Sunday, January 17, 2021

Yes! Projects!

 Just a brief reflection on the,”Year of COVID,” and some of the changes it brought about in my quilting/crafting world.

I discovered Flosstube and quilting videos on YouTube. 

I have been reading the blog, The Polka Dot Chicken, for many years and she turned me onto the mother and daughter team, Chelsea and Pricilla Barnes, who design cross stitch charts and have very creative finishing techniques. From reading Pricilla’s blog, I discovered their Flosstube show that airs every Saturday. 

Since late March 2020, I have had almost no regular live adult interaction with anyone but my husband...I was thrilled to discover their videos. Pretty much, the show rolls forward with all of life’s little speed bumps. It feels so authentic to watch their shows every Saturday. 

Turns out, Priscilla and Chelsea are great friends and business associates with Kimberly Jolly of the Fat Quarter Shop. So that led me to start watching all of the Fat Quarter Shop videos on YouTube.  They do a live Flosstube video every week and also a live quilting video every week.

Talk about going down a rabbit hole! I love the live videos with all their little imperfections. I feel like I am really in the moment with them when I am watching even though I don’t watch them “live.”

The Fat Quarter Shop offers so many free patterns for quilting and cross stitch. I love learning about Kimberly Jolly’s business, especially since I’ve been shopping at her online business for years. She publishes beautiful books for several designers and also has such a talented staff behind the scenes. 

YouTube will suggest other videos for me and that has led me to watch Pat Sloan’s videos which air live, six days a week! 

I could go on listing several more YouTube video channels that I watch regularly...but you get the idea.

Of course these shows have influenced what I am working on currently. Pat Sloan is doing several  Sew Alongs (SALs) and I did get pulled into “Stomping Ground.” I ordered the pattern from Fat Quarter Shop as instant PDF download. I had two elephants done on my last post...

I am taking my time on this project. Cutting out each elephant is the most time consuming step but it sure makes sewing these blocks super quick.

I like to work on my cross stitching whenever I am watching a “Flosstube,” video. I did order some new projects inspired by what I have seen on videos but decided first to start with a  Mill Hill kit that is not an ornament or holiday themed.

It is a mama polar bear with two cubs. It is s full coverage design on perforated paper. It has been waiting long enough for my attention.

I am still working on Bucilla felt kits. I decided to start officially giving my sons and their families a set of Bucilla ornaments every year.

These two identical ornaments are from a vintage kit from 1991, the year my oldest son was born...perfect! 

But I am most happy to share my quilting mojo is still going strong. There was a brief time where I wondered if I would ever stand at my quilting machine again...scary how all the anxiety of being locked down from COVID squelched my creative process. I think I just reached a breaking point with all the election news along with COVID and just turned off the news as much as I could. Watching others create on You Tube helped but so did filling my time with music, audible books and lighthearted videos. (I really enjoyed the "Bridgerton," series on the books years ago. Love the sets, costumes, and especially the point that it is not realistic at all. Very much like a fairytale.)

I approached quilting, “12 Days of Christmas,” a little differently. I basted it all together so I could move to whatever part of the quilt I wanted to tackle. Oddly enough, I did the sashing first as the idea of how to quilt it came to me first. 

Then I quilted all the borders of the blocks. 
Finally, I got the block appliqué areas quilted with monopoly thread. So far the Quilting Goddess has seen fit to keep my tension great during all these thread changes. I did change my needle before starting the quilting around the appliqués...very good idea I think.

Just a quick look at a couple of the blocks...

And as I was looking for the original book for this quilt, I discovered another set of appliqué blocks for the  Art to Heart quilt, “I Believe.” I completely forgot I had put them together the last year I was living in Paris.

Looks like I have my first project for the upcoming Material Girls retreat in February. I did all the black blanket stitching on the, “12 Days of Christmas,” on my Bernina 440 which is my Bernina that travels...which means it goes to retreats. A good project to work on a couple of hours a day.

No critter visits lately. The pups and the cat are all doing great which is awesome because they will be going to the pet motel. In a few days I will fly to California  to visit my son and his family...which includes my one and only grandchild...can’t wait!

I am taking a little denim dress to embroider on for her...but making sure it fits first. Nothing fancy...just a few flowers in DMC floss...and maybe a butterfly...and maybe her name...we'll see!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Welcome 2021

The New Year is off to a great start.

Eli is no longer wearing the cone of shame!
A food allergy is the suspected problem. 
He is on a special diet and getting a dose of Zyrtec everyday as he still has a rash on his ears. I have now acquired the new skill of being able to “pill” a cat. It’s actually pretty easy.

And my quilting mojo has returned. 

Yesterday I finished quilting the dark green background spaces. This is the first quilt with appliqué that I have quilted so looking forward to the challenge of outlining all those adorable designs.

I completed one last Bucilla kit for 2020, giving me 10 official finishes.

Cross stitching was the one daily project I managed to keep doing in December.
I started working a on a series of mitten ornaments.

I also decided to join a SAL with Pat Sloan. The pattern is Stomping Ground.

Hard to resist elephants.

I like it when I can finish with a photo of the latest visitors.

These two young bulls spent about an hour roaming our yard last week and would occasionally butt heads. The bull on the left has dropped one of his antlers...wonder if it is in one of my neighbors yards.