Monday, January 30, 2017

It's all about the snow

I have been working hard on the snowy quilt top.  I wanted so badly to finish it in January but alas, it isn't to be.  I did make a big dent in the number of pieces that are left to applique.  I don't want to stop because I'm afraid it will go to the dark side (UFO pile).

It has been a snowy month both inside and outside.  We have received about 25" of snow this month in various parts of the valley (which I am very grateful for) and I have been working on snowmen.  Above is the next large block for "Sleigh Bells" by Jan Patek.  Have I mentioned that there are no sleigh bells or sleighs of any kind on this quilt?  I need to come up with another name.  This was a fun block to do.  Notice the blue moon.

I also finished the three snowman baskets.  I decided to sew on buttons instead of doing small circles of black applique.  It was easier and it gives the quilt top a little texture.

The antlers on the deer didn't seem to show up very well on the previous block (above) so I did a back stick around them (below) with a lighter color of floss to help them stand out.  I like it better now.  Yes, my deer is still leaping off the ground next to the startled cat (also not touching ground)

I also was able to applique the 3rd angel.  I know this is supposed to be folk art and I really do like the style or I wouldn't be going to this much work.  My quandary is . . . why do the deer, snowman, and cat get eyes while the angels remain sightless?  Inquiring minds want to know.

I managed to get two of the 10 or so houses done today.  I was hoping for a better showing and I've got 3 more hours till bed so I might get more done.  It always surprises me how long it takes to cut things out.  I spent hours just picking out fabric and cutting it for the houses this afternoon.  But, the decisions are made so now all I have to do it stitch.  The window on the left still needs some embroidery.

One of the reasons I didn't get more done is because my daughter has asked me to cross stitch a few designs to make Christmas stockings for her four children.  I finished the cute little skating mouse in two weeks.  I soaked it, and hand washed it but the fabric still has a lot of sizing in it so it didn't press up very well.  Does anyone have a secret for softening the cloth ?

The next design is a little boy mouse building a snowman - back to the snow again.

My husband and I love to do puzzles and this is one of my favorites based on a painting by Tom Newson.  This year we were seldom at the puzzle table at the same time but my great husband finished everything but the quilt and then walked away letting me build the quilt by myself.  It took great restraint and I appreciated it.

Every year I look at the constuction of the blocks in this quilt and the colors used, it just makes me happy.  Last week it occurred to me that I had some red, green, and blue fabric from about 15 years ago that would look very striking in a replica quilt.  I bought the fabric with a churn dash idea in my mind that I lost interest in long ago.

So I looked through my books to find out what the name of this block is.  It's called "Rising Sun".  I looked through other books for a pattern and then searched online, all in vain.  So I drew out the block on some graph paper sizing it to 12" finished.  Cut up the graph paper and made templates out of plastic sheets.  I traced around the templates and then added 1/4" around each as I cut them out.

I'm not much of a curved piecer because I haven't had much practice so I hand sewed this block  together.  I think it turned out great.  I've got another block cut out but I'm making houses tonight so it will have to wait.

I did get another large block hand quilted on my "Peppermint Quilt" (no picture) but it has definitely taken a back seat to the cross stitching.

So, I've been busy but no finish to show for it yet (unless I count the skater but she still needs to be made into a stocking).

Off to the constuction zone. . .



Janet O. said...

Wow!! What a lot of snowy, holiday goodness you have packed into this post! Yes--we have had so much snow this month, and you have added to the snow total indoors.
Your questions about your folk art project made me smile. Inquiring minds DO want to know! : )
What a cute cross-stitch. I have been seeing a lot of cross-stitch around blogland lately.
That was very sweet of your hubby to leave the quilt portion of the puzzle for you. I know how hard it is for me to walk away from a puzzle when it is near completion. He really must love you!
I am so impressed with your re-creation of the Rising Sun block. That is so cool--and your fabrics do resemble the ones in the puzzle quilt. You amaze me!

Karen said...

I so enjoy seeing the different fabric pieces quilters use in their applique. Some very interesting ones in your current blocks. I know what you mean about being afraid to stop because the quilt might become a UFO. I have had plenty of that experience.

Deb from frugal little bungalow said...

That little mouse is just adorable ! You are making wonderful progress on your applique and to just whip up your own Rising Sun...amazing!! :)

Karen in Breezy Point said...

I love all your fun projects and what a perfect time to work on wintry applique while you have all that snow! Your block recreated from the puzzle is beautiful--such a cool idea! Sleigh Bells is calling my name now--love the bird on the snowman's hat!

Nancy said...

Sightless angels. Hmmmm. Maybe they maneuver through inspiration?
I love the puzzle your and your husband worked on (very kind of him to leave the quilt for you) and especially your recreation of it. Like you, I've never pieced curves, but this block (with layout and colors) is very tempting. I don't think I could recreate it, though. I'll have to search for a pattern before I give serious thought to trying it.

Suzanne said...

My goodness, all your projects are lovely. I love the colors and themes.

Mary said...

You did a fabulous job drafting and stitching this block!

Pam said...

I love your winter quilt. The designs and the fabrics you choose are charming.

Lizzy D said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! [gone to the beach].
Your projects are beautiful, I enjoyed my visit around your blog. I love your wintery Jan Patek quilt in progress. I think you should add eyes to your angels, if you d like that. Funny old pearl buttons maybe?


Lizzy D said...

PS If the floating animals bother you [I love them], you could undo the pine tree stems and redo the white snowy ground a bit taller, just add to the curve, so the feet touch down? It wouldn t be much work.

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