Counting Down to Christmas

Christmas 2015

We are fully in the holiday spirit around here. Our tree is trimmed…

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

All the presents are wrapped

Christmas 2015

The gingerbread house has been skillfully iced and stuck with candies

Christmas 2015

We are drinking plenty of cocoa for these 70-degree Texas winter days

Christmas 2015

This year’s Christmas quilt is nearly complete (you know, the one I started last year)

Christmas 2015

I even ordered Christmas cards!

Christmas 2015

All in all, it’s been a festive month and we still have 11 days to go until the big day. I’ve actually done a lot less this year than years past in terms of activities and it’s been nice to spend weekends at home doing quiet things with just the four of us.  2015 has been a big year in many ways and that bigness has been wonderful but also sometimes overwhelming. I’ve felt pretty constantly busy doing a lot of not so important things sandwiched in between big meaningful things. So I’m sort of taking December off from obligations and only saying yes to the things that I/we want to do. Fun family time. Picnics at the park. Naps for children and adults. Cookie making. Cookie eating. Small gatherings with dear friends. Marathons of old TV series that I missed. Drinking lots of lattes.

It’s been wonderful.

Here’s wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas season.

Little Joys QAL

I’m taking part in Fat Quarter Shop’s Little Joys Quilt Along! It features Elea Lutz’s brand-new Christmas line, Little Joys. She designed the fantastically pretty Flower Milk Sugar and this Christmas line is beyond cute, too.

We are making a Christmas mini quilt –

When this fabric came in the mail, my 3-year-old son was very excited because, well, Christmas! He wanted me to start sewing it together right away but I told him we had to wait a few weeks. Then he said, “And then it will be Christmas!” How sweet are they at that age?

Fat Quarter Shop has kits and the free patterns will be released one week at a time, starting July 8 (next week).

Here’s the full list of bloggers who are sewing along with us!
Sedef of Down Grape Vine Lane (@downgrapevinelane)
Nadra of Ellis & Higgs (@ellisandhiggs)
Tina of Emily Ann’s Closet (@emilyannskloset)
Greg of Grey Dogwood Studio (@greydogwoodstudio)
Jessie of Messy Jesse (@messyjesse1)
Melissa of Oh How Sweet (@ohhowsweetco)
Kristyne of Pretty By Hand @prettybyhand)
Kerry of Very Kerry Berry (@verykerryberry)
Lisa of Vintage Modern Quilts (@vintagemodernquilts)
Erin of Why Not Sew (@whynotsewquilts)

This will be an Instagram-based Quilt Along, so don’t forget to follow us @fatquartershop and @elealutz and use #LittleJoysQuiltAlong to show us your beautiful blocks!

Christmas Puddle Jumping Quilt

Christmas Puddle Jumping

This one wasn’t ready in time to actually enjoy on Christmas but I have a major head start for Christmas 2014. Right?

Christmas Puddle Jumping

I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to the holidays so red and white was an easy choice for a Christmas quilt.  The little pops of green for the sashing squares are a reminder that this is a Christmas quilt, not just a red and white quilt that can sneak into the house any old time of year.

The snowflake quilting echoes that message. I used a jar lid, a quarter, and a ruler to mark the snowflake design. It’s something I made up to fit in the block.  My initial thought was to do a different design in each one but marking was tedious enough. I struggled with the quilting on this one but I’m really happy with the result.  I did a smaller and simpler snowflake in the sashing squares and a loopy sashing/border design.

Christmas Puddle Jumping

This poor quilt has already been through so much abuse and it’s barely been finished a week. While I was basting it, my dogs trampled it with muddy paws and my toddler spilled apple juice on it. Then one or both of the dogs used it as a fire hydrant while we were iced in the house for four days.  But thank goodness washing it in the middle of the quilting process doesn’t seem to have caused any issues.

Christmas Puddle Jumping

The binding is a wonderful bias stripe from Bonnie and Camille’s Scrumptious line. It is absolute perfection for binding. You get the bias look without having to make bias binding. Thank you, ladies, for making me look like I worked harder than I did. I’ll definitely be buying yardage of that print in several colors to hoard for future projects.

Dimensions: 75″ x  75″

Fabrics:  scrappy mix of reds + green dot for sashing squares, binding is red Bias Stripe from Scrumptious by Bonnie and Camille for Moda Fabrics

Pattern: Puddle Jumping by Camille Roskelley of Thimbleblossoms

Quilting Thread:  Aurifil #2024, 50 wt cotton mako

Quilting Design: Snowflakes + loops in the borders/sashing

Started: November 2013

Completed: December 2013

Christmas Labels

Are you still wrapping presents?! Don’t feel bad. I usually am, too, but this year I seem to be ahead of the game.
VMQ-gift-wrap-1 Gift wrapping is honestly not one of my favorite things to do but it really does look so pretty when you take the time to do a nice job. This year I put bows and ribbon on every package. I used this this candy stripe ribbon and this poly satin ribbon. The striped ribbon wins for cuteness but the poly is much easier to work with.

VMQ-gift-wrap-2

I usually DIY or print labels using one of the bajillion cute printable gift labels out there, but this year I thought I’d take the even easier route and print mine on label stickers (that I already had! WIN). I used Martha Stewart for Avery labels in white (these might only be available in stores) and kraft. (These are available exclusively at Staples, I believe. That’s where I bought mine.)

If you’d like to make your own MS labels, download the Word template {here}. You’ll also need {Prestige Elite Std} font and {A Gentle Touch} font or you can use two of your favorites. For the kraft gift wrap, you’ll need a roll of kraft paper (find it at the dollar store), white ink, and some holiday stamps.

Merry Christmas!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Christmas Wreath

Yes, it really is December already. My door says so.

And he’s going to be here very soon. It seems like Thanksgiving stole a little bit of Christmas thunder waiting until three days before December to make an appearance. I still have pumpkins on my front porch (but there’s a wreath on the door!) I’m actually hoping the squirrels will polish off the pumpkins as they’ve been slowly eating them up since October.

Tree lighting at Casa Linda

Tree lighting at Casa Linda

I have been pretty consumed with projects. I’m actually a little bit panicky that 2014 is so close because I could use a bit more of 2013, please. Just two or ten more weeks.

Christmas Lights

Two very fun things are happening this week that will be a nice distraction – First, the Dallas MQG monthly meeting + ornament swap + cookie exchange. That is always such a fun meeting and um, cookies! Second, there is a Moda Holiday “Pin” Party tomorrow. There’s a party here in Dallas plus an online event for everyone else. We are all going to bring a yummy recipe from Pinterest and chat and share holiday pretty/tasty/fun ideas. I’m sure I’ll blog about it but you can definitely see what we’re doing on my Instagram feed. I need to Pinterest some hair and outfit ideas!

Christmas Sewing

It’s almost that time of year! I’m getting a much earlier start than usual because I needed a few holiday props for family photos last weekend. I made a chalkboard sign…

Christmas is Coming

And started an advent calender (that I still have to finish)…

Christmas is Coming

I also started a quilt using lots of red from my stash and Camille Roskelley’s new Puddle Jumping pattern. (She also has an adorable mini version that I’m going to make with my scraps)

Christmas is Coming

(berry baskets from World Market)

I finished the quilt top in just a couple of days but sadly I didn’t have it ready to use in our photos. Next year for sure.

Christmas Sewing

I have a really nice red and white print I was planning to use for the backing, but I saw this flannel at JoAnn’s today and I could not resist.

Christmas Sewing

Snuggle Flannel Fabric-Farm Dog

It’s such a cute print and at only $2.98 a yard how could I not take it home? That’s just over $14 for a quilt backing. What?! Unheard of. I almost want to go back and get enough to make us all matching PJ pants. But maybe that’s too much of a good thing. We’d be camouflaged in our Christmas quilt.

Basting is happening tonight and I am so excited to quilt this. Not sure what quilting design to use, though. Any thoughts?

(And thanks to everyone stopping by and commenting on the blog hop. The giveaway is still open until November 22.)