Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Decorating

I spent time on Saturday, most of the day, getting the Christmas decorations out and the tree up. Hubby carried in all the bins full of Christmas cheer.  
He complained that we had too much but when I tried to get rid of something, he was not having it.  Last year he didn't want to help so I only put up the tree.  
Told him if he wasn't helping I wasn't doing.  
This year he was the one asking me if I was going to get it done and chomping at the bit to help me.  A change from last year to be sure!

I sometimes forget how much I love my decorations.  We did get the tree decorated. 
We also got the entire Santa collection put out too.


I have a ceramic Christmas tree that was gifted to my mom when I was a child.  
I loved this tree and it was always a treat to be able to choose where the lights went on it.  
Anyone know where you can get additional lights from?


We also came across this child swinging on a star that used to belong to my grandma. 
 I was wondering what happened to it and was so thrilled to find it in my Christmas things.  
Guess I must have taken it a long time ago and forgotten!  
Sorry for the bad photo!


I have made cross stitched Christmas stockings for my girls
 (the last one nearly did me in, took me 18 years to finish it!).  
I did a simpler version for my husband.
  Now I am wondering if I should make one for my son and one for myself.  
Here is what we have so far.

Mom and dad stockings (I love the cat one!)


Daughter number 1


Daughter number 2


Number one son


I also have an angel collection.  
When I was a girl, my mom and dad had this beautiful angel that went on the top of our tree. 
 She had a porcelain head and the most beautiful gauzy body and wings.  
One year, after I was married, my mom boxed her up and gave her to me.  
That was the beginning.  We were shopping at an antique shop and I found another, 
then another and, well, you can guess where that ended up!  
Now I pick them up when I see them.  
Here is my collection so far.  
I adore the angel in the bright pink feathers!


The angel under the lamp is one of a pair from my grandparents house too.  

I have been busy sewing too.  
We had a Secret Santa thing in the lab.  
I made a trivet to go along with the other gifts for my person.  
It turned out so cute. (again poor lighting)


I also finished another one that will be a gift and just need to bind 2 more.  
I have a few more to make so will show you those as I get them finished.  
The pattern if from Patchwork Please, love that book!

People on IG were asking me about how I finished them. 
 After paper piecing the top I cut a back and Insul-bright batting piece to fit the top,
 with extra all around like this.


I used a monofilament thread from Superior Threads to do the quilting.  
Then I trimmed the piece and put on the binding. 
 I sewed the binding to the back and turned to the front.  
I glue basted the binding around the front and then machine stitched the binding in place on the front, again, I used the monofilament thread.


I am so pleased with how this came out!  
I am making some jars of beer bread to go with the trivets.  
Just add beer, mix , pour 1/4 cup of melted butter over the top and bake.  Such great bread!

 I plan to get a bit more shopping finished today then hope to get all the wrapping finished this week.  Kelsey is home on Saturday and hubby has his "procedure" on Friday.  

How was your weekend? 

~XOP~


Monday, December 08, 2014

My New Great Niece and the Holly Dicken's Festival

My chenille blanket arrived and my new niece is now wrapped up in some love from me! 
 Isn't she a doll?


This weekend we did a little Christmas shopping and 
on Sunday we ended up in Holly for the Dicken's Festival.  



We try to go every year.  
There are characters from A Christmas Carol strolling around some were singing, some were acting.  Always fun.


There was a live nativity too.


I think this was the first year there was no snow. 
 I usually pick up a few "creepy elves" for my daughter but there was not a creepy elf to be found.  Sad.  I did spy a "Pansy bowl". 
 Have you ever seen them?  
My grandma had one, hers was green.  
You put Pansies in all the slots and eventually you end up with a beautiful Pansy ball. 
 I would love to find one of these.  
This one was close but the slots were a little big and it was not quite domed enough.


I did find this adorable reindeer but not creepy enough and my daughter said 
we are keeping to elves or angels or Santas.  
So I left him in the store.


I tried these odd felt animals but she said no go with those either.


I found the cutest apron. 
 I think, in the future, I may try to make one similar.  
Wouldn't this be adorable with Dresden plates along the hem?


Of course hubby liked this cuter apron. 
 He really wanted to get it for me, but between you and me, I think he had ulterior motives ; ) 
 It was kind of sassy!


On Saturday we did some thrifting in our shopping extravaganza and
 I found this great cake stand, still in the original box! 
 It is called Spirit of Christmas made by Portmeirion.
 I think it looks pretty Scandinavian, don't you?




Well that was my weekend, almost, in a nut shell. 
 I did get a couple of things cut out and ready to sew. 
 I REALLY need to get the Christmas decorations put up, the tree too. 
 Most of the Christmas shopping got done though and that's a great thing.  
I am making some things this year and we are cutting way back, obviously, 
since hubby is still unemployed.

How was your weekend??

~XOP~


Friday, December 05, 2014

Naughty Bunnies

I am in a naughty swap called bitchesgetstitchesswap.  
We are using bad language and some other fun things (as you saw in my last post) for our swap gifts.  I did use some of the bunny fabric to make the cutest little trivet for my swap partner. 
 It is from the book Patchwork Please.  
There are some fabulous patterns in this book. 
My friend Ayumi is the author.  
You can find her amazing book right here on Amazon.  
Since the naughty bunnies are the centerpiece I thought I should surround them with some overly sweet fabrics, maybe giving them some privacy eh? 
 So I choose Scrumptious for the fabrics (it also has the word scrump in it, giggle).  I
 used insulbright for the batting so it could be used for a trivet for something hot.  
You could also just use it for a mug rug. 
 So here is my little naughty trivet.


Here is what the back looked like before I sewed the binding down.  


I think it came out cute.  
Several of the co-workers that I showed it to did not realize what the bunnies were up to, so I think it is subtle enough not to be offensive to anyone that may see it. 
 Although if you are participating in this particular swap I would hope you are ready for whatever! 
 I think I may make some of these for Christmas gifts this year too.  
Would YOU be happy to receive one of these trivets?
(not with the naughty bunnies, just with pretty fabric).

I have another idea too for a mini quilt for my partner. 
 I don't think she views my blog so I will show you the embroidery I have planned.  
I am still contemplating how to make it into a mini quilt but I have some ideas.  
You know of my love of peacocks so this incorporates that.


I would embroider the peacock and the words (already traced on to fabric)
then do some kind of border.
I am considering some form of flying geese, probably from my friend Kelly's patterns.
I love her Goosing borders so that will probably be the one.
You may need her patterns too.  They are stunning!

I need to figure out a color scheme for the embroidery yet, but I am excited to get started.

I am linking up with Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Have a great weekend!

~XOP~




Tuesday, December 02, 2014

A Quick Finish

I did have some time to sew over the weekend and 
decided that my newest great niece needed a chenille blanket. 
 So I just whipped one up!  
Each time I make one that one is my favorite and this was no exception!  
Of course I had a little help 
(purr usual).


I decided this vintage looking bunny fabric would be a great fit for a chenille blanket.
As usual I chose 3 colors. 
 I have yellow for the uncut layer and then used the aqua to form a sandwich
 with a retro pink in the middle.  
This is what it looked like after it was cut and before I washed it.  
I have been working on my machine binding and it is improving. 
 I did glue baste the binding and then could literally zoom around the blanket and stitch it down!
  This is the tutorial I learned how to glue baste from, if you are interested in learning how too. 
 It sure makes binding easier, by hand or machine.


This is what it looked like after it was washed and dried.  
I have a tutorial on how to make this right here if you are interested in learning how to make it.  These are definitely my "go to" baby gift. 
 They are relatively inexpensive to make, make up quickly and are so loved by the babies!  
I can't even begin to tell you how tactile these are. 
 Thanks to my friend, Pauline, for introducing me to this great technique!


I joined a swap and it is called the Bitchesgotstitchesswap.  
I am in the Profanity Party group.  
It is a swap where we make something using a swear word, or innuendo or something a little "racey".  We were pretty much given the go ahead to make whatever we wanted. 
 My partner has not posted one single thing that shows me her tastes.  
No color choices, no words or statements, no idea of the kind of project she would like
 (ie a bag, mini quilt, wall hanging or whatever).  
We are supposed to make 2 things to send.  
I have decided that I want to make a bag for one of the items.  
I have never made a bag in my life!  
HAHAHA, 
so I found an "easy" pattern on the web and went for it, making a practice bag this weekend.  
Notice the fish, so of course it is for my daughter.  
I used this tutorial to make this Dumpling bag and it really was quite easy!


Now my zip is not perfect but it was my first bag! 
 I will be making some of these for Christmas gifts I think. 
 Here is the inside of the pouch.  
I thought it looked like fish skin (scales) so used this for the lining.


I found this fabric at Spoonflower and though it would work for the pouch. 
 Kama Sutra bunnies, LOL.  
I bought this when they were having their BOGO sale a few weeks ago.  
The bunnies are quite large so maybe something else.  
I have a few things in mind.  





I would like to try making a boxy pouch next.  
I have seen a couple of tutorials online and one in a book that I have. 
 I like the one that has all the seams enclosed so might give that one a try. 
 I also found a great pattern for a trivet (in a book) and 
may use the bunnies as a center in the trivet (could also be a mug rug). 
 More on these things later once I have time to make them.  

I can see that I will be making some of these things for Christmas presents.  
That dumpling bag made up super quick so 
that will be one of the things I make several of for Christmas.  
What are you making for Christmas gifts?  
I am always looking for new ideas!  

~XOP~



Monday, December 01, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend

I can't even begin to tell you all the things that happened last week!  
Hubby had kidney stones.  
That was not fun for him at all. 
It was not fun for me either. 
I took the bus to work that day so had no car to go home and get him.
I called my son and he drove hubby to the ER, then I walked over to the ER.
Upon release, I met my daughter and got her car keys, went back to the lab to get my things, got the car and drove to the ER to get hubby.
Then we dropped off his prescription and dropped him at home.
I went back to get the meds, and do the Thanksgiving shopping, drove home, put away the food.
Then back to work to pick up my daughter and then back home so she could drop me off.

She and I ended up going to see Mocking Jay part one and it was fabulous!

Hubby seems to be ok. 
We think they passed as the pain is now gone.  
He goes to the doctor on Wednesday to see how things are and hopefully get cleared to fly again.  

We only had our eldest daughter and son for Thanksgiving at our house so we had a small turkey.   
It was actually one from our daughter's farm.  
We decided to cook it open over the stuffing (we saw that on tv) and it was fabulous! 
 This is what it looked like.  
I don't know about you but I like the stuffing inside the bird the best (the other is often dry) and
 this way all of the stuffing had juice from the turkey and it was amazing!



On Friday we did not go Black Friday shopping in stores, but in the afternoon we did go to the farm for awhile to help replace the roof on the chicken coop (an old Rubbermaid shed).  
Then we went to Depot Town and walked around.  
There was a fly shop hubby wanted to go visit.  
We went into some antique/thrift shops too. 
 In one of the shops they had these amazing Kit Kat clocks.  
I had only seen them in black so was super excited to see one in turquoise! 
 Wouldn't this be adorable in my aqua sewing room?? 
 Maybe I will have to ask Santa for one for Christmas?


Then we hunkered down and did some online shopping. 
 I did order a roll of batting from Joann while it was on sale and a few other things from a few places.  As I was ordering, Aiden decided to do some kitty lovin' on my.  
It was so cute I had to take a video to share.


I did finish a few things this weekend also but will save those for another post. 
 I sure wish the weekends were longer.  
We started cleaning and bringing in the Christmas stuff. 
 I hope to have the tree up this week! 
 How are you coming along in your Christmas decorating?

~XOP~


Friday, November 21, 2014

Snowy Daisies is Finished

I worked like a fiend last weekend to finish the binding on this one. 
 I am so happy to have it finished and ready to gift next week!  
I will link up to Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts when the link is live 
and I have a minute.

I thought I would just show you the photos I took of the finished quilt.
I designed thus pattern
It us for sale in my ETSY shop


You are seeing it in all of it's crinkly post wash goodness!


My friend Kathy of Thread Bear Quilting did the quilting and I LOVE it!


See those Guising (Lizzy House) ghosts?  Love them too!


I think my favorite added fabric is this block with Sebastian from the Ghastlies! 
 Notice the cat rumps?


I just wrote on the back for the label.  


I used my signature stamp made by my friend Yuki too. 
 If you blow this up really HUGE you can see  teeny tiny Japanese characters 
in the lower left corner of the pinwheel. 
 That spells my name in Japanese.  She carved this out of stone for me! 
 What a wonderful friend!  
The pinwheel is the size of my thumbnail, maybe half an inch square.  
She is amazing.


I used the gluing technique to glue down the binding prior to hand stitching it in place.  
I sure do love that technique.  
Binding is really hard on my holding hand, not the stitching one and when it is all glued in place it is so much easier on my hand. 
 I was able to do all the binding in one 3.5 hour sitting.
 More importantly I was not crippled doing it!

So there you have it.  Snowy Daisies is complete and will be gifted next week.

My daughter is coming home from North Carolina tonight and I am so excited!  
We are going to spend all day Friday together.  I can't wait!  
She has a wedding to go to on Saturday so I will be trying to get that Christmas stocking finished.  Wish me luck with that.

What do you have planned for the weekend?