Do you want to build a snowflake?

When I showed the first snowflake quilt, I mentioned that I was pretty sure I could get a second quilt out of the leftover fabric.

A little more sensibly, I made the blocks one over several days instead of all in one day.

On the weekend, I took a day to put the top together.

And there must be something about the batiks, because once again, this one proved very popular with all the cats.

I decided to go a little simpler on the borders with this one.

Lemmy seems to think it was a good decision.

I have a back coming for this one. Yes… I fell off the no-spend wagon again. But it was (mostly) fabric I needed for this and other planned projects.

I’m headed to Mom’s this weekend to quilt. The fabric probably won’t arrive before I go, so it will probably be February before you see this one finished. But I’ll have the first snowflake quilt (as well as a few others) to keep me busy all weekend long. Next week will be a parade of FO posts!

Grey, grey, grey

While I have plenty to keep me inspired with my quilting, I’ve hit a rut with my knitting. I really want to finish Dad’s Christmas sweater, but I just can’t seem to muster up any enthusiasm for it. Maybe because it’s plain, maybe because so big, maybe because it’s grey…

I decide I needed to cast on something new to recharge my knitting juju.

Somthing silky!

Something lacy!

Something beaded!!!!

And apparently…. something also grey! I don’t know why. This silvery Slinky Cat just spoke to me when I went stash diving.

I’m knitting Crimson Blossom. I knit it a few years ago for a coworker’s wedding, an I enjoyed every minute of it.

I had some dark grey beads that were just perfect, and so far it’s been just the thing to get me excited about knitting again. Except for one small thing.

I realized after getting all this done, that I was using a needle that was smaller than the pattern called for. It was going to turn out much to small if I kept going.

So it’s all been ripped back and I’m starting again. But it’s okay… I’m still feeling the love for it!

Tiny Needle Tuesday

Since you haven’t seen an FO post, you may have already an inkling that I didn’t finish my Christmas gnomes before the year ended.

I have decided that I do not like hand-quilting. And a renewed admiration for people who hand-quilt entire quilts. Quilting this little thing was more than enough for me!

I kept it simple, quilting very close the the applique. I wanted just enough to make them puff up a little. After that I took it to the machine.

I quilting in the ditch between the border and the background, and then sewed on the binding.

I still have to sew that binding down, so still not quite finished. But soon it will be.

Cutting red

Since I put the snowflake quilt together so quickly, I felt no guilt whatsoever about starting another quilt. This time one for myself.

Back in December, I bought that set of red and cream fabrics to make myself a nice, big bed quilt. I’d settled on the Jubilee pattern. Mom finished one last month and it turned out just stunning.

I laid out all my fat quarters and paired them up.

You can get two squares out of each pair of fat quarters, so like Mom’s quilt, mine will have 16 squares as well. After pairing up, it was time to get cutting

That’s as far as I got, but this one is ready to go as soon as I have a free hour or two to sew!

A touch of green

I mentioned that just before New Years, the temps shot up, reaching around 10C/50F. And they stayed there for almost a week.

While it’s not warm enough to get me out for very long, it’s warm enough to get the gardens excited. Dave and I came home from lunch the other day, and I noticed a whole lot going on.

It was actually this Sedum that caught my eye first. Such a vibrant green, with bright yellow tops, just tipped with red. It’s even more eye catching in real life.

That brought me in for a closer look.

Bulbs popping up everywhere! Now the temperature has dropped, but that won’t hurt the bulbs. They will do this over and over again until the weather warms up and stays that way.

Unfortunately, I did notice quite a few bits of green popping up in the pathways. I didn’t plant any bulbs in the pathways, so it can only be the dreaded Star of Bethlehem. I dug so much of it out, but it’s not as surprise I missed some. I’ll be battling it for years to come, I’m sure.

It’s not just the bulbs that perked up.

I love the big Sedum when it first starts growing. They look like mini cabbages, or little rosebuds. I will be adding some new Sedums to the garden in spring. They are great for pollinators and add wonderful colour to the fall garden.

It never takes much to get the poppies (left) and Lupins (right) going. Both will bloom by mid-May. And I’ve learned I can keep the Lupins going longer by deadheading. The poppies go dormant in the heat of summer, but sometimes do a second bloom in fall, if you’re lucky!

Even the Butterfly Bush got excited by the brief warm-up! This really surprised me, because normally, the Butterfly Bush is one of the last plants to come back to life. It’s not unusual to no see signs of life until mid-May here!

I didn’t want to poke around too much, and disturb all the little critters sleeping in the leaves, but it was so nice to see these little bits of green.

It’s back to cold now, and of course, there’s still LOTS of winter left.

But smart little me did an order with a couple of my fave bulb suppliers BEFORE January 1st hit. So now I can sit back, dream, and wait for the sun…

… and dream of all the wonderful blooms to come!

It’s all Dave’s fault

No… it’s not a kitten this time. Or even a newt.

No. He pushed me right off the No-Spenduary wagon.

Because New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday, we still had Monday off. We were just supposed to go out and wash my truck (GPS took us down some dark, scary roads on the trip home from Owen Sound), and get a new juice jug (I’d stolen the other one to propagate some large house plants.)

But Dave decided he wanted to go antiquing. He picked out a place about an hour away called the One of A Kind Antique Mall, which is basically an old factory building filled with three full floors of vendors selling all manner of antiques, vintage finds and all kinds of collectibles.

I told him as we entered that there were really only a couple of things I was looking for. A “hen on nest” dish, a cow creamer (and it couldn’t be any cow creamer, it had to be one that really spoke to me), and a Blue Mountain Pottery angelfish (a very particular piece my Mom used to have that’s pretty hard to find). I didn’t really expect to get any of them, because they are all things that can generally be quite pricey. I wouldn’t pay just any price for them – they had to be reasonable.

But within 10 minutes…

I’d found my hen on nest. Though the one I had pictured in my mind was yellow carnival glass, or olive green glass – this one was just so nice looking, and price so right I had to have it. It’s also quite large. Dave asked me what I was going to keep in it, and honestly… probably nothing. But it’s going to look so darn great on Grandma’s pine buffet.

About 10 minutes later, I was handing the chicken over to Dave to hold because…

There was my cow creamer!!! Now it’s quite small as cow creamers go. But it’s a Holstein!!!!! Most cow creamers I’ve see are plain white, jerseys, or Delft blue patterned. This is the first Holstein I’ve seen. I’m partial to Holsteins – I grew up in the country surrounded by dairy farms, and most had Holsteins.

There was lots of Blue Mountain pottery, but no angelfish. And that wasn’t a big surprise. But since I don’t actually collect it,(I just want that one piece) I didn’t buy any.

So that should have been it for me.

But then….

I found two little Corningware sauce pans in my Spice of Life pattern, complete with lids. And they were so reasonably priced that it would have been silly of me to leave them there.

And any Corningware lover also probably has a thing for Pyrex. I’ve been creeping on several sets/partial sets of Pyrex bowls on Facebook Marketplace for a while. But like everything else, a lot of them are so expensive. But wouldn’t you know it…

A full set of Pyrex Cinderella bowls (the handles are also spouts for pouring) in the Woodland brown pattern – reasonably priced with another 15% off. I almost left it behind, but Dave encouraged me to get it. I mean, it does coordinate with my Spice of Life, so how could I argue?

And you would think that would be all… but then I found a booth that had QUILTING FABRIC???? THAT’S JUST NOT FAIR!!!

Most of the fabric was between $10 and $15 a yard, which is good, but not a super steal, so I was able to resist going completely crazy.

I managed to get away with just six yards of this fun cat fabric, which will be perfect for a quilt back.

Now… I’ve managed to not spend a dime out of line since then… and I’m not going to let Dave talk me into going anywhere for the rest of the month!!!

Friday felines

One of the presents we got this year was a new cube for the cats

You may recall we had one of these back when Peno was alive. In fact, it was one of her favourte places to sleep (it was always beside Dave’s couch so she could be close to him.) When she died, we decided it was time to get rid of it. It was pretty ripped up (she loved to use it as a scratcher).

I was thrilled to get another one, because Peno wasn’t the only one who liked it (though she had definitely claimed it as her territory)

It was no surprise that Burton was the first one in it (even before I got it properly set up. If Peno wasn’t on it, chances were you could find Burton in or on it. I think he was VERY excited to have another one in the house again.

And naturally, Lemmy gave it a thorough inspection.

But the BIG surprise…

Was Relic sauntering in and making himself right at home. Going inside of things is NOT normal Relic behaviour. He’s generally much more comfortable in free and open spaces with lots of options for escape (not surprising given his years as a stray). But he stayed there for quite and while, even having a little cat nap in there.

Not entirely sure how Burton feels about this development. I think he was hoping to have this one all to himself

Winter Solstice

After completing the two quilt tops, the only quilt I had left in progress was the Sewcialites sew-along quilt. There’s still blocks coming for that, so I decided it was fair to start something new.

A while back, I bought these two batik Jelly rolls on sale, with the intention of making the Jelly Snowflake quilt. Now silly me didn’t actually look at the pattern instructions before I bought, and I actually needed yardage for the background fabric (the black snowflake batik) instead of 2.2 inch strips. Happily, I found some yardage on sale in December!

As you can see, Burton was very excited about starting this one. I was too. So excited that I put the whole thing together in one long day!

It’s a small lap quilt, and I wanted to make a little bigger, so I set it aside and decided to come back to it the next day. Before sitting down to figure out the borders, I pulled it out and spread it on the bed, and went to get some graph paper. When I came back….

Now it’s not unusual to come back and find one cat on my work… but three? There must be something special about this one. (If you are wondering where Lemmy was, he was on a big furry blanket on the box under the window).

Eventually, I got my borders graphed out, blocks sewn, and everything added to the quilt.

Now the quilt is 58″ square. It’s still not huge, but a good size for lap quilt.

I have a lovely blue batik for binding, and a soft, snuggly flannel for the back (which looks black here but is actually navy blue.)

Now I’ve got several quilts to quilt, so it’s time to schedule a trip to Mom’s!

Rainbow year

Next up on my end-of-year UFO list was my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks.

There were only 10 blocks, and they were big (16 inches), so it went together very quickly. The hardest part was figuring out the size of the setting triangles. I always err on the side of caution and make them a little bigger than they need to be.

But as you can see, once this one was together, it was nice and long, but narrow. Just before Christmas, I’d ordered some fabric for side borders, and happily, it arrived just in time to finish this before the new year.

Like Little Wishes, this is another big quilt, finishing up at 84″ x 92″.

Before I’d even finished all the blocks, I’d got a really cool backing fabric for it on sale.

I forgot to take a picture, but I’ve also got some rainbow stripe for the binding (leftover from my summer gnome quilt). I love it when a rainbow comes together!

Make a wish

One of the things I wanted to do before the old year was out, was clear a few quilting projects off my plate so I could start fresh in the new year.

First up was the Little Wishes quilt. Little Wishes started life as a Leader/Ender project, making scrappy nine-patches from 2.5 inch scraps. Last you saw it, I’d created all the geese I needed, but still needed to trim them up.

There were a lot of them – 116 to be exact – but I managed it with a little help from my friend.

After that, ever the hard worker, he helped me sew all the geese and nine patches into star blocks.

There was 30 in total and at 12″ each, that totals a sizable quilt. But I wanted it a little bit bigger. So the next day, I set to work on making corner star sashing. It took all day, but by the evening, I had the top complete.

Each one of those corner stars is unique – with a scrap pulled from my 3.5″ scrap bin. And it made the quilt nice and big – 78″ x 93″.

Anyway you look at it, Burton say “It’s a win!”