Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Make something new for the New Year

I took a break from all quilting projects this week to make a new knitted hat.  It's been very cold here in Southern California.  I have a hat that my dear friend, Shirley, made for me to cover my bald spot when I had brain surgery in 2016.

It's very soft and warm and I love it so much.   So, with the help from Shirley, I'm making another one.

Even though I didn't finished many quilts this year, there were plenty of exciting things that happened.  I have a pattern soon to be published in the Make Modern magazine, MM32, on January 10, 2020.   One of my quilts got into two shows this year: QuiltCon and AQS Quilt Week in Paducah.  I got to go to QuiltCon in Nashville and this certainly was a highlight for this year.

There are quite a few UFO's, I must admit.  There are also a lot of quilt designs that need to be made into reality.  All of these will pass over to next year.  With all these plans, I'm really looking forward to the new year.  Here are pictures to recap this year's finished projects.

Charity Quilt #1 for the Valley MQG
Charity Quilt #2 for the Valley MQG

Charity quilt #3 for the Valley MQG

A bed quilt for my dear college Professor

This is the last post for this year.  I would like to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.  May the new year fairy bring plenty of sewing time to you all.....

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Max with his new coat!

On Monday, I was checking my favorite blogs and stumbled upon 'Sew Can She' which is a blog by Caroline Critchfield.  While I was looking at her cute sewing projects, I saw a little video window on the right of her blog showing how she makes a pattern for her dog's coat.  I watched it and set out to make one for Max, our rescue dog.  It's been very cold here in Southern California, so of course he needs one.  Here is the link to Caroline's fur baby coat pattern.  I used fleece fabric scraps that I have, and I think he really likes it.

We got Max 5 years ago after we lost our beloved black lab mix Shadow.  We never thought we could love another dog after losing Shadow.  He really spoiled our family because he was so smart, gentle, and a great running companion for my husband.  Two years later we drove pass by an animal shelter and decided to go in.  It was 15 minutes before closing, we didn't plan to adopt that day, I just wanted to look around.  A shelter volunteer introduced us to Sparky, a Boxer/Boston Terrier mix dog.  He was a very mild and timid dog who had been there for over six months.  We were surprised because we didn't see him when we walked around.  She told us that no one saw him because he hid in the darkest corner of his stall.  She also said that he was abused by the previous owners and was left in the backyard all the time.  Needless to say, we adopted him that evening.  Everyone at the shelter was so happy and shouted in joy that Sparky finally got a home.

We renamed him Max a few days later.  This is him first night at our house in his makeshift bed.  Sorry the picture is a little bit blurry. 

The next day, he felt right at home.  Isn't he a handsome boy?

Max has many challenges and he has over come them really well.  Sadly, he doesn't know how to play with toys, people, or with other dogs.  He loves going on walks and kicking dirt more than anything in the world, even more than eating.  Sometimes he even went without us and we had to chase him back.  He has some health problems from years of abuse and neglect and we are dealing with them one by one.  He's such a joy to have around.  We are happy that he decided to stay with us.  We are his pack now!!

* Happy Holidays Everyone *

Link up to From Bolt to Beauty, Can I get a Whoop Whoop,

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

To pin or not to pin

Hello everyone,

I was recently facing with an issue of preparing my quilt top for quilting.  For years, I have been using pins to baste my quilts and recently have been hearing about spray basting.  With my newest quilt, I was tempted to spray baste my quilt but I, once again, I went back to my old way of pin basting.  Fear of getting into new things is getting to me.

I do not have a room exclusively assigned for sewing/crafting yet.  The room is still in a renovating stage.  Right now I'm sewing in my dining room.  For spray baste, I would need to have a very large area with good air ventilation to work which I don't have.  I saw on Pinterest that some quilters use their big design wall to spray baste their quilt.  I only have 47" x 74" movable design wall that leans against one of my walls and I would move it out of the way when not in use.   I also saw some quilters spray baste their quilts on a small table using the rolling method.  I've never tried that, but then again the ventilation problem. And I was worrying about all layers not tightly basted together.  Again, Fear!!

So I pin basted this quilt, as you can see in the first picture, and set out to do the quilting.  I started in the middle of the quilt, the pressure foot pushed the fabric outward as in the second picture.  Even though I paid extra attention to basting and put pins closer together.  I had to move pins and re-smooth the fabric as I moved to the next area.  That caused me anxiety, so much that I couldn't continue for sometime.  

I was quite upset at myself for being like this.  Later I realized that fear stops me from working on my projects.  This is a present for my dear friend and the fear of messing it up and ruining the beautiful top gets to me.  I know my quilting is still lacking and I need to practice more.  I need to do more of it to be better at it.  My husband said, 'So what?  Make a new top if you mess this one up.  Do you know how many paintings Michael Angelo painted white over them and re-did them?'  Once again he's right and he's trying to cheer me on.  

So back to work and try to get rid of this fear.  This is the most beautiful time of the year.  I should be light hearted and enjoying myself with lights and music.  I will not let fear get in the way......

Here is the picture of my Christmas tree.   The family portrait on the mantel was done by my artist daughter in fourth grade.  I found it amid her papers.  It needs to be framed.

Happy Holidays, everyone!
May God bless you and keep you safe!

Link up to Alycia Quilts, Can I get a Whoop Whoop