Monday, November 23, 2009

I love this Figgy Christmas Tree quilt

I love this quilt! I SO want to make it! But I just finished my own Figgy Pudding quilt for Christmas. Hmmm. Maybe the layer cake will go on sale after the holidays and I can make it for next year. Yeah, I like that idea.

I'll show my Figgy Pudding quilt soon - just got to take pictures first.

Alternative Storage Option

I know that storage is a big issue for most people, and it seems even more crucial to those who sew, quilt, craft, etc. So here is a cost-free idea for storage.

I use the zippered, or snapped, heavy plastic bags/pouches that linens come in. Actually, many items come in this kind of packaging and I hate to throw them out. They were so functional to protect what I purchased, surely they can protect my projects. And the nice thing is that most of them have little pockets that hold the description of what you purchased. Turn that little slip sheet over, right down your new project and put it back in the pocket. Instant knowledge of what is in that bag.

I often just collect fabric with an idea in mind. So those will go in these containers with the 'plan' for the fabric written on the card. Just to keep me on track.

One of my favorite containers like this is what the Boppy came in when I was pregnant. (Nursing pillow - great invention!) It is big purse size, zips closed and has handles. Love it for larger projecs.

So as you are taking your purchases out of their packaging - rethink just tossing them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thank goodness for dishwashers

I was reading through the blogs posted on Quilter and came across this one from Sherri Howard Designs discussing the dishes that her family has used for generations for holiday meals.

And it reminded me that my mom did a great thing one year regarding dishes. She bought a set of 6 plates each for me, my sister and for herself. It is the Red Rim design from Crate and Barrell. White center with a red band around the outside. Perfect for the holidays, but not too holiday that they can't be used any time. We have added on throughout the years, both on dinner size and salad plates. The salad plates can be used for everything - especially dessert! So now we have 30 each of dinner and salad plates. And we live close enough to each other that whoever is entertaining a large crowd can use the plates. So no paper for us. We also all have boxes of extra glasses for parties so no plastic there. And I do have a bag of silverware that be pulled out if I have to, but it is pretty old and not really up to snuff for a sit down dinner, but will do for a buffet if needed.

We hosted thanksgiving last year and had a pretty good crowd - I think 16. For that we used all the beautiful things we got for our wedding - the china, the glasses and the flatware. I think that was maybe the 3rd time it has been used. We put in some of our regular white plates for the kids and it blended nicely. I think we may do the same again this year. Depends what our final head count will be.

It feels nice to be able to entertain a large group on real plates, etc. Thank goodness for dishwashers (and guests who do dishes)!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Town Square in my living room

This is one of the quilts I did at Friday Night Valet sewing out at the Cottage. I think it is called Town Square. I tried to match my living room colors. And I guess it does. I am just not really thrilled with it. I don't know why. It is a functional quilt, looks okay in the room, but not really my style. But I am not sure why. I loved the sample the shop did, and the image on the pattern itself. But then I struggled with fabric choices (nothing new there)- and I only needed 5. Some of our other quilts have needed 12-18 different fabrics - and that is just overload for me. I think the issue may have been trying to make this work in my living room. The colors I like in quilts are not those that are in my living space. But I love the colors of my living space. Or maybe it was trying to fit those into this particular pattern. Oh well, it was a great experience. And I do keep learning.

I guess that is the interesting thing about Friday Night. The Cottage picks the pattern and you get to pick the fabric. I learn something every time I go, and I love that it is dedicated time to sew and visit; just-for-me time. But the projects they pick may not always be a pattern I would choose. Still, I love to go. And I love to have a finished quilt. Donna Levesque quilted it for me. Which is a good thing, otherwise it would still be sitting there like a few others I have decided to try myself.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pie in a Jar - really

Oh wow. This looks so DANG yummy! I can't wait to try this - Pie in a Jar. (Okay, doesn't sound so good when I just typed that, but go to the link and you will be as excited as I am.)

Confession: I see all these great and different ideas, crafty or otherwise, and I instantly think - I want to do that. Not only do I want to do that, but wouldn't that be a great present for EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY! Here is the deal on that though. We have a big family. And I mean at least 20 people when I say family now - and that is the adults. (Maybe I should count before I go spitting out numbers, hmmm.) It used to be a smaller family, but it has grown, exponentially now that I am married. And on the in law side we get together with aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, cousins once removed, and all that, on Christmas no less. So it gets to be a big hooha. I am getting used to it. And it is very fun. But that means a lot of presents. And in my head I always think that if I make presents it is less expensive than buying things for everyone. I should do the math on that one too. I wonder....

All of that to say, I wonder if Mark will make these pie things for everyone for presents. :-)