Tuesday, December 24, 2013

These are a Few of my Favourite Things

Twas the night before Christmas
And the perfect time 
To write up a list 
and make it all rhyme.

. . . oh, never mind the poem.  It is simply a list to remember all the wonderful things that make my holiday complete.  Oprah always has her list of favourite things, so today I made mine.  During this crazy, busy time, try to remember to pause, look closely and be thankful for the small items that add pleasure to your own life.  

1. Children's Christmas books!  

2. Barefoot Angels on the Tree

3. Holiday Pillows

4. Santa Paper Towel Holder.  Michelle painted this Santa.  Look at those eyes!

5. Poinsettia - a gift from my daughter Earlene 

6. Sun Catchers

7. Christmas Cookbooks

8. Christmas Piano Recitals and Music Books

9. Oatmeal Scotchies
10. Ceramic Christmas Trees - Made by my daughter-in-law Lori
11. Crotched Afghan made by my daughter Amber
12. Watching It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve
13. Time for a Christmas Nap

14.  Red Bows, Pine Roping and Snow for Christmas!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Stockings Were Done by Grandma With Care . . .

It is the most wonderful time of the year . . . time for our family Christmas get-together.  Not thinking clearly, I had told the parents that I was making stockings for all the kids, now there was no backing out - three days before the party, I only had one stocking out of nine done.  Who says you have more time when you retire?  They lied, or maybe I need some time management skills.

Therefore, I sewed for two solid days, and luckily, I have my sister-in-law, Michelle, as a back up.  She did the embroidery on the tops and helped me finish the hangers and so on.  Four hours before the party, they were finally finished:

The pattern for these stockings is an adaptation of the French Braid table runner.  Michelle came up with the idea and I copied.  

At the party, I wanted to get pictures of all the kids with the stockings, but the lighting was not good and my camera kept blurring some of the pictures.  I may have to invest in a new camera.  Here are some that will pass:
Mike, sixteen, is a big Steeler's fan.  This stocking was a hit!

Zoe and her dad, Adam.

Toria got the Grinch.

Evan got a snowman stocking.

Elijah got a Grinchy Stocking

My youngest great grandson, Ethan, seemed to like his stocking.
Sorry about the blurry picture.
The best thing about sewing for Christmas is finishing on time.  Thank you, Michelle!

Don't ask about the binding that I am still sewing on a Christmas quilt and the unfinished baby blanket.  

I'm also working on Bonnie's mystery quilt, Celtic Solstice, from Quiltville.  Bonnie just returned from a trip to Germany and Austria.  There are lots of pictures from her trip on her blog in case you are interested.      

Tomorrow is another day!  

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

You are not going to believe how I ended up with this little Thanksgiving/Christmas cork!  Yes, you heard that right, a cork, from a champagne bottle.  Here is the rest of the story:

A few years ago, my dear friend Barbie and I went on a cruise.  As it turned out, we had to wait "hours" in line to get on the ship.  Finally, when we did get in our cabin room, we found, to our delight, a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us.   We gobbled down the strawberries, but before we had a chance to pop the cork, we were called up to deck for the safety check.  That was the last thing we wanted to do, but up we went and stood in a row with our life jackets on waiting patiently to get back to our bottle of champagne.

Finally, back in our cabin we tried to open the bottle of champagne, but we couldn't get the cork out. Too tired to fight with it, we gave up and both laid down on our bunks.  Suddenly, there was a loud bang and the champagne cork went flying all over the cabin, bouncing off the walls.  At first we were startled, but then when we realized what had happened, we couldn't stop laughing.  We kept the cork as a reminder of that special, crazy moment . . . and our first cruise.

Wait, there's more.  Then we started passing the cork back in forth (secretly) for a number of years.  Last year, Barbie gave me an early Christmas present and it turned out to be a "turkey" cork.  In the summer, I gave it back hidden in some jelly jars.  This year at our retreat, Barbie gave me another early Christmas present all wrapped up so pretty (Yes, I fell for the present trick again!)  I opened it and there was the turkey cork all dressed up in a Santa suit.  I guess you could call it a turkey-claus.  It really is cute and of course we cracked up laughing again.

Really, when I look at that decorated cork, I think my friend Barbie has too much time on her hands. However, I can't help but love it.

Looking at my "cork" reminds me of all the things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving: laughter and my crazy friends are right up there at the top of the list.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night.



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mrs. Miller's Cabin Retreat

Oh my gosh!  How did 20 days go by without a new post?  It must be true that you are even more busy when you retire than when you are working.

This past weekend was very special.  I had the privilege of spending the weekend in Charm, Ohio down in Amish country at Mrs. Miller's Cabin.   We quilted till the wee hours, laughed and ate lots of good food.

Can I hear you singing "Over the River and Through the Woods"?

If not, we will move on to our quilt projects.  Barb, Mama Barb's daughter, completed a very special project.   She found an old box of quilt squares, sewed by hand, up in the corner of an attic in a house that was going to be torn down.  She rescued the old squares and sewed them into this wonderful quilt.  We all agreed that whoever made these hand-sewn squares, maybe her husband's grandmother, would be thrilled to see the final results.  Take a look:
Don't let that halo on Mama Barb's head fool you!  
Old box where the squares were stored.
Barb added the dark blue strips to separate the squares.
Look at that interesting fabric.
Mama Barb worked on a number of projects:
Sewing up a present.
Sew much fun!
Debbie chain sewing a quilt for her daughter.

Jackie worked on a complex pattern - lovely batiks!

This may be Miss Carol's third or fourth project for the weekend
I made a flannel snowman/cabin quilt from a kit.  When I cuddle up under it this winter, I will remember our happy weekend at the cabin in Charm. 

The Cabin is a great place for a quilt retreat, or any kind of retreat.

Time flew by and all too soon it was time to head for home and back to reality.  First we had to finish eating some of these cute cookies.  

With Thanksgiving one week away, I am thankful for my QBee friends and our time together at Mrs. Miller's Cabin.  I am sew blessed!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Harvest of Quilts - Dover, Ohio Quilt Show

The Valley Quilt Guild sponsored this wonderful quilt show in Dover, Ohio last week, Oct. 25th and 26th.  My friend Barbie is a member of the guild and was proud to show off and tell me about the expert sewing skills of her friends at Martha's Quilters.  I totally enjoyed seeing these lovely quilts.  

The quilt shows are wrapping up for the year, so enjoy!

Barbie's Quilts:

100 Flower Quilt - Barbie spent a year finding the material for all these flowers

Pinwheel Quilt for Barbie's daughter - Barb

Grandma's Flower Garden:

This was one my my favorite's since I love the hexies, the old feed sack material and the story behind the quilt.

Fun Quilts:

Barbie's Little Neighbor - Landon

Oma's Quilt - for book

Bed Turning:

This was my first time seeing a bed turning and have to say it was a treat to see these lovely quilts displayed on a bed and hear the story about each one.  Very special!

Some Exceptional Quilts:

Take a close look at that hand quilting stitch!

Left Over Quilt.  What a great idea for using up scraps!

Happy Halloween and Happy Fall to all my friends in blog land!

Sometimes seasons blend together.  Pumpkins, Christmas Halloween cactus, last of the garden roses and mums.
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." ~ Albert Camus