My Year In Review

I’m not one to look back or dwell in the past, especially since 2008 feels like a bittersweet year.  But I am forcing myself to appreciate what happened and focus on progress that WAS made over the year.

In January, I hosted a ladies tea party for my aunts, cousins and their daughters.  The little girls enjoyed dressing up in their princess dresses more than pretending to drink tea.

Me and the girls at the tea party

In late winter, we went to my parents cottage in northern Wisconsin for a winter retreat and had a great time snowshoeing on Lake Michigan on a sunny but very cold weekend. We also went to Upper Michigan for one last ski trip for the winter.

Terri and Dave snowshoeing

We celebrated our seven-year anniversary in May with a vacation to Destin, Florida.

chairs & umbrellas on the beach

In summer, we had a few great trips to my parents’ cottage in Door County, biking, boating and enjoying the outdoors.  We also went to the amazing Art Fair in Madison.

In August, Dave started his new job, a permanent full time job! It was a blessing for us because he has been working as a consultant for over three years.  And because of what was to come in the economy and job market for the months following.  My sister was in town for the family reunion party we hosted at our house before she and her family moved to China. 

In September, I went to the Madison Quilt Expo, which was inspiring but a little disappointing.  Why don’t any of the local shops carry my favorite modern fabric degignerss, like Anna Maria Horner and Heather Bailey and Sandi Henderson? We also went to a Civil War festival which was quite interesting, especially to see how the people dressed in those days, and to see a battle reenactment.

In October, we hosted a Halloween dinner party at our house, and my apron pattern review was published on Sew,Mama,Sew.

my lola apron

In November, I celebrated a big birthday in New York City.  I felt lucky to visit Purl, MJTrimmings, Mood Fabrics, the Guggenheim, the Met, and a few Irish pubs in between.

Me in front of Purl

In December, I participated in the Holiday Traditions Exchange with RaeAnn, and we  hosted a Holiday Open House for our family and neighbors.

Chocolate Lollipop PillowsPicnic Pillow with HandleGarden Party PillowcasesGarden Quilt - FrontMy Lola ApronApron for Holiday Traditions Exchange 08Close-up of Gothic Rose ValanceChristmasy Patchwork BagClose-up of Freshcut ValanceGarden Party TableclothPortable CushionsMy New Laptop Cover

In between all that, I made a bunch of pillows, a couple quilts, participated in a placemat swap, two sets of curtains, a couple tablecloths, picnic cushions, picnic pillows, two adorable padded footstools, a laptop bag, and a lot of other projects I am quite proud of.

Whew, that recap was good therapy and now I feel like 2008 was a good year.

Holiday Traditions

Like most families, my family has a lot of traditions.  Since my brother, sister and I are grown up and have families of our own, those traditions with my parents have changed over the years.  We have also added new traditions over the years with our new families.

I participated in Sew Liberated‘s Holiday Traditions Exchange this year.  Meg at Sew Liberated matches two people to share  our crafts, cultural, and thoughtful reflections about what the holidays mean to our family.  This includes things like:

  1. a handmade holiday decoration,
  2. our family’s favorite holiday recipe,
  3. a “tradition” tutorial, and
  4. a mix CD of our favorite holiday tunes.
Exchange Package

My partner is RaeAnn, who lives in southern California with her husband, three boys, and a little girl on the way!

My most favorite holiday tradition I wanted to share was our annual Cookie Day where all my aunts, uncles and cousins on my mom’s side get together the Saturday after Thanksgiving and bake as many cookies as possible.  Our record was 26 different kinds!  I made this apron for RaeAnn’s holiday baking.

Poinsettia Apron

I also made the patchwork basket picture below to hold a couple of my favorite Cookie Day recipes.  We are also a very crafty family so we also make lots of things for the holidays, mostly ornaments.  We usually exchange ornaments with each other so I knit these mini mittens, sweater and stocking ornaments for RaeAnn’s tree.  Those ornaments were packaged inside the patchwork drawstring bag.

Ornaments for ExchangeI included a copy of The Christmas Carol story, a play we try to see every holiday season; and the soundtrack from The Charlie Brown Christmas Special, a favorite in our house.

Exchange Book and CD

I hope my partner likes her package and shares in some holiday traditions from my house.  Merry Christmas, RaeAnn!

Be sure to go to the Holiday Traditions Exchange Flickr Group to see more photos of what others are exchanging this year.

My Pattern Review – Published Today!

I am so excited to share my news – my pattern review was published today at the Sew,Mama,Sew blog. Be sure to check it out!

I volunteered to review a pattern, and I was assigned the Lola Apron by Sew Liberated. I’m beginning to think a girl can never have enough aprons, kind of like bags.

It’s a pretty and feminine apron that almost feels like wearing a dress. I had a piece of the Freshcut fabric by Heather Bailey in my stash that was big enough for this pattern. Luckily it matched the curtains and tablecloth I made earlier this summer. (I like things that match!)

One of the things I like best about this apron design was the use of bias tape. I have not worked with bias tape very much, and I really didn’t know what to expect. I followed the directions carefully, and came out with great success. I will definitely find ways to use bias tape more and felt quite challenged by this pattern.

One of my favorite blogs, websites and sewing references is the Sew,Mama,Sew blog, so I was honored and super excited that they assigned a sewing project to me. Thanks Beth and Kristen for the opportunity!

Apron Challenge

Aprons have become so very popular these days, with this blog about all things aprony and many books specializing in aprons.  I am beginning to like aprons more and more, not just for their primary purpose to protect my clothes while I cook, but for their girly prettiness.  Like an accessory to wear while you’re in the kitchen!

One of the local fabric stores in Madison is hosting an apron challenge. Entries are due to the shop this weekend, at which time the wonderful ladies in the shop will hang the aprons on clothes lines strung throughout their shop. Customers will be invited to cast their votes.

I am going to enter this apron, which I made from the Holly Hill fabric line designed by Laurie Bird for Windham Fabrics. The front side is the white trio floral fabric with the green white dot fabric for the pocket and waistband / ties.

It has a small pocket on the right side, and it’s reversible.

reverse side of apron

This is one of the few times I didn’t use anyone else’s pattern. Yes, I actually made this up on my own! I am happy with how it turned out. I made binding strips out of the green white dot fabric to finish off the edges all the way around. I also made extra wide binding strips for the waistband and ties.

Two things I will do different for the next apron are to make the skirt slightly shorter and to make the pocket much bigger. A recipe card would probably fit in these smaller pockets.

If you’re in the neighborhood, stop in the shop and cast your vote.