Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jessica and Em come for a Christmas Break Visit

Jessica and Emily were here for a couple of days during the Christmas break.   Here you can see them both working hard to finish an I spy quilt for their cousin Evan.  Their cousin, Mitchell has sewed the 4-patches together this summer with me, so today was going to be the day we put together in a quilt as you go style.  It's amazing how quick we got the project done when everyone works on it.

Well, I was telling Jessica and Emily the story of the Rice Krispies and the mention of Peanut Butter balls made their eyes light up.  When we needed a break from sewing, guess what we made.  It's so hard to dip peanut butter balls into the warmed chocolate and not get chocolate on your hands.   After we all sampled them just to make sure they were good, they get to take these home with them.

My niece Stephanie is home for Christmas break from Korea.  She brought back some children's chopsticks.  To try them out, we had Chinese food for supper.   The kids ate just about their whole meal with learner chopsticks.  Next time, maybe we'll try real ones.

And ta da, we finished the flannel I spy quilt for Evan who will be 3 this spring.   There are tons of little boy stuff on there.  Iguanas, frogs, bugs, trucks, race cars, monkeys, golf balls, basketballs. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Dufflebag Theatre

I'm not sure who wrote the story of Cinderella, but I'm sure they'd be rolling on the floor laughing if they saw the Duffle Bag theatre troupe's version.  My sister and I took my five oldest grandchildren this evening.  They laughed so hard through the whole thing.    


Despite the bad wintery weather, there was lots of people at the Playhouse.   Everyone was so excited to see Cinderella.   Here's a snap of some excited, cute as pie, audience members...

After the performance, the 4 members of the Duffle Bag Theatre were really nice and signed autographs for the kids...who absolutely loved the show.  Strike a Pose Guys.... 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas Dinner

This is where Grace sat for Christmas Dinner. Isn't the place setting pretty.   Her place card is placed in the tines of the desert fork.  It was fun to have so many around the table.  15 in all.

All the credit goes to my sister to brought all the decorations for the table.   The Christmas Crackers were home made and had lots of fun things inside...I got a scarf, a tattoo watch, and some chocolate..  but everyone got different things... to many to remember... 

My hubby and I made the main dinner which featured turkey of course.   And the cheesecake and shortbread desserts were made by my niece and her hubby, Scott and Michelle. 
A real team effort this year for a fabulous Christmas Dinner.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbreads

One of the Friday Girls made these White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread last week when we gathered at her house.  This recipe was in the Robin Hood Bake fest flyer that comes out every Christmas.  They have the nicest recipes and I always say I'm going to make something from them, but rarely do.   But today, I decided I had to make some to serve to company over the holidays.    This recipe uses a 9 x 13 pan and it yields 48 shortbreads. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quilt Math for St. Dunstan's Raffle Quilt 2011

Right after the Christmas break, I'll be starting to sew up the St. Dunstan 2011 raffle quilt.    We're doing Bonnie Hunter's Weed Wacker quilt with a different border.   It'll be more of a vines and leaves border.

So, right now I'm doing quilt math to see how much fabric I'll need.      The fabrics I'm using are intended to look like a fall scrappy quilt and I'll cut 3 or 4 of each fabric.  

I'll have the kit of fabrics ready to start sewing on January 1. It will be done by January 30, so to help keep me focused, I plan to blog about my progress on Saturdays in January.  

I'm looking for suggestions on a different name for the quilt.  The St. Dunstan's quilters don't care for the name Weed Wacker, so they asked me to come up with a nicer name.    If you have any suggestions, why not leave me a comment.  I'm only stitching the label towards the end of January, so that should leave lots of time to come up with a name.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Baking

Are Peanut Butter Balls a favorite in your house around Christmas time?   They are around here.   I made some this afternoon and I'll be serving these along with other favorites over the holidays.

I never know what to do with the left over melted chocolate.  So here was today's last minute idea....

Chocolate dipped fat pretzels sprinkled with colored sanding sugar. 

I think these will make a nice table decoration if nothing else....but I'm sure the kids will eat them up.

Tomorrow I make cherry balls and shortbreads.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dining Room Chandelier Decorations

I've decorated my dining room 5-lamp chandelier before, but it's usually for New Years and the decorations are simple streamers.   I got the idea from my sister to do something a little more elaborate for Christmas.  So, this little pink ballerina was my inspiration.  I found 4 other complementary ornaments that were pink and gold and added some small gold bulbs.   I love it, and I'm sure the kids will like it too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Creme Brulee

Have you ever made creme brulee?

I found this 5-star recipe on the Food Network here, and made them for a dinner party last evening.   They were fabulous.  

 I borrowed a set of 6 flat shallow tea cups and saucers to serve them in.  I totally forgot to get a picture of the creme brulee's all bruleed and sitting on the saucers, but they looked pretty fancy. 

The recipe said it would make 6, but it made 8, so yippee, we have creme brulee for desert again tonight.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Windy Blue Jewel

Do you remember this?  I pieced and paper pieced this Jewel as Christmas in July project at the end of July.  

When I made it, the hot steamy weather had just hit us, and I thought I would just wait until the cool weather got here before I quilted and bound it.  

The cool weather has arrived and this weekend I'm uddled up in my sewing room, finishing up some Christmas projects.    

All along, this Jewel had great movement because of the pieced points.  So when it came time to quilt it, I knew I would use motifs that added to the movement of the color.   The swirls remind me of the winter wind.

This is a Karen Neary Yuletide Jewel pattern and it can be found here on Karen's site.  Nice pattern Karen!  I enjoyed binding it because it only had 2 corners to turn. 

You can't really see how nice this Jewel sparkles, but it fits in perfectly as part of the holiday decor, and I'll be on my coffee table through the holidays.  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Presenting Nines and Vines 2010

I'm very excited to show you the Nines and Vines quilt top that I've been working on for the past month.  This quilt will be hand quilted after Christmas and then be used as a fund-raiser for a local charity.   It was a pleasure to make it.

Post Note:  Want to make one for yourself, the free pattern can be found on McCalls here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Are you a pinner?

I had my little rest from working on my nines and vines, and now I'm back at it.   I'm within an hour of finishing the top and I'm so pleased with it. 

This morning I took an hour and pinned every intersection of the main middle part of the quilt.  I know most people hate to pin, but I find I get such a good result when I pin.  

Even though I'm heavily scheduled with seasonal activities over the next couple of days, I'm positive that by the weekend, I'll be showing you the finished quilt top.   

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mario Gingerbread

Grace, Caitlin and Mitchell came for a visit after school today.  Our mission today was to decorate gingerbread.  We only had a bit more than two hours, but I think they did a great job, don't you?

Grace made two Mario's and some other cookies too.  She's a fast worker.

Caitlin worked hard to perfect her Mario. 

Mitchell finished two Mario cookies, but this is the best one.
And this is what Grammie did while the kids did theirs.  These are for our Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weekend Visitors

Aurora was here over the weekend for a visit.  So, we had a couple of important things on our agenda.  First was to make a custom photo album of pictures of all kinds of people that Aurora knows and loves.  And the second thing was to make gingerbread cookies and decorating them.  This would be Aurora's first time.   I knew I would need the help of somebody who was very experienced at many kid things.   So Grace agreed to come over  yesterday and she would stay and help out with Aurora.

Grace and Aurora sorting through Photos for the Aurora's Photo Album

Bedtime Snack - Cheerios
Rolling out the gingerbread dough

So, this is what cookie dough tastes like.  A loves it!
With a little help, Aurora is going to be a natural at decorating cookies, don't you think!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Winter Bow Tucks Bag

I got a chance to use my newly re-arranged sewing room today.  It functions very well.  I did find my new little table shakes a bit when I'm sewing, so I'll reserve the pedal to the metal sewing for the Juki which is sitting on my more substantial Ikea table. 

I had started sewing this Bow Tucks Bag early yesterday morning before I started organizing my sewing tables.  I didn't get back to it until this morning.  It was fun to make, and what a cute pattern and a quick finish.   I call it a winter bag because the bottom fabric has snowflakes and is quoting the "Naughty Kittens lost your mittens" poem. I've decided to make another Bow Tucks Bag and I'll be shopping my stash to pick different colors for the next one. 
Next on my list of things to do is to machine quilt my three small Christmas in July projects.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My new Sew Much More table - Before and After

I'm still sorting and organizing, but the new table fits like a glove. 

Have a look at the before picture.   If you look behind my sewing machines you can see I've been pinning things to the exposed part of my bulletin board while the rest has been blocked off by my thread stand.    My Pfaff is directly above the bank of drawers, so it was not comfortable to sew there at all...

And this is what it looks like after.  I moved my threads to the far side so I can now see my bulletin board again.  And there's lots of room on either side of both machines to work.  

Ahh, this Sew Much More table is going to give me so much more comfort when sewing..