Thursday, December 30, 2010

In the year 2011

In case you didn't already know, I have an ongoing resolution to live fabulously!

I usually avoid setting goals or defining what I mean by "fabulous" but this year I feel compelled to focus my efforts just a teensy bit. In the broadest sense, I'd really love to spend more time creating, reading, nurturing relationships and getting healthy.

walking at night

The first is easy because it's what I want to do almost all the time. You haven't seen them yet (so you might not believe me) but I have half a dozen quilt tops finished. They're hanging in the "closet of no obligations" right this very minute! With the hard part behind me, I feel confident in my ability to complete at least one quilt a month for the next year. How sweet would that be?

walking at night

Reading and relationships will go hand in hand as my friend Karrie, her mom Janet and I are starting a monthly dinner/book club. Up first is Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.

Karrie and I are also planning more fancy French dinners and Ian and I are thinking about meeting up with his parents in London this summer. I'm excited for all the adventures to start!

walking at night

Aside from a brief period in my early 20's, my health has always been my lowest priority. This year, though, there just might be a light on the horizon. There's a good chance that our old ballroom dance teacher will start giving lessons again. He just finished renovating his house to include a ballroom so that would be awesome!

In other dancing news, I've decided to take beginner ballet lessons for adults at a dance studio in Minneapolis. I've never danced ballet before so it will be a new and challenging experience. The adult classes are not competitive and many people go simply for the exercise. I'm hoping to increase my flexibility and strength. Added bonus would include grace and poise like elegant silver-screen actress or similar. Not to mention the eventual dancing in pink satin pointe shoes...well, a girl can dream anyway.

My first class will be January 6th! Added bonus: Karrie has volunteered to go with me, at least for the first class to see how we like it. I desperately hope I like it because it just doesn't feel like exercise when you're dancing.

walking at night

I'm fairly certain I won't have anything to blog about until after the new year. Ian and I are busy preparing for our Lord of the Rings movie marathon this weekend. We already have breakfast and second breakfast planned but we're stuck on elevensies.

Anyway, I hope you all have a fun, cozy and safe weekend. I'll see you next year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Finished Table Runner!

I'm sure you'll all be happy to hear that I finished the table runner on Thursday night...before midnight even!

wonky star table runner

I know I said these stars took a long time...but now that I think about it, I'm not sure they actually did. I barely measured anything, I didn't use pins and I didn't worry if my seams lined up or not. If I'd gone with any other sort of block, one that required careful cutting and measuring and pressing, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have finished on time.

wonky star table runner

And, since this project was fun and not especially stressful, I actually feel like making more wonky stars, this time in fabrics that are more "me". Because they're just so freaking cute! And I hate pinning seams.

Since I was running out of time, I decided to bind this entirely by machine. I don't like how the stitching is visible on the front but maybe it'll disappear once it's washed and dried?

wonky star table runner

Or maybe next time I'll put the binding on "backwards" because the stitching on the back actually looks pretty neat.

wonky star table runner

Of course, none of that really mattered because my mom chose to display the "back" of the table runner. Sigh...all those stars...

wonky star table runner

It finished at 13" x 60" and I gave loopy quilting another try. I can't believe I'm actually getting better at free motion quilting. I thought it'd never happen!

wonky star table runner

Anyway, this is my last finish for 2010. I have big quilting plans for 2011 so stay tuned!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stars

I finished the top for the table runner last night at midnight...I only made nine stars but they each took forever!

wonky stars table runner

Tonight will be all about quilting and binding. And then gift wrapping. And making a pizza for dinner. And a little packing for the weekend up north.

wonky stars table runner

It's going to be tight but I think I can get everything done in the next 18 hours. And if I don't, I'm not really going to fret about it. This weekend is all about relaxing and having fun with my family. Hopefully there will also be cookies.

wonky stars table runner

Hope you all have a fantastic and relaxing weekend!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snow Again!

So, due to last night's snowstorm, I had just enough time to shovel the driveway, eat dinner and make one star for my mom's table runner. Not a great start, to be sure.

Fortunately, I don't have anything planned for tonight besides eating yummy food and sewing.

Also, check out this sweet star table runner. It just popped up on flickr today and Dan's runner is pretty much exactly what I had in mind yesterday. If the snow holds off for two more days, I'll just make it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Minute Gifts

I tried to convince my parents that we shouldn't exchange gifts this year. We're not really a big gift sort of family so I thought no one would mind. But, it seems that my parents already had ideas for "little" gifts so that's what we're doing.

I have lots of ideas for my dad but not so many for my mom. I never know what to get her because she sort of likes everything but not really anything in particular. I know I could get her pretty much anything and she'd like it...but it feels sort of meaningless, you know?

I finally (like just a minute ago) came up with an idea for something to make for her. Something sort of useful but mostly decorative. Something to go with the holiday themed cloth napkins I made last year but forgot to give her.

I have four evenings to make a table runner with these twinkly perfections as my inspiration:



1. RBQB: Marissa 1, 2. wonky star - for the fun of it, 3. DSCN0632, 4. Twinkly Stars Front

I should be able to finish it since my only pre-holiday plans include a night at the "ballet" and a trip to Chipotle to eat yummy burritos pick up gift cards.

Anyway, I probably won't have time to post pictures until next week...so if I don't see you before then, have a wonderful holiday (or non-holiday) weekend!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Day!

Ian and I spent the entire weekend snowed in. Saturday was so much fun! I sewed all day while listening to The Count of Monte Cristo on my computer and the blustery wind outside the windows.

When the snow stopped on Sunday, we had 17 inches to shovel in order to get my car out of the garage. We don't own a snow-blower nor do I plan on buying one. I'm not mechanically inclined.



It was still windy and snow was flying in our faces. It took two and a half hours but we did it!



Ian is from California but he shoveled with great vigor.



He said his beard kept his face warm but I remain suspicious.



Afterwards I had some hot chocolate and took a nap on the couch. A quilt, a cat and Mythbusters...it was a nice weekend all around. I hope your weekend was cozy and warm!