Saturday, December 22, 2007

Candy Coated Blocks

Here are the blocks I made last night. There are only far. I'm debating about how to set them if I do indeed make a bunch. Do you see the ring of color around the center motif? A very easy and lovely pattern. Looks like it was really difficult, doesn't it? This was a free pattern from McCall's Quilting's web site years ago. It's amazing that I can hold onto a quilt pattern I want to make for YEARS, but can't remember where I left my shoes this morning!

We are going caroling again tonight, so there are many cookies to bake and foods to make for the fellowship time afterwards. We are also having a big lunch of baked ham, sweet potato casserole (hi, Kairle!), green beans, home made rolls, etc. I'm just waiting for my girls to vacate the hopefully clean kitchen so I can do the cooking I need to do personally.

My husband, our guest, and some of our older boys are going to have a paintball war this morning. Can't imagine that being fun, but then again, they don't enjoy sewing either.


Friday, December 21, 2007

The Ups and Downs of Life

"Oh--I've been using this gizmo wrong all along!"

Our family has been hosting some friends from out of state for over a week. With that comes special meals, special requests for goodies, snacks, eating out. Need I say more? I've been on a quest to lost weight. Before they arrived, I had lost 15 pounds in about 6 weeks. Well, some of it has come home.

There--I feel better. Got that off my chest. Now I need to get some of it off my thighs, LOL!

Went to another wedding today. This is the second one in less than a week. Definitely an UP moment for the bride and groom. Very different from the first wedding. What is so neat about these two weddings is that they expressed the personalities of the couples so well. We knew the couple of today's wedding so well. Now that it's over, we can definitely say, "That was so ___ & ________!" Fun and unexpected moments.

I had a brief panic attack today. I was surfing the ring for the mystery quilters for Bonnie's Carolina Crossroads (BTW, I love that name--probably because I live in NC). There is a box to the side there if you want to check out some of them.

I thought for a few seconds that I had pieced unit 2 incorrectly. I have never made 9-patches with creams/lights in the corners. I sure didn't remember doing that for this quilt. Must I mention that those fat cells are replacing memory cells? As I quickly looked back through my posts, there was my picture of the perfectly pieced units. Whew! There are 100 of those buggers. I was already planning an alternate quilt. Hate to waste even the smallest pieces of fabric! But much to my relief, I really did follow the instructions. I am so enjoying seeing the variety of colors and fabrics others are using.

I made 2 blocks today with Christmas centers from Thimbleberries' Candy Coated Christmas line from years ago. There is another quilt I want to make with these motif blocks. I got 10 yards on clearance ages ago and have been wanting to try a couple. I plan to use a variety of greens and reds to give it my typical scrappy style. Guess I'll take a picture tomorrow. My family and company are upstairs watching "National Treasure", and I should go make an appearance. Just had to sew for a few minutes tonight.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Broken Leftover Dishes

This is a close-up of MY quilt like the one in the post from yesterday. My 2nd daughter's best friend wanted to learn how to quilt. The girls made the same quilts, in different colors (FWIW, my daughter was already experienced).

When they sewed a square on a rectangle to make a flying geese unit, I had them double sew the seams so we'd have an extra HST square to play with instead of throwing those away. That resulted in some very small HSTs. I made MY friend (my daughter's friend's mother--got that?) a quilt identical to mine. She wants to learn how to hand quilt so she can also hand quilt hers. We'll do that some time this spring, I'd imagine. When I was photographing this, I noticed an omission. Do you see it??

I didn't finish the hand quilting! In the second block from the right in the top row, I neglected to finish the "x" through the block (the top right fourth of the block). I guess that's my humility block. Should I finish it? I used dark brown thread. There is a cable quilted in the border.

I was having trouble getting a picture of this because my human quilt holders were all busy. So this is not flat. But you get the picture.

These little blocks are called "Broken Dishes", but since I made them from pieces of other quilts, I called my quilt "Broken Leftover Dishes". The girls thought that was cute.

I keep this on my living room wall when a seasonal quilt is not residing there.

Does anyone else like to hand quilt? I'm about 2/3 finished with the hand quilting on my 2007 Christmas quilt. I'd like to see your projects. Drop me a line so I can peek at your blog if you have one. If you don't have one, what are you waiting for??


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Share the Joy!

This is a quilt I made for my latest apprentice quilter. Long story, but I met a woman my age who had a daughter that had "always wanted to learn to quilt". After the mom was at my house and saw some of my quilts on the walls, table, beds, quilt rack, etc., she asked if I would be willing to teach her daughter. The mom admired a quilt I had made for myself from this same pattern, similar colors, but my borders are burgundy. When her daughter made a quilt top (nearly finished!), I had her double sew the squares so I could make her mom a wall quilt of her very own. I quilted it this afternoon and sewed the binding on. Daughter is going to finish it and give it to her for Christmas.

I have had the privilege of sharing the gift of quilting with several young (and middle-aged) ladies. It's exciting to see their sense of accomplishment. Go teach someone what you know!


Snowmen, Cookies & MORE...

My family goes caroling every year to neighbors and sometimes off to friends. Sunday (a non-posting day) was filled with church activities. Monday I personally cooked all day to prepare for a fellowship time after caroling at a nearby nursing home Monday night. I had to add the "personally" because my oldest children usually do most of all of the cooking here for long periods of time. I still vaguely recall how the process works, so I give them time off for good behaviour occasionally! We are caroling again this Saturday. My DH likes us to leave a goodie bag, plate, or box, so we'll be baking up a storm again come Friday. Above is a plate that we gave a neighbor earlier this holiday season.

I'm still working on the Carolina Crossroads quilt from Bonnie. I am all caught up with her current instructions. It amazes me that some folks think they *know* the design (and have for some time). By my calculations, the quilt will end up having 6,400 square inches of area. We have finished approximately 15% (321 three-inch blocks) of said area. There's a lot more coming, quilters! I'm just obediently following along, not even trying to guess where we're going. I live in NC, so I'm already here!!