|iPods and Kindles as Pattern Weights|
Sewing all those stems down was tedious work, but now that I have the center poinsettia stitched in place and my branches are sprouting leaves, it's fun to see the whole thing coming together. I'm really enjoying the mix of emerald green fabrics with those crimson reds. However, now that I'm nearing the end of the project and looking at all of my blocks up on the design wall, I'm not sure that I want to finish the quilt exactly according to Erin's directions:
|Erin Russek's Jingle BOM Layout, patterns found here|
I really love how another quilter, Pam of Hip to Be a Square Podcast, a.k.a. Pantsfreesia in the Jingle Belles Flickr group, substituted pieced setting triangles for the large green setting triangles around the center applique medallion. (Much thanks to Janet L for helping me find her blog so I could credit her and link back to her blog.) I think Pam's Jingle quilt is just gorgeous and I HAD to share it with you:
|Completed Jingle Quilt made by Pam of Hip to Be a Square Podcast; read her post here|
Isn't that gorgeous? You can see more photos of Pam's quilt, including detail shots of the machine quilting, in her blog post here. This quilt got me thinking about ways I could personalize my own Jingle quilt, maybe adding pieced setting triangles around the center medallion similar to what Pam did, or perhaps adding some pieced borders to the quilt if I can figure out the math so everything still fits together at the end. I also have a couple of pieced blocks that I really don't love, and I'm considering replacing them with different star blocks instead. Adding borders might end up enlarging the quilt and requiring two more blocks, anyway, so we'll see. There's a lot of stitching still to be done on that center medallion.
|Kings of Nintendo Playing 3DS Games|
|Anders and Lars at Best Buy|
To my great appreciation and delight, Bernie finished and installed the doors for the built-ins in the living room a few days before Christmas, hiding much of the clutter that has been on my nerves for YEARS:
|Living Room Built-Ins Today|
Doesn't that look great, just like it has always been that way? He built the doors from scratch, perfectly matching the paneled cabinetry in the kitchen and throughout the house. The bookshelves on the sides were original to the home, but the whole center section was missing except for two weird boxes at the top. Here's what this wall looked like before we bought the house, with the old carpeting and the previous owners' furnishings:
|Same Living Room, Before We Bought the House|
Bizarre, right? So I had Bernie subdivide those two oddly proportioned boxes by adding shelves immediately, and he built the base cabinetry at the same time so the built-ins would frame his gigantic television. There were always supposed to be doors on the bottom, but there are so many things to do when you move into a new home and you get sidetracked with other projects. After awhile, you get used to the way an almost-finished project looks, and you don't notice it anymore. So, here's what the wall of built-ins looked like for the last SEVEN years, waiting for those doors:
|Unfinished Built-Ins with Lars, Bernie, and Puppies|
Another fantastic gift I received were the completed puppy portraits that my mother finally agreed to paint after much badgering, whining, begging, and insinuation that dog portraits equal love. Do you remember when I posted about this idea here back in April? I asked my mom to copy a couple of Renaissance portraits I had seen in the Louvre on one of my trips to Paris, but with my Rottweiler pups' faces instead of the somber humans in the original portraits.
|The Originals in the Louvre|
|Lulu and Otto, Painted by Mom|
|Says Lulu, a.k.a. Princess Puppy, "Rub my belly, slaves!"|
|Says Otto, my Sweet Baboo, "PLEASE throw my ball!!"|
Ah, well -- the clothes dryer has been peeping at me mercilessly, demanding my attention.
Happy New Year, 2014!