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Archive for the ‘creative’ Category

We were so thankful in a change with some family jobs this past year so that we could have several days with both kids home.  Mostly it was God’s placements in giving us more family time and to Him we are thankful!!

JP arrived about 2 on Saturday after leaving his apt at 4:30 a.m.   K arrived about 6, being able to get home a bit earlier with a boss that values family time.  (so thankful!)

We had Sunday church together and then Christmas Eve service together.   Can’t say I didn’t shed a tear (or 2…) to have them both with us.

Sunday afternoon we had a few hours with the in-laws as that was Gpa’s 87th birthday.

Gma had collected drawings and writings from Miss K over a large piece of her childhood and glued it into a spiral notebook. (Part of K’s birthday gift earlier in December.)  They had such fun looking at it!  The next day we scanned everything and Miss K is going to make it into a printed book that will last vs the glue stick and notebook paper.  It is precious!  Gma M is very good at these savings in her own unique way.

We had Christmas Day at home.  ♥ Throughout the weekend, K & I had started the sewing project and it was fun to do that together.  Everyone helped cook meals and with dishes.  We enjoyed movies and an online game JP has that we play on the TV but with each of our phones.  It is fun and hilarious.  I have no idea the name or link for that.  You’ll have to ask him.

 

Good food and fun new recipes!

Hot-Buttered Apples and we served them over ice cream!  Yum! (gluten-free!)  This was dessert for Christmas dinner at noon with the in-laws.   I took this photo which was my supper that evening while under my electric throw on the couch!

Also a great new recipe is Tex-Mex Queso!  We had this Christmas Eve after church!  We added a pound of browned ground pork/sausage to make it more of a meal.  Yummy and easy to get ready quickly.

 

 


Sunset on December 23.  Wonderful color!

I offered to make my farmer a gift wish list with email links in early November but he said, “I thought we don’t do gifts.”  Hmpf!  So I shopped for myself on Thanksgiving weekend with the great sales online and the kids had gone back to their own homes.

Then 2 weeks before Christmas he asked for ideas!!!  #smackmyforehead  I sent a link to The Featherweight Shop and I think I included a few suggestions but he chose other things as well to make it to $100 and get his free shipping!  🙂  This is what I got!!  He excitedly told me they had things on sale and he got free shipping!

The needle threader/inserter is great!  As well as the thread cutter that sticks to the face plate.  So tiny but works super and just like my Bernina that I’m used to using!  The earrings are darling and don’t bother my ears at all.  Socks are calf-length (just above ankle a few inches for me) and a medium weight. Great quality shirt!!  Usual sizing.

I got him a new wallet as his in in shreds… but as usual, he didn’t like it and I sent it back.  He isn’t into gifts so that is fine.  At some point, he’ll decide he NEEDS a wallet and will find something!  LOL!

We had a wonderful time all together!  Saying good-bye is hard….

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Thought I’d just write simple with today.  We had freezing rain and rain most of the day.  Off and on; mist and steady times.  This evening it has changed to snow pellets.  Not much total accumulation is expected.

I worked this morning on what will probably be a multi-year project for me.  Mostly hand applique with my hand-dyed fabric so far but eclectic mix of fabrics for leaves, etc later.  The last few days I turned under edges and prepped the trees.

The color of the sky and the trees was weird on this photo so I just made it black & white.  But you see the pressing under the edges of the trunk and branches.

Today I redid some pieces and arranged on the background of the whole tree oval and the sky.  The trees are arranged and basted down but not stitched.  Reverse applique of some leaves is next on the project.

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I was really glad I could get to the IQF – Chicago quilt  show this spring for all 3 days.

On the first day, I had a few hours and saw some of the quilts as well as some of the vendors.

I had a class in the afternoon and I was first to sign up and ask to be teacher’s pet so I was the helper for the class. I had the ribbon to add to my nametag and afterwards I got a pin.  (So much un-Wow factor there!)   I checked with the Education​ office 45 mins before class was to start. Soon after one student was able to buy the class from someone else but came without even a pair of scissors! She got a quick class list and went shopping. On top of it, she had never taken a quilt class!

This was very interesting sort of class. Nothing I’ve ever done in my 30 years of quilt making!  It looks like wonky piecing but technically is applique.

At these classes, the machines are provided by a mainline dealer and there is a rep for every 3 classrooms. The rep gave an overview of the machine AND…. we found out the our carefully chosen specialty threads (on class list) wouldn’t fit in the machine.  It wasn’t a brand I’d suggest in the first place but that put a damper on things a bit.  I happened to have 1 spool that could fit in the machine so used that.  A few others had the rep wind their thread onto a bobbin to use as the top thread.  I think most in the class just had to use the regular sewing thread.  Oh … Brother, not for me!  Had I or we all known, at least I would  have brought a piece of tape, paperclip, and paper cup from SBx and made my thread work!  LOL!

Karen Stone was the instructor and had a long wait in the SBx line so was late for class.

Then the Education coordinator came to talk about other classes and the evening activities (ie trying to sell tickets) and the sewing machine rep came and talked too long.  (I guess maybe I should fill in the email survey…)  Finally it was class time but about 2:20, instead of 2 as we had all been waiting for.

The class was titled, “Remainderings” and as she taught we finally figured it out.  Very fun!

Karen gave a bit of an intro but mostly we just needed to watch her get going.  I like how she taught us 3 steps and then let us work on that.  She was right at our table or we’d congregate in a group of 5 or 6 around a machine while she’d demonstrate the next step again.  We needed the beginning steps learned before we moved on and she taught that well in class.  Once we all had a few pieces of the first half accomplished, she taught the final 2 steps.  I think all of us had one block completed through all the steps by the end of class.  Not that having “just one” block was a negative!  We had many blocks in various stages to jump right back into when we got home.

My first finished block.


Some of my pieces in progress when it was time to be done.

One of Karen’s blocks

 


Other students’ blocks.  The reason I needed to carry the 2 rolls of blue tape to the classroom — to hang our blocks on the wall!  Ha!


The blocks Karen had made to show us how they all go wild and play fun together!

I jumped right back into real life when I got home.  Maybe this weekend, I can sew some more on my class blocks.  I think it will make a very fun quilt!

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The last clue added the last row on the outside of the quilt.  The soloist continued a pattern to the centers and the corners.

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She also suggested piecing the backing from stash and I continued in my neutral pile.  And you know …. there are still more fabrics in the bin!  Her instructions included a bit of “sashing” on the back and corner posts.  I did all of this in neutrals but many in the group did another design of colors with this piecing.

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I wrote the label on one of the backing cornerstones before quilting.

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Planning the quilting….  I took a photo of the complete top, printed it in black & white, and then used tracing paper over that master to draw some ideas on paper.  In this photo, some is marked and I’m looking at thread ideas.

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Next up… quilting!

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It is rare that I get a chance to piece a quilt.  But there are gifts for special ones that go out ‘in haste’ here & there.

This is for a friend’s first granddaughter that is due soon. A family friend found me via FB and asked if I and any of our group’s quilters would like to make a baby quilt.   Sadly, our friend died 7 yrs ago and we thought it would be sweet to bless the daughter with quilts from her quilting friends as her mother would have been doing.  I was the only one that sent a quilt. The baby’s room is painted a golden yellow with accents in navy, purple, and fuchsia.

I chose the accent colors from my stash but just could not find the right background fabric for this.  I could drive 1 – 1 1/2 hrs each way to a modern quilt shop to try to find something which adds up to “take a day trip” with 3 hrs on the road, lunch out, etc.  I could have looked online for awhile and ordered but then I wouldn’t have it in time.  Or… I could dye my own!  My SIL was here and I was asking her help with choosing dyes off my color chart. Nothing was quite right and I was also looking for yellow dyes in the storage drawers.  There NOT on the chart but in my inventory, was pencil yellow.  Yes!  That was the color we wanted and I had bought that on a special – no longer made deal.  Of course, now I love it and hope to get some more pencil yellow fabric from my amount of dye.

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The next day I dyed an extra amount of fabric than my plan needed just to be sure I had enough.  I was also making my own pattern so was just using my guesstimated amount of fabric needed.  I used about a 1/2 strength of dye.  I stirred the dye about every 15 mins for an  hour to have it more of a ‘solid but not quite’ coloring.  I was so excited as I think it came out perfect to what I wanted!
I cut the half-square triangles (HSTs) with my accuquilt Go! cutter.  LOVE IT!  I line up the fabrics that will be sewn together, right sides together, and they come out of the cutter ready to zip under the sewing machine.

Once I had all the HSTs sewn and pressed, I laid out part of the center design.

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Sewed the top together…

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And this also shows some of the quilting marks I made before I loaded it in my machine for quilting.  I had guidelines for the circles and divisions of 8 or 4 per ring.

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First the detail quilting in a variegated thread that stands out on the lighter fabrics.

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The finished quilt – quilted, labeled, bound, & washed.

12Close-up of a corner and you can see the circular designs.  The background fill thread was a matching yellow and a finer size thread.

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The back of the quilt. Once again, without going to buy the fabrics, I pieced the back from other fabrics in my stash.  🙂

I appliquéd the baby’s first initial and a heart, then pieced in the diagonal piece of fabric for an accent.

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I had help from my family & friends on the label verse but I found it fitting since the mom has never met me. It was just a gift from God, with love from one of her mom’s quilting friends.  Sent from Illinois to Mississippi.

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The one who contacted me and the new mother were surprised at how well it matched the baby’s room.  Yeah!  I loved this quilt and had a hard time putting it in the box to ship away.  It was a gift of love so I knew I needed to send it.  It sounds like it was well received.

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I had the first week of MOPS for the school year while Mom was here so she went along with me.  My helper mom this year is my MIL and both our moms are friends so they enjoyed the morning together.

I had 3 kids in the room that day and reminded them that my “name” at MOPS is Mrs. M— and that “this one” will be our helper in the room each time and she is also Mrs. M–.   The kids were surprised!!  My MIL isn’t thrilled to be called that so we call her Grandma M as that is what I’m used to calling her.  To add more intrigue, I introduced my mom and they were so surprised that MY mom was there from so far away and that the other one was my husband’s mom.  It was fun!

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One evening we went to the PC Quilt Guild meeting.  It was an extra-special speaker that night and whereas most months we may only have 1 or 2 guests, this time my mom was one of 18 visitors to our guild!  Many, many of my guild friends (members at this one and members at the other one I’m in) were thrilled to meet her and introduced themselves.

Mom & I even had show & tell to share!  I prepared this embroidery for her to work on and she brought it back all done!  I still need to do piecing of trees for the border and quilt it for a table runner.

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She does beautiful work!  I couldn’t see a pencil line of the pattern left!  I’m not sure how she did all this of white & gray floss on white fabric!

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And I got her to initial it!  🙂

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The second Sunday she was here was an open day for Miss K and we all met in the middle for a wonderful dinner!

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Once again, mom was the charmer and attracted the attention of the owner of the restaurant!  He came to our table and welcomed us, shaking mom’s hand and then giving her a light kiss on her head when he left.  After we had finished our meals (well, as much as we could eat and had packed up our leftovers!), Mom & I visited with the owner again.  Soon our waitress came to our table with a full serving of their dessert beignets compliments of Mr. Vitalie!  Beignets with marshmallow cream and a chocolate swirl for dipping!  We were sure our stomachs had not one more inch of space but warm beignets fit in there just right!

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We brought home some leftovers and mom would heat a few each day for her mid-morning snack.  🙂  Of course, she made me have one too!  Maybe my next “meal” there will be just an order of beignets!  ♥

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During vacation, the Sisters group at church had a paint party and I signed up for myself, my mom, and a friend to come.  My friend claimed she wasn’t a painter and I said that it would all be fine and that my mom has probably never held a paintbrush in her hands.

For not fun reasons, my friend was not able to come.  I then sent a text to another friend, one of my MOPS moms, asking if she’d like to come.  It was my treat, she just needed to come.  She was thrilled and all the child care worked out easily for her.  So one friend was sad and one was blessed to tears by the opportunity to come to a Sisters event.

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I had hoped it was a paint party of copying the design the teacher had for us as I’ve seen many friends participate in doing.  However, it was a plaque/wall board and phrase paint class.  We used chalk paint and learned the benefits and the properties of it and it was fun.

This was shocking…. my mom doing a craft project!!

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About 40 were there, we had snacks but once we started with the project we were too busy to think much about more snacks!

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We had a good table of friends.  Fun evening and we were happy with our projects!

Mom was sort of a celebrity when I had her out for events.  She was thrilled to have “come the farthest” and everyone was thrilled she was out traveling and her age.

paint-class

I’m taking bets if she has this hidden in her room or hung in the main living area.  What do you think?
Mine is ready to be hung…. I need to choose what will hang on the wall area and do a layout.

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