Sunday, December 2, 2012

November Finishes and December Goals

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a nice November and are gearing up (or maybe you're completely ready) for the December crunch! I had a pretty busy November, but still managed to neglect some things on my goal list. As a recap, here's what I had planned to finish up in November:

1) Sew together half of my leaf quilt blocks. Not Done... Sadly this project is still right where it was. I haven't done any more sewing on it at all (and it's not going to make the list for December projects either). This one might end up as a long term WiP or on my New Year's Resolution list. :)

2) Finish the birthday gift for my sister. Done! And it was a huge success. Want to know what it was? I knit her a case for her brand new kindle - which was inside when I gave it to her. She was stoked. (My husband thinks it looks like a cute little monster face.)

This was the second knitting-in-the-round that I've done, and it was a lot easier than I expected it to be. I finished the project in one afternoon which really surprised me! I made a practice one for my dad (it didn't have cables) just to see how it would go before I spent the time on something more complicated. He also liked his case. :)

It was my sister's 30th birthday and her golden birthday on the 30th, so I also made her a special dessert. It was a caramel cream pumpkin pie with meringue topping. This was one of the most complicated desserts I've ever made, but it was worth it. It tasted so good! My mom even brought her creme brule torch so I could toast the meringue at the end. The meringue was really creamy which I did not expect. It was so good that we used the left over meringue for stuffed french toast the next morning at brunch. (Don't worry, the recipe called for cooked meringue, so no humans were poisoned in the making of the pie or brunch.)

3) Finish the Irish Hiking Scarf. Done! It turned out lovely, and seems to be a favorite thing for my cat Sasha to steal out of the closet. I've had to hide it multiple times from her, but she's the sneakiest little thing at getting in there! Luckily she hasn't destroyed it or really done any damage to it each time she's stolen it. One of my previous scarfs she completely shredded, so this one must be more durable. It's made out of Caron Simply Soft Yarn in Sage Green. The picture looks a little funky with the colors, but it's a nice hunter green or Christmasy-green color and I think its future owner will like it.

4) Plan and cut out the pieces for the Christmas quilt for my dad. Done and done! And I've even gone a couple steps farther by piecing the entire top and basting all 3 layers together. It's sitting on my sewing desk waiting for me to have time to quilt it up. :)

My dad really loves the Peanuts gang. He owns pretty much every cartoon movie they ever made with Charlie Brown and Snoopy. He also really loves Christmas. He gets so excited to put up the tree and have hot chocolate and make cookies - it's cute. So I know he's going to love this. The top roughly measures 60"by 60". I used 12 inch blocks in either a 9 patch or 4 patch pattern. I had gone back and forth with how to quilt it when my husband had a great idea. He said, "Why don't you quilt it so it looks like the wind is blowing over it." Great idea! The back is one fabric print of the Peanuts characters on ice skates and some of Snoopy's cousin Spike with his Christmas cactus, so the swirly wind motif will fit in with the back and the front. Not to mention that should quilt pretty quickly as a big swirly pattern.

5) Put together and send out the 2 Color Bee Shocked bee blocks for November and December. Done and done! I got the fabric for the December block early, so I sent them both out earlier this month. November was an inset circle block (the theme was we could put together any 12 inch block we wanted as long as it had circles incorporated). December was a couple Flying Geese blocks that I really liked. That one went together really quickly, the circle one I was nervous about, but it turned out.

So, besides all of that, I've done a few other things as well. I put together another Christmas table runner. This time it was for my mother-in-law. Someone told me my tutorial for it was a little confusing, so I'm planning on posting more pictures and hopefully clearer instructions for that in the coming days.

I also put together a "Kare-Package" for one of our really good friends, Sven. He's in med school with a very demanding clinical schedule and hasn't had time to cook much (or sleep for that matter). So, my husband and I put together some freezable servings of chili and I also made mini-lasagnas for him to heat up as he chooses. All in all he got 4 big bowls of chili and 6 bread loaf-sized lasagna pans to take home. He has since tried both and gave me a thumbs up on each one. The lasagna took about 35 minutes to bake, so the smaller size cut off about 1/2 of the baking time of a full-sized lasagna pan.

  I have also decorated my apartment for Christmas! We went out and cut down a tree. I celebrated a lot when it was finally cut because we had a really, really dull saw and the tree was pretty sappy. It was a small, but important victory. We have the tree all decorated now with ornaments we've collected from some of our travels and ones from our childhood. I have a couple on there that I've made as well, including the tree topper which is a star I made out of an old copy of "The Hobbit" which was falling apart. Plus, check out the beautiful tree skirt my mother gave us! It's gorgeous and was the first thing we put on the tree. :) Thanks mom!!

Lastly, I made us a little Noel sign for our living room wall. Most of the living room is adorned with pictures from our travels, but there was a weird bare spot above one of the bookshelves that I have now filled. I bout the wood cutouts at JoAnn Fabrics, painted them red with a sponge brush and added "snow" with a 1 inch bristle brush. Super easy. Then I hot glued it all together and glued on a nail hanger on the top left of the N and the bottom of the E to keep it straight and sturdy. I really like it - now if only I had something to cover up the ceiling fan switch... :) By the way, that carved thing is a nativity set we got from Portugal - we think the baby Jesus looks like a weird squid, but it was unique - and the tall candle is the unity candle from our wedding.

OK, so that's what November held for me. I'd say that gives me an A. The "extra credit" I did on my Dad's Christmas quilt can counteract the standstill on my Leaf Quilt. And with that being over, here's what's on my to-do list for December:

1) Quilt up the Christmas quilt for my dad.

2) Put together a triangle quilt for my brother-in-law and his wife. Their wedding colors were gray and yellow and they have lots of matching decor in those colors in their apartment. I have planned to put together a quilt for them and have 1/2 of the fabric cut out. I just need to buy more, cut it out, sew it together, baste it and quilt it by Christmas... Doable? We'll see!

3) Finish up my Over the Rainbow quilt. It needs a black border yet (which I have the fabric for!!), sandwiching and basting and quilting. I've decided to do an all over stippling with rainbow thread on the front and white thread on the back. The back fabric is a black and white geometric pattern that I love. I think I'll bind it up in black as well.

4) Get the rest of my Christmas presents put together. I think I have a couple knit scarves on my list and then some items that need to be purchased. I went to Target yesterday and it was crazy! I think I'm going to do all of my shopping online and have it delivered to avoid the hustle and bustle of the stores.

5) Make and send out all of our Christmas cards. I have 1/2 of them 1/2 put together already. I'm making them with old Christmas music and card stock. I'm going to keep them pretty basic, but I think they'll look nice in the end. Now I just need to get all of the addresses I need...

So, 3 quilts in December? I think I might be a little (or a lot) nuts... What are you working on this month? Happy crafting!

1 comment:

  1. LOL - I love the pic of you with the tree!

    I'm trying to finish paper-pieced hexagon stockings...hopefully soon!


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