I finally finished it! (Just in time for Spring! ha ha.) This pattern is called "Winter Critters" and was in Quiltmaker magazine a couple years ago. I fell in love with it instantly, but it has taken me about 2 years to complete it. I started off by gathering and purchasing the fabrics. I ended up tea-dying the tree fabric to make it more brownish than yellow. That was a first for me. I learned that it takes a LOT of tea bags to make a significant difference in your fabric color.
I got the top together easily enough, but then stalled out when it came time to put the balls on the stocking caps, the noses, and the embroidery work. So it sat in the cupboard for several months.
I'm pretty new to embroidery and hand applique. The embroidery seemed easy enough, but the teeny tiny little circles were intimidating. I considered gluing on little pom-poms, but ended up just cutting out little circles, and going around the edges with a blanket stitch in DMC floss. I even stuffed a tiny bit of batting in there as I closed it up. Was it the best way? Probably not. And my blanket stitch skills are ok at best. Those tiny circles are tricky to go around. But, overall I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
I quilted it just like the one in the magazine, but added just a couple little details in the squirrel's tail and the raccoon hat.
My only regret is that I ran out of the white fabric I was using and used another piece that looked white, but clearly is not once I got it sewn in. It's right above the birds and will forever haunt me every time I look at it. Maybe if I hang it in a dark enough spot in the house it will be hard to notice?? Anywhoo, it's got a sleeve on the back and it is done done done! And in the closet it goes with the rest of the Christmas decorations. But it will most likely stay up until Valentine's or St. Patty's day along with the snowmen decorations. Ha ha
Here is my Do. Good Stitches-Haven group block for April. A Scrappy Trip is what it is called and you've probably seen these all over the interweb by now. The tutorial has been up for quite a while. This was my first time making them. I'll have to admit that ripping out the little 2.5 inch seam with each strip got to be a little tedious, but once you get going, you won't want to stop! It is a great quick and simple way to use up your stash. (Mom- I'm looking at you!) CosbyGryffin had us use a warm color palate with burgundy, dark purples, oranges and pinks, and with yellow going from corner to corner. I pulled some fabrics and started cutting and before I knew it I had enough for 3 blocks. We are only required to make 2, but she would gladly take any extra blocks to make it bigger. Most of us did make extra blocks so far. It's going to be pretty!
Oh, and one more thing. In about 3 months we will be welcoming a baby into our family! Yep, I'm having a little girl! So I anticipate the longarming will slow down quite a bit this summer. And how it will work with 2 little ones and coordinating naptimes long enough to get some quilting in will have to take some adjusting. So in the meantime, I'm quilting up a storm. That is as much as my aching back and hips will let me. :)