Friday, December 22, 2023

Wrapping Up 2023

It's always great to look back at my photos and see how much I've accomplished since my last blog post.  I finished the top, "Grand Isle," which is a Whirligig Designs pattern. 

All Tonga batiks from Timeless Treasures. I bought this as a kit from Hancocks of Paducah. 

I used the Creative Grids specialty ruler to create the Cat's Cradle block. I really gave me accurately pieced blocks so I had lots of nice points when putting the blocks together.

In the evenings, I worked on handwork for several UFOs.

Power cords on irons...

Pins in tomato pin cushions. Tiny buttons will be the pin heads.

And needles were added to the sewing machines. 

All ready for me to quilt. 

Then I tackled a Nancy Halvorsen quilt design.  Not much embroidery needed on these blocks. Hopefully I will get these blocks into a setting in 2024.

And I finished stitching all the names of the chickens and the feet for the chicks.

I'll need to figure how I will set these blocks. Another project for 2024.

Then I did a little kit prep on some Kaffe Fassett fabrics I just had to buy after seeing so many great Kaffe quilts at the Houston Quilt Festival.

I paired a Kaffe jelly roll with some Indah batiks in my stash. 

When I saw the Tapestry quilt pattern in Kaffe fabrics I bought some sale fabrics on Hancocks to make that top. The two blocks that make up the design are actually pieced on a paper foundation. It required some fancy cutting which was easily done wrong if you forgot to angle the fabric just right. Yes...I made that mistake several times but had enough fabric to get it all cut out. I even made one of each block to ensure I was correct.

I'm planning to give the Kaffe quilts as gifts.

Speaking of gifts. The Material Girls group I am in had a Christmas luncheon and gift exchange. I made a project bag with some quilting themed fabric I've had for many years. I'm got enough fabric to make five more.

In my stash I also had the perfect sewing themed fabric that worked great for the back side that has a large mesh pocket.

I did manage to finish the 2023 set of Mill Hill Santa ornaments, Down Under Santas. 

I have to mention the biggest news of 2023. My husband retired in November from FedEx. He had been a pilot with them for 37 years. Below is him landing an MD-ll for the last time in Anchorage.

No major plans upon hubby's retirement. A new phase in life we will have to navigate through.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Wrapping up November Happenings

 The highlight of November was getting to meet up with my dear friend Cecile who traveled from France for the Houston Quilt Festival.

Cecile has a blog, Patchwork Inspirations and an instagram page, patchwork_inspirtations. She is also an ambassador for the magazine, Quilt Mania. She’s very busy! 

I wanted to share my love of By Annie patterns by making Cecile a set of project bags. I had planned to make two bags but it turned out I had enough fabric to make four bags which gave her a couple to pass onto another of our friends who was not at the show.

I’m planning to make a lot more of these…for myself and friends. I think they make a great gift. I made myself a bag last year and really like using it.

The Houston festival was so much smaller than when I started going to it in the 1990s. I’m sure the advantage of online shopping has a lot to do with the shrinking size of the vendor section. Even the quilt show seemed smaller.  Very little batik to be found there. I bought one kit that had a funky template.

By Annie had a wonderful booth and I did buy some bag making supplies and a few patterns. I also spent a minute talking to Annie. She is such a lovely person and the story behind her company is so inspirational. 

One of her new releases was a wallet-purse. I bought some navy blue cork fabric at the show for it. Still searching my batik stash for a coordinating fabric for the lining. 

On the last day of the show, Sunday, the vendor section is absolutely empty of shoppers. There is also a lot less to buy.  I stopped in Scott Flanagan’s booth and talked with him for a few minutes. If he has a design in a magazine it is an automatic buy for me. He works in mostly batiks so that’s part of the draw for me. He has a great blog where he shares a free quilt pattern in a sew-along format during the summer. You know I don’t get much sewing done in the summer but I always print up the weekly pattern releases. He has at least three books he has published with Annie’s Quilting. I already had, “Charming Jelly Roll Quilts.” I picked up a signed copy of one of he new releases, “Jelly Roll Quilts for All Season.”

I did make some progress in November on my Grand Isle quilt. All the blocks are done and waiting patiently on my design wall for me to make them into rows. I think that’s my least favorite part of quilt construction. 

I finished both the Bucilla stockings I wanted to get done for this Christmas season. I made one to hang at my house for 3-year-old Kate. 

The background fabric is also the fabric for the lining of the stocking. It’s probably close in “age,” to the Bucilla kit from 1996.

Kate’s sister, Kara, is 10-months old and I finished the stocking to hang at their house, “Santa’s Unicorn,” from 2020. 

I had a great metallic batik in my stash for the lining of the Unicorn stocking. 

I’m working a little every day to get all my Christmas decorations in place. I have such an emotional attachment to every piece…slows me down but I really enjoy getting everything out. 

Here are nine of the 66 stockings from Bucilla kits I have hanging around the house.

I have a small tree for the set of 50 animals paired up as male and female for Noah’s Ark. I keep tweaking this tree every year. 

So I know there are 50 Bucilla ornaments on the Noah’s Ark tree. But I haven’t counted the Bucilla ornaments on our 9-foot tree.

Thought I would share a little “Day in the Life,” photos. We have had a nice bit of snow so far. There are always warming trends to wreak havock on the roads. It’s a bummer when your driving home and at the bottom of the mountain…and the only road up our mountain…you are stopped by this.

Apparently this truck pulling a trailer was driving up the mountain when it started sliding backwards and jack-knifed to block the road. It created about a 30 minute delay before they finally got the truck unhitched and opened one lane. 

Too much drama with winter driving!

The only critter I’ve captured on the camera is this spruce grouse just outside the kennel fence.

On one of my walks while staying in Houston I was treated to a blue heron sighting.

Time to get off the computer and tackle more decorating.