Saturday, November 26, 2016

And Now, Happy ADVENT! Let the Madness Begin...

Pineapple Log Cabin, Block 26 of 36, 17 3/4"
Man and Boy versus Christmas Lights
We all survived Thanksgiving!  The tablecloth and fine china are all washed and put away, I had my three pieces of pumpkin pie for breakfast yesterday, and we finished off the last of the turkey leftovers for tonight's dinner.  Bernie and the boys put up two of my three Christmas trees, garland, exterior lights, stockings...  So we're more than ready to kick off the first Sunday of Advent tomorrow.  I made another pineapple log cabin block today to celebrate.  That's 26 blocks done, 10 to go, for anyone keeping track.

Which means I am about to transform into a professional Christmas caroler again for the next two weeks.  I gotta tell you, I am not 100% looking forward to all of the mad costume changes, or to driving my little car while wearing a huge hoop skirt that pops up between me and the steering wheel, obscuring much of the windshield.  I am afraid that for all the fun I had designing and making that costume, I didn't take practicality into consideration...  But it is what it is, and I'll be wearing it again on a regular basis beginning this Friday, December 2nd.

My Giant Dress Does Not Fit In My Little Car!!!
Meanwhile I've got a rehearsal of Bach's St. John's Passion on Monday, December 12th, and I need to learn the Second Soprano part to that music ahead of time, in addition to refreshing my memory of the Alto harmonies on all of the Christmas songs in the Holiday Singers repertoire for the caroling gigs.  As busy as I'll be, December should fly by and Christmas will be here before I know it.  Yeah, don't look for my Christmas cards to show up before Epiphany...

EQ7 Block, Not Quite Peaceful Hours
And also meanwhile, after finishing the pineapple log cabin block, I went back to that EQ7 block that I printed out when I was looking for the Farmer's Wife block called Peaceful Hours?  I decided I like the fabric mockup I did for that block, and it's different enough to live in the same sampler.  Added bonus: No set in seams with this one.  Except that I don't actually have the virtual stash fabric I used to color this block in my real life fabric stash.  I had similar enough fabric for everything except the center patch, and decided that it really needs to be this older Kaffe Fassett print that I only have a jelly roll strip of, not big enough:

Ready to Paper-Piece, as Soon as Discontinued Fabric Comes In the Mail
See?  I didn't need it to be a floral print, but I needed globs of color, including pink, coral, and blue.  Thank goodness for people who sell fat quarters of discontinued fabric on eBay. 

Discontinued Fabric, Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near Me
In the meantime, I cut up the other fabrics and got my foundation patterns ready to piece the block.  That will look cute mixed in with my other 6" sampler blocks, don't you think?

Check out my Design Wall of Shame NOW:

Focus Diffused: Many Projects, Nary a Plan...
It's really the Design Wall of NO Shame, as I brazenly stick one project on top of another.  I am not ashamed in the least.  I'm having great fun chopping up perfectly good fabric and sewing it back together again, and right now I'm in a major Idea Generation mode, not so much a Finish It Up mode.  For your viewing pleasure, there is a 54" square baby quilt top (completed in July 2015 but never quilted) behind the first (and only) block of Anders' new Moda Modified Building Blocks quilt, also behind the latest pineapple log cabin block that is destined to be a California King sized quilt for my bed.  The 6" sampler blocks to the right of that are for skill building and color therapy.  The applique block above is destined to be one of nine identical blocks, and the others all have their stems stitched down but need petals next.  Haven't had a chance to prep any hand stitching for carpool duty in several weeks, so I've been reading kindle books on my iPad instead.  And that doesn't get ANY quilts finished!

Maybe now that it's advent, I should pull out my Jingle blocks and set them into a quilt top, maybe finish a Christmas quilt DURING the Christmas season?  All but one of these blocks, and the center medallion, are from the Jingle BOM pattern designed by Erin Russek that you can find here:

Weird Pre-EQ7 Mockup Done in Some Other Program
 What you see in the above photo are my completed pieced and appliqued blocks, my poinsettia setting triangles that are all cut out and ready to go, and a picture of someone else's straight set center medallion inside a wide border.  I must not have made my own center medallion at the time I was playing around with setting ideas, but mine is done now:
My Center Medallion Applique
What do you think?  This project was my first try at hand stitched applique, or any kind of applique, really, but I never finished it.  I didn't really want to finish the quilt by setting the blocks and medallion exactly the way everyone else did.  This is the way Erin designed the quilt to go together:

Erin Russek's Original Jingle Design, patterns available here
It's pretty, but it feels very contemporary to have the center medallion AND the other blocks on point,  kind of like a harlequin look or something.  I guess I like the more traditional look I get when I set the center medallion straight and then I thought of adding some other pieced borders in between, as well as on the outside of the quilt beyond the other blocks...  And then I didn't know how to figure out those pieced borders to fit between the parts that I'd already made (this was before I had EQ7), and then I vaguely remember having a strong suspicion that one of my red batik fabrics turned out to not be colorfast and will bleed all over the place and ruin this quilt as soon as it's finished and washed...  So do I REALLY want to put another hundred hours into it?  This quilt-along happened THREE YEARS AGO, people.  At this point, what do I really have to lose?  The work is done, the lessons have been learned, and the quilt blocks aren't doing me any good folded up on the shelf.  If I simplified my grandiose plans, this could actually be a finished quilt.

Or it could be one more project-in-progress fighting for space on the Design Wall of Shamelessness.  It's not like I'm going to finish anything during caroling season, anyway!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

I'm linking up with:

·       Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times

·       Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

·       Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

·       Moving it Forward at Em’s Scrap Bag:


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

sounds like you will have a very busy month and so nice that you can use that Victorian dress again! love the quilt and like you say 3 years in the making - finish it and use some of the color fast stuff - Retayen? I think I might be spelling it wrong

suzanne, dutchess county NY said...

Lovely costume! Is the hoop part connected or is it like a slip?
If it was you could just wear the dress and put the hoop on after you drive.
Loving that pineapple block. It's one of the many on my list to do.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

So much beauty in one post! That costume is divine even though it might be impractical. And a pre-lighted tree is a wonderful thing!

Pam said...

I much prefer your version of the layout of jingle bells on point. It is much more interesting than the original. I wish I could hear you sing. Your dress is so pretty. I made a similar but simpler one for my daughter when she was a docent at a civil war house museum. I did use an authentic pattern and it was green and black similar to yours. Your pineapple log cabin block is really neat!!

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks, Suzanne. There are two separate half slip garments under the dress. The hoop skirt is a thin nylon fabric with several horizontal channels containing steel boning (hoops) that supports the weight of the dress and holds it out in the period appropriate bell shape. Then there's a full ball gown petticoat half slip on top of the hoop skirt, and that one is yards of gathered netting and fluff that creates a soft fullness to the skirt. Without the petticoat, you can actually see ridges going down the skirt at every level that has a metal hoop underneath. You can see pictures of both undergarments in this post:

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks, Pam! Actually, you CAN hear me sing if you really want to. My church broadcasts services online, and you can watch video of past worship services, too. If you go to and then choose "On Demand Video" at the top, scroll down to the 11/6/2016 All Saints Sunday Contemporary service and I'm singing a solo right after the sermon, 46 minutes into the video (you can skip to that part). Going back farther to 4/17/2016, Feed the Birds Contemporary service, you can see and listen to me sing a duet with Mary Poppins approximately 24 minutes into that service. :-) Our church put on a production of the Mary Poppins musical and the pastors did a whole sermon series that tied in with that.

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

You are just crazy busy!! I love all your projects - and that dress - wow - it is gorgeous, but I can see people staring at you while your driving trying to figure out what that hoop is! Ha ha!! Enjoy!!!

Ramona said...

Your blocks are beautiful... all of them! And your dress... gorgeous! I imagine it is a challenge to drive a small car while wearing it. It's probably difficult driving any vehicle while wearing it. Happy Advent!

Sandra Walker said...

Whoa Nelly!! Do you EVER have a ton going on here! First I LOVE your humungous costume and I got a great image and a giggle out of imagining you driving in it! I also love your "design wall of shamelessness". I have one very similar to it, grin. You do absolutely beautiful hand appliqué! I know what you mean about the traditional setting for your green and red appliqué blocks but I actually quite like the on-point setting...

Bonnie said...

December is always a busy season for singers. I'm doing a couple of concerts over the next two weekends and then heavy into the church music. Your costume is amazing! And, yes, I too have a mental imagine of trying to drive in that dress. Have you ever been pulled over by the police while driving it. I imagine even that would be funny. Love your name of design wall of shamelessness. But honestly, other people put projects on top of projects.... um, er, at least I do too. Sometimes I just run out of space! Have a great singing season.

em's scrapbag said...

Love your caroling dress! Something that great doesn't need to be practical.
Your pineapple block is stunning!
Enjoy your busy holiday season!

Kate said...

Happy Advent. I'm not sure why I'm always surprised that the first Sunday of Advent comes after Thanksgiving every year, but I was again last weekend. You have some gorgeous projects up on your design wall. Love the pineapple block and your sampler blocks are so fun. That's quite a dress too. Enjoy the singing over the next few weeks, sounds like you'll be really busy.

Miaismine said...

What a absolutely beautiful gown!! You will look so stylish! I love your quilt! It's so pretty on point! Congratulations on such beautiful projects!