Sunday, December 29, 2013

Some Pretties

Yesterday was a quick trip to The Mothership, a.k.a. Keepsake Quilting's retail shop in Center Harbor, New Hampshire. I had been looking forward to their year end one day sale of 20% off almost everything in the store.

Having made some internet arrangements to meet Jane from downstate at the store, I was glad to arrive within ten minutes of our agreed time.

There was already a six-person deep line at the registers and the store was crowded with happy quilters. No sign of Jane, but I had fun shopping, too.

After an hour, I took my loot and went on to Dunkin Donuts for a decaf Toasted Almond coffee and a French cruller. Yummy!

Later I learned that Jane got off to a late start and she was very apologetic about missing me. No problem! I figure that there might be a Fat Quarter Sale this year in either March or April where we can try again to connect.
Here are my pretties.

A bit of cheddar from Renee Nanneman of Andover, a Judy Rothermel madder red, and four lovely Civil War shirtings in half yard pieces were my scores. The total was under $44, so I was pleased.

Kittens are all well and like to snuggle up all together when it gets really cold.

Happy sewing!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Few Of Clue 5

I confess to being a hoarder and a fabricaholic. Sometimes it is an embarrassment of riches as I struggle with the logistics of too much wonderful fabric, furniture, and fashions.Then, when I get to sorting through some of it, I discover treasures that I had forgotten about, LOL!
This is a fabulous grouping of oranges that I had traded for with a gal from Connecticut and was saving them for this Bonnie Hunter mystery, Celtic Solstice. .

So sorry, Shelley! But I did find them this morning and will get them into the mix soon. Here is what I'm having fun with on Clue 5.

I'm trying to be very careful with these little pieces.

Yippee! the first eight that I did are 3 1/2" as measured!

I love orange and blue together!

Now I'm off to indulge myself at The Mothership (a.k.a. Keepsake Quilting's retail shop in Center Harbor) for their year-end sale.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We took two hours to open presents and celebrated a fine Christmas.

Felix has the stuffed turkey in the oven driving us mad with the aroma as it cooks.

Alfred and Ilse had stopped by briefly yesterday and presented us with this basket of goodies. They even included large dog biscuits for Miss Raven and Miss Emma Lynn! The raisin and fruited stolen was our breakfast with hazelnut creme coffee.

I even finished hand hemming the binding on Matthew's quilt at high noon today, LOL! Now, THAT's last minute!!! LOL!

He loves his quilt and had no idea that he was getting it for Christmas!

As for Miss Raven's new toy, she really liked chewing on it!

 And Miss Emma Lynn loved her big chew toy, too! I already had to throw away several loose pieces that were loved to death.

And I got the first batch of Clue 4 four-patches pressed and spun their seams.

I'll need to play catch-up for a while on Celtic Solstice clues.

Thank you, Bonnie Hunter, for this wonderful Christmas present! Here's the link.

All our gifts were wonderful, but the very best gift of all was celebrating God's gift to the world, the baby, Jesus, who grew up to become the finest teacher of how to live.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A South African Beauty and Some Celtic Progress

We have not had any sunny days in what seems like a week now, I've lost count. I had been waiting for some clear weather to get some good natural lighting to show you one of my treasures from South Africa.

Our dear friend Tony is an expatriated American there on business, and he picked out some absolutely wonderful artisan panels to send to me.

These are silk screened panels whose design was taken from original batik graphics.

Over the weekend, I took this one to Ellen Peters' studio in Laconia, New Hampshire and quilted it for Matthew's Christmas present.

The primitive mood called for my favorite loosely drawn free-hand spirals and out on the black edges I did a back and forth pattern likened to fingers.

The elephants were outlined and it was almost as easy as following a coloring book. The backing is a tea bag muslin from Creative Cuts at Walmart's online store. I used a variegated red thread and it doesn't show up very much but it pretty against the black and red. I do not believe that I can get the hand hemming all done before Christmas Day but it is, at least sewn onto the quilt. It is about 57" x 77", a really nice throw size for a guy.


That all was fun, but left me way behind on the progress of Clue 4 for Celtic Solstice over at Bonnie K. Hunter's site, Quiltville's Quips & Snips.

These orange and green strips feature some of the fabulous fabrics that I traded for with my dear friend in Florida.

Now that's an orange orange!!

Some of these greens were lucky draws out of my 2" strip bin.

I was really glad that my crossways measure was a good solid 3 12" across the width. Tomorrow I'll plan on subcutting the strips to make the four patches.

In the meantime, Tipper, Tyler, and Tanner, are all very happy that the super chilled cold was gone for a few days.

Happy sewing!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Do Some Nothing"

When everything seems to be going too fast and my life is over scheduled and overbooked, I take my sister's advice and try "doing some nothing."
I sit and veg out.
I do nothing at all.
It usually last about twenty minutes and then I feel bored and antsy to just do one little thing, like some bit of trivia that has been bugging me to get it done.
Then, while I'm doing that bit, my eyes fall upon something else that begs to be accomplished, so then I do that. And so it goes.
I allow myself complete freedom to wander in and out of productivity. At the end of my "nothing" day, I take inventory and I am surprised at all that's on the the list of things that got done.

It matters to me that I am able to take the pressure-cooker pace out of my life. I enjoy a day of decompression just by giving myself these inner permissions to take my time.

It seems that especially at the end of the year, with short daylight hours, and complex Holiday plans, it is too easy to let great expectations run us ragged and gasping for air.

You can use those hairy stringy fabric "squaring off" trimmings as gift wrapping ribbons, they look so festive!
So I say, tell yourself that you may take a nap in the pale sunshine,

or perhaps just chew lovingly on your favorite tennis ball...

Please be very gentle to yourself right now. Put on some cologne or maybe some hand lotion. Just do something nice for yourself. Do some nothing!

Happy sewing!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday's News

Saturday and Sunday were consumed with a first of the season big old fashioned snowstorm.

I did lots of shoveling, especially on the back deck for my bewildered kitties.

They say that they've turned into "Catsicles."

Tipper appreciated the shoveled walkway on the deck.

It was a very cold storm which kept all the snow very fluffy with virtually no wind.

An even twelve inches!

That's my favorite kind of winter snow, no freezing rain on top of it!

Felix got a work-out doing the plowing with all of the upper body workout of constantly turning the wheel and operating the plow lift and release.

People don't always appreciate that it is physical work to plow snow, but it is! He has sore muscles today.

Matthew did a huge job of going out and sweeping off the twelve inches of snow off of all the vehicles. I know that is backbreaking work, too.

I had my coffee this morning with a beautiful sunrise over the farm across the street and admired a beautiful cleared driveway!

The Bonnie K. Hunter mystery, Celtic Solstice, still challenges me to keep up with the clues.

Now I've started Clue 3 just a bit of cutting out some HST's.

I think I got about 50 pairs done in the yellows and oranges.

Then I did some chain sewing.

And on to the ironing board to set the stitches and then press each one open.

My total production for the day was pretty pitiful, but hey, it's forward progress, so I'll take it!

Here was a quick stab at one of the pinwheels.

Flipped and pressed open at the center.

Wow! Three made, 22 to go, LOL!!!

I'll need to cut some scrappier pieces for more variety. I tend to cut along the Width Of Fabric and then I feel compelled to use the whole thing. It's sort of a variation on the "Clean Your Plate" club from back when I was a kid. That kinda thinking still gets me in trouble now, LOL!

The Catsicles sunning themselves in the garage. I do take them warmed milk and pretend I'm serving them cocoa.
Tyler on the left, and Tanner on the right.

Frigid cold air is moving in for tonight's full moon, so they will need to cuddle up together again inside their wool-lined sleeping boxes. I still worry about them, sigh.

Stay calm and quilt on!

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