I wasn’t going to do another Bonne Hunter mystery this year, but a friend of mine got me started. So here are my first two clues of Celtic Solstice. I was not excited by her color choices, so made my own (teal instead of blue, pink instead of orange, and orange-red instead of green). The picture does not show all the chevrons, although they are now done. I also took the time to match up the fabrics (pairing) on the points of the stars and opposite sides of the chevrons. That may turn out to be a mistake later, but I am not very concerned about it at present, because if I don’t like it, I have a local charity all picked out for the final piece. If I do like it, I’ll just make another quilt for them.
December 9, 2013
December 8, 2013
I was decorating the Christmas tree this morning. I know I’m late. Last night I dragged the boxes down from the attic. This morning, I put everything up. I was really trying to decide whether to do it or not this year. You see, my son was home for Thanksgiving, but he high-tailed it home before Saturday, the traditional tree-decorating day. I know he will be here for Christmas, but we will be travelling to see my daughter’s graduation. She is graduating with a Master’s Degree in Counseling. I can’t believe it has been two and a half years since we dropped her off in a strange city and state 16 hours away.
Because she lives with her fiancé, who finally got a job (two years after graduating college), she doesn’t have immediate plans to move. Because, of course, she doesn’t have a job. I could write a long dissertation on the current state of the economy and what it is doing to our young people, but I’m going to leave it there for now. But with her current state of joblessness, I’m not sure if she can/will be coming home for Christmas like she did last year.
And of course, we also travel to see mom, and with her fragile health this year, I’m planning on going and staying as long as I can. I thought last Christmas might be our last together, and it almost was. I am thankful for every one I get. But truth is, it doesn’t seem like we’ll have as much time this year to enjoy the Christmas decorations.
Back to the Christmas tree–when I decorate I have a box crammed full of ornaments. and I mean crammed. I cannot hang them all, so I hang some of my favorites. They are not necessarily the prettiest. I hang some just because they are shiny and reflect the lights. I hang others because they are memories. A reindeer made by my son, another made by my daughter. Pieces of paper with glitter, and construction paper and felt ornaments. And I think back to when I was a kid and we made chains of construction paper, and made chains of cranberries and popcorn for the tree. We sat around with hot chocolate and sewed the popcorn and cranberries for hours. I never thought our tree looked cheap or ugly. It looked loved. Nowadays, each year, I end up decorating for Christmas by myself. I wanted my kids to love Christmas. Last year I kept the ornament box, still half full, out and asked my husband, son, daughter, and daughter’s fiancé to each select and hang a couple of ornaments on the tree. I’m pretty sure my husband did. I have no memory of the others participating.
This year one of the first ornaments I picked up was the one above. Our first Christmas together. It was given to me by a friend who was the maid of honor at our wedding. We’ve moved far and wide and I haven’t spoken to her in years. I remember our first Christmas together. I wish I had specific memories of every Christmas over that 30 years, but today what I am remembering is that I usually decorate the tree and hang up stockings all alone. If someone in your house is decorating for Christmas, stop and decorate with them, even if it’s for ten minutes. It’s a memory you’ll make together.
December 1, 2013
Looking at my numbers, I have a good net number, but still disappointed in how much fabric I have bought this year. Next year, I’ll try to do de-stashing again, but keep my purchases to less than, say, 5 yards a month. I’ll give myself a double goal that way!
De-Stashed this Month: 11.50
De-Stashed year to Date: 121.25
Stashed this Month: 6.00
Stashed Year to Date: 70.50
Net De-Stashed for 2013: 50.75<<Goal for 2013: Greater than 25 yards De-stashed>>>
Ok, can I still make it to 60 yards? Well, it’s down to the end now…..maybe I should have spent less time on those crazy little blocks, of which I have about 170. But they are so small, it’s not enough to make a complete quilt.
For more stash reports, visit Patchwork Times.
November 17, 2013
The tuffet craze has been sweeping our area of the country. I have seen round ones and square ones. Most seem to be in batiks or other bright fabrics. I haven’t made one yet, but really needed a foot stool for working. It just is so much more comfortable to have something to put your feet on while working at the computer all day.’
With the help of my husband, I made this turtle-style foot stool. To make the shape I got a heavy duty industrial cardboard core. A friend of my husband’s sells them. They are like wood–this one was an inch thick. Most of the ones made in classes that I have seen offered have a pretty high material cost (like $70 for the class–not including the fabric you use for the cover). I figure that the costs would be half or less than that for my herringbone foot stool.
The foot stool is about a foot high, and I pieced the top using some olive-y green based fabrics on a muslin backing. Most were Australian or batik fabrics. I used a herringbone string piecing method.
I think it came out pretty nice, but I wonder if the feet should be a little taller. What do you think?
November 4, 2013
This week, in the spirit of trying new things, I also signed up for my first ever class from Craftsy. I have have completed only four of the lessons on shuttle tatting, I always wanted to learn, tried to pick it up on my own, which didn’t happen, and couldn’t find anyone to teach me. So here was the next best thing.
I got through the first few lessons and here is some of what I did. The first piece is actually missing. It was a jumble of knots, so I cut it off and started over. I saw the vacuum cleaner gobble it up the other day. The top piece there is what I did during the class to follow along. It was not too bad until I got that weird knot in it. Once again, I cut it off. The bottom piece is just a practice piece only. I just practiced doing double stitches and picots. I tried to keep them all pretty even. That was the entire purpose of my practice. I think it turned out pretty well. Anyway, I’m trying new things, maybe I’ll get the hang of it by Christmas
I plan to share some of my other pieces as I finish them.
November 2, 2013
While I was at my annual quilting retreat last month I picked up a pattern with some fat quarters to make a little bag–the pattern is this Bollywood Bag . I must admit to a lot of frustration with this pattern instructions. For starters, she shows a two-fabric bag, yet in the cutting instructions, she just tells you what size pieces to cut and you have to intuit where those pieces will go to make the two-toned effect. I got it wrong on both my first and second attempts. Not that my bag was ugly mind you, it just wasn’t what I thought I was making. I also didn’t like her handle construction (not a fan of raw edges), so I had to disregard that and make my own. The strap is also way too long for anyone under five foot six.
I also had some measurement issues. She says at one point to fold over a piece and tells you what the resulting measurement will be. However, there is no way, short of origami, to fold that piece and result in a piece measuring that. That’s where I started to go crazy. In the final construction, both the back and inside piece were too long and I had to whack off half an inch when trimming the seam. And there is also another diagram where it refers to pieces (always by their size, which I admit annoys me) and it specifies a piece size that is not in the cutting instructions. So I took the next closest one that hadn’t been specified elsehwere.
I did email her and gave her the details so that she could fix her pattern, but I probably wasn’t very nice. But at the time there wasn’t enough chocolate in the world to talk me down off that ledge! So, sorry about that! Anyway, it’s a cute pattern, and if you cut the sizes in the pattern, and don’t try to be too literal, you will be able to make a bag. Or come up with your own little pattern.
Next post, I’ll talk about my first Craftsy class, ever!
November 1, 2013
I have been the less than faithful blogger this year. I have pretty much caught every virus that came my way, my mom has been sick, I have had to make emergency trips here and there. And I just haven’t felt much like writing. I have been whittling away a little at my stash. I did almost nothing in September. 1.5 yards is all I used there. It is included in the report below. If I promise to “try” to do better, will that help?
De-Stashed this Month: 7.50
De-Stashed year to Date: 109.75
Stashed this Month: 6.00
Stashed Year to Date: 64.50
Net De-Stashed for 2013: 45.25<<Goal for 2013: Greater than 25 yards De-stashed>>>
Ok, can I still make it to 60 yards? That’s my “stretch goal” for the year. I’ll still try, but it’s looking “iffy”.
For more stash reports, visit Patchwork Times.