A Great Year’s End!

My Christmas decorations are all down and put away, my house is clean, and my youngest son is officially engaged! All of this, just today! Phew!

Collin and his fiance’, Toni!

2012 has been filled with lots of challenges and lots of growth, and I’m fully looking forward to the coming year! I think it’s going to be a great one for both of my boys, as well as Scott and I. I can feel it!

It is said that the way you spend the first day of the year, is the way you’ll spend the rest of the year. I’m going to sew and be super creative! 😉  

Happy Blessed New Year! Cheers!

Advertisements

The Christmas Iris

 014

As with most things in my life, there is a story behind why this iris is so special. You see, my mom loved irises. When I was 12, our house burned down. What was left of the structure, was buried on the property, and another house was moved in to take its place. One of the things my mom wanted to be sure of, was that her irises were saved and planted after the new house was put into place. My mom died the day before I turned 19, so she was not here when I got married, had my boys, had the excitement of buying a house, and many other things. When Scott and I bought our first house, my dad gave us a very special housewarming gift: tubers from my mom’s irises.  Each time we moved, we dug up some of the irises to be planted at a new house. 

I’ve had to deal with a lot of changes in the past year, and some of those changes have been really hard to come to terms with. How many times I would have loved to ask my mom what she’d do, how she’d feel, and simply ask her for a reassuring hug. Of course, Christmas time is when I think I miss her the most. I miss the candy making days in the kitchen together, the baking days when the smell of banana nut bread would wrap around you like a warm hug, the card games at the dining room table, the excitement we’d all have at putting up the tree and spraying canned snow on the windows. There would always be a bowl of mixed nuts, with a nutcracker, and a bowl of ribbon candy on the coffee table. Christmas music would be put on the record player, and we’d all sing along. Such wonderful memories! Which brings me back to the iris. I was feeling particularly lonely the other day, for my boys, my dad, my mom, my family. I stepped out into the backyard and was having a “chat” with mama, just telling her that I missed her, when I saw this iris blooming in the corner of the yard. One of her irises. In mid December for crying out loud! I felt that very familiar warmth wrap around me, reminding me that she’s still here. Always. Merry Christmas, mama. I love you, too. 

Christmas Sewing

I thought it would be a great idea to sew up some zippered pouches to give as Christmas gifts this year. Easy enough, right? Well, I’ve always struggled with word problems, and written pattern instructions are just word problems to me. I get lost, dazed and confused very easily! That’s why I have to use patterns that have lots of pictures, or I’ll find online tutorials that have lots of pictures. Even then, I can make anything a lot harder than it has to be! I started my Christmas pouch sewing with this cute little kit that I got at Strawberry Patches during the shop hop of 2011. Nothing like waiting a while, eh? The tutorial on Suzanne’s blog was easy to follow, and I was very pleased with the results!

Small zippered pouch

 

Next, I decided that I was ready for the Open Wide Zippered Pouch on Noodlehead’s blog. Here’s where my struggles with word problems come in. I missed a particular step, and consequently got stuck, struggled, ripped stitches, and re-sewed a few times. Few, as in, IT TOOK ME ALL DAY to do my first pouch! It’s really not so hard, if you don’t miss a step or three. I was determined to plow through, and I finished this one before I quit for the evening. The seed packet fabric is called Sewing Seeds Catalog from Quilting Treasures. The red zig zag fabric is from the Mama Said Sew line by Sweetwater for Moda. 

Seed Packet Pouch 011

 

On Sunday evening, I decided to try making another one. I am very happy to say that I got it done in about 2 hours! That is a huge improvement! It had a lot to do with realizing that I’d skipped some important steps in the directions the first time. 😉  I’d have probably been done sooner, but I was watching Miracle on 34th Street while I sewed. 

Linen Wide Mouthed Zippered Pouch 012

 

All of the fabrics except for the pink Essex  linen, which I purchased at Birch Fabrics, came from Strawberry Patches. After I do a couple of hours of quilting today, I’m going to cut out some more pouches, and make them assembly line style. I may actually get zippy at this by Christmas! 

Curve it Up QAL Block 2

In a previous post, I showed block #1 from the Curve it Up Quilt Along, using the Quick Curve Ruler by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful. I am really enjoying getting the hang of using the ruler and sewing curved seams! I’m using a fabric bundle called Velocity, along with Kona Charcoal. Check out the Flickr group to see how different everyone’s blocks look, according to the fabrics they are using! I find it very inspiring!

019 (1024x898)