Category Archives: holidays

A little more catch up.

I did a lot of sewing leading up to the holidays that I haven’t shown yet.

Krankies Craft Fair was the weekend of December 13th and it was better for ::kaitcetera:: than I could have imagined!  I sold 4 quilts (the three on the left and one not pictured)!IMG_1585Two of the quilts included some custom embroidery work that I just recently completed and was really happy with.  It makes the gift so much more personal and sweet.IMG_1699

On the Far Far Away plus quilt, I embroidered the recipients name over the quilting, which I had never done, and it turned out great.  The label on the back was embroidered first and then sewn on.IMG_1697 IMG_1674I made some iPad and Kindle cases for the fair that were fun and did well.  I also made a few more crayon and colored pencil rolls which people love!

IMG_1600I most enjoyed making some quick patchwork Christmas pillows.  I started cutting 2½” squares of red and green to make stockings for me and the pups but decided on pillows instead.  I quilted them with a heavy 12 weight Aurifil thread and I loved it.  It really makes the simple stitching pop.IMG_1710IMG_1709

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for my puppies Adelaide and Jackson, for a cozy apartment on a cold winter’s day, for the pumpkin cheesecake in the oven and the bread rising on the counter, for all the friends I’ll be spending my afternoon with, for the anticipation of getting a tree tomorrow, and the approaching Christmas holiday.  For my friends and family near and far, and for all of you, thank you.

QuiltsI have three quilts to show off to you very soon!  I am thankful for those, too :)

Success!

The Krankies Craft Fair was this weekend and it was a resounding success!  I have very little left, having completely sold out of a few things.  Thank you so much to everyone that came out and supported me and all the other awesome artisans that were there.

My tentative plan is to buy a new sewing machine which is a pretty exciting prospect!

Riding the inspiration and motivation, I’m looking into becoming an LLC and expanding into other shops and endeavors.  It’s a little overwhelming but I think it might be the right move.

My Modern Stacked Coins was auctioned off on Thursday night and I’m thrilled to say it went to a friend of mine for $390!  I’m so happy that so much money was raised for the Garcia Family that night and honored to have been a part of it.

One down, one to go.

I was a part of the Hand to Hand Market in Greensboro yesterday. There was a good turnout including some friends that came by to see me. It wasn’t quite as successful as I hoped but I had a good time and people seemed to like what I make. Special Friend Ian hung out iwth me for a few hours which I really appreciated.I am glad that I don’t have to sew frantically for the next two weeks to prepare for the Krankies Craft Fair.  I am going to make a few new-to-me things in that time, which I’m excited about.  Hopefully I’ll sell a couple quilts, too!

In my craft fair preparation, I finished two quilts last week, two that I had started a long time ago and am so happy to have finally finished!

This quilt started as one of a pair, a boy and girl version, but the first one was finished almost two years ago and I sold it at last year’s craft fair.

I used the grey, green, and blue colorway of Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley along with Kona in navy and charcoal. It’s backed with Valori Wells’ rose flannel, a strip of scraps, and my label, and it’s bound in a green solid from my stash and a few more scraps.

I quilted it with an orange peel pattern in navy blue thread, one of my favorite designs.  It’s a little wonky since I wasn’t really following any lines but it works.

Little Bits is a quilt that was one of the Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts projects I’ve been doing with Cait this year (read the first post here).I was going for a more sophisticated look on the front and more playful on the back.  I pieced in a label, quilted it in a swirly pattern with pale green thread, and bound it in a black plaid.These two were part of a basting spree I went on last week so I still have two more to quilt and I think I’m going to try something new on one of them.  I pieced in labels reading 2012 so I have to finish them by the end of the month!

Christmas weekend.

This Christmas was pretty nice.  It’s wasn’t as snowy and awesome as last year but it was a weekend filled with sleep and cooking and a couple new things.

Saturday night I made pretzel rolls

and used them for sandwiches with sauteed sausage and onions and they were delicious!  The pretzel bread was so easy, I want to make them all the time.

Having started them the night before, I baked  no-knead pumpkin rolls on Sunday morning that were so good.  The recipe made 17 rolls; so what if I ate two for breakfast yesterday and today and one for dessert?  There’s no time like the holidays to be a fat kid :)

For Christmas dinner I made garlic schmeared rosemary chicken, butternut squash risotto with sage and bacon, crispy parmesan asparagus sticks, Martha’s trusty baked macaroni & cheese, and garlic pull apart bread (based on this recipe).

The risotto didn’t really work, I think it just lacked seasoning and I wish the squash had been more finely cut.  The asparagus wasn’t very good either.  I didn’t get pre-seasoned Panko breadcrumbs, which might have made the difference.  But all in all, the deliciousness of the chicken, bread, and pasta made up for it!  And I was pretty proud of myself for making three yeast breads in 24 hours!

One of my goals for Christmas day was to learn how to crochet granny shapes (hexagons in this case).  I pinned this photo on Pinterest months ago so following the tutorial, I made a couple and I love them!

I’m just using some Bamboo Ewe yarn I got with coupons at JoAnn’s and I thought I would stick with these same four colors the entire time but I might throw in a couple more along the way, keeping the grey outer ring a constant.  Three down, only 78 more to go!

Remember the photo I posted of the wrapped books I received and were saving for Christmas morning?  Well I eagerly opened them and spent a couple hours just flipping through the pages.

My dad so kindly got me The Break Baker’s Apprentice, Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt so I can join in on the quilt along next month!  I’m so excited about all these things.  I was really inspired by a sentiment Amanda talked about when we met at the Sewing Summit.  She talked of her desire to live a handmade life and I absolutely want to do the same thing.  Any small thing I can quilt to use around the house, making more of my own food, using my hands to knead bread and mend things; that sounds like such a rewarding life.

Oh and of course, how can I forget that I finally joined Instagram!  I love seeing everyone’s photos from there but hate that you have to have particular Apple products to use it.  I have a Mac but nothing else that would work, until Friday when Marcus brought home an iPad, a year end gift from his boss!  I won’t be carrying it around with me so I’ll only be posting things around the house but I still get to “like” and comment on other people’s things.  My name is @kaitcetera and you should follow me!

With new toys comes the creation of new things to use with them.  I noticed the hunching problem when using it while sitting down so following Betty Crocker Ass’ tutorial, I made a handy iPad rest!

The fabric was one of the only home dec fabrics I have in my stash (Amy Butler Imperial Fans in forest from Nigella), and definitely the least “girly” one.  Marcus and I have a bit of an argument about what’s manly :) I bought 5 or so yards of a wood grain fabric I fell in love with a few years ago and used it heavily in his quilt (and lots of other projects) but he insists it’s not actually manly at all. I want to make an iPad case but he said he wanted it to be black and purely functional.   What’s the fun in that?

So instead, I finally made a lined drawstring bag from Jeni’s wonderful tutorial!  It really was so simple and the fabric combinations are endless so I’m sure there are many more in my future.  I used fabric from my stash: an unknown floral print, the aforementioned wood grain, a yellow DS Quilts print, and an off-white twill tape for the pulls.

Quilting standstill = cooking!

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you’ll know I had to finish three quilts in five days, starting this past Wednesday. I knew I could finish the task and having received a walking foot for my Featherweight early last week, I felt ready to take on the sewing world! :) So I completed the tops in two days…and pieced the girls’ names for the backs.  However, I am left waiting for the friend who commissioned me to make these quilts to match each top with each of her nieces so I can finish the quilt backings and get basting and quilting!  I was on a roll and excited to add three more finishes to my list but now I’m left waiting…  So I don’t know that I’ll finish these by Monday but I will cross them off the list this year!

So instead of feeling aimless regarding quilts, I began to cook.  I am waiting for the second rise of pretzel bread (highly recommended by Jeni) to make sandwiches with including sausage and grilled onions and I threw together Vanessa’s super simple 3-minute fudge (so easy it feels like cheating!).  I will make the dough for pumpkin cinnamon rolls tonight so they can be baked first thing in the morning, to be followed by a delicious dinner that I’m excited to make.  Check back in the next couple days to see all the yumminess.

I have read of so many people baking tons of cookies and it makes me wish I had thought to get some friends together and do that this year.  Walking the dogs tonight I noticed all the neighbors that have been kind to me and deserve a little something.  Not to mention the lovely customers that gave me a card with $20 in it at work this week.  But, cookies or not, I am reminded of all the important people in my life.

I wish you the merriest of Christmases.  Go watch this and it might just brighten the day a little more :)

xo

Ah, the holidays.

I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone and that December is nearly here, and yesterday is was 70 degrees outside.  I hope everyone had a nice holiday!

I have finally caught up on blogs from the last month and the time to sew feverishly for the craft faire has come.

I’ve mentally prepared myself for winter and have been making paper snowflakes as wishful thinking.

It looks to be a quiet day around here, a cup of tea, the smell of garlic as I roast some for soup, making monkey bread, organizing my room with things I got at Ikea last week, and plenty of cuddles with the animals.

Having a houseguest, being a houseguest.

I’m having one of those times where I feel like I have so much to write about that it’s overwhelming and I don’t know where to start.  So, I’m just going to post some pictures I’ve taken over the last couple of weeks and write blurbs.

I picked up my friend Holly in Columbia South Carolina where we hung out with our friend Joe.  We had breakfast at Immaculate Consumption (mediocre latte, good granola),

and went to the Riverview Zoo where we saw, among other things, penguins! (Did you know emperor penguins can be up to 4 feet tall and 100 pounds?  That’s a pretty large penguin.)

Coming back to Winston we cooked some delicious caramelized leek and spaghetti squash polenta (which I didn’t photograph) and broccoli lentil soup from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook,

and vegan ginger cookie cupcakes.  So good!  So sugary!  (Holly blogged about them and gave the recipe over at MPLS.TV where she’s a regular contributor!)

We also went to a highly recommended vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Greensboro called Boba House where we had an unbelievable sampler platter of “calamari,” “chicken drumsticks,” and “crab” won tons.  When I say unbelievable, I mean it, too.  How can they possibly make vegan things exactly like the real thing?  I’ll definitely be going back there.

Only a few days after Holly left for DC, I drove up to Roanoke to meet Catherine and head to Kentucky for, among other things, an early Thanksgiving with her family.  Addie came along and as it turned out, was a really good dog all week.

We saw Beirut the first night we were there at the Kentucky Theater in Lexington, a show that was so good.  The current trumpet player is from Lexington so the crowd was pretty wild about that.  (Bad phone picture alert:)

We went to Louisville for a couple days and stayed with the family Cat used to nanny for.  We took the kids, Lily and Aidan to the zoo where we saw an albino alligator named Louie,

and the cutest baby polar bear ever.The kids were pretty cute, themselves.

We also ate at a really good restaurant called Ramsi’s where I had a seitan (vegan “meat” made of textured vegetable protein – much tastier than that sounds!) parmesan sandwich with vegan mozzarella.

Back in Lexington we had Thanksgiving dinner with Catherine’s family, since she won’t be able to go back there during the holidays.  Her sister Caroline was just about to have a baby (she spent 12 hours at the hospital a couple days after we got there but she didn’t come out then) so I kinda commandeered the meal :)

I made apple and onion stuffing muffins as per Cat’s request,

mac and cheese (from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School), as per Shane’s request,

cranberry mousse (a little melty), because it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without that (recipe to come next week!),

and silky smooth pumpkin pie.

Cat’s dad smoked the turkey and we had green beans, corn pudding, and rolls.  It was pretty delicious!  Some of us definitely vegged out afterwards :)

I had a really good time on the trip.  It was nice to get away and have Addie with me.  She was so happy to have a yard and to be able to go outside any time she wanted.  I caught her lounging in the grass in the sun a few times :) I think she’s actually a little depressed to be back.  But Louisville was awesome and Lexington was okay.  The family was a bit much sometimes but I always had a room and my book (Dracula; so good!) to escape to.  I love Catherine and it was great to spend some time together.

Happy Halloween!

I have never really been into Halloween. I’ve hardly dressed up since I was 13 or so. I have never lived anywhere that really cared about Halloween, until here and this year.

There is a huge party at Krankies every year with cover bands and costumes.  I volunteered to work and was at a cash bar in the performance space that few people knew about so I wasn’t very busy but I got to watch all the bands. Dick Dale, Weezer, The Monkees, The Buzzcocks, Nirvana, and Led Zeppelin played.  I think Nirvana were amazing, as was Haydee as Robert Plant.  I wanted to wear comfortable clothes but still wanted to “dress up” so I had my friend Taylor do my make up and went like this

and it was awesome.  (The skull and roses skirt is actually a dress I made years ago.  I haven’t worn it in years either but I’m thinking of making it a skirt and maybe it’ll get more use.)

Until it came to wash it off, when it looked like this

Marcus took probably 25 pictures of me washing my face 5 times, and none of my make up when it looked good :)  Overall, I was really happy with it, Taylor’s help, and every one’s compliments.

Saturday was also Marcus’ birthday.  He’s not into making a huge deal about it but I picked up on a little “I want..” he put down last week and bought him a Single Brothers t-shirt, and took him out to dinner (along with our friends Saylor and Marcia).  He got to sleep a lot and had a lot of fun at the party so all in all, it was good.  Here’s to another year, love.

Tonight, on proper Halloween, I’m not doing anything.  Stitch ‘n’ Bitch is cancelled and so I sit at home and sew, which is just fine with me.