Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dream Big!

I nailed up four of my Christmas gifts on a wall in the studio.  Carl got me the decorative big wooden needle and red button (from Etsy) and the huge, but functional Gingher scissors.  I will use them as a weapon if my sewing area is ever under attack!  Fitting right into the bigger-than-life theme is the big silver clothespin that Ellen got me.  I have a thing for clothespins - I use them for snack clips and napkin and towel identification.  I have a few craft project ideas pinned on my Pinterest boards, too, that use clothespins.  So, this big silver clip is just perfect!  I am going to use it to clip up notes to myself, or a fun idea now and then.  I don't have a design wall anymore, but I have this design clip!  I hope you got some fun gifts this season.  I sure did...I don't mean to just showcase the gifts from Carl and Ellen, I just didn't nail the other stuff to the wall!  Although some beautiful Beaver Dam Lake cloud pictures taken by granddaughter Courtney and some framed family photos will be appropriately nailed up in the hallway quite soon.  Jerilynn

Saturday, December 22, 2012

This is a shot of the new quilt I made for my mom for Christmas. Simple, again. I used layer cake 10" squares of Hometown from Sweetwater. I used a slightly different quilting technique than I usually do, however. I usually use unwashed fabrics and an unwashed cotton batt. Quilt, then wash and dry for a crinkly look. I took a fabulous class, however, at, from Weeks Ringle. She is half of the husband/wife team at Fun Quilts, now called Modern Quilt Studio. I absolutely loved the class. So much valuable information, and she is the kind of teacher that you want to invite to your home for coffee and become your new best friend. Their quilts are so beautiful and precise - the quilting is perfect, and the resulting quilts are made to be used and loved on a daily basis. Just my style. She said they always prewash (pre shrink) fabric, but not the cotton batt. After quilting, they wash and dry the quilts. What happens, is that the batt shrinks inside the quilted areas, but not the fabric, and the result is lots of great crinkly texture and a very soft hand to the quilt. So, with this latest mom quilt, I did that technique. I quilted the quilt with a circle pattern, and even though my quilting is pretty close together, the quilt feels pretty soft. Now the problem is, though, that all of my fabrics and scraps are not washed. So, it is going to be a bit of a challenge to make a scrap quilt using bits of this and that on the fly. I suppose I could make a month-long project out of washing fabric, but yikes. I will figure this out, because this new-to-me way of quilting is really cool. Jerilynn

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snow and Snowman Bars!

Yay!  It snowed again last night!  The trees have just enough white stuff on them to make it look magical.  We missed the big storm that hit the Madison area - last report from daughter-in-law Sarah is that they had 12+ inches and are still getting heavy snowfall.  Winds will pick up around noon and expected amount is 18".  Other than the fact that three of our kids and their kids are traveling north to the cabin tomorrow, the Winter Storm Draco is cool!  I am hoping that the roads that are going to be closed will magically be cleared and open in time for some Christmas celebration.  I haven't posted many pictures of the things I have been working on, of course, to keep things a surprise.  I can show you, however, the darling snowman-wrapped Hershey Bars!  I saw the link on Pinterest, and you can find the free download here.  My sister, fresh in from Arizona (just in time for the snow!!) , Carl, and I whipped these together last night.  So fun and easy.  We printed the image on shiny photo paper, made the hats from Woolfelt, the scarves from plaid flannel, and tied on a little jingle bell for sparkle.  Their destination is the nursing home where  my mom is.  She will have fun handing them out to people, and maybe eating a bar or two herself.  I would like to make a few more for the family stockings, but we will see.  My dad has had a couple of heart procedures this past week or so, and my production schedule was put on the back burner.  He is doing okay, and I am back in the Studio, looking at The List and hitting the must-do things first.  Nothing like a clean fresh coat of whiteness, though, to lift my spirits.  Love this place and love this time of year.  Nature at its most beautiful, quiet and restful.  Thankful that we all are snug and warm, though separated by closed highways!  Jerilynn  P.S.  The title sounds like there is a place in town where the snowman can get a hot toddy.  Could be fatal.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Counting My Blessings

Nineteen stockings hung.  Not on the mantle at the condo, but on organized hooks at the cabin.  The first Christmas here, and it feels just right.  I am so very thankful for this warm and cozy home, and for these nineteen stockings which represent nineteen children and grandchildren.  I am so grateful that the presents we have purchased to put under the tree and in these nineteen stocking will have nineteen children and grandchildren to open them.  Sadness beyond belief that there are families that will have unopened gifts this year.....Jerilynn

Sunday, December 9, 2012

No Buttons Were Hurt for this Project

I was doing pretty good until I started reading all the emails.  Hurry!  Last Three Days!  Final Free Shipping!  40% off Ends Today!  Coupon Good Only Until Midnight Tonight!  The caps and the exclamation points add to my sense of "Oh, my gosh.  I better get into fast gear!  Time is running out!  I have so much to do!"  So, I do what I always do, make lists.  I thought that I had a pretty good handle on gifts for our 19+ family, but in black and white, not so pretty.  The easy people have too many things, the hard people (read males) have too little.  Somehow it always works out just fine.  I will make some cookies, serve adult beverages, and bake cheesy potatoes en masse.  Cleaning needs to be done, sewing projects finished (or, in some cases, started!)  So....what did I do so far today?  Spied some green buttons and decided they would make a cute tree to plop on the studio bathroom window ledge.  But, I didn't want to glue these buttons - some are old and deserve to have an ever longer life.  Ah.  Wire.  Bend, twist, thread, twist some more.  Find tie, bell.  Done.  Now, I really must get serious.  Time Is Running Out!!! Jerilynn

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Snowflake Names

Last Christmas I made my mom one of the Snowflake Name Coasters.  She loved it and asked if I would make one for each of the aides that help her at the nursing home for the 2012 Christmas.  Sure!  It would be an inexpensive, yet personal little gift.  I didn't realize at the time that there is a crew of over 50 that take care of the 29 residents.  That doesn't even include the laundry staff, the kitchen crew, the housekeeping crew or the facilities guys.  I would say that explains the wonderful care she gets.  I am very thankful for these  angels in our lives.  So, I have started the coaster production.  I use the Bernina V6 software to digitize each name, mirror it, wreath it, and sew it out on Woolfelt using Superior Metallic thread in silver.  Forget all the stories you hear about embroidering with metallic thread - this stuff performs without a hitch!  I have 15 done, and the Christmas party is the 14th.  I think I am on track.  I ordered square silver envelopes to put each coaster in, and my mom wants to have me include a little  note in each.  She is pretty excited about this idea.  So, when I tried to find a Christmasy wreath to hang on her room door, I was coming up empty.  The decoration couldn't be too big.  Then, BAM, a great idea hit!  I would embroider a BIG snowflake with her name, Marge, and fasten it to some greenery.  She would have fun telling people to try to find her name, and that would then tie in to their little gift.  Do you see the name Lori in the coaster?  Do you see Marge in the snowflake?  This idea would make really cute snowflake decorations for a tree, don't you think?  I also bought some spray glitter to spray on all of them for extra cheer.  Martha would be proud.  Jerilynn