Friday, December 19, 2008

Aprons, Christmas cookies and a gingerbread house

Today was the annual cookie baking with GS's Daniel & Logan. Here we are all appropriately garbed with aprons. We have done this since Daniel[now nearly 14] was about 3 years old. I was commenting to him today that I wondered how much longer I might have with him in this activity, maybe another year & he answered "are you kidding Grandmother, it's cookies!", from which I deduce that I might have a few more years or at least a couple! Logan, almost 12, will probably have a few years beyond that for Grandmother & cookie making & of course next year we will have a little baby Matthew to introduce to this tradition.
Since my last post I am delighted to announce the birth of another great niece, Ocea Bayley for whom I made the cute farm quilt which arrived in Australia just before Osha's debut! Her Mum Tamara, phoned the other night so I have all the details & I anxiously await the first photos.

The blue apron I am wearing in the picture was my first Home Ec. project in 7th. grade, I had made it for my Mum & I found it in her linen cupboard after she died in 2001. She had worn it till it is frayed, but had carefully washed, starched & ironed it after each wearing for almost 50 years! The apron is now 53 years old, the binding & the embroidery are frayed but I treasure it just because my dear Mum did.

Looks a little chaotic here doesn't it, but we manage! We have several projects going at once & not a lot of counter space in this smallish kitchen, the famous "stained glass" cookies, the gingerbread house & some pretzel/caramel kiss things someone on my LA group raved about.
For today these boys are well & truly in sugar overload I'm sure with all the dough & frosting & candies they consumed,& in spite of a healthy lunch of toasted cheese & turkey sandwiches & milk!

Here is the final result, kitchen all cleaned up & done for one more successful year. These are the kinds of memories our children & grandchildren will reflect upon when we are long gone & these memories will endure beyond the gifts under the tree.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Veronica's quilt

OK, I got the label on while Veronica's sister was here & she headed right to the hospital to deliver it. Veronica may be in the hospital over Christmas she is having chemo for Leukemia & she has young ones at home, I know how they will miss each other, mom & kids.

It's a pretty quilt, not one I would ever choose for myself, but I am SO happy to have this UFO done,done & gone! I hope that it may cheer her up & give her a little encouragement & I sent a message that we would keep her in our prayers.
I had to go to the local QS to purchase more of the B&W fabrics for baby Matthew's quilt, Mem's Mum, Margot came too & got the fabric for the crib skirt. I completely spaced it, forgot the striped border fabric, duh, so now I will have to go back, sigh! I bought the white minkee for the back of the quilt & I was pleased to have a "25% off total purchase" for my local QS, minkee is VERY expensive!
Also bought a very sweet panel, 40% off, it would make nice pillows or a bag. In case no one else likes it I DO! Obviously I am NOT on "no buy"!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A stroll down memory lane

Today is oldest DS 42nd. birthday, we met him & Lana at Valle Luna with JW,Mems,& Andrew's friend Dennis & wife because it is also Dennis's birthday, he's one year older than DS.
I pulled up a few photos to see the transition from baby to man!
So nothing quilty today, all family memories.

Here's an early picture.....

at 4 months..........

Baptism, April 1967, St John the Baptist, Sutherland,NSW, Australia........

age two and a half with one year old twin brothers.....

center back age 8.......

in the cowboy hat,25 here.....

on the Manly Ferry, Australia Sept.2005.......

and his wedding in April.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Two more quilts longarmed!

The UFO is ready for binding, in fact I had begun to attach the binding but had to remove it from the DSM for another project. Hope to have that completed tomorrow. For the first time [that I know of] in my quilting life, after I had already begun to quilt this top I discovered some blocks I had rotated in my haste to construct it. I decided that the amount of time and effort required to correct the mistakes was not justified so the errors remain for posterity! Probably the recipient will not ever notice

Today I completed the McTavishing of Loretta's Starry Night wall hanging, have to get it in the mail tomorrow so she can get it bound and ready to hang and enjoy for the Christmas season. The Superior Halo metallic thread doesn't show up very well in the photo but it's very pretty and sews in nicely and once I got enough tension off the top I had no more thread breaks. I used a number 20 needle and a few drops of silicon on the spool.

I wasn't quite as pleased with some of the hiccups in the monopoly I used in the bobbin [also Superior brand] although I think with a bobbin genie or something similar it may have been ok, it's so fine and slick and stretchy that it backlashes occasionally. I found a few thread nests of the monopoly on the back, no indication of a problem on the front at all but boy oh boy winding that stuff on the bobbin is a real challenge using my free standing bobbin winder, probably the most frustrating part of the process and wouldn't you know that I ran out of bobbin thread with about 3 square inches left to quilt, Murphy's law, right, LOL? I need to check with the LA group to see if there is a trick to more easily winding monopoly on the bobbin.
Loretta still has to finish off the applique of the Wise men she just ran out of time.

Tonight I finally decorated the tree and the entry way, keeping it simple, it's just too much work taking it all down a task that I frankly postpone as long as I can.
I feel really bad for DH, his vehicle has been damaged twice in the past week- thieves smashed both front windows and stole some items while the vehicle was parked in our driveway one night and this evening in the few moments it took for DH to go into the supermarket a thief removed one of the tail light units and made off with it, probably a couple of hundred dollars to replace-obviously why it was stolen! This felon had to use a screw driver so one would assume he must have been waiting for the right model of vehicle. Another shopper saw the thief running off with the tail light but wasn't able to get a licence plate number. Andrew would say that what goes around comes around but it makes me quite angry.It's pretty sad when you can't even leave your auto in your own driveway, directly under the street lights or in the parking lot for a few minutes without risking the loss of property. I don't know why any of this should surprise me-my car was stolen a few years ago while I was in a store for about 20 minutes in the middle of a week is an every day occurrence here in AZ and thefts always multiply around the holiday season......"goodwill to all men", LOL!
The culture has deteriorated to the point where there is very little respect for the law or for other's property, and with the removal of all public displays of the Ten Commandments there is no longer any reminder of "do not steal" and "do not covet" let alone "do not Kill" or "honor your mother and father"or, heaven forbid "do not take the Lord's Name in vain"!

The lack of common civility in our culture is disturbing to me and sometimes I almost despair at "man's inhumanity to man".I think I'm very tired tonight and perhaps that may account for some of this introspection.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Post Thanksgiving progress

I managed to get four tops quilted so far this week, two pretty batik QOV's that need to be mailed back to my QOV partner Meredith in CA,

& two for a client.

I also counted my UFO's & in the process found one that will do nicely for a comfort quilt for a young mom battling leukemia. Not sure how aged this UFO might be, at least 5 years. It was a mystery from the guild that I used to attend here in Phx. & I never got the final instructions so I set it aside, euphemism for abandoning it, albeit temporarily! While Khris was here I arranged the blocks & re-arranged until I found an acceptable setting, & although I have no clue if it's the original it works for me. I am adding a stop border & two additional borders to make it the size I want & I have the perfect backing in stash, cross that one off the guilt list!
I will post a pic. next issue, when all being well it will be bound & ready to go to it's new home[& out of mine!].
It's nearly Christmas & here in AZ our plants are still blooming, all three hibiscus with plenty of blooms & still more buds, some lovely fragrant yellow roses & a gorgeous red rose. The two gardenias also have buds & one has a bud just about ready to bloom. I wonder how much longer they will grace our garden with color & fragrance? Until the first freeze in January I suspect. The hibiscus in the pic. has an unusual anomoly, two quite different colored blooms. One side seems to always produce these bright salmon colored flowers & the rest of the plant has a pale peach bloom, isn't it odd? I don't think I have ever seen that before.