Sunday, January 16, 2011

Holiay Crafts 2010

Of course I had lofty crafting goals - as I do each holiday season. I always seem to think I am going to work on projects all year, but I don't! I wait and then I can only finish a fraction of my planned projects.

I finished a project I wanted to do last year - gingerbread pancake mix. Basically I took pre-made pancake mix and added in gingerbread spices. We had a few pancake dinner nights to sample the mix along the way.

I also brought back my hot chocolate mix. I made it a few years ago and it has since been requested by a previous recipient. I made a sugar-full and a sugar-free version and I think the sugar-free actually tasted better. I packaged the mixes in plastic bottles that had been repurposed (they were originally juice bottles) and added my own label. I was so excited my little friend M wanted to learn how to make bows this year - she made all of the bows for my bottles (and for the cookie exchange and for many, many packages - I'm sure she isn't so happy she learned to make bows afterall).

Of course there was peanut brittle making and cookie baking. For the cookie exchange I made my 13 dozen ginger crinkles. It was pretty easy as I made the dough when I was in San Diego over Thanksgiving and left it in the freezer all ready rolled in to balls. The day of the cookie exchange I just had to bake the cookies. I topped them with sanding sugar to add some extra crunch to the top and when they were still warm they were lightly brushed with gold dust. The gold added just a slight shimmer - I liked the visual impact from big sugar crystals better.

As usual I packaged my cookies in take-out containers. I put just a few cookies in each box and hand them out at the office. I get to chat with all of my work friends as I personally distribute them the day after the cookie exchange.

Bex and M decorated the boxes for me this year. Bex had super cute stamps they used for the outside of the boxes. I had nothing so the help was greatly appreciated.

I was able to finish one quilt. Previously I've posted pictures of the quilt top. The photos below show the completed quilt.

I have a wonderful quilter in Wyoming who does the quilting for me and attaches the binding to the front of the quilt. She sends it back to me and I hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt.

She did an amazing job with this holiday quilt. Each section has its own design - instead of just one all over pattern. The quilt pattern changes with every border. The interior design was a mix of swirls and stars.

If you look closely in the photo below you can see the different quilt pattern in each border section.

Instead of just using one fabric for the back of the quilt - I pieced together two different fabrics to create bold stripes. The fabric was also flannel and from the same collection as the top fabrics so all of the colors matched perfectly.

I used a stripe that had all of the colors of the quilt as the border. I intended to cut it on the bias so the stripe would be a diagonal and remind you of a candy cane. Cutting the binding on the bias was a new technique so before I cut my binding for this quilt I practiced with the fabric for a different quilt. While I did the first one perfectly - I totally messed up this one! The end result was not a diagonal stripe - but I didn't have any more fabric and it needed to be finished so it stayed a straight stripe (wuh wuh wuhhhh).

The finished product was a really cozy quilt - it was like a big hug. I didn't want to give it up, but it was a perfect gift for my friend in Seattle. I knew it would make her smile and keep her warm during the chilly winter months. (She loved it.)

My embroidery was limited to some gift tags with an initial. They were cute and actually a quick and easy project - most likely this project will make a repeat performance next year!