Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 29th!!!!

Can you believe it is December 29th already? Where did the year go? I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Isn't it exciting to imagine what a new year will bring. I have great hope that there will be more sewing in my future. 

I had a great Christmas with my family in Atlanta.  Surprisingly, we had snow on Christmas Day. Not the northeast kind of snow but it was SNOW. Everyone was very excited. Since my nephew and his family were there too it was especially fun to be greeted with a little voice on Christmas morning, saying "Wake up, it's Christmas!" No one can beat a small child for appreciating the magic of Christmas. 

I was one of the lucky ones who had good travel in spite of the snow. I had booked a flight yesterday to come home and happily it went, only 45 minutes late. A little glitch when my plane landed at the Philadelphia  airport. The extra volume of travelers meant that I had to wait 45 minutes for my car but when I finally got home, I found that my neighbors had removed the snow from my driveway and sidewalk. They were dry as a bone. You just can't say enough about good neighbors. 

As you can see, it was an American Girl Christmas. The girls wanted their dolls to join us at the table but settled for the dolls to have their own table for the meal. All the dolls were very well-behaved. 

Since I was working 7 days a week, the Christmas cards I planned to write did not get finished. I'm happy to say that they are out in the mail now. I sat down and wrote them out the day after Christmas. I do believe in the 12 Days of Christmas so I consider the cards to be very timely. 

My final goal today was to organize my projects. These are my before and after pictures of the process. I had cleared the cutting table to use for gift wrap. It is such a great height for standing and wrapping. Now my projects are all in order. I have 4 going right now - layer cake quilt along as well as BOM's from two different shops and the blocks from my quilt group. I am thinking I best get cracking!

Happy Sewing in 2011, everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Getting there

I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Packages are mailed to points far away which is a huge job to check off my list. I am so happy to have that finished.

My last day at the Christmas Village is tomorrow. It will be bittersweet for me. I will be happy to sleep a little later, to be warm most of the day instead of freezing all day long in the tent, and to look forward to spending time with some of my family for Christmas. I will be sad to say good-by to the terrific people I work with, to miss meeting and talking with some interesting customers every day and to not be surrounded by the beautiful things at the Kathe Wohlfahrt (Okay, so this one won't be too bad since I have bought many of my favorite items and added them to my collections!)

Since I have nothing sewing to share, I thought I would show you some of my decorations/collections. I am so glad I had everything decorated before we started to set up the store. It would never have happened if I had waited.

Part of my snowman collection

Most of these were bought at the store.

Come on in and have a seat

The second fireplace mantel. So lucky that it opens on both sides. More decorating options. Just love mantels. 

The kitchen tree stays up year round. Really started when I couldn't find a place to put the tree away. Necessity is the mother of invention. 

A spot for some of the snowmen

The hutch

Waiting for Santa

Gingerbread tree in the kitchen. Definitely not good enough to eat. 

Snowmen on the landing tree

I can't wait to get back to sewing and finishing some of those many projects I started oh, so long ago. Keep an eye out. They will be here.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, magical Christmas and a Prosperous and happy New Year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What I'm seeing every day...

Just thought I would check in quickly and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. My schedule has forced me to monitor and adjust my expectations.
Here goes -
1) Finishing two quilts for gifts - now the goal is Valentine's Day
2) Writing Christmas cards - not yet but I have until Epiphany, right?
3) Wrapping gifts - partway done and will finish as needed.
4) Now what was # 4? There must be one but I adjusted it so well, I can't remember what it was.

As I mentioned before, I have been working seven days a week at the Christmas Village in Philadelphia. I love being down there, since I have great co-workers and the customers are also very special. And did I mention, I'm surrounded by Christmas when I'm there! I will surely miss it when I finish.

The downside of this is no time here at home. Finishing up a few things, getting gifts ready to ship to some of my family in Chicago, and making lists so it all gets finished. And somehow it will.

The picture above shows what I see every morning as I wait for the train. It tickles me because it reminds me of the signs in London. Somehow I like Mind the Gap better.

Taking that to a different level, I am looking for the gap in my day to get things done. I'll let you know if I find it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A meeting, a name and fabric HELP needed

I can't believe how long it has been since I posted anything. I hope you are all still out there. Working 7 days a week has kept extra activities to a minimum but I can't tell you how much I am enjoying myself. As I've said before, the customers are great and I couldn't ask for better co-workers. It's exhausting but so much fun.
I've borrowed the top picture of Laura and Fran's blocks from a BOM at a NJ quilt shop. I'm doing them too but they are in the to-do pile which just keeps growing.

Part of the no-posting is nothing quilty to write about but tonight our quilt group met and at least they had some sewing to share. As we've done before, each person made the block from the previous month. They did, I didn't. We have six (5 for me) completed and can't wait to see how it all looks together.

Cindy showed us our block for next month. I made this one when I first started quilting so it looks like an easy one. To catch up I will do two blocks and then it's my turn to plan one for the group. I'm happy to say I will have time once Christmas is over.

We did name our group tonight. At least I think we did. Our decision was The Good Enough Quilters - those who are quilting in the Land of Good Enough. If any of you are reading and I'm wrong, please let me know.

Now for the last part, the plea for fabric HELP. As you may remember from a few posts ago, Laura is making a beautiful blue and white quilt for her mother but unfortunately she has run out of the white fabric and can't find it anywhere. There was no selvage so she doesn't have any name to go on. Please look at the close-up and if you have any information about where to find it, please let us know. Her quilt is so beautiful and she only needs a bit to finish. HELP!

We ended our sharing with a gift grab. These were the gifts each person brought and everyone enjoyed making a choice. They were all wonderful and there weren't too many steals. What a nice, considerate group.

Hope to be back real soon.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Friday!

I'm not working today and this weekend which will be my chance to catch up. On my list today is sorting gifts, grocery shopping, washing and SEWING! I am making the promise to myself that I will get to some sewing today, whether I need to or not. And I really need to!

I am having a great time working at the Christmas Village in Philadelphia. Yes, if you live in the Philadelphia this is the one that caused a great stir when they removed Christmas from the name. Thankfully some reason prevailed and it is still Christmas Village. I just love going to work each day but it will be nice to have some time to get some things done.

As I've said before I love working and will miss it while I'm away. Here are a few pictures from inside the store. Aren't I lucky to be surrounded by such pretty things - and GREAT people!

If you live in the area be sure to come and see us. Many people have told us that this is just like the Christmas Markets held in towns and cities all over Germany this time of year. And you can have the experience without the cost! It is the third year and bigger and better than ever. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I won!

No, not the lottery. I can only wish for that. But this is almost as good. You might remember that I wrote about going to a quilt show. Well, a few days later, I got a call that I had won one of the raffle baskets. And tonight I was able to stop and pick it up.

What fun. The fabrics in the basket are just my colors. And it also included a gift certificate to Nancy's Notions. Love a gift certificate.

Unfortunately, my work schedule has not allowed me to get any sewing done but I'm hoping that soon I can get back to it. I love working at Kathe Wohlfahrt at the Christmas Market. The people I work with are great and the customers who come in are so interesting. It is a great job.

I thought I would leave you with this picture which tickles me every time I drive by it in the morning. Such an amusing way to make a point.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The stockings are hung...

...and I wish I could say packages were wrapped but not yet. I've been busy working at the Christmas Market in Philadelphia so it is a good thing that I finished decorating before Thanksgiving. I did not turn on the outside lights until I got home from work last night and left the wreath and Thanksgiving garden flag out too. But now, all bets are off and the festivities can begin.

These pictures are just a little peek at the lovely things you can find at the Kathe Wohlfahrt tent. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by these beautiful things. Lots more wooden crafts that I will share in another post.

Unfortunately, I have not been doing any sewing while I'm there but hope to get to some of that tonight when I get home. I have been re-adjusting my goals to make them a little more realistic so I don't make myself crazy with Christmas.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend wherever you are and whatever you do.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

And thankful are we

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I want to wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving. I am thankful for so much in my life and want to wish many blessings for all of you.

Have a wonderful day and in the words of the turkey on my garden flag...

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

All together now

Just a quick post to show you all the blocks together. They are now finished and I still have to figure out what I will put in between but, I just had to see them all together. I think the extra blocks will be strip-pieced from the remaining fabric. We'll see.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

And now an even dozen!

I just finished the twelfth block for the quilt. It's late and I need to go to bed but had to share. I love this block. I paper pieced the letters of their first names and used some Make Life fabric as background (Don't you just love fabric with words?). I added the Make Life labels to complete this block so it matches the size of the others.

I have to go back to the city tomorrow to finish our set-up but expect to be home early and I WILL get the blocks up on the design wall. I'm so excited.

Check back tomorrow for the next step.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hanging on

Now I wish this post was going to be about some sewing but unforunately it is not. I have been heading into the city every day since Tuesday to get set up for the Christmas Market at City Hall. It opens on Thanksgiving Day for a sneak peek. I'm happy to say that we are almost ready. Everything just needs a little tweaking and then we are set to go.

I'm still enjoying some trees that are a surprising burst of color when you see them. As I was pulling out of my driveway this week, I was happy to see this tree that is a few houses down from mine. The trees are like a wonderfully planted flower garden with color that lasts all season long. This one is still providing color even though the trees around it are bare.

Now another surprise is in my garden. As you can see, I already put out my Christmas lights (won't turn them on until after Thanksgiving!) but among the leaves is a plant/flower that stays green all year round. In the summer it has spindly purple flowers. Very pretty. A friend gave it to me from her garden but she doesn't know what it is called. Does this look familiar to anyone out there?

My decorating is all done. Here are a few of my Kathe Wohlfahrt purchases. I love all the handpainted wooden items. Glad that these are able to have their own special spot in the living room. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Then there were four...

blocks that is. Linda from Stray Stitches said that she saw three seasons in the trees which made me think I needed one more to make all four seasons. I got right on it tonight and made the last tree. I think of it as, in this order, summer, fall, winter and then spring. I know winter does not have green leaves but I'm taking poetic (or artistic) license.

I now have only one more fancy block to do and then I can start putting it together. I am loving this quilt.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Checking that list

I made some real progress today in the race to the holidays. I will be working just about every day starting tomorrow and as much as I hate to do it, I am already decorating my house for Christmas. The picture above shows one of my mantels.

No, I don't live in a huge house. I just happen to be lucky that I have a double-sided fireplace. This is the kitchen/dining room side. I have a gingerbread theme in this room which is carried over to the mantel. I have about 8 more bins to empty with tree decorations and tchotchke. I am trying very hard to discard into a recycle bag and donate items to a local nursing home thrift shop. It's not easy but has to be done.

When I finally came upstairs I was determined to work on blocks for the unfinished quilt. These are the trees (I know, they look like lollipops) which go on the unfinished quilt. I do need to get all of them up on a design wall to figure out what more I need to finish the top. Just have to keep plugging along. 

I read a post the other day which gave me a wonderful title. On Quilting Prolifically,, Trudi called herself a quilting butterfly. I know that you are all shaking your head and saying, yes, I get it. I do flit from project to project and only occasionally, get something done. Right now I'm involved in 2 quilt shop BOM's, one quilt-along and then my group block. In addition I have three quilts I would like to finish before Christmas. Okay, now I may panic.

Oh, yes, and then  I think I mentioned, I will be working full time. Good thing I can work at night!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Small but mighty good show

I went to a wonderful Quilt Show today. It was put on by the Variable Star Quilters.   I only had a short time to walk through but that is one of the best things about this show. It is not huge but when you see the pictures I took, you will realize how full a show it is. The quilts were hung and artfully displayed in seasonal and similar groups. One area held various Christmas quilts and another had storybook quilts.

This quilt was an anniversary gift. The maker had collected signature blocks at the wedding and then 5 years later it was completed and given as an anniversary gift. Don't you just love it?

Two years ago a larger version of this quilt was the raffle quilt. That really broke my heart not to win that one. I love the design of this little quilt. 

A small view of the winter season area. I loved the houses on this one.
So simple and so pretty.

Two bright, bright quilts. I love them.

Great to see so many sunflowers in various forms.

Alice in Wonderland. There was someone standing by me who really wanted to find this fabric.
Remember the Poky Little Puppy? Well, here he is in a quilt. I love the wonky setting of the blocks.
Sunflowers greeting you at the door.
This was such a lovely quilt.
Just love these chickens....
Another house quilt. Looks so good.
There were several Perkiomen quilts in the show.

Love this sunflower and rooster quilt.
When entering the show, I was impressed with the friendliness of the guild members. I know that they are a small group but they certainly worked hard and put on a wonderful show. I entered the basket raffle but alas, this was one show where I didn't win anything but came away with some terrific idea.

I tip my hat to the guild members who put on this show. I will certainly look forward to coming again