Wrapping Up 2015

November

First up are a couple of things my sister made. I showed her how to make the folded fabric stars an zippy bags. She made two stars and sewed them together to make a tea cozy. Very cute!  Then she made several zippy bags for co-workers. I only got a picture of one, but the others are similar — with cute sayings and different fabrics.

 

December

Here is a picture of our house all lit up for our first Xmas in Cocoa, FL.

2015-12-03 house lights

 

This is the panel I quilted up to hang on the front door. The wreath has some little lights that look really nice at night, but of course don’t show up well for the camera.

2015-12-09 banner for front door

Wow! That was easy. I guess I didn’t get much done during the last part of the year.

See you next post.

Now for November and December

I realize this is a lot to put in one post, but I want to get caught up before next year begins, which is only a few hours away now.

In November, I finished the scrappy Xmas quilt. I am not sure why, but I love looking at all those odd blocks. They just make me smile.  Now that Christmas is over, I don’t even want to put it away! I may just keep it out all year.

2012-11-08 Xmas quilt

My sister came over for a few days at Thanksgiving and brought this quilt she was making for a friend’s baby. It’s partly made with minkee and she has more minkee for the backing. I have never worked with that fabric and it seems a bit fiddly.  I helped her with the butterfly applique. I am looking forward to seeing it finished.

2012-11-24 lauras baby quilt

Here is the cutest pin cushion that my friend Vicky made for me for my birthday. I love it!

2012-11-25 little owl

and here is a darling little change purse I got from my friend Sharon.

2012-11-25 little change purse

Here are some stockings I got finished to turn in at the December Crazy Quilters Guild. We always make stockings for charity.

2012-11-26 xmas stocking

I decided to join in on Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt called Easy Street. I don’t think I can keep up with everyone else but I will get it finished eventually. Here are the fabrics I pulled for it.  Gray, black-on-white prints, purples, teals and limey greens. I am very curious to see how it will turn out. For more information, go to

http://quiltville.blogspot.com/p/easy-street-mystery.html

The first step is to make four patches out of the gray and black-on-white prints.  The gray I had the most of may not be dark enough to contrast with the other fabrics, but I didn’t realize that till this step was done.  I can live with it.

2012-12-02 easy street fabric and four patches

Here is our little Christmas tree and the paper pieced mariners compass quilt I made earlier this year.

2012-12-04 xmas tree

These look like ornamets, but they are big enough to serve as placemats. I gave a few sets away as gifts and kept a couple that we used during the holiday. They were fun to make and turned out pretty cute.

2012-12-10 placemats

Next is the UFO for December.  I started this one several years ago and all it needed was quilting which I finally  managed to  get around to. I think this will go in the dining room on the wall. Seems like an appropriate place.  I was so anxious to get the binding on when the quilting was done that I forgot to add a hanging sleeve, so still have that to finish.

2012-12-12 cornucopia

This is the last pair of socks finished this year. I think they were the third or fourth pair that I started, but when I was burying the yarn ends after finishing the first one, I accidentally snipped a hole in it. You can see the irregular spot on the cuff of the top one in the pictue. It was also my first attempt at darning and I must admit, I am ‘darned’ proud of it. Once I fixed that little hole, I was ready to make the second one.

2012-12-24 socks

These socks are from the same pattern that I have made all my socks from so far – the same one I learned from, but they are the first I ever tried with worsted weight yarn. I like the bulky look and feel of them and have worn them a couple times already. They are nice to wear around the house and fit in my crocs to go outside.  I think I will make some more socks with the thicker yarn. They sure stitch up  a lot faster!

Next, are the flying geese for step two of Easy Street.   I used my favorite method to make them – the purple geese are sewn in one seam and are somewhat dimensional.

2012-12-27 easy street step 2

Here are some of the four patches fro step one. That one print has a cream background instead of white, and I hope that doesn’t cause too much trouble with the overall look of the quilt.  I tried to use a lot of different prints and have had to trade fabrics with my friend Sharon to increase the variety.

2012-12-28 easy street step 1 close

Here are all the four patches. Wow that is a lot of them. It fills up half my design wall.

2012-12-28 easy street step 1

That’s all the pictures, all the finishes and starts for 2012. In 2013, I plan on getting more organized and to finish a lot more projects.  I also hope to post more regularly.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I wish you the best of luck, fun, peace, love and happiness in the coming year. Oh and lots of creative productivity! Happy New Year!  God bless you.

 

2010 In Review

I was just fiddling around in Picassa and figured out how to make a photo collage, so it seemed appropriate to make one of all the things I finished last year. It is pretty cool being able to make the collage, but also a bit sad at how few things I actually finished. Have a look:

I guess now I should go through 2009 and 2008 and see what I finished in them. Maybe 2010 is a big improvement.

So, I went back and made a 2009 collage. I looked at 2008 and earlier years, but the pictures are  organized differently, and I will have to do some digging and sorting to find them all. Here is 2009 though:

I made a lot more little things in 2009, except for the green quilt of course. Seems like I could have made a lot more. Well, this year I can work on improving that.  As I am looking at these two collages, I notice that there are a few little things not pictured. I guess I didn’t photo everything. Well, that’s another thing to try to improve this year.

Merry Christmas

I guess the big news this morning is snow snow snow!

So beautiful!

I made Raymond another pair of flannel pants to wear around the house. This time I think I got the size right. he seems to like them.

Jenny and family sent us a bunch of chocolate goodies, all that survived long enough for a photo is the chocolate babka. Wow. I never had chocolate bread before, but this is really yummy. Perfect for a Christmas breakfast.

If you want some, better get over here fast.

Oh and the Ericksons sent Raymond a big pack of pastrami, which is sitting in the fridge waiting for some really good bread to make it into sandwiches. Probably that onion rye at Publix will be perfect, but I think we will wait a day or two till the holiday crowds dwindle.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

This shows the first snow of the season. The next day we got some more and it has been very cold, but the snow is all gone and I didn’t think to take a picture when it was at it’s heaviest.

Here are Zeena and Max snuggled up with Santa. Aren’t they sweet!

This year we got a little Christmas tree and have decorated it a bit. In previous years, Raymond hung lights on the outside of the house, but this is the first year he wanted to have a tree. I think he got a bit of Xmas spirit when we were visiting the family up north. Jenny put up her tree the day after Thanksgiving and started decorating. I think some of that holiday excitement rubbed off on RB.

Anyway, since we had a tree, I figured I should make a tree skirt for it so it wouldn’t look naked all by itself. Here is the tree with a few  decorations. We got some ‘shatter-proof’ sparkly balls for it hoping the cats wouldn’t decide to break anything. So far, they have not shown the least bit of interest in the ornaments.

On one of my mail lists (Stashbusters) someone mentioned the ten minute block and listed a link to a video showing how to make it. I found it very interesting and decided to try it out on a tree skirt. It is actually quite similar to the way I did Jenny’s tree skirt, only with larger blocks which make it a quicker finish. And the blocks are easier to work with in the larger size.

Here is the finished skirt pinned to the design wall. I used smaller squares of fabric, but followed the video pretty much exactly.That lighter green fabric is from Hancock’s of Paducah!

And here it is with the tree:

Isn’t it cute! As you can probably tell, we ran out of garland for the bottom part of the tree, but will remedy that soon.  It only took about three days start to finish. And with the left over fabric I made a little table mat and a couple of coasters.

How festive is that!

 

Thanksgiving Adventure

Raymond and I decided to go to Illinois to visit the kids and my sister for Thanksgiving. According to my map program, it was 628 miles and would take around 9.5 hours to drive (it was way off). We decided to leave on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in the afternoon and drive till we got tired and stop for the night. It was fun packing clothes and goodies. I made three kinds of cookies and put them in containers: one for Christopher, one for Jennifer, and one for my sister, Laura. I also took the fixings to make pumpkin ginger bread, although I never got around to making it. Oh, and I took the Christmas tree skirt that I showed you in the last post.

Traffic leaving Chattanooga was very slow but after a couple of hours it thinned out and we could go the speed limit. We drove till Paducah KY and stopped for the night at a Holiday Inn Express. When we got up Wednesday, it was drizzling rain and ended up raining almost all the way, which slowed our progress.

We had one memorable experience in Paducah. In the hotel lobby, I found a brochure for the Paducah Quilt Museum. It was just a short ways and even on the exit we had taken. If we had had more time, I would have liked to stop, but we would have had to wait for it to open and that would have us arriving late. Happily, we will be going that way again and can plan around a stop at the museum.

Then when we leaving the hotel, Raymond turned to the right toward a gas station to fill up before we got on the road. As we were leaving the gas station I glanced across the street and saw the legendary Hancocks of Paducah, a fabric Mecca! It was open and we got to go in and browse. What a wonderful store. So many bolts of fabric. Wow. It was hard to leave, but again, now that I know where it is, we can go back. You saw the pictures of the fabric I got there in a previous post. It was a wonderful little side trip.

Back on the road, the rain was steady slowed us a bit. We didn’t get to Jenny’s house till after three pm. The next couple of days were spent between Jenny’s house and Christopher’s house where we slept. Thanksgiving day was great. There was so much food, and we ate and talked and played games, and talked some more.

Joe and James, my grandsons, are both taller than me! That was such a surprise. I can’t believe how much they have grown.  And of course, they have gotten more handsome too. I wish I would have thought to take a picture of the three of us. I also got to meet my two grand-puppies, Dexter and Buddha.  Dexter is the beagle and Buddha is a great dane. He is only 10 months old, while Dexter is a year or two older. Both pups have the sweetest temperaments and are quite lovable.

Here are Buddha and I hanging out at Chris’ house. What a big puppy!

The weather was not much cooler than it was in Chattanooga at the time, but we did appreciate having heavy coats and lots of layers of clothing. Sight seeing was at a minimum because the real purpose to go was to be with the kids. We did take a little trip across town to Robert’s Sew and Vac, where I got a couple more pieces of fabric. And I got to show Raymond all the high points of Joliet. We got food one evening at Portillos. http://www.portillos.com/, a great restaurant with a pretty good version of an Italian Beef Sandwich (which I have searched for in vain here in Chattanooga and previously in Florida).

It was so good to see my kids and grand kids and grand puppies. They are all happy and doing so well. I love them more than I can say.I also got to spend time with my friend Lynn, whom I also love.

We planned on leaving Saturday morning to have time to hang out with my sister before heading south again. We stopped at her house and the three of us went out to breakfast at the Chick o Dee restaurant in Wilmington. That was where Laura and I would have breakfast with Aunt Lena and Aunt Mae on Sundays before going to visit Gramma Webster at the nursing home. It was quite a tradition for several years. After Gramma passed, we still had breakfast with the Aunts.

After that we drove all over Wilmington, showing Raymond all the significant places of our childhood – where we went to school, all the places we use to live and hang out. He even got to see the giant astronaut at the Launching Pad drive-in http://www.il66assoc.org/attraction/launching-pad-drive were we use to get ice cream. Laura drove us over to Morris where we got to visit our friend Lorraine in her shop, The Birds and the Teas.

This is my sister Laura, Lorraine and me. Laura and Lorraine have been friends since they were in sixth grade. I think that is very cool to have a friend for so long.

The last leg of our tour took us through Mazon and to Verona to the farm where Aunt Mae and Uncle Paul use to live. No one lives there now, but it is a place full of wonderful memories of summer vacations and ponies and horses and sheep and tractors and corn and soybeans.

Eventually, we had to say good bye and headed back home. The day was bright, the weather was clear and we made good time, ending up staying in Paducah again, at the same Holiday Inn. Again, we got up and on the road too early to try to visit the museum, but one day I will get there.  Traffic slowed down again as we neared Chattanooga.

As much fun as it was to go and visit and all that, it was also wonderful to get home. We had left the cats with lots of food and water and an extra litter box, and they managed fine without us.

Xmas Tree Skirt

I couldn’t mention this while I was making it because that would have spoiled the surprise when I gave it to my daughter. I started this tree skirt last year while playing around with bow tie blocks. I had learned a technique to make the knot of the bow kind of three dimensional and decided to use up some Xmas fabrics making scrappy bow tie blocks.

Eventually, I had enough blocks for a real project and wondered what do do with them. I remembered that Jenny had mentioned wanting a tree skirt a couple years before, and although I figured she had gotten one by then, she might just like a quilty one anyway.  So when we decided to go to Illinois for the holiday, I knew it was time to finish it.  She likes to start decorating for Xmas right after Thanksgiving, so the timing was perfect.

I had to study the bow tie blocks for a few days before finding the best layout, but after that it sewed up quickly. I did some simple straight line quilting and put the binding on. I left an opening to allow wrapping around the tree and added loops for buttons to hold it together. I think it turned out pretty nice. Jenny and SIL Christopher liked it.  Here is a picture laying on my floor:

This is a close up showing the quilting and buttons. I used an assortment of big gold buttons to keep the scrappy look going.

Here is a picture of the skirt under the tree the day after Thanksgiving. I hope we get another picture once all the ornaments are on. I would love to see how it looks all dressed up.

I like how this turned out, although I think if I made another one I would use fewer fabrics with more contrast between them so the bow ties would be more clearly defined. I love that gold fabric and wish I had gotten a bolt of it when I found it a couple of years ago.

Oh, and I also gave them the big Santa hanging that I made last year so they can hang it on their front door or somewhere in the house. It was made from a panel that one of my quilting friends from Florida, Dorothy Eastwood,  gave me before I left. Here is a picture of that.

Isn’t he cute! I hope Jenny sends me a picture of him hanging in her house.