Friday, December 19, 2014

next year's stocking....


although i gave up every other craft for quilting, i did keep counted cross-stitch stuff on hand and have a few projects i'd like to make.  this is one of those "in progress" things for some time now and have vowed it WILL be done in 2015.  my desire to make a sampler and a stocking morphed into this which is not quite half done.  have had to take out a couple of sections and am thinking about taking out the first row of the verse too...for some reason used 3 strands instead of 2....but will wait until closer done for a decision on that.  it is one of those projects that requires intense, constant concentration and sticky sheets to make sure to follow the chart closely.  of course, it won't be just for Christmas....intend to hang it year round.  *** baking and gifts are done so getting the binding for the shenandoah ready.  the table to tie it goes up this morning and will get done over the next few days no doubt.  then it's the hawaiian's turn and i am so looking forward to get that basted and start the quilting.  *** in the meantime, enjoying cold but not frigid weather and definitely no snow, but rain.  makes it easier for family to get together when roads are navigable.  hoping holiday prep is going well in your home.....and thinking of those who are needy and sick, for those who just manage to survive another day regardless of the season..... 

Monday, December 15, 2014

looking like Christmas...

tree up?   check....lights on?  check....ornaments?  check....and of course out comes my special Spode mug and little heart-shaped dish.  these were gifts from a former roommate about 14 years ago...gosh, seems like only a year or so ago...she collected Spode Christmas dishes and Byers carolers....our apartment was really decked out that year.  i think of that time every Christmas when i see these...all my ornaments and decorations come with their personal memories i love to recall every year.  *** and sewing progress?  not much, really....all the swap strips are cut and packaged AND mailed, so on to the shenandoah log cabin which is next to be tied and finished....then it is definitely the hawaiian's turn to baste and start quilting.  inbetween doing some cross stitch and applique to keep busy.  the sewing space will get a serious re-org come end of the year but until then it is rather disorganized.  *** our holiday plans are just about final and we are planning food for guests....it is really about family, of course, bittersweet because of lost loved ones or those far away, but still plenty of joy at being together.  now back to that tree!

Friday, December 12, 2014

getting there....

so, 4 rows are done!  only one more applique row to do and then a narrow print border and then the wide applique border of more vines, leaves, flowers and baskets.  this UFO must be at least 5-6 years old and has been hibernating far too long.  as mentioned previously, the little flowers had me paralyzed but with a lot of prep work, they are finally done.  *** today's task? finish cutting strips for a swap and pick up some floss to tie the shenandoah log cabin, which is the next item on the december list.  for machine work, still assembling those jelly roll christmasy blocks and by next week at this time, basting the hawaiian will be at the top of the list. *** my UFO list for 2015 is shaping up....glad to say i had 9 finishes and have started only about 7 things, some small, so that is a tiny net gain of sorts.  *** first up today, though is clean off that car (again!) and trek to the fish market.  that is the great thing about this part of the country....every morning the landscape is a surprise!

Monday, December 8, 2014

non UFO finish

it's the scrap basket alphabet sew-along started a while ago.  not quite a perfect shot lying on the bed like this but you get the idea.  this project only busted 1.25 yards but it is all done and won't be on my 2015 list.  ***  it's a frigid morning here but warmup tomorrow.   next task is to cut up some strips due for swapping next week.  and before our tree goes up, must get out the basting table and get some things tied and others ready to quilt, the hawaiian being one of them.  so anxious to get started on this and watch the magic emerge from the echo quilting.  *** thanksgiving is over but can never go wrong being thankful for all the blessings in my life....warm shelter, all the basic needs and plenty of gorgeous fabric for a playground....

Sunday, December 7, 2014

sewing sunday


up early this morning and bonding with the old viking sewing machine around 7 am....an early start for sure!  the last border of the shenandoah log cabin was made and then sewn onto the top for a completed flimsy.  next will be to tie, bind and count up the yards busted!  the little scrap basket alphabet is just about done, a bit more of the binding to sew down and it too will be crossed off the to-do list.  so, spent some time sewing up the squares from this christmasy jelly roll.  this is the first row and not sure if it will stay this way or not, will have to wait until all the blocks are done to see how many i have and how they will get set.  just wanted to try this out.  do not intend for every row to have all red strips in the same vertical row, so final plan is in flux.  *** it was a frigid day here with howling winds and nearly ineffective sunshine.  stayed indoors all day without even venturing out for the paper.  no cooking either as plenty of leftovers were on hand.  *** all in all a quite nice day relaxing with some christmas music and sewing fun. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

portable progress....

if you have followed my blog for a while, you might recall this project.  first seen at a NH gathering show, it was love at first sight.  the intense applique design was a bit intimidating but also exhilarating and determination took over.  now that the little trees are done, can focus on this for my portable project, at least for the rows.  the top row is done as are the patchwork leaves.  the house row is nearly done.  these little flower blocks had me nearly paralyzed, but decided if i took them slow and steady, could get them done.  and whaddya know....2 are actually done and the other 4 soon will be.  freezer paper and plenty of fortitude are doing the trick.  and confession time here...i broke one of my hard-and-fast rules and resorted to a teeny, tiny dab of fabric glue.  the pieces are so small and even small applique pins just didn't work.  these blocks were the biggest hurdle to this finish, and now that i've crashed through that barrier, am hoping this might be a finish for 2015.  it is one of my older UFOs and will be fantastic to finish.  ****  and speaking of black friday/small business saturday/cyber monday.....this was my only indiscretion.  it's called "wildwood" and had i not gone overboard in PA, would have bought the entire line.  it's just so pretty and fresh and colorful....
practiced restraint otherwise and deleted about 1000 emails from fabric sites.  *** as for other sewing progress, the alphabet piece is getting basted today.  picked up backings for 3 projects--the hawaiian, the shenandoah log cabin and another so a basting day is in my near future.  as for the shenandoah, 3 borders are done, only 1 to sew and it goes in the basting pile and then gets tied for a quick finish.  now with 2 days off, will see how much progress gets made and if i can squeak out another finish before january arrives!

Monday, December 1, 2014

great start!

terrific way to herald in december is with an almost finish....the quilting is done and have bound one side, so 3 sides to go and this project goes in the done column for 2014.  before i started quilting seriously in 1979, i used to ogle and drool over amish quilts and this pattern in particular.  now one of my own is almost finished and i am over the moon with delight.  the center diamond is quilted with a pattern from pepper cory's quiltmarking book plus some corner designs.  the inner blue border has an elongated feather and some diagonal lines, the brown squares have an embellished shell pattern, the outside blue border has baptist fans and the final turquoise border is a fancy cable from a pepper cory stencil.  hopefully it will be fully bound before our next cold snap sometime this week.  interesting note here....the binding was all cut and prepped and somehow got packed in a box.  so had to go and buy more.  found it at the NH shop visited a couple of weeks ago and it is also a kona cotton like the others and it matches perfectly!  the two fabrics were bought about 4 years apart but it matched!  i call that serious fabric karma....but even spookier, the blue matched too.  i took both scraps with me hoping to find one that would work, but they both would have.  i say well done robert kaufman....

Sunday, November 30, 2014

christmas stash busting

victoria gifted me this jelly roll back in august for my birthday.  i almost never buy precuts but i love this fabric line and, in fact, had purchased some yardage of it for myself.  the jelly roll was staring me in the face and was motivated to find a pattern and use it up.  cut a stack of 5" white blocks and started making these.  there'll be room for hand quilting on the white and some sort of design on the printed borders.  hoping to take a day in december to at least get the flimsy done.  *** also on the december list is finish the amish center diamond, cut and mail some swap strips, finish the little alphabet piece, finish the shenandoah log cabin and baste the hawaiian.  not too ambitious you think?  ***  whew got by black friday and small business saturday with hardly a blip.  feel confident about facing cyber monday.  my shopping list is made and the budget pretty much prevents any veering off into the impulse zone.  i did cave on 2.5 yards of mod fabric line that makes me drool; could have passed it up until i saw it in person at a shop recently.  oh well...it'll go nicely with other stuff in the stash and it just means more fun for me!  now off to start the day and enjoy another day that's been allotted to me....

Friday, November 28, 2014

final four

yep, cold outside--26 degrees--but inside the old viking is smokin!  first thing this morning fired up the machine and finished the last 4 blocks of my scrappy alphabet sew-along.  as expected, there is hardly a dent in the scrap basket but no matter, my frugal self is pumped up at making this entirely from stash on hand.  of course the backing will also come from stash and batting too, so it is a freebie of sorts...this will make an ideal gift for somebody someplace at some point, but for now it'll get finished (this year?  maybe) and set aside for the right time.  ***  laundry is going, breakfast is done and i'm working my way into the daily to do list and more quilting time on the amish center diamond.  creeping toward a finish very soon.  no shopping for me today at all.  rather spend time with mom and some delish turkey leftovers and the sewing machines.  hoping to get the wheel on trudy's cabinet at some point.  *** everything christmas is in full swing now; my list has been made and have done some gift acquiring.  it already looks like christmas outside; now to get out the music and enjoy the season! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

what it's about...

not pie or turkey or football or shopping...it's about thankfulness...at surviving the year, for enough to eat, for health and family, for anything in your life that evokes that sigh of relief or overwhelming gratefulness.  my list of thankful things is long, some are serious and important and others not at all.  cannot imagine how difficult life was in 1620, how awful that voyage must have been...no place for the squeamish or laid back types.  it was all about survival, freedom, a journey's end, a new beginning....and of course, quilting!  happy thanksgiving!