Monday, December 30, 2013

Butterfly Love -Third Quilt

As I walked through my garden
I saw a butterfly light on a flower.
His wings were pink and purple:
He spoke a small word . . .
It was Follow!

-Hilda Conkling

Butterfly Love was completed on time! It is a beautiful purple with a bit of green for Big R. For this quilt I used a handmade flower stencil to do the hand quilting. 

On my last quilt I was having trouble with the mitered corners of the binding and connecting the two ends smoothly. I found this tutorial at Valerie Custom Quilts which was extremely helpful and gave me the results I wanted.

Big R picked out the spunky backing which is a great compliment to the traditional front.

The batting is bamboo fiber. It is thin and very warm, but I found it difficult to quilt. I am not sure if it was the fiber or the glue for iron-on fusible. I prefer safety pin basting skip the fusible batting next time. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Advent Calendars

The tree is decorated - nearly. There are still 3 boxes of ornaments still unwrapped, about 100 more ornaments. We counted one year and there are over 350 ornaments. The general consensus is nobody will notice and the Butterfly Love quilt needs binding, so I agree.

I love advent calendars. The wonderful way to mark each step in the preparation of this joyful holiday. Growing up we have a paper one with the religious Christmas story and sometimes ones with little chocolates in the molded plastic tray. My sisters and I each had a "Days Til Christmas". Each night we would untie a bow until the Christmas Eve.

The poem reads:
"Days Til  Christmas"

Each night, after prayers 
have been said,

Untie one bow,
then into bed.

Then St. Nicholas comes
you can tell,

It's the night that
you come to the bell.

My kids have had Lego advent calendars. Several years ago my Mom gave us one with little ornaments. Instead of adding these to the tree. (I am sure there is space. ). I designed an advent calendar to display them. I drew the tree and figured out the pocket size, randomly labeled the pockets.


This is their favorite - the dead snowman.

This year my sister K3, the queen of paper crafting, made this wonderful advent calendar using Stampin' Up.

Each little door has either a dark chocolate kiss or peanut butter bell. Advent is so much better than Lent - chocolate is practically required. :)

Preparing for Christmas can be hectic, but an advent calender reminds you a little bit each day and you'll be ready.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Leaving the Nest

Sometimes when you are making a gift for someone, you need to keep it under wraps lest the secret gets out. At the same time you appear as if you aren't doing anything, even though you are very busy. So it was with this gift quilt for my niece Big "C".

In the spring I found this Spring House pattern by Stephanie Ryan. It is a flying goose pattern. This is a pattern I wanted to try, but I had no need for another quilt project at the present time. I filed the pattern for the future. In June I learned Big "C" and couple of friends were making plans to room together and move out on their own. Leaving the nest?!?!?

I immediately thought of this pattern and the pun it intended. It would be a wonderful house warming gift, especially since the new place has a roof top access. What better way to extend the outdoor season wrapped in a warm quilt!

I was told the move date would be October. So 4 months to piece and hand quilt. It was doable,with Butterfly Love quilt taking the back seat along with most other projects. I picked bright warm colors to suit her personality and a simple linear trace up and down geese for the quilting. A few geese have nipped beaks or wing tips, but all are free flyers. It has a scrappy back because I loved the elephants so much I couldn't pass them up just because there was not enough fabric for the entire. I finished it at the end of September.

Butterfly Love is still on the quilting rack. In January I pre-signed and dated it to complete metamorphosis from fabric pieces to quilt in December 2013. 29 days and counting and possible New Year's resolution - take better pictures :)...