I hope that you and your families have the merriest of Christmases and that all of your quilting dreams come true!!!! lol
Trees of a different kind
Since Christmas is upon us, here is a small quilt that I made many years ago for some wonderful friends……
Made entirely of scraps and miscellaneous tree patterns, it was so much fun to make and I am seriously considering making another one….maybe bigger with LOTS more tree designs!!
If I did two trees a month, I could have a GREAT quilt at the end…..hmmmm….something to think about….maybe even as a quilt-a-long????
Finishing the Christmas Trees…
I was determined to have these trees finished in time to decorate for Christmas and it happened….
I am super pleased with how they look!!
But, the last time you saw them they were in lots of pieces so let’s talk about how they got from there to here….
I finished the paper piecing and was ready to add the borders. I trimmed down the entire tree leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance around the pattern lines. Then, I removed the paper just along the edges….
That way the edges were free of paper but the rest of the piece stayed stabilized.
After adding the borders it was time to remove the rest of the paper and I found a new tool while doing it. I normally used a seam ripper to help get under the paper…..
…but was always concerned that I would accidentally clip the threads or, even worse, cut a hole in the fabric!!
Then I remembered my “Purple Thing”!! It was perfect for this task…..
Another reason why I am not fond of paper piecing….
Now it was time to think about quilting. I tried a few designs on paper…..
…but decided that I wanted to see it in the real size.
You may be tired of videos but I wanted to share one more that shows how I planned the quilting and then how easy it was to actually perform the design…..
I kept the rest of the quilting really simple and am especially happy with the striped binding…..
Another project finished…….
Crazy Arnold Christmas
As I mentioned back at Thanksgiving, our family has never been “normal” when it comes to celebrations, but we all love to laugh and have fun and that is the theme of this post!!!
In the last few years we have celebrated with our children on Christmas Eve, leaving Christmas Day for the kids to visit with their spouse’s family. This past celebration was a blast and I wanted to share a bit of the fun with you.
This was the year of the “payback”…..let me explain. For MANY years I have made our kids play games and have contests to get their presents. They have had to pop balloons to get cash out of them, unwrap $5 bills that had been ensconced in toilet paper rolls and even solve a puzzle to open the bank that held their gift.
Each year we hide a “cactus” ornament (as opposed to a pickle) and the winner gets to unwrap a game of some sort and then they play…..for money of course!!! This year was a slapping game and the results were spectacular……
Then, the guys received a boxing “training ball” as a gag gift and we all trooped outside to watch them train…..
Now it was time for payback…..in a big way……
Our sweet kids gave us a Gift Certificate to spend a weekend at a favorite spot. It was SO unexpected and we are looking forward to a weekend away in the near future!!!
The fun continued for the rest of the evening, with Mexican Chicken Spaghetti for dinner and, of course, the opening of lots of presents…..
…..and the annual Christmas family photo……
Christmas day was a quiet affair starting with a morning walk, including a neighborhood trail that I haven’t been on in the 7+ years that we have lived here…..
The morning continued by doing a bit of stitching and watching a great Christmas movie……”DIE HARD”!!!!!!…….
…..lunch from a local Chinese restaurant……
….and ending the day in my studio, enjoying some of my gifts……
As you can see, I have LOTS of things to try in the new year!!
All in all, it was a WONDERFUL holiday!!!! I hope that you also enjoyed a very……
Cooking up some memories
Today I did a bit of Christmas cooking for a dinner that we are hosting tomorrow night. I started with a carrot cake……
….followed by three candies….and that is where the memories flooded in.
The first was making Peanut Brittle using a recipe that my Mother-In-Law (Esther) gave to me many years ago…..
Esther was a good cook, and she LOVED for things to be easy and I really appreciated that. This candy is made in the microwave and is wonderful, although I often burn at least one of the two batches that I make. But, today I got them both just right!!!
Her other Christmas specialty were Millionaires, using caramels and pecans and covered in milk chocolate….YUMMY!!….
Esther turned 94 this week and, unfortunately, is struggling with dementia. When I spoke with her today and mentioned the Peanut Brittle, she brightened and said that she bet it would be good!!
The second memory arrived when I was making Double Divinity….one of my Mother’s favorite Christmas goodies. And this candy is not made the easy way. It has two cooked sugar solutions that are poured over beaten egg whites. She had a love/hate relationship with it as it would sometimes fail for no apparent reason, including whether or not it was humid outside!!!
My Divinity experience today was mostly successful, although I burned the second sugar/water solution, not once but…..TWICE….
…..That is NOT the right color!!! But this is the way that it is supposed to look…
I will let it sit tonight and cut it into squares tomorrow.
All in all, it was a fun afternoon cooking and remembering my Mom and Mother-In-Law, although watching “The Great British Baking Show” may have put a bit too much pressure on me!!!!
One batch of cookies in the morning and I am ready to go!!!