Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas thanks to cold medicine

Well, Christmas is almost over and I am feeling somewhat better. We had a lost day. We had planned on going out to Bill's aunt's house so didn't have any food to prepare. Of course, everything was closed because it is Christmas so we ate the most unusual meals today.

I started feeling bad yesterday and by the end of the day, it was obvious that we weren't going anywhere today. Bill called Jane to let her know and we went to bed early. This morning I felt even worse so he went to the drug store to buy Theraflu Cold and Sore Throat. It seems to be working pretty good. You mix it with hot water and drink it like tea. It lasts about 4 hours and so far I have found that I am sound asleep two hours later.

We pretty much cleaned out the recordings on the DVR today, watching all the old stuff that we never got around to. Much of it I sleep through so that was a good thing in itself.

Anyway - I hope you all had a great Christmas and are ready for the new year!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Part One of Bonnie's Mystery

Here are the 100 3 1/2 inch rail fence blocks for the first clue in Bonnie's mystery. I am using green and purple batiks. The green is my accent color. Next step is 100 little nine-patches. I have a light yellow batik for my lights and the nine-patches use a lot of the light.

I am staying with Emilio tonight while his parents go to a Christmas party for Paolo's rugby team. He is eating his dinner right now. Dinner can be a challenge for him but he seems to be doing fine tonight. Of course, grilled cheese sandwich is a good start when you are four years old.

We did some last minute Christmas shopping today. I think I am finished but I need to do one more check to make sure I didn't forget anyone. I am going to make a steno book cover for Christina to give to her step mom for Christmas. Once Emilio goes to bed/sleep (they certainly aren't the same thing for him), I will make the cover and then start on clue 2 for the mystery.

Tomorrow is my last full day here in San Francisco. I think we are going to go to the Farmer's Market in the morning but I am not sure what else is planned. Since I am still somewhat on eastern time, I have been sewing every morning and have completed piecing blocks for the Wacky Devine Nine. Since they are so large and I only brought a small ruler, I think I will wait to trim them to size when I get back home.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Gingerbread, cookies and Teddy Bear Tea

We had a busy today today. First was decorating the gingerbread house. Emilio loved the frosting and putting the candy on. Not all the candy made it on to the house however.

Here is the other side of the house. Both sides have doors so I guess this is the backdoor.

Here is Emilio and his mom making cookies. They are kind of lumpy and misshapen but he had a great time making them - especially putting the sprinkles on.

In the afternoon, we went to the Ritz Carlton downtown and had Teddy Bear Tea. Here is Emilio with his teddy bear (it was sitting on his chair with a balloon attached when we were seated), a large Teddy Bear and the Elf.

It was a very nice tea. You can see what Emilio was served on his plate in front of him. The children had hot chocolate with little marshmallows, three small tea sandwiches, a little tuna salad sandwich on a roll, a gingerbread man, little chocolate covered cake, and some candy. You can imagine what he actually ate. Christina and I had a more traditional tea, including scones with cream. Not as good as Lovejoy's but very good.

The Elf put on a show, with much audience participation including singing, instruments and marching around the room. A good time was had by all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

San Francisco

I am here in San Francisco with my daughter and her family. Emilio is 4 years old and I forgot how active a four year old is. I will need a vacation after being here for a week!

I brought a small sewing machine I purchased a couple of years ago on sale at Sears. My daughter has an old machine here that I gave her but it didn't have a 1/4 inch foot and since I had this one still in the box, I brought it in my carry-on. It always makes for interesting conversation with the x-ray guy as he tries to figure out what it is.

Anyway, I brought with me the fabric for a Wacky Devine Nine for the shop. The line of fabric I got to make it from is bright and cheerful and should make an interesting quilt. I got the first cut and sewing done this morning (my body is still on East Coast time here in San Francisco) but couldn't find the iron so started cutting my strips for Bonnie's Mystery quilt I brought my lime green, purple and pink batiks with me. I hope to get at least the first couple of clues done while I am here, along with the Wacky Devine Nine.

I have the iron now, but also have Emilio. Christina left to get her hair cut. We were going to go with her and walke around downtown but it is raining so we decided to stay home until later. Will do a little more sewing this afternoon. I think we are going to JoAnns later so we can make some steno book covers. Of course that means we also have to go to an office store to buy the books.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Steno Book Covers

Here is what I have been making recently. Steno book covers! I have been using pre-quilted fabric but since it sometimes is hard to find it at a resonable price, I think I will quilt some of my own. I would like to make some in a sewing theme and haven't found any pre-quilted sewing fabric recently.

They are very simple to make and I taught a workshop at guild recently for the members. Let's see if I can tell you how. First cut a 7 inch by width of fabric piece of quilted fabric. Cut this piece to 37 inches. Using the remaining piece, cut a 4 by 7 and set aside. Take the long piece and folding about 1/4 inch top sititch in under.

If you want to add a pen/pencil pocket now is the time to do it. I usually use a small piece of the prequited fabric about 2 by 6. Fold down one of the narrow ends and topstitch just like the main piece. Fold in the long sides and press.

Using the steno pad, figure out the placement for the pocket. I usually have the bottom of the pocket about 10 inches from the topstitched edge of the fabric, placed at a slant. You need to place the pocket upside down and stitch across the raw edge. Flip the pocket up and topstich all around the three open sides.

Lay the long piece down on your cutting board right side up and fold in both sides until the piece is about 19 inches long and the ends are evenly folded up. Place the 4 by 7 piece of fabric in the middle where the opening is, placing it right sides down. Stitch both sides and turn the whole thing right side out. Place your steno notebook in it and it is ready to give as a gift with a pen or pencil in the little pocket on front.

While writing this down, I went in and made one - it only took me about 15 minutes from start to finish so these are very quick and easy to make for last minute gifts. I know this isn't very clear but I am not a pattern writer. Good luck and if you make one (or many) please send me a photo or let me know where you have posted one.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another gift from Allatoona

During 2007, we had a secret pal program at Allatoona. We revealed our identity to our pals. It turns out that my secret pal was Rose. She gave me many wonderful gifts during the year and it was a real pleasure to have her for my secret pal.

While we were preparing for our Christmas pincushion gift exchange, I kept telling everyone that while they could purchase a pincushion, no tomatoes were allowed. Rose found a great tomato sewing basket/pincushion and gave it to me at our last meeting. Isn't it great! I am using it right now to hold my MP3 player/headset when I am not actually listening to it. I have spent a lot of time looking for it so now it has it's own place to live.

Gift from Lisa at the Allatoona Guild

I forgot to post the picture of the gift that Lisa, our President made for the officers and committee chairs. I can't believe the work she put into each one. Here is my clock that she made for me. Lisa digitized and embroidered the quilt blocks that mark the hours and then put our names on the clocks. She also added AQG (Allatoona Quilt Guild) and 2007. This is far above and beyond anything I could even imagine. It is absolutely beautiful and will look great wherever I decide to hang it. It is so nice that I want it somewhere that I will look at it frequently so am thinking about putting it in my quilting studio but that would mean the only one who would see it would be me. Perhaps I better rethink that and put it somewhere in the main part of the house so I can show it to everyone who comes here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Another President's Quilt

We had our Christmas Party and elections at ECQG today. I am now the President and am really excited about the next year. We had a very financially successful quilt show this last year and because of it, we are able to afford even more national speakers than we have ever had before. There are a large variety of techniques, and quilting topics that we will have access to. I have already signed up for workshops with Beth Ferrier in January and Bonnie Hunter in February.
Here is Libby, the 2007 President with the quilt we made for her. As First Vice President, I was responsible for getting this made for her. Since Libby and I have very different, almost opposite, fabric preferences, it was hard for me to select a pattern and fabrics for her quilt. I talked to people who know her better than I do and they helped me decide on a simple square in a square in her favorite red and gold civil war colors. I purchased a yard of a sample fabric in each color and cut it up so that each person would have a sample to work with, even though they would actually use their own fabrics. We got quite a collection of fabrics and they all look great together.

I printed off a paper piecing pattern for the block from EQ6 and attached the fabric to it. I asked each person to make two blocks - one with red corners and gold center and one with gold corners and red in the center. They were to sign one of the blocks in the gold.

We then had a sew-in to put the top together and I quilted it and bound it. Danielle made a great label for it.

As you can see, Libby loved the quilt. We finally got it away from her for a little while and put it on a table, with pens so that anyone who had not signed a blocks could do so. I quilted it with a simple continuous curve which seems to suit the look of the quilt.

We had a great potluck lunch and a gift exchange that almost everyone participated in. The budget was approved and the slate of officers was elected so we had a wonderful time.

Christmas Ornaments

I signed up for an ornament exchange on Mary Lou Weidman's Yahoo group and was assigned to exchange ornaments with Mary Lou herself. I found a cute ornament to send her and got my package from her today. Look what was in my package.

Isn't she just about the cutest ornament you have ever seen. I love her! We decided not to put up our tree this year because I will be out of town the week before Christmas and not come back until the 23rd. I have it hanging on a lamp so I can admire it all the time.

Also in the package was this wonderful glittery poinsettia. It is also very nice and will look great on the tree next year. In addition to the ornaments, she included two bags of candy. One is sour Jelly Belly's and the other is very cute petite mints. Yummy!

Mary Lou is scheduled to visit the ECQG next year and I am really excited about meeting her and taking at least one workshop. Check out her website and blog to see all the fun projects she has.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Block Exchange

Here are some of the blocks from the Christmas Exchange.

See the one on the left? My name was drawn and these 12 blocks came home with me. We also had enough fat quarters so that each winner got a fat quarter along with their blocks. If you see look at the second row, the one on the right has Elvis right in the middle of it. We had several Elvis blocks and I am glad I received one of them.

I have a confession. I won blocks last year and they are still in the bag they came home in. I am going to put the new ones in the same place as last years so that when I finally get around to making Christmas quilts, I will remember these. Last year we had non-traditional colors that include turquoise, orange, pink and similar colors. Many of the ladies did not like the fabric and we didn't have as many blocks turned in so we only got sets of 9 instead of 12.

This is one of the most fun things the guild does. People look forward to it every year and some people have several quilts made from blocks they have won. It is always fun to look at the finished quilts and remember what year the blocks were exchanged.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pincushion Exchange

Guild today was so much fun. We did our pincushion exchange. Everyone formed a large circle and we played a left right game to a lot of confusion and laughter. I found a version of Night before Christmas that was modified with lots of rights and lefts added.

We had asked that people made a pincushion but since we have some members who really don't sew that much anymore, we did allow purchased ones, as long as they were very nice ones. I didn't see any duds this year so it appears that everyone listened and made/brought appropriately.

I received the pincushion made by Jan. It is a very clever cat pincushion that she made. The woman who got the one I made seemed to be pleased - I hope so.

Allatoona Guild Meeting - Presidents Quilt

We had elections today at the guild and after that was over, we gave Lisa the quilt we made for her.

In the above photo, Lisa is on the right. On the left, Barb, Tina, Barbie and me. We are getting ready to give her the quilt. It was pieced by Barb and Tina, I quilted it and Barbie put on the binding.
This is the back of the quilt, using many signature blocks. Each member of the guild was asked to sign a block and to also donate a fat 1/8 of batik for the quilt.
Here is the front of the quilt. Beautiful, isn't it! I will post some closeup photos of the quilting on my webshots. The front and back were all batik which is Lisa's favorite fabric. The outside border is done in dogwood fabric that was especially printed for the Atlanta Shop Hop earlier this year so it is unique to our area.
Here is Lisa with her quilt. She was extremely happy with it and certainly earned it with all her hard work this year.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Guild Christmas Party Tomorrow

I just finished up my pincushion for the gift exchange at the Allattona guild tomorrow. Last year we traded ornaments but this year it is pincushions. This one is about 6 inches square and is made of wool. I used fusible to put the leaves and flowers on and then did a buttonhole stitch around all the pieces. I then added french knots for the center of the flowers.

Lastly, I sewed the back and front together with more buttonhole stitch and stuffed it with fiberfill. Turned out real cute.

Since it is a potluck, I made lemon bars and they are in the refrigerator waiting to go. I also have all the exchange blocks (had to make two more today to round out the sets to give away) and our monthly fabric swap.

Still have to wrap the pincushion and my secret pal gift and I will be ready to go in the morning.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mystery Quilt

I have been following the mystery quilt that Bonnie Hunter recently started on her blog and new yahoo group. I decided that I couldn't possibly start it until after the holidays but the more I read, the more I want to get started. I have a lot of purple and lime green batiks from another project that never got started so I think I will use those for this quilt. I need a third color so will look for it when I go to the shop to work this afternoon. I think I will buy small cuts of several assorted light batiks for the light in the quilt.

First, I have a couple more quilts that need to be quilted this week before I leave for California. I need to piece the back for a t-shirt quilt so I can get it on the machine. It just needs to be meandered so will be quick once I finally get it on the frame. The customer wants it bound so I need to get it to Barb who does my customer binding for me.

The quilt shop Christmas party is tomorrow night at a local restaurant and I want her to have it before then so I better get busy.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Quilting the President's Quilts

I quilted two quilts this week for the President of the Allatoona Quilt Guild and the President of the East Cobb Quilt Guild. They both turned out great and I have photos but will post them next week after they are presented to the Presidents.

The Allatoona guild meets on Tuesday and we are having a Christmas Potluck lunch. We are drawing for sets of quilt blocks made from Christmas fabric. 123 blocks were made and there are 10 sets of 12 blocks plus one set of 3. The 3 can be made into a table runner. We gave each person a FQ of the focus fabric and they could make 1 to 5 12-inch blocks, using the FQ and any other fabrics they wanted to add. For each block they made, their name gets put into the drawing for the block sets. Should be fun.

We are also doing a gift exchange - pin cushions. Mine is done but I still need to stuff it so will work on that tomorrow. I did a flower applique of wool on wool. Kind of like a little pillow. All done with fusible applique and hand buttonhole stitch. Very cute! Will try to get a photo to post tomorrow. We have about 45 people and almost everyone participates. We get in a large circle and I read a left/right story. This time I found a modified version of the Night Before Christmas that has lots of lefts and rights added to it.

Guacamole Quilt Update

I taught the last class of the Guacamole quilt this week. Only three of the students were able to attend the last classes. Here is the first quilt with all the blocks waiting to be put together.
Next is one of the quilts from the night class.

And here is one more quilt from the night class.

All the quilts were made from the same fabrics but since the kaleidoscopes are different, the quilts are very different. It is so much fun to make quilts like this with other people. The quilts turn out "exactly the same only different" which is how my sister and I frequently make quilts. We use the same fabrics and pattern but end up with them looking very different because of the fabric placement.

Several years ago, we made Hidden Wells quilts. We used exactly the same fabrics but the quilts look completely different because of the fabric placement. Each of our daughters have these quilts and I sleep under the one I made when I go to San Francisco.

I have been quilting a lot this last week and have finished several customer quilts. Still have a few more to do before I leave for California a week from Monday. I will spend a week there with my daughter and grandson and will come home on the 23rd so I can be here for Christmas with Bill and the little doggies.

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