Monday, December 9, 2019

Additions to Decorations

The Nutcrackers needed some stockings to join their display. 

This is my narrow front entryway so very dark and tough to get a nice photo.

These stockings are from the designer Nancy Halvorsen.

I'm a big fan of Nancy Halvorsen and have a quilt top patiently waiting to get quilted.

Next up was to get the Bucilla ornaments on the the tree.

Plenty of room for more ornaments!

A look at the stockings on the other windows of my great room.

Hope you enjoy this little look at Christmas in my home...more to share on another day.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Christmas Decorating

I have been busy in my Christmas workshop getting my decorations ready. 

I made a hand-appliqued Nutcracker quilt many years ago but it only got hung once in my current was just too big. I pulled out my rotary cutter and removed the eight-inch border and put a sweet binding on it. Problem solved. It is a wall hanging and not a bed quilt anymore.

At Breakfast Club last month I tackled my own project and got most of one "Tall Trim the Tree,"  wall hanging pieced. It is a paper-piecing pattern on a large scale. It measures 25 x 75-inches. I am hoping to use them this season to hang the many cross stitch Santa ornaments that must be placed out of my cat's reach. That means the bottom edge must be 4-feet off the ground. I still need to quilt them but it could be a project I get done this season.

I work on Bucilla Christmas felt kits year round and just finished this set of Classic Nutcracker Ornaments. I don't often make major changes but on this set I added the nutcracker teeth to the bottom three ornaments and the beard on the Santa ornament. I also added more beads and some metallic thread in some of the stitching. 

My collection of Bucilla stockings are starting to get hung.

Not the best's dark in Alaska in December! I tried using a flash but it didn't help. I'm sure my iPhone is capable of taking a better photo but I haven't taken the time to figure it out yet. 

I am slowly making my way through my stocking collection to add cotton linings. I've gotten enough of them done for my window displays...35 stockings. I only have 14 hanging so far. The garlands are all in place.

We officially hit the year mark since the big earthquake last year. All the talk about it on the news and our dark winter has upped my anxiety level. I'm trying very hard to get over it and just enjoy my own pace during this season. Some new snow is helping to brighten the season. 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Starting November with Holiday Anticipation

I work on Christmas kits from Plaid Bucilla year round. 
 I’m getting excited to start my decorating and get all my old friends out on display.

I have a new one to add, Ornamental Deer. It is a design from 2015. It was a fairly easy kit. I am a Plaid Ambassador and enjoy supporting their craft endeavors. I'm especially glad to know so many other people love these kits and find them as addictive as I do!

I also finished my Breakfast Club October project, Pumpkin Seeds.
 I changed the two outer borders to differ from the pattern. A very festive fall quilt.

I am planning to participate in the mystery quilt Bonnie Hunter is hosting, Frolic.
 I used to live in Texas and absolutely love bluebonnets. I definitely need do some fabric shopping to get ready for the challenge. If you want to check out the details, visit her blog, Quiltville and look on her top banner for the tab, "Frolic."

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Projects Finished in October

Sledding Santa has been added to the "done pile" of cross stitch ornaments. I now need to add a wool felt backing to the 13 ornaments I finished this year.  Hopefully I can figure out a place to display them that is safe from my cat...he loves these ornaments too!

I finished the brown bag mystery quilt top. The colors are off in this photo. The blue is more turquoise and the red is a hot pink. I used the Marti Michell templates recommended in the instructions and they really made getting nice points pretty easy.

And I finished piecing the Aurora Nights kit I won at the quilt retreat. I knew it would go together very quickly with all those large areas of gradation fabrics. 

I'm making good progress on the October Breakfast club project, Pumpkin Seeds.

I am going with batiks of course and I had a dark background fabric that just jumped out at me when I was deciding fabrics to use for this project.

I am waiting for some back ordered thread to start my next quilting project for my mid-arm quilting machine. So frustrating. But I have a small project so once that thread gets here it should go fast. 

Monday, October 21, 2019

October Quilt Retreat

I am a winner.
At the Material Girls retreat I won the door prize, Aurora Nights quilt kit.

All the fabrics are gorgeous gradations. I am thinking I will cut this out and have it on hand to start working on since it looks like it will be a simple quilt as the fabrics do the work of creating a unique design.

I started off the retreat by getting the binding done on a Halloween wall hanging.

I brought the Baby Honu UFO and got all the blocks sewn together and the borders added.

This quilt is going to be a challenge to quilt with heads, tails and feet that are not attached to the top.

I also got half of the blocks sewn for a blue and white version of a quilt pattern I made last year from the Moda Bakeshop, Sky Full of Stars. 

My favorite part of any quilt gathering is show and tell. I got to share my Sparklers quilt. 

As I started to unpack when I got home, Eli claimed a spot in the middle of my mess. I don't even think it was a comfortable place. I guess he missed me.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Termination Dust

We have some "Alaska sayings," you don't hear anywhere else. One is Termination Dust which refers to snow showing up on the tops of mountains and moving farther down the mountain as winter approaches.

I've got a few leaves to rake...hopefully that will happen before the first snow fall. So far just a few days with temperatures dipping below freezing. 

I finished cross stitching Amazon Santa, in the middle of this year's Sandra Cozzolino series, "South American Santas." All so very cute. You can see why I am addicted to making her designs. 

I have finished quilting, "Sparklers." I loaded the quilt on my frame, August 25th. 

The next few photos are mainly for me to refer to when looking for ideas to quilt future quilts.

I had three different stars in the quilt and tried to quilt them each a little differently.

Red Star.

Blue Star

White Star

Trying to quilt details in a printed batik is a subtle effect...but it does work.

I mark dark colors with regular white chalk sharpened with a regular pencil sharpener that has a larger opening for fat pencils. Below are my two favorite rulers used on this quilt. 

I marked the circles and little hash marks for angled straight lines going to the center of the arcs.  Those straight horizontal lines in the body of the quilt are from my basting lines. Those will disappear when all the quilting is done.

Another detail photo to help me.

And the result.

Here's the only critter photo I have taken in the past few weeks, Eli at the top of his cat tower. He could use a Maine-Coon-sized cat tower. Somehow he curls into the top for afternoon naps.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Plaid Bucilla Ornament Kit Finish

I recently became an ambassador for Plaid Bucilla. I’ve been making Bucilla kits for over 20 years so it was a definite “yes” from me when Plaid contacted me. The perk for me is every now and then I get a complimentary kit.

Below is a kit from my stash, “Holiday Shopping Spree,” from 2017.

I think this kit is rather challenging. The seam allowances to join the pieces were 1/8th-inch. Being used to working with small pieces helped me. This is an adorable kit. It was worth the extra challenge.

There was a mistake in the stamping of the felt. 
First time I can remember encountering one like this in the kit.  The green felt pieces for the tree on the auto with the reindeer was the culprit. One of the pieces was printed twice and one was not printed at all. I had heard about the issue from another Bucilla enthusiast who had made the kit before me. I just made a new piece from scrap felt in the kit. It was just the reverse of one piece so very easy to replicate. 

Recently a reader of my blog left a comment asking for help with the kit Ballet Bears. I couldn't answer since the author of the comment was flagged as a "no reply Blogger." This is the default setting for leaving comments and if you want a response from me you have to go into Blogger and change your comment status so it will allow me to email a response to you. I made that mistake for several months when I first started reading blogs and leaving comments on Blogger. You can google how to make the change to your settings.

You can also reach me at my public Facebook Page, And Sew Forth.

Not sure what Plaid Bucilla kit I will work on next.