I'm rich in pin cushions after our Sew Day annual Christmas gift exchange a few days ago. At the beginning of the year, we decided to make a pin cushion for everyone in the group -- there are five of us -- and the big reveal was at lunch during a day of quilt shop hopping. The top batch is what Nancy made for everyone. She designed each with our unique interests in mind -- mine is the funky, colorful bird, which I love!
The batch above was made by Linda J. -- selvedge pin cushions with padded zipper bags. Carolynn, below, also made quilted zipper bags for her pin cushions -- log cabins with the buttons tailored to us. My button is the chili pepper, because I love the Southwest.
Linda P.made us each a tiny tomato cushion in a pretty glass dish. She also made thread catchers that unsnap to pack flat for taking on the road.
I made wool applique flowered pincushions inspired by some that I saw on Pinterest. I added a blue sea star since we live in the Puget Sound area, which is rich in sea stars.
Since it was the Sew Day group, you know food was involved! We all had French toast at a restaurant in Kentnear one of the quilt stores,Running Stitch. We also went to Carriage Country Quiltsin Des Moines.
Nancy, Linda P., me, Carolynn, and Linda J.
Here are some other cushions that I made for Christmas gifts this year. The bunny is an 8-inch wool cushion for my bunny-loving daughter. I filled it with ground walnut shells so that she can heat it in the microwave and use it as a heating pad.
I also made tubular pieced pin cushions for my STITCH group from a pattern on the Stitching' Post's blog.
Color directions for the new year,
from this week's purchases:
My color preferences are getting a little softer, but still colorful, based on what I bought this week. I'm starting to like neutral backgrounds and accents, which has surprised me. That little turquoise wool piece doesn't quite fit in, whereas in the past that color played a big part in my art. I think I'm going to make napkins with the bird print and a coordinating table runner with the ivory and turquoise dots and the stack of wool below.
I bought the fabrics below the day before our Sew Day outing when I went to the Quilted Strait in Port Gamble with Nancy. Again, I was drawn to softer apricots, greens and grey.
This final picture is from a quilt I did this year that uses most of those colors. I guess I'm not going in a major new direction, just softening it up a bit with some ivory and grey. (Just like my hair.)
I'm slowly decorating my wool reindeer, grabbing a few moments in between Christmas preparations and daily chores. I decided to add a bright nose and make him Rudolph. The outline stitch that looks like a twisted candy cane is the wrapped backstitch, which is my new favorite.
This morning I made cookies for when our Christmas company arrives (and for my snacking pleasure).
One of our visitors will be Bunners! Here's a video my daughter sent of her experiencing snow. Bunners is going on 12 years old and is slowing down just a little. I'm not sure if the video will work for you, but it shows her gazing contemplatively and then hopping in a little circle before settling down again.
No snow here -- just grey skies and chilly. It's good weather for baking cookies and stitching.
The Feet & Forks went to Port Townsend, WA, looking
for color and light on a grey day and we found a
PASTRY HAPPY HOUR!!!
It was at the Courtyard Cafe at 230 Quincy Street just off Water Street. Between the four of us we bought about 10 pastries -- some to take home, of course. I had a huge slab of German chocolate cake and brought an awesome cinnamon roll home for this morning. I forgot to get photos of them and now they're history. Here's the cafe's story and menu: www.courtyardcafept.com
The Courtyard Cafe in Port Townsend.
We also toured the historic Palace Hotel and were amazed at how big it was inside, considering that from the front it looks much smaller and not worth a second glance. It was warm and Christmasy inside, and the rooms were each unique and quite spacious.
Here we are in the lobby, and below is just one of several homey gathering areas. I can definitely see staying there sometime.
The rooms all had quilts and antique furnishings.
Port Townsend is full of beautiful old homes, including this one in the Uptown area:
In case you're wondering, we did do some walking in between lunch and dessert, including this set of stairs leading from the waterfront to Uptown. Cheers!
All week I've been itching to start a reindeer like the ones in the last post from the Woolies meeting, so today I dove into my stash and started cutting. Pam, from Woolies, generously gave me a piece of grey herringbone wool to use after I admired it in her reindeer, so that was the base.
I mainly used scraps for the rest of the details, and I'm considering these green and blue cottons as a border. The background is a dotted ivory cotton.
Now I'm whipstitching the reindeer, sitting at the kitchen counter with my reindeer placemat.
In other sewing news, STITCH met this week for our holiday party. Only six of us could make it, but we partied and ate well.
We gave each other little gifts and had a fabulous potluck meal.
First, Pam pulled out her grey wool reindeer, above, which I photographed with the picture from the pattern. Then Mary brought out a wrapped prize, given to the person whose name was drawn, and it was another wool reindeer made from the same pattern!
Here's the pattern. It's from the Two Thimbles quilt store in Bellingham, WA:quilts.html
Pam also had a fun wool mitten table runner, with plenty of embroidery embellishment.
It was also our holiday potluck, with a full load of festive food.
Janey made a delicious Christmas tree with pizza dough, spinach and cheese. Then there were veggie bars, deviled eggs, a chop chop salad, fruit, a cheeseball, chocolate cake, candy and cinnamon rolls. I'm probably forgetting something, but I didn't miss anything when I loaded up my plate.
I love our Woolies group. Pam started it a year ago, and every monthly meeting is incredibly inspiring as well as being a day to relax with others while stitching and chatting. Thanks, Pam!
I was working on another set of Christmas gifts today (above) and realized that the gifts and all of my sewing paraphernalia have my favorite color, that luscious, glowing yellowy green. I hadn't planned on making anything else, but yesterday I came across a quick and easy pattern and I felt like sewing something, so I did.
I also tried a new vegan cookie recipe for my daughter: Crystallized Ginger Molasses Cookies. Wow, are they good! I put them in the freezer for her visit, but I keep taking them out one at a time and warming them in the microwave. Update on her stolen car: The police recovered it yesterday after two weeks, but it smells awful inside and three of the maintenance lights are on. Insurance will pay for repairs, but then she wants to get rid of it and start out fresh. It's pretty old and has a lot of mileage.
Our weather this week has been a mix of sunshine and fog, depending on where you are and the time of day. This silvery grey image was the view from our deck, but the same day we had blue skies in downtown Gig Harbor, 15 minutes away.
We've emerged into the sunshine from a weeklong tunnel of rain, and it's giving me energy to bustle around with Christmas preparations. I started the morning by bringing out a winter mug for my coffee and sipped it while I finished binding the Christmas houses quilt.
Cards are coming along on schedule, with half of the 94 ready to mail. I love this year's winter stamps, which are from "The Snowy Day" book. I ordered colorful red and white return address labels and printed out our annual newsletter that goes in the cards.
Usually I make cards with one of my own photos, but this year I couldn't find one that I liked enough so I bought a selection of Northwest cards with really fun, colorful artwork ... 20% off at Ace Hardware's Ladies Night!
Since I'm compulsive, all of the gifts are organized by recipients. Life just feels better when things are organized!
Next on today's schedule is a trip to the post office to mail all of the out-of-town gifts. Whew. I always look forward to getting that done because it means I can focus on gifts for those in town and on baking and not feel anymore pressure. Then there are five holiday potlucks/parties on the horizon!
I am a quilt artist and journalist living in the Pacific Northwest after stints all around the country. I started this blog as a way to keep in touch with other fabric artists but soon started weaving in threads about colorful places, people, food, wildlife and anything else that might bring color to your world. Your blog comments are most welcome. Thank you for visiting.