Sunday, November 25, 2012

I must be slipping

Okay, if you’re looking for pictures, I will tell you right up front ‘there aren’t any’.  As for my title, if you follow me you’ll note that unless I’m in the midst of some serious creating, I only post maybe once a week.  This makes a second consecutive post!!!

I think the upcoming Holidays are making me chatty – or maybe I’m being chatty to avoid creating?????  Either way, I find I’m not wanting to do the sewing I need to be doing right now.  I can think of at least 10 things I’d rather be playing around with.  And as I think of those, I wonder how I can incorporate them into gift giving – so maybe it’s not a total loss.  And of course my gift list keeps growing.  I think we naturally think of the gifts that we will present to those who we will be spending our holiday with.  Then I start thinking of those I just care enough about that I want to give just a small something to.  Oh, and don’t forget something for the g-kids stockings….. do they really need to be stuffed????  And oh dear – what about the cards that need to be sent???? I want to make special cards for this one and that one – great! now I’m adding to my ‘create’ list…….  AND I have a few more item I really, truly must finish for donating to the VA hospital Christmas party….

Now you’d think that after all the years of doing this, going through the same chaotic thoughts, every year that I would start the next year’s Christmas preparations after the New Year.  That would certainly make much better sense.  I mean, seriously, there are tons of things I could make and put aside.  I started some preparations in Jan. 2012 – NO, really, I DID!!!  but then I get side tracked and don’t worry about it because after all Christmas is still months away.  Then those months start spinning by and I get thrown off and here I am – trying to figure it all out.  How will I manage to get it all done?  Well, I don’t really know.  What I do know is that one way or another, I will survive the chaos and still enjoy those I love through these next few weeks…..

Now I have a question (well maybe a couple)…. I’m on a relatively tight budget as I am voluntarily unemployed.  Last year I gifted my ex son-in-law with a couple nice shirts that I bought at a thrift store.  They were top-of-the-line shirts that cost less for 2 than half of one would have been new.  I washed them, pressed them and he was tickled with them.  I’ve seen him wear them on more than one occasion.  I really like making those mug rugs.  A couple years ago, I made a few mug rugs and again bought some cute mugs at the thrift store and filled them with treats and gifted the ‘set’.  Again, something very inexpensive that was well received.  My question to you is (and please be honest) what are your thoughts on regifting or repurposing/recycling for gift giving?  I have a couple family members who I really hate doing any sort of gifting for.  The reason is I don’t feel it’s ever enough.  The handcrafted items aren’t good enough for them and the purchased items aren’t their style or a multitude of other reasons…. and it could be a ‘just me’ thing, but I still feel that way.  Yes, I know just get them a gift card and be done with it – but then I feel like that is so impersonal.  No thought or real consideration given…… But it’s what I’m going to do this year.  Maybe I can make a cute little mug rug with a little pocket and put the card in it????? Okay, maybe I will feel better about the gift card after all.

SO on that note and my excessive rambling – I will run along and wish you a happy Sunday.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

And so it begins……

First I will start with a picture….

scrappy log cabinThese are the Scrappy Log Cabin blocks that I sent on for the Sandy victims.  After I finished them and put them up on the design wall, I wondered to myself why I didn’t commit to 9????? I have no idea why I said 8…… I would have added another, but we were told to send only the amount we originally signed up for.

I hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  My DIL and son did a great job as usual.  My DIL’s both sets of parents were there so my G-kids were so fortunate to have all their grandparents together – and yes we all get along very well.

And then comes “Black Friday”…. How about you?  did you venture out into the madness of the beginning of the Christmas shopping / commercial season?  I admit to thinking about it….. but I could not think of one thing that I would probably be able to buy as a “door buster” so it just wasn’t worth my sanity.  I did, however, do some on line shopping and got a few deals.  I had been thinking of buying a baby doll for my ‘almost 3’ year old granddaughter.  My plans were to get a doll and sew a wardrobe for it.  OMG – it’s been a long time since I bought a baby doll – talk about what I consider being over priced!  SO what did I do,  I came across the Dollie & Me series on line at Kohls.  They are comparable to the American Girl dolls (I think).  Called my DIL and asked her opinion and she thought it would be a good idea.  And… the more I thought about it, my granddaughter does not know anyone who has a small baby so interaction with a doll makes more sense for one ‘like her’.  Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I have already looked at patterns to start making doll clothes Smile

And forward to more Christmas stuff…… I used to love decorating for Christmas.  Not so much anymore.  I do put some decorations up simply because Christmas is held here and I think I should do it for the G-kids….. Maybe my 17 yr old granddaughter, Kari, will come and decorate for me – now there’s a thought….

The baking… Crazy – when I worked a full time job, I’d spend my weekends baking.  The cookies, candies and breads.  Now that I am voluntarily unemployed I don’t do that much.  Maybe a few varieties of cookies and the family insist on the fudge.  I certainly don’t need it and I really don’t want my G-kids to have that much sugar either.  Something I do that the kids enjoy – dipped pretzels.  They like the white chocolate coated pretzels. 

And the sewing…… I an definitely cutting back this year.  I normally sew something for each of the kids.  Mostly it’s been flannel PJ’s – so now I’m a little tired of making flannel jammies.  So, I’m knitting slipper socks for all of them  (like that’s going to save time!)  My 21 year old grandson has been making comments about a quilt.  I may think about that for him.

Okay, so yes it begins.  The indecision, the chaos, but most of all the total joy of the season and thanking God once again that I have the many reasons to have the commercial chaos and I do always remember the reason for the season!

As this busy time of year begins, I hope you all will be patient with those who aren’t, remember to drop a few coins in the red buckets and if possible to give to your fellow man/woman/child who has less.

Happy beginning of the Holidays,


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish you all a day filled with peace.  I have so very much to be thankful for that I could not begin to list all my blessing.  Top of the list, naturally, is my family; a husband who supports my quilting and other craft endeavors, children who think I hung the moon (and I won't tell them differently), grandchildren who give me so much joy simply by being.  I am lucky to be a citizen in a country of many freedoms.
As I said, there are too many blessing to list but I do thank God everyday for the blessings I have.  He is the power, the inspiration, the encouragement for me.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

word verification

I had turned off word verification, but I have received a lot of spam so word verification is back on.  For those of you who won't leave comments because of this, I'm sorry you feel that way.....


Saturday, November 10, 2012

just a note

Happy Saturday to all.
Just a quick update note - Tech came and got the quilter back up and running.  The 5 'clothing' quilts are DONE!! YeeHA!  I am satisfied with how they turned out, but I would not hurry to do something like that again.  They ended up being more labor intensive than I had anticipated and because I had already given the lady a quote, I won't change that.  I figured out the approximate time I spent on these quilts along with what I quoted her for labor - I might have made $1 a hour........    Oh well, lessons learned and I'm hoping these quilts will recall some fond memories.
So what will I be working on next??? Christmas sewing, of course.   I am planning on making doll clothes for my (almost) 3 yr old granddaughter.  She also will get her pink camo 'outfit'..... Coming from a family of hunters, she MUST have her camo!!!  I want to make a few sets of zippered bags to put in a purse for the ladies in the family.  At this point, I'm not planning on the usual flannel PJ's that I normally do, so I'm thinking my Christmas sewing will at the minimum level.  Of course, I could change me mind :-)
Until next time,


Saturday, November 3, 2012

At a stand still…….

Have the 'clothing’ quilt tops finished, one on the frame ready to quilt….. and what happens?  Again, the quilter is not playing nice.  I finally threw my hands up and today a tech will be out to work on it.  Wonder if he can give it a flu shot that will keep it healthy for a year??? well, it’s a thought!

Okay, on to some pictures:

IMG_1772Girl quilt #1.   Her grandma had already started to cut up pieces so everything had to be patchworked or appliqued.  Second row, right – the booties must have been cut off bottoms where the footies were included.  The tops were raw edge.  I took out the elastic and zig zag stitched to hold the gathers in place.  I used a very light interfacing and stitched around the entire applique, split the interfacing and turned right sides out to create the applique.  I did learn from this experience that I will never do another ‘clothing’ quilt without the clothing being intact!

IMG_1776Girl quilt #2.  Her clothing was intact!  The red target fabric was from what I believe to be a pair of pajama bottoms.  The pink w/black dots was from a cute outfit that I believe was home made (very well done, also)  The blue check is from a shirt that was used when she painted something.  I included it, paint and all.  I also have the pocket from the shirt incorporated.

Now this: IMG_1777was hard for me to cut up.  It was the cutest little dress with lace trimmed panties and the bonnet.  I removed the yoke from the dress, cut the bonnet in half and appliqued it to the background.  The small floral print on each side is from the skirt of the dress.


Boy quilt #1.  Again, a lot of his clothing had been cut.  The “skydiving” block (2nd row right) was in two pieces.  I used a fusible web to applique anything that was a jersey fabric.  The plaids in this quilt are from his shirts.  I also kept his shirt pocket intact.

IMG_1775The pockets are things I will need to be aware of when I start quilting.  I don’t want to close them.

IMG_1779Mom’s quilt.  She had included the kids’ ‘home from the hospital’ caps and T’s.  At first, I was very hesitant to cut those tiny T’s, but I realized that they weren’t something her own children would use for their children when the time came, as their children would come home from the hospital with their own caps & T’s.  Mom had also included some of her T shirts to be included.  The stripe blocks are made from the sleeves cut off the children’s T shirts.  This lady did not have any specific requests for these quilts other than that her favorite color was purple.

IMG_1780The center of mom’s quilt.  I embroidered little name tags for each of the kids’ caps and attached them to their blocks.  The bottom block with the knit cap…. the tie around the top was done using paper curling ribbon.  Because I wanted these quilts to be washable, I removed that ribbon and replaced it with satin ribbon and secured the ribbon with a few tack stitches.  I was fortunate enough to have the same color satin ribbon as the curling ribbon.

There is one more boy’s quilt but it is on the frame awaiting completion.  He must have been very athletic as there were several team T’s that I was able to use.  Most of his quilt is a more traditional T-shirt quilt.

And because of the quilter being down and having these tops done, I decided to make up a few more blocks for my Christmas quilt.  I think I’m really going to love this quilt when I get it completed:


Before the quilter went down, I had someone bring me a small quilt to quilt.  I did have to end up finishing the quilting on the regular machine…. ah, I am so spoiled by the quilter!

IMG_1767This was made by a non quilter.  We have a mutual friend who had prepared for retirement by buying fabric, notions, gadgets, books, you name it…. Her retirement dream was to learn to quilt.  Unfortunately, this dear woman is losing her eyesight and asked my friend to make the quilt for her.  So together I think we did a nice job and I hope it brings our friend joy.

That’s it for now (as if you aren’t bored already!)  I have g-son’s ball game this morning and the machine tech this afternoon.  I so look forward to some quilting time without frustrations…..