Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Quilt Show 2012

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. 

Norman Vincent Peale

Michele Hester over at Quilting Tutorials is having a Christmas and Winter Quilt Show.  I visited it last year but didn't participate because I was not blogging then.  I found the link yesterday and wanted to join the fun.  Good thing I was catching up on my blog reading then because today is the last day to link up.  There are prizes to be won and VOTING to be done too.  If you can't participate please check out the entries this week end and VOTE for your favorite.

Christmas Advent Tree 

This Christmas Advent Tree is from one of Brenda Henning's Books that features using fusiable bias tape.  I was skeptical about how it would work when I first saw it but it was easy to do and I loved the results.  I taught it as a class when I had my shop and last year I finally got all the little buttons sewn on.  Nothing like procrastination.  Each little button will hold a brass snowflake charm.  There are 25 of them since it is an Advent Calendar.

I top stitched the bias down using a 6mm double needle which worked great.  I used a gold silk YLI thread on the metallic bias and I don't remember the brand I used on the brown tape.

Close up of Tree

The free motion quilting was just a small stipple done with invisible thread.  The striped brown batik fabric worked well looking like a wood frame.  The blue snowflake and floral border were both Hoffman prints if I'm remembering correctly.

I hope you enjoy the Christmas Quilt show.  Yes, now is the time to hang the Advent Calendar.  It starts tomorrow.  Only 25 more days until Christmas.  Are you ready?

A big thanks to Michele for hosting the Christmas Quilt Show!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Give Thanks

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.  Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.  If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.


The Holiday Season is underway!  I hope that you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!  Mine was nice but not perfect.  I was hostess to my children but one could not come due to illness of a family member who is now in ICU.   I came down with a weird sinus infection that is just today leaving me feeling more or less normal.  Nothing quite like having a headache everyday for a week.  

Big Splurge on Dinnerware!

I have discovered the best way to entertain family.  Make them bring part of the food!!!  I did the turkey and my first gluten free dressing which was great.  I also made carrot salad and giblet gravy and provided chips and dip.  The children contributed appetizers, desserts, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole and rolls.  My husband said to use paper plates (I did buy some with a turkey and matching napkins) and so clean up was quick.  A less stress Holiday!  It was fine although the table wasn't as pretty as it is with real dishes.  We'll use real plates at Christmas.

My New Owls

I did manage to do a little decorating for my feast.  I found the silver owl a few months ago and then found the gold one to match right before Thanksgiving.  I really like to shop at T.J. Max!  I had picked up the other decorations a year or two ago.  I found the little gourds at Joanne's this year to replace some that got discarded last year.  My Publix Pilgrims met with an accident a couple of years ago and the little girl was broken.  They are cute but I wish I had the whole set.  Anyone have a spare girl pilgrim?

I even managed to get down to the studio for a while this week.  With the pounding sinus headache I knew better than to try to do any sewing but I did manage to get some cutting done for a new Christmas quilt project.  I've been wanting to make a tumbler quilt for a while.  Since I had the template and a pile a Christmas fabric that had not been put away I went to work with both. I'm using the full size of the template so they will finish at 5 1/2" tall.   Now I'll need to play at the design wall for a while.  I know... I still haven't finished to last Christmas quilt I started.   I got distracted with blog hops for a while and traveling and wedding and pictures....

Christmas Tumbler Quilt Cut Out
Tumbler Template

To end on a HAPPY THANKS...  I'm to be a grandma again.  The twins will be welcoming a new baby to the family around Memorial Day!  Can't wait for some baby cuddling time!!!  

Linking with Freemotion by the River and Design Wall Monday  and Freshly Pieced and Live a Colorful Life and Catpatches
(Yes, I know it's Thursday but I couldn't focus to write with my sinus headache)  Soooo Thankful to feel better!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Now You See It

Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Part of the quote above was used on one of my favorite TV shows, NCIS, this week.  When I decided to post the following pictures today I thought is fit well.
The tutorial I did on How to be Visually Seamless had a few comments about not being able to see where the seam really was.  I had tried to figure out how to photograph it for the tutorial and did the best I could.  A few weeks ago (before my travels) I managed to capture the seams with an alternate light source.  Here are the pictures.  It may look like they are all the same border but they are of all four borders and the four seams I made.

Side One

Side One

Side Two
Side Two

Side Three

Side Three

Side Four

Side Four

I used my light table for the photos.  While I was taking them I accidentally took one with the light in my lap.  I thought it would be a wasted one but it turned out to be the best shot of the seam because it only showed halfway up the border.  Nothing like serendipity.  LOL

Now You Can See It!

I hope this brings a little light to the topic.  ;-)  I'll have to show you my light table sometimes.

If you haven't read the original post the link is at the top.  If you have tried to do this let me know how it went.

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    A Big Surprise

    Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. 

    George Jean Nathan

    Before I went to vote today I took a minute to check my blog stats.  I had not looked at them since yesterday morning or at my email either.  What I saw surprised me.  There were a lot of page views coming from Amy's Creative Side.  I knew that it was time for the category nominations to be posted but when I had checked yesterday they were not up.  I shook my head and told myself it couldn't be... then I clicked the link and YES it was!!!

    Oak at Sunrise

    OAK AT SUNRISE made it to the 
    TOP FIVE in the Wall hanging category.


    I was shocked, stunned, speechless...  you get the idea.

    I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone that voted for my quilt.  I am so excited and amazed that this has happened!  A big THANK YOU goes to Amy for putting on this event too!
    If you haven't read my post about the quilt it is HERE.

    Now if you want to see all the nominations click the link above.  My category is the next to the last one down the page.  I would appreciate it if you voted for my quilt to win the category.  If I win is will be another big honor but making it this far was a big one too!  There were 628 quilts entered and they can all be viewed here. 

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

    Be Not Coy

    Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, 
    Old time is still a-flying : 
    And this same flower that smiles to-day 
    To-morrow will be dying.

    The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, 

    The higher he's a-getting,
    The sooner will his race be run, 
    And nearer he's to setting.

    That age is best which is the first, 

    When youth and blood are warmer ; 
    But being spent, the worse, and worst 
    Times still succeed the former.

    Then be not coy, but use your time, 

    And while ye may go marry : 
    For having lost but once your prime 
    You may for ever tarry. 
    Robert Herrick

    Well, I didn't get back to quilting yet.  Last weekend I traveled to Gatlinburg to see my daughter get married.  This week I have been helping her get moved.  It is a slow process and not yet complete so I will share a few more vacation pictures with you.

    Barbara over at Cat Patches has a delightful blog and shares pictures of her travels and cats.  She also has a linky party for Photos.  This week's prompt was for birds so I thought I'd share a love story of sorts and be not coy koi about it.  Hey, it fits with the wedding theme - sorta. 

    Nature Garden at the Flamingo

    We stayed at the Hilton Resort right behind the Flamingo Hotel and Casino (which is also owned by Hilton).  Between the hotel and pool is a delightful nature preserve.  There is a restaurant you can see the windows above where you can eat and look out over the water and see the koi and birds.

    Mallard Duck Couple

    There are several species of ducks, flamingos and other birds.  The water is full of some the the largest koi I've ever seen and some albino catfish.

    Look at the size of the koi

    Some pretty colored koi

    Did I mention I really LOVE my new camera!  Look at the water drops for his beak below!

    Beautiful Duck

    Floral Close-up
    I took this one with the macro setting.  Like the bokeh of the fountain pineapple and flamingo head in the center?

    Now it was feeding time.  Here are the Australian black swans after enjoying their breakfast.

    Australian Black Swans

    Bobbing Swans

    I walked around for a while and came across the swans again.  They were bobbing their heads up and down in the water feeding.  I was at the wrong angle for the shot but sometimes they would form a heart with their heads and necks.

    Where did the other swan go?

    Then I looked up from my camera lens and tried to figure out where the other swan was.  It was under the other one.  It took a minute but I figured out what was going on.  Can you?

    Black Swan with Attitude

    He seems a little pleased with himself doesn't he?  She seemed to have spotted something else to eat while she was being held underwater.  LOL

    That's Vegas.  The place where a good time can be had by all - or not.  LOL
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