Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Crackers

I participated in the annual Christmas Cracker Swap on Crazy Quilting International this year. I wanted to last year but had too many things going on. Christmas Crackers are an English custom. You could sign up from 1-3 to swap, and I chose 2. What you do is take a paper towel cylinder and cut it to 7" and then stuff it with all sorts of CQ goodies and wrap it with either a plain fabric or piece a block, and embellish it or not.

This was the contents of the cracker I received from Aida.  She made a lovely pieced block which wrapped my cracker on the top, and the rest were the contents, all soft of luscious ribbons, fabrics, trims lace and lace motifs and even a tape measure, of which I can never have enough.  Thanks again Aida. I had so much fun opening this!

The next cracker I received was from Janet.  This was the wrapping of the cracker, it is even gorgeously embellished!

And these were the contents of this cracker.  It was chock full of beautiful fabric, lace and charms.  I had such a good time with this swap, I am so glad I participated this year.  Thanks again Janet, for a lovely pieced and embellished block and all the wonderful goodies inside!

SSCS Christmas Swap

As I mentioned before, I was in Chookyblue's Christmas Swap again this year.  This was the  gift I received from Kate.  It is a wonderful little primitive quiltlet, in my colors, my style, and I love it!  The beautiful ornament and quiltlet were great additions to my wonderful Christmas!  Thanks so much again! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

I just wanted to take a minute to wish you all Happy Holidays and a peaceful New Year!

I think I am just about ready, 1 or 2 more things to finish up.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

SSCS Christmas Swap

I joined Chookyblue's SSCS Christmas swap again this year, and received my package about
10 days ago. I am absolutely in love with my ornament. I am still trying to figure out how to make some. It involves folding ribbon and pining them onto a styrofoam ball I think. I love the pattern of this. My Secret Santa is Kate Webster from Western Australia. My main gift is under the tree waiting for Christmas. Thank you so much Kate again, this is such a lovely ornament and it will be treasured!

I have been quiet for awhile, a lot of stuff has been going on besides my work situation. Today we are attending the funeral of my son-in-law Jeff's grandfather. This happened suddenly after he was taken in to have heart surgery last week. He was a very dear man that we loved and his death comes as a deep loss.

My father also has had critical issues. He was supposed to go on an Alaskan cruise about a week after John and I. On the way to the airport, their car was rear ended and totaled. Because he is on blood thinners, and bumped his head, he had bleeding into his brain. I found out all this while
I was on my cruise. He came home, and the next week was on the way a doctor's appointment, when he had a heart attack. They took him to the hospital, and found he had a heart attack, plus more bleeding in his brain, which they had to put a drain in, to let it out. This stay was about 5 weeks and was touch and go there for a while. He is now back home but is having problems with balance, and falling and has had several falls since, including flat on his face. I told him he couldn't afford anymore bumps to his brain, and he said he knew.

The other person we are worried about is John's mother. She has been on hospice care since John spent 5 weeks in San Diego with her earlier this year. She had a cancer on her ear, that was removed, and has apparently spread. She didn't tolerate the radiotherapy very well, and it really messed her up. They talked about extensive surgery to clean everything up, but she is too frail to survive that we feel. A chaplain came and talked with her last week and told her the time was near. She is on morphine now.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Wool DYB, Christmas RR

My work continues to be causing havoc in my life. Previous projects I have started, and not posted are the Wool round robin. I decided to make baskets for mine and asked the participants to decorate my blocks and baskets.

These were all hand-dyed wools or over-dyed wools. The picture does not really portray the true colors.

The other project I last worked on was Rose Anne's Christmas DYB. The first block was the one I worked on my own. The second block, I needed to work on a portion of it, as we had 1 of our participants drop out before we started. So we decided to also share a block.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Summer DYB, Lotto

I have had an absolutely horrendous couple of weeks at work, and have a day off to get caught up. It also happens to be our 34th wedding anniversary, and I got up and made DH some banana bread. I need to get over to Joann's when they open and get some drapery fabric. I had gotten DH some new shades for his media room, the room he spends the most time in with his movies and games. I need to made some decorative drapes and a valence to coordinate with the new shades.

I have finished a couple of projects, a couple of weeks ago. First, I finished my block for Arlene's Summer DYB.

I used some braid as the arbor, and twined some wisteria up it, with some hollyhocks and violets off to either side.

The other item I got done was a block for our circle of quilting friends. It was Molly's month last month, and she wanted us to make a block out of reproduction fabrics. I can't remember how many pieces were in this 7" block but it was a lot!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Fibreart Montage-Judith Baker Montano

Two days ago, I received a package from Dragon Threads. I couldn't for the life of me remember
what I had ordered. Well it was Judith Baker Montano's new book Fibreart Montage. I cannot praise this book highly enough, it has wonderful photographs, lessons on painting silk fabric, crazy quilting, stitches. I love it, and have only had a chance to read part of it.

Last year, right before Christmas, I was contacted by Judith, having been a student in 2 of her classes at Asilomar. She wondered if any of her students had completed, or were near completing their class projects, as she wanted to include a student's section in this new book. She gave us a deadline of the first part of 2009. I worked frantically for about a month to finish up my Pigeon Point Lighthouse project I had started in my second class, a landscape crazy.

As being one of the students who submitted our work for this book, I received a copy, with a lovely note from Judith. My work appears on page 158. Also on page 8 she has an introduction, with pictures of some of her classes. My class is the 2nd from the top, and I am sitting right
behind Judith.

What a wonderful mail day. I have been anxiously awaiting this arrival since I found out the
books were released in late October.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Flower Fairies, Ritva's block

This week I had the pleasure of working on Ritva's Flower Fairy blocks. I chose the Rose Fairy to work on. I added a little ribbon skirt, and enhanced her wings a bit, I also added some fine curly yarn for her hair and couched that down and featherstitched over it.
I added the beaded seam and the hand-dyed dragonfly and the reddish looking lace above.

I also added a spray of rosebuds.

This is the whole block I am sending off.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

How Do You Like My New Look?

I have been thinking for a long time I needed to redo my blog, but have had no time, or a chance to do it. Recently I was looking into options and was looking into free blog backgrounds, etc, and came across Shel's Scraps and found out she would also design headers and backgrounds. When I saw her work, I asked her to design a new header and background for me. She finished it today, and I couldn't be happier. She even set it up for me. I have added her blinkie to my side bar. I highly recommend her work!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Autumn RR, Rita's Block

The past week I have been working on Rita's Autumn RR. I was the last person to stitch on this block and it was a pleasure. The ladies who had worked on it before me had done such wonderful work. I first added the orange/gold piece of hand-dyed lace. Next I worked on the
acorns using Marie A. Frietas' book called the Art of Dimension Embroidery, recommended by

Next I added some of my hand-dyed leaves. I also did the stitching right beside that, I followed the pattern on the fabric and accented the trailing leaves in thread.

This is the whole block, and it is being shipped off to Rita today.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My daughters, My grandchildren

I snitched some pictures off Kristen's Facebook yesterday.

These are my dear daughters, Katie, with her arm around Kristen.

Keaton will be 3 the end of this week.
Kyleigh just turned 9.
Jaeger will be 7 in December.

Making Memories Blocks 2009

I finished my 2 blocks for the Making Memories project and they are off in the mail today.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Blogger's No Reply, Making Memories Blocks 2009

I had wondered why I was getting so many No reply comments in people reading my blog. Sometimes I would really like to comment back. My friend Nancy had a post this morning about this topic, and directed attention to this blog, where Karen provides a clear explanation of how you can make sure your Profile is set the way you want it to be.

I had no idea that I someone had gotten to be a no-reply individual. This was not how I originally set up my profile. But I have switched it back to the way I want it to be.

I have been busily working on my Making Memories Blocks 2009. Last year I participated in the Making Memories project on Crazy Quilting International and made 2 blocks. These quilts put together can be found here. Last year the theme was hearts. This year it is butterflies and dragonflies using jewel tone colors. Leslie put these quilts together last year and did a super job. These quilts were chosen by the Making Memories Foundation to go on a nationwide tour, One of them is being exhibited at the The Houston International Quilt Show in October.

I have 1 of my blocks done, and the other I need to finish up in the next couple of days. Debbie is putting the blocks together this year.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Summer DYB-Rita's block

This week, I worked on Rita's Summer DYB RR.
I chose this block out of the ones left to work on. Rita indicated that when she thought of summer, she thought of poppies, sunflowers and daisies. I forgot about the sunflower part, but I did make some California poppies out of some ribbon I had that was the perfect color. I also hand-dyed the butterfly, and added some yellow tatting and daisies off to the left side.

Among the Gum Trees

I have been meaning to put this link in for several days, and finally got a chance to this morning.
On my sidebar, I have put in a link to Among the Gum Trees, a group of 9 Australian designers who are offering free designs. This starts Monday, October 5th and on each Monday throughout October and November they will offer free Christmas designs to download. If you go here, each of these 9 designers are offering a giveaway.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

FLOWER FAIRY RR -Wendy's block

Can you tell I am waiting for work to be dictated this morning? Before I left on vacation, I finished working on Wendy's flower fairy block. I have a bunch of pictures sitting on my desktop that I was waiting to blog about, but didn't have time before I left.

I do not generally like pink, but have been trying to collect more ribbon and thread. I really liked the way Wendy's Flower Fairy came out.


Before I left for our cruise, I had Lyn's Landscape II block to do. I didn't want to rush through it, so I asked her permission to bring it with me. This was a pretty big block, and Lyn had said she did not expect it to come back finished. Lyn had also asked that we incorporate these little face charms into our work. I had taken some threads and fibers to make a tree, but after visiting 2 of the yarn fiber shops and finding some wonderful nubby yarns, in brown and green, I was really inspired.

Every morning we were on ship, I would go up to the Explorations Internet/library section of the ship, which had a large table I could spread out on, and work. Ladies, and men, would stop by and inquire about what I was working on, sometimes everyday I was there, and would follow my progress.

This is the tree I made, plus I did the 2 little bushes beside it. I also stitched along the top of the green fabric.

As I was the last person working on this block, and she had 1 face left, I made a toadstool to incorporate the face into.

This is the whole block, on its way home to Lyn today.


DH and I got back on Sunday from a 2-week cruise in Alaska. What a wonderful trip! This was taken in Haines on our way home. We had gotten off the ship for a shore excursion, and saw a good shot of the ship with the mountains in the background.

I don't know how it happened this trip, but almost every stop I got off the ship and found either a quilt store or yarn/fiber shop. I am not complaining, it was wonderful!

It started out in Ketchikan, our first stop, when we met up with old friends we had last seen 24 years ago, but we have kept in contact at Christmas time. Even though it was raining that day, Kathy showed us some totems, and a totem museum we had not seen the last time we were in Ketchikan and we were able to meet up with Bob later for lunch, see their beautiful motor boat at the harbor, before it was time to head back to our ship.

Kathy also took me to a great quilt shop, Silver Thimble where I purchased this kit,

and this silk screened lighthouse print

and some of these fat quarters. I added to these
later in Skagway at another quilt shop called Rushin Tailor's Quilt Alaska, which I had visited the last time we were in Alaska. I knew this was a short walk from the ship.

Skagway also had a great yarn/fiber shop right next door which I don't recall being their the last time we visited called Changing Threads.

By this stage, I had spent a considerable amount of DH's $$$$, although he was pretty good-natured about it.

This stash also includes a really wonderful yarn store in Seward called Skeins and Fine Yarns, I found when I was supposed to be buying souveniers for the kids and grandkids.
So I limited myself, although it looked like a great place to spend some time.

Overall, the first week we spent in Alaska was rainy, and the week we were on our way back was sunny and beautiful. DH spent all of his shore excursions except 1 on raft/float, canoe trips. I went on an evening whale watching and a daytime whale watching. I went on a raft trip with DH which was a beautiful day. While in Skagway, my photo expedition got cancelled because of rain/not enough participants, so I went with DH on a jet boat excursion through an eagle preserve and saw 8 eagles. It was raining so bad, and even though they gave you rain gear and waterproof blankets, we got back, and the backs and fronts of our pants were wet and then we cooked our own hot dogs in the rain. This was not the best trip for me. I was pretty miserable by the time we got back to the ship at 8:30 that night.

I was finally able to go on a shorter photo expedition in Haines that was fun, and it happened to bed a beautiful day, on our second week of the cruise. I have to say though, our best excursion was our last one, in Ketchikan again, it was a beautiful sunny day, and we went on a float plane, up to the Tongas National Forest, landed on a lake, and had the best crab dinner of our lives at the Georgia Inlet Lodge. That was the highlight of our trip!

We were happy to get back home on Sunday, and Kristen and the grandkids picked us up, and we spent several hours visiting and catching up.

Next post will be about what I worked on while on our cruise.