Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Setting the tone.....

There is a New Year's superstition that says what you do on New Year's eve and most especially on New Year's Day will set the tone for the entire coming year. Now this might be a frightening thought to some people but to me it is a great excuse to spend both days doing what I love to do best...

I have started another quilt. It is one that I had planned on starting when I finished more UFOs but I decided it was time. I had the fabrics all picked out and set them aside so I grabbed them and to start cutting strips. This block is called "Merry Go Round". Sorry the photos may seem a bit dark. It is a grey and misty day here in Holland.

I have 8 blocks done. Each set of strips gives you two blocks when cut, a positive and negative version of the three fabrics you use. I have a good deal further to go but will share progress as I move along. I love the vintage feel of this block and am using creams, beiges, pinks, reds, greens and blues for it.

Now doing my patchwork set the tone for my quilting in 2009 but how about stitching. I am going to work on my Ohio sampler which is close to being finished. I have a number of stitching goals for the coming year. And I am helped along by my sweet little Zoe Pickle back home. She sent me this gift of DMC thread and all in my favorite yummy autumn shades. Very good for a 6 year old right?!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Playing Secret Santa...

We held a Secret Santa swap this year on my stitching list. Here are the items I sent playing Santa to Roberta...

We were supposed to handmake an item and then send along any little things we wanted. I did not upwrap the one gift for the photo since it had been nicely wrapped at a little shop up north. Roberta has chickens and roosters in her kitchen so when I found a set of chicken teaspoons, I knew they had to be included. I also sent along holiday hankies and a Christmas tree hanger as Roberta is a stitcher and quilter. I knew she could find the perfect project to use this hanger for.

My handmade part of the gift was a crazy quilt stocking doorhanger. I used a different ribbon or trim on each seam that we all handsewn on which you can see if you enlarge the photo by clicking on it.

The velvet ribbon hanger is attached with a vintage looking button.

My own Secret Santa was Clare who spoiled me with a box of goodies from England. There was a fabric bird which is now nestled in my Christmas tree at Cranberry Cottage. I use birds on that tree. She also gave me a wooden toadstool which is on the bookshelves at the cottage. Further, there were two fat quarters which already have a use that I will share one day soon, Santa tealights, bookmark calendar, notecards and a chocolate tree.

The handmade gift is this lovely pillow. She used my favorite kind of linen ~ hand dyed and spotted linen. I love it so much and it is going to make a lovely way to welcome spring in my displays in the house when I put my Christmas things away. I am looking forward to using it and will treasure it always. Thank you so much Clare!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Burr ..... cold!

That is what our forecast is for the long Christmas weekend. So I am packing to leave for Cranberry Cottage and my brother knitted me this hat and scarf which must go along for our walks in the woods! I wanted to stop in before we leave to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Thank you all for reading my blog and leaving such wonderful comments. I appreciate each and every comment I receive. I love the friendships that have grown through blogging.

Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My sewing tree...

This is my sewing tree. I have talked about doing this for the last couple of years and decided it was time this year. It is in my quilt studio. I spend a good deal of my time there so really do enjoy seeing this tree.

I used my lighted branches in a vase. The decorations are my actual sewing items ~ thread winders, scissor collection, strawberry emeries, wooden spools and a few handmade ornaments. Some are button ornaments, a crocheted wreath and some patchwork ornaments. I have received these from friends in my quilt group and some online friends. They are now being displayed on this sewing tree. I used red organza ribbon and vintage lace to hang everything.

I already have an idea for decorating my wooden spools which I cannot wait to try out and will have to try and find more of them by next Christmas.

You can view the slide show here or click on it and look at the photos individually. I hope you will enjoy seeing my sewing tree. I had so much fun creating it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My white Christmas is..... in my reading corner. I have a small tree there which is filled with my handmade bobbin lace ornaments.

Each year, I have been making an ornament to use in this tree. I did not make one this year and wish I had. I will definitely add one next year!

Have a closer look at a few of the ornaments. There is everything from a nativity...

to candles...

and snowmen...


...and pretzels.

Making these ornaments are fun and each is unique. It gives a pretty white glow to the room. We are discussing homemade items for the holidays on my stitching list and I enjoy things like this which I can add to each year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Quilt group Christmas party

Our Christmas party on Wednesday was lots of fun. We share an evening of laughter which to me is what Christmas spirit is all about. I put together a slide show for you since there are so many photos. I hope you take the time to look and share our fun evening...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

'Twas the night before...

.....when all through the house, this creature was stirring and busy as a mouse.

She was not altogether ready and wanted to sit and stitch, but tomorrow is the Christmas party, a quilt evening not to be missed...

As you see, my progress on the Santa banner is poor indeed.

I took it along this past weekend but we were busy helping our neighbors as some of their trees were taken out. We now have alot of work ahead of us to get this wood they gave us into firewood.

But finally, my tree is up and ready...
I have almost all the gifts wrapped for tomorrow night...
The newsletter is finished and just needs printing...

The pickle is in the tree waiting to be found by one of the ladies...

...who will win this extra gift...

My Christmas cards are waiting to be passed out...

And I even had time today to mail a package to Joni as a belated birthday gift and sew the last set of coasters for Barbara...

She asked for red, green and white. Barbara is a big snowman fan so what else could I made but snowmen!

I will be up late tonight doing more things for tomorrow. There is little sleep for elves at this time of year!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Colors in my corner of the world

I promised (or rather Dagi did) an undate on my Ohio sampler ~ MB circa 1810 sampler. I finished the top of the sampler and just love all those alphabets.

Edit - January 8, 2009 - I have deleted all entries pertaining to the MB circe 1810 sampler I was working on after receiving an email from the designer, who I do not know, sharing her opinion about my changing a color in the design. This was done not to offend but because the color was not visible on the linen. I am sorry that I am no longer able to share this with my readers.

And more about color...Am I putting you to sleep with all these coasters? I have just sent two sets on their way to the giveaway winners. Both of these ladies not only comment regularly on my blog but also have blogs of their own. It made it easy to work within their given colors but do coasters that I thought looked like them.

For Linda, who wanted red and green, I choose something that I felt gave a vintage look together. She has such pretty vintage holiday decorations and thought this was really her.

Pondside asked for red and white. I wanted to use this red fabric with Christmas postage stamps on it but white did not work right with it so I used a red holly print instead. This does not come out in the photos but this combination looked so pure Christmas. I choose the light green pinecone print for the backing for a reason. Pondside lives in an incredible place and has a love for the nature and woods around her. To me, she lives daily in the Emersonian surroundings that I get to experience on weekends at Cranberry Cottage.

I hope you both will enjoy your coasters during this holiday season!

We are off to Cranberry Cottage soon and I have decided to only take my Santa banner along so I can get him moving along. I wish you all a cozy and warm weekend!

Margaret, Barbara, Harmien and Annemarie ~ Enjoy your Sip 'N Stitch tomorrow! I will be thinking of you in between yelling 'Timber!' LOL!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Call me Zwarte Piet

This year, I decided to play Zwarte Piet in every sense of the word. I sewed a set of five coasters for Carolien and her family. You are supposed to wrap it up to make it a surprise. So I merged two cultures and it went secretly on its way to their house. Guess the mailman thought their house was the North Pole. *grins*

Now, a surprise on Pakjesavond always comes with a rhyme and this was a challenge for me. The poem connects what the gift is and her home. She lives in a pretty house connected to the church which is where I secretly put them in the mailbox. Here is my poem which I will translate. Keep in mind this does rhyme in Dutch although not in English...

De Sint had een mooie naaimachine,
Maar wist niet hoe je hem moest bedienen.

(The Sint had a beautiful sewing machine,
But did not know how to use it.)

De Pieten zaten aan de thee,
En hadden in eens een brilliant idee.

(The Piets were having tea,
And had, all of a sudden, a brilliant idea.)

Bij een mok thee hoort er iets onder,
Want een vlek op tafel is echt zonde.

(There should be something under a mug of tea,
As a stain on your table is really a shame.)

Ze pakten de stofjes en gingen aan het werk,
Het kado moet nu af en snel naar de kerk.

(They grabbed fabrics and went to work,
The gift had to be finished and rushed off to the church.)

Dus de pieten werkten zich te pletter,
Op deze mooie ……….

(So the Piets worked themselves to the bone,
To make these pretty ..... )

Van de handwerk Pieten!

(From the Handwork Piets!)

Carolien says she has them around her living room now to use when they drink their tea. I had so much fun playing Piet for her!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Hi! It's me again.....

Well, someone has to let all our blogging friends know about our weekend so I thought I would once again. My mommy has had a bad turn in her cold which seems to not want to let go. She has had it since October but now it is really bad. I could have told her so after she did that decorating at Cranberry Cottage.

But does she listen to me?

It looks fine and you have done enough so would you please come back inside and sit down to stitch so I can crawl up on your lap where I belong? By the way, she did finish another alphabet on her Ohio sampler. I will remind her to take a photo soon of the progress.

I got to chat with my grandmother this weekend while at the cottage. Always nice to stay in contact with family, of course, but all this typing makes me tired. *grins* At home, we can actually talk and I love to come and sit in front of the computer and tell her lots of things.

Right now I would tell her about how I took care of my mommy last night. She has been having trouble breathing when she lays down. Last night, she thought she quietly got up and went downstairs to have a cup of tea. I kept watch over her but decided to sneak back upstairs and paw my daddy's face until he got up. Who is he to sleep when mommy is downstairs not feeling well? Well, I took care of that and he came down to see how she was. *grins* I was rather proud of myself and curled up in mommy's lap purring once I had them together.

Mommy did pull the winners names for the second round of the giveaway and here they are ~ Linda, Pondside and Barbara/MO. Congratulations and please be sure to email her and give her your address so she can mail them as they are made.

Until my next entry, I hope all my blogging friends are having a great December and find time to sit and stitch or quilt between all the holiday preparations. You do have to remember us four~footed friends after all and sit down to cuddle once in a while!