I was going to get this post out earlier, but we lost our power for most of the day. It was fun for awhile. Luckily the power came back on just as it was time to fix dinner.
Before Christmas I received this table topper from Sue in England. It is so pretty and I love it!. I put a clear candle holder on it so that I could still see the beautiful stitching. I can't tell you how excited I was to get a package from England! Sue was the organizer for the Christmas Quilt Along. It was so successful that Sue has graciously agree to continue the Quilt Along in 2011. Keep checking Sue's blogsite and quilt along with quilters from all over the world. I know I'm not going to miss out on the fun. Plus, the added bonus of making Christmas presents throughout the whole year.
It snowed most of the day here at the cabin. Little Kade is totally bundled up against the elements. Man, did he have fun in the snow with Zinny! They played until they couldn't play anymore!
The sky was an incredible pink this afternoon in the southern sky. So pretty in fact that we all put on our snow clothes and headed outside once again in the late afternoon. We spent most of the day outside (shoveling and sledding) and just couldn't get enough of the crispness, the pink sky and the beauty of the mountains.
Enjoy the last day of 2010. I hope all of us have a wonderful 2011!
Before Christmas, my friend Glenda hosted a lunch at her beautiful home. Several of the Monday Ladies were there. The Monday Ladies are a talented group of quilters that come to the shop almost every Monday and quilt. After enjoying our wonderful lunch, Glenda shared her home and sewing room with us.
Here's Glenda sitting in front of her sewing cabinet and new machine. The baskets and bins were full of nicely organized fabrics, kits, and quilting essentials.
Now you see it.......
Now you don't! An ironing board that folds and it swivels. What a super idea. My ironing board takes up so much room that I thought this would be a nifty idea for my upcoming birthday. (Hint, hint, wink, wink to the hubby.)
Glenda's woodworking husband Ken made the cabinets and cutting table area. It is elevated just a bit for easier and more comfort when cutting.
Beautiful family heirlooms quilts make a very attractive display.
I start out every year with the intention of being organized. I enjoy being in my sewing room when everything is in place. Don't you think you get more accomplished when your area is organized? I know I do. So since I don't make resolutions.......I'm going to make another one here in front of everyone. I will get my sewing room organized this year and keep it organized! I guess I should show you pictures of my sewing room, but I'm not ready for that big step just yet! You would think I'm the most unorganized person you ever saw! I do have some dignity that I need to maintain!
As the new year approaches, we are all bombarded with sales, flyers, and emails that stress getting organized. I'm going to take it a step farther, and try to organize something in my house or the cabin at the beginning of each month. I'll approach the first of every month just like it was the beginning of a New Year. I'll devote a day at the beginning of the month to one area that needs a bit or a lot of help.
Are you on board with me? Can I have a few more months please???
Welcome back! I hope your Christmas was wonderful and now you are getting ready to start the New Year with a flourish of creativity.
Do you make resolutions? I usually don't because they are just too hard to keep. BUT, this year I am going to make a resolution. My plan is to finish one UFO this year. I know some of you are going to make me stick with this!
While I was cleaning my sewing room before Christmas, I pulled out all of the blocks that were almost finished for Enchanted Autumn by Verna Mosquera. This was my first attempt at applique. This beautiful quilt started me down the applique road and I never turned back! As luck would have it, when I went into work last Monday, Melissa the shop's owner said that Enchanted Autumn is going to be a BOM this year. This beautiful bucket of flowers is block #1. The shop's version will be in the same look and feel as the original design.....warm Autumn colors. (Notice the plaid bow.....I've always loved plaid and try to incorporate plaid into every quilt I make.)
I fell in love with this quilt when I first saw it. I was also lucky to be able to take the Enchanted Autumn class by the designer, Verna Mosquera. What a delightful class with a wonderful and talented designer!
As I looked through all of my blocks, I thought not too bad for my first attempt......BUT.......should I redo some of them? I can see my stitches, I used the wrong thread (I only use silk now), the pieces aren't perfect, my alignment isn't perfect, the list goes on and on. I decided to not change or "fix" any of the blocks. This was my first appliqued quilt, it was my skill level at the time, so I won't change anything.....well maybe just a few little things that I can't live with.
So follow along with me while I finish up this quilt. I still have lots to do, but the majority of the blocks are about 80% complete. Except for the house block. I was stuck on the house and never started it. It is funny how you can have one stumbling block that will prevent you from moving forward to completion.
What about you? How many UFO's do you have in your cupboards and closets? Why don't you select one of them and finish it this next year. I want to finish a couple of blocks a month so this quilt will be quilted, done and hanging in my home by Autumn. That's my goal and I'm sticking to it!
So I resolve (and you are my witness) to finish at least one UFO in 2011 and start getting my house....and quilting room in order.
I just realized yesterday that I forgot to post a picture of the block for December for Party in the Garden BOM. Since no one complained or brought it to my attention, I guess you are all just as busy as I am with Christmas preparations.
I would love to walk up the steps and enter this little house. Do you suppose it is all decorated for Christmas inside? There goes my imagination. I really haven't been into the Peppermint Schnapps this early in the morning!
As a child, I loved, and I do mean loved to play house. I spent hours raking pine needles and leaves creating rooms, doors, and walls to my outdoor house. I would gather all of my "dollies" together and we would spend the day outdoors playing house.
On the days I couldn't be outside, I made cute little houses inside. I washed and ironed the doll clothes, made pretend food, cared for the little ones, and of course I taught them their lessons and read to my dolls.
Through the decades my love for playing house continued. First with my own children and now with the grandchildren. I'm still playing house and enjoying every minute of it. The child in me has yet to grow up....thank goodness!
Enjoy making your house block. Decorate it with your love and creativity. Make it your house by personalizing it with your style.
I hope all of you have a wonderful time 'playing house' while you go about your day.
Our annual visit from Santa was last night. We always have the reading of the Polar Express, then Santa miraculously appears at the door for the true believers. I'm so glad that the little ones can read the story to us now. I used to read it, but I always get choked up at the end.....still, after all the times I've read it!
Santa is our dear friend Mike. He loves his job and is so good at it. He watched our children grow up, and now he is watching our six grandchild grow up.
Austin is a good sport and played along with Santa. He also was the main source of entertainment for the rest of the evening by keeping the little ones entertained AND he helped do the dishes. He's on Santa's "nice" list in my book.
Little Jess didn't want Santa to leave. As Santa was ready to go out the door, Jess grabbed hold of his leg and told him he loved him. About that time we were all choked up! Later on in the evening, Jess was outside looking up on the roof for the reindeer.
I've been busy making Christmas napkins. I just cut a semi-circle out of two fabrics and serged them together. It's all in the folding to create a tree.
Pillows were next on my list for Santa Mike and his wife Mrs. Mike. (Santa promised he would try not to drool on these during his afternoon nap!)
The nine pillowcases I made for the little kids had a dual role.
They were filled with the presents, then stuffed into Santa's black bag.
We are all another year older since Santa's last visit. The 8 and 9 year-olds are on the brink of questioning the reality of Santa. After seeing them in awe of Santa's visit last night, I can tell they are a believer in the magic of Santa. I know I'm a believer....how about you?
It's blast from the past....a.k.a. rerun day. My to-do list is pretty full, so I'm going to just concentrate on it for the next several days. This recipe for raspberry shortbread is delicious. Any recipe that calls for almond extract and raspberry jams gets my full attention very quickly! Hope you all have a wonderful day. --Lynn
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 (10-ounce) jar seedless raspberry or blackberry jam divided
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
3 ½ tablespoons water
½ teaspoon almond extract
-Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour; beating at low speed until blended.
-Divide dough into 6 equal portions; roll each portion into a 12- x 1-inch strip. Place strips on lightly greased baking sheets.
-Make a ½ inch-wide by ¼ inch-deep indentation down center of strips using the handle of a wooden spoon. Spoon half of jam evenly into indentations.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; spoon remaining jam into indentations. Bake 5 more minutes or until lightly browned.
-Whisk together powdered sugar, water, add almond extract; drizzle over warm shortbread. Cut each strip diagonally into 1-inch slices. Cool in pans on wire racks.
-Yield: 6 dozen
Source: Southern Living 1999 Annual RecipesI used both blackberry and raspberry. We almost like the blackberry jam better. I made a double batch so I could keep some for us and pass some on to friends for an early Christmas indulgence.
Form your logs first. Make the indentation in the log with a wooden spoon.
Fill them to the rim with the seedless jam.
Flaky, tasty, pretty....what more can I say other than make a batch to share.
Before the Christmas season gets away, sit down, relax and enjoy all of your hard work. I've been walking by the tree for the last couple of weeks, but I haven't taken the time to sit down and really look at the tree and enjoy it. Too busy you say? Well yes. I'm guilty of not stepping back and slowing down. Do I need to do everything that's on my list? No, I don't and if things don't get finished, I will be ahead of the game next year.
Normally all of the gingerbread people end up decorating the kitchen. This year, they had a revolt and placed themselves front and center in the living room. The little kids love them!
Last year I made these stockings and the girls made the name tags for each one. For Christmas dinner we will take them off the tree, put a napkin in it, and the table is very festive. The little kids love these too.
Emily helped me with the Christmas village in the pie safe.
Kinsey helped too. The girls love to arrange and rearrange all the people, sleighs, and figurines. They spent hours playing with the Christmas village.
I have a fun Christmas lunch to attend today with my favorite quilting group. Christmas play tonight at my granddaughter's school to attend. In between all the festivities, I'll try to get back to the quilting machine to work on the placemats. Oh yes, I'm going to sit for awhile and enjoy EVERYTHING!
Last Monday, Linda brought her pieced top in to show me. This quilt is called Scrappy Leave from the Maple Leaf Quilts book by Ilene Bartos. This quilt is a real beauty! Linda you did a tremendous job!
Everyone that has made this quilt always tells me how much fun it is to make. I agree. Each leaf blocks gets prettier and prettier.
Linda loves this quilt so much (as well she should....who wouldn't)....she was absolutely determined to finish it. Linda took my class last year. Here is the quilt in the beginning construction phase in class. She paired strips of batik fabric, the background and the leaf to see how they looked for the next row.
She stuck with the process and what an heirloom she has to show off every Fall. Her borders are spectacular! That was the hardest part for me, to get just the right gradation in the strips when I made this quilt.
Happy Monday everyone. I'm off to the shop this morning for my workday. The Christmas music will be on for all to hear.
The placemats are all done, all twelve of them are just waiting to be quilted. I started pillowcases for all the grand kids last night. This is an easy and fun pattern to whip up some Christmas cheer every time your little ones lay their head on their pillows while dreaming of sugarplums.
The shop hands this pattern out for the Million Pillowcase Challenge. The directions are on this link, or you can follow mine. There are also directions for other pillowcases at this site.
These directions are for a standard size pillowcase 20" x 31". You will use 1/4" seam allowance. This case is made using three different fabrics: a main fabric, an accent fabric and a cuff.
3/4 yard main fabric - cut 27" X width of fabric
1/8 yard accent fabric - cut 3" X width of fabric
1/4 yard cuff fabric - cut 9" X width of fabric
Lay the cuff fabric, right side up, raw edges on top, selvedge down the sides. Fold the accent strip in half lengthwise wrong sides together and press. Lay the accent piece on top of the cuff lining up the raw edges.
Lay the main fabric right side down and line up raw edges with selvedge on sides.
Roll up the main fabric from the bottom, so the cuff fabric shows,
Take the bottom edge of the cuff and line up the raw edges. Pin and sew 1/4" from the raw edges. This will form a tube.
Reach into the tube, pull out main fabric. All the raw edges will be enclosed in the tube. Press well.
Now trim the selvedge edges off, so that the unit now measure 41" across. With wrong sides together sew a scant 1/4' seam down the side and across the bottom.
Turn wrong side out and stitch a generous 1/4' seam along side and bottom. Turn right side out and press.
I always add a little 'P.S. I love you' tag on the first step of the construction. I want the little kids to know Grammy loves them every night when they go to sleep. Doesn't everyone want to know that?
One pillow case down, five more to go......lay out the cuff fabric..................
I hope you all have a wonderful day and weekend dreaming of sugarplums.
Now I know what Mrs. Claus feels like. Mr. Claus is busy working in his wood shop cranking out special orders, while I'm down in the cozy cabin finishing the Christmas placemats that I started in October. The wood-burning stove is heating up the great room while Bing Crosby serenades me with old-fashioned Christmas carols. There is about a foot of soggy snow left from the Thanksgiving storms. I'm surrounded with the spirit of the season.
In my effort to use fabric in my stash, I pulled out every scrap of Christmas fabric that I can turn into gifts. I'm very old-fashioned when it comes to traditional Christmas fabric. I've had this Thimbleberries fabric for years and now I'm using it all up in placemats and napkins.
The flying geese ruler makes four flying geese at once, making quick work of this project. The geese are circling and trying to get themselves organized in this picture.
The geese are all gathered together and heading north in this picture.
The borders go on and they are almost finished.
The next set of four will be made out of this combination of fabrics.
Inviting Christmas cottages........
packages with bows and tags..........
and old world Santa's will be gracing the tables.
I hope you have fun creating today and enjoy the days leading up to Christmas. Even though times are crazy and busy, this is when many good memories are made. May your heart respond to the sounds, smells and love that is so special and abundant this time of the year.