Saturday, January 28, 2023

Under The Sea

About a year ago I got a note from Sandy showing me the beginnings of her latest project. It's now basted it and ready to quilt so why not take a look?

You will recall that Sandy and Ed are divers. While they were doing on-line shopping with the group that handles their dive trips, one of the destinations - Volivoli Beach Resort in Fiji - had a logo that just called to her, so she drafted a darling little fish pattern based on it and she was off. Her timing coincided perfectly with the Olympics last winter, a great time to have handwork at the ready.
She has hand pieced 22 7-inch blocks and alternated them with a tone-on-tone cream. Aren't they adorable? So reminiscent of the wonders they discover in the waters that they explore. 

This one will be machine quilted so she doesn't want the solid sections to be too unmanageable. She hasn't used her templates for a couple of years so no use testing the quilt gods more than you have to. Been there, done that!

Check out the fabulous backing fabric that Ed found! Could it be any more perfect? He found it on Spoonflower. I have a feeling that the mermaid in Jane will be a little jealous...

Here's a closeup.

This will be a throw for Ed (replacing/alternating with his Minions throw ­čśĆ). He is really big on diving so I know that he will love being wrapped up in it when he can't be under the sea.

Oh, and just to make you totally green with envy, this is a sample of the little pieces of heaven that their travels take them to. A lovely thought on a winter's day....M

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

My Worst Nightmare

For as long as I can remember I have had this thing about moths, and not in a good way. They creep me out so I try and avoid them as much as possible; it's just safer for everyone concerned. Jane, on the other hand, loves them. So much so that they are the feature of the latest quilt that she's been working on.

She started cutting back in September and then was off to the races.

The soft tomato reds and sage greens work really well together with the mustard, green and cream colours in the moth print, and a little bit of grey/low volume prints keeps everything nicely subdued.

It's a log cabin of sorts. She started making the blocks without seeing the entire layout of the quilt so she didn't realize that if you placed four coloured corners together they would work to make a circle . She has laid them out randomly, concerned more with the placement of the different types/colours of moths rather than the corners. 

A few bug prints were added to keep the moths company, of course.

Oh, and how about a few ants?

She was getting ready to add the last strip of blocks to it when I last saw her so it will be ready to quilt now. Fastest hand sewer in the west!

So lovely.

Sorry Jane, beautiful as it is, I just don't think that I could sleep under this one but I will be keen to see how you get it quilted....M

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Stretching It Out As Long As I Can

My Christmas tree came down last weekend and I've been joking that I have now entered my official period of mourning (I'd be happy to keep it up until Easter!). Cookies will only soothe that ache so much so I headed out to the lake for a visit with Jane to enjoy hers before she takes it down. I stayed overnight so that meant being able to sleep under one of her star quilts and enjoy the glow of the tree one last time.

Over the years, she has decorated her tree in a variety of themes and this year went with a natural/wilderness vibe. Fluffy owls, pretty birds, and twinkling pine cones set the scene and this year she added dried orange slices and made these adorable decos from walnuts - two little mushrooms made from buttons nestled in a little glen. 

Beneath the tree she arranged greenery and several large toadstools, along with this pretty little winter bunny. She thinks of everything!

I also got to check out her latest Christmas quilt, Christmas Courthouse Steps. It was finished up just before the holidays began and she has been enjoying it draped over the back of her sofa.

Red, white and green are combined with the occasional gold/brown strip (Sandy calls these strips 'gingerbread') for a very festive throw.

And the the backing! SO great! It's a Norman Rockwell print (very Holly Hobby as well) with a variety of terrific holiday vignettes...

against a backdrop of sheet music and bundles of bells and holly. Quilted snowflakes swirl across it, making it so much fun.

It's bound with a swirling red paisley that has just a hint of gold glitter in it.

I suspect that Jane's tree has now been taken down too, but it did the trick, helping extend that little bit of magic that a Christmas tree brings each year. Thanks Jane!...M

Monday, January 02, 2023

Holiday Bliss

The last week or two seemed to be the holiday of the shovel, heading out early each morning to deal with the snow that had fallen overnight or lately, chipping away at the layer of ice on the driveway. It's been wonderfully mild so being outdoors was a joy, but the real fun began when I returned to my chair to stitch.

I was the lucky recipient of the leftovers from the cream wool backing for Betty's 12 Days of Christmas, so I looked for a way to use them up. Pinterest to the rescue! Some time ago I had pinned a sweet pattern for tiny felt stockings and mittens from Shelly's Gingermelons blog, the perfect excuse to play.

Soon there was a armchair full of stockings waiting to be stitched. So far, I have made a dozen all told.

It's been ages since I've beaded anything, but I did find a beading needle in with my floss so I was off to the races. Shelly suggested using a disappearing marker to draw the four tiny sparkle lines that surround each bead but I just eyeballed it and they turned out fine.

Soon the elements started piling up in my shoebox.

The pattern called for pinking the cuff edge but I used the selvage from the fabric instead - LUV the look. This definitely gives each tiny stocking their own personality.

A quick addition of a fine cord and they were ready to be hung on the tree and shared with friends and family over New Year's Day dinner. I think I've only used about half of the cream remnants so there will be more made to use it up.

May the coming year be filled with joy and peace and much project bliss. Happy New Year everyone!....M