how awesome is this!

xmas-ornament-2The letter carrier dropped off the mail just as we were headed out the door last night.  What a surprise I had when I opened the package!

A couple of weeks ago I had a notification that I was the lucky recipient of Christmas ornaments from a blog that I follow.  She asked me to send my address to her.  And she lives across the pond!  I love it that it doesn’t matter where we live, what time zone we’re in, etc. that we have something in common with pretty much everyone we come across in life whether in person or via the internet or otherwise.

xmas-ornament-3There were 3 ornaments in the package.  The first is the Noel bird that I have as the featured image on this post.  Wow!  Embroidery always seems to take a long time for me and the detail in that is just over the top!  Do you see all the stars sewn in and the teeny tiny stitches around the bird’s body and for the eye?

Then the second one is just as beautiful with cathedral windows on it and a poinsettia in the middle.  And the third one especially caught my eye because I made some of these when I was younger so it really brought back a lot of happy memories.  I also really appreciated this one because I left mine at my mom’s home and she’s since moved so it’s as if they came full circle.  Stunning!

quilters-plannerYesterday was a red letter day for getting awesome mail, because my Quilter’s Planner came in the mail.  Yippee!  I’ll be writing about this periodically as I use it more throughout the year.

I thought for now I would show you what’s included.  The larger book is pretty large; I haven’t measured it but I’m saying maybe 9″ x 12″ or so?  It’s glossy on the front and back (I should’ve taken the flash off).  There are several stickers that say things like “birthday” “quilt guild meeting” and so forth. And then there’s a smaller version of the planner that I can throw in my purse if I’m headed out to buy materials and want to have my notes handy.

bsq-failI sewed a couple of Bible sampler quilt blocks today and the inevitable happened.  Epic fail! I saved this photo specifically as a square so you can get a sense of just how badly I accidentally trimmed it.  I have a bad habit of taking the papers off before trimming which isn’t too bright and I hope I’ve learned my lesson from this one.  Also, this one has a whopping 8 y-seams which are the bane of my existence.  As you can see, I really didn’t hit one perfectly on both sides so this one was going to have been taken apart and hand sewn in the middle anyway.

bsq-blockI’ve had a lot of fun being a bit bold with some of the color combinations.  One thing I learned from the Splendid Sampler is when you are working with 6″ blocks, and when there are a lot of them (SS has 100; this one has 96) you can have an individual block with colors that might not work as a single block set apart on its own but when you see it in the context of an entire quilt then it’s a lot easier to incorporate a lot more colors.  This block is a great example. It starts with an orangeish-red in the middle, surrounded by a pale peach, then a rose-black then cream, then cherry red and finally back to the peach. Not a winning combination, right?

bsq-thru-12-31-16Now look at it in the overall layout.  That block definitely stands out, but the color variances disappear.  Oh and in case you noticed, yes I need to rotate one of the black/white blocks 90 degrees.  My husband noticed that right after I took the photo.  I’m glad he saw that before I got much farther!

I’m done with the second row on here (the first row shown has just 1 paper pieced block, surrounded by 2 setting blocks). The row after that needs a couple more then the row below that has one missing plus I need to replace that aforementioned blue one.  I finally decided it makes more sense to complete the blocks row by row.  The ones down below are ones I finished before I figured that out!

I forget when it was, but sometime last year I saw a deal for something crazy like 100 5″ batik  squares of all different fabrics.  It turns out those have been perfect for this quilt.  I did have some fabric with up to 1/2 yard but there are a lot of little pieces cut from random fabrics in here already.  And hopefully now you see why I quickly gave up on the idea of counting number of pieces in each block and keeping a running total – haha!

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Samson says:

    Hey, do you find quilting(or embroidery? I don’t know what you call it) relaxing? I mean all those meticulousness look pretty darn stressful to me, but somehow people who does it look like their having fun. Like my grandma for example. She sure enjoys it.

    1. I do mostly quilting. For me it’s relaxing because it uses the opposite side of the brain from work. My paying job is numbers, numbers, and numbers and this is a way for me to get some creativity into my life. I’d love to see some of your grandma’s projects!

  2. I can’t wait to see how you like the plannner, I have been checking it out and hope the reviews are good and maybe I will get one next year.

    1. I’ve been writing in it every day at least a little to note how I’m spending my time. It is good to have one place to jot down all my quilting projects so I can stay on track better.

  3. Such beautiful ornaments. I especially love the pine cone ornament and must try that some day. So beautiful! Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you!

  4. admcmasters says:

    Fabulous ornaments! Every year I say I’m going to start early and make some ornaments to gift to others and every year I end up saying, “Next year.” Perhaps this will be that “next year.” Congrats on winning and for seeing the mis-set block before the entire top was finished.

    1. I’d like to get ahead on some Christmas things this year. Ornaments, place mats, coasters, pillow cases, etc.

  5. Oh, I forgot to say that those blocks look good.
    Happy New Year.

    1. Thank you! I am *way* behind in catching up on comments!

  6. What cute ornaments.
    My mom made some of those cone ornaments.
    Last month, I ordered The Quilters Planner.
    I guess I should have waited, since when I ordered, it did not come with the small planner.
    I’m getting ready to start filling it in.

    1. Have you been using the planner? I wondered what you think of it so far.

      1. I have been using it. The calendar sections are good. The website eekly block section is interesting. The site does offer graph paper to download. The goals and project sections are handy. I wish there were more notes sections and a journaling section would have been ideal. I like to journal thoughts, drawings, and poetry. The reference section is pretty handy .The drawback I see is the project section. There should be more projects at a glance. Also, the project planner needs to be improved. One page is not enough. I have to still keep a graph composition notebook to record planning, changes, fabric swatches. I use the extra notebook to sketch designs, revise, plan new projects. I guess it would be too much to have it all in one book, but it sort of defeats the purpose if I have to keep up with two planners. I like the quote page, and I journal my own thoughts on this page. I had originally thought of making my own planner, but when I saw this one, it seemed easier.
        What do you think of it?
        Maybe we should share ideas and create our own planner for 2018:)

        1. That is an excellent idea! I totally agree with what you said – I need a lot more space for projects and for daily info. I have been using it to track what I’m working on each day as well as reminders. It’s not perfect but overall I like it.

  7. kathyreeves says:

    Beautiful ornaments, what a great surprise! I think the next year you will be doing the 365 block quilt….I just have this feeling!!!

    1. Haha! I must resist, I must resist! I did almost do that last year but had too many things going on. Now that I’ve seen some of the finished quilts I’m interested in it again but I’d like to do it in red/cream instead of the blue.

  8. What a sweet surprise those three ornaments were. Beautifully done too. I see you haven’t stopped to take a breath either – still cranking out more quilts. Great job!

  9. Wow!! You had a wonderful windfall, in your mailbox!! Indeed, those 3 ornaments are gorgeous! So cool that the 1 is like the ones you left behind!
    I never would have put all those orange, pink, red, peaches together, but they look great in context!
    I’d just leave that one block like it is!
    Happy New Year!

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