Sunday, December 1, 2019

Christmas Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop

Welcome to the Christmas Virtual Cookie Exchange & Blog Hop hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt.  Thank you, Carol, for putting together yet another great blog hop where we can swap stories, recipes, inspiration, and loads of fun!!

Today is my day to share with you what is going on at my house in preparation for the coming holiday.  Of course my sewing room is the normal disaster, so I won't be showing you that.  But for this hop I did put together a little quilt I thought fit the theme.

I bought this kit for a small quilt on a shop hop last year.  The fabric is called Sugar and Spice by Karen Tye Bentley for Northcott.  

The center is a panel featuring 12 different Christmas recipes.  The 9-patches that help make up the border are also from this fabric line and features holly, gingerbread men, snowflakes, and gingham.  The dark green plaid that borders the panel and binds the quilt is a nice contrast to the subtle colors.  

My only thought about this quilt is that it looks somewhat unfinished between the recipes.  I thought about placing buttons or ribbons inbetween each recipe, but finally just left it blank.  What do you think?  Any ideas?

The finished quilt is approximately 38" x 58", the perfect size quilt for Jack and me to snuggle under while watching tv.

But WAIT, there's more.

And now to the sweet part of this post.  I love the taste of sweet and salty, and what better than white chocolate and pretzels?  I found round pretzels at my local store and they made the cutest snowmen.  These are super simple to make.


White chocolate, melted
Pretzel rings
Mini M&M's (I used orange ones only)
Black food coloring paste

Preparations:  (Chocolate dries fast)

1.  Line a cookie pan with parchment or waxed paper and spread retzels in rows on pan.
2.  Remove orange M&M's from package.
3.  Pour out a small amount of black food coloring paste.
4.  Melt white chocolate in microwave per directions.

1.  Use a spoon to fill each pretzel ring with white chocolate.
2.  Working quickly, drop an orange M&M in center of pretzel ring.
3.  Dip toothpick into black food coloring paste and dot eyes and mouth of snowman.  You may need to dot several times to get the size you want.
4.  Let dry overnight before packaging

Each snowman will be unique but all will be delicious.  When completely dry, scoop them into a decorative jar or bag and tie with a colorful ribbon.  Perfect for gift giving, or a sweet snack while watching your favorite Christmas movie.

Don't forget to visit the other participants on today's list:
December 2nd

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Thanksgiving Memories Tablecloth

Have you ever had a holiday tablecloth ruined by stains?  What do you do with them?

This year I decided to display my past Thanksgiving photos on a tablecloth for the dessert table.  Every year I take tons of photos of everyone enjoying our family get-together.  It's amazing to me how much the grandchildren grow from year to year.

Although I actually bought this round tablecloth, I could have cut up and used any of the stained tablecloths I currently have in my linen closet.  (I must clean out that closet.)  To transfer the photos from digital to cloth, I use the June Tailor Sew-In Fabric Sheets I buy at Joann's.  With just a few clicks on my computer, I had several photos printed out that I could then use in quilts or sewing projects.  In this case, embellishing a tablecloth.

I chose to print my photos in black and white.  The tablecloth was such a dull color, I sewed the photos to a nice harvest gold fabric scrap I had to showcase the pictures.

I then ironed the fabric scrap to some fusible web and cut the photos out, giving them a generous 1/2" border.  I arranged the photos on the tablecloth and pinned them when I was satisfied with the design.  I adhered the photos to the tablecloth by ironing them and then did a quick stitch around the border using matching thread.

Of course you don't have to sew down your photos to showcase your memories.  You could just scatter them around the table.  If you're worried they might become stained, clear vinyl will protect them.

I'm really pleased with the result.  It's sure to be a conversation starter as we help ourselves to a piece or two of pie.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Stitch It & Gift It Blog Hop

Today is my day to share with you the project I made for the Stitch It & Gift It Blog Hop hosted by Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks.  I don't know how she does it, but Carla thinks up some of the most fun themes for our hops.  Thank you, Carla, for hosting yet another spectacular hop!

My Stitch It & Gift It project is a princess quilt for a special little girl.  She is my neighbor's daughter's niece.  Her name is Lynnlee Rose.  Her birthday was Sunday, November 10th, and she turned 6 years old.

Lynnlee was born with microencephaly, hydraenecephaly, and lissencephaly with agenesis of the corpus callosum.  Her cerebrum is smooth without the normal convolutions of the brain, and the brain's cerebral hemispheres are absent to a great degree.  The left side of her brain is unable to communicate with the right side.  Because of her disorder, some of the conditions she suffers from include seizures, lack of growth, breathing and digestion problems, vision problems, and intellectual disability. 

Despite all this, Lynnlee is a happy, sweet child, and she loves the Disney princesses.  She is unable to move much on her own, so she is exercised daily.  Now she can exercise on her own princess quilt.

This was a simple quilt to make and, because the princess are not filled in, it went together fairly quickly.  The princesses are from a pattern pack I bought on Etsy (LynniePinnie Embroidery).

I did some quilting in the ditch around the squares and bound it with the same fabric as the alternating squares.  The overall size is approximately 42" x 62".

I love making quilts and if my ability to piece together a quilt can bring someone joy, I'm good with that.  We should always do what we can to brighten someone's day. 

Be sure to visit the other sites listed below!

Friday, November 15th

And be sure to visit Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks for a chance to win a gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Stitch It & Gift It Blog Hop Starts Today

Today begins the Stitch It and Gift It Blog Hop.  

Have you ever made a quilt and given it away?  Of course you have!  That's what this blog hop is all about -- stitching asomething lovely and giving it away for whatever reason or occasion.  Join in the fun and be inspired by the generosity of these talented bloggers.

Stitch It and Gift It Blog Hop Schedule


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Spooky Box from the Fat Quarter Shop

Did anyone treat themselves to the Spooky Box from the Fat Quarter Shop? 

This year I treated myself to the 2019 Special Edition Spooky Box from the Fat Quarter Shop, and I'm so glad I did!  There were no tricks in this box, just lots of wonderful treats for quilters. 

Included in this year's box: 

KCats, Bats, & Jacks fat quarter bundle, a Spooky Box exclusive

KA Binding Bat ruler

KDriving Me Batty tablerunner runner

KHalloween bats mini foldable box

KDrive Me Batty fusible quilt label 

It's always so much fun to get mystery boxes in the mail.  I was especially intrigued by this offering because Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  I'll be sure to reserve my box next year for this little box of de-FRIGHT-ful Halloween fun.   

   Time to get SPOOKY!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Harvest Shop Hop

Along with the shorter days, cooler weather, and falling leaves comes the Harvest Shop Hop in Kern County.  Fabric shops in Porterville, Tehachapi and Bakersfield take part and put on charming displays of fall and winter projects.  This is a small hop, but loads of fun just the same.  Rhea and I are always game for a road trip.   

There are 5 fabric shops that usually participate, but this year Cherry Berry Quilts was involved in a horrific fire and was unable to join in the fun.  I've been told they have secured a new building and are working hard to return to business as usual.

First stop was at Dunkin' Donuts to plan out our day over a cup of coffee and a yummy doughnut. 

Next was 5 Heart Quilts & Fabric where we started the hop.  We have our cards stamped, register for the gift basket they are giving away to one lucky winner, and mosey around the store looking for bargains and inspiration.

Next door to 5 Heart Quilts & Fabric is the Tehachapi Valley Arts Association, Inc. Galley 'N' Gifts shop.  Although not part of the hop, they are a fun shop to visit, and Rhea and i stop there wach year.  Tehachapi is home to a large group of talented artists who display and sell their work in the shop.  This year what caught my eye was a witch's hat covered with autumn foliage.   

 These lovely ladies are 2 of the artists from the community and they volunteer at the shop. 

 Next stop was Debbie's Fabrics.  I could not believe we spent nearly TWO hours in this shop!  I won't say how much money we spent, but I will say we had a great time!!

 I was looking for unicorn fabric and Rhea was looking for novelty fabric for her kids' pillow project.  We found exactly what we were looking for at Debbie's. 

There are always so many cute things in this shop.  They have a huge selection of panels and wool and the patterns that go with them.  Needless to say, this is one of our favorite shops!

The employees at ThimbleTowne were dressed up like scarecrows.  What fun!  They had a bobbing for apples game where Rhea won a fat quarter and I won a $5 gift certificate.  No losers here!  

After a late lunch, Rhea and I called it a day.  We needed to get home and rest up.  There's another quilt shop hop next month!!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Witchy Stitchy Blog Hop

Today is my day to share with you what I have been creating for my Haunted Halloween!  A big THANK YOU to Carol of Just Let Me Quilt for hosting this spooktacular Witchy Stitchy Blog Hop!  Carol's blog hops are always so much fun and, judging by the wonderful projects I saw yesterday, this year's hop is going to be a real treat!

Halloween is my favorite holiday!  It is so much fun to play make-believe and dress in costumes.  The candy's not bad either.

This year I made a wall hanging as a tribute to my grandson's favorite book about a monster who
lives under a little boy's bed.  But mine has a twist.

The monster has taken over the bed!  This was a really fun quilt to make.  It is approximately 36" x 45" and is made using the raw-edge applique method.  I started this quilt by making a drawing of my idea on the wrong side of old Christmas wrapping.  When I was happy with the drawing, I traced the pattern pieces and cut them out of fabric.

I don't use fusible web; it makes my pieces too thick and hard to stitch.  Instead I use tiny dots of Elmer's Glue to hold pattern pieces in place.  It also makes it easier to lift up and readjust if I make a mistake.  

Once my picture is the way I want it, I use a straight stitch to anchor the pieces down.  For this quilt I used a zig zag stitch next and stitched around all the pieces to make them stand out.   

I believe this wall hanging would have benefitted from some meandering quilting, but I'm not good at it, so I left it plain.  Something to work on later.

I asked my grandson if he wanted this quilt to hang on his bedroom wall, and he said "No!  No monsters!"  You can't win 'em all.

But that's not all!  I made a second project!

Last year I made 2 door hangings -- one of Dracula and one of Frankenstein.  I enjoyed making them so much because they were small and I could get very detailed with them.  They also looked cute on my doors Halloween night.

This year I decided to add to the collection and made a Fortune Teller Booth complete with gypsy.  Do you remember these?  When I was a kid they were at all the fairs and arcades.  You inserted your money and the mannequin inside came to life and your written fortune dropped out a slot.  Hokey but fun.

There's not much to this door hanging, just the evil eye and the gypsy.  Again I used the raw-edge applique method and it went together very quickly.  

Giving the gypsy personality was the best part.  I used a straight stitch with black thread and stitched several times over her eyes, nose, and mouth.  I did the same thing with gold thread for her earrings.  And of course she had to have make-up!

The booth was easy to decorate.  You can find the 8" x 10" colorful fortune teller print I used at Roxy's Tee Parlor .  I transferred the print to a fabric sheet and sewed it in place.  To finish I added a little fancy stitching to the booth and sewed on the binding.

So that's it for me, but there's plenty more to see.  Check out the treats my fellow bloggers have created for the Witchy Stitchy Blog Hop.

October 8