Sunday, December 30, 2018

Goodbye 2018

No, I'm not doing a recap of all my creative endeavors for 2018! I'm neither that organized nor that ambitious. Just wanted to get in one last post before the new year is upon us. I'm also learning my way around a MacBook. Not a brand new machine but one that will hopefully prove dependable and more comfortable to use than the PC I've been using. Already I'm missing certain keys that were on the previous laptop. I'm sure we've all learned by now that nothing is perfect. 

While there has been very little in the way of sewing or stitching going on, what with Christmas and all, I have managed to get the binding on two lap quilts and get one of them all sewn down. This one I'm calling In the Pink.

It's a version of Scrappy Trips I made in an effort to use up remnants of various pink prints (duh!). It's about 45" x 60" before being laundered. The plan is to donate it to a patient in Hospice care. I was inspired by Kat's efforts to give quilts to patients at the end of their lives in her part of the world. Rather than (or maybe in addition to) making and mailing blocks to her for the quilts she and her friends assemble I thought maybe I could find a way to do something similar in my own neck of the woods. There's a second lap quilt ready to be bound; once I have them both ready we'll see about delivering them.

This quilt gave me an opportunity to try out one of the new labels I ordered from the Dutch Label Shop.  I saw a promotional offer (expired now) over on Confessions of a Fabric Addict and took advantage of it. The possibilities for label designs are nearly endless. I chose to offset the text on my labels thinking I might be able to sew them in as I put the binding on the quilt. That plan didn't work out quite the way I envisioned but I made it work.

 I haven't yet given much thought to what I might strive for or undertake in the coming year. Mostly I expect to just keep on keeping on. 😊

Here's to a new year full of every good thing!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Last SAL of 2018

It seems to me the last three weeks have passed both slowly and quickly. I wondered how I would fill three weeks after the last Stitch Along check-in and then suddenly it's time to show you what I've accomplished! It's more than I expected to report, that's for sure.

First of all I decided to personalize an apron for one of the granddaughters by embroidering on the bib of an apron I purchased. She's currently into elephants, so when I saw this design I had to use it. 😊

Miss Elephant's apron is trimmed with a row of cross stitches in the original design; I chose to do a bit of feather stitching instead. The apron is a pinafore style with ruffles on the shoulder straps and along the hem. Very cute.

When that was finished I finally picked up the last block in the block of the month series I've been slowly working on and stitched it up.

I'm happier with the tiny ladybug on this flower than the one I did earlier in the series.

Pulling all those blocks together into a quilt top will be a project for next year. 😉

Inbetween Christmas shopping (online), decorating, and gift wrapping I've managed to complete the second piggy bank coin purse and make good progress on a third one!

I have to confess that all the stitching you see on the third case has been done in the last two days. If I continue at this pace I'll have that third pig done in no time!

This Stitch Along has been a great excuse for playing with the handwork techniques and materials I enjoy the most. If you'd like a similar prod just leave on note on Avis' blog. She's first in line on the list of the others who are part of this group:

Unless I miss my guess we'll be checking in again on the 13th of January. For the time being, let me wish you happy holidays, whichever ones you choose to celebrate.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Scrap Happy Day in December

Just a quick post to prove I've been sewing scraps together behind the scenes. Of course there were a couple of my go-to blocks.

But I also sewed 2" scrap strips together to make 12" Lego blocks and 1.5" strips to make 6" stacked logs.

One lonely postage stamp star made it into the mix too. 😊 These will all will go into my Parts Department until I have enough to do something with them or I get inspired to be creative. You can see what I did with the 6" Bow Tie blocks I made out of scraps in my previous post.

Kate and Gun host this opportunity show something we've made out of scraps. Pop over to Tall Tales from Chiconia or Rutigt to see who else is playing along - and maybe to get some great ideas of your own!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Scrappy Finish

I've had a pretty good run of health and energy lately. Gotta say I'm very grateful for that! Unfortunately, I've had to battle an almost-migraine the last couple of days. {sigh} Will this never end?!

I don't have a lot to show for all the good days I've had. There's been more Christmas-related activity than sewing. Although a little bit of stitching has gone into a Christmas gift. You'll see that in our next Stitch Along check in on the 23rd of this month (if not sooner). I have managed to prune and bind a 60" x 80" quilt though. 😊 I don't have a full photo of the finished quilt but this is the top:

You may remember it from a previous Scrap Happy Day post. It was made from nearly all the 6" Bow Tie blocks I'd made over time out of scraps. I'm calling it Magic Circles now. James did the quilting for me of course, all free hand.

I found the print I'd used for the top and bottom borders in another colorway in my stash. It looked like there would be enough to make it all the way around the quilt...

But not quite. Happily I found a short bit of leftover binding from another quilt that worked well to fill in the gap.

Luna has been testing the finished quilt for snuggability.

I think it passes the test. 😉 Never fear, it will be laundered before it leaves our house!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

From the Seas to the Heavens

The title of this post could easily refer to the passing of the 41st President of the United States but that was not my intention. I do mourn his passing as we have lost one of those thousand points of light he once encouraged us to be. I cannot help but contrast George H. W. Bush's life and service with that of the man currently residing in (and disgracing, in my opinion) the White House. Talk about polar opposites! But enough of that.

Let Your Dreams Set Sail is now in the queue for quilting.

To keep from falling into that limbo that so often occurs for me between projects I pulled out some of the postage stamp stars I'd made in my Rainbow Scrap Challenge days, I also got out some novelty prints I thought I would try to put to good use. I put the stars on the design wall and started fussy cutting.

There are some 2.5" squares, a column of 6.5" squares, and then the 4.5" patches that go in the middle of 8" sawtooth stars. The prints I chose to cut up featured Buzz Lightyear, some whimsical aliens on rocket ships, and lady astronauts reminiscent of the Jetsons cartoon.

I wanted to make as gender neutral a quilt as possible so I avoided cutting out the lady astronauts as much as possible. Mostly they were too big anyway.

After a couple of days of pondering and auditioning companion or background prints I finally ditched the postage stamp stars altogether. There was almost a yard of yet another whimsical celestial print in my stash. I cut that up for sashing strips and more focal patches. I also sewed the 2.5" patches into 4Patch units. My plan now is to make a whole new set of stars specifically for this quilt, which will be another that finishes about 48" x 60." This is how I plan to lay out the blocks:

This will give me something easy and fun to do inbetween Christmas preparations. I really must get some decorations out. You'd never know it was the holiday season in our house!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Stitch and Moan

Of course you know what I really mean: stitch and that word that rhymes with it. If you don't want to wade through the moan I suggest you zip down to the pretty picture to see the progress I've made on the second piggy bank coin purse. 😉

I'm generally the last to post for the Stitch Along check in every three weeks. Mostly that's because I'm in the latest time zone. There's also the occasion - frequently - when I intend to write the blog post ahead of time and schedule it to be published on the morning of the SAL so it doesn't appear quite so late in the day. Missed that goal again this time around. But that's not the moan exactly.

Let me preface my moan with a little personal information. I seem to be the only 'day' person in my family. Left to his own devices I believe my husband would be a night owl. All three of our children seem to be night owls. Our grandchildren are natural night owls. I'm not one to get up in the very early morning hours but nor am I any good beyond about 9 p.m., never have been. So yesterday our SIL cam by in the early evening to collect James to spend some time with his sister and her family. Fine. But then they came crashing back into the house at 11:30 for some reason. Well, crashing might be a bit strong, but I was dead asleep until they arrived. My first thought was that we were being burgled. Luna was barking, good watchdog that she is. Very soon I identified voices I recognized, thank goodness. At least one of the granddaughters had accompanied the boys back into the house. Oldest granddaughter owns a teacup Yorkie called George. He must have been with them also for this morning what did I step in, in my bare feet, but a cold wet spot in the carpet. {sigh} Does anyone know of a urine-proof floor covering that won't off-gas toxic fumes? I'm sure we're walking on builder quality (i.e. poor) carpet that is original to this 30 year old house. I'd love a hard surface floor covering that's easy to clean/wipe up.

Okay, back to the topic at hand. The only stitching I've done since our last SAL check in has been on the second piggy bank needlepoint case. This is what it looked like the last time:

And this is where I'm at now:

I tried hard to pay attention to what I was doing but I managed to put purple stitches in where two little black stitches are meant to go for the piggie's hooves. Maybe he won't notice as he is still blind. As you well know, I love the floss from Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. Nancy has started her 12 days of give-aways so you might want to pop over there and put your name in the hat so to speak. 😊

I'm sure everyone else has posted their progress by now. Our next SAL check in will be on 23 December for those of us who remember to do a post that close to Christmas!