...and not eating bon-bons.

Monday, December 23, 2013

More Handmade Gifts...

Every Christmas Eve, I give the kids new pillowcases and pajamas. For the pillowcases, I try to find fabric that means something to each one, something that will remind them of the year, a sort of reflection of a sport played, a summer vacation, or a special interest. This year, Sarah joined a rec basketball team; Emma continued travel soccer; Andrew read most, if not all, the Peanuts comic books. He read Calvin and Hobbs too but I didn't think there is fabric for them. I have created a pillowcase tutorial for my beginner-sewing class. You can find the pillowcase tutorial here.


My nephew loves Thomas the Train so I was so excited to find some Thomas fabric, cut it up, and turn it into a colored pencil case. The pattern is from the book Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts.



I add D rings to mine to give the roll a nice, smooth finish rather than tying a bow.

Here is another Mouse in a Hammock ornament completed for a custom order. Doesn't he look peaceful? He's dreaming of Santa brining him a big chunk of cheese.

Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Time to Decorate the Tree

 This year I finally got around to making these cute Christmas book ornaments. The idea and tutorial came from this great blog! I had fun finding book images of Christmas classics...

Our heart-felt message inside...

Some special ornaments for the kids...

Merry Christmas 2013!
For the hand written messages, I used white cotton fabric on Heat N Bond (just like I did for the book images) and wrote the messages in an archival, waterproof pen.

 Our elf on the shelf, Nick, and Juliette having some fun in the bathroom. The things they do while we're sleeping! Oh my!

In January, I'm starting a monthly quilt block club at a fabric store I work at in Naperville, IL. I am using a pattern called Half Square Triangle Sampler by Jeni Baker. This is the first block for January. The colors are not what I would usually choose but the store I work at has more of a modern feel to it. This quilt will probably end up with one of my girls or for a silent auction. 

Merry Christmas!
Julie B. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Knitting Bags, Herbs, and Tomatoes

I am in love with the drawstring bags designed by Jeni B at In Color Order. I have made many for party bags and birthday gifts. Recently, I made some just for me to use as knitting bags. Each one contains a knitting project so I can easily grab one, flop on the couch, and knit while watching my favorite episodes of Downton Abbey. Or I can grab one on my way out the door when I need something to do while waiting for the kids.  Don't you love the sheep fabric?
 I have 2 or 3 knitting projects going at one time so I've made several bags.
 I added a pocket on the inside to separate my needles, small scissors, and various knitting accessories that get lost at the bottom.
This one I made for my daughter's friend who loves, loves, loves horses!

Can you see how they are addicting to make? And even better, the pattern is free! The only changes I made to the original pattern are adding an inside pocket and adding shape flex to the lining. I like my bags to have some stability.

Sage, thyme, and rosemary are essential in my garden every summer. I have a favorite chicken recipe that calls for these herbs to be placed under chicken thighs with lemon and baked. And don't forget to rub a garlic, salt and olive oil paste under the skin. Not super healthy, but what a super good treat!

 Of course, what is summer without fresh tomatoes from the back garden?

I have started this new blog as a continuation of my previous one, Bed Sheet in the Kitchen.

Happy day!