Saturday, November 30, 2019

Last Week of November

Did you have a nice Thanksgiving (for those of you here in the US)? We were with extended family on Bruce's side. There were 21 of us, and it was a blast. It snowed lightly on Thursday, but kindly held back until yesterday to dump several inches on us. But it's beautiful, and it's the perfect time of year, so we welcome it!  

As for my hands/carpal tunnel surgery, I got the stitches removed from both wrists on Wednesday. It's been 2 weeks now, and I'm pretty much fully healed incision-wise. My hands aren't numb any longer, except a small part on 2 fingertips, and the doctor says that should go away in the next few months. I am bearing good weight and pressure on them now, and have resumed all my normal activities without problems.  I even plan to pin baste three quilts this weekend with the help of Cousin Kim.

Speaking of weight, I've been actively working the Weight Watchers plan again after just see-sawing around a few-pound weight range over the last 18 months. Actually, I'd gained back about 9 of the 35 pounds I lost a couple years ago. But now 8 of those extra pounds are gone, and I was mindful of my Thanksgiving eating. I even planned for a piece of pumpkin pie and enjoyed that! Now it's time to get serious and tackle the final 25-35 pounds over the first half of 2020. I do plan to make (and partake of some) almond biscotti during the Christmas holiday season as well as some Kahlua and eggnog (lite). All doable while still losing, if I'm careful. 

But you're here for the sewing, so let's get to that.  Here's the red string star quilt I've been working. I showed a few blocks last week. This week I completed them all - it is so fun to stitch these that I just couldn't stop! This is one of the flimsies (quilt tops) that I'll be basting this weekend.

And a close-up of a a smaller area. I ran out of the solid red, so used a similar red with dots to fill in. I love how it makes the stars look more dimensional.  To keep on top of these multi-colored strings (a lot of which I get from quilting and trimming the quilts I do for Quilts for Kids, I may do a background star - which is 4 blocks - of the Rainbow Scrap color of the month in 2020, and then just use the multi-colored strings around them. I think that might be fun!

This helped make a dent in my string scraps, but I have a whole tote bag of low-volume strings that I want to make into some sort of string quilt. That idea will be put off until 2020, though, as I have some Christmas projects (zip pouches) projects that beckon.

And I'm currently working on this project for Cousin Kim for Christmas (she doesn't read my blog).

It was a layer cake (10" squares) of a line called Newport that she and I both fell in love with and bought. She made her squares into a quilt for herself, but her daughter Sarah loved it so much that Kim gave it to her. So I'm using my Newport fabric to make a quilt for Kim. The prints are big and colorful, so I wanted to find a pattern that would allow the prints to shine through without being chopped up too much. I'll sew on it today in hopes of finishing off the top. Then I can hide it while Kim is here sewing on Sunday.

Before we put the cat's play tree back into the guest bedroom after the painting that we had done, it was sitting out in our upstairs hall. Alfie "re-discovered" what fun it was to play on it while us mere mortals walked past. He could roll around, hide, swipe playfully at us - what great fun!

And finally, Bruce put up the tree. It's tiny, because we didn't know how our respective hands would be this year after all our surgeries, and we didn't want to try to haul up containers and bins of things to decorate. Anyway. Bruce says it's The Best Tree Ever. The Best Tree He's Ever Had in His Whole Life! He picked it out at the grocery store, bought little tiny LED lights, raided the Christmas decorations for the tiny ornaments (including a bird from the 1950's), and added a crocheted star at the top. The lights are battery operated. You'd think he was a 10-year old with an early Christmas present.

Now all we have to do is take down all the autumn decorations and beef up the the Christmas decor with a few choice decorations. That's on the agenda for today. But, that tree! (wink)

Linking up to Scrappy Saturday for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.


  1. Oh, my, what a wonderful string quilt! The red is perfect with the strings. And you know what else is perfect? That tree! So glad your wrists are healing.

  2. Glad you and Bruce are recovering well from surgery. That String quilt...LOVE!!! It's been on my To Make list for a number of years and hasn't been made, yet. Cousin Kim is going to be SEW surprised by your thoughtful gift!

  3. I love your tiny tree! Looks like Bruce had lots of fun with that! Your string quilt with the red centers is gorgeous, too! There are so many fun ways to put strings together into blocks - I want to make every one! So glad your surgery and recuperation were successful, too, Cathy.

  4. I’m with Bruce regarding the tree, I long for the day when I can decorate minimally! As of yet, we have 2 littles that celebrate at Gramma and Pa’s, so there must be a 🌲 tree!

  5. I love your wee tree! The perfect size! (As long as the cats don't carry it off...)
    That string star is gorgeous! I've been wanting to make a string quilt but couldn't decide which kind to make - they're all so tempting! Your beautiful blocks are really making the decision easier! And I love your idea for string RSC stars. That's going to be fun!
    Glad you're feeling better and that your hands are cooperating again. What a year it's been for you two!

  6. Well I must say I'm with Bruce on the tree situation! I really would rather not haul ours out and spend an entire day putzing with the decorating (to say nothing about having to put it all away again!). We aren't having any visitors over Christmas so it seems like a waste of effort. I'd be quite happy with just the nativity out and forego the rest. As for losing weight - have you tried the apple cider vinegar drink? Jack and I have lost 28 and 18 lbs respectively and I think the ACvinegar has had a lot to do with it.

  7. What a cute tree--I am on the lookout for tiny ornaments for our tabletop tree...we may get it up during our snow event tomorrow...happy to hear that you are both doing must feel great to be quilting again...the string quilt is really lovely ;)))
    I have somehow misplaced my sewing just letting it go for a while...hugs, Julierose

  8. Love the tree! We seem to have 3 little and one 'bigger' one. Two of the littles are mine and I love getting them out each year. He did great with that tree - especially the crochet star on top!
    That quilt is gorgeous! Love it with the red... I really do need to try one of these quilts with the 3 big bins of scraps hanging around.
    So glad both your hands are healing well.

  9. Wow, you healed fast. Your tree and Bruce's comment gave me a smile. That would be Terry. I bought a small 4 foot tree. I would not have done that except the kids should be here sometime before Christmas. The red of your red string quilt is stunning. We had a few cats when Laurie was little. On in particular liked to attack and retreat when we walked by. We called him Meanie. Hope your numbness goes away quickly.
    xx, Carol

  10. I don't put up a big tree any more. I have 4 or 5 small table top trees that I scatter around. I miss my favorite ornaments, but it's so much less work and the grands are all in TX, so we don't need a tree for them.
    That's an ambitious weight-loss goal for 6 months.
    I like how the two toned red stars look and the design for Kim's quilt looks like it works up fast.
    We're getting freezing rain, so I'm hoping the power stays on.

  11. Your string stars look great! You're right about the dotted red adding depth. And Kim is going to love that quilt! Such pretty fabrics. Give Alfie a big kiss :)

  12. I absolutely love your red string quilt! So colorful, and that red is perfectly eye-catching! Your little tree is fabulous, I can see why Bruce is so smitten!

  13. When I went through my collection of Bonnie Hunter designs I came across her instructions for the string star. It's looking very appealing to me right now -- and I like the red centers in yours.

  14. I do love sewing string blocks and I love your red stars. I've seen string spiderwebs that alternate light/dark (loosely) to very nice effect. And I really like your festive fur tree. I think I may have to change around the front room so Molly can have a cat tree out in a prominent place...where prominent cats like to be.

  15. So good to hear that your hands are feeling better!!! You are a fast healer! LOVE the red stars and the 2 reds just adds sparkle.
    I love string quilts and this is one of the prettiest I have seen. And the teeny tree is perfect!

  16. and you can ask kitty, "What's it all about, Alfie?" Good times had by all! Glad you 4 hands are better and you both can get back to being ALIVE again with your various activities. Love that red string quilt and how it sparkles!

  17. I am in love with those bright red, fiery and fiesty red blocks. I had no turkey and no pie this year = perfect Thanksgiving in my opinion :-D
    Our cat looks so much like your kitty. Glad you are back to sewing and looks like you hit the ground running (as I expected) with Kim's quilt.

  18. I absolutely love your string quilt! The reds looks amazing with the scraps! Now I want to make one too, and I already have the red. But right now, I need to get started on the Bonnie Hunter mystery, Frolic. I am having a tough time deciding on fabrics, as I don't care for all of her choices and need to use some stash. Are you doing the mystery?


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