Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Zero to Sixty in 27

I don't have lay off this year but I did go down to part time for a few months.  Not as good of a set up for me but I'll take it.  That basically means more time for sewing and baking.  Lots and lots has happened lately so, I'll try to get you caught up.  I got the borders put on my Beloved Baltimore.  I thought I might add an inner border but when all was said and done, I didn't think it added anything to it.

I also got Stevie's Quilt borders on.  I'm calling it "Daughters, Three".  I embroidered a butterfly for each of my girls.  This did get an inner border.  I mitered the corners and cut those mother truckers too short.  Not once, but twice...  Good thing I had 5 yards of the fabric!  Also, you can't really tell, but the tips are pieced.  Yeah.  My computer really needs a face to palm emoji.  The good news is, Rich walked past this one and I got a "Wow, that's really pretty."  He never does that.  Fist pump.
I think I mentioned my attempts to improve my holiday decor.  Well, I went gang busters on pillows.  I've never done throw pillows before because with 4 kids and lots of dogs over the years, they would be trashed in no time.  Well, I'm making up for it now!  I went from zero to sixty throw pillows in 27 years.

I FINALLY finished the patriotic pillow from Julie Craig's class over the summer.  I thought it was fun but I don't think I'm going to glue things on like she does in the future.  I can't really explain why I didn't care for it but I didn't.  The fringe isn't how she does it.  I improvised with what I had.
I recently cleaned out some drawers in my studio when I came across this embroidery from years ago.  I did it in a class with Catherine Redford.  I didn't learn much from the class except that I don't like mustard yellow as a background.  What was I thinking with that color palette?!  However, I did think it had a fall look and decided to put it with some fun fabric.  That way it's not ugly, it's funky...
Also, I wanted to use up this really old pumpkin fabric.  Bethany helped my choose the vintage leather buttons.
In other news, Hunter installed a new kitchen island for me.  I will share picks when the drawer handles arrive and get installed.  Then, I purchased paint to redo one of the bathrooms.  My in-laws are coming for Christmas this Friday.  I've got a Birthday cake and cupcakes due this Saturday.  Bethany wants a crazy quilt sun wall art piece.  And, and, and, and it never ends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Fabulous From A Distance

We've been meeting at my friend, Carol P's house for our Crazy Quilt meetings.  She always decorates her home beautifully for the holidays and it's inspired me to up my game a bit.  I've had the same decorations for years and most of it was cheap and childish.  So, this year, I've decided to rethink my fall decor.  First on my agenda was a new pillow.  This is from Kathy Schmitz.  Love her!  The acorn sash is supposed to say something sappy like "in all things be Thankful" but that's not my style, so I made an adjustment.  I like monogramming things and Mantzing things.  I call it Mantzgiving, Mantzmas, Mantzter... you get the idea. 

I was able to finish all of the Beloved Baltimore blocks (for my particular project) and put them together.  My final block was the bottom right.  I used French silk ribbon to make rushed flowers.  I'm waiting on a possible second border in the mail but I have the final border already.
The last time I saw my mother-in-law, she asked me to fix a baby quilt that was made by Rich's Grandma Betty.  How could I say no?  Rich thought she hung the moon...  I'm sure Betty had no clue that her Great Grand Daughter-In-law would someday try to restore this quilt.  She used the absolute smallest stitch setting I've ever seen in my life.  Those seams were going to outlive us all.  I had to cut out the embroidery and then used some modern cotton gingham to replace the original poly.  The embroidery blocks were poly as well but she used a cotton thread.  So, the thread and the fabric shrunk at different rates.  This was a MUCH loved and washed quilt.  After some very nervous trimming, pressing and sizing, I ended up with a smaller version of the original.  It's a really sweet little quilt.  Now I want to do one like it for my future grand babies. 
I found this swirl in my pile of unfinished projects.  I'd taken the class last year some time thinking it was divine intervention for me to find a new artistic style.  It was not.  However, I did finish the class project.  I did a terrible job, but I finished it.  Believe me when I tell you that this photographed much better than it's  reality.  This is now quilted and bound and hanging in my studio, looking fabulous from a distance...

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Bird Blocks

At the beginning of this year, our local Crazy Quilt group decided on a theme for the year.  We agreed to do one bird per month.  There was a lot of discussion on which birds would make the list but most of us lost interest as the year progressed.  I think there's only 2 out of about a dozen left actively working on them.
I didn't really do a block a month.  I just did stuff when the inspiration hit.  I had a few of Gerry Kruger's buttons from her Etsy shop Olderrose.  I also bought some hand dyed laces from RavioleeDreams on Etsy.  Many of them were too large and are now a part of my stash.
I got a few beads from Michaels, 75% off, like these stars and the crow feather.
I tried to use brocade ribbon on each block.  A lot of my seams are more simple than my usual but that's how I've been feeling this year.
Lots of little purchases from the Bead Place in Fairview.  The pictures of the birds were all duty free downloads from the internet.  I just printed them on fabric.
Lots of Pinterest inspiration.
I got a little desperate for inspiration on the turkey block.  I had a beautiful lace that I wanted to use but decided on the felt turkey because the subject was turkeys.  The lace was classier, though.
One month during our meeting, we made several different kinds of nests.  My initial idea was to do a book.  I finished them each individually but then realized that would be a giant book.  So, now they're just stand alone, things.
This one was finished and refinished, a couple of times.  I like this final version.  I've got 2 more that I'm still working on.  I ordered some charms that have been on the slow boat from China for a month now.  Hopefully, they will arrive soon.  I want to finish this by the end of the year.
At our last Applique Society meeting, Katie M showed us how to make these cute mug rugs.  Love it!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Pretend Deadlines

I just found out that our local Applique Society chapter is hosting the TAS Annual Meeting on my birthday this year.  I think it will be fabulous celebrating one of my passions on my B-day!  So, I decided to use it as a "deadline" to get some of my projects done before then.  You know, I'll have to represent during Show and Tell. 

First on my list was Beloved Baltimore. These 8" blocks almost made me lose my mind, so I put it in time out for awhile.  I thought I only had one left to do, but I was wrong.  Again.  I finished the flag and eagle block, which was a killer.  Those split leaves, please!  Went to work on the lay out only to realize, I miscounted again.  So, I looked to see what was the easiest block that I hadn't done yet and chose that for my final block.  It's done but I forgot to take a picture.  I've purchased a green fabric for the sashing and I've got a great border picked out for it also.  Fingers crossed that I can get it put together and quilted by May.

On a totally different patriotic note, I managed to put the base of Rich's Marine Corps quilt together.  It's a miracle that this thing went together.  I am NOT an expert piecer.  Now, I have to decide on borders and how big to make it.

This block was horrible.  I had to make a freezer paper template.  Horrible.  All my points got cut off.  Luckily, Rich couldn't care less.

I've had Marine Corps fabrics saved for this project for 10-15 years that I fussy cut.

That's that.  I'll have an update on my bird crazy quilt project next.