Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hymn Challenge

I have completed the last two hymn challenges that Patter Cross has posted on her blog. Hymn #6, for March 11, was "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us." Patter has a link to a Youtube video by Todd Agnew; it's wonderful, I hope you'll play it. Here is Patter's link:

"Keep your flock from sin, defend us, seek us when we go astray." Such beautiful words!  Dorothy A. Thrupp is thought to be the author of these words. She lived in London, and was one of 15 children.  She lived from 1779-1847. Here is my version of the 5x7 inch page:

And Hymn #7 is The Love of God. Frederick Lehman, the author of this hymn, was born in Germany in 1868 and pastored churches in Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri. You can read more of the story on Patter's blog, and also be sure and connect to the wonderful rendition by Mercy Me. You will be blessed!
I used BoBunny Timepiece papers, 7gypsies papers, ribbons, embellishments by Recollections, Tim Holtz Antique linen Distress Ink and EK Success punch.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rudy Day

Today is March 25, which means it's time to have a little Christmas celebration! That's what Rudy Day is all about--we celebrate Rudolph and all things Christmas.

The theme for this month's Rudy Day is "books and movies" so hubby obliged me by picking out his favorite Christmas flicks. They include: The Santa Claus (Tim Allen), The Holiday (Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Jude Law), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (wonderful snow scene), The Christmas Angel (with Mannheim Steamroller's fabulous music), The Polar Express (Tom Hanks), and Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (my very favorite Christmas Carol edition with the wonderful Jim Backus).
As for books, I guess I really do have a lot of favorites. Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Decorations (We love CW and live about 45 miles from it), Christmas Quilting books by Eleanor Burns, Lynette Jensen of Thimbleberries and Nancy J. Martin's Make Room For Christmas Quilts; Mary Engelbreit's Christmas book and The Farm Chick's Christmas. If you grew up in the 1940's or 50's you'll love this book. It has wonderful vintage Christmas collectibles displayed throughout. Since we had so little snow here in Virginia this winter, I included a picture with two snow scenes from "Farm Chick's".
I do have 2 children's books, and it's interesting that Jan Brett is the author of both. I love the detail in her books. The drawings are amazing. I have  "Gingerbread Friends" and the miniature book "Twelve Days of Christmas." 

Every Christmas lover needs to have their own Christmas binder to help them organize their holiday plans. I have two. One is for miscellaneous information--gift giving record, Christmas card file, timeline, and some photos of my decorations. The second binder is only for the food of the season..."Holiday Meals" is a 1.5 inch binder, with my own customized cover. Inside are dividers for menus, clear sheets with pockets for 4 x 6 inch recipe cards,and  magazine food articles too pretty to toss. I bought some kitcheny scrapbook paper by Gooseberry Patch to use as backgrounds, and I have two fine-line pens in red and holly green to make notes with. Very festive!

The remaining two photos are other books in my Christmas library. Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, Country Sampler (love love love it!), Gooseberry Patch and Christmas Cottage. The small book in the middle is titled "The Festive Christmas Cookbook" by Norma Jost Voth. It's a small book (about 6x6 inches) and was published in 1996. It celebrates the foods of many different European countries. A little history along with the recipes!

The last photo has 2 mystery books--Joanne Fluke and Rita Mae Brown. Both laugh out loud funny authors! The Christmas Quilt is by Jennifer Chiaverini and the book on the left--Celebrate Christmas-- is to feed your spiritual side. It begins with December 1 and explains the Advent Wreath, with a new reading for each day in December, ending on Christmas Day. It's written by Bob and Kelli James.

I hope you enjoy a peak into my house and collections. See you soon and in the meantime, keep celebrating Christmas!  Mary

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Wayward Girls

The Wayward Girls try to have a sewing date once a month or so on a Saturday. It goes like this:  Pam and Carol stop at Starbucks for their Caramel Macchiatos. Then they come to my house and we set up shop. My sewing room is a 17 x 17 foot space over the garage. I have three 2 x 4 foot tables bumped up next to one another, so we each have our own sewing table. We have a cutting table and a pressing surface, and a design wall. Pam can turn her chair around and access the computer (she's my computer techie friend), which she does quite frequently. We talk about videos and blogs we've found that feed us quilting information. Carol sets up her little ironing station right at her sewing station, and gets busy with her latest project. We cut, stitch, press, and laugh all morning. It's hard work, and we usually work up quite an appetite. About noon we take a lunch break and head over to the nearby Mexico Restaurant. Pam is from Texas, and she knows Mexican food, so she's our guide. My hubby got sick once on Mexican food (in Chicago, but that's another long story) and won't go near another Mexican plate of food. Consequently, I am woefully ignorant on the subject. I began my eating adventure with quesidallas and fajitas. They're so yummy I've never ventured beyond them! Carol is tasting new things too and has declared that we need to end each meal with sopapillas, with chocolate drizzled on top.

Sometimes we stop and shop after lunch--the grocery store for dinner items, or Hobby Lobby for some necessities. Then it's back to my place for more sewing. We break for dinner about 6, sew some more and then call it a night about 9:30 p.m. (We all have church the next morning).

I LOVE my sewing days with the Wayward Girls. It is so fun and so motivating. I push myself harder because they're there with me and it would be impolite to quit! These are the projects we worked on during our March Sewing Day. The top photo is Carol's paper piecing project. She will be teaching a class on it soon at JoJos Quilt shop in Chesterfield, Virginia. Y'all come! The red/black "Birds in the Air" flimsy is Pam's super-sized Jo Morton Little Women quilt. And the last photo is my "Berry Nice" from Jo Morton's Group 10.

The Wayward Girls are coming over again the first Saturday in April. I'm really looking forward to it, and will post some photos for you.

In the meantime, keep stitchin!  Mary

Friday, March 23, 2012

Monster Cat

We have a 20-pound Maine Coon cat named "Dusty." My friend Pam over at Pam's Quilt Spot ( wants to know what our furry friends look like when they're sprawled out in their favorite nesting places. So here's a little photo gallery of Dusty and his favorite napping hangouts. Funny how there's a quilt in almost every photo!   

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

General's Wives

History and quilting..are two of my favorite subjects (especially Civil War era history). This month, our block of the month project "General's Wives" featured the wife of CSA General Robert E. Lee--Mary Custis Lee, great-grandaughter of our first president, George Washington.

The block itself was easy to sew, four flying geese, 12 half square triangles, 4 rectangles and 4 squares. The fabrics are soft green and brown.  (Finished block size is 12 inches.)

I had to get some more of the back story of Mary Custis Lee and visited a wonderful website, . Please go there and read about an incredible woman who lived most of her life in chronic physical pain, yet lived to bless and help others.

I also love to delve into the story about the houses the women lived in. Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. is of course, a historic site in DC many Americans have visited. But did you know that before it was a national cemetery it was originally the home of Mary Custis Lee? . Visit this website to learn more of that story.

Robert E Lee's bedroom in Arlington House

Here is a picture of the Lee's bedchamber. Don't you love the blue on the walls? And the white trim? I've been wanting to paint my master bedroom...I think I found my color scheme! You can learn more about the Arlington house at this website.

Thanks for visiting, and keep stitching! Mary

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thimbleberries Club

Our Thimbleberries club met this past Thursday, and many of us in the group are doing the additional mystery project of making scrappy flying geese and turning them in at the meeting. They will be kept in "incubation" until the end of the club year, when a mystery pattern will be revealed to set them together.  The goal is to make 16 geese a month. Here are my January and March blocks. The February blocks are all of a pretty green/pink floral--I guess I forgot to take their picture!

I like making my flying geese using a method called "No Waste Flying Geese." For these blocks, the darker fabric is cut at 7-1/4 inches and 4 background squares are cut at 3-7/8 inches. You can find a terrific handout that will walk you through the process at . Go to "sharing patch" and click on no waste flying geese. I have taught this method many times and it's just wonderful how no fabric is wasted or leftover. You will have 4 identical flying geese when you are finished.

Have fun trying a new technique, and keep stitching!  Mary

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thimbleberries Club

We had a great turnout of Love Me Tender quilts at our Thimblebeeries club meeting tonight. Some of us jumped ahead and put on the borders. This month we are supposed to finish the borders if we haven't already done so, and quilt it. I think I'm going to send mine out to my favorite machine quilter who will do a lovely job. This is the next project, "Little Garden" (the blue/green white quilt)." We'll be getting our fabric next month and starting it--can't wait!

Here's a photo of my "Love Me Tender." It's such a sweet cheerful quilt, isn't it!

No club photos...the new batteries I put in the camera were dead. grrrrrr.....

Hope you have better luck with your camera, and keep stitchin!  Mary

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jo's Little Women

We had an exciting Little Women meeting today at JoJos Quilt shop in Chesterfield, VA. I thought you might like to see what this month's quilts are. I presented two of them, the group members will choose one and make that. (The over-achievers can choose both!) It seems we were all tired of making half square triangles and decided to move on to Group 11 quicker than we had planned.

The first quilt is "Redware and Harvest." It has 20 blocks that are 3.75 inches square; the overall size of the quilt is 26 x 26 inches. The second quilt is called "Berry Nice" and has 12 3-inch blocks, quilt size is 17 x 21 inches. This is actually a star I've never pieced before. It is sewn on the diagonal. It looks like a sawtooth star, doesn't it...but it's not. I had a bit of trouble with the test block, so I paper pieced the rest of them and they turned out fine.

The bright quilt with red/green/orange and yellow blocks is a mini I did some time ago. That block is called "Birds in the Air" and it measures 3 inches square. The pink and brown quilt is a "teaser" for the group...we are beginning Jo Morton's Group 11 in April, and this quilt, "Just Rosie" measures 18 x 20." It will be the first quilt we make in that group.

We had a wonderful presentation by Colleen who is taking a block of the month class near Fredericksburg, MD. They are making 6 inch blocks and learning much about the Civil War here in the US. And don't we as quilters love our refreshments...yummy things enough to call it lunch! And some green things in anticipation of St. Patty's Day!

My camera battery died while taking the first picture...I have GOT to upgrade my camera! I'll have to do some research there.

I came home after a delightful few hours with my quilting friends and basted Just Rosie, will hand quilt that little charmer.

What are you stitchin? Thinking about turning those clocks ahead tonight always makes me a little less hour to stitch. But I do love the extra hour of daylight.

Keep stitchen!  Mary