January Close

With the end of January coming to a close, I thought it was time to share my new quilting project with you. Last year I stumbled across a blog that was hosting this Calendar Quilt Challenge. I loved the idea of doing this, adding a strip of fabric for every day of the year. I thought it would be an excellent way to document a year, document the quilts I’m working on, use up some fabric stash, and get myself sewing regularly. Lofty goals, I know. So, I determined 2010 would be the year for me to make my Calendar Quilt, and I even put it on my 101 Things in 1001 Days list. A few weekends ago, I decided to get cracking on my January block. The finished size of my strips are 1 inch by 10 inches. Each strip represents a day of the month. And I decided to embroider the month on the first day. I’m also going to be embroidering significant events throughout the year, so that looking at the quilt I’ll be able to see all the things that happened in 2010.

So, here are my January strips. I ended up getting on a roll and did the whole month at one time. But, all the fabrics came from my stash. I thought I’d walk you through them…

January Top Third

This is the top of the block (obviously, with the embroidered strip being January 1).

1- white feather fabric is from my wedding quilt
2- navy fabric with snowflakes is from Eric’s Christmas stocking
3- blue and silver fabric (actually called Frost Fairy) is the backing fabric from my Pigwidgeon quilt
4- blue with black branches is from my Partridges & Pears quilt
5 – swirly fabric was used on a needlebook exchange piece
6- partridges fabric, obviously from my Partridges & Pears quilt, I put this in here to represent Jan 6th, Epiphany
7- bubble fabric was purchased for finishing
8- blue batik came from my Batiks BOM
9- white stars is the background fabric for my A Tisket A Tasket applique BOM
10-blue speckled fabric was from Pigwidgeon
11-blue and green batik is from my Bahamas Lucky Quilt
12- the second variation of the black branch on blue is actually a finishing fabric I used here

January Middle Third

First fabric in this middle section photo is a repeat from the top section photo.

13- blue & gold is an Egyptian print I got my mom to help me make a tote bag out of for my belly dance accessories
14- white with silver snowflakes is the backing fabric for my 2000 Years Ago wallhanging that I’ll finish someday
15- dragon fabric from my Kimono quilt
16- blue batik from Bahamas quilt
17- Temari fabric also from Kimono quilt
18- white stars again
19- pink flowers from Kimono quilt
20- “baseballs” from Cole’s quilt (yay, a quilt I worked on in January!)
21- feathers are meant for an I Spy quilt
22- silver snowflakes again

January Bottom Third

And here we are at the bottom section. The feathers and silver snowflakes are overlap from the middle section photo.

23- blue and white dots from Cole’s quilt (yay!)
24- dragon fabric from Kimono quilt 25- blue with gold speckles from Kimono quilt
26- cloud fabric for I Spy quilt
27- white stars again
28- leaves from Kimono quilt
29- blue and white polka dots from Cole’s quilt
30- dark blue and black batik from Bahamas quilt
31- navy with gold speckles is from Bahamas quilt also

So, I’m really happy to have used not only fabrics from my stash, but fabrics that I’ve used in my previous quilts. I really wanted to make sure I got fabrics in there from Cole’s quilt because I did finish it in January. And for January, I wanted to stick with kind of a color theme. So, I chose blues and whites because January reminds me of the cold crisp air, ice, and also the tranquility and peacefulness that comes after the holiday hubbub. And with rain and possibly ice tonight, the chilly day reminded me to share my sewing on the blog.

I had a lot of fun with this and I am already thinking about fabrics to pull for February.

I am grateful for time in my sewing room.

After Dark Sneak Peek

West End

Hi everyone, and thanks for stopping by my little part of the world. I always appreciate that you do. Our Dallas after Dark photowalk was fun (although h.o.t.). I think I got some good photos, although I haven’t had time to really sit down and go through them. But, I thought I’d share at least one of them with you for now. This is taken at the West End in downtown Dallas. I haven’t made any edits to this photo other than resizing, so I’d say that’s pretty damn good. I love how you can see the green building in the background through the arches. I can’t wait to go through the rest and see what I’ve got. I’ll be sure to post them when I do, probably over on my alternate universe (ie the other blog). I will of course also have photos of the other adventure that is forthcoming. Yay!

Not much stitching to report. Last weekend was a full one, as I’m sure you can imagine. I did, however, manage a new start (like I need another WIP). But, whatever, it’s summer…I can do what I want. I wanted a new summery start, so I decided to pull out a piece that had been calling to me for awhile.

Sweet Treats 063009

Can you guess what it is? Why yes, it’s Sweet Treats (block 1) from Country Cottage Needleworks. I’ve had all the fixings for this piece in my hot little hands for some time now, and it was finally time to start it. So much fun. I should be able to finish up this block pretty quickly I think. I’m using the Crescent Colors threads that came with the pattern, of course. I am also using the suggested 28ct Vintage Lentil from Lakeside (so that the buttons will fit). Love it!

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th, if you’re here in the states. And for everyone else, a wonderful stitchy Saturday!

The quilt top below is one I finished several years ago, and it has yet to be quilted but I thought it was appropriate for an Independence Day post.

Stars and Stripes

There’s Nothing Like Procrastination

On Saturday, I had the afternoon to myself and I was trying to choose something to work on. For whatever reason, one piece in particular just jumped out at me…my Just Nan RR. This RR was the first RR I took part in and I ended up with a gorgeous piece. It’s just been hanging in my craft closet since it came home (in 2007). I bought a frame for it months and months ago, but there was one minor issue. The piece wouldn’t fit in the frame, it was super close though. What I needed to do was move the names and locations of everyone in a bit, so that it would fit in the frame. I have put off doing this for so long, but on Saturday I finally decided to get out my RR and just do it. I decided to center the names and locations under each block. When I had originally gridded out the piece, I’d given everyone a lot of room and asked them to sign at the bottom of their area…so on some of the smaller blocks it looked a little funny when the gridding came out. I spent the afternoon taking out and restitching all the names and locations, then I laced up my piece and got it framed. I am so happy to have it finally framed and hanging somewhere I can appreciate it. Doesn’t it look lovely? And all it took was an afternoon. Why did I put this off for so long?! Anyway, it’s done now. And here’s what it looked like before I moved the names.

Not too much else going on here…no stitching last night. I’ve made a tad more progress on my rocks since my last photo, but nothing exciting. I hope to get some stitching done tonight though when I get home. Oh, and I thought I’d share with you the darning sampler that my guild is going to be stitching. I’m interested to learn more about darning samplers as well as to have the opportunity to stitch one. The one that’s been chosen is in an old issue of SANQ. Here’s what it looks like…
I’ve ordered the fabric and silks for it, and I’m looking forward to stitching it along with some other guild members. I was hoping to have another finish to share at our next guild meeting (I was hoping for A&E), since I’ve had a finish to share every month this year so far. But, I don’t think it’s gonna happen. A&E is much slower going now than when I started. Maybe I can make some more progress on it this week too. And I did receive a question about the designer on that one – it’s Carriage House Samplings.
Thanks also to everyone for offering to take the magazines. I’ve contacted four people about them and just need a couple more addresses to send them out. Thanks!!! I’m sure as I do some more cleaning and organizing I will find more stuff! And just in case you’re interested, I’ve started another 101 Things in 1001 Days, having finished my previous 1001 Days. My first post regarding it can be found here.

I am grateful for rainy mornings.

101 Things – well, 42

Well, I am very very close to a finish, I have another gifty finish to show you, I have stash to show you too. But, alas, I didn’t get around to dealing with photos yet. So, I thought I’d post something that’s been on my mind and do the photos next time.
Spurred on by Anna’s recent updates to her 101 Things in 1001 Days list, I thought I’d better take a long look at mine. I started my 1001 Days on June 21, 2006, and the end date is March 17, 2009. I’ve never posted my entire list, just which ones I’ve finished. In fact, my first post to this blog was one item to cross off. So, in the interest of reigniting my excitement over my list…here it is (complete with those that are done). It’s a little disheartening to see how many are still incomplete. I do find though that a lot of things that were important to me in June of 2006 aren’t so much anymore, and that some of them are. It would be interesting to see how different a new list would be if I made a new one today. Anyway, here it is…
1. Begin contributing to 401k completed 8/3/06
2. List all books on bookshelves in living room and read all that have not already been read I’ve made the list, and am still short by like 200 books, but I’ve read 59
3. Go see each exhibit the Kimbell Museum has as their main exhibit I’ve seen all the ones that have been there during this time. There won’t be another one until after March. So this one is complete. This item was to give me incentive to use my membership. We’ve seen Hatshepsut, Drama and Desire (Japanese), The Mirror and the Mask, Picturing the Bible, The Impressionists, and most recently A Nativity from Naples and the Fra Angelico Altarpiece
4. Set up a will, power of attorney and associated documents completed 1/11/08
5. Learn CPR took a class at work 9/10/08
6. Finish current WIPs: Dorothy’s Garden, Mystery 9, Mermaid Treasure Box, Water ACEO, July Wooly Tyme, Quaker Hedgehog, Flower of Courage, Quaker Garden, Bay Sampler, Wedding Sampler, 2000 Years Ago (if all parts released), Winter Snapperland ok I think it’s sad how many of these are still WIPs – Dorothy’s Garden, Mystery 9, Mermaid Treasure Box, Water ACEO and Bay Sampler.
7. Stitch Eric’s stocking and make both mine and his into stockings completed 12/20/06
8. Stitch one ornament from Teresa Wentzler’s 12 Days of Christmas per year to celebrate our Christmases together I’ve stitched three, so this is done.
9. Finish current quilts: Partridges, Owls, Valentine, Stars & Stripes, Pansy Park, Kimonos, Cat Faces, Cat & Quilts, $5 Quilt and Wedding Quilt. Again, it is sad how many of these still aren’t done – Partridges, Valentine, S&S, Pansy Park, Cat Faces, Cat & Quilts
10. Finish travel album and put together honeymoon album Completed 3/8/07 and 4/2/07
11. Put together scrapbook of Eric & I and keep current
12. Go to church consistently
13. Finish all FUFOs in bin and continue with finishing all new finishes I’ve done really well on this, everything that I’ve stitched is finished or framed with a few exceptions – 2000 Years Ago, Just Nan RR, A Little Bitty Ark
14. Make holiday tradition books for Julia and I completed 3/22/07
15. Make a cookbook for myself the cookbook is made 3/6/07, but I wanted to make a cover for it, which is in progress
16. Get down to goal weight hahaha
17. Lose 10% of my weight done 3/29/07
18. Have a dinner party the intent of this goal was to entertain more…Eric and I hosted Christmas Eve dinner at our house in 2008, so I’m calling this one done.
19. Buy a house we have looked
20. Change decorations seasonally – pay more attention to the seasons I’ve done really well on this one – complete
21. Have a physical done 2/21/07 (had another one in 2008)
22. Exercise 3 days a week for 3 months completed 3/31/08
23. Keep up to date on training for work I called this one complete, because it was intended to get me to do my training earlier in the year, which I did in 2008. Now that I’m doing these certifications outside of work, I’ve got more training hours than I can shake a stick at
24. Look into going back to school for Interior Design Masters
25. Hang curtains in kitchen window made and hung 9/10/06
26. Complete our sets of china and crystal I’m calling this one done. Everything we still need, our parents have bought but are doling it out in small amounts for birthdays and Christmas. There really isn’t anything left to buy.
27. Frame Bahamas maps framed 7/22/07
28. Frame our wedding present from Julia I decided to make it into a wallhanging, rather than frame it. Done 10/27/07
29. Finish Larkin beading class piece
30. Figure out where to do ceramics and finish at least two pieces of greenware
31. Take vitamins every day for 3 months completed March 31, 2008
32. [Private] completed 3/31/08
33. [Private] completed 3/31/08
34. Help Eric research his family genealogy completed 1/15/08, there wasn’t much I could help him with, so I helped him with a huge family mailing
35. Take one trip per year even though we haven’t taken a trip yet in 2009, I’m calling this one complete – we’ve been to Chicago, San Antonio, Philadelphia, New York City, Oklahoma City twice and Virginia.
36. See all the Oscar Best Picture movies that I have not seen we started this in July of 2006 with Broadway Melody. We watched every one up through Tom Jones, which we watch in 2008. I had hoped to have them all done, but this just didn’t happen. I hope to get back to them and watch the rest sometime.
37. Read all the magazines I have a subscription for within the month they are current and get caught up on backlog
38. Take a finishing class
39. Learn to make a pinkeep I finished two pieces into pinkeeps in October 2007.
40. Learn to knit – make one scarf and one pair of socks I learned to knit in April 2007, and completed my first scarf in June of 2007. I didn’t realize when I put this on my list that there would be such a huge learning curve between scarves and socks…
41. Sell stuff in media room on ebay or donate to charity I should really get on this one and clean out all the crap
42. Get new passport with my married name received new passport 3/8/08
43. Frame one stitched item myself framed Quaker Garden 10/8/06
44. Cook or bake once a week this totally fell by the wayside – I’m just leaving the cooking to Eric (and he may actually prefer it that way), plus with trying to cut down on desserts and bread – baking was kind of a no-go. I did make a few things though, like Eric’s Cassata Cakes, a King Cake, a French Onion Tart, Thai Sticky Rice, Pumpkin Spice Bread, etc.
45. Join EGA I joined Tudor Rose Sampler Guild in August 2008 – I think that counts
46. Have a date night with Eric at least once a month this was intended to get us to go out and do new things – go to new places, it sort of turned into just going out to dinner, so…I think the intention hasn’t been completed.
47. Get an MP3 player and get set up with workout music and audiobooks done 11/26/06
48. Master making a lemon meringue pie see #44 – I’ve eaten some lemon meringue pie though.
49. Look at my calendar in Outlook every morning for 3 months this was intended to get me to know what’s going on that day, rather than being surprised when I forgot an appointment. I completed this 3/31/08.
50. Write in my journal every day for three months
51. Read all the Oprah book selections. I’ve read a bunch, but not all
52. Get rid of storage unit this was going to happen when we bought a house
53. Make a list of VHS to replace with DVD – replace if available on DVD I made the list, and have replaced a few
54. Begin daily meditation/yoga practice – do daily for 3 months
55. Plan trip to Scotland
56. Organize office – clean out files completed 7/21/06 (of course, then it was thoroughly done when I was laid off)
57. Stitch and frame my Goddaughter’s birth sampler done 12/5/07
58. Make ATCs
59. Express gratitude daily I’m calling this one done – I didn’t give it a way to measure, but since I have been more aware of being grateful in my life and expressing that (on my blog posts, for example), I think I can mark this one complete.
60. Check voicemail at work daily and enter into call log for 3 months this was really geared toward my previous job. I did get better about doing this, so I think I can call it complete.
61. Read Bram Stoker’s Dracula Finally I did read it – 1/7/08 – and it was soooo good
62. Research starting a blog completed on 6/23/06 when I started this blog
63. Drink water every day for three months I’m working on doing this but, it’s still not a daily habit
64. Look into a class on Feng Shui
65. Have Christmas gift shopping/making done by December 15th I did well with this two out of the three years. Done?
66. Learn to make origami cranes
67. Participate in a Round Robin participated in two. First one (Just Nan RR was complete on 6/14/07
68. Organize photos, including having index prints and cds made
69. Inventory my prints and posters including sizes and photos
70. Check cnn.com every day for 3 months this was intended to get me more in tune with world events – since I don’t watch the news
71. Send a RAK to someone at least once a quarter I did well with this up until second quarter of last year when I started the new job.
72. Look into old credit card balance and pay if necessary This was researched and confirmed I had a zero balance 8/7/06
73. Track my food intake daily for three months
74. Plan 1st anniversary trip Eric planned a surprise getaway to San Antonio
75. Schedule girl time every other month this was intended to help me stay in touch with my friends, since I have a tendency to be a hermit. I did ok with this one.
76. Photograph/scan all my art pieces
77. Find out where the labyrinth is in Dallas and walk the labyrinth this is supposedly a reproduction of the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth
78. Get my name in hieroglyphs pendant I’ve always wanted one of these
79. Get a massage twice a year I did this, except for last year when I was out of a job.
80. Sell or donate dress
81. Participate in Race for the Cure
82. Learn Hardanger Embroidery
83. Learn calligraphy
84. Frame Sistine Chapel print
85. Buy something at Agent Provocateur to celebrate losing weight
86. Spend time in nature I have allergies – nature doesn’t really work for me
87. Create a guest book/house book to record the life of the houses we live in
88. Have eyes checked done 11/7/07
89. Learn to play Mah Jong
90. Go on the annual church retreat
91. Participate in an exchange I participated in my first exchange 10/1/06
92. Learn how to do rug hooking and complete both kits I have
93. Participate in a SAL Quaker Garden SAL with Karen V. finished 8/5/06
94. [Private]
95. Complete at least two punchneedle designs I have
96. Stitch Houses of Hawk Run Hollow
97. Stitch And They Sinned
98. Free myself from judgment
99. Make an effort to stay in touch with friends and family every month this is basically a repeat of 75.
100. Keep plants alive, water regularly I’m really no good at this
101. Re-read books 1-6 of Harry Potter before Book 7 comes out Finished Book 6 again 6/20/07. Done!
So, currently it looks like I’ve completed 42 of the 101. I’ve made effort on many others, but I don’t think the full list is going to be completed in time. But, I’ll keep at it and see what I can do. Thanks for sticking with me!

I am grateful for goals.

A Gift, A Guild and an Award or Two

Thank you all so much for your sweet compliments on Barnabee. I am so thrilled to finally have him finished. I haven’t had a chance to stitch at all since finishing him until last night, so you can imagine what a treat that was! Last week was such a whirlwind! I finished Barnabee, finished reading The Masterpiece, took my vendor certification exam for Microsoft Excel 2007 (which I passed!) and rounded all of that up before heading off to Virginia for the weekend. Eric and I had a lovely, although short trip to Virginia and just returned Monday night. While I was gone I started and finished a new book, Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Loved it! Can’t wait to get the next one. I’ve started a new book now (reading the 4th Chiaverini book) and am loving it!

So, yesterday coming back to work was crazy, as you can well imagine after having been out for a couple of days. But, all was rewarded last night when I attended the monthly gathering of the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild. My new good friend and loyal blog reader, Barbie, convinced me to go after showing me photos of an upcoming Jane Timmons workshop they will be having. This is the Madeira Sampler Tin Project. Isn’t it lovely? This is just a peek, but I am hooked! I met Barbie for the first time last night and she brought me a gorgeous gift….

Barbie, I hope you don’t mind me borrowing your photos of this beauty! She stitched (over one no less) this beautiful Queen of the Needle tin topper for me and the coordinating fob! Barbie, you are such a jewel! I can’t thank you enough!!!

The Guild was having its annual stash sale last night, but I was a good girl and didn’t bring anything home. I brought Barnabee with me to share as a recent finish though! As the program for last night’s meeting was the stash sale, I was able to stitch a little and visit. I started working on my June block (Road Trip) for my Red Thread. I managed to get my block outline completely finished even while talking. So, that was a treat. I joined the Guild and am looking forward to next month’s meeting. And since I did join the Guild (although not EGA) I am counting this as fulfilling this item on my 101 Things List.

Not too much else going on around here. I am looking forward to the weekend, and getting a little more stitching done. Anna and I are reinstating our Mermaid SAL on Sunday, so look for an update on my Mermaids of the Deep Blue. My last update was in March. And of course, I intend to get my Red Thread back on track as well.

And, I cannot forget to mention that Jenna and Katrina both awarded me the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thank you both for the sweet compliment. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it, especially as I’ve been feeling the creativity is few and far between here lately! Now, I am supposed to nominate a few others for this award in return, but as I have been so remiss in visiting blogs lately and since there are so many wonderful stitchers blogging, I will award it to each of you who visit me! Enjoy!!!

I am grateful for new friends and a dear friend’s husband who is on the road to recovery and good health!