Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday trimmings

I had meetings every single night this week. That caught up with me on Saturday, when I slept in and couldn't face the idea of leaving the house again. I actually forewent (is that a word?) a trip to the SAQA meeting in Guilford, which was the first time I could have gone all year. But wow, it was great to spend the weekend holed up in my creativity nook. My spouse mentioned that we didn't really have any Christmas wall hanging quilts, which surprised me because I feel like I have made a lot of them. Turns out I never finish them; they have all just been hanging out in the UFO bin. That defined my Saturday.

Back in June when we went to the Vermont Quilt Festival, I found a teensy weensy twister ruler that I couldn't resist. When I got back to Connecticut, I got right down to the business of sewing 2.5" squares together, then cutting them up again. My cute little tree has been all wrapped up in batting since then, wanting only a border. I did some scrounging in the closet and found a piece that was perfect, nice holiday jewel tones on a background that makes the whole thing look like brownish wood from a distance, with just a hint of gold for holiday glitz. I bordered, quilted, and bound this little sparkler in the early part of the day. I still need to attach a few teensy weensy jingle bells, which I'll just tie randomly over the tree; that will be a good task for Tuesday morning's piano lesson. After that, DONE: ready to hang!
I left the cutting mat visible for scale. These little pieces are only a quarter of a square inch.

Detail of background meander quilting, done with rayon thread.
After that, I pulled out my Baby it's Cold Outside embroidery piece and got brave with a new motif I saw in Angela Walters' most excellent book. I filled a few pages in my practice journal with this one before putting thread in the machine. It was tricky, and I could probably have benefited from a little more patience, but this was a little job so I got to it. Not too bad, although working around the embroidery in the center was a little challenging. You can see where the shapes got a little off scale, but overall I'm pleased with the look. I still need to slap a binding on this one, but that will be quick. I'm also planning to tie a few rhinestones onto the snowflakes in the embroidery (can you tell that holidays are very sparkly around here?). I would like to use this motif to quilt my autumn Rapid City, which has been pinned and waiting for two weeks, but I don't know if I'm confident enough in the motif to commit to a whole job.
Brrrrrrrrrrrr (from the "Waffletime" pattern, Atkinson Designs)

Here's another fun little holiday job that I threw together on Friday night at the midnight sewing extravaganza at Lisa's. I left it on the wall overnight, and my older son (who doesn't usually comment) noticed it and complimented it first thing on Saturday. I'll take it. My plan is to use a few decorative stitches to add some "icing" details to give the houses a gingerbread look, then some simple quilting to get it on the wall.
From the "Neighborhood" pattern (Modern Patchwork, Elizabeth Hartman). Love that Bumble!
This table runner has also been hiding in the batting bin waiting for my attention. I'll try to get to it this weekend; I'm planning simple straight line quilting like I did on the Pink Rink one (hey! I just noticed I never posted a "finished" photo for it!), but that is a more time-consuming process than I originally thought it would be!
From the "Roller Rink" pattern (Modern PatchworkElizabeth Hartman)
For those of you who wonder if I sleep, Yes! I slept until after 8:30 this morning...then got up and enjoyed the maple oatmeal scones that my ten-year-old had baked the night before! We had to talk him down from his plans to ALSO make a blueberry cobbler with custard sauce AND a German apple pancake. What a kid, huh?