Monday, January 28, 2019

Feeling Great as February Approaches

I'm giving myself a big pat on the back for getting so much accomplished in January.

Yesterday I pulled out a little hand stitched piece I learned to make from my dear friend, Cecile, while I was living in Paris. It is a Boutis piece. Two layers of fabric are stitched together with tiny stitches to create a design and you use a long needle to pull yarn through the channels you've created. I planned to turn it into a pincushion as soon as I finished it but...four years later it has finally happened. 

I found a batik 10-inch square with the perfect colors and a few dark pink scraps.

Just made it up as I went. I also had a huge bag of crushed walnut shells in my studio for four year that were opened yesterday.

Such great memories in this sweet Boutis project.

Thursday was Breakfast Club but instead of working on the official project for January, I brought in a set of UFO blocks to finish. 

I reached my goal of making 30 blocks which gave me a total of 160 so I can now make two twin quilts for my guest bedroom bunk beds.

I spent another half day at home laying out the blocks on my design wall and now have them all packed up for the February retreat.

And speaking of the February retreat...

I started this bright tropical quilt at last year's February quilt retreat. It is 110 x 110-inches so I was struggling with the long rows in the crowded retreat space. And then when I got home to my huge studio...all the parts sat in a box for months. I'm so glad I got it done in time to share my finish a year later. It would be really nice if it was quilted too! Maybe by February 2020 quilt retreat!

A few more critter ornaments got finished last week. Blue critters that live in water.

I still have a couple of  Christmas trees up in my house. I think I will leave one of them up until I finish all the ornaments in this Noah's Ark kit and get a photo with them on the tree. I love that idea!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Winning the Bobbin Race

The quilting is done on Batiki Argyle II.
 The photo above has low lighting to show the shadows of the quilting. 
Below, the lights are on and you can see the vibrant colors in the quilt. 

I planned from the start to make a quilt to throw over my gray leather couch at Christmas time. I'll have to look through my blog to see how many years ago I started this one.

For some reason, Sunday is binding day in my world. It was so sweet to change my bobbin for the next project and see how close I came to running out of thread when sewing on the binding. 

Now onto the hand sewing part of the binding. 
Breakfast Club is on Thursday so I will have it done by then.

I didn't do quilting resolutions for the New Year but I did make a list of projects to tackle for the month of January and broke that down into a weekly list. It is always easier to stay on track and tackle a UFO or two at the beginning of a new year so my second UFO of the year is one I started last February. 

But first I had to get someone out of the way...
Eli had to sit on top of an area I had pinned last night. He even pulled out a couple of straight pins. That is freaky! I spend too much time at vets with my animals...all I need is to explain my cat is swallowing straight pins! But I'm confident he just played with the pins.

This is a king-sized quilt that I do plan to use on my bed in the summer. I still have to make a piano key border. The pattern is, "Gimmie Diamonds," by Four Paws Quilting. It is designed for fat quarters with directions for five sizes. I really like the pattern and could see it looking great with many of the wildlife fat quarters I've got in my stash.

Last week I took down some of my Bucilla Christmas items. I hate putting them away but I also wanted to get to work adding a lining to some of them. I belong to two Bucilla Facebook groups and have learned of a pretty quick and easy way to add a lining to stockings that are already completed so I think it is worth the extra work to spiff up my existing stockings.

New Bucilla projects are always a part of my evenings...but this time it is actually a Bucilla UFO. I "started" a Noah's Ark ornament kit with 50 animals about five years ago. I didn't even finish one animal when I put it away to open another kit. 

Three weeks into a new year and I'm feeling very proud of my progress.
 Of course it has been very cold and dark outside so I am staying inside most of the day...

 and my house keeping duties might have been neglected a little.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Moose Everywhere

After looking at how other bloggers approach goal setting, I decided monthly goals broken down into weekly lists might be the best way to keep me on track. 

Completing the three sets of Christmas Moose dolls had been on my list twice for weekly projects. I am now officially ahead for gift giving next Christmas. 

These dolls are not difficult but they sure are time consuming. 

On Saturday I had a Sew-In with my Material Girls quilting group. There was a little show and tell which I mostly didn't photograph but there were three quilts from Sharon that had an amazing story. 

Forty-one years ago, Sharon's mother and brother were on a road trip to come and visit her when they were killed in a car accident. Recovered from the wreckage was a set of applique butterfly blocks.
Some of the fabrics had scraps from clothing family members had worn. 

Over the years, Sharon and her sister-in-law, Joyce, who is also a member of Material Girls, made more butterfly blocks. The family experienced another life event when there was a house fire. The butterfly blocks survived though some got a little discolored. 

Sharon has three daughters and decided to make three quilts from the blocks.
 Each quilt has a different border design. 

While being quilted by a Material Girls member, the November 30th earthquake hit and one of the quilts in the quilting frame got a small hole Sharon was able to repair. 

The stories quilts tell...this one was 41 years in the making. It gives one new hope for those UFOs you keep for so many years in your stash.

Back to my quilting progress...
I'm getting close to finishing the quilting on Batiki Argyle II. 

And I did say the moose were everywhere.

Sunday I got texts from two of my neighbors warning me I had a bull moose in my yard. I placed a frozen pumpkin left over from Halloween on the wooded side of my driveway a couple of months ago. The pumpkin had been sitting on my front porch.

Moose are known for strolling onto people's decks and porches to partake of pumpkins so I did place that pumpkin where I thought a moose might notice it without getting on my front porch.

I watched him go all the way down to the ground to make sure he got every last bite of the pumpkin. Temperatures were hovering around 40-degrees most of the day after a week of sub-zero temperature. 

Not the best lighting situation for outdoor photos but we are gaining almost two minutes of sunlight everyday. I live in a mountain valley and the sun does not get high enough in the sky to shine on my house yet. I think I lose the direct sunlight for about two months. There are lots of cloudy days in the winter that make no difference when it comes to whether or not I get direct sunlight. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Week in Review

A few moose were given faces and partially dressed.

Quilting was started on Batiki Argyle II.

And I finished a Bucilla 3-D Santa kit from 2010. 

I made a lot of changes to the construction methods on this kit. On my public Facebook page, someone suggested using a doll support stand to hold up my Santa instead of the complicated directions of sticking a wooden dowel in place after all the parts were made. Blogging and sharing on Facebook really help me so many times. Even the most obvious solutions don't come to mind and it's great to get a little feedback.