Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Here's to the new year!

Sigh. Vacation is over. Time to go back to work.

You'd think with a month-long break in the school schedule, I'd have plenty of time to write a blog post, right? Nope! I have filled my free time with family and fabric!

We enjoyed one of the most fun Christmases ever. We were in Pittsburgh, where the weather wasn't as freezing as it might have been, and there was snow! DD planned lots of fun activities, and there was time to hang out, too.

Making rubber band bracelets.

The little family!

Operation! Poppy's going for the Charley Horse,
while John is missing his girlfriend,
and showing his broken heart.

Now I can show you some cute Christmas gifts I made.

My mom and my niece, Ellie, told me they'd like a jewelry roll for taking earrings with them when they travel. I used a tutorial from Fiberosity to make these. I'd love to share a link to the tutorial, but my computer won't connect to it anymore... that probably means it's been pulled off the website to be published in a book.
Little zippered pockets to keep earrings safe.
The one in the middle is my first try.
 I tweaked the pattern for the others, and had fun quilting them.
This is what they look like rolled up.

Bonnie Hunter posts a mystery quilt on her blog, Quiltville, that starts after Thanksgiving and this year ended at New Year's Day. It's a mystery because she gives instructions for one unit of the quilt blocks at a time, and you don't know how they'll be put together until the end.  Last year I joined in and made all the blocks for Easy Street, but the blocks are sitting in a basket, waiting to be sewn together and made into a quilt. Truth be told, I wasn't happy with the fabrics I used. I think my background black-and-white fabrics are too busy, and I used shades of aqua and green and purple that get lost in the pattern. 
Don't worry, I'll finish it!

Bonnie was inspired for this year's mystery quilt by her visit to Ireland, where she loved the green hills. I immediately thought of my love for summer's golden hills here on the Central Coast of California, and decided to use fabrics in my stash to reflect the dark oaks on the hills, and the blue skies, and the ocean. 

I made triangle units

and diagonal units that got turned into chevrons

and half-square-triangles that got turned into pinwheels
and when all the blocks were done, some of my color placements weren't ideal. I wanted to make a rectangle instead of a square quilt, so I made more blocks, and scattered a few with the different color placement throughout. If you squint, you can see a few white diamonds scattered in the blue rings. That's the effect the entire quilt was meant to have, but my dark browns and yellows were reversed. 
Poor nighttime picture...

I've sewn it all together, with borders, and I've quilted it already! I used Elizabeth Hartman's dogwood pattern, and I definitely got better as I went along! I think the wobbly stitches will blend in when the quilt is washed, and the quilt puckers up around the stitching in that cozy way I like so much!
The colors are truer in this pic!

Right now the binding is on, ready to be hand-stitched on the back, and I intend to hand-stitch something in the border, too. Can I wait until the Olympics to do it, so I have something to do while watching the Games? 


Needled Mom said...

It looks like it was a wonderful Christmas for you.

I LOVE your Solstice. I kept the instructions as I want to do it when time permits.

Esther F. said...

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! I adore this very stylish quilt! So sophisticated!!!
esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo com
ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

Grace said...

I LOVE the jewelry roll and I've got to find a way to get one! So cool. So useful. You are talented, sister.

Bethany H said...

It was a fun christmas, let's do a repeat THIS year!!

p.s. I love my jewelry roll. sure beats folding my earrings into a tangled mess of a silk handkerchief. thanks mom!

capitolaquilter said...

Family and Fabric sounds like a month well spent - I love the life size operation, what a crack up! The mystery quilt turned out so pretty. With such an optical illusion type pattern that made for a tricky one flying blind and whatever alterations you did in the end sure did work. Happy New Year

Vireya said...

Your mystery looks great! I was wondering about using the dogwood quilting pattern too, as I've done it on a couple of others and liked the effect. So thanks for doing it so I can see how it looks!

Karen H said...

It looks lovely! I really like your greens and yellows. Very nice.

Cris Maxwell said...

What a fun read that was...loved seeing the kids in the photos...is Max wearing green Doc Martins?
Your quilting is so pleasing to the eye...love all the combinations and colors you use!