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Monday, December 31, 2007

Another year comes to a close, a new year begins

This has been a strange year for me. As I look back, it seems as if I am in a state of flux. My interest in quilts and quilting has waxed while my interest in my cross stitch projects has waned somewhat. I've only finished a few small cross stitch designs, most of them in the beginning of the year. I also threw out my rotation somewhere along the way, though I still have it listed on my web site. I want to finish some before I start another new project, so I'd like to make that my goal this year - no starting new cross stitch projects until at least two are finished. Hopefully I haven't just jinxed myself - goal setting for me sometimes has the opposite effect (!).

I finished three quilts and am on the verge of finishing three more (okay, the Double Wedding Ring will take a bit more time because I'm hand-quilting it, but if my interest holds, I see myself finishing it in the first couple of months of 2008). Oh, and I am using my Aunt Becky tool on part of the design - the slight curve on the melon pieces. I tried using it on the design I'm doing in the middle of the "squares" but there are just too many sharp curves for me to really get into a rhythm with it there, so it's kind of half-and-half. I'll be starting a new block in January, for the SSS 2008 quilt. I also plan to start and hopefully finish a quilt for Delaney, and I'd really like to do my Cocoa Bling Kitty quilt that I purchased the fabric for earlier this year. I also want to continue to work on my GFG quilt, since I've made some good progress on it this year and it's starting to look a bit more like a quilt top.

I didn't start a new yarn crochet project like I thought I might a few months ago. I really need to organize my yarn a little better (in a variety of plastic bags in the closet doesn't really count as organized for me). I think I might like to learn how to knit socks. A co-worker came in wearing some that were knitted for her for Christmas, and they looked really yummy. I'm a little intimidated, but I'm going to try it anyway. So I stopped by my LNS after work today and bought a book, some double-pointed needles and a skein of sock yarn. Pat (LNS owner) said that if I have any trouble, I can stop by Thursday Night's Sit n Stitch and she'll help me.

I got reacquainted with beading this year. The nieces (and my nephew) all loved their bracelets, and I enjoyed making them, so I'll probably continue to try out new patterns, though I think there are only a couple of more classes that I might want to take.

I would also like to read more. If not with my eyes, then certainly with my ears. I've subscribed to Audible.com and have been listening mostly to books I've already read (but a long time ago, so I've forgotten a lot of them). I think it's a good way to try books I might not normally read. I still check out a lot of audiobooks (on CD) from the public library, but there are a lot that they don't carry. They don't seem to have as much in the way of science fiction at the library, so I'll probably be using Audible for more obscure books.

I hope that everyone has a happy and prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The cat is out of the bag

I couldn't help myself, on Christmas Eve I told Mom and Dad that the Double Wedding Ring quilt is being made for them. :)


I've also been working on the Grandmother's Flower Garden some more over the past month.


And just to show that I still cross stitch too, here's the latest progress on The Sun Sets...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Another quilt top complete

I took today off as a vacation day, and after I watched my Tivo'd Steelers game I ambled in to the craft room. And I actually accomplished what I set out to do on this day off from work - I completed piecing the Double Wedding Ring quilt top. This picture isn't the best, but it was the best I could do this afternoon.

Double Wedding Ring quilt top completely pieced

I can't tell you how good it feels to finally finish piecing this quilt. It is just as I had imagined it would be when I started planning the colors and fabrics. On Wednesday I made a trip back to Joann's to see if I could get the backing fabric with my 40% off coupon, and this time I was successful. I had gone a couple of weeks ago, found the perfect fabric, went to check out, and found out that because it was on sale at $1.00 off, I could not use my coupon at that time. I decided to wait it out, taking my chances that they would either still have it, or I would find another perfect fabric when it wasn't on sale, and luck was with me - the bolt that I had chosen had not even been cut since that first visit. It was just waiting for me to come and claim it. I also picked up a fabric that I thought might be a good choice for the binding, but once I got home, I saw that it won't work with the quilt top (so I'll just have to use it for something else). I'll look for something a little darker next time.

C is going to play video games at a friend's tomorrow, so I'm going to try to layer and baste the quilt so that I can get started on the quilting, which I've decided to do by hand on this quilt. I guess I should check and see if I have the batting for it first, huh? If not, I'll make a trip to the Joann's out in Mt. Juliet, because that one is a newer store (than the one where I got the backing fabric), and I think they have a slightly different selection of fabrics. I'm excited to finally be at this stage, and it's actually going as planned.

I haven't cross stitched much lately - I put in a few stitches last Saturday (Stitch Day at Melanie's), but mostly I've been working on my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. I should have new pictures of it and of The Sun Sets... cross stitch project to share this week - just as soon as I get around to taking them. :)

Oh, I almost forgot - I put together little simple necklaces to go with the bracelets I made for the nieces for Christmas this year - Alli's is on the left, Delaney's is the middle one, and the one on the right is for Tori. I hope they like them!

Bracelets and necklaces that I've made as Christmas gifts this year

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I PASSED!!!!

I am so completely bowled over - I passed the ITIL Foundations exam that I was absolutely certain I did not pass (back mid-November). Granted, I didn't pass the test with flying colors like I used to when I was in high school and college, but the main thing is that I passed, period. Wow. Cool. Can my stomach stop hurting now? I've been having pain issues since the middle of the week that I took the class, and I've been to see the doctor, and I'm still having pain issues. This probably warrants another phone call / trip back to see the doctor...

But I passed the test! :)

Oh yes, and Leslie, I am definitely participating in the SSS 2008 - it's supposed to be star blocks, and my choice for colorway is black and white! I'm really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

SSS 2007 a success

I picked up my final quilt block last Saturday for the SSS 2007 quilt, promptly brought it home, pieced it, and then finished piecing the quilt top. I think it's really pretty, and I'm looking forward to having it quilted so that I can give it to my sister-in-law sometime in the first quarter of 2008. This block was Snail's Trail, a block I'm familiar with because of my brother's quilt. :)

Block 12, Snail's Trail
SSS 2007 quilt top pieced

Okay, what happened to this year? Already it's only two weeks until Christmas? It feels like I time warped ahead or something. And I'm nowhere near ready for it this year. It's funny though, I understand how close it is, and yet I don't feel the urgency like I have in the past. My first Christmas party is Wednesday, so maybe that will get me motivated...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dirty Santa

Yes, it is that time of year - when everyone decides to have a party with a dirty Santa / white elephant exchange. My bead group is the first of these, and our party is next Wednesday. I was told that most everyone makes their gifts, so I decided to do two things - a Mill Hill beaded ornament and a knit scarf. Here are the results!

Knit scarf
Beaded cross stitch ornament from Mill Hill

C's work Christmas party is coming up the week after that, so I'm going to make another knit scarf for it. Thank goodness they work up pretty quickly, and then I can get back to my regularly scheduled Christmas gift madness. :) Happy Wednesday Thursday!