Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Looking Forward To . . .

New Year's Eve says goodbye to the old year and hello to the new one. Most people hope that the incoming year includes more blessings and bounty than the previous year and that negative emotions, bad luck and old habits will remain behind when the calendar page flips over. Various traditions, customs and superstitions accompany New Year's Eve:

Many people create resolutions for the coming new year - less than 50 percent keep them for six months. Sharing a kiss at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve assures that you will receive lots of affection in the new year . Various New Year's Eve traditions revolve around preventing bad luck and seeding good luck into the new year - break dishes, wearing red or polka dots, burning paper and wood scarecrows, remembering the dead, open up the doors and windows just before midnight and sweep out the old, letting the new blow in, and singing the song "Auld Lang Syne" following the stroke of midnight. And as old as time - fireworks!


You have to check out Barbara's Challenge at CatPatches as I think this is so going to be fun - starting NEW UFOs! And it's OK!! It fit's in my plans for 2012 - lots of fun new small projects, some with new techniques to learn - like Shell's Hannah & Harrington BOM - working with wool applique will be new and fun for me.

I want to do a monthly mini for my new Ackfeld Wire table stand - a lot of projects will be tied into these minis. I got a little bored and already have my January mini ready. You may have noticed the new buttons - Little Houses here a really cool site, too. And the Mini Sampler at Temecula Quilt Co. with simple little squares is easy peasy.

And check the button for Marcia's Scrap Challenge. I went thru my one scrap drawer and pulled my fabrics to play with. And the Color Pallette Challenge should be a lot of fun to tie into all this along with the Free Motion Quilting.

I want to make at least an ornament a week to plan ahead for a future swap as well as gifts - and as part of Sue's Christmas Quilt Along monthly fun (hostess for July). Since my sewing things were packed away for the Holiday, I spent time starting a few. And I want to continue with my block swaps and Cheryll's wonderful Season and specialty swaps. Oh, and the Jelly Roll fun - have my JRs and even some Charms ready to play with (loved those sales).

And there are already plans in the works for May For Me in 2012. For my new followers, you may want to peek back into May 2011's posts for an idea - I celebrate my birthday all month long!! But, something new is in the works for you all to have fun with - we (yes, there is more than me in this mix of fun) hope to release details in February, tease!!! AND really, who knows what other fun activities bloggers, quilt magazines, sponsors, and the whole net-working source will have to offer us in 2012 - I'm excited!


I haven't had a recipe in a while - so sharing one of our New Year's brunch favorites - SCRAMBLED EGG NESTS **linking up with Marcia's Minutes for Me**

1 (3 1/2-cup) bag frozen shredded potatoes, defrosted
vegetable oil or butter
6 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup finely diced onions
1/3 cup finely diced bell peppers
3/4 cup diced cooked breakfast sausage
Shredded Cheddar cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, 1/4 cup of the oil or butter, salt, and pepper. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the potato mixture into each cup of a 12-serving muffin tin. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of each cup, then bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the nests from the oven and allow them to cool.

While Nests are cooling, whisk together the eggs and milk. Add a little oil or butter to a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and peppers to the pan and saute until both are soft and the onions are slightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until heated through. Add the egg mixture and stir until the eggs have set and small curds have formed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the potato nests from the muffin tin and place them on an ovenproof platter or cookie sheet. Fill each cup with some of the egg mixture, top with a sprinkling of the cheese, and place the nests in a 350° oven until the cheese is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm.

Mushrooms, baby peas, cilantro, capers, bacon crisps, or a cheese blend instead of cheddar. Potato mixture can be spread into a pie dish or baking pan instead of the individual nests. Then add your scrambled egg/extras.


We've Holidays and happy days, and memory days galore;
And when we've toasted every one, I offer just one more.
So let us lift our glasses high, and drink a silent toast;
To the day, deep buried in each heart that each one loves the most.

Sewingly Yours,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I will be guest blogging over at Sew We Quilt tomorrow - Dec 22. I wish you all will pop in and give a wave. Some other wishes......

...have been filled. This is our local Elementary School gym. Filled with donated items for 'Adopt a Family' for the Holiday Wishes project. I am so impressed with the giving of this community that has suffered so from Irene. These were handed out during a free 'Family Portrait' day at school.

And my wish to play with my grandson with our Christmas Village (entry in SewCalGal's Holiday Quilt Show) project wallhanging was fullfilled. A few additions to the Bakery Block when he visited last. Linking up with Marcia's Minutes for Me and Sarah's Whoop,Whoop.

And my sewing machine was wishing I would come play with her. So I did today with the new block for the Fat Quarter Star Quilt Along. This is a template pieced block - don't think the templates print out to size correctly and a lot of bias edges made this a stinker of a block.


Box #1 - is heading to Becky at The Quilting BookLady

Box #2 - is heading to Ali at A Squared

Box #3 - being given away at Linda's Stray Stitches and comments close 8pm on Dec 22.


Unless there is something urgently important to report, I will be 'blog absent' until after the Holidays. So here is wishing:

Christmas wishes tried and true
I'm sending now, just for you...
a little love, a little cheer,
and wishes for a great New Year!
Hope Santa brings you gifts galore
with more surprises still in store.
May all your Christmas dreams come true
and may God's blessings be yours too!

Sewingly Yours,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

We're Relaxing

1970 - We discovered 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' holiday show'. And the '70s brought us the new mini lights for decorating our tree. In 1973 - brought us the first Hallmark Ornaments. 1983 - their first musical ornament and in 1984 first their first lighted and animated ornament. And the Halmark Channel was born - offering many wonderful seasonal movies, most needing a tissue box or two. 1990 - Fiber Optic trees and pre-lit trees and 1992 - Muppet Christmas Carol (first production after the death of the Muppet founder)

Moe likes chillin' amongst the presents.

Bella has opted for a more comfy spot.

And this is all I have been working on as everything else is picked up. So we are just all 'vegging' and enjoying the season. Snow is on it's way, you can smell it in the air.

Sewingly Yours,

The Winner Is...

OK, I know you are all waiting, so went next door and asked my Mom to do the drawing for me.

She's picked one out and starting to open!!!!

MONICA of Diary of a Quilt Maven. I will be sending her a quick e-mail for info.

Thank you All,
Sewingly Yours,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Quilt Gallery Blog Hop Party Finale

I would like to thank all my visitors and the lovely comments left. Also, a huge welcome to all the new followers, look forward to your future visits. All entries were hand written on 2.5" x 3" cardstock as they came in - blogger is known to mess with you at the worse times and I didn't want to lose anyone.

Then those wonders were folded twice and a bit of a stir.

Then they were scooped into a pretty Christmas Bag and given a shake. BUT WAIT - my SIL wanted to pull the winner. So you will have to wait for her around 10ish (AM) - good luck to all.

Sewingly Yours,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reynolds Wrap Christmas

1955 - Disneyland’s first Christmas Light Parade on Main Street and the incentive of the 'overly' decorated houses and lawns to come. In 1958 the aluminum tree was invented/marketed. The first aluminum trees could not be illuminated. Fire safety concerns prevented lights from being strung through the tree's branches; draping electric lights through an aluminum tree could cause a short circuit. The common method of illumination was a floor-based "color wheel" which was placed under the tree. Sometimes this spectacle was enhanced by a rotating Christmas tree stand. (I hated these)And the beginning of Reynold's Wrap commercials during holiday shows, featuring many uses of the product - from baking for the season to decorations to cleaning and hardware uses.

The 60's brought the era of Kraft commercials during holiday shows. Remember those? In late 1960 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' arrived. In
1965 it was 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'. And the Aluminum and artificial trees became popular due to the portrayal of 'Charlie's Tree' In 1969 it was 'Frosty the Snowman'. Gosh, these are still popular today.


This has been my ME time - I bought myself EQ7 back in May as my birthday gift and only JUST loaded it. Oh, this may be beyond me. But now is a good time to read the manual while playing, view the tutorials, and practic the lessons. This is something I really need as I scratch notes and doodle sketches on almost any little bit of paper - AND then lose them! I started a notebook - made a pretty cover for it, too. BUT then everything started to go into it - and my handwriting is so horrible, that sometimes I can't read what I wrote!



I have been very good - putting my received goodies into this beautiful bag with no peeking - some squishing, but no peeking. It was so stuffed. And today we are sharing our wonderful gifts and linking up with host MaMa Cheryl at Gone Stitchin'. My partner was Cheryl at Polkadots and rickrack - HI CHERYLs!!

First thing I opened was this adorable Halloween table runner. Oh, I couldn't have peeked - there was so much tape, heavy tape and heavy paper, oh my! I don't have any Halloween decor (the Ghastlies moved on to another home)so this is special.

And this is the back ! How cute this side is too - but hon, where is your label and/or signature?? My SIL helped with the unwrapping and was my holder. She was just as excited as me as she picks up my mail and saw all these packages go into that sack.

And dancing in joy - look at this whimsy! Just love these reindeer - those eyes just crack me up. My tables are covered with candle mats from other swaps, so this is hanging across the fireplace just under my stitched banner. Love it!

A wonderful checked kitchen towel with cute snow globe applique and rick rack trim. Already hanging on my oven front.

So this doesn't get photo heavy, I bundled up the smaller items. I collect piggies - look at that calendar with a cute little purse pocket notepad, SQUEEL!! Oh, the scissors - now I could have just gotten these and been so happy. I have wanted these, thank you Cheryl. A very pretty magnetic scissor keep and some small stitcheries. Great for my 2012 year of minis. A microwave potato bag - super. And a snap bag - oops, there was a tin of 'Dots' finger pads in there and I forgot to pull out for photo. And there's more!!

A mug rug with HO-HO santa mug, so cute. A beautifully made journal. A 2012 pocket calendar, need this badly for Quilt Guild and booking shows. And a hysterical book "Senior Moments" - little poems, jokes, quotes and witticism. I may need to share some of these in my closing thought segment.

A lovely red leather needle case, pin tin, heart pin/needle/project keep, and some little embroidery patterns.

Ta-Da - open them and just too much. The red case has a magnetic section to hold your needles and they are tiny needles - and other compartments. Love the turquoise blue pin heads in that little dot tin. And the heart keep opens into various pockets, bands and sections, just lovely. I am going to have to keep a close eye on this as I know it will 'travel' away.

Again, thank you Host MaMa Cheryl and Swap Partner Cheryl, you made a Merry and Bright Christmas for me.


C for the carolers, happy and gay,
H for the holly and Santa's red hat,
R for the reindeer, leaping the roofs.
I for the ice on snow-covered hills,
S for the stockings that Santa Claus stuffs,
T for the toys, the tinsel, the tree,
M for the mistletoe. Watch where it hangs!
A for the animals, out in the stable,
S for the sensing, the necessity of love.
- from Christmas Poems for Kids - ANON -

Sewingly Yours,


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jack Frost Nipping

In 1940 flocking was introduced. What is a flocked Christmas tree you ask? Well a flocked Christmas tree has artificial snow applied to it. Either an artificial or a live Christmas tree can be made into a flocked Christmas tree. Do you remember the home Flocking Kits? You could apply flocking with your vacumm - problem was it usually was everywhere - I can remember my Dad trying this when a child. The tree was removed, the house scrubbed and a new tree was had - not a happy time.

It took several years to perfect and many patents, but NOMA company finally introduced the popular bubble lights in 1946. I can remember my grandparents' wonderful bubble lights and many delicate glass blown ornaments from Germany. I can also remember how rare (and expensive at the time) tinsel was, and removing it carefully from the tree to be saved for the next year.


And the last of the ornaments have arrived from Tonya's ornament swap. From Jill, Sherry, and Evielynne, thank you dear ladies! I certainly will be looking forward to participating next year.

I finished all the little stitcheries fromPaula Stoddard's PacificPatchWork. The floss is a verigated grey,brown,purple so I need to think on the fabric to use for sashing/borders. This will go on my 2012 mini list.

I loved how the BlueBerry Crumb Cake charms arrived just as the last 12 of Hearts block came out on Michelle's RaspBerry Rabbits Blog. This is ready to sandwich up, quilt, bind and ready for the new year. Yeah, my Easter banner mini is done!

Look at all the goodies from my partner, Della, in the Santa Sack SwapII. My, oh, my!! I don't know if there is a specific day we are to open these - if not, these are my Christmas Eve gifts to open. Thank you Della. The 15th we get to open our Santa Sack SwapI gifts and I will share that.


There is a new button on my side bar for Marcia's new scrap challange using her 'denim block' tutorial construction. You have until Jan 17th to post on her link up and she is giving a 'free' quilting of your item as a prize. Check this out for all the rules - scrappy happy play, I'm in!


Someone painted pictures on my window pane last night;
Willow trees with trailing boughs and flowers, frosty white;
And lovely crystal butterflies.
But when the morning sun touched them with it’s
Golden blaze, they vanished one by one.
- Helen Bayley Davis

Sewingly Yours,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Goose is Getting Fat

The first artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany in the nineteenth century, when deforestation was a problem. They were tabletop trees, made from goose feathers that were dyed green. The feathers were wound onto small sticks that were then inserted into a larger stick which functioned like a tree trunk. These trees appeared in the U.S. in 1913, when they were offered through the Sears-Roebuck catalog. These little trees are highly valued by antiques collectors today.

The Addis Brush Company developed an artificial tree in the 1930s, using the same machinery used to produce toilet brushes. These trees had branches made from twisted wires with needles of pig bristles dyed green. These small branches were twisted together to make larger branches, which were inserted into a center pole. The branches were color-coded for easy assembly.



I was vending at a show the weekend of linking up with our finishes with the Christmas Quilt Along, so posting now. I found Sue's quilt along in June (started in Feb.) and quickly caught up with the Star quilt being offered. The once a month (second Saturday)project is very doable and I met some lovely new bloggers. Even got one of Sue's first book out (signed, yeah) 'Pick Four'.

From June to July I worked on the blocks and in August I finished into a flimsy (quilt top). I want this done by my longarmer who won't be available until January, so this is for next Christmas. All fabric was from my stash - even my backing is a piece I had.

During this time I, also, worked on this stitchery. It is actually finished with more detail and fabric framed - but moved on to it's new home as a gift and I didn't take a photo of the finished piece.

And for those who have followed me for some time, know that I did a lot of charity quilts in Sept and Oct. Our community - our valley - was devastated by 'Irene'. I assisted with our LQS to establish 'Quilts for Flood Victims' and so many of you sent on quilts as part of '100 Quilts For Kids'. I volunteered as a 'finisher' and enjoyed quilting off so many beautiful quilt tops donated. Over 200 quilts were personally delivered to those in need, especially to the children.

In October I also worked on the blocks for 'Gift Boxes' and now have this flimsy waiting on being longarmed. Although I am taking the Free Motion Quilting Challenge next year - maybe this quilt can be one of my projects? I do FMQ on small quilts - large ones are a physical challenge, but would love to master one.

And November was a lot of small projects. Getting gifts ready for the Senior Home, Community events, and personal gifts. I also spent the month cleaning and organizing.

I have already planned to participate again next year and the monthly schedule of hosts is prepared (I have July), so you know you are all going to hear about it here!


That Holiday Spirit starts today (see button)
Sew We Quilt - month of small projects (see button)
Quilt Gallery Blog Hop (see button)
Sew MaMa Sew here Blog Hop


Box #1 - GrowingStitches comments open until Dec 13th

Box #2 - On it's way to Ali at Asquared

Box #3 - On it's way to Linda at StrayStitches


Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do
If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you!

Sewingly Yours,

Lighting the Tree

By the 1870's, Glass ornaments were being imported into Britain from Lauscha, in Thuringia. It became a status symbol to have glass ornaments on the tree, the more one had, the better ones status! Still many home-made things were seen. They were imported into America around 1880, where they were sold through stores such as FW Woolworth. They were quickly followed by American patents for electric lights (1882), and metal hooks for safer hanging of decorations onto the trees (1892)



I enjoyed taking part in Barbara's 'occupy' project. It really helped in getting those final projects done and concentrate on sticking to it. Did you OCCUPY your room?

Dec 3rd I quilted very lightly this photo memory quilt made by my daughter for her MIL. And, did some serious house cleaning.

Dec 4th I did a lot of organization of patterns and books that had piled and collected. Dec 5th I finished my Clover & Violet tote along with some blocks in other quilt alongs and some eye glass cases.

Dec 6th I worked on some odd blocks I had found during that cleaning and reorganizing. These will be donated.

Dec 7th I set my mind to finishing my Stitch Along Christmas banner and hung it on my mantel. A few other stitchery pieces were worked on that day.

Dec 8th I made some pillow cases for my Quilt Guild - they will be collected at our next meeting and donated to local Christmas Needs Charity Fund. On the 9th and 10th I was a local vendor at one of our commnity for the 'shop local' campaign. This will be linked up with CatPatches.

I missed out on Sue's Christmas Quilt Along wrap up link because I was vending , but will post about this tomorrow and information on next year's schedule for those interested in joining in.


May the days until Christmas be full of sweet pleasure,
And your holidays create joyful memories to treasure.

Sewingly Yours,