Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Flea Market Finds of 2011

Mum surprised me with this absolutely "to die for" milk glass punch bowl for Christmas.  Oh my goodness!  It is just gorgeous and was used for mulled wine on Christmas Day.  It is missing just one of the punch cups and what can I say?  I love it!  

More thrifty finds from Mum for Christmas.  I am such a sucker for this style of vintage print.  Apparently this one hung in my Great Gramma's house.  I love the tall narrow frame!  And Mum tucked this gorgeous lace trimmed tray cloth in my Christmas gifts.  Mum told me she found it in one of her favourite thrifty stores for next to nothing.  Thanks, Mum!

I have visited several thrift stores over the holidays so will have more to show over the next few weeks.

Happy New Year!  I will link up with Sophie's Flea Market Finds and maybe even Apron Girl's thrift share Monday.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

So what is happening with the scrap heap?

 January is just around the corner.  Diet advertisements are starting on the television.  Boxing day sales continue to flog all sorts of leftover Christmas excess.  Pretty soon white sales will be happening and somehow because everyone is broke in January grocery stores always have sales on pasta and stuff for tomato sauce.  In quilt blog land, there is a cycle as well.  Many blogs are promoting various scrap busting quilt a-longs and what not.  Rachel at Stitched in Color has something up her sleeve for down the road.  And I have been blabbing about what I am going to do with the leftover bits and pieces.  This is what has been happening in the sewing room over the last few days.

Lots of 4" squares.  Any leftover bits from this cut-fest went into 4 piles.  Nasty bits of skinnies for Mum's weaving which I then used as packing material in the box that I mailed to her today containing her camera which she forgot at our house.  Little itty bits into the bag for ends of string blocks.  Third pile is pieces big enough for Farmer's Wife blocks and lastly all the bits that are not quite 4 " that would make a perfect scrappy stacked coin quilt sometime or pillows or who knows what?

Then I got started sewing and trimming.  I am generating quite a large pile of white triangles that are so far just living in the waste basket because they are really very small but this is making me feel guilty.  Hmmmm.  This pile comes from trimming the blocks and has no redeeming value other than packing material or basket filler. This pile does not generate guilt like the white triangles.

But the result is just making me so happy.  Wonky Scrappy Little Star in the works on a length of flannelette tacked to the wall of the sewing room as a small design wall.  After today's sewing, the stars have grown to half a quilt and it is still making me happy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Farmer's Wife Check in: Week 29 and 30

#80 Single Wedding Star

Two weeks worth of Farmer's Wife blocks today.  I forgot to post last week in all the Christmas hoopla.  So here are a couple on the barn wall. Quite love the Single Wedding Star block.  It was fun and non-stressful to make.  I also really like the fabrics so it was a win win!  Then I tackled Morning below with some Fig Tree scraps.  Another stress free block.
#57 Morning

#53 Jack knife
 Jack knife came together easily.  I see a bit of wonk but I think it is just the way I have placed it on the white sheet.  Night and Day below was a giant pain in the you know where.  Oh my goodness.  It almost went in the garbage can.  Then I decided to trim each quarter of the block before putting the whole thing together.  At least now the block is flat as opposed to mountain peaked.  The contrast is awesome though and the block is just a hair smaller than the others and I think it will all work in the end.  I don't know what it is with some of the blocks.  Some of them are majorly frustrating!!!!!!!!!!

Other than farming these wee blocks, I did start my wonky scrappy little star quilt.  I love it!  Oh my word, it is making me happy!

Christmas came down today.  Everything is put away but the Christmas pillows and quilt.  They get to stay out for a little bit more.  Happy Wednesday one and all!
#59 Night and Day

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stashing some sale fabric...

Mostly Christmas fabrics but a few not.  Seriously could not resist the reindeer names print.  Seriously.  Half price at both Hamel's and my fabulous local quilt shop.

And today I started messing with my scraps for the scrap attack challenge.  I was surprised.  I was surprised with the reality of my scraps.  I try to use every last little stinky bit when I am making a quilt.  I use the leftovers on the back and try not to be left with many little bits.  Then I made the giant string quilt out of scraps and I have been farming my scraps into Farmer's Wife blocks.  What is then left?  I found quite a stack already cut into 5" squares and then a bunch that I started cutting into 4" squares.  I then took the leftovers and sorted it into 3 piles.  Nasty little skinny bits for Mum's weaving.  Longer, wider strings for string quilts.  And leftover odd bits that were mostly rectangles measuring 4" x 2".  That will have to be a stacked coin quilt or something.  I think I will be cutting 4" squares for a while.  Wonky, wonky little star scrap quilt on the cutting table as we speak.

Off to a play with clever son and his lovely girlfriend.  The final bit of Christmas fun.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day is here at last!

Even though I love Christmas, there is just something lovely about Boxing Day.  You can finally let out a big sigh.  Maybe stay in your jammies all day long.  Eat leftovers instead of cook.  Sew if you like or not if you don't because the gifts have all been made.  Nap and snack.  Let the house be just a little bit messy. Maybe visit your fabulous local quilt shop's boxing day sale.  Yep.  It's all good!  

I popped some pictures of some gifts made and now given.  At the top is a nurse's scrub top for daughter.  Fun and quick to whip up.  Just a little like making little girl dresses.  Well, sort of anyway.  She likes it and apparently wore it to work last night.  From the back, the hem looks crooked.  It isn't.  Promise.  

And then a bag for Mum.  I made one for me last spring and had enough fabric to make one for mum.  I used this tutorial and just made fabric handles.  Fun!

Back tomorrow with some of my fabric loot from the sales.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!  Wishing you the very best of the season and hoping that you are all enjoying this time with family and friends!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Last Quilt Finish for 2011!

Here it is!  All finished!  My very own Christmas quilt.  It was touch and go as to whether I would get it finished with all the Christmas hoopla but I did!  I really, really love it.  I strung a string on the barn wall and Mum helped me pin it up for its photo op this morning after it stopped raining.  I should have taken a picture of Webster as he was quite intrigued by the whole process.  Funny dog!

The quilts stats are as follows.  The fabric is largely Fruitcake by Basic Grey for Moda.  I used 2 charm packs and a load of samples from the "by the pound" sale at my fabulous local quilt shop.  I also used some yardage bought in the after Christmas sales for the borders and bindings and a solid from the stash.  I have a lot of that dark red and I end up using it a fair bit as it is very flexible colour-wise.  The back, which I am pleased with is a mixture of leftover charms and samples, along with some Christmas snowmen.  The green plaid cotton is a thrift store score from Mum.  Way to go, Mum!  I stippled it all over in a meandering squiggly pattern.  Happiness in a quilt.  Husband gave it a test drive this morning early before everyone was awake.  It worked well for early morning snuggles while getting updated on the world according to CNN or whatever else he was looking at so early in the morning.

Happy Christmas eve-eve!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Can she do it????

Oh man!  I did it!  The Christmas quilt will actually be finished for Christmas.  This quilt is about 75" x 75" and look!  No problem quilting it at all!  There is so much room!  I seriously did not even notice I was in the middle of the quilt because I never had to struggle with rolling the quilt into a tight sausage in order to fit it into the sewing machine.  I am in love even more with my lovely sewing machine!!!!

All that is left is hand sewing the binding!  Yippee!!!

Husband saved a bird that was trapped in the chicken run.  I just had to take a picture of the little sweetie before he let it go!  It was not happy and was yelling at us to hurry up!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

4 more sleeps!

Sugar Cookies are the best and this is the best recipe I have ever found for them. This recipe is simply no fail.  It can be doubled and freezes beautifully.

Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter or margarine softened
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (use the good stuff)

Soften your butter and then cream it well.  Gradually add sugar and cream well.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix.  Scoop everything into a plastic bag or container and pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Roll dough on a lightly floured board and cut with your favourite cutters.  These bake quickly ... maybe 7 to 8 minutes only as I do roll them fairly thin.  For Christmas, I let them cool and then decorate with sugar cookie icing.  Other times I brush a simple icing sugar and milk glaze on the cookies while they are still warm.  Tinted if you like.  Orange pumpkins at Halloween, Pink hearts for Valentine's but at Christmas you can get a little fancy.

Sugar Cookie Icing
1 cup icing sugar
2 tsp milk and then add enough to make it the right consistency
2 tsp corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
food colouring if you like.
Mix until it makes you happy with the thickness.  Pipe and let set before storing.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

baking, shopping, wrapping, playing...

cute?????  a gift from my secretary!  

It has been a busy few days of last minute shopping, last minute baking and last minute playing  (board games and whist!).  Husband and I have made it a goal to avoid all malls in our Chrtistmas shopping preparations and so far it has worked!!!  I have not yet stepped into a shopping mall and yet, we are pretty much finished all that Christmas shopping mayhem.  Yesterday, I even baked.  Yep, for real.  Shortbread stars with dark chocolate drizzles.  A standard for Christmas at this house and today it is sugar cookie time.  Thank goodness the little chicken girls are starting to produce in an impressive fashion.  But if you notice in the egg carton above, one of those eggs is not like the other!  It is a double for sure!

Merry almost Christmas!  Hopefully I will find some quilting time today!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Design Wall Monday... a work in progress

Well.  That doesn't look like much!  I took this picture a few days ago and now there is more.  The funny thing about quilting is that you don't often end up making things for yourself.  Sure we have quilts all over the house but I have not actually made a quilt for us for a long time.  Especially in the lead up to Christmas so much of the sewing is for gift giving. I did not think I would have time to make this project for this year.  This one is a Christmas quilt for us.  And it is all made completely from stash fabrics.  The fabric is Fruitcake by Basic Grey for Moda and I had a whole bunch of samples, some charm packs and some yardage bought in the after Christmas sales last year.  I saved it with the intention of it being a Christmas quilt for us.  It matches the pillows I made last year before Christmas.  I really love this fabric because it is different from the usual Christmas palette.

So what is the plan.  The plan is to have a centre bit of half square triangles and then borders and squares until it is the right size.  That's all.  When I just had the half square triangles, Husband was a bit worried thinking that I was making a quilt for an elf.  I promised him it would get bigger!  It will look more or less like a quilt I made for mum.  Have a look.

 I am going to link up with Judy's design wall Monday.  I am on holidays but not from my sewing machine so I think that I will be finished this for sure before the 24th!  Happy Monday!