Tagged: Christmas

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like a LEGO Christmas

BabyFavoriteThingsQuiltWhen customer Gus H. first contacted me about a quilt for his new baby’s first Christmas, he had a list of possible ideas for the theme, starting with owls and Pokemon and including “Star Trek, Star Wars’ R2D2 and LEGO.”

We were able to use most of those ideas in the quilt itself (see right) but the LEGO option stuck in my head… it noodled around in there for a while and eventually I realized LEGO would be the perfect choice for the thank you gift with purchase I had in mind — Christmas stockings!

legonamestockings

Picking out the right color fabrics for the LEGO blocks was the most fun part of this project, though my delight at finding an embroidery font that resembled the LEGO logo was close second. The piecing was absolutely crazy – matching the color of one row of LEGOs to the row below took some real care (and a few removed stitches :D)

In the end, these came out adorably and I’m hoping Santa enjoys filling them with fantastic LEGO stocking stuffers for years to come!

SaveSave

Advertisements

A Bigger Advent This Year

I’ve been making quilted advent calendars for several years now – you can see some of them available for sale in the Whimzie Quiltz Etsy store. The standard version is approximately 10 ½” x 21 ½”, with pockets that hold a single piece of hard candy or Hershey’s Kiss.

Recently, I had a request for a larger version. It would be for a family with two kids and, naturally, they wanted a calendar that would hold two pieces of candy.

I may not love math, but I do love custom orders, so I figured out new dimensions with my handy quilting calculator.  And the result is this awesome 15 ½” x 32″ advent calendar… bigger is always better when it comes to Christmas 😀
largeadventcalendar

Don’t Get Caught Holding the (Wine) Bag This Year

I love giving wine as a gift – hostess gift, thank you gift, that back-up “person who gives you something, but you didn’t remember them” gift – so I’m always looking for a great way to present the wine. As a quilter, wine bags are a good choice, but, let’s face it, they are a bit 90s. And this is 2017. So how about something different?

That’s why I love these new wine wraps just added to my Etsy store. Combine them with the snack mat trend and you have a really unique presentation that’s modern and fun!

There’s 3 versions currently available. Each comes with a “Santa’s Little Helper” quilted wrap for a bottle of wine (fits most straight-sided wine bottles) which features a sewn-in, non-slip backing —

winelovermugrugback

The snack mat quotes differ from set to set, though.

For those who like to schedule their holiday imbibing, try the “It’s 5 o’clock at the North Pole” set

winelovermugruga2

Or maybe you are an equal opportunity wine drinker. Then the “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas but if the White is out I’ll drink the Red” set is for you.

winelovermugrugb2

And the “The Weather Outside is Frightful, but the Wine is so Delightful” set is perfect for those seeking a just a little warmth on blustery winter days.

winelovermugrugc2

All 3 are now available in my Etsy store – with FREE SHIPPING!

Is It December 1st Yet?

1qocrgCouldn’t be more excited for Christmas this year as I’m planning to decorate the Whimzie Quiltz sewing room for the holidays, too.  One of the first decorations is this sewing themed Countdown Calendar.

The impetus for this piece came from a Nancy Zieman blog post from 2015.  Instead of a quilted wallhanging, though, I decided I wanted fabric-covered canvas.  Luckily, there was just enough of the grey snowflake fabric in my stash!

I loved-loved-loved how she used a measuring tape for the numbers, but wanted mine to be one piece.  Which meant my version ended up using a 15″ x 30″ canvas from JoAnn’s.

The tree is felt, trimmed with mini pompom ribbon, and the base is machine appliquéd fabric from my stash.  Most of the buttons came from LittleRedCottage on Etsy (her button selection is AMAZING) and they are attached with those stick-on velcro dots. The loop dots are next to the measuring tape; by using the hook side on the back of the buttons they stick to the felt without any thing else needed.

The wooden spools were left over from another project years ago, but had to be cut in half in order to lay flat.  This did not go as well as expected – so glad I had safety goggles on when cutting! – but eventually I got 4 semi-identical halves.  I painted them orange and wound pink embroidery floss  around each before attaching.

I finished it off with a little white ric-rac around the edges and the sequin star – all easily glued down.

I am just super thrilled with the way it turned out!  It’s going to be the highlight of my holiday sewing room decor.  But stay tuned to see what other fun things turn up before December arrives!

A Quilter’s Christmas Carol Pillows

Let me tell you a story…

As the holidays approached way back in 2011, an idea began percolating in my head. What if the ghosts from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol didn’t visit a miserly old man; instead, what if they sought to change the heart of a overworked and very tired quilter trying to get all her quilted gifts done before December 25th? (No, nope, wasn’t projecting at all…)

The result was a little story called A Quilter’s Christmas Carol ~ With Thanks to Charles Dickens for the Holiday Inspiration.  One year later (after I, wink, wink, got caught back up) the little story got turned into a book.

As part of the book writing process, I decided to add directions for a related quilting project, the Quilter’s Christmas Carol block.

Pieced from traditional holiday colors, the Quilter’s Christmas Carol block features three flying geese moving out from the center (embodying the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future) while stylized “C”s in each corner represent the first letters of the classic holiday tale’s title.

christmascarolpillows

Much like Dicken’s classic, today’s story has a happy ending – six years later, I finally finished making a set of Quilter’s Christmas Carol pillows!

I want to make it very clear, I didn’t create such a difficult design that it would take the average quilter six years to make these.  Pretty sure these could be knocked out in a day with the no distractions.  But what average quilter has NO distractions? Let’s just say, being overworked and very tired is not an uncommon thing around Whimzie Quiltz and leave it at that, shall we?

Still, it’s nice to have these off my to-do list.  One less chain for poor Marley, I mean, me, to wear as quilt-y penance when the time comes!

***

PS – Copies of my book are still available online. They make great stocking stuffers or Secret Santa gifts for quilters.  Want to make them even more special? I’m happy to autograph copies!

Merry Mermaid Stockings

Can’t tell you how much we love having our nieces and nephews visit!  We see them mostly during spring breaks or summer vacations, but, because we live in Southern California, sometimes they’ll swing by during Thanksgiving and Christmas just to get a break from the cold.mural

The room the kids stay in while visiting is beach-themed, with this giant tropical mural on one wall. I’ve been mulling over Christmas decorations to go with the theme – so they can enjoy their visit to warmer climes and celebrate the holiday at the same time.

All of which led to these quilted mermaid stockings…mermaidstockings

That is sequin stretch fabric, folks.  Or should I say sequin s – t – r – e – t – c – h fabric. Not the easiest fabric to work with if you are used to 100% quilter’s cotton.  But, hey, I’ve been saying I need to s – t – r – e – t – c – h my quilting skills! 🙂

I bought a special scalloped ruler to do the quilting on my long arm, though the lines on the tails are freehanded.  That was a lot of work, so I kind of cheated on the backs – they are un-quilted fleece.  I bound everything with additional sequin stretch – extremely carefully cut – and the trim is a mix of white feathers and green gathered mesh.

I’m really looking forward to decorating the kid’s room during the holidays this year.  I’m thinking a Christmas tree with beach ball ornaments, some twinkly lights, maybe a garland in the blues and greens of the sea.  But the highlight is sure to be these merry mermaid stockings!

The Grinch’s Heart isn’t the Only Thing Growing 3 Sizes Around Here

I love pretty much all versions of the Grinch story*, but the original book holds a special place in my heart.

So when I was putting together all my Grinch-themed holiday decor I wanted the book itself to take center stage.  But the version you read from is pretty small and I was hoping for more impact.  So, just like the Grinch’s heart, I grew it 3 sizes…

giantgrinchbook

Well, almost 3 sizes.  The original store-bought book is approximately 8 x 11 inches.  My version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” ended up being 20 ½  x 24 inches, not quite 3x, but definitely big enough to make the impact I hoped for!

To make the big book, the first thing I did was scan the front cover of the little book and have it printed as an oversized photo at Shutterfly.  It needed a bit of trimming to fit, but that’s easy peasy.

I used two thin sheets of foam core for the front and back covers, wrapping them with a solid green fabric to make it look like a vintage children’s book (I even finagled a way to have a small gap between the covers and the spine like hardback books have :D)

The middle pages part is a wider piece of foam core with the edges covered in waterproof adhesive tape, the kind you get from the drug store to adhere bandages. It has a lined feel that gives the edges the look of a stack of paper (and, unlike electrical tape,  which I also considered, it doesn’t stretch.)

MY finished GIANT book now sits in a decorative cubby in the entryway to our home – welcoming everyone who visits.  And if you want to read the story, I’ve still got the smaller version, which will fit comfortably in your hands while the story warms your heart – whatever it’s size!

 

*****

*Except the live action movie.  As the late, great movie critic Roger Ebert commented, it’s a “dank, eerie, weird movie” and I completely agree.  Not Grinch-y at all!