Greetings! This has been and continues to be a particularly busy time of year – I’m sure many of you can relate! There are the holidays, of course, and making gifts. But my retirement as Medical Director of UNH Health Services looms as well and there are a reception and a party coming up next week. I just worked this weekend – the last time I will ever have to work 12 days in a row! I’m so glad I am going to continue to see patients 20 hours a week starting in late January, but I think I am going to love having an extra 2 1/2 days off a week and not having the administrative responsibilities. I probably won’t really know how this all feels and be able to make a judgement about it until late February. I have only 2 weeks left of full time work, then a few days of wraping up things just before Christmas, then a month off until I start my new schedule.
I can’t share pictures of most of the gifts I’m making because some recipients are readers, but I’m pretty sure the recipient of the table runner I’m working on is not so here are the star blocks (what else!) I’ve made for it so far (click for enlargements):
I love these shades of green and brown! I plan to put some sashing in and a border and there are going to be at least 6 stars in each row.
Because I’ve been working on these star blocks – and other gift projects! – I have had no time to complete the last stars for “We Are Stardust.” The last blocks were to feature jagged lines as one might see in “cracked ice” or sharp sticks. I managed to go through my fabrics and pick several that I could use, but just haven’t had time to make the actual stars. Here are the fabrics:
Believe it or not, I am contemplating entering another sew/quilt along!!! I have had so much fun with the Stars in a Time Warp project that I’m more open to doing this type of thing again. I’m very cognizant, though, of my desire to make my own quilts and not just copy someone else’s design. I want my quilts to be a reflection of who I am and show my own creativity. The stars project allowed us each to choose our own fabrics for the stars and decide on our own settings and borders. This allows for maximum personal creativity. I’ve recently seen that many of the participants I’ve followed in the stars project have joined the “Quilty 365” sew along. Participants are to applique circles, one a day, if possible, for a year. From what I’ve seen, the variety of choices of colors and fabrics is pretty amazing. I’ve always loved circles and if you were reading my blog this past winter you may remember my “circle improv” project. It recently occurred to me that I could use this project in the year long sew-along. Here’s what I have so far (I haven’t worked on this since the summer!):
(Click to enlarge.) Here are some close-ups. I’m focusing on the colors red, black, gray, pink, and tan and trying to use as many “dots” as I can. Most of these are Japanese fabrics; some reproductions fit well. I’ve even added some embroidery to some of these:
Circles have been a theme in several of my previous quilts; mariner’s compasses are circles; fans, which I love and have used in quilts several times, are essentially sections of circles. Here is a quilt featuring circles that I’ve made several versions of for gifts:
I like the effect of splitting the background diagonally. I fused the circles and machine buttonhole stitched around them in black to highlight them.
Another major project featuring circles was my quilt “Circle Visions” which is entirely hand done. Here is a bit of the whole quilt with closeups of some of the blocks:
There are better pictures of this quilt with closeups in the gallery on my web site if you are interested. So, anyway, I love circles and the Quilty 365 project interests me. It could be a way to motivate me to finish the circle “improv” quilt that I’ve already started. Not sure I have time to do more on it, however, until my holiday break begins.
I’m closing this post with a couple pictures from Thanksgiving. We had a full house here. My son visited from Brooklyn and brought his girlfriend, but unfortunately, I didn’t get a good picture of them. Here is a picture of granddaughter Sveta singing “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, followed by a picture of grandson Dmitri playing his saxophone (which he loves!):
We had a very musical holiday with everyone contributing some musical talent and our musical friends, the Werths, stopping by to see everyone. Playing the accordion has been occupying a chunk of my time recently, too, because, my group “Quatro Formaggio” is playing at a party this coming weekend! Also, I just spent a few hours today decorating our Christmas tree – maybe a picture next time!
Be grateful, be kind, and cherish each day! Gladi