Thursday, November 16, 2017

Well...Maybe Just One More...

I thought that my table topper frenzy had come to and end but I found one more that I could finish up before my bundle heads off to Madonna House.

This summer I played around with making large Friendship Star blocks using the remains of a couple of Canada 150 fabrics. They were to be for a sesquicentennial quilt project that a local museum was organizing, but when I measured the blocks they were just a tad too small (mine finished of at 11.5"). I didn't want to make more and I didn't want anyone having to fight to make them fit, so I sewed them into a runner instead.

It's large (17" x 49") so I'm thinking that it would suit a nice big harvest table.

It's been pinned and ready to quilt for ages and I decided that rather than walking by it one more time I should just pick it up and quilt it and move it along to the finished pile.

I quilted it with diagonal lines randomly spaced (it always amazes me how the quilting softens the look of a piece). I started out with lines spaced 2" apart and then added lines at will in between, so as much a it's a random pattern there is a little bit of structure to it.

This teal fabric is one that I got from Roberta once when I was dropping of a quilt - she had it for a backing and I just couldn't resist taking a piece of it home. Love it with the gold and cranberry - I might need more...

My first choice for binding was the gold but I found a piece of the teal just before I started cutting and I think it gives it much more life.

So, one more finish. I'd say that it's the last topper/runner for a while, but you never know what I will find lurking about....M

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Last of the Holly Bazaar Table Toppers

Despite sitting on the back of a chair for quite a while, the two Peppermint Twist table toppers got quilted and bound in time for the bazaar, and I really like how they finished off.

I found a happy red and white polka dot that was perfect for the backing. I have yards of it. At some point the plan was to back a quilt in it but it just seems like a bit much for a large quilt. That said, it might work nicely for Christmas Crumbs (which is still on the design wall, but will likely end up a lap quilt). It is quilted with simple diagonal rows an inch apart, which I quite like because it doesn't take anything away from the pinwheels. Actually, a lap version of Peppermint Twist with this as the backing would be fun too.

They are both bound with a crimson print that frames everything nicely.

I also promised to make something for the silent auction at the bazaar so I made a Christmas version of the hexie table topper and combined it with a large red candle. Actually, I made three.

My big dilemma was which order to put the fabrics in. This poinsettia print started it all and I thought it would be great as the outer border but I only had enough to eek out three hexies for the centres, so that sort of decided things for me.

One made it to the silent auction and a second went to the craft table.

Today I will finish hand stitching the binding for the third and then it will either go to Madonna House or, I might even keep it. Then again, how many table toppers does one girl really need?....M

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Holly Bazaar

Well, today was the day - the Holly Bazaar. All of the frantic last minute sewing was set aside for a couple of all-out evenings of baking, and soon this...

and this...

were replaced with this...


and this. Lots of favourites along with a new (and delicious) recipe for Cherry-Pecan Oatmeal Cookies. So. Good. Makes me want to make a cup of tea just thinking about them.

My bowl of Moravian Stars had grown to a little over 30 and they all got strings.

And a collection of the table toppers and pot holders were pulled together for the craft table too. I think I sent 10 toppers and the rest will go to the Madonna House Christmas gift shop.

By all accounts the Bazaar was another success. Over 200 people enjoyed a delicious ham and scalloped potato lunch on a surprisingly chilly afternoon, stocked up on home baked goodies, did a little Christmas shopping and enjoyed the company of friends. It's almost like finishing a quilt though - all of a sudden I feel like I don't know what to do with myself now that I'm off deadline. Fear not, that will change!...M

p.s. Next time I'll show you how I quilted the pinwheel toppers and a Christmas hexie topper that got added to the mix.

Monday, November 06, 2017

A Bowl Full of Stars

There's a lovely bowl of stars on the go for the Holly Bazaar. I like to make some kind of ornament for the craft table and didn't make any felt birds or hearts this year, so I thought I'd give these a try.

Years ago (I'm talking when I was in high school, so years) we learned how to make Moravian Stars (or Scandinavian Stars, or German Stars, depending on who you ask) and they have sat in the back of my mind as something I'd like to try again. This is one that I made way back when and somehow it has managed to stay intact through all the moves and shuffling about in my life to date.

I started out with printed instructions but just kept getting stumped at a certain point; then I found a great YouTube tutorial. You can use almost any paper - something with a little slippage/gloss to it is good - but I like the look of the white so I'm just using legal sized printer paper cut into half inch strips (I'm using an old blade).

That's not to say that there weren't several false starts (or is that 'false stars'?).


I think that being left-handed was messing me up because as much as I had the instructions in front of me I seemed to want to rotate things in the opposite direction. So, back to the video, over and over, pausing after every step, and finally I think that I have mastered it.

In the video the gal talks about the need to just repeat, repeat, repeat to embed the instructions in your brain, and she is bang on.

It takes me about 15 minutes to make one so now instead of trolling Pinterest while waiting for meals to cook I put together a star or two, and they start adding up. They need strings attached yet, so I'll get on that. I think they would make a gorgeous little garland for the mantle....M