Every year I set out to make Christmas gifts for everyone on my list, and find myself waaaaaay behind and finishing things up super last minute. (You know what I’m talking about right!?). This year, however, I am done, and was done early! Whaaaat? I know, I can’t believe it myself. I keep thinking, “Did I forget something, or somebody?” I don’t think so! It’s a weird feeling, done early? (I still keep wondering, did I forget something….?)

So, this time leading up to Christmas, after finishing some last second client work, I’ve been catching up on projects I have had on my to-do list for a while, and making room for some deadline projects I have coming up for mid-January.

First, our guild, the Fraser Valley MQG, is having an “Ugly “Fabric” challenge, where those who wanted to play, put in a fat quarter of their worst ugly fabric they had on hand. All the fabric was put in a big bag and you drew out a new piece to make something for the fabric’s original owner with. So basically they get their fabric back but made up as something “good”.

I got some crazy realistic apple fabric. I don’t think it’s particularly ugly, but it’s “difficult”, as what do you do with it that doesn’t scream “Apple”?

I racked my brain then came up with “Apple Basket”!

uglyfabricchallenge

I added some more coordinating green fabrics, plus some solids, and got busy.

zigzag

My Janome Memory Craft 8200 handled the rope perfectly, no tension issues, no snapping thread, just powered thru it with perfect stitching. Nice change from my poor “other” zig-zag capable machine who has “issues”and doesn’t like to sew through anything too heavy. She’s been retired from service (and also needs a service, sigh).
I also love the see-through bobbin cover so you can keep an eye on the bobbin as you sew. I heart her, she is a dream, just sayin’.

bowl

And ta-da! Finished apple basket! I used almost all of the supplied “ugly/notreallyugly” fabric in it, and back it will go to the fabric’s original owner. I am wondering what I will get back using my barfy burgundy batik (try saying that three times fast) fabric I put in?

I also was on a mission to use up a massive basket full of solids scraps that was overflowing onto the floor. I seemed to have a huge pile of blues and greens so I used those to start. I started by sewing them together into strips, then into “sheets”.

strips

top part1

Once they were all sewn, I felt like it needed some more colour, so I sewed a bunch of reds and pink scraps together and then sliced them all into strips, no ruler, just slice.

I was digging the white peeking through so after a poll in Instagram revealed that this was definitely a good direction, I started sewing rows together and adding strips of whites and lights in between pieces.

After a few rows though? Booooring!

assembly2

So I reformulated, ripped rows apart, sliced and diced some more, and came up with a funkier, more active and energetic layout. For some reason it reminds me of construction cranes, I’m thinking of calling it “Under Construction”….

top done

My aunt Mary, who has a great design eye, suggested maybe trying some black, so I did, and it makes the entire thing pop, doesn’t it?
The wider outside borders I used Kona Pepper, which reads as black but it’s more like a blue black, it’s seriously my new favorite now. (I’ll share a better photo soon so you can see the difference when it’s done).

I’d planned to sandwich this one up yesterday but realized I didn’t have anywhere close to enough batting, so that will be next on the list.

This leads into my first January project, I was invited, as a Canadian Modern Quilter, to design and sew a quilt (well two really) for Northcott Fabrics, a Canadian company, for their booth at QuiltCon in February! They asked 16 Modern Quilters from around North America to participate. How exciting is that? Such an honour to be chosen. My fabric for that will be arriving asap, and I can share sneak peeks as I go, just not the entire quilt until after/during QuiltCon.

Stay tuned!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and may all of your Christmas sewing projects get finished!