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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shifting into High Gear.......

You can never do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Two more projects done for Christmas.....I guess it's true what my Sister says, that I am at my best under pressure.....lol....I will be getting my Christmas company on Saturday and my sewing room will become a guest room so I have to get what I'm going to get done within the next 3 days!

Here are a couple of golf towels I made for my Bro..........he got his first hole-in-one this year during tournament play!  Yay Big Al!



 Today I hope I can get some more hanging kitchen towels made....and I still have to wrap presents!   Onward!



 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Is it the last minute yet????


Give freely to the world these gifts of love and compassion. Do not concern yourself with how much you receive in return, just know in your heart it will be returned.  --Steve Maraboli




...............Is it the last minute yet??? Nah.....I still have another couple of weeks, right???

Well anyway............here it is December already and I am frantically trying to get some of those "last minute" projects done......last year I was working on my sons Dresden quilt!  (Yep, I got it done!)

This year (so far anyway) I am just finishing up some small projects like these two hanging towels I made this week for a couple of my co-workers.....................  I found a couple of "just perfect" Machine Embroidery patterns and combined them with my hanging towel pattern and there you go.............on the left an adorable Hello Kitty wreath for my friend Priscilla, who loves all things Hello Kitty 

 




and then, for my friend Maribel,on the right is a Christmas "Biker Chick" for her kitchen...............I gave them to my friends last night and they garnered all the appropriate "oohs and ahs" so I am happy.................... 


I still have a few projects I want to finish but it isn't the last minute yet so I still have plenty of time........ta-ta for now.....






Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Special Ornaments......

 We are all ordinary.  We are all boring.  We are all spectacular.  We are all shy.  We are all bold.  We are all heroes.  We are all helpless.  It just depends on the day. --Brad Meltzer



Every Christmas season all the boxes of decorations and lights usually make their way down from the attic over the garage the day after Thanksgiving...........
One year I had been to a garage sale earlier that year and had found several boxes of gorgeous dusty blue and mauve ornaments in all sizes............and so I decided that for that year I was going to create one of those "decorator" trees using only red and blue lights and these marvelous ornaments.......I also bought rolls and rolls of gold ribbon and made dozens of beautiful gold bows to add to the mix "like they do at the big department stores".....

After spending hours on the tree I stood back and looked at it and my heart dropped........I didn't see the cherished ornaments my kids had made at school with the pictures of them glued on.....I didn't see the ornaments we had all sat and made together.......I didn't see the ornaments my sister had made for me....nor the ones my friends had made or given to me.....in other words.....I didn't see MY Christmas tree!  I went to my boxes marked "Special Ornaments" and pulled them out....added some colored lights to the tree and when I finally looked at the finished product...there was MY tree!   

I have gone from a 7 foot tree to a 4 foot tree over the years because pulling a huge Christmas Tree box from the attic got a little harder....but every one of those special ornaments fits on that little tree!
(ummm....I bought a 2 foot tall urn to put it in and....Voila! It is now a 6 foot tree!)

so let me show you some of the ornaments that are so special to me...
 
First here are the ones my sons made at school for me......and the ones we made together over the years.....




 and the ones friends made for me or gave to me...... The Santa, angel, stocking a snowman were those "cookie dough" ornaments that were baked and then painted by a co-worker way back in 1985.....I had a dozen of them to start with but over the years a few have broken....

 My Sis, Irene made the ones on the right and my sweet Grandsons send me a new ornament with their photo each year like the ones below....









So, tell me, with all that love I just showed you why would anybody want a decorator tree at home????

Have a wonderful Christmas everybody.....ta-ta for now.....



Friday, November 29, 2013

More Instant Gratification.......

Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.
— Robert Fulghum



So before I became a "quilter"........I used to sew up a storm......back in those days I would whip up a project in just a few days because (like most of us) I've always had to squeeze my sewing time in between raising kids, going to work, cooking dinner.....you know the drill.............

I've missed those "instant gratification" days and so this week I made some "in the hoop" Christmas ornaments and a mantel scarf and I even squeezed in a quickie thread catcher and replaced a zipper in my Dad's thermal vest!

Here, first, is the mantel scarf.....made from machine embroidery patterns called "Blue Nativity".....I used a piece of gold velour I had had in my stash for years.............


 I added the extra Star and Lettering to the top of each of the panels....................(guess who spelled "Myrrh" wrong?)





 After adding the gold trim to the edges, I notice they are a little curled but they really don't look as curly "in real life" as they do in the photo.....I may just leave it like that..........


 Here are the "in the hoop" ornaments...........front and back...............I used felt on the round ones and fabric on the other two...............I have been experimenting with different fabrics using my machine embroidery........

 
and last, but not least..............with all the ME I've been doing, my floor is constantly full of thread cuttings so I quickly fashioned a thread catcher to place right by the machine......



It will also serve as a "pre-catcher" for all the stuff that seems to fall from my hand into the trash can below.....you know, the spool guard.....the needle threader......embroidery spools......can't tell you how many times I've had to go fishing in the trash can to find something I dropped.....lol......

and I guess that is all I have to show you today..........I'm off to work again tonight so I'll talk to you again later...............
Ta-ta for now.................



 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A quick finish...................


A good friend is a connection to life, a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.
— Lois Wyse




I have had this piece of fabric in my stash since before I even knew it was called a stash.......it was a pretty Christmas border print that I knew would make a beautiful tablecloth but none of my tables were ever the right size for it since it was just about 45 x 48 inches.........

But I realized last week that it was the perfect size for my Mom's kitchen table!  She uses a tablecloth everyday and this will be great for the holidays.

The fabric is a Christmas motif by "The Kesslers for Concord Fabrics, Inc" and depicts a lace tablecloth and lots of beautiful desserts in lovely serving dishes.... and pretty china coffee cups.....looks like an afternoon ladies tea party, complete with wrapped gifts, flowers, and christmas cards......I would love to be invited to this party, wouldn't you?




I found some red fabric with gold stars for the back, which was not quite as wide as the Kessler print so I added some gold fabric to the ends and then just followed the diagonals when I quilted it in the center and followed the scallops for quilting the edges.........(you can't really see the quilting here because of the busy print......)




This was really one of those really quick projects.........not much to do but sew three or four seams and.......ta-da.............which is how much of my sewing history had been before I got the "quilting bug".......but it really is kind of fun to do one of these "instant gratification" projects...........

Tonight, since I work the graveyard shift.....while all of you are enjoying an extra hour sleep.......(sad violin music, please).....I will be awake and working an extra hour!  LOL.....this happens on my shift twice during the year......in the spring they make it up to us by letting us work an hour less......so I guess it all works out in the end............so off I go to get ready.......ta-ta for now.............

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bringing Joy to Nana..............

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
— Louisa May Alcott


 I finally finished the two "Pre-Christmas" Christmas projects I was making for my Grands...............you saw the Grinch quillow on my last post................

 This went out, together with the 12 Days of Christmas Play Mat,  in Nana's yearly Halloween package..............

..................and this is what makes it all worthwhile..............
 





Thursday, October 10, 2013

Greetings from the edge of the earth.........

Every piece of the universe, even the tiniest little snow crystal, matters somehow. I have a place in the pattern, and so do you.
— T.A. Barron


No......I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth............just seem to have hit a little blogging slump......I've been doing some sewing though........still working on my Grandson's 12 days of Christmas hanging......just need to sew up the sandwiches.....and in the meantime, I started and finished the Grinch quillow for his little brother......I am planning to send them both when I send them their Halloween package so they can use them for awhile before Christmas gets here...



I bought a panel for this and then used my embroidery machine to make two additional blocks.....(top left and 3rd row, right) 



  I won the house block on a lotto and used it for the pillow pocket....and added a couple of machine embroidery patterns to it, as well.....


I have made and received a project in my little sewing with friends group.....this swap we made a needle case for each other.....my partner has already received the one I made for her so I am posting it today......as you can see, I am still loving my embroidery machine......I used two fabulous crazy quilt patches for this....one on front and one on back.....



 and it opens up to hold all your hand sewing tools.......


 
and now I have saved the best for last.....look at this adorable turtle needle case I received from my partner, Mary.....


and filled with all these goodies......life just doesn't get any better.......Thanks so much, Mary......it is perfect and I love it!


......so now I'm off to see if I can finish 1st Grandson's 12 Days of Christmas hanging so I can get it sent off............TaTa for now.......

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I hate what happens when I know what I'm doing....................



Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.
— Mother Teresa

So I am working on a hanging/quilt for my Grandson.......many years ago I got a set of 12 Days of Christmas Ornaments and began a little game we all play on Christmas Eve......I hand out the ornaments, which are inside individual boxes so nobody knows which day of Christmas they will have until they open the box.  After everyone opens their box, we play the 12 days of Christmas CD and sing along.  When the song comes to the day you are holding you sing that part and hold up your ornament.......we all laugh and have a great time with it.  My Grandson loves playing this game and always asks when we are going to sing the 12 days song so I decided to make him a little quilt of his own with the 12 days...........



I finished embroidering all 12 patterns today and began making the quilt sandwiches.  I am making a mock cathedral window quilt.........here is what I have so far.............





I sandwiched blocks 1&2 and then decided to skip ahead to block 12 and quickly put the label on the back of that block.   I was on a roll and since "I know what I'm doing" because I have been sewing for years........I sewed it together in a snap and then flipped it inside out.


                                           ......and Voila!  
 
 
The Label is inside!!!!  Really??

                               eeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhh!!!!!!!

 
 
Spent a little "quality"  time with the seam ripper and now we are back in business..................and time for bed........will tackle it again tomorrow...............
 
 
 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sewing Museum!


"Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost."
Robert H. Schuller




Hello Friends!  My friend, Beth, over at Love, Laugh, Quilt is having a Sewing Museum Linky Party this week and here are my entries into the show!

I will start by showing you some of my equipment and first up is my very first sewing machine.........some of you have seen it before....(and actually, it is in slide show on my header)...my old Rockford which I have had since I was a teenager...(and it still works great!) ...it is housed in a cabinet my son, Jeremy, found at a garage sale when he was 12 years old.  Jeremy hid the cabinet in the garage while he refinished it and then gave it to me for my birthday "way back when".....




next up is my Singer treadle....not really sure what the model# is....maybe someone can help me out?  This is a sewing machine I inherited from my MIL....it needs some cleaning and oiling to get it back to sewing condition....but isn't it a beauty? 



  
Right now I have a "tabletop" of sorts on it so that I can still get use of the cabinet with my "modern" Singer.............



And now some notions, and "etcetera" items.............

Here is a gorgeous vintage sewing box (also from my MIL) I noticed an identical box on Beth's page, only hers is in blue..........


..........some vintage 50's Singer sewing machine attachments....I believe these include a gathering stitch, blind stitch, and other decorative  stitch attachments.....sewing machine oil can and tomato pin cushion (complete with sawdust!)....

 vintage 50's Singer Button hole attachment.........................



 .......some wooden spools in an old Atlas canning jar and some other old bottles.....a few thimbles.......some are aluminum, some are brass, stainless steel.......even plastic..........the sewing scissors are stamped "Singer"....a pair of Griffon Pinking Shears........the other pinking shears are just stamped with the word, "Japan"

.more wooden spools........................


................some miscellaneous vintage buttons and needles.............look at those price tags!



...............and, of course, we all know that those quilt blocks are never right until they are ironed and pressed! I actually have some old memories of my grandmother ironing with one of these......she would place it on the wood burning stove to get hot first........



.................and speaking about wood burning stoves...........I know this is not really a sewing item but I would love to show you the Montgomery Ward wood burning stove that belonged to my Grandmother............ I cooked with it for about 2 years while living in Grandma's old house before it was sold.  Luckily my father took the stove out before he sold the house and now the stove sits in my sister's kitchen in New Mexico............

I hope you have enjoyed my little part of Beth's Sewing Museum...........I hope you will hop over to her blog and check out all the other links.......thanks, Beth, for putting this together!

Click HERE to go to Beth's Sewing Museum!