On to December!

This year seemed to drag on, but now – Oh My! The end of November already? It was such a pretty day today so we put up the outdoor Christmas lights just in time for the beginning of Advent tomorrow. A few things are up in the house, but not the tree or mantel adornments. Tomorrow – maybe.

Above is a sneak peak of a Christmas quilt I’ve been working on the past week. All the blocks are pieced, the circles hand appliqued and putting the blocks and rows together should be completed tomorrow. Borders will follow.

It’s been a very productive eleven months and I look forward to taking on a couple of challenging projects ahead of me. I won’t begin to tackle those until January, though, as there are one or two more bits I’d like to clean up that were already begun.

How has your progress been this year? Did more time staying at home make you more productive? I just hope whatever you have been doing, you have enjoyed it!

My favorite tree this time of year. The photo truly doesn’t do it justice. It absolutely glows in person. Even better, it came to me as a little baby from a dear friend.

Finish without a Name

About two years ago I came upon the pattern “Tangled” by Red Pepper Quilts on the Kona fabric site. I had the perfect collection – Blueberry Park.

Donut Block

I got the quilt cut, pieced the donut blocks, and clipped all the section parts together. That was it – no more until recently. I sewed like a crazy woman. I had to use the design wall for the whole process and even then it became confusing at times.

All the seams are pressed open. When I do the pressing on the wool mat, all lays perfectly flat.

Now this quilt top is hanging with my other flimsies. But – it needs a name! A couple of possibilities: “Emotions,” “2020.” Still not right – I’d like to have a more positive name. “Life’s Journey” perhaps. Hmmm. Any suggestions?

Outside blowing leaves is where I have been spending some time each day – Not complaining though. The weather has been nice and it’s something physical to do.

Pretty fall color!

Linkups: To Do Tuesday N&TT

A Royal Bloom

Several years ago – 5 maybe? – using Kim McClean’s pattern “Lollypop Trees,” I began appliqueing the first block. With only a few pieces to go, I decided to do the blocks with a different background. I abandoned the block I was working on and went full steam ahead with the new background. A couple of months ago I pulled out the original block and finished it. There was just too much effort invested into it to just let it sit in a closet forever.

I added a border with curved edges, quilted and bound it. It makes a lovely wall hanging and is now hanging at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock. And…it’s another finish! There are also six Lolypop Tree blocks all complete and waiting for me to design sashings and a border. I’ve decided I want to do something different than the pattern calls for. It won’t happen for a while, though – I have been auditioning several fabrics but haven’t found the right fit. There’s just too much work in these blocks to settle.

There’s also been a lot of outside time lately. The temps have been so gorgeous – perfect for weeding and sitting outside to read or stitch. Unfortunately, the leaves have begun to fall and we’ve had another banner year for acorns. They really are such a menace!

Fall really does offer so much beauty here:

Azaleas
Fatsia Blooms
Camelia
Nandina Berries – perfect for fall arrangements.
Japanese Maples offer a beautiful deep red fall color.

Linking up: Oh Scrap! To Do Tuesday N&TT

Wintertide

Welcome Standard Time – the time of year I usually get more sewing done in the early evening dark hours.

I have been wanting to do a wintery mountain wall quilt. Batiks were the way to go and fortunately I had a variety in blues for the background.

The strips were cut into two inch strips and I began piecing, adding the “mountains” on three of the upper strips. After researching several pines, I printed one out and began to cut. And cut. And cut. And – you get the idea! The scissors were replaced with an Exacto knife with a brand new blade, but it was quickly apparent that the scissors worked better.

I quilted the background first then ironed on the tree, adding free motion quilting. Instead of the usual binding, I mounted the quilt to an 18″ x 24″ canvas. I’ve never done that before and now know I will definitely do more mounted on canvas!

I only wish I’d taken more pics before bringing this piece up for my little quilt show in Blowing Rock. I’ll post more at a later time.

Now I want to do pines, mountains and bears – oh my!

(credit to Beths quilt works, picture only – no info.)

Link up: N&TT

Works in Progress & Quilted Finish!

I keep a log of my Works in Progress and completed projects and share it here monthly. Somehow I got away from that this year but became curious as to just where I’m at with everything. I know my project boxes have lessened and as I began my update I could see why! I’ve been busier than I realized! It’s probably because of all the time being spent at home that I wasn’t fully aware of just how much I was actually accomplishing. That and gardening have kept me going.

Note my definitions: Work in Progress – a project that has been started no matter how far along it is. Project – fabric and pattern in a project box with nothing done to it – no cutting, no sewing.

Here it is: projects still in the works and projects completed. Wow! A couple more and I’ll give myself permission to begin a new Work in Progress – I just may have a few of those!

Yeah! Another flimsy out of the closet! Some time ago I put together this fun Hawaiin String quilt and it was time at last to quilt it. I only do simple quilting and thankfully a string quilt lends itself to that quite well.

It’s backed with a navy fleece – warm, soft & comfy. This is also a Hospice quilt so it’s a double win!

Victoriana

The fabric wasn’t bright and bold as is my usual choice, but somehow it spoke to me. It seemed somewhat Victorian andI chose to do a small wall hanging. I pieced four patches and then cut them wonky which I found to be a fun technique. I did the same with the borders, just much smaller.

The background is straight line quilted. Circles of a focused portion of the fabrics was then hand appliqued onto the center of each wonky block.

It all blended in a bit too much so I embroidered around each circle using no. 8 pearl cotton.

Unfortunately, I do not have a pic of the bound and finished wall hanging which was bound in a dark Navy blue – it is now hanging at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock, NC.

Sometime in the future I would very much like to use this wonky four patch technique in a larger, bolder and brighter quilt. Overall, I am pleased with this little quilt – another finish!

Scrappy Finish

Another Scrappy Finish and soon to be another quilt to go to Hospice! I began piecing this quite some time ago and a few blocks sat on the design wall for much too long. In a moment of boredom, a few more blocks were added. Finally, last week, I got a bit annoyed with myself for having let it go for so long, so…I sewed!

I really got into it and by the end of the day all the blocks were together, a pieced border added, and it was a flimsy. was just the sewing therapy I needed. It now hangs with several other to be quilted tops, a few which are also for Hospice.

Just waiting for the urge to quilt to strike!

My Little Gallery Showing

Blowing Rock, NC is where I host my quilting retreats and hubby and I a;sp visit there a couple of times a year. I absolutely love it there! There’s hiking, strolling by all the shops and wonderful restaurants. It is such a pretty place. The hotel we stay at, The Meadowbrook Inn, is just lovely and comfortable – I call it my home away from home. The staff is so friendly, kind and helpful and over the years I have grown a beautiful relationship with them.

Every quarter the inn has a guest artist with their works hanging in their little gallery room. From now until January I am the guest artist! I had a number of pieces to bring, but there was a lot of prep work to do. I hand sewed loops or corners on the back of each piece, had hubby cut wooden slats to size, and inserted them in the back of each quilt for hanging. I brought 16 pieces and somehow got it all done. Whew!

Please note: the pics were all taken with someone else’s phone and sent to me after all the pieces were hung. They are not the best quality, but it is a hoot for me to see them all hung!

Peaks of Color

Another small wall quilt, this time using solids and one of my favorites: Kaffe prints. I began by pulling and pairing fabrics. I set my camera to a grayscale setting which was very telling. A couple of my selections blended together, but to the naked eye they seemed fine. From experience I knew that those had to be eliminated. It’s a great tool in fabric color selection.

I drew paper pieced block patterns as I wanted each to be a little different and to have as crisp points as possible. Happy to say it was all a fun process!

The polka dot backing was perfect. For the quilting I didn’t want too much as it’s a small quilt, so I chose random circle quilting. You can be sure I’ll be doing that again sometime in the future!

I’m also back to hand applique and with cooler temps arriving here in the Piedmont, I’m enjoying doing so on my front porch. Here is my view:

The garden continues to delight. The onslaught of leaves will soon be following, but until then, I will soak in with joy all that surrounds me.

Linkup: N&TT

Red Storm

Recently I was looking through my orphan blocks and came across a several quarter circle black and white blocks. I’ve been doing a few small wall quilts and decided to do something with these. I chose several red batiks for a strong contrast, cut them into 1″ and 3/4″ strips and began piecing.

I played with several layouts on the design wall and mostly straight line quilted it – for such a little quilt, 11″ x 19″, it took a while!

Here it is – “Red Storm!”

Linking: N&TT