Saturday, December 26, 2020

Merry Christmas a Day Late!

Our Christmas was quiet with just the two of us.  We had passed on some of the presents for our son's family and he gave us most of ours.  I have to say I was tickled with my presents as was Pat with his.  We both spent time in our happy places during the day.  I was down in my studio and he was in his workshop.  I'm pretty sure he was finding room for his new tools and I was using my new Accuquilt dies. 

I got two new dies this year.  (Shush -- don't tell anyone I still haven't used one I got last year for Christmas.) The left one is Blazing Star by Eleanor Burns.  EEEK!  It is a complicated die because you have to have some fabric right side up and some right side down. And, the directions are ok but not great.  However, there is a booklet you can buy and a free video. The right side is an Ohio Star.  Both are 12" Blocks on Board -- every piece you need is on the die.  I am happy to have some specific dies for 12" 
blocks.  (Does this picture look odd to you?  I keep taking shots right over what I want to show and then I don't really like how they look.  Sigh.)

My time in my studio was spent finding fabric for, cutting and making the blocks.  I made the Ohio Star first.  Very easy to follow the given directions, cut, and make the block.  I think it took longer to figure out fabrics than it did to cut it out.  I'm thinking I'll make a bunch with different patriotic fabrics.  Maybe make a quilt for TAPS, assuming they have the camp this year. 

The Blazing Star was not super easy to make.  I was trying to follow the directions which had to be downloaded from the web site. (Usually the directions are included with the packaging.) So I started following the directions trying to be careful with the right side up and right side down.  Needless to say several pieces of fabric were sacrificed to mistakes.  I finally decided to watch the video.  It helped quite a bit but kept referencing the booklet that I didn't have and there was no digital download from what I could tell. (I didn't look really carefully.) Finally, I succeeded cutting out the pieces although I don't think the colors are where I originally wanted them.  The best part is the sewing was pretty easy.  Most of the points won't be cut off when I use it. 
Hindsight I would have tried to have more contrast on the front star.  But it will make a fine table runner with two more blocks. 

Just for fun I thought I would share this lesson in lighting.  Have you heard experts talk about the appearance of different colored lighting.  Take a look at our poor Christmas tree.  Yes, it is artificial and the lights were on it when purchased. However, at some point this season all of the lights in the second section from the top quit. Pat spent an hour or so trying to find the problem to no avail.  So he came up with an alternative.  He put the only other strand of lights he could find on the tree.  Yep, colored lights.  What shows up a lot are the blue lights.  And they make the tree look a totally different color than the white lights.  It's hard to see in this picture but the tree looks a lush green with the blue lights and a washed out sage green with the white lights.  We don't put up this tree very often; recently we've been using a smaller tree on a table.  This year it seemed the right thing to do.  Maybe I should look for some white lights on sale to replace the colored lights? 

Tomorrow we're having a mini, outdoor celebration with our kids and grands.  We'll swap whatever presents came in on time, chat a bit and then head home.  We hope  I-95 won't be bumper to bumper with people coming home from their visits.  In the best of times we can get to our son's house in about an hour, or a daughter's in over an hour.  We've traveled for double the time or more at the worst of times.  We're looking forward to seeing everyone but the traffic... eh not too happy about that. 

I'm off for some more sewing and then present wrapping.  In the meantime I'll be linking up with these Linky Parties: Ha!  None of my normal linky parties are up and running, either already closed or didn't hold a linky party. I did find Finished or Not Friday held at Anja Quilts.  Hope you'll spend a few minutes over there today.

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 


  1. Merry Christmas, Bonnie! I hope you and I BOTH make good use of our Accuquilt dies this year! Yes, we've had the same experience with those prelit artificial trees. I think they hope you'll just replace the whole tree but, like you, we just wind more lights around that area to make up the difference. Hope your traffic isn't too bad today!

  2. Bonnie, those dies look really interesting! I can't quite picture how they work, with the one giant square on the Ohio Star, but I'm looking forward to seeing quilts in these blocks from you in 2021. You have a Studio version? That's what we have at the quilt shop. Although we exclusively use that for cutting 2 1/2" strips and making our own curated jelly rolls. BTW, the same thing happened to our Christmas tree lights this year, but our are separate from the tree. I shopped the day after Christmas and all the lights were gone. I'll have to remember to get new lights next year, and start looking about Halloween time, right?!!

  3. Here is an idea, Bonnie - If you use solids or good quality batiks then it really does not matter whether the fabric is facing up or down. You are welcome :-D No, you have no more excuses :-p Wishing you a very happy new year 2021!!!

  4. You made good use of your new dies. Have fun playing with both this year. That star block does look really, really complicated. Hope you had a great New Year.


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