college, in order to see some of these places for myself and also to gather research (...and also have fun in Europe).

(Personal photo - a memorial at Theresienstadt concentration camp)

About a year ago, I posted about a quilt that a former student at my college had made to memorialize the victims in her own way. I had some great responses to that post, so I knew I had to share this article when I saw it.

Here's the article, over at Facing History and Ourselves. It's about Netty Vanderpol, who was just a girl of middle school age when WWII began. She was taken from her Amsterdam home with her family to Westerbork and then Theresienstadt (Terezin), which is now in the Czech Republic, and a place I personally visited. Her story is difficult to read because of the topic, but if you have a chance, you should read it. The pictures of her art are just stunning (I don't have permission to repost photos from the site, so you should follow the link to see them).
(Personal photo - Terezin concentration camp)

This part of the article at the end was really enlightening for me: 
"Even after she completed the works, Netty did not show them publicly for 10 years. Now, she prefers to let her art do the talking, she still rarely speaks about her experiences. Today, she continues with her needlework, but her pieces do not focus on the Holocaust. “To a certain extent it freed me,” she said of 'Every Stitch a Memory'  (her set of artwork). “I would look at a piece after it was finished and say, ‘I have told my story.’ I am at peace with this."


I'd love to hear your reactions, and if you've heard/seen other ways in which art of any kind has been used to communicate a message about genocide or war, I'd be interested to hear.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Birthday present and quilt planning!

It's my 22nd birthday today! And I was so excited to see the gift from my parents: (sorry for bad quality pics, I took them with my cell phone because my camera is MIA)

Terrain is my favorite fabric line (in case you couldn't tell), which is soon possibly to be eclipsed by my love for Central Park, but also Good Fortune. What can I say. Kate Spain, you make magic.

This is going to be a quilt just. for. me. I'm so excited to get started, but I'm not yet sure how I'm going to make the quilt top. I think I'd like to use some Kona Coal though. What do you think? Any ideas?

I made an inspiration mosaic...

1. <a href="">Grandma Mary's Five Patch pattern by Sweet Jane, Terrain fabric by Kate Spain</a>, 2. <a href="">And then there were 9</a>, 3. <a href="">P6230205</a>, 4. <a href="">Terrain Quilt</a>, 5. <a href="">Terrain quilt top</a>, 6. <a href="">Terrain Quilt</a>

I'm off to go back to school for two more days, and I'm celebrating with my friends tonight! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

And the fabric lanyard winner is...

Thanks for all the great responses! It was so interesting to hear everyone's favorite Christmas songs. One of the songs I saw most was "Mary, did you know?" I have a lot of new music to put on my Christmas playlist!

My favorite Christmas song, by the way, is Judy Garland's version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." It's so hauntingly beautiful.

This is the most people I've ever had enter a giveaway. I even gained some new followers along the way, even though it wasn't required - thank you and welcome! I will be posting as of NEXT week on a regular basis (ALMOST done with finals! one more!)

And here's the winner of my fabric lanyard (which I will soon be making more of for my shop):

Congrats Ellen, I'm emailing you right now! Thanks everyone for entering!! I'll definitely be having more lanyard (and fabric) giveaways in the future :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog Hop Party Giveaway!

*This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks to all who entered - winner posted here!*

I love the Quilting Gallery, and they are celebrating their 4th birthday (and it's my 22nd next week!!!) - why not join the party?
In addition, the big Sew Mama Sew giveaway day is coming up, so I'm combining two giveaways into one :)

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

I made this fabric lanyard for one lucky winner. It can be used as a fashionable ID holder, or key holder (that's what I use mine for!) You can see others in my shop if you are interested to see more what they look like.

It is made with In the Beginning fabrics and has a strong clasp attached to the end. It will lay flat on your neck. Not only great for casual wear, but also in a professional setting. And as a stocking stuffer :)

Also... I will be including another small gift in the winner's envelope!

Just leave me one comment, about what your favorite holiday song is.
I will ship internationally.
You do not have to be a follower, but if you like what you see, feel free :)

This giveaway will end Dec. 16 at 5 pm EST. Winner will be picked by random number generator.

Have fun visiting the other blogs at the Quilting Gallery - I know I will!
Here is the Sew Mama Sew link!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Favorite Things Friday #10: Quilty Edition

Just a heads up: I'll probably be posting once a week until finals are over in 2 weeks! In the homestretch... thank goodness. Senior year is not easy!

However, to take my mind off of that... :)... this week I'm enjoying several quilty things all over blogland and Pinterest (click on picture to be taken to Pinterest source):

Pinned Image
This to-die-for tree skirt made by my friend Sara (who won my traveling stash giveaway and now is holding her own - have you entered yet?)

Pinned Image
I am stunned by the beauty of this quilt, to put it simply. Look at all those dresdens!

Pinned Image
A small Christmas tree - part of an advent calendar. Adorable.

Pinned Image
A gorgeous string quilt made from Kate Spain's new line, Good Fortune...

Pinned Image
Just perfect. Heirloom fabrics!

This is one of my favorite quilts EVER... ever.
And finally... this is one of my favorite quilts ever! I can't wait to try ticker tape style.

Are you inspired? Go forth and quilt! (or knit or craft or embroider... etc. :) )


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