Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Post-Christmas Review of Pre-Christmas Projects

We back from a wonderful Christmas in the Caribbean last week. I find myself pining for Puerto Rico, once again. For the longest time, I couldn't picture us settling in any one place. But now, each time we come home from Puerto Rico I miss it like home. Though I miss "home" where my mom and the rest of my family are, I don't have the same feeling of constant welcome and easy getting together that we have from my husband's family in Puerto Rico. I also suspect that I won't be able to settle somewhere that isn't at least somewhat exotic for me - and until my dreams are in Spanish, I think Puerto Rico will still have that foreign charm I need.

I started this embroidery from Anna Maria Horner last January (2012) and by October, it was finished. It was hard to decide what to do with it, until I realized that my mother-in-law loves embroidery, especially classic designs.

I made the traditional look a bit more modern with a black flower and bright details, adding a gray quilted border so that the pillow could be a bit bigger.

the back, with loopy-swirl quilting

I also made a pillow for my friend's little girl, whose birthday was close to Christmas as well. It's from the pillow pocket pattern I used before, but without the pocket. I hand-quilted her name on the front, and it came out quite light in this picture, so I went back and added more hand-quilting to the name in darker thread to make it pop more (not pictured). 

the back, with meandering quilting

 And finally, a project for our own Christmas decorations - a wall-hanging. This was an idea that I had pinned after Christmas last year and was keen to squeeze it in - even if it wasn't finished in time to hang on our own wall. I also made a similar version for my sister-in-law, who adores all things handmade. I love it - modern, yet retro, and kitschy, and kinda Scandinavian.

Quilted with stars up top and swirls from the bottom

Now that we're back and I have two more weeks of freedom until I'm strapped to the computer again for classes, my mind has turned to my new projects. On the eve of our departure for Puerto Rico in mid-December, I started a new quilt for my niece Kaitlyn (because packing was of no concern to me, obviously - this also explains why I packed a bunch of tops and only one denim skirt for bottoms). I was also finishing up Christmas gifts that I would be bringing down.

I've wanted to try this star-burst pattern for months, and I am loving the scale and simplicity of the contrasting fabrics against each other and the white background fabric. This is my current obsession.

Pedro/Santa also bought me a couple of skeins of German wool yarn from a Christmas market in Stuttgart last month (along with sewing books!). These have a date with my dusty crochet hook. I'm thinking HAT. For me! And maybe one for my sidekick.

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