Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Messy Christmas Tradition

Hello Everyone,
It's the same every year.  We have to drag EVERYTHING out of the closet under the stairs, unpack the boxes and start the 3-day decorating process.  Our downstairs is full of little trails.  Mazey loves it and thinks she has her own personal agility course.  Our daughter came over to drop Emily off, and she said it looked like Christmas threw up in our house!
Emily's favorite part of decorating is setting up the Christmas houses.  But before she could begin, she had to move my cookbook collection out of the pie safe from the kitchen to the spare room.  (I heard her muttering about Grammy's obsession with cookbooks.)  Mazey was a huge help in the entire process.....NOT!  


A couple of hours later, Emily is putting some of the finishing touches on the Christmas scene.

Flashback to 2009 when Emily was only 7.  She had to stand on a step ladder to decorate.  

In 2010, she still needed a ladder.

Emily's twin sister Kinsey decided to break tradition and go shopping with her Mom and friends this year.   The girls are growing up so fast and I know they are going to have other interests.  For now, I will treasure every precious moment I have with both of them.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sewing Wild Oaks Class was in Session

Hello Everyone,
I finally resurfaced after a few days of getting ready for two Thanksgivings, one Thursday and one Friday.  We have to share our kids with the other in-laws to keep peace in the family.
My Sew'n Wild Oaks class was last Tuesday.  As always the girls never cease to amaze and delight me with their creations.
The final glimpse of Fall shows Barbara's cute little scarecrow.  If you look closely, you will notice that she named this one Mr. Joe.

All of the scarecrows have names.  While Barbara was at the retreat, she gathered names for the scarecrows from the girls.  Mr. Joe is my personal favorite!

Barbara also converted her Buttonwood pillow into a tote bag for Christmas.  Here' the front....

 ......and here's the back.  SEW cute!

 Pat finished up her pillow top too.

So did Laurie.

Laurie also brought in her finished Emilie Elizabeth quilt top to show me.  This was a BOM at In Between Stitches and she faithfully kept up every month of the program.  Just look at the heirloom quilt she has to show for her efforts!  Well done YOU!

Here's another almost finished top by Karen, Grammy Squares.  Karen told me she thought this project was very daunting when she began......and didn't know if she could complete it.  Her persistence paid off.  Her hexies flowers are finished and now she's working on the applique ribbon.  This will be in the finish column soon.

Donna Fey is working on her Butterscotch Basket blocks all in shades of Autumn. 

Barbara is making a red, white and blue Lil' Orphan Scrappy quilt from, what else, a box of red, white and blue scraps!

Diane is also working on her Lil' Orphan Scrappy quilt using her reproduction scraps.  Diane is so organized and was cranking these blocks out one after another.

Pat selected backing and binding for her beautiful Jo Morton quilt. 

Suzanne's Once Upon a Vine is coming right along.

Marti's is also going to be in the finished column soon.  Her hexie grapes are almost finished, and her rows are almost all sewn together too.

Now we begin Christmas.  Wendy made cute little Mittens with Moxie for her co-workers.  In 13 days, Wendy will be joining the ranks of "retired" and loving it.  The little mittens will be a great way for her co-workers to remember her.

So let's talk about persistence.  My girls consistently finish projects.  They don't just "think" about working on a project, they actually work on their projects on a daily or weekly basis.  If you spend a half hour a day on something, all of your work adds up over time, and you have something beautiful to show for your efforts.

I think this is true for everything in life.  If I just "think" about doing something it's never going to get done.  Time passes all too quickly.  Sometimes I say to myself, "I'll do that tomorrow." Well, my tomorrows get so filled that I wish I'd done a certain project while I was "thinking" about it instead of waiting for tomorrow. 

Today, I'm going to be very much in the moment and start decorating for Christmas.  My granddaughter Emily is going to help me.  She is so much like me when it comes to crowds and shopping.  I detest crowds and I'm not too fond of shopping either.  We will enjoy being together, play Christmas carols, and decorate to our heart's content without thinking about tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Christmas Morning Delight

Hello Everyone,
My co-worker, and buddy Lisa, knocked it out of the park with her new design called Christmas Morning Delight.
While I was working at the shop yesterday, customers would stop in their tracks and look at this precious wall hanging. We will be making kits for this project, as soon as the Marcus Brothers fabrics arrive next month.  I'll be sure and let you know when they become available.

The pattern is available HERE at In Between Stitches now.  Check out Lisa's Material Girlfriends blog and get to know Lisa.  She's a gem and the real deal!

Off to see my girls at class this morning.  Tomorrow I'll be in full preparation mode for Thanksgiving.  Be creative today.  I know I'm at my happiest when I'm creating......not housecleaning!


Saturday, November 21, 2015


Hello Everyone,
Before the kiddos arrived, I finished getting the border sewn on this little guy, Checkerberry. This is my prototype for things to come.  He will most likely be turned into an 18" pillow for Christmas.  You may also see his brother in a new quilt design next year.....along with an entire family of Toasty Tummy's.

I looked all around the cabin for some black embroidery floss so I could give him a face, but not a strand was to be found.  He will have to wait until next week to see the world.

All of the fabrics, except for the snowman's body are fabrics from two of Kim Diehl's fabric lines.  I love the vivid colors and small patterns. 

I'm already thinking about the machine quilting for this little guy.  I know it is going to include crosshatching in the inner border between the flange and the checkerboard.   I'm seeing quilted snowflakes placed around the body.

My home is always decorated in traditional red and green for Christmas.  It all works together even though I have an eclectic mix of ornaments and decorations that I've collected my entire life.  Decades of ornaments!  Decades of decorations which are becoming a major storage problem.  I gravitate to the traditional.  I have several of my maternal grandmother's ornaments that she placed on her tiny tree. 

Here's to your traditions that make you, YOU.  Traditions passed down by those who came before you.  Carry them forward. Don't let them be lost in the pursuit of something newer, bigger and brighter.  Cherish your traditions.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Lil' Orphan Scrappy BOM

Hello Everyone,
I've been adding to my collection of blocks for Lil' Orphan Scrappy this week.  

When I worked at the shop on Monday, I selected the fabrics to make 8 additional blocks for Lil' Orphan Scrappy BOM.  I have 32 blocks made so far. 

I have to stay organized when I'm running a block of the month for the shop.  My favorite place to shop, besides a quilt store, is an office supply store.  I love to walk through the aisles looking for ways to organize my paperwork, fabric, and blocks.

My binder is divided by monthly sections.  Each section has a picture of the block that I created in EQ7.

Each section also contains a cutting chart for each block. 

Behind the picture and cutting chart, is a plastic envelope containing the blocks and the fabrics used to create the blocks.

We added a few more slots since this BOM filled quickly.  It is an easy block and an easy quilt to make.

Family is arriving tonight for some "cabin time" with Grammy and Poppy.  Let the games begin!  The dining room table is immediately converted to a game table.  The only time we clear it off is for meals.  Good times ahead.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Moda Sampler Shuffle

Hello Everyone,
It's time for something easy, and fun.  Something where I don't have to think too hard, I don't have to write the directions, I just shuffle on over to my sewing machine and make the blocks.....the Moda Sampler Shuffle blocks.

My sister Gail gave me a tower of Lexington fabrics by Minick and Simpson a few months ago.  I thought I would combine them with some Moda Lakeside Gatherings and voila.
To get more information about the Moda Sampler Shuffle go to the In Between Stitches blog HERE. Download the free directions quickly, because they won't stay around long and start SHUFFLING.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Patchwork Math Class was in Session

Hello Everyone,
I had a fun day at Cloth and Quilts in Turlock last Saturday.  This is a fairly new area for me to teach, and I had the privilege of meeting a whole new group of wonderful quilters.  Quilters really are the best!


The classroom is very large and there were 20 quilters hanging on every word I said.  During the class, we had fun going on fieldtrips in the shop to look for the perfect fabric.  This shop has some of the best color walls, and they offer a great selection of fabrics, notions, books and patterns.

I began the day by slipping off of my chair.  How embarrassing!  I dropped a ruler and leaned over to pick it up and the chair slipped right out from under my bottom.  As I peered over my table, from the floor, at the full classroom of worried quilters. I said, "Now for my next trick!"  No worries, I had plenty of padding to cushion my slow motion slip.

I didn't take nearly enough pictures of the wonderful work completed in the class.

Isn't this fabric fun!

The room was full of wonderful fabric collections.  I must have a long talk with my photographer and remind her to take more pictures of the piles and I do mean piles of fabric!

The center of this block would be great in a Lucy Boston block! 

I presented five different components and formulas during the class.  Don't ask me why I didn't get pictures of some of the sweet little double flying geese that were flying around the room.

 Playtime on the design wall.

Here are the wonderful little Y-squares arranged to make a border or sashing.

I left Livermore early to arrive in class with plenty of time to set up my projector, document camera, and all of my supplies.  What I didn't plan on was the early morning fog the blanketed the farmland between Patterson and Turlock.  I could see about 5 dotted yellow lines in front of me.....and this was in the daylight.  I was fortunate to get behind a large 18-wheeler and stuck to him like glue.  I kept noticing mud flying off the sides of the truck and wondered where he had been driving.  Then I noticed water dripping off of both sides of the truck.  Then I saw a large snout stick out from the side of the truck.  Well folks, that wasn't mud falling off the truck if you catch my drift!  If I stayed any closer to that truck, I really was going to stick to him like glue! 

The girls were great and so welcoming to me.  I knew a couple of them from the Lucy Boston class earlier in the week.  Thank you for the wonderful day and I'm looking forward to another visit to Cloth and Quilts soon. 


Friday, November 13, 2015

Lucy Boston Class was in Session

Hello Everyone,
I was in Turlock at Cloth and Quilts on Wednesday for my Lucy Boston class. Cloth and Quilts has an excellent selection of fabrics for Lucy Boston.  We made an occasional "field trip" from the classroom to the shop and found just the perfect fabrics for the girls.
The group did a great job selecting their fabrics for their blocks.  They really embraced fussy cutting their centers!

As they prepared their pieces, they placed them on their numbered layout sheets with the corresponding number on the back of the paper template.  I love to be organized and this is one way to keep me on track.

Linda used her tower of Forget Me Not by Sue Daley for Penny Rose fabrics to make her coordinated blocks.

It is so much fun to watch the centers come to life and create beautiful designs.

Isn't this an interesting center!

This has been a very busy week!  I drove home from the show in Chico through rain, wind and tornado warnings on Monday.  I had my Sew'n Wild Oaks class on Tuesday at In Between Stitches. Then on Wednesday I was at Cloth and Quilts.  I'll be back at Cloth and Quilts on Saturday for my Patchwork Math class.  Next week, feet up, slow down, read, quilt, and B-R-E-A-T-H-E......just in time to get ready for Thanksgiving. 
We've also been watching two of the grandkids play basketball during the week and on Sunday.  One of the little boys is playing in a soccer All Star game tonight.  I'm taking my snuggies because it's going to be freezing!  This is the last weekend for soccer, but look out basketball court here we come!  At least the basketball court is nice and warm.  But, we had forgotten just how pungent a gym full of sweaty bodies running around smells.  Some things never change!