Friday, December 30, 2022

End of Year Stitching and Finishes

 Hello friends,  

 It's been a busy week here in the sewing room.  Right after Christmas I recalled that the week between Christmas and New Years seems to be when home fires begin occurring in our rural area, and that we had no finished quilts in our ministry bins.  So, on Monday afternoon I started some simple quilting on two donated tops that we had recently layered and pinned.  Sure enough, a couple nights ago a local family lost their home to a fire.  The family was not at home when the fire started and all are safe, but sadly their pets perished in the blaze.  The two quilts are now bound and ready for donation as soon as we learn the dropoff locations for donated items.  The two finishes, with thanks to Nann for the donated tops:

Finished size 53x71 inches

Finished size 60x80 inches

In the midst of quilting these two, the dual feed foot on my Janome suddenly developed a glitch, and now refuses to stay connected with the main feed dog mechanism.  The foot itself seems to be ok, so I'm thinking the issue is in the back of the machine itself, no doubt requiring a visit to the sewing machine repair center 25 miles from here.  Hopefully not too expensive a repair, and I'm especially hoping the machine doesn't need to be shipped back to the factory and I can get it back home quickly. Always something ...

In other happier news, the 2022 Christmas quilt top is finished and awaiting a backing and sandwiching for hand quilting in the new year.  Top measures 68x77 inches.

A few closeups of some of my favorite fabric squares:

I only had one square of this sweet feature fabric

Quirky mushrooms

I had hoped to complete the hand quilting on my red and white log cabin quilt and have it bound and finished by year's end, but outside of a miracle, it will be another few days before that is accomplished. The most recent progress photo from last week:

Our weather is considerably better than last week, as we're in the midst of a thaw, and the ice in the driveway is slowly disappearing in the 50 degree temperatures.  Hoping it will last through the weekend as my brother-in-law is bringing his homemade lasagna for our New Year's Day dinner!  All I need to do is set the table and make a simple green salad.  Now that's a holiday in my book!

May your new year be blessed with good health, joy and peace.  

I'll be back early next week with my historic panel top when Lori posts her linky party.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Country Christmas

Christmas week, the gifts are wrapped, cards sent, cookies still in the planning stage, and in the midst of it all a new Christmas quilt started!  Several weeks ago I spotted this inspiration quilt by Amber at Gigi's Thimble blog. The soft colors and super-simple piecing appealed to me after the angst of putting together the top for the historic panel challenge (to be posted soon).  I've been hoarding saving a few pieces of older French General fabrics waiting for the perfect pattern.  Scrappy leftovers from other Christmas quilts, a treasured piece of Jason Yenter Yuletide fabric, and I was cutting squares in no time.

No better time than the holiday season for some simple peaceful piecing fun! 

Initial layout for about half of the quilt.  Quite a few blocks were moved around as sewing commenced. My blocks were cut at 5" with a planned layout of 15x17 blocks for a good size throw quilt.  I've been stitching the blocks into horizontal rows, then combining two rows together.  Hoping to be ready to assemble the double rows into four sections before sewing the whole together.  Maybe tomorrow.

Here's what was left of the second left-hand layout on the design wall when I quit sewing on Saturday.

I'm loving the soft hand of the French General fabrics, and thinking of using the one large piece in my stash for the backing to keep the soft cozy feel of the quilt.  This one will definitely be on my hand quilting queue for next year's evening stitching.  

After last Christmas we made the decision to not bother with a tree anymore, and have just decorated the dining and living areas of the house with lights and some treasured pieces from many years ago.  I packed up a box of ornaments for my son's family but have kept a few that we can use in bowls, and have a treasured handful hanging from the simple dining room chandelier.

A few of our treasures that remain ..
The far left Santa I've had for probably 40 years, the wooden handmade Christmas train purchased at a craft fair in Oregon-probably 10-12 years ago.

The wood trees were made by my late father-in-law about 40 years ago, the two hand-painted Father Christmas figures made by a friend 35 or so years past.

Large nativity from Liberia purchased at a silent auction in Oregon; the partial nativity at the right is one my mom had for many years, origin unknown.  Little cornhusk angel was a gift from my children when they were young.

Little carolers purchased at Fred Meyer in Anchorage, Alaska about 45 years ago; the barb-wire star made by one of our church families several years ago.  

Some of the many fabric ornaments I've made over the past few years, about to be wrapped and given to some of the youngest members of our congregation on Christmas Eve.

It has snowed lightly all day today, we probably have a couple inches accumulated by now.  The local road crews are very faithful at keeping the roads sanded and plowed, for which we are extremely thankful.  

Til next time, a blessed Christmas to all.