Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflections of 2010!

I can hardly believe that last year at this time
I was not a blogger!
I didn't have any idea that a wonderful community of quilters and other creative and talented crafters existed out in cyber land.
Then in early January, we watched the movie Julie & Julia. 
Her idea of blogging her progress as she cooked through Julia Child's cookbook prompted me to start my blog to document my progress on the Mariner's Compass quilt that I started for my husband. 
I quickly discovered the vast pool of talent from all over the world.  The first blog that I came upon was Kviltstina over in Sweden.  I was amazed at Stina's talent and how she incorporated stitchery into her quilts.  I joined her Valentine 2010 block giveaway and started stitching!  
I hopped through several of the blogs on Stina's blog list discovering so many more talented quilters.  
I started following and reading blogs and I was inspired! 

In March, I joined my first Friday Night Sew-In over at Handmade by Heidi and Crafty Vegas Mom.  Heidi and Bobbi co-sponsor this monthly sew-in and I have joined them every month.  I finished many projects by dedicating this night to sewing.  

I kept reading and discovering new blogs. 
  I followed a quilt along over at As Sweet As Cinnamon and another at Charming Chatter.  I joined a swap over at quilting gallery.  I joined the Charming Girl's Quilt Club and sew much more!

So here is a college of most of the quilts I made over this first year of blogging.  

There are so many other projects that I have finished over this year including totes, mini bags, wristlets, pincushions, needlecases, and toys.  I have knit baby blankets, an assortment of headbands, chemo caps, and coffee cozies.  I even tried some crochet.  
Many of the projects were found through the blogging community.

So a BIG THANKS to the blogging quilt community. I have been awed and inspired.
There are sew many more, I couldn't mention everyone by name.  Hope you understand.

Here's to a prosperous New Year!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's almost time to welcome in the New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful, blessed Christmas with your family and friends...taking time to reflect on the 
true meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus.

Here is a small peek into our Christmas traditions!

On December 19th, we had our annual Troll Stroll celebration.  This is a progressive dinner with our Norwegian friends and family.  
The first stop is appetizers...herring, salmon, shrimp and cheeses. To drink...glogg! YUM!  
As you can see, I forgot to take pictures until the bowls and plates were just about empty!

The second stop is the main meal...polse, limpa, and soup.  This is also the visit from the Nisse lady and Trollina (Nisse lady apprentice) bearing gifts for the children.  

The third stop was at our house this year! DESSERTS!  Several kinds of traditional Norwegian cookies, krumkake, ricecream, and kransekake (ring cake) and, of coarse, coffee and liqueurs.
My husband made 3 kransekake this year and they were delicious!

After plenty of food and celebration, we relax and sing (thanks to Frank our guitar player).  
We had a fabulous time! 

The very next evening, we hosted what has become known as the 
4 friend's families party.  We have been getting together at Christmas since all our children have been very small. 
 We raised our children together, attended the same church and school.  
As now our children are mostly grown and our lives have taken different paths, we strive to continue getting together at Christmas. As you could say, we have HISTORY.  

On Christmas Eve, we are invited to our dear friends home for more Norwegian traditions.  Appetizers of herring, cheese, flatbread, and lingonberries.  
We eat the most scrumptious dinner of medista-polse, pork roast, rutabaga, potatoes, and vegetables. 
We attend church together for a time of worship and reflection.  
Then back for dessert, coffee and our exchange of gifts. 
We have the best times together!

Sad to say that I didn't take many pictures this year...

Christmas Day morning is spent at home with our immediate family opening gifts, lots of coffee and my traditional cranberry almond coffee cake.  In the afternoon, we celebrate with my extended family...grandma, cousins, aunts and uncles [this year, at my brother's home]. The annual ornament exchange, presents to/from grandma, turkey dinner, pumpkin pie, cookies and chocolates...
I really must get better at remembering to take pictures. 

Tomorrow we are off for some wonderful relaxing moments in Wisconsin at the beautiful Osthoff Resort with our dear friends, Ken & Ruth and family.  We cherish this time together!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday Night Sew-in results

This will be a quick post to tell you all what I did for FNSI! 

First on my list was making a school of fish!  
See those catch those cute little fish.  

Still need to attached the hooks to rods for the finished fishing game!
This pattern came from a tutorial here.

Then I put the finishing touches on these knitted headbands.  
The yarn ends needed to be hidden, buttons sewn on, and the flowers crochet and sewn on. 

The red flower headband is adult sized and the pink flower headband is girl sized.

I'm glad I had better results this FNSI! 

Tomorrow is our Troll Stroll party and we have the dessert stop.  Yum!  
We are busy getting ready....
no sewing until Monday (unless I seek a break - hehe.) 

Hope you had a productive FNSI!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Getting things done!

I was suppose to participate in the Friday Night Sew-In last Friday but I had forgotten that my DH and I had signed up to volunteer at the local homeless shelter.  I still wanted needed to get something done so I packed my knitting needles and some yarn.  Off we went to the shelter.  We serve on the 5:45 - 11:00pm shift.  We set up the beds, tables for serving dinner and breakfast, register the guests and then settle down to play games and mingle with the guests.  So once all the work was done and we settled down to mingle with the guests, I got out my knitting.  It wasn't the best place to knit as I got distracted and had to do my share of unknitting!  I got about 1/3 of another headband knitted.  Better than nothing! [This has been finished and another one started!]

Then on Saturday, the internet was down so I couldn't blog or link to FNSI.  Well there is going to be another FNSI this Friday, maybe I will do better.

Anyways, I have been busy getting things done!  I made a bed ruffle for the new queen size bed in my D2's room.  She will be home next week for Christmas and the room is shaping up [but far from finished!]

Sorry for the poor quality picture...the fabric is plum with a small green leafy print.  I used the tutorial here which gave a great tip on gathering for ruffles.

I also made 4 new stockings! The pattern is called Snowdrift Stockings and was free from Jillilystudio.

I just love how they turned out...all hung on the chimney with care!  
One for each of  my Ds and one for my FSI.

Do you see My Perfect Man quilt hung with my snowman collection?  My collection has grown so large over the years that I need to leave a few unpacked each year!

Another Christmas tradition my family has each year is the handmade ornament exchange.  I usually make between 12-18 ornaments each year.  This year's ornament is finished!
[It's the gingerbread house]

All the ornaments on our tree [with a couple exceptions] are handmade.  Here are a few of my favorites! 
And I made another sweet zip bag for someone!

Before I forget again, I want to give credit to a couple of people from my last posting.  I was in such a hurry that I forgot to link to the patterns I here they are...
~the place mats were made from a tutorial at Pink Penguin
~the first table runner was made from Amy's tutorial at Diary of a Quilter
~the Christmas table runner was made from Kristin's tutorial at Kristin La Flamme

Now all is good!  

I still have things to do but I am getting closer.  
Cookies are getting baked and the house is nearly ready. 
We host the dessert stop on our annual Troll Stroll this year on Sunday! 

Hope you are taking time to enjoy the Christmas Season!

Monday, December 6, 2010

What's been happening?

So have you been wondering where I've been?  
I have been very busy, at work and sewing and the usual Christmas hustle and bustle to get it all done! You ask if I have it all done?  Not even close but I keep taking steps forwards.  
Here are a couple of finishes!

My Perfect Man quilt is finished! He will look perfect with my snowmen collection!

I've knitted/crocheted a couple of these simple head bands. One for my D3, one for my D3's suite mate, and one for myself.  I have one more to go for my D2.

I finally got around to making coordinating place mats to match the table runner that I made here in April 2010.  I used scraps left from the runner and found some deep red fabric to match. I love them!

Can't say too much about this one because it is a gift for someone.  Shhh! It was made from scraps left from a quilt I made years ago!  I have been lovin' using fabric from my scrap bag!

Another gift for someone this Christmas! A wacky Christmas table runner.  Inside each wacky square, I quilted a little present.  This was also made from my scrap bag!

A few more things a happenin' but no pictures yet...Hopefully I'll get a chance to report back on some more finishes!
  Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

FNSI, Giveaway and Thanks!

Last night was the November Friday Night Sew-In.  I had BIG plans to bind my placemats, work on my Snowman quilt, and maybe some stitching.  Everything was ready.

Earlier in the week, I worked on taking my graph paper drawing of my snowman quilt and doing the math involved in making this quilt a reality.  How many of each size squares, rectangles, and HQT in each color? Most of the pieces were cut before FSNI.
The binding for the placemats was also made. Just needed to be stitched on to have a finish.

So what did I do? 

I  made my Snowman quilt!  It is only a flimsy right now...needs to be sandwiched and quilted but I do love how it came together.

What do you think?

On to announcing...
the winner of my giveaway for the potholders and some other goodies is Finn over at Pieces from my scrapbag.  Send me your smail mail address and I will get a package out to you.  Thanks for playing.

Now for an over due THANKS!  I was the winner of 2 bags of scraps!  The first came from Kate over at Swim, Bike, Quilt.  Just look at this pile of yummy scraps! What fun it was to sort these!

The second package came from Emily over at Em's scrapbag.  These scraps came in this adorable little drawstring bag.  

There is so many scraps stuffed inside.  I can't wait to get going on my scrap quilt.  I just need to get some things off my list before I can really get started.  In the meantime, plans are swirling in my head.  Thanks again Kate and Emily!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The rest of the year and a giveaway for the holidays!

Well it is time to finally post about the final goals for the year for the Charming Girl's Club.  Here is a brief summary of my last goals and the new ones:

Reading: continue to read at the 'school year' pace.  Just finished Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas and currently reading another Debbie Macomber book.  

Exercise: I have averaged 2 -3 times per week at the gym.  Continue to commit to 2 - 3 times per week. Seems more realistic than 4 -5 times. Yikes, what was I thinking!

Quilting: I really failed at the Free Motion QAL by Christine at A Few Scraps.  I know that practice makes perfect but I rather be doing.  I felt like my girls when they were told to practice piano.  

My daughter's wedding quilt is coming along nicely.  Blocks all pieced and sewn together. Now to add borders. Here is a peek.

2nd wedding quilt for my d2's best friend is also almost finished.  The top is all pieced and so is the back.  Now to sandwich and quilt.  No pictures yet.

3rd wedding quilt for nephew2  is planned, fabric and pattern purchased.  Still in holding pattern until after the Holidays.

Baby quilt for nephew1 is completed.  Needs a label.

I have drawn a snowman quilt pattern that I would like to make for the holiday season.  Make it a reality!

Make 6 placemats to coordinate with this table runner.

Stitchery project by Hugs from Helen.

Scrappy quilt for the Sew Scrap Along by Pleasant Home.

Christmas gift project like mug rugs and pot holders.  Here is my first mug rug!

This is also my first attempt at wonky (or liberated) quilting!  Very Fun!

Speaking of potholders...I made a set for a giveaway!  Here they are.  Thought they might help with someone on your Christmas list.  Of coarse there may be a little something more in the package.  If you would like to win them, leave me a comment telling me you would like to win.  For a second chance,  become a follower or tell me you already follow my blog and leave me a second comment.  I will select a winner on November 20th at noon.
Sorry about the poor picture quality. You can see another set here.

Friends and Family: Spend great holiday times together, make memories and share traditions!

Tomorrow I'm off for some girlfriend time!  
Good food, wine, shopping, games, catching up, good times! 
Catch you later!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where has the time gone?

Well it is already into November and I'm just finding time to post about the new theme for the Charming Girl's Club.  Check it out!

This is one of my favorite times of year because it is full of family, friends and traditions!  
Thanksgiving [which is quickly approaching] is a time to reflect on all the blessings in our lives.  We get together for the traditional Thanksgiving feast - turkey with dressing, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberries, rolls and of coarse pumpkin pie!  My grandmother used to make the pumpkin pies for the holidays and she passed down her recipe to me.  I am now the family pumpkin pie baker.  I do love pumpkin pie!

Once Thanksgiving is celebrated, Christmas is right around the corner.  Although the stores think Christmas starts in October, I really start my Christmas shopping on Black Friday.  I am not one to get up at 4:00 am to run out to the stores and stand in line for one item and then head to the next store (although I have been out shopping early on occasion). I tend to look thru the ads and determine if there are items that are on my shopping lists.  If not, I stay at home and enjoy the time with family.  Do you go out early shopping on Black Friday?

We love getting together with friends [that we don't see often] to celebrate Christmas.  One of the events is what we call the Troll Stroll.  This is a progressive dinner with some of our Norwegian friends.  We have 3 stops - appetizers, dinner and dessert.  It is nice to visit their houses to see how they decorate for the holiday.  We also have a crazy tradition of the 'Nisse Lady'.  She is the bearer of gifts to the children. 
Dressed in traditional clothing, she come knocking on the door bringing gifts. 

We also set a date to attend the Julebord with some more Norwegians friends.  Again, we have delicious traditional food like herring, flatbread, salmon, cheeses, and of coarse desserts.  

There are so many more traditions during this time of year.  

A real tree! 


I will be share more later...goals to come too!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I just joined in on the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side.  I just have to share my Mariner's Compass Quilt that I made for my husband.  It is my favorite for several reasons.  But first let me show you some pictures even though you may have seen it before.

It is one of my favorites because I challenged myself to make this quilt for my husband when I didn't feel confident with all the points, paper piecing, etc. I was a bit overwhelmed but I really love the way it turned out!  So does my husband!

This quilt is also the reason that I started blogging.  It was shortly after seeing the movie Julie & Julia where Julie starts a blog to chart her progress as she cooks her way through Julia Child's cook book. I decided that I would chart my progress in making this challenging quilt.  You can read about it here if your interested. Since then I have found so much inspiration from so many quilt blogs.

Each of the 12 compasses has 77 pieces [not including the sawtooth border]. The compasses are 20" in diameter!   

This quilt also won a prize over at the Quilting Bloggers weekly quilt contest.  That was the first time I ever showed any of my quilts publicly [other than on my blog]. I was extremely thrilled that so many voted my quilt as their favorite that week!

I learned so much making this quilt, gained confidence and found a whole lot of creative quilters around the world!

Now go on over and check out all the quilts and their inspirational stories!  There are many to see.  Just click on the button on my side bar.

Another finish!

Today I finished the pinwheel baby quilt! It was fun and quick to make!  Made in primary colors - it is very bright and cheerful. What do you think? I'm pretty pleased with it! Love the backing with the different sized primary polka dots!

Then another little finish...can you guess what they are?  

Have you made your guess???

Here's are some pictures with them in use. 

Did you guess right?

Yep, little pot holders that really work great.  

Stay tuned for a chance to win a pair.  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

We Interrupt This Regular Scheduled Program...

I am putting aside my daughter's wedding quilt temporarily to start on a baby quilt for my nephew and his wife.  There is a possibility that the baby shower may be sooner than I expected.  I kind of felt that panic feeling.  Will I have time?  So I started on it last night but not before I finished all 48 blocks for the wedding quilt.  That's 1392 pieces!   Here is what I have done so far.  

I'm using the method for pinwheels that I found on a tutorial at the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  It is quite unique way of stitching pinwheels! It is fairly quick and very accurate.  The downside is the pinwheels are cut on the bias.  Here is a link to the tutorial.

I'll leave you with a few pictures from the fall...our honey harvest, fall fest, another fall texture picture and a visit from my DD3!

                                                                                                      unknown author

Edit: Something I forgot to mention.  I joined in on the Scrap Along over at Pleasant Home.  Just click on the Sew Scraps tab or see the button on my side bar. There are some great organization ideas, the start on the first scrap project and links to some giveaways!   Hop on over and join along. 

More news soon!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A numbers game...

Last night I participated in the FNSI sponsored by Heidi and Bobbi.  I love this night devoted to sewing.  I worked on the blocks for my daughters wedding quilt.  Since I can't show you pictures [I did give a little peek here], I thought I would tell you the number of pieces I stitched.  

The quilt will have 48 blocks and each block has 29 pieces for a total of 1,392 pieces.  I had a little over 1/2 of the blocks finished already [783 pieces pieced]. I am now 3/4 finished! That's 1,044 pieces done and 261 pieces pieced last night! YAY! It was a good night! Thanks Heidi and Bobbi!

I'll be blog hopping to read what everyone was up too!

And now for a giveaway note.  Head over to Deb's blog Quilt Gal to learn all about it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In, Finishes and ....

So tonight is October's FNSI! I will be working on wedding quilt blocks!  I am over half finished with the blocks.  After a few little diversions from them, I am ready to get back to them!  I'll let you know tomorrow how I did!  Will you be joining me in the fun?

I have a FINISH!  During the Charming Girls' Quilt Club's Christmas in August Sewing Party (here), I started the Frosty Flakes BOM by Dawn Hay at As Sweet As Cinnamon.  It is now finished!  This little quilt encompassed 'sew' many techniques:  hexies, applique, embroidery, beading, piecing, free motion quilting!  What fun this was to make and the best part is that it was made entirely from my stash! It matches a Christmas ABC quilt I made several years ago.  Thanks Dawn for this little quilt pattern!

Christmas quilt

I also wanted to show the finished wristlets I made for a friend's wedding.  I started them on the September FNSI but was waiting the hardware.  Here they are...all 12!

And I'll leave you with some more color and texture pictures from the Fall O Ween challenge!

Tomorrow I'll be back to update you on the FNSI results!