Not one to RUSH things, but I started this Love Notes quilt as a shop model using the cute new Flirtations line of fabrics designed by Sandy Gervais for Moda. Here is the pattern. I love Churn Dash blocks, and this one uses cute motifs from a panel in the center blocks. Adorable. I've got my longarm quilter committed to doing a rush job on this one as soon as I'm finished so we will have a completed quilt to hang in the shop. The clock is definitely ticking. I hope to make good progress on it this weekend. 5 blocks down, only 25 to go!
December 26, 2007
Nope, not dreaming of a White Christmas, but it came anyway! It's so unusual to have snow here in western Washington on Christmas day, but it did snow for about 3 hours, prompting all of our dinner guests to arrive early. Fortunately, that wasn't a hardship and everyone had a good time. Dinner turned out great after a minor mishap involving my finicky oven. The roast had been in an hour and I discovered it wasn't cooking. A trip to the garage to pull out a dusty Nesco roaster, and all was well.
Here's a picture of my dining room table prior to our meal. A little too small for 8 people, but then again, this is the first time we've needed to seat 8. The other 7 little bodies sat in the kitchen at the "kid's table."
And a new addition to our decorating scheme this year - I decided I wanted to add a reindeer to the mix, something I don't have. But I wanted an elegant reindeer, and wasn't able to find one locally. I thought Fitz & Floyd would have something nice, and not only did I find what I had in mind, but the sale price was unbelieveable. The huge box arrived on Christmas Eve. I've had many experiences of ordering online and being disappointed with what actually arrived, but this was not one of those experiences. The 2 reindeer were more magnificent than I imagined, even better in person, but here is a photo. I wanted them to grace my table, but they were actually too big, so they are up on the pie safe for now. Beautiful.
I hope everyone had a nice holiday! I'm glad that life is getting back to normal. I really love Christmas, but I'm glad it comes only once a year!
December 24, 2007
I was finally able to make some progress on my floral quilt. Here is the result of sewing since I got my machine back on Friday - 12 new star blocks! I now have 22 made. The original pattern calls for just 17 and I am going to end up with 29, so I will have to reconfigure to make my quilt larger, but it should all work out perfectly, assuming there are no more stinker blocks.
Check in with Nicole, Perry and Cindy. to see how their quilts are coming along. It may have been a little nuts to start a challenge project during this busy time of year, but it appears like these gals have met the challenge head on!
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. I'm really looking forward to seeing my family and having a nice celebration. The kids are bouncing off the walls waiting for Santa. I hope they like what he did for them this year. Merry Christmas everyone!
December 21, 2007
It's 7:09 p.m. on December 21. I just finished wrapping the last Christmas gift, I put all the paper and bows away, and I can finally see the top of my sewing table again!
I braved 2 hours of horrible traffic this afternoon to pick up my sewing machine, which has been in the shop for over 2 weeks. She's purring like she hasn't in years, and I am so relieved to be sewing again. It truly calms my soul to sit and sew. I hope to actually show some progress on my Blended Challenge Quilt come Monday morning!
Now that almost all the holiday prep is done, I can relax and look forward to the Big Day. We'll spend Christmas eve with my brother and his family, then have my in-laws to my house for Christmas dinner. There will be 15 for dinner this year - the biggest crowd ever - but everyone is pitching in and bringing something, so it should be a pretty easy meal. I'm making a Sirloin Tip Roast and Yorkshire Puddings, my husband's family's traditional holiday meal.
I hope everyone else is ready for Santa's visit!
December 16, 2007
Ok, this is my week to make zero progress on my quilt. I have 4 partial star blocks, but really, nothing worthy to show for my week. Hopefully I will get something accomplished this week, but as a diversionary tactic, let me show you the cute new Annie dolls I got from Nicole of Raggedy Old Annies this week. The 2 tiny Annies join their sister to sit on my fat quarter shelf, and my daughter is sure the Christmas Annie was made just for her because she has the letter "L" dangling from her arm. I told her we had to have her with the decorations in the living room, but after the holidays, DD can keep it in her room. Aren't they cute?
No, this is not what I had for breakfast, but early Sunday morning found me packaging fudge and gingersnap cookies for the office cookie exchange and various other holiday activities. I can't believe I haven't blogged all week, but while I am usually such a homebody, this week I've been quite the social butterfly and have only been home one night during the week, which I spent baking, as you can see. Hopefully the social obligations will settle down and I can get back to sewing and blogging. I did finish nearly all my Christmas shopping, but now I must get busy at the wrapping station.
I must share my grandmother's gingersnap cookie recipe with you - they are my favorite cookie and even DS #1 who won't eat sweets begs me to make these cookies. They are more of what you would term a molasses cookie because they are soft, not "snappy" but that is what we've always called them. They are easy and delicious and freeze well, if you have any left to freeze! I made a triple batch on Friday night and I love that my daughter can now help me roll the balls - what a time saver, plus, some fun bonding time with my baby girl.
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup molasses (I prefer the Brer Rabbit full-flavor type)
One egg, room temperature
2-1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
Melt shortening, cool. Add sugar, molasses and egg - beat. Sift and add to first mixture the flour, soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
Chill the dough 10 minutes.
Form into 1-inch balls, roll in sugar and place on cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes - do not brown, but cookies should be nicely "cracked" on top.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
December 9, 2007
Here is my first progress photo for our blended quilt challenge project. Can you tell that every other block is a Sawtooth Star? No? Well, that is the concept behind a blended quilt! You want to make some blocks that blend into each other and "moosh" the pattern. I forgot how much fun and also what a challenge it is to pair up florals for these kind of quilts. I made 2 blocks that were ugly as sin and not pictured here, and I know more of those will happen before this is finished, sometimes that's just the name of the game!
Here are my first 10 star blocks. The pattern I've chosen has only 17 stars, mixed with other pieced 4-patches, half-square triangles, large and small squares and rectangles. I have paired up enough fabrics from my floral stash to make about 20 more stars, so I'll either be making my quilt much larger than planned, modify the design a bit, or end up with 2 blended quilts!
Take a look at the blogs belonging to my friends playing along - OKPerisplace (Perry), Sister's Choice Quilts (Nicole) and Too Much Fabric So Little Time (Cindy) and see what they have been up to this week with their florals!
December 8, 2007
I've been making pretty good progress this week on our blended challenge quilt. On Saturday, the kids and I put up the Christmas decorations and I decided one of my end tables really needed some kind of table topper. A trip to a seldom-visited quilt shop Saturday netted me a fun FQ stack of Christmas fabrics that I had not yet discovered, so I sandwiched 2 of the FQs together with some batting, did a simple channel quilting and started using a third FQ for the binding. Suddenly, my trusty Pfaff started making a horrendous noise, locked up, and now the flywheel will not turn at all!
I have my backup Featherweight, but I've grown dependent on my Pfaff with its built-in dual feed. :(
I guess it's to the shop we go, and Tuesday is the soonest I could take her. I hate spending the $129, especially during this money-draining time of year, but what can you do? At least I am still able to piece using one of my back ups, but there is nothing as comfy as your trusty old favorite machine, is there?
Tune in tomorrow when I post my progress on the blended quilt.