Beginning to look like Christmas

We did finally get the tree up last week, and the rest of the house decorated. I didn’t put up as many decorations this year, partly lack of time, and partly because Shadow is still in his idiot kitten phase. We put all the Disney ornaments on the tree since the kids love those, and then we added all of the Christborn, Radko and other glass ornaments that we have. I just love all my bird ornaments! They’re so cool since they have a little clip instead of feet so they sit on top of the branches instead of hanging.

Glass bird ornament

Last year, Dawn and I took a trip to the Christborn factory (they also make Radko ornaments), and bought some many ornaments. We bought so many (and were there so long!) that the owners took us in the back and gave us coffee and cookies, and then brought out the really good stuff! We got to see (and buy) the ornaments that were being manufactured for the next year’s season, the ones that are only just now available in the States. We called them the “bling” ornaments, because they were glass like all the rest, but then they were absolutely encrusted with Swarovski Crystals and beads! I bought a Bling Frog for each of my girls:

The Bling Frog

He was just so ugly he was cute. I told them to kiss the frog every year when we put up the tree and someday, their prince will come. Then of course I had to have a Bling Bird: Continue reading Beginning to look like Christmas


Eye on the Machine: A UFO Birthday Party

This is the view from my sewing chair today (or it will be as soon as I can get my computer work done!):

Dresden Plate Drama

I’ve decided to try to just keep quilting on this quilt until it’s finally done, and maybe have it done in time for it’s 11th birthday, sometime in January! Yes, it’s a UFO that really is THAT old. I started this quilt in January, 1996, which I think (hope??) makes it the oldest UFO in my collection. It’s a queen size quilt from a pattern in McCalls Quilting magazine called Dresden Plate Drama and it is quite dramatic! I used my favorite fabric ever, a wonderful holiday print with roses in burgundies and pinks, green leaves, tiny purple-ish pine cones and metallic gold highlights. I bought a whopping 18 yards of that print, and used 13 yards for this quilt! I also bought 5 yards of the same print on a black background which is stunning as well.

So, why has this quilt been a UFO for so long? Well, it was a labor of love from the start, because every petal on each Dresden Plate had to be cut by hand with the same motif as all the rest of the petals for that plate to get the kaleidoscopic effect. Think Stack’n’Whack the old-fashioned way. Then of course, the Plates had to be hand appliquéd to the background. Even after I got the whole thing put together some years ago (not sure how many, but most likely pre-millennium) I thought I would hand quilt it, since it is such a fabulous quilt, and I really thought hand quilting was the only way to do it justice. I think I got one block quilted, and then it languished in my studio for another few years because hand quilting isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do.

At some point in the last couple of years, I decided that my machine quilting skills were certainly good enough to quilt this quilt the way it should be quilted, so I ripped out the little bit of hand quilting, and started to machine quilt. Other quilts got in the way of course, so it’s still here. I’ve no idea what I’ll do with it when I get it done, but I really need to get it done! And when it gets done, I’ll need to break out the champagne, and firmly restrain myself from putting crystals on it (though it would be pretty cool)!

A day of quilting for a change!

I found this Blogthing that looked like fun, so I took the little quiz, and here’s how it came out:

You Belong in Winter

Quiet, calm, and totally at peace…
You’re happy to be at home, wrapped in a blanket, completely snowed in
Whether you’re lighting a fire or having a snowball fight, you always feel best in the winter.

Those of you who know me are probably snickering right now, since it’s soooo true (except the part about snowball fights!). I’m such an indoor girl, and I can’t wait for it to start being winter-ish! I love sweaters, fires, snow (if it’s outside and I’m in!) and winter cooking, if I really must cook at all! And quilts are a cozy warm thing too, so it all fits together nicely.

I’m having a quilt day today: I put more crystals on the Grasping Reality quilt, choose fabrics for my next project and worked on the design a bit (more on that later!). Coincidentially, the fabrics I’m planning to use do look slightly winter-ish, except for a splash of purple I threw in with the dark to light grey-blues. I’ll be spending the evening on some math, working out fabric requirements for this new quilt. It’s been a while since I spent a whole day just doing quilting things, and it’s been really nice! What did you do this fine autumn weekend?

More on the Grasping Reality: Fifteen quilt

Grasping Reality: Fifteen

I’ve added a bit more about the Grasping Reality: Fifteen quilt to the Gallery. Detail shots are coming, as soon as I get a chance to do some website programming on my own site! Read about the design of the quilt, where it originated, and see the original artwork that inspired it. See if you can guess where the quilt is destined to go! Enjoy!

Quilting with Patches and Shadow: Helping out

Shadow helping with the crystalsIt’s been awhile since the last Quilting with Patches and Shadow update, but here’s a good one for you. I’m working on the Swarovski crystals on the Grasping Reality: Fifteen quilt, and of course, Shadow has to be right in the middle of it all.

‘Course, Shadow has to be in the middle of everything, really. He’s just that kind of cat. Patches is content to be in the same room with me, and if I get up and leave the room, he waits a bit to see if I’ll come back right away (like maybe it was just a short trip to the bathroom or something). Not so with Shadow. If I leave the room he’s on my heels, and when I come out of the bathroom, he’s sitting across the doorway where I have to step over him to get by.

I’m not so sure I’m fond of this little cat at all; we definitely haven’t bonded at this point. Maybe when he grows out of the “kitten stupids” and quits waking me up every night scratching on things and generally being rotten, sometimes three or four times a night, we’ll be better friends.