Monday, December 29, 2008

Lizzy Dish Fabric

I'm so happy! Look what I bought on E-Bay - sample swatches of Lizzy Dish fabric from Lizzy Dish. I've been reading about her new line of fabric for the last few months and was excited when she found the listing on E-Bay.
I haven't decided what I'm going to make with the fabric. I may just fondle it for a while.

I spent my "found" gift cheque this morning on thread. I bought 7 skeins of hand-dyed floss from Desertsky Quilting and 13 spools of Finca 16 perle cotton in various colors from Retta Carol Creations. I've ordered from both of these shops before and they have great customer service.

Only two and a half more days left this year. I wonder if I'll get any more stitching time in? Maybe some more tonight and tomorrow, but not on New Year's Eve. We are going out for dinner and then maybe a disco dance party (if I can stay awake that long!) What are your NYE plans?

Sweet P

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Stash

I'm showing a stash different from a fabric stash for my Sunday Stash. Last summer I bought a selection of hand-dyed threads from Desertsky Quilting. In my order she included a free sample of Sassa Lynne Perle Fine thread. I've been eying this thread laying in my thread tin for several days. Isn't it a gorgeous color combination?
Today I pulled out one of the Kit in a Card patterns - Live Well, Love Often and Love Much - that I got from Janet for Christmas. I'm stitching it with this gorgeous thread.
Earlier today I was cleaning my night stand in preparation for painting our bedroom. I found a $50 gift cheque I received from my former employer for my birthday in October! Sweet! I'm thinking of using the money to enhance my Finca perle cotton collection. I could buy between 25 - 30 spools of perle cotton. That would keep me happily stitching for quite a while, don't you think so?

There is sadness in our home tonight. Our New England Patriots finished the regular season with an 11 - 5 record. Unfortunately, they didn't make the play-offs because Miami beat the NY Jets! Somehow that doesn't seem fair when there will be three teams with worse records in the league who will make the play-offs. Oh well, the Red Sox first Spring Training game is Feb. 25, less than two months away. The count down is on for baseball.

Happy Stitching!
Sweet P

Friday, December 26, 2008

SSCS and Swap Gifts

I don't know who is happier - me because of the wonderful gifts I've received from quilters or Hotel Man because he didn't have to buy me anything quilty for Christmas.

I received three wonderful packages for Christmas swaps I joined and I love all of them.

Peg of Happy In Quilting was my Secret Santa Swap partner. Here are her gifts as I pulled them out of the envelope.
The small packages contained Tim Tams (I've heard so much about these Aussie snacks but have never tried them), chocolate-covered gummy snakes, Eucalyptus and Honey drops, a weekly calendar book and a pretty card.
The best of her package was this gorgeous lap quilt! I absolutely adore this quilt. I draped it across my rocking chair and let the morning sun shine across it. Tonight I'm using it to keep my toes warm. Peg, you outdid yourself with your gifts! Thank you so much for being my partner.
One of my on-line groups does a Solstice Swap that includes 8 items, each with a particular purpose. My partner sent me these goodies: her favorite winter drink and something to prepare it: a green coffee mug with two packages of hot chocolate. A winter motif or decoration: two glass ornaments and one other Christmas ornament. A handmade item: There were three items that I’m guessing were paper pieced – a tree key chain, an fabric covered address book and a fabric covered journal. She also included a handmade Christmas needle case. A quilt pattern: an applique cat pattern. Any quilty notion: Thread Heaven and seam allowance circle. The circle is fascinating. I’ve never seen one before. Two wintery FQs. Something to pamper me: Ghirardelli Raspberry Filled Chocolates. And something she found on sale: Cat note pads.
Janet at Wildcraft Farm sent me an awesome collection of stitching and sewing goodies as part of her Christmas swap. Her package contained many small items, each individually wrapped. There are “baby” beads to use in a special project for the new grandchild. A little tape measure box. Three little chicken pin cushions who will each have a home – one by my sewing machine, one on the cutting table and one on my handwork table next to the sofa. There are buttons and lace that will find their way into a project or two. Wooden spools to hold my collection of hand-dyed threads. Adorable clothespins decorated with buttons and a magnet on back. I plan on buying a magnetic strip to hang in my studio so I can use them in there. I’ve never used chenille by the inch so I’m sure I will have fun playing with it. A small doily she found at an estate sale. I think I’m going to use it on my dresser for something special. Teapot fabric and other fabric that will wait for the perfect project to come along. The notebook and pen will find their way into my purse for keeping notes. The little hanger needs a tiny project made for it. The chocolates are going into my snack stash drawer in my sewing room. At the bottom of the package was an assortment of her Quilt Cards and Kits in a Card.
I'm so happy I joined the Christmas swaps. Each collection of gifts truly amazes me. I have more than enough tools, toys, projects and snacks to keep me happily stitching for quite a while!

Thank you again Peg, Janet and Chookyblue for participating and/or hosting wonderful Christmas swaps.

Sweet P

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to Everyone!
I hope your day is filled with love, laughter and wonderful memories!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Made A Jumper!

DIL finally made it over last night to work on her dress and jumper. We started with the jumper because there was only five pieces: front, back, and facings for the neck and armholes.

Here are some of the things I learned:
  • Now I know why my grandma had a 6 foot long table for laying out patterns. It took us longer to lay out the pattern and cut it than it did to sew it.
  • My Fiskar scissors work well for cutting fabric at JA. They do not work well for cutting out patterns. I think I’m adding a pair of dressmaking shears to my emergency Christmas list. Is that what I should have for cutting clothing?
  • Sewing interfacing into this dress is a lot like sewing on a binding, except it doesn’t show on front.
  • There is a lot of wasted fabric from making clothes. Now I totally understand the concept of how our ancestors were scrap quilters.
  • Making clothes is fun!
I spent yesterday morning cutting all the pieces out for the 10 placemats and napkins and the 6 tote bags. I also cut out flannel PJs for DH. However, I made the stupid mistake of cutting one leg with the pattern on the fabric upside down. So tomorrow I will buy more fabric and make one pair of pants right side up and one pair upside down!

My DIL took a couple of action photos while I was sewing her jumper . . .

Here she is modeling the jumper. Today I may get to the dress that goes underneath the jumper. If I don't she has a blouse she can wear under it.
And one last photo of the snow taken from our bedroom window. This is the snow pile made by the plow driver cleaning out our parking lot. The way the complex is built all of the snow gets pushed to the side of our condo and then they keep adding to the pile. Right now the pile is into the parking lot and is at least 7 feet high!

Now, I'm off to the sewing room to see how many napkins, placemats and tote bags I can get done today.
Sweet P

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Where To Start?

Lots of news from my corner of New Hampshire and I'm not sure where to start.

First up is my Sunday Stash for this week. This fabric is cut and sitting on my cutting mat. I plan to make placemats and napkins for our younger nieces and nephews for Christmas presents. Yea, I know Christmas is this week. I have the next two days off and plan to hibernate in my sewing room and get all my Christmas gifts done.
Leanne posted a photo for all of her northern hemisphere bloggy friends. I thought I would post this photo for all of my southern hemisphere bloggy friends. Yes, this was taken outside my front door this morning.
This is what I saw when I opened my door yesterday morning.
It's even worse tonight and will still be there tomorrow morning!
After all, this has been the view out my window this past Wednesday, Friday and all day today (and even right now). I haven't heard how much snow we have received in the last five days, but I would have to guess it is somewhere around two feet of the fluffy white snowflakes.
I had to work today so DH was home alone to watch football, golf and basketball. He was a happy camper. He made himself a man-town nest so he wouldn't miss any big play. This is how the living room looked when I walked in the front door. Notice his feet in the lower left corner?
This was the view from the kitchen. He looks pretty comfy on the couch, huh? Who wouldn't be if they didn't have to leave the house all day and had two TVs to watch sports?
I've been thinking about my sewing and quilting plans for the New Year. I have a few ideas whirling around in my head. Stay tuned for details.

Happy Holidays!
Sweet P

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Secret Santa Honeypot Gift

Last Thursday was a horrible weather day here in New Hampshire. When I got home from work there was a package on my front step. I didn't recognize the return address or the name. I have signed up for a few Christmas swaps and had received those packages so I assumed it was my Secret Santa Honeypot swap package.

Angie, Darlene's SIL, was my swap partner and she outdid herself! Look at the wonderful goodies I received. First up is the gorgeous hand made card. I have hung it on the bulletin board in my studio so I can see it year round.
Next was this exquisitely wrapped gift. I've saved the ribbon and the bell.
They are too pretty to put away.
Inside the wrap was this wonderful box of chocolates.
Yummy! I've had a few of them.
I'm eating them slowly so I can enjoy each and everyone of them.
Then there was this BIG bag.
And, inside the big bag was this gorgeous Santa Claus.
It's hard to tell in the photo, but he is about two feet tall.
Here, is a closeup of his face. Isn't he adorable?
And look at the detail on the doll's face . . .
And on the Gingerbread man . . .
Angie signed this handsome Santa on the tushie. Santa is too modest to show the signature off. He wants me to be sure to let her know we found her cheery words.

She also included a calendar of Wild Australian animals. That will be going into my sewing studio too. I can't to see a new Australian animal every month.

Thank you Angie! Your package came on a cold and rainy night and has brought me many smiles already. I even took him to work yesterday to show off your handiwork. Everyone loves him.

Happy Holidays!
Sweet P

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Looking For Country Threads Magazine and Being Silly

Australian Country Threads Stitchery magazine is my ultimate favorite magazine. I stalk the Country Threads website waiting for the next issue to be released. Yet, once released, I still have to wait another 4 - 6 weeks for it to be available in the U.S. I see their next issue is their Stitchery issue.

I'm wondering if any of my Aussie readers would be willing to swap this magazine for an American magazine or some other goodies for it. Pretty please?

Jane posted a link to make your own Elf dance. I couldn't resist. So - here I am in all my Elf glory!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

I woke up with a sore shoulder this morning. I guess I overdid the studio cleaning yesterday. The result was worth it. The weather is going to be wet and rainy today so I'm going to go make my coffee and climb back into bed and take it easy this morning.

Sweet P

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Clean Studio!

I did it! With coffee cup in hand, I was in my studio at 8 am this morning. The mission: to clean it up. Five hours later it was done. I cleaned off every surface, sorted through every miscellaneous bag laying around and touched every piece of fabric. I've looked through all my projects and made a mental list of what I want to work on next (after I make the clothes for DIL and PJ pants for DH).

Recently I bought a bunch of the 3M wall hooks. My goal was to use them to be able to hang my growing collection of bags and scarves on the wall in my studio. Not bad for a start. I need to buy more hooks though. What do you think?
I didn't get any sewing done today. Maybe tomorrow. But my studio is ready for sewing and I can't wait to get started on sewing clothes.

Sweet P

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Bits & Pieces of December

We had our first snowfall - all 15 minutes of it on Sunday afternoon. It was gone before it started, but I did get a photo of it on the porch railing. We may be getting more snow next week. Woohoo! I am a snow bunny and I can't wait for the first real snowstorm.
I took my first of the month photo. The view is looking bleak and leafless. I can see the parking lot below. When I sit at my desk I feel like I am on display. In some ways it's kind of cool. "Look at the woman in the Patriots sweat shirt working at her desk. She needs a life!"
My sewing studio is out of control. I have never let it get this bad. My sewing table and cutting island are covered with bits and pieces of projects. You can't see it here, but the stool behind the island has three or projects sitting on it. The closet shelves are over flowing with half done projects and scraps from other projects.
The cutting table and the bookcase area are just as bad. Notice the large Jo-Ann bag on the floor. It is full of fabric for projects I want to get done before Christmas. Do you think I can get everything done before Christmas that is on my list? I hope so.
I have completed a few projects this week, all of them for swaps. Here's a sneak peak at what I've been working on . . .
Next week I get two days off in a row and DH is traveling. First up on the list is cleaning the studio. I simply can't work in there until it is clean again. I need to strip it down and rebuild it. Do you think I can get it done in two days? I hope so. I truly need to get it moving on the remainder of my Christmas projects.

I have two new buttons on my side bar. One is for Wildcraft Farm's 12 Tips For Christmas. You need to go and check them out. Janet will be holding a drawing for two gifts on Christmas day.

The other button is for the Giggle Club hosted by Sonya at Giggle Buttons. I purchased some of her buttons last year. Recently I found her blog and from there found the Giggle Club. I can't wait to start receiving the packages in February.

That's all the news from here for tonight. I hope everyone is getting their Christmas list done.
Sweet P