One of my favorite gifts for Christmas was an iPod Nano from my younger son! Love, love, love it. I have already listened to several quilty podcasts on it. I headed to the library Tuesday to look for a novel to upload to it also. Well, after selecting one, I just automatically headed to the quilting and needlework section of the library. Vanna White's book on crocheted afghans caught my eye. Brought it home and was just struck by how many of her patterns looked like quilts!!! Square in a square, checks, wedding ring, bear's paw, sunflowers....who knew? I sure hope to get back in the sewing room this week. Waiting for me there are: Birds of a Feather (last two blocks to applique), Jo's Scrappy Stars (3 December blocks to sew), the 2006 Calendar quilt (December's strips to stitch together) plus other myriad UFOs to unearth. Need I even make any 2007 resolutions???
This little patchwork tree is from about 1970. I hadn't made a real quilt yet but was always fascinated by patchwork. I think it was the forebearer of an obsession to come LOL! This week has been a typical "week before Christmas"--translation: no time for quilting! Most--maybe all--of the present shopping is done and wrapped. Christmas candies and cookies have been baked and frozen. House is somewhat clean. Christmas cards have been sent. Non-perishable ingredients for the Christmas feast have been purchased, remainder will be bought today. Whew! I am making myself tired. Lovely get-togethers have been had, except for two family ones coming up in a few days. What am I forgetting??? Blogging has had to take a back seat and will probably do so for a few more days. Son #1 is coming in today from Nebraska and Son#2 will be in tomorrow from Indiana---so much of my time will be spoken for. Here's wishing each of you a wonderful Christmas and I thank you for reading my blog!
I love decorating the kitchen in gingerbread for Christmas. The little primitive tree is covered with gingerbread ornaments accumulated over the years. Close ups are a little rolling pin with gingerboys and painted gingerboys measuring spoons. I have a wooden bowl in my sink window full of gingerboys and other touches around the room, including a wonderful gingerbread-scented candle from Lang. Gingerbread people are so darn jaunty! The opportunity quilt that my mini-group has been making for the guild's show in the spring is finally done-done!!! It is called 25 Years of Friendship in honor of our guild's 25th anniversary. The friendship star motif is our guild's special block. It is made from mostly Moda Marbles. The applique is needleturned and the quilting is longarmed. Fun project--even more fun to have it finished.The really bright colors are quite a departure for us. Hope it goes over with the raffle-ticket-buying public!Note regarding snowmen pincushions: several people asked for a tutorial on the snowmen pincushions posted a couple of days ago. I fear the copyright police would have my hide for that LOL--but the pattern is available in the book, Snowman Threads by Need'l Love. There is a whole series of the Threads books put out by a group of very, very talented local quilters and crafters. These books are just fantastic and I have seen them in quilt shops all over the country so it wouldn't be hard to find. Thanks for understanding.
Okay, I admit it. When I see something utterly adorable, I want to make it--bad! One of my online groups is having an ornament exchange. I didn't take part due to a lot of activities going on this month. I have really regretted it. As photos of the ornaments started coming in, I pouted and whined (to myself, of course). This little wool snowman pincushion REALLY caught my fancy! I needed a little somethin' extra to add to my gift exchange gift for the Guild Christmas luncheon on Thursday and this seemed perfect. I have a couple of other practical quilty things already wrapped up but just felt I wanted something cutesy to put with them. I have had the book for quite sometime (Snowman Threads by Need'l Love) but had forgotten all about it. It has so-o-o many adorable snowmen projects. I took a couple of shortcuts in the interest of time (I have a houseload of company coming on Sunday and my house NEEDS cleaning bad!!). Instead of hand blanketstitching the nose and top, I used Fabric-Tak glue (love that stuff). And instead of French knots for the mouth, I used pins with black heads. I substituted buttons for the wool eyes. And, since I wanted to make this out of my stash to avoid a trip out today, I used 100% wool felt. Okay, why, you may ask, are there two of them? Well, I had to have one too, didn't I????
I am kinda bad about remembering to answer questions raised in my Comments section. Sorry 'bout that--I am trying to do better!!! Rabbit Stitchings and Dianne asked about a pattern for the wool tree pincushions. Here is a site which has a tutorial for the trees: http://littlebirds.typepad.com/ I used this pattern but turned it into a pincushion instead of a button tree--cute either way!!! Screen Door wanted to know about the project I was going to use my embroidery machine for. Well, I had intended to machine embroider "Andiamo" on these kitchen towels for some friends who went to Italy with us. Andiamo means "Let's go!" in Italian. Since these couples are snowbirds, I thought they could use the towels in their motor homes. However, my Bernina had other ideas and had to make a trip to the hospital (home now) so I had to do the embroidery by hand. The photos above show these towels. By the way, these little kitchen towels are so handy. You use a quilted potholder and a terry towel (I get mine at Target). Fold both in half and slightly gather the towel to fit the potholder. Stitch. Sew on a button. The potholder's loop acts as the buttonhole. I hang mine on a drawer pull right by the sink. They look cute with or without the embroidery. I still want to try machine embroidering a few though--maybe a snowman for January!
Since the early 80s I have collected primitive Santas. My very favorites are ones carved and painted by a gentleman from a neighboring town, Ed Gilliam. His work always brings a smile to my face. The Santas on the shelves are mostly his work. The Santas on the pie safe are others that I love and bring out every year. There are tons more in the basement, but I tend to pull out less and less each year--it's that old "Gotta put it all away after Christmas" syndrome!!! Last picture is a group of wool Christmas tree pincushions I made for my mini-group. We don't actually exchange Christmas gifts but I always want to gift them with some small remembrance every year. Not much quilting the last couple of days. I had wanted to use my embroidery machine for a few gifts but it decided to act bad yesterday so it is in the Bernina Hospital. My Bernie tech promises it will be ready in just a few days. Fingers crossed. I hardly ever use the embroidery part but, of course, when I do want to, it throws me for a loop!!!