Monday, February 4, 2013

A Wiscasset twin

One of my last finishes of 2012 was a present for my dad.

You may remember last year, I made a quilt for my parents for Christmas.

My mom, however, promptly laid claim to it, so of course I had to start work on a quilt for my dad, too.  Luckily, I had a couple of jelly rolls of Minick & Simpson's Wiscasset squirreled away for a rainy day, and spent the summer making up some blocks when it wasn't too hot out.  I used Kim Brackett's Blessings from the Hollow pattern from her book, Scrap Basket Sensations.  

I have to say, I tend not to be a traditional pattern girl.  I often mess with things, cobble together my own spin, etc.  Not in this case.  I give major appreciation to Kim--this was a great pattern.  Clear, easy to follow, and with great results, if I do say so myself...

I had a bit of extra yardage of Wiscasset, too, so used a sprigged cream print and a dark blue paisley as borders.  

The backing fabric is Kona Cadet and the binding is Kona Navy.  I love the solid backing--I quilted a quarter-inch inside the inner borders of each square and along the inner edge of the star shapes.

It was finished about a week before Christmas and Dad?

Loves it!

(Sorry, no gift photos--he ran off and hid it from my mother as soon as he'd opened it!)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Quilting against the clock

When I originally set myself a timeline for a quilt that needs to be finished by a certain deadline, I try to pad it a little, to leave myself room for the inevitable SNAFU.  It doesn't always work out the way I'd like it, but I don't like to deal with more stress than I have to, and I hate to make quilting stressful.  I enjoy it, after all!

However, back in late October, I thought I had plenty of time to finish this quilt before the November 1 deadline--that being my grandmother's 90th birthday celebration.

I used the Granny Square tutorial (appropriate, no?) from Blue Elephant Stitches, and a jelly roll each of Butterscotch & Rose by Fig Tree Quilts and Moda Bella Cream.  The finished quilt is a great throw size, about 60" by 70".

But I wound up with a slight snag.  See, I was pushing to finish this by November 1, and even had the whole last week of October off, but then Hurricane Sandy happened on October 29.  Here in CT, we knew a day or so in advance that landfall was imminent, and that power outage was inevitable.  See, we dealt with Irene the previous year and were without power for 4 days, and then had a snowstorm that followed Irene and were without power for 8 days.  So we stocked up on firewood, charcoal for the grill, bottled water and canned goods, and put away anything that might be blown around the yard.  And then I quilted like my life depended on it, so that the electricity-reliant part of the process would be done before we lost power.  I finished machine sewing the binding to the front of the quilt at around 5pm...

The back fabric is another Fig Tree fabric from a different line, Mill House Inn, and the binding fabric was a serendipitous find at JoAnn's a couple of years ago.

And then a scant few hours later, we had this happen.

40ft pine tree blown over on our cars.  :(

Which looked like this in the stark light of morning the next day.

In any case, all's well that ends well--the insurance and tree service people were hugely helpful, my car's been replaced (the madman's SUV was actually fine), I finished the quilt although poor Gram's party was put off by a week--my parents and grandmother were all without power for over a week, and the madman and I were lucky to only be out about four days this time.  

And Gram?  She loves her quilt.  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year! And also, what I've been doing the last 8 months...

Well then.  It's been awhile, hasn't it?  I took the summer off of just about everything.  When I wasn't working, I swam and read and slept, only tiptoeing into the sewing room to make up blocks for my last remaining bee, the Peace Circle of do.Good Stitches.  2012 was the year of simplifying, and giving up all but the bee I love best was part of that.  It made the blocks I was making a special treat instead of a dreaded chore and another deadline.

We had a brief stretch of cool-ish weather, and I made up the last of the blocks for my father's Christmas present (which was properly gifted and under the tree as promised on the 25th, but I'll share the finished quilt in another post...).

The Madman and I went to Disney for our 10-year anniversary, and I took photos of tilework, because what else does one do on vacation?

Makes one think of quilts, though, doesn't it?

There was a swap sent...

And received (thanks again, Dawn!!)...

Oh, and there was a hurricane.  Thanks, Sandy.  

That's a 40 ft pine that came down across our driveway and both of our cars.  My husband's SUV only had a few new dings.

My car?

Well, my car was toast.  Many thanks to the awesome tree service guys who were out the day after the storm to remove the tree, and to my amazing insurance folks, who were incredibly calming and helpful during a very stressful time.

And past few months?  Well, those have been a whirlwind of finished quilts, holiday prep and partying, and cherishing all the good moments, letting those outweigh the bad.

Happy New Year to all of you, and see you around here a lot more often in 2013!