Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Bits

     It's been three weeks since my last post, and I realized that if I don't do something soon, it will be January 1st before we know it. Business has been really hectic since Black Friday, for which I am grateful. XOX But we've all been burning the candle, so to speak, at both ends.

    The time finally came to push away from the computer and get some decorating done... for this, I turned to my son-- he's the go to guy with the pickup truck-- everyone needs one of those in the family, especially when you need to move!

    I'm always pretty decisive, so in no time we had the tree purchased, home, and up. We went with the tall, skinny one...
(a good harbinger for in control holiday eating.)

    My son is not at all the sentimental type, but this year he really enjoyed looking at all the ornaments and reminiscing-- I discovered that I remember where each and every one came from, even though I'm never sure where my purse is. XOX It was just the two of us, and we really enjoyed having time together.

   I am collecting the Hallmark "Beauty of Birds" ornaments-- I don't prefer plastic ornies as a rule, and the birds are metal-- beautifully made, and heavy. Did I mention that next year, the block of the month is going to be bird themed? I'm calling it "The Cloud Club," and, of course, I hope you'll be stitching along! 

    The Flower Blocks are wrapping up, only one to go.  We had some complaints that they are taking too long and for that I have no excuse, but we are almost there! Creativity does not do well under pressure, and I really want this for next year's show quilt, so I can't let anything go until I am totally satisfied with it. It's a real point of pride to see all those blanks get filled in.

    For December, the obvious choice is a poinsettia... but I have never been able to digitize one... just look at that-- pretty, but the flowers are really leaves and there's no organization to it.

    I LOVE amaryllis and try to grow one every year. This year's bloom was just smaller and not as colorful than usual, and how to you make it short to fit a quilt square?

    Tomorrow, I am going to buy the plant I finally decided on, and I'm going to keep you in suspense. You will, of course, love it... it's the perfect ending. Then it will be time to get all those setting triangles made in the early winter of 2018. I have GORGEOUS borders planned that are not going to require the precise placement like "A New England Album." 

    To encourage myself, (and you if you are stitching the flower blocks) this is where I was on December 31st last year with last year's BOM...

And this is where we are now...

   Yes, my copy of the AQS magazine came in and there it is, just like a fairy tale! So to those of you who are impatient with the flower blocks, just try to have a little faith-- we are all going to cross that finish line again, together. Yes, that's me there!

Speaking of monumental projects, while I was digging out Christmas ornaments, I found something we all thought was lost!

This is a "Rose Bower" bed spread my grandmother made for my sister years ago. How it got in my basement in a plastic bin with tax returns is anyone's guess, but it's been missing for years. There are 270 crocheted blocks, all beautifully sewn together and in absolutely perfect shape. Made me so happy to find it. My grandmother died when I was still very young, but obviously I inherited her love of the needle, and it was fun to study what kind of job she did! PERFECT.

    Here's one more thing... a little Christmas present I got for myself. (We all do that, don't we?) You know there are people out there who seem to make a quilt like every three days. How? This is a really interesting technique put out by the Fat Quarter Shop. You just lay two 10" layer cake fabrics together with one of these papers, and just stitch on the lines, cut everything out, and use the pieces to assemble your block. There's a book with pictures of quilts on the left, and you need to buy the papers on the right.

I was interested in the "Petit Four Quilt." Can you guess why? Because it has those white diamonds in the middle of every block that are just dying to have embroidery in them. I'd love to make a quilt out of the "Countdown to Christmas" blocks next year and this seems like it would be a big help to do it.

So that's just a tiny bit of what goes on here right now... the vast majority of it is in front of the computer these days. Hope you are having yourself a merry little Christmas, and enjoying the days leading up to it.



  1. I really enjoyed your blog post today. Thanks for taking the time to share with us. Many blessings for the new year. I look forward to seeing your birds in 2018. Leslie

    1. Back at you, Leslie-- thanks for taking the time to comment-- I'd be convinced I am talking to myself, but my actual readership is in the thousands! LOL. Blessings to you, dear. XOX Carol

  2. I'm so sorry that "society" as a whole is so impatient these days - it seems like everything is me, me, me, regardless of others.....very sad. On the plus side, your work is incredible and extremely appreciated. Merry Christmas! XOXO Dottie