Friday, January 23, 2015

Holiday recap: Part 3

Here it is, the third and final holiday round-up post (earlier posts here and here). At least I squeezed it in before January finished up. Anyway, we left Louisiana on Christmas morning and headed back to Texas to celebrate with my mom's side of the family. After some feasting and visiting with friends, we closed the evening with more presents!
Everyone had a good time hamming it up for the camera, and B whipped through his presents as fast as we'd let him.
After Christmas, we stayed in Dallas for about five days, which left plenty of time for relaxing and hanging out with friends and family. We took several walks down to the lake, visited the giant nutcrackers, rode the trolley, and had lunch with old friends.
On our last night, we celebrated my little sister's 25th birthday (how is that possible?!?) with a family dinner out. She's getting so big!
By the end of it all, we were exhausted but happy. We drove home on New Year's Eve and spent an exciting evening sitting on the couch watching Scandal. Our holidays wrapped up with one final tradition: black-eyed peas (in the form of hoppin' John) and cornbread on New Year's Day. Another wonderful year!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Love Plus baby quilt: A finish!

I'm so excited to finally get to reveal my latest finish, which I'm calling the Love Plus baby quilt!
This quilt was gifted to my wonderful cousin, who recently had her second child, a little girl. The quilt was already going to be a bit late, but then the little lady decided to arrive a few weeks early (on Christmas Day, no less), so I was hurrying to finish it up when we returned from our holiday travels.
The colors were chosen to match her nursery, and though they're totally outside of my normal color scheme, I really love how they turned out. This quilt was completely sewn from my stash (bonus!), including the big Amy Butler lotus print I used on the back, which was one of the first fabrics I bought when I started sewing five years ago.
I adapted the pattern from the "Dream Big" quilt in Camille Roskelley's book Simplify: Quilts for the Modern Home. Basically, I got rid of the borders and deleted several rows and columns to make it a more appropriate baby size. If you're looking for something similar, I came across this pattern, which uses the same technique to create the pluses (rectangles + squares) as the pattern in the book. Also, this free tutorial from In Color Order uses an all-squares technique to make the pluses. (She also has a pattern for sale that includes more sizes.)
I quilted it using a cream thread. It's pretty hard to see in these pics, but I used horizontal lines in varying distances. I was originally planning to also do some vertical lines in a sort of crosshatch, but some of the horizontal quilting caused some of my piecing to get a bit wonky (ugh! I was so annoyed. My piecing had been almost perfect, which is not always the case for me. I'm hoping it won't be too noticeable once it's washed, but still.), and I was afraid adding the vertical lines would only make it worse. It's bound in a mustard crosshatch, which I particularly love against the all-red backing.
This baby's in the mail and will hopefully soon have a baby snuggled up inside!

For kicks, I'm linking up to this month's Sew the Library over at Fabric Mutt and Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ice Parfait mosaic

We're experiencing a brief respite from the cold temperatures today, and while I'm not counting on an end to winter anytime soon, I'm enjoying the warmer weather while it lasts. Still, when Rachel over at Stitched in Color posted her latest mosaic contest, Ice Parfait, I couldn't help getting into the winter spirit. As she says, "Let's welcome winter's colors pure and true, cold and still, fractured icy perfection at its best. Just make sure to include icy colors in a way that feels still and wintry to you." So here's winter to me, icy and cold with just a hint of soft colors:

 Check out Rachel's post for the other mosaics or to add one of your own!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Holiday recap: Part 2

Now that we've covered Thanksgiving (finally), we can move on to our Christmas travels. I'm going to break this into two posts because it was a long trip. For the first half, we headed to Oklahoma and Louisiana to see my dad's side of the family. We have some extended family in small-town Oklahoma who had never met B because we could never time our holiday travels with their get-together, but this year it finally worked out! It was so good to introduce B to his great-grandmother, great-aunts, and other family.
And he got a light-up Spider-Man watch, which, if you ask B, is the BEST.PRESENT.EVER.
Afterward, we continued the drive to Louisiana, where we got to spend several days with our family there. Ugly sweaters might have been involved.
Our present exchange was crazy, as always, with three dogs running around and lots of people. I wouldn't want it any other way. Love these people.
B really got into opening presents this year, and he was so excited every time he opened something new. This year, he also discovered the wonder of candy canes.
And he helped Papa and Nana test out some of his (and their) new toys.
After all the chaos, we packed up our goodies, said goodbye, and headed to Texas for Christmas, part 2. But that's a story for another day.