Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas fun in the Kitchen...

I know I should be stitching but instead I am baking!

or at least doing all the prep work for my upcoming cookie marathon!

Each year I bake a dozen different cookies and make up cookie boxes and trays for friends and neighbors.

First I decide on what cookies to make and gather the recipes.

Some cookies I make every years - Mint Snowtop, Christmas Biscotti, Coconut Biscotti and Molasses cookies.  Some every few years - Peanut blossoms, Almond Jam Slices, Toffee cookies, and Ellie's Butterscotch Cookies.  Then I always try a few new ones - Gingerbread biscotti, Pecan Cresents, Peppermint Candy sugar cookies.

Then I inventory the baking supply cabinet...I buy new baking powder and baking soda each year and also check the dates on all the spices.

Then I gather together the containers.  I usually buy the containers at the after Christmas sales but I also use some non-traditional containers like fun tea-cups or bowls that I find during the year.

Now how does this go with quilting you may wonder?  Well, I have stitching on Wednesday - will bring a tray of cookies.  I have bee on Thursday - will bring a cranberry pecan cake.  And on Friday I have a holiday get together with my Woolie-Woolie group and will bring home-made Stollen and some cookies.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Reuse decorations...

I just read an article about this year's decorations at the White House.  They really are beautiful and as a bonus 90% of them were re-used from prior years.
Santa on books - 1991, Maryland
Which got me to thinking about how many of my decorations were "re-used."
Russian carved santa - Moscow, 1993
This year, except for the Poinsettias almost all of my decorations have made prior appearances!
Santa Smoker, Germany 1984
When I traveled often I bought a Santa almost every year so I have santas from Germany, Russia, England, Poland, New Mexico, Virginia...well, lots and lots of places!
A lighthouse star from my Mom, 2005
My tree ornaments range from German, New England seaside, to scottie dogs (yes lots of scotties!)

Plus a few sewing related....tiny thimble ornaments!
Christmas Music Magazine, 1927 (framed in 2010)
I even change out some of the pictures on the walls.

Today I'm making some fun table runners using Cowboy and truck fabrics...

need to add a few new things to the mix!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

The 1937 Sewing Club

Today I needed to stay home and get some Christmas decorating done so my DH went off to an estate sale by himself...

He came home with this quilt from Spartanberg, S.C.  Each block is signed and then embroidered with a woman's has the date and the club name.

 Only one block has a last name.  That may help when it comes time to do some research!

My cat Dobby is fascinated by this quilt.  I think they must have had a cat!

Need to find a place to hang this quilt...wish I could put my newest Christmas decoration with it.  A little depression era cut with a red truck bringing home a Christmas tree!  Seems like I'm seeing little red Christmas trucks everywhere this year!

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Post Thanksgiving Notes

I successfully avoided shopping on Thanksgiving...I only succumbed to a quick visit to a Hancocks on Friday to pick up a new large cutting mat (50% off.)  I even stayed away from shopping on Saturday...

However today, Cyber Monday, I admit to buying some of my favorite hand lotion on line, got some deals at Missouri Quilts (3 Aurifil threads for less than $10!) and a Sinatra book for my husband.

I did get out to do a bit of walking around the Canal this weekend.  My goal is to walk there three times a week.  It has a half mile loop...

There are three projects that I have deadlines on...

first this small wool and button project.  My woolie group is having an exhibit in January.  This is tough for me as I give away most of my finished items.

second is this little Christmas pillow (mine is the large one in the back with borders.)  It would be nice to be able to put it out on the couch before the 25th of this year!  My Wednesday stitching group did this as a day project.

and finally, the Elephant and me baby quilt for my nephew and his wife who are expecting in January.  The piecing on this quilt went quickly...the applique not so much.  Large applique pieces are tougher for me than small ones!

When I finish these I have another baby quilt for another nephew and his wife who are due in March!  Maybe I should start making some to keep on hand...

Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving...a bit late!

Sorry I missed sending a Happy Thanksgiving post...seem the flu got to me early this year!

So we spend a quiet one this year.  I did get up long enough to make a pecan pie, some dressing, and a new recipe that combined butternut squash, kale, onion, cranberries and pecans...sounds bizarre but it was really good!

Wish it photographed better...

Speaking of of my photos (the one a the top of this post) is going to hang at an exhibit at the McCormick Arts Council building in December!  Don't you just love the quilt "block" hanging on the front of the building.  The exhibit starts on the 4th of December.  The photos will be from the Chicks that click group.  Looking forward to it.  McCormick has a lot going on for a small town!

Anyway, Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and survived the Black Friday craziness!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What Terriers do...

Amazing how much one week of quilt show activities can wear you out!

Still in recovery mode...of course Watson's adventure this morning didn't help!  He and Jake the dog next door have been barking for months.  With all the rain the past week the ground was ripe for a tunneling under the fence...because that is what Terriers do...

To make a long story short...Dobby came into the quilt room in a huff...I heard the barking...tried to call Watson back but Jake couldn't decide if he wanted to play with Watson or eat Watson.  Either way he wouldn't let Watson near the fence.  So I had to go in...both dogs are ok but I'm a bit banged/bitten up.  Yikes.

That and a totally muddy bathroom from both Watson and I trying to clean-up...what a day.

When this all happened I was trying to put away my new Quilt Show acquisitions!  I bought a lot of threads, wools, and even a couple of holiday kits.  One vendor had fatquarters 20 for $25!  What a deal!  And since we don't have a local shop carrying wools I always stock up at Shakerwood Woolens and Auntie Ju's.   The stitched golf ball is from Garage Art...will make something for my husband with that!
Pieced and Appliqued, pattern from Collector with a needle

some more photos from the show...
From left to right, Best Hand quilting, Judges Choice, and Best of show...

My friend Shannon made this for her husband...

and also this one above from Piece of Cake that she appliqued got a first place ribbon!

and of course we had a lot of kaffe...

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Quilt Show!

My guild had its biannual quilt show this past weekend.  The show looked great!

Our judge this year was Scott Murkin from North Carolina.
I entered three quilts for judging.

My Harvest Moon and Pumpkins got a second place.  the pattern is from Blackbird designs (with alterations.)

Raspberry lemonade (which should have been Strawberry Lemonade for those of you who also did this blog project!) received a third place ribbon.

My Pink Spider Web didn't get a ribbon but it is still my favorite quilt.

I also entered my little shirtings wallhanging "Augusta in April."  These are all recycled shirts in colors we see here in spring.  I machine quilted it in the wavy modern style.  Learned a lot!

And also in the non-judged category I put my Halloween tumblers.  It was a just a fun quilt.  I also quilted this myself on my domestic machine.  Just went through the photos and realized I don't have a good one of this!  duh...will post a photo later!

We also had great vendors at this show...lots of wool, baskets, storage systems, machines, and of course fabric.  Our local quilt shop had a fatquarter special of 20 FQ for $25!

The guild tried something new this year.  Instead of door prized they had drawings on special baskets...$1 a chance.  These were great prizes.  Both of the local shops donated a sewing machine!  There was a vacuum cleaner, several baskets with sewing items, a dog care basket, a coffee basket, and a tourist in your home town basket with tickets to various museums.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tumbler Quilt...

I am almost finished my Halloween tumbler quilt...

This one has been a long time in the works.  I really wanted to have it out before Halloween this year.

I thought I would bind it in black...but today when I started auditioning black fabrics from my stash they all looked a bit washed out.  I wasn't sure if it was the fabric or my eyes (having optic neuritis issues this week...makes everything a bit dull...)  I was really frustrated when ...

I almost tripped over this purple polka dot fabric that had auditioned for the "role" of elephant in a baby quilt I on my design didn't make the cut but didn't make it back to it's spot in the stash either!  Lucky for me...

So purple it is....

Also, I'm trying a new quilting product.  These little "caps" for the ends of pins are so much easier for me to handle than safety pins!

A friend was using them at retreat last month.

 She really liked them (they are all the funky little white and red "dots")so I went online and got a few bags to try!  So far so good...