Saturday, December 27, 2008

SSCS & More


I had a wonderful Christmas. I hope all of you did too! The only disappointment is that my sisters that live here in Washington couldn't come for the Christmas dinner and gift exchange that we do every year. There was just too much snow to make the trip for one of my sisters, so we postponed until Sunday evening. I guess that just means Christmas will last a little longer at my house, yay!




I can't believe what a good girl I was to wait until Christmas to open my Secret Santa Christmas Swap gift. "No one will ever know", went through my mind a few times leading up to Christmas. My gift was SO worth the wait!! Nic, from Australia (so cool), gave me the most adorable wall quilt. She also included chocolate, from Australia of course. Yummy!!




Under the cute little angels it says, "friends are angels on earth". I wish you could see this quilt in person! It is so well made and the fabrics are so pretty. There are so many wonderful little details. Those Aussie girls can sew!! I love it so much. Thank you, Nic!!







Cathi recieved the goodies I sent her for the SSCS. She is very happy, which makes me very happy! You can pop over to her blog to see what I made for her (and her cats).


I think the most shocking gift I got was the laptop my hubby gave me. I was so surprised! It wasn't even on my wish list. I have wanted one for a while but thought it was too much to ask for. I was speechless, and that doesn't happen very often. Now I can read blogs while I lay in my back chair. Yay!





Some of you were wondering about the nativity quilt in my last post. I did make it. There is a pattern for it as well as a pattern for the shepherds and wise men which are two more quilts that hang on either side of the nativity quilt. I have the pattern for those and they are on my "gotta get to that" list. It is really striking seeing the trio of quilts hang together.




In case you can't see from the picture... Stained Glass Manger Scene and Stained Glass Shepherds & Wise Men by Designs by Edna. You can Google it and find it online. I bought my patterns at my LQS, yours might carry them too!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last Minute Christmas Projects

After finishing the pot holders I was in the mood to sew something Christmasy. I wanted something I could display in my home this year. So I got out a table runner that I sewed the top for a while ago. I layered and quilted it and put it on the trunk in my living room. Yes, it still needs a binding but I'm not satisfied with any of the fabric I have in my stash. So it will stay like this until I have a chance to go shopping for a binding. I badly wish I had some of the fabric from this project left to use for the binding but it was from a shop hop and we were given just enough to make the runner.







I still had the itch to stitch so I pulled out a charm pack of Christmas fabrics and started making ornaments. I am currently stitching the hooks onto the balls and then I will put my little wall quilt together. I feel very reckless working on such an irresponsible project. I decided not to feel guilty about all the UFOs that I should be working on. I am thoroughly enjoying myself.





While I happily worked on projects, the rest of the family was building an igloo in the front yard.




Being "snowed in" around here, we have had a lot of time to play games as a family. We love card games and I thought I would share a little tip my Grandma taught me. This is for those little hands that can't seem to hold all the cards they are given.



You just need two yogurt lids and a rubber band. Don't forget to cut some slits in the edges so the rubber band will stay in place. The cards stay nicely tucked in between the lids.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

White Christmas

Yay, only four more days until Christmas! I can't believe how lucky we have been to have so much snow this year here in the Seattle area. It is so magical. I took this picture the other day when it was coming down. There is a lot more now.


The kids had some fun with the snow. They are lucky to get to experience snow. I grew up in the L.A. area and I didn't see snow fall from the sky until I was a little older then they are. It was in Utah and I remember being amazed at how quiet it was.




I went grocery shopping the other day and made a bee-line for magazines hoping to score the Fons and Porter Baby Quilts magazine. I was hoping it would just come in the mail but it must be one of those special editions you have to go buy. The only reason I bought it...Nanette has a quilt in it. Do you think she would be a little scared of me if I mailed her my copy to sign it?



Thanks for all the nice comments about the potholders I made. Many of you asked about the pattern. It is called Handy Heart Potholders. I did a Google search and found a few shops that sell it. I thought they were fun to make and they work great.


My husband really wanted Christmas cookies this year. He wanted to give plates of cookies to our friends and neighbors and of course keep some for our family. I can't fulfill that wish with my back being ornery, not that he asked me to. So yesterday he started baking, with the kids helping, at about 11am. At noon he made lunch and we all sat down and ate together. He went back into the kitchen and baked all afternoon. I was playing card games with the kids when all of a sudden he says, "dinner's ready". Yep, he made dinner! How stinkin' lucky am I! Guess where he is this morning? In the kitchen starting on the sugar cookies that we will frost later today. Wow!

I will now leave you with this thought...What is wrong with Nicholas Sparks? You know the guy who wrote The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, Nights in Rodanthe, At First Sight, and many other books. By the end of the book I just read, I was so irritated. He builds a loving relationship between two people and then BAM he kills one of them off. What is up with that?! He doesn't do it in every book he has written but he has done it in most of the books I have read. My husband says it is to make the book more memorable. I guess I just like, and would rather have, a happy ending.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Gifts

I finished a few Christmas presents. Have you seen these great hot pads? They are really cute, shaped like a heart, and have two little pockets to slip your hand into.



Here are the different ones I made, showing both sides of the set. And I made a matching washcloth to go with each set.





So often I make things for other people and don't ever make them for myself. So I bought enough supplies to make two of each set so that I could keep some for myself. I made mine at the same time so that it wouldn't end up being another project that I never get to.


Only one week until Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This, That, and Some Ugly Fabric


Is everyone else frantically trying to finish handmade Christmas gifts? We pick names in my family and my husband's family. I am trying to finish up the gifts for two of the family members on my husband's side. And yes they will need to be mailed, yikes! I am also making a little something for the kids' teachers, which need to be done so they can give them on Friday, double yikes! My time on my back has put me behind schedule and now I'm sick and not feeling good which makes it hard to be productive. I just can't catch a break this holiday season!


While on my back and knitting last week I made a sock for this fun little sock blocker key chain that my friend Lou had given me.



Isn't it so cute! I used some of my left over sock yarn and size 0 needles. My first time knitting with size 0 DPNs and boy are they skinny! It was a fun, quick little project. I think I am going to keep it as an ornament for the next couple weeks.

I won the Ugly Fabric Contest over at Flamingo Island Designs. Thanks Michele for blogging about it! My prize was the ugly fabric that was sent in and a $15 gift certificate.


I used my gift certificate to get myself an applique pressing sheet. I wasn't the one who won for the ugliest fabric. I won in a random drawing of all the people who entered. Here was my entry...



We had to send in two 8" squares. I won one set and the winner of the ugliest fabric won the other set. I'm curious, did any of you enter?


So stay tuned, because in 2009 I am going to make a great quilt with my set of ugly fabric!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

DQS5 Received


Thank you everyone for your comments and your kindness. I was surprised to find out how many people deal with back pain. Don't you think it is time to band together and say "we won't take this anymore"!! Although I don't know who we would band together against. I guess until we figure that out we will have to deal with it.


I had a ray of sunshine along with all of your lovely, reassuring words. My DQS5 quilt arrived from Sweden!! I mean, I was already amazed at my packages from Australia. Then I get one from Sweden. This is all just too cool! The quilt is even in the colors of the Swedish flag so I will always remember where it came from. Aren't you amazed that I knew that? Well I am 1/4th Swedish... or maybe it is an 1/8th... 1/16th? Are you dying to see the quilt now?





Isn't it cool? I feel like I got two quilts in one because it is reversible. And I love the little embroidered felt teacup she included with the quilt. I thought I would use it as an applique , my son says it is supposed to be a coaster. A big thank you to Morgan for my quilt!! I went and checked out her flickr page and she is funny. I wish she had a blog because I bet it would be hilarious. That's a hint Morgan.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My own (not very) private pity party

Just checking in for a minute and then I have to go lay down again. Yep, my back is really bad again. Actually it hurts all the time but luckily it isn't this bad all the time. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to be limited like this. I want to be quilting and baking and enjoying the Christmas season. My problem is that I can tell it is getting worse but I keep going about my daily life anyways because I don't want it to limit me. My gosh, I am only 33 years old!


Luckily I learned to knit a few years ago and that gives me something to do while I lay in my chair. So I have been working on some washcloths that I am giving as Christmas gifts. I like how they are turning out and the patterns are easy enough to knit while I watch DVDs or listen to podcasts.


On a positive note about my back... I am so grateful that this reoccuring problem didn't start until after I was able to have two beautiful children. I am grateful that they are now at an age that when mommy is down and out they can take care of themselves (for the most part). And I am also grateful for a husband that is so patient and loving and doesn't act annoyed that he has had to listen to me say how my back hurts almost every day for the last 7 years. (I really do try not to complain too much)


Ok, pity party over. Time to wipe the tears and go lay down.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tis the season...


Yesterday I received my secret santa gift for the SSCS. I got another package from Australia!! I just think that is the coolest thing! There is no name with the return address and I just was not content to sit and wait until Christmas to find out who the sender is, so I got on the SSCS website to look at all the Australian blogs. I thought there might be a post that showed the gifts looking as they arrived, all wrapped in blue paper. But I didn't even last past the names that begin with J. There are a lot of Aussie girls in this swap! So I looked at the package again and saw the sender's signature on the customs label. But it is just the letter N and a last name. So I went back to look at all the N names and there are only two from Australia, sweet! I looked at both the ladies' blogs. Nothing. I guess I really will have to wait. Darn. I am sure the sender is getting a good laugh right about now.



Last night we went to Zoolights. Our local zoo has a light display all over the zoo and we go every year. It was really pretty and puts you in the Christmas mood. It isn't easy to photograph but I wanted to share a couple pics anyways...

My favorite tree...


I hope you are having a good Christmas season thus far. I always have a hard time balancing being stressed out and trying to enjoy the holiday. I hope I can get a handle on it soon so I can enjoy this month more. I think I need to make some lists. That always helps put my "to do's" in perspective. Once I get it on paper it seems more doable than when everything is swimming around in my head.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

DQS5


I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was wonderful. Don't get me wrong, there were some crazy moments with 33 family members here. But how could there not be with that many people! It was very hard to get my DQS5 quilt done with so many house guests, especially the little ones. So I finished it after everyone had cleared out. I didn't have very much more to do on it and I am kind of in love with it. It will be hard to let this one go. That is the one thing about swaps that I am finding is challenging...letting perfectly good, finished quilts leave my home.



Without further ado, here is my doll quilt starting with a few teaser close-ups to get you intrigued and then a shot of the whole quilt for the finale.









I have been wanting to try the sketchy outline applique technique that I have seen on some of my favorite blogs lately. I really like how it turned out. I will definately try this technique again. It was so fun!


I am reluctantly sending it out today to a wonderful quilter who experiences the same kind of dreary weather that I do. I hope this will bring some cheer!


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