Tuesday, December 27, 2016

One last project

I made it!  I got Cait's quilt finished, labeled and washed with two days to spare before Christmas.
 I named it "Rattling Around in our Bones".  I got the panel and a couple of the coordinating prints at the Syracuse show in 2015.  I thought of Cait when I saw it, because she is one of those people for whom Halloween decorations would be standard home decor if she had her way. 
The panel is one of the Chillingsworth collections by Andover fabrics.  ( I just got the Christmas panel on a clearance sale!!)
As luck would have it, when they repainted their living room this fall, they chose a dark orange!  So I knew it was time to get this quilt made.

It does have a Halloween feel, because one of the fabrics I got to go with it has pumpkins in it.  Plus, following the motifs in the panels, I added a few spiders and webs, from Lori Kennedy's tutorial, along with a couple skulls I found here. (they have some really cool sugar skull designs, too!)
Mostly it just has meandering spirals, since none of it shows very well. 

Check out this awesome backing fabric- also in the clearance bin! Look closely- I had to seam it lengthwise to make it big enough.  I fussy cut to match the pattern, and did a pretty good job, if I say so myself!

I made a few more "Opulent Ornaments" for Christmas decorations and gifts.  Don't they look pretty?

Only the white one has a hanger since they aren't easy to do.  But the rest of them look pretty tucked into the branches of the tree!

 Almost time to do the year in review, then start a new list. 

One thing for certain is that the first completion will be for the Museum Quilt Guild "Bars" challenge.  What do you think I thought of when I heard "bars"?? 

As we end this turbulent year, I am looking ahead with trepidation. Things like this do not make me any less anxious.  It's hard to be hopeful when the leaders think all they have to do is not SAY "Climate Change" and it won't be a problem.  Make your voice heard in any way you can.  Donate to the causes you support.  Don't wait and see. 

I am grateful for:
A quiet Christmas Eve dinner with my hubby. (We watched football!)
Cait and Lucas making us part of their Christmas day.
Bonus bytes
A gift that made me laugh until it hurt.
The stuff on my DVR, which will get us through the "Mid-season break".

Monday, December 12, 2016

Therapy Sewing

 This morning, I looked at my to do list and wished for a few minutes in the sewing room- just a few!  I haven't been able to play in there for a week or two, and I'm going through withdrawal!
I walked by and sighed, then had a flash of inspiration!

A few years back, I read Rayna Gilman's book , "Create Your Own Free Form Quilts".  I loved the idea of sewing random bits together without a plan, then finding something to do with it later.  She calls the random piecing "therapy sewing".  I had started doing it with a small pile of scraps some time ago, but have never done much with it.  I took out the pile of strips I had sewn and decided to spend a few minutes playing with them. 

A short time later, I had a few new pieces to play with when I decide to try and make something with them.  Mine won't be great works of art.  I am not an artist.  But I can play with them next time I need to use up  some creative energy to get me through the day .

I have finally finished the last page in the calendar I have been working on.  The dates are useless, but I plan to hang the pictures over the dollar store calendar I bought for 2017.  I angled this photo so the metallic and sparkles I used show up. 

I am grateful for:
Macaroni and cheese
Having nowhere to go for a couple of days
A cuddle from Jonathan
Sweet new kittens to play with
warm feet

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Oh, Balls!**

I'm back- did you miss me?
I forgot to include the other newest "balls" I have finished in my last post. Starting over seemed easier for some reason.

I got this awesome Christmas fabric a while back and am only now getting around to using it.  Coincidentally, this fabric is shown in Paula's newest book.  

 It's very hard to get good pictures of these- you just can't capture the sparkles.

 Even though she was the inspiration, this is the first one I have made using a Paula Nadelstern fabric.  I'm not sure I have used the largest size ball before, either.

This is my favorite medallion on this fabric- I think I have now done 4 of them.  

**I don't think my friend Kathi reads my blog, but if she does, she's giggling. :-)

Today I'm grateful I will have new kittens to cuddle!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Playing with the kids

Last Saturday I had a wonderful day with the grandchildren.  Days like these are why the saying goes, "If I had known how much fun grandchildren are, I'd have had them first!"

I went over there for a while so Mom could get some things done and run errands.  It doesn't feel like much help, but then I remember wishing for exactly this when mine were little. 

Jon was sleeping when I got there, so Kiara and I played air hockey in the basement.  I had never played before.  It was fun.

When he got up, he joined us in the newly set up workout room.  he teddy bears had been hibernating in the big box.  Jonathan found them in there and decided to join them and share his cheese fish.

Kiara was hiding in her house under the whatever machine that is.  Jonathan was delighted to find her!

Then he decided she needed some cheese fish, too.  

I had promised Kiara we'd have some girls time, so when Mom was caught up a bit, we came over to my house.  We put up an awesome blanket fort in the middle of the living room.  We watched Christmas videos, ate snacks, played games, and did some crafts in there.

Remember the fun dolls from retreat?  Kiara asked to make another one.  Hers is all black because it's a ninja.  She also chose the colors on mine.

She mentioned her mom had admired the ornaments on the mantel, so I suggested we make one to give mom for Christmas.  I wrapped the ball before she got there- using the same fabric as many of the balls on the mantel.  Kiara chose which beads to put where and got really good at sticking the pins into the beads. We took turns sticking them into the ball.  She is so excited to have a nice gift she made all by herself for her mom.  It's wrapped and hidden. I wish I could be there when it will be opened; I'm not sure who will be more thrilled.  

In spite of the imminent threat of dismantling all the progress we've made in 20 years, and putting us past the point of no return, there is good news in the environmental world.  Google is going to meet its goal of running on 100% renewable energy in the coming year. I have to keep reminding myself of all the individuals who have already committed to this- no matter what changes may come.

I am grateful for:
Lucas bringing Kiara into my life.
The luxury of a day I can spend playing.
The good days at work.
When the suffering ends, there is peace. ( I believe)
My Christmas shopping is finished!