January blahs?

Hello friends,

After the Christmas season is done, and all the decorations are put away, the house, weather, and life, can seem a bit blah. Admittedly for me, because we run straight from Christmas into “birthday season” at our house, I don’t have too much of a problem with that because I’m kept busy with 3 (!!) birthdays within a 16 day timespan.  However, taking down Christmas can be a bit depressing so I thought I would share some ideas on how I keep the cheer in our home for the next few wintery months.

While I do take down my Christmas decorations, I will leave out anything that can pass as a winter decoration.

After all, there is no rule that says you can’t decorate for winter, and why not undecorate slowly, in stages, so it doesn’t seem so radically empty right after the holidays? So I leave my “not too Christmassy” quilts hanging and find my “winter” quilts and hang those on the walls, and drape them over the sofas.

I think that using red quilts is still fine because, after all, we are heading towards Valentine’s Day, which is all about red!

I will also treat myself to some new plants or flowers. Some green is always nice and if you can treat yourself to a nice new pot as well, it is even better ;).( My hubby gave me this beautiful terracotta pot for Christmas, as well as the flowers so I think he knows what I need in January!)

 

Placing some new table runners on tables is a nice way to warm up your home too ( and if you don’t have any, this is a great excuse to drop everything and go make yourself one!). It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it will give you great satisfaction ( and maybe an excuse to go shopping for more fabric?!).

 

It is still winter, so candles are still nice to have out. I am a bit candle obsessed and have many, many, many candles, in all different kinds of scents. I freely admit that I will burn candles practically all year long, except maybe at the hottest points in July and August. Candles just signify coziness to me, and I’m all about cozy ;).

Finally, I find that working on a ” Christmassy” project for next year is a nice way to have the coziness linger a little longer, without it being obvious that I am reluctant to give up the season. It worked out perfectly that January’s UFO according to American Patchwork and Quilting magazine’s UFO resolution for me is my Rustic Pines quilt!

 

If you have not already joined in with this challenge, I highly recommend it( see last week’s blog post for more details on how to join). There is no pressure, but I do find myself working on just this project during the day and I am getting a lot done! At night I am working on some embroidery ( also Christmassy) so am still knee-deep in Christmas, but only in a subtle way ;).

What do you do to keep your home from looking too bleak after Christmas? Please share your ideas in the comments!

Until next time~happy creating!

Monique

 

 

UFO’s, my new Birthday Club, and more!

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you had a fabulous holiday season with lots of relaxing, good food, and maybe some quilting?? Our holidays were wonderful. I love having the kids home and just hanging out and doing stuff together. And our season of celebrating just continues as we roll from the Christmas season right into the “birthday season”. At our house we celebrate 3 (!!!) birthdays in January ( how’s that for planning?!~ Teehee).

Image from Internet

Speaking of birthdays, I have decided to add a new little “sub-club” in my Facebook group for those who are interested. I call it “the Birthday Club” and when you join I will send you a special birthday card for your birthday. Why?? Because I think birthdays are super important. They celebrate you. I don’t care if you are 8 or 80, I want everyone to feel special on their birthday. All you have to do to become part of the birthday club is become a member of the FB group ( find the link by clicking here), and then send me a message via FB or email and let me know your birthdate and mailing address. I will look after the rest. And ofcourse I will not share your info with anyone. That is for my eyes only ;).

Okay, onto other matters. I decided to join the American Patchwork and Quilting  magazine UFO challenge for 2019.

I am just the worst ( or is it BEST??) at starting new projects and not finishing old ones so when I saw this challenge I thought I should join in.

 

The idea is that you make a list of 12 UFO’s ( they can be anything, doesn’t have to be quilt related!) and you write them down. Then the magazine decides which # we will work on during a certain month. So for example, for January it is project #3, which for me is my Rustic Pines quilt.

Rustic Pines pattern by Gigi's thimble

Here is my list for this year:

….some projects I have almost finished and others have A LOT of work left ….I don’t know whether I will complete those or not, but at least I will make some progress ;). And I can’t promise that I won’t start some new projects this year either…there are way too many cute patterns and fabrics out there, and I already have my eye on a couple of quilt books that are coming out soon (  yes, I am a TERRIBLE influence and I know it!).

You can find and download your own chart by clicking here and then go and join their FB group if you like. I will also encourage people to share their projects in OUR facebook group so if you are more comfortable sharing in a smaller group you can do that. Let’s get some projects finished this year! And by the way, so far I have not worked on my #3 project at all because I rediscovered this project:

It is a pattern by Crabapple Hill Studio and I bought it as a BOM more than 10 years ago! It has 10 embroidered blocks and then a whole bunch of piecing. This one could easily keep me busy all 12 months I think, but I’m going to try to just work on the embroidery at night, and then leave the daytime free to work on my Rustic Pines quilt. Let’s see how that goes, shall we ;). Have I shown you the corner of my closet that holds all my UFO’s?? A bit embarrassing, but I am hoping to whittle that pile down by 12 this coming year!

Even if you are not interested in joining the UFO challenge, I do hope that you will become part of my new Facebook group called Farmhouse Quilts and Friends.

It is much like my old one, except I made it just for blog subscribers so that it will stay small and more manageable. You can request to join by clicking here. As soon as I verify your email, you will be added and then you will have access to the group. This is a private group so no one but members can read the posts, make new posts,  and see who else is in the group.

Finally, I didn’t get to work on a whole lot of projects over the holidays, but I DID clean my quilt room, hung some art,  and finished this project:

Gingerbread Men quilt by Farmhouse Quilts

I started that one last Christmas and am happy to say I completed it only 2 days after this Christmas…but hey, I will have it ready for next Christmas ;). 

My quilt room is really starting to come together too, as I am able to unpack and hang more art and organize a bit more: 

 

Finally, I  received some quilting rulers ( and a special foot) from my sweet hubby for Christmas and was able to play with those a bit and am looking forward to really getting comfortable with them this coming year. I will be sure to write a blog post about my experience with them soon too.

P.S. I have heard from a few people that they can’t find where to sign up for my blog. If you look on the right hand side of my page, you should see these boxes:

Just type your email address where it says to enter it, and then click “follow”. You will receive an email asking if you did indeed sign up. Just confirm that email and you will be all set! I am sorry but I don’t know if it looks different on a phone or tablet. If you are using one of those you might have to search around a bit. ( Alternately, if you request to join my FB group and you are not already a member, I can send you an invite 😉 )

Alright, that wraps up my first blog post of the New Year! Until next time~ happy creating!

Monique

Is it really here?

Hello again,

I think Spring may have finally come to Lancaster….but, shhhh, I don’t want to scare it off… 🙂

This winter has been so incredibly long, and every time that we had a glimpse of nicer weather, it would turn cold and yucky again. I know that everyone in the Northeast was suffering from this extremely bizarre weather, but let’s hope that we can truly enjoy some nicer weather now ( it is May after all!). Although I still have a few stubborn ( or are they smart??) bushes and trees that are resisting budding out,  my daffodils and tulips are beautiful, my crabapple trees are filled with blossom buds, and my Viburnum is just about to look and smell amazing! ( Do you have a Viburnum bush? There are so easy to grow here, and for about 2 weeks every Spring they are filled with the pinkest blossoms and smell just heavenly~ I highly recommend planting some where you can enjoy their scent!)

Our yard has been a haven for all kinds of wildlife too..the birds are very busy nesting and I love watching all that “traffic” in the morning while I enjoy my cup  of tea. Mama bunny decided that our big wine barrel flower pot would be a great place to have her litter and this morning I spotted some little brown furry ears peeking out of the grass and fur. I did decide to plant some pansies in there a few weeks back, but had my suspicions that there was a nest so planted very carefully around the outside!

Last week we closed on our new house and we are now the proud ( or is that crazy?) homeowners of 2 homes. new homeHopefully our current house sells soon and then we can relax a bit. An hour after we closed on our new house, I had taken down the matchy curtains and we had started removing wallpaper! patient hubby steaming wallpaperDo you know that if you are really determined ( and you are lucky and the wallpaper is strippable 😉 ) you can clear an entire room in 10 minutes? I did just that in the family room that was so dark and depressing:

Looks so much better already, and just wait until I get my hands on that fireplace brick ( insert an evil snicker here~ bwahaahaa). Obviously lots to keep us busy these next few months, but it is exciting to dream about all the colors I want to paint the rooms and the new flooring I want to install, and all that other fun decorating stuff. Just imagine how different it will look with some pretty quilts hung on the walls and hung over the back of chairs!

Okay, now unto quilty business, if you are still with me after all that home reno talk ;).

I am continuing to work on my big Churn Dash quilt with a big ( or utility ) stitch. I gave up on using a hoop. Sometimes hoops and I don’t get along and then I enjoy quilting more without one. I do always baste my quilts so there is no issue with the layers shifting.

I think I will just bind this baby when it’s done, no messing with borders, and then I can enjoy it…perfect colors for summer in my opinion! ( By the way, this pattern came out of a Camille Roskelley book and the fabric is mostly Fig Tree~ two of my favorite designers combined in one quilt!)

I treated myself to a new quilt book as well:Stash Statement by Kelly Young, published by MartingaleI am looking forward to using some more of my scraps and am hoping that the ideas in this book will be a great inspiration. Have you tried just mindlessly sewing scraps together? It is really fun and very relaxing and I highly recommend it! As a matter of fact, last year I designed this scrappy Piggy quilt where I used that method (you can find the tutorial and pattern for that quilt by going here )

piggy quilt
piggy quilt

And finally, in my Facebook group ( click here to join), we finished April’s challenge of the embroidered stamped images. Below are some of the beautiful creations that people came up with.

I think everyone had a lot of fun with this idea! And it’s always nice when you can cross-purpose your crafty supplies. Next week I will share what I did with one of my girlies ;).  On Saturday I will be revealing the challenge for May…it is going to be another fun one so make sure to visit my page on that day!

Until next time~Happy creating!

Monique