Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!  I can't believe it's Christmas Eve already.  I'm as ready as I'm going to be.  Most of the food is pre-cooked for tomorrow, we had some of the family over for Christmas Eve Chinese earlier tonight, we drove around the neighborhood looking at the lights and luminarias, and the present are wrapped, well mostly...

My grandmother was a crocheter.  She made us all afghans, baby outfits, hats, gloves, etc. etc.  She also made ornamental items (we all got bathroom skunks  - to hold toilet paper - really, I'm not kidding-LOL!).  One year she made a couple of sets of carolers.  One set she didn't quite finish.  The "faces" weren't done.  My gram passed away in 2006 and my mom has been asking for a set ever since. It required me actually finishing them.  I was determined she was going to get them this year.  I pulled them out of the attic, did my best at making "faces" (I quilt, I don't crochet  and I was kind of stumped as to how to do it).  Monday night I stitched little mouths and had them all set out and put their hats on.  All 4 figures.  They were sitting on my cutting table, all ready for their "eyes".  I went to the craft shop on Tuesday and got "eyes".  Got my glue gun out and began finishing them up.  I got to the last one and couldn't find the hat.  It was there Monday night, I swear!!  I've been looking for that hat all week.  It's now 10:15 on Christmas Eve.  I give up.  So, mom's getting the set like this...

This poor little girl is still hatlesss....

If the hat mysteriously turns up, mom will get her next year.  It's still baffling me and irritating me that I can't find it!  Gram, however, will be pleased that I finished them off.  I miss her more every year.  o)

My machine has certainly been neglected these past couple of weeks, so I thought I'd make her feel better by dressing her up...


It's going to be another week before I can spend quality time with her...we're leaving for Disney World day after Christmas.  I'm looking forward to seeing Santa Mickey and all the holiday decorations.  I'm not sure it's too much warmer in Florida than it is here though - LOLOL!

Merry, Merry Christmas to you all!!

I'm off now to finish my eggnog and dream of sugar plums and Santa!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Philly Modern Quilt Guild Challenge

We had our challenge reveals at the Philly Modern Quilt Guild Meeting last Tuesday.  What fun.  We were given 4 fat quarters of Kona Solids (ruby, chocolate, snow and holly) and allowed to add 1 yard of fabric (the same or different adding up to 1 yard).

It is amazing what people come up with - so creative.  Some were "modern" some more traditional - all were fabulous!  I, not being terribly creative, went with the Christmas theme.  As soon as we got the fabrics, I pretty much knew what I was going to do and I was happy with the result....a really large table runner.  What am I going to do with it?  No idea.

I chose 1 yard of a paisley Christmas fabric from my stash that incorporated all the other colors.  I pieced together the red, brown and green "zig zags" first and my thought was to do all four fabrics that way - including the white.  Then I thought, I'd never put white in this quilt.  That was the challenge for me!  So, not wanting to take the easy way out and just do a white zig zag to get it done, I gave it some thought and decided to use it in the border.  Then, I thought I'd quilt the heck out of the white to give it some texture.  I really like the way it came out.  My first thought was pebbling.  I don't have microhandles on my HQ16 and I got about 1/4 of the way done on one triangle and my hands were a-hurtin'!  I quickly changed to very close loops and swirls and that was a bit better, but I was glad when it was done.  I then just did some straight lines in the solid zig zags. 

You can see the fabric I chose better in this photo.  You'll see it has gold in it.  So, when I got to the binding I was stumped again.  I didn't just want to use one of the solids (besides, I didn't have enough).  Black didn't work either, so I rummaged and pulled out a great gold I had in my stash and it worked great!

The second half of our meeting was an applique workshop with the wonderful Liz Hawkins of the Lizzie B Creative girls.  I was so looking forward to the workshop and got about 1/2 hour in and the headache that had been plaguing me all day reared itself again and I started feeling pretty bad so had to leave.  Up til then I was having a ball!  I'm looking forward to next month's meeting.  Our challenge is to come up with a challenge!  At first I thought, I could never think of something.  But something came to me a couple of days later.  I'll reveal that next month!

So, this weekend we had another Santa's bakeshop in my house.  Yesterday, I made more shortbread (I'm a little sick of shortbread about now), pizzelles, toffee, and got a start on the Hot Tarragon Mustard (from Robin Sue's Big Red Kitchen blog - she's doing an Advent recipe-a-day which has been fabulous - so many great holiday food items) that I'll finish up today.  That's a new one on my Christmas food-gift list. 

Oh another easy recipe for a fun food gift item is the recipe for Caramel Corn with Salted Peanuts I found last year on Molly Wizenberg's Orangette blog (well, easy if you can pop popcorn in the microwave properly - it's a long story, and many bags of popcorn were harmed in the making of the Caramel Corn this year.  But, I wanted to bring it to the guild meeting last week so I perservered).  This stuff is divine, I'm telling ya!

I can't believe this time next week "it will all be over" as we say in our house!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Challenge - Completed!

There was absolutely no sewing going on in my house this weekend.  A VERY rare occurrence in this household (and my fingers are itchy!!).  Instead this was going on all day yesterday...

It was Santa's bakeshop yesterday - all day long.  I made 16 pans of shortbread, and a batch each of peanut butter cookies,  Toll House Cookies, and Russian Tea Cakes.  I was exhausted by the end of it!  I'm not used to standing for 8 hours at a clip!! Today, we went to see the new Harry Potter and I made my Easy Refrigerator Pickles.  People L.O.V.E. these things.  They are a bit sweet and a bit spicy and super easy to make.  Hint though if you make them - I make a double batch and then make 4x the amount of liquid.

Luckily, by Thursday, I had already completed Sandy's (Quilting for the Rest of Us Podcast) Holiday Challenge to complete 3 gifts by the 15th of December!  Here we go...

Chris's quilt...
I used a feather pantograph and quilted in light lavender which worked really well...
Sandy's quilt...
I quilted in white and used a daisy pantograph....
Cathy's quilt...
This is quilted with the Happy Times pantograph in goldish thread...
It's nice to know I won't have to be sewing late on Christmas eve - unless I want to!  Now, I have to go wrap more presents!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Decorating

I wanted to hang this on the door in my kitchen this holiday season....

Unfortunately, it still looks like this...
So instead I hung the usual....
I was on a roll making these cute little advent wall hangings a number of years ago.  I don't remember how many I made and gave as gifts.  It was fun buying little tiny ornaments to put in each of the pockets around the border...
I just have to remember to hang an ornament each day ...
Now that it's back up again, I realize how much I like it.  I think when the other wallhanging is done (next Christmas at this point), I'll hang it on the living room closet door.  This one's kind of sentimental.  o:)