Friday, December 28, 2007

Not Your Usual After Christmas Sale!

Some of my family rose early the day after Christmas to track down those markdown bargains, like coats, shoes, electronic goodies, wrapping paper, etc. Not me. I was hot on the trail of a sale at one of my favorite quilt shops, Prairie Point in Shawnee, Ks. Almost everything was at least 20% off, with a back room full of 40% off fabrics. about extending Christmas. I had been wanting this Fig Tree book after seeing the delicious quilt that Juliann made from it and posted on her Dec. 9th blog post.

I was also in search of some more of the Shangri-la fabrics to use for borders and backings and pillowcases for the Cotton Candy quilt. Before Christmas I finished all the blocks and am going to try to start sewing them together into rows today. I am wanting to pick up the blues as much as possible--DH says I never make a blue quilt!!!! Well, we'll see if this is blue enough for him when the borders have been added!!!

It seems that I have fewer UFOs to start the new year with than usual. Yay! I want to make a list of all the projects finished in 2007 and I am thinking I may be pleasantly surprised--for once. Right now, I am looking at finishing the Cotton Candy quilt, quilting the Chocolates & Cherries quilt, and working on a BOM quilt. I know I must be forgetting something LOL!! When these are all done done, I can start something new--maybe a Fig Tree quilt!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Wishes

May your holidays be spent with those you love. Wishing you and yours a safe and warm Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Most Wonderful Christmasy Evening

Kansas City opened a beautiful new complex in October--the Sprint Center. It will be host to sporting events, concerts, and other extravaganzas. It is a wonderful facility right in the heart of downtown KC. I lovingly refer to it as "the big squatty thing" LOL! But it is definitely a feat of futuristic architecture and mindful of Kansas City's efforts to revitalize downtown. I have so many memories from childhood of riding the bus downtown to see the fabulous window displays at Macy's, having a hotdog and chocolate malt at Kresge's, meeting girlfriends under the big clock at Jones, having lunch on the mezzanines of some of the big department stores lining the blocks. And the amazing decorations hung on street corners and across the avenues for the holidays made the trip even more exciting. All that came to an abrupt end with the advent of suburban malls in the 60s---enclosed shopping, free parking, what was not to like? But I do miss my downtown and am hopeful that the revitalization efforts will pay off.

My birthday present this year from "the guys" was tickets to the Mannheim Steamroller concert which was held last night at the Sprint Center. Could not have been a more perfect evening. Pleasant weather, a parking pass, $9 margaritas (well, the $9 part wasn't so great!!!) and fantastic seats. I have been a fan of Mannheim Steamroller for about 20 years, have most of their CDs which play pretty much nonstop in my car during December, and anticipate their PBS specials with great fervor! Well, let's just say, nothing can come close to hearing them live and in person. What a glorious show. What creativity. What soul-reaching music. Creativity is a subject that I love to explore and I have to wonder what creative driving force inspired Chip Davis to bring together all those unusual instruments to make his most harmonious sound. I am so glad I got to hear them in person. I understand that Chip Davis will be retiring soon. Hopefully the Steamrollers will continue on.

I had a request for a couple of the cookie recipes mentioned in my last post--the Cranberry Walnut Bars and the Orange Vanilla Wafer Balls. Well, for some reason I have not been able to put my finger on the Cranberry Walnut Bar recipe--grrrr. It was a recipe given to me several years ago by my hairdresser. It called for raisins and all I had on hand were the cranberry raisins. That made them even yummier!!! I will keep searching..... Here's the most yummy Orange Vanilla Wafer Balls recipe (and a bonus--it's a no-bake!)

Twelve-ounce box vanilla wafers, crushed fine (I use my food processor.)
One stick softened butter or margarine
One pound powdered sugar
One six-ounce can frozen orange juice
Small bag flaked coconut

Mix the crushed vanilla wafers, margarine, powdered sugar, and orange juice. Roll into small balls, then roll in the flaked coconut. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. These may be stored in a covered container in the fridge or freezer. Yummo!

Have fun with these, Susan!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Stars and Snowballs

Whew, are my fingers sore LOL! The bindings are done on my sons' quilts--in time for Christmas! Yay. These are not good photos and for that I apologize, but I was anxious to snap them before wrapping them up. Better photos can come on Christmas morning when the recipients hold them up and say cheese.

The stars quilt was started as a Jo Morton block of the month (actually three blocks of the month) at my local quilt shop a couple of years ago. The snowballs quilt was based on a pattern I saw in Great American Quilts Book Nine. It, too, has been in the works for over a year. I think it is pretty hard to find a quilt pattern that is masculine but won't bore me to death while working on it!!!
Snow fell again on Kansas City yesterday...a very dry light snow. That was a good thing--it kept me in the house, fingers to the needle. Friends are arriving in town from Arizona this week and we hope to spend a little time with them so it is good to have the quilts finished. Now to concentrate on the rest of the baking. This afternoon I'll attempt to clean out the freezer to make room for some more containers of yummies. I love to have lots of varieties of cookies in the freezer to pull from for trays---for neighbors, for friends, and for family get-togethers. The list so far: orange vanilla wafer balls, chocolate/caramel chippers, oatmeal molasses, chocolate brownie cookies, gingersnaps, drizzled white Oreos, peanut butter blossoms, frosted sugar cookies, cranberry walnut bars, and lemon bars. This list, of course, can change depending on supplies and aching backs!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Brought To You By the Letter Q

A little shiver ran down my spine. No, it was not caused by the latest round of Kansas City ice!!! I just got an email from my longarmer that my two quilts are ready. Ya Hooooo! These are Christmas presents for my sons. The marathon binding sessions will begin as soon as I pick them up after the guild meeting today. Stay tuned....

Pictures of the flimsies were on the computer--once. The Great Computer Crash of 2007 wiped them out so hopefully I can get decent shots of them soon.

During the "ice-in" I managed to get several more blocks for the Cotton Candy quilt stitched (no photo yet) , nine Hershey snowmen as favors for the mini-group next week made, and six more string strips for the guild's charity scrap quilt sewn.
I could sure use some Christmas elves.....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Iced In

Kansas City is iced in today! Virtually every school district has cancelled classes and thousands of homes are without power. Even though it is stunning to look at, an ice storm's destructiveness is one of nature's cruel jokes. Fortunately I still have power, I am stocked up on baking supplies, several small sewing and knitting projects are at the ready, and the cats and I are in snuggle mode! It could be worse...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Quickie Little Gift Idea

This sweet snowman wrapper template was intended for a Hershey bar but I chose to use it for a box of matches. You can print off the template here:
First go to on the home page at the top you will find the words "community"click on this then the page opens and on the left side there is a box & at the bottom click on "message board"when this opens scroll down to the 5th bold area where it says "support & learning forum" then the 2nd one down is "Instruction junction" click on thisnow look for "bamboo pin snowman" click on this & it takes you to the message where you will find the template.
I got this idea from a yahoo group I belong to. The hats in the original were knitted but I had lots of wool scraps to use up, so I made little tube hats tied with a wool scrap. The scarves are scraps cut with scalloped pinking shears. These will go in gift bags for my three snowbird friends, along with kitchen towels I have machine-embroidered saguaros on, crocheted dishcloths, and saguaro glass ornaments. I wanted them to take at least one thing snow-related to the sunbelt to think of me here in cold, cold Missouri this winter!!! These would make cute favors or small remembrance gifts (postman, favorite librarian, etc.) or fun little January "sit-arounds".

Monday, December 03, 2007

Quilting, What's That?

My poor ole' Bernina looks so forlorn there in the sewing room. If Bernie could talk, I'm sure he'd say, "What did I do wrong? Why won't she sew on me? When will I be king again???" The only time Bernie has been turned on lately has been to do a couple more blocks for the Cotton Candy quilt (see November 4th post) and to make a few burp cloths out of cloth diapers for arriving babies. I know, how rude to treat Bernie that way. Of course, there will be an onslaught of machine stitching binding as soon as the two quilts come back from the longarmer--and yes, they are Christmas gifts. I'm getting a little panicky, well, okay, a lot panicky. I was so sure they'd be ready for pickup by now as I "handed them over" about three months ago. I'm not the fastest at doing bindings!

I have been doing other Christmas things, oh yes I have. After a day of angst over my Christmas card list being lost in the great hard drive crash of '07, I remembered that when I bought the computer a year and a half ago, I had transferred all the files (via Detto) onto a CD. Yay, the list was there. All I had to do was update it. Pictured are the cards I have sent out over the last 20 years or so. I try to remember to keep one for myself. Do you see a theme here? I do adore primitive and vintage Santas. Today's task will be to write messages inside the cards that will go out this year.

And I have pretty much completed decorating my gingerbread kitchen. This little tree looks so happy in there. Each year I just cover it with plastic and store it in the basement as-is. Then next year I bring it up and tweak it and add to it just a bit. Sure saves a lot of time.

Here is the first completed knitting loom project--a neckroll pillow. Boy, did it go fast!! A girl could get addicted to those little looms. I have completed a hat also but want to make a big fluffy pompon for the top. It will most likely be a donation hat.

I think it's time to get busy on more Christmas-y stuff now...