14 December 2017

Lava Beds

I'm so darned excited to be finished with this year's quilts for Christmas project, I could literally jump for joy!

This finish came with tears and even a few angry words, but #15 is done.

I thought the glow-in-the-dark thread was a pain to work with because it was such a chore to put onto spools so I could use it and because it kept breaking and splitting on Outer Space. The thread may have contributed to the heartache, but I switched to regular thread on Lava Beds after having to rip out the entire first dinosaur track after not being able to do more than three inches without the top thread breaking.

At one point, I was crying, and Lizard suggested I use regular thread so I could get done and do other things for a while.

So I started over on that dinosaur track, and although I could go more than three inches, I was still getting a lot of breakage on the top thread. I went through the machine's list of troubleshooting tips, and the only one I can't immediately do is replace the bobbin casing, which I have to go through Brother to do. And I was still getting breakage on the top thread.

I'm very frustrated that I had to change the original plan of drawing little dinosaurs on each square (because it has taken me MONTHS to work up the courage to try free-motion quilting little dinosaurs!!!) to simpler-to-quilt dinosaur tracks, that I had to use regular thread instead of glow-in-the-dark for the motifs, and that my Viking Husqvarna lasted more than 30 years while this inexpensive temporary replacement Brother machine feels as though it's hardly made it through 30 days!!! It's not giving me much reason to have confidence in investing in a more expensive Brother model with a bigger throat!

I have to stop and recall that just in the few months I've owned it, the Brother Project Runway has seen quite a few miles... I've finished 15 quilts with it!

I'm very grateful to have finished the quilts for my adopted daughter's kids who have been adopted and their siblings in time for Christmas. I will go to bed with a smile tonight. My Christmas is joyful!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

11 December 2017

Snowflake Monday

About five years ago, one of my co-workers on a different floor began a tradition by decorating her entire floor for Christmas. Her imagination and creativity sparked such positive feedback, she now decorates here entire floor for every season of the year. It's really fun to take a tour whenever I need to take a quick break from deadlines!

Deck the Halls

My co-worker's decorations inspired other floors to decorate.

One of the newer bosses in my department was inspired to spruce up our own floor last year. She now hosts a door-decorating party after work the first Friday of December each year.

I don't have a door anymore, but I sit (or stand... I have a standing desk, which also has started somewhat of a fad within the office) near a copy room, a storage room and an empty office, all three of which have doors. I also have two bosses who work outside the office so often, they don't get to participate in decorating. So I decorate five doors.

This year, because I've been so busy, I decided to decorate with my crocheted snowflakes leftover from craft fairs of Christmas Past.

One of my absent bosses had a special request for me. He asked if I would decorate his door with a nativity.

My annual craft fair at the office is this Friday. After I got my decorations up, some of me co-workers began stopping by my desk to buy snowflakes “before they sell out.” They knew I hadn't made many snowflakes this year because I couldn't crochet for about four months. My last week has been spent making new snowflakes to replace the sold ones, plus a couple of special orders.

I typically do not take special orders at the craft fair because I want to spend the final two weeks before Christmas concentrating on my own family. A couple of co-workers had requests I couldn't turn down, and there was still time, so I accepted the special orders.

One has a friend whose partner died of cancer a couple of months ago. Her friend's partner loved dragonflies. My co-worker asked if I could make a rainbow Dragonfly Snowflake after she saw all my individual dragonflies. She wanted one that looks just like the photo...

I told her it would have about 48 knots. I asked if she would like a white snowflake with a rainbow of dragonflies attached. She said to go for it.

Here it is!

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 6 inches from point to point with Dragonflies; 3.5 inches from point to point with Hearts
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, 6 crocheted motifs such as hearts, dragonflies, flowers or even miniature snowflakes, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Dragonfly Motif
Heart Motif
Daisy Motif
Snowflake Motif

Medallion V Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through 2nd ch of starting ch 2 and replace loop on hook, pull loop through ch (popcorn stitch made), * ch 10, * 5 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc (popcorn stitch made); repeat from * 5 times, omitting last popcorn st of final repeat; sl st in top of starting popcorn. Pull magic circle tight.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 2: * in next ch 10 sp work 2 sc, 2 hdc, 2 dc, ch 1, sl st in crochet motif, ch 1, 2 dc, 2 hdc, 2 sc; repeat from * around 5 times, bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

07 December 2017

Space, the Final Frontier...

... and nearly the final quilt!!!

I've finished 14 of 15! The goal is almost as good as done, and I am one happy camping quilter!

Initially, I'd planned to quilt this one with spiral galaxies, but when I loaded the glow-in-the-dark thread, I realized the spool was going to give me some heartache, so I chickened out and did straight lines. Again.

I filled six bobbins, using my fingers to hold the wide-mouthed spool, then used bobbins on both the top and bottom during the quilting process.

I think this quilt's recipient is going to be one of the happiest of the 15 kiddos on my Christmas list! Perhaps I should have used glow-in-the-dark thread for all the quilts!!!

The scariest part of this project was washing the quilt. I wasn't sure the glow would hold. It did. Just one more reason I'm a super happy camper!

One more to go before Christmas! Then I get to make something for me!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
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