Friday, December 31, 2010

It's All Relative

I just discovered that my stash is nothing compared to this!

Going Cold Turkey

I took advantage of my LQS's (Needles Quilt Shop in Wellsboro, PA) inventory reduction sale this week and bought fabric to finish up my aunt's quilt that I blogged about on Monday. The brown flannel will be the backing and the red is for the binding. I picked up the green and white stripe to add to my stash of stripes to be used for bias binding someday.

Now that 2010 is coming to a close, I have decided to put myself on a fabric-buying diet. I have way too much fabric in my stash and don't need any more, no matter how pretty it is or how great a deal it is. My goal for 2011 is to only use the fabric in my stash for my projects. The only exception will be for backings and maybe bindings.

Let's see how long this lasts....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So Many Choices

My husband and I have not felt the need to acquire much "stuff" for many years now, so our Christmas lists are usually quite short. With each passing year, it gets harder and harder to think of something to put on my list. And frankly, the way-over-the-top commercialization of Christmas really bothers me anyway. I try to participate in that as little as possible, while still making the season a fun one for friends and family. This year, I came up with what I think is a wondeful gift to ask for -- one that both my husband and son can give me together.

I have admired barn quilts for a long time now and have been jealous of people around the country who have them on their barns, homes, and even businesses. So, while my son is home on semester break, he and my husband will make me a barn quilt. Well, not technically a barn quilt, but a quilt that will hang on the outside of our garage wall.

So, the first thing to do is to agree on a block design that we all like. Not such an easy thing to do when there are thousands to choose from. Needless to say, we (well, mostly I) have spent a lot of time going through these books to see if we can come up with something. We're getting close.

Next week, the guys will go get supplies and start working .The goal is to have it finished by the time my son goes back to Cornell in three weeks. It won't be hung until warmer weather (perhaps spring break?), but I'm willing to wait.

Although in this photo some of the birch tree's branches hide the big open space above the garage door, it gives you an idea of the space where we plan to hang the quilt block. Clicking on the picture might give you a bigger view.

Now the next decision to make is to whether to use the gray, maroon, and white colors of the house (perhaps with black) or to use some bright cheery colors like in most of my quilts! Decisions, decisions....

Monday, December 27, 2010

Flimsy Finished

I took advantage of a quiet Christmas weekend to finish up a top that I've been working on for a while. I hope to finish the quilt in time to give to my aunt when we go visit in a couple of weeks. This is to replace the quilt that I blogged about here.

I think I did a better job with this one, don't you think?

Friday, December 24, 2010

From Me To You

Merry Christmas to my readers who celebrate and Happy Festivus to the rest!

Please make the effort this weekend to spend time with your families and friends, near and far, in person or through electronic means. And keep the spirit of Christmas with you throughout the entire year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Favorite

Some of my favorite ornaments are those that have been given to me by friends and family. This one was made by my friend Madalene several years ago. I can assure you that the fabric colors are much richer-looking in person than in the photo.

You can see more of Madalene's lovely art quilting on her blog, working wall.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Good Intentions

Several years ago, I decided to whip up a table runner right before Christmas. I didn't want to spend too much time on it, so I just cut squares from my stash of Christmas fabric and quickly sewed them together into this. The backing was sewn on by machine and then instead of a binding, I just top-stitched all the way around the edges. I didn't quilt it because I didn't want to take the time. And now every year when I take it out, I say to myself, "I really should quilt this...maybe after Christmas when I put the decorations away." And of course, I never get around to it and it goes back in the box unquilted. And if I do quilt it, I'll need to be extra careful to avoid puckers since the edges are already finished.

Perhaps I should make it a New Year's resolution for 2011....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Past

This was my son's first stitching project, made in 1999 when he was in second grade. It comes out every Christmas, but this year it made me cry ... they grow up way too fast .... sigh ....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

For Special Friends

These are the ornaments I made this year for friends. The fabric is from a line by Diane Knott from several years ago and the tutorial for the ornaments is here. You can see the ones I made in past years by clicking here and here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Two for the Price of One

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will hold out today for my guild's annual holiday party. We usually have a wonderful dinner and then a fun fat quarter gift exchange. Often times the wrapping is just as nice as the fat quarters inside, and with every year, more and more of our guild members make reusable bags for the event. This year I made a drawstring bag based on this tutorial, using the two fat quarters that I received in last year's exchange. If you want to see what I brought last year, check this post.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Just A Little Thank You

This is a postcard I recently sent to Karen Griska of Selvage Blog to thank her for picking me as a winner in one of her recent giveaways. I'm hoping it has arrived in her mailbox already.

Thanks again, Karen!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

God Bless Us Every One

My guild does a lot of charity quilting throughout the year. We often give the finished projects to Project Linus, but this batch will be going directly to a local shelter for abused parents and children in time for Christmas. To see some of my blog posts on the progress of some of these quilts, click here, here, and here.

Thanks to the generosity of guild members who donated fabric and/or their time, some local residents will hopefully have a little bit to smile about this holiday season....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Best Dressed Wine

My husband and I and a couple of friends enjoyed a "Barrel Tasting" event at Keuka Spring Vineyard up near Penn Yan, NY this past weekend (about an hour and a half drive from home). One of the displays of gift items included "bottle vests" for those who like to make sure their wines are well-dressed. There was a basket filled with vests made from all sorts of fabrics, from patriotic to Christmas themes. Interesting way to use up scraps!

During the tasting, we got to sample some prize-winning wines along with getting a chance to try some that are still "cooking" in the barrels. It was very interesting comparing the wines that are "ready" with those that are not. We then got to try mixing our own blends, both of the whites and the reds.

After the tasting, we enjoyed a wonderful spread of delicious appetizers. I was so busy eating that I forgot to take a picture. Oh well, trust me, the food was very good, too.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Christmas Season Has Begun

I am a person who insists that no Christmas decorating begin in my house until the Thanksgiving weekend is over. Thanksgiving is an important holiday and it shouldn't be overshadowed by what comes a month later. It bothers me to no end that I start hearing Christmas music in the stores in September and see Christmas things in the stores way too early in the year. The commercialization of Christmas gets me madder and madder every year.

That being said, I do like to put a few things around my house for the season. Most of them are things that I've had for years or things that my dear friends and family have given or made for me in years gone by. Or things that I've made myself, such as this cube tissue box cover.

I think I'll get these out next.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Always Time for Hexagons

Like I said in my previous post, I haven't been doing too much stitching lately, but I did manage to put this little hexie ornament together over the weekend. The back has the fabrics in reverse (green on the outside, cream in the center) and it's puffed up a bit with some polyfill stuffing.