Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sara's Year in Review

These posts seem to be all the rage today, so I'm jumping on the bandwagon. It is a great way to put the year's work into perspective. Here they are, my quilts of 2009:

For starters, and mostly because 10 quilts don't make a nice even mosaic, here is the first finish of the year. This one was a pretty big deal for me because it was my first time using free motion quilting.
It opened up a world of possibility for me and hence the next 9 were produced...
They all have a special place in my heart because they've all taught me something very important about quilting and patience. If I had to pick a favorite it would be crazy carnival. That one definitely stretched me to my outer limits so for that reason and also the color combo, it tops my list of 2009 quilts. Thanks so much for all of your encouragement throughout the year. It means so much to have you along for the ride!

My to do list for 2010 is quite lengthy and coincidentally, I have more than enough fabric in my stash to accomplish it with. Did I just say that?!

Happy New Year, everyone!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Season's Greetings, Gang!

Felled by serious colds and coughs+pinkeye, three of my four family members were too sick to celebrate on Christmas Day. All four of us were too cranky to subject our friends to our moods. So . . .I have to say, this is one Christmas I'm glad is behind me. Grilled cheese and frozen peas for the kiddies' Christmas dinner, and frozen pizza for hubby and I after the kids were in bed. Christmas is largely about the food and the merriment for me, so this one was a bust.
There were fun crafty things to ogle under the tree for me though, and that helped take away the sting.

Denyse Schmidt's book!

Rashida Coleman-Hale's book from Sara!

Gingher 8" Dressmaker's Shears from my husband!
A new thimble and seam ripper (which, funnily enough didn't end up in my stocking, because I SWEAR TO GOODNESS, MY HOUSE EATS SEAM RIPPERS!!) I'm sure it will turn up soon.

I didn't get the quilts I started on December 22nd done for my girls. I finished the backs up today and will baste and maybe quilt them tonight. They girls head back to daycare on January 4th, so I've got time. (They're intended for naptime at daycare). I didn't get the table runner I'm working on done for my MIL (I told her I was making her something, and that it would be late so I will get to it after the quilts.) I'm quite far along but need to do a bunch of squaring off, which we all know is my least favourite. I'm working on relaxing and reducing expectations a wee bit!

Hope that you all celebrated in style with a merry cherry on top.

- Donna

Monday, December 21, 2009

Her Second Quilt

She didn't think she'd get it finished in time for Christmas, but she pulled through! Since her first quilt, she's been talking about making a "real" quilt, a bigger quilt. I suggested she get her idea down on paper first and then we'd figure out what she needed. She designed a few different looks and off we went to get the necessary supplies. (note the scarf - I wish I looked as fashionable while quilting!)

She did a really great job, especially considering the size of the quilt! It is a gift for her 14 year old cousin who ritually cooks us nachos when he visits. I can't wait to see the exchange when she gives it to him on Christmas eve!

Is anyone else out there excited for Christmas to get here? I can barely sleep with the anticipation!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Winner ..and a winning advent calendar

so that title is boo-worthy. I'm working, as usual, on about 5 hours of sleep.

I put the pedal to the metal to finish the advent calendar for my daughters (in future years, it will be for both . . my three year old is benefitting solely this year since baby #2 is just 15 months and could care less!) in time for Dec 1. I used Oh Fransson's tutorial from back in July on Sew Mama Sew, and followed her lead by using mainly Michael Miller Funky Christmas fabric. I made a ton of mistakes but I think I've finally learned my lesson and pledge to square up at every stage next time.

I'm happy with it, and we've had fun so far . .

Day 1 . . .chocolate lollipop

Day 2. . new tights (this is a girl who wears dresses all the time)

Day 3 . .some new headbands

Day 4 . .a mini bag of popcorn and a note for family movie night - (we watched Shrek the Halls and Merry Madagascar . . tried Rudolph and my daughter was scared of the monster!)

Day 5. . .a glowstick and a note for Santa Claus parade of lights (which we ended up skipping as both girls skipped their naps and it would have been ugly

Day 6. . a fancy decorated sugar cookie I got at a craft show yesterday with a note for decorating sugar cookies with friends. I made gingerbread and sugar cutouts and another family came over with their kids who are 5, 7 and 9 and they all went to town.


Here's the calendar in its glory:

I had to handstitch the appliquéd numbers on since I quickly realized that my skill on the machine did not allow me to machine appliqué. My plan is to make one of these for my first grandchild so that I can measure how far I've come . .this is quilt number 6, counting two doll size quilts so I think it's not too bad! It's definitely my most square quilt.
And now on to the winner of my giveaway . .*drumroll, please . . .*
. . Eeme-le - congrats! I've sent you an email asking for your mailing address, so as soon you provide me with that I'll get your things sent out!
Night, all. And thanks for playing along.
- Donna

Comments on Giveaway post now closed

Hey all
Wow. I somehow wasn't expecting so many comments! I'm closing up comments now (in words, since I don't know how to do that in blogger!) and will finish entering names into my spreadsheet and then pick a number later today. Check back to see if you're the lucky winner. I'll do my best to contact the winner and will give the person 48 hours to respond and if I hear nothing I'll move along to the next lucky person.

I'm really pleased that so many new people commented and added our blog to their reader or started to follow us. Come back and say hi anytime ! We love new readers and do our best to answer comments (I petered out on the giveaway post, I have to admit, but I appreciated every recipe and entry! I have me some baking to do.)

Who knew the popularity of snickerdoodles, magic cookie bars, peanut butter balls, peanut blossoms, and chocolate crinkles? Gingerbread and Shortbread, sure, but some of the others surprised me.

Since you all shared so kindly, here`s a to-die for recipe that I sampled at a Christmas open house yesterday.

Gluten-Free Rocky Road Snowballs

Enlist your favourite helping hands to roll these delights and coat them in coconut. For a nut-free variation, replace walnuts with chopped glac?herries.
Servings: 75 snowballs

1-1/2 cups (375 mL) semisweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) milk chocolate chips
1 pkg (250 g) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) chopped walnuts
1 cup (250 mL) mini-marshmallows
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded sweetened coconut

In bowl over saucepan of simmering water, melt together semisweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and cream cheese, stirring occasionally, until very thick. Remove from heat; stir in walnuts and marshmallows. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Roll by scant 1 tbsp (15 mL) into balls; roll each in coconut. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheet; refrigerate until hardened, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 5 days.)

They`re from Canadian Living Magazine and they`re pretty much AWESOME.

tune back for a winner . . .

- Donna