Archive for January, 2010

There, that’s better.

I decided on a completely different direction, and attached the mini quilt to a twig from my backyard. I figured it fit into the whole bird theme. My husband asked if I was going for a “rustic chic” look, which coming from him isn’t exactly a compliment. LOL… I like it though! Even if it is a bit “rustic.” I need to do something to weight down the bottom so that it stops curling… which might actually happen by next Christmas!


Holiday Crafting

Jeez Louise, I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since July! And here it is January 1, 2010. Which means I haven’t crafted or quilted in an ice age. That is just wrong, my friends! I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but I think this year I am going to have to at least promise myself to quilt and craft more often. With my new job and a five-year-old, things can get busy all too soon, leaving one little time for oneself. And we all know we need to give ourselves a break now and again!

On with it, then! I made a couple of things this Christmas; little things that wouldn’t take me much time to do but also things I’ve been wanting to have a go at. First up: Christmas wreath.

This year, we finally broke down and bought a fake tree. The “trees” that pass for Christmas trees in Costa Rica are sad, Charlie Brown-type things, and this year (after living here for 9 years!) I finally put my foot down and said No more real trees! I love the little tree we found at (gasp, yes I know) Wal-Mart aka Hipermas. The other thing I always wanted was a nice wreath, so I bought one that matched the tree, added a big ribbon bow and a string of multicolored lights to it, and then made two little Christmas birds to sit in it.

Christmas wreath

It looks much nicer in a darkened room, with the lights twinkling off and on, but I couldn’t manage a decent shot with my little digital camera (which is dying anyway, btw). Here are closeups of the two little birds; there’s a free pattern at Spool if you would like to make your own.

One of the women in our crafts group found the pattern and we all made a bird or two for another friend’s new baby. Though we never actually got around to stuffing them — the baby is now six months old and I think the birds are still waiting to be finished! Well, we’re crafting again in January, so I hope we’ll finally wrap up that project. 🙂

The other project I worked on was a mini-quilt. It’s only 10-3/4″ by 6-3/4″, and I still need to figure out a simple way to hang it (Ami Simms at the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative has some fantastic ideas for hanging small quilts; I’m sure I’ll use one of them!). This was my first attempt at hand embroidery (please don’t laugh too hard — I know the stitches are completely wonky and it looks as though my five-year-old made it, but one has to start somewhere, right?). I really love the look of redwork and initially thought I’d do the whole piece in red, but at the last minute decided to use green as well, to highlight and make it more Christmasy.

Believe it or not, it’s not actually as wonky as the picture makes it look! I don’t know why I can’t take a decent picture of a quilt yet. It’s sad, really… I machine quilted and bound it, and “discovered” through trial and error an easy way to do mitered back-to-front wrap binding using the machine. I just really can’t stand hand sewing binding, though I don’t mind hand sewing in general. Basically, it’s a matter of folding the corners, stitching two parallel bindings, then folding down the corners again on the other sides, and stitching the two remaining bindings. I will put together a short tutorial, though I highly doubt I am the first person to come up with this and there are probably better instructions out there.

You can download the embroidery design for free at Gail Pan Designs.

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to a year filled with love and quilts!