It was back to work this week (although for a short week, as I had New Year’s Day off), but I still managed to get a bit accomplished!
I made… one… last… bag
I made one last Sew Together Bag for Christmas, for a friend that I (luckily) wasn’t exchanging gifts with until after Christmas. This one is actually a “mini” sew together bag – about two inches narrower than the original, and with only two zip pockets instead of three. Elizabeth at OPQuilt has an awesome free tutorial for shrinking down the Sew Together Bag into a mini size, and I love that she’s managed to do so in a way that respects the original pattern from SewDemented – this tutorial is useless unless you have the original measurements from the pattern. Partly because I’ve already cranked out five bags this winter, and because this bag had one fewer zip pocket to make up, this bag went fairly quickly compared to my other bags. I had all of the fabric cut and interfacing fused last Sunday, as well as the flower ready to applique, and Monday I hit the craft store on my way home for work for the zippers I needed, and planned to just get to the point of having the insides ready to attach to the outsides and then finish it up Tuesday afternoon. I ended up falling victim to just wanting to do “one more step” before putting it away for the night, which I’m sure other crafters are familiar with, and ended up getting it finished late Monday night! I absolutely love these fabrics from Moda – the “Hello Darling” line by Bonnie & Camille.
Another Mini Quilt Swap
Back in November, I signed up for another mini quilt swap: the Rainbow Mini Quilt Swap Round 2 (check out pictures on Instagram with the tag #rainbowminiswapr2). The ship date isn’t until March, but I’ve started pulling fabrics together to see what works out, and I’ve purchased a pattern I’ve been wanting to try for a while – luckily for me, the pattern was on one of my partner’s “inspiration mosaics” on Instagram, so I have a reason to try it out! It’s the Hazel the Hedgehog pattern by Elizabeth Hartman, but I think I’m going to try to scale the Hazel blocks down to half size (if I can make it work – but I did remember to add 1/4 inch back for seam allowance so I’m not halving that!) so I can fit more Hazels into the maximum dimensions of 24″ x 24″. I do wish that this swap had different requirements for maximum size – if they used total square inches, or all edges must add up to “x” amount, I would love to do a row of Hazels a foot high and three or four feet long, instead of making a block of Hazels! I am trying to decide if I want to do each Hazel in one color of the rainbow (one red, one orange, etc), or do each Hazel so the spines on each block are a rainbow. I’ve started basting some hexagons in all of the fabrics that I’ve pulled to play with color layout – and then, because my partner likes hexies, I’ll send them all off with the mini quilt as an extra goody! Thoughts on Hazel coloring?
Also, I’m thrilled that I went with a rainbow/color wheel theme for my Schnitzel & Boo mini, as I’ve got a load of leftover fabrics that will work perfectly for this project as well!
There are some really strict (but fair) rules on this swap to make sure nobody flakes out and everybody gets a nice mini instead of something slapped together the night before the ship date (I love the rules for this swap), and like the Schnitzel & Boo swap, we’ve been divided into teams. This time, though, we’re all swapping within our team, and each team has it’s own tag (I’m on #rainbowminiteamred) so we can see what our teammates are working on, and it helps narrow down wondering which one is for me! 🙂
My First Blog Giveaway!
I finally finished and posted the 241 Tote that I was making for a blog giveaway on New Year’s Day. Check out that post for how to enter – the giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST on Friday, January 8th. Only 10 entries so far!
An Attempt at Adventures
Saturday was gorgeous, and we decided to head up to Mount Rainier with our snowshoes to play in the snow at Paradise. Unfortunately, I think half the state had the same idea, because the traffic just trying to get into the park was backed up a mile or so to the gates… and there’s not that much parking at Paradise, so we turned around and came home to do some playing around the house. Destin replaced our second toilet, and I made it to the hardware store to get a bucket and lid for the cats’ new food that comes in a bigger bag than the old container would hold. I also picked up some little succulents on an impulse buy. I had some a year or so ago, but a couple died or got leggy and I lost interest.
I also bought plans for a chicken coop called The Garden Coop, that I hope to make this winter/spring. I’ve seen some really pretty modifications to it with accent paint and little windows for decoration. I’ve got hopes of getting three chickens this year to raise for eggs. Chicken poop compost will also be awesome for my garden!
I’m starting to think about what I want to plant this year… I want to try a different variety of cucumbers (something specifically for pickling instead of “salads or pickling”) and tomatoes, and maybe some garlic and sunflowers. We’re also looking at fruit trees, and I really want to get a Meyers Lemon Tree this year. They seem to work okay in very large pots, so I could drag it into a greenhouse in the winter… also on the to-do list, I’m accepting donations for everything I want to do 😉 And mason bees! We’re hoping to get a couple of semi-dwarf apple trees, and mason bees seem to go beautifully with fruit trees. They don’t make honey, but they’re non-aggressive and pollinate an insanely high amount more than honey bees. Half my plans probably won’t end up panning out or getting any follow-through, but it’s fun to plan, right?
And lastly: Monkey’s final tally for 2015
You may have noticed this on my blog already, but Monkey’s ability to get herself into pickles she can’t (or won’t) get herself back out of has earned itself its own running tally. I wish I had done this for 2014 – I’m certain she got stuck on the roof a lot more… but here are the final numbers for 2015! 2016 has begun, so she gets to start over with a clean slate, even though I’m debating if getting her face stuck in a Dairy Queen cup last night counts as a needed rescue…