Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year to all!! I worked all day today and will also be working tomorrow. However, I still plan on joining the twitter quiltchat for New Year's Eve. I took part in the chat last year and it was a lot of fun. I won't be able to stay up quite as late as I'd like but I will try it for a little bit. It's so much fun to talk to other quilters and they give away some great prizes. All the directions can be found on the blog or on Stitchin Heaven's facebook page. Maybe I'll see you there!

How is everyone celebrating? We had Chinese food for dinner. It's just my family and whomever the kids want to invite. It's very low key and just time to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. I usually cook some appetizers but working all day sapped my energy. I plan on watching The Twilight Zone marathon for awhile. My husband wants to watch the Three Stooges but I hope to talk him out of it!

Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's Eve and a great beginning to 2012! See you next year!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blogger's BOM #4

I was very excited to make the fourth block of Blogger's Block of the Month! I got a new cutting table for Christmas and felt this was the perfect opportunity to try it out! I wasn't surprised about the cutting table since I bought it from Joann's during a sale. I just kept it in the garage and told my husband that the box was from him. He figured it was some quilting item and didn't seem too curious about it. I did make him put it together for me Christmas afternoon. My son helped him. With a minimum of swearing, it was put together and ready for me to use!! I have a sewing room that I share with our computer and this table is great for the space I have. It folds up and easily tucks into a corner when not in use.

Here's a photo. I only used half the table. I also got a mat that covers the whole table when fully opened. So nice to have my own space. I have been using the kitchen counter. It never works out when someone wants to eat or use the counter to cook.  Imagine interrupting quilting and sewing to cook!! I just love my new table.

Here are my 4 blocks so far! I just love those Kaffe Fassett fabrics. So colorful and fun!! Looking forward to making more of them!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

From my home to yours, Merry Christmas!! Enjoy the holiday!! Eat, drink and be merry!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

More Christmas decorations.......

I've been decorating the house and thought it would be fun to post a couple of items. My dad was a tailor before he retired. He made us Christmas stockings when we were little. As we got married and had families of our own, he would make stockings as close to the ones he made me and my brother. They weren't exactly alike since the material was a little different. When I look back, I think this may have been my first exposure to quilting or patchwork, as my dad called it.

He had fabric that was commercially available with embroidered Christmas items. He would cut around the embroidery and make a stocking. He knew someone with an embroidery machine who embroidered our names on the top. My stocking is exactly the same but the colors are just red and green. This is my son's stocking which is the last one he made since he's the youngest grandchild.

I took a hand applique class with Mary Sorenson quite a few years ago. This is the quilt she gave us to practice some of her techniques. I actually display it year round. She had some very neat techniques to teach us. I'm not sure if I remember them all but I did keep all my class papers she passed out. This was fun to make. I also hand quilted it but machine quilted the borders and also sewed the binding on by machine.

This was a stocking we bought for our cat, Ricky! I didn't want him to feel left out so I decided to add this also. We've had it for years and actually put a few toys in there for him every year. He doesn't always like what we got so we end up playing with them hoping he'll join in. He usually doesn't! I think he may be laughing at us when we're not looking! We just like including him whether he appreciates it or not!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Almost Christmas!

Last week was a tough week to get through. Between the shopping and decorating, my son's school apartment had a fire. At first, I was told it was relatively small and nothing to worry about. However, 2 hours later, the fire was finally under control but the building is now condemned. The school was wonderful and made sure Ben and his roommates had food, shelter and clothing. We only live about half an hour away, so Ben came home at the end of a very long day. The fire started around 9am and he got home around 8pm. We're happy no one was hurt but Ben lost quite a few electronic items. Needless to say, I am somewhat behind decorating but thought I would post a few things I've made and am finally getting to put up.

This is an ornament I made using directions I bought from Ann S. Lainhart. She vends at many quilt shows and owns The Quilted Gallery in Gloucester, MA. I made an ornament from her directions but she also has patterns to incorporate this kaleidoscope into a pocketbook. She makes bargello jackets as well.  The trick is to find the right fabric. She explains it all in her pattern. I found this fabric at Joann's and it's the same fabric used in the pattern instructions. I really love how it came out.

I made this tree skirt about 15 years ago. I found a pattern in a quilt shop. I had just started to sew and quilt. I bought the fabrics from Keepsake using their catalog and actually received advice from the woman taking my order over the phone!  I still like how it came out although I had no clue what I was doing when I made it!

Hope you enjoy my photos. I'm still trying to get my house back to normal. I have many of Ben's things in boxes in my formal dining room. I didn't expect to deal with more boxes this time of year but I'm just thrilled everyone is okay. It could have been so much worse. I guess boxes aren't so bad after all!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Santa

Just finished this Santa wall hanging. I started it the day after Thanksgiving. My daughter, Becca, was home and chose most of the fabrics. It's a Debbie Mumm pattern from one of her books. I've had the book sitting around for ages. I cut the pieces out on Friday and then started to sew on Saturday. I've always hoped Becca would get interested in quilting but she was working on her homework when I actually started to sew this together. I did teach her to knit and she has knit a few items. This Santa is now hanging near my fireplace. It was nice to add another Christmas decoration to my collection.

I've been knitting constantly trying to make good progress on socks for my dad. I'm just about turning the heel on the first sock of the second pair I hope to give my dad for Christmas. I love to knit but working with a deadline takes the fun away. This pattern is a little different. It almost forms a thermal sock with ridges that are supposed to really keep your feet warm. I hope they work!

My house is all decorated except for the actual tree. The kids will be home this weekend and we'll get the tree all done. I've even wrapped a few gifts. All the gifts that have to be mailed are well on their way. I guess I've made some progress but I still feel I have a long way to go!

Ricky, our cat, got his gift early this year. His old bed had been washed too many times and the stuffing was starting to come out. He now has a brand new bed.
 I think he likes it!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas decorations

We're a bit slow decorating the house. I've started putting out a few things but the big items are still up in the attic. I usually wait until either my husband or one of the kids is around to help me set up.  I did put up some of my quilted decorations so I thought I would share them with you.   

I made this table runner last year. I found the pattern on the C & T website. I'm not sure why but I love using free patterns. I have so many books but love to find a freebie! I just loved the whimsical look. I also like to applique so it was fun to make. I did all the applique by hand but machine quilted it.

I made this little door hanger last year also. I used a pattern from Quilting Arts. I suppose I should say I adapted this pattern since I did change a few things. I hang it on the door knob of my front door. My kids really like it.  It's also machine quilted and I did hand applique the tree. I added little Christmas bulb decorations to the tree. You can see a few of them in the picture.

I also finished one pair of socks for my dad for Christmas. They're just very basic knit socks. He uses them to keep warm. It's sort of ironic that my dad, the tailor, used to make my clothes and now I'm knitting for him. I guess we use whatever skills we possess to help each other out. I've already started his next pair. They're a little different. I wanted to try something new. I'll let you know how it's going when I finally reach the pattern. Ribbing can take awhile!

Old and New!

I made this quilt about 15 years ago. It's called Starry Night. I signed up for a Block of the Month. I would receive directions as...