Friday, November 30, 2012

Finding Balance

I can't believe it's been three weeks since I last posted. Where has the time gone? I guess I do know the answer to that question, but I keep asking it. I've been busy, but that never seems to change. I am finding it challenging to balance my projects with home and family duties. It seems that if I am working on a project, my house becomes a pig sty and I end up with lots of loose ends to tie. I tried working on some of the projects on my "Handmade Christmas List", (which by the way still only has one completed item on it) but then Thanksgiving came around and I went into full-on cooking/cleaning/shopping/organizing/decorating mode, leaving my projects to collect dust for a few weeks.
We had a wonderful time hosting Thanksgiving and spending time with family and friends. For me though, Christmas brings me joy and excitement. As soon as the turkey leftovers are packed up in the fridge, I start pulling out the Christmas decorations.

I realized this year that I don't have that many handmade Christmas items, which I really need to change, but it just isn't going to happen this year. I am WAY behind on my gift making, and honestly, I am finding it hard to get my motivation back now that my house is clean and I feel on top of things around the house and with the family. I'd like it to stay that way.

Perhaps Eddie the elf can watch over things, while I descend to my sewing room. He's been a good bribery tool for the kids so far when it comes to behaving. Maybe I can work him into the kids' chores too. If you don't have an Elf on the Shelf of your own, I'd recommend getting one.

So, even though I am struggling to get my groove back, I am forcing myself to "Just Do It". Just start working on the gifts and hopefully I will get back into the swing of things.

Yesterday, I got back to working on the place mats for my mother-in-law. I am going to try and get them done over the weekend. I am sure she would appreciate having them before Christmas.

Three weeks to go and a long list to tackle. I'll say it again, YIKES!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Flying Geese Quilt Finished

Well, here it is. The flying geese quilt for my mom is finally finished and I am thrilled with the results. More importantly, I hope my mom is.

You may have read the previous posts here and here regarding the journey of making this quilt. It all started at Quilt Expo this fall where my mom, without intension, couldn't resist buying a variety of fat quarter prints. We laughed about how she'd probably never make anything out of them, but they were too pretty to pass up. That's when I stepped in and volunteered to make her a quilt for Christmas. Actually, she may think she is only getting the pieced top, but I guess she'll know now that she's getting a finished quilt.

I started with 16 different cotton prints and paired them with Kona Cotton in Bone to make 275 flying geese blocks. I used the flying geese ruler designed by Kimberly Einmo to help me cut all the pieces. Once I had all the blocks pieced and trimmed, I used my design wall to arrange the blocks, which came in so handy. After the top was made, I sandwiched it together using 100% cotton batting and a coordinating red polka dot cotton print. To quilt it together, I echoed one edge of the blocks and stitched about 1/4" from the seam to create a horizontal zig zag effect. The finished quilt measures 61" x 67", which is a great "cuddle up on the couch" size.

I can now check this project off the "Freshly Handmade Christmas" checklist.  As you can see it's the only thing done so far. Yikes!