Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
~Edgar Guest

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Star Crazy December BOM

I was so happy yesterday to have an opportunity to work on Star Crazy.
I really didn't think there would be time in December, but now with Christmas over, I snuck in a day of "do what you WANT to do, not what you HAVE to do."

Four Patch Stars & Quad Stars
The last 6 blocks are now complete and ready for their placement along the outside borders.

And the inside Irish Chain is sewn together.

I love how this quilt is coming together.
Sue Garman really did a great job with the design.
My thanks to The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims for letting us participate in their Block of The Month 2010.

And remember all those 1 1/2" half square triangles we have been making each month along the way?
I think there are 320 of them all together.

I've started sewing the 8 rows needed for the borders.
A little tedious and time consuming, but I put on a good movie and I was in my happy zone.
Remember Star Crazy will eventually grow up to look like this.
Star Crazy has been such a great quilt to make together with so many of you. This is the first time I have hosted a group, and I have been inspired by your work! And, it's been delightful getting to know quilters from around the world.
I have a feeling we are going to be seeing a lot of wonderful posts about Star Crazy in January.
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Best Presents Ever

We arrived home this evening after spending several wonderful days in Phoenix for Christmas.
The happiest of moments where we could be together as family with 4 of our 5 children. (We missed you Scott!)
We played games, watched movies, cooked a truck load of food, and then proceeded to eat more than should be allowed by law.
Thank heavens for that warm Arizona sunshine that beckoned us outside for long walks with the grandbabies.
And a BIG thank you to my children who traveled, took time off work, hosted, cooked, cleaned and made it possible for all of us to be together.

One of my favorite presents came wrapped in green, gold and red bows.

Yes, angels with halos do appear at Christmas time.

We felt very privileged that our grand daughter waited for our arrival to take her very first steps.
Her body language spoke volumes.
"You can let go of my hand now Papa."
"My daddy will catch me if I fall."

"Three big steps all by myself! Yay!"

And I'm not sure who was more excited about playing with all the new Superhero toys, our grandsons or Mr. Cactus.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Star of Hope

"The star of Bethlehem was a star of hope that led the wise men to the fulfillment of their expectations, the success of their expedition. Nothing in this world is more fundamental for success in life than hope, and this star pointed to our only source for true hope: Jesus Christ."
(~D. James Kennedy)
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


There have been many versions of the Hallelujah Chorus on the Internet lately. People bursting into song in the middle of a crowded mall, or airport.
They make me weep, and bring to remembrance the true meaning of Christmas. My favorite You-Tube version was shared by Annie Unrein.

The 5th graders of Quinhagak, and Yup'ik Village, Alaska have captured my heart.

A big thank-you to teacher Jim Barthelman who spent 10 hours of filming.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gingerbread Sewing Cottage

This is the kind of Gingerbread Cottage where I would like to live:
A Gingerbread Sewing Cottage!
Button roof, ric rac trim, and yarn balls made out of lollipops and Twizzlers.
(*the only improvement might be to add a few covered buttons!)

Mr. and Mrs. Stitch
This wonderful creation with a free tutorial is offered by Meaghan Mountford of Chic Cookies.

Meaghan claims she is not a seamstress, but she does know her cookies.
Check out her book Cookie Sensations, a step by step guide to creating edible art.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Diva Show and Tell

During our Dixie Diva Christmas party, a few brought Show and Tell.

Pat Peters, the QUEEN of applique has been working on Baltimore Christmas. Knowing that Pat is such a prolific appliquer, we teased and asked when she started this project. Last week?

Baltimore Christmas is a P3 Design by Pearl P. Pereira
Amazing! Pat always does such beautiful work.
The pattern can also be found on

Eventually, Baltimore Christmas will grow up to look like this.

Ricci finished her Mumbo Gumbo. Yay!!

Mumbo Gumbo by Pie In The Sky Designs

Ricci has been one busy quilter. She just finished this cute Dr. Suess quilt.

Let's Party is a free pattern by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

And Bev has been making more fabric bowls from the book It's A Wrap

Thank you Bev for hosting our Christmas Party this year!
One of the most wonderful blessings of my life is being part of the Dixie Divas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Double Diamond Ruler

During our Diva Christmas luncheon, Bev gave each of us a quilted bookmark she had made using the Double Diamond Ruler by Kim Templin.
One of the thing I appreciate about being part of a talented quilt group is learning about new techniques and products that the Divas have scouted out.

Bev showed us the ruler and told how easy it was to make the bookmark.
This cut and fold method made me think of some of the art projects we made in elementary school with construction paper.
Fast 1-2-3 step instructions are provided by Bright Quilting Notions.
I was impressed with Kim Templin's web site.
Do you have a desire to purchase some of these specialty rulers on the market, but when you get home forget how to use them?
Kim provides well written instructions, free patterns (like the bookmark), an idea gallery, and even an easy to follow video.
You can add dimensional elements to quilt borders, blocks, sashings, purse straps, vests, and even scrapbook pages.
Wouldn't the bookmark be a nice addition when giving a book as a gift?
After watching the video, I'm ready to play.
Thanks Bev! I've already started using my bookmark with my latest read.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Diva Christmas Party

Today was our Dixie Diva Annual Christmas Party at Bev's house. Oh, how I love my Divas. All 8 of them make me laugh and laugh, and are the dearest of friends.

Bev set a beautiful table. We each placed little gifts around for each other.

Look at this great centerpiece idea.
Who does not have a mixed array of Christmas mugs and cups collected over the years? Bev filled each one with festive candy and nuts.

We had a quilt show and tell, and exchanged presents.
More about that in future posts.
But, I did want to show you this:
Bev read my blog about crocheting the Belle Scarves (post 11/14/10) and has made quite a few for Christmas presents this year. She used the Homespun yarn recommended on the pattern, and they turned out a lot more fluffy than mine.
Now onto the Diva Craziness.
Yes, those Divas make one laugh until the makeup is completely gone.
I need to give a little Diva Christmas History:
  • Last year Margaret told us she had a very important Diva gift, that would only be available to one special lady. We put our names in a hat and Bev was chosen as the lucky recipient to open the most beautifully decorated box.

(Christmas 2009)
  • Inside:The official Diva panties
  • Bev was instructed to "fix up those panties in some special way", and have them available for the following year's drawing.

(Christmas 2010)
Call it Karma. Call it whatever you want. But, what you send out there DOES come back to you.
Margaret's name was pulled from the hat to be the proud "bearer of the Diva panties" during this next year.
Notice Bev's addition of pom poms?
Oh,those Divas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Santa Mugs

Every family has their Christmas traditions.
When I was a child my mother always served hot cocoa in a Santa Mug on Christmas morning.

It's a tradition I chose to carry on with my own family.
I remember hunting the stores to find just the right kind of face, one that would make my children smile.
Even though they are grown now, we still drink from our Santa Mugs every Christmas morning. I often look up to see them smiling as they sip away on various flavors of cocoa.
When my daughter was married, we gave their newly formed family their own set of Santa Mugs as a present. My grandchildren now experience the continuing tradition.

Allison Woods shared why family traditions are so important
"Family traditions provide great value, and the value lasts far beyond the moment. The value of a tradition isn't in completing the ritual; the value comes from what it provides for those who participate.
First of all, traditions provide stability. Activities that are observed year in and year out become a means by which family members can build trust and security. Regardless of what else may happen, the traditions will not change. So much in our lives these days is temporary. Family traditions provide something for every person to hold on to and to rely upon."

Santa Mugs are a collectors item, often found on vintage sites.
The mugs made in the 1930's-1940's usually have Santa winking, or with his eyes closed.
No one is exactly sure why.
Maybe he is tired after a night of delivering presents around the world, and just needs to put his feet up and have a hot cup of cocoa.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kathy's Christmas Treats

Are you looking for a very easy Christmas treat to share at a gathering this year? No time to cook, but you would still like to take something festive and fun?
Kathy Smith shared this wonderful treat the other day. The recipe is so easy, and these are double yum!

Picture the mix between chewy caramel, sweet chocolate, along with the salty pretzel. I love the taste of sweet and salty together.

The recipe is a little informal because Kathy told me briefly how she made them.
Christmas Treats
Start with either a round or square pretzel as the base.

Top with a Rolo (by Hershey) piece of candy.
Place in a 250 degree oven for about 5 minutes.
Take out of the oven, and while the candy is still warm, press an M&M into the top.
Place the treats in the fridge until cool (around 20 minutes?) before serving.
They are THAT easy!
Thanks Kathy. I will be making these this week!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Twisting Pinwheels

TWISTING PINWHEELS is another wonderful quilt in the Christmas room at Quilted Works.
A layer cake friendly pattern.
This is definitely on my "to do" list.

67" X 67"
Pieced by Jaylene Britt
Every time I see pinwheels, I immediately think of my friend Rae Ann (Cutie Pinwheel) who loves guessed it.... PINWHEEL.

Fabric line: Fruitcake by Basic Grey for Moda
Vintage look with Christmas ornaments, stripes, and sleigh bells.

This quilt would look terrific in a wide variety of fabric lines. I know Shannon (itssoshannon) made one out of blues and browns for a baby quilt.
Don't you love new quilt tools, that make piecing easier?
Dee's Doodles offers a free tutorial on how to make TWISTING PINWHEELS using the TWISTER TOOL.

The pattern is included when you purchase the "Twister" tool by Country Schoolhouse.
If you live locally, I know Quilted Works carries the tool in their notions room.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Makin' New Friends

Another really cute quilt in the Christmas Room at Quilted Works is Makin' New Friends
You can never have too many friends.
59" X 73"
Pieced by Annika B.
The kits sold so fast, Annika made a second set. Those sold quickly, too.

The fabric line is designed by Deb Strain for Moda.
Deb said: "this heart-warming group are filled with children, snowmen, birds, pine branches and snow. Using traditional winter colors of holly, berry red, wintery blue, pine and ivy greens, I have illustrated one of our family's most treasured winter traditions...building our own new friends out of snow!"

Deb offered a free pattern

Pieces of the line are still available over at The Fat Quarter Shop.

Annika said the most time consuming part of making the quilt was piecing the small checkerboard borders. Well worth the effort for the overall look. (easy for me to say! Good job Annika!)

We rarely have snow here in St. George, so we have to enjoy our snowmen on fabrics.

Makin' New Friends also comes in a 23" X 44" panel with 6 snowmen images. Quilted Works cut up each section, added a few simple borders, and had them made into 6 place mats.
Those panels sold faster than a snowman melting on a hot, sunny day.
Several customers made large stacks of place mats, sent them to QW longarmer to be quilted, and now have them ready for Christmas presents this year.
Great idea, yes?