I Just Want Your Extra Time…

Kiss Kiss blocks
Remember that time, a million years ago, when I shared my almost-finished Kiss Kiss quilt top?  You know, the one I worked on at a weekend retreat?  At the end of that weekend, I only needed to sew my borders on for the top to be finished.  So, a couple weeks after that retreat I settled in at my brand new work surface/desk top to get those borders on.

New Sewing Space
 

It really took no time at all to have my quilt top finished but I’m glad I didn’t try to rush it at the retreat and just waited until I had more time to focus on it.

Kiss Kiss Blocks Close
I cannot wait to get this one quilted.  It is going out for custom quilting for sure.  In the meantime, I just had to share full photos of my (very wrinkly) top.

Kiss Kiss Finished
Isn’t she beautiful?!  I love how the Eye Drops border looks!

Kiss Kiss Finished Instagram
Details on this quilt:

Pattern is Kiss Kiss by Tula Pink; I made the Large version 82″ x 82″

Fabric is Parisville by Tula Pink in the Pomegranate colorway and Free Spirit Solids for the background

Started in 2012 and top finished in 2014.

Kiss Kiss Finished
 

And just in case you’re wondering what the title of this post is all about.
I am grateful for finally getting around to sharing pics of this quilt!

A Gathering of Stitchers

 

Thanks so much for checking out my last post, I have really missed blogging.  The podcasting is fun, but I really love sharing photos and writing posts too.  I am hoping to post something, either a written post or a podcast episode much more frequently. So, as promised in my last post I wanted to share last December’s holiday party held by the other needlework guild I am a member of – EGA.

This was my second year to attend the EGA holiday party, but this year I opted to not stitch an ornament for the exchange.  Since I’d stitched one for Tudor Rose, and we had our annual eggnog and dessert party the night before the EGA party, I just didn’t feel like I had the time to get something done.  And it was kind of nice to go with no pressure and no expectations, just to visit and enjoy the party.

So, the party was held at one of the member’s homes and she has an amazing amount of stitched pieces that really were awesome to look at.  The wreath above is full of beautiful needlepoint/canvaswork (I don’t know the difference) ornaments.

And look at her gorgeous tree full of stitched ornaments.

Here are a few other decorations around her home.  I’m telling you I was so inspired to go home and stitch my little heart out!

And this is just one of the ornament hanger trees she had completely full of beautiful stitched pieces!

Anyway, I spent most of my time just wandering around and looking at everything.  So much to see and admire and be inspired by!

And then of course, there was the exchange.  First up, the guild President presented her board with these sweet beaded star ornaments that she made.  So pretty!

And my sweet friend Adrienne beaded this lovely ornament.  You may recall I got her beaded ornament in the exchange last year.

Isn’t that darling?  I just love it and would have loved to come home with it.  And then look at this one too.  The guild did a Temari workshop not too long before the party (which I am still kicking myself for missing, I really want to learn how to do temari).  I thought it was wonderful that two people actually made temari for the ornament exchange.  Here’s one of them.

And then here are all the exchange ornaments together.  So fun to see such a variety of types of ornaments – beaded, stitched, etc.

Here are some closer shots.  See the other temari?

More…some perforated paper, more beaded ornaments, hardanger, etc.

And the last set.  Tatted ornament and another of those beaded stars – this time in green.  And look at the cute knit Santa.

So, it was a fun afternoon and I definitely needed the non-pressure of just attending without doing the exchange.  I just had too much on my plate with the board gifts, my Tudor Rose ornament, our party, and then of course my exchange with Sylvia – which I will share next time!

Thanks for checking in!

I am grateful for being surrounded by creative people.

Where Did 2014 Go?

It’s that time of year again when the holidays roll around and I am furiously trying to finish up my exchange ornaments for the guild holiday parties.  In all the flurry I realized today that I never shared last year’s fun here on the blog.  Gah!  So, let’s pretend for a moment that it’s December of 2014 and I’ll take you on a little walk down memory lane.  Last December was the end of my two-year term as President of the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild.  It was a good two years, and I felt like a lot was accomplished and the board and I were able to put some things in motion that really made a difference for the guild as a whole.  I have to say, I’m quite proud of those two years.  So, with the end on my term on the board, I wanted to gift my board with some little thank you gifts.  Because of the way the positions roll off, there were some people that were with me both years, and some that were only on one year or the other.  I neglected to do gifts for the outgoing board members the year before, so I just did it all in one fell swoop.

For one year’s board members, I made these little Tudor rose boxes.  I found an image online, printed it out and attached it to the top of the boxes.  The boxes were those cardboard boxes that you can find at your local hobby store that are unfinished.  I painted them red and then used some Briwax to age them and buff them to a pretty finish.

On the inside I added a little bit of wool felt to the bottom for a finished look.

I really love how they turned out and I think the ladies were pleased with them as well.

For the other board members, I made some beaded scissor fobs.  I ordered the Tudor rose charms from a shop on etsy and then found some pretty crystal beads to add.  I’m happy with how these turned out as well.

Here’s all of them together.  The crystals are actually a very pretty red and not quite the color they are showing up in these photos.

I did make one of each for myself too – a box and a fob.  And the ladies that served on the board both years got both gifts.  I think they were happy with them.  I was more than happy to spend some creative time making something for them as a thank you for volunteering their time to make the guild great.

And along with my gifts for the board, the board had a gift for me as well.  I had to snag the photos from our guild’s blog, but wanted to share with you.

IMG_8343-Edit

Such a wonderful gift!IMG_8345

Once the gifts were given and the food was eaten, we gathered around to do our annual ornament exchange.  Here is the ornament I stitched.  It’s by Catherine Theron and was in the 2002 JCS Ornament issue.  I stitched it on 32ct Lakeside Linen in Flagstone (much more bluish/grey than is showing in this photo) with the called for GAST threads.

I worked on it over Thanksgiving and had fun stitching it.  I thought the pompom trim was a good choice for finishing.  I may need to get some more of that!  I thought stitching a Catherine Theron ornament was a good choice since she has come to teach at our guild several times.

Here are a few of the ornaments that my fellow guild members made for the exchange.  Loved how simple this one was with the band sampler style.

Loved the aging on this one, especially the rusted jingle bells.  The homespun fabric at the bottom are the perfect touch.

Such a cute idea to stitch this over one and put into a tiny frame.

Another great use of aging.  Love that chenille trim too!  I have this one in my stash to stitch, and I just love it.  This is going on my must stitch for next Christmas list!

And here’s another sweet one.  I love the fabric they used, love that beaded edge and then the pinked wool felt backing.  Just darling!

And here are all the ornaments together.  So many amazing and talented stitchers are part of this group!

And here’s the ornament I received in the exchange, I love the Celtic knotwork and the pretty beads.

And another shot of it on my tree.

So pretty!  It is always so fun to see what everyone else has stitched and to come home with a beauty one of the members made.   And it never ceases to amaze me how so many of us stitch out of the JCS ornament issue (often the current one) and yet, we’ve never had two people stitch the same thing!

I’ll be back soon with a recap of last year’s EGA holiday party too and what fun things there were to see!

I am grateful for the holiday spirit.

Mini Quilt Swap

IMG_3021

Last summer I signed up for my first Instagram quilt swap – the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap.  I’d never done any kind of quilt swap before, so I was really excited about it.  When I got my partner assignment, I spent about a week stalking her on social media and brainstorming on what to make for her.  I could tell instantly that she loved all things ocean and sea-related and even had an anchor tattoo.  So, of course I decided that Tula Pink’s Saltwater line would be the perfect fabric to use for her mini.  I opted to go with just the aqua colorway and ordered  some half yard cuts from a couple of different shops.

IMG_3037

Then the next conundrum – what pattern to use?  I looked around and turned to Instagram for inspiration and finally decided on making a clamshell mini.  Perfect pairing of pattern and fabric!  Of course I’ve never made a clamshell quilt before, but I didn’t let that stop me.  I actually downloaded the pattern for Latifah Saafir’s Glam Clam quilt from Craftsy to use as a jumping off point.  I ended up resizing the clamshells to be a better size for the mini and then basically did some sort of weird made up plan for sewing the clamshells, which was kind of halfway applique and halfway just hand-piecing.  Because, you know, I can’t follow directions.

IMG_3068

So, I cut out my templates from freezer paper, ironed them to my fabric. cut out my fabric with a 1/4″ seam allowance added and then started laying them out for placement.  I cut a rectangle of fabric for the top to attach the first row of clamshells to as well.  And, as you can see, I decided that it needed a pop of color from one clamshell in the coral colorway.

IMG_3071

I basically just appliqued that first row down to the background fabric, then appliqued each subsequent row to the row above it.  I actually really enjoyed the applique and would love to make a larger sized clamshell quilt for myself one of these days.

IMG_3076

Once I finished sewing all the clamshells down, I squared up the piece and then added borders in a beautiful charcoal grey solid that coordinated with the Saltwater fabrics because it needed to be a bit larger.  I decided to use the octopus fabric on the back, so that she could really see that print, since she also had an octopus tattoo I thought she would appreciate it.  I chose the Sea Stripe print for the binding, because how could I not?

IMG_3095

Did the quilting on my machine and basically just quilted some wavy lines across the clamshell portion to look like waves, then did straight line quilting on the border to frame it.  I took it with me to an outdoor jazz concert and enjoyed the music and my handwork.

An_evening_of_jazz_and_binding

And here is the finished product!!!  I love love love how it turned out!

Operation_Octopus_is_complete

 

Wasn’t that pop of coral perfect?!  Plus…octopus!

IMG_3101

 

Another closeup of the quilting…

IMG_3105

wavy_line_quilting

 

Here’s the back…

Octopus_Garden

 

And the label…

IMG_3118

IMG_3111

 

The best though, was her reaction when it arrived!

Best._Feeling._Ever.

 

And in return, I received this amazing mini from Marie, @reespieces1 on Instagram.  The pattern is called Hexadaisy and she used Tula Pink Fox Field for the fabric.  Isn’t it gorgeous?!

IMG_3123

 

Here’s a really bad photo of all the goodies she sent.  Both dumpling bags she made were full of yummy things from where she lives.

IMG_3121

 

I absolutely love the back – stars are one of my favorite things, and the combo of the star fabric from Fox Field plus the quilting pattern makes my heart sing!

IMG_3125

IMG_3126

 

Here’s a better pic of the two dumpling bags she made and she also included some Fox Field fat quarters too.  So beautiful, and I use those little pouches all the time for notions and stuff.  And look at the bright, vibrant colors.  I can’t get enough!!

IMG_3597

Too beautiful for words!!!

Anyway, it was so much fun to participate in the mini quilt swap and I may sign up to do another one in the future.  I loved being a part of this particular swap and it was so fun to stalk the IG hashtag to see what everyone was making and see the finished products when they arrived at their destination.  So fun!!

I am grateful for mini quilts that brighten up my walls!

Snow Day

May_26__2014_at_0450PM

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.

IMG_3163

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.

IMG_3216

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!

IMG_3218

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.

IMG_3246

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….

IMG_5553

…Snow Day!

IMG_5554

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.

IMG_5555

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

IMG_5561

IMG_5563
IMG_5567

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.

IMG_5568

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.

IMG_5569
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!