Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year from me and the Gang!

Finnagan and Fiona
(with Foo Foo Bunny)



and Irish!  

He kept ducking his head and wouldn't let me take his picture so I just stuck the camera down and clicked.  It was the best picture of him all morning!  (He is 14 years old and blind and hard of hearing you would think that he wouldn't know when I was going to take the picture, but everytime right before I would click he would duck his head!  Stubborn dog.)

One More Christmas Quilt

It seems all I need to do is post about not having any moisture for it to totally contradict what I had just said and rain.  I don't know how much we got - it's not much - but it did rain here last night (maybe 1/2"? LOL).  It rained enough that Taegan was having a panic attach.  (no lightening - just a light rain - silly dog) He knows that thunder and lightening come with the rain so he has gotten "smart" and starts panicing early when it starts to sprinkle so I will be there when it really hits.  Once I get him calm he goes right to sleep, thank goodness.  I started this posting last night, but I had to jump in here and add this bit since mother nature was nice enough to contradict me.

One of my Facebook friends had posted this quilt to her Pinterest.  I really liked it and thought I might make one.  So, I looked up the original owner of the pinning and she had a tutorial on her blog.  Her name is Janice and her blog is Better Off Thread.   She calls this a Scrappy Lone Star.  There are several things I love about this quilt. 
Scrappy Lone Star Quilt Tutorial

1.  It's green.
2.  It is original.  It's not your typical lone star quilt.  It is only a portion of the lone star.
3.  The modern take on it.  I like that the fabrics are modern and there is no control to where the fabrics are placed.  I almost signed up to make a lone star quilt with a famous quilt teacher, but the directions for gathering the fabric just bored me to death!!  It was a gradiated quilt and she wanted you to pull/purchase fabrics that were only one tint/shade away from each other to create this lone star.  BORING!!  I told a friend that just the directions bothered me and after she took the class, she told me that the class would have driven me nuts.  It was a total control freak kind of class.  I can't handle that.  People that have to control every little thing (especially in someone else's quilts) really bother me.  So, I thought this would be fun since you don't have to control the fabric.
4.  last but not least, after looking at the tutorial, it looked simple to make.  Something I could whip up in one night if I wanted. 

So, I get into my studio and I decide I am going to make it with scraps left over from a previous Christmas quilt.  I have recently moved those scraps a couple of times and I needed to do something with them.  I originally made this quilt to be cut into a tree skirt.  However, I let my mother and sister talk me into just keeping it for a quilt.  I still don't have a tree skirt for that tree.  These fabrics were purchased at Hobby Lobby several, several years ago so I only have what is left over, which isn't much,

 but I thought I could make it work.  I cut my 2 1/2" strips from the 12" blocks and other scraps I have and sewed them together.  Even though I loved the scrappiness of the original block, I decided to go more traditonal with my layout of fabrics.  (Don't ask - I know that isn't one of the things I originally liked about this quilt, but I don't have 9 different fabrics and I only have one strip of a couple of fabrics plus I don't want to wait to pull some more fabric to go with it all) I sew it all together and add a little purple zing - one of the fabrics has some purple in it, but it's not really noticable until I added the zing. Then, the perfect fabric was laying in the pile next to me, a cream with green dots.  I debated about how that would look all cut up like I was going to have to do to make it work.  I even slept on it and tried to find some other fabrics, but my heart was now set on this polka dot fabric.  I took a chance, cut only two squares and sewed them in.  LOOKS GREAT!!!  I don't mind the wonkiness of the dots.  I even like it better.  I finished up the other half, put it together, added some corner pieces and this is what I have:

I really like this.  However, it's only about 17 inches wide and 34 inches long. The one thing I don't like about the original quilt that I didn't realize until I made up my quilt - it's only about 33 inches square. I didn't read that when I was looking through the tutorial. Anyway, on with the blog.  I think I will add about 20 or 24 inches of the green polka dot to the right side and then piece together some of the leftover fabrics to see what else I can do.  I would like this to be at least 50 inches square at the least.  50 X 70 would be better.  So, it's a work in progress right now and what I should be working on instead of blogging about it.  Just wanted to share what I am working on.  I also pieced together a pillow, but that is for another blog.  Since I haven't been sewing a lot lately I've got to spread them out a bit. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stocking Swap Gifts

It is Sunday, December 30, 2012.  the next to last day of the year and it is really, really cold here today.  There is no snow or moisture of any kind, but what is new about that?  It is just cold air and even colder winds.  A great day to be inside sewing and blogging.  So, as a result, there may be more than one posting today so stay tuned.  The camera finally made it up the stairs and to the office.  It has been down the hall in my bedroom for about a week now.  I don't know why it couldn't walk the 15 steps down to the office before now, but that is life.  Finally, I get to share with all of you the gifts I received from my Stocking Swap partner, Ellen of Ellen Gets Craftsy.  This swap was so much fun and I am so thankful to everyone who made the commitment and hung in there until the end.
Below are most of the gifts I received from Ellen.  I say most because I was so excited when I opened the large cardboard box and saw everything individually wrapped, I was like a child and started opening presents.  After the first two or three, I made myself stop so I could get a picture of everything.  Isn't that what bloggers do?  Take pictures of everything.  That is why I am not the best blogger.  I always forget to take pictures.  Anyway, she did an awesome job of wrapping each gift individually.
They each had their own handmade tags that coordinated with the month.  On the back of the tags it had what month it was and what we were to make that month.  Can you guess the months from the tags below?

A lot of work went into making each of those tags.  I love them and have them kept to show my Bee friends group in January.   Matter of fact, I have put all my gifts into the bag that I received so I can be sure to have them all together for the January Quilt In meeting.  I am forcing myself not to take anything out of the bag.  I wouldn't want to leave anything out of the sharing so after the January meeting, everything will be put to use. It's like a delayed Christmas present to myself!  Here is a picture of everything. 

 I thought I took pictures of everything individually, but I guess I only did a few items.  Below is the amazing journal.  I love the fact that Ellen painted and crafted the cover.  It is awesome.  I just can't find words for how wonderful this journal is.  See the beading on the right side?  WOW!

Then, there is this fantastic pin cushion with a gorgeous pin.  It is beautiful!  It also came with a package of pins, not just that one. 

I love everything!!  I can't wait until the January meeting.  I am going to use my mug that day to have coffee at the meeting!!  Everyone will be so jealous of me when they drink their coffee from the styrofoam cups! 

I was just over on Ellen's site Ellen Gets Craftsy and she has posted detailed pictures of the gifts she made.    

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Storm Naming

When did we begin naming winter storms?  I first noticed it with the last storm system that blew through the northeast last week.  I think it's name was Doug - or something that started with a D.  I made a comment to someone who blew me off because they thought I was crazy.   Now, we have winter storm Euclid.  Did I miss something? Was there an announcement about the beginning of naming winter storm systems?  I thought names were just reserved for hurricanes.  Do we name other acts of nature and I have just never noticed before?  When does a winter storm officially get named?  Hurricanes don't get named when they are just a little blip on the weather map.  I have seen on the weather channel where they are referred to just by their numbers.  Which I don't know what the numbers mean either, I guess it has something to do with the year and how many previous blips there have been and then which ocean in which it has come to life.  It's not until the hurricanes are a category 1 that they get their official name.  I think.  I know there is an official list of names that is made up before hurricane season even begins.  Because you can't have a second hurricane Rita or Katrina.  I think there is even a separate list for the east coast hurricanes and one for the west coast hurricanes.  (are they still called hurricanes on the west coast?  I think they may have another name entirely over there)  Is there a list for winter storms?  When and where were the A, B and C storms?   I don't remember hearing about storm Euclid until today.   Is this a new storm or is it the one that passed over Texas and dumped snow in Lubbock and Dallas?  Granted, I haven't watched the news a lot in the last 3 or 4 days and I don't watch it much on a regular basis.  I am just curious and wanted to put the question out there to see if anyone else knows anything about this naming of winter storms. 

It could be because I live in the desert of Texas that I haven't heard about it, but then again, we do - every once in a while - get a storm pass through here. Remember last year's frozen lake?  

Oops, that's not it, that was this year in January. 

Nope, not it again, that was a day later - still this year in January.

There it is, it was still snowing in this picture which is why it's so blurry looking.  This was February 2011.  Almost two years ago now.  The lake was frozen over and you could walk across it.  A big difference from summer of 2011 when you could walk across the lake, but that was because it was dry.   I thought I had a picture of that, but I guess I don't.  Oh, well, just imagine this picture, but instead of all the white or green, replace it with brown.  All tints and shades of brown and you have what it looked like a couple of summers ago.   Not a pretty picture. 

Neither one of those storms (the January 2012 and the February 2011) had a name that I ever heard of so maybe this naming the winter storms is new this year.  Well, so long to Euclid from Texas.  You have just about passed out of here and even though you didn't come all the way down to Odessa with your snow, you still left behind some really cold temperatures.  Tonight it's hard to imagine that a week ago we were in the upper 70's/lower 80's and today - I am not sure it got out of the 30's.  It's supposed to be another cold night in the teens again - which, since this is a windy part of the world - wind chill temps will be in the single digits.  Cold, cold, cold!!  I stayed inside today (except for taking a gift by to someone and a small Coke run this evening - okay, I don't have any cola here at my house so when I want one, I have to go to Dairy Queen or Sonic or even to Stripes if I don't mind getting out of my car.  I may have to put Coke on my grocery list along with the black eyed peas and Mrs. Renfro's salsa - the best pomegranate salsa!!  IMHO)  

I am looking forward to learning if anyone knows about this storm naming conundrum and if anyone knows what the next storm will be called while I sew away on my next Christmas quilt.  More on it and other items tomorrow.    

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stocking Swap Call for Participants

Okay, Quilters, it's time to gather all those fun things you have been making all year long, pack them into a box and send them to their final home.   If you have participated in this swap this year, e-mail me at and send me your home address.  Please do this before Friday, December 7th.  That will be my deadline.  If I don't have your mailing address, you will get to keep all your goodies for yourself.  If I do have your mailing address, I will e-mail you on Saturday, December 8th with your mailing partners name and address.  Your job is to get it postmarked before December 15th, sit and wait on your gift to arrive to you and let me know that you have received it.  It's that simple. 

If you have been participating all year and have made a couple more items along the way, you should have Christmas gifts ready to go for the entire neighborhood!  If you are like me, I am finishing up the pillow cases - yes, I still don't have them finished!!  I should have never given away the original ones I made.  Now I can't seem to get in the mood to make another set.  Thank goodness that is all I have left to make and I have everything ready to go, I just need to sew it up.  Simple, yet one of the hardest things to get done.  Okay, back to gathering.  I am including a list again so you can simply check each item off and put it in the box. 

1 mug and mug rug
1 pillow cover for a 14" pillow - do not include the form - just the cover - this will save on shipping cost and
2 matching pillow cases - or coordinating if you wish - they have to go together, but don't have to be           
            exactly the same.
1 pin cushion and a package of your favorite pins
1 table runner
1 bag - any type - small or large, your choice
1 stocking
1 ornament
1 journal cover and a nice pen - you can send the journal, also if you want, but not necessary.
1 pot holder - be sure you used an insulation
1 book - any kind
some candy and nuts - because it's not a complete stocking without these items.  (if you are sending
            chocolate - be sure it is wrapped up so it won't melt all over your lovely handmade items! )

That is it!!  These are the mandatory items to go into your box.  You can add anything else you wish.  I would recommend you add a card or letter telling about yourself, maybe add a story about some of the things your made - why you chose that item or not.  Anything beyond the required items it totally up to you.  Have fun putting together this package for your quilting partner.  I look forward to receiving an e-mail from all of you.  By the way, you will receive a package from a different person than you sent to.  (just in case you were wondering)