Thursday, December 27, 2018

Christmas 2018

We had a lovely holiday with family, celebrating Christmas Eve with our kids and grandkids with delicious homemade soups and french bread, followed by an apple dump cake made by youngest daughter Erica.
The presents were piled high around the tree, long after I took this photo!  Sadly I didn't get the new tree skirt finished; I still like the red one though.  Grandsons Cove (4) and Hunter  (2)were the stars of the show, as usual. 
Nick's girlfriend Ashley was Hunter's pal all night long.  He's showing a gift from Mimi and Papa. We are going to miss his adorable lisp when he gets older; right now he calls her "Ashwee", and Erica's boyfriend Ryan is "Wyan", so cute.

Cove was still for only long enough for one photo.  He was very excited about the Ukelele that Mimi and Papa got him as well.
This appears to be the only pics I got of my menfolk!  Cove's a blur as usual.

A pre-approved portrait of Elaine and Erica, with son-in-law Chris barely visible behind.
I made a Snap Bag for Ashley, and added a strap for the first time on the dozens of these I've made in the past.  I also made Erica a stocking but don't have a finished shot.  We ate Christmas dinner at my parents, it was cold and windy outside so the 30 of us crammed into the living room. We had just finished dinner when there was a power outage that lasted a good 40 minutes.  My brother Kevin brought in a ton of flashlights (he's a Scoutmaster--he's prepared, lol) and the girls washed all the dishes with cold water.  

My Christmas vacation was extended by a case of the shingles, ugh.  Our son-in-law said I was singing "Shingle Bells", haha.  While I don't have a severe case, it is very uncomfortable around my waist  area where the blisters are, and the burning nerve pain is constant.  We've seen many worse cases of shingles in the office but I plan to get my shingles shot as soon as I can, probably in 3-6 months.

I did get some after-Christmas sewing time in.  Some fellow guild members are making quilts for the families of the Borderline mass shooting, an unimaginable loss of 12 people in early November 2018, most of whom were in their late teens/20s, plus one Sheriff who responded to the shooting.  I chose green from the rainbow choices and have been sewing HSTs for the pattern we are calling Rise Up.


I need 180 of these for the comfort quilt size we are making.  I hope to finish up all the HSTs by Friday and lay them out.  Kelly of Superbuzzy quilt shop did die-cutting for me for the fabrics I chose in her store.  That speeds things up very well.  We don't know when the quilts will be distributed but are hoping to get them done very soon. 

The last of the year's sewing will involve some pajama pants I also intended to give the boys but just didn't get to before the big day.  They will get done this weekend.  

Happy New Year to one and all!  I am pondering what 2019 will bring in the sewing room, and on my sister's longarm :)  There are many tops that deserve a finish, and many projects still under construction.  The squirrels need tamping down so these older projects can become real quilts.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Happy Tiers Quilts Finish

I've been absent for so long, but am pleased to show two finished quilts that will be on their way to two little girls tomorrow.  I've lots of photos to share.  Recap: my cousin asked me to make quilts for his two granddaughters as Christmas gifts and I chose the Happy Tiers pattern by Me and My Sister Designs (APQ magazine April 2016).

The Meadowbloom fabric (designer April Rosenthal) quilt had a small oops on the bottom row--the yellow chandelier needed to be a birthday cake.  Good thing I discovered this before the borders went on!

Lucky Black Friday shopping on Etsy resulted in ordering matching backing fabrics.  I decided against Minky backing to make the quilts more classic.  Plus it was going to be the first time using my sister's longarm machine and I didn't want extra chances to mess up.  

My sister Kathy has a Pfaff Grand Quilter and hooked up the computer for the first time specifically for my quilts.  I chose a pattern called Charms and we got the layers loaded quickly with her Red Snappers and started up the computer. 


All was going smoothly until the very.last.row.   The edge of the quilt top flipped and the computer shut off.   By this time it was 11 pm and Kathy tried to free motion the remainder of the row, which was not too successful.  I took it home and let it rest.  A few days later Kathy had figured out a way to fix it, after much research.  Good thing she is like a dog with a bone when she wants information!  Her tenet is now "Kathy is Not Allowed to Make Design Decisions at 11 pm", haha.  

Before attempting the repair, we first did the easy part of quilting the other Happy Tiers quilt.  I asked for a  swirl type design and Kathy resized and played with it before saving the custom design.  With a slip of her fingers, it was named "Annie's BS Swirl", which tickled her no end.  

The Badda Bing fabrics looked great with the swirl, and as a bonus, the much simpler design quilted up fast.  We only had one thread break/bobbin problem.  Then we reloaded the Meadowbloom quilt and reset the computer to finish the row.  It took way longer to rip out the errant stitching than to resew the fix.  Meanwhile I had already made the bindings, which I attached all by machine.  


Today after a few hand stitches to catch missed edges, Grant held them up for photos. 

 This one is for Hayden...

...and this one is for Zoey.  They have had their first bath and after I attach labels I will get them packaged up and mailed tomorrow.  Hope to have photos to show of happy little girls with their quilts in a couple of weeks.  Their dad is being deployed to Afghanistan with the Army Reserve before Christmas, so I hope the quilts add a bit of joy to the holiday.  

Next up is turning these fabrics into a tree skirt:
I'll quilt the layers and  cut bias binding from the red and gold stripe to make it double sided.  We got a smaller tree this year--just yesterday!--and I have barely any decorating done.  Lots to do this weekend.  DD Erica has also requested a new stocking, as her childhood Tigger one is being retired.  I have some other secret sewing to do, as well as most of the Christmas shopping.  It seems my intentions to start early never make it to reality!  Looking forward to celebrating in 12 days with all the family. Happy Holidays to all.