Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bye Bye 2011, Welcome 2012

Happy New Year everyone.  My wish for you is that your life overflows with joy, laugher and blessings in 2012.   Thanks for reading my blog.  I’m hoping that you will be amazed this next year at all the projects I get done.
                 Sarcastic smile

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This and That

Last night I finished up another jigsaw puzzle.  The borders were difficult on this one, but once I got those done, the inside part was a breeze.

Dec 28 2011 001


My cousin (LA) knit a bracelet several years ago that I admired.  She promptly sent me a kit to make one for myself.  I pulled that kit out and read the directions many, many times, but just couldn’t get it started.  Today I pulled it out again and decided I just didn’t understand the directions, nor did I remember what LA’s looked like, so I just strung the beads and made myself a simple bracelet.

Dec 28 2011 004

It is colorful and I like it a lot.  Thanks LA.


A lady at church is loaning our pastor a quilt that will be used as an illustration for a sermon series on some Old Testament stories.  It needed a rod pocket, so I basted a temporary one on today.

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Here is a sample of one of the blocks.  Can’t show it all as it is not mine to show.  It is a beautiful quilt and the story of it coming together is delightful. 

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Don’t you just love the wonderful diversity of quilts?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fall Tumbler

The borders are now sewn onto my Fall Tumbler quilt.

Fall Tumbler 001

Just two simple strips of fabric to complete this lap sized quilt.

Fall Tumbler 002

And the binding is ready to go once I get it back from the long-arm quilter.

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The backing is two big pieces of fabric with some scrappy tumblers in the center.

Fall Tumbler 005

The bright yellow fabric in this picture does not represent the fabric at all.  It is much more of a soft gold.

I now have three quilts being quilted and two more ready to go.  This means I will have at least five easy finishes in the new year.  I’m planning on a good quilting year in 2012.

Today I am grateful for a wonderful Christmas weekend that produced many good memories.  How blessed I am to have great church friends and the best family in the world!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas to all……

Christmas 2011 001

Christmas 2011 002

No snow here in my neck of the woods, but it still looks like Christmas at my house.

Wishing you all a joyous Christmas filled with family, friends, music, good food, and a beautiful candle-lit service at church.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Projects for 2012

Here are my 12 projects for Judy’s UFO 2012 Challenge:

1.  Christmas Tumbler – ready to send to long-arm quilter, bind.

2.  Fall Tumbler – finish borders, make backing & binding, send to long-arm quilter, bind.

3.  Batik Rail Fence – make backing & binding, send to long-arm quilter, bind.

4.  Mother Goose Squares – make backing & binding, send to long-arm quilter, bind.

5.  Cherish Nature squares – bind (when I get it back from long-arm quilter)

6.  Cat & Daisy – small quilt that I can easily quilt – needs to be layered, quilted & bound.

7.  Home Town Parade – bind (when I get it back from long-arm quilter)

8.  Exchange block quilt – ready to layer and quilt (I need to quilt it to match the other one I did.)

9.  Quilt Smart Bow Ties – bow ties are made, need to piece together, choose borders (?), make backing & binding, send to long-arm quilter, bind.

10.  Long Division Scrap – finish piecing, think about adding applique, make backing & binding, send to long-arm quilter, bind.

11.  Quilt of Valor – bind (when I get it back from long-arm quilter)

12.  Counted Cross-Stitch Halloween – counted cross stitch is done, need to design small wall hanging, piece, make backing & binding, quilt, and bind.

There are seven more UFO’s on my long list and 12 not-even-started kits and assembled projects also waiting to be done.

Uppermost though, and not even on any of my lists because it is first priority, is the two quilts I will be making for my cousin.  I have most of the fabric, and the design has been made.  We are not sure of the exact size yet, but that is OK as I can easily start making blocks.  It is my #1 project to get done in 2012 above and beyond the UFO list.

Most of my “challenge” projects are easily finished so I am hoping to meet the challenge this year.  Looking over my list from last year, I did finish 12 projects but did not officially participate in Judy’s challenge.  My hopes and dreams for 2012 are big and ambitious for me.  With encouragement from family and friends, I can (and will) meet the 2012 challenge.


However, I need to finish my inventory of jigsaw puzzles over the next holiday week………my guilty pleasure.

turtle puzzle 001

Mr. Turtle got finished yesterday.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

How to get nothing done

My crafting – quilting, stitching, knitting – has been on vacation lately.  I don’t seem to have the least little ambition for my crafting projects.  Instead of feeling guilty, which is my usual habit, I have decided to just wait out the lack of creativity and enjoy more lazy pursuits.

This 500 piece jigsaw puzzle was a bear to do (pun intended). 

Thursday doing nothing 001

I’ve been reading, spending way too much time looking at things on Pinterest, doing jigsaw puzzles,  and enjoying social events – luncheons, church meetings, etc.


It is always hard to pick a quilt to call “My Favorite”, but whenever I get this quilt out I fall in love with it all over again.  It was so much fun to make.  It is a Country Threads pattern.

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I’m sure I have posted this quilt on my blog many times before, but it is worthy (in my opinion) of being enjoyed again.

Hope you are all having a great holiday season.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cookie Day

Every year the women at my church bake thousands of cookies for our annual fund raiser, a Cookie Walk.  The cookies have to be at church by 4:00pm tomorrow, so today was my day to bake. 

cookies 2011 001

I started in on the first batch and didn’t make it very far.  Recently I threw out my very old hand mixer that had a frayed (and dangerous) cord.  I bought a bargain hand mixer (don’t remember where) and when I started mixing today I was upset to find that the hand mixer was defective.  Although there were 10 speeds on the dial, it only worked at full speed.  My batter was flying all over the kitchen!!!!

Since I have always wanted a Kitchen Aid or maybe a Bosch, I went to the computer to see where I might find them – today – at a bargain price.  Kitchen Aid was totally out of my budget range, but the BHG was also well built like a Kitchen Aid and more reasonably priced.  So I went to the nearest store and purchased my very first stand mixer.

cookies 2011 004

Oh my, what a world of difference.  I have no idea where I will store this huge and very heavy piece of equipment, but it is here to stay.  I love it. 

I made five batches of cookies, two of which are pictured here.

cookies 2011 003

Although I was tempted many, many times, I only tasted one small cookie.  It was good.  Very good.  I had to put plastic wrap on the trays right away so that I would not be tempted again.  I usually eat the broken cookies, but wouldn’t you know it, not one cookie broke today. 

Everything went so well that I just might make a few more batches tomorrow morning.  After all, I need to get my money’s worth out of the new mixer!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Downtown Chicago

Today I took the train to downtown Chicago.  I live in the northwest suburbs, just a few blocks from the train station.  The friends I was meeting got on the train two stops before mine and fortunately I found them without any difficulty.  We gabbed all the way to the city, grabbed two cabs, and headed for Harry Caray’s restaurant on West Kinzie Street. 

We were treated like royalty with excellent service and complimentary desserts.  Everyone enjoyed their food.  I had a turkey burger with brie and cranberry sauce, AND sweet potato fries.  The burger was delicious and the sweet potato fries were the best I have ever had.  Oh my.

When we got back to the railroad station, we had plenty of time to do some shopping and our noses took us right to the Garrett popcorn store.  Garrett popcorn is extremely popular in Chicago.  Why?  Because they make everything fresh each day and have great recipes for cheese and caramel corn.  Of course I bought some.

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Since I was still full from lunch I decided to forgo making dinner and instead I had a bowl of Garrett cheese/caramel combination popcorn, while I put a small jigsaw puzzle together.

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Among my long list of favorite things to do is eating popcorn and putting jigsaw puzzles together.

After walking to and from the station (in the cold rain), gabbing and laughing with my friends, eating heartily, and concentrating on a puzzle, I’m pleasantly tired and grateful for a lovely day.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Cactus 2011

The Christmas Cactus that I purchased last year is starting to bloom.

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This makes me very happy – a blooming flower inside my house in the month of December!!!!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Scarf

The scarf that I was knitting was taking much too long, and I was getting bored with the slow knitting process.  On top of that, I really didn’t like how it was coming out.

Christmas Scarf 002

It was too skinny and too tight.  I wanted more of an explosion of Christmas colors.  So I tore it all out and started over again, except that I decided to crochet it with a nice loose and easy pattern.

Christmas Scarf 004

It was quick to make and I finished it all in one day.  I’m very happy with the result.  It will dress up my old faux-suede green jacket and give me something festive to wear in the next few weeks.