Thursday, December 31, 2015

Caswell Block C1

Just a quickie post today before I begin to get ready for NYE festivities:

Caswell Quilt - Block C1

I appliquéd the last four leaves in place this morning. My goal was to finish it up last night, but those leaves just weren't going to get done after 1am, so I put it aside. This block has been the easiest so far, love it!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Caswell Block A2 and Christmas :-)

Now that the craziness of Christmas has died down in our house, I've been able to put another Caswell quilt block together. Every time I finish a block, I think it's my favourite - and this one is no exception:

Caswell Quilt - Block A2

I did have one hiccup while putting the block together - the original highlights on the far left flower just weren't speaking to me, so I redid it - here's what it looked like before:

In hindsight, the base of the flower probably should have been a slightly darker/more interesting fabric, but I just didn't have it in me to change the whole thing, and it looks okay now.

I'm loving this project, and it's time to select the next block to put together, I just can't decide!

Now I have a couple of happy snaps from Christmas to share with you - first up, another one of Camo decorating his gingerbread house:

Camo continued decorating the house, even after the big day. You won't recognise the house now though, I'm sure it was completely delicious!

Here is a picture of the table ready for our visitors to arrive:

It always thrills me to use the Masons Vista dinner set, it's so pretty on the table, and I love taking the time to make sure everything looks nice and coordinated. I have to confess that I wish party poppers would come in more traditional colours, they do stand out on the table don't they?

And just so you don't think it all stays tidy, here is a snap of the aftermath:

Ohhh heavens, what a mess! It's not a very flattering picture of the guys - they're caught deep in conversation.

A sweet friend Janet was eagle eyed and spotted my gingerbread Advent wreath when I posted the above picture on the facebooks. She asked for a close up, so I thought I'd share with you here too:

I went a little gingerbread crazy this year - the no spread gingerbread recipe I shared in my last post really made it easy to be enthusiastic about baking. It's also quite a delicious recipe, so give it a try if it's your thing.

Going forward we're having a New Years gathering, then two weeks later a dinner for DH's 50th, then after that we can relax a little. Happiness!! :-)

Monday, December 21, 2015

A happy win, and the lead up to Christmas ...

Not so long ago my lovely friend Vicki sent me an urgent message - she asked me if I'd checked out the upcoming Small and Whitfield auction. There was a Masons Vista dinner set coming up and because she was going to the auction wanted to know if I'd like to bid?

Of course I would!!

This is the picture from the listing. Though I don't really need dinner plates, you can never have too many. But the serving dishes and salad/bread plates are what I was excited about.

Sweet Vicki managed to win the auction, and for the bargain price of $300.00. Doesn't sound like a bargain, but if you check out how much serving pieces and plates go for, you'll know why I was thrilled :-) Here is the state of my little cabinet in the dining room now:

I think I'm good for quite a while. The only thing I'd really run for is a lovely soup tureen, and maybe some coffee mugs. The mugs are hard to find!

For those of you that are my buddies on Facebook will have already seen all about this next thing, but I thought I'd share my baking in the lead up to Christmas. You all know I love my gingerbread ... and so do my family - but for different reasons. I tried a new and much more elaborate gingerbread house this year, and I'm thrilled with the results.

The house design has been around for a while and I'd seen a few on Pinterest, the templates can be found here. I also found a recipe for 'no spread' gingerbread on Pinterest, and let me tell you, it's my new favourite thing. Trimming gingerbread house pieces after baking is a bit of a pain, and with this recipe, I didn't have to do it at all!

Here are the pieces after baking:

It was like a delicious jigsaw puzzle.

Here is an in progress shot, I was super worried about the roof fitting.

The blobby bits on the back wall of the house are the supports I used to hold the string of battery operated LED lights in place. Once the icing was dry, I looped the lights over the supports and used more icing to anchor them. You can see the mansard roof in the background. I had to wait until it was super dry before I could attach the tower, and then carefully lift it in place.

And here is the finished article. I'm so pleased with how it looks. The trees in the foreground are icecream cones iced to look like fir trees. I can't even imagine what I'll work on next year - perhaps this one again with refinements ... who knows!

Camo loves to work alongside me with his own creation, and here he is:

The Ikea gingerbread houses are so much fun for little people to work on, and he has fun creating with the icing and sweets.

Last of all for today, I thought I'd share a couple of the mats I've made up during the last week or so:

I always have fun making them, the quilting is my favourite bit. I genuinely think I've made more than 100 of these over many years, and it always makes me laugh that I only have one of my own. I think I might have one left over this year, so if that's true, my personal collection of spiderweb mats will be two! Don't forget if you'd like to make one of these, there is a free tutorial at my website - feel free to download it.

Well, that's it for today, if I don't have an opportunity to get back before our big day, Merry Christmas from my family to yours! xox

Monday, December 14, 2015

Two finishes ...

Last week I had two finishes, but because of preparations for Amy's 21st birthday party, I didn't have a chance to share.

Here is my latest Caswell block:

Caswell Quilt - Block D1

D1 was a fun block to put together. The original block used the same fabric for each of the petals, but I thought it'd be cute to use different ones and I'm happy with the look. The bottom of the block is a bit messy with a tangle of leaves, but it's fun to hunt down lots of greens in my stash.

And this is the finished Dresden Topper, I'm just loving it:

I love how the ric-rac and ribbon trim just completely change up the look of this project. While I'm on holidays I'm going to make one up in cute kid fabrics. I thought it'd make a sweet playmat for a friend who is expecting a baby soon. But first I'm making up a few spiderweb placemats. They're destined to be gifts for the sweet ladies in my Saturday tennis team. I should have the piecing completed tonight - and we have some hot weather ahead, so I'll have plenty of indoor time to finish them up.

Chatter soon!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

New Dresden Doo-dad

Today it has been super hot, so both Camo and I ended up with our tennis games cancelled. Though I love to play, running around a court when it's super hot is not my idea of a great time, so I've been very glad to spend time in a cool sewing room instead.

I've been working on another doo-dad for the shop - I'm just getting ready to quilt it:

These Dresden toppers are really fun, and they pretty much make themselves. The binding requires more attention though, so that'll be a job for another day.

A sweet lady purchased this pattern recently from my Etsy store, and she told me she's making it into a tree skirt. What a great idea, I bet it will be just lovely. This one is made up in French General fabrics (which I always favour) - that toile ... OMG, love it!!

Before I finish up - I just wanted to send a quick "Hi and thanks for stopping by" to a few sweet ladies who sent me messages recently, I haven't been able to message them back as their email isn't enabled:

Dawn - Kootenay Quilter - thank you for your lovely message, I'm so glad you're enjoying my appliqué.

Cityquilter Grace - thank you for your kind words and for stopping by!

Teacups and Stitches - you're right - time for blogging and quilting is hard to come by!

flossypatchedbritches - thank you for the lovely compliments.

Applegate Cottage Quilts - thank you also for the lovely compliments.

Gretchen's Corner - I'm so glad you love the appliqué block.

Marie Christine - Merci beaucoup!

Peggy - don't give up on needle-turn, you'll get there I promise!

I know there are more in my inbox that piled up while I was away, and also some more I haven't been able to respond to, if you haven't heard from me, please know that I appreciate your words very much!

It's on to the quilting machine for me, so I'll chatter soon xox

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Caswell Block E2

Cross my heart and kiss my elbow - it wasn't terribly long ago that I decided I was going to work on two projects concurrently. Once machine piecing, and one needle-turn appliqué. I love the two projects I selected - Honouring our Quilting Heritage, and the Caswell quilt. Well, as it turns out, I've fallen madly in love with the Caswell quilt, and my brain won't let me work on anything else!

Yesterday while I was waiting for Amy, I put the last few stitches in my latest block:

Caswell Quilt - Block E2

This was a fun block to work on - I changed a few things here and there, and I'm really happy with how it's come up, A couple of the fabrics have a little hint of gold - they were a sweet gift from one of my hubby's best friends - he travelled to New Zealand, found them somewhere and thought of me. I've been saving them for a special project. Isn't that kind of him?

I'm not sure what block I'll work on next - I need to take a few days to catch up - I've fallen a bit behind on chores and I want to get that sorted. When I have a clear mind I'll get some more appliqué prepped and also prepare a much more newsy post. So on that note, I'll sign off with a promise to chatter soon!


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