Thursday, December 31, 2015

DIY Christmas - placemats and table runner for Mom

After completing the baby quilt for my cousin's baby, I wanted another project to work on.  So I grabbed a jelly roll that a coworker gave me for my birthday (Daysail by Bonnie & Camille), picked out the predominantly aqua strips, plus a few more coordinating strips, and got to work.

I used the idea of the jelly roll race, which was how I sewed the fabric for the baby quilt, but stopped when it was 6 strips tall.  I then cut strips varying widths, and sewed them together with white fabric framing them; this was to make the table runner.

I saw a picture on Pinterest where a decorative stitch was used in between the different fabrics, so I decided to do this for the placemats.  I made the placemat fabrics diagonal, from corner to corner, which works well because Mom can turn them upside down or right side up (there really is no right side up, actually), depending on what fabrics she prefers at the bottom.  I selected 4 different stitches, and quickly ran out of my red thread while sewing the placemats.

That's when I wished I had more thread at my disposal and wished we were closer to stores.  I have a feeling I will now and forever more overbuy on thread each time I buy fabric...

I really like the look of scrappy binding, so that's what I made, trying to use the rest of the strips of the jelly roll that wouldn't look too out of place.  I also had some shorter pieces of the fabric I did use, so there are parts of the binding where the fabric changes after about 4 inches.  I like the look, and I enjoyed adding the binding.  It just might be my favorite part of quilting...

Even though I would not normally give Mom something where red is a prominent accent color, I do think with all the aqua, sail boats, and flowers, they will be just Florida-y enough to move into regular rotation in the placemat cabinet at their house...


And Loretta - don't look at them too closely the next time you're visiting my folks....  stand about 15 feet away, take off your glasses or take out your contacts, then look at them, ok?

photo provided by Mom

Linking to 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


I had not found my Christmas spirit, and therefore had not put up the tree or decorated.
Jeff surprised me by putting up the tree!

it's a pre-lit tree..

and the lights change colors!

true story...

home-made turtles...

"I'm a cotton-headed ninny-muggins!"

One of my Christmas presents came with an original drawing by my 10-year old nephew...
A Trekker D Original

Monday, December 28, 2015

12-26-2015: Living in a Winter Wonderland

A few pictures taken on our property on 12-26-15:

looking south from the East end of our property

view to the East - somewhere between those trees runs the Copper River.  When it's misty or foggy you can tell which trees are on the far side of the river.

another view south.  

our birth trees are really very tall.  at least 3 of them have birdhouses like this one.

burning garbage

Sunday, December 27, 2015

That time I finally felt an earthquake

My sleep routine is so completely off from what it used to be.  I used to go to be at 9 or 9:30 but no later than 10PM every night because SLEEP!  I need the sleep!

Lately we stay up later because I now get out of bed at the time that I used to leave the condo when I was in Wisconsin.  And that shifts sleep patterns.

So we were awake, in bed, looking at Instagram last week (Thursday December 17, to be exact), and I felt an earthquake!  It was a quick rumble, felt like if your house was right next to the road and a big heavy truck came rumbling by.  I heard some hanging items jingling around, and then it was over.

And since we were on our phones already, both Jeff and I got on the Google to get more information.  Turns out, the earthquake was a very short distance from our house - probably about 7-9 miles away.  It was only a 3.05, but with it so close, we really felt it!

I really am pretty excited to have felt an earthquake now.  I had never ever felt one before...

Some screenshots I took on my phone on Thursday night, December 17 (click pictures to embiggen):
see the Map Legend at the bottom - all red squares were less than 6 hours prior...
the earthquake we felt
more about the earthquake we felt

look at all the earthquakes in Alaska on 12-17-15...

Saturday, December 26, 2015

My #IntrepidThreadChallenge Christmas Stocking

Way back at the end of September, The Intrepid Thread offered fabric in exchange for participating in a challenge:

"We will give you a mini charm pack of Modern Background Paper, a fat eighth of Arrow fabric from Lori Holt's Modern Minis, and a Fat Quarter of the Word Find fabric from Melody Miller. "

I was lucky enough to respond soon enough to receive the bundle of fabric.

And man, did I have a mental block!  I didn't know what to do with the stuff...  But it was getting down to the wire of either having to use it or pay for it (which I think is a fair parameter when someone is giving you free fabric to be creative with - either use it or pay for it).  And it was Christmas, so well, all I could think of was making a Christmas stocking.  

I cut strips of the pink and green, sewed them together, cut strips the other way, and sewed those together to come up with this:

I then used the mini charm pack to make the cuff.  I used a bright pink thread for all of the quilting, and used the rest of the pink fabric to make the binding.  I really wanted to put a binding on it instead of making an inside seam because a stocking my Grama made for me when I was little has a binding and I just really like the look.  I used fabric from my stash for the lining and the back, and some of the checkerboard that I had cut off of the stocking shape to make the hangy-loop.  
And finally, just in time for Santa, it was finished!
on the back of our property, facing North.

I wished I'd had enough fabric to put a binding on the bottom of the cuff also, but I was just a few inches short, and I wanted all the visible fabric to be what was sent to me for the challenge, even though she gave free reign to add other fabrics.

hanging on a small part of our wood pile; these logs are HUGE!
I really enjoyed the process, and was glad that I had the incentive to actually use this fabric.  I have other fabrics that have been sitting there for a much longer time, with projects in mind even, that I have not yet cut in to.  So it was very satisfying to finish this project, especially with the timing!  I know that my work is not perfect, and I'm okay with that, because I know that with more practice, I will improve.  And I know that I will never do perfect work, and I'm okay with that too, as long as I'm enjoying it.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Prince William Sound Sea Lions

Truth time:  I am not a fan of sea lions.

They always seem like they're yelling at each other or burping.  No cute animal sounds coming from these guys.

I mean, I have tons of pictures of these guys, but most pictures have at least one sea lion with their mouth wide open, or giving me the side-eye.

But I do agree that they look like they must be mer-dogs.

And once in a while you see a cutie who is just trying to stay away from all the meanies.

Or one who looks like he is trying to be a teddy bear.

If I was a sea lion, I too would find a little rock out in the water to call my own...

But I would totally take another cruise to see these guys in the wild...