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.

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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!

Busy as a Bee

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You guys probably thought I dropped off the face of the earth, huh?  Well, things have been very busy around here and a lot of late nights and early mornings at work.  I managed to take Friday off though so that I could have a four day weekend, which I really needed.  And amazing what a little sleep will do for you – I actually made some good progress on my stitching!  
This is how my John Reed sampler is coming along.  I’m working on the middle third of the piece.  The house actually stretches down into the bottom third, which is why I only have the top floor stitched.  All of that fill in was getting a bit boring, so I decided to get back to the motifs.  Last night I managed to stitch ten bees, the beeskep and the two little trees.  Not too shabby!  I have to say though, that house was actually a lifesaver.  Those nights when I was so tired from work I couldn’t think straight – mindless fill in was the perfect thing to stitch on. 
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I hope you are all having a lovely Memorial Day.  I am rather enjoying a quiet day at home.  Oh, with my helpers.   
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I also posted up some photos of Memorial Day from last year on my other blog, if you’d like to visit.   And speaking of my other blog…you might notice that there have been a lot of changes going on around here.  I’ve linked my two blogs, so you can now go to my home page and reach either blog from there.  You’ve probably also noticed that I’ve changed my template and layout on this blog.  Once I got the blogs all linked and took a look at this blog again I decided that it was just too busy for my taste these days.  So, I’ll probably be playing around a bit with things for awhile, but I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look around at the other blog and see some of what I’ve been working on.  
Thutmose is always glad when I include him in my posts.  Thanks for visiting!
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I am grateful for my country.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

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Oh don’t you just love those colors?  I die every time I look at them.  I’ve been talking so much stitching lately (well, relatively speaking), that I thought it was time for a little quilting talk.  And I was completely inspired over the weekend to get out my fabric and get to sewing after visiting two new to me quilt shops.  Everywhere I turned there was inspiration.  But my fabric stash above was a purchase from a couple of months ago.  I decided to use a part of my bonus from work to buy fabrics for a quilt I want to make.  The fabrics are all Tula Pink from her Parisville line.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  Don’t the colors just remind you of macarons?  I. am. in. love.

And you may recall that I’ve been carrying around some Parisville with me for a while now in the form of some beautiful project bags (here, here, and here).  Plus, I made those fun hexagon pincushions with her more recent line Prince Charming.  (I am clearly an addict!)

But I found the perfect quilt that I wanted to make with my treasured fabric… 

Kiss Kiss

Kiss Kiss also by Tula.  I wanted a pattern to showcase those Marie Antoinette silhouettes, and I love the big Xs that make up the pattern.  I’m so excited to get started.  I have one thing I need to finish first – my Kate Spain Christmas quilt.  But then?  Kiss Kiss.

And Tula’s also just come out with two new lines.  The weekend of my Epic Stitching Get Together, we all piled in cars and headed over to a local quilt shop where I managed to score some fat quarters of Nightshade.

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I can’t wait to sew with this.  It’s equally beautiful in person, but so different.  I wish I’d found some of the main cameo fabric, but I’m sure I’ll be getting more of this in the future.  But I’m so excited to cut some fabric and do some sewing!!!

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And I’ve been thinking I needed to take some more photos of our boys.  Can you believe we’ve had these guys a month?  This photo is from when they got their new collars.  They are so much bigger now, and look so different! 

New collars

But taking photos of two black kittens is proving to be almost impossible.  Most of my photos end up looking like this…

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Or this…

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But finally, after many many many attempts, I finally got a few good ones.  This is Ramses.

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With his pretty green eyes.

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And this is Thutmose, with his gold eyes and little white spot. 

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I can’t believe the difference a month makes. 

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They’ve pretty much lost all their kitten fuzz, and they are growing like weeds! 

Anyway, hope you are all managing to stay cool and work on whatever crafty thing makes your heart sing.  I’m stitching along on Isabella and on ATS, but I’m hoping there’s some quilting gonna happen soon!

I am grateful for lots of inspiration, and two little black bundles of joy.

Of Angels and Acorns

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On Tuesday night before guild, I met a couple of friends for dinner. After we ate, they presented me with a secret project they’d been working on since my dad died. They started with Ghoul by Plum Street Samplers, which I love, and charted out a part of the poem that was read at my dad’s funeral. They put his name and birth and death years on the piece along with each of their initials. 
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And if that wasn’t enough, they also sent it to Jill Rensel to be framed. 
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I just can’t get over it. What a huge surprise and such a thoughtful thing to do. I took it to my mom’s yesterday to show her and she got just as choked up as I did. Thank you my sweet friends, it really means the world to me to have a memorial sampler for him. 
I did decide a few months ago that I wanted to start something new on my dad’s birthday, that is coming up on Tuesday. I used a little bit of my bonus check to purchase the AVAS silks and the Weeks Confederate Grey linen. I’ll be sharing my start with you soon as well as which sampler it is. But, I am so grateful to some friends of mine who helped me out by bringing lots of fabric for me to do floss tosses on until I settled on the one I liked. The chart called for ivory or cream linen, but I really wanted something a little more interesting. 
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It’s time for another WIPocalypse post. They time sure flies. And I haven’t gotten a whole lot of stitching done lately, but I’ve put a little bit more in my Quaker Pincushion. And for those who asked that thread is Caron Wildflowers in Tanzanite. Gorgeous, yes? 
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And Isabella’s gotten a bit farther as well. Although I think it’s taken me over a week to get what I have done on that wreath. 
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And you might be wondering why I haven’t done any stitching? Well, let me introduce Thutmose 
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and Ramses. 
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They are 14 weeks old and are brothers. Eric and I adopted them last weekend. Since my first boys had all Shakespeare names, I thought these guys needed Egyptian pharoah names. Although lately Eric has been calling them “Monkey See” and “Monkey Do”. They are treasures and have really brightened up our home and our hearts. 
I am grateful for a new beginning to our lives.

The Last of Three

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Othello was the second of my three boys to come into my life, although he was the oldest.  He loved completely and unconditionally and allowed both Hamlet and Romeo to be the center of attention, always.  When we lost Romeo, for the first time Othello allowed himself his time in the sun.  He took every bit of attention we lavished on him and gave it back tenfold.  

Last February, we nearly lost Othello.  We were given another year with this sweet boy and treasured every moment of it.  
 

Othello Performing

On Friday, I lost the last of my boys.   My home and my heart will never be the same without him.

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One more, one more. 
Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee 
And love thee after. One more, and that’s the last. 
So sweet was ne’er so fatal. I must weep, 
But they are cruel tears. This sorrow’s heavenly, 
It strikes where it doth love.
Othello, Act 5, Scene 2