Saturday, December 24, 2011

T'was the Night Before Christmas,
Quilters' Version (author unknown)

'T'was the night before Christmas and all through the house,
The only one sleeping was a Quilter's dear spouse
The Log Cabin stockings were almost completed,
"Just a few stitches left," our sweet quilter repeated.
"Then I can hang them and head off to finish
The pillows I'm making, fulfilling Mom's wish
For something quilted to put on her couch",
As she pricked her poor finger, our quilter said, "Ouch!"
When from out in the kitchen there arose such a crashing,
She sprang from her work, and she dropped all her sashing.
Away to the doorway she flew like a plane,
Wondering just what was happening and who she would blame.
When, what to her wandering eyes should appear,
But Old Mrs. Claus and her bag of quilt-gear...
With her elves bearing gifts, through the kitchen she came,
She directed and pointed and called them by name.
"Now Elna, now Pfaff, now Bernina and Viking,
The Hoffman and Mumm should be just to her liking.
To the sewing room - there, it's just back of the hall,
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"
"My Dear," said The Claus (as she liked to be called),
"There really is no need to worry at all.
Your projects will all be completed this night,
I'm terribly sorry we gave you a fright."
"Sit down. Have some tea. It's relaxing, you'll see.
My friends and I've come a long way to help thee."
She thought she was dreaming, our dear Quilter did,
In fact she quite feared that she'd near flipped her lid!
But the flash of the needles and the twist of the thread
Soon gave her to know she had nothing to dread.
They spoke no more words, but went straight to their sewing.
How the work went so quickly she had no way of knowing.
The stitches, how fine! The corners, how straight!
This Claus-woman's talent was awfully great.
They finished the pillows, then started to quilt.
Before they all knew it, the whole thing was built!
Now old Mrs. Claus, she knew quilters real well,
And she knew they'd need help on this night most of all
So she said to our quilter, "Just move over dear,
I've brought my own needle. We'll get done, never fear.
I told dear old Santa about what quilters do.
How they plan all these projects but have other work too.
So he taught me his magic for doing things fast.
There, that pillow's done. Now this is the last."
They tidied their thread snips, and picked up the scraps
And chased our dear quilter's six cats from their laps.
As they scurried away with their thimbles still gleaming
Dear Mrs. Claus paused, her cap ribbons streaming.
"Merry Christmas, my dear, now just have a ball!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Early Christmas Surprise

This past weekend we had an early Christmas surprise for Matthew. We packed him into the car after lunch on Saturday, driving about 6 hours, with him having no idea where we were going or what we were doing. It was a beautiful leisurely drive and he was a good sport trying to guess where we were going.

We stopped near Louisville for dinner at Ermas where we chose nachos, burger, ruben, steak and french onion soup. We checked into the Embassy Suites (thank goodness for credit card hotel points!). In the morning we enjoyed a complimentary breakfast of made to order omlettes! At this point Matthew is getting antsy wanting to know what the surpise was so back in our room I opened my suitcase and pulled out a couple of his Titans shirts to wear. Clue #1. We headed out to walk the few blocks to the statium and got a nice view of the state capital building and clue #2

He was now, officially excited!

The Titans did not play well and the Colts won their first game of the season.
But we enjoyed stadium brats and had a great weekend together!

Surprise Packages, Drawings and Swaps

I unexpectedly received this package of home made ornaments and gifts from my online friend Dixie. I had sent her a package of assorted fabric scraps and she just wanted to thank me.

I participated in my local guild's Christmas drawing and swap. To participate, we each made a 12.5inch Ohio Star block(see for the pattern) using traditional Christmas red, green and white and/or brought in a small bundle of fat quarters to swap. Our names were all put in a basket. As each name was called you chose a Fat Quarter bundle from the pile. The last name called wins all the blocks... and my name was called last! Now I have orphan blocks to assemble into my first Christmas quilt for me!

I also participated in an online Secret Santa Swap. We were instructed to make a home made gift and up to $15 purchased gift. This package arived in the mail. Wanda is from Alaska and included a jar of Alaskan Salmon and some Salmon Jerky! She made a beautiful blue/silver tablerunner and a friendship star pot holder and crafted some lovely notecards!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Cookie Rules

I copied this from somewhere on the net and decided to post it here to remind myself to enjoy those cookies!

Christmas Cookie Rules...

1. If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.

2. If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.

3. If a friend comes over while you're making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend's first cookie is calories free, (rule #1) yours is also. It would be rude to let your friend sample alone and, being the friend that you are, that makes your cookie calorie free.

4. Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.

5. Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.

6. Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have three and green ones have five - one calorie for each letter. Make more red ones!

7. Cookies eaten while watching "Miracle on 34th Street " have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.

8. As always, cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking Causes calorie leakage.

9. Any cookies consumed from someone else's plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. We all know how calories like to CLING!

10. Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories. It's a rule!

So, go out and enjoy those Christmas Cookies - we only get them this time of year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Santa Story....I Believe

I received this in an email recently and wanted to share:

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," shejeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said
so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

May you always have LOVE to share,
HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care...
And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

Merry Christmas to all . . .

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Quilter's Accronyms

As I browse through the internet and quilting blogs I come across many accronyms that quilters use as they speak about their projects and aquisitions so I thought I'd make myself a list (sort of a dictionary) to refer back to:

BOBs..... Biginner's Only Block Swap
BOM...... Block of the Month
DSM...... Domestic Sewing Machine
DWR...... Double Wedding Ring
EQ....... Electirc Quilt (software program)
FART..... Fabric Aquisition Road Trip
FQ....... Fat Quarter
FLIMSY... Unquilted finishted top
FIU...... Finish It Up
GFG...... Grandmothers Flower Garden
HST...... Half-Squre Triangle
HTH...... Hope that helps
IMNSHO... In My Not So Humble Opinion
LA....... Long Armer (professional quilter)
LOL...... Laught Out Loud
LQS...... Local Quilt Shop
MAM...... Mile-A-Minute
MAQ...... Mid-Arm Quilter
OBW...... One Block Wonder
OTOH..... On the Other Hand
PHD...... Project Half Done
PIGS..... Project in Grocery Sack
QST...... Quarter Square Triangle
ROTFLOL.. Rolling On The Floor Laughing Out Loud
SABLE.... Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy
SBS...... SunBonnet Sue
SEX...... Stash Enhancing eXperience (eXcursion)
SQUISHY.. Envelope filled with fabric/gifts sent/received in mail
STASH.... Special Treasures All Secretly Hidden
SUI...... Shoping Under Influence of a friend
TGIF..... Thank God It's Finished
TOAD..... Trashed Object Abandonned in Discust
TOT...... Tone-on-Tone
TY....... Thank you
UFO...... Unfinished Object
VBG...... Very Big Grin
WHIMM.... Work Hidden In My Mind
WIP...... Work In Progress
WISP..... Work in Slow Progress
WIWMI.... Wish It Would Make Itself
WOF...... Width Of Fabric
WOMBAT... Waste Of Material, Batting And Time
WOW...... White-on-White
WWIT..... What Was I Thinking

Saturday, December 3, 2011


As I have worked on customers quilt over the last six years I have come to learn that everyone has a different idea on what a quarter inch seam is.

I've seen some seams as wide as a half inch, but it is the "scant" seams and mismatched seams that cause problems.

When seams are sewn scantily... too scantily... often times the fabric threads pull and fray apart and leave gaping holes in the seams.

The same problem occurs when fabrics are not aligned and pinned together for sewing. The fabrics slip and while the seam is a quarter inch for the one fabric, it is scant or barely there for the second.

Another problem I often come across is when different size squares are sewn together (because they were cut inaccurately?). While you can pull and tug and stretch the fabric somewhat to make the edges meet, this can cause puckering in your quilt.

While I do my best to educate my customers and do some repairs to their work so that they are happy with the finished quilt....

Contrary to the song, there are some things that you just cannot "quilt out"