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. 

 

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!

Summer to Fall

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Thank you so much for all the comments on my John Reed finish.  And apologies to those of you who wanted to leave comments, but couldn’t.  It seems to be some sort of hit or miss thing with either blogger or this template I’m using since some people could leave comments and some couldn’t.  So strange.  Hopefully it’s fixed now though.
I finally got around to taking some photos of some amazing birthday gifts from friends that I hadn’t had a chance to share yet.  This pincushion is a freebie design from The Sampler Girl that my friend Lori stitched and finished for me.  She actually had several friends who had August birthdays, so she made several of these and personalized them with each birthdate and initials.  Absolutely adorable – and what a perfect gift for an August birthday girl, like me!
And she backed it with this lovely blue fabric.  So fun!
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 And if that wasn’t enough, she also spoiled me with this amazing gift.  Although, when she gave it to me she said, “let me know if you figure out what it is”.  She found this at a local quilt shop and said that even the ladies at the quilt shop weren’t sure what it was.  But, since she knows my love for all things Tula, she felt like it would have a good home with me.
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It’s difficult to get the whole thing in the photo, but it does say Tula Pink for Moda (so you know this is from way back) and then it has four little pockets, which she filled with fat quarters of some Tula fabric for me, two Birds & the Bees, one Saltwater, and one Nightshade.
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So, since we were all stumped as to what this was I reached out to Miss Tula Pink herself and asked.  And she very kindly responded that this was a promotional banner Moda did for shops and the intent was for them to be able to change out the fat quarters in the pockets as new lines from the designer were released.  But the best part…
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It’s made to look like a fabric selvedge!  How fun is that???  It has a little sleeve at the top for hanging and then you can change out your focus fabrics at will.  The most awesome addition to my sewing room, for sure!  Thank you so much, Lori, for spoiling me!
Another friend of mine, Laurie, also spoiled me with a pincushion.  This is one of Jeannette Douglas’s Quaker Pincushions.  I love that it looks like a little pumpkin.  And the Halloween pins she added are absolutely adorable.
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And look at the back!  Gorgeous houndstooth patterned wool and a beautiful button. So sweet.  It’s perfect to put out for the season too.   I totally should finish up the Quaker pincushion I stitched for myself forever ago, shouldn’t I?
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She also gifted me with this blinged out skull needleminder.  I, of course, immediately put it on my sugar skull stitching wallet so it can keep me company.  So freaking awesome.
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So thank you both for my thoughtful gifts, they are much appreciated and will be treasured.
I also thought I’d show you all what I’ve been stitching on lately, now that John Reed is finished.  On October 1 I decided to start a new project.  This is only my third new start of the year, if you can believe it, and one of those was finished in January.  But, I was feeling the need for a fall project and this one has been calling to me from my stitching bag.  Please overlook the fact that the majority of this is out of focus, my 50mm lens was obviously punishing me for never using it anymore.
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Such a fun stitch, and just brimming with fall color.  This is a design by the same friend Lori I mentioned above.  She is so talented!  You may recall she also designed this little pincushion I stitched last fall.  I’ve been working on this still and hope to have it finished this fall.
The other piece I’ve been working on is the Sunday Mystery Sampler Paulette is offering as a free chart on her blog.  I look forward to each new installment on Sundays, and it’s the perfect thing to stitch on Sunday evenings.  And bonus, by Thanksgiving I will have a finished Christmas piece!
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I’m using 40ct Vintage Light Examplar and for the most part I am stitching with the called for threads, although I had to switch from Shaker White to Oatmeal because the Shaker wouldn’t show up on my fabric (which really is not as pink leaning as this photo shows).  I also changed the Espresso Bean to Pecan because I wanted it to be a warmer, lighter brown than my skein of Espresso was.  And I stitched Mary in blue, because I wanted that little pop of color.  The blue I used is actually a limited edition GAST I’ve had forever called Aquamarine.  I can’t wait to see what the next installment will be.  Oh, and I’m stitching Mary’s Sampler II, which is the more densely stitched version that Paulette is doing on black.
Oh, and speaking of The Sampler Girl (the pincushion from Lori reminded me of it), in case you haven’t seen, many of her patterns are going to be OOP at the end of October, and until the 31st, they are all on sale.  So scoop up the ones you want, while you can!!  (no affiliation, just a fan) I picked up Good Tidings with Jane Austen, which is the companion piece to the other two that I’ve already stitched.  I am excited about the new direction she’s taking though.

I am grateful for vacation and working on new things.

**Edited to add: Still appear to be having issues with comments.  Some people are able to comment, so do try refreshing if you’re not seeing the comment option.  I’ll keep researching to see if I can determine the problem. 

Tilting at Windmills

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I finished up my pre-stitching for the Betsy Morgan class.  I love the little windmill.  These two little panels stitched up pretty quick, which is good because my track record for pre-stitching hasn’t been so great.  I’m looking forward to this class in October.  
After finishing my pre-stitching Saturday night, I was a little adrift about what to work on next.  I really need to get back to And They Sinned.  And I’ve promised myself I am going to focus on AOTH, ATS and John Reed until they are finished.  (Of course Glory House was nowhere on that list!)  And now I’m really wanting to do some fall stitching.  But, I really should stick to the plan and finish some of these things that have been taking up space in my project basket closet.  
And speaking of new starts…I decided to sign up for the Tula Pink Sew Along hosted by Sew Sweetness.  I figured it was the perfect opportunity to get moving on my Kiss Kiss quilt made from Tula’s Parisville fabrics. 
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On Saturday, I busted out the rotary cutter and finished cutting out all of the fabric for the “spokes”.  That’s fifteen pieces from each of the ten fat quarters!  Once I finished with those, I moved on to fussy cutting my centerpieces from the Cameo fabric.  

Fussy Cutting Parisville Tula Pink
I managed to get three of the nine cut out before it was time to call it a day.  I’m looking forward to getting all my cutting done so that I can start sewing!  
And even though I’m just getting started on my very first Tula quilt, I’ve already started making plans for the next one.  Please take a look at the new purchase – from her most recent line (at least until Salt Water comes out!), The Birds and The Bees.  Love that squirrel!!
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I really should get back to my Kate Spain Christmas quilt if I hope to have it done for the holidays this year…  Sounds like I need to tackle some of the ongoing projects in my quilting pile too!
I am grateful for getting out of a rut.