We all seem to have gotten snow. Certainly that was what I wished for, so that I could just stay indoors and just sew. Of course, staying warm becomes a necessity with the colder weather. I've been bundled in several layers and turning the furnace up a little. My DH likes to keep it at 64 degrees. Saves on fuel costs, especially when no one is home during the day. But, I am on a staycation, so turning it up about 5 degrees has kept me warmer. The hot tub feels good, as well.
I finished the PJ's for my grandchildren. They didn't get finished in time for Christmas, but I kept at them until they were done on Thursday. Yesterday, was another Sister's Sewing day. Each of us worked on different projects. My youngest sister pinned together the baby quilt for our nephew and began the FMQ. You may remember the quilt from our last sewing day. It's the Touch & Feel Baby Quilt we collaborated on for a gift. My sister does beautiful machine quilting. She is the artist in the family and talks about FMQ as though she is drawing pictures on fabric. My older sister worked on a table runner and curtains for her kitchen buffet and windows, to go along with the makeover she and her husband are doing. I started work on a new quilt. I promised my daughter that I would make a quilt during my Christmas staycation, for her to raffle for an MS fundraising event that she is planning. I made several 3-inch hourglass blocks.
These are the flannel pajama pants and single knit jersey tops I made for my grandchildren.
Today, I have been working on more blocks for the raffle quilt. I planned to use up a lot of my strip scraps and collection of charms. I chose a design that has alternating nine-patch and hourglass blocks. The nine-patches provide the contrast from the light colored hour glass blocks, giving a secondary pattern to the design. The biggest challenge is that the blocks are only 3-inches square. I began pairing 5-inch charms in white and light colors. After sewing them into HST, I stitch across the diagonal again, to form the hourglass shape. The final block is trimmed to the 3-inch size, since the charms are larger than necessary to make the finished size block. The trimming should help to keep the quilt more square with so many small blocks in the overall design. The pattern calls for 128 blocks of each design, but I am planning to make the quilt larger.
I finished reading an old novel last night. I pick up a lot of books at flea markets, antique shops, and library sales. I enjoy historical novels and this one was set in Canada during the gay nineties through the turn of the 20th century. I read in bed before going to sleep and generally finish 15-20 pages at a time. I don't read very fast. I've been wanting to finish this book for awhile, since I purchased the latest Elm Creek Quilts book in November. I was able to pre-order the novel through a book shop in Wisconsin, where Jennifer Chiaverini was doing a book signing. Along with the autographed book, I received a commemorative pin. So, tonight I get to begin the story.
I joined the American Quilt Study Group in November. I have a strong interest in quilt history. They are beginning a new quilt study for the 2014 forum and I would really like to participate. After all, that is why I joined. I have been browsing the internet to find information on the quilt genre being studied. I have found a couple of quilts in the The Quilt Index that fit the study guidelines, but have not made any decision about doing the project.
I seem to have so many projects going that I really need to finish as many as possible next year, rather than starting a major new project. Every year, I make plans to finish at least six old projects. In 2012, I did complete one old project; a blotto block exchange from my Mid-Michigan Quilters' Guild that I won back in 2009. The blocks were put together, but I did not get the quilting done. I decided to finish it off, so that I could put it into the St. John's Mint Festival quilt show. That was back in August. Here's a peek at the quilt hanging in the show. The lighting was poor, so the colors in the photo look blurred. You should be able to see the greenish gray blotto fabric that was used in each of the blocks. I used the scraps to make the sashing cornerstones. What an eclectic set of blocks. The block that I made is the first one in the third row. I didn't like the blotto fabric much, so, of course I won the blotto. I really do like all the block designs, especially the sunbonnet sue and the flower pot with the posies in the first row.
My musings have gotten fairly long. I should put them aside and get back to my cutting mat and sewing machine. With all those hourglass blocks and nine-patches, I will be busy making them into next year; literally.
Filed under: quilt projects, sunbonnet sue, charm square, reading, nine patch, blotto blocks, sisters, MMQG, Jennifer Chiaverini, Elm Creek Quilts, sewing day, Christmas gifts, grandchildren, HST, AQSG, hourglass