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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas! I'm Ready!

"The way to happiness:  keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry.  Live simply, expect little, give much.  Fill your life with love.  Scatter sunshine.  Forget self, think of others.  Do as you would be done by.  Try this for a week and you will be surprised".  -----Norman Vincent Peale


Some of you will remember the Dresden Plate State Bird/Flower quilt that I started earlier in the year to give to my son, Patrick, for Christmas........Today it is COMPLETELY done, wrapped and under the tree!  Yay!  The quilt has 20 plates, each of which has a center circle with a State Bird and State flower motif of one of the States in the USA.  There are 30 additional State Bird/Flower circles appliqued over a diamond which are placed in the corners of the blocks so that, in total, all the 50 USA States are represented.....


I had entered it earlier in the year in a Dresden linkup but wasn't really happy with it so ripped out the quilted areas that had puckered....un-sewed some of the  seams.... undid borders...re-did seams and borders...ripped out and repositioned some of the corner appliques and then re-quilted... sewed on a label...did the binding and finally decided I was happy with the way it looked.....phew!  I was pretty much hating this quilt a couple of days ago but I'm loving it now!








Tomorrow I work for part of the day then my son and I will be on the road to New Mexico to spend Christmas with my parents and siblings and their families and my children and grandchildren.
 I want to wish you all a safe and beautiful Christmas and I will talk to you again when I get back......so TTFN!



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

No Flower Wednesday but Lots of Sugar Plum Visions



"Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or with the handle of faith."  ---Henry Ward Beecher



Still not able to linkup with Karen's One Flower Wednesday page because I am still working on the last of my Christmas gift projects. This is the State Bird Dresden quilt I started earlier in the year for my son.  Last night I finished the pillow shams.....


 The quilt already includes all 50 states so I used the birds from our two home states, Texas and New Mexico, on the shams...

I wasn't happy with the quilting in some areas so I am doing a little ripping before I finish and get it wrapped and under the tree but I was starting to get bug-eyed so I had to take a little break.  While I was on my "break" I managed to do a little Christmas baking ......

Got some lemon bars and some chocolate chip cookies done.........
I thought I might be able to get the beef tamales made today to add to the pork ones I made last week but the quilt calls first.....but here is a peek at what I made last week.....
There are about 4 dozen pork tamales in the freezer right now.....I made about 5 dozen but one dozen sort of disappeared.....lol.....

Ok then....time to get back to the quilt.....hopefully the next time you hear from me I will be done!  Ta-Ta For now.....talk to you next time....
 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Done with Re-arranging and Onward to Tamale-land!

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."  ― Bill Cosby 
 
I got the changes done on my sewing room and so far it is working out beautifully...............

 Now I can to see and find the fabric in my stash that I use most often.  I was able to just move my magazines to the bottom shelves and I still left my large backing pieces in the storage cabinets behind doors.  My Christmas stash and layer cakes are still in the cabinets and so is the fabric that is earmarked for WIPs...........


 About once every 5-10 years I decide to make sure that my Mexican heritage is still alive and well so I decide it is time to make some tamales for Christmas..........the last time I made them was when my first Grandson was born.......he will be 6 years old on Christmas Day.....:)
 
 ........so the meat is in the cooker and the other stuff is waiting patiently.......I probably won't actually put them together til next week since I have to go back to work tonight but I can get the meat ready and throw it in the freezer where it will be ready.............Right now I have to go back upstairs and do some sewing!
 
Talk to you next time..............TTFN!
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Peaceful Co-Existence and ROCKY is back!

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.    ---Maria Robinson

I know this is One Flower Wednesday but I don't have a flower to show you today.....too many Christmas projects to work on my flower this week so... instead....I will show you some changes to my sewing room............

I have been using my new Singer (which really isn't new anymore) since I bought it about 3 years ago and my poor Rockford has sat patiently waiting in the spare bedroom all this time.......
   I have owned my "Rocky" since I was a teenager and it has faithfully sewn practically everything I asked it to from denim to doubleknit to upholstery material and just kept right on going.......
 and I told you all the story of the beautiful vintage cabinet it sits in on another post which you can read about here if you wish......
Last week I was lamenting that I didn't know how to use the buttonhole foot on the "new" Singer and I started wishing then that my Rockford was upstairs in the sewing room.......well today my son brought it up for me.......I had to give up my large top computer table to make room for it but look how happy it looks up here!
 doesn't that look like a smile on Rocky's face?????

And since Rocky took the space where I had my antique Singer parked (see below), I made a couple of adjustments...  








As I mentioned....I had to give up my big topped computer table in order to make room for the change but I moved the antique Singer over to the spot where I had the computer table and put a larger table top over it and so now the two Singers are being very obliging........happy to help each other.......
I like all the drawers in the antique Singer for all my thread, etc since I lost the "thread drawer" I had in the computer table........

The next change I think I will make is to move all the magazines in the shelves behind the Singers to make room for my stash......right now my stash is all "hidden" behind doors and inside drawers and when I'm looking for something I forget about some of the fabric I have......
I am hoping that if it is all out in the open it will be easier to find what I'm looking for.....

and I also think I can mount a design wall in front of the shelves since my wall space is limited..............stay tuned and I will post some photos of my finished project...............TTFN............



 

  

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Tutorial for You!

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.---Mary Anne Radmacher


For several years I have bought hanging kitchen towels with crocheted hangers but it always seemed that the crochet would stretch and lose it's shapeThis year I stole the idea from the lovely Shez, my Aussie blogging friend, who was making the sweetest hanging towels with fabric handles.....(Thanks for the idea, Shez)

In all, I made 8 Christmas hanging towels and another one when I decided to post a tutorial for you.




I have put the tutorial under my "Tutorial's" tab  (isn't that amazingly clever of me?)

 You can easily print the .pdf file by just clicking on the link you find there.

 But just to make it a little easier for my followers who read this post today......here is the LINK for you now so you don't need to go to the tutorials tab...............(unless you just want to go marvel at the miracle of me getting my and only tutorial posted.....lol.....)

I hope you all will try this.........once you get going on them it is hard to stop!  Not only will these make your own kitchen look awesome but they are fabulous handmade gifts.  Please feel free to share the pattern with your friends if you wish.

And all I have left to say is Ta-Ta for now.............

 



 

 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Buttonhole Mania!

"Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.   May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us."   -----Unknown


Yesterday I was whining because I didn't know how to use the buttonhole foot on my new Singer so I used a snap on one of the hanging towels I made and I used velcro on the other......but I still had 6 more towels to make and I wanted them to have buttonholes!

I tried......I REALLY tried.....I found the manual that came with my machine and I put the special buttonhole foot on it and I put the button I wanted to use in the back of the special button hole foot JUST LIKE THE INSTRUCTIONS SAID TO DO......and it didn't work.............but did I let that stop me????

Do you all remember those old Singer button hole attachments with all the different size metal gear-templates?? I used to love the one my Mother had....so EASY!..........It looked like this:

I know because I found this at a garage sale long long ago and brought it home and stuck it in a closet............and it has been there until TODAY!.................check it out.........
 It fits my new Singer just like it fit Mama's old Singer!  It "spat" out 6 buttonholes one right after the other in about 3 minutes! Here are the six towels I made today together with the 
 two I made yesterday......
 
 
  One of my bloggy friends asked if I followed a pattern or if I just made it up as I went along and the answer is "Yes".....haha...

I liked the templates on the pattern I was following but I put the towel together totally differently and I thought maybe I should work on a tutorial so the old buttonhole maker actually made one more buttonhole for this towel:
I took lots of photos along the way so I hope that I can get the tutorial on soon............not promising it will be before Christmas though.....but stay tuned, I may surprise you........

Gotta go to work tonight so I will say Ta-Ta for now.............talk to you next time!
 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Some Finishes.......

Too many people are thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, when they ought to just water the grass they are standing on.  ---Amar Dave
 
 
 I got my December block done for the Block Swap Adventure......my swap partner had requested Balkan Puzzle or Saw Blades Block in Dark or Bold colors..............I had been wanting to try the Balkan Puzzle for awhile so that's what I decided on......
 


 Oh My Gosh....what a nightmare!  Maybe it was the pattern I used.....but it DID NOT match up very easily.....I think if I do this one again I will look for a paper pieced pattern......it is not the best block I have ever made so I hope my partner will like it......

The next thing I accomplished besides all of my Christmas Shopping......(Tada!) is most of the wrapping.....there are still a few things left to wrap but I needed a rest from that....so I did manage to do a small project......
 
My old Rockford sewing machine makes wonderful button holes and I really had never tried to make buttonholes with my new Singer machine...... (and I still haven't).....rather than read the darn directions I used a snap fastener on one towel and velcro on the other......lol
  I still have 6 more hanging towels to make so I guess I will probably try to figure out how to make the button holes on my newer machine.  (My Rockford is downstairs and not readily accessible).
 
Check these out.....my neighbor gave me his wife's sewing box a few years ago when she could no longer use it and it had lots of buttons and other items.........this two package of snaps were in the box.....

 
 can you believe those prices??? LOL....I'm sure today they cost at least 8 or 9 times as much.......
 
Ok I think I'd better call it a day.....tomorrow I start my work week again so I'd better get some rest...........so I will just say Ta-Ta for now............
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One Flower Wednesday, a wonderful find & Finished Christmas Decorations!

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.      ― Thomas Jefferson 
 
When I was out Christmas shopping this week I made a fabulous find at the Department store for only $5!  Just look at this beautiful book!
 
It is an abridged copy of Frank Baum's famous story of the Wizard of Oz!  The foreward of the book explains that all of Frank Baum's original words are used in this abridged copy so I can say that I have finally read the book...........(well someday I will really read the original unabridged edition but I was elated to find this copy!)
 

So as the story goes.....after coming back from meeting Professor Marvel, Dorothy couldn't open the door to the cellar when she saw the tornado coming so she went back to the house where she hit her head and passed out on her bed..............when she woke up and looked out the window she saw many things flying by in the tornado (including the witch which I showed you a couple of weeks ago)...........Another thing she saw was a couple of fishermen in a boat............try as I might I just have not been able to find any fabric with the two men in the fishing boat so here is what I have to offer instead.........
 Remember that Karen at Journey of a Quilter has her One Flower Linky each week.....Don't forget to check out the other beautiful flowers growing in Karen's Garden......click HERE
 
And I am happy to report that my Christmas Decorating is DONE!  I showed you my Christmas Village on my last post and here are my Santa and Reindeer on the fireplace mantel..............
 
 This is a beautiful ceramic set that my Mother made so many years ago when she was in a ceramics class.  Every year that I went to help her decorate her house I loved to set this out.  After awhile Mama said it was too much trouble to set it out and it took up too much room and so she would try to talk me out of it but I'm stubborn and I always managed to talk her into letting me put it out again..............finally one year she said, "Ida, you love that set so much you can have it."    
(My Mama is smart!...she figured out how to get me to stop forcing her to put it out at her house......and at the same time she gave me an heirloom I will cherish forever.......)
 
Time to get to all the projects I have to finish BEFORE Christmas so Ta-Ta for now.....................