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 is possible.

I just finished the Wales Santa on the 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 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 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 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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Busy at the North Pole

I am anxious for Christmas. I always decorate like crazy and since this will be our first Christmas in our new home...well...I've got a lot of work to do so I am starting now. It helps that our temperatures have been in the minus zone for about a week. 

Three tear drop wreaths for the backside of our house...which is where our garage is so we will see these lovely wreaths every time we come home.

My new cutting table is wonderful! I love this great work area.

Working away on the Nordic Advent Calendar. I have all the little cookie-like ornaments that hang around the house to complete...25 of them.

My Wales Santa in progress.

Tomorrow is Breakfast Club. 
Here is the quilt pattern we are making.
 I have no idea what fabrics I am going to use...but of course it will be batiks.

And just a quick comment about Paris. My friends and their families are all safe. It is such a frightening it still seems to be ongoing. Before I launch into a great political discussion I will just close by saying my heart aches for the French and I pray the leaders of the world tackle this escalating problem of Islamic extremism.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Tale of Two Cities

Facebook pops a photo from your past up every now and then. This was yesterday's photo. My first week in Paris, with my shopping trolley as I headed to the farmers' market.

I couldn't resist...had to take a picture three years later...

Our temperatures were in the mid-twenties idea of the perfect winter temperature. Kinley, who is almost 6 months old, just went on a little walk with me. We were trying to finish up before the sun set but it was not easy since our hours of daylight are under 8 hours and diminishing by more than five minutes every day.

Living in Paris was a grand adventure but I am so happy to be home with my new dog. My husband has this month off...sweet! In December he will be back to helping get those packages from the North Pole to all the good little girls and boys. (He's a pilot for Fed Ex).

I have been spending a bit of time just hanging out with my husband...a nice luxury for sure! We finally used our fireplace. I have plopped myself in our great room, with a mountain view and a crackling fire. Perfect spot for watching a little television while working on my latest Christmas project.

I'm so happy to get to the stage where I start adding all the sequins on this advent calendar.

Next up will be  making the ornaments that count down to Christmas.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Another Week of Finished Projects

I had three easy staining projects this key chain board by our garage door entry...

and our hanging coat rack for the same mudroom area.

I remembered to change out one of my hanging quilts to this fall quilt, "Henrietta's Whiskers." This design is from Bunny Hill and was a free BOM on her blog. I would never have bought this pattern but since it was free...I went for it. I had not worked with wool applique in a quilt before and I loved it. I have a whole quilt designed in my head using this method...a snowman theme. Maybe by next year I will have it ready to hang on this wall for winter!

I spent some time catching up on organizing all the Mill Hill beads that are leftover from the ornament kits I make...quite a stash! I have run out once or twice of beads in a kit and grabbed some from my leftovers.

Oh..and I almost forgot my third staining cutting table top. I am so thrilled it!!!

I am thinking very much about Christmas decorating. I finished adding the green felt backing to 10 cross stitch ornaments.

Just finished the Scotland Santa and will put him aside while I work on the other two Celtic Santas in this series.

And I am making progress on my second advent calendar this year. I initially stitched the felt icicle piece in place without stuffing per the directions. But it really looked like it was missing something so I ripped out the stitching along the top and added some stuffing. I am much happier now.

I am waiting to add sequins to all the sections until after I get the felt pieces much easier to handle this large piece by waiting. I also added stuffing to these little icicles on the windows.  Again...the kit directions did not call for stuffing in this area but it looks good!

There is a big winter storm in the forecast for tonight. I'm looking forward to having a good excuse to stay home. Snow days are good for grownups too!