Sunday, December 26, 2010

On the Second Day of Christmas...

We had a really nice time in Shreveport: lovely Christmas Eve service, where Larry's Dad, Stan, sang in the choir, followed by a dinner party with Stan's girlfriend, Sabra, and her whole family. That might seem like a pretty remote connection, but even though this was the first time we had met anyone besides Sabra, they were very nice and we had lots of fun. 8)
Last year, my sister, Cindi, gave me a lovely felted wool snowman Christmas kit and a stack of coordinating flannel fat quarters. Here's the wool.
I loved working with the felted wool for the puppy dog pincushion. This looked like lots of fun too, only there were 36 (yes 36!) tiny little flannel log cabins that had to be made first. Thankfully, they are not at THIS stage anymore.
I worked and worked (wasn't I supposed to be resting?) and got all 36 of the little blighters done. Here is my first shot at arranging the log cabin blocks. You can see in the picture that the wool design extends out to cover a few of the log cabin blocks, so they have to be ready first. I'm only going to sew together the row of blocks that gets overlapped, so I don't have to embroider the center while holding the whole quilt top.
I'm going to replace the corner snowflakes with Christmas trees. I don't like the bright white snowflake color, and they look like way too much trouble anyway. I think Christmas trees will look much better.
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas Day. Remember, the 12 Days of Christmas only just STARTED yesterday, they run through the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th. It always makes me so sad to see real Christmas trees pitched out on the afternoon of the 25th, just as the real Christmas season is getting started.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dinosaur Panel Quilt - Simple Quilting Techniques

After about 2 weeks of recuperation, I finally felt strong enough to manhandle this flannel quilt around under my machine. I did simple stitch-in-the-ditch on the inner black and brown borders. Here it is, all done except for the binding. Instead of my usual stippling, I outlined the dinosaurs in dark blue, then simply channel stitched the border, seen below on the back of the quilt.
This quilt demonstrates that very easy quilting techniques may be used to good effect on a domestic machine. Our charity long-arm quilter recently had to recuse herself from participation, which caused some concern because hardly anyone likes to stipple but me.
I used the backing flannel for the binding. (Note to self: ALWAYS press binding seams wide open to avoid big flannel lumps.) It took me longer to bind this quilt than it did to quilt it. And the pins really had it in for me. I got a ding on my palm that still hurts today. lol

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stitching and Healing

I decided to start small and recuperate from surgery last week by stitching tiny projects, then as my Vicodin is reduced, work up to something more challenging. These were the easiest kits I had on hand, and they worked up very quickly.
Except for the name I actually had the stitching done on the cardinal a long time ago. I decided to give it to my sister, so I personalized and finished it in about 1/2 hour. BTW My family rarely reads my blog, so this should still be a surprise present. lol Now I just have to decide who gets the other two, then I'll make them up as well. 8)
I bought this wool pincushion kit at the The Quilted Apple in Phoenix this past fall. Everyone is right, wool is really fun to work with. I made it yesterday. I think it turned out adorable. I'm planning to give it to Larry's Grandma; she's 99 years old and still loves to make and receive handmade crafts.
BTW I have proof now that needlework kits don't "go bad". The sticker on the Christmas stocking cross-stitch kits read 1990. I still remember buying them at the Art Galleries at Bahia Mar on Padre Island. I was 29 then and they cost $1.50 each. Those days are GONE, but the kits live on. 8)