Thursday, December 29, 2011

Homemade Holidays (Part 1)

Just in case you thought I forgot to share all of those holiday projects I has been working on here is the first part.  I bet you thought I was all talk back in August when I shared my plans to make Vanilla Extract as Christmas gifts but I actually did it.  It's so simple and it was a huge hit with the husbands family.  It made great last minute gifts for a few people I hadn't planed to gift give with but who I knew would be at family events and would be bringing gifts.  I actually received a cookbook wrapped in a kitchen towel with a cookie cutter holding it shut and thought that was so nifty I implemented the idea myself the next day with a bottle of vanilla inside.

I made the labels on my home computer and just printed them off on Avery Labels.  It was simple enough and the overall look though not everything I had hoped for turned out well enough I guess.  I hope that doesn't sound like too much of a cop out but the truth is I was sick right before Christmas and even bailed out on some family functions just to make sure I had enough energy to make it through the BIG day.

UNC Quilt
My big surprise present this year was a quilt for the husband.  See we aren't big on sports in our house but we both really enjoy college basketball for some reason.  I don't really know why I like it because being in the Marching Band in High School I always went to football games but it worked out that way and the fact that we both like UNC (University of North Carolina) is an added bonus.  So my husband wanted me to make him a quilt with all of his UNC t-shirts, he has a ton of them, even though he never went to school there.  I gathered them up and started making a plan which quickly fell by the wayside.  Then way back last August 2010 when it was my turn to send fabric in the Circuit Bee I sent out fabrics and asked for blocks inspired by this quilt.  It was a difficult task to say the least, using collegiate fabrics and making minimalist blocks at the same time but the ladies really pulled through for me.

It turned out better than I could have imagined.

I went to my mom's for a day of sewing and got the top and backing put together with the help of my mom.  Thanks again mom!  The finished quilt is about 44" wide by 68" long, it still amazes me how much they seem to shrink.  This one especially but I think that may have to do with the fabrics and knowing I didn't prewash them I can't complain.  I knew I wanted to have it quilted with something Tarheel related but not over the top.  I took it to a long arm quilter here locally because I was pressed for time.  Remember when I said I would never use this person again?  Turns out I did and now I really mean it!  It's not that I don't like the quilting I do and she was even nice enough to order the foot design special for me.  But sometimes it's the little things, like the fact I asked for it to be quilted in white that didn't happen obviously, but I do like it.  And there are some rather large spaces that don't have quilting if you ask me.  In the end I love the way it turned out though so I really shouldn't complain.

One of my favorite blocks.  I can't believe how she made the symbol and everything.
My mom was nice enough to sew the binding on for me so I could keep it a secret.  And it was right up until we were about 1/2 way through opening presents on Christmas Eve with my side of the family.  The hubs admitted that he assumed since my mom received a quilt for Christmas (look for part ii for that quilt) that was the only one I was making.  He later admitted to me that after she opened it and my dad told him maybe next year he had the feeling his UNC quilt was in one of the boxes beside him yet to be opened.  Not too bad for a surprise present.  I say he didn't really know and doesn't want to admit I managed to surprise him.  Although for the life of me I don't know how I pulled it off because I am terrible with surprises and I almost told him about things that happened along the way about 100 times.

1 comment:

  1. Greta, the UNC quilt is amazing! It turned out beautiful and the quilting is so cool!


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