Tuesday, December 24

Wishing you a blessed Christmas!

As I hum Christmas carols and finish up last-minute details, I had to share this photo of the manger scene that I made over 40 years ago. I took a ceramics class when we were stationed in Japan and painted the figures of Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus and the Angel. I have always placed them under the branches of the Christmas tree. Well, until we got our dog, Kaiser. Now they sit on our book shelf because Kaiser is too curious and likes to read/eat books. Can't have any of that! Here's a link to one of my favorite Christmas songs. I sang this one a couple of years ago, along with other carols, that my son, Devlin, recorded. He enhanced my acapella version with what he called "the church sound". I hope you enjoy it and find peace in the message........

Christmas Eve, 2013

It's the wee hours of Christmas Eve and I have been enjoying Christmas music while I wrap gifts. This has been a busy holiday season. Lots of hustle and bustle with family, church and library activities and a trip to Iowa to see my mom. The fudge you see in this picture went along, too.........
 
I made a couple batches of fudge to take to the Christmas party at the Care Center where my mother lives. There was so much good food!  And carols........gifts........family time and visiting with old friends........and even Santa! And here he is, wishing all of us a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 
 
And that's my wish for all of you..........Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, too! Our family will be celebrating together this Christmas Eve at our house. Looking forward to good food, some games, gifts and lots of fun. Here in Minnesota, we are likely going to set some records for cold weather. Ah, but we have warm hearts! Yes, it might be the coldest Christmas in a long time but this is Minnesnowta! I do think that Santa might want to be sure to wear his long-underwear and some wool socks, for sure!  ;-)
Have a wonderful Holiday!
Sandi

Thursday, November 28

Happy Thanksgiving and a preview of Holiday Traditions...........

Wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!!! And, if you are in the Henderson, MN area and you are looking for something to do, then come to our "Holiday Traditions" event at the library. Stop in on Friday, November 29th from 2-8 p.m. or Saturday, November 30th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Here are a few photos to entice you to visit...........
The little tree in the photo of above is one of the items in our silent auction. The pretty quilt on the bench is one that my mom and dad bought at a farm auction years ago. There's a drawing for a copy of the book "The Traditions of Christmas" and for the kids.......a teddy bear and some Christmas tree bell ornaments.
 There are several tables full of awesome Christmas and holiday items..........
there is something for everyone!
Christmas music is playing in the background while you check out all the silent auction items........

There's even a "Blue Christmas" tree that Elvis would love!
 And a pretty Angel-themed tree!
 
My favorite thing is the big tree that is decorated with donated books that will go to the Lion's Club Toy Drive on Dec. 8th. And the big stocking is being filled with baking supplies that will be donated to the Sibley County Food Shelf. If you come to visit, bring a book or a bag of chocolate chips, etc. to share!
 
The event continues next week and final bids must be placed on Friday, Dec. 6th by 7:00 p.m.  Here's the flyer with all the info. Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 22

Keeping busy.......

Haven't had time to blog lately.......busy, busy preparing for our Friends of the Library event! If you live nearby, don't miss this it. The lower level of the library has been transformed into a festive display of "Holiday Traditions" and lots of wonderful items in our Silent Auction! It all starts this Saturday and continues through December 7th.
 

Monday, November 11

Autumn is coming to an end..........

The pretty trees in this photo below line the hillside in our backyard. I took the photo in early October. The trees look so pretty as they are changing colors and so for several days, I took photos at different times of the day to note the changes. It's good to have photos of all this pretty color because we have had our first snow.........only a couple inches and I didn't get a photo of it.......but winter is just around the corner. There are still some leaves on the trees but the pretty colors are gone.
Also in early October, I took lots of photos at the Ewenique Quilter's Show in St. Peter, MN. It was their first large quilt show and it was really, really nice! My daughter, Collette, met me for lunch at the show and then we enjoyed strolling up and down the aisles, more than once, looking at all the quilts and pretties. I loved this exhibit vintage miniature sewing machines. Reminded me of a one I had when I was a little girl............
There was a nice selection of vendors at the show. This smiling face is the owner of Knit and Sew World in St. Peter.I got my Brother sewing machine. I am very, very happy with my machine.  :-)
And these smiling faces belong to Jackie and Ann, two of the trio that own Sewing Seeds Quilt Co. in New Ulm. I loved so many of the pieces that I saw in their booth. Collette and I are planning a day trip out to New Ulm so we can check out their shop!
Take a look at the lovely pieces made by some members of the Ewenique Quilters. I bought one of these because I just could not resist!
The Judges Choice award went to this beautiful quilt by Joan Miller. Here work is just exquisite and every quilt she shared at the show was gorgeous!  I have never made a large, intricate quilt. I really love making small projects because I eventually get them finished. ;-)

I tried to remember to take a photo of the information sheets for all the quilts that I photographed. Unfortunately, I missed it on this one and it's a beauty. If any of you know the maker, please let me know. I love the turgoise blue that she used. It makes me think of a pretty turgoise and white polka dot skirt that my mom made in the 1950's.......one for me and one for my sister.
Here's another intricate quilt that caught my eye and Collette's. It was made by Joyce Weckwerth and she said it's not as hard as it looks. It's a Judy Martin pattern.
I love Dresden plate quilts and this one really reminded me of the 1970's and was, in fact, made in 1975.
Read the quilt's story here.......just double click on the photo to enlarge it.
This quilt was my favorite. It was made by Ruth Hall and she used vintage embroidered linens that she had made and also from her grandmother and mother. Of all the quilts I saw, this is the one that inspired me and makes me want to do something similar.
 
Collette and I really liked this quilt. My mom would have liked this one as she has told us she can remember hobos in the 1930's that would come to the back door for food.  And being from Iowa, we are familiar with the Hobo convention that is held in Britt,Iowa every summer.

Collette was so happy when she saw this quilt for sale at the Ewenique Quilter's Guild booth. She loved the embroidery on it and was so excited when the "quilt called her name".  ;-)
On my way home that day, I pulled to the side of the road on Hwy 169 when I saw the sun shining on the trees along the hill. It was just gorgeous!
Here's my goodies that I bought at the quilt show...........the pumpkin fabric is a doorprize that I won. The little owl is a cutie that I bought for my mom. His eyes are yo-yo's and his feet are buttons. His body is lightly stuffed and his wings are felt. I took the owl to my mom a couple weeks later and she thought it was just so cute. It's the kind of thing she would have made. I bought one little "candy" pack of fabrics and I chose the turguoise bobbin necklace. I had a hard time choosing which necklace to buy. They were all so pretty!
And when I was visiting my mom, she commented that she needed a little something to hang below the clock in her room at the Care Center. So, I used a block that was in her fabrics and made her a little Sunbonnet Sue quilt. The little quilt is only about eight inches square. I liked that brown border fabric that was in my friend, Cindy's stash, as it reminded me of swirling leaves. Perfect for fall!
The little quilt went off in the mail last Thursday, so yesterday, I called my mom to see if it had arrived. And it had and she said it was really cute but then she added.....but I really like that owl.  ;-)
That's all for today. Busy days ahead with volunteer projects at church, the library and holidays coming up. "What's on the line?" will take a break and return after the New Year. In the meantime, going to try to catch up on photos and projects I've meant to share and just was too busy to do. Back soon........
Sandi

Thursday, October 31

Halloween 2013!

The cool, crisp air of Fall was really cool and crisp this Halloween night!  We were fortunate that there was no rain but oh, my it was chilly!  I had my treats ready by 5:00 p.m................

 
set out lots of decorations to make the place look fun and festive! And I used those battery operated tea lights, so no worry about burning candles!
 

I lined the steps with some of my favorite bears and black cats and the Halloween quilt I finished last night...........

 
I was going to hang the quilt on my front porch railing so the rhinestone would shine in the night. It was too damp and cold out so I just laid it on the steps. The little kids especially love looking in and seeing what I line up on my stairs. The kids also liked my front door skeleton. This is one that my son and I made many years ago..........like way back in the 1980's. We wanted a skeleton decoration so he laid down on the floor on some tagboard and we traced his body, then each hand and foot and cut the pieces for our very own scarecrow. The "joints" are held together by those brass brads we used so many years ago. I have to wonder........can you even buy those things anymore? 
 
 
Our first "trick or treaters" were neighbor girls Grace and Ava. The girls are just so bubbly and fun! Love to have them visit.  :-)
 
 
I decided to dress up a bit when I found a pair of felt ears and a black felt tail in a box of my Halloween stuff. I added lovely pink hair to make me a Fancy Cat!
 

Several of the kids thought it was really fun that I dressed up. I had plans for another costume but decided to do that idea for next year. Must find the right pieces for the fun costume for next year so I will be checking out lots of thrift shops!
Speaking of thrift shops...........I stopped at the Lutheran Home Thrift Shop in Belle Plaine last week and found a few little treasures. This little turkey was just 50 cents. I have a rule that if I buy a fabric item at a thrift shop, I bring it right home and it goes in the washing machine. If it survives, that's great. If not, then it's not a big loss. I have never lost an item yet. Anyway, this turkey-lurkey was so cute and I thought my mom would like this one to set on the shelf in her room. 
 
 
I tucked a couple of little Halloween candies in the bottom of the box, then carefully squished in the turkey, folded over his arms, his legs, then crammed in the two little pumpkins..........and I'm hoping it will be like a "turkey-in-the-box" and sort of "pop up" when she opens the box. And I hope it will make her laugh. I sure laughed as I packed the box.  LOL!
 
Time now to put away the Halloween things and focus on Thanksgiving and Christmas. So much to do, and so little time but I'll enjoy every minute of it. I remind myself that what doesn't get done this year, can always be put on the list for next year.  :-)
 
Time to get some sleep. Have a good Friday and a great weekend! So sweet to get that extra hour back!!

Sandi 

Monday, October 28

What's on the line? it's a re-run again.........

That's right, it's another re-run. I had great plans to finish a couple of Halloween projects and get them "on the line" but it's just not happening. They are all "on the list" for next Halloween! In the meantime, here is the quilt I made last year and gave to my daughter, Collette, to hang at her daycare/preschool.


The cottage design is from Nanette over at Freda's*Hive and you can find the tutorial for the blocks here.  I made a slight change as I chose to center the windows instead of having them next to the door. It's a fun and easy block to make. In fact, one of those projects that I thought I'd get to this Halloween is a stack of cottage blocks for a quilt for me!  It was fun to pick out all the pieces for the roofs, fussy-cut the pumpkins and ghosts for the windows and then add some rick-rack and buttons to make it all "scream" Halloween!
 
I am almost finished with a small quilt that I plan to hang on my front porch for Halloween. Look for it on Thursday! And if you stopped by last Monday, you might be wondering who won the little Noah's Ark fabric panel............and that winner is
RockGranny.  As soon as I get a reply with her address, the little panel will go on it's way!
It was a lovely weekend, very relaxing which was good as I am still catching up on sleep from last week's trip to Iowa. More on that later. Have a great Monday, a good start to a "howling" good week!
Sandi

Monday, October 21

What's on the line?

A little "Noah's Ark" quilt is hanging "on the line" today. It's a little piece that was hand-quilted by my mother, Mary, a few years ago. This is a pre-printed panel and she stitched around all the characters and the block sections.


I took the photo last week so that I could pre-schedule my post for today. I'm still in Iowa visiting my mom, brother and other friends in my hometown of Lehigh. While I'm away, I thought I might have a little bit of a giveaway, a tiny celebration of hitting 1000 posts and because it's Fall which is my favorite season!  The tiny item I'm giving away?.......I have an extra pre-printed Noah's Ark panel and if you leave your name and answer one question, I'll enter your name in a drawing for the panel and a few tiny delights that will go into a USPS Flat Rate envelope.  And the question is...........what is your favorite animal?  I think mine is horses but sometimes it's cows. Kittens are cute and dogs are sometimes cuddly but I would love a horse. Don't want a turtle or a giraffe......just think I'd like my own horse. :-) Tell me your favorite animal and be sure to leave your e-mail or make sure your comment links back to your blog or profile page. The giveaway is open to US and International friends, and ends on October 26th at midnight, CST.
When I return from Iowa, I'll be sharing a post about some Christmas ornaments and some quilt show fun with my daughter, Collette.
Back soon. Have a great Monday, a good start to the week!
Sandi




Saturday, October 19

Missed the count.........

Life has been so busy these last few months that I missed a major milestone here on my blog.........I hit 1000 posts!! I suppose I should celebrate and have a giveaway but I think that will have to wait a bit. I am headed to Iowa to visit my mom. Looking forward to the drive. Always love going home to Iowa at Harvest Time. Looking forward to lots of pretty autumn leaves, scarecrows and mums............just like the ones that are here on my front porch......

Be sure to stop back on Monday and see "what's on the line?"  There might be the tiniest of giveaways that day. Just maybe. :-)
Hope you all have a lovely weekend!
Sandi



Thursday, October 17

Making some Halloween fun!

It's been almost two weeks since our small quilting group gathered to make my little Halloween sampler project. I figured it was about time I got the pictures posted!  The project is simple and requires just a few pieces of fabric for the pieced block and for backing, a small square of batting and Heat-n-Bond Lite.
Just a couple weeks before this class, I received an e-mail from Julia, the rep at Therm-o-Web, the company that makes Heat-n-Bond. She shared some information with me about products and programs and I told her some plans I had for future projects. The timing was perfect as I have several plans for projects for our little group. And a little bonus for the members..........she said she'd send some sample products for use in our classes!! The products didn't arrive in time for this class but they did arrive in time for the next class I did........Christmas ornaments and that will come up in my next post. But back to our little Halloween Sampler............

The hardest part of any project is choosing the fabrics. Granted, there are only six pieces of fabric in the little sampler but still one wants to choose just the right fabrics. And then we all have a different idea of what color pumpkin we wanted, or should we add leaves, or spiders............ And that's what makes it fun, using our own creative ideas!!  Enjoying some fabric fun are............Diane and Nicole..................
and Darlene and Sadie ....................
and Dottie and Connie..............
 
Everyone went home with all the pieces needed to make their little quilt. Some will hand-stitch the pieces together and some will sew them by machine. The pumpkins, ghosts, or leaves can be ironed in place using the Heat-n-Bond Lite. Connie and Dottie are experienced quilters who also belong to our Kindred Kwilters group that meets in LeSueur but the rest of our group was not familiar with Heat-n-Bond. It was really fun to learn how to use it and to imagine the possibilities of using it on a variety of projects!
We are going to have a lot of fun in the coming months as we work on projects. Each month I plan to share some new pattern and a technique or tip that will help members become true quilters!  It was only this past summer that Darlene, Diane, Nicole and Sadie made their first little quilting projects.  Here are Nicole and Sadie with their finished placemats............
They are hand-stitched and hand-quilted! Awesome work on both little quilts!
And then the fun was over.........time to pack up.....
and everyone will stitch away and bring their finished Halloween Sampler to our next meeting. If they're not finished, though, members of our quilting group can begin their very own pile of UFO's. Those of us that are experienced quilters know what that means..........unfinished objects!  :-)  Seriously, though, it's fun to get others excited about quilting, sewing, creating with fabric. These small items will add some decorative fun to our homes and will be a stepping stone to bigger projects. Keep watching because I'll share the quilting fun again next month when the group will make a little Christmas tree sampler. In case you want to make the Halloween Sampler, you'll find the project featured on this blogpost back in 2008 ....  Halloween*Sampler!  Enjoy and have fun! 
Sandi
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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