1/26/14

We're All in our Places, With Sun Shining Faces

Did you sing that song in kindergarten? We sang it every morning. Today I'm referring to Big Bertha being back in her place.


I think one of the things I really loved about the workshop last week was that I only had to pack up the sewing machine a few times. The workshop was three days, and we were allowed to leave all of our belongings in the locked classroom at night. In the morning, we were able to just come in, sit down, and start sewing. Some hard core folks seemed never to leave their machines, except possibly to eat a meal, and then they were hard at it again.

Personally, I find packing up the machine and all of its accessories to be such a hassle, that it deters me from attending classes that last just a few hours. I felt that way about my smaller machine too, and so it isn't just the weight and size of this one. And as I'm writing this, I'm thinking that packing and unpacking, in general, just isn't my cup of tea. Even when I'm doing something really fun like going scuba diving in the Caribbean, I generally hate the task of packing and unpacking. But I digress.

Yesterday I spent several hours in my sewing room, but I did no sewing. I was just putting things back and getting reorganized. While I was gone, I finished the fifth of the quilting snowladies blocks:


And I just want to say, check out that satin stitching on the earmuffs! I picked up embroidery again after decades away from it when I started making this Winter Wonderland quilt way back in 2009. 


My embroidery back then was less evenly stitched and my satin stitch was positively terrible. For me, nice even satin stitching has been the most challenging thing to accomplish, and so I'm pretty darned proud of my earmuffs on this snowlady. Be sure to feast your eyes. One of the things I love about needle arts in general is that we practice simply by doing. Do it, enjoy it, improve. It happens automatically. No extra effort required.

I'll be linking this one to Slow Sunday Stitching.


And since I must at all times have some hand work, I made up the next block for the Vintage Tin quilt:


Oh yes, and I wanted to show you the one and only pattern I purchased at the quilt show. I absolutely could not resist this little doll quilt-sized quilt. (And since someone has already asked me for the name of the designer, I'll just update right now to say that this quilt was designed by "Waltzing with Bears". You can find the pattern right here.)


When I make this, I'll probably add an "S" to the word "cat". Cute, huh? Maybe it's just because of Smitty's spots,


but I've become more aware of patterns with spotted cats on them.

Today I'm going to top stitch the blocks for the Yard Art quilt. I had planned to do that before I left last week, but then I got anxious about the time I needed to pack and accomplish some other things on my last day at home. As it turns out, it's probably best that I waited because I was busy with other things all day.



And then I'm going to start on the project I've selected for Sharon V's new challenge, Let's Book It

Sharon got the bright idea to challenge us to actually make some of the quilts from the books we have on our shelves. I chose a table runner out of this book:


It's called Outback Sunset by Judy Hooworth.


Some of you clever folks from down under recognized this as a reference to the beautiful sunsets in Australia. Bill Bryson described them so beautifully in his book, In A Sunburned Country. If you've never read Bill Bryson you really owe it to yourself to read one of his books. This is one of my favorites.


Here's a picture of the whole table runner:


I have some fun fabrics picked out, and so I'm anxious to get started on it.

With five days left in the month, I'm feeling good about my chances for actually finishing up almost everything on my January To-Do list. It was an ambitious list. Could be that I'm being overly-optimistic, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? And with February being a short month, January feels downright vast in its temporal length.

Oh yes, and I'm doing laundry. 


Thought I'd bring you down with a giant crash after all of that optimism.

24 comments from clever and witty friends:

sophie said...

I love the Live Laugh Love quilt–who is the designer? The progress you are making on all your projects is inspiring.

I usually take a little machine to take to classes and sew-ins unless I needed the features in my Bernina, especially in winter. I'll never forget what happened when a friend put her computerized machine in the car the night before (in Michigan in Winter) ... it had to warm up before it would work again.

Quilter Kathy said...

You are so funny!
I LOVE that stitchery... I'd rather be quilting than shoveling snow too :)
And the stitching was a feast for my eyes... great job!
Enjoy your slow stitching today and thanks for linking up!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Your humor abounds today. Love the kitty mini - oh, everything just is wonderful. I too am doing laundry.

WoolenSails said...

I agree, packing and unpacking is the worst part of a trip, lol. Love your kitty pattern. I have a similar cat in an old book I have, called skinny cat, I should make it but add the fat cat too and maybe some flowers, fun for a spring piece.

Debbie

Lyndsey said...

Your satin stitch is delightful as is the snow lady. I love the kitty mini, most appropriate to add an s. I've done the laundry but I have a far worse job ... Scamp needs a bath. It's not his favourite activity but he tolerates it. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow and just get a little more sewing done now..

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Barbara, your hand work is so beautiful!

Deanna W said...

Seeing all this embroidery is giving me the itch to do some of my own. I have that "walking in a winter wonderland" with blue batik jelly rolls. Maybe that will be my embroidery project I start this year!

Celtic Thistle said...

Fantastic satin stitch Barbara!

Tami C said...

I really like your newest snowladies block and the earmuffs are great! The little Feed the Cat quilt looks cute! I'm doing laudry right now as well. lol

Sherry said...

You always come up with such cute patterns. I'm sure Smitty will try to talk you into making the mini quilt as a portrait in his likeness.

The Cozy Quilter said...

Beautiful stitching!

genie said...

That quilt with all of your embroidery is a real treasure. The blues are so pretty. What a wonderful job you have done. Maybe one of these days I will be able to do a GOOD satin stitch.

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

I embroidered as a child and would really love to do some crazy patch quilting. As for that satin stitch, that is one I need to take a class on. Your earmuffs are perfect!

Junebug613 said...

Love the spotted cat quilt; very cute! Your satin stitches are lovely. I've been a cross stitcher for many years, but am fairly new at trying embroidery. Yes, laundry must be done. My washer drain has started overflowing, so laundry requires much more attention than I care to do a load. Hopefully Bruce will snake the drain this week.

Barb said...

What a fun post - you have been one busy lady! I love that Skinny Quilts and Table Runners book - good choice!

Scrapatches said...

I had completely forgotten that kindergarten rhyme ... now it is sing-songing in my head! The cat pattern is adorable. As is Smitty. I am smitten with Smitty. I would be happy if he were my kitty. I know you are not giving him up though. Your satin stitch ear muffs are very nice but I see nothing terrible about that wonderful blue stitched quilt. Practice does make better, though ... :) Pat

Brown Family said...

As much as I love mu 830, I do not take it to class. Unless it is a class specifically for the 830. I kept my 200 and my 180 for backup machines. My Granddaughter wants me to give her the 200, but it ain't happening, yet! I may not be working from my vast library, but am working at doing patterns and kits.

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

I just love that Winter Wonderland quilt. And your snowlady (especially her satin-stitched ear muffs!).

Sandy said...

The Winter Wonderland looks great with that border! And I love the table runner. I am putting that book on my "to read" list!

Dar said...

Lots of good eye candy to see this morning. Makes me want to get started on my projects but here I sit reading blogs! Just finished a book over the weekend (Scrapped by Mollie Cox Bryan),so now it's time to get sewing.

Barb H said...

Your table runner is going to be great! I just finished Bryson's book, the third one of his that I've read. I love his sense of humor!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

That table runner is so wicked cool. I love all the fabrics in it and cannot wait to see it finished. Great Choice !~!

Cecilia said...

I love your snow lady and her ear muffs are beautiful. I've just started embroidering and my satin stitch is a work in progress. Cute kitty quilt, too!

Kate said...

Your Snow lady looks great and her ear muffs are truly to die for. I picked up embroidery again after seeing your posts. The only problem is having time to work on it.