Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A good day

My little quilt group has sewn together in the past, but last Monday we had our first "retreat".

I know that online quilting bees are all the rage now, but for me, this is what quilting is all about.

It was a day of stitching, ideas and encouragement.  We even played games.  

The theme of the day was "Bingo".  First we played  "strip bingo".  Everyone paid for their Bingo cards with 2 1/2' strips.  If you wanted 3 cards, you put 3 strips into the pot.  The winner of each round won the strips in the pot.  
Next we played "Quilt Bingo".  Here are the quilt block "bingo cards" I made to play with.  I downloaded the games from the Fons & Porter website.  It comes complete with instructions for making your quilt blocks, rules for the game and even cards to print off on Avery Business card stock. We played several round for small prizes and the final round was played for everyone's quilt blocks.  I won that round and now have several  squares I can piece together into a quilt. Yay for me!!

The other game we played wasn't a Bingo game.  We played Left, Center, Right but instead of passing chips, we passed fat quarters.  Oh my gosh, we had so much fun!  We were laughing our heads off as fat quarters were passed every which way!  When the game was finally over, Kris had won the pot and went home with 20 fat quarters.  Here she is happily showing off her haul.  

The rest of the day was spent working on our own projects and giving demonstrations.

Kathy taught us a curve technique.  Here is my attempt.  It's not too bad.  I played it very safe and didn't get too ambitious with my curves.  I will definitely be using this technique in the near future.

I demonstrated this machine quilting technique.  It is one of my all time favorites.

It was the finishing touch for the quilt I put together from the blocks I made at our last group get-together.


  I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

I even had enough time to make 12 squares from a vintage, juvenile airplane print I had in my stash.  

Since the retreat, I have been busy quilting a top that has been hanging in my UFO closet for a while.

 Remember this drawing?

Well, that drawing turned into these squares.

And, those squares are turning into this.  I'm using pink thread for the quilting and I love the look.  

I can't wait to finish and share it with you.

And so, I leave you with a little eye candy.  I saw this gem on Spoonflower.  I have a thing for selvages, so I just had to treat myself. 
Shhhhh, don't tell Matt. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Making Merry

My blogger friend, Jackie, said in a recent post, "A quiet blog means a quiet life." Not so for me.  In my life, a quiet blog means a busy life.  Boy, has that ever been true.  Between studying (more like cramming/pulling my hair out) for my certification test (I passed, yay!!) and the celebrating the holidays it has been crazy.. but in a good, merry way.
Now that we are in to the new year, my life has quieted down.  Hence, I have time again to post.
So buckle up, it's going to be a long one!

 I loved how the house looked this year.  Last year, since we were traveling to Utah for Christmas, I pretty much phoned in the home decorating.  I got everything up, but didn't put in too much effort.  This year, with the kids coming here, I did it up right.

I have two totally different styles of decorating.  My front sitting room is graced with my beloved, silver tree. The pallet in that room is frosty: white, aqua and green with some glitter/metallic touches.

I love this room.  It is calming and peaceful.

The great room is a different story.  This room is holly, jolly.  This is the room where the family tree goes.  And, you know what I mean by "family tree".  The family tree is the tree with all of the ornaments the kids handmade in school.  This is the tree with the collection of Hallmark ornaments I bought for each child.  This is the tree with the tinsel on it.  Yes, I said tinsel.  Martha and all the other decorating gurus may think it is tacky, but my tree would not be the same without it.  God bless it, I say!

Every year, I add one or two new treasures to my decoration collection and this year I discovered a wonderful sight with the most delightful printables.   Announced Design has announcements, cards and printable artwork to die for!  
I even purchased this darling story that I gave out as neighbor gifts to my friends with small children.  It even comes with a recipe and gift tags.  If the glowing thank-you's from my friends are any indication, it was a definite hit.
She has some cute Valentines Day printables as well.  Be sure to check it out.

Not all of my friends received the story as their gift.  I baked up some of my favorite raisin bars and gingerbread men and whipped up some gift baskets with hot chocolate mix and games.  Baking for friends is one of my favorite Christmas traditions.

With the decorating and baking done, I was ready for the kids to hit town and party!

And this year, it was all about this little guy.  Not the tall, good-looking fellow on the left; the pudgy, bald little darling on the right.

There is nothing quite like Christmas as seen through the eyes of a child.  He was so enthralled with the tree, we had a hard time getting him to pose for the camera.

He got some pretty cool gifts, but like most babies, he was most interested in playing with the wrapping paper.
It was pretty warm while they were here, so we were able to take Mason up to the park.  He wasn't quite sure what to make of the grass.

We also got to take him for his first beach outing.

Here's Mama letting him feel the cold sand.

And of course, nothing tops off a day at the beach like a little ice cream.

Beautiful day, beautiful family.  My absolute pride and joy.
Happy New Year everyone!  May it be a blessed and peaceful one for us all.