The 12 Crafts of Christmas #2

Good morning!

I had intended to post this yesterday, but as we all know, holiday times can be chaotic & in addition, I am still working on getting into the habit of doing this on a regular basis. So yesterday didn’t make it, but I should be able to get both #2 & #3 up today & be back on track.

A few years ago, my friends & I decided to switch from a full gift exchange, to an ornament exchange – which saves us money. So for the last couple years, I’ve made ornaments to exchange with them. This year though, we decided to do something a bit different & we got together and made

The 12 Crafts of Christmas #2…

Painted Ceramic Ornaments

painted ornaments

This was so much fun. We got together at the ceramics place & each selected an ornament to paint & exchange. Then we sat down with some pizza, drinks, & a lot of laughs & painted! After painting them, the lady at the shop glazed & fired them for us. One of the girls in our group picked them up from her later, packed into anonymous gift bags, so we couldn’t tell which was which. Then when we got together for our annual Christmas celebration, we each selected a bag and kept the ornament that was inside!

unglazed pony ornamentglazed pony

This are Before & After pics of the pony I painted. I was a bit concerned when I was painting him, but I think he turned out pretty cute! The lines on his hooves & hair are a little unsteady, but overall I’m happy with him. Most of the paint colors really darken as they’re fired, so you have to look at the reference cards for them to judge how they’ll look once fired.This event was so much fun, it will most likely become a new tradition for us!

What is your favorite group crafting project? Do you have any sort of special gift exchange traditions with friends, family or co-workers?

S&Y Green Turtle

S&Y Reboot! :: The 12 Crafts of Christmas 2013 #1

Hello & Happy Holidays!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything & I have really missed my blog & hanging out online with my bloggy friends. In order to get back into it, I decided to dive in head-first, with The 12 Crafts of Christmas!

I don’t actually have a full list of twelve yet, so hopefully I will be able to come up with the finishing items before Christmas.

The 12 Crafts of Christmas #1 …

Star Crayons

StarCrayons-All

I found these on Pinterest. Someone helped her kids make heart crayons for their classmates for Valentine’s Day. I loved the idea & have always hated tossing out crayons. So I bought a Wilton star mold from the baking section at Michael’s & started breaking up the two boxes of random crayons I had sitting on my craft shelf. Most of them were from restaurants & were either generic brands, or I couldn’t tell what brand they were. If I could tell though, I tried to keep the same brand of crayons together, separate from the other kinds.The red, blue, & yellow are Prang, from Cracker Barrel. I think they worked out the best. The Crayolas worked really nicely too. Even the random generics turned out well!

StarCrayons-1StarCrayons-6StarCrayons-3StarCrayons-2

Yoo-hoo & I are excited about the end results. These will mostly be gifted to kids his age for Christmas.

That is all from me for today. I will be posting The 12 Crafts of Christmas #2 tomorrow! I still need a few more quick crafts to round out my list of 12, so if you have any ideas to share, please let me know in the comments below! Also, I will be trying to catch up a bit on what everyone else is up to, so leave me comments letting me know what Christmas crafts you have planned for this year!

S&Y Green Turtle

BQF & My Family Tree

I’m so very late posting this, both because this quilt was a gift to my grandma LAST CHRISTMAS & because today is the last day to link up to Amy’s Bloggers’ Quilt Festival.  So, here it is – my very first entry to the BQF – this is My Family Tree.

There is actually quite a lot to tell about this quilt, but I will leave most of it for a separate post (or set of posts, since I took photos of various steps throughout the process).  The ‘finished’ quilt was delivered at our annual family Christmas gathering last year.  I quote ‘finished’ because there were 32 names last Christmas (including my grandpa & one cousin who are no longer with us).  But since then, I have already added four new names to the tree.  We had two weddings & two births this year!!  And we already have two new babies on the horizon for spring!  I decided to use fabric marker for the writing, specifically because I wanted to be able to add names as our family grows, without having the new ones look out of place.

My grandparents had six children.  So I gave each child his/her own branch.  The rest of us (grandkids, spouses & great-grandkids) are all written into the leaves.

In the design phase, I very briefly considered a more traditional representation, with lines (branches) connecting people to their spouses and children.  But I threw that idea out for two main reasons.  One, some of our branches are a lot larger than others, and it would be difficult to make the quilt tree look well balanced.  Two, I have no idea what the future will hold for our family.  And I wanted to be able to add names, without having to cram them into a predefined space for each family branch.  So I chose to add names where they seemed to fit well, without stressing too much about placement.

My favorite part is the heart.  I ♥ the heart.  It is reverse applique, but I did this before I’d ever heard of reverse applique.  I just really wanted it to look like the heart was carved into the tree, so that’s what I came up with.


I think my grandma’s favorite part is the banner at the bottom.


So that is my Family Tree quilt.  It now lives on a chair in the entry way to my grandma’s living room.  I think she keeps it with the banner out, so people can read it as they come by.  This quilt is the largest I’ve made so far, even though it is only about 4 x 6 feet.  It was the most work, the longest design phase & the most satisfying when completed.

If you haven’t checked out all the other quilts from the BQF participants, please head over to Amy’s now and have a look.  There are a ton of very wonderful and inspiring quilts being showcased there!

Amy'sCreativeSide

S&Y Green Turtle

FNSI & Beyond

Friday Night Sew In – I’m working on a new baby blanket now.  I decided to add a little extra by trying something new & embroidering a blue paw print on it.  So that’s what I worked on Friday night.  Considering that is is my first real attempt, I think it turned out pretty well.

Saturday morning, I finished making the rest of the blocks (no more embroidery on the front of this one), then I put them together & added the first border.  Later I will add a white border & probably embroider some more paw prints for the back.

These photos are not so great.  I should’ve taken them earlier in the day, but I took a nap with Little Yoohoo instead, and we ended up sleeping longer than I intended.

Handmade by Heidi

So I hope you made progress on your own projects this weekend!  I’m heading over to see what everyone else has been working on for the Sew In.  Don’t forget also, that the next round of the Bloggers Quilt Festival (hosted by the wonderful Amy) is coming up soon!

Amy'sCreativeSide

I’m extra excited about it this time around, because I finally have some photos of the Family Tree that I made my Grandma for Christmas last year.  Will you be entering anything into the Festival this week?

S&Y Green Turtle

It’s Friday & I almost forgot!

Tonight is the October FNSI!!  I’m always excited to participate in this.  Right now, I have three quilts which I am in the middle of, & I need to get them all finished!  If I’m good, I’ll work at my sewing machine tonight.  But even if I am too tired & lazy for that, then I’ve got some hand embroidery that I intend to start on for the center block of one of the quilts.  I can work on that in bed even 🙂

Handmade by Heidi

Are you going to join in this month for the FNSI?

S&Y Green Turtle

A New Look & An Old Finish

What do you think about my updated look?  I liked the brown from before, but it was starting to feel too dark.  So I found this nice brighter theme.  I think it is much happier looking than the brown 🙂

If you haven’t noticed, I am really terrible about taking photos.  I know I need to get better about getting shots of all my projects, both finished & in progress.  But I am usually just too tired to mess with the camera, so most of the time, I don’t.  However, my best friend was kind enough to get an Action Shot of a mug rug that I made for her earlier this year.  I was supposed to have it done as a Christmas 2010 gift.  But that didn’t happen.  I did at least get it done & delivered before Christmas 2011 though!!

The mug was a previous gift, so I decided to try & stick with that theme for the new rug.  It took awhile to figure out what I was going to do, because I kept trying to figure out how to piece those cute rounded flowers into it.  Eventually I realized I could just go with the traditional Friendship Star & try to match the colors.  I think that worked out much better.  I still think those flowers would be super cute, so I may try that out someday.  But I am pleased with how this version turned out.  Here are all three together that I made for my work friends.

Argyle with mugSheep with mug

So this is not actually what I have been up to lately.  The things I need to take pictures of are – I started a new baby quilt & I finished the broomstick lace that I showed a progress picture of before.  I will try to make myself get photos soon, & I still need to layer, baste & quilt those letter quilts.  I will be happy to have those finished & on their way to my adorable baby cousins!!

What about you?  What have you been up to lately?

S&Y Green Turtle

September BOM & My Happy Quilt

I finally got around to taking a photo of my September BOM block.  I am still excited to be participating in this.  My points aren’t great, but hopefully my work will improve with each block.  I’m using a set of 12″ squares that I got for Christmas last year.

Awhile ago, I started working on a quilt for myself – I’m calling it My Happy Quilt, partly because I’m finally making a quilt just for me, & partly because I designed it with Happy by Me and My Sister Designs.  I am pretty sure I am not alone in this, but whenever I start a quilt for myself, it tends to take lowest priority behind other projects.  Here is a sneak peek of its current condition.

This chunk is going to be the center of the quilt.  I have to rip some seams and make some corrections though.  You can probably tell why from the photo above.  I cut the white pieces too small, so there is no room for the seam allowance.  I still have the baby blankets that I’m working on & the broomstick lace, which is nearly completed.  I should have a Finish Photo of that posted later this week.

Have you been following the Traveling Stash?  Jen from The Quilty Home is about to send it on to Mama Spark’s World soon.  I’ve enjoyed checking out all the fun people who’ve been swapping stuff out of the stash.  Take a peek, and maybe you can win a visit from the Traveling Stash too!

S&Y Green Turtle