Monday, December 28, 2009

In between...

The week between Christmas and New Year's Day always seems to be a time in between for me.  It's not like the rest of the year.  Most of us are so busy leading up to Christmas Day and then... this week.

The weather's cold here and Mr. QuiltingBug and I are taking this time to relax, sleep, and spend time together.  It feels a little shameful to admit it, but I took 3 naps the day after Christmas (and no - I didn't get up early).

I hope you had a great Christmas and spent it with the ones you love most.  We drove down on Christmas Day to my sister's.  She has the only little ones in the family and it seems right that the kids get to wake up and celebrate Christmas in their own home.  And they were so very gracious about the gifts they received.  My nephew even exclaimed after opening one of his gifts that everyone really had gotten him too much.  And he's only 8!  It was a blessed time.   The drive back, however, was a little tense with all the rain, but we made it safely.

What was the gift you liked most this Christmas?  Mine was a rug cleaner that my sister completely surprised me with.  You can imagine how necessary it is with 6 pets in the household.  We had borrowed my parents long enough to clean all our carpets and were planning to buy one next year. (If someone had told me when I was a teenager that I'd be so excited over a steam cleaner, I would have thought they were joking.)

Mr. QuiltingBug and I didn't exchange gifts but he did make me an ironing board cover while he's been on vacation.

I got the dimensions from Tamah and he was very sweet and made it for me.  It sits over the top of my existing ironing board to extend the surface to 22" x 60".  Now I can easily iron large pieces of fabric - like the backings for quilts.  I ironed about 8 yards of fabric today and it made it so much easier.  I covered the surface with batting and some canvas I bought at JoAnns.

Not much sewing going on right now other than handwork.  Mr. QuiltingBug and I spent a good amount of time watching Dexter Season 4 in the last couple of days and I'd sit there and applique at the same time.  Tonight I finished block 6 of the Baltimore Halloween quilt.

There's less stitching in these blocks than on the ships, but the pieces also tend to be a lot smaller and more difficult to applique.  Still, I'm liking how they're turning out.

Until next time...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Just a few hours to go before Christmas is here.  I remember being so excited Christmas Eve and having such a hard time falling asleep.  I imagine my niece and nephew are going through the same thing right now.  I'm looking forward to spending the day with them and the rest of my family - celebrating and enjoying each other's company.  I hope all of you get to do the same.

I managed to get a few last minute things taken care of.  I worked a little on my sister's quilt.  I'm adding some trapunto to the stars in it.  This is the first time I've attempted this technique and so far, so good.

I finally dyed the fabric I need for the 2nd annual Crayon Challenge on HGTV.  I mentioned some time ago that my crayon is Wild Strawberry.

I couldn't find this color in my local quilt stores and ordered the dye to make my own.  It's been on my to do list for quite a while now.  The quilt is due Feb. 1st, so I needed to get on the ball.  I also purchased this fabric that I thought would work with my pattern.

The rules state that you can only use the color you're given plus one other crayon of your choosing.  My second color is black - so I couldn't use this fabric without a little change.  So now it has become this...

I  also dyed a 12 step gradation of the pinks.  Each one is 5/8 of a yard.  Here are all of my fabrics for the challenge together.

Now I need to get busy and make the quilt (after I finish the 2 Christmas UFO's).

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.  And for those of you traveling tomorrow, I pray that your trip is safe.  Until next time...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Two more nights...

Wow!  Christmas is almost here.  This month has really slipped by me.  I haven't been in a festive mood - more in a hide out in my bed frame of mind.  But I think I'm finally turning the corner, and just in time for Christmas.

My quilt bee celebrated Christmas with each other last Wednesday.  Everyone brought a dish and a present.  There was so much food and Carla was a wonderful hostess.  As for our presents, I think everyone put a lot of thought into them.  I loved mine!  Hilary gave me 3 half yards of Laurel Burch fabric and a beautiful crosstitch of an angel that she did.  Hilary really does the most gorgeous crosstitching and I'm lucky to have a piece.

Carla was also very sweet and gave each of us some personalized gifts.  I put the note box right next to my sewing machine because I'm always looking for something to right down measurements on.  Thank you Carla!

With Christmas Eve only hours away, I wish I could say I was finished with my Christmas gifts.  My neck, jaw and head have been giving me such a fit for the last week or so that I've been unable to quilt.  I have two quilts tops that are made, just not quilted.  And that's how they're going to have to remain until after Christmas.  They're both for members of my family and they're very understanding.

I was able to do a little straightening in my sewing room over the last couple of days.  Jan gave me some thread racks over a year ago and I finally got around to putting them up.

Doesn't this look very clean and organized?  We'll  see how long it stays that way.  Until next time...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Prize Package...

While I was out of town, I received a package in the mail.  (Don't you love getting packages in the mail?)

This one was my prize package for winning the Best of Show for the Scraps to Treasures challenge on the HGTV forum.  There was a bunch of stuff in it - including a quilted ribbon, a book and lots and lots of FQ's.  It was my first ever quilting prize and I'm really enjoying it.

While I was away, I finally managed to finish the rigging on my 6th Ladies of the Sea block - the Golden Hind.  Now I'll put them away until next year.  I completed 6 blocks this year and I hope to do the same next year.

Tomorrow is our quilting bee's Christmas party and I have some things to finish, so I'll end for now.  Until next time...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's been a while...

OK, I've fallen down a bit on posting.  It's not that I don't have a lot to show, but I've been struggling with motivation problems...

I did manage to finish the prayer quilt for my friend Terri.  I found out recently that not only does she have to deal with MS but she was just diagnosed with brain cancer.  Although her prognosis is hopeful, I really wanted to get her quilt done and into her hands.  I worked hard on quilting it over the weekend.  I could have just stippled it and had it done sooner, but I wanted it to be special for her.

Besides stitching in the ditch, I did crosshatching in the sashing and outlined each bird.  I also did feathers and hearts in the outer borders.

I printed out the label on fabric and sewed it to the back before quilting.  I can't take credit for the wording.  I found it in a book and just changed it a little.

I brought it to the church on Monday so they could pray over it before giving it to her.  She's scheduled to have surgery to remove the cancer in her brain in January.  It's a long procedure so please keep her in your prayers.

I also finally finished stitching the rigging on the 5th block for Mr. QuiltingBug's Ladies of the Sea quilt.  Woohoo!  Only 11 more to go!  I do these blocks 2 at a time, so I'm working on the rigging for block 6 as well.  There's a lot of it though - more than any other ship.

This ship is call the Hannah.  Until next time...