Sunday, January 25, 2015

Starting Again! (again)

OK.  So, maybe I'm not a blogger.  I want to be, really, I do!  I enjoy writing and sharing what I make.  And I LOVE reading blogs.  So I would think that maintaining a blog would be easy.  It's not.  I was sincerely shocked to sit down to write tonight and learn that I didn't have a single post in December, and there are only 11 posts on my entire blog.  *sigh.  But all I can do is start again.  So, here goes...

I HAVE been sewing a lot lately.  I try to make time every day, and when that doesn't happen I doodle or sketch quilt blocks or hand sew a bit  SOMETHING every day.  It's good for me.  Keeps me relaxed and happy.  Although, there are so many things I want to make that I sometimes find it stressful that I can't make them all!

In January, I've been making blocks for a Birthday Block Swap that I joined in a Facebook group.  We are given a list of 12 ladies (roughly one a month, although I have 3 for March and then I'm done until June) and their color preferences.  The block design is up to us.  I had two ladies for January and had fun making their blocks.  Learned a lot, too.  I learned that I am a "good enough" quilter when making something for myself,, or when making an entire projects where no one will see the process. When making a single block that a fellow quilter will turn over, examine, measure and try to use in a quilt, though...OH BOY!  Was it ever hard to get a block to measure to exactly 12 1/2 inches!!!  I'd have been happy with my first attempt, but nope.  Had to redo it so it was "perfect" before putting it in the mail.  The second block went much better.  I am enjoying writing a note to each recipient and making a little felt bookmark in coordinating colors to send, too.  I forgot to take pictures of the blocks, darn it!

Another swap I joined this year, in the same Facebook group, is a Valentine's Day mug rug swap.  My mug rug is ready to go in the mail this week and I had so much fun making it!  Actually, I made two.  I am trying to always make two when I make something like a zipper pouch or mug rug for someone.  The extras will either be used as handy gifts or be sold in a fundraiser later this year.

I knew I wanted to use pink and turquoise.  I've been loving that combination lately.  And, while shopping for a pink Valentine print (hard to see in these pictures) I found the beautiful blue with cherry blossoms, AND the little bird print.  They ended up being the backs, and used in small quantities on the fronts.

That bird print was just so cute that I couldn't resist using it as inspiration for a little applique.  I put the fabric on the copy machine, enlarged it a bit, and then used my light box to trace the birds on to fabric prepared with fusible web.  I hand stitched around them since the curves were a bit to tight for my machine applique skills.  It was so much fun!

Here's a bit of the adorable fabric, and some of the applique.

Now I just have to write a note, finish up a bookmark, and pop it in the mail to my swap partner!

Before I go, I'm curious.  What's your best tip for keeping up with blogging?  I want to make this work, I really do, but I keep dropping the blogging ball.  Got any ideas?

This little birdie sure makes me smile!

Happy Sewing!