Thursday, November 28, 2013

Are you counting your blessings?

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  I think this is probably my favorite holiday, a time to reflect on the good things in my life and realize how blessed I am.

I enjoyed my day at Robert and Angela's, and Elizabeth and Elise were able to join us as well before she joined David at his Dad's house.  Can't ask for a better day than to be with my kids and grandkids.
After lunch we had a bit of craft time, and the kids each made a snowman ornament for the Christmas tree.  I was so busy working with them that I didn't get a picture of their masterpieces, but we had a good time.

Recently we got together and went to see The Nutcracker ballet.  I've never been to a ballet performance.  Elise is taking a dance class, and Ashlynn has in the past, so I thought it would be fun to go.   It was put on by Ballet Frontier of Texas, and the majority of the cast were students at their school.  Such a nice way to see a performance at a reasonable price.  I'd like to go to more of their productions.

Speaking of Elise's dancing, here's a picture from her first performance.

In sewing news, I came across a cute little gnome tree ornament on fellow blogger Roolen's blog.  In fact, I'm making 7 of them for Christmas this year.  Here are the first two I've completed.  The others are in various stages, close to completion, but these two jumped to the top so I could take them for Ashlynn and Rhett to put on their tree.   By the way, if you click on the link to Roolen's blog, you'll see it's in Russian.  She has a Google translator button on the far right side, so it's easy enough to be able to read it in English.
And, final project in the works for your viewing.  My friend Linda and I are making a tshirt quilt for a mutual friend.   I've enjoyed working on it, as I've never done one with the shirts joined directly to each other.  I usually have a sashing in between the shirts.  But this is a nice change, and it's fun that she could put so many shirts in it.  This same size with sashing would have been 12 shirts.  It appears in the picture that it will have a border, but that is actually the backing fabric, there will be no border.
Okay, that's more than enough.  I really need to post more often so it wouldn't be so long!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

bunco and quilting

My Bunco group met Tuesday night at my house, and as usual we had a great time.  This was one of those nights when everyone was there.  Let's face it, trying to get 12 people together every month can sometimes be a challenge as life can get in the way.  When the need arises, we get subsitutes and keep playing. Since we had everyone, I wanted to get pictures of the group.  So here we are!

And what was on the menu, you ask?  Inquiring minds always want to know.  I got some sliced beef from Spring Creek BBQ, and the ladies had the option of a plate dinner or sandwiches.  I  made some baked beans and potatoes au gratin, along with deviled eggs.  Dessert was a cherry danish, using my friend Judy's recipe.   We also had some munchies of seasoned oyster crackers and M&M's.  We eat first, then the games begin. 

The Bunco mug rug consolation prize was won by Lisa (top picture on the far left).

I made another paper-pieced block, this time a squirrel.  It went together well, but after it was together I could tell the medium brown fabric blended in with the background quite a bit.  What do you think?
So then I got the bright idea (well, stole the bright idea) of using something to give definition to the outline.  I used a pigma pen.   Don't know if the picture shows really well, but it does stand out a bit more.  And where did I steal the idea?  If you remember, I brought home a ton of magazines from a garage sale last weekend, and this idea was in one of them.
That medium brown fabric is a piece that my sister Sue gave me years ago, and was also used several years ago in this next piece you'll see. Its the background the moose is standing on.  Its always fun to make something with those pieces that you can make a personal connction with.
Speaking of sister Sue, today happens to be her birthday!  You might want to hop over to her blog and tell her happy birthday yourself!  She always likes visitors.  :)

Have a good day everyone...and happy birthday Sue!

Friday, November 8, 2013

garage sale

Here I've been gradually picking away at the clutter around my house, and have donated sacks to charity just about every month.  So what do I come across today?  A garage sale.  Yep, you guessed it, the lady was a quilter.  She wasn't at the sale, her niece was coordinating it, and you could tell the niece wasn't a quilter.  Apparently Auntie is downsizing into a senior living center, so many things had to go. 

When I inquired if there were any quilting or sewing items, she said the sewing machine was sold, but she had some magazines and bits of fabrics and trims.  I got a sack of buttons, and a couple of little 25 cent bags of fabric, then she said I could just have the magazines if I wanted them.  We got it all loaded in my car, and I spread them out just a little while ago.  Not only are there quilting magazines, there are books, crochet magazines, a couple of patterns, and a couple of cross stitch kits.  Free.  I told her to make sure Auntie knew that it all went to a good home, someone who appreciates what she had.  I also mentioned I have a few quilting buddies, and they'll share in it with me.

Yes one is sideways, I'm too lazy right now to change it.

It was almost sad seeing the niece be somewhat cavalier about Auntie's stuff.  She was plenty nice enough, just wanted to get it out of there.   She had a big stack of puzzles, and I could have had them all for $5, but I didn't have the room...though I did get 2.   She did redeem herself in my mind though when she said there was no way she was selling Auntie's quilts.  :)

The other sad thing is that just a few months ago I went through my stack of magazines, and cleared out close to as many as I got today.  (eyeroll)  These won't be around too long.  I'll cull out articles that catch my eye (particularly interested in foundation paper piecing right now), and share them with friends to do the same.    Having cleared out a bit of shelf space, I don't want to fill it back up.

Oh well, such is life.  And yes, I'll still drop in on garage sales when one looks really good.  :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

hands, strings, and news

The other day when Elise was here, she happened to put her hand on top of mine, and I wanted a picture.  She was happy to oblige and do it again.  I love seeing the difference between the young and older hands.

Remember my string quilt I was working on several weeks ago?  When I got it together, I realized it needed borders to make it a workable size, but just didn't have the heart to continue at that point.  I put it away until about a week or two ago, and was able to have the mindset to get back into it.   I've stitched the 2 side borders to a foundation, and have a good start on finishing the quilting on one of those two.  They will then be attached (remember its a quilt as you go project), and then I'll work on borders for the top and bottom.  I'm glad I put it to the side instead of just rushing to bind it as it was.
Here are the two side borders, which of course will actually be joined with the same black print that join the other blocks.

I haven't decided yet how I'll do the corners where the borders meet.

In other news, I got a bill for my newspaper subscription the other day, and it was double what it was previously.  I pay for a 6 month subscription for Sunday and Wednesdays.  As I looked at the statement, I noticed it included the digital version of the paper.  I really didn't feel it was worth paying extra for that, though I concede it could be nice.  But I'm already able to get on the paper's website and see news stories, obituaries, editorials, and quite a bit of other items of interest.   When I called to talk to someone, I was told they have included the digital service on all subscriptions now, and they couldn't separate it out.  At that, I (politely) told her I'd just cancel the service when it came to it's termination date.  I can always pick up the Sunday paper for their ads and coupons when I need it.  Amazingly enough, she told me about a special they happen to have, and I can have the subscription for $36 (less than half of the billed amount) and yes, it will have the digital newspaper included.   Works for me, but it's a shame you have to make the inquiry to get a good price.  Reminds me of the cable TV services.

That's it for now.  Hope you're having a good week.    :)