Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

What an interesting holiday this has been. We had two of our children and their whatevers here. A wonderful time was had by all (I hope). I did a lot of cooking and they did a lot of eating.

I was so surprised when I opened my Christmas gift yesterday. Vintage Fiestaware!! I love all the colors and I love the fact that it is old and someone else used and enjoyed it. Isn't it fantastic?

We live in an area that does not get a lot of snow but when a coastal low forms we can be surprised. All of the weather reports yesterday were warning of 6 to 10 inches and they were not wrong. We woke up to snow this morning and it has been snowing all day.

Our daughter and her boy friend from Indiana were scheduled to fly out Monday but they became concerned yesterday that they might not be able to leave. So we spent Christmas day taking them to the airport. I was so disappointed that they had to leave but what are you going to do.

I hope all my blogging friends had a wonderful day and I wish you great sewing in the New Year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dressing or Stuffing?

Do you stuff your turkey or make dressing? In this part of the country we make dressing. I made the best dressing at Thanksgiving I have ever made. If you want good recipes, go to Never Enough Thyme. I sort of followed her recipe and mine turned out great. Go to the top to the recipe index.

I am also making some of her other recipes this morning.

This is the Redneck Toffee. My daughter in laws mother usually makes this and I love it. It is on the counter cooling right this minute.

I also did the Rolo candy and pretzel thing. So easy and also delicious.

This is my table. My daughter is flying in tonight and she will probably want to do more with it when she gets home. I really enjoy having a beautiful table at special occasions.

Merry Christmas to all of you in blog land.

I haven't done much sewing lately but I plan to hide in my sewing room as soon as this madness is over. Right now I have a refrigerator full of food so if you need me check in the kitchen. We are having a standing rib roast Thursday night with stuffed potatoes. Friday night we are having turkey and dressing and all that goes with it. Christmas morning we will have our traditional breakfast casserole and maybe Mimosas!

The best to all of you. See you in the new year. I have to get back to the kitchen!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Still here

My daughter called and said mom, you haven't posted in a month!! I am still here, still sewing but busy with lots of things this time of year as every one is. I finished a flimsy yesterday using my beloved Disappearing Nine Patch. My DIL gave me some charm squares. I used them and some additional fabric.

Not sure I will get this finished before Christmas. I usually use my dining room table to put together my quilt sandwich.

My dining room table looked so nice at Thanksgiving and I am sort of reluctant to undo it. I have to use it more often this time of year.

When I have had a few minutes I put together some scrap squares. I have no idea what I am going to do with them. My aunt says to keep putting them together until I have a piece big enough for a quilt for my bed!!

I included a star or two . I love how these random scraps go together and make more shapes and designs that you didn't anticipate.

I had to include this precious picture of my older grandson at his preschool Thanksgiving Feast! We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We had 12 here for dinner!! So much fun!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Very cool app

Wow! I can't believe I am blogging twice in one week. I just have to share the app I found yesterday. First of all, I love technology. My middle son got me hooked on computers way back in 1995. We bought one from Staples, paid more than you would for an I Pad today but loved it and it worked great for years. I now have a laptop, an I Pod touch and a Blackberry!

Anyway I was looking at apps for the Touch, which is my favorite! I found this amazing quilt app, called BlockFab and it is free. I can't even begin to describe all the things you can do with it. You could play with it for hours. You choose a block and then it pictures it in multiple ways and colors. You can also combine the block you chose with any other block and see what it would look like. Go check it out!!!

I had a wonderful day yesterday, no kids and no husband!! I brought my sewing machine down to the dining room and quilted these two. I didn't do anything fancy just parallel slanted lines. The first one is for the young woman that grew up in France with the fabric that Helen sent me. The other fabric on the back is some that by DIL brought me from her mother. It is perfect.

This is the quilt for my daughters friend whose son was born a few weeks ago in the Chinese year of the tiger. I have shown you this one before, actually I have shown both of these before. I call this one Tiger in the House. I am showing them to you again so you will see that sometimes I do finish a project. Well almost finish, I do have to do the binding.

One more thing, everyone seems to be into scraps these days. What do you suggest with this scrap? It is too big to throw away. Would you fussy cut the animals or ignore the print? Give me some creative ideas!
I have more if someone could use it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Interesting weekend

Friday was a very interesting day. Neither of my grandsons go to preschool on Friday. The oldest one came in complaining about his tummy. Before I knew it he had thrown up. He seemed to get much better and we went to visit my husbands aunt. She of course gave the boys a little snack. Before we got home the oldest one said Nana I don't feel so good and he threw up all over himself, the car and me!! I knew we were in trouble when the ginger ale came back up. Fortunately he is fine now!

I got up early Saturday morning to go to the quilt show with my aunt and two cousins. But first she had to show me what she had done. She worked the last two weeks and made all four of these quilts. I posted them before but she has now put them together and put a border on two of them. Aren't they fantastic?

I love this border.

Look at the way she extended the little strip she put in this one!

Darling quilts.

My aunt does not like the color of this one as much as I do.

We had a great time at the quilt show. I will post more pictures later. This is the grand prize winner and unfortunately I didn't get the name of the quilter. Can you believe this? Amazing.

I am working on putting the binding on Tiger in the House. What do you think? I stole the border idea from my aunt! SHH, don't tell.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tigers are in the house

I have been plugging along with making my houses with the tigers in them. Unexpectedly I had a few hours this afternoon. I finished this house.

I made this one the other day. I have six houses with tigers in them. I want to fill in with squares and stars. At least that is my idea.

This is the first arrangement.

I made a couple of more stars and a couple of nine patches and this is what I have now.

Tell me what you think? I am drawn to the subtle colors. I want the houses to stand out not the stars or nine patches. Now I have to come up with a border. I am thinking maybe a green or blue, maybe a solid.

My creativity is really kicking in lately. I have all these ideas swirling around in my head. Does that happen to you?

I should have even more inspiration this weekend. I am going to the Durham Orange County Quilt show on Saturday with my aunt and cousin. I am so excited to see what other very accomplished quilters are doing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Aunts quilts.

I didn't realize it had been so long since I blogged. We have been loving this beautiful fall weather. I had a wonderful morning yesterday with my aunt. She is working on four baby quilts at one time. She has a very interesting technique. I just love it.

This purple one and the green one next to it are for twin granddaughters of a friend of hers. She is going to add a green border to the purple one and a purple border to the green one. They look fantastic.

Notice how she added a 9 patch to each one and a big patch of a print, such a neat way to make a quilt. Sort of a take off on "I Spy" quilts.

I finished the top for my zig zap quilt. I have always wanted to make a zig zag quilt. This is for a friend of my son and daughter in law whose wife is from France.

I got some time to start a new project this afternoon. My daughter has a friend at work from China who has just had a baby. This is the year of the tiger so she wanted me to use a tiger somehow. So I made these houses today. I love making houses. I think I will make two more houses and fill in the gaps with squares. I am liking making squares in similar colors. I love the subtle look. I might also use some stars.

Here is a close up of one of my tigers houses. The name of this quilt is going to be Tiger in the House.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rainy days

After two months with very little rain we are being deluged! The weather man is even forecasting a tropical storm tomorrow. Every where you look there is water standing, in the street, in the yards, every where.

Thank you for all your kind comments and thoughts about my mother and her situation. The Hospice folks have been wonderful so far. The chaplain came yesterday, a wonderful young man, who seems to understand what we are dealing with. I have a lot to be grateful for. I have wonderful help in place. They love my mother dearly and do a wonderful job. Mother has trouble feeding herself so they put her meals in a burrito wrap so she can pick it up. These folks really go above and beyond.

The last two days I have been making scrap blocks. the number of blocks is directly proportional to my stress level. Can you tell I was a math teacher? Making the blocks seems to use both sides of the brain and is very relaxing and distracting. It is so interesting to see the unplanned shapes that emerge. I love it.

My question is this: do you make the blocks and then sew them together or sew them together as you go along? I have been sewing these together as I go along, sort of in strips.

I used a subtle sawtooth at the bottom of this one to fill in a space.

I also cut a lot of 2 1/2" blocks yesterday. It was great to go back and recall what I had used the fabrics for.

I am using the squares to make random 9 patches. My aunt got me re-interested in making 9 patches. She has been doing it and has put together a couple of quilts this way.

One more picture of fall flowers. This is from my mothers front yard. I think you call it a beauty berry. I love love the purple with the green. What a vivid beautiful color combination.

All the rain makes for nice quiet afternoons sewing!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I am an idiot

Let me make it clear what an idiot I am. I was feeling very neglected by my blogging friends because I didn't have any comments on my last two posts. This morning I decided to go back and look and I have no idea what I did but I did something that made the comments not show up in my email! I thought I was semi-computer savvy! I could not believe that my blogging friends would desert me! And you didn't!

Thanks for all your comments and support. We met with the Hospice nurse and social worker yesterday and will have a follow up on Monday. As of Friday mother is covered by Hospice. She will have minimal help to begin with. Basically a nurse will visit once week to monitor her vital signs. When she and/or the family needs more than that they will provide it. I am sooo relieved. I did not want her to go to the hospital and it is very hard to get her out at this point.

My husband and I are at the beach this weekend for a wedding of the daughter of a cousin of his. Beautiful day here but too hot for this time of year.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall flowers and life.

It has been a long time since I blogged. My mother has had a setback and we are dealing with it. She is having trouble with her speech. It is difficult to see her struggle. We are working toward getting her into the Hospice program. I have heard good things about Hospice. If you have any information please let me know.

My husband and I are walking as many days as we can. We love seeing the fall flowers. The first picture is actually the flowers in my yard!

We often walk down a road near us that has a field on one side. For some reason the farmer did not plant the field this year. Look at the beautiful flowers that came up on their own. How can you not be inspired by nature!

This is the quilt I am making for my youngest grandson. Poor guy! Nana hasn't made him anything yet. I deviated from the pattern by putting half square triangles in the border. I am going to put his name in liberated letters at the top and maybe finish it off with more hsts.

I have always wanted to do a zig zag quilt. This is for my son and daughter in law to give as a gift. This has been soothing to work on. After a stressful day it is so relaxing to go upstairs and just sew! I am going to put a row of red and then last a row of purple.

I am still reading blogs and trying to comment when I can. I love our blogging community.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August Finish

Back to school, back to work, it must be the end of August. I have my grandson's back so sewing has taken a back seat to looking after those boys.

I have been working on this small quilt for a good friend of mine who has a special birthday soon. I did the quilting last Sunday and got the binding on. It was such a fun quilt to work on. It will go in the mail to her today. I cannot give it to her in person. I would fall apart. Good friends are so special.

I used a lot of liberated techniques and ideas in this quilt. In this second picture you can see the fabric on the back.

I used Tonya's liberated letters for the FRIENDS part.

I am making a quilt for my second grandson using a pattern my good friend Helen sent. I just fell in love with this pattern.

I think I will put some HSTs as a border and his name at the top. It is fun to do liberated quilting but also relaxing to do something more traditional.

All of the wonderful giveaways! I can't quite decide how I feel about the GO everyone is crazy about. I guess I don't do enough to use one.

I hope everyone is having a great start to the school year. I still get twinges at the beginning of school. I miss my friends and the excitement of a new school year.

One more thing, my son has a friend whose wife is from France and I am making a baby quilt. Does anyone know where I could get fabric with French words on it to use for the back?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back to reality

We have been at the beach with family for the last week or so. We had a ball but I am exhausted. I am ready to get back to my life and my sewing.

I finished this before I left. There is a lot of yellow!

My friend Helen sent me this pattern and I love it. I am doing this for my second grandson. Don't tell but I have yet to make him a quilt.

I love doing liberated but it is relaxing to do something traditional occasionally.

This is my very favorite block. If I ever made a quilt with just two fabrics it would be these two.

Got these great black and white fabrics. I love the summer but the rhythm and routine of regular life are great too.

My little boys are back with me today. I am not sure if I will find time to sew but I will have a good time with them.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

More liberated stars

I have had a wonderful Sunday afternoon. I have been busy with family goings on for the last couple of weeks but now I am doing what I want to do!!
We are having a break in the weather. It has been wonderful this weekend. I pulled some weeds yesterday and I have decided that you never finish weeding you just stop! There are always some more.

This star was made by taking an orange rectangle and cutting it into irregular blocks. I love this method but it can be tedious to be sure you put the square back in the right place.

I love this star, the purple worked out beautifully. I also added the sawtooth to make it work. This is a technique I learned from Gwen Marston. She encourages you to use similar fabrics to make them "overflow". I also had to add a strip to this one to make it fit.

This is one of the panels. I used pieces of fabric and sawtooth to make things fit. I didn't put a lot of contrast in my sawtooth this time. I like the subtle color changes.

This is the other panel. I used the sawtooth in this one too.

I cannot show you the whole thing but this the central part of the quilt. Yes there is a word but i don't want to show the whole word right now. It is a surprise for a special friend.

These colors really speak to me!