Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Warp Speed

I can't believe how fast time is flying!  Seriously, I'm in warp speed and I need to slow it down!  This is my final week of layoff and Reality is staring me down.  Reality has a serious bitch face...  

I really thought I'd be done with my Art Neuveau quilt by now.  I made a little progress.  I only have 2 more & I should just make it a priority to get it done.  The rose block turned out really pretty. So, I didn't read the directions 2 years ago when I started the quilt.  Apparently, the pattern was never intended for needle turn applique.  So, there are several parts of the patterns that I'm just skipping because they are too small a detail to do with needle turn.  I tried in the beginning and it didn't work well.  For example, I embroidered the tiny pink rose centers instead of trying to do them in appliqué.  I also discovered that it's actual name is Deco Gardens.  Don't be a putz.  Read your directions first.
 The pansies are pretty, too.    Doesn't it look like an angry flower?  Those eyebrows!  They happen to be on the edge of my design board, which is why it's folded on the corner.
This is everything so far.  Just 2 more to go!  I need to get the lead out.  At least the last 2 blocks are prepped and ready for travel.  One is the Poinsettia that was included and I bought the Poppy pattern to round it out.  Another red block and an orange block will be good additions.
I added a cream satin and lace border to my CQJP 2016.  I had also hoped to finish this.  But, I broke my good sewing machine.  Once I get the back on, I'm going to couch a thin gold braid along the seams & use that as the quilting.
I used my new mitered border ruler and I'm loving it!  The lace is a gorgeous gold metalic.  I'm all about gold right now.
Look what Santa brought me!  It matches my studio perfectly!  The robot sound it makes everytime I touch it is going to take some getting used to.  I'm trying not to think about how pissed I'll be when the robotic foot breaks.  Not that I'm a pessimist. It's cute though, right?
I finished the embroidery block from the Catherine Redford class I took.  I'm not super happy with the tulips but the rest of it is great.  All was done it the Caron embroidery thread I'm selling in my Etsy shop.  Just loving that thread!
I also started Bonnie Hunter's En Provence mystery.  It's my first year following along & I'm not keeping up at all.  Which doesn't bode well for when I start work again.  I couldn't resist the opportunity to work with the colors she chose this year!
I made a table runner for Hunter.  It was a Christmas gift but my machine putzed out on me mid-runner.  So, I sulked for a few days and finished it with my old machine yesterday.  I love that fabric! He's got a beach/ minimalist theme going in his room that this will work really well with.  Nothing fussy for my boy.
I've been commissioned to make a t-shirt quilt.  Something else I was supposed to finish.  I got this far yesterday.  I'll just do some simple borders in pink with the pink/ red picnic plaid I used on my lace cottage wall hanging for the outer border.  I think it'll be really cute.  I'll wait for my Pfaff to come home before I quilt it.  Apparently, it had to go back to the manufacturer for repair.  When I mess something up, I really mess it up.
I caught a terrible something on Christmas day.  So, my energy level is zero.  Not good for housework or machine sewing but pretty ideal for hand work.  So I decided to embellish a plain brown sweater I have with some embroidery.  Ignore the stabilizer, it'll wash away when I'm done.
I did invest in a lap stand for my embroidery frame.  Because, you know, I needed it really bad.  I swear.
I'm also following along with the Never Ending Sampler stitch along.  Pam Kellogg is posting a band, basically,  every day.  I think they're up to 12 or 13 & this is how far I got.   I love it but I get so lost in counting cross stitch.  I've had to frog WAY more stitches than I care to admit.
Bethany asked me to embroider on her dress for Christmas.  It was so much fun!  I love the solar system we decided on.  She seems really happy with it and it looks so cute on her!
I really wanted to do a flying saucer but I ran out of room.
The lighting on this picture is terrible but her little rocket is really fun.

So, I've been busy but no really big finishes to speak of.  Several new projects!  Lots of hand work in my future.  I'm more and more drawn to handwork as I go.  Back to work I go next Tuesday and I report for Grand Jury duty next Thursday.  I do not want to go.  Reality has a total bitch face.

Hope you have a fantastic New Year!  Stay safe.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Holy Cow, What Week Is It?

Holy Cow!  Life is super busy when you don't work and the holidays show up.  I keep thinking I've got so much time now, I should get stuff done that I wouldn't normally expect to do.  Yikes.  But, now that Christmas with my In-Laws is over, I'm hoping to slow down just a bit.

Well, first off.  I finished the cottage by framing it with charcoal grey & red plaid.  I think i made all the difference!  I'm really happy with the final product.
 I think the thin grey frame helps your eyes focus on the details.
 Since the plaid mitered corners didn't match up correctly, I added some daisy vines to distract the eye.

Oh, I can't forget to tell you about my studio, phase 2.  We took the ironing surface out of the loft.  The dressers are there temporarily until one of the kids needs them.  The tree is a decrepit old tree that we used 20 years ago in Iowa.  I put all of the ornaments that my mom brought me from her travels around the world.  I've got ornaments from Norway, Sweden, Russia, Germany, Denmark...all the places I've never been.  I also have some ornaments from her childhood.  They're precious 1950's pink and blue glass that were on my Grandma Bradley's tree.  Then, there are circa 1980's ornaments that I made mom buy when I was a kid.  I only put this tree upstairs where there is carpet because the hardwood down stairs has claimed more ornaments' lives than I care to count.  This is the first year it's been up in the 10 years since mom passed and I bawled like a baby the whole time.  But, it's time to be a big girl and revisit those precious times.  All the places my mom went and she thought of me everytime.  The paper mache Santa is from Rich & my first Christmas together. I need to make a tree skirt...
The base for the old ironing surface is now cabinets in the girls' old dressing area.  Ground zero for Brighter Side Fabrics.  I unloaded the bookshelves which will soon come down.  Now that I've lived with them for a few months, the bookshelves are currently in a terrible spot...
I finished the quilting on Grandpa's Cowgirl quilt.  I just did a meandering loop & star in a khaki thread.  I was pretty happy with the result.  I hope he was too.  Yes, most of my corners got cut off, but I don't think he noticed or cared.
 Bethany told her friends, "moving back home came with some stipulations."  I was laughing so hard, I almost peed myself...  I made horse hoods as Grandma's gift and needed a model.  I'm really hoping that her horses are bigger than her grand-daughter, or I've made a serious miscalculation.
These are Sierra's Christmas stockings.  She picked out the fabric and fur and I put them together for her new place.  She was a little disappointed that I wouldn't fill them too,  but you've got to draw a line somewhere... 
Bethany, just because she's so cute and is such a good sport when I ask the ridiculous.  She was attending her boyfriend's Christmas party.  Not to mention the tree took me a whole day to decorate.  The main family tree is full of ornaments that my Mother-In-Law, Ann bought.  She's bought everyone a new ornament for the tree for as long as I've been in the family.  Sierra took hers to her new home but we still had so many, they couldn't all fit.  Grandma didn't disappoint this year, either.  I got a feather weight sewing machine ornament this year!  Score!
Ethan's first violin recital was a smashing success.  He gave a stellar performance.  And, looked so handsome doing it.
This is my offering to the Crazy Quilting International Christmas Card Swap.  With all that was going on, I missed the deadline by a day.  I'm mailing it tomorrow.  The trees are done with a cretan stitch  trunk and herring bone branches.  I tried to do a silk ribbon holly between the poinsettia beads, not  sure if it was as successful as the picture that I saw but I gave it a try.

If I'm honest, this has been my biggest time suck.  I started selling Caron embroidery threads in my store and they're so beautiful, I can't help but to sample them!  This is a pattern from the Catherine Redford class I took a few months ago.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.  Mustard yellow and fall colors are a stretch for me but I've got a plan in mind.  I do need a new fall wall hanging...  The leaves are herringbone in Jade.  Damned if I didn't run out of thread before the very last leaf!  Guess I'll be ordering more in the morning! My long and short stitch tulip needs some help.  It's a new stitch for me.  The basket is chain stitch in Fiesta and looks fantastic in real life.

Well, does that look like 2 weeks worth of stuff to you?  It sure does to me.  Now, to get the Christmas cookies done by Wednesday, so I can ship them from work.  Ethan wants to go see Moana, he's learning to drive, too.  Then, maybe, just maybe, I'll get to relax and quilt my Roberta Anne with an "E" quilt.