Saturday, December 24, 2011

I'm Hoping Your Christmas Is...........

Santa Claus is coming to your state.

Christmas Quilting!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mostly Baking, A Little Quilting

It's been busy around here as we have been getting ready for Christmas! Big Ginger Cookies, Potato Chip Crunchies, and Decorated Sugar Cookies are in the works!  Just like in years past, we made these delicious jar cookies for friends, neighbors and teachers.  Read all about this easy gift idea here.  They are fun and easy to make.  My boys usually do most of the work, if you can call it work.  The finished jars look a lot like sand art, minus the sand of course! 

Hash Brown Potato Casserole is another holiday tradition at our house.  Not for our family Christmas dinner or anything, but for the Christmas breakfast the kids had in their elementary school classrooms.  I mix it up the night before, then the next morning I pop it in the oven for 45 minutes or so while everyone gets ready for the day.  The disposable pan of casserole goes in a few paper grocery bags.....they are excellent for keeping food warm by the way.......and off to the school breakfast we go, warm Hash Brown Casserole in hand!  This would be a great make ahead Christmas morning dish too!      

To make Hash Brown Casserole just mix-

1-32 oz package of hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 c.butter
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 small onion, diced

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan. Put your mixture in the greased pan. 

Top with 2 c. crushed cornflakes mixed with 1/4 c. melted butter and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.  Enjoy!

The borders on my Blessings From The Hollow Quilt are coming along nicely even thought they have been slightly neglected due to the busy Christmas baking season! What's coming from your kitchen during the holidays?   

My blog friend Linda from The Quilted Pineapple had a giveaway to celebrate her blogiversary recently and I was so excited to be the winner!  She was kind enough to send two Charm Packs of Grace fabric and the Schnibbles pattern Jacks my way.  Thank you so much Linda!!  If you haven't already seen Linda's amazing quilting be sure to go over to her blog, click on the Quilting Eye Candy tab and check it out!  Beautiful work!   

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Winter White Wordless Wednesday

Okay, maybe not so wordless......This Christmas cactus was given to me by my mother-in-law seventeen years ago!  It has bloomed at different times of the year, depending on where we lived.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday Night Spilling Over Into Saturday......

Jalapenos, onions, Italian sausage, no sauce, extra pepperoni and stuffed crust
When the doorbell rang last night I breathed a sigh of relief because the pizzas were here!!  Yeah!  The Friday Night Sew In!  An evening free of cooking and full of sewing was about to begin!  I worked on getting these pieces ready for the border of my Blessings From The Hollow quilt, until I watched a little bit of TV, and then called it an early night. It had been a long week filled with Christmas shopping, decorating or fighting with the decorations depending on which day we're talking about, and school activities. I needed some rest!

I love the purple and red!
Saturday morning after walking Copper and throwing in a load of laundry, I did a little more sewing and trimming to finish off the border pieces. I'm pretty happy with getting that accomplished, along with getting a little extra sleep.  This week I hope to get more done on this border, but this is the last week of school before vacation and it's filled with special activities, exams, and half days of school, so I'm not sure how much time I'll have for sewing. The next Friday Night Sew In on December 16 will really help me out! Are you going to sign up?  
The luminary supplies for our neighborhood arrived at our house on Thursday, and the part for our Christmas tree got here too, so it should be a great week!  What do you have planned?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tree Turmoil

I spent last Friday at my LQS participating in Elf Day.  Just a fun day of sewing and socializing with an extra effort to get some projects completed before Christmas. While I was there I was lucky enough to meet a blog friend in person!  I had recognized Jackie's picture earlier in the year when she left a comment a blog that we both follow.  I realized we went to the same LQS and I got in touch with her through her blog, Jackie's Stitches.  We had a wonderful time on Friday working on projects, having lunch, and chatting about blogging!    

Blessings From the Hollow blocks with Lilac Hill fabric.

My Blessings From The Hollow blocks are now done!  This pattern is from the amazing book Scrap Basket Sensations by Kim Brackett. I'm so glad I took it to Elf Days and got started on it again!  I had put it aside to do some quilting earlier in the year and I'm so happy to be able to get it out and get back to it!  Now I need to work on piecing the border.  It will take some time, but I think the look will be totally worth it!  I've got all the pieces cut out and ready to go!

Lots of pieces in this border!
Auditioning inner borders.  What do you think, the green or the red?  I'm leaning towards green, but I want to like the red one better!

Maybe this border would be a good project to work on during the Friday Night Sew In this week.   Have you signed up?  There are two this month and I don't know about you, but with the busy holiday season I look forward to the extra reason to carve out some time only for sewing.......Like that will really happen here.  Not very realistic with the two boys, but I can try!  Ordering pizza and getting a movie for them might help me get that extra sewing time in this Friday night!  That sounds like a plan!

On the holiday decorating front, I have finally succeeded in getting the garland to stay put over the front door!  WooHoo!  The replacement part for the lights on our new tree was delivered and the lights finally worked again.....dramatic pause.....for a week. (Please insert a big sigh here)
 When I came back from a soccer practice the other night, I discovered that the tree lights were out again.  Very disappointing.  Replacement parts are again on the way, I hope, and soon our tree will be okay, maybe by the end of the season?  We are having a gathering of neighbors here next week to count out luminary bags for our neighborhood's annual luminary night and I'd really like my tree to look nice for that party.  I'll keep you posted.  Note that the luminary bags and candles have not arrived yet and I'm getting a little concerned.  Are you sensing a pattern here?  I think I'll call and check on that delivery right now to get one more thing off of my plate! Other than my that, all is well here. Just lots of shopping and baking to be done!  I've got lots more to blog about, but that will have to wait for another post. How are you dealing with the joyous but hectic holiday season?     

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quilts, Maybe Some Birds, Plenty of Presents, Garland On The Ground, and A Show!

 Quilters from around the world are participating in a Christmas Quilt Show that Darlene is having on her blog, SewCalGal. The show runs from November 28 through December 2nd, so you still have a few days to run over and check out a wonderful selection of both Christmas and winter themed quilts!  

Cozy Christmas from Love Of Quilting Magazine December 2002

This scrappy Christmas quilt that I'm entering in the show came from a pattern in a Fons and Porter magazine years ago.  As soon as I saw this pattern on the cover, I knew I had to make it.  It went on that 'projects to be tackled someday' list and really stuck in my head as one that needed to be in my house!  A few years later I got the courage to get started on it and the fabric selection began!  I still love the fabrics in this quilt, and there are lots of them!  I wasn't thrilled with the only appropriate fabric I found for the center of some of the blocks, because there were birds on it.  I just wasn't loving the birds on this particular fabric, in this particular quilt.  Luckily, I found that I could fussy cut the fabric enough to either cut out the birds totally, or cut out enough so you wouldn't notice it was part of a bird.  Is everyone trying to find birds in this quilt now?   

Plenty Of Presents!

My next quilt for the show is another favorite of mine.  It's very different than the last one I showed you, with more of a modern, whimsical look to it.  I always love getting it out for a fun filled Christmas!   The pattern is called It's A Wrap by Pieces From My Heart and it's on my list to make again one day with lively, bright fabrics, maybe with a black background, for a birthday themed quilt! I think that would be lots of fun!  Another one for that ever growing 'projects to be tackled someday' list!  I'm sure I'm not the only one with that list.  It gives us a times fantastically long......list of quilts to plan and dream about making someday!

Go enjoy the show!

Well, I'm off to Target to get more adhesive hooks to hang a lit evergreen garland around our front door.  I lost count of the number of times it fell down last night when we were trying to put it up.  My son tells me it was three times. Well, now we are on the fourth try and apparently I need to kick it up a notch to get it to stay up!  I'll let you know how it goes.  I'm sure it looked lovely last night as it was half on and half off the front door.  The neighbors were surely wondering what was going on.  The decorations seem to be rebelling this year, including our new tree.  More on that later once I get this garland to stay up! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's Certainly A Tasty Thursday!

How do you like my helpers?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Pie Spectacular with a gingersnap cookie crust....Yum!!

My boys are working on the turkey and the dressing and I'm doing a little relaxing after making some of the sides and the pies earlier in the week.  After having our Thanksgiving meal at home we will be heading over to the neighbor's to share our desserts and maybe playing a little cornhole after that.   

A homemade cheese ball and crackers, cream cheese mashed potatoes, apple-crabberry sage dressing, green bean casserole, pecan and pumpkin pies, cranberry sauce....I just love the kind from the can!......rolls, and of course yummy turkey and gravy are on our menu today......and for the next few days.  What are the Thanksgiving foods that make your meal special?  Have a great day with friends and family! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is A Cordless Iron On Your Gift List This Year?

Back in May I wrote this post about my new cordless iron.  I loved it, but I didn't want to go on about it too much until I had an opportunity to use it in different kinds of quilting applications. Since then I've had a chance to use it on big pieces of fabric, plenty of seams both large and small, and even a little applique.  I told you I'd let you know how it performed when I had a chance to use it some more and now I'm back to report that it works wonderfully on everything!  

This guy has not seen many clothes......just quilt fabric!!

It's the Panasonic Cordless 360 Degree Freestyle Iron. It's unique curved soleplate allows you to iron easily in all directions, and I love the fact that its cordless too.  My last iron was about it's sad demise here......and I loved not having the cord catch on whatever was in the way.  A cordless iron really comes in handy when ironing a large piece of backing. 

Now of course it does need to be put back on the base, so it can recharge after you've used it for a few minutes. This may bother some people, but to me that's a small price to pay for not having that cord dangling all over the place.  Usually by that time, I need to move some pieces around or go back to the sewing machine anyway.  Also, this iron is a bit smaller than the one I was used to.  I was a bit concerned about that at first, but I've found that's a big help when I'm trying to iron lots of seams, some of them quite small, into place.  There's a little less iron to be squashing them the wrong way while I'm ironing another seam down.  Maybe that only happens to me!   

 Well, I just thought I'd give you an update since I've been using this iron for awhile.  This is totally my opinion on this appliance, by the way.  No one is paying me to say this....or anything else for that matter!  When something works well for me I just like to share it.     

Lots more blocks and lots more stories!

 recently had a giveaway with one of her sponsors, Rachel from Dewberry Lane and I was thrilled to be the winner!  When The Farmer's Wife Pony Club Sampler Quilt by Laurie Hird arrived on my acorn strewn doorstep, I started reading!  The author of the popular book The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt has even more blocks and more stories to go along with them.  I've been tempted by the amazing pictures of everyone's lovely blocks to join in the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along, but I felt like I'd be too far behind.  Now that I have this book, I may just have to start with these blocks.  Thanks so much Sherri and Rachel!!  

It has been a lucky few weeks for me in the giveway department. Stay tuned for my own giveaway coming up pretty soon, or possibly after the holidays.  My one year Blogiversary was October 27. Somehow that quickly came and went.  It looks like I'm approaching 100 followers too, so it seems like a giveaway is in order! I really do appreciate all of the kind comments, quilting help, and friendships I've experienced on my blogging journey.  Thanks so much for reading along!    

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This Is Nuts!!

Some people have been shoveling snow, but we have been shoveling acorns!  There have been so many acorns falling this year it's crazy!  Our old red snow shovel from Maine has been repurposed as an acorn shovel.  And you certainly don't want any of those acorns to hit you.  They can really sting!
That's a lot of acorns.

I saw a squirrel eyeing this pile before it was picked up.  It was one of many, many piles that we have picked up in the past month or so. Courtesy of the tree in the picture below.  I think it's actually a Pin Oak.  We call it a Live Oak here in Florida.  A lovely tree, but I wonder if its called a Live Oak because it often looks like it might not make it to see the next season.  We love it.  This tree is one of the reasons we chose to put our house on this lot.   Such a beautiful tree covered with lovely Spanish Moss.

Maybe the squirrels are throwing them?

 Every two years we seem to get a ton of acorns.  This year seems like a particularly acorn heavy year.  I wonder if this means something?  Maybe I should break out a Farmer's Almanac and take a look, or on the other hand, maybe I'm better off not knowing what may be in store!

When the acorns hit the house, this happens quite often being that the tree hangs over our driveway, we yell, "Acorn!"  I think that comes from the first fall that we had moved in when we would hear a bang on the roof or a window and someone would ask. "What was that?"  Now we just eliminate the question and say, "Acorn!" And wow is it loud when they hit the windows or the glass door!

My version of Florida fall foliage.

Since I was taking pictures outside, obviously before Halloween, I wanted to show you my fall plant arrangement by the front door.  We don't have many beautiful fall leaves here in Florida, so this will have to do.  My Halloween decorations were put away last week and we are now on to Thanksgiving and ordering a new Christmas tree.  Oh yes, I am still putting the binding on a Halloween quilt so that is still out.  Or maybe I'm just working ahead for next year!  Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One Of My Favorite Quilts

  It's time again for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.  Each fall and spring bloggers enter their quilts in the festival to be inspired and to share their quilts and stories with others. 

This was one of the first difficult quilts that I had the nerve to try.  I thought it would be a great one for me to enter in the festival, because it has a special place in my personal quilting history and I love it!  It's from a pattern called Fall Foliage Spectacular in the book Cookies and Quilts by Judy Martin.  Straight line quilting in a diagonal pattern around each block adds some movement to the quilt.  It took a long, long time for me to piece it and to finish the quilting.....six months maybe?  My kids were much younger then and quilting time was hard to come by!  Not to mention the cutting and piecing on this one was a challenge, especially for a fairly new quilter.  

A permanent fixture on my family room wall.

  I'm always interested in log cabin variations and how they look when viewed from far away. This quilt has the illusion of curves because of the large number of different size pieces.  I also really like how the stems on the leaves are folded and stand out slightly from the quilt.  Quite a challenge for me and one of my favorite quilting accomplishments!   

There are so many amazing and inspiring quilts in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side!   Thank you so much to Amy for putting it all together and for encouraging us to share our quilts, their stories, and what makes them special.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Year Of LePetite In Pictures With A Little Halloween Thrown In Too!

Le Petite has come to an end for the year!  Now it's time to look back at all of the projects in a year end review organized by parade date.  Paganini was my final project to get all twelve completed.  These were all so fun to make! Designers from Moda Bake Shop, along with Sherri Falls, and Carrie Nelson of Schnibbles fame, did an excellent job with lovely patterns and awesome prizes!  And of course Sherri and Sinta deserve so many thanks for doing a wonderful job organizing it all and putting everything together.  Be sure to visit their blogs soon to find links to the final parades of the year.  When this group starts again in January I'll be ready and I hope you'll join in too!   

November - Paganini made with Ruby
I just finished this one to catch up on all twelve quilts!

 December - Butter Churn made with Prayer Flag and Portugal

January - Prairie Point Christmas created with Remembrance

February - Mon Ami out of Central Park and Fandango

March - Sweet Spot with fabrics from Punctuation and Fresh Flowers

April - Endless Summer made with Sunkissed

May - Brocante made from Haunted Mansion and Halloween Nights

 June - Candy Bar created with scraps from my stash

July - Recess created with Origins

August - George out of Wee Woodlands and Lollipop fabrics

September - Honeycomb with Terrain 

  October - McGuffey made out of Hometown fabric

Since tonight is Halloween, I couldn't resist throwing in a few pictures of our spooky fun!  The boys carved their own pumpkins this year and the ghost made his own costume......we did decide to take out the staples and clear tape and do a little sewing on it instead.   

A Spooky ghost lives at my house!

Crazy Jack O'Lantern!

Inspired by a game that you may have heard of lately!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you had a Happy Halloween! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Meet a New Blog Friend and Get A Discount!

Hello everyone!  I'd love to introduce you to my good sewing and crafting friend, Bridgette!  

We met when our kids went to elementary school together and became great friends, but then sadly Bridgette had to move away.  It's so difficult when a good friend has to move.  Especially a sewing friend!  

But I'm so happy to say that Bridgette has now started an amazing blog called Applique Time, all about her crafting and sewing adventures!  With three young daughters, there is always some sort of craft or sewing activity going on at Bridgette's house.  Homecoming projects and embellishing a cool denim jacket are her latest adventures.  

There is also a link to her awesome Applique Time Etsy shop where she sells her original machine applique designs and right now Bridgette is offering a discount for my all of my blog friends.  How nice is that??  Just use the coupon code Islandlife during checkout in her Etsy shop for 20% percent off!  

This seems like a great opportunity to get started on those machine applique and embroidery Christmas gifts you have been thinking about. Maybe tee shirts, quilts, or a dishtowel or two for a Thanksgiving hostess gift.  The possibilities are endless!  So run over and meet Bridgette and her family and give her a great new blogger welcome!

On another note, I wanted to let you know that I entered a Halloween quilt in the Quilting Gallery's weekly contest.  

Happy Jacks!  by Michele at IslandLife Quilts
Of course this weekend the theme is spooky quilts, and I'd appreciate it if you grabbed a handful of candy corn, went over here to take a look and voted for mine!  There are some really spooky quilts on display!  Enjoy the Halloween fun! 

Paganini Schnibble with Ruby fabric
After we spend some time at at our elementary school's Fall Festival and the soccer fields, this is one of the projects I'll be finishing up this weekend.  What are you working on?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Scary FNSI

   The first part of Friday night I spent watching the movie Mars Needs Moms with my family and the other part I spent participating in the Friday Night Sew In. I didn't get tons of sewing done, but the family time was definitely worth it!  We've all been so busy lately with school, soccer games, golf matches, and all kinds of other activities that an evening movie at home was the perfect treat for all of us!   
A spider sat down beside her.......while she was sewing on Friday night!
As far as sewing results go, I was able to get the binding made for my Halloween Brocante Schnibble.  The fabric is black and grey, kind of linen- like......I'm making up my own words here......and it has a spooky look to it.  I'll show a closer picture when its actually on the quilt.  Thanks to my friend Spidey for being my binding holder!  Everyone else was busy! 

Prepping Ruby!

 I also got to work on my final LePetite project of the year.  It's a make up actually.  I missed the first LePetite project of this year because I was just starting my blog.  So before the final parade in November, I want to have all twelve tops completed.  Paganini is the one I need to finish to wrap it up for the year.  

I prepped the fabric last night by starching and ironing before I started cutting! Usually if I use starch, I spray as I go along, but Linda from the Quilted Pineapple shared this tip awhile back and it makes so much sense to starch first, so I'm giving it a try.  Thanks so much Linda!      

Irresistible Halloween fabric!

When I went to my LQS yesterday to pick out that binding fabric these fun Halloween prints just had to go home with me.  One will be the backing for a pumpkin project.....I'll just be early for next Halloween I'm thinking......and the other will be for who knows what.  Don't you just love those cute owls pumpkins and ghosts? Spooky!!  And who can resist candy corn?  Certainly not me!!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The End Of A Good Week

 This is what I was working on yesterday, some Schnibbles quilting!  I'm trying to get it quilted and bound before Halloween. Now the quilting is done, and next on the list is the binding.  I went over to my LQS to pick it out this morning, after a not so quick trip to Target. I'm signed up for the Friday Night Sew In, which is tonight, so maybe I'll get the binding done.  I still have one LePetite project to finish....well be caught up for the year and that's on my list too.  Go on over and sign up for the Sew In if you want to join us!

 Some fun mail arrived on my doorstep yesterday afternoon!  Last week I won a giveaway on Pat's Blog. She had accidentally ordered two copies of the newly released book Jelly Roll Quilt Magic by Kimberly Einmo, and she was giving one copy away with the companion rulers too.  I was fortunate enough to be picked by Junior as the winner!  Be sure to run over to Pat's blog, All Decked Out, to see who Junior is and how he so carefully selected my winning comment!  This has to be the most fun way to choose a giveaway winner that I've ever seen!

I've been looking through Jelly Roll Magic, and there are lots of wonderful quilts to make!  There's one called Starry Pines that has caught my eye.  It's a beautiful Christmas quilt and I have the perfect jelly roll for it.  But do I have the time?  That's always the question.  We'll see! Thanks so much Pat!!  

Isn't this a beautiful, well loved quilt?  It's one of my great-grandmother's quilts that my parents brought to me last weekend.  In my last post I mentioned that I was soaking one in Vintage Textile Soak.  Well it really went well, so I'm going to try it on a few more.  I'll share some other pictures soon. Thanks so much for your helpful comments about my great-grandmother's sewing machine on my last post.  I really appreciate all of my blog friends.  Right now I'm off to eat dinner and work on some projects!  Join me if you can!