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 http://straystitches1.blogspot.com/ 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, http://trudi-quiltingprolifically.blogspot.com/, 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. http://www.variablestarquilters.com/   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

Friday, November 12, 2010

Have you ever been to CTS?

And for those not in the Northeastern US,  CTS is The Christmas Tree Shop. Their tagline is "Don't you just love a bargain." And therein lies the problem. The things they have there are sold at unbelievable prices. I used to have to travel to Connecticut at least once a year to shop at one and that was my justification for spending way too much. One time, after they packed my purchases, it took two shopping carts to take it to the car!

Well, now they are expanding and opening new stores. Not one close to me yet but close enough. I went to Downingtown on Thursday with a friend and our sole purpose was to visit CTS. And it was well worth it. Have you heard the phrase, nickel and dime yourself to death? Well, I did a little of that. In the beginning, I was trying to keep a running total in my head to avoid sticker shock at checkout. I gave up at $60. Yes, I did exceed that amount but had a 20% discount! And I got some great stuff.

After we left, we went to Max and Erma's for lunch. I have only been there one other time but loved the goldfish hanging from the ceiling. Luckily, these were the non-greasy kind!

While most trees are past their peak color, I did notice a few on our way that still provided a burst of color on the horizon. The tree in my sewing room window is almost bare now but provides a great view of the street. Some of us call it our Nosy Neighbor window. Yesterday morning I noticed the color out my kitchen window with one brightly colored tree. Great view.

No, there has been no mention of sewing in this post. And that does drive me a little crazy. Yesterday was busy with the trip to CTS and then a homeowners board meeting here at my house. The secretary was not able to attend so minutes were left to me. After the meeting I worked on those minutes and then minutes from another meeting I attended. The second set was 5 pages long. Ergo, no sewing but maybe today. Hope springs eternal...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm so lucky!

What a nice surprise in the mail today. I won a giveaway from Nancy at Flatrock Cabin. http://flatrockcabin.blogspot.com/  She sent me an apron, an apron book and some chocolates! What a pretty little package too. I looked through the book and saw some familiar looking aprons. It brought back memories since my mom, grandmother and aunts wore aprons. In the good old days.

Nancy reminded me that she was one of the winners of my first giveaway. I think they say "What goes around, comes around." I would love to know how many times that happens in blogland.

Now about the chocolate. I would caution others not to open a gift of chocolate if you just came home from work and you're hungry! Not good at all. Lucky for me it had peanuts too so a little protein as well.

The note enclosed with the gift was on a card with one of my favorite Mary Engelbreit pictures and quotes. I couldn't agree more.

Thanks for everything, Nancy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh, what a night!

After getting a bit lost, but not too much, I arrived at Laura's house for our quilt group meeting. You will notice that I keep calling it that since we are still trying to decide on a name for our group. We bounced a few ideas around tonight and we are getting a little closer to consensus.

The oohs and ahs started early as Debbie, who just joined us tonight, modeled a jacket that Laura's daughter made a few years ago. We were all quite impressed.

We all shared the blocks we made this month. This is our fourth block and it is still interesting to see how the same pattern looks so different in the fabric we each used. Dru laid out her four blocks to show Debbie and Karen, our two newest members, what we have done so far. We finally got to see Dru's third block. We all liked it but she doesn't.
That started a trend and we all lined up our four blocks on the floor. We were pretty impressed with ourselves.
Since we really got ourselves started when we went to a local quilt shops Block of the Month meetings, it was most appropriate for Fran, Laura and Cindy (with her head cut off - sorry Cindy) to show their blocks from Pennington Quiltworks' program. I'm doing this too but mine hasn't been made yet. I'm using completely different fabric for mine. Maybe next month.
We have heard about Laura's project but it was great to see what she has done so far on the quilt for her mother. It is a beautiful blue fabric and white on white. Notice in the close-up you can see that Laura has fussy cut the white. Great placement of fabric. And if you look really closely in the background, you can see a quilt that Laura made hanging on the wall.

Fran shared a fabric find from ebay. It is a really pretty floral with some great flowers and thistles on it. Perfect for our Scottish Fran.
I apologize for the shaky picture but this is a quilt that Dru made for her son. She had to snap it back from him to show us. We loved the quilt and the colors but really liked the way she put the label on. It is a small envelope that opens and has a poem inside for her son. Great idea, huh? She also made a pillow with a wonky star. Love those wonky stars!

The block above is our block for next month. Peggy chose this one from Quilter's Cache, a great site for block patterns. Looks like another great choice.

Karen shared two wonderful dolls she made. They are based on the book Hitty, Her First One Hundred Years. Karen made the one on the right from a mold but carved the one on left to closely resemble the one written about in the book. We loved the tiny removable clothes and the workmanship on both dolls.
As our evening ended we added more oohs and ahs as we admired Laura's quilt hanging on the porch. She made this from a block of the month that only included the tan blocks. Laura really spiced it up with the red flowers. Love the vibrancy of this one.
The final picture shows a great idea. Laura tied placemats together to make a long table runner. Great idea for a quick runner, right?
I hope you enjoyed our little mini-quilt show pictures. It is always so much fun to meet with this group of talented women. Can't wait to see what everyone shows next month. 
And from all of us, we missed you, Lynn. Hope you feel better!