Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Holidays...

It has been a busy month and a half...but I wanted to take a few minutes to say that I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

Details on my the Christmas gifts that were crafted will come soon...I do plan to get back to blogging in the New Year :)

However, for now, have a Happy New Year! See you in 2013!!

Amanda

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

'Tis the Season...

To decorate the house for Christmas. It was accomplished yesterday ..and today I made a new way to display my annual Wendell August Forge Ornaments.
This is the doorway from our living room into the dining room. The yearly ornaments from Wendell August Forge are gifted to us each year at Thanksgiving by my in-laws. I had been adding them to a wide ribbon that hung on the left door jam. Looked nice but was 'hard' to add new ones to...I hadn't added any since 2008! Not only that, the ribbon was hard to store with the ornaments attached...so this year I decided on a new system!

The larger one in the middle was for our first Christmas...in 2004...the annual ones also start with 2004 and go back and forth out from there, so the even years are on one side and odd on the other :) I'll get to add a new one next week!

A few other decorations... the Christmas village.

The Christmas tree and Stockings.
There are only three stockings, but yes, there are four of us in the family, but I have yet to find one to coordinate well for Amber.  I even bought material last year to make four matching ones...however, the material has been used for other things and I never got around to making them. This morning Liz asked which was hers...technically the cream, but I told her that she and Amber can use the matching ones and Mommy & Daddy can share the cream one...she still thinks there needs to be four...so perhaps I should get on that :) (I not holding my breath though!)

Although I've decorated for Christmas  Thanksgiving is yet to come, so I'll share this picture with you and wish you all a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Earthy Primary Baby Quilt...

This past Saturday I attend a baby shower for Chad's brother & sister-in-law. This is their first child and it is a baby boy :) So, I had a plan when they announced they were having a baby, that I'd need to make them a quilt! Quilt ideas were pinned and reviewed...Chad picked the 2 he liked the best, and of them I decided on the Around the World pattern. In earthy-primary colors...

The back is a light green gingham with a medium green at the top to make enough backing :)

The binding was chosen to bring all the colors together...but I had to add a little of the medium green to have enough binding as well!
I think it turned out cute and finished at...
ok so I did remember to measure it this time, but I don't know were I wrote it down at...oops!
So, from the construction measurements, it is roughly 42" x 48".

I also made a pair of slippers from a new pattern...they are cute, but look slightly different in size, although they are the 3-6 month size from the pattern.

 Although I was making handmade gifts, I still pa-roused the gift registry a few days before the shower and decide to make something that wasn't on the list, but went with items I did see...

a Weighted Nursing Cover-up Blanket...


It turned out great...I loved it, the front is flannel trimmed in quilting cotton (Moda at that!) and the back is a soft white flannel from the local Mennonite Store. It was so nice feeling. The one corner is weighted to put over the Mother's shoulder to hold it in place while trying to situate the baby...

This is probably the simplest design of a cover-up out there, but I liked that it was a little more versatile and easy to put in a diaper bag! I hope it works well, I've never personally used one (nor had the need) but it seemed like a great concept when I saw a blanket like this at church when I was on nursery duty the one day.

But the great thing is that the removable weight allows for washing and for it to be used as a blanket!

The weight is a washer wrapped in bias tape.

The happy couple received an abundance of gifts...and had some unsolicited help from a little girl that is very excited about her new cousin. 

 Another little one to make presents for...I better get to work, Christmas is coming fast!


And one of them, when he saw that he was healed,
turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
Luke 17:15

This week I had the kids devotional during our mid-week service and decided to get them prepared for Thanksgiving...so our topic - Thankfulness! I read a story about the first Thanksgiving, then we also read about the 10 Lepers in Luke...the story were 10 were healed, but only one returned to say Thank you.

Well, while preparing the lesson, I realized that we all need to be the ONE that returned to give the thanks for the blessings we receive and to praise God for giving them to us. Then just as I was typing out the verse, the part about the leper glorifying God "with a loud voice" emphasized that we really need to let others know our gratefulness to God for all that He provides for us.

So, with great thankfulness to have readers of the blog, for the ability to type and to craft things to blog about, and thanking God EVERYDAY for the great blessings bestowed upon me...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fabric Shopping Online...

Just got easier!
Today I have a different kind of post...a review of a new quilt fabric search engine. It is called Find My Fabric.com.
It has a very inviting home page and is easy to maneuver through. So for the past week or so, I've been periodically checking out different features on the site, and the concept is so great. You type in a fabric you are looking for...and up comes a bunch of fabric that fits that category.

The first thing I typed in was an actual fabric line from Moda - Grand Finale (one of my favorites and seems to becoming a little harder to find...) and it brought up 48 results! I continued with other searches, like paisley  purple flowers, etc... and was pleased with the selection.

I really liked the pop-up window you get when you select a product. It shows the product, what store it is from, the price, etc... and then when you click the Go to product page link under the price, it opens in a new window! Yeah! I love that! I hate when I'm looking through a list of things, pick something, and it opens in that window...what if I wasn't done with the previous page? :) Then I have to use the browser back button...and things just get messy. (Cause you know I don't always remember to hold the CTRL button on the keyboard to open a new window when clicking on a link!)

I really liked trying out the picture matching feature. You can upload a picture and it generates a selection of fabrics that coordinate with the picture. First, I uploaded a scanned-in colored pencil drawing and it produce great results. Then I did this not so color true picture (on purpose) of some fabric...

it produce results that really matched the muted coloring of the picture...and they were some great looking fabrics... but they wouldn't have matched the actual fabric in the picture. Definitely follow the picture guidelines to get the truest results of this great feature. I'd love to just sit and play with this feature if I had some free time :)

And then for the fun of it, I put in this picture of one of my girls... (this is not a recent picture!)
It returned with some picture of dolls in a similar setting :), some quilt patterns, a couple of fabric panels, and this fabric with dark background and big flowers. It's so cute that it really does look like the picture!
They show one page of results and have an link option at the bottom to broaden your search.

I did find a few minor things I would suggest...
One thing would be a button (or something easy like that) for people to inform the search engine that a link is not working properly or the product is not longer available. I found this mostly with Sweetwater's Sunkissed fabric which is another favorite fabric line (and also hard to find).

The other thing that I notice was the fabric prices... some are a little on the higher end - well, at least to me! I don't have extra money to spend on fabric very often so when I do, I want as much as possible for the amount I'm spending :) but then again who wouldn't? I even tried searching for clearance fabric...which said that there were 130 results, but nothing showed up...hmm.

Perhaps the administrators of the engine will be able to offer a wider range of prices as they contact more stores to partner with them...which by the way, you can do if you have a shop and want to get your listings out more, you can Submit Your Site!

But back to the fun search results...
I decided to look up some supplies to see what kinds of things were offered there...I found that they are covering a wide crafting selection. They had some yarn, patterns, quilt kits, rotary blades, huge selection of rulers, magazines, and even some online class listings (more of these would be nice to see)! And these were only the things I typed in...imagine all the other things you are searching for!!!!!!!!!!

I love the concept of this search engine, it works great and is quick to produce the results. If you are looking for a faster way to get the craft supplies you are looking for, this is definitely the search engine for you! Try it out www.FindMyFabric.com

Happy Shopping!

Sometimes I am asked to review services that would benefit my audience.  Although this post is my opinion of Find My Fabric, I do need to disclose that I am compensated for this review.

* According to FTC regulations, if you are getting paid to post something on a blog you are required to disclose this information to your readers.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pieces Come Together Quilt...

This is the last of the September projects that I haven't shared yet... the quilt!
Some may remember this...
Well, today I'm finally posting about it, so, you get to see it in good lighting and finished!

This was my first truly scrappy project...no coordinating or matching going on. Definitely a major departure for me. I'm a highly coordinate person - the family's church outfits usually coordinate every Sunday :) I'll have to go back to just Chad's and mine once the girls want to start picking out their own clothes!

But back to the quilt...
I LOVE the way it turned out! I see more scrap quilts in my future...
Chad came up with the design of the big blocks...then I sketched it out with the sashing and sizes of each block. We both liked the plan! It was a little difficult getting some of the longer middle fabrics from my scraps, but all in all it didn't take to long to get one of the 12 - 12.5x12.5 unfinished blocks together!

 The wind picked up a little while I was taking pictures...

And in the one of the back the neighbor saw I was taking pictures and waved :) ...
The backing, white sashing (which has little tonal *'s on it...went great with the pattern of the quilt), and binding was the fabric I did buy for this project. For the backing, I wanted something in the color I knew the young lady receiving the quilt liked. The binding was chosen to bring all the colors together...
It was wonderful giving this to a precious young lady...I believe she'll love it and snuggle up in it on the even colder (than here) winter days & nights in the area that she is moving too!

Quilt Stats:
Design: Chad
Size: Crib size batting...nice lap size for young teenage girl
         (again, I forgot to measure finished but is roughly 42"x54")
Fabric: Scraps
Backing & Binding: Keepsake Calico's from JoAnn's
Quilted: by me :)


For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isaiah 55:8

Although this is the verse I shared when I first showed this project, I wanted to share it again...it is as true today (and everyday) as it was last month. 

And part of the note that went with the quilt went something like this, '... remember, just as this quilt is made up of many different pieces of material, so our lives are shaped by moments of time. God works in our lives everyday and brings those piece together to make a shining example to glorify Him. Follow Him always and your life will turn into a beautiful quilt of moments.'

I believe this is something we all need to remember as things happen in our lives...and to always remember that God is in Control!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Season's Wall Hanging...

Sometime early this year (I think), I bought a beautiful panel that depicted the four seasons with birds on it...ok, well, I actually ordered two at the same time so I'd have an extra :) because I didn't find anything else remotely close to what I wanted or liked!

Well, I finally had a perfect project for one of the panels...a Wall Hanging for our Pastor and his wife.
It was a gift for their last Sunday as the Pastor of our church... God has redirected them to Michigan.

His last Sermon text was Ecclesiastes 3:1-11... which was the text I had wanted to embroider on the small white border, but I was having issues with my machine spacing the letters correctly...ugh! So, I was not able to get the wording done before presenting it to them.
I brought it back home with me to try again, but still had issue with the text. Finally, I did get Ecclesiastes 3:1 on! I'm not sure what the issue was. I guess it was the combinations of materials and thread, because a few days later I was able to embroider the Autumn View's poem onto my small wall hanging without any issues! Go figure!

I was happy with the accent stitching on the birds. This was the first time I've done accent stitching and I think I would have liked to have done more, but my choice of thread is slightly limited for such a variety of colors that the wall hanging has. So, I just did the birds :)
This was also my first time working with a printed panel, so, I had ideas and was debated on splitting the panel apart to add extra borders around each season; and had even thought about making it with two sections on top then two underneath...but Chad said he thought it'd be best to leave it as it was. So, I listen and just added outside borders :)

It finished at 47" wide (it fits on a dowel rod with 1" cut off ) x 30" long.
So maybe I'll do the next panel sooner since I have some experience with it now :)
Adding this post to TNT Thursday at Happy Quilting.


To everything there is a season, 
and a time to every purpose under heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:1


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Recent Projects 2...

During the last part of September I worked on a small stack of projects...the first two I shared are here.

The next couple are a Kindle/book Clutch and a Pocket Verse Pack...

The Clutch is a little large for just a Kindle...but it makes it more useful for a regular book...I even think that the recipients Bible would fit in it :)

 
She really liked :)

Then...something for a teenage boy? I had recently made Chad a Pocket Verse Pack, so we thought that it would be a good gift for this young man...
The outside has a slot for the verse being currently worked on...then the inside holds more cards to switch to.
Some cards were given with printed verses on them, and other were left blank for him to fill in the verses he wants. He seemed to really like it :) which made me happy because men...let alone teenage boys... are hard to think of homemade gifts for!

Next time I'll show a Season's wall hanging, then a great lap quilt... I just love how it turned out!


From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee,
when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2

This prayer of David always touches my heart. Even when things are overwhelming, God is higher and can lift us up. We may not be finished with the situation that seems to be drowning us, but we can lean on the Lord and trust Him to lead us through!



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Autumn Views...

Welcome to almost the last day of the Leafs Me Happy Blog Hop hosted by Madam Samm and Cherry, our hop cheerleader.

As of the first day of the hop, I had an idea for my block but had not started making it yet...and as blog hops are to do, I was inspired by one of the other blocks :) 

So, my original plan was altered (and changed) to make room for my favorite fall poem to be added.
About the only thing that remained from the original idea is the small patchwork square borders on the top and bottom...however, even throughout this design, they were suppose to go the whole way around...but I messed up my measurements - again! They are going to start telling me 'no' when I want to join a hop because I can never seem to get an accurate block of 10.5 or 12.5! :)

I actually did some fussy cutting for the leaves to show the "Autumn Views" (as I'll name this block) of this great material I got at JoAnn's and appliqued them on.
 This wall hanging finished at 12 x 15 and fits great right where it was designed for...on my wall just to the left of my sewing machine... I LOVE Autumn!!!!!!!! and now I can 'enjoy the views' all year!

As I was using this fabric, I was also inspired to make a couple of potholders...
A pair of fall hued Granny Squares...these unfinished tops are 8 3/4 inches square...with a nice (roughly) 1 inch piece of material to each side would bring me to about 10 1/2 inch  block...but these are currently a nicer size for potholders without the border.
Amazingly, I love math and really do try to get my measurements accurate...but I guess I do it more in the construction so everything goes together well...not so much about the size of the finished project! oops...

And since this is a fall blog hop and I love fall, here are some fun family photos of our fall here...


Until I was going through the pictures, I hadn't realized how quickly it "falled"! This is our back yard on Wednesday, October 3...and just look at how many leaves and colors changed in 5 days! Not to mention the drop in temperature as well :)

Hope you are enjoying fall and to keep it going, be sure to check out these other ladies posting today...

Tuesday 9
Home Designs by Amanda - You are here! :)


I still have a handful of things ready to blog about...and not as many deadlines, so, I hope to get those things up on here soon! 


 And He changeth the times and the seasons; 
He removeth kings, and setteth up kings: 
He giveth wisdom unto the wise, 
and knowledge to them that know understanding.
Daniel 2:21

Here Daniel is praising God for revealing secrets to him. Daniel is showing that God is in control of everything...He can even change the time and seasons! It is a comfort to know that God is controlling things and allowing some circumstances to come through our lives to grow us, make us more reliant on Him, and build our faith in Him. The road sometimes seems long, but He will see us through!

PRAISE GOD for His Awesome Love for Us!