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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Falling leaves quilt, actually quilted too!

This is a closeup of how I quilted the leaves. I made them look like the veins in the leaves, which made them a little like trapunto. They feel cool when you run your hand over them.

I started this quilt for my husband in the fall. He just loves the fall season and wishes it lasted longer, so I made this for him to see falling leaves every day. When I was quilting this, I tried new designs (I was looking at a book with patterns as I was quilting on the machine) and it really came out great. No lumps ANYWHERE (shocking really) and no hidden messes on the back. Amazing. :)
Well, in addition to this quilt, I finished my year long reading of the Bible. I used the Charles Stanley study version and it was much better than attempting it all on my own. Today was the last day!! I think I will do a study of the Psalms or something now to keep it going. It was a very comforting thing to do each day, and took stress away.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hope your Christmas was wonderful

Kenny got us this Nativity set when we first got together. It is our favorite holiday decoration of all. Some of our friends do not put baby Jesus in the manger until December 25, but Kenny wants Jesus there as soon as we set it up. We tried to get some camels this year, but no one had any.

I made a commitment for my vacation!! I will quilt two of the tops I made so that we can actually use them. Hmm...a novel idea. The one I made Kenny with the leaves all over it is actually on the machine and has some of the leaves quilted already. I figure if I leave it on the machine, I can quilt a few every time I walk by and then it will be done!! I made a quilt top for my son that is ready for quilting too, so if I do them both in the next 10 days that will be a record.

My quilting machine is a Husqvarna Mega Quilter. I do not have the frame and all, so I sit and quilt at the dining room table. After a while, it does hurt my neck and shoulder (from leaning over and pushing the quilt through) so one day, we will have to get a table that my machine can fit into so that I can quilt lower than I am now.

Also, I am committed to making a new apron at least once a month all year. There is a great website with tons of free patterns. It's a tipnut address. You type in "free quilt patterns" into your search engine and it will be there!! Great for drooling and dreaming and wishing there were more hours in the day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Eve!! It's a wonderful life!!

This scene from "It's a Wonderful Life" is the one that made me want hydrangeas for my house!! I saw this movie when I was in high school and it made a serious impression on me.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I hope that your evening is full of happiness, great food and good times. We are having dinner soon and then Evy, Rob and I will head off to the candlelight service at church. After that, we will open our presents!! YAY!! Psst!! I already know that I got the pasta maker attachment for my Kitchenaid!! We'll be using it on Friday.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Looks like snow, so why is Ken cutting grass?

New trailer we are not buying. Too big for our driveway and equipment. It all fit so nice in there though!!
Here is the sky behind our garage. Sure looks like snow might come, huh? Actually, we are supposed to get warmer tonight into tomorrow.

Sky to the left of our house.

Kenny starting the lawn mower. Hey, it's time to hibernate...not work!

Our big mower. Can you cut grass that is covered by snow? Probably not! Have you ever seen a man who is about to stop working for a month or so? He is not exactly relaxed!! That's my truck in the background. Love it!!

Ken's brand new truck. Now, let me tell you that this is such a leap of faith for us. Most of our clients are stockbrokers (uh-oh) and we will not know how this economy is affecting our business until sometime in March. However, our truck was already over ten years old and really needed to be replaced. We need a new trailer too!! Ours is 19 years old. We tried a new one today, but it was too hard to turn in our driveway, so we took it back. Won't think about it anymore until next week. The places around here will let you try stuff before you buy (probably like that where you are too) so at least you don't make a $$$$ mistake, and then have to live with it. Poor Ken was stressing out trying to get that thing backed up and out of our driveway!!

Sewing an apron tonight after dinner. Oh!!! I made Bigos tonight. That is a Polish stew with pork, saurkraut, cabbage, etc. It is so delicious.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Aprons and wallhangings for the holidays!

The apron above has the most adorable fabric!! It is from the Christmas special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and has the entire story on it with all of the characters. I found it at Walmart and made bathroom curtains with it and two aprons. I kept one and gave the other to a friend who has become known as "Grandma Cupcake" to her grandson because of all the baking she does. She loves it.

These two are from a pattern my friend Kathie sent me. So easy and fun. I used fat quarters in vintage Christmas prints. They were a big hit with my friends and are going off to new homes tomorrow!! I plan to make more of them with all kinds of fabrics.

I love this wallhanging!! The snowman scenes are all done on the embroidery machine!!! It was a toile pattern I saw online and was able to purchase and download immediately. As soon as I downloaded them, I was at the machine working on this project. Very fun and I can keep it up all winter.

The weather here is so brutally cold and windy today. We never got above 24 degrees and the wind howled all day. Time for a hot bath and then sitting by the fire. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A few quilts I made this summer...

The top quilt was for a very special baby who is our dear friends' first grandchild. I found a fabric book of children's prayers, cut it apart and made it into a quilt. I used all flannel fabrics in it, which made it especially cozy.
The bottom quilt is a very easy and fun design I saw one day and started the same night. The fabrics are pretty much all vintage designs and the red check reminded me of my favorite Nana in the world. The only thing left to do is bind it and it will be ready for the bed. I will probably reserve its use for spring and summertime.

Only 3 more days!!!

The top tree is the one we have on the front porch. It is real, with tiny white lights. The bottom one is our Christmas tree in the house. It really looks so beautiful every year. Funny how I hate dragging it out from the attic and putting it together. Once it is up, I hate to take it down.
We went out for a little while today to get apples (sadly, our last visit to the apple farm until next September! That weekly trip is our favorite). Then we went to Santa's Christmas Tree Farm and got a few more glass ornaments for the tree. That is a magical place to go and a person could sure get caught up in it all and spend a fortune!!
The woodstove is roaring now and it is so relaxing to sit here next to it. The day was so dark and rainy, which is so much colder (feeling at least) than a snowy one. Hope you are having a good night and relaxing by your own personal idea of a woodstove.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sure seems like Christmas!!

We had a nice snowfall last night and it is still snowy and cold today. I went to my quilt classes anyway (you just cannot keep quilters away from the quilt shop!!!) and got some fabric for upcoming projects. Right now I have to make a few more aprons and a set of placemats with napkins and towels for some friends. I picked out a really retro fabric for an apron for me. Cannot wait to get started. (During vacation!!)

We decorated the tree last night and it looks so beautiful. The kids were home and we all did the tree together from start to finish. A glass of wine, Christmas music and a fun time as a family. Very cool.

Tonight we are going out to dinner. A local place that has good seafood and steaks. Our anniversary was this past week, so we will celebrate at dinner. Then tomorrow I will clean the house all day after church so that everything is neat and clean for the holidays.

Friday, December 19, 2008

This was our spring...I miss the river, but love the snow!!

Well, I am finally back to this blog!! We were not able to post pictures on the computer for the longest time, and I thougth my blog would bore me without the pictures. This is my son, Rob and my father on the river. This picture is from an article I wrote for Small Town Living.
I have been so busy with school and home. For Christmas, I made aprons, curtains, placemats and napkins. With any luck, I can post some of them soon. Just don't want to give anything away to anyone looking here at their gifts.
This fall, I made a nice quilt top for my husband, Ken. I plan to quilt it during Christmas vacation. The quilt I made for my embroidery class is finally ready for quilting. It just might be my best yet. I'll post it this weekend.
Well, we have snow again!! What a fun day. We watched "A Christmas Carol" in school while the snow was falling. We read it last week and the kids loved watching it so far. It was just so nice and festive to watch the movie and know that the snow was piling up. Only two more days of work and I am off for 12 days. Can't beat that!!