Snow Day

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Several years ago, I bought some Kate Spain Christmas fabric to make some little Christmas gifts as well as make some dessert napkins to use for our annual holiday party.  I ended up with a bit of yardage left over but no clue what to do with it.

Then, enter Rachel from P.S. I Quilt.  She shared her Synchronized Squares quilt – in Kate Spain fabrics no less – and I was smitten.  Of course by that time a new Christmas line had been released, so I ordered a couple of charm packs.

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This quilt really was a joy to make.  I can’t get enough of Kate’s Christmas fabric (well, any of her fabric, if I’m being honest) and as you can see all her lines play so well together.

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I shared the finished quilt top back in February of 2013, but it took me over a year to finally get around to quilting it.  I bought the backing fabric for it last Christmas.  I completely and utterly fell in love with these hot cocoa mug with marshmallows from her latest line.  Using this for my backing was a no-brainer!

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I decided to go ahead and quilt this one myself, on my machine.  And luckily, since I was doing just straight line quilting it wasn’t too bad to wrestle.  I finished the quilting back in July and decided to use yet another of her Christmas lines (yes, we’re up to four now) for the binding.  How could I resist those little Christmas trees?!?  You may remember that fabric from some stitching wallets I made back in 2012.

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Everything finally came together and I finished sewing on the binding in August of this year.  I like to name my quilts and I’d been calling this one the “Kate Spain quilt” forever.  When I was quilting it though, its name finally came to me.  So, may I present….

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…Snow Day!

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I am so so happy with it, I really am.  The colors and the prints and the pattern just make me smile every time I see it.

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And the red binding was a perfect choice, if I do say so myself!

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As I said, I did some straight line quilting on this one – on the diagonal.  I’d originally intended to cross-hatch it, but I thought that the diagonal quilting in one direction looked a bit like a candy cane.

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And seriously, are those cups of cocoa on that icicle grey background not the cutest?!?  It even has a label (which makes it “official” in my book), made from the snowball fabric I used on the inside of those stitching wallets.

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This one was a labor of love, and maybe a record of Christmases past and a promise of Christmases to come spent snuggling under a warm quilt.  
I am grateful for snow days, cups of cocoa, and the joy of Christmas.  Merry Christmas to all!

Quilt Retreat

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Back at the beginning of summer (why do all my blog posts start with “way back six months ago”?!?), I was invited on a weekend quilting retreat in Van Alstyne, TX.  I’ve never been on a quilting retreat before, so I was super excited.  So excited, in fact, that I brought five different projects with me to work on.

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I can get all those done in three days, right?

On the way there, my friend Ava and I stopped in McKinney at two quilt shops.  First stop was Happiness is Quilting.  They always have the most beautiful things.  Look at this super gorgeous quilt.

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It is pieced but then has wool felt appliqué in the blocks and in the border.  Really stunning – this photo does not do it justice.

We also stopped at Quilt Asylum, and I picked up a few FQs for using in my Marcelle Medallion.  All my favorites – Lizzy House, Anna Maria Horner, Tula Pink, Alison Glass, Carolyn Friedlander, etc.  I maybe went a little crazy.

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The Alford Inn, where the retreat was held is a great place.  They have room to sleep about 16 people, I think, and plenty of room for sewing.  I had my crap spread out over two tables, I think.  Of course being a quilt shop and a retreat space, they had some beautiful quilts on the walls.  This quilt was fun to see.  A woman I used to work with made this quilt and I absolutely fell in love with it and bought the pattern for it.  It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for probably 10 years.  I think I need to get it out, don’t you?

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And I loved the straight line quilting on this one.

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Anyway, here’s a look at my “area”.  My main focus was my Kiss Kiss quilt.  It’s been languishing far too long and I really wanted to get the top finished.  It’s been so long since I’ve worked on it, just getting the blocks out made me happy.

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And the fun thing about a retreat in a quilt shop?  You can shop the whole weekend!  I could have gone really crazy, but I restrained myself (after the FQ extravaganza!).  But, they had a big metal washtub full of clearance fabrics.  And look at the treasures I found in there…

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Tula Pink Nest flannels!  Such a score!  No idea what I will do with them – but I certainly couldn’t leave them there!!!

On Saturday afternoon, we took a little road trip to another quilt shop – Kaleidoscope Quilt Shop in Whitesboro, Texas.  They had some fun things to drool over!

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Oh, French General, how I love you.

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And on Sunday, with barely an hour to spare before we had to check out, I finished my Kiss Kiss quilt top (minus the borders).  So happy with it!

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Isn’t it lovely?!

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And an empty spool to boot!

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I’m using the pomegranate Eye Drops print (under the spool) for my borders.  Won’t it be fantastic???

Such a fun fun weekend and I’m so glad I got to go.  Now, I just need four more of these weekends so I can get my other projects done, right?!

I am grateful for Parisville fabric.  

Broken Bow Retreat

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I’ve been meaning to share with you a little bit of seasonal stitching I worked on in the fall (which really wasn’t that long ago, although now being full on in Christmas mode it seems like forever ago).  Back in the fall of 2012 I was invited to Broken Bow, Oklahoma for a long weekend with some girlfriends.  I’d never been there, so it was fun to venture out with my camera and take in the beautiful fall colors.

 

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One of my friends, Lori of The Accidental Stitcher blog, designed a beautiful sampler to commemorate the occasion.  She kitted it up for us (seriously, her presentation is always amazing) with GAST and Weeks threads as well as 40ct Antique Cotton by R&R.
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She chose the perfect fall colors for the piece, don’t you think?

 

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I actually didn’t start stitching on this until fall of last year.  But it was the perfect thing to start when I was in need of some seasonal stitching.
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I stitched on it basically through the fall of last year and left off with beginning to stitch the house.  Here’s where I have to laugh at myself.  I started stitching the house with the Dove thread and after a few stitches I thought it was looking really grey and not blue at all like it looked in the skein.  So, I went through my thread and pulled some other options of blues to try.  But at that point in the year, it was time to start on Christmas stitching, so I put it away.
This fall I decided to get it out and get it finished.  I looked at all those blue thread options I’d pulled out and decided to just throw caution to the wind and use the Dove thread she’d kitted it with.  After I put in a few rows, you know what?  It was blue!  Just goes to show that sometimes it takes more than a few stitches to really see how something’s going to stitch up.  So silly.  I could have had this finished a year ago!!
 
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See what I mean?  It is the perfect shade of blue!!  And it looks so pretty against the oranges and browns and cranberry colored birds.

 

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Minus the house debacle, where I had to make things harder than they need to be, this was a joy to stitch and the perfect choice for the season.
I finished it up at the end of October and I love the way it turned out.

 

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Thanks so much for a beautiful design, Lori.

 

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I am grateful for seasonal stitching.