Thursday, January 1, 2015

Looking Back

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. 
Mark Twain

Welcome 2015!  Whether I'm ready for it or not it is here!  2014 in now just a sweet memory so I thought I would reflect on some of the things I got done in the last few weeks as it drew to a close.  This  is a picture heavy post to make up for not posting much lately.

We had a very nice Christmas getting to spend some time with all of our children and grandchildren.  Here is what the decorations were like.

The Tree

The Stockings and Presents

I found a cute snowman to sit on the mantle.  I have a Santa collection but I didn't put it out this season.  Maybe next time.

I found some Snowflakes to add to the tree.  They were cheap but I liked the way they sparkled so much I went back for some more.  $4 for 20 of them but they added a lot to the tree especially at night.  This little tree won't hold my Hallmark ornaments so we haven't even unpacked them for several years now.  I used to do 2 big trees in our old house but there just isn't room in this one.  I miss having separate living and dining rooms.

Moving on to what projects I managed to finish.  I made my younger daughter 2 pair of pj pants.  One long and one short pants from the same fabric.  I am going to try to use up more of my older fabrics.  This was a piece of T-shirt knit that I had for years.  If I'm not going to use these garment fabrics up I need to get rid of them.  With my serger it doesn't take very long to make a pair of pull on pants.  That used up a several yards and made her happy too.
No picture, I didn't think about it soon enough.

I finished up a bib for Maggie Rose.  I had it embroidered for a few weeks before I sewed it up.  Bibs are a good item to stitch off a design.  It was made from another scrap of knit.  I learned that I need to lighten my tension a bit on knits by making it.

That info helped me get this onesie to turn out pretty good.

I thought this design was just prefect for little Miss Maggie.  It is one of the designs that came in my Brother Dreamweaver machine.  Here is a close up.

I had hoped to get a couple of quilts finished for gifts but that didn't happen.  After spending some time looking for a backing I knew I had pieced I have been trying to put away some things in my studio.  I found it after a couple of days in the 'to be ironed' bin.  I seldom lose backings because I keep them on the same hanger as the top along with the binding fabric.

One of the things that surfaced in my search for that backing was this class sampler from when I took a class with Pam Clarke.  I wrote about it here.  She had finished hers off with rick rack and since I have quite a bit of it I decided to try that also.  I played around with different stitches to attach it.  Some I liked and some I didn't.  I also put some at the edge to be caught in the binding.  It didn't turn out too straight.  This is just a sampler of free motion stitches for me to look at in my studio and jog my brain.  It will not be used for anything else.  If you have seen a tutorial on how to get that to turn out neatly please let me know.  I was not satisfied with the look at all.

Sorry about the shadows from the window but the quilting shows up really well.  The rick rack covers lines that were printed on the fabric to divide the sections to stitch in.  No they were not evenly divided.

Of course it is impossible to achieve perfection in a 3 or 4 inch square when stitching something out for the first time.  Added to that is the fact that it was purple thread on brown fabric.  The backing fabric is the green and white the bib above is on and the bobbin thread was white.  

In a group class like that you learn a lot but you are working on a machine you are not familiar with and you are usually sharing it with one or two other people.  Some of the squares turned out well while on others I can still use some more practice.

The best way to practice is to draw the design over and over.  Then I like to fill a baby quilt with it.  I keep some pre-printed panels that work well for this.  I donate them to the local crisis pregnancy center.

Regardless of the level of perfection this sampler is finished and bound.  Yeah!!!

Well, if you have made it this far how about one more?  This one is an almost finished.  I made this top back when I had my shop.  I quilted the center several years ago but could not decide what to do on the borders.  It surfaced as I was trying to put away some things and I decided to get it done.

I was going for a glamour shot but I had not trimmed it yet.  

Misty wanted to inspect it for flaws.  She might have found a few. ;-)

The print is saddles, boots, ropes etc.  Great for a little cowboy.

I just went with a piano key border stitching.  I quilted this on my domestic machine with a walking foot.  I'm glad I don't have to do all that twisting and turning on my longarm.  Yes, I'm spoiled but I can still stitch in the ditch better on my domestic machine.  Ruler work on the longarm is still not something I have mastered yet.

If you use a large buffalo check gingham flannel on the back like this don't expect the quilting lines to align with the plaids.  I thought the flannel fit the cowboy theme of the quilt but the crooked lines bother the perfectionist in me.  Yes, I know, I am trying to just be happy it is done.  It is trimmed and awaiting the binding.  I know I have it, it just hasn't surfaced lately.

I'll be back soon.  I'm trying to decide how much planning I want to do for this year.  I'll share what I decide soon.

Linking with: Crazy Mom Quilts and Richard and Tanya Quilts and
 Confessions of a Fabric  Addict and Fort Worth Fabric Studio


  1. Your tree is lovely! Great project and a great way to practice your FMQ.

  2. Your Christmas looks like it was lovely. I love the idea of that sampler with the ric rac.

  3. a lovely picture of tree with stocking and presents. Some lovely makes too. Re ric rac I had a problem when I pressed one of my blocks that had it on as it melted with the heat of the iron so be careful the quilt is lovely

  4. The FMQ sampler quilt is a great idea and a great record.of your progress too :)

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