Finished: Yuletide Botanica Orange Peel Quilt

Another Christmas quilt is complete! I’m really excited for this beautiful project to be out and usable!

The details:
Pattern: Orange Peel Quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Company
When I received this fabric from Blank Quilting last year, I didn’t want to cut it up too much because the prints were gorgeous, and, lucky me, I had picked up a MSQC Orange Peel template for 10″ squares from the freebie table at my last quilt guild meeting, so I decided to go forward with a super-sized orange peel quilt.
Fabric Collection: “Yuletide Botanica,” by Camelia’s Creation Studio for Blank Quilting, sent to me during my ambassador days in April/May 2020.
Background Fabric: A green with white polka dot print from American Jane’s “Bread ‘n Butter” collection, #21697-19. (Some of you may remember that I made a baby quilt from that collection a few years ago, and a tiny scrap of it was on the floor of my craft room when I received the Yuletide Botanica collection. I picked up the polka dot scrap and set it on the cutting table, and noticed that it paired nicely with the Yuletide Botanica collection. So I did some online shopping and got more. What a complete freak accident of happy circumstances.)
Backing Fabric: A green and white gingham flannel whose selvage disappeared somewhere. This quilt lived on on the TV room couch for a few days and every kid made a beeline for it because they love, love, love the flannel on the back. I’ve been informed that all future quilts should absolutely be backed with flannel.
Quilting: Aurifil 28wt & 50wt in color #2000 “Sand.” I quilted all the straight block lines, and then straight diagonal lines through the centers of the orange peels/footballs. It bugs me that I’m not doing more quilting, but my husband was using the last quilt I finished and he commented that he liked it better than most of my quilts because it was “floppy and not as stiff as the other quilts.” Sooo…I guess it’s fine?
Dates: I pieced this during May of 2020, and quilted/finished it in November 2021.

A funny note about this quilt that is totally a symptom of its times: The pattern has you use interfacing for constructing the orange peels/footballs, and I used medium-ish weight interfacing in this quilt, and realized I’d need to use a heavier weight quilting thread to make sure the quilting could withstand the extra weight of the beefier interfacing. After a few days of mentally berating Past Cara for choosing to go with the heavier interfacing and all the potential problems it could now cause, I finally remembered why I went with the heavier interfacing: I couldn’t find sheer or lightweight interfacing because it was sold out everywhere because people were making masks with it.

I’m making sure to note on quilt labels if they were made during Quarantine, because my historian heart adores facts like that. (I basically make quilt labels for my great grandchildren to read someday.)

This quilt will live on Em’s bed during the holiday season, and seeing how they’re graduating high school this spring, it will welcome them home from college for Christmas Break over the next few years, and that just makes my mother’s heart ache a bit. Hopefully it will be soothing sight.

#craftygoals: December 2021

A new month means some new goals!

I’m hoping to finish the Holiday Patchwork Forest quilt, the Christmas Sew Many Stars quilt, and three secret knitting projects this month, which I will lovingly refer to as “Secret Knitting No. 2: Stripes,” “Secret Knitting No. 3: The Pattern I Don’t Like,” and “Secret Knitting No. 4: Fair Isle.” I probably can’t even show you the yarn for Nos. 2 and 3 because the intended recipients would probably figure them out, but I think I can get away with showing you mystery shots of No. 4 once I get going on it.

November’s #craftygoals were a success! I finished the Fresh Cut Pines quilt for Nathaniel’s bed, finished the Yuletide Botanica orange peel quilt for Emms’ bed (but haven’t done the photo shoot yet, so no finished pictures just yet), and finished up Secret Knitting No. 1: “Rainbow Ombre”.

Whew! Christmas season is always a whirlwind of projects, and I’m thankful for the focus they’re giving me this year while things still feel a little unsettled. It’s good to have projects and it’s good to have goals. I hope you have great success with your goals this month!

Sew little time…

Em & Renaissance with Nathaniel after his band concert! (Rachel was at her own rehearsal and had to miss it.)

Last week was a doozy! Nathaniel had his first band concert and Rachel was in four showings of our school district’s drama production, complete with rehearsals from 4:00-7:30 pm on the days leading up to the shows, and then she had to be at the theatre from 5:30-10:00 pm Thursday and Friday for their first two shows, and from 12:30-10:00 pm on Saturday because they did a matinee and evening show. I drove back and forth from the school 3-5 times each day! But she had a blast and it was a great show, and hey, that’s parenting.

Which meant not a lot of crafty times, but I did finish the Fresh Cut Pines quilt, label and all. I don’t have pictures of it yet because it’s been really rainy and a disc in my upper back went out Saturday morning, which incapacitated me for the entire weekend. Sigh. I have plans to take the quilt’s beauty shots over Thanksgiving Break while I have helpers available during the day.

I pulled out the Yuletide Botanica orange peel quilt this morning to start working on it, and after having a bit of a lazy crafter hesitation, decided to go forward with attaching a border because it will look better with a border, even though I didn’t want to take the time to do it. (And yes, I’m glad I did…it really does look better with the border…) I also basted this bad boy and now have the aching back to prove it. I’m hoping to get going on the quilting tomorrow, as long as everything goes as it should during the day.

I am so ready for the Thanksgiving holiday. Hopefully I don’t have to go anywhere Friday and Saturday so I can just plough through all my wonderful Christmas prep activities! I just want to be at home, sewing all the Christmas things!

Crafty Goals: November 2021

I’m resurrecting the idea of monthly crafty goals because ever since I stopped making them, my crafting performance has plummeted. Let’s hope this little bit of effort gets me back on track. (Although, to be fair, the last couple of years have been kind of crazy and full of obstacles that massively hampered consistent ANYTHING.)

Alright friends, it’s November, and the Christmas bug is biting hard. For years I’ve outlawed Christmas sewing this late in the year because of how stressful it can be, but I’m throwing that out the window this year because…I’m a grown woman and I can do what I want.

With all the slowdowns in shipping happening, I made the decision to not wait for Black Friday sales to order my kids’ gifts, which meant I needed to access my gift list that I update throughout the year. Whenever a gift idea pops into my head, I just jot it down in my little gift app, and come holiday gifting season I have a ton of ideas. And, shocker, there’s a lot of handmade gift ideas on that list. Many of those handmade gifts are already in-progress but living in some “time-out” pile in a shadowy corner of the craft room.

Well…the more I read through my gift lists, the more I liked the idea of checking some of those projects off, which has stoked the fires of Mt. Mojo and has me pretty excited to start working on them again.

November’s list is big, but most of these things are almost done, so I’m hoping they’ll go quickly?

Fresh Cut Pines quilt: One of my Blank Quilting projects from last year, it just needs to be quilted and bound. I keep hoping that I can send out my quilts to be long-arm quilted, but they’ve now been sitting for over a year. That means it’s time to just suck it up and quilt them myself, even if it’s just straight line or serpentine quilting. Done is better than perfect. This is Nathaniel’s Christmas quilt for his bed, and I still haven’t made him a regular day-to-day quilt, so his Christmas quilt is the first on the list so that he can have some sort of quilt to his name!

Yuletide Botanica Orange Peel quilt: Another Blank Quilting project, needs borders, quilting and binding. This is Emms’ Christmas quilt, and seeing how the kid is a senior in high school, it’d be nice for them to have their Christmas quilt done before they graduate.

Some secret Christmas knitting: A little gift for a special someone, and that’s all I can tell you at the moment.

If I’m going to limit myself to “practical goals,” I think I can feasibly get those three done this month. However, we all know I like to plan big, so there is hope that I’ll…somehow…magically…also be able to finish:

Patchwork Forest quilt: aka The “Hipster Christmas Tree Quilt.” I can’t believe I made this two years ago. Remember life before COVID-19? Those were the days. Anyway, I was going to hand quilt this one, but I really disliked the process and ripped out the hand quilting. It’s got a beautifully thick Mammoth flannel backing that makes it an incredibly heavy quilt that I cannot wait to snuggle under…the quilting is going to have to be extremely simple on this one because it’s a beefy blanket! I think I added borders to it to make it twin-sized, but none of my kids has claimed it for their own. It might live on Renaissance’s or Rachel’s bed until I finish up their requested Christmas quilts. And if not, it will make an excellent living room quilt.

Sew Many Stars Christmas quilt: Remember how I designed a whole quilt along last year? Geez, I kept myself busy! (Probably too busy, though…hence the almost zero amount of quiltiness that happened this year…oi.) It needs quilting and binding, too.

So yeah, it’s a big list, and I’ve still got to be careful to not overdo stuff with my healing foot. I’ve got the Fresh Cut Pines quilt up on my quilt wall as I type, and I’m already lamenting the supremely simple quilting I’m going to have to do to get it done. BUT…I wanna use this quilt, and if I wait for perfect conditions to finally get it sent out, I’ll be waiting a long time. There will be time for better-looking quilting in the future, but there’s not a lot of years left with my kids being at home and it’s important to me for them to have Christmas quilts on their beds. I don’t know why, but it is. Straight-line quilting will accomplish that, and someday, when I have my own long-arm quilting machine, I’ll do fancier quilting and we’ll wax poetic about the early quilts and their simple quilting designs.

Onwards!

What are your crafty goals for November? Are you doing any holiday crafting, too? Let me know and we can cheer each other on!