We are counting down to the last days before the Big Day. Am I ready? Nah. But I am getting close. I get some of my best ideas from other blogs. I've had several good ideas this year from Serena at Farm Chicks Blog. So I thought I would "steal" one more idea. Look at Serena's good idea here. Serena used syrup dispensers. I was thinking sweet but not quite so sticky. I purchased these sugar dispensers online for $1.49/each with no shipping. Good deal right? We filled them with colorful Christmas chocolates. Then we put a sticker with "Wishing you a Holiday Season as sweet as Sugar". Mine aren't as colorful as Serena's syrup containers but somewhat more useful and they were less money. Done! Well not quite done. Now they have to be delivered (calling...Mason..haha). I finished edging the rest of my 2012 Spoonflower calendars. Here is the little blue house. Very cute.Next is the 2012 kitchen shelf tea towel. This may be my favorite. I love dishes and it is vintage inspired. The last one is my beehive/bee tea towel. So perfect for me. Don't we all remember these yearly calendar towels hanging on walls in the kitchens of our mother or grandmother? I am really thinking I must make my own in Spoonflower for next year. I like this calendar from 1960 I have in my vintage collection. It is a gift to use throughout the year. Perfect.
Everyone, including me, is busy with last minute Christmas preparations. Who has time to blog and read blogs? But it is fabric Friday. So for those who care I thought I would post some fabrics I recently pulled off my shelf. Shelbie did some rearranging for me and washed and pressed some of my vintage pieces. So why not show them before I put them in their place? These above I've fussy cut here and there to add in some of my quilts. I love the pink, black, green and gray. This theme with the daisies would make a great project with the addition of just a few complimentary fabrics. You know I love windows. This vintage piece reminds me so much of my mother. She used to collect fabrics she could use when making projects for the grandkids. This is perhaps one of my top 10 vintage fabrics. It is crisp and new just like it would have been off the bolt to make into curtains 50 years ago. Shelbie washed and ironed this favorite table cloth. Yeah it has that odd gravy stain in the corner but I lay it out to hide that. It combines dishes with a PA Dutch flair. I have this vintage curtain fabric in several yards. I could fussy cut it because I have so much of it but someday I will make a quilt or curtains with it. It isn't easy to find vintage fabric pieces with multiple yardage. This is another fabric that reminds me of my mother (Freda). She had this on her shelf and made things for the grandkids out of it. Who doesn't love a little Holly Hobbie? I do.
I hope you have a great weekend as we plunge into very very last minute Christmas preparations. Monday I will show you my gift to neighbors and coworkers.
I really hate when people tell how many days left to shop for Christmas. It always makes me panic slightly. So I'm just spreading the love with the title to this post. I'm a grinch at heart. I got something in the mail that melted my Grinchy heart. My sister Michelle sent us Tastykakes for Christmas. Oh my gosh. It is like being a kid again eating these. Delish. Thanks so much Michelle. I hope I get my quilt back for Allison in time to give her for Christmas. If not, she'll be in Hawaii for Christmas anyway. She's 2 and has been there twice. I'm 54 and have never been there. Not that I really want to go. I'm just saying. I don't feel very sorry for her if the quilt isn't bound by the time they leave on vacation. (see only a Grinch would say that) This is the back for the quilt. It is eyelash minky. I'm pretty sure my machine quilter will hate me for this. You can't really improve on perfection. The kitty panel is so sweet and delightful I really didn't mess with it for Allison's quilt. I just put the border on it and called it good. Like I said, if my husband would let me, I'd put this on my own bed. So darling. This is how famous Pam is: if you google "PKM", Pam's blog comes up. Crazy. She's a legend. Speaking of legend...Mason was holding up my quilt top to help me photograph it. When the doorbell rang. His date to the Christmas dance gave him her answer. And then the door bell rang again. And he got the 2nd half of his answer. Kids are so creative now. In my day we simply said "yes". He said the answer was in reference to a TV show episode. Whatever. After all, I'm just an old Grinch. What do I know anyway?
Friday I showed the linen/cotton blend fabric from Spoonflower. Saturday I had some time to bind the fabric and make the 2012 calendar tea towels. Working with the linen cotton is nice because it has such a nice crisp body to work with. I cut some 2 1/2" strips for binding the edges out of fabric in my stash. I bound the towels just like a quilt. Pressing the binding is the key to getting a nice, even look. I pressed the binding several times to get it to lay just right and then stitched in the ditch to catch the back edge. It made a nice finish both on the top side of the towel and the back. If I made a little error, I just unpicked that part and restitched. I love this simple blue, white and black towel. I used fabric from PKM's line to bind it. I do like a gingham binding. This black and white complimented this modern/vintage design. There is so much color going on in this towel that I thought the black and white fit best. They are all ready now to give as gifts. I have several more I need to do though. But for now I have 5 done.
Speaking of "done". I hate that "Done" Target commercial. I am never done with Christmas until 6:00 on Christmas eve. At least it seems that way.
Have you discovered Spoonflower? Spoonflower is a fabric company that started a few years ago. You can upload designs to their website and have your patterns made into custom fabric. Others can buy your fabric there as well. I've have some custom designs tucked away that I really would like to make into fabric but haven't tried this myself, yet. This year for Christmas gifts I decided to use Spoonflower. I ordered 2012 tea towel calendars. Spoonflower had a contest and designers entered 2012 fabric calendar ideas. There were so many cute designs to choose from. I loved browsing through the pages of calendars. The fabric is available in quilt weight and linen/cotton. I chose the linen/cotton. But I waited until they had a 2 for 1 sale. I'm going to edge the calendars with fabric binding. My order is just arriving (there is one other design I haven't recieved yet) so I need to get going this weekend on finishing the edges of the calendars.
My PKM fabric row by row quilt flimsy is finished. I'm really excited to take it to the machine quilter tomorrow. I am going to have her quilt a strawberry design. I think that will be perfect. With a few exceptions my math did work out when I joined my rows together. However, for the drafting my pattern and writing directions, it will be a little difficult since everyone's 1/4" seam is slightly different and since each row is unique, there are really no seams to match. I do like my border but I think tonight I'll add a small outer border. I have debated back and forth if this is what I want to do. I will be excited to get it back before Christmas and bind it over the holidays. Now I need to get going on other projects.
Mary from Sea Quilts sent me a great little package from her giveaway. She's got a great blog and lots of talent. It was packaged so cute. You should check her out. She's made some darling things. This is Mary's little Christmas quilt she made. I really admired it. Doesn't it look like the perfect Christmas wall quilt? It is just so cute I want to make it right this second. Mary sent me a kit to make a wall hanging just like hers. I don't know that I will get it finished in time this year but for sure by next Christmas this will hang on my wall. Thanks so much Mary. My sister Michelle made this cute coloring bag for Allison. I forgot to post pictures before but when Allison was staying with us I got our her coloring bag for her to use and take to church. I think it is a great idea and would make a great Christmas gift for that little person on your list. Allison really likes playing with it. And because it is a bag, other little toys can fit inside to hold or take along. I really like the crayola pencil crayons because little hands like Allison's can't break them. Thanks Michelle. This is getting good use. After 4 days of staying at our house, my daughter's power was finally restored and they went home last night. Now they get to clean up whatever damage they have from the storm.
Have you heard about the incredibly destructive winds in the western US? It specifically hit northern Utah with a vengeance. My daughter lives north of Salt Lake and although damage to her home was minimal, her neighborhood and the surrounding areas have incredible damage (akin to the horrible season of my Philadelphia Eagles this year). Power is still off to my daughter's (Allison's mommy) home. They are staying with us right now. They have not been told when there power will be restored. You can read about some of the damage here. So Allison has been at our house almost all the week. Not just because the power was out but because we had been babysitting Allison during the week previous to the big storm. Consequently I don't really have much to show today. But I did think I would show you a little vintage fun from around my house. Of course these are off limits to Miss Allison! Do any of you remember these tiny 10 cent nativities? I can remember getting one at a party when I was a child and also remember them covering shelves in Kresge and Woolworth. They are such good memory makers. Speaking of memories, Notice the aluminum bell and the bubble light above. The bell feels and looks just like those aluminum drinking tumblers. We had dozens of those bubble lights on our tree when I was a kid. Every Christmas I would get burns from touching the lights. What kid could resist one touch? Dangerous by today's standards, though. I thought I would lay out my vintage ornaments and take a photo. As I said previously, I do not decorate the tree with them. They are too fragile. But I love having them in jars and bowls to look at and admire. This is a much safer way to keep my little vintage ornament collection even without Allison. Vintage Christmas is such a treasured childhood memory. I know it was stressful for my parents to afford and arrange every year but all I have is great memories of those times, thanks to loving parents.
Over Thanksgiving I had a chance to work on my row by row quilt with PKM fabric. My math turned out okay (so far) in joining my blocks into rows. Next step will be joining the rows together. I have a couple filler rows to add in, too. I am hoping it comes together as I've outlined. I loved making all the blocks and it was a perfect project to use with Pam's fabric. You can see that the log cabin blocks are making up the border. Because I had an odd number of blocks in the top and bottom rows I made a solid color (blue) center keystone block. I wanted the border to look like a wave all around the edges.
I plan on getting the top quilted before Christmas so I need to wrap it up soon. Happy quilt with happy fabric.
Speaking of happy...Happy Birthday to my sister, Michelle.
Are you sick of turkey and pie? We had a really nice Thanksgiving. I hope you did too. A few weeks ago we took the pie class at my friend Laura's. (she has recipes posted BTW) We used Laura's pie crust recipe and method. It worked perfectly, except that Shelbie ripped open her thumb on the food processor blade. But that aside, the pies were great. I told you I've never made great pie crust. Well I hope that is all in the past. My father-in-law always makes pumpkin pie for us. His is great. But I finally made really good pumpkin pie. I tried a trick I want to pass on. Use your favorite pumpkin pie recipe. Before putting the ingredients together, cook your canned or fresh pumpkin in a sauce pan for 10 minutes. That will make sure your pie sets up in the center with no mushy texture. I still baked the pie for nearly 40 minutes and it turned out wonderfully and cut into a perfect slice. We got our Christmas decorations up, too. It was really a productive weekend. I love having Christmas in my entry way. Here is (again) my Christmas Cottage exchange block quilt. It is really special to me. I have my favorite Christmas things set out on the side board. New this year is the gold dear from Barbara's etsy. You can't beat Oodles and Oodles for a great vintage Christmas. I have my vintage ornaments in a glass bowl under my beehive cake keeper and in a pretty glass jar.I set out things I made and gifts from friends in my favorite holiday collection. I put some foil covered chocolate balls in the beehive pot. Now if I could keep Allison from getting everyone to unwrap a chocolate ball for her! Of course I hung my kitchy Christmas wreath I made last year. I wish it was twice as big. But it makes me smile every time I see it. Mason went by himself and picked out the most beautiful (real) tree and got it at a great price. It is about 9' tall and smells fantastic. He always helps me trim the tree. It feels so good to have this all completed before busy December starts.