Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sewing Overtime

Well, the Christmas gifts box went out the door this morning and most of the cards went yesterday. I still have a few more cards, one more batch of cookies (so far I've made these (with peach lavender jam from the summer), these, and these, all of which are quite tasty although the caramel didn't set up), and a few more gifts which I plan to carry on the plane to finish up but I felt this afternoon like I had a bit of time to sew some more on my Mystery Quilt.

I've been asked what a Mystery Quilt is and this seems like as good a time as any to explain a bit. So Bonnie Hunter posts these "hints" on her blog every Friday (basic quilt elements to put together, such as 120 half-pink-half-brown half square triangle blocks at 3.5 inches) and we all follow along blindly until we get to the last step (the past mysteries have had about 7 steps and we're now on 4) where we see what in the world it is that we're making! I know that it'll be a full-size quilt in pink, green, chocolate, cream, and red, but that's absolutely it so far.

Jessica (whose blog I found the mystery through) and I are muddling through together. Having someone to discuss with does make it a ton of fun. But I've been too busy with holiday preparations just now to get much done.

The photos above are, at top, my single 8.5-inch "neutral" block (I'm to make 60 of them but I haven't quite figured out the tricks to sewing onto a paper foundation with my machine), in the middle, 142 of 172 2-inch wide pink-and-green strips, and, on the bottom, most of the 120 pink-and-brown half square triangles (they're not actually to be pinwheels necessarily, I just like arranging them and admiring them as pinwheels). I've not even started on the 120 green-and-neural 2-inch strips and matching 2-inch green blocks. At least I've made a bit of progress though.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Shopping

I can't show a lot of what I'm purchasing or working on for holiday gifts just yet but I can show the fun little things I found at Ikea! (Which, by the way, was having a sale (at least the one in Red Hook was) on all holiday merchandise, in case you're interested.)

There were lots of wonderful wrapping papers but I picked this one because it reminds me of a fair isle sweater and that's something I'm very into at the moment. And, of course, I had to buy the (look Aryn, I'm going to call them the right name!) REINDEER ornaments (I kept saying "moose" in the store). I think they'll make some lovely gift tags. Now to find the time to get some things wrapped and in the mail!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Many Small Changes

This is a photo of our living room from last January, shortly after we'd purchased the house. All of the furniture shown was left behind in the house and has all now found new homes.

And now with our furniture. And my Christmas-Card-and-Mystery-Quilt-making mess on the table. It still needs paint and (the rest of the) curtains. And I'd like to recover that sofa. But I'm excited about the progress. Especially that the squashed-Smurf-colored shag carpet is gone.

This is, to me, one of the most dramatic before-and-afters from our house. Inspired by Patrick's work on that ceiling fan. Believe it or not, it is the very same ceiling fan in both the before and after photos. We just bought a new light kit for it from Home Depot and used some spray paint leftover from painting the kitchen cabinet hinges. And, of course, turned the blades over to their non-rattan side.