Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Winding Down

Only a few more days left in 2015 and I know I didn’t complete all of my goals. Oh well. There is always next year. J

Hubby went back to work Monday, so yesterday and today I have been doing computer work for the quilt guild. I have tons more to do and hopefully I can get it all done before the guild meeting next week. Today I made good progress, but I’m stopping for the day.

I started the day exercising, then laundry (which has run ALL DAY), and then I made some bagels (all along doing the computer work). I think now I will sit down for an hour or so and do some stitching. I have been putting in a little more time on HocusPocusVille the past few days, so here is where the block stands today (before my stitching time)…

I would love to finish this block by the end of next week. We’ll see what happens. Tomorrow I will probably sit down with it at noon and watch the Birmingham Bowl – Auburn U will be playing. It’s a good excuse to do some stitching. Otherwise tomorrow will be more computer work.

The hubby is home for another long weekend starting Thursday, so we will probably work at putting away Christmas decorations. Once that is done, I’ll need to work on winterizing the house (that means cleaning and organizing around here). In between I hope to get some sewing and stitching done. I’m sure the winterizing will take me until spring! I have a few things I would like to accomplish in the sewing room in 2016, so I will post those next week. I’m not going to call them goals because I know most of them will not be met. They are just projects I would like to work on. Try as I might to control things, life always ends up throwing a wrench into the works when I make long term plans. So, I’ll just share some of the projects I hope to get to in 2016.

I probably won’t post again until the weekend, so I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

ALYOF – December Finishes

I was able to make my goal for December for A Lovely Year of Finishes (#5 at Goal Setting Party). I finished up the second flannel 9-Patch and it is now at its final destination.

This is the only photo I have of it finished. It was made from my dad’s flannel shirts, then quilted by “tying” it with buttons from my great-grandmother. Lots of memories in that quilt.

As for A Lovely Year of Finishes for 2015, I met my goals 10 out of 12 months. The two months I didn’t make my goal had to do with those flannel 9-Patch quilts. I may not have met the goals for those months, but at least I did get those two quilts completed and shipped off before the end of the year! I’d say that all in all, it was a pretty good year for ALYOF.

The only other goals I had for December were to work on the Butterfly Sampler from Sue Spargo and to make some flannel pillowcases for the winter. I didn’t work on either one of those. But, I will get to them. I did get a few other things accomplished though.

I was able to finish one of the blocks for HocusPocusVille…

And I got a start on the next HPV block…

I also worked on some of the blocks from the Temecula Quilt Co.’s “We Wish You a Mini Christmas”…

I (obviously) didn’t use Christmas fabric. I’m hand piecing these blocks and I’m enjoying the process.

Finally, I was able to complete the quilting and machine stitch a binding on a charity quilt for Ronald McDonald House. This is our quilt guild charity, and I haven’t worked on a RMH quilt for a while, so it was good for me to get it done. The binding just needs to be hand stitched down, but there are plenty of ladies at the guild who like to do that. So, I will work on getting more quilted and binding added so they can hand stitch them.

So that’s it for December. 2015 went by pretty quickly…but don’t they all. I’m ready for a free-wheeling 2016. I only have a few quilting plans for the year. I’m going to try to focus on what I have in progress…though there are several new projects that I would like to start J. I will just get to my various projects as they appeal to me.

For now, I will be linking up at the Finishes Party for December for ALYOF. Head over for some great projects, and have a very safe and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas is Getting Closer

I ran out this morning and did my final grocery shopping trip before Christmas. It really wasn’t too bad, but I won’t have to go again until the weekend. I even ran over to the pet store and Tuesday Morning…both were pretty quiet and the traffic wasn’t at all crazy like I thought it would be.

I really haven’t accomplished much in the sewing room since my last post. Hubby’s work holiday party was Friday night and that was nice. We even had a little snow during our drive. But Saturday started out with the horrible news of the accidental death of a member of our quilt guild. I’m the Newsletter Chair so I send out all the notifications to the guild, so my Saturday was full of emails in and emails out. It’s just sad.

But Sunday was just the break I needed from all of that sadness. My family headed up to the Smokies to do some shopping with my daughter for her birthday and we ended the day with a nice birthday dinner out at The Cheesecake Factory. The weather was great (in the 50s) and there was no rain, so it was a great day.

Yesterday and today I was able to work a little on my HocusPocusVille block and quilting a Ronald McDonald House quilt. The quilting is almost done…I should get that completed by this weekend. HPV is just moving along…

This is the Witches Stitches Quilting and Needlework Shop. Cute. I got some baking done already today and a little quilting, so I’m going to head to my chair and sit and stitch on this for a while this afternoon.

I don’t have too much to do for Christmas…I will be baking some cookies tomorrow, a pecan pie on Christmas Eve, and then an apple cake on Christmas day. Everything else should be pretty easy cooking (plus I will have some help!). The weather this week calls for close to 70 degrees the rest of the week and rain…lots of rain. I’m kind of missing the thought of snow for Christmas, but I am not missing the chilly temperatures from last winter.

I doubt I will be posting again until the weekend, so I hope you all have a very safe and happy holiday. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday in the Sewing Room

I was able to spend some time in the sewing room today. Since I finished up gifts already, I was able to work on whatever I wanted. So, I decided to pull out a charity quilt, got it pin basted, then started quilting it.

I used the walking foot to sew along the lines of multi-colored patches. You can’t really tell from the photo, but the white areas actually have little swirls made from blue and red pin dots. So next time I work on this I will free motion quilt swirls in those white spaces. That should go pretty quickly. I’ll see if I have something that will work for a binding, and if so, I’ll attach that. Then it will be ready to take to the next guild meeting in January. There are a lot of ladies who love to just do bindings on quilts, and if the bindings have been attached by machine and they just need to hand stitch it down, all the better. I’d like to get a couple of more done before the next meeting. I have a couple dozen quilt tops and backs waiting to be quilted.

I also got the pieces cut for the last 8 blocks of We Wish You a Mini Christmas from Temecula Quilt Co. Here they are with their instructions.

Now they are ready for hand piecing. Hubby will be off all next week, so maybe we can sit down and watch a couple of Christmas movies and I’ll have some hand work to do.

Tonight is hubby’s office Christmas party, and Sunday will be celebrating daughter’s birthday. Tomorrow should be a quiet day at home, so I’ll probably try to get everything cleaned up and ready for Christmas next week. I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

All Buttoned Up

The second flannel 9-Patch quilt is done, packed, and ready to ship.

The dark squares in the quilt were from my dad’s flannel shirts. I used strips from those shirts to piece the binding, and I like how it turned out. I also “tied” the quilt using buttons from my Great-Grandmother Mamy.

This was my goal for December for A Lovely Year of Finishes, and I even got it done before Christmas. I hope to get it shipped out tomorrow, though it still won’t make it before Christmas, but that’s OK. If it doesn’t get out tomorrow it probably won’t be shipped until after Christmas.

I’m glad that is done and ready to go. I don’t have anything else that needs to get done in the sewing room this year. It’s a pretty nice feeling. I will probably make some pillowcases before Christmas, but otherwise I’ll just dabble at whatever suits my fancy!

What do you have going on this Thursday?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


I have spent a little bit of time quilting the flannel 9-Patch; I think I can finish that up today. Then it will be on to the binding. I will have to figure that one out. I am leaning towards using the shirt flannels to make a pieced binding.

Yesterday I needed to spend some time out of the sewing room but I was able to put together three more mini blocks from the Temecula Quilt Co.’s “We Wish You a Mini Christmas.” I now have 4 of the 12 blocks done. I'm using a dark gray for the background/accent units, but it looks blue or purple in the photo.

I will probably try to get more of those done this week, but the focus will be the flannel 9-Patch.

Today will be some household chores this morning, then time in the sewing room. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Slow Stitching…and More of My Favorite Things

I have nothing but slow stitching going on around here these days. I was able to finish up a block for HocusPocusVille…

And I have continued quilting the second flannel 9-Patch quilt, “tying” it with my great-grandmother’s buttons…

I plan on spending lots of time today working on the quilt. But I also hope to do another block for We Wish You a Mini Christmas at Temecula Quilt Co. I have the first twelve printed out, and the first block done…

I have three more blocks cut out and ready to go. I’m hand piecing these to give me something to do in the evenings, but I only worked on one of them so far. These are tiny things…the blocks are 2-3/4 inches square. Originally I had wanted to use the leftover 2-1/2 inch strips from this Halloween table runner…

I thought black would be great with the yellows and oranges, and would make it Halloween-y. Then I saw this dark gray fabric that I’m using and decided to use it and not have it be so seasonal. I really don’t know what I’ll do with this project. I’m not sure exactly how big it will be, though I know it will be small. I may just make it and donate it to our small quilt sale for our guild quilt show next summer. I’ll see how it turns out and if I like it! I’m just not too sure how the colors will work together.

Today I will be linking with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching…and working on that quilt!

Last time I showed you some of my favorite things that my grandmother made. Well, I have a few more favorite things from my grandmother to share…these are all Christmas ornaments.

I have quite a few of her old glass Christmas ornaments that I love and they are the first things I like to hang on my tree each year. My most favorite are the glass birds…

I have four of these, and they clip on the branches…though the clips are wearing after so many years.

I also have two glass bells…

These are about 2 inches tall. I just think they are so cute. I also have about 5 or 6 of her glass ball ornaments; they are all different colors and have different designs on them. Here is one with stripes painted on it…

And finally, the ceramic snow lady…

She is about 3 inches tall and my grandmother made her. She is actually a gift tag to me from 1964. I also have a Christmas tree and a bell gift tag she made me in 1965 and 1980. One thing I remember from growing up is having a bunch of these little ceramic tags hanging on our Christmas tree because MiMi made us all tags throughout the years. So we would have several trees and snowmen, and I remember one that was a snowman and lady couple…I believe that was on a gift to my parents.

I have gotten rid of a lot of Christmas ornaments over the years, and it’s nice to have it whittled down to the ones that hold special meaning to me. It makes decorating the tree much more enjoyable!

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Finish…and a Few of My Favorite Things

This is what it looked like out my back door this morning when the sun came up…

Dreary, dreary morning. It seemed like a good time to sit down and do some stitching. I only had part of a window to finish on the current HocusPocusVille block, so I spent about 20 minutes and got the block done…

Yay! I think I will put HPV away until after the New Year. I think I have half of the blocks done. Not nearly what I wanted to do, but things happen and other things don’t get done. I enjoy working on the HPV blocks, so this will be on-going. I just need to put things away until after the holidays.

And speaking of holidays, I was able to (finally!) put out some Christmas decorations at my house this week. With the repainting of the dining room and illness that has been in my house since before Thanksgiving, I haven’t really done much decorating. I finally put out the few decorations I have, along with some of my Snow Village collection. Last year I purged my holiday decorations during a stint of organizing, so I am really left with some of my very favorite things. I thought I might share J

Today I will share a few things I have from my paternal grandmother, who died in 1993. Here’s my MiMi…

MiMi was an award winning ceramicist, china painter, and jewelry maker, and an all-around nifty (and artistically talented) lady. I grew up in the same town where she lived, so she was the grandmother I came to know best (my other GM was out of state). I spent many afternoons with her learning ceramics, and I still dabble and try to pull out my kiln on occasion, but will never reach her level of skill and talent. Anyway, I have several items she made that I bring out at Christmas, and those items are some of my very favorite things…(cue Julie Andrews).

So aside from whiskers on kittens…

Here is one of my very favorite things…

A little hard to see because they are in my china cabinet with my Snow Village set up, but MiMi made the Santa, sleigh, Christmas tree in the back corner, and the reindeer. She slip cast the pieces, glazed them and then china painted the details on them. The gold antlers are actually painted with liquid gold. If you notice in the sleigh, there are also ceramic presents and a teddy bear that she made. There are only four reindeer set up (there were originally 8), but over the many years I have had these some of the antlers have broken on 4 of them, so they are still packed in the box. I haven’t had these out for several years, so I thought I would put them out this year (I’m in much more of a Christmas spirit this year than the past several years J).

Funny note, I was at a yard sale MANY years ago and found some slip casting molds for ceramics and bought them. One happened to be the same reindeer, only facing the other direction. I was also able to find the sleigh mold and the Santa mold, so I can make more of these now…whenever I get back to working on ceramics!

And if you noticed the paper standing up behind the reindeer…that’s another of my favorite things. It’s a Twelve Days of Christmas placemat my daughter colored in kindergarten. I think it is the only piece of artwork from her school days that I have kept.

Another favorite thing from MiMi are these little dishes…

These are about 3 by 5 inches and they are also slip cast and glazed, then china painted. The date on one of these is 1964, so they are a bit younger than I am J. They are a little small to actually hold anything (except maybe paper clips on a desk) but I like putting them out on the table at Christmas time.

And finally, my MiMi made these guys for me…

The larger Santa cup is from Christmas of 1964 and the smaller mug is from Christmas of 1965. I think my siblings and cousins all got these as well on those Christmases. They are perfect for candy canes!

That’s about it for this morning. I need to get down to the sewing room and work on quilting the flannel 9-Patch quilt. Hopefully the cat will let me get some work done on it today!

I hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Making Progress

I have finally been able to get back to the sewing room to work on the second flannel 9-Patch quilt. I caught the hubby’s cold (daughter had it before him) and I ended up spending most of Saturday and Sunday in bed. It has been a whopper of a cold; I can’t remember feeling that bad during a cold. Anyway, I’ve slowly come back from it (though still suffering the lingering cough and congestion) and yesterday I was able to take care of errands and cleaning around the house that went by the wayside for the past 5 or 6 days. So this morning I headed downstairs to work my way across the quilt.

I’ve gotten quite a few more buttons attached, and fewer buttons on the plate. I’m going to head back down this afternoon for a while and see how much farther I can get on this project. My only impediment is this…

Someone wants to help. She used to be great in the sewing room…she would come in and jump up on a blanket or quilt and go to sleep and just hang out with me for a couple of hours. Now, not so much. She now likes to get involved in what I’m doing. So usually when she comes to visit me during the day I have to set my sewing aside and head upstairs with her to hang out with her. After about 10 or 15 minutes she gets tired of me and goes to take a nap. Then I can head back downstairs. We’ll see how this afternoon goes.

I’ll be making a new soup for dinner tonight. I will be giving this Creamy Mushroom Vegetable Soup with Barley a try tonight. This recipe is from the 100 Days of Real Food website. It will take me a bit of time cutting vegetables, but shouldn’t be too difficult. Hopefully it will be yummy…and we’ll have leftovers for my hubby’s lunches.

That’s about it for now. I hope you have a great Wednesday!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?

I was able to finish up the quilt top for the second flannel 9-Patch quilt. Now it’s time to quilt. But what to do? In case you aren’t aware, the dark flannel patches in the quilt are from my father’s flannel shirts. He passed away in the spring and one of my sisters mentioned what a great quilt the shirts would make. So…as my sisters were going through his closet they piled up some of his shirts for me. There were dozens of shirts in there and I brought home a boat load for these two quilts I’m making for my sisters.

But back to the quilting…and the buttons…

My grandmother went into a nursing home 20+ years ago and my mother cleared out her home and brought me all her sewing gear. Among the items were boxes and tins of buttons from my great grandmother Mamy. Mamy passed away in 1984, and some of the buttons from her collection are pretty old (and unique). In one of my many organizing frenzies, I sorted all of her buttons by color and put them in glass jars and set them on a shelf in my sewing room. They have been nifty decorations, but I want to USE my stuff. So I decided to “tie” the quilt with my great-grandmother’s buttons.  Here is a photo of the different button jars, along with the finished top…

I was initially thinking of using various colors…blue, brown, black, red, cream, white/clear…and putting them in the dark patches. But then I decided that I wanted to be able to “see” my dad’s flannels, so I figured I would put the buttons on the cream colored patches. I really didn’t like the idea of the colored buttons on the cream patches, so my final decision…using the MANY white/cream/clear buttons from my great-grandmother and putting them in the cream colored patches. Here is a photo of the buttons and a few of them already attached and “quilting” the quilt.

So that’s what I’m working on now. I will probably be sewing buttons through the weekend, but I think it will turn out fine and I think my sister will appreciate the addition of our great-grandmother’s buttons.

Hubby is sick with daughter’s cold, but I think I am fighting it off pretty well. At least I don’t feel as bad as he does. Fortunately it doesn’t take a lot of energy to stitch buttons!

I hope you have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes – December Goal

I have one goal for December – to complete the second flannel 9-Patch quilt and get it shipped off. I hope to get it done and shipped by Christmas, but who knows. Finishing the top was my November goal and I didn’t get it done. I got all the blocks done and three rows put together. Here are the blocks on the design wall…

I have the backing fabric and I picked up some batting this morning, so I have no excuses.

Tonight is our final guild meeting of the year, and since we are not going to hubby’s office party this month, I now have no more (currently scheduled) obligations for this year (so you KNOW that something will probably come up). Anyway, after a couple of months of what seemed like a gazillion doctors’ appointments and having to take all three pets to the vet multiple times, and remodeling the dining room, and camping, and guild obligations, and family stuff, and…you get the picture…I’m looking forward to a quiet month.

With that in mind, I’m not setting any more goals for the sewing room for December. I’m going to go with the flow and do whatever comes to mind when I feel like it. I do know that I will make some flannel pillowcases for the winter, but other than that I will probably just pick up some embroidery projects like HocusPocusVille or some hand stitching projects like my Butterfly Sampler (it’s been a long time since I worked on this!) We’ll see what I’m in the mood for.

So, tonight it’s a quilty Christmas party, and then home. I’m looking forward to an enjoyable time tonight. In the meantime, I will be linking up with the December Goal Setting Party at Sew BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts.

Have a great week!