Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Project - Fandango/Coping

One of my new Christmas gifts had a picture of this quilt on the cover, so I had to start it at the first possible moment.  Things were pretty quiet around here Friday evening and I started cutting some of the hundreds of 1.25 X 10" strips needed for the finished quilt.  To be completely honest, the first block was made with 1.5" strips, because I thought I remembered the right measurements! 
The book is "DEVOTED TO SCRAPS"  from Leisure Arts.
I was surprised to also see a pattern from someone I actually know.  Connie Walker who used to own a local quilt shop (Whistle Stop in Selma NC) has her "Meet Me at the Manor" quilt pattern published in it too.

Lots of cutting, sewing, trimming seams and pressing but that is just what I need right now. 
 I will probably call it Coping because the uneven strips make me think of the little strips sometimes added to adjust for a block's size and  also  because that's what we're all doing around here just now.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Missing Both My Number One and Two Guys

Gordon and John 2008
So shocked to lose Gordon so soon after John.  At least they will have each other's comfort in Heaven. Gordon's friend, Stan, read the following poem at Gordon's Memorial Service on Friday.  We will miss them both tomorrow but have all our wonderful memories  of each of them which can never be taken from us.
My First Christmas in Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below 
With tiny lights like Heaven’s starts, reflecting on the snow. 
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear 
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year. 
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear 
But the sounds of music can’t compare with the Christmas choir up here. 
I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring, 
For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing. 
I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart, 
But I am not far away, we really aren’t apart. 
So be happy for me, dear ones, you know I hold you dear, 
And be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above, 
I sent you each a memory of my undying love. 
After all love is a gift more precious than pure gold. 
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told. 
Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do 
For I can’t count the blessing or love He has for each of you. 
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear. 
Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Santa Archive 1998

Made in 1999 - the clothing is all felt. 

My favorite details are the cardinal and the buttons on the coat.


Stay warm!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Santa Archives - 2003

Getting out some of the Santas today.  This is one I made in 2003.  My older sister gave me that unusual shade of wool that I used for the coat.  He has patchwork wings, an old crocheted collar and stands on a heart shaped stand that John made and I painted.  He is carrying a stuffed goose.

I entered it in the NC State Fair and won a blue ribbon.  He is the only Santa that I entered in the fair.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stitcher's Garden Blocks

In today's workshop, I finished the 4 - 6" blocks above.  They will not be sewn next to each other in 
the finished quilt.  I may not use the one in the lower right corner as it looks really strange.

These are my blocks from last month.  I brought them home and they sat in the box all month.  the bottom one is finished except for the flower centers and borders.  After you applique the flowers, you brush the stem to chenille it.  Hated that.

I  have not started my October blocks.  So will try to concentrate on catching up as this was our last class.  They are going to offer a session on finishing the quilt early next year.  Everyone who took the class seems to have a different theme so it will be interesting to see the finishes.

Company and socials will probably keep me away form the sewing machine for a few days.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Little Forest Top Finished

I finished sewing the borders on this afternoon.  It is 61 x 72".  I really should rearrange my sewing space so that I can go back to a larger, more accessible area for my design wall.

I cut the rest of the red into binding strips.  I was going to use a small red and white stripe but it looked like it didn't belong.

I put together a couple more blocks.  Will add the centers soon as I don't like to do them all at once.

Tomorrow is Stiticher's Garden Class at Thistlebee Quilt Shop in Goldsboro and I still need to get a few more things together for it.  It is our final  class.  I think they may offer a class on setting the quilt together.
It's been fun making all the blocks using different techniques.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Meanwhile Back in the Forest ------

This afternoon I decoded to clean off the sewing room table and make room to cut borders for the tree quilt.
The deer fabric is in a line called "Retro Christmas"by Robert Kaufman.  I found it at Thimble Pleasures in Chapel Hill when we took the Patriotic Quilts to the VA Hospital in Durham in November.


 I am using a 1/2 inch inner border of a red print that I have had forever - different than the solid shown here.
I hope I have the top squared up correctly so that the borders will go on correctly.


Saturday morning I went with some friends to a Quilter's Day of Sharing in Greenville, NC.  We saw lots of beautiful show and tell and  ate a delicious brunch provided by the Greenville Quilters Guild.  They gave each guest a fat quarter place mat, a yo-yo pin, and a little recipe booklet.  I won a nice door prize too.  Fun way to spend a cold rainy morning. Three of the many, many quilts from show and tell.

Love this with the white background

Like the brights in this one

I like that they added blocks to a strippy quilt.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sewing Today - One Dotty Block

Today C&S came over to sew.  We spent most of the morning catching up.  And after lunch I worked on my arc units for the blocks. 
This evening I cut out the corner pieces for one block and sewed them together.  I was relieved after paper piecing all those units that the block turned out to be the correct size. The quilt in the pattern is 52 x 56".  I'm thinking of enlarging it as I want to give it as a gift.

 Tonight I finished reading "The Little Friend" by Donna Tartt which I enjoyed so much.  Now I want to read her other 2 books but I think I will wait until after Christmas.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

More Dotty

The dotty pattern has 3 different arc units.  I finished the 19 of this design.  Of course, this is the simplest one  with only 5 pieces per arc.  The others have 8 and 9 pieces.

Now I'll have to cut more lots more little pieces.

Apricot Almond Cookies
Toffee Bars

I finished my cookie baking for the time being.  I think I've  made 28 dozen since Thanksgiving.  Shelly picked up hers this morning.   I'll wait a few days before I make a few more for Christmas. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Archive Quilt 194, 198 - 202

In 2005, I made 6 quilts from this pattern.  One for each of my children's families and I gave one to our church for the fall community day.  I remember sitting here on the sofa in the evenings, tracing the pattern pieces or cutting them out after they were bonded to fabric.  Each quilt was similar but I used different fabrics here and there.  I guess I was so weary of them when I finished that I never took pictures of them.  This is the only picture I have! And why didn't I make one for myself?   The little tree to the left is one that is up all year in my sewing room.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday in Advent so the worship committee met this morning to deck the church. The children will finish putting the ornaments on the Christmon tree.

I love our church and the colors of our windows.  Whoever designed them picked the perfect colors as far as I'm concerned.  The front of the church originally had a blue velvet drape in the center so perhaps that is why the blue was used.  I may have to do some research.

 After some shopping  - It was back to the cookies.  Peanut Blossoms.

And these are filled cookies that both my Mom and John's used to make.  Mine used jelly and jam in the middle - John's Mother made a raisin filling that was very good.  Shelly like the jelly filled so that is what I used.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Family, Food, Fun

We had a good day  - we all missed John but have great memories of all the past Thanksgivings we shared with him.

After dinner - we had a Catan Tournament - games at both ends of the table.

Doing a puzzle in the kitchen

Must be the football game got a little boring! Lots of other tricks followed.   One of the last things the kids did in the evening was to bring in and set up the Christmas tree.  Don't know when it will get decorated but soon I hope. 
I'm going to bake cookies for Shelly to use at her open house next week so time to begin.

Russian Tea Cakes  -3 dozen

Sand Tarts -6 dozen

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Tuesday - Completely Dotty

A friend and I have been talking about making a quilt with our dotted fabrics for quite awhile.  Today was the day. We spent the morning cutting and sharing our fabrics. 
We had several pattern ideas and decided to use the Completely Dotty pattern from Piece of Cake designs.  It was in an old issue of American Patchwork and Quilting - 10/2004 - I think but can also be downloaded from their website.
Then after a long delicious lunch break we decided to try and get one block sewn.  We each made 2 arcs of the first circle before it was time for me to leave.
It was rainy and cold outside but it was so much fun to spend the day with a wonderful friend.

Things I'm thankful for today

A large umbrella
A warm coat and gloves
Sharing lunch with a friend

Let the cooking begin tomorrow!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Monday - Table of Grace

Happy kitchen helpers

Baked spaghetti - one of our favorites

About 75 came out on a cold evening to eat and share fellowship with us.

From the archives - Quilt #106 -  a bow tie quilt top that I made in March 1999.  I finished it in October that year and it was used as a fundraiser by the WUMW group at church. I never took a picture of the finished quilt.

Today I'm Thankful for:
  • The friends who help out with Table of Grace - cooking, washing dishes, serving, and cleaning up.
  • Warmth on this cold day
  • The big beautiful white poinsettias that I found at Sam's today - now I don't have to go out on Friday to look for them.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Sunday

An inviting tablescape  from my sister Barb.  Wish she was here to do my table too.

Things I'm Thankful for today:
  • Friends and family who send wonderful notes and remembrances of John
  • Al - so much like his brother  - always ready to help if needed
  • Good friends at church - and our intern delivering an uplifting sermon - the choir with a wonderful rendition of The Hymn of Promise.
  • A comfortable warm home to relax in this evening and a good book to enjoy. Reading "The Little Friend" by Donna Tartt.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Not Much Time For Sewing

Trees to set up and decorate!


Tables ready for the thousands of cookies!

Still need to put up trees by the entrance.

The men have the Nativity Scenes set up.

This is the second year for our little town to have a light show for Christmas.  It is free and tonight was the first night for it to be lit.  The town square also has it's lighting tonight.  Our church has a cookie walk sponsored by the women and the men also had a live Nativity in conjunction with the town's doings.
It was a lovely warm evening and we had lots of cookie buyers. 

 Seemed a little strange to be doing this before Thanksgiving but that wasn't my call.  I was just a baker of cookies and weighed the boxes of cookies.  It was fun to see all the little ones so excited to see so many cookies at one time.

Actually I did get all my trees sewn together.  It measures 51 x 63".  I will go to Bee in the morning and maybe  I can try out some border options.  I'll have to leave early as my Table of Grace gals are going to meet to cook collards for Monday.  It will be a cooking lesson for me.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Last night I sewed more trees and I think I have enough  - maybe too many!

Now I can rearrange them and sew the rows together.  I think my forest will measure about 63" long by 50" wide.  

Maybe after Woman's Club and cookie baking!  And I need to take time to visit a friend  in the hospital who will have surgery tomorrow.