Monday, November 30, 2015

Finding My Christmas Spirit . . .

I spent the Thanksgiving weekend
in Massachusetts with my family.
I love Thanksgiving because it's all about food and family.

I usually leave on Sunday morning, 
but this year decided to stay an extra day.
So I was included in the cutting of the tree.

I have never done this before.
This "city" chick used to get her trees 
at an already cut lot.

So you can imagine my excitement at the prospect 
of hiking into the "woods" to find the right tree.

My Uncle grabbed a saw and off we went.

He has a very scientific way of measuring
to make sure the tree will fit in the living room.

We actually had one of the guys on the lot
cut the tree.  
We old people can't get down on the ground anymore.

They carried it to our car  . . . 
Hoisted it up.

 We tied it down.
No needles all over the place.
If this had been a tree from the lot,
my car would be strewn with needles already.

 With a bit of trimming and heaving and hoeing,
that baby made it into the stand very easily.

And it's right in the doorway of the living room
and den, so you can see it from both rooms.

 Getting the tree was fun,
but I needed more to get my spirit going.

 I brought my sewing machine along for the weekend,
because you know, who doesn't travel with a sewing machine?

The chiclets wanted to learn how to sew.
My cousin took to it quite easily.

She made an anchor pillow out of heavy felt.
It was great to machine applique on, so easy,
althought she might not agree on the easiness. 

My Aunt made two pillows,
one from an Alaska apron, and one from a piece of an old Pendelton wool blanket.
She put wool antlers on that one.  Pretty cool.
A successful day of sewing.

 And as the Christmas decorations started coming out,
 I realized that I had made some of them over the years.

A tree skirt with our favorite Door County fabric.

A tree full of my tiny animal ornaments.

A bean bag Santa.

A wreath.

You see, 20 years ago, I belonged to a craft group
with the most talented ladies.
We called ourselves, "Cottage in Das Trees"

We made things all year long and then had a two day sale
in the cottage of one of our members.

It's so fun to see all these things and remember all the fun we had.

Here is part of our group.
Haha.  They are going to kill me.

I must admit, I have been a scrouge the last few years,
No decorations up in the Penthouse.
Time to remedy that.

My family really helped me jump start my spirit again.
I think I'll go see where my boxes of 
Christmas decorations are hiding.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Circle Star Quilt

My Circle Star Quilt was inspired by the starting
of my Goldfish Quilt, (which is still in pieces!)

Double Wedding Ring class last May up in Salem, MA.
As you know, I love taking a class.
Sewing in a group is tons of fun and inspiration!

Here are the start to all my archs.
 I used the templates for her Bright Lights, Big City Pattern

Then I started playing around with them and voila!
Circle Stars.
It is so important to let your mind just fool around with shapes
and colors.  You never know what you'll find.

 So I made this little lovely right on the spot!
I knew I was going to make this quilt,
but I set it aside for the other 15 projects I have going.

 In September I came back to it.
 For a very special couple of peeps that I love.
 I hardly ever plan out a quilt, but I did this time.

It's so funny to actually have a pattern 
and layout in mind.  I never work this way.

Slowly I made my blocks.  I think they are 19.5" unfinished here.

I've always wanted to try star sashing too,
so the more stars the merrier!

While hosting these two loons,
the kid, and Gidget for a sweat shop day,
I finished all the sashing parts.

I love these two. 
They always brighten my day!

Pieces up on the wall!

All the parts sewn together!

Layering on the conference room table at work.

Binding away.

And finally a show and tell yesterday at my guild meeting.

I am so pleased with this quilt.
The unexpected block design,
the colors and star sashing.
I couldn't be happier!
And I can't wait to deliver it at the end of the month.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Blast from the Past . . . . .

I made this quilt top 5 years ago . . .
But I wasn't sure how to quilt it.
Quite a bit of unsolved emotion here.
I have left it languishing for these past years.

And now, I have an opportunity to have a private master class.
Long arm quilting with a great talent.
I need to bring a top . . . . . 
I took this out and looked at it and thought,
"Yes, now is the time."
So, I FINALLY pieced the back.

The idea of finally quilting this top is having a good effect on me.
I was feeling like I had lost my MOJO.
It happens from time to time for me.
Sometimes you need a bit of shove to get back on track.

 * * * *

Here is my postage stamp quilt blocks.
I decided to jump on the bandwagon with others
in my guild. 
 Helen, Kim, Earamichia . . . . the list goes on!
Instead of doing it charm like,
I decided to make 16 patch blocks.
My cousin's wife had a quilt made by 
her grandmother that inspires mine.

And here is a peek at what I sometimes do on the side!
I was so lucky to be asked to officate
at a friend's wedding.  My daughter was also a bridesmaid.
It was one of the best weddings I have been involved with, 
so much love and community.
They did everything themselves which made it so special.
 They are the cutest couple!

on another note . . .  
tonight I am watching one of my favorite movies . . . . 

Anthony Andrews, Jame Seymour and Ian McKellen.
Swoon worthy indeed.  Hehe.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Fabulous Quilty Day . . . .

I had sooo much fun today!
I started out at Christie's Quilting Boutique for
A Christmas in July sewing day
with the wonderful Kate Spain!

We made stockings and tags.
You know how I love sewing in a group!

All the happy busy bees at work.

Kate also spoke about her design process
and getting her ideas from head to paper to fabric.

There was much fabric stroking. Hehe.

Here you can see how her drawings transfer to the fabric.

Kate combined two designs to come for this fabric.
It was really interesting to see the progression of her ideas.

Unforunately I couldn't linger there because . . . . . 

I was headed to Ridgefield for a Denyse Schmidt workshop!
The Aldrich Contemporary Museum hosted our afternoon of fun.

Denyse first gave a talk on the work
Nancy mixes art she creates with found objects.
Many of her pieces look like nine patch blocks.

The mixing of materials and objects to create 
a sculptured piece fascinating.

She takes blocks of wood and wraps them in fabric,
or paints them and adds other elements.

After Denyse's discussion,
we moved to the studio for some sewing 
and design work.

There were all ages and levels of expertise in the room.
 We were going to sew some nine patches by hand!

Denyse showed how you could construct your blocks,
but really anything goes.
There were pre-cut blocks to use,
or if you brought fabric, templates to cut your blocks.
The old fashioned way, trace and cut.  
That's how I learned to do it a million years ago!

Denyse spent time with everyone.
She taught the youngest in the group how to hand piece.
So sweet.

Here is my first one.

And I managed to get two more done too.

The blocks are up on the wall in the classroom at 
The Aldrich Contemporary Museum.
Anyone may go in and add a block it they wish.
In a few weeks they will all be sewn together
and made into a community quilt.

I met some very fun and interesting people today.
I really needed to get out and do something fun.
A day well spent!