Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snow and More Snow

We've had snow falling everyday for over a week now. This is the most amount of snow I've seen in my life. I'm sure we are well over 20 inches. Everyday hubby is out here shoveling and more shoveling. Daughter #1 has to get to work so hubby will dig her car out and then when she comes home from work, he's out there again digging her a spot to park.
DH harmed with two shovels, going down the road to rescue daughter #1. He has also been driving me to work and picking me up. Daughter #2 and her boyfriend had arrived on the ferry and so off DH goes again to pick them up. Since they were only staying 2 days before heading back home to have Christmas with her boyfriends parents, hubby was again driving, a 1 hour trip took 4 hours. I'm sure he just about had enough.
Our front of our house.
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The snow just keeps getting deeper and deeper. A week ago we didn't have a flake of snow.
I had to tromp through the back yard, snow higher than my knees. Yes I got snow in my boots but I really wanted to get this picture of the icicle, the biggest I've seen. Hubby yelled out "don't you get stuck because I'm not coming to dig you out". Lucky for me I made it through the snow on my own.
DH trying to decided what's the best strategy to dig my car out. We have a garage but we got stuck several times trying to get down the back lane....not going to happen with so much snow.
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I walked down to Safeway and by the time I was through the check out he was there to give me a ride home. I have the sweetest hubby, he's been so good at getting the car out almost every day.
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Here we are after all the gifts have been opened. Daughter #1 is not a morning person still in her jammies. Can you see the sock monkey daughter #2 is holding, she made that for me and boy is it ever so cute, the monkey even has thumbs and pants too.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Surprise Elves

I must have been a very good girl this year, Santa's elves came early this year. Sharon has been a busy little elf and sent me this wonderful package of goodies. I saw the green box with candy canes and thought what a neat way to ship a package, look at all the goodies she hid in the box. Some Australian patterns, with angels and quilt store sewing bag. This little elf must know I love bags. The country thread pattern is punchneedle welcome houses and fun little note pad for my purse (I'm always looking for paper) and tissue, much needed at this time of year. She also made a cute little sewing pouch with HoHoHo on the ribbon, she thinks of all the details. The coffee is to wake me up in the morning.....thank you Sharon my surprise little elf....I'm so delighted!
Caroline was another busy little elf this year, she was so clever to think of collecting things with a theme in mind. All the buttons, beads, pearl cotton, red skeins of thread and ribbon were all tucked so nicely is this sweet polka dot button tin, I had so much fun taking each one out one-by-one and loving each little item. The wool pincushion is stitched with beads around the outside and the three little wool roses are placed just so....Caroline you surprised me with such wonderful treats. Thank you for this awesome collection of carefully collected items. Some of the threads I've never seen before, there is a Anchor "soft embroidery" which is much thicker than I've seen before and another Anchor that's seems finer than the pearl cotton, I'm going to enjoy making something with these luscious threads. This little elf must have known I love red....Thank you Caroline for being a busy little elf.
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I bet you never thought you seen another skull showing up on my blog....LOL. I thought my daughter and her boyfriend would enjoy keeping notes in a fun journal made just for them. My daughters matches her bag from my previous post, she can keep her knitting notes in her new journal.

Enjoy every little minute with your family and friends this holiday season.
Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Little Quilt and Gifts

Kathie had the sweetest quilt kit giveaway on her blog. I was so envious of all the lucky recipients, I decided to make my own version of this homespun quilt. I don't have many of the neutral homespun's which are really needed for Kathie's version of this quilt, so I changed it to reproductions and here is what I came up with. I'm very happy with this little quilt.
My daughter was hinting at getting a knitting bag for Christmas. She has only learned to knit in the last month and is very excited about it. She saw the skull fabric and loved it, I picked the other fabrics and this is the bag I made for her. I know she's going to really like it. The bag says "bad luck club". Not my taste in fabrics but she'll be thrilled.
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I also made pillow cases for each of my girls and one for youngest daughters boyfriend. This is the first time I've made these and no pattern, I can't believe how fast and easy these are. I'm sure there will be more in the future. The plaids are super soft flannel.

I have so much to do before Christmas, still shopping to be done and grocery shopping as well. I guess it's power shopping for me this week because I'm working all day Mon and Tue before Christmas.....arrggg.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Deck the Halls

Sat was the day set aside to drag out all the Christmas decorations. Before getting started Sat morning, I thought I'd take a few minutes to check my favourite blogs and found Libby's wonderful post of trees and quilts. She gave me the enthusiasm I needed to start digging out the boxes from under the basement stairs. We don't have much room anymore for a big tree, so last year I bought this skinny tree and it's pre-lite, save on the chore of stringing the lights.
Bringing out all the hand-made decorations brings back so many memories of Christmas past. A wool star I made a couple of years ago, there is a mitten, stocking and holly wool ornaments that go with this one.
Back in the day when I did cross-stitch I made a few of these. There are four in total, I've always wanted to make more.
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Last year I did a swap with Karen and she made this awesome wool framed Santa for me, he will always have a special spot in my decorating.
Another older Santa I bring out every year.
I have a small snowman collection that I put on my quilt rack. The tall snowman I made in the early 90's.
A little closer view of the left side of the rack.
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Now a view of the right side of the rack.
The snowman garland was also from early 90's. This is the banister going upstairs.
A closer view.
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This one is for Karen the "Queen of Cream Cheese", Karen you gotta try these, I'd send some to you but I think the postman would eat it all before they get to you...LOL. I love everything about Christmas baking, as you can see we've been enjoying a few Pumpkin bars already. I still have more baking but that will be closer to Christmas, my daughter and I will spend the day together making all the favorites.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Mix dry ingredients together:
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
Beat wet ingredients together:
  • 4 Eggs Beaten
  • 1 Cup Canned Pumpkin
Mix wet and dry ingredients together and add 1 1/2 cups of chopped walnuts (I didn't add the nuts in mine) Pour into ungreased jelly roll pan.

Bake at 325F for 20 to 30 minutes (mine took only 20 min)

Now the best part "The Cream Cheese Frosting"
Beat all ingredients until smooth:
  • 8oz Cream Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 1/2 Cups Powdered Icing Sugar

Monday, December 1, 2008

Little Things

Firstly I'd like to thank everyone for the informative comments on my question about quilting over stitchery or not, it's so wonderful to have a big group to pull knowledge from. What I decided is that it wouldn't be a good idea to quilt over the stitchery for fear of snagging the handwork. Having said that the stitchery blocks would puff out like balloons if they didn't have any quilting, so what I'll do is quilt around the handwork closely to have an all over even quilting.
Here's a little project I finished a couple of weeks ago. Any guesses what it might be, here is the front.
And a flower garden and little house on the back. Anyone know what this might be?
It's a key cover or as my hubby said "it's a quilt for my keys". The keys slide up inside when hanging by the door and then I slip them out to use them. Notice how the string connected to the button is hanging out from the roof when the keys are inside and then the button sits on the roof when the keys are in use.
A little snowman table mat I've been working on, just need to finish the blanket stitch around the outside. This will be a sample at the Quilted Bear. The pattern has 4 cute designs for all seasons.

Here are a couple of angel wallhangings I did. One is for Jenny owner of the Quilted Bear and the other one is for me.
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Monday, November 24, 2008

Swap and Polka Dot Girls Done

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It arrived!!! Mary from Quilt Hollow and I talked few months ago about having a "Little Quilt" swap. We gave plenty of time to get a small quilt finished and mailed in Nov. Mary received the little quilt I sent her last week and I got mine from her today, we both kept it a complete surprise what we would make. I'm so delighted with the little 9-patch quilt and I had no idea she was also going to send this gorgeous framed log cabin quilt as well, it's like a early Christmas. Mary Thank you so much for this wonderful gift, you have spoiled me...I love them both. Bloggers really know how to spoil each other well and have fun doing it along the way.
It's been a long 10 months of stitching each block one by one. Here it is finally Polka Dot Girls quit is all pieced. I can see why I like doing small stitching projects, this was a big commitment and I was determined to get this one done....woohoo. Don't forget to check the link in my side bar for other bloggers making PDG's quilt.
A close up of the quilt. Now to decide how this will get quilted. Any advise on quilting with stitchery blocks? Do you quilt right over them or just go around the stitching?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wish Block and Swap Quilt

These two little guys were outside the dinning room window this morning. It was a bit funny watching them doing a balancing act on the fence, We don't usually see raccoons out during the daylight. They did eventually found a way down and ran off.
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I did some piecing of the my first Wish block and I appliqued the hearts and stars as well. I like doing freezer paper and starch method for my applique. Not much else going on right now, I've been working on piecing the quilt for Polka Dot Girls, I've gotten to the borders and can't make up my mind which fabric I want to use....arrggg.

I just finished a Little Quilt swap with Quilt Hollow, she received the quilt I made her this week. I'm still waiting for the postman to bring mine, the mail here is a bit slower than usual because the inside workers are striking and that slows down the mail getting out. You'll be the first to see it when I get my package, I hope it won't be too long, I'm excited to see what she made for me. I've really enjoyed getting to know my partner better over the last few months. Mary is new to blogging so go over and say "Hi", she has a awesome blog and don't forget to enter her giveaway.

Take time to relax with needle and thread in hand.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lori Smith BOM DONE!!

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I wish this was a better picture, the colouring is not that great. Here is the my finished version of the Lori Smith pattern Peaceful Nights. If you are familiar with this pattern you will notice that my center block is different from the pattern. I wasn't happy with the center block in Lori's pattern and I had decided from the beginning that I would not make the center block anyway. I didn't have a plan for the blocks and was hoping as I was making them, something would come to me. At the same time I had done a block swap with another stitching group, the center is the block I started and then Donna made the LeMoyne star border around the center. I wasn't sure how I would finish the block swap until I had a light bulb moment...has that ever happened to you??? Why couldn't I put these two projects together into one. The fabrics and colours went together, I only needed to add the half square triangles to make the center block fit. That was a fun exercise in math...I needed to recruit the help of hubby for that one...he was so patient and helpful.

So there you have it another top completed and I'm so happy with how it all came together.

I'm so far behind in reading blogs, we spent 4 days relaxing at the lake. I'm feeling more tired'd think I'd be well rested. I don't know why that happens, I guess too much resting is not a good thing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Christmas Wish

I never get tired of pumpkins, this is one of those tiny pumpkins about the size of an apple. The girls at the quilt group I had tea with last week went out in their backyards and gathered the bits of greenery to fill the pumpkin. We did a block swap with this quilt group months ago and the tea was to reveal how we finished our quilts and to also find out who was our secret partner. I've finished my swap quilt and I'm very happy with how it turned out. Sorry I can't show a picture'll just have to check back next week to see the quilt.....
Something else I've started is a Christmas redwork quilt by Bronwyn Hayes (she's the same designer as Polka Dot Girls). The quilt patterns are in 3 separate issues of Homespun magazine, here is my first block all stitched. There's no way this will be done for this Christmas, but it'll be finished in plenty of time for NEXT year....LOL. I'm still undecided if I'll do the whole quilt as I've just finished stitching so many blocks for PDG's. I'm trying out a variegated Valdani Pearl cotton on this stitchery, it's working out pretty well so far.

EDIT: Thank you to Bettsy for pointing me to the pattern errors found in this quilt. Before starting check out the corrections page on this site and look for The Wish Quilt — Homespun Vol 9 Nos 7, 8, 9. I would recommend printing the corrections and keeping it with the magazine.
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Here is the first issue of Homespun magazine, the patterns continue the next 2 issues. If you are interested in which issues have the patterns, I can dig it out for you.

Happy Stitching!