Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year!

We had a wonderful Christmas with the whole family! And we had fun in spite of the storm on the way home! Meandered our way through our favorite places on the coast. Even if there was a three day storm!

Celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary - WOW! Time flies - we've now been with each other 2/3rd of our life! [And they said it wouldn't last!!!] Had an awesome dinner at the Italian restaurant in Coos Bay - one of the top 10 meals ever!!

Weather just weird here! Sun, then storm, then sleet, then sun, then snow!!! If the sun comes out - watch out!! Snow or sleet shortly!! Who knew Nebraska weather was just a taste of Oregon change-ability!! But enjoying the sun - if only for a few minutes at a time.

Gave sewing cards to Miss P - getting her started early! She looks like a future quilter - don't you think??

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all...

... and to all a good night!

Monday, December 20, 2010

FIVE DAYS TO CHRISTMAS - yes, I am yelling!

Hasn't this year zipped right by? I'm almost ready for Christmas. The presents are made or bought ... most are wrapped ... the pile to go to Portland is gathered. Of course, there are a few last minute things I'd love to get - but the winter storm has settled in on us and we're not even leaving the condo, so much for a 'quick' trip to JoAnn's!! And, of course, the nearest JoAnn's is 2+ hours away!!

A quick trip into the grocery store to get one more bag of kisses and I'll make another batch of peanut butter kiss cookies to take up the the family. I made a batch last week and discovered "help" from a DH is different "help" from my girlfriend G!! DH unwrapped all the kisses ... that is help ... but then left for the golf course! Leaving me alone with the unwrapped, ready to pop in your mouth, kisses!! He was supposed to stand guard!! G always did!! We delivered those cookies to our favorite haunts - the swimming pool, Matties Pancake house and Poncho's Mexican. It was fun to give them the box and watch the staff 'sneak' by to get another and another!! They ARE good!

After the last of my Christmas presents were done - [yep, I'm bragging!! It doesn't happen that often - gotta celebrate!] - Last year I made a selvedge-used quilt for the shop-hop challenge and loved the look. I'd been saving selvedges for years and I wanted to make my notebook cover with them. I used a Sisters Quilt Show panel for the inside and started sewing on the selvedges.

What a mess that can make!! Piles of 'with words' and 'without words' everywhere! But very addicting! I even used selvedge for the binding! But I practiced putting that on to determine how wide to cut it [1 inch]! And I'm happy to announce that the notebook fit in with a skooch to spare!

Last year - I made notebook covers and had to go out to buy new notebooks to use in them - cuz the designated notebook would not squeeze into them! Don't want to relive that mess - so I have a hard time cutting it close!

After finishing the notebook cover - I had the fever!! So I started making 6" string blocks with them. Very addicting!! I found out last year that you don't have to have a seam allowance with selvedges. You just lay them flat, right side up, on the foundation and be sure to sew the selvedge edge over the last raw edge!

And when you 'just miss' catching the raw edge - sew it again with an embroidery stitch to catch it in place! And move on!! It was so much fun - I already have a wall-quilt in mind for these. Just what I needed - another UFO for next year's list!!

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas. And a Quilt-y New Year!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ho, Ho, Ho - last package in the mail!

10 days to Christmas ... oh my!!

Yesterday I was finishing my last presents for family in Nebraska and I had so much fun!!! Unusual to hear that this close to Christmas, isn't it. I highly recommend the project to everyone!

I wanted to make notebook covers and I found a 'circular' quilting tip that was so much fun! Both tips are at the same site!! Thanks to ThreeCreativeStudios for their wonderful free projects.

The notebook cover file - [I did a variation, you know me!!!] is 'compbook.pdf'. I like that the composition books can be found everywhere and when one is filled up; the fabric cover fits the next one. And I really like that they have graph-paper books! I love graph paper for designing quilts, drawing out patterns to figure the math and making lists!! My lists are a wonder to behold!!LOL!

The file 'circle.pdf' is where the fun began!! How simple is this - and what fun to use your embroidery stitches! I bought my thumbtacks at the Dollar Store - but, they are rather thick. I have 99 more that I will kindly share!! I'll have to look at office supply stores and see if they are 'finer'. BUT - these were notebook covers and I 'scrubbed out' the little holes, in general.

90% of my stitches ended joining up pretty darn good!! I left my tack in the same place but kept switching the stitches and loved most of them! Next time I may do circles with different diameters!! And I'm going to try to figure out how to get a name in the correct spot with the correct orientation!!! I promise!!

A&J2's Christmas tree skirt is done. I lost the pattern I wanted to use somewhere during the last 6 years! But A graciously said a checkerboard patchwork would be fine.

I like to put a light backing on tree skirts. We always had fun drawing hands on the back of our tree skirt - adding paw prints when needed. But keep in mind - it always looks neater in your mind - the actual circle of hands is blurred with mistakes permanently placed!! But I love it just the same when I get it out each year!

Wishing you the best memories this Holiday! ... and if you want to save them, can I recommend a great little notebook with cover!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Report from Santa's Workshop

2 stockings for L2 - check!

The cuff with his name has been cropped out. It looks better with the additional length!! It seems that L2 is double dipping, doesn't it! He was born last December after Christmas and his mommy and daddy want a stocking for their good little boy this year. BUT so does Grandma!

My niece, LL, [the grandma mentioned above] asks me to make a stocking for each addition to their family. Started out easy!! But now those kids are getting married and having kids of their own. I've made 13 stockings since 1992!!! Think about it! 13 stockings from the same pattern, the same quilted muslin fabric, and they need to hang at the same angle!!! Ho, Ho, Ho!!

Needless to say, I've come up with a method!! First of all, don't think you're going to remember how you did them!!! I have a file folder "Christmas Stockings" and in it are these items: A freezer paper stocking shape - with whose stockings have been made from it. [I have two active ones - LL's family and my own kids' stocking shape.] The applique shapes (reduced to right size if needed) for the stocking. And a picture of at least one stocking!

You really should take a picture of the backs too! I never remember what they are!There used to be a cotton 'chamois cloth' available at JoAnns - it was the perfect weight to balance the front design and worked great. Alas, I've haven't been able to find it the last 10 years!! It also made awesome card table covers!! Should have kept those - I could use the yardage now!!

Find a fun alphabet with upper and lower case letters - you'll know it when you see it!! I don't remember where I found mine or I'd tell you! Take it to a copier and reduce it. 90%; 85%; 80%; well, you get the drift. AFTER you have reduced it - then mark the size. [90%]. It doesn't help to mark it, then reduce it farther ... you'll never know what size it is!!! You can also enlarge it for wall quilts! I have a fat file folder marked "Alphabets" too!

This year I lucked out!! L2 only has 6 letters in his name! I've done up to 8 and it's a squeeze across a 6" cuff!! With different sizes of the same alphabet the name may be smaller but at least it looks like the others.

The secret of the stocking angle is: To make the hanger I cut a piece 2 x 6.5. Press a crease lengthwise-center, fold each edge into the center, press. Now you have a 'double fold' tape look. I stitch a 1/4" top stitch down each long side to strengthen it. When your stockings are ready to put together, fold the hanger in half. On the heel side of the stocking, place it at 2". Angle it to 2" in from that side along the top. Pin well, and back stitch over it when seaming the stocking. Putting that hanger on was the hardest part of stockings. It needed to be strong and it always was a mess on the outside of the stocking. I tried everything. sewing a button over the mess - that was hard!! This method, gives me a basic hanger, it stays on, and hangs at the same angle. Not glamorous - but stockings get alot of use!!

When A - our first born went to college, I for some reason thought it would be cute to make Christmas stockings for the room mates. It was wonderful, but do you know how fast roomies come and go??? Then L, our daughter, went to college and darn! she remembered those stockings. I got suckered into it again. I've made dozens of stockings over the years!! Including 6 for pets!! At any rate - this year's requests are done!! In the mail tomorrow.

Next on the list is a new tree skirt for the newly-weds! What's on your list??