Sunday, December 18, 2011

Random Christmas-y Stuff

I've been so busy around here - after all, it is the season, right? I've been trying to get this posted for a week now.

Here's my oldest Christmas quilt.  I made this back in 1980-something.  I don't remember where I found the pattern, but piecing those letters was a challenge for me at that time.  It's very graphic with those bright colors, and I don't know that I would pick those fabrics again!   But it's OK.  I still enjoy it.

Here is my big mistake - intricate quilting on a busy fabric.  Can you see the "Merry Christmas" that I quilted?  Pretty hard to see, isn't it?  Can you see the holly leaf on the left border?  I think those show up fairly well, but I sure learned my lesson about quilting the busy fabric.  Sharon over at Grass Roots Quilting blog talked about this a while back, which reminded me of this wallhanging.

Last week we went to see the Zoo Lights at the zoo in Tacoma.  This shot is overlooking part of the zoo.  We'd never been before, and it was a lot of fun!  There are millions of LED lights all over everything in the zoo.  There were only a couple of animals to be seen.  We saw a sleeping tiger and we were ogled by a shark at the aquarium.  I think he was looking for a hand-out. 

Here is my favorite display - the purple tree!  Isn't it awesome? 

We'd never been to the zoo before, so I have no idea how it normally looks, but I sure enjoyed the zoo lights!  One of these days, we'll have to go back when the weather is good and in the daylight.

I've been working off-and-on at tying the corduroy quilt.  Not making much progress so far - I just don't have enough time to spare right now.   

I've pretty much finished cleaning the quilt studio but have had no time to go in there to play.  I have a few Christmas presents to get sewn this week, so I do need to get in there.  I've mostly finished shopping, I have some wrapping to do and all my baking, but I am hopeful that I can get in the studio!  Besides, I need to go play with fabric for my sanity! 

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

A Lazy Sunday

Here are the Trip Around the World blocks that I started for Block Lotto.  This was the block for November. They look pretty good, don't they?  Well, what you can't see is that they're the wrong size.  I was aiming for 12 1/2 inches (raw edge) and what I got ranged from 12 3/4 to 13 inches.  I was using my little Brother travel machine, and apparently I've not been getting a true 1/4 inch seam allowance on it.  Rats.  I tried and tried and still couldn't get it right. *sigh*

So, I tried something else.  I got out my ruler and the painter's tape and marked where the fabric should be for a true 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I cleaned out the lint (like that would help?)  and then decided that I should replace the needle while I was at it.  It had been a while.  So, got the new needle in and took a couple of stitches slowly and carefully to make sure I had actually put the needle in the right place.  Guess what?  I think I didn't get it right.  After those two stitches, the machine made a kind-of-funny noise and there was just a stub of metal where the needle should be!  Ack! 

So, since neither DH nor I could get the plate off the machine to find the needle, AND I have a service contract that means I pay NOTHING for service (I LOOOVE that!), I decided that the machine needs to go to the shop and have a needle-ectomy.  At that point, I also decided that it wasn't the right day for me to be sewing.  I quietly turned out the light in the quilt studio and shut the door behind me. 

A few days later, I went back into the quilt studio, hauled out my trusty Bernina, and made 8 blocks (the correct size!) for the Block Lotto.  Whew!  I found my "sewing mojo" again!  Now I just have to get these in a couple of envelopes to send off to the Block Lotto winners.  And I'm sad that I didn't win this month.  :(

Now, I'm free to start work on my Christmas sewing.  Well, AFTER I clean up the quilt studio.  The piles of fabrics and projects is getting too deep to be able to actually accomplish anything in there.  The stacks keep sliding over and off onto the floor.  And there is only about 8 inches square of surface on the cutting table that is free of "stuff". Ugh.  I don't really want to clean up, but it is time.  Maybe I'll be able to find the blocks for DGD's quilt that I've "lost" in there.  If I'm not back in 2 days, send in the Search and Rescue team.  I may be buried alive!