Tuesday, September 7, 2010

ABC Baby Quilt!

A great friend had his first baby this summer. She was born in late June - 20 days after he and his wife came to our wedding. Mr. Gnomemade and I were thrilled to have them there and get to see them before such a big event in their life.

Welll, the little one arrived and she's absolutely beautiful. This is the same couple who I gave a wedding quilt to when they got married a couple years ago, so I figured it was only appropriate to give their new little bundle of joy a quilt too!

Now, getting married and going on a honeymoon didn't give me a lot of time to put something together, so thank goodness for some really cute cheater panels!

Such a cute theme and hopefully one they like for the newest member of their family! (And another UFO challenge item complete!)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Batik Color Sample Quilt

Now, it's never happened before, but I made a quilt that I don't have a home for. Up until now, everytime I've started a project, it's been for a certain person in mind. They always have homes they are going to go to, and in fact, with the exception of the one I just made Mr. Gnomemade, not one quilt has stayed in my home. (Wait, that's a lie - I have kept one Thanksgiving small wall-hanging).

But, a quilt larger than 20 x 20? Never happened. Until now.

A couple of years ago, I was in a small quilt shop when I came across a kit. I'd never purchased a quilt kit before then, and I'd actually never used batik fabrics. I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone, and picked up the kit. I thought it was really cool, and something completely different than anything I've done.

So, here's the final project! I'm pretty proud of it myself.

Now, just to figure out what the heck to do with it! It doesn't match anything in my house, but I think it's really cool. Maybe my office? It used to be a supply closet (no joke), so I'm afraid the quilt will overpower my little area in the world!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mom's Americana Quilt

As I mentioned yesterday, I challenged myself to a UFO completion! , part of my post-wedding/summer plans was to try to get a handle on all of my unfinished projects. I've been lucky to have lots of projects started, and some new exciting fabrics and patterns come in over the past year. I'm itching to get started on the new stuff, but know realistically that I should probably finish up all the old ones before I get started! I've been trying to keep my sidebar up-to-date with all my UFO's, but even that doesn't even touch some of the projects I need to work on.

To start this effort to finish up all my UFO's, I tackled a project that is long overdue. For one of my mom's big birthdays, I put together a quilt top. Mom loves all things Americana, and I'd been collecting red, white and cream prints for a while. I put together the top and presented it to her for the birthday. I had just started hand quilting it, and hadn't accounted for how long it would take.

Fast forward a couple of years (yes, I really am that far behind) and I finally got all the hand quilting done. Mom and Dad visited in early August and I was finally able to present to her the final project! SCORE!

So here it is...

And the hand quilting that took me so long to finish...

I think she likes it an I'm just happy to finally make good on my gift!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

UFO Challenge

This summer, I challenged myself to complete all my UFO's. Part of my post-wedding/summer plans was to try to get a handle on all of my unfinished projects. I've been lucky to have lots of projects started, and some new exciting fabrics and patterns come in over the past year. I'm itching to get started on the new stuff, but know realistically that I should probably finish up all the old ones before I get started!

After getting back from the honeymoon and unpacking some great wedding gifts, I took stock of all my unfinished projects. I promised myself I would get through them as quickly as possible. And, so, I hunkered down over the month of July to get them done!

Now, I was hoping I'd get them done during the summer, but August quickly crept up on me and I found myself consumed by a 19-day work week with 15-18 hour days. So, I got through some of the projects, but not all of them.

So, rather than abandon the project by saying, well the summer's over, I'm going to keep going.

This July I completed several items:
  • Mom's Americana Quilt
  • Batik Color Sample Quilt
  • ABC Baby Quilt

I look forward to blogging about these finishes soon and posting some photos of my industriousness.

But, for the rest of 2010, I'm going to focus on the other UFOs/WIPs in my life, including:

  • Flower Power Pillows
  • Quilt Along Quilt
  • Christmas Embroidery Quilt
  • Wedding Autograph Quilt
  • In-Laws Surprise Quilt
  • Pizza Box Challenge Quilt

Now, I'm sure there are others, but those are the big ones. I've got to fit in completing some projects to sell at my Quilt Guild's quilt show, as well as some Christmas presents, but I'm not letting myself cut into the beautiful fabrics I've purchased over the past year until those are done! (And my, those are tempting - my birthday presents from my parents was a shopping trip to a local quilt shop, so I had to tuck all my purchases away in a drawer to keep from tempting myself!)

Wish me luck as I embark upon this adventure! Hope I can keep to my promise of not starting something new!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Wedding Quilt

Well, one of my projects for the wedding was a surprise - for everyone except me. I know it's tradition to exchange gifts between the bride and groom for the wedding, so I wanted to do something special. Mr. Gnomemade got me a great gift that arrived before the wedding - a Le Creuset lasagna pan. It was too heavy and too much a logistical nightmare for him to get it to Williamsburg, but I was able to transport his gift!

For months I'd been working secretly - when he was at work, at church, etc. - to make him a quilt. He'd been asking ever since I started quilting when I was going to make him one, so I figured there would be no better time to! He walked in a couple of times while I was working on it, so I was certain he knew what I was up to and was just sparing my feelings.

But, turns out he had no clue. So, on our wedding day, he opened my gift and found this...

Front of the quilt

Detail of front

Back of quilt

The colors are a little bit off - it was sunny out taking the photos, but I found lots of fabrics that are his favorite colors - blues, greens and browns. I actually had been collecting them for several years now. Some of the backing is leftover fabric I had from a Williamsburg quilt I made for another friend's wedding.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Our Winner

Where did I go? How is it the beginning of August already and I didn't even post the winner of my blog giveaway? So sorry about that.

I asked the Random Number Generator (aka Mr. Gnomemade) to choose.

So congratulations to...Megan!

I've e-mailed you to get your address. Thanks to everyone for participating!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Wedding Day...

Our big day was great. We had a wonderful time with our family and friends. It was an amazing day (an amazing weekend all together), and made so special by being surrounded by everyone we love. We really wanted a weekend where we could visit with our guests, and I hope they walked away saying we did. With just over 100 people in attendance, Mr. Gnomemade and I did our best to chat with everyone that day, and throughout the weekend. We really were humbled by how far our friends and family were willing to travel to be with us - from New York, Rhode Island, Boston, Orlando, etc.

The morning of the wedding was spent prepping. The girls met in the bridal suite and had their hair and make-up done. The boys went out to lunch and then spent about 20 minutes putting on their suits. Mr. Gnomemade and I met up in the bridal suite just ourselves, and then we headed out for some photos. (We wanted to get our photos done beforehand so we could enjoy our entire reception and mingle with our guests). Our photographer was wonderful and willing to trek around campus with us - we're still waiting on those photos to arrive, so what you'll see here is those from our family and friends. And Mr. Gnomemade, as he carried a camera with him - the only groom I've ever seen do so.

Our day was hot...99 degrees out! We visited a couple spots on our campus where we met and were being married before meeting up with our families at the chapel. We did our formals together, and then it was time to say "I do." After the ceremony (which we don't have any really good candids of), all our guests assembled in the courtyard of the building where we were married for a group shot.

My maid and matron of honor and I after the ceremony.

Lots of hugging, and a couple more formals later, we were on our way to the reception. Our reception was held at a town hall type building. It had large picture windows and beautiful natural lighting which made it a wonderful location. Our caterer was great, the DJ phenomenal (we're pretty certain people liked her better than us!) and a good time was had by all.

Mr. Gnomemade and I really wanted a fun, relaxed wedding where our guests wouldn't stand on ceremony and really enjoy themselves and I like to think that's what they got. We were blown away by the number of people who could attend, but once there the dance floor was packed, people milled about socializing and everyone enjoyed the food. We were thrilled.

Mr. and Mrs. Gnomemade at the reception

Well, the reception went by like a whirlwind, but we did manage to make it to every table in the place - so we were happy. We were determined to give our guests individualized attention - I mean, how often do you get everyone you love in one room? There were toasts, pie (yes, pie - I don't do cake), lots of dancing, some games and well, a lot of heat (poor little AC just couldn't keep up with us!).

After the reception, the parents got together back at the hotel along with some of our guests, while we went out with our college/high school/work friends to a local tavern - which gave us a great chance to visit.

The next morning, it was up bright and early to greet our guests and bid them goodbye at a brunch. Then Mr. Gnomemade and I packed up and headed off to our car to drive back home, where we were greeted with this...

Thanks to my sister (who served as my maid of honor) and my close friend (my matron of honor) and their signfiicant others, our car got the royal treatment. The balloons and streamers were removed before hitting the highway, but we still got lots of honks (until it rained) for the messages written all over our windows!

So, there you have it - our wedding in a nutshell. I'll be back again soon to post some of the more personal touches we had at the wedding!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Gnomemade

Well...we did it! On June 5th we tied the knot in Williamsburg, VA. It was a great day filled with family and friends. The most memorable, or perhaps notable, part of the wedding - other than marrying my best friend? Well, it was hot. No, not just hot...it was HOT! Hot as in, on our wedding day we broke the record high temp by six degrees! Six degrees! The record high had been 93 degrees, and we hit 99 degrees. Thankfully, our chapel and our reception site were air conditioned, but even the A/C had a hard time keeping up.

I've shown a couple of friends photos from the wedding and they've kindly said we were "beaming" or "glowing." But really, we were melting. We took our photos outside before the ceremony, so we were hot! We were married on the college campus where we met, and it's gorgeous, so we couldn't resist.

All in all, we had a wonderful weekend celebrating. We had just over 100 guests, and we planned weekend long activities with the goal of being able to spend time with all of them.

The festivities started out really on Wednesday, when my matron of honor arrived, along with one set of wedding guests. We dined that night at one of our favorite Italian restaurants in town. It was a small crowd, but the food, as always was tasty and it was nice to spend some time with my parents and matron of honor.

On Thursday, the future Mr. Gnomemade arrrived - he flew into town after working through Wednesday. We ran some errands and then the real fun began. Our families began to arrive and we had a great dinner at Pierce's BBQ. And then it was off to Bruster's for some tasty ice cream.

On Friday, the girls got their nails done and then Mr. Gnomemade and I took my aunt and uncle on a tour of the college campus. After braving the heat, we got changed and headed off for the rehearsal. Three run-throughs later, our officiant gave us the "all clear" and then it was off to the rehearsal dinner with our family and wedding party.

Our rehearsal dinner was held in a Colonial Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. The food was fantastic, the atmosphere was wonderful and we were treated to strolling misnstrels and colonial traditions.

After that, we immediately met up with more friends and family in Merchant's Square where Mr. Gnomemade and I gave a ghost tour around the colonial village.

It was a busy week, and that was only the beginning. The next day, we got married! Now, I've already rambled on a bit, so I'll save all that info for a little bit later.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What A Month! And a Giveaway!

It's been almost exactly a month since my last post, and I'm not even sure where to begin! It's been a whirlwind of activity and fun, and only now do I feel like I'm coming up to breathe. So much has happened and I've enjoyed myself so greatly. Now, if I were to go into all of it here, I would be writing a blog that would span multiple pages, and that just seems like too much to read. So, I think I'll break it up over several blogs over the next few days to cover everything. Everything will include...

  • The wedding - yes, I'm married now!
  • All the wedding DIY projects I crazily committed to (and did manage to finish on deadline)
  • The honeymoon to Disney World - so much fun
  • Our sneak peek of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal in Orlando
  • A fabulous shop hop where I bought way too much
  • My personal Summer UFO challenge (and I'm off to a good start!)

But before I go into all that, I want to thank you in advance for reading all my forthcoming rambles with a giveaway (plust this is my 50th post, so it seems like a fun way to celebrate). What's up for grabs? An adorable bundle of three fat quarters. They're all a nice teal blue in color with a stripe and floral hiding underneat the top patterned fat quarter.

How do you win? Well, I thought you'd never ask! It's simple.

I will give you one entry for each of the three following items:

- Leave me a comment
(any comment will do, or if you need some direction, let me know what you want to hear about our wedding)

- Be follower of my blog
(leave me a comment saying you're a follower)

- Post about my giveaway on your blog
(Leave me a comment saying you did so. I'm excited to go check out your blogs, as it gives me incentive to visit your blog and add more blogs to my google reader)

Be sure to leave me a separate comment for each entry - it helps when trying to choose a winner!

I'll choose a random winner using my personal "Random Number Generator" (aka saying to the new-Mr. Gnomemade, "Sweetie, pick a number between 1 and xxx).

Giveaway is open until midnight (EST) on July 4th.
I'm more than happy to ship internationally too.

Monday, May 31, 2010

And Away We Go...

Well, it's finally here. After almost a month of preparation, the wedding day is only 5 days away! Eek! We're extremely excited here and looking forward to spending the weekend with our family and friends celebrating.

The fiancee and I are absolutely blown away by the number of friends and family who are willing to travel such a distance to spend the big day with us. And we can't wait to celebrate with every single one of them.

I head out of town tomorrow morning, with a car packed full of wedding goodies - including my dress - to make the trip up to Williamsburg. The fiancee will join me later, as he doesn't have the luxury of lots of vacation days like I do.

And so, as you might imagine, as I will be busy with other things in my life other than sewing and crafting, this blog will remain quiet for a bit. Promise to be back soon with some photos and to share all the fun projects we did for the wedding!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

We Have a Winner!

Wow! 362 comments - that's so great! Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog!

I'll get to the part everyone is curious about - the winner. I had the random number generator (the fiancee) choose a number between 1 and 362 and he chose 252 - so...congratulations to Sy! (I sent you an e-mail so be sure to get back to me with your address to send the fat quarters.)

I really enjoyed all of the advice everyone shared and appreciate all the lessons you were willing to offer me about married life. We definitely have a lot of great ideas to sift through and incorporate into our new life together (which will start in 16 days!) We also had some good laughs!

Once again, thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Giveaway Day

EDIT: The giveaway is now closed - thanks for entering.

It's giveaway time - as part of Sew Mama Sew! Giveaway Day! Up for grabs is a set of three fat quarters - all very bright and cherry and just in time for upcoming summer!

There's a yellow stripe, a red/green/yellow plaid and a bright and a cheery floral!

What do you need to do to win this? Well, as I'm getting married in twenty days - leave me a comment with a piece of advice about how to have a great marriage. I look forward to reading your advice. I'll have the random number generator (better known as the fiancee - who will be told "pick a number between 1 and ###) pick a winner. And this will stay open through 10 pm on Thursday, May 20th. I'm more than happy to ship internationally, too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Almost Time for...Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

Sew Mama Sew is hosting their giveaway day officially starting tomorrow and I'm participating! Check back a little bit later tonight to see what I'm giving away.

Monday, May 3, 2010

This is what our wedding looks like...

So, we're in full swing on the wedding front here in the Gnomemade household. And what does that mean? Well, lots and lots of craft projects of course. All my great ideas - that were such wonderful ideas 11 months ago, all need to become a reality and fast!

Here are the casualties of one such wedding craft project. It kinda looks like a ribbon factory exploded on our carpet. Needless to say, after many hours with a scissors, I then became accquainted with our dustpan and brush and vacuum.

This is the "in process" shot of our party favors. Hopefully the handmade favors will be a hit - though at this point, I'm starting to think I should have bought more and made less - but I know the day-of and afterwards I'll appreciate having made all of our crafts! Let's just hope we get to that day-of - with them all done!
What's left - well we've got our table cards and place cards - all with a gnome theme of course!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oh My Goodness...I Won!

So, earlier in April while wandering through the blog-o-sphere, I happened across a wonderful blog run by Carolina Patchworks. She just so happened to have a giveaway going for some of her patterns. So, like a good blogger, I hopped right over to her Etsy shop and took a look at her patterns, per her instructions. She's got some absolutely adorable patterns and is really creative. And to boot, she's just a couple hours up the road from me!

She's really creative with some patterns that make really great use of pre-cuts, and then some that are based on old-school video games (which any child of the 80s can appreciate). So, anyhoo...I took a look around and left her a comment about which pattern I liked best.

Fast forward a couple of days, because naturally I had forgotten to add her blog to my reading list (whoops! I do that a lot), and I got an e-mail from her. And what did it say? I won! And I should e-mail her with my address and the pattern I'd like sent to me! I was so excited. So, off I went back to the Etsy shop and actually ended up changing my mind from my original post to pick out "Walking on Broken Glass"...

Isn't it beautiful? It arrrived in the mail not too long ago. Now, I just need to find a layer cake that I love to make it from. (Hint, hint husband-to-be...birthday is not that far away, and yes, I know I should be focusing on wedding and not sewing - but like that's going to happen!)

Anyways, I'm so excited to try out this new pattern, but that's going to have to wait until after June 5th! Only 34 days remain to the big day!!! Which really means I should stop posting and get back to all the wedding projects in front of me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Well, the streak of babies continues around here...this time a second baby boy arrived to a good friend of the family. I've known the mom for my entire life, as our parents met when they were in lamaze class for both the new mom and my older sister.

It's thrilling to welcome another boy into their lives. They already have one whose several years old, so their little family is expanding.

In honor of the newest addition, I put together a baby quilt that is "Pirate Mouse" themed. I came across this flannel at Joann's and couldn't resist. In typical fashion, I forgot to take a photo until after I packaged it up, but I remembered before taping up the box. So here's a glimpse - it's got a really cute striped border and binding too in lots of primary colors.
It went in the mail today along with a gift for the new big brother. Growing up, my mother always included a gift for the older siblings whenever delivering a baby gift. Her feeling was the older children often got neglected when the new baby was showered with gifts. Plus, she always picked something that would help occupy the older sibling. Now that I'm at a point of sending baby gifts, I make it a point to keep this practice alive, so into the box went a Star Wars coloring book and crayons (nicely wrapped up so big brother could open something himself). We went with a Star Wars coloring book because rumor has it the new big brother wanted to name his new little bro "Luke Skywalker."

Amazingly enough this quilt got finished only five days after the baby arrived. For once, I didn't cut it super close, but I did with the thread. I was worried throughout the quilting process I would run out of the thread I was using - a thread I picked up several years ago and have moved since purchasing and can't find by me. Well, I cut it a little close - the bobbin had even less left!

But, I made it - woo hoo. The quilt went in the mail today and hopefully will be to its new owner soon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Well, That Was a Bit of a Break...

So, I had every intention of blogging starting in the New Year. I figured - once the holidays are over, I'll have plenty of time not only to blog, but to sew, so I have something to blog about.

How did that work out? Well, my last post was on December 15th, as Blogger liked to remind me of everytime I logged on to read everyone else's consistent and much more up-to-date blogs.

I wish I could say, I was just so busy sewing that I didn't have time to blog, but that's not the case. Rather, my world - or should I say our world - has been overtaken by the wedding! Eeep! According to our wedding website, we have 48 days to go! I can't believe it.

Both myself and the fiancee are getting really excited, but there's still so much to be done. But, we've got the big items covered - DJ, caterer, location, priest, flowers, etc. But who knew there were so many little details to handle! I just took my wedding dress in for alterations earlier this week, and the fiancee and I sat down earlier this weekend to choose a playlist for the wedding!

I'm hoping we'll get it all done in time.

In the meantime, while we've had wedding on the brain, many of our family friends have had babies on the brain. We had three born in just the past month alone, so any major sewing I've done have been for them.

This little quilt went to some friends' of the fiancee who just had a baby girl join their family. And yes, cheater fabric it is - but it's cute!

I've been working on a couple of other projects, which I'll post soon. Oh, and I uncovered some other treasures while prepping for a garage sale (more on that later - we seem to like to make our lives even busier by adding on extra things to do between now and the wedding). But, one of those treasures should be making an appearance here as a giveaway sometime soon as well!