Sunday, December 28, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Sunday - the final one for 2014

It's late but at least I got this post done. This is the final one for this year. All in all I managed to do 40 Stunning Stitchin Sunday series posts this year and I don't think that is too shabby at all.  I've decided that I'll definitely continue this series in 2015 though I may not post as often.  I'm continuing to discover new-to-me quilters and I love sharing the beautiful work that I find.
These posts may not get a lot of comments but from my stats I know that they get a lot of views and those that have written have told me how it inspires them and has helped them to discover new-to-them bloggers to follow too. So for this last Sunday of 2014, here is today's showcase.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Quilty friends are the best and a special visitor

I love getting fun quilty mail and I recently received a spacial envelope from my friend Rachell of Claddaghs, Quilts & Stars. She was lucky enough to win not 1 but 2 of Quiltmaker's 100 blocks Volume 10 and she generously sent me the extra one. But not only that, she also sent me Volume 9 too since she had duplicates of that one too. I've been running non stop since they arrived but I'm looking forward to some reading time after the gifts are opened and these will be perfect.
She also surprised me and sent this fabulous paper pieced ladder truck block and all the pattern pieces to make more if I want to.  It is gorgeous and both my guys love it as much as I do.  They've been debating about what I should do with it...add to it and make a wall hanging or a bigger quilt or maybe it will end up as a pillow.  I'm not going to rush into it...I know that the perfect plan will come to me before too long.
Then on late Sunday morning we heard a commotion down the street and when we went out to investigate, besides the noise we heard, we also saw that some deer had traversed across our yard, very close to the front door. 
And this is what was the source of all the loud noise that we heard.
Look who came for a personal visit!
They were both very excited and each got a little gift directly from the big man himself.

Jammer received 2 NASCAR Authentics die cast cars.
And Sunshine received a stuffed Squeekers (from the Doc McStuffins cartoon) that she's been wanting.
Both kids have been counting down the days until Christmas and I'm expecting that on Christmas morning they will be up early.  It's a good thing that I'm not a late sleeper. It is going to be a fun holiday this year.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Friday

Hello everyone out there in quilt blog land. No I didn't fall off the face of the earth and Yes everyone and everything here is just fine.  I actually received an email yesterday from a quilty friend who was worried because I hadn't posted in two weeks. That certainly isn't the norm for me but to say that I've been overly busy is an understatement. And thanks so much to Katie for being worried about me.

So what has been going on here in the Crayon Box household?  Lots of holiday prep of course.....decorating the house and the trees, gift shopping, their class holiday parties, you get the idea.  Plus to top it off, both of them have birthdays this month.
 Sunshine turned 6 last week and Jammer's birthday is next week.  Unless their birthdays fall on the weekend, we always take them to dinner on their actual birthday to a place of their choosing, Sunshine picked Friendlys and it was during a snow storm no less, and then we have their birthday party with a few friends on Saturday or Sunday.
 Sunshine's party was at a paint-your-own ceramics place and they had a blast.  I'll pick up the pieces this Sunday and it should be interesting to see how they turned out. Plus they take in a treat to celebrate with their class. So there's always a lot of partying going on here during December.

I've been trying to stay caught up on blog reading here and there but I'm still way behind.  Oh well, I'll get to them eventually. I've missed out on a lot of fun going on including Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day but I've come to accept that around here, whatever isn't done by Thanksgiving just isn't going to get done at all until after the holidays are over.

Our Elf on the Shelf Twinkle has  been up to his usual daily antics.  A couple of days ago, the Olaf that Sunshine made at her Polar Express party on Saturday was trying to cook up some Elf Stew to eat. That wasn't nice Olaf.
 And then last night Twinkle was a very helpful elf and he fixed Sunshine's Lego Friends creation that accidentally got broken yesterday. It looks like he had some leftover pieces.
Last but not least, there is a completely new project that has taken up all of my otherwise free sewing time lately and it involves this.
Sunshine has recently joined a Daisy Girl Scout troop but in addition to that, I am the troop leader.  I had been trying to get her into a troop since school started and it didn't happen. There just weren't enough troops with spots available and last month I found out that there were a lot of girls like Sunshine on the waiting list.  So along with another mom, we started our own troop.  The girls are having a blast but recent weeks have been filled with leader training, meeting planning, craft supply gathering, paperwork and more required paperwork and field trip planning.  It will all smooth out soon as soon as we have the rest of the year's agenda decided on but the past 5 weeks has been nothing but a whirl wind of Girl Scout activities.

I haven't been near my studio in weeks and I don't know when I'll get near it until after Christmas is over.  I did want to get a quilt finished for this month, a table runner or two made and a trio of new small tree skirts sewn up but that just isn't going to happen. I'm disappointed but I'm certainly not going to get too upset over it either.  Hopefully there will be plenty of available sewing time after the new year arrives.
I wasn't going to post these Stunning Stitchin Sunday photos since some it has been a few days since they were posted on their owners' blogs but then I thought "why not".  Some of you many not have seen the original posts yet and it is definitely some pretty eye candy to appreciate. There's nothing wrong with a Stunning Stitchin Sunday the Friday version when it comes to sharing quilty goodness. So grab a cuppa and enjoy.
1. Night Owl Quilting & Dye Works, 2. Christa Quilts, 3. Happy Quilting, 4. Pumpkin Patch Quilter,
5. Ivory Spring, 6. Tamarack Shack, 7. Night Owl Quilting & Dye Works, 8. Val's Quilting Studio,
9. Flourishing Palms, 10. Quilting is more fun than Housework, 11. Pumpkin Patch Quilter,
12. Green Fairy Quilts, 13. Tamarack Shack, 14. Tamarack Shack, 15. Piece N Quilt,
 16. I Dew Quilting, 17. Quilting is more fun than Housework, 18. Quilting is My Bliss,
19. That Girl Who Quilts, 20. Alycia Quilts

And with that I'm off the computer folks.  I have Daisy scout meeting prep to finish and I have lots of gift wrapping to get done while the kids are in school today as it is my last chance.  There will still be more extended family wrapping to do but the kidlets love to help with that.  Enjoy your Friday and enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The 2014 angel ornament - in memory of Danny

You may remember my post from last December about the ornaments my family gets annually in memory of my nephew Danny.

I started this annual tradition the first Christmas after he was killed.  For those that don't know the whole story, he was killed by a drunk driver the week after he turned 16 years old and a week before Christmas exactly 10 years ago this year. I purchased for everyone the Memorial Tear ornament. It was perfecly appropriate for how we all felt that first holiday season without him.
Along the way the tradition morphed into angel themed and each year now we search for just the right ornament to celebrate his life and to mourn his loss. This is the ornament we selected this year.  I found it at Green Products and Gifts. A few weeks before Christmas I called them up and spoke to Jennifer.  To my dismay they only had 2 or 3 left in stock. I needed 12.  When I told Jennifer why I needed so many, she just loved the story and symbolism of each ornament we picked. She then took my name and number and before long, she called back and told me that she went out and spoke to the craftsman that actually make them, told him my story and they decided to make the rest that we needed.  We had them in plenty of time for our family holiday get together.
I cannot thank them enough for making this happen.  I'll always be grateful.  Here is a better picture of it so that you can see the detail.  It is only 3" in diameter and the details are beautiful.  The wood is cut from the trunks of last year's Christmas trees.
This year's ornament has now joined the rest of the Danny ornaments in my kitchen window and I truly enjoy looking at them each and every day. It helps to keep him in my heart.
This Christmas, like all the others since he has been gone, has had its tough moments but we go on, knowing that he is smiling down on all of us from Heaven.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Joey's Wings

Joey's parents have set up a foundation called Joey's Wings to help fund research for rare cancers in children and young adults.
If you are the giving type, please consider donating to this so worthy foundation.  As their website states:
Help us not lose anymore wonderful young lives like Joey's!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Castles on the Horizon - my 1st Moda Bake Shop project

I have something exciting to share with you. It is my first tutorial for Moda Bake Shop.

I'm very proud to introduce you to

Castles on the Horizon
This quilt is made with 12 Castles in Spain blocks in Kate Spain's newest fabric line Horizon. The inspiration for this quilt came from a quilt block book.  I was flipping through the pages, looking for an idea for a quilt along I hope to host next year and I came upon the Castles in Spain block and new that it would be perfect for this design. The play on words with the name of this quilt was just an added bonus to this project. Castles in Spain blocks + Kate Spain + Horizon fabric line = Castles on the Horizon!
At that time I just happened to have one charm pack of Horizon that Lissa Alexander, Director of Marketing for Moda, had sent to me when she participated in the Kate Spain Charm Swap Round 2.  I knew that I wanted to do something with that charm pack and didn't want it to sit on the shelf for eons so I was excited when I had that Ahh Ha moment that resulted in this design.
I used that single charm pack to make a few sample blocks and loved the result so I drafted a full size quilt and sent it off to the Moda Bake Shop editors and they loved it.  Making those sample blocks was a good thing because it helped me to see a few construction details I needed to include in the pattern.
A photo shoot in the recent snowfall was the perfect setting for this quilt that will keep me thinking of the warm Caribbean breezes as I struggle to make it through the coming winter storms.
For the quilting, my first thought was that all that negative space in the center of the blocks would look fantastic with some Judy Madsen-ish quilting.  There was just one problem with that idea.  My skills aren't any way near that to have been able to do that. So after a ton of sketching I came up with a plan.  I even stitched out 2 1/2 rows of it. The design actually quilted out well but something just didn't feel right.  I liked, I liked it a lot but.....I just didn't like it for this quilt.  So I unstitched all of what I had already done. After a lot more pondering, I took my clue from the lines in the fabrics themselves and went simple. I quilted straight across the blocks both diagonally, horizontally and vertically and love the end result.
Though it is bit tough to see in this picture, the quilting lines actually created a pattern on the back of the quilt.
The Moda Marbles fabric in the coordinating shade was the perfect companion for the front of the quilt and I bound it in the darkest Aqua print from the Horizon line.
I truly love this Castles on the Horizon quilt and am looking forward to snuggling with it on the couch through the cold months ahead.
I hope that you are inspired to create your own Castles on the Horizon quilt.  The step by step tutorial is over on the Moda Bake Shop so hop on over and check it out.  I can't wait to see your own versions of my Caribbean inspired quilt. I'm joining today up with a few linky parties today to get the word out about this fun Moda Bake Shop feature.

 Fresh Poppy Design