Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve 2015

I have been doing pretty well organizing myself the last few days, and have made some good progress on the table runner.  It's actually at a point that I can baste and quilt it, but now I need space to tape it down for the basting.  Which involves cleaning off a table... we will see if that happens this morning.
The top of the French Braid table runner completed.  Loving how striking the colors are.

This is how I pass the time until the Seahawks play.  Also, check out my NEW JERSEY!!

I pieced the back with the strips cut off the sides of the runner when I squared it up.  I would like to make a larger version of this, again, very striking.
I also found in my organizing my Mini Stitch that I had started summer 2015 and got that pulled together for a completed top.
The pattern was fun to work with, it's also mini sized so assumes you know what you're doing basically.  Not many instructions.  You can find Mini Stitch and more mini patterns at Fig Tree & Co's website here.

This is going to make the best wall hanging, I am very excited to have it ready to quilt.  I picked colors that make me happy and will stay interesting to me.  Some of them will also bring back some memories, but as I haven't made a lot of quilts most of this fabric is just from my stash.

And I completed mom's Christmas present the day after, but it sure turned out nice!  And she is very excited to have a sewing project bag of her own, she has really been picking the sewing back up lately (I may be causing some of that...), even made 12 Seahawks hotpads for Christmas gifts, and 4 pillowcases!

This fabric is so pretty, I got it at the shop in Bonner's Ferry when we went to Montana.  I keep hoping to find it in blue for myself.
Another chance to practice my FMQ, I did not mark this feather, just made it happen, and filled in the gaps with pebbles..
I am learning the best way to install my tags is to wait until I'm finished and sew it on the seam afterwards.  I redid this one 3 times before I figured that out!
I have to laugh at myself, I have made this project bag at least 7 times, and I make it differently every time.  I have been making notes on the last 2, and taking pictures, I'm hoping to pull it all together into a tutorial for you all.  And to help myself be more precise and timely in the construction.  What is taking the most time (and I'm pretty sure I said this before) is the quilting.  I keep using these bags as my practice pieces for free-motion quilting techniques, so instead of it taking me 5 minutes to quilt it I end up taking closer to an hour.   The bag assembly itself is only taking ~30 minutes. Quilting is my hobby though, I'm not in this to make things REALLY fast.  I am trying to enjoy the act of MAKING.  And lately, I've just been very thankful to have the time to sew at all.

And without further ado, I'm off to take advantage of the bit of time before I go to work!  Make the most of every minute, the year is nearly done!

Happy New Year everyone, here's to strong finishes and exciting new beginnings!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ahh, a break

Hello again!  It's been radio silence for quite some time, perks of working for a packing and shipping store during the Christmas season. :)  We have been quite busy, as I'm sure you can imagine.  I have found time to sew a couple times this month though!  We had our potluck guild meeting on the 8th and had a gift exchange, so I made this potholder:

 I had to fight for my chair again...
He is getting entirely too comfortable.
Also, I took the time and painted my nails during a Seahawks game!  Strings of lights, next time I will go a little more simple though.  I ended up changing my nails to just the red and green tips halfway through the week, and had a ton of complements on them.  Simple is effective!
I made up some wine bottle bags to sell at the store, last year we had people asking for something similar (we are the only place in town that can ship wine besides doing so directly from the winery itself) so I figured I could pick up some pretty fabric from Joann's and whip up some bags pretty inexpensively.  We only have one left now!  I think I made a total of 10.

We put together a little gift package for my brother-in-law Joe and his daughter Eryka, and I included this jar in the hopes they will bake the cookies up together.  Or Eryka will do it with Joe's girlfriend Sarah.  Whatever, just make the cookies!  I was pleased that I was able to cut my usual chocolate chip cookie recipe in half and it fit in the quart jar without issue.  I do understand now why people put the brown sugar on top of the chocolate chips though, that flour sifted right through them hahaha!  Silly me.  Next time I will do Flour, chips, brown sugar, flour, brown sugar, white sugar.  Then I'll still have the layers but it will be more clean.  I think.

I also was able to use almost all of this last Sunday to cut up fabric for this table runner, it's a French Braid runner and the first time for me making one.  It is coming along nicely, I just hope to finish it before 1pm on Christmas (that is when I will see the intended recipient).
I have been making tumblers as a leader-ender project as suggested by Bonnie Hunter.  These are pairs laid out next to each other, it's fun to see the progress!  Of course I went with 2 1/2 inch tumblers, why would I use larger ones that might go together quickly?  I have decided I need to go through my fabric and cut 2 1/2 inch strips from each piece so I can have more variety in my pieces, I don't have a lot of scrap in general and definitely not in that size.  So I will have to create some.  And I'm fine with that, just need to make the time to do it.

I also finally sat down to see how long it would take to make this Hunter's Star quilt, and it turns out it takes ~half an hour for me to make one block.  I need more than 30, and that means at least 15 hours just to assemble the blocks for the top.  So I will not be trying to complete this for Christmas.  Probably Father's Day though.

We have had one GOOD frost this month.  Even snowed for a day!

And then we had sunshine.  It's actually sunny right now, I can feel it on the back of my neck.
The cats were so excited yesterday morning, running back and forth between the side window and the front window, and then John and I heard this thunder-like noise, and when we looked outside we saw a HUGE cloud of birds flying in our yard!  It was the first time we've been so close as to hear them flying, it was really neat.  We tossed some birdseed in the yard with the hopes that they will entertain Belle and Thomas for a while.  It's working.
I also took a few minutes this weekend to finish decorating the tree.  It always makes me so happy to bring out my ornaments, I have many old friends in my boxes.  And John and I have picked up some new ones, the black and white zig-zag one on the bottom left is from our visit to Mesa Verde in Colorado.  And our topper this year is an heirloom from my Great Grandma Schuster (the same grandma who I inherited the White from).
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, I am personally excited that I have Christmas Eve all to myself for ~8 hours to make candy and sew up a few more items before John gets home and we head to my aunt and uncle's house for the annual Lasagna Feed.  Oh, I better remember that I'm making a lasagna this year, oops!  Guess I know where I'm going after work tonight!
Merry Christmas!
This may be one of those times it's ok to let the cat out of the box...

A winner has been chosen...

Congratulations Selina at Selina Quilts!
I have been in contact with her and will be sending her prize soon.
If you have a moment, please visit her website, and share some love.  Selina has the two most adorable bulldogs, she makes some beautiful quilts, and is inspiring me to do more charity work with my art.
Thank you all for the positive response to my blog anniversary, and to my new followers, welcome!  You'll see I don't post often, but I like to put lots of pictures in my posts to make up for it!
Belle is reminding me that I need to catch back up on the Snapshots QAL, as I am now THREE blocks behind.  Yikes!
Alright everyone, let's get out there and sew, the holidays approach!