Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I could find a larger carving block but I think it's actually a bit big for a tea towel anyway. My plan is to print it with fabric paint onto a couple of tea towels and add a hi-lite of hand stitching to finish it off.
I'm linking to The Needle and Thread Network.
Monday, December 9, 2013
I am not a high energy person, so on each of my days at home in the next two weeks, I will be doing:
1. one small bit of house cleaning
2. a bit of decorating
3. completing some final little Christmas gifts, ( my favorite part!)
4. maybe some baking
Today after doing my kitchen floor, I hung a few antique ornaments in my kitchen window which can be seen when you enter through the front door. I also spend much time here at the sink doing kitchen tasks and watching the birds at the feeders and in our apple tree.
We really enjoy watching the birds drinking at the heated birdbath that our son gave us several years ago. It is also just outside my kitchen window mounted on the deck rail.
This morning, I finished the medium sized pouch from this pattern. It was a bit of a challenge at first working with the vinyl, but all in all quite an easy pouch to put together. After a suggestion from a friend, I laid paper over the vinyl while sewing to keep it from sticking. Next time, I will follow my friend Sue's advice to use tissue paper. Definitely easier to remove. It's hard to tell in the photo but the front of the pouch is clear vinyl. The monkey fabric is actually on the inside. One more little gift done. Yes!
After lunch, I mixed up a recipe for chocolate meringues that are baking as I type this. These will be our Christmas dessert this year served with chocolate whipped cream and berries.
I've finished everything I planned for today; when the meringues are done, I have to go out for milk and I'll put the garbage out when I do. My husband is away for the week again. This is something new for us in the last month or so. The sun sets early here at this time of year and it can be a little lonely at night but generally I keep busy and don't mind it too much.
He will be off for two weeks when my daughter is here so we are l;looking forward to that.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Imagine my delighted surprise when I read the following blog post at the blog, Fibermania earlier today.
I'm to be gifted this wonderfully colourful and unique art quilt by one of my favourite artists, Melody Johnson. A gift from an anonymous reader.
I do love any nature motif and anyone who knows me knows how much I love trees. Polka dots are also a favourite as well as the addition of hand stitching. I always like to add it to my pieces.
I am quite simply astounded. I wonder if I'll ever know who. Sometimes the world does seem to be a wonderful place. This piece will make me happy every time I look at it. It will be treasured.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
As days often go, it's been a bit up and down. I met a friend for coffee this morning which was good and after lunch attempted to mix up some egg whites to make chocolate meringues to put in the freezer for Christmas dinner. Not so good. I've never had it happen before; they would not even begin to thicken. Of course it was the last of my eggs so it'll have to wait until next week now.
Since I finished up the thread painting on my recent piece, I decided to try out a quilt block that intrigues me. I'm thinking of doing it in greens and blues.
It's called Anita's Arrowhead. The PDF can be found here.
The directions make a 9 inch block but a friend told me that if I cut my 2 squares of contrasting fabrics at 11", I would get a 12 1/2" inch block or 12" finished so I tried that. I want to make a queen sized quilt and thought the larger block might be better. Not sure.
Unless I re-ironed some of the seams, they don't all end up as opposing. I'm wondering what your opinions might be on ironing open the seams?
I want to do it for a wedding gift and since it also reminds me of an x, I might name it hugs and kisses, finding some way later to get the O's in. Is anyone out the superstitious? I wonder if the arrowhead is an ok block for a wedding gift!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Even as I continue working on my fall birches piece, winter is moving ever closer and there's a definite snowflake theme going on lately. It's snowing outside. Schools in some parts of the provinces have been closed and there are power outages. We've had enough snow to warrant the passage of a plow but still nothing serious.
I've been slowly getting into the mood by pulling out my winter decorations. This is a runner that I made last year, one of a few I did using a stencil technique that was featured in the August 2013 Quilting Arts Gifts.
Having no children at home, nor grandchildren, I put off decorating our small tree until I have to, usually a few days before Christmas. This year since were driving to Fredericton the weekend before Christmas to pick up my daughter who is flying in from South Korea (I'm getting excited!), I will get it done a little earlier.
After being a little slow to get going this morning, I baked and then decorated my gingerbread cookies.
After lunch, I sat down at my machine and finished up most of the sewing on the birches. I added some gold accents with fibre and the leaves are stitched down.
Before I add a backing and binding, I'll decide if it needs anymore. I'm also adding a few lazy daisy stitched leaves here and there.
What I did differently on this birch tree piece (this is number 3) was to add the appliqués trees in the foreground and I quite like it. I see more birch trees in my future.
I'm linking to The Needle and Thread Network.
Monday, December 2, 2013
I didn't get to my sewing machine today but I did get a new much needed home phone. And I had lunch with a friend and picked up one of my final Christmas gifts which I'm very pleased about!
Later this afternoon, I spent some time relaxing by hand sewing down some binding on the Christmas placemats I made.
Also, I just finished adding the silver mesh ribbon, white snowflakes and pine cones purchased from the bargain store to the green berry wreath I had from last year.
I've got my outdoor lights up, now my wreath, and this week, I'm going to start some indoor decorating and baking. I'm skipping a lot of the rich cookies and squares this year. With all my kids coming home, ( I'm so excited; I haven't seen my daughter in over two years! ) I do need a few treats. I'm going to do gingerbread cookies.
Recently, I came across a weight watchers recipe for making chocolate meringues that are served with berries. I'm going to try making those ahead too.
I picked up a large chicken on the weekend for our non vegetarian eaters and I plan to make a spinach cannelloni, also ahead, for the vegetarians.
Tis the season! I'm starting to feel it! The light snowfall we've been having all day is certainly helping. It will be pretty tonight when the Christmas lights start to come on.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
In my sewing studio, I first took some time to finish up one of my Christmas gifts. Time is ticking!
Then I ironed the Saran off my stitched leaves in between pages of the newspaper. I kept them quite lacy and thin as this is the way they are in the photo. There were only a few still clinging to the small tree.
I couldn't wait to lay them out on my background! Tomorrow, I plan to stitch the small tree branches first before I stitch down the leaves.