Dec 31, 2010

Looking Back

It has been an interesting year on many fronts. 2010 was the year I became totally and completely in love with grandmother-hood. How can one not, when you have a devilish little imp that delights you each and every time you walk in his door (or he into yours). It is the year our revolving front door saw one daughter move home and another move back to Chicago. I celebrated "the big one" (yes,the 6-0) and survived. There have been ups and downs as family members continue to age, as things change in the work arena and as friends found less and less time to get together. But over all, 2010 was not terribly traumatic.
Many of the quilting blogs I read have been showing a round up of 2010 projects that have been completed. Some have a very impressive list- complete with photos. Makes me wonder what it was, exactly, that I managed to accomplish in my sewing room (other than creating a complete and utter mess??). I could say "not much" but what I did complete made me extremely happy. Here are some glimpses of completed quilts as well as some in need of quilting. Now bring on 2011- I think I just may be ready to face it.

1.This spring, I pieced several projects from the book Remembering Adelia. This top was one of my favorites. It is earmarked to go to the quilter soon.

2. This full/queen Yellow Brick Road was an overdue retirement gift for a friend. She got it on her birthday this year, and absolutely loved it.

3. I hand stitched my first full wool (on flannel) wall quilt- Festival of Trees from the book Juniper and Mistletoe. I am completely thrilled with it as is my family. It hung on the foyer landing this Christmas, and because it doesn't scream Christmas Quilt, it is going to remain up until spring arrives.

4. I caught the small quilt bug. This is just one of several I completed this year, and the only one I could find a photo of. I love that I am able to quilt these fairly easily by either hand or machine. I've done both and realized just how much I love hand quilting. I hope to do more of it in the coming year.

5. Another Yellow Brick Road was a collaborative effort by Youngest Daughter and myself. She chose the color scheme and did the block designing. Since she was on a very tight deadline, I did the sewing as she handed me blocks. Once she had the layout just the way she liked it, I put the rows together. It was machine quilted, and DD bound it over a three day time period, then it was packed and off to Poland with her to give as a gift to her boyfriend's mother on Christmas. It was very well received!
(*Note- the lighting was harsh so this picture doesn't do the quilt any justice. I do wish I had gotten a better photo before the quilt left the USA)

6. This Stars on Point pattern was originally going to be the quilt I kept for myself. As I was sewing I decided that my sister might really like it and that I would give it to her as part of her Christmas gift. I was right! She really loved it, and I have found out that she doesn't want it to be destroyed by the cats. She plans to hang it in her bedroom on the focal wall. I feel quite honored! Again, I'm not sure what is up with the camera, but this photo is rather dull in comparison to the "real deal"!

6. This is my latest project begun in 2010. It is also the project I spend 6 hours (round trip) in a car to sew with a great group of girls. Quilting has brought much into my life. I'm looking forward to the new year, more sew-ins, and catching up on my Folk Art Gatherings.

I have made a promise not put any pressure on myself this coming year. I will enjoy each and every stitch I take either by hand or by machine. I will make time to reconnect with the girlfriends whose company I enjoy so much-who make me laugh, who remind me of the good times each and every time we get together. I'll make the most of this new year on my own terms.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you out there....
may you greet it on your own terms, and find the joy in each and every day.

Dec 27, 2010

Snowy, Snowy Day

With over a foot of snow on the ground and more still falling, both our house and the juniors' house have decided to wait it out a few hours before taking to the roads.
Probably a very smart move as son and daughter-in-law live east of the city and have gotten even more snow than we have here. The few extra hours of down time this morning means I can actually catch up on some blogging. Life gets really crazy in December, and this year was no exception. I do hope you all had a very happy holiday and that this next week leading up to the new year is one where you too can find a few minutes of solitude.
I am hoping that for 2011, I will find more quilting time than I did in 2010. I've already determined which 4 projects will be the focus this year, one being The Civil War Bride Quilt from Threadbare Patchwork and Quilting. I have been accepted to blog about my progress here and intend to post my first completed block very soon. My (monthly)Sunday stitching group has already decided we will finally work on Welcome To the North Pole by the Piece of Cake gals. We have been talking about this now for about 2 years. I'm glad that we are finally going to put our fabrics where our mouths are (so to speak!). I did make up one little block yesterday, just to see if the back basting method is the way I want to go with this project, and the answer is a resounding YES! Many of the pieces to be appliqued are quite small, so doing this method helps me be as precise as I'd like to be. I'll be embroidering the "impossibly small" pieces, and others in that category will have wool or ultra-suede as the fabric. I'm excited. I do love Christmas quilts and this will be such fun to work on with the other girls. We do have one non-quilter in the group, but maybe we can change her mind if we carry on enough. If not- we will just appreciate her cross stitching masterpieces! My other 2 projects for this next year will be from the "Finish This" vault! One is Birds of a Feather by Blackbird Designs, and the other is the long overdue "Wedding Quilt" for my son and DIL: Vintage Valentine. Most of the blocks are either done or in the process of being done, and I would really love to cross it off the list of things that need to be finished! I will have to be really organized to accomplish these particular goals over the next year. I also have Cheri Payne's Folk Art Gathering ( see Cheri's blog!) started and will continue to work on that as well. I do so love my applique- thank goodness!

Now for just a few catch up items! Remember the stars in this post? Well I can finally show you the finished project! It was given to my sister on Christmas day and she was thrilled with it! I'm so glad. I loved this lap quilt and since I still have another unused jelly roll sitting around gathering dust, I just might make one for myself!

Here is a close up of a star. I hope if you click and enlarge the photo you can see some of the fabulous quilting done by my machine quilter. The photos aren't the best I've ever taken. I will have to take my camera along next time I visit the sister and see if I can get better shots.

And for now, that is that! I should go find my boots and go help the hubby make headway with some of this snow. I at least need to find my car in the driveway and get it shoveled off....but before I go face the elements, I want to leave you with just a glimpse of this Nana's special little Elf. This is truly what Christmas is about- the joy of a child's discovery. This is my favorite of all photos taken over the holiday, and probably the best reason of all to go out into this snowy, snowy day.
Until my next post- stay warm, stay dry and above all, stay well.

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