Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Lane Blog Hop

I'll get the business out of the way first :)  Today is the next-to-last day of the blog hop, but go check out the other super-cute iterations of this adorable pattern from Jillily Studio.  It's a free PDF download, with the applique patterns in an attached JPG file.  Madam Samm (Sew We Quilt) and Pauline (Quilt N Queen) are the amazing women who organized everything and kept us excited about this journey down Holiday Lane.  Here are the links to the rest of today's bloggers:

Holiday Lane Schedule with Pauline , she is our resident cheerleader for this hop

Thursday November 29
A Reformed Heath'n (you're here!)
As Sweet as Peaches

I have been looking forward to this since September!  This pillow pattern is so cute.  Of course, I waited until the beginning of November to get going ... I bought a fat quarter bundle of Blitzen by Basic Grey to make an advent calendar and had enough fabric left over to make the pillow too.  I'm super happy with the way this turned out.

I love how these two trees look like they're sharing a secret--shhhh!
 Once I realized how large it is, I decided I wanted it to be a wall hanging.  I got the top done, but I'll have to finish up the quilting and binding over the next week or so.

I wanted to practice learn some applique.  I haven't used any of my hand stitching skills except for hemming dresses in a very long while.  I read tutorial upon tutorial and watched several YouTube videos before I finally figured that I just needed to make the leap and do it.  If there was one stitch I learned from my mom, it was the blind stitch ...  I'm sure I have a long way to go, but I am quite pleased with how it worked out.  I used the blind stitch and needle-turned almost all the cotton pieces and blanket stitched the wool snow pieces.  I did use the machine to put the shingles on the first house--my fingers were worn out.  I learned a lot about pinning and holding, though.  On my last tree (below) you can see I was finally getting the hang of keeping the curves curvy.  I would *love* to learn tips and tricks from anyone and everyone who knows more than I do, so please ... SHARE :)

Working on this project is one of the things that has pointed me toward a goal for the coming year.  I'm going to learn to hand piece.  I love the feel of the fabric and the relative ease of the basic running stitch.  I've picked out a project and bought some bundles and am ready to get going.  But that's all I'll say for now.  Ultimately I hope that project will be a gift.  Now that I've said it, I'm accountable, right?  I'm still going to practice all my machine skills, but I'm looking forward to also having a portable project to fill in those time gaps that creep up on me during my waiting times.

Happy holidays to you all!  May you all enjoy the beauty and generous spirit of the season.  Thanks for stopping by and for being an inspiration to me this year as I learn to quilt!

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Quick Update

Today I send off my November block for the Stash Bee.  I really liked this one.  My stash is seriously lacking in yellows, oranges and pinks, but I managed to pull some together.  I'm having a hard time giving this up, but it is one of the blocks I've been wanting to try, so I'm glad I had the chance.  If my sewing machine and ironing board were not on opposite ends of the house, it would have come together a bit more quickly, but I did it in an evening and a piece of the next morning.

I also sent off my Quilt U Be Mine project last week to the next person.  Here's a sneak peak.  That's all there will be until the reveal on Valentine's Day :)  I really like the way it turned out, I hope Pippa does too.  I got the next square and am working on ideas for that one now.

Finally, later this week, I'll be posting for the Holiday Lane Blog Hop.  I've never appliqued before, so I underestimated how long it would take.  I'm loving the way its coming along, but doubt I'll have it quilted by the time I post.  I'll be finished with the flimsy, but not the project ... Oh, well.