Friday, December 31, 2010

A very Happy New Year

A very cold ending to 2010.  A full day and a half later, my birdbath is still frozen solid.  And here I thought Arizona was supposed to be a warm climate!  We had snow yesterday and this evening it's still hanging around.  I know some are thinking "big deal" and for Arizona, it is.  Coming originally from the U.P. of Michigan, I do understand cold, snow and ice.  I am looking forward to this cold snap going away and going back to sunny days.
So on to 2011 no resolutions to speak of.  I'd like to think I was going to become more organized, get my scraps used up.  But I know it probably won't happen. 
I wish for you a healthy, prosperous New Year.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

An honor

I didn't mention in an earlier post that my neighbor gave me a quilting frame.  This wonderful lady is 76 and unfortunately has terminal cancer.  I will certainly miss her when the Lord calls her home.  Anyway....I found out that she used this frame to tie a quilt that her mother had made.  She had promised her mother that she would finish the quilt.  Well, without the binding, the quilt isn't finished.  I offered to bind the quilt and I hadn't even seen it yet - she took me up on my offer to bind the Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt that her mom had pieced.  I will embroider a special label for it and get it bound and returned to her.  I'm so honored that she trusts me with this task. 
As to the frame - it's a beautiful frame and I will be making a quilt to put on it for handquilting.  Now I have to inject here that I have a Tin Lizzy 18 set up and the only thing I ever hand quilted was a placemat!  This will be a learning experience for me but one that I look forward to.  And I know with every stitch I take, I'll think of my wonderful neighbor and I will hope that she will still be around for me to show her the hand quilted quilt.
New Years?!  Really?  So soon?  I guess we can't slow down the calendar.  2010 just simply flew by.  What a busy year it was and 2011 is looking to be just as busy - Praise God, I hope I can keep up.  I do not make resolutions, nor do I set goals.  I live each day and hope for the next.  I know, maybe not the best system to live my life by, but it does work for me. 
I'm off to cut binding strips and work on binding that very special quilt.
Please if you go out to celebrate bringing in the New Year, be safe stay healthy.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas over and moving on

I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as I did.  Did alot of cooking, but I loved it.  Enjoyed my family and a couple dear friends for the day.  My sister's boyfriend loved his sailboat quilt.  I told him to please use it on the boat.  He said he definitely would and that he thought he'd leave it on the boat but decided if he did that he couldn't enjoy it at home - so I guess it'll be a traveling quilt! 
But Christmas decorations are down and boxed up, ready for DH to put away.  I've been asked to do a couple quilts for a friend who does motorcycle rodeos and poker runs.  He will be doing a poker run and the proceeds will go to the benefit of Honor Flight.  The first quilt will be displayed at a "biker bar" and I know it won't appeal to everyone, but I'm hoping it appeals to the clientel at the 'bar':
This is the center of the quilt.   I haven't decided yet on the narrow border fabric, but the outer/ wider border will be done in a dark grey.  I worked this quilt pattern up in EQ and I really like it - I think I will be using it again.
QFC on Yahoo is doing another Quilt Block Lotto.  Here is my contribution to it:
This is a pattern from Quilter's Cache by Marcia Hohn.  I can't remember the name right now....
So I am done with the Christmas sewing and moving forward with some quilt projects.
Until next time,


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Special Date

I was in FL in Sept. when my darling, 4 yr. old DGS called and asked me for a date.  I promised him when I got back to AZ I would love to have a date with him.  Our date finally happened yesterday.  I took him to the Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson.  This has exhibits of the animals, reptiles and vegetation of the Sonoran desert.  The desert cats were sleeping, which is normal this time of year.  He had a racoon come right up to the screen of it's enclosure - so fun!  I gave him my camera and he loved taking pictures.  I finally got a picture.  I kept telling him to smile big - this is what I got:
He asked me if it was big enough - Yep, think this works.  We followed our trip to the museum with a later lunch.  Of course it had to be a place that served Mac & Cheese followed with an ice cream.  A great day and one I will store in my most precious memories.  Thank You Tiernan for a great Day!
Days spent with grandchildren - Priceless! 

Katie who's hoping everyone has this type of love in their lives.

Monday, December 20, 2010

ahhh, a sigh of relief

I will mark the calendar, 2010 is the year that I was ready for Christmas before Christmas Eve!  It's done, it's bought, it's wrapped - yea me!!!  Even all the grocery shopping for the big meal is done.  I will probably start cooking on the 23rd and continue through Christmas!  And to think it will all be demolished in 20 minutes or less :-)  But, oh the blessing of having my family and friends around me on such a wonderful day.  I hope everyone is enjoying the week of Christmas as stress free as possible.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

yes I am done!

well sort of.  Everything is sewn.  I have to get snaps/buttons on the camo and that will get done tonight or tomorrow after DH leaves.  He'll be off hunting for a couple days so gives me plenty of time!  All the shopping is done and most everything is wrapped and ready for Christmas.  I've never been ready before Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember.
As this year is coming to a close I look ahead to this next year.  I see lots of quilts in my future and I hope to become more proficient in my long arm quilting.  I've had people tell me I should 'quilt for profit' but I just am so apprehensive about quilting someone else's masterpiece.  And I do consider every quilt a masterpiece.  I don't care if it's all square patches.  Someone took the time to cut and sew those patches and put a part of themselves into that quilt top.  I'm okay with what I do with an 'all over' meander.  I'm getting better at doing feathers.  I've never used a pantograph or a stencil.  I know those are things I need work at.  Maybe 2011 will be the year I 'advance' forward with my longarm quilting.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Plugging away

I used to only sew garments and the occasional toy/doll.  Then I discovered quilting - YeeHA!  So now I rarely sew garments and the last couple of weeks inforces why that is! Why do the pattern companies give you a 5/8" seam allowance then tell you to trim to 1/4"?  What a waste IMO.  I've made jammies and nightgowns and working on the sly to make camo outfits for my men.  It's the sewing on the sly that is getting to me more than anything.  I like to sit down and work at it until it's done or at the very least be able to leave it sitting there until I can get back to it!  Nope, have to put it all away and when I think DH is going to be gone for a while, take it out and work at it.  Then so I don't get 'caught', put it away about when I think he'll be coming back - sheesh, I'll be glad when the camo is done!!!  Only a bit more to do - hummm wonder when he's going to be out and about again........
I'm wanting to join in on RRCB mystery over on Quiltville.  I've never done a mystery before and this one sounds interesting.  I've downloaded and saved all the clues but I knew I couldn't start until I got all my Christmas sewing done.  I may cheat myself a bit and do a few of the clues just to have them ready when Bonnie releases the setting for the clues.  It's the string block and how it will fit into the scheme of things that has me intrigued.
Need to get to my sewing room - still have more Christmas sewing to do.  Of course, if I quit adding to my list of 'want to get done' it wouldn't be so bad :-)  I tend to make more work for myself.  I see something and think " oh (so & so) would like that".  Maybe I just need to stay off the blogs until after Christmas :-)


Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting there

Earlier in the month I posted pictures of Christmas postcards that I made my G-sons, here's the one for my DGD:

She's only 10 months old
so her Christmas card is more
like a little doll quilt. 
So while I was at it, I embroidered a card on card stock:

If I could figure out how to keep the chalk off the thread, I'd add a bit more color to these cards using chalks - unfortunately, I don't color inside the lines too well!

And..... because of what I've been reading about Mug Rugs, I tried my hand at those, too.

I have a bit more Christmas sewing to do and will hopefully get most of it done tomorrow.  But sometimes you just gotta play :-)


Friday, December 10, 2010

Crunch time!

It's still 15 days to Christmas but I'm starting to feel some pressure.  I have a couple more items to make in the sewing room that need to be sent out.  But I'm also trying to get some baking done to send out and simply can't be in both places at the same time.  I always worry about packages being received in time for Christmas.  I'd probably worry if I sent them on Dec. 1st!  I will have everything done and ready to send on Monday, and hope for the best.  I think our postal service does work very hard this time of year to make sure things are moving smoothly.  I know our local post office employees are always very helpful.
Guess sitting here at the computer isn't getting the work done!! So I'm off and running - well okay maybe not 'running'.......


Saturday, December 4, 2010

on to more things

I am discovering that many quilters are also knitters.  I do enjoy knitting, but I have carpal tunnel and find I'm only able to knit about 30 minutes at a time before the fingers go numb! I finished a pair of socks this morning.  They're only my second pair.  I knit them on the 2 circular needles.  I want to start another pair, but decided on a quick project.  I'm knitting mittens for my grandson for Christmas.  Something to put in his stocking!  I did get a quilt on the frame and will work on quilting it tomorrow.  I have finished up all the sewing projects that I had cut.  I still have 3 more things to cut out and if time permits, the camo fabric will get cut. 
I do hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday season.


Friday, December 3, 2010

22 days til.....

So it's December - 22 days to Christmas.  I was in a depression last year during the Holidays which is something very rare for me - I am usually a very positive person.  So this year, I'm really looking forward to Christmas.  This is the first time in a very long time that if Christmas came tomorrow, I'd be relatively prepared.  I need to wrap some gifts as I don't want the recipients to possibly come across them!  With all the interest in 'going green', I've thought about making simple gift bags that could be recycled for use as 'grocery bags'.  I'm thinking I wouldn't want them to be so season specific, but if I made them with simple muslin and a Christmas print lining, they could be turned 'inside out' when ready to be used for other purposes.  Or, maybe put a vinyl pocket on the outside of the bag and insert an old Christmas card in it (I save all my cards just incase the kids ever want to craft with them).  Or.... what the heck, make the bags with Christmas print fabric and ask that the bags are reused for future Christmas gift exchange.  Oh, the possibilities......