Oh Look, a Squirrel!

Tula's Squirrels

 

At the Dallas Quilt Show in March of 2013, I spotted this quilt in Material Girl’s booth.  I can spot Tula fabrics a mile away, so I was immediately drawn to this one.  I loved the use of the cool colorways from Tula’s The Birds & The Bees line, the pattern itself, and the use of a Denyse Schmidt plaid from her Chicopee line for binding and backing.  It paired perfectly with the Tula fabrics and I would never have thought to put them together.  They were of course offering a quilt kit for sale but it was outside my budget.  Months went by and I continued to obsess over this quilt.  I have a stack of The Birds & The Bees fabric to make Tula’s Cartwheels quilt, but it is only the warm colorways, so this seemed to be the perfect compliment.  I shared this quilt pic with Sylvia and she immediately fell in love too.  Some googling on the internet brought Sylvia to the free quilt pattern called Five Yard Wonder by Mill End Textiles, which is exactly the pattern used for this quilt.  There was much rejoicing once we knew the pattern it used.  It’s simple enough I felt I could have recreated it, but way easier to follow a pattern.  It is called the Five Yard Wonder because the whole quilt is made with a yard each of five different fabrics.  Time to order fabric!  Luckily, the Tula fabrics were still relatively easy to find so I ordered a yard of each and then enough of the Denyse Schmidt plaid for the backing and binding.  The hard part was the solid.  Sylvia ordered a couple different solids and was able to find one that worked.  I went to Hawthorne Threads’ website and used one of the features I love – you can choose a fabric (in my case I chose the squirrels) and then it shows you coordinating prints, the print in other colorways (if applicable), and then at the bottom coordinating solids.  Lo and behold, Citron was my color.  So I ordered my citron fabric and off we went.

Fussy Cutting Squirrels

I started cutting for this quilt in February of last year.  It was then I discovered a problem.  In order to fussy cut those squirrel blocks, I really needed more than a yard of fabric.  You may remember the podcast episode where I lamented the fact that only half my squirrel blocks had the squirrels facing each other, the rest were comprised of squirrel butts.  Not the look I was going for.  Of course, by this time two years had gone by and the squirrels were impossible to find.  I ended up buying two FQs from etsy sellers at the low price of an arm & a leg.  But, at least I now had all squirrel faces in the blocks.

Tula's Squirrels fabric

In May, I finally had my cutting done and started assembling my quilt blocks.  I had podcasts to keep me company while I sewed, in this case the Must Stash podcast where Dianne from Suburban Stitcher joined.

Sewing with Podcasts

Aren’t those squirrels adorable?

Squirrels

 

Squirrels with borders

Squirrel blocks done and bee blocks completed not long after.

Bee Blocks

And then in June of 2015 I attended my very first “In Town Sewing Retreat”.  This is a retreat put on by the Dallas Quilt Guild and it’s a fun weekend at a local location and we sew all day until midnight then go home to sleep in our own beds and come back the next day.  It runs Friday morning through Sunday afternoon.  So, I decided that working on my squirrel quilt was going to be my top priority.

In Town sewing

I managed to get all my blocks sewn and then started sewing rows together on the first day.

Oh Look, a Squirrel!

On Saturday, I had a completed quilt top!

Squirrel top complete

I’m seriously so in love with it.  But, it wasn’t until I went to send a photo of my quilt to two friends that I noticed the issue.  And strangely enough it was because I was looking at a thumbnail of the photo in the email that I realized something was amiss.  My pattern wasn’t working right.  Do you see it?

Tula's Squirrels quilt top

When I was sewing the blocks together I turned some of them intentionally because I wanted those center bees to be facing different directions.  It never once occurred to me that by doing that, I was also changing the direction of the corner fabrics.  So, I had three blocks going the wrong way.  Ugggghhhhhh!  It took me until September to finally feel like I could face ripping out those blocks to fix them.  And typical me, I went the hard way about it.  I sat down and started ripping off the inner and outer border and then started ripping back to the first block.  Eric saw what I was doing and said, “can’t you just rip out the seams on all sides of the block itself?”  So, I gave that a try and it worked.  I was able to get the three blocks ripped out, turned, and sewed back into the top in the right direction.  Perfect!  Now, time to take a photo of the corrected and complete quilt top.

Oh Look, a Squirrel!

Ummm, yeah.

Oh Look, a Squirrel!

Sure, come stand on that.  I’m not trying to take a photo or anything.

Oh Look, a Squirrel!

So, you’ll just have to take my word for it that all the blocks are the right way round this time and I’m thrilled with my quilt top.  One of these days I’ll take it to be quilted, I can’t wait!

I am grateful for squirrel faces and black spots on my quilt. 

 

My Sunday Sampler with Sylvia

ATS Bottom Close up

Once upon a time I decided it was finally time to stitch one of my “bucket list” samplers – And They Sinned by Examplar Dames.  I first saw this chart way back when it was first released in a Shepherd’s Bush newsletter and had to have it.  Then on New Year’s Day 2010, I began.  I had ordered 40 count Elegant Bean linen from Elegant Stitch and the called for GAST threads with one DMC for the people.  In March, my friend Sylvia decided to join me and we started our Sunday SAL.  Each Sunday we stitched on ATS and it steadily grew.  The chart is divided into four legal size pages, so I celebrated big milestones when I would get to “the fold” and when I would get to a new page.  I’ve posted a lot of progress photos in the time it took me to stitch my way to the bottom and you can take a walk down memory lane here, if you’re interested.

ATS Top

I remember when we were stitching on that cloud at the top.  I had seen so many people stall out at this part that I was determined to really push through it.  Sylvia was also gnashing her teeth and we bemoaned the neverending cloud.  I recall saying to her, “it could be worse, wait until we get to all that grass!”  Oh, truer words were never spoken.  LOL  I did have a lot of fun with this section though, even naming those two snakes at the top Fred & George and that blue snake between Adam and Eve, Nagini.  I worked that vine border as I went so that I wasn’t stuck doing it all at the end.  I also put this on scroll bars, and as luck would have it I had to roll my fabric approximately when I reached “the fold” or the next page in my chart.  The photo above is essentially page 1 of the chart.

ATS Angel

At the time I was stitching this section I saw someone outline the angel’s wings in gold rather than in the grey it called for and absolutely loved it.  So, I did mine the same.  I even briefly considered ripping out the backstitching on the angel’s wings above the cloud but decided that I liked them in grey.

ATS Center with Alphabet

I thought for sure that once I got to the alphabet section I would knock it out super quick.  Not.  The.  Case.  Somehow I lost all momentum when I got to this section.  And I will tell you that I somehow went through two and a half skeins of Cherry Bark (the color of the alphabet), which seems ridiculous since the chart only called for one and it was stitched on 35 count.  I am super frugal with my thread too, so I can’t begin to imagine how I went through so much of that color.  I had purchased all new threads for this piece so I was starting with full skeins.

ATS Middle

Once I got past the alphabet I picked up speed again on the section with the spies of Canaan.  The photo above basically shows page 2 of the chart.  I really loved this section.  It was possibly my favorite just because of all the colors – the pinks, purples, and those crazy birds with their topknots.  And I really loved what look like quilt stars throughout this piece.

ATS Spies of Canaan Close Up

And page three made me feel like I was in the home stretch.  The section with the lady and the lion was Sylvia’s favorite part of this piece.  I have to admit, I really love this section too.  And it felt like a HUGE milestone to get to the end of the vine.

ATS The Lady and the Lion

And that brings us to the last section, otherwise affectionately known as “the neverending grass”.  Sylvia and I looked and looked at as many stitchers’ And They Sinned as possible trying to determine how we wanted to stitch the grass.  There are people who left the grass off completely, just stitching the animals on a bare background.  While I can understand why they opted not to stitch 8 million green stitches, when you look at the piece as a whole it really needs (in my opinion) the grass at the bottom to anchor it.  It needs that visual weight at the bottom.  We also saw one person who left that whole section off completely.  The chart is written for you to alternate two colors of green on the diagonal.  I didn’t love that look.  I think finally Sylvia saw on the Hand-Dyed Fiber board that someone had alternated the greens every two stitches and stitched everything in half stitches.  One row was stitched ///// and then the next row stitched like this \\\\\.  Loved the effect.  Doing half stitches makes it a bit airier so that your animals really stand out, and by alternating the angle of the stitches and the two colors it gives it a nice visual texture.  So so so glad we discovered this option!

ATS Bottom Section

I made several changes in this section.  The first change you’ll notice is that the big peacock at the top left of the grass ended up a different color.  He was charted to be red and I stitched him that way.  But then when I stitched the big flowering bush to the right I didn’t like having so much red right in the same section.  So I ripped it out and restitched him in teal and blue.

I also added my two boys in amongst the other animals.  Here is Thutmose with his gold eyes and little white spot under his chin.

ATS Grass Section with Thutmose

Here is Ramses with his green eyes being a cat “loaf” as he often does.

ATS Grass Section with Ramses

And I spent a very long time working on the pond.  I used the variegation of the thread to maximum effect and stitched in swirls rather than straight across in horizontal stripes.  I love how it turned out, even if it did take a long time to do.

ATS Pond

And then finally, I was at the end.  I personalized it just as Sylvia did hers, to commemorate our Sunday stitching.  Sylvia actually finished hers well before I did, but continued to cheer me on until I reached the finish line.  My ATS was started on January 1, 2010 and finished it during the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild meeting on August 4, 2015.
ATS Full

Stitching And They Sinned was definitely a labor of love.  And there were long periods where I didn’t work on it at all.  But, I am so pleased to have it finished and so thrilled to have finally gotten around to taking photos so that I could share it with you here on the blog, although I did share it in episode 8 of the podcast/flosstube and you can watch it here.

I am grateful for Sampler Sundays. 

The Weight of Zombies

Miss Babs Yowza Zombie Prom

Last year after I relearned to knit I decided I wanted to attempt my first shawl.  Because really I got into this whole knitting thing to knit socks and shawls, right?!  I’d been eyeing the Hitchhiker Shawl, but when my friend Nicole knit the Weigh It Shawl 1 I started thinking that might be the way to go.  Nicole agreed that the Weigh It Shawl would be a good first shawl since it is mostly garter stitch and encouraged me to give it a try.

If you’re not familiar with the Weigh It Shawl, it basically calls for a skein of Miss Babs Yowza and doesn’t require counting rows or stitches really because you’re weighing your yarn (thus the name Weigh It Shawl).  At DFW Fiber Fest in 2015 I saw in person and fell in love with the Zombie Prom colorway, so I knew that’s what I wanted to use for my shawl.  I ordered a skein and bought the pattern and even treated myself to my first set of Signature Needle Arts circular needles.  I shared my stash enhancement on Episode 4 of my podcast.

Weigh It Shawl WIP

I really love those Signature needles.  I did have a little bit of trouble with them near the end of the shawl where they would come unscrewed from the cable, but I think that was due to user error and no fault of the needles.  But of course it happened when I had 8 million stitches on the needles and when that cable became unscrewed and a good chunk of those stitches fell off I about died.  I checked with some other folks that assured me they had never had a problem with their Signatures doing this so I determined it was probably something with the way I was holding my needles or somehow twisting that cable enough that my knitting motion was causing the cable to become unscrewed.  Here’s hoping I can avoid that in the future!!

Weigh It Shawl Ripping

I also had a few cases where I suddenly completely forgot what I was doing and started making something up or dropped a stitch and didn’t know how to fix it other than rip back, and so on.  But, I think it’s just all part of the learning process.

Weigh It Shawl WIP with Sublime

And oh I was loving the color of my yarn.  When I caked up my skein it was lighter on one end and darker on the other, so I started with the lighter end so that it would be darker as I knit to the bottom of the shawl.  It’s subtle, but I like the effect.

Weight It Shawl WIP and Tula

In fact, I loved the color so much it inspired me to make a zippered pouch out of some of my Tula Pink fabric.  It wasn’t big enough to hold my shawl, but perfect for a future sock project.

I also participated in my first Knitalong with this shawl.  Suburban Stitcher hosted the Around Your Neck KAL and I really pushed to finish up my shawl in time but didn’t make it.  I was all the way to my bind off when disaster struck – I ran out of yarn.  So, I ended up setting my shawl aside for a good long time before I had the heart to go back and fix it so I could bind off.  Because I’d already run out of yarn trying to bind off once, I opted to not do the picot bind off and instead used the Russian bind off she gives as an alternative.  I will definitely give the picot bind off another try in a project in the future though because I loved the way it looked.

I finished it on the morning of New Year’s Eve.  And I am thrilled with how it turned out.  These photos were taken in extremely harsh sunlight, so it’s hard to get a sense of the beauty of this yarn, but you get the idea of the shape and size of the shawl itself.

Weigh It Shawl Finished

Project details: My first shawl!!  Weigh It Shawl 1 by Susan B. Anderson using Miss Babs Yowza in the Zombie Prom colorway.  I used size 8 Signature circulars.  Started on 4/27/2015 and finished on 12/31/2015.

Weigh It Shawl Finished Closeup

You can see my project page on Ravelry hereWeigh It Shawl Finished Closeup 2

So so so in love with my shawl.

Weigh It Shawl

And on January 2nd, I wore it on its maiden voyage out into the world.

Me with my Weigh It Shawl

I’ve already got yarn and the pattern for the Weigh It Shawl 2 that I hope to start sometime soon.  I can’t wait!

**Edited to add:

Blocked Shawl

My shawl has now been blocked and boy does that make a difference!  If only it wasn’t 105 degrees outside!!

I am grateful for trying new things.

Cliff Notes from 2015

Stitching Bags

Hello, friends!  Thanks so much for your comments on my last post!  For those of you who saw that post pop up on your blog feed and noted how glad you were I was back to blogging, I wanted to fill you in on what happened.  Last December I migrated my blog from Blogspot over to my own domain.  If you go to the old blog address you will automatically be redirected to the new location.  So, I’ve been blogging at my new location throughout 2015 but unfortunately it didn’t occur to me that my feed over at Bloglovin’ or similar blog readers never got updated to the new address.  So, if you were looking for updates via a blog reader, rather than heading to the blog directly, it appeared that I haven’t updated my blog in a year!  The feed should be fixed now, so you will get regular updates as I post.  So…please take a look back at my older posts if you’d like and see what I’ve been up to.  Also, you can subscribe to my blog by hovering over the Contact tab at the top and clicking on Subscribe to our mailing list, which will send you new posts by email.

So, since it’s January and since you may have missed several of my posts from 2015, I thought I’d do a little recap of what I’ve been up to.

Episode 5

The biggest thing I did last year in the Cozyegg universe was to start a video podcast!  So far I’ve recorded ten episodes and I am absolutely loving this new venture.  You can tune in via YouTube or right here on the blog.  I am working on getting my feed over to iTunes as well.  If you’re not familiar with podcasts (they are more prevalent in the knitting community than in the stitching or quilting community, I think), it’s basically a video blog post where I talk about what I’ve finished, what I’m working on, what I’m reading, any new stash enhancements, etc.  I talk about stitching, quilting, and knitting. You can watch the first episode here.

In stitching, I finished several things.  Early in the year, I stitched two of these little Faith ornaments that I turned into book weights.  One was for me, and one for a friend.  I made some color changes and used threads that I had on hand.

Eric and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary in April, which is the willow anniversary.  I wanted to stitch something for him and decided to stitch a block from Village of Hawk Run Hollow that had willow trees in it.  I personalized it with our wedding date.  Unfortunately, I haven’t taken proper photos of this one yet, so you get a screen capture from Episode 4.  I love how it turned out.

The biggest finish, though, was five years in the making.  I can still hardly believe it’s done.  This piece will definitely be getting its own blog post, but here’s a sneak peek… And They Sinned.  So, more to come on this one for sure, with details of the changes I made and the personalizations I did.

ATS

And then towards the end of the year I stitched a couple of gifts (photos to come in a later post) and some exchange ornaments for both guild holiday parties (you can see my ornaments here and here).

On the quilting front, my big finish was way back at the beginning of the year.  I decided to get moving on finishing off some of these old quilt WIPs that had been lingering around forever.  So, I started with the oldest one – my very first quilt from 2002.

If you’d like to see more of the quilt or read more about it, you can find that blog post here.  It was hugely satisfying to finally have this one quilted and bound.

I made several bags in 2015 too, starting off with a tote for a gift that featured the Hazel the Hedgehog pattern on both sides.

And it was so stinking cute I decided I needed a hedgehog too.  So, I made a mini quilt to keep.  Of course I mixed it up a little bit by giving my hedgehog a little bit of a punk look.  (Neither of these photos is really great, unfortunately but you can get a better look in Episode 2.)

I attended a few “in town retreats” over the year that were very helpful in getting a good bit of sewing done.  I started and finished this Tula Pink quilt top that I’d been drooling over since seeing a model made up at the Dallas quilt show a couple of years ago.  Please pardon those two black spots in the middle of it.  Seriously, you lay a quilt top down in my house and this is what happens.  I’m going to send this one out for custom quilting.

Tula Squirrels

Next up, I finished another old quilt top that is made entirely of novelty cat fabric.  I know, it’s so bad it’s good.  It felt good to check another one off my list.  I want to back this with some Lizzy House Catnap fabric or perhaps some Sarah Watts Cat Lady fabric, just to attempt to make it a little more awesome and a little less awesomely horrible.  Photos to come on this one (maybe).

Cat quilt

In November, I attended Glamp Stitchalot hosted by Pink Castle Fabrics and got to learn techniques from Katy Jones, Tula Pink, Violet Craft, Jeni Baker, Alison Glass, and Sarah Fielke.  I talked about my experience in Episode 10, but will also be doing a blog post soon.     Glamp Stitchalot

And finally, I finished yet another quilt top over Thanksgiving.  This was a BOM from like 2004ish called Pansy Park by Thimbleberries.  I worked on this over two weekends at the in town sewing retreat and when I took the photo below in November, all it was lacking was one side of the burgundy inner border and then the big leaf print borders on all four sides.  And then voila, it was done!  And it is huge, so I’ll have to find somewhere to take a photo of this beast so I can share.

Pansy Park WIP

And finally, I took up knitting last year.  I went to DFW Fiber Fest in the spring and I had set myself a goal of relearning to knit before I went, which I accomplished.  I posted about my knitting journey here.  And after knitting a few dishcloths and a garter stitch scarf, I jumped into the deep end of the pool and decided to knit my first shawl, the Weigh It Shawl #1 by Susan B. Anderson.  I will most definitely be doing a whole post on this project, but I couldn’t resist sharing it here.  It’s knit with Miss Babs Yowza in the Zombie Prom colorway and I love it.  I was determined to get it done in 2015 and I finished it on December 31st – whew!

Shawl

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little recap of my 2015 creating and explained what craziness happened with my blog feed so that you can get all caught up on those posts you may have missed.  I will be posting on a more regular basis in 2016 and will definitely be continuing the podcast too.  I hope that 2016 is treating you right so far and that you are enjoying your projects.  I’ll be back soon to share my plans for the new year and what I’m working on.  Have a great week!

I am grateful for my first shawl!

Boughs of Holly

IMG_7338

Hi, all!  I hope you had a very merry Christmas.  Today I want to share the EGA holiday party from earlier in the month.  For this ornament exchange I decided to stitch a portion of the pattern Blessings Be Thine by Blackbird Designs.  I loved the little sprig of holly and the stars.  I stitched this on the same fabric I used for the Gold Crown ornament in my last post, 32 count Buttercream by Silkweaver.  The design called for a combination of GAST and Weeks threads.  I ended up using a DMC goldish yellow for the stars because the oatmeal thread it called for matched too closely to my fabric.  I love how it looks though.  Here’s the back.

The red and white trim I used actually came off some packaging (maybe from Christmas cards?) forever ago that I saved.  When I saw it in my finishing box I thought it would be perfect to use for cording around this ornament.  It’s funny that I chose to stitch a holly design for this exchange because there was another holly ornament in the exchange this year too!

We were again at a member’s home and I was again amazed at all the beautiful holiday stitching she’s done.  Let me take you on a little tour.

This is teeny tiny over one.

Also over one.

Super cute Santas.

And this idea I may have to recreate myself.  She stitched several needlepoint designs and then mounted them on boxes she covered with ultrasuede or something of the sort.  She had them stacked on a little table in her entryway and they were absolutely darling, as you can see.  What an ingenious way to showcase beautiful pieces with a fun finishing technique.

See what I mean?  Darling!  They look like beautiful Christmas packages!

Adore the little sheep stocking.

And then we were onto our ornament exchange.  This tiny little bell ornament was the first one I had in my possession.

This is the ornament I went home with.  The woman that stitched him bought the kit when she was traveling recently from a shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Since I was just in Ann Arbor, I thought this was meant to be!  And I don’t have anything like him on my tree, so I am so happy to add him to my collection.

Here are all the ornaments together.

 

A couple of close-ups.  See the other holly ornament?

Look at that beaded ruffly Christmas tree!

And here’s a closer view of that darling stitched and beaded elf!

A sweet scissor fob that can easily be repurposed as an ornament.

This one was made by our hostess and I believe may be the same designer as the pieces on her boxes.

My friend, Karen, was wearing this sweet little necklace that we all had to get a closer look at.  Two-sided and over one, how cute is that?

This is the piece that several members stitched on and finished as a gift to our guild president who was ending her two-year post. Isn’t it beautiful?

Inside…

And the little needlebook and beaded fob.

I hope you enjoyed seeing all the beautiful ornaments from this year’s party.  Now, I’d better get started thinking about next year!

I am grateful to be surrounded by such inspiring stitchers!

Knitting Envy

I have attempted knitting no less than four times now.  I first learned way back in 2007, when I took a beginning knitting class at my LYS.  I knit a garter stitch scarf and was extremely proud of myself.  I then launched into what is perhaps the downfall of most new knitters – attempting to knit with Homespun yarn.  Of course, trying to knit with curly yarn and not really having an understanding of how to read my knitting left me beyond frustrated.

Fast forward to 2010, when my friend Kim retaught me to knit.  Even bought me some beautiful yarn, a book, and some notions.  I knit and knit and knit.  I ripped out and practiced casting on. Somehow, I ended up laying it down when again frustration set in.  I kept doing something at the end of my rows where I was twisting my stitches or something weird.

Then, in 2014 after binge-watching knitting podcasts (specifically Suburban Stitcher), I again became obsessed about knitting.  When Sylvia and I were together in Arizona for the Attic’s Summer Soiree, she retaught me.  So I picked up that pretty turquoise yarn from Kim and started another scarf.  There was much knitting while watching podcasts, much knitting while listening to non-knitting podcasts…

…and in January I finished it.  I sort of followed the pattern for the You Go, Girl! scarf in the Chicks with Sticks book, minus the fringe.  I decided to make it into a cowl, so I sewed the ends together before I wove in my ends.

I knew that DFW Fiber Fest was happening in May and I really wanted to go and get to meet Dianne from Suburban Stitcher.  She has been such an inspiration to me with knitting, that I decided to set myself the goal of really becoming a knitter by the time Fiber Fest rolled around.  So, I figured the best thing I could do was to keep knitting.  I remembered I’d bought some cotton yarn “back in the day” to make washcloths/dishcloths with, so I dug some of that out.  There were a few washcloth patterns in my Chicks with Sticks book, so I decided to tackle the first one, which was basically to learn how to purl.  I enjoyed this one and really loved the colors in this colorway – Earth Ombre.

And here it is finished.  Nothing spectacular, but I was pretty proud of myself.

Next up, I decided to do another washcloth from the book, this time in the color Terra Firma.  This was a basketweave pattern, which really challenged me to actually follow a pattern.  And I messed it up more than once and had to figure out how to rip back.  I also learned that you have to slip a stitch on the edge to make a “finished” edge, which was a whole new concept to me, since everything I’d done before was just garter stitch on the edges.

And here is this one finished.

As you know from my podcast, I met my goal and felt like I’d really grasped knitting finally and went to DFW Fiber Fest as a knitter!  I am really finding that I enjoy knitting as an on-the-go project.  It is much easier to pick up and put down than stitching.  And it is a great way to keep my hands busy!  I can’t wait to share with you my experience with going to Fiber Fest for the first time and what I came home with.

And hey, please find me on Ravelry if you’re on there too.  I’m cozyegg (of course!).

I am grateful for my knitting and all of the inspirational knitting podcasts!

My True Love Gave to Me

In 2002 a little quilt shop opened near me and I decided to do something that I’d dreamed of doing for years.  I signed up for a beginning quilting class.  I bought a sewing machine specifically so I could take the class and barely even knew how to thread it when I showed up on that first night of class.  Our goal was to do a sampler quilt that would teach us a variety of piecing techniques – strips, curves, applique, squares, triangles, you name it.  When I went to pick out my fabric, the shop suggested I choose a focal print and then choose coordinating fabrics from the colors in that print.  I chose a beautiful Christmas fabric that was full of partridges and pears, a little metallic gold accent, purple ribbon, and so on.  A decidedly Christmas subject, but not at all in the realm of traditional Christmas colors.  But I loved it.  I still love it, even though the fabrics are not something I would choose today.

Because I was a complete beginner, I wanted to practice my skills as much as possible so I chose to make two quilts.  That second quilt I worked on at home and I completed both tops about the same time.  You may recall my Pigwidgeon quilt (so named after the owl fabric I chose).     The Pigwidgeon quilt has long since been quilted and bound (I sent it out for longarm quilting), but my sad partridges remained unfinished.  I intended from the beginning to quilt this one on my machine, just doing a simple in the ditch quilting.  But being new to sewing I had no idea what the reality of wrestling a quilt this size through my machine would be like.  And all those angles and direction changes.  Ugh!  So, it languished in the closet for years.  At Christmas this past year I decided it was high time to get it out and finish it.  I knew it was going to be a huge pain in the butt to quilt, but I resolved to just take a deep breath and take it one block at a time.  Amazingly, it only took two afternoons.  And then I quickly sewed that binding on, and its label, and voila, c’est finis!

I can’t tell you how good it feels to have this one finished.  My very first quilt.  And as is often the case, the name for the quilt came to me while I was quilting it.  During the month of December I read the most wonderful book of short stories called My True Love Gave to Me.  I also got the best Christmas gift – Eric took me to the Dallas Arboretum to see the Twelve Days of Christmas display, which was wonderful!  So, it seemed appropriate that this quilt should be officially named My True Love Gave to Me.

After finishing the quilt, I think I drove around with it in my car for over a month waiting for inspiration to strike on the perfect location to take some photos.  And on a cold day in February, my wish came true.  We got snow!  So, I bundled up and trekked out to the park behind our house to take a few photos of my quilt.  And, while they are not birds that are featured in that wonderful Christmas carol, I had the good fortune to see a group of five cardinals.  I only managed to catch three of them in a photo, but what a gift to see so many together.

I’m so happy with my quilt.  It’s by no means perfect, and it’s by no means “modern”, but it’s my first quilt.  And it’s finished.  I couldn’t ask for more.

It even was christened with some snowflakes while I was out on my walk.  It is for sure a quilt, and a day, I will treasure and a wonderful reminder of my Christmas.

I am grateful for a snowy walk. 

Episode 2: Herding Cats


Show Notes:

Finishes:

  1. Hazel Hedgehog Tote – Hazel Hedgehog quilt pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman.  Fabrics used are Tula Pink Acacia, Carolyn Friedlander Architextures, Michael Miller Grand Bazaar.  I modified Jeni Baker’s Lined Drawstring Bag tutorial for the tote.
  2. Hazel Hedgehog mini quilt: same fabrics and pattern as used in the tote.  Also used Tula Pink Moonshine for the one spine as well as the binding.
  3. Infinity Scarf – actually finished some time ago, but haven’t shared before on the blog.  Made with Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush velveteen and Field Study voile.  Using Anna Maria’s tutorial for the infinity scarf by modified with Kelbysews’ measurements.
  4. Faith pincushion – ornament in the Just Cross-stitch Ornament 2014 issue by Nikyscreations.  Stitched with GAST threads (my own conversion and color changes) on 32 count Vintage Pearled Barley by Lakeside Linens.

WIPs:

  1. Garter stitch scarf – still in progress
  2. His Eye is on the Sparrow – by Heartstring Samplery.  Stitching on 48ct hand-dyed Gander linen with called for Weeks and GAST threads.

#sewmystash2015:

  1. Tula Pink Anchors Aweigh quilt in Tula Pink Salt Water fabric
  2. Five Yard quilt in Tula Pink Birds & the Bees and Denyse Schmidt Chicopee fabrics

Reading:

  1. Bible study using She Reads Truth app.

I am grateful for time to sew.