January 6, 2014 § 12 Comments
Yesterday I woke up with the need to organize and set some goals. I was going to write a post on goals I’d like to make. But then I lost it all in WordPress. So I think my first goal of the new year will be to type all my posts outside of WordPress? For the life of me I can’t remember all I wanted to say. So I’ll just move on and give you these socks. Only the toes are left to knit. I am really enjoying this yarn! Except for the knots that I have found along the way.
Speaking of which, did you watch Downton Abbey last night? We had a small tea party while watching the the season premier. Was that a weird episode or is it just me? This morning I am paying for the late night. All future episodes will be watched at a later more reasonable hour. It’s too late for this girl.
(Union Jack bunting made from this Riley Blake fabric.)
December 31, 2013 § 12 Comments
And what a year it has been. I started a few things…
1. Scrappy Log Cabin blocks that I just started last week during our Christmas stay-cation. (and am addicted to at the moment)
2. Asteria quilt top… I can’t wait to get this one quilted! I just bought some backing for it. Nine WHOLE yards of backing!
3. The Random Sampler… which is sorely in need of finishing! (I’m sorry for letting this one fall through the cracks). You should see Lotje’s Random Sampler. GORGEOUS!
4. The APQ Tone it Down QAL. (I can’t find a good link with info. It’s in the Feb. 2014 issue – currently on news stands – of American Patchwork & Quilting. But it’s the good old Burgoyne Surround block, so I just used EQ to draw up mine.) I really want to come back to this one soon. Maybe even throw a block in between projects while I try to finish a few other things. UPDATE: Someone sent me this link to A Quilting Life as a good starting point for more information.
5. Medallion Quilt started at an awesome Gwen Marston workshop.
6. All of the backgrounds for the Merry Merry Snowman quilt. I think this one is going to be my go-to project to take to sewing group this year.
7. A stash-only log cabin style quilt that I’d forgotten about but really should finish because it was going to be a gift.
I finished a few things… When I started putting this together I really felt like I hadn’t accomplished much. But in fact, the great thing about this post is that I really did do something this last year. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt really well. Three years ago I was struggling with insomnia. I’m sleeping better most nights now and I’m hoping that it will get even better this next year. But the one thing that I’ve learned is Don’t. Panic. There will just be unproductive days and that is OK. This life of making things is not a race. It should be a joy. And so I feel like I’ve finally given it the proper place in my life. Joy. Not obligation.
1. Christmas quilts that were given away just a week ago.
2. Last minute Christmas “bags instead of stockings“.
3. Bear Paw pj bottoms for my hubby.
4. 2011 BeeFF Flickr group quilt.
5. Holiday Plaid quilt – email me if you would like a pattern. I still need to add it to my web site. (kits no longer available)
6. Pinwheel quilt – blocks made by the Do.Good.Stitches Faith Circle on Flickr and quilt assemble by me.
7. Bars (Upon Thars) quilt – pattern available here.
8. Scrappy Trip Around the World given to a dear friends of ours.
9. Socks for me.
10. “Hot” potholders made for a friend who was supplying the grand prize for a chili cook-off at her church.
11. Sparkle #2 – blocks made by the Do.Good.Stitches Faith Circle and quilt assemble by me.
12. Sweater for my hubby. Moorhouse by Martin Storey
13. Sparkle #1 – blocks made by the Do.Good.Stitches Faith Circle and quilt assemble by me.
14. Socks for my hubby. Actually, I think I may have finished them in 2012 and photographed them in 2013?? I’ve lost track.
15. Socks for my sister-in-law. Spring Forward in Knitty, Summer 2008
I even dug out a few UFO’s from the closet…
1. A French General version of my Garden Medallion that I am aiming to hand quilt with big-stitch quilting.
2. Some Kaffe Fasett yo yo’s that are crying to be made into a cushion.
3. And my poor, poor Christmas quilt that I was pebble quilting the corners two Christmases ago and just didn’t like. So this Christmas I picked out the pebble quilting and started hand quilting with a a contrasting pearl cotton. I’m anxious to get this one finished. I like it SO much better now.
I made a few blocks for charity… Primarily for the Faith Circle of Do.Good.Stitches. And a couple for Clothworks’ Everything Blue charity quilt. This is another joy that has surprised me. When I joined Do.Good.Stitches I still wasn’t feeling well and had doubts about my follow-through. Well, the group has just been great and the blocks, even the quilts, have not been a burden. It’s a joy to sew blocks and humbling to think about the girls at Restore Innocence who are receiving the quilts. If all other quilting falls away, this is one place that I want to keep going as long as I can.
And… we gained two new members to our family, Stella and Charlie. They have been more fun than we ever imagined! We are blessed! May the next year be filled with more joy than the last.
December 26, 2013 § 8 Comments
This week I’m thankful for:
~ a quiet week spent at home with my hubby
~ time to spend playing with my red & white scraps
~ movies & snuggling on the sofa
~ a fire in the fireplace
~ dear local friends
~ all of you dear internet friends who come to visit here & encourage me…Thank you!
- – - – -
The scrappy mess started with just ironing while I tried to decide what I wanted to do with them. There are So. Many. Options… and then I decided that I probably have enough scraps for two quilts. So I just jumped in and started sewing scrappy log cabin blocks. It feels good to leave behind any goals and just play for a bit.
December 24, 2013 § 9 Comments
According to the date on this photo, this was my second Christmas. I was about 15 months old. Most of our family photos are on slides so I don’t have many hard copy photos. I wish I had some pictures of the tall drifts of snow and our puffy snow suits. I have two younger brothers. We were the proverbial kids that had to go potty just as the last mitten and the last hat was put on.
I grew up on a farm in Iowa. I remember cold winters, curling up under wool blankets, and the wood stove in the kitchen where my dad would burn corn cobs. I also remember hearing the Barking Dogs Jingle Bells on the radio every Christmas. Probably the worst song ever. But as a kid I thought it was hilarious.
The best memory ever, though, is the Christmas Eve candle light service at church. Real candles were lit. I know… a fire hazard today and prohibited in many churches. At the end of the service all the lights in the church would be turned off and the only light came from the advent candle in the front. The ushers would light their candles from the advent candle and then start at the front of the church, lighting the candle of the first person in each row while working their way to the back. Then, that first person would light the candle of the person next to them. I would watch in amazement and wonder as the church went from almost completely dark to completely lit as the last person’s candle was lit. I don’t think there is any other Christmas memory as distinct as that one.
Merry Christmas to you & yours!
December 23, 2013 § 3 Comments
Two quilts… made for two little boys… delivered over the weekend just in time for Christmas! The word on the street is that they were a hit.
The pattern is free over at Quilt Gate. You just need to add seam allowances. Finished size is approximately 51″ square. One has a red backing & the other has a green backing. The fronts are identical. A friend of mine who does long-arm quilting let me rent her machine and quilt this programmed pattern. They were super fast and super easy to put together. Hooray!
December 20, 2013 § 6 Comments
I don’t know how long ago I picked up this vintage sugar sack. I’ve been meaning to do something with it for awhile now. But when my hubby and I started talking about Christmas stockings, this idea popped into my head. We frequently decide to just do stocking stuffers for each other for Christmas. It takes away the whole crazy shopping burden and leaves us with more time to just enjoy the season rather than getting caught up in the madness. I avoid the mall like the plague during the month of December… unless we just want to go window shopping.
After I had gotten somewhat into the process of making, I decided to do a semi-tutorial. I was kind of making it up as I went along anyway, based on the size of the sugar sack. So, I hope that this still makes sense after missing some of the beginning photos. The finished size is about 6″ in diameter and 10 1/2″ tall after the cuff is folded down.
For each bag cut a 19 3/4″ wide x 13 1/2″ tall rectangle and a 6 3/4″ circle. Cut the same out of the lining fabric and a 2″ x 8″ rectangle for the hanging tag. I used this handy Olfa Circle Cutter to cut the bottoms. You can also use two pencils & a piece of string, a compass, or a yardstick compass to draw a circle on paper to use as a template to cut your fabric.
Fold the bag rectangle in half and sew a 3/8″ seam along the side. Divide the bag and the circle bottom into four quadrants and finger crease, press, or mark with pins. Match the bottom to the bag and pin in place.
Continue pinning all the way around.
Place the circle on the bottom and the bag on top and start carefully sewing a 3/8″ seam all the way around the bag, easing the bag fabric as you go.
Turn the bag right side out.
For the hanging tab, fold the 2″ x 8″ rectangle in half, then fold the edges in towards the center and press. Stitch close to the edge to secure the fabric.
Fold the tab in half and pin it approximately 3″ from the top of the bag lining. Fold the lining in half and sew a 3/8″ seam. Sew the lining circle to the bottom in the same way you stitched the bag bottom above.
Place the bag inside the lining, making sure that the hanging tab is at the back, and sew a 3/8″ seam around the top, leaving about a 3″ opening to turn the bag and lining right side out. Turn the bag, stuff the lining inside the bag and press the edge. Slip stitch the opening to close up all the raw edges. Fold down the cuff and hang the bag somewhere to enjoy.
The other thing on our list of things to do is to make a mantle for our fireplace…. something we’ve been talking about doing for several years and yet we just can’t seem to get it done. Maybe next Christmas. I’ve been having project ADD lately and can’t seem to finish much of anything. So I am happy that I finally finished this one!!
December 12, 2013 § 3 Comments
I saw something like this on Pinterest and had to make my own version. This a photo of the Grand Tetons from our road trip two summers ago. The December craziness always makes me long to get away and come back after it is all over. So, instead of wishing away the month I’m going to focus on what I can be thankful for.
I am thankful that our kitchen is all in one piece this year!! This is what it looked like last year. And I’m thankful for our cats. We lost our other two shortly after the kitchen remodel was finished. Oh, and here is a short video of Charlie. His new thing with his spring is that he likes to jump and catch it like a frizbee. He is one crazy cat!