Monday, December 31, 2007

Another Swap

I received a gift certificate to Jaimes Country Stitches, a quilt shop in Coral Springs for Christmas. I went a little crazy and purchased these beautiful Moda fabrics. I cannot believe the price of quilt shop fabric. If I didn't have a gift certificate I would never have purchased them, but aren't they sweet? So what am I going to do with them you ask?

Well, I signed up for another HGTV F8 swap, this one is called a Romantic F8 swap. I know, I know what was I thinking? I was thinking maybe I might get a summer quilt out of it. This time I put instructions in with the fabric. I asked that the blocks they make be romantic, shabby chic, feminine, almost blended and that they use only light colored coordinates. I put in caps "PLEASE DO NOT USE DARK COLORS".
I am crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas F8 swap

I have not posted the last few blocks that I have received (due to being lazy). I expect only three more, but they are not late because the deadline is December 31 (anyone want to start a pool?) Anyway, I have learned alot from this swap. I purposely purchased an inexpensive fabric in case the whole thing went bad. There are a few blocks that are 1/2 too small and the colors I received are mostly very dark. That's is my own fault for not specifying that I wanted the colors a little lighter. I wasn't planning on putting this thing together anytime soon, I just thought it would be a fun swap. I will get around to putting them together but who knows when.

From Sharon in Illinois

From Christine in New Hampshire

From Bridget in Tennesee

From Lauren inNew York

From Elaine in Massachusetts

From Karen in Mississippi

and the dog ate my homework

Maybe it's just my Catholic school upbringing, I don't know, but it really bothers me when people on not on time. Why is it OK for everyone to be late? I am signed up for a few different swaps and there is always someone who is late despite the fact that they were given ample time to complete the task.

There is a whole range of excuses the most common of which is "life got in the way". What kind of excuse is that? Did you not know you had a job, a family, a home a life that needed attention? Did you not take these things into consideration when you signed up?

My computer crashed and I lost the list of addresses. Hmmmm, you signed up in August, the deadline was October, it is now the end of December and you couldn't find a computer to use in all that time?

I've been depressed and have lost my muse. Yes, this was really posted on a website. This lady posts this excuse at least once a month and has yet to honor her commitments or seek help.

The holidays got in the way. Did you not know they were coming?

I think what irks me more than these excuses is the poster who says "Oh, it's OK, we will all wait". I am sorry, but it is not OK with me, and please don't speak for me. If I tried to use these excuses with the electric company they would shut of my power, if I turned in my school work late I flunked the course. Why is there now consequences to being late in a swap? How do you say in a post "No, it's not OK that you are late and I am tired of waiting" without being told how mean you are?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Heartstring Quilts

I sent the Chinese coins quilt top to Mary, and she responded the minute it got to her home. That has encouraged me to make more. I posted a note on the quilting section at HGTV for some scraps for Charity quilts. As expected, there was zero responses, zero, zip, nada, nothing. So I posted a request on the Heartstrings Yahoo site and I got an immediate reply from Deb in AZ. She sent some strings immediately and I received them them yesterday. I am so amazed, not only did someone reply, not only did she send them right away but she sent really nice fabric. None of that Walmart stuff here, but bright. cheerful, good quality fabric. I think maybe I have finally found a charity site I can stick with.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I won, I won, I won!!!

I am always whining about the fact that I never win anything. I have entered a ton of blog giveaways in the past month and I was about to give up. Guess what...... did you guess? I didn't win just one giveaway but two!!! Yes one from Gloria at Strawberry House and the other from Kate at Kate's Quilting and other fibre arts. Yes, that's two, two, two wins at once. Why, I am getting downright silly about it. Do you believe in the old saying good things come in threes? Or would that be just a bit greedy?

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday as I did. Lots of family, food and fun.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Another Arts in the Mail swap simply called Stars. Here is mine....................

I have received the first of 4, it's from Priscilla in Minnesota.

In the beginning of September 2001, we went on a weeks vacation to North Carolina, (yes we were on vacation when the towers were hit). The first two days we played tourist in Ashville (don't you just love that town?) We loved visiting the Appalachian Craft Center on the Blue Ridge Highway. We purchased several handmade objects including this ornament. It is made of pottery and was turned on a wheel. It is signed and dated on the inside and I have left the price tag so I would remember the name of the place where we bought it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


This little lady started it. Isn't she just too cute? I purchased her many, many years ago at the Promenade. This is an arts and crafts show we have here in Ft Lauderdale every year, I think in November (Haven't been to one in a while). There is always the most wonderful handmade stuff, paintings, sculptures, jewelry, etc. But there was this one year where I saw this little angel and that was it, we can go home now. She is made on a bell foundation. Her face and hands are fired clay and what a sweet expression. She has wings made of gold leaves and loops of cream ribbon. And, she stands all of 1 1/2 inches tall. Yup, she's the one that started this mini madness. She is just too small to be put on an 8 foot tree so I had to get a mini (18 inches tall) tree. She, of course could not be sitting there all alone, so I started purchasing Hallmark Keepsake mini ornament. Most of them I purchase after Christmas when they are 50% off. I do not like the tree itself anymore and I am considering replacing it with a nicer pre-lit tree. Oh well, maybe next year.

These are a few of my favorite things

Most of my ornaments have a little story to tell. They all have many memories attached to them. These are just of few of my favorite ornaments.

This little ball is not very pretty but there were lots of them on our tree when I was a little girl. My Dad used to use spray snow on the tree and this ball has some of that snow on it. The snow has since turned yellow but it holds sweet memories of childhood Christmas'.

Santa and Fish is a more recent purchase and one of those after Christmas 50% off items. One of my husbands hobby's is fishing so I thought this one was appropriate. Besides, it was just too silly to pass up.

Did you notice the Disney ornament behind Santa? A neighbor gave me three of them as a gift. I do not remember what year it was but she had purchased them at DisneyWorld when she visited for the first time. That first visit of hers was only weeks after it opened. Too bad the ornaments aren't dated as many of Disney's ornament now are.

It was my very first Christmas as a married women and my first Christmas away from the rest of my family. We had very little money for gifts and a tree. A friend came to visit and brought a 6 pack of Coca Cola. On the cardboard packaging was this ornament. Cut it out and glue it together. I didn't have any glue so I sewed it together. Talk about your really tacky ornament. Oh, I throw everything on my tree, the good, the bad and the ugly. Just like quilting, if you use enough color it all some how works.

This sweet faded ornament is another from my Mom & Dad's collection. My Dad told me he remembers this on his Mom's tree when he was a little boy. Dad was born in 1917 so you do the math.

We promised our Grandson Nick we would take him on a Disney Cruise when he was 7 years old. 7 came quickly and we went on the cruise last September. If you have ever been on a cruise that stops in Nassau you will know that you are forced thru a local tourist type market in order to get back on the ship. As I try to purchase an ornament on all my vacations and I love angels, this seemed like the perfect choice.

I will try to post a few more of these before Christmas. Hope you liked my tree tour.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Attention Long Armers

I am a hand quilter. No, it's not because I'm some sort of purist or quilt snob, it is because my machine quilting is the pits. I will machine quilt preemie quilts (nothing bigger than 30x30) and I only do straight lines. I do, however, like to make bigger scrap quilts which I donate to charity. I have belonged to many online groups over the last few years and have donated many blocks and tops. So, you ask, what is the problem? I'll tell you. My sewing time is limited, my funds are limited and to ship a package, I really have to go out of my way. When I donate a top all I ask is an acknowledgement that it has been received. Is that too much to ask?

I would really love to see a picture of my top completed before it is donated but that is not really necessary, just a wish. All I want is an email saying "I got it"

I have had ladies tell me they are too busy to acknowledge receipt. I worry that the Post Office lost my package, so I don't think that is asking too much.

Are you a longarmer? Do you quilt tops for charity? Would you like this top? Will you email me when you get it?

First come, first serve.

Gift Box

Trying to find just the right box for a gift is a difficult task. I made this little stocking, which has a Starbucks gift certificate in it and cannot find an appropriate box to fit. So, thanks to Vicki, I made my own.
If you are thinking that the fabric looks familiar it it because it is the same fabric I am using for the HGTV F-8 Christmas swap.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The real Snowflake

I posted a card that I thought was the snowflake card,

but Kate tells me that that particular card was really the Christmas private swap card. Yesterday the snowflake card finally arrived. This picture does not do the card any justice. The snowflake is sort of holographic. It appears and disappears as you move it. The card is covered in beads. It is not noticeable on the real card, but the photo makes me wonder if some of the green beads in the middle are gone. It sure is a lovely addition to my collection, thanks Kate.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Busy going nowhere

I have over 38 blogs that I read regularly. They are all so upbeat and cheerful, full of beautiful handmade items. Everyone, it seems, is winning a blog contests, or getting gifts in the mail for no apparent reason.
Despite entering tons and tons of blog giveaways, I have won nothing. There are no goodies in my mailbox not even when I am told there was one mailed. I would question the Post Office about this, but I get my bills and junk mail just fine. Makes me want to go .......hhhhhmmmmmm...........

My grandchildren had a sleep over last weekend. They are wonderful children and always fun, but not much gets accomplished while they are here. We did get the Christmas tree up and started decorating it, but did not get very far. I have so much more decorating to do and so little time to do it.

I only had 3 takers on my one on one Christmas postcards swap offer. Here is the card I made.

I did manage a little bit of sewing in the past week. This little stocking is my own design and I love to make them. This one is for the gift exchange at work. The little green card peeking out is a Starbucks gift certificate. I have been unable to find a small box that this will fit in, so I think I might try making one. There was a tutorial on Vicki's blog that I think I might try. Don't you just love her work?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More Handmade stuff

Sometimes you just need to sew something quick to get that sense of satisfaction you get when you finally finished something. Winter Welcome which was on the December 2006 (Issue 83) of American Patchwork & Quilting filled that need and is kind of cute too. I think I might make another one this year too.

On the other hand "Christmas Carnations" was not so quick. The pattern was in a book (don't remember which one) and I made this wall size quilt in 1994. I was so proud of myself for doing applique that I decided to enter it in the 1995 Broward Quilt Expo. It was my first quilt show entry ever and I didn't know what to expect. It won an Honorable mention and I was overjoyed. It is now several years later and I see the flaws in my workmanship that I didn't even know about then. It still looks pretty good though. I have often thought about making another on in spring fabrics but I can't find the book.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


The Arts in the Mail November Challenge was snowflakes. I was paired with Kate. My card to her arrived in the UK today, and her card to me arrived here in FTL today. Don't you just love it when that happens?
Kate's card...........................

My card.........................(OK so this is not actually the card I sent Kate, but almost the same)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Handmade stuff

Way back when I used to do counted cross stitch, I made a whole series of stockings. The patterns were from a cross stitch magazine which had two new patterns every year. There is besides these two, one for my son, one for my daughter in law and one for my granddaughter. My daughter in law made the last one for my grandson. They are all different yet are all the patterns are from the same designer. I really love these and surely they will reside on someones mantle far into the future.

I'm not sure if you can see it or not but the date is 1989. When I first started quilting, I actually made a pink Double Irish chain just so it would look like the one on the stocking. The sampler on the wall was never finished because the x's were half the size of the rest and it just hurt my eyes too badly.

Besides a 8 foot tree, I have a mini tree. I purchase some Hallmark Keepsake mini ornaments each year, right after Christmas when they are 50% off. I try too find some that have some sort of sewing theme but that's not always possible. If you have a mini tree, you have to have a mini tree skirt. Too cute!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

December Already?

Most people I know do a big spring cleaning of their home. That is most likely because that's when you get to open the windows and let the clean fresh air in. Here is South Florida we turn the a/c on somewhere around May and don't turn it off again until Thanksgiving. We have come to know that if there is a big cold front in New York or Chicago, give it three days and our weather will cool off. So it stands to reason that when the weather cools off and with Christmas coming, that's when I do my spring (winter) cleaning.

So I started last week in the bedroom. Everything was removed, vacuumed, washed, and waxed. The Christmas quilt was put on the bed along with the Christmas pillows and nick nacks. The same holds true for the bathrooms, washed top to bottom and out came the Christmas towels, candles, soap dispenser and nick nacks (Oh yes, I have Christmas bathroom nick nacks.)

My house is really very tiny so the bulk of our Christmas stuff is stored in a storage facility. Today, my husband and I did our annual pilgrimage to the unit to get out "stuff". It will take at least the next two weeks to get the tree up and decorated (8 foot artificial pre- lit tree & 40 years worth of ornaments), and the outside lights put up. We both still work full time jobs , so the decorating takes place in between.

I have managed to get a few postcards made this week (I get a little nuts if I don't do some sort of sewing) but I won't show them to you until they make it to their new homes.

There aren't many pictures this time around because I just don't have a lot to show you. But I did get two post cards this week.

L is for Landscape and this one if from Brigitte in France. It has a dimensional flower there in the corner. I don't know why but it just blows me away when I get a card from outside the US.

M is for Monarch Butterfly by Monica in Texas. Monica says she took this photo herself (and a fine job she did of it too). It also has a dimensional flower with yellow beads. Both cards are really lovely.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

International Incoming

This Birdhouses card is from Bobbie in Australia. The daisies are dimensional and there is lots of sparkles on the card.

This crazy Christmas card is from Anne in France. Lots of shiny trims and what an interesting way to do the edging. I'm going to have to copy that technique.

K is for Koi is from Anne in the UK. Say, I had some of that fabric and used it in my Oriental Madness quilt. Machine embroidered Koi and lilly pads.

K is for Kiwi is from Debbie in New Zealand, of course. Gee, I thought kiwi was a fruit. Well, what do I know?

Sunday, November 25, 2007


A postcard from Beth in New Jersey. It's always nice to get pictures of fall leaves because it' s always green in Florida.

Here is a Crazy Christmas card from Brigitte in France. Tres Jolie, n'est pas?

And another block from the F8 Christmas block swap. This one is from Ely.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mystery Solved

I bought this pattern a few years ago..............................

And so I made this.............................

But this purse (more like a large sack) has been looking kind of sad lately, so I made this............

TaDah! Did you guess a purse? Don't fib, no you didn't. I did cut the pattern down a bit this time and added lots more pockets inside and out. Oh, and in case you might be wondering, it did shrink and pucker like crazy.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The last Cross Stitch, The last Swap Blocks

I promised someone, (don't remember who) that I would post a picture of my last cross stitch piece. It is a ring bearer's pillow I made for my son's wedding. It was done on 32 count linen. There were 6 shades of blue in the ribbon. There was a satin ribbon attached about where the hearts are, so that the rings could be tied to the pillow. The back is satin and there is a heavy satin ruffle under the lace (because the lace was too floppy). I really love this piece andI am glad I made it but I nearly went blind doing it. It is the reason I don't do cross stitch anymore.

The last three Christmas F8 swap blocks are done and gone in the mail. I have to admit that I kind of lost my enthusiasm the last two weeks and I am glad my blocks are done.The very last block is for Donna in Ontario. I never did get any fabric from her, so she said to use some of my own. So that ought to confuse you when you look at might think I don't know coming from going.