Monthly Archives: November 2011

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The Bliss Quilt

Well, how was Thanksgiving for you Americans?  Are you stuffed?  With your fill of turkey and pie???  We had a wonderful time — it’s always fun when everyone can get together.  The weather was perfect for late November.  And, as always, with our crew, it wasn’t uneventful.

Thanksgiving 2011

The highlight definitely had to be when CrazyBIL opened a bottle of homemade brewski and it went everywhere.  Fortunately, the kitchen ceiling hasn’t been painted yet.  Sorry for the blurry picture, but I was laughing — at the panicked cleanup and the opportunists in the family.  Not sure I’d want anything dripping off of the ceiling, but apparently some people will take it however they can get it!

Ahem.  I LOVED having a whole week off of work — I could definitely get used to that.  The weather was so beautiful that we spent two full days doing yard work — the annual pesky leaves have been conquered.  And FINALLY, I managed to finish the piecing on the Bliss Quilt (so named because the fabric is from Bonnie and Camille’s Bliss line from last year).  Sadly, by the time I had time to take pictures, it was rainy and gloomy outside.  Sorry for the dismal indoor lighting, but you get the idea.

Bliss Quilt

As you can see, it’s a remake of The Ugly Duckling.  (Which is perfect, ’cause I’m betting after I’m gone, someone is going to wonder what I was thinking with that aqua — it’s meant to be bold like the pink in The Ugly Duckling.)

Bliss Quilt

I don’t make quilts out of collections very often, but I love these fabrics and I thought it would be fun for this remake.   Each little square is 1 3/4″ x 1 3/4″ just like in the original.  I chose to piece the solid blocks a little differently than from the original and I decided not to do borders.  I also didn’t pay too much attention to which fabrics touched which fabrics.  Every once in awhile I’ll spot two of the same fabric touching each other.  And in one spot there’s a row of 5 green pieces — doh!  I’ll leave it as is though — hopefully, it will make someone wonder what happened.

Bliss Quilt

It’s a big quilt — weighing in at 88″ x 88″.  I wanted it to be big enough for a double bed and be able to tuck in all around the sides of the mattress.

Bliss Quilt

So, here she sits all ready for some quilting.  The big debate has been whether to machine quilt or hand quilt.  I’m thinking hand quilting will win out.  Cross hatching with some sort of wreath or something in the aqua blocks.  We’ll see.  Hopefully, someday, you’ll see the finished result.

Yipes!  Now, we must think about Christmas.  I’m just not ready — are you???

XOXO,
Anna

Pie Day

Thanksgiving is here!  Just popping in for a second — the kids are coming in the back door as I type.  I was making my pie doughs just a few minutes ago and the sun was so pretty streaming through the window that I had to stop and take a picture.  What a beautiful day to be thankful for!

Pie Day

Tonight, SweetiePie and I will finish our preparations and get the table ready. It will look just like it did two years ago — the last time we hosted our family Thanksgiving.

Pie Day

I’m so thankful that my little sweeties have arrived safely and that my family will all be here for the holiday. If you’re in the US, I hope you’ll have a wonderful holiday, surrounded by friends and family and all that you love!

Happy Thanksgiving!
XOXO,
Anna

The Ugly Duckling

I hope you’ve all had a good weekend. Ours has been lots of fun — we’ve been busy cleaning and catching up on a lot of little tasks that have been left undone for too long. There has been a little sewing, but unfortunately, I got sidetracked and didn’t get the bliss quilt top finished yet. ;-(. So, as a consolation prize, I thought I’d show you an older quilt that I don’t think I’ve had here on the blog yet.  (And if I have, just pretend, ok?)

A few years ago, MeMum gave me this antique store quilt top for Christmas. At the time, I thought it was the ugliest quilt I’ve ever seen, but I tried to be really excited when I opened it. (This isn’t a great shot, but I decided it was time for that retaining wall to earn it’s keep.)

Pink and Green Quilt

The original quiltmaker had given up on this quilt. Four of the big pink blocks running down one edge of the quilt were really wonky. In the close-up shot below (sorry for the blur), you can see that the pink part was pieced in long strips. She had somehow mis-calculated and the pink strips were too long, causing the pink part of the block to balloon out.  The quilt wouldn’t lie flat, so it couldn’t be quilted.

Pink and Green Quilt

I took those four blocks apart, cut them down and re-pieced them.  Then, I added the green border to make the quilt big enough for a  double bed.  (The greens don’t look as poorly matched in real life as they do in the picture.)  After the repairs, I sent the quilt off to a hand quilter.  And, boy oh boy, was I surprised when the quilt came back!  The quilting made all the difference and brought this quilt to life.  I LOVE the way she quilted it — very simple, but very effective.

Pink and Green Quilt

Just look at all those tiny little blocks.  Can you believe — they’re all hand-pieced!  Each little block is about 1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″.  So scrappy and SO pretty — I could sit for hours and look at all the different fabrics.  Sometimes I wonder if the quilter planned where each block would be, but I’m guessing she just grabbed them as she pieced them.

Pink and Green Quilt

I had the quilt on the floor trying to fold it up nicely, and that obnoxious Scruff had to butt in.  He’s a cat in serious need of some manners.   I tried and tried to get a pretty fold for one of those famous folded quilt shots.  I should have a bloopers post — some of them are awful.  Sadly, this is as good as it gets.

Pink and Green Quilt

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the story of the Ugly Duckling quilt. I think the quilting turned this quilt into a beautiful swan and I’m so thankful that MeMum could see the potential in this quilt when she found it.
XOXO,
Anna

WooHoo Wednesday!

By the time we get to Wednesday evening every week I’m ready to start partying — we’re over half-way through the week and the weekend will soon be here. Especially this week — only one more day of work and then I’m off work for over a week — BIG WooHoo!!! I can’t wait — I have tons of stuff planned, probably only 10% of which will actually be accomplished. There’s sure to be lots of cooking and cleaning and I can’t wait. The kids will all be home for Thanksgiving. That means lots of fun too!

Do you think I should start by removing the laundry basket from the edge of the sofa?

Couch

Fatso has decided that his perch should be on the back of the couch and it’s ruining the cushion.  Anyone have any bright ideas for Fat Cat Training?  Here’s Mr. Portly himself.  Looking rather guilty if you ask me.

Scruff

In other news, I’m almost done with my Bliss quilt.  (More WooHoo!)  It’s halfway put together — just a few more hours and it will be ready for quilting.  It used almost a whole fat quarter tower — there were strips that were 4 or 5 inches x 18 inches left of each print.  Too small for my quarter yard stacks in the stash, but too big for my scrap boxes.  So, I folded them all up and squished them together into a cubby.  I really like them there — so pretty.

Bliss

Ooooh, and while I’m in the sewing room, look at this adorable 2012 Flash Card Calendar that I just received.  Isn’t it cute? It’s just like those old-timey flashcards — you know, from way before my time LOL.   I’m going to take it to work to hang over my desk — hopefully it will add a little cheer to my boring workspace.

Calendar

Ok. Back in a few days — hopefully with a quilt for a change!
XOXO,
Anna

Teddy Has a New Friend

Happy Weekend! Thank you for all the great comments on my market reports — I wish you all could have been there with us. And thanks to those of you who mentioned that you have a thimble similar to mine and love it — I can’t wait to quilt with mine.

Before I tell you about Teddy I just wanted you to see what’s finally arrived for my little store.

Bella Card

That’s the pretty new cover for the “new and improved” Moda Bella Swatch Cards. They’re back in stock at last. They’re new and revamped and I love them so much more than the old ones. The old cards had around 120 swatches, but these new cards have almost 160. They also show information about the Moda Bella precuts. And another feature that I really like is that they indicate which Bella colors are the top 50.

Bella Card

They didn’t tell us what suggested retail for these cards should be. Fat Quarter Shop is selling them for $34.99 which seems a little high to me, so I’ve priced mine at $26.99. You can find them HERE.

I’ve also received some new Divine Twine for the shop — it’s red and green twisted together, just in time for Christmas!  I love it and I can’t wait to use it on Christmas packaging.  If you need some ideas for how to use your twine, Pinterest is full of inspiration.  You can find the Christmas twine HERE.

Divine Twine

Ok, now for Sweet Teddy.  Do you remember Teddy?  He’s all grown up now and he’s adorable.  My youngest little niece is taking a high school photography class and she snapped this picture of Teddy a week or so ago.

Teddy

She calls it “Teddy has a New Friend“. I love it! She agreed to let me put the picture on my blog if I let you know that she’s for hire for all of your picture taking needs.  That girl’s a thinker!

Ok — off to watch a movie with TheManoftheHouse. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend.
XOXO,
Anna