Wednesday, December 28, 2022

A December Full of News

The biggest highlight of 2022 arrived on Dec. 13th, our second grandchild, John Austin. 

My son and his wife live in Anchorage, about 40 minutes away so we are pretty excited to be so close to this little guy. 

Like most of the U.S., we've had our share of winter weather. We received 5-feet of snow between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yes...this is Alaska...and we do get a fair amount of snow but in the Anchorage area we get it in smaller batches throughout the season. We broke a weather record for most snow accumulated in a 30-day period.

I spent a good number of afternoons shoveling snow off our back deck, which is prime time for my sewing room projects so you know where I'm going with this...

Despite being snowed-in...I did not get more time to spend on my projects.

We got 23-inches in one storm. That's our hot tub sitting on our deck.

We didn't get any wind with that snow storm and as the snow stacked on the deck handrails, it started leaning and created waves. This one made a curl..hang ten!

The next major weather event started on Christmas night when we had steady freezing rain all night. We lost power for six hours and awoke to an quarter-inch of ice covering our deck and everything else. The best money we ever spent was adding a generator to our house in the building stages. We loose power a handful of times every winter but we always have a warm house.

We were unable to drive the next day...though our city and state roads were sanded by the end of the day. Luckily, my husband, a Fed Ex pilot, had gotten home Christmas night from his latest trip. We didn't need to go anywhere big deal.  

But, being a Fed Ex pilot...and one just home from international travel...hubby woke up at 3 a.m. and decided to get on with his day. He took my car to visit his airplane hangar and got it stuck in a snow berm that surrounded his hangar. 

So I got a call at 4 a.m. to bring his truck to the hangar. Too much ice around the hangar for the truck to gain any traction to pull out my car. So a tow truck was called a few hours later. FYI, getting a tow at 4 a.m. runs $595...getting one at 8 a.m. runs $170.  We waited for daylight.

Luckily, we do have towing insurance.

But I learned on my drive home that snow packed tires are not balanced tires so I was unable to drive faster the 40 mph or the car wobbled. Our nice warm garage took care of that balance issue as it melted all that snow packed in my tires. 

Sooo...between time spent with the new baby and weather issues...I really feel like I haven't spent much time working on projects.

Enough discussion about the weather...time to talk stitching.

I have a few additions to my holiday decor...

This cross stitched Grinchy quote was finish earlier this year but wasn't ready for display until it was time to decorate the house. I had some ancient Art to Heart fabric that looks like strips of ribbon that I mounted on a board and then added the linen fabric, also mounted on a board, surrounded by a mini-ball trim in a berry color from an Etsy shop, Lady Dot Creates.

My biggest holiday finish was one of my nagging UFOs...making bears to fit in a series of quilted stockings. I needed to make four and last year I had all the legs and arms done. Just needed to make the bodies and heads. I easily spent five afternoons working on them. 

The stockings have little pockets for the bears so their absence was noticeable for several years.

The firetruck now has a driver. Bear to the Rescue.

These stockings were annual releases from  Jodi Warner of Hearthsewn from 1991 to 2010. 

Bear in the Bag

These stockings (minus the bears) were so much fun to make. Each stocking usually combined several techniques; paper piecing, hand applique, fusible applique and patchwork.

Bear Outside the Box

Bear in a Flurry

And I finished the latest felt stocking, from Merry Stockings, Tropical Tidings.

I found the cutest surfboard fabric on Etsy for the lining.

This was such a fun kit. I loved all the details.

Super cool pineapple.

An adorable Santa face.

The perfect lining in place.

Coconuts in the trees and with Christmas lights.

The starfish and turtle...with their little hats...sweet.

And a drink to start Santa's winter vacation.

I also finished a Santa cross stitch project. 

This piece is so much brighter in person. I bought this as a kit on eBay. I am not adding, "January," to the really looks more like December to me.

The only sewing I have done was to work with leftover HSTs to make a mini quilt. I had an afternoon where I needed to sew for my mental sanity. I got two blocks done in a couple of hours.

Yesterday, I decided it was finally time to make some design boards for quilting. I've made many to work with my Bucilla kits that are rectangular. A quilting friend gifted me an 18-inch square board and I use it all the time. So I made two, 18-inch squares, six 12-inch square boards and then four, 6-inch squares that I like to use with cross stitch and Bucilla kits to store needles that are threaded.

I always like to end my post with any recent visitors. The dogs saw this moose cow one morning through a window and alerted me to her presence...lots of intense barking. 

She wandered to the other side of the house where a nice sized bull was munching.

I managed to get a photo of them both together but there was another cow a little too far away to include in the photo.

A belated  Merry Christmas to you! 

We are having our big family Christmas on Friday the 30th. Both of my sons are pilots sand they will both be in Anchorage that day...finally! Just hoping the weather doesn't cause trouble...good weather is in the forecast.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

More New Projects in November

Deja Vu! It is a new top and pattern...same color as the last one...different batik rayon print. Paisley instead of leaves. I was lucky enough to get several pieces of batik rayon on sale for a great price. 

It was close to our afternoon walk time so Logan had to make sure and remind me.

I love this top! It will make it again...and again. 

So comfy and pretty quick to put together.
 I have a Bernina 1130 that makes wonderful button holes.

I made version C, without the pockets.

This pattern is still available...not from my vintage stash.

And a quilt was actually finished. This was a Breakfast Club project from several years ago. 
I started quilting it last year and had a massive tension failure. It got pulled of the frame to get everything ripped out. I was determined to get it done before the new was nagging me!

All the fabrics were in my stash. 
The background is actually a navy blue though it is hard to tell in the top photo.

Pumpkin Seeds from the Pattern Basket. A great pattern. Planning to make more by this designer. 

I finished another Bucilla stocking kit, Gingerbread Santa
This is such a cutie! Very fun one to make.

I love the kitty. My granddaughter, Kate, always loves to track down our cat, Eli, whenever she comes over to our house. Her mom is allergic to cats so no cats at their house. 

Kate loves to bake and she does that a lot with her other grandma...this stocking will hang in that grandma's house this Christmas.

All those sweet cookies...adorable.

All the little extras put this stocking over the top.

I had a Christmas cookie fabric in my stash that made the perfect lining.

There is another grandchild on the way...a boy...due December 9th!
I'm starting this surfing stocking for him...only because his parents got married in Hawaii. I can always make him another themed stocking once we get to know him. 

And....I thought I'd share a recent recipe success. I switched to a plant-based whole food diet almost 5 years age. Instead of trying to redo my traditional recipes...I find it's better to get a new set of reliable recipes. 

These are vegan caramelized onion spinach pizza cheese or meat...sautéed spinach and onion with pizza sauce in a yummy herb loaded bread. My husband gave it a thumbs-up...very hard for me to get from most of the recipes I make. He is eating a traditional western diet when cooking for himself so he is technically a "flexitarian."

The dough is started the day before and proofs in the refrigerator for one to two days.
Here is the link for the recipe. Short Girl Tall Order
I'm definitely going to check out some more of her recipes. 

I do have public facebook and instagram pages for those who are interested in getting in touch with me without relying on blogspot comments. I can't always respond to commenters on my blog. 
Facebook: And Sew Forth
Instagram: andsew4th

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

New Projects

 I had a great start to November, I finished the Pineapple Cocktail quilt top.

I also finished Zack's stocking that will be hanging in his mother-in-law's house.

It has a sweet lining of fabric with snowflakes.

And I'm well on my way to finishing Kate's stocking.

I finished the last set of Jim Shore Santa cross stitch ornaments in my stash, from 2020.

Perhaps my biggest accomplishment was finally making the blouse in this pattern that I have held onto since the late 1980s. If you are a clothing probably already know that Vogue patterns are known for being the most challenging. Then...pick up a "designer," one and now you're doubling down on difficult!

I was drawn to the neckline on this blouse...and I could never bring myself to discard this pattern when cleaning up my stash. 

I made it...30-something years later! 

It was a little on the baggie side and since I prefer not to tuck it in...I added ties to cinch in the back a little. The ties are removeable...they button onto the sides of the blouse. 

Not surprising...I used a batik rayon fabric to make this top. 

I'm giving myself a big gold star! 

Holiday decorating season is approaching!!!
You know I will be taking my decorating very seriously! 

I want to mention that sometimes  I get questions related to Bucilla kits on some of my blog posts...sometimes posts from years ago if I showed a particular kit that someone might have done a google search about. Often...these folks are "noreply" commenters since that is the default setting for leaving comments.  It always frustrates me because I cannot get an answer to these folks. I have a public Facebook page and Instagram page, also called, "And Sew Forth." Either one is a great place to get a quick answer from me...or those who follow me and have an answer.