Wow, this year is just speeding by, isn’t it? We’ve decorated lightly for Christmas, including a little tree. We pick up a few gift cards (the preferred gift of most family members) whenever we’re out, thus checking a few more names of the “Nice” list - no Naughties this year. I even did some baking! Bruce was jonesing for some oatmeal raisin cookies, so I obliged.
Yeah, so cookies aren’t a preferred food on my diet plan (WW), but I’ve been plugging away losing about a pound or so every week for the last month or two. I love my WW meetings, and the group of friends that have developed there. One friend, Ruby, gave me some elegant fabric scraps that I showed a couple months ago. Well, last Tuesday she brought me the entire rest of the fabric - a full yard of this heavily embroidered expensive fabric. She does custom sewing on her industrial machines for Denton House, an exclusive source for home decorative items used by billionaires. I was floored. It is so beautiful - we all just fondled it lovingly.
Here are some close-ups to show some of the amazing detail.
I have enough to make a large cushion (euro size) for the couch. I may even make two, but first I have to source some suitable backing fabric. I do have the pillow forms.
Then with the smaller pieces and leftovers from that, I can probably make a half dozen simple cross-shoulder bags, which I’ll distribute to my WW friends. But first I’ll have to find a good, simple pattern (my days of drafting my own are well past) and the accessories like lining, shoulder straps, etc. Do you have any simple pattern ideas to suggest?
In the meantime, I have been busy sewing. Yeah, so what else is new? I’m retired, the garden is sleeping, we see family regularly and do limited grouped errands in these Covid times. So, afternoons are usually spent in the studio. It’s what I love.
My first finish this week was the brown and green strings quilt. It was finished early in the week and qualified as my last November finish.
I had sewn 27 brown string blocks earlier in the month and added the rest from my stash of string blocks. It needed an accent color, and I decided to use some green blocks as I remembered the green ones fell flat when mixed with the multi-colored string blocks I have by the dozens.
The backing was this green piece that I picked up at an estate sale a couple years ago. The quilt finished at the usual (for my string quilts using my 6.5” blocks) at 42x48” and is a donation quilt for Quilts for Kids. During our annual hiatus (November-December), I just accumulate quilts and donate them in a big batch at the January meeting.
Here is the other quilt I finished on Thursday, making it my first finish of December. It was a way to use up a few donated strips sets in grays and red. There were actually only about three sets of those, so I used them as “seeds” and extended the color palette to include dark blue/navy. In the process, it ate up lots of ugly, unloved and/or orphan strips.
I made this quilt larger (48x56”) to be more appropriate for a tween or teen boy rather than a smaller kid. It has a definite masculine vibe. For the backing I used some wonderful gray yardage that I bought to use when making my son’s quilt last year (Arahorn) but never used. It was perfect here.
After that, I put away my dark neutral scraps - goodbye browns and grays! I needs me some COLOR!!!
Time to dig out a project I cut out last December and get it finished up for use this year! Yeah, it’s another wonkily-pinned picture. Why do I always do that?? Anyway, here it is with the main portion sewn together. The pattern, Flurry, is a free one from Kate Spain, and the fabric is an older line, Pixie Noel, from Tasha Noel for Riley Blake fabrics.
I modified it, eliminating a white row of sashing between the gifts and the cornerstones because I don’t like too much white. Also, notice that blue gift in the bottom row? It was a scrap from a different line (don’t know where it came from), but it was a bit short for a gift. So, I just added some white at the bottom because who says all gift boxes have to be the same size? Another example in Cathy’s crazy world of “making do”. The quilt is for me, so I don’t really care if it messes up the symmetry. Symmetry is highly overrated.
So, here are my progress shots so far. The borders are just pinned up for now because I still have to sew the bottom one. And can you see that red and white stripe fabric barely showing on the right-most picture? How perfect is that for the binding?!? I plan to finish up this top today and maybe even get it basted. Quilting will be simple and NOT the swirls that I usually do for anything Christmas-related. I’ll show the finish next week.
After that, my December is wide open for finishing UFO projects. Next in line will be a Rainbow Scrap Challenge finish - Spring Stars - that I made every month this year. I have twenty 12” blocks that I’ll set traditionally (4x5) for a 48x60” donation quilt.
And then I’ll tackle another personal UFO, Ring Around the Roses. I made these blocks last January and February, and they’ve been marinating in my stash since then. They are ready to be assembled!
That should keep me out of trouble for awhile. What are you working on??