Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Give Thanks...

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, one of the major holidays celebrated here in the United States. So, today I decided that Liz and I should make one of the felt turkeys as shared at Sewing.org. It's one of those projects that I'd rather not do, but knew I should to have some crafting fun with Liz...however, once I got started reading the instructions, it didn't allow a whole lot of room for Liz to help.

Also, I didn't follow the directions exactly...I used the felt I had on hand...which wasn't enough to go directly with their instructions...

But he still turned out cute...
I machine sewed it also, trying to make it go a little faster. I did all sewing... no hot gluing :) I sewed all the embellishments on, then layered the pieces and sewed them together using a zig-zag stitch, leaving openings at the bottom to stuff (which Liz did get to help with). Doing it this way also meant only cutting one small feathers piece, one body, and two wings...compared to their two (four) of those pieces.

Here's a comparison photo, both cute!
Maybe he should have the bow tie? What do you think? I forgot about it until I posted it on here :) !

Adding this fun Thanksgiving project to some of the weekly linky parties...see the right side bar for the listing.


Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight,
O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Though this verse does not have the word thanksgiving, thanks, thankful, etc. in it...I saw it there while I was starting to look for one of the typical thanksgiving verses. We need to remember to always have a word of thanks on our lips and thankfulness in our heart to God who has blessed all more than we deserve!

I am thankful for...
The salvation of my soul...
Having the Bible to guide...
A wonderful husband...
Never being able to lose my salvation...
Kids that are healthy...
Sewing time...
Going to a great church...
Inspiration and creativity...
Valor and sacrifice of the servicemembers of the US Armed Forces...
Initative of the forefathers to give us a free country...
New horizons to be crossed...
God's grace and mercy given daily!


My adorable girls this morning...

God is so good!
Amanda

Sunday, November 20, 2011

OCC and an Award...

Crafting for a CauseEarlier this week I showed you my finished Christmas cards for Operation Christmas Cards, which is the great Crafting for a Cause project at Ladybird Ln this month.

Remember these...
Today I looked through the ones the kids at school made...they did a GREAT job! Some of them even made more than one. Here is a small sample of what some of them created...
The age range of the school children the made these cards are from third through eleventh grade. Two of this group are done by young men...guess which two?! (Yes, the two with the woodsy cabin paper, go figure, right? :) )

A few more cards may come my way before I mail this package on Tuesday, so I'll later post here how many cards we accumulated for this project.

I did collect somemore cards on Tuesday... so the grand total of Christmas cards sent was 22! They were great cards. The children exceeded my expectations and I think they really enjoyed making them too!

On to some other fun stuff...

Last Sunday I received a great honor from my blogging friend Kristy over at Hopeful Threads...

she gave me the Liebster Blog Award!


It's a personal award that you pass on to blogs you enjoy reading that have less than 200 followers. The word Liebster translates from German to English as DEAREST. 
How lovely!

Here's the idea...
  1. Link back to the blog of the person who passed on the award.
  2. Choose 5 up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers to pass the award on to.
  3. Post the award on your blog. No big deal if you don't want to play along, but it is fun!
I was excited to receive an award...and of course I want to pass it along.
I chose blogs from my following list which I peruse on a regular basis...some are even inspirations for a few projects I'm currently working on. So, go check out what these ladies are up to and say Hi!

One of her current projects, a  NY NY quilt...she's doing a great job!

Travel Quilt #3
She has a great video tutorial on doing 60 degree diamond EPP...that's how I found out how to start my table topper.

This is so pretty!


Love this bag...I'd definitely carry this around!
I'm also in a Pay-it-Forward blog swap with her,
but I'll revisit that with you after the new year!

This is the cutest quiet book page...and she started up a very informal,
go at your own pace sew along for quiet books...
now for me to just get Liz's finished by Christmas :)

These ladies do some very nice projects, don't you think?
To the recipients...I hope you all enjoy your award moment and some outside recognition! Please remember this is a personal award from me to you, so if you do not want to pass it along, no problem! I had fun just sharing your links!

Hope everyone had a good weekend...and rest up tonight to start a 'short' work week...unless of course you have to work Black Friday :)


...but the LORD was not in the wind:
and after the wind an earthquake;
but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire;
but the LORD was not in the fire:
and after the fire a still small voice.
1 Kings 19:11c-12

In Sunday School this morning, we talked about Elijah and this verse is highlighted in my Bible, so it caught my eye...and how appropriate. It is something we may need to remember this time of year as things get hectic...buying presents, visiting family, and Christmas parties to attend... In all the big things that need accomplished, the little things are important too. God used the small voice to speak to Elijah...so what small thing could speak to you this holiday season that you may normally overlook?

I know I will need to remind myself of this as the weeks progress through Thanksgiving and on to Christmas. Also, we need to Thank God for His many blessings and reflect continually on the reason we even celebrate Christmas...

Amanda


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sew-in Results...

It was a productive evening...even with not getting started till 6:30pm, an early interruption by Amber who wanted to go to bed, and a few distractions throughout the evening...

I was able to finish putting the rest of the 'jelly roll' strips together and then cutting them into the 4-squared strips to be put back together 'randomly' to make the blocks. After that was done, I was able to put together 12 more blocks!
Liz's quilt FNSI
Plus the 3 I already had done...I now have 15 out of the 35 needed done. But that shouldn't take too long, the blocks don't take to long to put together...especially with all the pieces laid out and ready to go...
Liz Qt WIP
I am really loving this quilt too...these are so my kind of colors. I love Amber's quilt, but it is a little more bright and cheery...which is nice, but I tend to like the warm, homey, slightly darker tones. I think that the joy of making these quilts is getting to work with the pretty fabrics and the enjoyment I'll get as they use these quilts while they grow-up. I tried to pick colors that will 'grow' with them...not to kiddish or faddish. Love the way it's working...Liz was even oohing and awing over the first few couple of blocks. LOVE that!

However, today I may not have a chance to sew...

Amber is turning 1 today...



Happy Birthday
Baby Girl!
This is her party hat for tonight...but we tried it on her early! This was a passed along hat from a lady at church...isn't it adorable! After tonight, we'll be passing it along back to her so her newest addition will have it to wear next year when she turns 1. So fun!


Be careful for nothing;
but in every thing by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests
be made known unto God.
Philippians 4:6

Good to look up the verses about being thankful as we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving in less than a week.

May you have a good weekend and I look forward to talking with you Monday or Tuesday.
Amanda

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Decorating...

This morning I was able to get the house mostly decorated for Christmas.
Christmas decor 
The bottom picture is one of our 2 Christmas villages...Some 'snow' still needs to fall on the villages for them to be completely done. I'll probably show a picture of the other one (which is bigger) after it 'snows'.

This is our big Christmas tree in our living room...last year I bought a bag of pine cones, added a little ribbon, and used them as ornaments on the tree. Love the homey feel. The tree skirt was bought for 50 cents at a garage/yard/tag sale a year and a half ago. I think it might need a little face lift, but over all its alot prettier than the sheet I used to use.
Christmas tree 
I went to put the decorations on the kitchen window sill...but I didn't have a nice runner, doily, or towel for on it...enter...my stashed Christmas material from the big 'loot' from my in-laws earlier this year. It's been great having the 'loot' on hand :) Thanks again Dad & Mom Dickson.
empty kitchen window sill
material runner 
These were 5 - 6x6 squares that I cut in half to make 10 rectangles...sewed them together somewhat randomly...and voila...an hour later my sill was ready for Christmas!
Christmas window sill 
This sill runner was probably one of my fastest finishes! I simply sewed the pieces together, pillowcased with a solid green back, and did a quick echo quilting (without batting). Looks festive!
Sill runner

Joining this great finish on the linky parties on my right side bar along with a linky at Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish it up Friday linky party. I didn't think I'd be able to contribute this week (week 4), but we I did get this finished (even if it wasn't a loooong work in progress).

I can now go work on Liz's Sashed Postage Stamp Quilt tonight for FNSI...

Handmade by Heidi

Have a wonderful start to the weekend...and I'll show you tomorrow how much I get done :) Hopefully alot!!!!


There is therefore now no condemnation
to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:1-2


Amanda


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WIP - Nothing New ...

It's time to review what has happened craft wise this past week...Works In Progress Wednesday is upon us again already!

When I looked back at what was on my WIP list from last week...I noticed that I didn't add anything new! However...progress was made on two of the just started projects :) !

Liz's Sashed Postage Stamp Quilt has all the fabric cut and two blocks pieced together...it's so exciting! I love seeing the pieces come together...kind of like a puzzle.

The embroidered Christmas cards for the soldiers are done...
 
 
I ended up making only two...but I really like how they turned out! I haven't seen what the kids at school are coming up with yet, but I'm sure they will be sweetly received by the soldiers.

Didn't touch the Table topper or Liz's Season's Quiet book. I did get a couple of quick projects done...Sara's Message board and Liz's slippers (shared in the last post).

It's almost boring posting about this kind of stuff :) but Lee at Freshly Pieced has set up this great progress report time for us to share what has been happening in our craft areas!

I did have a brilliant idea for a present for Chad...I haven't started it yet and I'll have to keep that one under wraps till Christmas. He reads my blog... :) Love you! I've finally thought of a craft project for you!

TO wrap it up...

Finished projects: 1 (Christmas cards)
New projects: 0
Continued projects: 3 (Liz's Sashed Postage Stamp Quilt, EPP Diamonds, Season's quiet book)
Total WIP projects: 3


For whatsoever is born of God
overcometh the world:
and this is the victory
that overcometh the world,
even our faith.
1 John 5:4

Once we have received Christ as our Savior from our sins we can know that we have 'overcome' the world. We may still live here, but our hope and focus is to be on Heaven and our eternal home there. If  you do not have the assurance of a home in Heaven...please take time to read the left side bar of this blog for a clear way to know where you will spend eternity.

With hope...
Amanda

Monday, November 14, 2011

In the Mood...

This past Friday, I was finally in the mood to get a redo project done for my sister-in-law. For Christmas one year ('05 or '06) Chad and I made her a message board. Well, in August, she asked if I could recover it because the fabric had faded and she wanted to take it to school with her.

Procrastination and demotivation had set in...it got shuffled around the craft area...until Friday! I finally decided to just try and find some fabric, rip off the other stuff and get it done! Thanksgiving break was a good motivator too...I can give it back to her then!

This is the new message board...I forgot to take a before picture before I started ripping it apart.
This one has a pocket sewn on and the message board section at the bottom/side. The previous fabric was a dark blue with silver ribbon and silver buttons. She still prefers earthy tones...so I hope this works well for her. Dark brown corduroy and a brown/tan plaid pocket. Also, a few extra button embellishments.

I think I'll even add this to the Home Decor fun over at Celebrate Color hosted by Rachel at Stitched in Color.

This weekend also found productivity in the cutting up of the material for Liz's Postage Stamp quilt...I'm looking forward to starting to sew these pieces together...

I also threw together another pair of fleece slippers...these ones fit Liz, but they won't for long...
My enlargement of the pattern wasn't quite enough...but the sewing went better this time, they're not wavy! Amber will get her's at the end of the week :)

That's my crafting weekend in review...
I'll see about adding it to a few linky parties :)
Chef in Training and Quilt Story among them...all the linky party buttons are on the right side bar.


Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalm 27:14

Things change as we progress through different stages of life...but amid the change we can find that God has a plan for us. If we wait for Him to show us, it will be the best for our lives and we can wait in this season...but still plan and pray about the future.

Amanda

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday WIP Wrap-up...

I know I haven't done a WIP for quite a while...but today is the one year anniversary for Lee at Freshly Pieced's weekly Wednesday WIP party - so, I thought today would be a good day to evaluate my WIP's and join the party again.

This week I did have a BIG finish...my first quilt! Also, I did a couple of small projects that I showed yesterday...so, now it's almost like starting new!

Today, Liz, Chad, and I narrowed down a quilt pattern for Liz's quilt...I think we have finally decided on this one...
postage stamp progress!

Liz actually said she liked this one better...but she's three...so, I'm going to make the executive decision and add the sashing! Now that we have a pattern, I can start cutting fabric...ooohh!
(Edited to add this picture of the fabric
picked out for the Postage Stamp quilt...)
The lower four fabric were picked out and purchased last week during a good sale at JoAnn's. The fabrics in the upper half of the photo are pulled from my stash to coordinate...I'm not sure if all of these will make the final cut or if I'll add some others, but this is our majority of fabrics.
I'm still stalled on Liz's Season's quiet book...haven't touched it in months, except to move it! Christmas is coming quickly...I'll have to get it out again soon!

There has been little progress on the 60 degree Diamond Fall Table Topper...but I think I did get another star section done since this last photo in August.
For the afternoon I'm going to sort through scrapbook paper for the kids to use for their Christmas cards for the Soldiers (see yesterday's post for more details or click the Operation Christmas card button on my right side bar). I'm also going to start working on a few cards to contribute.

TO wrap it up...

Finished projects: 1 (Amber's quilt)
New projects: 2 (Postage stamp quilt, Christmas cards)
Continued projects: 2 (EPP Diamonds, Season's quiet book)
Total WIP projects: 4



Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:6

Amanda

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A couple of gifts...

My youngest baby girl will be turning ONE in the next couple of weeks, so yesterday I had a chance to make some of Amber's birthday gifts.

A Scrappy Doll...
I followed the tutorial on Love Laugh Quilt by Beth. It was a little past what I usually do...no measuring - isn't everything suppose to be symmetrical!!!! She turned out cute, even though she could use more stuffing. I ran out after doing her arms, legs, and head...so her body has scraps of batting in it. Once I get more stuffing, I may take out her bottom hem and restuff. For now, she'll be loved anyway! 

A Pair of Slippers...
These are a pair of adorable slippers...although not quite as cute as the ones on the New Conceptions pattern (but I also had to enlarge it for Amber). I must be venturing out...typically not something I would think of tackling, but Kristy at Hopeful Threads always finds great tutorials and is very helpful! She even gave me a few tips for next time I try to make a pair (which will be soon!). This is a quick project that has a couple of recipients waiting...Liz requested a pair (which means an even bigger enlargement :) ) and a new baby at church!

Also, if you're ever looking for a great charitable project to sew-up, check out Hopeful Threads. Kristy finds great monthly projects to sew-up and donate...then rewards us with chances at some great prizes - what's better than that! I like to participate when I can.

There is also a great Crafting for Cause project going on over at Ladybird Ln if you need some other charitable ideas. I jumped on this one...and the kids at school are even going to help out (even though they won't know about it till tomorrow :) ! ). Making Christmas cards for American soldiers...how great to give them encouragement as they are away from home for the holidays - fighting for us!


And he said unto me,
'My grace is sufficient for thee:
for my strength is made perfect in weakness.'
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

In the Bible, God gives us things from others to help us...and He used Paul a lot. Paul is a great example of someone that went through many trials and still praised and served God faithfully and fully. He even had a physical condition that he prayed to have taken away...but God allowed it to remain. Paul received a no, and still glorified God and knew that God's power would shine through him even with the problems he had.

May we remember this as we go through physical difficulties...Praise, serve, and glorify God even through the difficulties.

Amanda

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My First Quilt...

I'm so excited to present to you my first quilt!

I finished in time to enter it into the Fall 2011 Quilt Bloggers' Festival over at Amy's Creative Side...were there are already over 500 quilts posted. I've been concentrating on getting the quilt done, so I haven't had time to browse much yet...

But for now, I hope you enjoy seeing my take on the Warm/Cool Quilt from Jeni at In Color Order...

Warm/Cool Squared Diamond
I was a little nervous about starting the quilting the other day...but once I got started, it went well! I think that the echoing of the block lines made it a good quilt to begin on...no fancy quilting, just great lines! It even transferred great to the back.
Even maneuvering it on my machine didn't seem to bad...although, a bigger quilt my make me say otherwise.

I love how everything just came together. Working with white takes a little bit more thought about which way to iron...but it makes a great finish!
On the back of the quilt I did end up putting on two quilt labels...one with the quilt name, my header, verse, that it was my first quilt, etc...but I also made an embroidered label to personalize it even more for Amber.
I've been more of a cross-stitch person, but this was fun to write/draw on a piece of fabric and add the colors I wanted...it went rather quickly and was fun. I tried a little embroidery earlier this year, but I didn't really like it...maybe doing my own thing would be more fun :) I really like the result of this label and think that for most of the quilts I will be making, they'll have two labels.

I don't think Amber will mind...yes, it's her Christmas present, but she already got to see it, and she really seems to like it.
I need to get started on a few more for Christmas...Liz's being one of them. She was wooing and awing over Amber's and requested a green quilt. We'll see what she end's up with!

It took some great pictures...so, here are a few more :)


Quilt Stats:
Size - 52" x 68"
Design - altered Warm/Cool Quilt Along Design
Fabric - 2 Fresh Flowers charm packs by Deb Strain for Moda
             color coordinated fabrics from Jo Ann's
             white from stash material
Binding - 1933 Poinsettia by Jackie Robinson and Maywood Studio
Quilting - machine quilted by me

Thank you so much for sharing the joy of my first finished quilt...
and I plan to spread it around to the different linky parties - see the right side bar for the list - and some flickr groups that I regularly contribute to...and then maybe a few more :)


If any man speak, let him speak
as the oracles of God;
if any man minister, let him do it
as of the ability which God giveth:
that God in all things may be glorified
through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise
and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11 

I'm not sure if I've shared this verse here before or not, but I really like that it acknowledges that God gives us our abilities and that we need to glorify Him when we are using our gifts. We can never thank God enough for what He has done for us and we also need to remember to praise Him!

Amanda