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.