Saturday, January 6, 2018

January Stitching

OK...I THINK I am going to get to do a little stitching today.

A few years back, well actually, 2012 is more than a few years back... I participated in a Christmas through the year program through Darlene's blog, A Quilting Daze . Darlene doesn't blog anymore. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods, are missed. Each month we were to make 1 gift for Christmas and her cheerleading meant I had a box filled with handmade gifts come December. It was the BEST and I haven't done it since. I was visiting with a friend on the phone the other day and this subject came up. She too is a maker of beautiful things and she was stitching away on Christmas Eve. In an attempt to avoid the crunch this next December, I'm going to give this another go. This month I am going to finish stitching up lined drawstring bags that I didn't finish before Christmas:

Everyone loves the simplicity these add to gift wrapping, especially the men! I know many of you are DONE with all things Christmas, but I promise that this is worth investing in if you love to give hand made gifts come December.

I am also hoping to work on Bonnie Hunter's On Ringo Lake. I'm on step 2, buy hey, it's all about the journey and I'm just going to enjoy it and not worry about rushing through it.

Then there's a new project I'm starting with my Quilt Squad girls. I only made 2 meetings last year, but I hope to step that up this year. We're going to be making blocks from Sew Emma's pattern called Blessings

Image result for Sew Emma "Blessings"

using 30's prints and Kona Snow for the background. Each of us will make 12 identical blocks and we'll exchange them this summer and set them however we choose.

That ought to keep me busy and out of trouble for this month. On the book front, I'm currently listening to Cold Sassy Tree

on Audible and I'm loving it, so that's an added incentive for spending more time  behind my sewing machine. How is it I've not read this before?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Ringing in the New Year

Whew! I hope ya'll all had a blessed Christmas and happy, healthy transition into the New Year!

 Ours was wonderful and busy and peaceful and hectic and all I can say is that I need a nap! My Mom was here for 9 days, our boy, his girlfriend and little T came for a few days over Christmas and then made a return voyage for New Year's, our girl was here for Christmas

and then headed back south with our horse trailer to pack up all of her earthly belongings and bring them back to the ranch temporarily. We unloaded everything into the bunkhouse on New Year's Day when it was 10 degrees as snow flurries danced around us:

We took advantage of the extra help:

My in-laws were here for Christmas as well and my BIL, his new wife, and his youngest child were here for a day on Thursday and then dropped in for the day again on Sunday. I know many of you had full houses too and I wouldn't want it any other way,

 but I am just plumb wore out!

We are thoroughly enjoying having our girl home although it will only be for a little while. She is kicking off the New Year by logging in air miles. She has been busy interviewing for various positions and the companies are flying her to meet them. In between feeding with her Daddy, she's been working on her presentations.

She has 2 trips scheduled in the first 8 days of January. Today...if I can muster up the energy, I am going to dismantle all the Christmas decorations and get them packed away, but I wanted to sneak in a post to share a few snapshots of the last 2 weeks. I was horrible about taking pictures which is so unlike me, but I just wanted to immerse myself in the joy of Christmas and the people around me, even if it was a little nuts.

Cinnamon rolls are a Christmas morning tradition around here:

Little T was a constant source of entertainment too:

And my little sous chef in the kitchen:

This gal was gearing up for an evening by the fire pit:

And DH celebrated a birthday on New Year's Eve:

I know a lot of folks think January is slow and dreary, but right now that's exactly what I'm hoping for. I'm not quite ready for the exuberance of spring.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

December Sewing

As busy as everyone is in December, I have found some time to work on a few things. I pieced a toddler quilt and quilted it at a friend's home on Wednesday. She bought a quilting machine earlier this year and offered to let me give it a test run to see what it was like. It was FUN, but I still think I'll wait until Jackie retires before I consider buying one. I didn't LOVE it, but I liked it and I think the reason that it was fun was due to the fact that I got to spend the day with my sweet friend.

And ya'll think I live out in the sticks...this gal, who is also a ranch wife and my co-worker, lives twice as far from town as I do and her driveway (aka: dirt road) is 23 miles long.

I made one more block for a scrappy 'NEXT' Christmas quilt and I plan on making this my leader ender project in the New Year/ Hmmm...I think this is the same block I shared previously, but suffice it to say, I DID make one more:

 I made lots of these lined drawstring bags to replenish my dwindling supply:

Well, truth be told, I'm still making them and the above photo is from a few years ago. I love these things and I've made so many that I think I need to laminate my pattern

You can find the pattern HERE and although Jenny offers one size free, it was highly worth purchasing the pattern for the other sizes.

I made another set of potholders for the wife at North Camp:

And I surprised myself by jumping in on Bonnie Hunter's On Ringo Lake Mystery and actually making some progress:

Clue one is finished and clue 2 and three are cut out:

Haven't touched clue 4 and clue 5 will be posted tomorrow...yeh, not a chance. We tuned in to the NFR each night and I spent that time drawing diagonal lines on the endless 2" squares called for in the 2nd and 3rd clue:

And yes, I have a very attentive line drawing assistant.

Today's the's 10:30 here and ya'll know that's at least 2 hours past my bedtime, but I haven't been on the computer in 3 days and this was the only way I was ever going to get a post in. Doesn't everyone try to get a quilt trimmed and bound 4 days before Christmas when presents are still unwrapped and baking still needs to happen?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

German Baby Quilt

It's been a long time since I had a finished quilt to share

One of my co-workers is celebrating the arrival of a new granddaughter and as I think all babies should be welcomed into the world with a quilt, I began to sift through my stash. Her son-in-law is stationed overseas, in Germany, and I thought it would be fun to take my inspiration from Germany. I was born in Germany and this fabric reminded me of traditional German design from my childhood.

I had an idea to recreate the flowers so I searched online for a free pieced flower block, selected coordinating fabrics and made 12 blooming blocks. I want to say that this was a fast quilt, and in actual piecing time, it was, but it took me a coon's age to select the fabrics for the flowers from my stash:

And I chose this red for the border:

Jackie quilted a sweet design called Billowy across it

And I bound it using the black and white dot that I used for the flower centers:

It finished at 50" x 50"  and will soon be snuggling with a sweet baby as they are coming home for Christmas!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Here Comes Santa Claus

I finally began to haul the Christmas decorations in from the shed this week

and I wanted to show you the newest addition. My mother-in-law has collected Santas for 30 years. Anything Santa was fair game to her and we all have many fond memories of Christmases with a house bursting with family and a whole herd of Santas.

This year she decided that it was time to disperse her collection among family and as I drove back to the ranch after my road trip, she asked me to stop and choose some Santas. I don't have a lot of space, but I loved the idea of having a piece of something that she enjoyed for many years and one Santa really did tug at my heart.

He is made from an old quilt

and I just knew he would be perfect.

I have this red metal sleigh and Santa was the perfect addition to it, but he was just a little too short. He needed a booster seat so I looked around for something close at hand and lo and behold, right next to me, the stack of quail ammo sitting on the entry room - laundry room shelf caught my eye...perfect fit!

I figure Santa likes smoked quail as much as we do! Now, I'm counting on ya'll to remind me of where those extra boxes are when DH is looking for them!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Quick Road Trip

Our girl had her wisdom teeth taken out last Thursday. One was completely horizontal and they had to be cut out. She told me I didn't need to come down, but that's just what Mamas do so I pulled out at 3:30 on Thursday morning and headed her way. This little mountain town I drive through had it's Christmas finery on full display

  When all was said and done, she had 5 extractions with only Lidocaine. She had a 7:30 class the next morning and she went to it. The kid is tough.

Neither one of us is a shopper, but I was down there until noon on Saturday and we ran around and did some Christmas shopping. There is a farmer's Market where she lives and she's been telling me I need to come down for it. It only took 2 years, but I finally made it

It was cool and crisp and just a perfect Saturday morning. We got there at 8 and some of the venders were still setting up, but the market extends for 3 blocks and we thoroughly enjoyed perusing the offerings.

The popcorn vender was popular, but not in the cards for a kid who just had her wisdom teeth removed!

We also popped into this amazing used bookstore again that I've been meaning to post about and will soon

I love the architecture on these old buildings:

Then our girl steered us to this little gem for brunch:

Where this little fella was patiently waiting for his owners...and leftovers

She says this is a hidden treasure in SW New Mexico and I could not agree with her more. Don't let the empty parking lot fool you, the lot across the street was full.

Lots to choose from on the Brunch menu

On her recommendation, I had the Eggs Benedict - New Mexico style (2 corn masa boats filled with a red chili con carne topped with a poached egg and smothered in hollandaise)  and it was the best thing I have ever eaten:

Our girl had an omelette with goat cheese and chorizo that was wisdom teeth extracted approved and it was out of this world. I want to come back and just work my way through the menu, because everything that came out of that kitchen looked and smelled amazing.

I was also able to spend a little time with 3 more of my favorite people and I treated them to supper out to celebrate a new job:

It's so nice when you enjoy the adults that your children have become. It was a good trip and I'm glad that our girl won't have any more trouble with those pesky wisdom teeth.

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