Friday, December 28, 2012

Kathleen's Doll Quilt

Sweet little quilt don't you agree?
 This is a Jo's Little Women' Club pattern from 2006 called, "Kathleen's Doll Quilt."
 Gwendolyn emailed me awhile back asking me if I can quilt small quilts for her.  My reply is you bet I can!  This one measures 19" x 19" and was quilted on my longarm.  Those cute star blocks measure just 3".
Here's the back.  Now I want one!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Bestest Friends in Blogland Ever!

 This is what happens when you celebrate your birthday just days before Christmas.  So many lovely gifts arrive at once.  Each gift a real treasure because it comes from the heart and hands of the friends I've made either through my quilting business or bloggers I've gotten to know through the years.
                                     
 There are a few gifts I've already shown in previous post and some gifts may have been eaten....but this is the bulk and if by chance I've forgotten to show one please forgive me.  Please know how much I love and appreciate all my gifts.  I truly felt so special and you all know who you are!
My husband and youngest son watched the day I opened my birthday presents and then when it came time to open my Christmas presents watched me again.  They sat in disbelief that I hadn't met most of you, yet  I receive such special treasures.  As I opened each one I was able to sit and tell them a short story about you, your life, and about your family.  This you can do of a friend.  Thank you friends for making my holidays extra special.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

May you enjoy time spent with loved ones.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Celebrating Me!

 Yesterday was a day to celebrate the birth of me.  For the past few weeks little parcels have made their way to my mailbox for either birthday or Christmas.  Some gifts received are "dual" holidays so I haven't opened those yet.  I'm really, really good about not opening my surprises until the day (unlike a few of you and you know who you are!)  The above is a very special ice cream cake that hubby ordered and surprised me with.  He was disappointed that the "cat" wasn't larger.  It's my favorite seasonal ice cream Winter White from Baskin-Robbins.  If you like chocolate covered cherries you must try Winter White.
I spent the day lounging about then ventured out to the antique mall downtown.  It had been quite sometime and I was impressed with the improvements and all those shops!  I hardly made it through the one shop before it was time to go to dinner.  Here is one of my finds.  The tag said it was for a candle but I thought even flowers or greenery would be pretty too.  I see alot of possibilities and for only $8 bucks not too shabby.  Anne came to mind when I purchased this piece....I wonder what she would do with it?

My birthday gifts were opened last night after returning home from dinner.  I'm truly spoiled by so many friends (and you know who you are).  I've still got photos to take and thank you notes to write....not to mention getting out of these PJs and hitting the grocery store today.  SO....I promise to have some sort of blog post later to show/share my pretties and properly give thanks to my very special friends.  Thank you, thank you and thank you!  You all know who you are!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Quilting...Wish They Were Mine!

 Christmas quilting this past week or SEW it seamed!  These are Sue's quilts.  She requested an allover pattern called, "Denali" on her Vintage Rouge quilt.
Sue also made this darling smaller version of the pattern Swoon.   Each block finishes at 12.5" rather than 24.5" as original pattern directions. I love it everything about it from the size, the color the quilting!  Sue chose a design called, "Nouveau Feathers" for an allover quilt design.

I can't wait to show you my next quilt...okay...not mine but will show you when it's time!  It's a secret.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sentiments of Hope

twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38


when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.

their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.

they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.

they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.

"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."

when what to their wondering eyes did appear,

but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.

He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.

then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring

those children all flew into the arms of their King

and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,

one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.

and as if He could read all the questions she had

He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."

then He looked down on earth, the world far below

He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe

then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,

"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"

"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"

"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"

then He and the children stood up without a sound.

"come now my children, let me show you around."

excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.

all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,

"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."


My girlfriend Sandi sent this to me today.  I have no idea who the author is but I just knew that it had to be shared.  I believe.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gifts

The past week I've been having fun collecting packages from the mail carrier.  These were to be opened early.  I'm really good about waiting to open presents unless told otherwise.

One thing about me that you may not know is that I had a pet rat in my earlier years.  I know some of you will think less of me but honestly if you've ever really truly gotten to know a pet rat you would soon learn they are sweet little lovers with huge personalities.  I've discovered that I'm allergic to them so no more pet rats for me.

Imagine my delight when the little mouse above showed up in my mailbox!  Mary (no blog) sent a sweet package with not only the sweet little mouse, but a wool sachet filled with lavender and also yummy chocolates.
 Yesterday's mail arrived with this sweet guy from Paulette!  He is just too cute!
 Mary's package came and I told her I put it under the tree and she advised I open it now so we can use them.  The photo turned but you can see that she embroidered very pretty cloth napkins.  Mary assured me to use them as they will wash up wonderfully when I told her too nice to use.  So these sweet napkins will grace our table on Christmas Eve.
I want to share with you a very, very simple crockpot recipe that may come in handy during this busy holiday week.  My family loves it and it will now be added to the permanent recipe keeper.

I put semi-frozen chicken breast into the crockpot then mixed one can of enchilada sauce with one packet of taco seasoning mix and poured over the chicken.  It then cooked on low for four hours.  The chicken comes out wonderfully tender.  I added some black olives and to serve we shredded it and placed in flour shells with some rice and cheese.  Super Easy!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Gifts From Heart & Hands

 Isn't this just too cute?!  My friend Shirley saw this pattern at quilt market this past Fall and she knew I would love it.  (I need to get the name of pattern...or do you know?)
 Shirley also made this sweet wool pouch for my early birthday gift.  I love those stitches on the wool patches.  (not so sure I'd have the patience)  I've been auditioning where I want it to be seen in my home since it compliments each room perfectly.


 Gifts from heart and hands are the best in my book!  This past week I received a surprise package from Debbie of Woolen Sails Blog.  I just love these punch needle pieces.
This is my last showing of my NEW Christmas tree skirt for this year.  It's a perfect fit!
I posted this quilt last year...and now once again, just because I enjoy this quilt so much and only have it out this time of year.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Peppermint Wreath Tree Skirt

 My tree skirt is nearly finished.  I'll hand stitch the binding to the back this evening and then our tree can go up.  After giving this tree skirt some thought I decided to add batting and quilt a snowflake meandering design.  I figured adding the batting will prevent the tree skirt from scrunging up as gifts are placed on top of it.  This pattern is by All Through The Night called, "Peppermint Wreaths" and finishes 52" round.  Included in the pattern is also a smaller 26" version for a table topper.  (on my bucket list!)
 Here'a a closer picture of the snowflake quilting and now that I'm looking at this I may add some red buttons to the center of the pinwheels.
Our neighborhood deer spent the majority of the day here in our yard yesterday.  I was quite surprised to see he even feels comfortable enough to nap!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Through The Year

 Here's a small sampling of gift quilts that I've been working on this past year.  I'm linking up at Darlene's blog for the finale.  Thank you both Darlene and Cheryl for hosting this past year!
My Christmas tree skirt is half-way pieced and the fabric is a good quality flannel.  I may not cut through the center to wrap around the tree but rather have our tree sit on top.  (can't see way under the tree area anyway)   Also I am debating if I really want to add batting since it just takes more space in the holiday storage box right?  I'm thinking of keeping this very simple, it's just a tree skirt that will be seen maybe three weeks if that and then of course Santa's gifts on top.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Little Bites "Drop" Finish

 Here is my version of Little Bites pattern called, "Drop."  I can see in the photo I completely forgot to erase my chalk lines!  This quilt only measures about 10" x 12".
Ready! Set! Sew!!!  I've had this pattern kit since just after the holidays this past year and here we are ready to celebrate another holiday season so I've got to get the lead out.  This one is for my family's tree.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Bit of This and Some of That

 While taking care of mom in October I pieced a few small doll quilts/table toppers.  They are now quilted, bound and ready for gifting.  This is just a preview as I will show more when I post and link with Christmas Through The Year.
 Thanksgiving with my guys both home was wonderful!  They are my best accomplishment.  This mom cannot be prouder of these fine young men!
 It's always a sad day when we must return our youngest back to college.  While he drove I snapped a picture of the Carolina blue sky as we went up the mountain.
 "Hey! Where did everybody go?"
Our neighborhood deer visits often and loves when people are outside with him.  He likes when a leaf blower, lawn mower or even jalopy engine is running because that means he has outside company.  He just cracks me up!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Life's a Beach!

 I'm sharing Mary's goldfish quilt with you.  Mary has no blog to date. (hint!)  She wanted a beach theme and so I hope I've delivered.
 One thing that I absolutely hated about quilting this quilt was the backing and the white on white fabrics.  Because the backing was super tight crisp weave muslin combined with a thick rubber feel in areas of the white on white on the top it created what I think looks like preforated stitches on the backing.  You can also visibly see that the stitches aren't as nice on the top when they go through the areas of the white "rubbery" feeling flowers.  I consulted with my longarm group for suggestions and was told perhaps a smaller needle changing it often.  They also said as for the preforated backing that a light misting of a spray bottle or very light steam ironing would help close them.

So then this tight weave backing got me thinking about those who use sheets for backing.  I'm guessing not only cotton quality is in question but what about that thread count!

 This is a little quilt that I participated in with Pam Buda's Quilt-A-Long called, "Forget Me Not" using her new fabric line.  I've still got the binding to hand stitch down and have a friend who I am gifting this one to.  It's more her colors than mine.
...and because sometimes I just itch to piece something I'm working on this month's Schnibbles project.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fresh Forest, Oh That Deer and Peeping Tom!

 Fresh Forest is a quilt designed by Corey Yoder that I quilted this past summer.  Actually I quilted this one twice for Corey out of two different fabric lines.  Corey needed this quilt in a rush for publication in the Holiday issue of Stitch Craft Create.  I hadn't realized the magazine was published and on newstands until recently.  You can see more of the quilt here at Corey's blog.
 The neighborhood deer visits often.  I've been told a neighbor bottle fed him and this is why he is so friendly.  I do worry about him once he is older and fattened up. While I am not a hunter, I can't say the same for those living around me.
 I have no clue who this cat belongs to.  He has been running around our neighborhood for over a year and I will see him not only on my front porch but on other porches too.  He shows up for food since he knows that I feed the black female cat I call, Meow (she is fixed).  You may remember that she used to show up here with another cat and beagle a few years back.  Well, she never left and I pretty much kept her because she is a great hunter on the yard's voles.  She "tolerates" his coming around.  I've never touched him because I don't need to get attached.  I have however named him Boyfriend just so he has some sort of name I guess.
Every now and then Boyfriend peeps in my window into our kitchen area like a Peeping Tom!  It freaks me out if it is night time and all I see is the glow of his eyes.  I'm feeling like the animal whisperer or something.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quick Gifts

 I've had these unfinished quilt blocks for quite sometime and decided they would become mug rugs.  Since I had a large backing loaded on the longarm to quilt a bunch of mini quilts I quilted these quickly too.  I've been spending my evenings stitching down bindings.  The mini quilts will be shared in a later post so I can enter the final month of Christmas Through the Year.  (better late than never--it's crunch time!)
Mary sent me this photo of sweet little Charlotte.  (the kitty that I needed a home for a few months ago)  What do you think Charlotte is saying to her older brother?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hop To It

Carrie posted today about her Hop To It quilt so I will now show a few pictures on my blog of the quilting I did for her.
 She requested large swirls in the big outside border.  I chose the diamond sort of quilting to mimic her sashing squares.
 Carrie's applique is perfection!  This is truly a gorgeous QUEEN size quilt. You can see more at Carrie's blog here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Test Post

This post is just a test. My husband gave me flowers upon my return from California. He not only gave me flowers but had a new iPhone waiting for me. So this is just a test to see if I can post from my iPhone. I'll talk to everybody in a later post.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I'm Back Home

A big thank you to all blog friends who continuously emailed to check on me while I was away helping care for mom after her ankle injury/surgery.  Here's a photo of my family in California.  (I'm the short one in back)

I also wanted to share with you my family I missed while I was away.  Here's my guys showing of my oldest son's new FJ along with my husband showing off his 1976 FJ (aka jalopy).  My youngest seated inside the FJ celebrates his 19th birthday today!

I'll be back working on my client quilts this week.  A very special thank you goes out to those who insisted I'm the only longarm quilter for your tops and waited for my return.