Thursday, January 24, 2013

January Finish - Achieved!

I'll admit, I'm stunned I finished.

And I even made time to make a roll of bias binding. Care to take a wild guess about what my February goal will be?

This quilt measures approximately 60x75 inches and each tie is about 4 inches apart. My goal was to tie once per piece but use my grandmother's thread wisely. I still have a bit to spare in case I need to go back in and re-tack any area. But I'm so pleased it's finished up to this point!

I'm linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tying Up the Holidays (Finally!)

The very last holiday gifts are soon to arrive in the hands of their intended recipients. Time to show off, then!

First, that all-important recipient:  me!

I splurged at a local yarn shop on a skein of faaaaantabulous yarn, worked a stockinette stitch on fat needles, and stitched together a cowl. Neck-warmer. Whatever. It's my new favorite accessory!

And speaking of accessories, can you guess what is pictured below?

Bow ties! When my brother was visiting last summer, I had the idea to make bow ties for his boyfriend. My brother picked out the pink check, and after several steps in the design process (and a very patient professional bow tie-wearing friend), I decided to make a selection in ginghams and a fun cathedral print. When I revealed them to my brother, he was overwhelmed. I hope their recipient likes them just as much!

Wow. OK. Now my holiday season is OFFICIALLY over! Looking forward to some regular sewing... bee blocks, guild meetings, working on my Lovely Year of Finishes project... Le happy sigh...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Love Bunny

My dear friend Emily lost her beautiful mother at the turn of the year. I decided she needed a bunny, so I made her one.

Emily's bunny has a daffodil in its paw, a hand-embroidered face, and a scrappy rough-edged fluffy tail. She reminds me of the Margaret Wise Brown book, The Runaway Bunny (text can be found here). I felt like Emily needed to know she will always be her Mama's little bunny, no matter whether Mama is on earth or in heaven.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Quilt for My Brother

Christmas comes late when family visits in early January!

My brother's schedule did not permit him to visit during the holidays, so he is here now instead! I was so happy to give him his Christmas present. It is the easiest top I've ever constructed, essentially a whole cloth quilt made from Kaffe Fassett remnants found at Hancock's of Paducah. When the Guild visited the shop on our Kentucky road trip last year, the stripes seemed so very much like my brother that I knew I was holding his Christmas even then. A thrifted sheet and a Dear Stella scrappy binding polished off the quilt. It's just the right size to cuddle on a sofa, and the length befits his taller frame.

While visiting, I lay out the family heirloom I'm hand-tying, and he snapped a few photos of me crawling around on it (yes, I'm in shorts and a tee in January - hello, unseasonably warm weather).

And then for kicks, my mother tossed down the Generations Quilt I made for her birthday the year before last.

Love seeing my work coming together! As quilts come and go from my hands it is easy to loose sight of the progress and achievement of each one, so it is rewarding to see a few in one place.

There is still a bit more of Christmas to show, but I'll save that for another post. Happy (warm) winter, y'all!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year's Goals

Happy 2013, y'all! I can hardly believe it's here! This year, I've decided to try a fabric fast - that is, I will sew only from my stash and purchase NO new fabric. We'll see how long this lasts... but making the attempt is half the battle, no?

In keeping with such a resolution, I am focusing on completing some pieces that are already in progress. To keep me accountable, I am linking up with Shanna, a lovely gal I first met through the Orange You Glad Bee. The idea is to set one goal each month and complete it. I am pretty good at starting things, but I want to improve my ability to finish. Setting manageable goals will, I think, aid in this process.

For January, I would like to finish hand-tying my latest quilting endeavor:

I'm calling this quilt Generations II. The top was given to me by an aunt several years ago - in fact, on the same visit where I first recognized my features in my great grandmother Lillian's photograph, pictured in the blog header. According to my aunt, this top was pieced by Lillian herself. It has been waiting for a few years now, but right as the new year turned, I decided on a whim to baste it using one of my mother's sheets as backing. The top is puckered, lending it to hand-tying. Before my grandfather passed, he noticed me crocheting and gave me a spool of my grandmother's crochet thread. I am using that to tie the quilt. Bias binding is cut and waiting assembly, and that will be my contribution. So four generations in one quilt!

I began hand-tying the quilt as I traveled over New Year's to visit my mother's family in the hills of Virginia. We especially wanted to visit my great aunt, and I hoped to know my grandmother, whom I've never met, through her. Going with that motivation in heart, the visit was transformative to me. This quilt will ever be linked to that visit and the sense of beauty and identity it instilled in me, and that's all the more reason to make sure it gets done!

My beautiful great grandmother Lillian in the wedding dress she made herself
 Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes. May your new year be bright!

P.S. If you look closely, you can see where the Flea Market Fancy line of fabrics draws its inspiration! Nothing new under the sun, no?