Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I won a giveaway! and No mom please don't make me sit on his lap! and a finish for CCQC!

Monday I picked up a parcel that I knew was from her! Unfortunately I had to get a battery for my camera before I could take a picture! I am so excited to have won a giveaway, and very excited to have won this one. It is a honey bun in the Nostalgia line, which I love and she included a packet of Looking Back 2 1/2 inch squares. I am going to have fun with both of these!

Thank you Michelle! Thank you!

That battery came just in time too. I knew it was going, flashing at me on our weekend trip to California, and it totally conked out right here...

Luckily I had the new one in my pocket! These are GD2 and 3 and they did not want to sit on Santa's lap! The two year old however was very chatty from three feet away. Hi HO HO! (that's what she calls him) I want a ball, and a doll and a choo choo train! See my pretty dress, and look I got painted nails just for Christmas! and on and on. Then the drama of getting near him. Afterward, she wanted to go back and show him the picture of her with him. But no sitting on the lap or anywhere near him. She just wanted to talk!

So far I have one finish for Charming Girls Quilt Club. I finished my table runner that I made experimenting with different combinations using a 60 degree triangle. One more to go, those darn prairie points, but I still have another week to get upstairs and get it done!
Merry Christmas to all!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Santa....

My Dear Santa,

I'm sure that you remember me. It's been awhile since I've written since I have actually been working as one of your elves for the last 38 years. Children love their presents and I really love to make them and give them. But just to spur your memory, I'm the short one, slightly rotund, and I seem to have gotten gray hair over the years. How come I'm the only elf that ages? But, never mind with that. I do have a wish for me this year, and I heard through the elf grapevine that the Fat Quarter Shop might help you this year! That's exciting! Here it is Santa, isn't it pretty? A beautiful bundle of fabric. I'm sure I can do something with this. I know, I know, it's not red, which besides being your favorite color is one of mine too, but I'm a closet pastel person. Please, please remember me this year! Petite Maison will be just perfect.  Thank you ahead of time, I have faith in you. Love from, your short, rotund, gray haired elf.

Quick Christmas Button Ornament

This quickie ornament is about 3 inches by 3 1/2 inches. All you need is some old white buttons, and a little bit of muslin and a length of white satin ribbon. I cut out the hearts, and machine sewed around them leaving room to turn the ornament. You can sew the ribbon on at this point, or sew it on later. Stuff lightly and then position and sew the buttons around the outside edge keeping the heart shape. I have buttons on both sides so that it is reversible and shows well no matter how it hangs. Old buttons are rarely white, but off white, so I used an aged muslin. To get a good heart shape, simply fold your pattern paper in half and cut so that both sides are identical. Your shape could be funky or classical. I also added a bow to one side. My first intent was to cover the heart in buttons, but that made the ornament too heavy, so I only put them around the edges. It could be done in reds and greens, too. I have this one on my white and silver tree but I'm thinking that I need another one for my tree with handmade ornaments. I'd better get busy on that!

I got lazy this year! No baking! Hubby is on Atkins, and I'm diabetic, so I set up a candy buffet for visitors. Yum! I find I can stay away from it better than a homemade cookie buffet! Strangely enough the red vines are a big hit!

Check this out!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Red and white....

I really hoped that I would have the top finished by the end of the year. I only have the side triangles to go, but it won't happen, it's a lot more work.
 There is 16 of the side triangles because it is queen size. I couldn't wait to put it together though, so I left a little bit of the end seams open to put the triangles in later. I don't know how I'm going to quilt it, and I am open for ideas. I'm thinking the background in a straight line grid, but I don't know about the red areas. Send me your thoughts if you have quilted applique quilts! I think I'll go around the applique inside and out but not through the layers. Or should I go through the layers like Hawaiian quilts? If you've made a Baltimore Album quilt let me know. All these blocks came from the Baltimore Album books by Elly Sienkiewicz.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas for kids

While I was in Pennsylvania we visited Christmas Tree Lane. This is a valley fixture in Kraynaks. It probably has 50 plus trees (I wish I had asked) and starts with the children's trees, in various themes with animatronic characters. Here's a small overview... after all the kids trees, it phases into more religious and traditional trees. I've been taking my kids there for 34 years. I wish my grandkids could see it..
I'll try to show some of the adult trees in a later post, although a lot of them came out blurry. Maybe I can hunt up some pics of other years.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Charming Girls Quilt Club

My finishes for the month... well.... hopefully my finishes for the month.

Yesterday I got upstairs for almost the whole day. I played around with my 60 degree ruler and made twelve different hexagons and put them into a table runner. I think I'll just cut the sides even to make binding a cinch. I cut strips in 2-3 inches to make the triangles. I have my favorite of them all, so I think I'll make something else out of it.  A full size red and white hexagon quilt. Now there would be a project!

My other finish is this thing that has been hanging around forever.  It was made from two charm packs and just needs the prairie points. I'm tired of looking at it! It has to be done this month!

I'm on a red and white theme this month!

While I'm here I'll show you a quick pic of my loft sewing room. The two year old and I put up the loft tree. She is still quite disturbed that it isn't green.. nope, it's white with all red and white ornaments. So far it only has the three ornaments that I bought this year, because they weren't in the 'Christmas closet'.  I haven't got things organized up there to show you any more yet. It's a messy workroom!

Happy quilting!

Monday, November 30, 2009

I should get my mail more often...

It's me!  In the middle of page 10!  I have a small mention and a couple quotes......

Came and Went

Thanksgiving came and went. We only had four people, the smallest amount we have ever had. I had a bad cold courtesy of granddaughter number 2. My poor cat was found upstairs in my loft and had to be buried before dinner. He had been sick, and I guess he wanted to be remembered in a big way. He always was right between my sewing machine chair and the ironing board, so I would have to step over him constantly, and that's where he was that morning.

Moving on to Christmas!  This is an old quilt which was a one yard challenge. I had one yard of the red, and one of the green, lots of muslin, and little snips of a red print. I love red and white quilts and I have a couple more to show you this month.  

And...... I finished my one and only present I am making.  Tiffany, if you read this, don't tell your sister! It's for granddaughter number 3 because no one (me included) made her a baby quilt. This will be just in time for her to use in her crib this winter and a good size for a toddler bed.  I finished it yesterday and today I will wash it and soften it up.  I enlarged a font on the computer, printed it out, reversed it onto fusible web and then machine stitched it in place. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This Thanksgiving

Kelly tagged us with the questions 'what other crafts do you do? and what are we thankful for this Thanksgiving?'

First off, my other craft is knitting. I know a lot of quilters are knitters also. I had put knitting on the backburner until the granddaughters came along and then I really went to town churning out sweaters for them the first couple years. I don't think they wear them very much, but, hey, at least I had a good time making them.

I made this big because she grows so fast.  When she was smaller I made her a cashmere and wool coat sweater. I wish I had a picture of that one.

I'm thankful for my kids and grandkids, and my house with the sewing room and its big bathroom.
If you think a bathroom is a silly thing to be thankful about, it's because I spent my life having bathrooms that I could barely turn around in. I don't ever go in it without being happy about it, and I've lived here almost 3 years. I also waited a long time for a sewing room to myself.
Of course I'm thankful for hubby who provides all this for us, and keeps helping the adult kids and the grandkids in this bad economy and works and worries more than he should have to at this stage of his life.
I'm thankful we still have good health and I could go on and on, but I don't know that it would make good reading!
Thanks Kelly, for making us reflect about what good things we all have!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Over the River and Through the Desert....To Grandma's House We Go

Wow, Thanksgiving is coming up really fast! And just beyond that is Christmas. Some years we have put our tree/trees up around the 12th of December, which is my husband's Birthday, but then we have often been known to put them up the day after Thanksgiving and the trees stay up until January 2nd. Two years ago, I put up three trees. Yes, I'm nuts.  This business of more than one tree started years ago in our other house because we had a family room and living room, and if the tree is in either of those rooms then it can't be seen from the other rooms. It's the same in this house. We spend most of our time in the kitchen/family room and the fireplace is there. But on the holiday we entertain in the the livingroom/dining room combo. So it deserves a tree also, right? So where is the third tree? Call me crazy but I wanted one in my loft/sewing room which overlooks the living room. I don't know if I'll get all this done this year. I'm more motivated to make quilt tops than to decorate right now, but we'll see.  As time goes on, I tend to get more enthusiasm for decorating. All our trees are 'fake' trees, because we like to leave them up for a month, and a real tree has a hard time in the dry air we cope with. I hate needles in the carpet for months afterward.

It takes a lot of work to get all this 'stuff' out!   And put it away! This is my buffet years ago, I've collected white and silver santas since this picture, and  the houses go on the fireplace now.
 I have an extensive collection of cast iron santa doorstops, too. I waited years to have a house with a staircase to display them on.

I wanted to show you a stocking I made Granddaughter number 1 for her first Christmas. I made it from an old red wool shirt and left the pocket on it for a special Christmas treat from Santa. The white showing just under the white top is where the sleeve to the shirt was.

Then last year for Granddaughter number 4, I used an old wool sweater.  I sent it through a hot wash and
dry several times to 'felt' it, cut the pattern and before I lined it I did some beadwork where the original white of the nordic design was.

A red ribbon, some buttons, and a knitted top out of funky fur yarn, and she also has her own individual stocking.

I made stockings for Granddaughters 2 and 3 also, I just can't find the pics right now.  That will be another post if I can find them. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baskets for traveling

Here is the peak at what I was working on in spare moments on the airplane or sitting around at night. I used the adorable little basket pattern from When the Cold Wind Blows, but of course I had to change it. I created a pattern in which the handle was part of the basket. Why have two pieces if you could have one? Then, I used light baskets on dark background, and dark baskets on light backgrounds. I'll probably change the setting of them too. There are lots of options. The more traditional four square....

or this foursquare.....

or offset.....

or just random which is more like the original pattern.

 I also have thought of using a large applique block from the book as a center, with the baskets surrounding it. There are so many options. For now, I'm going to cut some more and leave it as my travel work. I always need something quick and easy to work on when I'm away from home. These little things barely took any time at all and a couple dozen fit in a gallon baggie for travel. I'm hoping it will be a stash buster, except that I had to go buy a lot of shirtings because my stash is mostly mediums and darks!

I did manage to visit two little quilt stores in PA. I drooled over the new fabrics, but due to the fact that I was living out of a carry on bag, and my husband's bag was already 50 pounds I only picked up about 11 yards in mostly fat quarters that I could stuff into all the nooks and crannies of my carry on. Hubby rolled his eyes at me everytime he had to stuff that suitcase into the overhead bins because it was a bit puffier than when we started out. I might add that I'm too short to get anything in those bins,or I would I have done it myself and skipped the eye rolls I got!  Then on the last leg back to Phoenix, after we were stuck in Atlanta because of Tropical Storm Ida, I also managed to stuff my lined rain coat in that bag!  He really had to shove and push then! Even the flight attendant (I almost called her a stewardess!) asked if  I had been shopping!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Charleston, South Carolina

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, but I was away for ten days! It took me most of the morning to catch up on my blog reading, because, although we had a computer with us my husband was using it for the stock market most of the time, and I guess I was truly on vacation, thinking about other things. We started out in Pennsylvania where my mother still lives, and after visiting friends and family, and setting her up with a new computer we went down to Charleston, South Carolina for a conference. I'll post about PA. later because it's more of a Christmas post, but I have to show you a few pics of the Kiawah Sanctuary resort near Charleston. I had the absolute best meal I've ever had, five courses, formal, and two amazing buffets, breakfast and lunch that the resort put on for our conference. I should scan that menu because, I'm sorry, I don't live the life that millionares do, and I'd never seen anything like it. Most of the speakers at the conference and many of the people there are very rich. I was totally out of my element. The reason that we were there is that years ago, hubby bought a lifetime subscription to the newsletters these financial gurus write. It was an experience. We had an ocean view room, chocolate on our pillows, the works. At dinner we sat next to a guy who was wearing a cast because he had just been mugged in Argentina for his Rolex. Sheesh, okay, I don't aspire to that lifestyle, I'm just hoping to be secure in my retirement. Isn't that staircase resplendent? and there were two of them in the lobby area. Check the second picture, waay in the back you can see the other one. The pics are dark because the flash just wouldn't carry that far. I got a total kick out of the Alligator sign. I never really thought of the low country as alligator country although I had been there before.. don't feed or tease or harass the alligators. Okay, not likely on my part! I did take some handwork to do in odd moments, a new project. I'll take pics and post it soon too.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October Charming Girls quilt projects and pumpkin patch

October has been a busy busy month, but I have managed to get the binding on the 3 quilts and my table runner quilted and bound. The amazing part is that I did it by the 21st! So my Charming Girl projects are DONE! The pink and brown quilt will be in my new Etsy shop as soon as I get it open. That is taking longer than expected, but it will happen in the near future. Oops, I just realized that I left out a picture, but you can see the quilt to the left of the pink and brown one. It's pink and white. They are hanging on the balcony to my quilt room/loft, which is a total disaster right now. It really needs a good organization - or perhaps finishing some projects will help the mess clear itself.
I also managed to get a knitted hat and sweater set finished for granddaughter number 1 and given to her when we went to her house for granddaughter number 4's first birthday. I think I took her more things than I did the poor little birthday girl! Not to spoil her, but I know when I make or buy her things that 3 more little girls will wear it eventually too.
The picture shows granddaughter 2 and 4 in the pumpkin patch along with 2 of my kids and son in law. Quixote, the Akita /Pit Bull mix enjoyed himself in the pumpkin patch too. The only downside to the day is that in the middle of October it was 100 degrees.. tooo HOT! Way too hot! Do they look hot in the picture? Sunglasses and hats are the norm for us. I'm lucky if I ever get to wear any winter clothes.
Now I have to decide what projects I want to start and or finish for November. This is a big decision!
I still have those prairie points from back in the summer to finish, so that is on the list - and I need to work on some Christmas projects. I have a feeling that the holidays are going to sneak up on me.
Happy quilting folks!