april ufo finish

Finally, a UFO finish in 2012!  A long time ago, my mom had made my family some wonderful personalized stockings.  However, this was so long ago, that it was before Paul was born.  I loved those stockings but I could never find an exact match of the fabric she had used so Paul could have one just like it. Finally, last year I saw these wonderful stockings on clearance after Christmas.  In order to keep the feeling of those original stockings with me, I used the fabric to make the monogrammed circles you see on these and recycled the trim.  I added trim to the cuff and gold beads to each quilted intersection.


I love the tulips this time of year.  Ours just opened and Steve took this wonderful picture.

I’m still marching forward on my April ufo.  I got all my gold buttons out to choose one for each stocking to connect the monogram.  I feel more and more confident that this is my lucky month to finish!

slowly slowly the ant crawls over the quilt

I was thinking yesterday about one of Steve’s college professors who said that as a painter he tries to paint like an ant crawling on the surface.  Such is quilting.  I did get five more squares quilted.  It took me three hours.  Not that this was unpleasant, I spent most my time on the phone with my mom.  My mom has the awesome super power of always being awake when I am awake.  She must have learned it when I was a baby.  Anyway, if I wake up at 5:30 am in the morning and can’t get back to sleep, I can call my mom.  After I got off the phone,  I thought to myself, it took me 3 hours to quilt five squares, the quilt has 36 squares, (insert math here) : 21 hours for just the hand quilting part of the quilt.  Obviously, this is only a small part of how much I have worked on this quilt.  Now, making quilts is a great joy for me, so I obviously am not in it for the money or the fame. This is why I don’t sell my quilts, I could never make enough money to compensate me for my time and really make them the way I want them to be.

Anyway, I am also making progress on my stockings.

One done!  Yes, it is mine.  I have learned to do mine first because if I usually make them better as I go. Anyway, I made a monograms, edged the monogram with fur and paint.  Then I attached it with a button.  I added lace around the cuff and (hard to see) little gold beads at each quilted seam.  They are turning out great. I’m having a hard time motivating myself because I have three projects that all need the same thing right now: hand work.  For that reason, I will be glad when these are done.  However, these stockings at least have the added bonus of being portable. However, I only have eight days to complete them.

On another more delicious note: for those of you who live in Minneapolis-St Paul, the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market is open! It technically doesn’t close but in the winter, there is only meat, eggs, and seafood and they only come every other week.  Now, they are open every Saturday, and there is more variety. Don from Heinel Farm  was there with spinach and green onions.  There were already some bedding plants, chocolate and, also, Joe of Caribbean Heat.  Anyway, the big surprise was morels!  Paul and I had picked another five on the parkway.  We were really excited to get a quarter pound at the Farmer’s Market, only slightly overpriced.  We had a delicious dinner last night of morels and pasta.

really delicious spring flowers

So we have had some pretty wonderful spring showers the last few days, but yesterday it cleared and warmed up a little bit. So yesterday we went down to the parkway.  We did a little intense searching for morels.  Even though we knew where to look, it still took us a while to see.  Then, sure enough, one popped into my view, then soon, Steve was finding them too.  This is probably about ten dollars worth.  They were delicious fried up with butter and a little bit of garlic!


I got a lot done this weekend so I have a lot to show you! I am making good progress on my Christmas stockings. I have the monograms done and ready to sew to the stockings.  I am on track to finish my first ufo for 2012!

On Friday night, after much complaining and irritation, and after I had every single person in my family try to put them together, I finally decided to put these together in flowers.  In my mind, I would put these together in rows like I would squares.  For anyone doing one of these quilts, which I definitely would not recommend at this point, you have to put them together in flowers.  What I will do next with them is still unknown.  But I did get one done already!

Lastly, I am most excited about Paul’s quilt.

I am now working on the hand quilting, which besides the binding, is the last part of this quilt!  I am so excited!  I am also very excited about the way it is turning out.  As usual my hand quilting creates a landscape that interacts with the surface but also floats above it.  By the way, I plan to leave my knots showing on this quilt, since I just read Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe.  I am still on the fence, but since my some of my hand quilting knots that I popped through the top of the quilt on some of my other quilts didn’t stay, and this quilt will get heavy use from a teenage boy, I’m going to try her idea of leaving the knots exposed as a design element.


So remember when I was sick and went to the fabric store with my husband? We bought these birdhouses that day.  They were one dollar each.  As a family project, we painted them.  It was a great project, although we only had 75 per cent participation.  (Sorry about the photo, my camera is out of batteries and I had to use Paul’s ipod to shoot today.)

Easter vigil

So like the women at the tomb, I am having a day of waiting, which always puts me at loose ends.  We always participate in a big Easter breakfast our church, so I am waiting and praying a little that it will all go off without a hitch ( and without too much of my personal craziness coming out at the seams).  I’ve done all that I can do.

I have several project at near finish including Paul’s quilt and Steve’s shorts but I don’t really have the presence of mind to finish them, so I am on a tangent today, just waiting out the day.  It’s raining, but besides that my bike is in the shop.

There, all my complaining out in the clear blue air.  As usual, I only have minor inconveniences to complain about. So, because I am a Christian, I will the say the one thing that is the beginning and the end, the irrefutable:

He is risen!

Happy Easter!

April ufo

Finally, a ufo I can finish!  I have had these stockings for a few years with the intention of personalizing them fo each of us.  So I put them on my ufo list.  I already have several ideas.

March ufo wrap up and a surprise

So, another month goes by without a successful finish.

However, I did finish this green border that goes all the way around the piece.  Next year I will set a more reasonable goal, like only finishing all the pink or something.

Anyway, right before my birthday I received this lovely surprise.

A lovely package of charms.  It is likely now I have enough to make a whole quilt.  They are the most beautiful bright primary colors, also.  I can’t wait to start working with them.  Thank you, Deanna!