After Christmas Christmas Quilts!

Some folks tend to get the blues after the Christmas holiday has passed. Me....I just continue to more Christmas quilt at a time.  As I continued to rumble through "the vault" in my storage room, I ran across two little fabric book panels that someone had given me eons ago.  Since I am in the middle of  Ken Follett's Fall of Giants tomb I wasn't interested in starting a new book....but I did want to start a new quilting project. So, I  just cut each page of the panel, surrounded each one with a bright sashing, then pieced each page back together again.  Wow, that was quick reading!

'Twas the night before Christmas, when.....

And here is The Christmas Puppy storybook all sashed and put back together again, ready to head out to my favorite long-arm quilter person.  I'll get better pictures when I get them back and the binding put on 'cause these two are just too cute.  Just two more after Christmas Christmas quilts!  And there is still 367 shopping days 'til Christmas.  Oh, my..

Aunt Mildred was stressed!

"Aunt Mildred" was one of my first thread-sketched fabric cards.  She was my grandmother's sister and I loved  her dearly; however, she always had henna dyed red hair and always adorned herself with red, red lipstick!  And, as a child, I swore to myself that I would never get that old!.....well, guess what....I have arrived.  My hair isn't quite as red these days, I'm toning it down slightly, but I still lean toward the red/orange lipstick!

And, I'm feeling as stressed today as my Aunt Mildred appears in this art card.  Why?  Several reasons.....
beginning with No. 1 - it's almost the new year and I still haven't resolved.  Doesn't everyone have a New Year's Resolution!  The only thing I've come up with is to resolve to make this a year with some serious fun!

Reason No. 2 - HuMAn and I always have black-eyed-peas (you know, the good luck thing) and cabbage or greens (the money thing) on New Years Day, but when we planned our weekly menu the other day - S M T W T F S - we didn't realize that S stood for January 1 so knowing it was going to be cold with rain predicted, we wrote "beef stew" in the Saturday slot.  The grocery shopping is done and my mouth is watering for beef stew, so I'm stressing over changing the menu.  I sure need some luck and more money, but I sure want that beef stew too!

Reason No. 3 - I've started making a monthly calendar.  My first monthly was in December....I'm on a roll!
But I haven't found just the right photo background for my second monthly calendar.  Yep....I'm stressed, but for now I'm going for breakfast and then on to exercise and to get a new color applied to my hair, maybe a pedicure.  This may just be a fun day after all.

A red stripe ticking project - my latest!

I have a folder on my computer labeled "Miscellaneous Sewing Projects" and it's chock full of pictures! Here is one I thought I would just pull out today.  Graphics Fairy has the most bountiful assortment of pictures to download and I grabbed this fish skeleton the other day.  After I finished making my hot pads, I used the remains of my red stripe ticking to complete the pillow.  The fish print is banded with a charcoal gray wool selvage!  Hey....never say never! 

Having a Holiday Party

My best friend Ann makes the most fun cards - not the kind I make - I mean she REALLy  cAN make a cArd sing!  Here is just one of many I've received from her through the years.  This one just says it all....Tom and I have been having a holiday party today.  Just the two of us and it's been wonderful.  We celebrated with the extended family Christmas Eve and have loved our quiet day together, starting out with our Mimosa laced breakfast/brunch, then gift-opening.  I've just finished putting together the fixings for our Christmas dinner.   We're having a roasted turkey breast with cornbread dressing and gravy. Simple green beans and fresh fruit salad.  Like I said....just the two of us - having a traditional Southern holiday celebration. 

A Last Minute Stocking Stuffer!

A last minute gift idea....too good to pass up!  Here's the tutorial - sew fast, so easy.  Not only does AmandaJean show us how to do this little project, but there's lots more in her creative blog.  Go see. are my "let's keep it honest" first checkbook cover was a little small.  I notoriously make larger than 1/4" seams and that just wasn't allowed in this case!  I'll add a little fudge room on my next  selvage checkbook cover.  But anyway....there's more than one way to milk the cow... I just  added the little ties and an inside pocket and it's now a money or gift card wrap.   Bring on the lemons.....I love to make lemonade!

I made my first money wrap back in August. - just in time for a September birthday!  Just follow this link for the tutorial!


I was having an at-home photo shoot yesterday - zipping through the house, shooting willy-nilly - and when I downloaded my pictures, this one popped up.  Hummmmmm, I don't remember posing this vintage for a picture.  Must be best shot of the day!   I call these Christmas Red and Apple Green - my handmade pins all lined up on their little easels posed and pretty.  'Tis the season for red and green.


I was off and running this morning (not literally).  Well, kinda.  I did get to the center to work out on the elliptical machine then go to spin class.  I was energized.  While on the elliptical, I was glancing through a decorator magazine and it said I could make major improvements in my house in just a day!  Here's what I should do with candlesticks...he says...I'm quoting here.....

"Gather all your candlesticks and group them in a mismatched cluster of varying heights, with tapers 12 to 15 inches tall.  Only two candle colors are allowed:  cream or black."

When I got home, I gathered all my candlesticks!!! Pictured above!!!   I only had one and it's taper was neither cream nor black, oh my! and it was way short of the 12 to 15 inch height rule.  I guess that's why I failed decorator think?

Feel free to pass this decorator tip on - but only to your friends who have more than one mismatched candlestick whose tapers are only cream or black and measure more than 12 inches, but less than 15.

Red Stripe Ticking Hot Pad - A Tutorial

I love making hot pads for the kitchen but really, truly dislike adding binding. For all those who agree with me that life should be blessed with a hot pad without a binding, well here it is.....a hot pad tutorial! And bless binding!

Gather your supplies and let's get sewing -
5" x 40" length of fabric. Sub cut into 8 - 5" x 5" squares
one 9 1/2 " square cotton batting
one 9 1/2" square heat resistant fabric (found at Hancock's, Joann's or a similar fabric store)

To make this red stripe ticking hot pad, take your 5" squares, turn the stripes in alternate directions, then sew together - 1/4" seam allowance - to make two 4-patches.  

Now, let's make the hanging tab.  Cut a strip of ticking 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" and fold in half lengthwise.  Press, then turn each side in toward the crease and press again.  

Now, fold in half again, press, then stitch close to edge.

Pin the tab like you see one corner with raw edge of tab on raw edge of the 4-patch. 


Now let's layer in this order -
Top 4-patch of hot pad....right side UP
Bottom  4-patch of hot pad.....right side DOWN
Heat resistant fabric.....right side UP

Pin to secure all four layers.

With 1/2" seam allowance, stitch around all sides, leaving 3"-4" to turn. Back stitch at start and stop.

Trim away excess fabric on edges and corners, then turn and either hand or machine stitch the opening closed. 

 Quilt as desired. Then there was two.  It's always easier to make two (or more) for yourself or to give as gifts.  Sew enjoy!

My intentions were good.....but!

I was gonna look through my quilting books for just the right project -


I even pulled out my Moda jelly roll and bolt of muslin that I wanted to use in my next quilt -

And then....I remembered the sweets that were delivered last night!

And there you go - what a day this should be!

Christmas time's a coming!

You gonna mail these Christmas cards....or not?

I mean....are you gonna mail them for Christmas 2010????? black and white - a musing!

I rememember when there was more black and white.....when a lie was a lie and the truth was the truth, when right was right and wrong was wrong, when it was tangible or intangible!   There was no pussy footing  around an issue by calling it "a gray area."   No, I didn't take this picture back in the summer to make a political statement....but I read something in this morning's paper that got my dander up.  You see, I'm the kind of  person who thinks black or white.  I know there are gray areas...we call them "little white lies" and  they should be used only to tell our children about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.   But, who knows, these may be black and white areas too!  I'm being very good...just in case!

French Braid Table Runner

For Sale Here

{Echo} Week 28-White

Chrysti and Susan's {Echo} Week 28 - White - challenge didn't stump neither Autumn nor me! 

My friend, Elaine, is a long arm machine quilter and she has a most delicious quilting pattern to really put the spirit of Christmas in her customer's Christmas quilts.  So, since I had a picture of the back of one of her finished quilts, I decided I would use it in this week's - white - challenge.  I added just a hint of blue to enhance the white quilting outlines of each ornament .....Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

And in the spirit of the winter season, Autumn has made her own white winter wonderland with a white dress!   I think she met the challenge.....

December Calendar

I'm sure the professionals do it much faster than I....took me the last two hours....but, here is my December calendar!  Do I have the spirit?  Or what?
Oh Christmas Tree, a rag quilt pattern by Karla Alexander, while not available at this site, is well worth buying if you find it.  I once had the original pattern, but woe is me....decided to sell it....but before I did, I (thankfully) had the foresight to make a photocopy.  About this time every year, I get the urge to make Christmas "stuff."  Imagine that!

And for some unknown reason, I sold the quilt too.....oh, double woe!

But then I made this cotton rag pulling it out for the season. 

And this pattern is still available.  I found it here.

And, finally, from my flannel scraps, I made the house cats this rag cozy.  They love snuggling together on it on cold winter nights. 

Anyway....I said all that to say this -  Hannah's, a most delightful little country quilt shop near here, had a great variety of flannels on sale that were just irresistible, so I decided it was time to make another rag quilt.   The squares are cut and ready to sew....but that will have to wait - it will be  my No. 1 sewing project for 2011!

Asterick ***** Quilt WIP....and so it goes

As I wrote just a few days ago, I started this quilt top in June.....Karen over at the Selvage Blog posted a tutorial on how to make these little asterisks and I fell for it just as I do a new ruler or pair of scissors!
Then, full up to here with asterisk blocks, I put the project aside until I spotted AnnMarie's quilt finished out in all that white heart was pumping!  Since I normally purchase white muslin by the bolt (!), I knew I had enough to complete my asterisk quilt top.   By the time I got the three borders sewn on, it finished out at 64" x 74" which made a big asterisk ***** statement.....
 P.S.:  Thank you Vicki... Field Trip In Fiber now, that's a good thing!

Christmas Tree Decor

'Tis the hustle and bustle

It's still the asterisk ***** quilt wip

but I'm making progress.  I started on this one back in June - here, to be exact - and finally got sick of asterisks after 43 were completed.  Today I decided that 43 mixed in with a bunch of white would be just good enough.   And, after I got this design on the wall, I had two extra!  I like this, except the yellow one on the bottom is sticking it's tongue out at me. 

Replaced the little bugger with one of my extras.  This may be a better blend.   

An array of mini diaries!



Edited to include the link to Sue's cereal box tutorial....thanks Vicki for finding this for me!
I sure wish I could remember where I first saw the instructions on how to make these little mini diaries....'cause I do like to give credit where credit is due.  It's for sure I'm not smart enough to come up with this idea.....well, I'm smart enough....but I'm also smart enough to let someone else do the hard part.  I like to do the fun stuff:
(1) recycle cereal box and cracker cardboard
(2) find scrap fabric to cover front and back sides of cardboard
(3) iron heat-and-bond fabric adhesive to wrong side of fabric, then peel the paper backing off and iron to cardboard
(4)  trim excess fabric....let cardboard be your trim guide
(5) cut corners off one end to make a tab
(6) make a slit about l 1/2" from top of the other end - long enough for the tab to insert into
(7) stitch around all the edges, including the slit for the tab
(8) fold into thirds
(9) add paper pages....punch 3 holes through all layers and thread embroidery floss to secure the pages to the mini diary.  I usually insert 15 pages...this gives 30 front and back pages for those who like to keep a monthly diary! 

Have fun's Friday!  When I have nothing else to do, I cook.....