Friday, December 4, 2015

Three Friday Finishes!

Amazing what a little pressure from Christmas and family can do...I was told by both daughters, that I had better go whole hog to decorate for Christmas, or, and I quote, they'd "be going out and buying the shit and doing it themselves." To also quote Dayna's turn of phrase, "It (should) look like Santa barfed up Christmas all over the house."  Okay then.  With those kind of demands in no uncertain terms or language, I put the pedal to the metal this week.  A ton of photos you will find, and I make no apologies for this either. :-)
Three finishes since Monday!
The first finish was the cushion cover.  After I finished Brady's stocking on Monday, I still had several 2 1/2" pairs, so zing! Thought I'd made a simple cushion cover.  Okay, maybe 16"?  Meh, let's do 18".  Put pairs together, and cut a few a lot more squares from the leftover strips, and then decided to add in a few more fabrics, because you know me, the more fabrics, the merrier... Here is what was on my design wall Tuesday night:
I added in the Hoffman sparkly silver mint and grey fronds, the palest of Lizzy House mints bracelets, the polka dot aqua, and several reds, four striped squares of which are leftovers from my Pyramid Pouch Moda "Joyeux Noël" fabric!
I just have to add here what I told Cynthia of Quilting is More Fun Than Housework, it was the coolest thing, going to my tray of 2.5" squares and finding several reds already cut and ready to go!  Love me some organization, I do.

But, "Wait, wha-whut?" as the younger ones would say, "Something's not quite right..."  Somehow I went from a 9X9 grid to a 9X10 grid here...ah well, 100 squares even right? 10X10 it became, so a 20" square cushion cover it became.

Here is the finished flimsy Tuesday night:
mmm quilts! indeed. How I love these seafoam, mints, aquas and turquoises with reds!
There is pinky red, orangey-red, purpley-red, Christmas red, candy red, a touch of burgundy...I want me an entire quilt like this please.

Do you ever randomly have two fabrics fall together and have a "moment", one of those swelling-inside-your-entire-ribcage, heart-squeezing, throat-constricting, rising up from the solar plexus moments?  I've had a couple this week, one of which is right in that picture.  I cut into that aqua with gold crackle fabric, another Hoffman, the one in the lower right.  Mmm.  Go diagonally to the left up 3 rows and you see it again; now look at that rich purpley-red on top of it!!!  I died.  I want an entire quilt in those two colours, thank you very much.  Might be difficult as I have a 1/2 yard of the aqua and maybe a fat eighth all told left of that red...sniff.

Grabbed thread and decided to quilt this rather Red Pepper Quilts-esque square as Rita does:
The love affair with Sulky rayons continues; oops one Gütermann jumped in, great thread too.  I just happened to catch those two "be still my heart" squares in the centre of this photo...
The back of the front section:
Bleached muslin on the back of the sandwich; I just like the cleaner look inside the cushion cover
Finished pillow!
Bound with more of the Moda Joyeux Noël; I have always loved a striped binding
The back:
Nice 'n plump! I used up almost all of the trees fabric, just one strip left, and a 8X21" chunk of the two mints left now.
I was going to do one solid fabric on the back, but then I thought, hey, I've never done a scrappy back, what if I made the centre of the trees, so it kind of looks like a striped back.  Voilà.  That white pine trees on mint is my favourite of the stocking fabrics I picked up in Florida last month.  What's inside to make it so plump?  Well, serendipity strikes: downstairs is a couch. On the couch are many cushions, toss ones and arm ones. This is one of the fat arm ones!  No one would know a purple with tan binding cushion is inside this! Well, now you all do. ;-)  I almost bought one, but at $15, um no?  Reuse, repurpose right!
Cushion Cover Stats:
Size:  20" square
Fabric:  cotton scraps
Batting:  Warm 'n Natural scraps
Quilted: on my Bernina, all with a walking foot
Threads:  Pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Sulky and one Gütermann rayons

Project #2 Super fast and simple:  a Christmas pillowcase for moi:
I can actually make the Roll It Up! pillowcase from All People Quilt in 1/2 hour from start to finish without the pattern now as I've made so many...
Last year I made each of my girls a pillowcase using that happy unconventional Christmas fabric.  I had just enough left of it to make a border on a case for me.  This method has no exposed seams; they're all French except for the side border which is a really cool method with no raw edges exposed either.

Last but not least, project #3:
Well, this was how it started yesterday morning:
A new cat mat for moi?!  I'll just have a little wash on it, make sure it's acceptable.
You can see I have actually managed to get the original tea cosy onto the chosen fabric for the back of the cosy to trace a pattern.  From here I am going to build this 9" snowflake block into the size needed to cut the cosy shape.

This cat gets so excited when I start something new, or bring out new fabric, kind of like my description of me when colour combos excite me.  She literally buzzes with exhilaration, no lie.  Zip! Up she appears on the cutting table, purring loudly, bunting my hand, and then situates herself strategically, in this case, on the prototype tea cosy a very good friend of mine made me many years ago.

When I move to the machine, thump! Then ba-dump! Off the cutting table she bounds, and then lands gracefully onto the sewing machine surface area.  She's mesmerized by the thread unwinding off the cone onto the bobbin.  Next she knows that silver spikey thing is going to start jumping up and down...
Threading the machine!!  Can I help? Please? Please? Puh-LEEZ?!  You know I can cut thread with these razor-sharp teeth of mine...  Yeah I know that all too well, Bella.
Even when I accidentally knocked her several times in the winding of a new bobbin and threading of new colour of thread, she did not move.
Whaaat?? At least I'm not sitting on top of your machine, so relax already.
Her head darts and twists and turns as I wind the bobbin and then re-thread the machine.  Okay what are we making with this lone snowflake on green from Joanne's Snowalong (at Canuck Quilter)? (sidenote, go to her latest post here, to see what Joanne is doing with her snowflakes--OMG! Love!)

We, my friends, we are making a tea cosy! I had planned to do this last year, took the snowflakes down to Florida with me, where I kind of lost my snowflake mojo among the palm trees...

Eeeep!  I forgot to take any other in-process shots, but here's what I did.  I layered the snowflake with leftover Legacy polyester batting (from the charity wheelchair quilts, I had 3 small strips, and they fit perfectly). I quilted around all the edges of the snowflakes with green Sulky Holoshimmer metallic, SUCH sparkle this thread has.  Then I just echoed around the six sides, a 1/4" with each pass until I'd come right to the edge of the cosy.
No sun this morning to really show off the sparkle...wait, oh man! I spy a Bella hair on the right, sigh.

For the back I used a double layer of Warm 'n Natural batting scraps, and a regular Sulky metallic in red/green/gold, the same I used on Brady's stocking.  I had a lightbulb moment after 3 stitches: why not set the machine for a longer, narrow zigzag to mimic that in the fabric!  And phew! been there, done that enough times, I remembered to change the throatplate from single hole to regular so I didn't break a Metallica needle.
I've had this for over a decade..."Candy Coated Christmas" by Thimbleberries; might be a good time to cut into it!
Here's the inside view:
Looks pretty cool!  I used an ivory paisleys on ivory fabric from the first quilt I made Dayna.  It's pretty much gone now except for one strip and some 2.5" squares. Feels good! And yes, I see a thread I forgot to cut down in there...
I didn't have anything much left of the green batik to use as binding so I thought I'd dig around for a burgundy to tone in with the dark colours in the cosy back.  This Kent Avery one from a stained glass manger scene I did eons ago worked!  Weird that in cutting the bias binding, the diagonal lines ended up straight!  Look at the binding around the tea cosy edge as opposed to that (cut on straight grain) of the binding around the bottom.  Like the cushion cover, I machine stitched it all, get these done and done.

Anyone for tea?  Um, maybe not at 34 damp degrees.  Oh well, as my friend Linda noticed last year, at least the grass is still nice and green, a side product of rain and fairly mild temperatures for December.

Tea cosy Stats:
Size:  11.5" wide by 11 " high
Fabric:  cottons and batik from my stash and scraps
Batting:  Legacy polyester for the front; Warm 'n Natural scraps for the back
Quilted: on my Bernina, all with a walking foot
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Sulky Holoshimmer and Sulky Metallic

Linking up this marathon of a post with Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF on at Quokka Quilts today, and on Sunday with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.
Took this last night, mainly for Joanne, who does beautiful hand-quilting as well as gorgeous snowflakes, but also because it makes me smile. That's my hand-quilted original design tablerunner on the computer desk!! Never thought I'd see the took 15 years!
Well once I get the borrowed tree decorated, I'm thinking, according to Dayna, it's looking like Santa barfed up Christmas around here all right...every single room has something Christmassy in it!  And I have a month before we leave for Florida to finish Dayna's grad quilt. Long overdue.  I'm on it.

I'm also linking this post up with Scraptastic Tuesday at Mrs. Sew and Sow, especially since all 3 projects use scraps somewhere within them! I might have discovered another cool quilt block to use up scraps on her post for Tuesday.


  1. LOVE the tea cozy!! Perfect use for one of those lovely snowflakes. I need to get into making more pillow cases . . . after you pointed me to that pattern and I made Cally's I keep saying I need to make more. . . I still need to make more! LOL And that pillow!!!!!! It is fabulous! I can feel myself sliding into a pillow frenzy. . . And the price for a new pillow, goodness!! Um, I didn't pay that much for Greg's pillow and it is stuffed with feathers! I found a great RV supply shop near my house - I can get 20" x 20" pillows for $6!! I'd say that's a great reason to go into a pillow frenzy ;) HA!

    Bella!! :D

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  3. THREE??? Such a show-off :-)
    Striped Binding is my fave too. Love love the Christmas-y theme throughout but the red, green cushion is my absolute favorite. If it suddenly vanishes, you'll know that I took it :-)
    The tea-cozy is a reminder of yesteryears, very sweet.

  4. Yeah!! I love the pillow. So simple, but it's so striking. Great print for your pillowcase. And a tea cosy. You have had a productive week.

  5. Oh boy do I love the tea cozy! It is amazing to me how long a pot of tea will stay warm in when using one. Good luck continuing to decorate your home to the Christmas demands of your girls. :)

  6. Looking good my friend! I hope we will see even more of your Christmas decor! I got a teeny start. I usually do lots of decorating inside and sometimes outside too! Not sure yet what I want to do this year. But I do know today is clean above the kitchen cabinets and get the lights and garland up there.

  7. There's something to be said for being your age, just sayin''s so cool you can say things like "it took 15 years!", and "I've had this for over a decade", etc. :p

    Fantastic post and pictures!
    Oh Bella ❤

  8. Hmmmm hope the cat watches out for the rotary cutter! What a lovely cushion, now you need the snow....
    Happy Advent and greetings from the UK,

  9. Love your Christmas collection photo. Congrats on three darling finishes.

  10. Love the tea cozy, and that photo of Bella looking under the machine is priceless.

  11. What a great way to barf up Christmas, lol! You've got the spirit now. I love your pillow and tee cozy and kitty. And congrats on getting that table runner project finished, too. Merry Christmas!

  12. Love that big pillow cover. I have two dull beige, huge cushions. I should cover them (maybe next year). And Bella, always, is a joy to see her curious little face on the other side of the machine harp.

  13. The message from your girls cracks up! There's just something about going home to Mom's that requires certain things to happen, especially at holiday time! Love all your holiday items, but especially the pillow.

  14. Neat pillow! And I love your tea cozy! Also love the St. Nick wall hanging behind it.

  15. I love that scrappy pillow. So simple but so cheerful! Thanks for sharing on these great finishes with Oh Scrap!

  16. Love that tea cozy with one of Joanne's snowflakes! and the scrappy pillow is so festive! Wow you have been busy busy busy Sandra! There is no way any of this could be classified as Santa barf, LOL, but your girls do crack me up! And Bella she was made to be with a quilter like you!

  17. The tea cozy and scrappy pillow are wonderful! I think that these items will help up the "barf" level of Christmas in your house :)

  18. Lovely finishes. My favorite is the pillow. I'd love to make a similar one but my naughty dog would just eat it. Sigh!

  19. May I say that your daughters share your skill in humour :)

    Lovely finishes! I really like the tea cosy! Bella's hair makes it perfect! She has perfected the look of being silly and beautiful at the same time :)


  20. I am a first time visitor here and I love your blog name. Nice work on helping Santa barf up Christmas in short order!

  21. Very cute xmas projects! Ilove that red background christmas tree fab! Do you recall who produced it? cheers!

  22. Hadn't caught up on your productivity, wow, three finishes. That pillow is gorgeous and the cosy too. I'm sure your house will look just amazing [Must get my tree up]. Your cat really is amazing. My little Jack Russell seems positively boring by comparison, she just lays on her bed when I'm sewing!


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