It was this time last year that I made these little fox scarves for the kiddos. I thought how fun they are with the little legs dangling etc. Here is Aurora modelling the fun fox, but she just did not get it!! It was just weird to her... haha..
Of course young kids will not really get the fun of it because they would not remember the old days when women wore fox stoles. But just the same, I had fun making them.
Well this year again, we are talking foxes. A real one who has found a special sunny spot in our back yard. He has been around for a few weeks now, but only on sunny days.
Aurora says her kitty cat is like the little fox who just loves the sunshine on a cold day. Cute eh!
When the kids came today to make our Christmas Gingerbread, I was all ready. The giant batch of dough was made yesterday, divided into four rounds and was cooling overnight in the fridge. The 8 bags of colored royal icing always looks so good before the kiddos get their hands on it. The sprinkles, sparkles and other cookie decoration were available just in case the icing was not enough.
I just love this day with the kids. Have a look at lots of pictures from the day.
Our Cotton Mill Quilt Guild's Silent Auction and Christmas Luncheon is on Monday.
I made several small items for the auction and one of them is this little stitching kit. "S" is for Snowflakes. It's actually one block of the Snowmen A-Zzz pattern by Crabapple Hill designs.
Besides the traced pattern on fabric, the kit has finishing fabric, embroidery needles, red floss, written instructions on how to finish the wall hanging with a checkerboard border and finally, a little see-through zippered tote to carry it all in. I know if somebody bought it as a gift for me, I would love it. I hope it brings in a good price.
Remember I told you a few weeks ago about getting rubber stamps made so I could make small fabric labels for the little projects I make. Well, I had not thought of it before, but this week I had fun using the stamps in a traditional way. I cut out paper circles and using them to stamp a tag to put on the auction items. I like it and it finishes off the crafty items really nice.
My church quilt is coming along nicely. I didn't set too big of a goal for this week because I knew I was busy. And I did accomplish what I set out to do. I used our spare bed to lay out the blocks in the right order. The side triangles were cut and placed in the layout. The binding is done and ready to go.
I did get a start on sewing the blocks together. The other half of the blocks are stacked in the correct sewing order, and I'll start sewing on them tomorrow. When I look at my stack, I always thank my lucky stars for Eleanor Burns technique of laying out quilt blocks and her stacking and sewing method. I learned it from one of her early Quilt in a day books. It's such a time saver.
This is another busy week coming up, but I'm positive that I'll have the remaining blocks sewn into rows and pressed to the dark side. This will be followed by pinning the rows together, sewing and then a final press. The last thing I need to sew will be to design and stitch a label. I'm hoping to have it done for Thursday, but if not, it'll be done for the following Thursday which was my goal a month ago when I started this project.
Come back next Friday, when I'll show you what this classic nine patch looks like all sewn together.
You might think that the kids are helping me make cookies today. But no, it's just me. I thought I would try to make some of those old fashion oatmeal date filled cookies. I've bought them in stores, and I remember that my late sister-in-law Zelda used to make them. My husband and her husband who are brothers, used to rave over them.
Well here's what I tried.... Using the recipe below out of an older Purity cookbook, I tried making square oatmeal cookies, then putting a dollop of date filling in the center, then another square on top. They were just too big and thick.
Next, I decided I would cut out rounds, put a dollop of filling and pinch them up on three sides to make sort of a thumbprint cookie. That didn't work, so I thought I'd use up the bits of rolled dough in the centers of the thumbprint style cookies. It's just keeps getting worse and worse. Ha ha... when I look at this picture, I just can't believe how ugly they are.
These cookies never got the raves that Zelda's got, but you know, they are all gone now. So they tested a lot better than they looked.
The girls were over for a sleep-over visit over on the weekend while Mitchell was away playing in a hockey tournament in Moncton.
We got right into a beading project. Poor little Grace, on the right, had a case of the A.D.D.s. I had fun teasing her. She could not work on the beading for even a minute and she had ants in her pants. She has the irresistible need to sing and dance.
Later on, we watched a couple of movies before tucking them in for the night. In the morning after a breakfast of waffle sticks and syrup, I had them help me lay out a quilt.
This is something that Caitlin and Grace are good at. But even this got to be too much for them. Hmmm I think these little girls are growing up too fast.
From our trip to Europe last month, I did bring back supplies to make Venetian masks with the kids. Even though the masks are not decorated, Caitlin and Grace were just having too much fun acting anonymous. I know you can see Grace's big smile, but can you see the big smile on Caitlin. It's difficult to see, but her eyes tell the story. teehee
Earlier in the week, I shared with you that I was working on an experiment to make a block in a more fabric efficient way.
The pattern that I really like, and I think I will be making a few of these quilts, is called Paper Hearts by Tula Pink. I bought the book that the pattern was in. It's called Sew Red.
Each of the sub-blocks is half a heart. The bottom of the heart is made by putting a square of fabric at the bottom of the larger rectangle, and sew a diagonal line. Then cut off the corner. This is the part that bothers me.
One way to save the wasted corner fabric is to sew another line and there would be a large half square triangle to use in another project. But for me I would rather be more efficient in using the fabric.
So with a little thought, I calculated a way to add 3/4 inch to one side of the light square and put it in the middle of a fat quarter strip of the proper width. Then sew the two diagonal seams and cut them apart.
Do that again on a second strip with the diagonal seams going in the other direction. (it's hard to see in this picture but it's there) This method makes two blocks.
There will be a little to trim off the top of the sub-blocks before proceeding with the corner triangles. These corners are diagonal stitched, and lopped off too. But they are smaller so it's not as big a waste.
So, do you like Tula's design? I really like it. And I like the colors she chose. So, using my my fabric-efficient method of construction, I will definitely be making one or two of these quilts in the new year.
Early in the week I found some unexpected sewing time. Thank goodness because, it was those couple of hours that helped me achieve my goal this week.
I did get part of my stretch goal done by cutting the 80 plain alternate blocks. I tea dyed some plain white fabric because the quilters do not like quilting on white unless it's a blue quilt. So their off-white blocks are all cut. I haven't decided what color the side setting triangles will be, so they are not cut. But when I do decide, they won't take long.
So what's my plan for this week.... to decide the color of the side triangles and the binding; to cut them out; to make the 350" of bias binding. And I will lay out the blocks on the bed ready to sew.
That's a pretty light week, but I think this is going to be a busy week. I'll say my stretch target will to have half the quilt sewn together.
I'm thinking about making a fun little quilt using various red fabrics. I bought the book that the pattern was in, and I was not really happy with the wasteful method for constructing the blocks.
So I'm inventing/testing a new way to make the blocks that will use less fabric. These are my test blocks. I'll finish up the test blocks either tomorrow or on the weekend, and share what the pattern is.
Are you frugal when it comes to block construction?
Grace wasn't feeling well today, so she didn't go to school. Her mama dropped her off early, and she spent the morning under a cozy blanket on my couch and slept off her nausea. This afternoon, I had a meeting with other local guild leaders today at the second cup so since Grace was feeling a bit better, she joined me for my meeting.
While we four girls were busy discussing works of our guilds, a man at the next table was busy writing on a napkin. When he was done his coffee, he pointed at Grace, then pointed at his napkin. Grace went over to his table, under our 4 pairs of watchful eyes, to see what he had.
He had drawn this beautiful deer, and signed it TV 13. Through some quick investigative work at the Second Cup, we know his last name is Vickers. How lucky... Grace is going to save it forever.
If you recall, Grace is an animal lover. She normally goes for cats first, then dogs and horses. But she thinks deer are nice too.
I'm going to try to make a few crafty things this week for our guilds and silent auction in two weeks.
The first thing I made were two sets of these little criss-cross coasters. These are always a favorite to make. So slick. My grand-kids like to make these because they are so easy, but look so complicated. Have you ever made these? The tutorial is here if you want to give them a try. I don't use the fusible layer that this tutorial calls for. I find the 5 layers of fabric plenty of padding. In our house, we also use these coasters to fling across the living room, frizbee style. If they land on the chair in the corner of the room, you're a hero.
Next, I made four infinity scarves that go around your neck twice. So cozy for this time of year. Because I had white thread in the sewing machine, I made these four that are light colored. Tomorrow, I'll make dark ones. I haven't decided which ones to bring to the auction, but I'll bring four.
Today, I'm in Sussex teaching a class. You might think it's a Christmas project, but you would be wrong. We are working on a Canada Day Quilt.
There is just something about sewing Christmas projects in July and summer projects at Christmas time. Maybe because it's not a last minute project and there's lots of time to finish... who knows.
I love this "Oh, Canada" pattern by Cheryl Arkinson. She released the pattern in late June, and I bought it right away and within in days, I was well on my way to having the top done. And then days after that, on Canada Day actually, it was fully finished....that means free motion machine quilted and then bound..
I knew that I would love to teach this class so with Cheryl's permission, I added it to my portfolio of classes.