Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Running Out of Time

Oh  my...always too much to do and never enough time. 

All the moose bodies are made...next is adding the faces.

I would love to make some progress on my quilt from last month's Breakfast Club...since the next meeting is two days away!

But I want to spend all my time with Kinley...on Sunday she will be going to a trainer for two months. I am going to miss her so much! But we can visit and we will take advantage of the situation and go on two trips to warmer climates. She's getting some retriever training so she can go duck hunting.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Few More Stockings

I taught a class for this pattern, Bear Below Zero. The middle stocking was my original...then I made a store sample on the right and the left one is my best version. I made it along with the students in my class.

Hope you enjoy the photos.  I only get to enjoy these stockings for a few weeks every year.
Bear Arabesque

Garden Variety Bear

Bear in the Woods

Confectionery Bear

Bear in a Flurry

Bear Between Boughs

Bear Down the Slope

Bear Carousel

Bear to the Rescue

Bear to the Moon

Bear in the Bag

Bear Outside the Box

A tiny bit of progress on the moose dolls. Stuffing bodies and attaching bottom legs.

McKinley has totally got the bell ringing down...when she wants to go outside...she just hits the bells with her nose. Most you have probably already guessed I spend all day letting her out and bringing her back inside. She has me trained too!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Doll Making and Bear Stockings

I'm trying to work on my moose doll project. Making 22 is rather ambitious. I am trying to tackle the project by using an assembly line method. There are four legs for each doll. Last night I finally got all of the legs stuffed and the hooves painted. My next step is to stuff all the heads and bodies.

Just because these quilted stockings are so cute...I must share them.

 There is always that one adorable pattern that starts an obsession...this is "that one." Bear Aloft. The blue ribbon around the bear's tummy is holding a parachute on his back in place. Love that little detail. These were my first needle turn applique projects.

Teddy Aboard. Love the train engineer's kerchief. I did all of the quilting on these stockings by hand.
 This is one of my favorites! This little bear has his fishing vest. Bear by the Hook. When my sons were younger, they used to move this bear around the stairway railing where I had these stockings hanging. I was always trying to find him and put him back in his canoe.

This stocking has to be on my top ten list. I love her adorable apron, the pot holders with the gingerbread men buttons. Happiness was finding the perfect wooden spoon. Gingerbread Bear

Teddy Angel. I would love to redo this stocking someday. Okay...really...I would love to make all of them again in different fabrics!

There are more designs to share...another day.
These patterns are Hearthsewn designs. The designer used to have a website to purchase them but I didn't find it in my google search. She used to come out with a new stocking design every year. Despite having made 18 of her designs...I still have two of her patterns to tackle...maybe they should go on the list for 2016 goals.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Enjoying the Season

This sweet Christmas banner is happily up for the season. I fumbled around with different ideas on how I wanted to hang it. I decided I just wanted two nails to hold the stick but wanted to hide the nails a little. So I made some giant holly leaves and put a tiny red glass ornament with each. Looks like my stick is sagging...I'll get a thicker one next year.

Not much snow lately but lots of cold temperatures which puts a layer of gorgeous hoar frost over everything. I love how it looks. It just really dresses up our part of the world.

I just finished the Celtic Santa ornaments. It took me a month to finish all three.

I am really hoping to make some of these critters this weekend...Merry and Chris Moose.

I did all this bragging about how good my seven-month old dog has been...then she let me down. While showering yesterday, I realized she was not in sight...she was busy jumping up on my night stand and grabbing my brand new glasses that cost $600. I have only had them about two months. 

The good news....I bought replacement insurance...my new pair will be here in about two weeks. That was the best $15 I ever spent!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Five Minute Tree Skirt

I am addicted to making stockings...I have never gotten around to making a single tree skirt. I have at least two Bucilla tree skirt kits and a number of quilted tree skirt patterns. I usually just wrap the bottom of the tree in a piece of fabric from my stash. 

This year with all the burlap around...it popped into my head to take the wide rolls of burlap used in floral arrangements and make a tree skirt.

I cut a straight edge with the grain of the burlap and then picked two threads at the top to start gathering. Once I had enough to go around half the tree base I doubled the fabric and cut off the excess.

Then I pulled two threads from the other side.

The loose weave makes this a quick process.

I tied the raw edges to the backside, using the gathering threads.

It would look better with a wider piece of burlap...maybe next time I am in JoAnn's Fabrics I will remember to look for some.

A narrower piece of burlap went around a smaller tree.

I had some glitzy white burlap in my stash so I used it around this little tree.

My next crafting dilemma is figuring out a cute way to hang a Bucilla  project. My first attempt just wasn't right. I have another idea! It involves adding some felt holly leaves...have to make those.

Meanwhile...Kinley is getting rather bored with all this Christmas decorating.

Definitely a spoiled princess.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Decorating Decisions

It takes me so long to decorate...so many decisions to make. Sometimes...things just don't look good so I rip apart an area and start again.

The fireplace mantel is a keeper.

Here are the first Bucilla stockings I made that started my fixation with these kits.

It was exhilarating but also daunting to layout individually all the cross stitch ornaments I have made. I think I averaged completing 20 ornaments a year for the past three years...it adds up! Most of these ornaments went to my big Christmas tree.

It is so tough to get a well lit picture or our big tree sitting in front of so many large windows. You get an idea of how I decided to hang my Bucilla stocking collection. You've only seen about half of them so far.


Our tree is very simply decorated this year...I'm trying to keep it on the rustic side. Normally I have tons of bows and ribbon everywhere. It feels a little naked to me. I have some burlap ribbon I may add to mix...maybe next year.

No more time for photos. My dog is anxious to play outside. Sunset is at about 3:45 today...just not enough daylight to get everything done.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Holiday Rush Begins

Our first Thanksgiving in three years was small but wonderful. Only one of our sons was home but that's because our oldest son has started a new piloting job and he is in flight training at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. He was able to catch a ride with his cousins to the big Bailey family Thanksgiving in Austin. I am very sorry I neglected to get any pictures but I was sooo busy I just didn't fit photo taking into the schedule. (Why do the menfolk never think to take pictures of family occasions?  I just need to assign it to my sons next time.)

I wanted to share that we did something completely different with our turkey this year...we completely followed the Pioneer Woman's recipe and brined our turkey. We even followed her roasting directions which are pretty different too. Here's a link to her brining recipe:
and her roasting recipe:

Our turkey was beautiful...just like her pictures...and it tasted wonderfully juicy. I think we are brining converts. The only draw back was my gravy was a little salty. I made a huge batch of gravy because I kept adding low salt broth to cut the saltiness. The final result was very good but it had me worried for a bit.

Now we are officially in my favorite time of the year. I feel like I should just give up sleeping for a few weeks while I work on all my projects. I have enough of this advent calendar done to add the backing and hang it. Of course the backing that came in the kit is too big and since I cut it our ahead of time (I don't usually make that mistake) I can't fix this piece. I'll have to cut my own from some leftover quilt batting. I think I will add a white felt piece as the final backing.

It has been so fun unpacking my Christmas decorations. I had forgotten about these two snowmen. I bought our first year in Alaska at a craft bazaar. A local woman made them... their bodies are the quilt batting "Warm and Natural." They have held up beautifully for 18 Christmases. Wish I could remember how much I paid for them. I wonder if she still sells them. I didn't make it to any of the bazaars this year.

I recently discovered my box of stocking tops that I neglected to finish up by actually making the stocking portion...sure hope I get them done in time to hang them up this year...it is possible.

I just finished the Wales Santa on the right...one more in the trio has been started.

And...I officially entered a quilt in the AQS Paducah quilt show. The entry deadline is December 4th but I won't find out until March 4th if my quilt has made the show. It would be a great excuse to go to the show again!

I had hopes of taking part in a Bonnie Hunter mystery this year...I still haven't ruled it out. I'm finally home where I have access to my scraps so...it is possible. Only 294 half-square triangle to make by next Friday.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Breakfast Club Show and Tell

Lots of ladies were working on Christmas gifts.

These two runners are the same pattern which takes advantage of a printed snowflake. Both are just gorgeous though it was a dark day since it was snowing outside so the colors aren't as pretty in the photos.

Several ladies were also working on this little quilt kit...adapted from a large version using 2 1/2-inch strips. I think this version used 1 1/2-inch strips.

Excellent use of a panel!

A pattern by Antler Quilt Designs.

This quilt is the shop's Thangles BOM for 2016. The blocks are all in batiks...I came so close to signing up for this!

And another gift...a baby quilt. Can't beat Dr. Seuss for cuteness.

Here's Ronna with an adorable Santa hangar...like the sacks for clothes pins. The top holder was meant to hang on the clothes line. I suppose you might have to be a certain age to know about hanging wet, washed clothes outside on a line to dry. Makes a cute Christmas decoration.

And Ronna also made these three trees.

Another quilt destined for Christmas gift giving. Another fabulous panel. Love this one...blue quilts always grab my attention.

Look at this fun twist on  a Bargello pattern. The floral fabric used in the middle is such a fun idea!

This was the pattern picked for our group to work on last week. I actually started sewing my rows together but didn't get past that. 

And another class sample in the store. I'm pretty sure this is a strip club quilt.

Show and Tell is always my favorite part of Breakfast Club.