Wednesday, December 29, 2010

An Early Christmas Present . . . . .

On the eve of Christmas Eve, I got a call from my long arm quilter, Dawn at the Sewing Basket, she had a quilt all done and ready to come home, Sassy Toulouse!!

The pattern is Toulouse by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company and the fabric is Maison de Noel by 3 Sisters for Moda.

I finished this quilt back in February, it sure was a wonderful addition to my holiday weekend fun to be able to enjoy this quilt. Christmas Eve I was snuggled under this quilt on the red couch watching it snow. What a perfect way to break in a Christmas quilt!

This project was a sew along with Nicole/Sister's Choice and Lisa/Stashmaster. Nicole named us "Les Triplettes de Toulouse".

After working on this project for a couple of weeks, the red and cream background fabric started to overwhelm me, but once the top was all pieced, I warmed up to it and thought it gave the quilt a sassy Christmassy feel.

Well the background is still red, but absence has made the heart grow fonder, I really like it, the quilt shouts Christmas.

I love this pattern and the fabric is one of my most favorites, it will be hard to only have this quilt out on my red couch the month of December. The pattern went together so easily, I'm considering making another one, I think it would look good in Bliss, or some Fig Tree or Kansas Troubles fabric.....well, really, any fabric would look great with this pattern!

The quilting is a custom job, a nice amount of quilting in the center blocks, borders and flying geese. Running down the center of each Goose in the Pond block is a loopy Christmas Tree pattern in gold thread.

It's very subtle, and really hard to pick out in this picture, but I think it was a clever addition, a little Christmas surprise.

Sassy Toulouse finished at 75 X 75, has approximately 1561 pieces, and is Lifetime Quilt #55.

To read more about this project, select Quilt #55 from my Lifetime Quilt list on the right.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Let It Snow . . . .

One goal that I was able to accomplish for 2010 . . . . .

my Belle Meade half square triangle units!!

Here they are, not coming close to filling this basket, setting in the snow.

I even made 50 extra,
for a total of 706,
because I'm an over cutter,
and like choices,
and really loved making them!

Making these units in advance, for Belle Meade, could not have worked out better. There were more than a few days, especially in the last 2 weeks, where I would maybe squeeze out enough time to make 5, but they sure added up. And sometimes, just making 5 units, was all I needed to get my sewing fix, feel like I accomplished something, and then tackle something else on my Holiday To Do list.

The next time I have a project with what seems like an overwhelmingly number of small pieces and parts, I hope I'll be able to break it down over time, because that seemed to change a task that sounded tedious, monotonous, and tiresome into fun! Really, give it a try sometime!

We got snow for Christmas . . .

I sure hope snow didn't interfere with your holiday plans, at our house, it was just what we wanted . . .

and we made the most of it.

But now that Christmas is over, I'm over getting anymore snow!

Spring can come anytime now!

I tried to get a good Christmas 2010 picture of Cooper,
but he was not in the mood for it

At first he refused to even look at the camera,

And then, when I finally DID get him to look at me,

this is the face I got . . I have no idea why!

Don't feel sorry for Cooper, Santa took pity on him,

and put a nice new bone in his stocking.

Can you believe Christmas has come and gone......I enjoyed every minute, I hope yours was wonderful too.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Fahoo Fores, Dahoo Dores . .

Welcome Christmas, Christmas Day

I've shared a few photos of my home, all decorated for the season, but have held back on one little area......

the Christmas Tree in my sewing room.

This little pink jeweled fluffy tree is the me most people don't get to see. I LOVE pink and bling, but being a conservative women in my 50's, my love for pink and bling is usually not on display. Oh, I have a few pink baseball hats and sweatshirts, but my love for pink is usually saved for my socks and under garments!

But I didn't hold back when it came to my little tree in my sewing room.

I'm not sure which ornament I like more, Hello Kitty with a purse or the pink martini glass with a cherry, or maybe the fact that both live on the same tree, and put a smile on my face, is all that matters.

I hope you have a smile on your face this holiday weekend, thanks so much for being one of the gifts in my life.

Welcome, welcome Fahoo Ramus
Welcome, welcome Dahoo Damus
Christmas Day is in our grasp
So long as we have hands to clasp....

Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Red, White and Wonderful . . .

Thanks so much for all the border suggestions on my floating green and red star quilt. (Root Beer Float) Here's what I've decided, it's not going on my Lifetime Quilt List for 2010, which about makes me cry, there goes my goal of completing 12 projects for 2010. And in the end, I may decide that I am done with that quilt, but I really need to give a few of your border suggestions a try, which requires going through my stash looking for fabric, laying the quilt on the floor on a bright sunny day, and auditioning the options to find just the right combination.

Cindy, the designer of the pattern Root Beer Float, reminded me that a border going all the way around the quilt looks totally different than just a strip running down the side, so I need to think about that too. So I'm giving it a rest, for now, stay tuned for an update, hopefully sooner than later! One thing I do know for sure, when I find the perfect combination, I'll know it, there's not much gray area for me, I'm either all in or all out! Walking away for a week or two is the wise thing to do.
(being wise is no fun and so not me, but wise I'll be, this once!)

I have one last project on my 2010 To Do List that I'm hoping to squeeze in. I've pre-washed and pressed the fabric,

Roman Holiday by 3 Sisters for Moda. I think this fabric came out in 2007.

I had only been sewing for a little over a year when it was released and I totally missed buying any fabric from that family. Every now and then when a quilt pops up on a blog that used that fabric I just swoon, wishing I had some of my own to work into something.

Then, earlier this year, Lisa the Stashmaster decided to sell a few kits from her stash, kits that she really liked but didn't think she would ever make. If you follow Lisa's blog, you know that picking great fabric is one of her specialities. As soon as I saw this kit I was on it, I felt like I won the lottery!

The pattern was in the December 2007 issue of McCall's. The pattern is called Red, White & Wonderful and is designed by Gerri Robinson.

This quilt finishes at less than 60 inches square, I think wrapping up this year with this project will be perfect. The fabric is lovely, the piecing easy, no pattern or fabric changes on my part, really I swear, I'm sticking to this pattern, as is!


Here at home, the presents are wrapped, the decorating done, the groceries bought, nothing left to do but celebrate! I picked my daughter up at the airport yesterday so the party has officially started. Plus, we're in for a white Christmas, just what my California Girl wished for, thanks Santa!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's the Eve of the Eve of Christmas Eve!!!

Hey, I know it's the holidays, and you folks are busy with your own lives, but I can't believe one person couldn't take the time to explain to me the consequences of having delicious, light, buttery cookies sitting on the counter..........

They call your name, and you think, "hmmmm those cookies sure look good", I think I'll have just one"...... The next thing you know, there's nothing but crumbs on your cookie plate. I have 8 cookies left and I'm hiding those, in a container that is not clear glass, until my daughter gets home for Christmas. She can have two, I'll have two, my husband can have two, and that leaves 2 for Santa. I'm hoping that if those cookies start calling my name before Christmas Eve, I won't hear them!!

Looking for a last minute gift idea? How about fresh flowers? We received this beautiful holiday flower arrangement a few days ago. Fresh flowers don't immediately come to my mind when decorating for Christmas, but I just love having something beautiful and blooming, it adds such a nice touch to my regular decorations.

Where we live, there's nothing blooming outside, and the only green, the evergreens, covered with snow, so having something blooming inside is wonderful change of pace.

Are you in the mood for a Root Beer Float update.....

Well, I liked the the star blocks so much I decided to go with 4 rows of 4 blocks instead of the 3 by 3 that was my original plan.

And I kept a few red stars in the mix,

and tried to put them in the quilt in a random manner...yes that's my best random effort, I'm not really a random person, then I hit on this...

And said, "Hallelujah" (maybe I need to scale back on the Christmas music). So I sewed those blocks together before I could change my mind.

There was nothing but smiles all around my house, I was loving that center, all I needed to do was add my containment border and outer border, and I would have one more quilt on my Lifetime Quilt List and one less on my To Do List. What a way to wrap up the year.

This was the fabric I bought for the border, it's beautiful fabric, and when I cut it just right, it forms it's own containment border.

It looked so good in my head, but I think it overpowers the center, I think the black is too stark, too bold, too something not quite right......

That fabric also comes in red, which is even lovelier,

but not a good fit with what I've already done.

I could go with one of these,

The green is pretty but adds nothing to the overall look, the black could work, it's less bold than the other black but I don't think it adds anything either.....

I think I may be done....

I'm thinking this may be Lifetime Quilt Number 65, just like this.....

What do you think, does this quilt look done to you?

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Weekend of Family Christmas Fun . . .

Well you were right, once I gave "He Knows When You Are Sleeping" to my Dad, I felt great about it. My Dad was thrilled. I think he would have liked any quilt that I made, parents are like that, and I have an ugly Christmas quilt that would have fit the bill,

but I'm glad I gave him one that really suits him. I particularly liked Dianne's comment about me feeling sad to see this quilt go to a new home, "it will hug him when you can't, and you can't get any better than that". I could not agree more!

While I was home, I baked cookies with my Mom and niece and we made a great team. My Mom made the dough, I was the official roller, my niece the cutter/decorator, and then my Mom watched the oven, so technically I guess she was the baker.

This was the first time I'd made sugar cookies from scratch! I know, over 50 and just now making cookies, but it's never too late to learn!

When my daughter was smaller, we would make sugar cookies from the refrigerated prepared dough in your grocer's case. It was easy, they tasted OK, and the decorating was fun.

But once you've successfully made the real thing, I don't think there will be any going back to the old method. (I think wearing the hats was the secret to our success!)

As a matter of fact, they turned out so well, I'm thinking of buying cookie cutters for every holiday. I bought this Little Petite Candy Dish at Williams-Sonoma around Thanksgiving. They had it displayed in the store with candy and it looked so cute I couldn't pass it up. But once I got it home, it looked pretty sad, sitting empty on the counter.

Well it's empty no more!

yummy light buttery goodness.....

The funniest thing of all, I collect Christmas Cookie Jars, and my folks gave me #20 over the weekend... and I just love it and think it will look nice sitting out the rest of the winter.

But with all those cookie jars I collected over the years, they always sat empty! I NEVER made cookies.

And now that I've made cookies.....

they aren't going in a jar, I want to see them, so the cookie jars are STILL EMPTY!!


Two years ago, the Sunday before Christmas, we got the best present of all,

my folks gave us Cooper. It was a surprise, but aren't those the best presents! We couldn't keep him out from under the tree.....

and still can't!!

I hope you're enjoying the holidays at your house, from the decorating and baking to the time spent with family, it really is "the most wonderful time of the year".

Friday, December 17, 2010

He Knows When You Are Sleeping . . . . . . . .

Towards the end of last year, Nicole of Sister's Choice Quilts and Allyson of Fat Cat Quilts hosted a sew along, The Red and Cream Snowball Sew Along. The pattern is Leftovers Again? by Evelyn Sloppy from her 40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts book. The sew along was fun and some of us even swapped creams. The piecing was a breeze and my quilt went together easily.

I re-named my quilt "He Knows When You Are Sleeping" because I added a few Santas in the mix.

I took the flimsy to the quilter and pretty much put the whole thing out of mind, since I didn't need the quilt anytime soon.

Well I just picked the quilt up from Dawn at The Sewing Basket and am so happy to have it home on my red couch.

The back is cream Moda flannel, very warm and cozy feeling.

Dawn used a pattern that had the same look and feel as the Santas beards in the border fabric.

I loved making this quilt, am pleased with how it all came together, and am giving it away.

I'm wanting to make a quilt for every member of my family, my Dad loves Santas and all Christmas decorations in general, so once I got this quilt home, I realized it should really belong to my Dad. I'm a little sad to see it go, which is a first for me, I've never had any trouble giving my quilts away, but I'm sure once I see him sound asleep in his recliner, under this quilt, I'll feel pretty good about the whole thing.

Cooper thinks it's the right thing to do too......

or at least I think that's what that goofy face means......

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Little Bit of a Whole Lotta . . . . .

I seem to be doing a little bit of everything right now, a little bit of wrapping, a little bit of addressing, we even got a little bit of snow. Just a couple of inches that when added to 40 mile an hour winds caused a little bit of a mess. Luckily for me, I just stayed in and watched it from my window.

I've also been able to squeeze in a little sewing!

I'm still undecided on what to do about the red stars in this quilt, but I have decided on something else.

I'm going with this fabric for the sashing and cornerstones for my floating star blocks! My original plan was to use a tone on tone cream, but that was too plain. This fabric was made to surround those stars, don't you think? Just in case you've forgotten, the fabric is Olde World Style by Monique Dillard for Maywood Studio. Thanks Monique, that fabric is just the perfect style and width for this project!

So, like I said, I'm having no trouble with the green star blocks, but I'm still trying to decide what to do about the red stars, but I have made progress! If you consider narrowing my choices down to 3 progress!
Option 1:
Red center star, green background, red and black outer star points. (top row center)
Option 2:
Red center star, green background, green and black outer star points (bottom row right)
Option 3:
Thelma, give it up, not every quilt needs red!

Anytime I'm in the general neighborhood of my sewing room, I take a peek at my design wall, sooner or later it will come to me, I just know it, in the meantime I'm making more green blocks!

A couple of folks wondered how I got Oh Christmas Tree hung, it only required three things;

this very tall ladder, a little bit of nerve on my part, and a husband who doesn't complain about holes in the wall!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree . . . .

This time last year I was working on "Oh Christmas Tree" by Farmhouse Threads. It was a great December project and this weekend I enjoyed going back and reading my December 2009 posts. That's one of the many things I enjoy about having a blog, it's such a great reminder of the highs and lows of my quilting projects, this project was nothing but highs.

Oh Christmas Tree is home from the quilter. Dawn, at The Sewing Basket, did a wonderful job of bringing this tree to life.

The back shows the amount of detail and thread that went into quilting the tree.

The detail on the front is amazing too,

the star shines brightly,

and the trunk looks like it was just cut.

And if you look real close, you can spot a few gold ornaments hidden in the tree's branches.....

Whoops, one ornament fell off somewhere between Dawn's shop and my house!

I've got to do something about that....

As soon as I finished Oh Christmas Tree on the first day of 2010, I immediately starting thinking about how I would display it, and I thought about it for 11 months....

It's wonderful to have this quilt home and hanging,

right where I wanted it . . .

This is lifetime quilt number 53, it finished at 66" X 75 ", and has approximately 4,950 pieces.

To read more about Oh Christmas Tree, select "Oh Christmas Tree" from the "Categories" list on the lower right of my blog.