Monday, November 30, 2009

At last it's time

to start the Christmas decorating! Here is the first piece to go up. Well, actually it stays up in my sewing room all year long because it is so 3 dimensional it can't be packed away. But it is a favourite and once it is on the front door it feels like Christmas. It sure does make a mess to do the decorating, though doesn't it? It takes me a long time to just unpack everything. I like to open out the leaves of my dining room table and put all the tree ornaments on it so that everything is available as I start putting them on the tree. Even so I end up moving things around on the tree.
Just look at all this stuff! Lot's of red. I have been married 40 years and some of these ornaments have survived from almost the beginning. My tastes have changed over the years but I still like to hang all the old ones. I like a really electic mix although overall primitive and country is my style.
I admire people who come up with a theme (sometimes a new one every year) and then stick totally to it. When we were house hunting last time one house we looked at was totally western. I mean, absolutely every item in that house had a western theme. Even the clothes in the closet. Even the stacks of books in the bathroom for reading were Zane Grey novels! It was really cool, but I just could not do that.
I did get some new things this year. Talk about electic -- don't you love these dots? Ever since I went to that craft barn in October chartreuse has been on my mind. These were only a buck a piece at Craft Warehouse. That's a small NW chain. Oh, that reminds me, there is a sign up at a construction site a few miles away from my house -- Hobby Lobby is coming to town! How exciting is that? I used to live in Hobby Lobby country. Then, before my mom passed, every time I visited her I visited Hobby Lobby. I can hardly wait until it opens. It won't make it by Christmas, though.
These are from a craft fair. Isn't the tag cute? I need to learn how to do stitchery.
Then, from JoAnn's, half price, primitive distressed candy canes. Very cute I think.
But these are even cuter! Resin, but really nice deep colour. And cute hooks. A little spendier though, so just got a few. 3 of course, following the rule of 3.
I have managed to complete the decorating but it is too dark for picture taking tonight. So be prepared for picture overload next time! Meanwhile I will go blog hopping and see what y'all have done!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ta Da

The bear is a bear! And he actually looks like a bear! I did have quite a bit of trouble with the ears and with getting him closed up after he was stuffed. Probably complicated by the unfortunate placement of some of the thick double seams from the old jeans, but a bear it is! Here is another view. Wow, look at that ironing board cover! And it's my new one. It doesn't look that bad in real life I don't think. Hmmm. Anyway, this bear is quite large. The pattern had a small, medium and large and based on the difficulty in turning his arms and legs I am sure glad I hadn't cut the small one out.
I have been reading other blloggers who are getting the urge to do Chistmas and it is catching! So I decided to make a few new things for my tree. Like I need any! Isn't this a cute design? It is a free one from 123 Stitch by Vivian Bales. Even my finishing isn't too bad.
And here they are together. You would think I made them to go together, huh? I know he doesn't have eyes or a nose. He isn't going to. I have been known to totally wreck things when adding faces. Trust me. I have a snowman wallhanging that will never see the light of day unless I do a snowman-ectomy and replace them due to bad face drawing. I have a bear my daughter gave me some years ago that is made from old flour sacks and he doesn't have a face, so I figure I can get away with it!
It's been kind of fun to do some cross stitching. Especially the instant gratification you get with these small simple things.
It's so hard to believe December is almost here. I am responsible for setting up the "12 Days of Christmas" celebration at work and have almost got it ready to go. I do the same things every year pretty much but like to change it up a bit. We get a gift list from the local Soroptomist Club. Their list is way bigger this year but our company is considerably smaller so we can't take as many names. We used to get just kid's names but year before last we added needy seniors and it is really cool how much everyone enjoys buying gifts for the seniors. I love seeing all the gifts under the tree before we deliver them. I will have to remember to take a picture.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


is what I am. I don't seem to have a good idea of what I want to do next so I am doing a bunch of things at the same time. Actually what I am doing best is making a mess of my sewing room. See what I mean? I am in the middle of cutting out squares to make the turkey table topper Kim showed a week or two ago. She generously offered instructions for it so I started it. Then you can see a pile of hidden 9 patch blocks. I made a bunch of them a month or two ago from scraps and then decided that some of them were really ugly. So I took some apart, redid them, and then made a few more. Now I have 3 piles -- one of kind of pastel colours, one of brights, and one of the dark more primitive colours I usually use. Just need to lay them out, that doesn't seem too challenging now does it?

Then see that pile of denim? I am trying to psych myself up to make Turkey Jack. Years (and years) ago I bought a teddy bear pattern and cut the pieces out of old denim jeans. Then I put the pattern and the pieces in a basket and left them there for I am thinking at least 10 years. Amazing isn't it that I managed to put the pattern and the pieces in the SAME basket? Anyway I hauled it out and decided that putting it together would be good practice and a confidence builder. I hope.

I did manage to finish the stitching on this little cross stitch. It is a Lizzie Kate pattern from the '90's. No backstitching so it was really quick. Kind of unusual colours, too. And I have all the way until next October to figure out how to finish it. Wonder if I will make that deadline? Want to see more of the mess? Here is the view from the other end of the tables. (I have 3 of them lined up against each other so I have room to cut, something to support quilts when I am machine quilting, and of course, room to pile.) Those red bins hold pieces of cross stitch fabric, some of it edge stitched and ready to be used. I have been wanting to make a few cross stitched Christmas ornaments. They should go fast so it's just possible I could get them done in time to use them this year.

Then there are several piles of fabric pulled for several different projects. Oh, and the stack of books -- looking for ideas. Like I need more!

I have kind of rounded myself up to work on something to hang over my pantry for Christmas. I really like the fall quilt up there so decided I need one for every season. Since I do my gingerbread display on the cabinet next to the pantry I pulled out another well aged pattern. Of course the size has to be modified. Here was my first layout.

I decided I didn't like the half blocks with the stars and hearts so I replaced them with more trees and I think this layout is better.
I really need to do a bit of clean up in the room but somehow that is going to have to wait a bit I think. Machine blanket stitching here I come. Stay tuned for some progress.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Turkey Jack

Who, you may ask, is Turkey Jack? Well, this is Turkey Jack.

The copyright date on this pattern is 1998 and I am sure I have owned it this long and never made it. Dolls, hmm, lots of work. My very favourite annual craft bazaar is at our local high school and every year a mother/daughter team are there and one of the items they have for sale is Turkey Jack. For in the neighbourhood of $40-$50. A little too rich for my blood. But I want a Turkey Jack. So a few months I pulled out the pattern. After reading through all the notions and things I would need to make him I decided that $40-$50 was not looking so expensive after all. So yesterday, off I went to the high school. The booth was not in its usual spot. After looking hard I found them in a smaller booth in another aisle. And no Turkey Jacks. In fact hardly anything at all. What's up? They have decided to get out of the business. This is their last year, and they are selling what is left. Grrr. Why is it always this way. That's not all -- I rushed home and could NOT find the pattern anywhere. But as you can see, I did find it this morning. Right where it was supposed to be and where I had looked yesterday. So now I need to make a list of all those notions. Somehow I think ol' Jack will not be ready for the big day this year.

And to add insult to injury my other favourite booth was not there either. The Quilted Banty (hmm, do I detect a fowl theme here) was also MIA. Even though I like to shop the online store it is always fun to see her samples. Oh, well.

Just so you don't leave here with a turkey craving unsatisfied though, I will walk you through my Thanksgiving decorations. I made the switch last week and as you will see I have plenty of thrifted turkeys. But first, here is my latest project. I have all the blocks together and just need to decide on the border. This striped fabric was my original plan. In fact I chose many of the fabrics in the blocks based on the colours in it. But now I don't think I like it too much. Tell me what you think. This or something else, and if something else, what?

Okay, time to talk turkey! here is a little felt guy. He had only one googly eye as the other had disappeared leaving only a glue glob behind. I did buttons because as you know, I don't glue.
I love these little figures. I had just a couple and found another girl last year so had to have her. The rule of threes don't you know? They are by Eddie Walker I think.
Recently we found this pilgrim couple. They are wood but make me think of the cardboard cutouts teachers used to use to decorate their classrooms. Mr THQ made them some nifty stands so they would stand up nice and tall.
Now onto the turkeys. Nice colours on this one.
Well, not exactly a turkey here, but turkey aura I guess!
This is one from Hallmark a number of years ago.
Oh, remember the old barn bazaar I went to a couple of weeks ago? That is where this doll came from.
Here is a closer look. I own the fabric in the hearts. You know I always like to look for fabrics I own. In fact I had just used up almost the last of it for backings recently on some small items.
Another wooden turkey. Don't you just love the kitties too? Man, I just don't get why people get rid of this great stuff!
This is a little traditional and classy for me and was framed beautifully. It can only stay out a short time but that's okay. Sorry about the flash. I tried every which way to avoid that but did not find the way.
Wooden, and a little fabric. Cute way to do the feathers. I like the heart nose, too.
And here is the Thanksgiving lid for my box.
I really like lots of Boyd's Bears and I really should like these pilgrim bears more than I do. For some reason they don't appeal to me all that much but they are kind of cute here.
Now this item is a mystery. I am making the assumption that it is turkey feathers. But it could be peacock feathers. Or not feathers at all. This is all there was. It is big and it was challenging to find it a home. One of these days something cool will occur to me to do with it. I thought of putting the "Gobble, gobble" sign in front of it...
Another wooden one. This little guy has hooks and little chains in his shoulders so I guess he once hung from a sign of some sort. He has really detailed painting.
Well, that's it. Now the seasonal decorating holds tight for a few weeks. Then it is time for Christmas. The big one as they say. I always go way overboard for Christmas. You have been warned...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November already

So since I got too enthusiastic at the end of this post getting rid of extra spaces I inadvertently cut this picture. Since this is a long post and I can't figure out how to move it you will just have to avert your eyes until you get to the end of the post and then come back and have a look at it! And if anyone out there in blogland can tell me how to make the copy and paste function work or how to move pictures I will be eternally grateful! I was realizing while I was sewing this morning that the recorded shows I watch/listen to when sewing most often when nothing on TV appeals to me that I actually recorded them last November and December. So the Christmas ads are just about correctly timed now! Time most certainly does fly. Here another week has gone by -- it was a quick one -- probably helped by the fact that I took Wednesday off and went with a friend to The Gathering Place in Rupert, Idaho, my most favourite shop and well worth the 3 hour drive to get there.

I took a few pictures. As I was waiting them to load up I was thinking about the fact that this shop doesn't have the cute little displays and vignettes that usually appeal to me about a shop. But what it does have is bolt after bolt of fabric and tons of samples. On my first few visits they seemed to specialize in more "primitive" styles and now they have a more diverse offering. But still enough "prim" to keep me happy.
This shop is so overwhelming that it is almost (but not quite) too hard for me to spend money because I just can't decide what to buy!
As you know, my photographic skills are not spectacular, but I think you can get an idea of what the shop is like.
And I just took a few pics from near the front door.
And then Friday was our Halloween dress up day at work. My group always tries to come up with a theme and this year it was bugs! Everyone did a great job on their costume. I am in this pic but I won't tell you which one is me...

In comments someone asked which Schnibbles pattern I had made. I would have answered sooner but my sewing room was such a mess due to rearranging for my new computer desk that it took me awhile to find it! It is called "Plan C". It is shown in the bright Christmas fabric from last year. The desk is now in place with brand new knobs and ready for Mr THQ to finish setting up my computer. The knobs were $1.99 apiece so the 2 drawer knobs cost almosts as much as the desk! Still a great deal for under $10 and I am excited to have a computer upstairs with me.
I have a few finishes for October to share. Much better production this month! This first one started as some scrappy pastelly 9 patches and ended up making a cute baby girl quilt I think.
More scrappy 9 patches -- obviously I was stockpiling them at one point. This one is now a little table runner.
I made this one after that Schnibble pattern. I thought this was another but it is actually a pattern from "This & That". I used a 4 Seasons charm pack. It didn't have enough light squares so I had to add from my stash. I didn't like it at all when I finished it because the center square just seemed wrong. I also don't like the gold sparkly fabric I ended up using for the binding. It was left over from an Oriental style quilt I made for my MIL a long time ago. But once I completed the binding I decided I like it after all. I am not sure I have ever used a light binding on a darker quilt before but it looks right on this one.
And, last but not least, how do you like this scrappy back? I don't usually do this kind of thing but I was trying to use things up.
And when you turn it over, voila! Remember the quilt that needed to be saved? Here it is, all finished. Instead of wadding it up in a ball and throwing it in a corner in a fit of pique I removed all the sashing and resewed the blocks together without any sashing. Then I added a couple of borders and called it good. I am quite pleased with myself for actually taking the time to re-do this. And it makes me smile to think that the red border fabric is from the '80's! It is a VIP fabric that has been with me forever -- at that time a rare cotton calico. So this is quilt is "saved" in more than one sense of the word! Oh, and credit where credit is due, these were sampler style blocks from crazy mom quilts.