Monday, November 18, 2019

The last of the Christmas Quilts...


This poor little old blog's best days are over. I have ignored it completely these last few months and not even thought twice about it. All good things must end... or die a slooooow somewhat painful death, as is the case of this blog. {No tears necessary!} Anyway, my efforts are elsewhere these days, but I do love to chronicle things on my blog, so here's a post about the last few Christmas quilts I've finished.

This first one is a non-traditional color for Christmas, and I couldn't love the fabric more. Who doesn't love a little pink at Christmastime and get a load of those cute Santas in his village...


I'm so glad I put that red frame around the border of the quilt to break up the pink. It really adds a lot to the quilt and every now and then I hit the jackpot when I make a quilt. This one is unconventional and so cute.


This one is for my son and his partner. They decorated their home in silvery metallics last Christmas and it was stunning. I thought these metallic fabrics would be beautiful for their Christmas quilt...


This nutcracker fabric is so beautiful. We've collected a number of nutcrackers in our family over the years, so this fabric means more to us than merely a beautiful pattern. 


The last quilt is another playful one for a family with younger children. I think they will enjoy the colors and theme of this cute quilt...



I made 10 Christmas quilts this year. It was really fun having a theme for quilts and I'm amazed at how different they all are. That's one of the fun things about quilting -- no two quilts are the same!

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

My Favorite Quilt...


I never thought I'd say I "found" my favorite quilt, but this one is definitely "the one." Several weeks ago our family had a family reunion and most of our children and their families were present. We had a wonderful week, but, for me and my husband, the highlight was being given this beautiful quilt by our children...


There are nine blocks in this quilt and each family made one, with the center block being an extra block. Our daughter-in-law Stephanie gave each family a bunch of block patterns and fabric to choose from. Each family choose the block they liked best and their fabric and a representative from each family made their family's block. I can't even begin to tell you how touched I was by this gesture...



And, the quilt itself is stunning and much more complicated than anything I've ever made, which makes me appreciate it even more. I adore the fabric choices both in color and pattern. Sometimes kids {which includes kid-in-laws} do things that take your breath away. This was one of those times. We're so grateful for this beautiful family heirloom.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Faux House Plants & Arrangements...


It's been a month since I posted. This month has been filled with packing, unpacking, and a family reunion sandwiched in between! We've been very busy, but we are finally in our new home. We decided to build a home when we couldn't find what we liked in an existing home. It took 11.5 long months to build, but we moved in a couple of weeks ago, and, so far, we've unpacked a gabillion boxes and only have two gabillion boxes left to unpack. It's become a slow process -- mostly because I have the attention span of a gnat. Yesterday I started to unpack some boxes and got sidetracked with what I wanted to put in a vase in our entryway. I wanted softer colors than I'd had in our other house -- some cream and sage greens. My daughter-in-law, Meghann, turned me onto how beautiful these shades are together when she used them in her wedding. I used the same shades in a luncheon we put on for them after the wedding ceremony. Here's a few pictures of that beautiful day...




Anyway, I'm using some those colors on our main floor and loving it. There's a lot of browns, creams, gray, and sage colors. My husband commented on this yesterday and said he thought it needed more color, so I bought this little original painting on Etsy and will put it in the entry...


I gave him a choice of three paintings and he choose the one with the most color -- my favorite too. It's of Kittery, Maine, which is right up the highway from our new house.

Anywho, I digress. Let me get back on track. A few years ago designers were touting the opinion that you should never use faux plants or flowers in your home. They implied they were ugly and tacky. {Blah.. ba-blah... ba-blah.} I happen to like greenery and flowers, and if the real thing is impracticable or too costly, then... fake gotta work. So, I'm not going to apologize for my slacker plants cause I kinda love 'em. I went looking for some greenery yesterday thinking of the silvery and sage colors in a eucalyptus branch, and ended up with something different. After hitting up Target's Magnolia and Hearth and Hand botanical collections, World Market, and Marshall's, I knew I had to get serious, so I decided to drive the 30 minutes it takes to get to a Hobby Lobby. New Englanders haven't discovered the benefits of Hobby Lobby like those in the west. There's a Hobby Lobby in every town in Colorado. Here they have them spread far and wide and you have to put on your pioneer bonnet and hiking boots to make the trek to one. All I can say to that is.... geesh.

I went into Hobby Lobby with the idea of sage greens, silvery tones, and cream colors. I came out with something a little different...

I started by picking up the lambs ear branches -- beautiful sage color with a touch of silvery fuzz. Then I reached for that little branch with the berries {on the left}.


Those berries have a little purple/blue hue, so that took me off in another direction. Each branch or flower I grabbed had some sage green and a touch of lavender or purple. Purple is not a color I'm usually drawn to, but it's understated in this arrangement, so I love it.



Well, here I sit writing this post when I should be unpacking boxes. Like I said my attention span is limited. Wish me luck as I act like a dock worker and unpack today.



I just remembered. I also bought this fern yesterday...



I should probably get back to unpacking now... unless I can find something else to grab my attention.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Navy Nutcracker Quilt...


I'm trying to finish binding all the quilts that I have almost completed before the big move in a couple of weeks. I'm fairly certain that there won't be a lot of sewing for a month or two after we move as I arrange/rearrange things in the new house to our liking. Last night I finished this Navy Nutcracker quilt. Originally, the inspiration behind this quilt was this Michael Miller Nutcracker Metallic Ornaments fabric...


But, then I decided to use this fabric from the same line -- Nutcracker Metallic Navy Overture -- in an equal amount on the quilt, so they both became equally important! I adore this fabric with all the cute nutcracker characters and scenes...


Together these fabrics make a beautiful, almost monochromatic-ish quilt...


The fabric for the boarder and binding are also from the same line... Michael Miller Nutcracker Metallic Toy Soldier. These are all on sale at fabric.com right now for an incredible price. It pays to shop for Christmas fabric off season!

Recently, someone asked who I use to do all the longarm quilting on my quilts, so I'll give a little shout out to my amazing quilter. First of all, my quilts are very simply made. I don't really consider myself a "quilter." I'm more a sewer that likes to put fabrics together to make blankets. I love making simple quilts because I love choosing and putting fabrics together. It's the fabrics that draw me to quilting. Making intricate quilts with tiny squares and complicated patterns is not my idea of fun. Obviously. But, I love to have them professionally quilted because that makes ALL the difference in making the quilts look professional, so early on I asked a quilter friend of mine who she would recommend and Donna's name came up. Donna Smith owns the company "Quilted For You" in Mead, Colorado. She quilted 45 quilts for me in one year a couple of years ago when I got the bright idea to make a quilt for all our children and grandchildren for Christmas. This she did in between all her other much more complicated quilting projects. I really appreciated the fact that she did my quilts in a timely manner because time was of the essence that year! When I moved to MA I was hoping to find a local quilter, but I found that the prices for longarm quilting were much higher in MA than in Colorado, so I decided just to ship all my finished quilt tops and bottoms to Donna, and she quilts them and sends them back. It doesn't cost much more than having them quilted here, and it doesn't take much longer than it did when I lived in Colorado. That way I still get her expert touch on my quilts. She's fabulous and she can make a so-so quilt top look like a piece of art. She's done that a bunch of times for me!

Donna suggested a holly pattern for the quilting on this Nutcracker quilt. That pattern mimics the holly on the "ornaments" fabric.



I love the gold metallic threads in these fabrics. Christmas isn't Christmas without shiny metallic touches!


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Santa's Village Quilt...


Oh, I love this quilt. I think this Santa's village fabric is one of my favorite Christmas fabrics that I've found -- so playful and festive!


I chose a raspberry red and lime green blend for the complimentary colors for this sweet village scene, and I love how it turned out...


For the quilting I chose a pattern with trees that mimic the ones in the village and stars and moons...



The inspiration fabric is a Riley Blake fabric. The collection is called, "Way Up North" by Jill Howarth. So cute...


These Christmas quilts have been so fun to put together! I can't wait to divide them up and send them off the end of November!


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Snow Globe Quilt...


Another Christmas quilt has been completed and three more are waiting to be bound. I've got to shift things into first gear if I want to get these done in the next few months! To be honest summer will be busy for us as we move into our new home that we've had built this last year. Finally we are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we'll be moving in within a month. Yay!

Here's a look at the newest finished project...


This quilt has more traditional Christmas colors than a few of the others I've made. I love the snow globe fabric from Stof Fabrics Denmark.


I thought a snow flake pattern for the quilting might be especially cute with this one..


And, I used the same snow globe fabric for the backing as I did on the front...


One more to check off the list!


Monday, May 06, 2019

Christmas Quilt...


There's something appealing about a bunch of pets dressed up in Christmasy frocks, scarves, knitted sweaters, and woolen caps. It seems to bring out the Christmas spirit in us all. This Ink and Arrow, "Mingle and Jingle Pets" fabric became the inspiration for my latest Christmas quilt.


I paired it with a few other coordinating and playful patterns...


... and brought them all together to make this fun and lively quilt!


I imagine this quilt will be appreciated by some of the little ones (who love puppies and kittens) in our family!


The back of the quilt is an entirely different fabric from those shown on the front, but the colors and theme of animals and Christmas blend nicely.



The quilting pattern on this one is the snowflake I've used on a couple of the other Christmas quilts I've made. Love this pattern...


Here's to another quilt waiting to be wrapped up and sent to a family I love for Christmas!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Refinishing an Oak Table...

When we moved to Massachusetts, we decided to rent an apartment at first. We didn't know exactly where we wanted to live, so we decided to research the lay of the land before we bought a home. I thought it would be only a few months before we found a home, but we ended up deciding to build, so here we sit still in the apartment ten months later. We should move into our home in about two months. Here's the  dreamy view we will have out our kitchen/eat-in-nook in our new home. {It's dreamy not because of the workers, but because of the trees. 😁 Although, I'm sure the workers are "dreamy" to someone -- just not me.}


Anywho, one of the things I've really missed about being in a home is being able to spread out and work on a big project. I've been able to sew, but that's about it. I am itching to refinish a piece of furniture, so I've been looking for a particular project to work on soon after we move into the new house. I found it the other day.

We have a loft in our new home. Part of it is a "bridge," with railings on either side. In the model home they had a grand piano there. My seven years of piano lessons never "took," so that's not an option. It's a tricky space to figure out what to do with. Here's a picture of how the space looks now. These railings, of course, are temporary so workers don't fall off the side... (Although, these rickety railings wouldn't keep anyone from a serious tumble.)


At the end of the room we'll have a couch and TV area, but I've been trying to figure out what to do with the space in the foreground. We finally decided to put a game table and chairs in the area. It's plenty wide, and we enjoy playing games in our family, so I think it will work beautifully.

For the last month I've been looking at tables. I wanted a round pedestal table about 45 inches wide. I looked at new tables, but I was more interested in an antique solid oak table. I love these tables, and they are beautiful. I was in the habit of looking on Facebook Marketplace every day to see if one came up and finally last week I came upon one just 30 minutes from our place. I quickly messaged the woman and a couple days later we picked it up. This is her picture, and it doesn't do it justice, but you'll get the idea...


This table was everything I wanted. Solid oak. Beautiful craftsmanship. Forty-two inches wide, and in as pristine condition as an old table could be. The best part of this little project is this table cost $50. Fifty. I was so thrilled! I had been looking at tables that were anywhere from $1000 (veneer) on up (solid wood), so this was a find of monumental proportions. So happy!

I want to refinish this table to give it back some of his former glory, but I have a dilemma.  Do I refinish him with a gray stain, something like this...


or a dark walnut stain, like this...


Either finish would be beautiful.
I'm curious.
Which finish do you like better?

Update: Someone asked for a picture of the flooring and asked about the color of paint on the wall. Here's the flooring (the wood on the left) and the paint color leans toward a beige color.