Monday, December 09, 2013

This & That

I know . . . long time, no see.  Again.  I've been a bad blogger this year.  I guess I need to step up my game here.  I keep meaning to post, but it just never quite happens.  I hope next year I'll do better.

Here is my latest "creation".  I made myself a new apron since I was hostess for Thanksgiving this year.  I used batiks, and it's a two-sided apron.  Pattern by Mary Mulari - The Church Ladies Apron.  It was pretty easy to do, but I simplified it too.

close up of fabric
I made the neck piece simpler and also made the apron ties skinnier and only used one fabric for them.

side 2
I didn't add the pockets either.  I never use the pockets on an apron.  They just seem to catch crumbs and things.  Who's got time to put their hands in the pockets when they're cooking anyway?  I've always been mystified about pockets on aprons.  Besides, that leaves more fabric for me to play with another time!

side 2 closeup

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Everyone in the family was here, except for my niece who's in graduate school in Vermont.  My sister and nephew came, and that was a lot of fun.  It was fun to see the cousins talking and having fun together.

My sister brought me a gift when she came.  Well, actually she brought all my birthday presents as this was the first time we'd seen each other since my birthday.  But this one was very special to me.  She brought me my late mother's recipe boxes.  The one on the right was her original one.  I "enhanced" it when I was in high school by decoupaging some cut-outs from a magazine or something.  It doesn't look very good and I was always sorry I mucked it up.  The one on the left was one DH and I made for her a number of years ago.  We bought the box, he stained it and made the stencils and I stenciled it.  I think I'm going to ditch my old, sad plastic recipe boxes and start using my mom's.  I just need to sort through her recipes that are still in them.

This was a 'make & take' project from my LQS, Heavenly Quilts and Fabrics last month.  Now I need to get it done in time for Christmas!  My friend K in CA did blanket-stitch stitching around all the appliques for me (not included in this photo), and now I need to quilt and bind it, and then sew buttons on for the eyes and mouth.  We'll see if I can actually get it done in time for this year.

Last week I took a class at Heavenly Quilts.  Lisa taught us the braid quilt.  This is what I have so far.  I think I need 2 more braids to make a lap quilt the right size.  I have lots of strips cut and ready to go.  My guild gives the lap quilts to a couple of the local assisted living facilities.

At the guild's Christmas party last Friday, we drew for our next year's challenge.  The Ugly Fabric Challenge.  I think these fabrics are waaaay beyond ugly - they're in the "Hideous" category!  We had to got to pick a stapled-shut brown paper sack.  Then we had to write our name on the back of the index card that had swatches of the fabrics stapled to it, so that when it's done, people can tell which fabrics we were working with.  The finished quilts will be shown with these swatches at the quilt show.  Each fabric is about a fat quarter in size, and we only have to use a recognizable piece.  How big do you think that would be?  I'm thinking an inch square should do it.  *grin*  The challenge is due in July.  

I have no idea what I'll be doing with these, but I was assured that over-dying or using the wrong side of the fabric is allowed, so that definitely opens up more possibilities!  These fabrics just make me shudder!  Ewww!  The sad part is, I recognize that middle fabric from (I think) the 80's.  I think I may have even had some of it.  I do find it the least offensive of the three.  Just saying . . .

We've been having very cold weather for here.  Two nights ago was our coldest, when we got down to 14 degrees!   Brrr!  I spent all weekend inside, trying to stay warm.  We've been very dry too.  The static electricity is getting pretty wild.  We've had no ice, except in the pond, which is quite frozen.  Most days there hasn't even been any frost on the cars.  It's too dry!  So the power has never gone out.  Yay!  The furnace has been working overtime.  We even had sun for a few days, which was nice.  We're clouded over now, so it's starting to warm up. That's a relative term.  We made it up to 32*F today.  And  now there's a  possibility of  snow.  

It's been so much fun seeing other bloggers' homes all decorated for the holidays.  Our tiny tree is up and decorated, and DH put some lights on the front of the house.  I still need to put up my Christmas wall quilts.  And that's all that's going on.  I guess we're kind of humbug here - the kids are grown up and it just seems like too much work anymore.  I'd rather be sewing!  I love getting the decorations out, but I really hate putting them away.  So I don't do it anymore.  But I LOVE seeing how other's have decorated and admire them for doing it!  I have to say, my Christmas quilts do make me happy.  And that's enough now.


  1. I love your nice newsy blogpost. You've been a busy lady! The apron is so pretty. I like the double sided aspect of it and never thought about doing that. Your mother's recipe boxes are priceless. What a nice thing to have and use. And that fabric IS hideous. I could live with the middle one but oh my. Someone outdid themselves!! It will be fun to see what you come up with. I used to love to do holiday decorating all year long. But somewhere along the way (grown kids, etc.), I too decided there were new things to do that I enjoy more and decorating is a chore instead of fun. That still doesn't make us old fuddy duddies, does it? I've dropped the ball on blogging too but hope to get back into a routine with the new year. Happy Christmastime!

  2. You have my sincere condolences on the fabrics you ended up with for the Ugly Fabric challenge! Good thing you have the ability to dye them!

    The apron is lovely. I don't wear one often but I do like to have at least one pocket. Seems I always need a place for a hankie anymore. I could easily end up wearing one all day if I put it on first thing too.

    I'm with you on the holiday decorating. I loved having my daughter put out all my Halloween for me this year. I just tweaked the placement of a few things later. But yeah, putting it all away again is a drag. Had to do that all by myself. And now there's Christmas. Because we'll be having the children and grandchildren over I will make the effort but I'm really looking forward to cutting back in the future!

  3. I have a few of my mom's hand-written recipe cards and I treasure them.

  4. Cute apron. I love the fabric. I like your Merry Christmas piece, too.

  5. You are not a bad blogger. You are slow paced and I like it! I find myself in that same category. But where to start with the much is here. The apron is beautiful. The snowman is adorable and the braids are sweet! Those handwritten recipe cards are priceless! I have my own box, and this gave me the idea to paint over it for a new look..I love the idea of decorating for Christmas. Actually doing it is another story. I am very content with my little trees that I put up. I keep the lights on them. They just need to come out of the closet and be plugged in. There! decorating done! The ugly fabric....the striped one could be binding, but there probably isn't enough. What if you colored the flowers with crayons? You have a real challenge there! Have fun!


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