Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Where Are You Christmas?

 I am having a tough time finding my Christmas spirit this year, as I know many of you are. Usually I am starting to plan and sew and enjoy music and movies. This year, it all feels forced. I am trying. I listen to holiday music, and think it sounds nice, but it isn't giving me the feel that it usually does. I have my list of movies to watch, but I feel kind of meh about actually sitting down to watch. I have high hopes that once I watch a couple I will feel different.

I have already bought and sent my gifts to the grand children. Many I ordered on line and just had them shipped. Why ship twice? And since they had to go all the way across the country, I wanted it done plenty early. I have never done that before.

I dug out some Christmas fabrics, and after some hemming and hawing chose some to make hexies out of.

I have an idea for a Christmas pillow for my bed. I will soon be putting my Fair Isle quilt on the bed for the season and the pillows that are there don't reflect the season at all. I still need another design for the second pillow.

I am enjoying making the pillow covers, but it still doesn't feel like Christmas to me. I need it to feel like Christmas. I look at projects from years past and they make me smile, but they don't inspire me to decorate.

I think I know what's really missing this year. And it's this...my family. I haven't seen them in over a year. The ache in my heart is huge. I am missing them growing up and we all know how quickly that happens.
So, for now, all I can do is keep trying. I will watch my movies with my husband and we will listen to lots of Christmas music. I have some twinkle lights up in my room and decorations will eventually go up elsewhere in the house. I will still miss the littles and their silliness that makes the holidays magic. And I will dream a dream of next year. And that will have to do for now. Thanks for lending me your ears.

Monday, November 23, 2020

November Penny Sampler Blocks

 I finished my November blocks for the Penny Sampler Pattern Club. Next month, in December we will tackle assembly of the whole quilt. So I wanted to share the blocks, and then the quilt so far, up on the design wall.

This is the tea cup. I did a bunch of tea cups for the last Penny sampler, and then I made a small quilt out of them for my sister for Christmas a couple of years ago. Because I had already done a lot, I decided to just do one for this quilt. I love the elegance of the cup.

And this is my mitten. I love the fabrics I chose for this. My only wish is that the top of the mitten could have had more of a curve. People who have seen this don't realize it's a mitten. But I am mostly happy with it and it was a simple block to make.

So here are all the parts hanging on the wall. It gives you a pretty good idea what the whole thing will look like. I am pretty happy with it and I love all the new blocks since the last one. They will be very different quilts. Have a lovely week.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Flying Geese and Embroidery

Now, the flying geese have absolutely nothing to do with the embroidery. But I decided to cram them both into one post. First, the flying geese. Rachel at Stitched in Color is doing a sew along of her Geesey Geesey pattern and of course, I had to join in. I have always wanted to do a flying geese quilt. This was my chance.

I saw a lovely rendition of this quilt using some of these colors. That was what grabbed my attention.

I used a no waste method of making the geese which I got from Melissa Cory at Happy Quilting. I love her method and the important thing was to make the geese the correct size.

The background, or "sky" in my quilt is made from some Kona white that I dyed in a Shibori style, using Rit dye in pearl grey. Some of them are lighter than I wanted, but over all I am happy with the way it looks in the blocks. I want to try dying again now that I have some idea of how it works.

I just had to chop off all the dog ears. Having them there bugs me. I need clean edges.
And yes, I worked ahead. I have started arranging them and looking at them to find the best positions for each one. I will be back soon with the finished top.

And now on to embroidery...

I found this book of embroidery vegetables that I fell in love with. I want to do a bunch of them to frame and give to my daughter. She has become quite the gardener during the pandemic.
But first, I need to finish this sampler from Rebecca at Dropcloth Samplers. It is almost finished. I have been working on this for months. Whenever I need a hand stitching project, I pick this up. I love hand stitching.
So I think that just about catches us up. Take care, and stay healthy.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

A Couple of Things

 So even though I don't post much, I am always working on something here. I need to keep my hands and my brain busy. Otherwise I would go crazy. So here are a couple of things I am working on.

Remember this? It is the Scrap Happy Rails quilt from Amanda Jean's book No Scrap Left Behind. This was the day that I pin basted it.
And now it is all quilted. And on my bed. I need to take it off the bed and get a proper bunch of pictures to share. Maybe this weekend when my hubby is home. I had a plan of how I wanted to quilt this, but with the small throat of my Bernina, I couldn't make it work. So I had to change the plan. I started with all over swirls, but after a short bit, I began including some hearts instead of all loops. Then I wrote the word Love as a secret message. I ended up doing this randomly through out. I love it so much and the crinkly texture hides the secret messages.
This is a ripple blanket I am crocheting for my youngest grandson. Blogger decided to put it here in the middle of this post and I can't figure out how to move it, so here it is. Crocheting is one of the things I do to keep my hands busy.
Meanwhile, back at the quilt...I did get a couple of pictures while I was doing the actual quilting so I can share those.
This is an absolutely great quilt and a good size. I love all the quilts in Amanda Jean's book and I know there will be more in my sewing future. I promise to get some better pics and come back to share them soon.  Have a great week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020


 I decided I really wanted to document something my daughter did for me. First, let me just say she is a prolific knitter, and is very good. She has made socks for me in the past and I love the feel of hand knit socks. Especially now that I have neuropathy in my feet from chemo. The hand knit socks are loose and comfortable for my feet, when other socks are so very constricting.

When the pandemic began and we all went into lock down, she decided to use up a bunch of her yarn stash, and she secretly enrolled me in her Pandemic sock of the month club. I got the first delivery of three pair. (This is a quarterly club.) I was bowled over by this thoughtfulness. Socks are a lot of work.

It was too warm here in southern California for socks, at that time. So when the weather finally cooled, I dubbed it Socktober and wore a new pair each day to be able to send her a picture of her beautiful work in use. Here they are in all their glory...

Each pair came with a card that gave the month and

a little quip about the pandemic and it's impact on normal life.

Each pair is different and I love all the colors and the yarns she used. Some of the yarn is self striping, meaning it makes strips as you knit up. I have no idea how that works, but it's cool.
Some, like these have heel gussets and toes that contrast. These have yarn that she used for an older pair of socks and also a shawl she made for me.

I love the vibrancy of these socks.

Fall colors, and toasty warm.

Love these beauties. Mermaid socks.

Love the tops of these.

These are different, but quite lovely in blues.

And these are very interesting and bright. I love the way they almost look like two different pair of socks.  So, this was my Socktober and I loved every pair. I am still wearing a pair of hand knit socks every day. There are two more pair being made to add to the collection. I will not need to buy socks again for years, and I'm okay with that. It has been great fun to get these surprises in the mail and I love her so much for thinking of this and of me. When this stupid pandemic it over, I will have the biggest bunch of hugs to give her for all this joy.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Dear Dottie

 Last year, I decided to join in with Rachel, of Stitched in Color, to do the Dear Dottie QAL. I really wanted to do this pattern, but I had tons of projects on my plate, so I did the baby size quilt, hoping to revisit the pattern and make a larger quilt. Eventually.

This is my Baby size Dear Dottie. I made this on totally scrappy. Technically I guess it's a charm quilt, since no fabric is repeated here. I used up lots of my 5 inch charms in this quilt. I totally love it.

Then, I saw a picture of a Dear Dottie in a limited color pallet. I fell in love with it and wanted to do one as well. But I waited a bit, trying to figure out what colors. Or what fabrics. Or something. I finally found some fabrics that I loved and added a few from my stash. 

I have to say, I think it is harder to limit your fabrics than to go all scrappy. Any time I couldn't decide on a fabric, I would think "it needs more variety". Then I would stop and remind myself that the point was to limit the fabrics and the pallet in this one.

I finally finished that quilt this week and here it is now. I posted the small one above for the sake of comparison.

The other thing I did different was to add a narrow border to this quilt. I just really felt like it needed one.
The top and bottom borders are both dark blue, but two different fabrics. The two sides I made different.
This Dear Dottie is so much softer in color tone and also has less quilting which makes it literally softer than the small one. I knew the small one would be a wall hanging, so I quilted it rather densely.

This is most of the back of the quilt. I didn't have enough for the whole thing, so I added a strip of red down one side. I didn't get a picture of that.

I am very pleased with the result, and happy that this second Dear Dottie quilt is done so I can enjoy it.

I will see you soon. There are two more quilts pin basted and ready to be quilted.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Well Hello October

 Yes, I know we are more than half way through the month. I have been busy. I have no real excuses, but then, this is my blog so I don't need any. Here's a bit of what I've been up to.

First of all, I am participating in the Geesey Geesey QAL with Rachel of Stitched in Color. I bought some Kona white and used a Shibori technique to dye it. I used Rit dye in Pearl Grey. It's actually a bit lighter than this now that it's dry. I am going to use it for the "sky" in my flying geese blocks.

These blocks are for my Penny Sampler Quilt. The pineapple block on top is the one I am using for the quilt. The second one was actually the first on I made, but I got confused and placed the pink pieces next to the center square, which was not my intention. I re-made the block the way I wanted to, and am so very happy that I did. The third block is just a six inch block for the top section of the quilt.

And lastly, for today, I voted. Very important to help save the democracy. Talk to you soon.