Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010!

I hope we all have a productive, healthy and happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Diagonal Brick Quilt

Inspired by Amanda Jean's quilt seen here. I made another bricks pattern quilt for my sister, but it was pieced in straight rows. This may be my new favorite pattern!

Who is this handsome creature sitting on my quilt? He prefers sitting on the quilt to standing in the cold snowy yard.

The backing is a vintage sheet. It is perfect for this quilt-- it has diagonal stripes in red and gray. I quilted it sparingly using simple diagonal stitching in red. The quilting does not stand out on the backing.

The binding for this quilt is pieced from leftover red fabrics. I made it with my new bias tape maker. BTW, these strips are not cut on the bias, but they came out great anyway.

Monday, December 28, 2009

New York

Columbus Circle

A bat faced building facade--isn't this the cutest bat you have ever seen?

Near Chinatown, possibly in Soho. I love the red iron work on this white building. BTW, the quilt I am working on now is red and white.

We saw these bronze lions for sale and had to pose for a picture. This is my aunt Glory. She was the one who suggested that I come along with her to NYC for a bit of sightseeing. I am so glad I did!

This pedicab driver was getting into the spirit of the holidays. There are many tourists in NYC for the season. Many inches of snow does not slow the city down at all. Everyone just puts on boots, slogs around in the slush and keeps on going.

Here is the train set around the tree in Penn Station. Amtrak comes in and out of Penn. This was Wednesday morning when I went to Penn to catch the 6:30 a.m. train. The one that comes from Chicago and runs throught West Virginia before heading north to NYC. The one that was cancelled because of poor weather related track conditions. I snapped this pic before heading back to my cousin's apartment. Luckily for me, I did not have the added expense of paying for an additional night in a hotel. Thanks, Pooh!

People in NYC make snowmen when it snows just like everywhere else in the world. The snow had started to melt when my aunt and I went out in the neighborhood to meet a new friend. Along the way I saw this snow fox head resting in a window sill. So cute!

This is one of the famous library lions, either Patience or Fortitude. They are off of Park Avenue downtown. This building has been turned into a museum of some sort. I liked how the lion looked in the snow.

A stone face on a building. I love the cool stone work on the buildings. It is interesting how the different sculptures age over time. The matching face on the other side was badly corroded and not photogenic at all. One of the coolest things to me about NYC is the architecture. There are just so many great buildings to look at!

Merry Christmas 2009

Conner is sporting the sweater my sister made for him last year. He is excited to be visiting his doggy cousins, Kit and Merle.

The Bricks quilt I made for my sister. I love how it came out. I got the idea to make this pattern from Allie at Strandz. She made a lovely Brick pattern quilt with dark, soft looking fabrics. My sister wanted a quilt made with blues, whites and yellows. Many of the fabrics are vintage sheets and incredibly soft. The backing is a vintage sheet as well and it is bound with the same fabric.

Here is Merle sitting in Stacey's lap on the new quilt. It looks like he approves, doesn't it?

This is my Dad modeling the Flamingo's Christmas quilt I made for my Mom. She loved it! It is made with assorted pink and green fabrics and a flamingo panel that I cut apart. I have the matching panel with the flamingoes enjoying the beach when it is not Christmas, to use in a future project.

It was a great Christmas Day with breakfast and presents with my sister and my nephew. Christmas Dinner with more presents at my parents' home followed later. Then more family celebrations on Sunday! I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as mine!

December 2009 Snow

These are pictures I took of the snow on the way to my parents' house for Christmas Dinner. This snow is a week old and the road still had a few icy patches on it. Christmas Day was rainy, but it took a lot of rain to melt this snow.

This was my kind of snow storm. I was out of town and did not have to worry about driving in it, shoveling it or being snowed in with a bad case of cabin fever. The snow did cause one of my trains to be cancelled and I did not make it home until Christmas Eve instead of Wednesday like I planned. But it all turned out fine.

Many thanks to my dad, who dug out my car after the storm left it buried under several feet of snow at the train station. Imagine coming home from my trip at night and needing to unbury the car before driving home! That would not have been pretty. He says that my car rose up off its springs after the snow was cleared from the hood! Apparently, snow from the tracks blew onto my car in addition to the many inches that fell.

Many thanks to my uncle who took wonderful care of my furry friend, Conner the whole week I was in New York City. Not only that, he shoveled a path for me to my front door and brought my ancient cat home from the boarding facility before they closed for Christmas.

Hope your holiday was a happy one!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Big Apple

We are at the ice skating rink at Bryant Park. It is called the Pond and allows free ice skating for the graceful and coordinated. That means that Glory and I did not skate! It was really snowing hard as the blizzard started to overtake the city.

Lots of deep snow around Columbus Circle. Love that shiny statue!

The view from the window as the blizzard progressed. The snow was coming down like fine sand.

This is Penelope's friend MaryAnne with my Aunt Glory and I posing in front of a lovely tree. We met for lunch at Rue 57, a nice restaurant on 57th Street. She is an interesting friendly woman that has already invited us to visit her in Nashville.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blizzard Along East Coast

From the National Weather Service for New York City issued Saturday night:


Good thing I do not have to drive anywhere tonight. Too bad my cousin and her family are stranded in Chicago!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Santa is carved from wood and marked "Bath and Body Works" on the bottom. He reminds me of my uncle. My uncle is this cute, too.

Rudolph and Santa designed by Jim Shore. This show is one of my all time holiday faves.

This Jim Shore Santa loves dogs. I do, too.

Here is my Jim Shore Jingle Bell Santa. You cannot see that all around his skirt a village scene is carved. I do not know why so many Jim Shore Santas wear skirts. Maybe they are just floor length coats. . .

This Santa is holding a staff in one hand and a pair of ice skates in the other. His coat is only knee length and reveals his boots. He is not wearing a skirt! This one is a Jim Shore as well.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Hope your decorating is going well.

Christmas Decor 2009

Part of my Santa collection used to decorate my living room. The small quilt here is a mini gotten in a swap on Swapbot. These colors fit in nicely with the colors of the Santas and the poinsettias.

The tall sparkly tinsel cone is usually lending sparkle to the bathroom during the holidays. This year I moved it to the living room to serve as the tree. I put a string of clear lights inside and it glows nicely.

Here it is without the other lights on in the room. I love the color red. It is my fave.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Swan Pillows Flew Off to Greece

These wool swan pillows were bought recently buy a lady from Greece! I had them listed on Ebay (and also on Etsy.) I packed them up and shipped them off this afternoon at the local post office. BTW-- it is fairly expensive to ship something to Greece, but the customer liked them enough to buy 2 of them and pay for shipping.

Bon voyage, lovely birds!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rail Fence Quilt Top

I saw a listing on Etsy from another quilter that she was clearing out excess fabric from her stash. Included in the listing were blue and yellow fabric strips and squares. They were all pre-cut to the right size and over half of them were already stitched together into these 3 piece blocks.

I finished sewing the 3 part blocks together, attempting to include at least one piece of yellow with all the blues. Then I pressed them all and started putting them together in this Rail Fence Pattern.

It was a little tricky to make sure that each row alternated correctly, but I only had to rip out one block.

The top finished up a generous lap sized quilt. I made it long enough to cover a tall person since it is intended to be a gift. I will quilt this up soon and then bind it with a pieced binding made from the left over strips.

For less than $20 (for the set of blocks) this was an easy and fast gift project.

Wool Poinsettia Pins

These are made from felted wool in red and green. I machine stitched the two layers of red petals to a background of green wool. Then I cut close around the red to suggest the greenery surrounding the blossoms. There are several different greens here, some of them hand-dyed.

The yellow centers are french knots stitched with size 3 perle cotton. I love how these turned out and put one on my coat right away!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Ribbon Key Fobs

These ribbon key fobs are made with cotton webbing and assorted ribbons. While most of them are 5 inches long, I made a few that are shorter because I could not stand to throw away any of the ends of the ribbon trimmed webbing.

I wish I had gotten more of the webbing while I was in Richmond last weekend. No place around here sells it.

Most of these will end up as gifts for coworkers.

I have used up almost all the hardware I bought a few months back from jcaroline. I love making these key fobs. They are close to instant gratification.

Here is a picture of my old ratty and very comfortable chair. The minute I get up to go into another room for something, Conner jumps up and makes himself right at home. Then when I come back he does not want to get up. The nerve.... anybody would think that he runs the household or something.