Friday, December 30, 2011

Stolen Moments

Last week my house was full.  My family including
this new little guy.
Sanford, 5 weeks

Despite the fact that all of us were prepared to
take care of him...

I occasionally stole away to my sewing room for
a bit of fabric respite.

I have been slowly working on gathering, cutting,
and refolding fabrics for a scrappy red and white
Ocean Wave. 
This pattern is from Bonnie Hunter at
I decided to use only reds and white fabrics
so I have been rooting in my reds
cutting 2 inch strips

matching them up with white strips

topping it off with a Thangles strip,

and sewing them into half square triangles.

I'm going to use Bonnie Hunter's idea of  "Leaders and Enders" and
stitch these units together during the year as I work on 
other projects.

Did you notice back under the picture of Bonnie's quilt the number
of half square triangles required to make the 91"x 104" quilt?
2124 stitched pieces!

I probably wont' make it that big.  I'll just have to see
how far I get.  You never know.

So even though the family was here and there were lots of meals
to make and a baby to hold and Christmas to enjoy
I stole a few moments for me.

Happy New Year, friends!
May all your new projects bring you joy.
Until Next Time-

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Running Man Gets the Geese

If you know my Running Man, you might
know he has a daily conflict with the geese.

Our house is next to a small lake in town.
And the geese love our yard.

Geese can look idyllic from afar and are full of
country charm.
  Close-up they are mega lawn destroyers and
are super poopers.

If you read my last blog post, I told how I have
made a quilt for each of our newly integrated family members.

As I worked on the last one I realized I had 
never made my Running Man a quilt of his own.
How could I have neglected that fact for 38 years!
It was definitely past due.

I saw the perfect pattern idea in the book
Urban Country Quilts by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks.
"Ed's Geese"

It made me smile every time I worked on it.
I used flannel scraps in warm colors and
had it machine quilted in an overall fall leaf pattern.

It really looks like a guy kind of quilt.

Needless to say, he was totally surprised.
He did grimace a bit at the pattern and name.
But he figures the geese can do at least one nice thing for him.

This winter as the nights are cold, 
and an extra quilt is need for warmth,
Ed will be thanking me as he snuggles with his geese,
despite his dubious relationship with these feathered friends.

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

You're In the Family Now

I suppose there are several ways
to know if a person is officially recognized 
as a "new family member".

With only daughters, Running Man,
has always been outnumbered.
As each daughter has married, the number of males increases
and it's begun to balance the scales.

Kate and Bobby are to be married in May.
They live in Florida and
arrived in Colorado to a "White Christmas".

So with the impending nuptials,
I needed to make Bobby the official 
"You're Part of the Family" quilt for Christmas.

For each of the guys I've made a simple
Flannel Random Patch.
Do you see the paradox here?

He reassured me there are some cooler nights there
and he enjoyed using it while he was here.

I have made probably 10 or more quilts using this pattern.
Sometimes I've embroidered in the squares,
added some applique, done the quilting with
a big stitch using Perle cotton,
quilted in the ditch, quilted an overall pattern or
added some other pieced 4 patches here or there.
Whatever your approach happens to be, there's
no right or wrong.

This time I used a line of fabric from Moda
designed by Holly Taylor.
 These flannels are exceptionally soft.
 The designs were perfect.   
Bobby is a Colorado guy
born and raised in the mountains outside of Aspen.

Now that Bobby has "his" quilt, the wedding
might be considered a mere technicality.
He's in the family now.
Until Next Time-

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Seasons Eating-Cookies

Every family has a 
favorite and traditional Christmas cookie
that must be made each year no matter whatever else
doesn't get done.

Our family is no exception.
Each holiday season we make Italian Pizzelles.

They get their name from the Italian word "pizze" meaning
round or flat.
I received my first pizzelle iron as a wedding gift a long time ago.
It was a hand held, make one at a time, press with a long
wooden handle that you held over the burner.

We made lots of cookies using this method.

Then as we got smarter? and the electric version became
available so we modernized our production.
Although it is faster, everyone swears they're not as good.

If you're not familiar with Pizzelles they are generally a light,
crisp anise flavored cookie.  They get their
delicate ornate pattern from the imprinted design
in the iron.

We use Italian Running Man's mom's recipe which has been
passed down.  
It's just one activity that is a "must".
And a yummy one everyone enjoys.
Enjoy a Christmas cookie or two!

Merry Christmas!

Until Next Time-

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Bridal Shower

Even though Christmas is right around the corner,
my dear friends, Anne and Jill,
hosted a bridal shower for my Florida daughter, Kate,
this past weekend.
We all had a wonderful time, of course,
thinking of wedding bells, beach weddings,
and true love!
Because Kate lives in Florida she had requested a 
gift card shower so she could easily get things back home.

Well, being the mother of the bride, I can 
do whatever I want.
So instead of a gift card I had to make a quilt.

Kate at the shower

"Beach Folly"

This is a pattern from Kim Brackett's book,
Scrap-Basket Surprises.
I had collected teals, blue greens and peach batiks.
They seemed the perfect beach colors.
I had it machine quilted by one of the fantastic
machine quilters in my area, Kathy H.
and we went with an overall palm leave pattern.
It really fit the style and mood of the quilt.

I included at picnic basket with the appropriate glasses and
plates so they are set for some special outings.

I think she enjoyed the back as much as the top.
The colors are a tropical sunset.

I also gave her "something old" and "something blue

I collected hankies for awhile off of Ebay and 
choose one with an elegant "K" monogram.

On the opposite corner I had embroidered this poem.
So if upon your wedding day
You shed a happy tear,
Just save it in this handkerchief
And know I hold you dear.
Love Mom

We all had tears after she read it aloud.

It was a wonderful party put on by
wonderful friends,
for a wonderful daughter.

Until Next Time-

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Stockings Were Hung

Over the past couple of weeks,
my quilting buddies have been sharing via emails
many of their holiday traditions.
Each person filled out a questionnaire and each
day a different friend shared their Christmas memories.

We learned of Christmas trees being lite with candles on the beach on Padre Island
that turned into the campfire for the night,

siblings sleeping under the tree with the lights glowing through the night,

and trains being set up and chugging around the tree,

It's been a wonderful way to get to know my friends even better.

A tradition that my family has enjoyed for a long time is 
our Christmas stockings.

I have used the same design as we continue to add to our family.

My mom made the first one for me in 1953.
It's made out of felt and is 
actually a puppet.  I'm sure she got it as a kit.

So as our family has grown everyone has gotten a 
stocking with their name and date on the back.

This year I made one more.
Sanford, 2011
Will I need to make more next year?

The holidays are rich with family traditions and memories.
It is a wonderful time of the year.
Hold your memories close to your heart.
Until Next Time

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Push Pause

Did you hear that?
Another day before Christmas just flew by.
It's time to push pause...
and enjoy the present.

How would I do that?
Have fun with friends.
Yesterday I headed off to one of the large malls
in the area with 2 girl friends.

We spent the whole day.
Did I have a lot to do at home? Yes, but,
it was a lovely present in the present.

Today new grandbaby, Sanford, is 
requesting his nana and grampa to come and play.
Do I still have a lot to do at home? Yes, but,
it's the best gift in the present.

I love to bake,
but sometimes the process can overwhelm the joy.
Push pause and enjoy only the present moment.
Santa Hat Brownies
I made these for a party.

Use brownie bites, pipe a circle of buttercream
frosting around the top, cut off the bottom of a strawberry,
and add a dot of buttercream on the top.

Do I still have other baking to do?  Yes, but,
this was fun, fast, easy in the present and
looked very cute at the party.

I can list all the things I still need to do before
the family shows up and the holiday officially begins.
But each day I'm going to remember to
and enjoy only the presence of the present.

Until Next Time-

Monday, December 12, 2011

Frosty Snowmen

We've had snow on the ground for a long time.
Usually around here it snows and then
melts.  It's just been too cold to have it go away.

The snow and cold weather have been a good
motivator for me to finish up my snowman quilt.

"Frosty Snowmen"
56" x 56"
Designer: Ann Sutton, Bunny Hill

My quilting group, The Quilting Buddies,
used this free pattern from 2009 as a block of the month
challenge this past year.

It was fun to do as a group and is always a delight to 
see how each person interprets the personalities of the snowmen.

I used white wool for the snowmen and a limited palete
for the the rest of the design.
Some buttons and embroidery added the finishing touches.

On the back, I used the leftovers of the three main fabrics that I 
used in every block.
Always a good way to use up what's left.

I machine quilted it myself and used The Bottom Line
thread by Libby Lehman.
It's as thin as a hair and worked great.
I could do a lot of quilting and it didn't
make the quilt stiff.
It's a 60 wt.
thread and being polyester, no lint.
I would definitely  use it again.
It's good to try new things once in a while.

I love doing a project in month to month segments,but
then I always reach a point where I'm ready to get this
thing done and move on.
It's done and I'm already on to something new.

I'm thinking maybe my Florida daughter might need
a reminder of snow and snowmen so I'll see if
she has a place for it under her beach umbrella.

Until Next Time-