Christmas IS coming – and I can’t count?

Well, yesterday I said it was 26 days until Christmas, but really today is 26 days until Christmas. Hopefully I can be excused since it was my birthday. I had a wonderful time. My friend, Dorothy, took me to lunch at Herons Restaurant in the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, NC. It was absolutely the best–both food and friendship. I want to go back just for the art on the walls – better than a gallery. Everything I saw could be a wonderful quilt as well as a painting.

And what are you doing to get ready for Christmas? I saw some really fun links for handcrafted gifts over at MQResource on the weekly Whistlestop tour and thought you would enjoy them too.  I was intrigued by the Gifts in a Jar link. There are great recipes and gifts that go in jars and mugs and other things. There are also some fun things that you can do with kids of all ages. I loved the instructions for making a snow globe. Check out the links over there. And have a wonderful day!

26 days until Christmas

Time is flying – how did the end of November get here. I don’t mind today b/c it’s my birthday, but we’re very busy here. Thanksgiving is over and it was a fun one. Enjoyed every minute with my daughter and her family. I don’t have anything new to show you, but someone reminded me of something I made a long time ago, and I actually found a photo, so I thought I would share. This was a really fun baby quilt I made. As you can see, I don’t hesitate to use bright colors for baby quilts!

On this one, I used the Quilt EZ board system for the quilting. The boards I used were the round and square double spirals. As you can see, in some areas I used the spiral from the outside to the center and then did a freehand on the way out of the spiral. I overlapped them randomly, and it was a lot of fun.

SewCalGal’s Christmas Quilt Show

Last week I was completely tied up with family, and the same will be true this week. I will try to post some EQ7 blocks this week if I can get up before everyone else in the house for some one on one computer time. I’ll try to keep some information flowing. Last week was not productive for quilting, and I did not finish the things that were to be in the mail today for my brother and his grandchildren. I am just thankful that he is flexible. Last week was a whirlwind and this week is double scheduled.

Today I want you to go to SewCalGal’s blogspot and see her quilt show. It is a great show. I had planned to enter one of my Christmas quilts, but it just wasn’t finished. I have a set of blocks from a panel that I set in red and black and it’s a great quilt. Will finish it and show it here when Thanksgiving is over. But for today, take a look at all the other beautiful quilts.

The other thing to check out on SewCalGal’s blogspot is her tutorial on using EQ7 to design applique blocks using the applique designs from Accuquilt dies.

Mapleview Farms Field Trip

Just a quick post to show you how I spent yesterday. It rained cats and dogs–actually seemed like cows because our field trip was to Mapleview Farms. And Grandma didn’t quilt a stitch all day. It was a great visit and a perfect time to get out to the countryside. The leaves didn’t turn here until November – and everything that was green is now gold and red.

Thought I’d show you a photo of Grandma and the girls on the hayride. We were on a very long trailer (covered fortunately), but with rain blowing in the sides. It was chilly and wet, but lots of fun.

39 days until Christmas

I can’t believe it. What I really can’t believe is that I’m “retired” and should have plenty of time and am running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Now you’ve got to be old enough and provincial enough to understand that aphorism. But this week is devoted to family and there will be very little quilting.

I have done a couple of projects that I am desperate to get quilted and in the mail. My brother asked me about three weeks ago to make Christmas quilts for his grandchildren. It seems like a simple request–but it’s taken awhile to get this together. I looked at the one that was made for his first grandchild–it was preprinted fabric with borders. So I ordered some panels, got them washed and ready to stitch. I added borders, with advice about colors and patterns from both my husband and my daughter. One of the first panels I bordered just didn’t look very good when it was done, so I ditched that one and started over. Later when my daughter came over, she suggested I change out the center block – which I did – and that one will go to my Mom. Here are the two that I’m getting ready to quilt – one for a little boy and one for a little girl. They’re loaded onto the frame and will soon be ready to quilt. The question is whether to quilt them with an edge to edge design or do custom quilting–I think that’s going to be all about time.

But first I have a school field trip to Mapleview Farms with the pre-school class and then babysitting with my granddaughter this afternoon.

Snowman Panel
Snowman Panel with Borders
Santa Block
Santa Block with Borders

Some great Accuquilt videos for your weekend!

Today I am showing you a video by Judy Danz about using the Rose of Sharon Dies. It is one of the best videos I have seen because she shows you how to cut the fusible so it fits exactly on the die and works with fat quarters. This will work on any of the applique dies. This is such a simple concept, but I didn’t think of it. No matter how long I quilt or how many classes I take or books I read, I always learn new things from other quilters. And that’s what makes blogging and quilting and this community of sharing quilters such an incredible group of people.

I hope you enjoy Judy’s video – and check out her other videos on Youtube.

Another resource for videos is from SewCalGal’s blogspot Video Index. She has some good videos. I love the circle quilt by ReannaLily designs. There are some very creative folks out there.  Hope this inspires your weekend!

Christmas Stockings

I’m back today with a little change in venue. My younger daughter asked me a few weeks ago if I could make Christmas stockings for her children. When I told my older daughter, she thought that was a fantastic idea and perhaps I could make some for her children too – LOL! I’ve had this terrible cold for over a week (gifted from one of those children) and feeling tired and out of ideas yesterday, I decided to sit down with EQ7 and see what I could do in the way of Christmas stockings. Now you know the time is short–actually these need to be done by Thanksgiving. So, what would be quick and easy and look great for years to come?

Well, I still have some of the pre-printed fabric from the stockings that my children used throughout their childhood and teenage years, so that is certainly a possibility. Isn’t it great that we always buy a little extra just in case we need it someday! But rather than doing things the easy way, I thought perhaps I could just trace the designs from the fabric and make original appliques. But that really didn’t please me–why would I ever do it the easy way? So, I decided to do some drawing in EQ7. And this is what I did. I think I can make simple snowmen on stockings and add their names – thank goodness they all have 3-5 letter names. I used my son-in-law’s name on this example just to see how many letters would fit.  It sort of bothers me that there’s not a band on the top, but I can think about that while I quilt today. I’d welcome any thoughts or ideas you have.

Christmas stocking

Block # 12 – Single Irish Chain – simple and pretty

It’s time for a new block and to celebrate Monday, this block is a bit different than the others – NO TRIANGLES – but one of my favorites. It’s a single Irish chain. The nice thing about the Irish chain is that the pieced block alternates with a plain block and it’s a wonderful design to showcase your quilting. The other nice thing about an Irish chain is that there are so many different ways to cut it and stitch it together. You can cut it all as long strips, stitch the strips together, and then cut them into subunits, or you can cut it into individual pieces and stitch them together in rows. Or, you could even make four-patch blocks and stitch them together. The cutting instructions here are for the first two, you would have to make some modifications to cut it for construction as four patch blocks.

Single Irish Chain Block

And here’s an image of an EQ7 rendering showing all that wonderful space to showcase your quilting.

Single Irish Chain Quilt

Have a good weekend!

I have slowed to a snail’s pace as the week progressed and this bad cold has taken over. I have finally decided to take the rest of the weekend off to rest and recover. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just be sick a day and then completely back to normal the next day? The children were very sick with this and Kes had fever for three days, so I shouldn’t complain. Hopefully, we’ll all be back to normal by Monday. Have a good weekend and take care of yourselves.