Fabric & Fiction, Round Six

It has been quite a while since I last started a round of Fabric and Fiction.  Somehow the autumn months went by and it just never happened.  With the beginning of the new year, I have been reading a lot.  I think it feels good to slow down after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  So far this year I have read Icy Sparks, by Gwen Rubio and The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella.

These two books couldn’t be more unalike.  Icy Sparks, an Oprah book club pick from about 15 years ago, is a dark but somewhat humorous look at a girl growing up in the 1950’s in Kentucky.  She suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome which wasn’t well understood at that time.  This feisty girl lives with her doting grand parents and suffers the wrath of her school mates, mean teachers and others who taunt her endlessly.  It made me sad to read it in part but I will tell you I liked the ending (I’m not saying more than that though!)  She befriends a very obese woman in town and they support each other as best they can, empathizing with each other as outcasts in their community.

 

 

The other book, The Undomestic Goddess, is a book about a high powered attorney who makes a mistake with one of her clients.  Horrified and not knowing what to do, she runs away and takes a job as a housekeeper for a ditzy but wealthy couple.  She hasn’t a clue how to cook, clean or do laundry and it is fun to read about her mistakes. Of course there is a sweet love story built in as well.

Remember Amelia Bedelia?

Kinsella’s book reminds me of a grown up version of Ameila Bedelia.  Did you read that series as a child?  I loved it. There were over twenty Amelia Bedelia stories written from the 1960’s through the 1980’s.  I believe the original author, Peggy Parish, passed away and her nephew has written more Amelia Bedelia books since her death.   Anyway, The Undomestic Goddess is somehow similar, very light, lots of fluff, and a bit predictable but I really enjoyed the story.  Not everything I read has to be deep and carry life altering messages.  Sometimes it is just fun to read and be entertained.

Since I skipped the fall book share, let’s go crazy and do two books this time!  Here is my plan.  I will open two book shares.  Six people can sign up for each one.  It might be best if you only sign up for one book so more people can participate. If we don’t get up to six people for either of the books, then you can sign up for the second book.

In case this is new to you, the way it works is I will send the book and three fat quarters of fabric to the first person on the list.  That person reads the book (please don’t keep the book any longer than three weeks or it takes forever for the book to go around) and then chooses three fat quarters and sends them along to the next reader.  It has proven to be too expensive to send the book out of the country so I think it is best to limit this to the US.  (I’m sorry about this!)  When you choose the fat quarters, try to select fabrics that relate to the book in some fashion.  Include a quick note about how the fabric made you think of the book (without telling too much and spoiling the book for the next reader!)

I have really enjoyed this book club of sorts and hope you will join in!  To throw your name in the hat, leave a comment and please tell me which book is your top choice.  I will try to create groups of six with you getting your book of choice, if possible.  It is first come, first serve.  Please, if you are reading this on Bloglovin, click through to my actual site and leave your comment there.  It is hard to track who was first to comment, between the blog and the Bloglovin reader comments.  If you have questions, leave them in the comments.

Thanks for sharing books with me in this way.  I love hearing from the group and finding out what each person thought of the book!  Now that I have finished the two books featured here, I am reading The Things We Keep, by Sally Hepworth.  It is a great read so far.  Maybe we will share it next time around!  What are you reading these days?  Share with us by leaving a comment.

*This is an affiliate post, meaning if you click through links on my page and make a purchase, I will be compensated.  My compensation does not change the price you pay.

 

Weekend Recap

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen the pictures I posted over the weekend.  Julia and I took a road trip and visited Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.  This college is a favorite in our family – I graduated (class of ’82) and two of my sons plus one daughter-in-law also graduated from there.  Julia is planning to apply there next fall.  We thought it would be fun to do the college tours and see the campus as it has been several years since we have been there.  Plus she was pretty young when we last visited and I thought she needed to see it with a more mature viewpoint.

It was a beautiful day of tours and walking… oh, so much walking.  Julia is deciding between Biology or Animal Science as her major.  It is so hard to know what you want to do at this age but Cal Poly is a university that requires the applicants to declare their major right away.

She was thrilled to be able to visit the Swine Unit.  The manager of that unit, a senior at the university, was incredibly friendly and let Julia hang out for quite a while. It was helpful to find out Julia can volunteer at the animal units even if she chooses Biology over Animal Science as a major. Either way, she can work with the animals..

It was a quick trip but well worth the drive (which is a bit of a pain because we live 350 miles from campus).

When I got home I had a package waiting for me!   A couple of weeks ago I entered a giveaway on Instagram.  Kim over at Leland Ave Studios was celebrating the launch of her 52 Week Creativity Project where she will be posting discussions with various artists each week in 2018.  I read the first one which was really good.  I am looking forward to this series.

Kim generously gave a fat eighth bundle of Alison Glass’ new line, Diving Board- to me! What a treat.

Oh my gosh!  I was so tickled to win this bundle.  The colors fall in line with the shades of blue, pink, greens, yellows and oranges that Alison often uses.  This is nice because her older lines work so well with the newer pieces.  Oh the colors are gorgeous !!

This bundle is a big one at 24 pieces.  I will surely let it sit for a while – until I think of the perfect use for it. I have several projects on-going at the moment so I am in no hurry to start another one.  Thank you Kim for this gorgeous addition to my stash.

Linking to Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash link up. I haven’t written a Stash post in such a long time. Receiving this bundle was such a fun surprise! Now I am going to go pack orders. The shop was busy over the weekend and I need to get caught up,

Blogger Bundle – Sarah Goer Quilts

I am really excited to share my first Blogger Bundle with you!  For the past couple of months I have been working with a group of awesome quilt bloggers. They will be curating bundles of fabric from my shop for me and I will offer these as both fat quarter and  half-yard bundles.  It has been a really fun experience for me and I am learning!!  There is always something new to be learned, isn’t there?

This month’s bundle was curated by Sarah Goer.  She writes at Sarah Goer Quilts.  A stay-at-home mom of two school age children, Sarah has a passion for fabric, color and quilting.  She has (already!) taught her two young kiddos to quilt and they will have a quilt hanging at QuiltCon next month.  Sarah and I became acquainted several years ago when we both were starting our blogs.  Since then, we have worked together on several different projects; the most recent of which was when I pattern tested her new Scattered Squares pattern.  I really admire Sarah’s use of color.  Her newsletters always contain a few fresh palettes to inspire the reader. I enjoy seeing the suggested colors she offers up.

When she agreed to put a bundle together, I knew I would  like it! Honestly, this experience has been so interesting.  I am in my shop each day working with these fabrics; cutting orders and shipping them off to customers. But seeing the collections that someone else puts together reminds me that there are endless combinations to be made with those yummy bolts I have downstairs!

Sarah chose a grouping of teal blue, gray, navy blue and yellow. I was surprised there was no purple in the bundle as that is often a go-to color for Sarah.  🙂

But this bundle works!  It is really vibrant and bright! This collection includes the following:

  • Terra Firma Sunlit –  from Maureen Cracknell’s Garden Dreamer line
  • Dots in Gray from Red Rooster’s Basically Low line
  • Atomic Web from Michael Miller’s Sassy Cat line
  • Sashiko Florette in Teal from BariJ’s Wild Bloom line
  • Frogland Friends Coordinate by Henry Glass

What do you think of this bundle?  I am curious to hear your opinions.  Also, Sarah has a post up today talking about our project and she even has a bundle to give away to a lucky reader.  Hop over and take a peek.  Maybe this is your lucky day?

Of course the bundle is also offered in my shop.  It will be on sale today and tomorrow only, for 20% off!! (No coupon code needed.)  Prices go back to normal on Friday!

Scattered Squares – Pattern Testing

I have a finish to share with you!  It was actually my last finish of 2017 and I just barely made it.  I stitched the binding down on December 31st!  This fun quilt was made as a test for a new pattern designed by Sarah Goer, of Sarah Goer Quilts.  This is the second pattern I have tested for her.  (The first was Knock Knock and you can check that out here.)

Scattered Squares is a modern pattern designed with the idea of floating the smaller squares on a solid background.  It could be done any number of ways though.  It might be a challenge to use a directional pattern in the background though as one might lose the intended solid, floating appearance.

Sarah did a wonderful job with this pattern (as with her Knock Knock pattern).  I am absolutely sure this is due to her background as a middle school math teacher.  She knows how to provide clear and concise instructions. This pattern will be released soon.  I suggest signing up for her newsletter so you hear when it is published! Click here and the newsletter sign up form is at the top of the page in a purple rectangle.

This pattern is a great one for a beginner quilter.  The piecing is basic and there are no points to deal with.  It is also a fun one to quilt up.  The baby quilt finished at 30″ x 40″ which is a very reasonable size to quilt.  I decided to stitch concentric circles and I am really pleased with the look. This is only the second time I have quilted spirals like this and I couldn’t really remember how to get started.  I took a look at the tutorial written by Jayne, of Twiggy & Opal, for a refresher. Really after the first two circles or so, it is a breeze to do.  I used the walking foot and the distance was set by the width of the foot, probably a 1/2″ or so.

The spirals create crazy movement on the back of the quilt!  I had this brightly colored print in my stash and was happy to use it up.  I do think the baby using this quilt may get dizzy looking at this side though!  😉

When I started to quilt the circles, I used my Hera Marker to trace the top of a canning jar for the first circle.  It was nice to have a reasonably large circle to start with.  But that left a blank space in the center that seemed to need something when I was finished with the circles.  To complete the quilting, I free motioned a little sun in the center to fill it.

Binding was done by machine with the same yellow as the squares in the quilt.  Machine binding is something I continue to work on.  I feel like this one looks ok, but not great.  I like it for kid’s quilts though. It seems like it will stand up to lots of laundering.  Plus, it is much quicker than hand stitching the back.

This was a fun project and would be great for a baby gift as the quilt comes together easily.  I think I will donate this one to Project Linus.  I have a small stack of baby quilts and would love to have them be used rather than sitting on the closet shelf!

Linking to Finish It Up Friday as well as Finished or Not Friday this week.  For more link ups, take a look at the Link Up tab at the top of the page.

Handmade Christmas Gifts

Now that Christmas is done and gifts have been given and received, I thought I would share what I made with you. Usually I try to find a fun project to make and give during the Christmas season.  In recent years I have made purses, zip pouches, table runners and hot pads. This year I decided to make an apron for my Vermont daughter-in-law.  Also, I made hot pads for my California son and his girlfriend as well as my Toronto son and his wife.  These projects were quick and satisfying.

For the apron, I upcycled a duvet cover that I had bought a while back. I was thrilled to find this cover in a tan and cream stripe.  The neutral colors and the feel of the fabric assured me I would easily find many uses for the fabric.  I had a vintage pattern from 1975 that I have been holding on to, thinking it would make a really cute apron.

Originally the pattern was designed for a wrap around dress and let me just say, I would have totally loved wearing this dress at age 15 (not that I was necessarily 15 in 1975… oh wait, I was.)  Anyway, I had a really similar dress that I made out of a green striped seersucker fabric.  I was so cool.

Ok, back to the apron.  I had seen these Japanese work aprons and really liked them – this pattern is a bit of a compromise between a standard apron and the Japanese wrap style. This one is more fitted with darts in the bodice.

It wraps around the back with the tie coming through an opening left in the side seam.

I finished the interior seams by folding the raw edges in and top stitching them for a clean look.  This fabric would likely fray in the wash so this will prevent any issues.

I even remembered to put a little label on the inside.

Overall, this was a fun project and hopefully my daughter-in-law will get lots of use out of it.  She is a great cook so I suspect she will use it.

On to the hot pads!  I wanted to make something with the Maker Maker fabric I have in the shop.  I cannot even express how much I love this fabric!!  I made Chemex Cozies out of the Grid fabric and the gray and black Lines fabric.  They were far and above, my top sellers for the Christmas shopping season.Anyway, I thought I would make some hot pads using the Grid fabric and the cats.  The linen has such a nice texture and weight, making it perfect for kitchen accessories.  These finished at at eight inches square and are filled with two layers of Insul Bright, making them nice and thick.

The next gift I want to share was not made in the sewing room!  My husband decided he wanted to make a gift for each of the kids. The boys and their spouses received gorgeous rolling pins made with pieces of walnut and oak that he laminated together.  He turned them on his lathe to make a one piece rolling pin.  I just love them!  The kids were taken with the wonderful finish and really appreciated the work that went into these.

Each piece is different from the next with the stripes and color variations making them unique.

Since Julia isn’t really in need of a rolling pin just yet, he made her a piggy bank.  She had such a great time with Daisy and Ella last year, he thought this would be a fun way to remember that summer.

This was a challenging project but it turned out so cute!I love the shape of this little pig’s body and her curly tail.  It was so much fun to watch Ray making these projects during the months before the holidays.  I love having a few handmade gifts under the tree.  I also made some placemats for my parents but didn’t think to take pictures.  I will take some the next time I am up at their house so I can share them.  Were you able to make any of your holiday gifts this year?  If so, share in the comments.  I would love to hear about them!

Linking to my favorite parties, including Finished or Not Friday hosted by Busy Hands Quilts.  Check the Link Up tab at the top of the page for more info!  Have a great weekend all.  🙂

Choices, Choices – 2018 Quilt Along Decisions

It is my hope to be a bit more mindful this year.  Maybe sew with more intention or planning.  Time is precious and I want to use it wisely.  To this end, I have been looking at the myriad of quilt alongs and block of the month programs popping up in our community.  Just search on 2018 QAL and you will get approximately 16 million hits.  (Truth – when I did the search, I got 16,200,000 results. Of course many are duplicates or things that don’t totally match my search criteria, but still – you get the idea.) But after checking out many of the opportunities I have decided on two.

My criteria were to have one scrappy project to use up some stash and for any program to be a monthly one.  I did the Sewcial Bee Sampler this year which was great, but a block a week sets a different pace. I want to make a monthly plan this time around.

Classic Stitches Row Quilt, February 2016

First on the list is this. Mari of Academic Quilter has hosted a quilt along/block of the month for the past three years.  I joined in with her first one which was a row quilt. (Above is the finished quilt from the Classic Stitches QAL.) She coordinates her QAL’s with Angela at So Scrappy and uses the monthly colors for the annual Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I didn’t participate in the last two QAL’s because the blocks were more challenging than I was comfortable with.  But this year, Mari assured me the blocks were based on squares and not very fussy. (I am not a fussy quilter who likes to deal with 9 billion tiny pieces.)  This will be a block of the month and begins in January. I am happy to, once again, follow along with Angela’s RSC 18 plan and use my scraps. I sort of missed that interaction last year and my scrap bins hardly close so I clearly need to use them.  I know Mari well and she writes an excellent tutorial. Probably due to her long time teaching career, she is able to clearly explain the process and when I had questions she responded quickly. Per a recent post on her blog, Mari plans to announce the details for the 2018 QAL tomorrow, Saturday, December 30th.

Aurifil 2014 BOM; Quilt Top

Next on my agenda is the Aurifil Design Team’s annual QAL.  Each year Aurifil sponsors a fun QAL with a team of creative quilt designers.  Wonderful boxes of Aurifil thread are given as prizes each month.  Maybe this year is the year I win one?!?  The last time I followed along with an Aurifil QAL was in 2014.  I made the colorful quilt shown above using (mostly) Malka Dubrowsky’s fabrics.  It is one of my favorites because of the bold color scheme.

Hosted by Pat Sloan, this year’s event will be themed “The Places We Go” and blocks will be inspired by places the quilt design team has been.  I am curious to see how the blocks created by this team relate to the theme.  So many talented quilters are on the team this year.  Take a look:

2018 Aurifil Design Team

Jan – Katja Marek from Katja’s Quilt Shoppe
Feb – Scott Hansen from Blue Nickel Studios
Mar – Jo Avery from My Bear Paw
Apr – Yvonne Fuchs from Quilting Jetgirl
May – Minki Kim from Minki Kim
June – Kerry Goulder from Kid Giddy
July – Sherri McConnel from A Quilting Life
Aug – Rebecca Bryan from Bryan House Quilts 
Sept – Sharon Holland from Sharon Holland Designs
Oct – Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill from Whole Circle Studio
Nov – Sue O’very from Sue O’very Designs
Dec – Amy Sinibaldi from Nana Company

The designers are using black and white with a splash of color.  I am not sure if I will follow along or if I will change the pallet.  I do plan to use my scraps though so my colors will likely be based on which of my scrap bins are overflowing the most! I will need to make a decision soon though so I can get started in January.

These two monthly events should be easily integrated into my ongoing sewing.  I find interesting how after looking through the numerous events that are starting up, I ended up choosing two that I have already done.  Is it because I was successful and enjoyed them that I choose to do them again?  Or because I am timid and not wanting to venture out and try something different? Either way, I am looking forward to these. If you are planning to follow either of these QAL’s, let me know.  I would love to sew along with you!!

I am off to the sewing room.  Last night was a migraine night so I am running at half speed today.  But I have a bit of quilting left to do on a baby quilt and really hope to finish it before we turn to 2018.  Maybe I will have another post this year sharing this finish.  Wish me luck!!

 

 

Looking Ahead to 2018

When I sat down to write this post and thought about all that happened in 2017 I realized what a crazy, wonderful year it was.  Our family had many big events – the marriage of one son, birth of our first grandchild, my husband changed jobs to a new company and new position, Julia raised two pigs for the first time, and most recently, my youngest son became engaged to his girlfriend.  We traveled more than usual with two trips to Vermont and one to Toronto. The year was filled with so much joy and it buzzed by so very quickly.

Looking back at what was accomplished in the sewing room was also interesting. I made nine quilts, two shirts, a number of projects for my grand daughter, as well as numerous small projects like tote bags, mini quilts and zip pouches.  Additionally, I made about 50 chemex cozies for my Etsy shop.  I am happy with what I got done, especially in light of all that was going on in our family.

My biggest accomplishment has to be the expansion of my shop to include quilting cottons.  I began this process at the first of the year. It has been a tremendous learning experience and a rewarding one at that.  Figuring out how much to buy, how to market it, when to promote and when not – all of this has been a wonderful process.  I am grateful for all of you who have shopped with me, supporting my shop. Thank you so much!

In addition to my fabric shop, I opened a second Etsy shop where I carry sewing patterns.  This has been a great project but quite time-consuming. It is satisfying to have over 400 patterns listed, with another 150 or so that still need to be listed. The shop opened in June and I have had 145 sales thus far.

Now to look forward.  In the new year I will focus on five goals:

  1. Continue to grow both of my shops.  Adding new fabrics and holding occasional promotions is something I am looking forward to.  I also will be working with a group of quilt bloggers and creating blogger bundles each month.  Stay tuned for more on that, beginning in January!
  2. Work on my free motion and long arm quilting skills.  I have an opportunity to work with a gal that lives quite close to me who has a long arm.  She is interested in trading me time on her long arm for fabric from my shop.  This will enable to me have access to a machine close by, rather than driving to the shop where I rent time. (That shop is 45 miles from my home.
  3. I have three quilts in process right now.  I would like to really focus on these and finish them up.  I love each of them. My Twisted quilt top is about 50% complete. I have a scrappy HST project that I made as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2016 and it sat in the closet all year, lonely and wanting to be finished. Finally, I have my Ring Me quilt.  This is going to be such a cool quilt.  I started it when I took part in a blog hop to celebrate No Scrap Left Behind, Amanda Jean Nyberg’s latest book last spring.  Originally I was going to make it lap size but the more I look at it, the more I like it.  So, I have decided to make it a queen size and it will be used in the guest room.
  4. Not really quilting or sewing related, but I want to set a goal to send birthday cards to my family and friends.  Seems like a small thing but I love receiving a note from someone in the mail and it is becoming a lost art.  I have a huge family but I am putting everyone on the calendar and cards will be sent!
  5. Finally, and most importantly, I need to work on acceptance of the limitations I experience due to my health.  For years now, I have had this drive to be super productive as a blogger and quilter (and also as a wife and mom). But my situation makes it really difficult to have a consistent level of productivity. It has been especially apparent over the past six months or so with my unhealthy days far outnumbering my healthy days.  This is really frustrating for me. So, the goal for 2018 is acceptance. Not that I won’t do what I can to stay healthy, of course i will.  But on the days I am down with a migraine and unable to be out and about, on the computer or at my sewing machine, I need to be OK with it. Blog posts are fun to write and I really enjoy the on-line quilting/crafting community but there will be weeks with less interaction. Such is life.  I am blessed in so many ways and on the down days, I need to remember this.

OK – Five goals.  I am absolutely confident I can achieve the first four.  It is the fifth that I will struggle with. I am up for the challenge though!  What are you planning for 2018?  If you are a goal setter, be sure to link up your post with the 2018 Planning Party hosted by Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl. You can link up until end of day on December 31st.

In closing I need to let you know I am having a huge End of Year Celebration over at my shop!!! All fabric, including the newest additions, is on sale. Hop over and take a look.

Two Instagram Tips to Share With You!

This is a quick post to share two bits of information about Instagram with you.

I really enjoy Instagram.  It took me a while to get into the rhythm of it but now that I have spent a considerable (probably way too much) time on Instagram, I have become quite a fan.  I like all of the visual inspiration and as always, the quilting and crafting community couldn’t be nicer or more supportive. So, here you go, two interesting tidbits of Instagram knowledge!

Instagram Spammers

The first tip has to do with creepy, spam loving weirdos who try to follow you.  It’s awful, right?  For a long time, I would see these weird guys following my feed. I was pretty darn sure they were not quilters, sewists or crafters. Ugh.  Each time I saw a new one, I reported it to IG and blocked the guy.  Getting more and more irritated, I posted the picture you see above (a screen shot of one of the weirdos) to my IG feed.  Turns out lots of us are dealing with this nonsense.  When I posted the screenshot and asked others for their input, I got so many comments from Instagram users who experience the same thing.  But one person, @buttoncounter, suggested I change my profile picture.  She said if I used a picture of something other than my face, the spamming would stop. Guess what? She is spot on correct!  I changed over to a quilt picture rather than my face and I have not had one since.

I should add that I don’t really think these spammy followers are of any danger but they are really annoying.  If you see one, just report it by clicking on their name which will take you to their profile page.  Click on the three dots to the right of their name.  Select “Report”.  Instagram will receive your notice that this is a spam follower.  That account will not have visibility of your account any longer.  Another alternative is to have a private Instagram account which means anyone wanting to follow you has to be given access by you.  This isn’t a great option for me as I want to use my Instagram feed for both my blog and fabric shop so I want people to be able to easily access my feed.  Changing the picture was key.  No more nonsense!  Let me know if you have any questions.

Determining Instagram Contest Winners

The second tip is relevant to those who use their Instagram account for business.  I have held a couple of fun giveaways on Instagram and it was a pain to figure out the winner.  If you have 300 entrants and number 101 was selected as the winner, I had to count comments until I got to the right person.  It was difficult to be entirely accurate while trying to scroll through comments, count and not lose track!  I was playing around with the comments, trying to figure out an easier, more accurate method.  Finally I found I could copy the comments into Excel.  For some reason, I didn’t really think the comments would be something I could copy and paste.  I had success doing this on a Windows laptop.  I couldn’t do it on the iPad though. It took me a while to figure this out because I don’t normallylook at Instagram on my laptop.  It is a mobile device application and looking at it on a laptop is clumsy. But for this specific purpose, it is fantastic.  If you decide to give this a try, make sure to load all of the comments for the giveaway post. Then click on the first one, drag all the way down until you highlight all of the comments. Copy them and paste into a blank Excel page. Your comments will load, one per line and then they are numbered for you.  You can easily verify you copied all of them by checking the total number of comments on the Instagram contest postand the total number of comments copied into Excel. Picking a winner, and then figuring out who it is, has become a very quick process.  Now that I have this down, I suppose I will just have to hold more giveaway contests!

While these are not life-changing tips,  hopefully they will help a few people out there! As always, feel free to ask questions or give input via the comments.

Finished! Christmas Tree Skirt

First of all, I want to thank you for the sweet comments on my last post.  I appreciate it.  Life isn’t predictable and this is just how it is — The migraines started almost ten years ago and I don’t see this changing any time soon.   But this week has been reasonable and I actually finished a project!  I also made a Christmas gift which I will share after the holidays. Hurray for time at the sewing machine.

I have wanted to make a quilted skirt for the Christmas tree for a long while.  Until now, I have just used a large piece of holiday fabric which I wrapped around the base of the tree.  But this year, we decided to decorate with two smaller trees instead of our usual very tall one.  This required two skirts, right?

I used a selection of holiday fabric for this.  Several of the prints are from Tis the Season, a line I carry in my shop.  The black print, the white tone on tone, and the darker red snowflake print were in my stash. The skirt was based on a pattern by Judy Metsker of Night Owl Quilting. This pattern when finished was a bit smaller than I wanted.  However, I had an older version of her pattern; it looks as though the newer version has size options.

At any rate, it was a very simple pattern.  I chose to quilt it sampler style with a different motif on each fabric using a white Mettler thread. I stitched a stipple on the red snowflake fabric and a little boxy FMQ motif on the Christmas gift fabric.

My favorite quilt motif is the row of basic Christmas trees I stitched along the border of the skirt.  I used a variegated Mettler thread in red, green and white which looks so festive.  On the white fabric I quilted a few wavy lines with stars on them.  I wasn’t able to get a photo that really shows this motif very well. I machine stitched the binding down using a zig zag stitch with the same variegated thread.  I think it looks great.

The second tree remains wrapped with that holiday fabric I have been using for so long.  But that is fine. The house looks festive and Christmas is around the corner.  How about you?  Is your tree up? Holiday shopping well underway?  Julia and I plan to go to Sacramento on Friday afternoon for the finishing touches on Christmas shopping.  I usually try to finish up early as the crowds get so crazy the week before Christmas.

Finally, I will be hosting a fun giveaway on Instagram this weekend.  Be sure to pop over Saturday morning to find out the details!  I held one last weekend and it was a lot of fun so I am going to do it again. Maybe this is your weekend to win!

Linking up to my usual favorites.  Check them ot at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

 

 

 

Its Been a While

Yikes, I checked my blog after many days away and realized I haven’t posted since the first of December.  So, this is just a quick one to check in and say hi.  It has been a rough start to the month for me. I  have mentioned before I deal with chronic migraine and it has been a constant battle these past couple of weeks.

I thought this humorous picture by Natalya Lobanova described what I deal with quite well. Sometimes it feels like I am constantly explaining or apologizing for being unable to keep a commitment or come to a scheduled appointment. Just today I cancelled a dental appointment (which I hate to do on such short notice as it causes gaps in their schedule) as well as a coffee date I was looking forward to with a friend (Sorry Kristi!)  I have another coffee date tomorrow morning and am crossing my fingers I will feel well enough to keep that one.

Chronic illnesses are very often invisible to others. Because of this, we never truly know what the person next to us in line at the store, walking down the street, or maybe driving in the lane up ahead of us, is really experiencing and it is important to remember that and treat each other with compassion and patience.   Additionally,  people living with chronic illness need to extend that same compassion to oneself. It takes an incredible amount of patience to live with something like this. I am so fortunate to have a great support system made up of family and friends.

Anyway, this is just my way of letting you know I am down for the count but once this cycle breaks, should be back on track.  Hopefully sooner rather than later. I have done very little sewing except for some custom orders for my Etsy customers.  Also I am in the midst of making a cute tree skirt for our Christmas tree and should be sharing that soon.

Now to put a positive spin on this post, I will share the Santa figure made by my husband when he was about 8 years old or so.  My mother-in-law brought it to me several months ago and I LOVE it. Made of toilet paper rolls and red tissue paper, this guy makes me smile each time I walk by.  I am so glad my MIL saved it and passed the treasure on to me. 🙂

See you soon!