Friday, December 31, 2021

Monthly recap for December 2021

 My last finishes for 2021 were one quilt and 19 table mats.  The quilt was one of 3 pink quilt tops I made in May and I wanted to wrap up that series by the end of the year.  This one is 47.5" x 63.5".  The other 2 were smaller.

I ended up making 19 table mats that are 8.5" x 11" from the Marcia Derse scraps left from the Gridlock quilt top project last month. They are flatter than a mug rug with a layer of stiff interfacing and one layer of fusible batting and finished with a zig zag thread edge instead of binding.  The bottom right yellow/gold one is for me and the rest will go into a pop-up shop in 2022.

Two quilt tops were sewn together.  The Kaffe Collective orphan block quilt top will become my nap quilt.  It is 48" x 63.5".  A blue striped binding will finish it off and enclose all of the light fabric at the edges.  The Rail Fence from early Kaffe prints is 39" x 52".  The blocks have been waiting for several years to become a quilt top.

I feel good accomplishing this much in a month when I did a lot of baking and mailing packages to far away family members.

Last top finished for December........

I sewed the bottom row on this Kaffe orphan block quilt top yesterday.  It is 48" x 63.5".  The light fabrics on the 3 Starry Path blocks aren't Kaffe fabrics but everything else is a Kaffe Collective fabric.  I'll look for backing fabrics on Saturday.

We have a snow storm coming Saturday with 4-8" of snow predicted and then the frigid weather will be here for a couple days.  It sounds like good sewing weather to me.


Thursday, December 30, 2021

Borders, another row added and a finish............

The border is sewn on and I think it really finishes the design of this little rail fence quilt top.  It is about 39" x 52".  Most of the Kaffe fabrics in the strips are from the 1990s and early 2000s.  I cut a lot of strips about 10 years ago and this was made from that group.

I have a bottom row sewn but it isn't attached yet.  The big blocks on the bottom balance the big blocks at the top.  The binding will be a darkish color to contain all of the edges. This isn't a quilt to be entered in a contest, it is a quilt to cover me for my afternoon nap.  I think it might be time to call it a wrap.

The binding is sewn on, the third pink quilt is finished.  I made the three tops in May and finished the 2 smaller ones right away.  This one is 47.5" x 63.5".

The color is truer in this photo.  I couldn't find a big enough piece of pink fabric that wasn't too peachy toned for the back so I went with a floral.  There is a little green on the front and now on the back.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The first snowfall..........and a little quillting........

We were 40 days past our average first snow in this area and 287 days since our last snow.  I wonder what the rest of our winter will be like.  The snowflakes were huge when I took this photo.

I took this photo before lunch and it snowed for a couple more hours after that.  By evening we were up to 34 degrees and some of the snow was melting already.

I loaded this quilt on the longarm about a week ago and finally I quilted it.

The top thread is Superior Rainbows in a pale variegated color.  Since the quilting really doesn't show on all of the fabric prints I just used a medium size meander.  The binding will be a pink stripe and I'll cut that today.


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Sewn together..............

Moving the panel of 3 stars up to the top was the solution for balance in this quilt.  I added a piece at the bottom of the flying geese and I may change it to a light color; I'm not sure right now.  This is only 53" x 63" at this point, not long enough to cover me in a recliner if I decide it is for me.

This little rail fence quilt is about 32" x 45".  Even with a border it will only need one width of fabric for the back.  

I think this Brandon Mably fabric looks good with it.  Green keeps it neutral and works well with all of the colors.  I should be able to finish this top before the end of the month.


Monday, December 27, 2021

Lazy day..........


I didn't do much all day and by evening I decided I need to get back to the Kaffe orphan quilt top and get it finished.  I went through the flying geese block for one more to finish the right side border.

I found one that had the same "sky" fabric as the top group of 3 so I sewed it onto the top and then sewed all of the sections of that border together.

I finally decided on a blue and purple fabric for the border of the bottom star.

In the overall view I see that I need part of one more flying geese block or a filler piece at the bottom.  I will know for sure when I get the last 2 vertical columns sewn together.  I'm still unsure about the piece at the top of the stars column.  It is tricky to find a fabric.  It can't be blue because 3 sides of it will touch blue, it can't be red because that touches the bottom of the piece.  Three sides of the filler piece will touch a medium to dark fabric and one side will touch a light fabric.  Finding one that contrasts in both value and color and still goes with the overall color theme has been difficult.  That is why I chose the one that is in there.  The value and color both work but the pattern is iffy.

Added at 8:55 a.m.-- I think I have solved the problem by moving the 3 star panel up to the top and dealing with the spacers between the 3 stars and 1 star or split above and below the bottom star.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Using some old blocks...........

I have played with these blocks several times and always ended up putting them back in the box of Kaffe fabric pieces and parts.  About 6 weeks ago I did a layout with them on one of my design walls in the basement and I decided yesterday it was time to sew them together.

I was watching a movie that didn't end until 11 p.m. so I kept sewing and got the top all together.  Since it is small it will probably get a border added.

I'm glad I had a couple cactus blooms on Christmas day.  This is the darker pink of the two.  This is one of the last blooms on this plant.

This is a small plant and only had one bud. 

My orange plant has quite a few buds.  It started out with just three and one is getting ready to open up.  Now I see a lot more smaller buds starting to show up.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas!.............


 I made this table mat many years ago when I taught a class how to do fancy stitches on their machines as we added each piece on the base squares.  I just found a bag of pieces leftover from that class so I could make a new one if I wanted to.

This was my treat last night while waiting for Santa to come.

I finished a dishcloth and a coaster last night while watching a couple Christmas shows.  I'm making the dishcloths a few rows smaller now so I get 2 out of a ball of yarn and sometimes have enough left to make a coaster.

I hope everyone stays safe if they are travelling and/or attending a gathering. We got up to the mid 50s yesterday so no snow here.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Winding down..............

I recut the strip above the stars from another place in the fabric so the black flowers would be smaller.  I also tried a couple pieces of it above and below the bottom star block.  No decisions yet.  I spent time cleaning up the kitchen after the marathon baking and generally slowed down for the rest of the day.

I'm still looking for the squares made of 4 quarter square triangles.  I didn't find them but found a bag with half square triangles paired and ready to sew.  A little mindless sewing.  I just needed to be feeding fabric through the machine.


Thursday, December 23, 2021

Fill in strip.............

I knew there was a Kaffe fabric with flowers in a row that might work in this spot.  I found one with pink in it to try.  I haven't sewn it on yet.

Here it is in the all over photo.  I think it works. At the bottom I trying to decide what fabric to border that last star block with.  I haven't found the quarter square triangle blocks yet.  I also need to add one more flying geese block to the bottom (or the top).

I froze the last 2 one cup packs of the Amish Friendship bread starter earlier this year.  I decided to get one out and bake 2 loaves.  I made one mistake on the baking soda, adding a teaspoon too much, so I don't know if that is why the loaves didn't get as tall or if it is because I had it in the freezer too long.  It tasted OK though.  

I got caught up on laundry too so now I need to clean off my sewing table and get the orphan block top finished.  I have a quilt loaded on my longarm too so I hope to quilt it soon.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

More decisions...........

I found 4 lavender fabrics to audition for the border of this last block and I was pleasantly surprised that this was the winner.

I have sewn the 3 star blocks together and now I have to decide what will be above and below them.  I know I have some quarter square triangle blocks that are matching in color.  I'll have to look for them today.  I may end up with just a strip of fabric at the top and then borders around the star block at the bottom.

I love my Dr. Pepper but my doctor has done his best to try to convince me to give up the sugar.  I usually just have a can of it every other day.  A friend knows how much I love it and she saw this clip in the newspaper and cut it out for me.

I just smile every time I read it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

A little sewing..........

Yesterday I got the last package finally finished and mailed it shortly before noon.  Then I baked the last two batches of cookies.  Finally there was time to do a little sewing.  I sewed the pink print border on one of the blocks and then tried all of the other fabric strips for the last block but wasn't happy with any of them.  If I hadn't been so tired by that time I would have looked for another fabric but I'll do that today.  I think it needs to be a lavender Kaffe print because there is so much blue in the blocks on both sides of it.

I received a beautiful hand painted Christmas card from Linda S in the mail.  She hand paints a LOT of cards to send every Christmas.  I'm so happy I am on her list to receive one of them.  Click on the photo for a larger view.

That reminds me I wanted to mention again to all Blogger users, if you want your photos to enlarge when you click on them, turn off Image Lightbox in your settings.  About half of the blogs I read have it turned on (which is the default) and when they say click on a photo to enlarge it is actually smaller in the lightbox a lot of the time.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Last package ready........

We had another beautiful sunset last night, much more vivid than my photo.  It is going to get warmer each day to mid 50s on Christmas eve.  The latest date we have had snow is Dec. 20th which was in 2012.  We will most likely break that record this year, 279 days since we have had snow.  Our whole year has been very similar to 2012, a year I remember very well for all of the things that happened that year.  That summer was hotter than this year but had the same near drought conditions.

This is the first bloom on my white cacti this year and it has a lot of pale pink in it.  I'm wondering if all of the blooms will be more pink than white.

I have my last box ready to mail this morning.  Now I can concentrate on the goodies for my local family.  I should be able to find some time to sew too.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

A little sewing............

I made it into the studio yesterday afternoon and put borders on one of the star blocks.  Then I went to the basement and found the remaining 2" strips that were cut years ago and pulled out 4 choices that might work on the last 2 blocks.

I have 2 champagne color cacti blooming.  This photo was taken a couple days ago with the sun coming through the blinds.

This is on the other plant, photo taken yesterday.  I have one bud on a pink one and one bud on the orange one.

I made 3 more batches of Chex mix yesterday and am now officially out of all of the supplies for it.  I got another package mailed.  With the post office closing at noon on Saturday I didn't have time to get the last box packed.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Another day in the kitchen..........

I started the morning making 2 batches of Chex mix.  I made one more batch in the evening.  I made one run to the post office with the first box of three that I need to mail.

In the afternoon I made one of the 2 Kringla recipes that I have.  Part of the family prefers this recipe.  The rest of the family likes the other recipe and I just made them at Thanksgiving so I may skip making them now.

In the early afternoon I baked English Toffee Squares.  I don't like nuts in my food so only part got chopped walnuts on it.

Now I have to start dividing up all of the cookies etc. into the 2 boxes to mail and 3 sets for local family.

Friday, December 17, 2021

More baking.......

I started out with the chocolate Spritz cookies and while butter softened for the shortbread cookies I made fudge.

I had a lot of questions about the Spritz cookies so here are the 2 most important parts.  The cookie press is battery powered and is my second one.  I have been using this style cookie maker for over 30 years.  Second is the butter.  Only good quality butter is used in Spritz cookies.  Store brand butter on sale is never in my kitchen.  Most lower priced butters have a higher water content and that definitely affects the dough and how it comes out of the press.

In the mail yesterday was a Christmas postcard from Vicki Welsh.  I love the colors in this one.  It was in perfect shape and was mailed without an envelope.

My collection of cards from Vicki are on display in my studio all year so I can enjoy them every single day.

Also in the studio, I cut some strips to audition as fillers in the last column to create.

This is the Kaffe fabric in the photo above.  I think it may be too strong of a color for all of the strips I will need to add.  Maybe I will add 3 different fabrics around the 3 bigger blocks.  I could actually use this fabric as 2 different using the pink area around one block and the red around another block.  The third block would probably be a medium value blue.