Monday, December 23, 2013

From a Friend

So sorry to have been absent from blogland for the past few weeks.  The short holiday prep season has kept us busy.  

I was so touched a week or so ago to receive a surprise in the mail from Annette at California Stitcher.  If you don't know Annette, she is such a sweetie and very creative.

When I opened up the package I was seriously tickled to see the tag "Joy" that she made.  Last month, she posted about her and her sister making these.  I fell in love with them. This one is currently residing on my tree and I'll think of Annette every time I see it.

Inside were a bunch of goodies to include a handmade card - again seriously gorgeous!
And a beautiful needlebook that I'm currently using.
I love the little special bits inside!
The patchwork back is simply darling!
Thank you Annette!  I really appreciate and value our friendship!

Here is a rather washed out picture of the placemats I sent my brother.  The colors are much more saturated.  His home is full of earth tones so they'll work for them.  I've already heard from him (I just tied a ribbon around them) and he mentioned that they must have taken a lot of thread.  That tells me that he really did look at them and think about them being made for him.  I quilted straight lines 1/2" apart so they would hold up well to frequent washing.

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday!  As 2013 closes, I want to let you all know how much your  visits, your comments, your creativity and your friendship means to me.  I am inspired by you daily.  I never expected to form friendships when I began this little venture.  It's been an unexpected and  very appreciated gift.  Looking forward to 2014! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Last Quilt of the Year and Possibly Starting Over

I've been working to finish a couple of quilting projects this year.  A few weeks ago, I received a quilt back from the quilter so it was time to do some binding.  I have an AccuQuilt Go that I haven't used a whole lot.  So as I've had projects I can use it on, I've been pulling out this book I won from Gene and am getting to know how to use this machine.  This book has been a wonderful resource in getting over my fear of trying something new.
My least favorite part of quilting is cutting out fabric.  For the binding, I used the 2.25" strip die which made short work of cutting the fabric.  I like using this size for binding.  It helps with getting a full binding.
Literally within minutes I had accurately cut all the binding strips at 2.25".  I only had to sub-cut sections to run through the cutter and I didn't need to be accurate.   I also cut off the selvedge before using the cutter.  I was very pleased with the results.   The strips in the photo below were spot on accurate.  They just look a little wonky because they shifted when I took off the cutting mat.  Very little waste as well - maybe a total of 2" which is probably less than I would have wasted cutting with a rotary cutter.
A short while later I had a roll of binding.  Isn't there something cute about binding rolled up?
You may remember this quilt - it took me forever to assemble the top!  It was quilted by Mary at Quilt Hollow.  Mary refers to the quilting as Frosting - which I think is so cute and very appropriate.  She was SUPER fast, easy to work with and extremely reasonable in pricing.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any close ups of the quilting but you can see here that she used a swirly type quilting. I didn't want anything holiday themed or flowers.  I told her I wanted something resembling wind.  She did a great job and I'd certainly use her again!
On the knitting front, I think I'm going to rip out my Monster Cowl and start over.  The light gray yarn I was using is a slightly different weight than the gold and garnet colored yarn.  It's hard to tell in this photo but there is some puckering in this project.  I think because the light gray yarn is a lighter weight.  So I bought the darker gray yarn and knit a few rows.  See how the projects starts to bow out?  I think that confirms my thoughts.  I don't want to have to aggressively block this to get it to lay flat.  Any knitters have any opinions about this?
I did push a few buttons at Eat Sleep Knit on Black Friday.  They have the BEST customer service ever.  With over 1000 online orders on Friday,  they still got my yarn to me Monday.  I definitely want to visit this shop in person and should be able to do so next year.
Bottom row left to right:
Cephalopod Yarns - Beastie - The Hound of Bonacville
Madelinetosh - Tosh DK Yarn - Dirty Panther
Madelinetosh - Tosh DK Yarn - Dove/Subtle (discontinued)
Top row Left to right:
Madelinetosh - Tosh Lace Yarn - Cobalt
SweetGeorgia Yarns - Tough Love Sock - Spruce

There may or may not be some Plucky and Wollmeise on its way to me too.  

In stitching news, I have planned out and received the supplies for two New Years starts.  I took care of that last month.  I figured if I didn't that it would get pushed back to far with the activities surrounding getting ready for the holiday.  Have you planned any new projects for the new year?  

I hope that in the flurry of getting ready for the holiday that each of you have some time to do the things that we love to do.  Thank you for your visits and for the inspiration!