Monday, December 27, 2010

The End of 2010

This has surely been "one o' them years" - hasn't it?  But whether good or bad, I do love new beginnings so am looking forward to seeing what 2011 has in store.  So to catch up,
Can you see my tan N-O-E-L stitcheries?

Look at these cute booties - crocheted and then stiffened.These are both from Margaret in New Zealand.  She was my partner in the Crazy Exchange Christmas exchange.  

Christmas morning celebrations.

I am continuing to work on the latest Bonnie Hunter mystery.  Now working on both Steps 5 and 6 at about the same time - it gets boring making 600 half square triangles, so I moved ahead to the next step - putting 5 hst's together.  I have made quite a few of those strips, so now am back to making squares.

I am really intersted to see how this all goes together.  I believe she said 7 or 8 steps - so a couple more to go.  What are you working on?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I left my camera at my daughter's

So no photos.  I have been having a fun time delivering my Christmas pillow cases.  And I have (at long, long last) finished my 60 - 8.5" string pieced squares for my Bonnie Hunter mystery.  I'm starting on step 4, so that means I'm 1 step behind and another one will be coming along on Friday.  Oh well - as she says, this is FUN and it doesn't matter.  Life is finally coming to the stage where we can just sit back and really enjoy all the Christmas festivities and gatherings.

It is also a time to reflect on the need to "hold" folks for whom this is not a festive time.  They are in a very special place in my heart this year.

Wishing you all time with family and loved ones, peace and blessings.
Nana Marne

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Coming up to Christmas

Two parcels arrived from our friend Caroline and Rob yesterday.  One was for SinterKlaus (Dec. 5) and the other was two Christmas parcels (Dec. 25).  These included two wonderful "soft" gifts,

Aren't they cute?  And she sent the patterns, in case I need to make some for next year. 

In the morning, my CTA group had their annual Cookie and ornament exchange.  I cannot show you mine as I also made one for my dear quilty friend whom I know reads here, but what it said was "Relax - Christmas will come regardless".  Isn't that just so timely?
Almond Boysenberry squares.  New recipe for me, from Canadian Living magazine.  And the ornament that Pat W. made for me,

I found this hilarious fabric and have been making pillowcases as Christmas gifts.  Can you guess the name?  "All I want for Christmas...."  How perfect!

And the postal lady brought my little quarterly pleasure, yesterday, as well.  These are from the Danish line called Basics - 6 fat quarters each quarter.  My little treat to me.
That's dark green in the upper left corner and brown in the lower left corner.  Still making string pieced neutrals 8.5" squares.  Sigh!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December fun

Each of the past 10 (or so) years we have gathered a group of women and have 'adopted' a family for Christmas, through our church.  It is always so much fun to get together and chat, despite our busy lives.  We always host and have others bring the rest of the meal.  This year it was chili - perfect on a cold, rainy day, along with cornbread and salad.  Dessert was marvelous mocha caramel bars.  Oh my.  They we had some "show and tell" of the things we had purchased for the various family members (this year it was mom and dad and 5 children, ages 2 months to 16 years).  And then we shared all of last year's wrapping paper with each other and wrapped the gifts.

Marsha played grandmom with Baby Amelia, while mom actually wrapped - so cute
Today we took the gifts to the church for delivery to the family.  Just great for everyone involved.

After church today we enjoyed a delicious holiday brunch with some of the folks we go camping with during the summer and an ornament exchange.  Aren't these so cute.  This is what we came home with. The snowman is wearing the colors of the University of Washington - our hometown favorites! and we love the bicycle.

And then just so I don't get "rusty", I have been making string-pieced blocks as fast as I can.  For the Bonnie Hunter mystery I need 60.  I think I have made about 25.  Phew!
Ain't it great?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Exchange

Today a Christmas exchange arrived, from New Zealand.  Oh, I really feel so fortunate have met so many marvelous, skillful women through the Crazy Exchange.

No peeky - 2+ weeks to wait.  I didn't even peek at the customs form.  

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Busy, busy

Today, after church, it was time to get on with Christmas preparations, so courtesy of jars from last year's church rummage sale, and labels friend Caro sent from Dille & Kamille in the Netherlands,
I got the Lemon Curd (a la Cooking Light) on its way,
And so now I will have little jars of sunshine ready to give as gifts.  How incredibly easy and I know it's delicious, too.  [Perhaps a few jars will need to be made to fill my cupboards as well.  :-)  ]
The sewing 'stuff' is still happening. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

the Challenge continues. . . . . .

My dear sewing machine is still not working properly.  The shop called yesterday to report that it was back from servicing, so I went out there to pick it up - AFTER I did an onsite test run.  It didn't work well for me.  The store manager could make it do free-motion quilting, with the machine set at a slow speed (my requirement) but could only make tiny stitches.  My goal is for longer stitches than that.  Every time I tried it - sitting right beside the manager - I would get skipped stitches.  AWFUL!  So we agreed that I would return today, after she chatted with the service manager (again) and we would try with both the spring-action foot, as well as the sensor-matic foot.  So I showed up today, with 3 little quilt sandwiches to practice on.  The store manager tried to make the machine work and it did alright, at first, but did skip a few times.  So she decided to try a different needle - it got worse.  She changed to another type of needle - dreadful.  She changed the thread and the bobbin and couldn't make it work for anything!!!!!  Hurrah.  I was just so delighted that it wasn't just me.  It wasn't working in the shop and then quitting when I got home.  It was a disaster for the store manager.  Yeah!  She called the service manager again who had no suggestion over the phone.  So she's headed back to the service department.  That poor machine has spent more time in the shop than in my sewing room - or at least it seems so.  Alas.  Thank heavens the old one works just swell.  Still making Christmas gifts but no-can-show.

I can share this.  Last night was our Stashbusters Holiday party and fabric exchange.  The invitation says bring an "ugly" fabric, but obviously that is in the eyes of the beholder.  So perhaps we should say 'unattractive' fabric, or better yet out-of-date fabric.  I got one busy floral, but it was "stolen" by another member.  So I got
The pink/blue is probably a 70's fabric.  And the asian fabric is only about 9 inches wide.  The challenge that was issued later at the party was to figure out a way to use your fabric to make something.  So here are my submission,
Hot pads.  I had insulbrite batting, so now just to add some binding and voila!  Probably not my first choice but adequate.  Yes?

We had a very nice day today with quite a bit of sunshine.  So here are the results of decent weather
Festive, no?  Obviously I'm just a big kid at heart.  Happy Holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Santa's Workshop

Well phaphooey - This Santa has been quite busy but I also know that some of my readers will also be recipients, sooooooo -- sorry no photos at the moment to show.  It is fun to be making things and hoping that they will be well received.  I am hoping to get some Lemon Curd made for Christmas gifts, as well.  Last year at the church's annual superfluity sale I got 8 or 10 matching jars with lids.  Perfect for Lemon Curd.  I found a couple of very nice little girl dresses from Hanna Andersson - matching ones for littlest granddaughter and the two granddaughters of my friend Kerry.  It's so nice to find nice quality, good fitting dresses that still look like little girls - as opposed to much of what is available in many stores. [just a short editorial there!]

As in years past we have put together a group of folks and "adopted" a family for Christmas.  Mom, Dad and 5 children.  On the 11th we'll celebrate by having lunch and wrapping our gifts.  They are due to be delivered to the church the next day.  This is always a fun part of our holidays.  And a happy Hanukkah this evening to those celebrating those holy days.  Enjoy!  Life is good.