Monday, December 30, 2013

This Was Unexpected

We have had a house full of kids (our own  three plus one of my daughter's housemates) since December 20.  We had a wonderful Christmas together with some very special memories.  I've also had a lot of meal preparation, washing dishes and laundry, and very little sewing time.  This morning, though, I had to take my daughter to an early appointment and when we got home, she fell asleep on the couch.  No one else was up, so I took a cup of coffee with me into the sewing room and spent some time straightening up and putting the threads from a finished project away while I listened to a podcast.  When I emerged, my husband and one of my sons were on their way out the door for some "guy" time (our other son went back to New York yesterday).  The girls were still asleep so I headed back down to the sewing room to start the block-of-the-month for my quilt guild. 

We're using Barbara Brackman's Civil War Sampler this year and I decided to make 8" blocks.  The leaders have chosen three blocks per month, one each for beginner, intermediate and advanced quilters.  I settled on  Ohio Star, an "intermediate" block from this month's choices and finished it before anyone was stirring.
 
These are the rest of the fabrics I'm pulling from for these blocks.  I found the print on the bottom on sale earlier this month and think it will be perfect for a border.
 



As an added bonus, the girls headed to the mall after a quick lunch and the guys were still gone, so I had some quiet time to stitch.  Totally unexpected, but a very pleasant way to spend my day!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Finishes!!

My Scarlet Letter sampler, Scottish Band, is finished!  In my mind, it's a major accomplishment as I had to deal with a dye lot issue that caused me to frog the left half of the medium blue flame stitches as well as an issue with the chart.  For the life of me, I couldn't get the placement of the flame stitches on the chart to look like the picture of the sampler.  After I've lived with my finish for a week or two, I'm pretty pleased with the way it came out.  And I've almost forgotten what a pain it is to do the backstitches around the letters.





My Amazing Christmas Stars quilt is also done and in use.  This was a Designer Block of the Month from Fat Quarter Shop for 2009 or 2010.  It was hard to get a picture of the entire quilt inside my house, so the top two pictures are the left and right sides.  The bottom photo is a closer picture of the center of the quilt and the third one is of my favorite block.  My longarm quilter did feathers in an all-over pattern.  The "amazing" part of this quilt's title comes from the fact that I could actually make this!  It was the most complicated design I have attempted so far, and I really concentrated on accurate cutting and piecing.  Some of the blocks were sewn several times to get them correctly sized, but the effort paid off.  As a bonus, the Fat Quarter Shop was generous in its packaging of fabrics for each blocks and I have enough left over to make another small quilt. 

And I have to brag about a finish of a different sort.  We made a trip to Baton Rouge last week to see my son run in a marathon and were rewarded by seeing him finish 6th overall and 1st in his age group! 

For those of you who, like me, have to complete a few Christmas gifts, I wish you successful finishes.