Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Red and White and Pink Christmas

I hope everyone had a happy Christmas. We certainly did. :- )

Our son who lives out of state brought his girlfriend with him for his annual visit this year. That was a treat. She fits in well with our crew. On Christmas Eve our daughter, her husband, and all the grandgirls were here for a gift exchange and games. I was so impressed with how well behaved the girls all were. There was no fighting over gifts, no tantrums, only a tiny spat between the twins which can be easily overlooked due to their age (not quite four, and they are twins after all! What one wants to play with the other naturally also wants to play with).

I had a very Skelly Christmas:

From left to right there's a calendar, a pocket folder, an emery board and a plush Jack Skellington on fabric that was hand dyed by my friend C~. There was also a tee shirt with fabulous Jack Skellington artwork on it but I didn't think to get a picture of it for you. I have new paperback novels to read and a sparkly cat pin now decorating my felt hat. I was also given cash, which I promptly went out and spent on fabric!

The Christmas flimsy hasn't progressed much since my last post. I had to make a couple more of the 9" Churn Dash blocks to create side borders.

These will be sashed before I add them to the central bit. Can't say that I have recovered my enthusiasm for this project yet though. Frankly I haven't had a lot of energy for sewing for several days. I hope that improves soon.

On another front, the red and white and black star quilt* I made a few months ago has been bound and laundered. Unfortunately one or more of the reds bled, in spite of the pre-washing and vinegar rinses all my fabric goes through. I put a Color Catcher in with the quilt too. These spots are probably the worst of it:

What fascinates me is how some of the white patches retained the pink color while others didn't. For example, the central patch in the star above is pink but the star points stayed white. There are other areas where a black and white print took a little pink so that it just looks less pristine than it did before. Even though this quilt is going to a male adult I'm going to send it as is and hope the pink doesn't look too odd to him. I will also include instructions to only wash this in cold water and hope for the best.

* It looks like this is the only post I made about this quilt! I'll have to be sure to get a full portrait of it before I pack it up for shipping. Sheesh! I've been a worse blogger than I realized this year!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2014 Tea Towel Challenge

I was visiting over at Quilt Diva Julie's blog and spotted a new badge on her sidebar. That took me over to Sophie Junction where, among other things, I learned about her tea towel challenge for 2014. This isn't the first one ever but it was the first one I'd heard of. I'm a sucker for a textile challenge!

The guidelines are simple:
  1. Your quilt must include a tea towel–it can be new or vintage.
  2. The colors in the tea towel determine the color palette for your quilt. 
  3. Try something new. Since this one is defined by you, it can be anything and is an opportunity to add your own personal guidelines to the challenge.
Well, my something new will be using a tea towel as the major inspiration and focal element in an art quilt!

I didn't have anything in the house that I wanted to use so I did some online browsing. New towels didn't appeal particularly. I hit pay dirt at though. The first towel that caught my attention was this one:

I like the house image - I've always like house blocks in quilts - but it was the prayer that sealed the deal.

I've never been a kitchen person. This just seemed appropriate. ;- )

Then I cam across this one:

Another building, and I was confident I could work with the farm theme. The towel is not from 1925, it was put out by Hickory Farms in 1980 or thereabouts.

But seeing these calendar towels got me thinking. About the time of the deadline for this challenge DH and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. That sent me back to Etsy to look for a calendar towel from the year of our wedding.

I didn't have much luck with 1984. But one lovely vendor had a bundle of three vintage towels for sale...

That last one made me add the bundle to my shopping cart. I don't have to use the calendar part after all, and the boy and girl on the towel are in the same style as the Precious Moments figures we had on our wedding cake and napkins.

Don't tell my husband, but the end product of this challenge will be his anniversary present from me. He's been hinting that he needs/wants another piece of my artwork. Of course he didn't start hinting until it was too late to make him something for Christmas. Turns out it was just as well, this works out better anyway!

Oh, and if anyone out there wants one of the other towels for the challenge leave a comment and we'll work something out. :- )

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Piecing Christmas

I think I'm going to have to make a New Year's resolution to be a more diligent blogger! In my defense however, I have been working on Christmas gifts that I don't want to make public yet. The trouble is that after Christmas I'll forget to share them with you!

A little progress has been made on the Christmas quilt (see previous post). I auditioned the 12" blocks with the medallion I'd made. I think they're going to end up as borders on the top and bottom of the flimsy.

There will be a couple blocks from that set leftover but they're not so Christmas-y that they couldn't go into some other non-seasonal quilt top eventually. There are more of the 9" Churn Dash blocks available. I think they're going to end up down the sides.

Not slap up to the Churn Dashes that surround the medallion; there will be something to separate them a bit.

I'm adding the length I wanted with two rows of 6" twinkling stars.

Each row will add nine inches in length (or height if you prefer). The extra three inches allows me to stagger the stars for effect.

It will likely be Christmas or later before this top is complete. Our elder son and his girlfriend are coming up from the southwest for a week long visit. That will eat into my sewing time (not that I mind!). There may not be any blogging during their visit either. ;- )