Thursday, December 13, 2012


So the title of my post is, in part, a reference to the temperatures of late (it has been chilly but today was much warmer - it's 2 degrees out there now - yay! ) but really, it is the name of Laurie Wisbrun's Christmas fabric line which features polar bears! I first saw it on someone's blog way back in the spring and was ever so pleased to learn Hawthorne Threads would be pleased to enable my fabric hoarding collecting and allow me to sign up for a "notify me when" email when the fabric came into stock. I was all over that email when it arrived.

Of course, as usual, I fell for a large-scale print without having any real plans (did I mention I got it in both colourways?) but I was smart enough to order several coordinating prints and textures to go along with it so that when I did decide what I wanted to make, I'd have everything on hand.

I do have a plan for it but reality says that may not happen in time for (this) Christmas. As it happens, one of my son-in-laws is rather fond of polar bears. This same young man also needed a Christmas stocking of his own for here at our place on Christmas morning. Hmm...polar bear fan + polar bear fabric = polar bear stocking!

This stocking was inspired by a photo posted over at Sew Katie Did (love her work!) and - bonus - it was fun and easy to make. I fussy cut the polar bears and sewed them in a strip with a few other scraps until I had a piece long enough to go with my stocking pattern. The background is an Essex linen from my stash and the backing is the snowflake print, also from Brrr. I did some straight line quilting on both back and front, added a lining and a hanger, and bound the top edge like I would any other quilt. And it's done!

Here is a close up of one of the polar bears:

I like it! And, I am looking forward to stuffing it full of goodies!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Dressing the tree

What a nice weekend! Filled with just enough activity to be festive but with enough time to get some things done. This weekend's big finish is the Christmas tree skirt for my daughter's new nest. I followed this tutorial over at Sew Crafty Jess and it came together really well. I used the smaller set of measurements and it turned out perfectly. One thing I learned with the other tree skirt I made is that trying to lay the top out evenly and flat is challenging when you have an open seam between two segments. This time, I sewed up that last seam and it was much easier to work with the top. After I had it all basted, I cut it apart to create the opening and cut out the batting and backing from the centre opening; this made it easier for me to manipulate through my machine for the quilting. I used a walking foot and quilted 1/4" away from each seam on every segment - super simple but it works. The fabrics are all from my stash, including the backing. I had to purchase batting for this one because I didn't have enough batting scraps to piece together - good thing for Michael's coupons! Jess' tutorial describes this tree skirt as "large and in charge" and I have to agree, it is a wonderful size! I had thought about making it smaller but I was second-guessing my math and decided to leave it be; it finished at about 54" in diameter.

I am not generally a fan of lighter-value colours as binding - I prefer a darker binding to frame the quilt - but in this case, the green, red, and blue print on white from Bliss is just perfect. It looks like the edges of the tree skirt have been dipped in a bit of snow; I think it works on this one.

Yay for sunshine-y days like today!!

Got the blocks cut for another quilt tonight. I'm hoping to be able to work on it during the evenings this week - yay for time in the workshop!

Wishing everyone a good week.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday sewing and a Giveaway Day winner!

Giveaway Day was a lot of fun! I am still trying to respond to all the comments so if you have not heard from me I just want to say thank you very much for visiting my little blog. This was my first time participating and I was amazed at how many people stopped by to visit. I enjoyed reading everybody's comments about what they like to give for Christmas. It has been very cold here this week so I really enjoyed reading about all the people who like to give hand knits - that helped to warm me up! I used the Random Number Generator to come up with my winner - #127! I have emailed Mary to let her know and will get the runner in the mail as soon as I hear back.

I was pretty excited when I got up this morning - no plans except to work on some Christmas projects. I was able to cut, piece, and quilt my daughter's tree skirt and get the binding sewn on the front by machine. It was dark by time that happened and my eyes much prefer if I handstitch the binding to the back during daylight hours, so I'll be working on that tomorrow. I also finished off another table runner which I made for a swap I am participating in. This is about the best light we've had outside for the last few weeks but I'll take it; it was good to catch a little glimpse of the sun.

From what I hear, staying home to sew is a much better idea than venturing out to the mall....

Happy weekend, everyone.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Sweet girl stocking

One of the things we have the most fun with at Christmas is the stockings on Christmas morning. Being of German heritage, my own family did not make or give stockings and, in fact, we opened our gifts after church on Christmas Eve. But I married into a family who open gifts on Christmas morning AND....they make stockings! Our own family traditions include a bit of both and with all our children now married, I imagine our traditions will grow and change, just like our family has been.

My daughter put in a special request for a new stocking. She asked me to make something "very girlie" and pink. This daughter also happens to like sparkles - a lot ! (in fact, we're still vacuuming up glitter from her wedding DIY projects - and she's been married over a month now!) This stocking isn't for her, but she had a very clear idea of what she wanted this stocking to look like. She squealed with delight when she picked it up so I'm guessing it met her expectations, and then some. It made me smile like crazy to know I'd made her so happy (and enjoyed every minute of it, too!)

The pattern is Merry by ThimbleBlossoms and, as you can see, I chose to make the chevron variation. The pattern provides additional designs, including hexies and pinwheels. It's also available as a PDF download, just in case you feel the need to make one sooner rather than later. The fabrics are all scraps from my sewing room. It is fully lined and I combined machine quilting and hand quilting to accentuate the chevron lines. The N is a wooden letter I picked up at Michael's; I coated it with glue and then gave it a healthy sprinkling of glitter. I used my glue gun to mount it to a pin I'd picked up in a swag bag at some conference or another and, voila, a very girlie stocking is complete! I hoped and hoped the sun would come out before I sent the stocking on to its new home but, alas, it was not to be.

There are a few more stockings which I hope to get made before Christmas (famous last words for a quilter, right?) but if it doesn't happen, we won't worry about it; our stocking opening time on Christmas morning will still be every bit as special and enjoyed by all.

My Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway is still open until the end of today (Friday); if you want to enter, just leave a comment over here.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

WIP Wednesday

First of all, thank you to everyone who has been visiting from Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day! I am enjoying all the comments and kind words. The giveaway is open until Friday night so if you would like to read about it and maybe even enter, check out this blog post here.

My WIP Wednesday is a little shy in the actual work department.

The picture doesn't do these fabrics much justice, but it hasn't been sunny the past couple of weeks so I got desperate and took this photo in my sewing room. I pulled these fabrics on the weekend and they will become a tree skirt for one of my girls. She has given her approval on the fabrics. The colours don't show up very well but they are primarily your traditional red and green fabrics (but I snuck a bit of light green in for some contrast). I look forward to working on this and hope to find time to do so on the weekend.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Giveaway Day!

It's here! Today is Giveaway Day over at Sew, Mama, Sew! My giveaway is a table runner I made using the red, green, gray, and cream prints from Sweetwater's Reunion line. I added in a few coordinating solids and voila, I have something Christmas-sy looking using non-traditional fabrics!

The runner is 41" long by 17" wide and it is completely machine washable/dryable for easy care!

To enter, leave me a comment telling me one of your favourite things to give. Entries are open until Friday, December 7. I'll pick a winner late that night and get this giftie sent off to its new home. I am happy to ship internationally.

Be sure to visit Sew, Mama, Sew and check out all the giveaways. Bloggers and shop owners are posting giveaway prizes in all kinds of categories - maybe you will see something perfect for someone on your gift list (or for you!).


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Workshop time

December 1! Wow, I'm not sure what happened to November but it seems we really are down to the last month of this year. Having some time, this weekend, to work in my sewing room is a great way to kick the month off! Yesterday, I made my first fabric covered journal. I followed this tutorial; it was easy and it turned out exactly like the directions said it would. LOVE when that happens!
Some of my favourite fabrics (which are down to some fairly small scraps) made their way into this cover. The journal is a gift so after I snapped these photos I wrapped it up and sent it on it's way at the post office. Yay! I can cross something off of the to-do list! Oh yeah, the back is kind of cute, too.
Monday is Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama, Sew. I'm so excited! I have my giveaway item ready to go and I can't wait to participate along with everyone else. It's going to be fun; I hope to see you there!