Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Pumpkin Stars

Hello, everyone! I hope those of you here in the US have had a great Thanksgiving and that everyone else is having a great week so far. We've spent our day very quietly with just the three of us at home after visiting family in Texas last weekend. We had some very simple meals and just enjoyed being together. Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and some football was high on the agenda. I'll treasure the memory of teaching Jenna to do a little needlepoint with a plastic canvas and needle while I worked on a cross stitch project. She was so disappointed that it wasn't finished before she went to bed tonight. So sweet! I hope she'll be eager to pick it up again tomorrow. 

I thought I'd share my very first and looooonnnngest quilt project. The pumpkin wall hanging you see above was started in the fall of 2001. We had just moved in with a friend since our house had sold while we were still building our new one. September 11th had just shocked us all. And I had just started my first year as a Reading Teacher after teaching 1st grade for a couple of years. 

I took a class at Quilting Bits and Pieces in Eudora, KS and the fabric was included in the class kit. I remember being so thrilled that it had some purple in the fabric. The teacher was wonderful and patient and very knowledgeable. I do remember my mind glazing over while we were standing at the ironing board and she started talking about fractions...1/4, 1/2 inches, seam allowances, etc. I just have to laugh at myself now. 

Pumpkin Stars quilting
The pumpkins, stars and vine were all hand appliqued...over the course of a few years. I was busy teaching and each fall I'd take it out and stitch a little more. Then it would find it's way back into the closet. I finally finished the top in 2009 and got stuck because I didn't know how to quilt it. Luckily, I met Angela Walters not long afterwards at the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild and she agreed to quilt it for me. I just love the pebbling she did inside the pumpkins!

Pumpkin Stars detail
There's some of that purple fabric I thought made this stand out from other traditional fabrics. While it's much more traditional than what I love now, I'm so happy to finally have it finished and displayed because I learned so many skills working on it and it was the beginning of my love for sewing and quilting.

Have a great weekend! Anyone braving the craziness of Black Friday? I have to say that late night hours of shopping interests me more than getting up early on Friday but it's just not my thing. If I lived closer to my sister I'd go with her to cheer her on because she loves it. Have fun Viv!!

Take care and I'll be back soon with some Christmas fun! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Pillowcase

Halloween Pillowcase
I whipped up this cute pillowcase at my retreat in September. A friend of mine made a couple in this fabric gave me the extra to try out the Roll It Up pattern. It's very easy and includes french seams which gives it such a nice finish even on the inside. Turns out, it's the same pattern my mom uses to make pillowcases for Jenna.
Halloween Pillowcase Close up
The little skeletons are cute instead of scary and have little hearts, so we say they are very kind. The are also glow in the dark which is pretty fun!
Pillowcase Challenge Fabric
Stitch On, one of my local quilt shops, is gathering pillowcases to give to a charitable organization at Christmas. They have around 800 families in need. So I searched through my stash and found 3 yards of this stripe fabric that I purchased last year hoping to make a valance in my breakfast area off the kitchen. I'd forgotten that the living room had striped curtains and the fabric really didn't work to have two different kinds of stripes. Not enough fabric for our office window. So it sat waiting until I realized it would make great manly pillowcases. Stitch On had the brown that I thought looked great with the stripe. So three pillowcases are added to the list of projects I need to complete very soon!
Fancy Nancy
For my family in Tennessee, I have to show a picture of Jenna in her Halloween costume. She came home from school one day in September and announced that she'd told all her friends she was going to be Fancy Nancy for Halloween. You can bet this book loving mama was excited that she'd picked a book character all on her own. I ordered the costume online and it arrived way to short. So I dug through the dress up clothes and found a purple skirt to layer and my mom sent a tiara (and Cinderella dress that she'll wear next year). Jenna commented several times during the day in amazement that she felt so beautiful...It cracked me up!

Now we are trying to recover from all the candy. The dentist is having a swap tomorrow so hopefully we can get her to part with most of it. I need it out of the house! I'm hoping to show you a little Christmas goodness if I the sun will come out this week for me to get some photos. It's supposed to snow a bit tonight so I don't think it's too early.


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