Monday, December 30, 2019

Golden Orrery

My sister's quilt is done!  I think this is the most photos I've put in a single post. Which is fine - because this is also my year-in-review post for what I've quilted.  This is it! (Except for a name tag I made for a fellow dancer.)

I named it Golden Orrery (thanks, Quinn, for the idea!) because of its clockwork and stars.  No planets - is it technically an orrery without planets?  Well, I'm sticking with that.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Blogiversary #9

Wow.  2019.  A rough year of moving, losing two pigs, running multiple trips to doctors and hospitals.


But plenty of good stuff, too:  I've continued with my new years resolution of new recipes at Game Day (I'm sticking with that one).  Danced (and danced some more!).  Bought a kayak.  Own a house!  Finished my sister's quilt (which is the ONLY quilt I have to show this year).  Spent time with friends, family, and meeting the local wildlife.  And blogging.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

I Like Thursday: Boxing Day

Happy Boxing Day. 

I finished my sister's quilt!  Just in time to bring it to our family's Christmas celebration on Monday.  So I was under pressure to get good photos on Sunday before giving it away.  The photos of it took some creativity and work (thanks, Rob!).  I should be posting more about it in the next few days.  (There's always a flurry of blog posts at the end of the year.)

Needless to say, my sister is thrilled!

Christmas finally guaranteed me a few days off from work.  Huzzah!  I certainly like that.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Mr Tumnus

Merry Christmas!

It was a close call, but I finished this year's ornament just in time.  I went back to a classic:  Mr Tumnus from the Chronicles of Narnia.

Yeah - I reread his description after I had done the legs to discover he's got black fur.  Oh, well.  Brown looks better (especially since his umbrella is black).

Oh, so much new stuff to learn and I really don't do this often enough.  All my clay is drying up, and I'm not motivated to buy more.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Fairy Lights

A neighbor down the street has a glass jug on a stump at the end of the driveway.  Rob thought it would be a perfect place for fairy lights.  It would look like fireflies in the jug.  He found a set of solar powered ones and we set them up last week.  We haven't gotten a chance to walk by since (it's been a crazy week). 

I hope they've gotten to see them lit up in the evening.  Think they were amused?

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Pig Fix

No... don't get too excited.  These aren't mine.  I needed a pig fix and the Dakin Humane Society in Leverett is less than 10 minutes away.  I heard they had guinea pigs.  On my day off, I decided to visit with some carrot peelings and pea pods in hand.

I first met Cookie and Lucy, a pair of older sows.  Cookie has big paws for an adult.  She immediately stuck out her nose for treats while Lucy hid.  Lucy was so terrified she wouldn't even eat a piece of carrot right under her nose!  But after a while, she decided I wasn't trying to kill her; Lucy liked the pea pods the best.  Cookie eventually let me scritch her nose and chin, although she complained the whole time.  Lucy was brave enough to come out, but would not let me touch her. 

Cookie and Lucy

Thursday, December 19, 2019

I Like Thursday: Bits and Pieces

Lots of little things this week.

I like the new diffuser for the stove.  The lowest setting on the smallest burner was still too hot for rice and oatmeal.  This works great!

Ooh - and for cooking this week.  Not what I did, of course, but check out these Gingerbread houses.  Beautiful!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Onto Binding

Can you believe it?  Those two words bring me joy:  onto binding.

I ran into all sorts of issues with the ruler foot.  I'd really like to find a good jumping ruler foot, like the one I use for freemotion quilting.  Some stars rays are a little jerky and if you look closely, it's where I hit a seam.  Darn.  Any time there was a change in thickness, it would want to pull or jerk.

Also ran into issues with some of the long rays - my ruler would suddenly catch and I'd stop dead in my tracks.  I was more than half done with the border when I discovered it was hitting the hinges of my sewing machine cabinet.  Once I understood that, I moved things around so the ruler didn't stick too far to the left of the machine.

I ended up sewing the remaining border stars standing up.  Standing over the machine helped to keep an even pressure on the ruler (not always, but better than sitting down).  It was a better angle, too, to see the star come together and place each star-ray.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

I Like Thursday: December Days

It's December.  I take Mondays off for the month to catch up on whatever.  It's really useful!  I'm hoping next Monday I can get started on Christmas stuff (I'm a bit behind).

And why am I so behind?  My sister's quilt, of course.  I worked on the background and finished the borders.  Which means, excitingly, that it is quilted.  All of it.  How's that for a like?!?

My Christmas cactus is nearly in full bloom.  It hasn't had this many flowers in years.  Hard to get a good picture of it - I may try again on a sunnier day.  So many pink blossoms.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Winter Wonderland

It rained most of the day Monday and all our snow is soggy.  But on Sunday morning?  The trees look liked they'd been sugared in the morning sunlight.  So very pretty!

Rob was nice enough to brave the 5℉ temperature to snap these.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Getting in Gear

Once I finished the background of radiating gears and suns were stitched, there were two bare patches left.  At first I thought I'd extend some of the border to cover them, but once I started quilting the border I decided that wouldn't work.

Since the border is all stars, I thought the two bits of background should feature more gears.  Gears needed patterns.  I spent Sunday morning tracing and cutting paper patterns.  Cans of various tomato products and a plate served as my circles (I really need to buy a compass).  Three basic size did the trick.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

I Like Thursday: Snow Activities

December already?  How did that happen?

With December came snow... about a foot and a half.  The sun came out on Tuesday - it was beautiful.

Rob and I went snowshoeing at lunchtime.  Quite the workout!

While it snowed on Monday I baked cookies.  It was a perfect day for baking.  Christmas cookies all packed and off to various people.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Background and Borders

The background and borders have been coming together much faster than the circles.

The sun rays were so much fun to fill in.  Some of the larger ones required me to stand up to see where I was quilting.  I don't think I've ever quilted while standing over the sewing machine.  It was an interesting viewpoint - I'll need to remember to do this when I have a long, large pattern I can't see when sitting down.  It wasn't as difficult I thought it might be (and comfortable, at least in short bursts).

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Cavia Porcellus Africanus?

A friend and I met up at the Fitchburg Art Museum on Saturday.  One room had all sorts of African art.  I was totally smitten by a black and red piece in the middle of the floor.  The colors, the bead-work, the feathers were all so cool!  But the first thing I thought of was Bertie:

Can you see the resemblance?  I suspect the museum staff person thought I was a little nuts with how I laughed out loud, then excitedly asked if I could photograph it.

I should have taken a look at the tag to find out what it really is, but I am pleased simply by what I see in it. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Circles Filled, Onto Background

Last circles quilted!  I'm onto background next.

Everything so far has quilted flat and smooth.  Oddly enough, it was this last one, on an outer corner, that bulged the most. 

No tucks!  But the orange triangles are very puffy, and there's a bulge where the last red triangle and the black band meet.  The basting had all still been in place, so I'm not sure why that happened.  The only reason it's so noticeable to me is that everything else quilted absolutely flat.  Amazing.  All that time I spent sandwiching and basting really paid off.