Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve days of Christmas break, that is.  And it's actually only 11.5 days and they are coming to an end much faster than I would like!  It's been a busy week, but I have been able to squeeze in some sewing and shopping time around all of the Christmas festivities, cooking, and the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert (which was awesome, as always!). 

I finished steps one and five of Easy Street last weekend.  I have part of step four completed but still haven't started steps two and three.  The sixth step is just cutting - I think I can handle that this weekend. Here are my blocks from step five:

I am making good progress on this month's Lemoyne Star assignment.  I finished the first 12" block when I was traveling and finished the 6" block last weekend.  I am well on my way to finishing the second 12" block for this month - I hope to knock that one out tonight.

I always like to start a new quilting project over the holidays.  Perhaps I should focus on finishing some of my current projects instead, but where's the fun in that?!?  I felt particularly ambitious this year and have decided to start not just one but TWO new projects...and that's just this week!  I visited Sweet Annie's quilt shop to purchase fabric for Birds of a Feather by Blackbird Designs.  I fell in love with this quilt when I saw it at The Quilted Moose back in September.  I hadn't really made plans to start it but then one of my Yahoo groups selected it as a group project for 2013.  I am highly motivated by assignments and goals, so I figured I may as well play along.  Most of the fabrics I selected are from Edyta Sitar's last couple of lines:

I will throw in a few more reds and possibly a couple more browns from my stash to complete the palette.  The background is brown, and the large print floral is the border.  It's a little different from the rest of the projects I am working on so I am looking forward to getting started.

My second holiday project is Prairie Peonies by Edyta Sitar (Laundry Basket Quilts).  I pieced little strip sets for my first two blocks yesterday.  Here they are before the diamonds were cut from them:

The colors aren't great in the picture - they look a bit brighter than they actually are.  They go well with the beige/tan background batik I am using.  I'm having a blast with these so far.  I cut the diamonds and all of my background fabric last night and plan to piece the blocks and prep the applique today.  I didn't realize until I started working on these yesterday that the applique is different in each of the 25 blocks.  I think that is awesome!  I love combining piecing with applique, and I really hate the idea of repeating the same block over and over...probably why I am not progressing very quickly on my Rose of Sharon. 

Off to the sewing room - I can't wait to get my first two peony blocks together!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Snowman in New York

My creative time has been limited by business travel the past couple of weeks so I am rapidly falling behind on Easy Street.  I did make some progress, however - while I was at The Quilted Fox last Saturday I found an absolutely awesome piece of fabric that was a medium blue/teal with green and purple in it.  I decided to throw originality and creativity out the window and go with a color scheme more similar to Bonnie's.  I pulled a bunch of different limey greens, bright purples and coordinating blues and plan to go that direction with the rest of the quilt.  I forgot to take a picture before I left home, but the fabrics are gorgeous!

 I did manage to pull off hooking a small rug over the past week.  I am giving it to a coworker here in New York this week.  I had been trying to decide what to bring her and finally landed on making a rug while in New Jersey a couple of weeks ago.  The pattern is by Cactus Needle, available on Nola's website.  Nola drew it for me and helped pull the wool a week ago Saturday.  I dragged it with me to Boston last week thinking I would finish it on the road, but no such luck.  After a marathon hooking session Friday night followed by a marathon binding session Saturday night, it was done.  I think it's the fastest I have ever finished anything!  I love the pattern - I just may have to do another one for me!

It's a foggy, dreary night in New York.  I think the weather is supposed to be clearer but colder the next few days. Here's the view from my apartment tonight:

I plan to venture down to Times Square and Rockefeller Center tomorrow if all goes well.  I have to hit the Disney Store and take a picture of the tree (again)'s become a holiday tradition for me!