Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Teacher gifts 2015

I am not by nature a person that leaves things til the last minute but this year's teacher gifts ended up being just that due to a number of factors. I had figured out what I was going to do... I just didn't have time to get them done sooner.

After doing some quick searching for ideas, good ole Moda Bake Shop came to the rescue when I came across a tutorial for the Turn On The Charm Placemats by Amanda Castor of Material Girl Quilts. Instead of following her instructions to the T, I deviated in that I left the charms intact for a quicker finish.

Here is one set all pieced together.  I used my final pack of Boho charms and some coordinating Red and Cocoa solid that I had in my stash.
I decided to do some straight lines for the quilting and had a rough plan after looking at the overall piece so I marked some guidelines and away I went.
My idea was to use the long solid chevron seams as my guide and quilt inside of those the distance of the edge of my walking foot.
Then I just used the 1st stitched line as my guide for the 2nd one. I used a Cocoa thread that matched the solid fabric.
Once I completed those two lines, I moved to the other side of the block and did the same thing.
I really was winging it with these and after completing the quilting in one direction along the long Cocoa seams, I stood back and took a look and decided to do the same thing going in the other direction along the long sides of the Red seams.
As soon as I completed that, I knew I had a winner.  I liked the result a lot.  It was simple and modern that suited the fabric well.
I literally completed these the night before they were gifted and grabbed a few quick photos outside that morning.
The binding was done by machine with a coordinating Yellow solid.  In this photo you can see the long rectangles and the 3 diamonds created by the quilting design.
Luckily I had enough yardage from the line in my stash for the backing, these getting the Brown dot print.
This is the completed set all ready to be delivered and I can report that Jammer's teacher was thrilled.  Mission accomplished.
The following night I had to complete the set for Sunshine's teacher. Sunshine chose the more subtle Sage Green solid version for her teacher.  It is interested how different they look even though they have the exact same charms in them.
Since I liked how the Red and Cocoa set turned out, I used the same quilting design on this one.
The quilting doesn't show as much on this version because of the more subtle colors overall.  I used a Sage thread that matched the solid fabric.
Here is is with the quilting completed in the late evening hours.
This is my morning patio shot.  They look all ready for a nice BBQ.
I used the same Yellow solid for the binding on these.
This set received the coordinating dot print in Sage for the backing. This used up the very last bits of my Boho fabric.
The final pic of the set ready for gifting and I can also report that the teacher was truly thrilled.
Giving hand made gifts to the teachers is important to me as I want them to remember the year as time goes on.  Hubs says that I should start next year's teacher gifts in January so I'm not so rushed again and I hear what he is saying.  I certainly will take his advice to heart.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Last day of school

Today is better sweet. It is the last day of school.
I know we all think "when will it end" when we are in the middle of the school year but when this time comes, we all say "how did it fly by so fast.

Oh how they've grown.  This was Jammer on the 1st day.
And here he is today.  We always measure on their growth charts on their birthdays and at this time of the year and I can report that he has grown 2 inches since last June.  He now stands at 52 1/2 inches tall, and even though most people think he is tall (because he is so super skinny) he is actually just under average for his age.  Thankfully those front teeth finally came in but there are other adult teeth still hiding.  Unfortunately our first trip to the orthodontist is coming sooner than we expected.
This was Sunshine on her 1st day of school last September, all excited to be starting Kindergarten.
Here she is this morning, now very excited to be heading to the big school with her brother come the fall.  In fact she thought she'd be starting there next week. :)  Miss Sunshine grew 2 1/2 inches since last June and she tops out at 42 1/2 inches, still really petite for her age.  I think she will always be amongst the shortest in her class.
When I pick them up in a couple of hours, I'm sure there will be lots of hugs and a few tears from this sentimental Mama but lots of fun summer time is ahead.  I'm so proud of my 2 kidlets.  Watch out 3rd and 1st grades.  Here they come!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Kate Spain Christmas Charm Swap reminder, recent happenings and Stunning Stitchin Sunday - the Monday edition

The response to my latest Kate Spain Charm Swap has been wonderful but there are still a few spots available if you are interested in joining in the fun.
All of the details can be found in this post. Don't wait.  Send me your details and be part of the party today!

In recent happenings, Miss Sunshine graduated from kindergarten this past week.  Here she is all dressed up, ready to head to the ceremony.
It blows me away how much she has grown and changed.  She is smart, beautiful, caring and considerate plus she is a huge clown.  She has loads of friends and is always in the midst of the fun.
 Her school goes all out for the graduation and they even had caps and gowns to wear though it did hide her pretty dress.  We are so very proud of all she has accomplished.
 She is really excited to be going to 1st grade next year especially because she will get to ride the bus, wear whatever she wants (no more uniforms) and she will get to go to Jammer's bigger school where there is a real library, cafeteria and gymnasium.  We know she is going to soar there.
It has been a few weeks since I've shared the stunning quilting I've seen around the web and I didn't get it done yesterday because I was catching back up after being out of town for a few days at a work trade show.  So enjoy the showcase on this sunny Monday.

The kids finish up school for the year on Wednesday and they are looking forward to it.  The next couple of months are going to be a blast with lots of day trips with their summer camp, our vacation, the Vietnamese Culture Camp and a bunch of Girl Scout camping for Sunshine and me. 
I hope that you have some summer fun planned too and that you enjoy the warm rays of sun, the beauty of the green grass and flowers in bloom.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Now open! Kate Spain Charm Swap - the Christmas edition

You kept asking so I finally gave in to your pleas.
This is the official opening of sign ups for the Kate Spain Christmas Charm Swap!
Crayon Box Quilt Studio
 Kate's newest line Jingle is now available so I thought it would be the perfect time to do a Christmas line charm swap.
 I don't know about you, but I've been wanting to make myself a Christmas quilt and this swap will help me accomplish that goal. :)
I'm sure this swap will fill up quickly as all the other Kate Spain Charm Swaps have done in the past so you don't want to wait to add your name to the list.

Here are the details:
1) This swap will be open to 56 participants, me included of course. This is for all of Kate's Christmas fabric lines only. The roll call of included lines is below.

2) Each spot is 2 Kate Spain fabrics, 1 yard of each, and I strongly suggest that you purchase at least 1/4 yard more in case of any cutting mistakes you might experience. Last round someone bought fabric from an online and the shop where she ordered it from cut it short so she had a bit of a scramble. Better safe than sorry.

3) Fabric must be new and unwashed and from a smoke free environment.

4) Cut your yardage into 5 inch squares (56 per yard) total = 112 charms. Press your fabric and remove the selvages before cutting. You can follow the great tutorial on how to cut your charms from yardage on the Pile O' Fabric blog found here.

5) Ship them out to me by July 31st, though with all the craziness of summer vacations and other events, the sooner I get all of them, the sooner they will be back on their way to you. Put them in a Ziploc bag and include your 112 charms, an index card with your name, mailing address and email address (in case your envelope opens up, your charms will stay safe and dry and your contact info will get them back to you. (This DID actually happen during round 2! Thankfully she got them back and was able to reship them to me). You must also include a SELF ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE so that your charms can be mailed back to you. I will not be billing anyone through Paypal. Unfortunately due to the cost and complexity of shipping back internationally, this swap will be for US participants only.

***In addition, please triple check that if the postal person put the stamps on the return envelope for you, that it is at least the same amount of postage that is on the envelope shipping to me. In both previous rounds multiple people were short on their return postage and I want to avoid that at all costs this time.  During this swap, if your return postage isn't sufficient, I will let you know and will hold your charms until I receive the difference from you. Using a flat rate envelope for both is really the best = no problems.***

 Once I receive them all I will sort and return a stack of 112 different charms to each participant! You can sign up for more than one spot but to start I will allow only 2 spots per participant to give more the chance to get in on the fun. (2 spots = 224 charms, 56 each of 4 different fabrics). They will be in the mail to you 2-3 weeks later.
6) Very important!!! Please choose fabrics that have not been claimed by another swap member. Please join the Kate Spain Christmas Charm Swap Flickr group and check before purchasing fabrics to see what has already been chosen; we want to avoid duplicates. FYI.....for some odd reason you need to be logged into Flickr to see all of the fabrics chosen so far.  If you don't log in first you see a limited number of photos in the pool and may pick something that someone else has already picked (don't ask how I know this).  Once you have chosen your fabrics please post pictures, the Fabric line and specific print/color information to the Flickr group. I've also added a list post so that it will be easy to see the names and color ways chosen so far. Once you've chosen your fabrics make sure you add both the photos and the names to the list post.
So who wants to join in on the Kate Spain Christmas Charm Swap? 
I can hear many of you saying "I do! I Do!"
Your Name
Mailing Address
Email Address
Phone Number (just in case)
Blog address (if you have one)
Instagram ID (if you use it)

When I email you and confirm that you are in the swap, I will include my ship to address.

Grab the new blog button and leave a comment so I know who is participating. The code is on my side bar.
Feel free to spread the news on your blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (I don't use that one) if you'd like.

Here are all the Kate Spain Christmas lines that are included in this swap. Some of her older lines are a bit scarce but various prints can still be found if you do a little hunting.
Hurry up! What are you waiting for? Add your name to the list. You don't want to miss out on this one.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Exciting news for Kate Spain fabric lovers!

Wow.  This blog sure has been quiet lately.
I won't bore you with the details of all that has been going on here lately but let's just say that it has very little to do with sewing, much to my dismay. Hopefully that regularly scheduled programing will get back on track very soon.

I do have some exciting news to share with you though.
I continuously get emails from people asking if I'm going to do another Kate Spain Charm Swap and finally I can tell you that the answer is a resounding Yes. 

In fact, there will be 2 Kate Spain Charm Swaps this year, the first being for only her Christmas lines and the second will be for her regular lines.  The Christmas lines include:
The sign ups for the Christmas swap will open this Sunday the 14th and there is a limit of 56 spots available.  Mailing deadline will be July 31st.

The second swap for her regular fabric lines will start in October once the yardage for her newest line Canyon becomes available.
So if you are like me, wanting to make a cool Christmas quilt plus you are a Kate Spain fabric fanatic, join in on the fun.  Make sure you come right back here on Sunday and get your name on the list before all the spots are gone.