Friday, December 27, 2019

Tall Tree Wall Hanging Update

Just a quick update to let you know the blocking process went well! 

I played with laying out the ornaments and realized I still need to come up with a hanging solution for more ornaments. least it looks like both of these wall hangings will work for next Christmas. 

Thanks for all the wonderful comments and ideas. One of the ideas I liked the most was using a wood frame to attach the quilt might really need that support. Hopefully I can get this project up early enough next season to play with solutions if I run into problems.

Let's hope I've out-smarted Eli.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Workshop

I pulled a vintage Bucilla kit from my stash to mindlessly work on in the evenings during this holiday season. Only sequins needed to be added to this adorable tree skirt. I am going to use it as a decorative table cloth. 

It took me a little longer than I thought...11 evenings of stitching sequins. The circle is distorted in this is perfectly round.

The kit included red rick rack for the outer edge but I would like to get some red jumbo rick rack and line the backside. I will probably use white felt on the backside...don't want any slippery fabric.

My tall tree duo of wall hangings continues to include too much drama in the construction process.

How in the world did I manage to get this tear in my fabric? I was having tension issues with my midarm and in the process of ripping out the bad stitching my seam ripper did this slit. ARGH!!! I added some fray check to the edges.

The tension issues were due to my stitch regulator crapping out on me. It dawned on me I don't need a stinking stitch regulator...after 10 years of quilting I am surely capable of quilting at a steady speed....

All my tension issues disappeared when I turned off the stitch regulator.

Still have wonky edges to the extreme on the quilt top that got washed before it was quilted.

Both wall hangings are soaking in hot water since I had at least one of the batiks bleed when I washed Eli's vomit off the top. Both will get blocked. If I get them looking straight enough I will add buttons for the ornaments to hang. Sooo...maybe they will be on the walls of my home next Christmas. I have a back up plan that will include a lot of decorative garland around the edges that will help disguise wonky borders if they persist. 

And here's Eli....

still getting in the middle of my quilting projects. 

I have six boxes of printed cottons I kept from Nancy Halvorsen and Debbie Mumm. All my other fabric in the studio is batik. I have kept those cotton prints for several different projects I have dreams of making...someday.

Instead of starting Bonnie Hunter's Frolic mystery, I stared working on this stocking pattern.

I got through two of the paper piecing sections. The next biggie is to applique the motorcycle parts...there are so many tiny pieces!!!

And there was a great price on this Bucilla kit I couldn't resist. 

Wish I could figure out how to get into Santa's time continuum that allows him to deliver Christmas presents around the world in one night. I'd love to finish several projects in one night!

Hubby and I are having a sweet, small Christmas together. Both our sons are far from home this holiday. We are anxiously awaiting the new year...our first grandchild is due to arrive January 2nd. 

You know I will let you know right away when the newest Bailey arrives.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Eli Needs a Santa Hat

Eli loves leaves all this great stuff for him to play with all over the house.

I'm making two Tall Tree wall hanging quilts in hopes of displaying some cross stitch ornaments. I've got one quilted. Before this top made it to the quilt frame...Eli vomited on it...ewwww! 

So I had to wash a top that was a mass of bias edges. Thank goodness I had already removed all the paper from this paper-pieced pattern. The dried top was a wonky mess. I did my best to straighten it out with ironing...and it was looking good on the quilting frame...but as soon as I unpinned it the borders began rippling out of shape.

I will try to block the tree after the binding is added but my confidence in this project as the answer to displaying cross stitch ornaments is wavering.

I am enjoying a quilt that came out perfectly square when I quilted it last year. I need to add some more Christmasy stuff to the top of the treadle desk...more stuff for Eli to attack.

I have a few more quilted Christmas items.
It is a huge challenge to get nice photos of my quilted stockings I hang in my breakfast nook.

I cherish these stockings the most...

Each stocking took me about 40 hours to make.

The designer, Jodi Warner, used to release a new stocking every year. 

2010 was the last year she came out with a new stocking design.

I still have her designs from 2009 and 2010 that I want to make.

Oh well...maybe in 2020!

And speaking of Eli...

When I walked in the door from an afternoon dog walk...I caught Eli removing a few ornaments from the tree...three were on the floor below him.

He really would look cute with a kitty-sized Santa hat...or maybe he is really a Grinchy cat...hhmm.

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.