Sunday, December 8, 2019

My Advent Project

Apparently, ever year Susan over at Desert Sky Quilting challenges her readers to make a block a day during the month of December and then turn those blocks into a quilt top during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. I'm sure I must have read about this effort in the past but it's only been this year that it has struck a chord with me. You can make any type or size of block you wish and do whatever suits you with the resultant quilt top. She happens to be making blocks for American Hero Quilts. 

Her post (back at the end of November) caused me to pull out the box of Christmas Parts. A few blocks, remnants from past Christmas projects, and three pre-printed panels from the 1990's (the last century!). The idea back in the day was to make a Christmas quilt for each of our three children. That never happened. I do have a couple of Christmas quilts courtesy of block exchanges I've done with friends in the past, just in case you were worried that we were deficient in that respect. So at this point I figure I'll make one more Christmas quilt for us and then when I'm gone each child can choose the one they want for their inheritance. At least, that's the plan for now. 😉

Two of the panels I've stored over the years are identical. I know one son expressed an interest in it when he was a boy so I've chosen that one to work with for my Advent project.

This is a craft panel, meant to be a small-ish wall hanging.

However, I always saw it as the focal point in a couch quilt. I just never knew quite what how to pull that off. Now that I have years of experience under my belt and a live-in long arm quilter at my disposal some of the previous issues have been resolved. For example, the large open areas that will be created by the block I've chosen to use around the panel can be filled in with lovely quilting done by my son!

I already know it's unrealistic for me to expect to actually make a block a day but my goal is to make six or even seven blocks over the course of each week. So, one block one day and maybe two or three the next.

You can see I've chosen a fairly simple block, although it does contain the possibility for errors. I even went so far as to purchase yardage specifically for this project (!) rather than trying to make do with what I have on hand.

Since I have completed (I think) my gift sewing I found myself between projects as it were. This Advent project prompted me to think about the other Christmas panel and what I could do with it. I have pulled it out and trimmed it and am now considering my options for building it up to couch size. I'm not going to worry about keeping to a schedule or deadline for it but I do like the idea of a block or two a week as a goal. Unless, of course, it takes on a life of its' own. There's no harm in having a Christmas quilt top finished in February after all. That will make for two new Christmas quilts next year, one for our collection and one to give away. 😊

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Eve's Quilt

With the completion of a couple of secret seasonal projects I've been able to return to the medallion quilt I began with this panel:

The last time you saw it I believe it had grown to this stage:

I made more flying geese and surrounded the medallion one more time:

Obviously, I couldn't stop there!

At this point it will finish at about 60" square. I've come to like that size to use on my lap when we're watching movies on the couch so I believe I'll stop it here. I'm thinking I'll also use the border print for the binding. I actually have enough of it left over to do that!

I've already selected the primary print I'll use for the back too.

It's more yellow in person. I've been wanting to make a black and yellow quilt for some time now. Between the front and back of this one I may have satisfied that urge. Eve may not have been able to make a quilt in her day but this daughter of Eve has done so in her honor. 😊

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Bee, Myself & I in November

I almost missed it! Got kind of distracted with finishing things and planning new things. 😉

Bee, Myself & I is for selfish sewing, created by Carla over at Granny Maud's Girl. It's an opportunity to be gently held accountable for any kind of sewing you want to do for yourself, not for someone else, and without any deadline other than one you might set for yourself. My selfish sewing tends to be of the needlework variety, embroidery or needlepoint. I've been filling in background around this Pumpkin Head design by Kirk & Bradley. I believe this is what it looked like at the end of October:

Now it looks like this:

Good progress! I've come to a point where I need to pay more attention so I can blend in a darker shade of purple. It's been very pleasant to pick this up and do patches of basketweave when I didn't feel like doing anything else. I probably won't get as much done in December between my sore sitter and Christmas preparations. But that's okay!

All of the cotton floss I used in this piece was hand dyed by Nancy Turner over at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. The photos just don't do the subtle color variances justice. She'll be having a series of give aways to celebrate Christmas so if you haven't been over to visit her yet be sure to do so in the coming days. 😊

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Uncomfortable Stitching

Wouldn't you know it, a week before I have a lot of handwork to do I take a short spill and land on a hard surface on my tail bone! Not a serious injury but painful to sit on. Or to avoid sitting on as the case may be. And most of what I'm working on has to be kept under wraps for the time being. I can share a couple of sneak peeks though.

Turns out there's nothing like a black binding on a dark quilt to pick up all the loose dog hair floating around.

I'm really looking forward to running this quilt through the washer and dryer once all the stitching is completed. That usually does a great job removing the remaining fur. I only hope I haven't stitched too many right into the binding!

I've started a little embroidered ornament too. Not quite sure what direction this is going to take however.

I dug into my perle cottons to stitch this outline. I think it was size 8. So part of the debate is whether to continue with the perle cotton or revert to stranded floss. And whether to fill in the heart with decorative stitches or a word or image. So many decisions!

For those of my readers who live in the United States, let me take this opportunity to wish you a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving. A lot of people spend the day watching football games. We'll be watching some of our favorite old movies before and after (and probably during) our annual feast. 😉

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Second November SAL

I may be one of the last members of this SAL group to get my post up this time around. I have progress to share though! 

When last you saw this pillow cover I've been working on I believe it looked like this:

Now it looks like this!

I am very close to a happy dance for completion. 😀Of course, with Christmas coming up this project may fall by the wayside between now and our next check in on 15 December. There's binding to be applied to and then sewn down on a gift quilt that has to be shipped. That may end up being my hand sewing for the foreseeable future. 

Getting those tulips stitched made a big difference in how finished this looks.

Oh! I missed one of the gold stars!
Probably missed its' counter part on the other half of the pillow too...

My biggest challenge with this piece has been to choose colors for the various elements. The cover is printed in a variety of colors but I found that more confusing than helpful. A couple of them were merely lighter or darker shades of the same hue. Once all of one shade had been stitched it was hard for me to know what the lighter or darker version was meant to be. And I've made other color choices along the way, using my own preferences over the suggested hues. Of all the versions of this stamped pillow cover that are stitched mine will certainly be unique among them!

To see what the other members of this Stitch Along have been working on - we all work on our own projects, not the same thing across the board - you can click on their names below. If you'd like the motivation that comes from being gently held accountable you can leave a message with Avis. 😊