Monday, December 30, 2013

Sister and Santa Rock the Sewing Gifts

I've got a sister who likes to indulge my pin cushion collection. In fact, I think she's probably the one that started the collection when I first started quilting 5 years ago.

Here's her Christmas additions to my collection this year:

 This one is too cute. It's a felted wool ring. I adore felted wool pincushions, and this is my first one.

Next up:
This sweet heart-shaped pincushion made from a vintage quilt top. It's trimmed out with a tuille bow and some vintage ribbon, a few yo-yos and some buttons, but take a close look at the worn, threadbare fabric.

It's just too cool. I am far from being a prissy, girly girl, but I really love this. It's just so unique.

She also hooked me up with a fat quarter pack of bold floral prints. I need to find something fun to use these for. Right now, they're whispering 'tote bag'.

Thanks Big Sister!

Now, for the funnest, totally unexpected gift of all. It wasn't on my wish list, and it came from a single comment made in passing while explaining a scene in a TV show I had flipped on while the hubs was in the room the week before Christmas.

Thank you Santa (Thank You, Mood).

Bye, Swatch!

(Let's talk about some resolutions tomorrow, eh?)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Some Sharp (literally) Christmas Goodies

Santa made sure I had a quilty little Christmas this year.

In addition to the Amish With a Twist Quilt kit, he slipped some fun goodies in my stocking.

I love pretty scissors, and I've got a couple pair of these pretty Gingher's that come out with a new design each year. Sadly, I took a pair to a local quilt shop a couple years back for sharpening and within a month of  getting them home they no longer stay closed, and I think the guy who sharpened them must have cemented the screw in place because it won't turn to tighten it, so Santa relpaced them with this year's model. Thanks Santa!

And I must have been especially nice because Santa paid attention to the fact that I visited every vendor at every quilt show I attended this year and came up empty handed in my quest for Rabbit embroidery scissors. Happy happy happy.

And because I seem to be obsessed with things sharp....

but do not fail to recognize 'safety first', one of my very favorite stocking stuffers was Karen Kay Buckley's scissor protector connector:

You have no idea how I obsess over losing that tiny little 1-3/4" sheath that slips over those incredibly sharp little blades when I'm sewing on a plane or in a waiting room. Now I don't have to worry. It's not going anywhere.

Of course while Santa was stocking his bag at Karen's store, he also thought to slip in some of her unbelievably thin Perfect Pins.

Now, I'm most definitely on the sewing machine service guy's naughty list (along with quite a few other quilters, I suspect), because I prefer to sew over pins. For this reason, I used the uber fine Clover pins. And while I haven't broken a needle, (and I do wear eye protection when I sew--yes, reading glasses count as eye protection) I do bend my fair share of these pins. Well, look at the Perfect Pin in relation to the super fine Clover. Wow!

 See this little vial? See how 'empty' it is? There are 50 pins inside. That's how thin they are.

Can't wait to try them out. In fact, they are so sharp and so thin, they're going to be perfect for the silk quilt once I get around to starting on that. (If only they made an anti-procrastination pin--sigh).

A few more fun things to show you, but they'll have to wait until Monday. Heading out to a movie and brunch with the hubs, and hope to get a little stitching done later this afternoon.

This is the last Sunday of 2013....a good day to tie up loose ends and pick up those loose threads on the studio floor. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry Ever After

Hope everyone had a swell holiday. If you follow me on FaceBook you pretty much have shared in mine and seen some of the decorations I managed to get up this year--serious whittling down from years past...and I have to admit, I'm enjoying not having my house look like it's 'throwing up Christmas' throughout. And I'm enjoying even more the fact that I don't have to spend weeks putting all that crap away, once I finally decide I've had enough.

Now it's time to get back into the studio and start having fun. Which is what I spent a bit of this afternoon working at....

Santa brought me a quilt kit for Amish With a Twist 2. Not for the fainthearted, this project. 29 solid fabrics, which were not accompanied by a color-key. We all know it's pretty much impossible to color match fabric from your computer screen, but thanks to a kind woman at Hancock's of Paducah for digging up the store's cutting instructions and reading me every color name and the measure cut I was able to sort it all out.

Then I wrote out a notebook page for each color and detailed the cuts that needed to be made for each block in the project. There are 14 different block styles, some are log cabins (I'll wait to cut that fabric when I finally get to those blocks), some are 21-patches with stars. An overall total of 73 blocks (it's a weird number, I know), finishing with 3 borders--one made up of 2-1/2" squares, and piping inside the binding. 105x105".

Yes, I am certifiably crazy, or if not already, I will be before the end of the year. Once I slog through all the cutting and bag the pieces in Ziploc bags, I'll be playing this one out as a Block-a-Month (and we use the singular term 'block' quite lightly, as there are months where you need to make 36 blocks). Organizing  and cutting and bagging in advance will hopefully prevent this project from becoming all-consuming and I should be able to knock out some finishes of quilts I've started.

I hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas and got lots of fun sewing stuff. In tomorrow's post I'll show you some of the small treasures that I found under the tree and in my stocking.

Saturday's date night. If you haven't got one planned with your sweetie, think about showing a little love to your sewing machine which you've likely neglected for the past couple of weeks. That's my plan for tonight.