Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Guys on the Block

New guys on the block, the tall Santa was a gift from hubbie dearest this year. I carved the two shorter Santas and just finished painting the one on the left. He will get a wax job tomorrow.

Happy New Year,   Ann

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Hark! the herald angels sing,

"Glory to the new-born King!

Peace on earth, and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled."

Christmas Blessings,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Santa Finished

rosy cheeks, bells and last stitch

Now I have to rearrange all the Santas and dust I guess he will sit in front of the fireplace instead of on top with the rest.

Merry Christmas,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Baking day

Done baking today

thumbprints in vanilla and chocolate with raspberry, orange marmalade, or chocolate filling, peanut butter kisses, and cinnamon spritz
I like a high chocolate to cookie ratio so I made my second pan of peanut butter kisses with the 1/4 ounce scoop.

Merry Christmas,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Half Baked

Half my cookie dough is baked. Half recipes and still a lot of cookies.

       acorns,                                spice cookies with cayenne pepper,                      sugar stamp,
                  spice cookies w/ almonds,                                     snowballs,                        and shortbread

All these cookies were made from my mother's recipes with the exception of the spice cookies with cayenne pepper. She was of Swedish decent and I would tease her after I married and learned my way through the kitchen and spice rack that a Swedes idea of spicing up the food was to add more butter, more cream or more sugar and maybe a little cinnamon or nutmeg. I only make a fraction of what she made. I think she started baking  Christmas cookies the first of November and didn't quit until the first week of December.  One year she rolled the edge of the shortbread cookies in colored sugar, they were so pretty, white cookies with a red edge and white cookies with a green edge. I tried to do that one year and had colored sugar all over the cookies.  Maybe that is why she only did them that way once.
I finally gave up and dipped the whole cookie in sugar.  I wish I could ask her how she sugared them so nice.

Remembering and celebrating traditions,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dough Day

Today was dough day, 9 kinds of cookie dough 1 clean up!!!
I start with the lightest, whitest dough and work my way through the nut and spice cookies and finish the day with chocolate. Nine doughs, 1 mixing bowl, one clean up, all recipes were cut in half, right down to splitting an egg.  That sounds like something from biology class, my way is easier and no test. Break an egg into a measuring cup, beat briskly, one large egg is very close to 1/4 cup, so spoon out 2 short tablespoons of egg into your mixing bowl. Half an egg for half a recipe.

Happy Baking,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Tree

Come they told me

Pa rum pa pa pum

rum pa pa pum

rum pa pa pum

rum pa pa pum

Pa rum pa pa pum

Christmas Blessings,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Welcome to the North Pole Quilt

My Santas need a Welcome to the North Pole quilt. Pattern by Piece O' Cake Designs.

I chose to do fusible applique for this quilt because it is a wall hanging. Cut and fuse as you go so pieces don't get mixed up or lost.

The reins and harness yarns with jingle bells are just tacked down. I used edging lace for the icicles hanging from the roof.

I machine quilted the window panes. Some of the background fabrics are indigo prints, three are white on white snowflakes and stars that I dyed. No  two backgrounds are quilted the same. Did you notice  the lights are on in all the houses and workshops?

The marbles on the roof of the glassworks shop are covered buttons.

Son, Derek's Toyworks shop I'm sure he made Lego's.

Erin the doll maker and John with his cars and trucks the wheels are snaps.  The narrow little edging insert is a one inch wide strip of fabric ironed in half and stitched to the border then the piano key border was stitched on top of the edging. A second  accent strip was sewn on before the binding was attached.

Hubbies bait shop I'm sure the elves and Santa go ice fishing. My coffee shop and bakery and it will be a busy shop next week.

Warm Wishes,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Star of Bethlehem

This quilt was 10 years in the making and my first large Star of Bethlehem. My star points were not all the same size when I finished sewing them together so they sat for a year.

Then I took a sampler quilt class and showed my problem to the teacher who happened to be my high school Home Ec teacher so you know I was in high school a long time ago because it was called Home Ec. Anyway she suggested I float the star so I set the star into the triangles and squares and added a inch and a half strip of the background fabric all the way around. Looking close up you will see that some of the star points touch the seam and some do not but none are cut off.  Most of us quilters like pointy points on diamonds and triangles.

 Full steam ahead on sewing the borders. I had to dig through my scrap box and piece the pieces in the corner blocks because I used the fabrics for other projects. I finally got to the hand quilting. I used a gold metallic thread. Not a wise choice but after getting one large diamond quilted I couldn't turn back, I knew I would damage the fabric if I tried to remove the stitching.
I persevered!!!! I would quilt on it from mid October through Thanksgiving then hang it on the wall basting threads and all. I pulled the backing fabric to the front and basted it down, it looked better than the raw edges and batting hanging out but not much. The outside borders were uneven, the corners were not square, there were threads all over, there was a needle in it. It wasn't nagging me to finish before Christmas, I could relax and enjoy the season.

I finally finished it in the fall of 1998, I washed the quilt markings out and hung it on the line to dry it looked so pretty flapping in the wind and the sun shining on it and then a bird crapped on it. Fortunately it hit the tan because it actually took some color out of the fabric. I can find the spot from about 18 inches away if I really look. I washed it again and covered it with a sheet to dry.

Enjoy the Christmas Season,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Santa Collection

My Santa's usually come out with the first snowflakes or the beginning of Advent whichever comes first, this year it was before Thanksgiving some years they come out in October but these early guests never wear out their welcome.

When I started collecting carved Santas I knew the woodcarvers who carved them and there were several in eastern South Dakota. 

The Saint Nicholas with  with the bishops hat and green robe looks  like his carver, his wife painted all his carvings with artist oil paint so the grain of the wood shows through she whispered good bye to the Santa with is finger to his mouth shhhhing as she put him in my bag.

Since we have moved several times I am never there when the Santas are for sale. Now I look for Santa when we travel, I found the tallest Santa in the back row in Alaska and the Santa with no arms and tan robe in Sweden (below Alaska and left). Hubby Dearest has given me several as he has learned to surf the internet.

 Each one has so much personality
I have always enjoyed doing needlework and got hooked on needlepoint, Santa's of course. I have tried to do one every year. Some were purchased painted canvases, some from cross stitch patterns and the last couple I have painted the canvases I have a new appreciation for those who paint the canvases.

You better be good 'cause Santa Claus is watching,


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Design Wall

Cuppa Cappa Mocha Choca Latte or just Coffee and Cream quilt but I prefer my coffee black and unadulterated

diagonal rows of light and dark
split Ohio Stars in shades of brown and tan

darks  together and light together
No two stars have the same fabrics they are all cut from 6" x 18" strips of fabric from bales from a company called Merryvale. Merryvale would buy an entire line of fabric and cut it into 6 inch  squares and bales and send samples to quilt guilds for a fundraiser. It was really wonderful if there was not a quilt store in the area because we could get the newest fabric available. I sorted the browns from many bales for these blocks and will make at least as many more for this quilt. This collection of fabric must go back 12 years so I may have a challenge finding a border fabrics.

alternating light and dark grouping similar colors and values together

Will there be a follow up in 6 months to see who has finished?  Goals and deadlines are always good.

Happy stitching,

Monday, November 28, 2011

Deck the walls with quilts and Santa

Just put the finishing stitches in my Santa and Child wall quilt.

the black thread really does add to Santa's eyes and face.

Happy Christmas Decorating,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Progress on Santa

The machine quilting is my favorite part. I must have pressed some parts too many times and melted the adhesive right off the bird's beak. I never had that experience before with fused applique.

In the past month I saw a quilt of a couple girls with long hair and mactavishing quilting in the hair and I made a mental note to study it more when I was closer to the quilting stage for quilting the beard. I have looked through 2 years worth of magazines trying to find the quilt and can't. My friends Jane and Phyllis came over earlier in the week  and Phyllis knew the quilt I was talking about but couldn't remember which magazine it was in either. So I wasn't dreaming it!!!!
Since I couldn't find the quilt I decided I should practice mactavishing the beard before I put it under the needle. That almost sounds surgical but I don't want rip and leave scars. So I put a sheet of tissue paper over the pattern and drew my quilting lines then laid it over the quilt consider the possibilities.
so far so good

there are three different white on white fabrics in Santa's beard and hair. I used gold metallic thread for the star rays and halo and broke three needles in the process, the thread usually breaks not the needles.

I still need to add some black quilting lines to Santa's face for  depth.
so close to finishing.

Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

This Thom Turkey got away. He looks like a tough old bird.

The oranges and legs are fabrics I dyed in college

quilting on the back free motion leaves and acorns

last years turkey dinner it was soooo good