Christmas Gifts and 2014 Planning

What have you been up to lately? Are you making your gifts for Christmas this year? I started working on my handmade gifts and wanted to share.

bag-1 My niece is a huge Vera Bradley fan and specifically asked me to make her a quilted cross body bag. I decided to design something from scratch, which actually came together very quickly. This is a pretty simple messenger style, cross body bag. When I have finished my other bag patterns (which I promise are still coming) I may tweak this concept a little and turn it into a fast, easy pattern.

bag-2 bag-3

I’ve seen so many beautiful handmade Christmas decorations on Instagram lately. All of our decorations are very old and none of them are handmade. I couldn’t resist and planned to make some stockings for my children, then somehow that turned into the idea to make about 18 stockings one for each person on my side of the family. I cut up a bunch of 3″ x WOF strips in different values of green and red. Then I stitched each strip together creating a 43″ x 110″ quilt. At this point I was really hesitating cutting into the quilt, it was so pretty. I then created a freezer paper stocking template and cut out all the front pieces of the stockings. You can get four stocking pieces out of eight 3″ strips. I plan to use a red print fabric for the lining and backing. Next, I will be quilting the front and back sides of the stockings and finishing them off. Perhaps a tutorial is in order?

Besides Christmas sewing I had a chance to finally catch up on bee blocks for do.Good Stitches and the Vitamin D (PHXMQG) bee.

2013-11-30 18.14.40This block is for my friend Jen, she took the classic Single Girl block and changed it up a little, like adding a cross to the center. This block was pieced using piec-lique which is currently my favorite technique. I was missing a few of the fabrics in my kit, so I was unable to finish the block, but it will be a pretty neat quilt, wont it?

2013-12-01 13.53.51-2I have always been a pretty big fan of X+ blocks, they are simple to make and you can really change the look of an X+ quilt by playing with different fabric combinations. I was asked to make my blocks using low volume prints for the background and +, black prints for the extended cross, and random, scrappy, bright prints for the X. These blocks will eventually make their way into a charity quilt for Project Linus. I jumped the gun before I read my bee mates exact requirements and actually made the 8.5″ version of the blocks, then realized as I was getting ready to ship them she wanted 12.5″. I plan to take the little ones and repurpose them, perhaps into a hot pad?

2013-12-02 17.05.37Finally, my friend Chelsa asked for flying geese. She had no specific requirements on block size or shape, just simply flying geese. She plans to take all of the random flying geese blocks and put them together in a fun improv geese quilt. Don’t you love her color scheme and fabric choice?

Contribute

I wanted to reach out and let you all know that I am looking for contributors to guest post here on Pile O’ Fabric in 2014. I’d love to have a few guests each month. Do you have extensive sewing or quilting experience, and a passion for teaching, writing, or blogging? If so, contributing tutorials, projects, articles and reviews to Pile O’ Fabric may be for you! You can learn more about contributing here and submit your idea here.

BOM

skill-builder-250-ad I have already starting working on Skill Builder BOM 2014 lessons and blocks. This year myself and three testers are working about a month ahead of all the participants. I am pretty excited about the new Sewing Room platform and think the BOM it is going to be a huge learning experience for those quilting along. I do hope you will join me!

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Fabric inspiration for Skill Builder BOM 2014

Alyssa