Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Decorated and ready to Eat!!!

I am happy to say that I have actually finished my Thanksgiving decorations IN TIME for Thanksgiving!!  I think this is a first for me for any holiday!  And I am so excited!
All decorated and it all works together!

Continuing on from the past 2 posts, the Bright Day of Thanks Turkey ended up in the dining room/sewing room, right next to me!

I had a panel hanging around and quickly put that together.  I'm also very excited for Christmas and got our Christmas card ornaments made this year!  I will post about those later!
My Free Falling Leaves did not become a wall-hanging.  In fact they looked sooooo terrible as a wall-hanging!  I got them up, looked at them for a day and I absolutely hated how they looked (others looked at them for a day and were kind enough not to laugh too much).  In stead, they look fantastic as place mats around the house.  One has been adopted in our front entrance as the key and mail mat.  Django even got to have 2 on his crate!  (Can't leave the fur child out!)
The 3rd installment for my Thanksgiving decorations took a decidedly (and surprisingly) traditional turn!  While I was home a few weeks ago, my wonderful Aunt M gave me a giant bin full of fabrics to play with.  Included in this bin are the fabrics for the new piece, "Give Thanks!"  It's not my normal color pallet but I am kind'a in love with this one!
"Give Thanks!" 24" x 26", pieced and applique with free-motion quilting.  Original design by M. Rose Quilt Studios.

I had a lot of fun quilting this one.  I just went crazy free-motion quilting the background to the applique.  But I made one BIG mistake by not pin basting enough!  I thought, oh yeah, this is a small piece, I don't need to pin this while I quilt.  Lesson learned - ALWAYS, always, always pin and/or baste your project!!  Not to point out the problems, but you will notice that the boarders are not square.  Ooops!  I will ALWAYS pin my projects from now on! :-)

In response to emails I have received, Yes, these 3 Thanksgiving projects will all be printed patterns available soon.  As soon as they are published, I will post links on here for you. 

Have a wonderful, happy and blessed Thanksgiving!!  I will check back in with you Lovelies in early December!  Cheers!!

Mood: Decorated!!
Music: "Heaven's Calling" by Black Veil Brides

Friday, November 15, 2013

Paws in the Leaves

We are having a small heat wave today - temps almost hit 60 degrees today!!  Which meant that Django, my gigantic puppy, and I went on a nice long walk and played for a while in the back yard!  It's probably our last chance to get outside without having to bundle up.

Happy Django!
I love being outside but add my pooch and it's just a laugh riot the whole time.  With all the leaves falling and blowing every direction, he was having the time of his life!

This was attempt #2,478 at a sitting still pose.  Just when I thought we had it, another leaf blew past... 
It's from the leaves that I drew inspiration for this next little project.  This is part 2 of possibly 3 or 4 bright, asymmetrical Thanksgiving projects, so stay tuned!

"Free Falling" abstract wall-hanging leaves, each approx. 12" x 17"
The smaller leaves are tracings from actual leaves Django stole into the house.  From that tracing, I drew an exaggerated, larger leaf around it to get the bigger size.  I then took super focused pictures of the leaf veins.  (For anyone into slightly abstract or organic art, I highly suggest doing the intensely up close photos of leaves!  They end up looking like kaleidoscopes and the closer you get, the more you see!)  

I fused and appliqued the leaves on the background and did the thread art for their veins before adding the backing and batting.  Never having done any quilting quite this detailed, I wanted to make sure the details in the leaves came out exact and didn't want any interference from the other layers.  For the quilting I had fun with echo/ripple style quilting.  It is very easy to get dizzy!  I really like the effect at the end!

I made four of these leaf combos and am not totally sure what to do with them just yet.  In the back of my head there is a wall hanging brewing...  We shall see!

Keep on Quilting, my dears!  And be sure to check out and support our fellow free-motion Quilters at Leah Day's The Free Motion Quilting Project - I am always so inspired by the limitless talents in out there!


Mood: Bright
Music: "Groovy Gravy" by Quincy Jones and Bill Cosby

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bright Days and Warm Hearts

I am back in Boston after attending the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to!  And this one is a bit more special to me:

I grew up in a small town just outside of Niagara Falls, NY and, by a series of fortunate twists in fate, I ended up in Boston after college.  This is where I met my wonderful fiance', Fiance' J, a native Boston boy.  It just so happened that J's best friend, G, is also a native Boston boy and his girlfriend, M, was from Niagara Falls, NY as well!  What are the odds!!  This wedding was for G and M back home in Niagara and was just so sweet the whole weekend.  These two are so in love and were surrounded by incredibly warm and supportive family.  I enjoyed every minute of it!

Even funnier is the fact that Fiance' J and I are doing the same thing for our wedding next summer!  In a way it felt like a practice run for us (I was taking notes!!) and got me even more excited for it to finally happen :-)

Photo by the incredible Alyssa Masucci

The past week, since the wedding, as been busy and fruitful!  I again thank all my wonderful friends and readers.  My inbox has been exploding with such sweet emails and news and questions and ORDERS!!  I'm so excited and most grateful to you all! 

Tonight was my quilt guild, the Proper Bostonian Quilters, monthly meeting.  Every single meeting sends me home brimming with inspiration and overwhelmed with chocolate and hugs!  Our speaker tonight was Marianne L. Hatton.  She shared much of her personal history and her gorgeous quilts.  If you are not familiar, I highly suggest looking her up.  She has at least one book published, Simply Dynamic Sampler Quilts (, with another on its way, as well as being an imaginative teacher.  I'm excited for June 2014 as she will be coming back to my guild to teach a workshop! 

In between all the quilt orders I have been trying to pull together a few Holiday wall hangings.  Saturday night I had the house to myself and tried another "create as you go" project.  I knew I wanted a turkey and that he needed to be colorful.  I also knew that I didn't want him to look anything like the hand-print turkeys I used to make in grade school.  And this is what happened:
"Bright Day of Thanks" by M. Rose Quilt Studios, 24" x 24"
I finished the quilting yesterday (Tuesday), also with no real pattern. 

Today is also huge anniversary in my personal life.  One year ago was my last dose of chemotherapy after undergoing 7 months of brutal IVs and medications.  I am completely in remission and have never felt healthier, happier or more alive, nor have I ever felt more gratitude to God, family and the wonders of medical science.  So it feels particularly important that I take every opportunity to celebrate the Holidays this year!  I am excited for Thanksgiving and look forward to being able to help cook more this year - and decorate more this year!!  More Holiday wall hangings to come!  How I love my "job!"

Be warm and quilt on!!  Cheers!

Mood: Toasty
Music: "Rusted from the Rain" by Billy Talent