Two Gift Bags

Wrapping gifts in paper is one of my least favorite activities. Gift wrapping is tolerable when I use gift bags, but still not a favorite activity. I envy the people who wrap gifts as an art form and wish I had a friend who would take over that role for me.

Last year I had a whole bunch of stocking stuffers to wrap with very little time to do it. It was torture. I did it and my mom entertained me while I worked, but it was still torture.

Since I buy stocking stuffers all year long, I decided I would wrap them as I bought them. It is going ok.

Two Green Gift Bags
Two Green Gift Bags

I bought some socks as a gift earlier this year and I am finally making progress on wrapping these gifts. It took me forever, but I did it. I did the work at Sew Day with Gerre and it didn’t even seem like I was making gift bags. Gift bags can be tedious and these were a bit fiddly, but chatting while I sewed made it ok.

Finished: Mod Lights

Mod Lights: Perfect Fit
Mod Lights: Perfect Fit

This tablerunner (buffet runner) is finished and I couldn’t be more pleased.

The photo, left, shows where it will go in my house during Christmas. I am pleased because I had to adjust the pattern slightly and it worked! The runner fits perfectly on top of my buffet.

Mod Lights Table Runner
Mod Lights Table Runner

As mentioned, this is a quick curve mini-ruler pattern from Sew Kind of Wonderful called Mod Lights. The pattern has 3-4 patterns, so you wouldn’t just be getting this one.

I used some Free Spirit solids bought at QuiltCon in 2018. They were lovely to work with-not much fraying and great colors. The green is a Pointillist Palette ombre I have had for awhile and the background is the same background I used for Metroscape.

I also did the quilting myself. I don’t do much quilting, but I decided it was too small to take to Colleen and I could do it. Also, I wanted it done, so I spent a Saturday quilting it very slowly. My body is still complaining a bit from the exertion.

Mod Lights Table Runner - back
Mod Lights Table Runner – back

I had some tension issues, but learned a bit about my machine in working them out. I didn’t see the computer display change as I adjusted the tension, but I did see a difference in the stitching, so I guess it worked.

Serious Progress: Lights Tablerunner

Lights Tablerunner - quilted
Lights Tablerunner – quilted

It isn’t that long ago that I was sewing the blocks for this piece. Now the quilting is done and the binding is machine stitched. I am ready to hand sew the back of the binding and be finished.

Quilting - Lights tablerunner
Quilting – Lights tablerunner

I spent all day Saturday quilting it. It took me all day, too, to carefully straight stitch the areas I wanted quilted.

I really didn’t want to do it, but I also don’t want another UFO hanging around, so I bit the bullet and did the quilting. I am paying for my work as my arm and neck aren’t their usual selves. I tend to attach my left shoulder to my ear as I quilt. I tried really hard to keep it down so the pain is not as bad as it could be. I have Serendipity Lady to quilt, but that piece will have to wait for another day.

Lights tablerunner - quilting detail
Lights tablerunner – quilting detail

The quilting isn’t perfect, but I am pretty pleased with the way it came out. There are a couple of sections I might redo, but I don’t need to worry about that now.

What really helped me was listening to the Pearl Sister as I quilted. After a couple of enjoyable, but not well written books, this was a fantastic quilting book. It is the latest in the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley and was really great. I am going back to read the first in the series, because it was so good and I want to be reminded of the details of the sisters. I just found out there is another installment in the series ready for me to read as well, The Moon Sister! Yay! Perhaps it is time for another quilting project? Definitely read the series in order.

Finished Quilting: Christmas Mat

Christmas mat quilted
Christmas mat quilted

As mentioned the other day, I finished longarming the Christmas Mat.

I am pleased with the design and pleased that all I have to do is bind. Friend Julie thinks that a red binding would work. I agree, which means rummaging around in the my reds to find the right one.

Now I have two things to which I need to make and apply binding.

Christmas mat detail
Christmas mat detail

Gift Post #2 – 2017

Le Cafe Eiffel Tower pillowcase
Le Cafe Eiffel Tower pillowcase

Sometime in September, I found some Le Cafe fabric by Danhui Nai for Wilmington. I was in the mood to make pillowcases at the time and bought a whole bunch of the fabric to make pillowcases for my sister for Christmas.

My idea was to use the toss prints for the main body of the cases and the border print for the cuff. I quickly screwed up the cuff idea by not buying the right amount for cuffs and screwing up the cutting. I found an old Verna Mosquera dot print and used that for the cuffs. It was like the fabric was made for the pillowcases, because I had plenty for four pillowcases. I think the dot provided a good contrast for the pillowcases.

I cut the pieces out during some evenings when I had 10-15 minutes while dinner finished cooking. I did most of the sewing over the Thanksgiving Weekend. I used the pillowcases as additional leaders and enders as I pieced En Provence. They are not ideal leaders and enders as the seams  are long. I beat myself into submission as using the leaders and enders technique gets projects done.

Creative Prompt #343: Christmas

Nota Bene: For those of you who don’t celebrate, I apologize. This was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Please select your own word and post a link to your response. I appreciate your understanding.





Christmas tree

Holiday music




family traditions


“Do They Know It’s Christmas,” a charity single released by Bob Geldof’s Band Aid 30

Advent calendar

Family gatherings



A Charlie Brown Christmas Movie


Christmas Eve

artificial Christmas trees

gingerbread house

Christmas decorations

Christmas cheer

Merry Christmas

A Christmas Story (1983 movie)


Definition: “Christmas or Christmas Day (Old English: Cr?stesmæsse, meaning “Christ‘s Mass“) is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ,[7][8] observed most commonly on December 25[4][9][10] as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.[2][11][12] A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is prepared for by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night;[13] in some traditions, Christmastide includes an Octave.[14] Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world’s nations,[15][16][17] is celebrated culturally by a large number of non-Christian people,[1][18][19] and is an integral part of the holiday season.

The celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins.[20] Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath, Christmas music and caroling, lighting a Christingle, an exchange of Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore.[21] Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.

While the month and date of Jesus’ birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25,[22] a date later adopted in the East,[23][24] although some churches celebrate on the December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which, in the Gregorian calendar, currently corresponds to January 7, the day after the Western Christian Church celebrates the Epiphany. The date of Christmas may have initially been chosen to correspond with the day exactly nine months after the day on which early Christians believed that Jesus was conceived,[25] or with one or more ancient polytheistic festivals that occurred near southern solstice (i.e., the Roman winter solstice);[26][27] a further solar connection has been suggested because of a biblical verse[a] identifying Jesus as the “Sun of righteousness”.[25][28][29]” (Wikipedia)

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and get familiar with your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

We are also talking about this on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #CPP

More Christmas Pillowcases

Red Lights Pillowcases
Red Lights Pillowcases

I was concerned about the extra fabric I bought for Christmas pillowcases. I decided to make two pillowcases for two additional gifts. Can’t tell you for whom they are intended, but I’ll tell you later.

The cuff colors were hard, again, and not an exact match to the colors in the main fabric, but they mimic the hues in the fabric.

I worry about the solids being too much, but I made a decision and I am sticking to it. The colors for Christmas are definitely unconventional, but I think they work and don’t scream Christmas.

Christmas Pillowcase Tally #3

This third tally runs hard on the heels of my last Christmas Pillowcase update. I won’t keep you guessing, if you didn’t read that post. I finished the task I set out for myself. I am finished with the Christmas pillowcases.

Here is the grand total of what I have finished:

  • SIL#1: 4 kids, 2 spouses/SOs
    • 3rd oldest nephew + SO (Dear Santa theme – DONE for both)
    • Oldest niece + Fiance (flannel – DONE for fiance, lights with white background theme – DONE)
    • Nephew (Christmas in So Cal theme – DONE)
    • Youngest niece (black Gingerbread and Toy Shop theme – DONE)
  • SIL#2: 3 kids, 1 spouse, 2 great niece-phews
    • Oldest nephew + spouse + 2 kids (old fashioned Christmas with green cuffs for nephew and niece-in-law: DONE, 2 kids (Olaf for boy, Anna/Elsa for girl): DONE)
    • 2d oldest nephew (present theme – DONE)
    • middle of the pack nephew (blue lights theme – DONE)
  • BIL #1: 1 kid
    • 3rd youngest nephew (DONE)
  • Young Man (Christmas in So Cal theme – DONE)
  • SIL#3: 2 kids
    • Middle niece (DONE) –Gingerbread house theme
    • middle of the pack nephew – 4th youngest ( Nutcracker theme – DONE)
  • BIL #2: 2 kids
    • 2d youngest nephew (DONE)
    • Youngest nephew (DONE)


Again, I AM DONE except for the mailing.

Last Batch of Christmas Pillowcases

I finished the last Christmas pillowcases. Hooray!!! I just sat down and did a bit of sewing one day. I had about an hour so I only finished a couple, then I finished the stragglers a few days later. Voila! I am done.

Dear Santa Pillowcase
Dear Santa Pillowcase
Dear Santa Pillowcase
Dear Santa Pillowcase

The two Dear Santa Pillowcases are some of my favorites. On the left will go to Raymond, the SO of my 3rd oldest nephew and the right will go to the actual nephew. I hope they don’t look too girly.

I really like the sense of humor that Cotton & Steel has with some of their designs. I also like the 50s look of the design. I am waiting for some Christmas designs that include the Shiny Brite ornaments I like so much.

Blue LIghts Pillowcase
Blue Lights Pillowcase

The blue lights pillowcase is similar to the white lights pillowcase I made the other day. This will go to one of the middle nephews (so many nephews!!!). I think the lights might be a little smaller, but I am pretty sure the fabric is from the same line as the white lights pillowcase.

I have more fabric and am tempted to make more pillowcases, but am going to hold off. I had some fun just doing some tests the other day and want to keep that feeling alive.

Now, guess what I am worrying about? Packing up and mailing all of these things out to the Niece-phews! Sheesh! I have over a month and can do it a little at a time.

Another Batch

Kiera's Toy Shops & Gingerbread Houses
Kiera’s Toy Shops & Gingerbread Houses

I only really had Sunday to sew. I am still not focusing well and I decided to work on pillowcases for awhile in the morning. Well, the morning turned into an almost all day marathon of pillowcase making to get the Christmas project done once and for all.

As I have said the hardest part is picking the cuff fabrics. I think I need to do that when I buy future pillowcase fabric. We all know that is not going to happen since I don’t plan that far ahead. A girl can dream, though.

About midday I had all the bodies and cuffs cut and pinned. One thing I learned is that I need to cut my initial pieces (you know the ones I cut out of each piece of new yardage) up the side of the fabric, especially the half yards, because if I cut across the bottom, the half yards won’t be long enough to make a cuff. That cuts down my cuff options. Live and learn.

Phil's presents
Phil’s presents

I methodically sewed and this time I used an applique foot so I wouldn’t have to guess on the initial seams. Still, sewing the final seams was less ideal, because of that foot. I used a wider seam allowance. I am sure it will be fine, but it makes me want to invent a pillowcase foot.

Some of the fabrics had purple in them so I chose purple/lavender cuffs. It is an odd choice, but I think it works.

I made two of the gift pillowcases (2d photo in this post) as I had a lot of the gift fabric and figured I might as well, since I didn’t want to keep the fabric for anything. I am not sure where I got it and why I got so much of it, but I have enough to make some gift bags, too.

White Lights Pillowcase
White Lights Pillowcase

One of the pillowcases I made is really one of my favorites. I like that print. I actually have it with blue and red backgrounds as well.

This one is for my oldest niece. I didn’t have enough to make two with the same fabric, which I would have done if I had enough fabric. I already made one for my niece’s fiance’ and I can make more later.

I have two more pillowcases prepared, but I don’t know if I will get them done until next weekend. I’d like to, but we will see.

More Christmas Pillowcases

Sean's Pillowcase
Sean’s Pillowcase

I made more progress on Christmas pillowcases last week. It works very well for me if I cut the length I need from the Christmas fabric, then find some cuff fabric, pin everything and stack a bunch up, then sew on the weekends.

That is what I did with the Hallowe’en pillowcases and these two Christmas pillowcases.

These are fun. I love the California (could be Aussie/NZ as well, I guess) Christmas theme. That camper is super fun as well.

I bought enough to make two pillowcases and decided to give on to the YM and the other to the cousin who always hung out with him. A little matchy, matchy, I know, but too bad. They can make their own pillowcases if they don’t like it. 😉

YM's Christmas Pillowcase
YM’s Christmas Pillowcase

Yes, I used some Pearl Bracelets for the YM’s case. If I had had some Kona Ash, that would have worked, but I didn’t, so Pearl Bracelets it was.

Another Christmas Pillowcase

Suddenly it is September and I feel like Christmas is looming. Like a giant black raven waiting to peck my eyes out.

Anna and Elsa Pillowcase
Anna and Elsa Pillowcase

Fortunately, I want to stay away from nasty imagery so I went full force in pillowcase making department. The Anna and Elsa pillowcase is now done, which means I can pack up one family’s pillowcases and prepare to send them off around Thanksgiving.

I also cut two other Christmas pillowcases and 3 Hallowe’en pillowcases. I have a number of other Christmas fabric in the pipeline ready to go.

I cut a piece of the Anna and Elsa fabric for FOTY 2015, but really tried to avoid the faces. They aren’t creepy or anything, but I don’t want Anna or Elsa looking at me until FOTY 2015 disintegrates.

Pillowcase Tally

After one of my recent posts on pillowcases, I thought I had better do a tally regarding the Christmas pillowcases I am planning on making. The last tally I did was May 4 and I have made some progress, so I thought I had better crow a little bit.

Here is the grand total of what I still need:

  • SIL#1: 4 kids, 2 spouses/SOs
    • 3rd oldest nephew + SO
    • Oldest niece + Fiance (yes, this has changed since the last update) (DONE for fiance)
    • Nephew (not sure where he falls in the order)
    • Youngest niece (DONE)
  • SIL#2: 3 kids, 1 spouse, 2 great niece-phews
    • Oldest nephew + spouse + 2 kids (Nephew + spouse: 2 done, 1 kid: done)
    • 2d oldest nephew
    • middle of the pack nephew
  • BIL #1: 1 kid
    • 3rd youngest nephew (DONE)
  • SIL#3: 2 kids
    • Middle niece (DONE)
    • middle of the pack nephew – 4th youngest (??)
  • BIL #2: 2 kids
    • 2d youngest nephew (DONE)
    • Youngest nephew (DONE)

I am off the fence about my 3 youngest nephews. Even though I made them pillowcases last year for Christmas, they are each getting a pillowcase. My YM is also not on the list, but I will probably just send him one before the school year ends.



I am pleased with the progress I have made.


I needed some leaders and enders s I worked on the backs for the Food Quilt #2 and the Box Full of Letters quilt. I still have several Christmas pillowcases to make AND college care package pillowcases to make for the Young Man so I decided that pillowcases would be my leaders and enders.It is much easier to use mindless squares, but I didn’t have any prepared (make a to do list note) so it had to be pillowcase. I did a bit of putting together the Field Day quilt, but not much.

I finished three pillowcases, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is progress.

Gingerbread House Pillowcase
Gingerbread House Pillowcase

First, I have finished one of the Christmas pillowcases with fabric that I bought at a shop in the South Bay (forgot the name, sorry!) which I really like. The colors are cheerful and one take on the modern Christmas palette. I really like the way designers are using pink and aqua and turquoise for Christmas now. Yes, it will look dated in 10 years (remember mauve?), but I still like it. Choosing fabrics for the cuffs is always a problem for me. Not sure why. I thought this dot worked with the brown in the gingerbread houses and added a little fun fun.

Next, I made one of the college care package pillowcases. This one will be for Halloween. I don’t plan on sending giant care packages every month, but a little something every month or so will be fun. Hallowe’en is good time to fill a box with rubber spiders, mini-Snickers, spider webs and plastic ants.

Halloween Pillowcase for YM
Halloween Pillowcase for YM

I found this skeleton fabric at the Fabricworm and knew the YM would appreciate the Halloween fun. The cuff is made from an old Jennifer Sampou print from her Art Nouveau line. It has been laying around much too long and I think it works fine with the skeletons. It isn’t perfect, but it is ok and the YM won’t care.

I am feeling a lot better about my pillowcases now. They are a uniform size and I can make them quickly.

Olaf Pillowcase
Olaf Pillowcase

The last pillowcase is another for the Christmas series. I found some Frozen fabric and decided to use it to make a fun case for one of the littlest nephews. I think the orange I picked for the cuff makes for one of the best cuffs ever. Hopefully, this will delight a little boy.

I still have to make a pillowcase for his sister and she will get one from the Frozen fabric line, too. Once hers is done I can get the family’s ready to send off.