Monday, November 28, 2011

a picture or two

This is a picture of my favorite table runner.  I keep it out all year round even if it does have an autumn feel to it.

These are just a few of the things I've been working on.   If I'm not sewing, I'm knitting or crocheting.
For some reason, I've just not been in the mood to sew lately.  I seem to really have to push myself to go to the sewing room and work on my Christmas items.  And I'm not doing any quilting until the Christmas stuff is done!  Ah, such is life!
Christmas decorating >  I love a beautifully decorated Christmas tree.  It doesn't have to be elaborate, with expensive ornaments.  Some of the most beautiful are the simple one.  But.... I don't put up a full size tree anymore.  Several years ago my hubby got a 'record book' elk and it now hangs in the living room - and it seriously takes up about a 5 foot square in the living room and my room is small - 13 X 15 (I think).  I do put up a 36" fiber optic tree and it is pretty - but not the same effect as the big trees.  And most important is my Nativity - if I don't put anything else out, my Nativity would be a must.  Not only because of what the Nativity signifies, but because my Nativity has a story............
I had wanted a Nativity for years and years and one day while shopping with my daughter in Costco here was this beautiful Nativity.  They only had one left and I grabbed it.  I could hardly wait to get it home and put it out.  So, daughter and I opened the box and started pulling out the figurines - and I wanted to cry!  Every single piece (except one - the baby Jesus) was broken.  I thought about taking the whole thing back to Costco but my daughter looked at me and said, "Mom, this was the last one.  Can't we glue the pieces together?"  and I thought "what do I have to lose"  So my daughter and I spent a couple hours gluing all those figurines together and I have to tell you - You would never believe it by looking at those pieces.  I sometimes think they've all been 'healed'!  So here it is 20 years (or more) later, and I still put up that very same Nativity and think about the time my daughter and I spent fixing it - I think it was meant to come to us.  Someone else may have taken it back to the store and it would have been disposed of - yep, it's very special!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

and it's starting

The decorations have been in the stores since before Halloween.  The TV ads have already been running rapid.  The stores are having "black Friday" a minute after Thanksgiving Day....But today, Santa arrived at the mall.....What happened to Santa not showing his face until AFTER Thanksgiving????  I love Christmas, truly I do.  But I think (and this is ONLY my opinion) that the sooner the commercialism sets in, the more stress people feel to give that oh-so-perfect gift.  What happened to all the fun of Christmas?  The getting the family together to decorate..... The baking cookies with the kids...... The singing of Christmas carols..... Teaching children the Christmas  Story.....My goodness - have you seen where people are literally camping out so they're the first in line for a specific store on "black Friday"???? I don't get it - but I guess that's okay.   I'm already hearing from clerks in the stores "do you have your shopping done?"  What???? I don't even know what I'll be shopping for..... well actually, I do.... but I'm in no hurry to get it done.  Most of my Christmas gifts will be 'custom made' and this year quite a bit of that is in the form of knitting.  I do have some things cut out that I'll be sewing, but not near as much as I usually do.  I'm heading a committee to make a float for an Electric Light Parade,  that will be fun... I know I'll enjoy every minute of it. 
Anyway.... seeing as how the Holidays seem to have had their 'kick off', I will wish you all low stress, patient shoppers and happy times spent with family and friends.  And something I will do, regardless of whether it's politically correct or not, I will wish people a Merry Christmas not just Happy Holidays.  Those who celebrate Kwanzaa or Hanukkah or other 'seasonal' holiday, I hope they understand that my Merry Christmas is meant in the true spirit of the season. 


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

and for today......

Yesterday's post has brought me to today's post.  I don't belong to the local quilt guild.  I really enjoy sewing with other people and actually get a lot accomplished when I do.  I don't take classes.  I'm pretty much a self-taught quilter.  Do I like classes?  Yes, I do.  Again it's the time spent with others who share a common interest.  So why don't I belong to a guild or take classes?  Well, have you ever been with a group of people and somewhere in that group there's at least one person who has that superiority complex?  I am who I am.... and I am certainly NOT a perfectionist.  And obviously, if you read yesterday's post, I'm not a fabric snob.  Okay, I'm not saying that buying fabric from the LQS makes you a snob...... what I am saying is that I don't think someone should look down their nose at me because I didn't buy from the LQS.  Yes, that has happened to me!  Same with classes.  Just an example here.... Pay to take the class> $35.  Buy fabric from the LQS @ $10 a yard (and that's on the low side around here) and you need approx. 5 yards.  So already at $85 and the quilt isn't finished - factor in buying batting, backing and what they heck, throw in the thread..... And..... what if you don't quilt yourself but send your quilts out for quilting?  Oh, yes, I've heard the comments  like "well if I'm going to put that much of MY time and effort into something......"  or the one "well, I just think that my (family member here) is worth it....."  Well, folks, I quilt because I enjoy it - my time spent is more relaxation - I don't consider it a chore.  And my family members - they know me.... and my grandkids, I hope they drag their quilts around and use them for tents and love them to pieces - literally!  If I ever do make that heirloom quilt (which I seriously doubt), then I guess I'll simply have to tell the recipient ( or whoever inherits) that they are to put it in a nice clean, cotton pillow case (or I'll provide one made from the fabrics in the quilt), put it on a shelf,or better yet, in one of those acid free boxes,  take it out occassionally to refold (don't want any breakdown), take it out only on a special occasion and pray it will last for hundreds of years when no one will remember who I was, only that I made a nice quilt once.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Fabric - LQS or 'big box' fabric?

Another cold, rainy day here in AZ.  I have the table topper ready to quilt and I decided to take a coffee break. While I was finishing up piecing the table topper, I noticed I have several different 'types' of fabrics.  I know that one is from a quilt store.  I remember buying it when some friends and I did a shop hop.  I know one piece I ordered from an online store at a discount price.  Another piece I know I bought it a Hancock's and then I used a sheet for my embroidered blocks and setting triangles.  And it all works together (at least I think so).  I have one piece of fabric I used that is 'thinner' than the rest, but other than that, not much difference at all.  So,  it got me thinking about the fabrics in my stash.  Very few were purchased at a quilt store.  Quite simply, I  couldn't afford to make a quilt more than maybe twice a year if I was paying what the quilt stores charge.  I do realize that the 'big box' fabric / craft stores have the advantage of buying in large quantities over what an independently owned quilt store buys.  But I wonder if almost double the cost is really necessary?  Okay, I'm not meaning to discourage buying from your LQS,  and if I was going to make that heirloom quilt that I hoped to last for generations, I would go and purchase from the LQS.  Yes there is a difference...... but I have to say that I've bought some gorgeous fabric at the big box stores and I've bought some crap from the LQS.   My own personal opinion is that I use what I can afford (yet not able to read through) and that allows me the ability to make more than just a couple quilts a year.  All fabrics are not created equal - even in the LQS.
Please note this is my own opinion and not meant to influence others.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

I know it's somewhere!

Well, if I could find my camera, I'd actually post a couple pictures!!!!
I think I finally have the hives under control.  After a month of this, I sure hope so......  It's amazing how itching can affect your focus.  I simply couldn't concentrate in the sewing room, but I was able to knit.  I think it might have had something to do with the hands moving constantly?????
I'm working on a fall themed table runner.  I should be able to finish it tomorrow.  I have the backing for the chenille quilt.  I'm going to use a cream color fleece without a batting.    I will get it on the frame after finishing the table runner tomorrow and it will be ready to go.
I have made a few stockings for the Stocking for Kids project (see button to the right).  As I was putting the stockings together, I wondered if there was a need for something similar in my area.  I'm sure there probably is, but I've committed to this project and will send the stockings.  In the meantime, I will research to see about the need locally.  I know our local Elk's Lodge holds a Christmas party for kids, so will start there for next year..... 
Until next time, and hoping to locate my camera,  wishing you creative thoughts.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

top finished at least!

Picture doesn't show well, but the solid blocks are chenille.  I'm thinking this will end up being a birthday quilt for someone special (can't say here, she may read). I haven't decided on a backing yet but I'm leaning toward a cream color fleece without using a batting.  Here in AZ we don't really need to have a lot of extra layers!
I haven't been doing much sewing at all - actually I haven't been doing much at all.  I'm battling a severe case of hives.  My family doctor threw up her hands after giving me some pretty hefty steroid and sent me to a dermatologist who has put me on a prescription antihistamine (that doesn't seem to be working either).  I wake up feeling drowsy and spend most of the day in a fog and because of the itching my focus is, quite simply, crap!  I am able to knit, so I guess my time is not completely  wasted but right now I really should be working on my Christmas projects.  I have fabric and patterns stacked together - so I suppose it's a start.  My hubby has gone hunting, been gone 5 days now and normally this is my most productive time with no interruptions.....May have to hope for the best when he takes his next hunt the week after Thanksgiving......
Anyway....if you follow me on a regular basis, I will apologize for not being so active with my blog- just not much to write about.

Katie who's tired of itching.......