Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Shine on.

December's 'Another Year of Schnibbles' was not a Schnibbles but 'Mini Shine' by Sherri.  I love the regular size Shine...even bought the pattern the minute it was released.  I haven't made it yet but that's beside the point.

You can see the parade of Schnibbles on either of these blogs.  Mine will appear on Sinta's Pink Pinchushion blog and the other half of the parade will be on Sherri's A Quilting Life blog. 

I enjoyed this pattern so much that I made two.

For the first one I had a partial charm square pack of Sunkissed by Sweetwater.  I love that fabric line.  I used it in a quilt back in 2011.

While creating Mini Shine I really enjoyed matching up the little sets that would become each star.  
(See how handy those little clips are?)

I'm not sure which square is my favorite.  I like the pink and gray...

 ...but the yellow is what I bought yardage of when I made the quilt a few years ago. 

 Such a cute little quilt. 

I liked it so much that I went on and made another one using a couple fat quarters for a Valentine's look. 

You'd think I was new to this process, though, when you see what a little spritz of water did to the red.  Grrr.  I used all the tricks but nothing got the red out. 

Enough time has gone by since my last red-running incident that I got complacent and didn't test the red fabric. 

It is still a darn cute little quilt.

Can't wait to see what is on the menu for January.


Monday, December 29, 2014

It's Monday again which means

it is time for the latest Grand Illusions update. 

As promised this clue was very quick and easy.  Four patches...29 of them in two different combinations. 

 I cut strips...

then sewed them together by just adding a new strip as needed.  That helps keep things mixed up.  The end result will be scrappier if there aren't too many of the same combinations.

Super easy. 

Head over to Bonnie's blog to see what other people have made.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The final day of counting has arrived.

December 24th has finally arrived.  We can all stop counting for another year.

I had one last dash into my sewing room this morning.  I finished a little project that isn't available for viewing quite yet.  You'll have to hold on for another week. 

However, I did have one cute little finish that was finished just in the nick of time.

Christmas Cookies by Country Cottage Needleworks.

And finally, a couple seasonal photos.

A couple days ago I finished stitching this very cute little wool kit I purchased at one of our local quilt shops.  The pattern is called 'Waiting for Santa' by Little Bits by Joan.  

The wool piece is mounted on a piece of gold silk (included in the kit) and framed in a frame sold at the shop specifically to fit the Little Bits by Joan pieces.  I have since fixed the little pucker in the bottom left.  Naturally, it doesn't show up that obviously in real life so I didn't see it until I saw the picture.

I stitched this piece years ago.  The date in the corner says 2006.  It was a pattern published in a magazine at least 5 years prior to me stitching it.

I think it sums up this day...our stockings are hung...

 Merry Christmas everyone.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

With Christmas just hours away...

I have finished a project that has been years in the making.  I know I've mentioned how much I like Advent Calendars so it shouldn't be a surprise that I've made a new one.

Back in 2008 Sam Sarah Designs came out with the pattern: Twenty Five Days of Christmas.  I am sure I didn't start the little ornaments right away but once I did it probably took me a year to slowly make my way through all 25.

Once they were finished I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them.  I thought, planned, and scrapped options until I decided to finish them with a simple turned in edge.  When I was stitching them I outlined a piece for the backing and stitched numbers in the middle.  Finishing them took forever.  I started last fall...as in 13 or 14 months ago.  The pinching and stitching was too hard on my hands and once I realized I wouldn't be able to finish them before Christmas I packed them all up again. 

This past fall I pulled them out and worked at getting them finished.  Once they were done it still took me a couple weeks to decide what to do with them.  This is that Advent calendar I finally came up with.

Years ago...more than 10 but I can't remember exactly...I took a class using Jodi Barrows Square in a Square designs.  I have several of her books but can't find the one the Christmas tree is from, though.

The tree quilt hung in my sewing room for years until I decided to turn it into the Advent calendar using the Sam Sarah ornaments.

Up close you  can see I've attached buttons and hung the ornaments so they can be flipped accordingly.

It came out just like I expected and will help us count down to Christmas for years.

When I was a kid we would call today 'Christmas Eve Eve'.  2 days!  Hope everyone is just about ready.  Today will be my grocery day. 


Monday, December 22, 2014

Link-up Monday

It's Monday again already.  This time I'm finished with my Grand Illusions Clue in plenty of time for the link up on Bonnie's blog. 

True to her word, Bonnie went easy on us.  We had to make 80 broken dish blocks but the aqua/pink half square triangles were left overs from clue one so that part was already done.  

With just a quick glance it looks like these blocks are all the same but they're not.  It took a bit of attention to detail to make 40 one way and the next 40 a bit differently.

My two piles on the left are assembled a little differently than the 2 piles on the right.

I swung my piles around so that the aqua started to look like star points.  Who knows if that will be how it works in the end, though.

3 days left.  The grocery store was a mob-fest.  I will do the real shopping tomorrow but much earlier than my noon-time errand today.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

The flip side

of Christmas stuff being in the stores so early is this....

Yep.  That's what I saw in the store this morning when I was picking up some groceries.

4 days.  (Really...3.5!)


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Counting on one hand now.

We are so close to the big day.

One nice perk of having things under control (knock on wood) is that I have all sorts of time in my sewing room.  People always ask me how I 'get so much done'.  Well...one secret is that I don't sleep.  An exaggeration for sure but I am an early riser and with that I am up and at it when it's still dark.  I try to force myself to forestall the work of the day until after I've had breakfast but that rarely works.  So, what happens is that I have my day's work done before lunch then have the entire afternoon (and sometimes an hour or two in the morning) to sew. 

Another secret is that I am never, ever doing only one thing at a time.  The kind of work I did meant I had to multi task in the extreme.  My mind works fast.  Too fast for a lot of people.  The DA I worked with and I were exactly the same so we were a very good combination.  We listen, we type, we write and talk all at the same time.  I have friends who ask me constantly how I accomplish everything I do.  What I wonder is what the heck they do with all their time!

I was reluctant to show this but this is my work space right now.  On the left is my ipad with the instructions for the latest quilt...plus I'm emailing back and forth with Carol.  We are talking about cookbooks, among other things.  See the cookbooks on the right?  My phone is by my machine where I am having a text conversation with my daughter.  There isn't anything on the tv right now but I had a Christmas movie on earlier.  There is, however, Christmas music in the background.  The computer on my ironing board is where I am writing my blog post between stretches of sewing.  I am also writing to a friend about the wonderful Christmas gift she sent...there are remnants of that on the ironing board, too.  I won't even mention what is going on in other parts of the house...the oven, the washer, you know...just the usual. 

Anyhow, those thoughts are what bring me to today's post about a project 'on the side' that is not ready to be shown.  I was trimming up pieces and started to wonder if people knew about this very handy trimming ruler.

I am making hour glass blocks.  They come out larger than necessary so need trimmed.

You can see how busy my usual Omingrid ruler is when dealing with such a small block.  I am trying to put that diagonal line on the seam created by the block.

It was all going along swimmingly until I ended up with a point that looked like this. In such a small block that will be hard to adjust. 

I thought maybe my Bloc-loc ruler might do a better job.

This ruler has a groove that fits into the seam created when sewing a half square triangle.  You nudge the little groove in and make sure you have excess larger than the markings on the ruler and trim what hangs over.  Then you flip both the ruler and the block around and really line up the markings on the ruler and trim the over hang from the remaining two sides. 

My hour glass blocks are going into this block but I can't show the actual pattern yet.  There are probably a few people who recognize what I'm doing?? 

Counting today...only 5 days.


Friday, December 19, 2014

A finish from my pile of unfinished stuff.

I don't know what else to call it but 'stuff'.

Last spring I took a couple classes from Doug Leko of Antler Designs when he visited my local quilt shop for a few days of classes and a trunk show.  He is very young...younger than my own son...and already a famous quilt designer.  He's got a great style and is very knowledgeable about designing and teaching.

The class I took used the book 'Through the Winter Woods' using Holly Taylor's line of fabric with the same name.

This wasn't exactly a time consuming finish since I actually finished the top in the class then let it 'age' for 8 months in my sewing room.

The table topper is called 'Blessings' and is really not hard.  I didn't actually need the class but signed up for Doug's afternoon class and trunk show so decided to just make a day of it.

While the colors are Christmassy it really isn't just for Christmas.  The woodsy print will carry through the winter.

6 days.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

More baking.

I've been holding off on baking our favorite holiday cookies until Buttercup was on hand to open all the Hershey kisses.  Not my favorite part. 

We made two batches.

The kitchen was over run with trays and cookies. 

Half went into the freezer.

But a few, along with some from the freezer, went into a tin for a friend of Buttercup's.  She came home from school to find her parents enjoying a new vegan, vegetarian, all natural, whole grain type diet.  Poor kid was missing a few familiar tastes and was envious of Buttercup's assigned wrapper removing job.  

I feel like there is no nicer way to spend a cold December afternoon.

One week!  Seven days.  Time to turn my focus to menu planning.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A project update.

Back in August I showed a quilt I'd made in the summer. 

'In From the Cold' by Kate Spain.

I loved making this quilt so much that my quilt guild decided to do it as a block of the month.  Since I'm on the program committee I am in charge.

I wanted my second 'In From The Cold' quilt to be something other than Christmas.  I had some nautical fabric and decided to use that as my inspiration.

Each month I make the following month's block to show at our meeting.  So far I've made 5 blocks but I haven't shown a single one here.  Shame on me.

Here are all five lines up like they would appear in the quilt.


I had a paper pieced pattern for a sailboat I used in place of the wreath.

Even though I pointed out to the ladies that they could put anything in place of those itty bitty pinwheels I still couldn't resist making them.  I had all the reds in my scrap therapy box.  Woot...love having that box of squares to dig through when I need just a little something.

Here is my inspiration for the mugs.

I need to make January and February's blocks by January 5th so I really should pull that project out but there are just so many other tasks this time of year.  I sure hope I don't regret not working further ahead come January 5. 

Oh boy.  8 days.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Get your tacky on!

Tacky or ugly sweater, that is.

I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.  It's all the rage.

There is an ugly sweater luncheon coming up so we did a little thrift store shopping.

This is for my husband.  He so doesn't do this sort of thing.  He's way outside his comfort zone but I once won an ugly sweater contest so I feel confident in my skills.

We almost felt like we were prettying it up too much with the buttons around the neck.

Thank heavens for glue guns....and double sided heat'n'bond. 

9 days left.  I've started making lists.  It's down to the time when it's critical I don't forget anything.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Grand Illusion update.

Clue #2 took a very long time.  I didn't finish it until Friday afternoon, hours after clue 3 was released. 

Wonder why it took me so long...

I mean I had one on one help like this.

I even discovered errors before I'd finished sewing them so I only had to rip out a few stitches.

I did manage to finish all 200 units and started clue 3 on Friday.

Like always...here is the link on Bonnie's blog where you can check out every one's link-up. 

And here is the start of my clue 3 block.

Just 120 units this round. 

Since taking the picture I did finish all 120 blocks.  Now I can work on a little something else while I wait for the next clue on Friday.  Bonnie said she thought the next 2 clues would be a little less work.

10 days....although since it's already evening it's more like 9 1/2.