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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This scrappy strippy quilt is called "Sakiori" and is one from my new quilting book,

"Japanese Quilt Inspirations" by Susan Briscoe.

The book is wonderful and I am inspired to make a quilt similar to this one using pinks, reds and aqua. [this is the 3rd scrappy quilt I have recently started....I hope to have a top ready to show you before too long! LOL!]

Still on the "aqua and red" kick, how about making these?

"Little Cottage by the Sea" blogger has a free pattern and tutorial!

I found fleece (anti-pill, the better choice) on sale at work yesterday.....

so I got enough to make a front zipper sleep sack for each baby. This is the first one, going out to Baby Wesley in Idaho. The pink ones are for the twins in Georgia. [There is a wonderful tutorial here on making these wearable blankets.]

More projects to come.....and some Japanese inspired quilts too!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Under our tree are wonderful packages waiting.....

our real blessings and gifts have arrived earlier this year, 3 new grandchildren!!!

Here are some recent (December 2011) photos of the little darlings...
looking like a snowbaby is 3-month-old grandson!

Nina Kate is sparkling like her Christmas tree!

Twin sister, Sophie Jane, is enjoying the peace of the season! [the twins are now 5 months old]

Listen! Do you think that could be Santa coming now?

[the beautiful innocence of babies' first Christmas!]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Simple, humble, yet somehow wonderful.....

the frugal Japanese make things out of discarded, worn indigo cloth. These are called boro, and were often used as futon covers.

Portland Oregon Japanese Gardens has recently hosted a show about these, called "Mottainai: fabric of Life." This blog post from Willy Wonka Quilts has wonderful photos of the show....and there is a catalog available from the gardens. [ NOTE:"mottainai"="waste nothing"]

Artist Melanie Testa is leading a group working on "boro" clothing, here! it is fun to watch her progress or join in if you have interesting fabric bits in your stash, an old garment which could use updating, and feel happy doing hand stitching....


Last February, I worked on something similar...raw edges and hand stitches with a bird included. It is a wall piece, not clothing, though!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Last Sunday afternoon, we had reservations for a visit to the new Crystal Bridges art museum
near our home.
The setting, in the Ozark town of Bentonville, AR is wonderful! The architecture and environment work together so beautifully!

The galleries flow from one century to another, covering American Art History. There is plenty of room to see each painting at your leisure.

This whimsical work by Maxfield Parrish is currently on display....

A contemporary "winged victory" in essence, this beautiful molded glass draped dress is life-size and beautifully captures the lights nearby. It was one of my favorite pieces!

My least favorite was probably this pile of molten metal....

Mary Cassatt and other American Impressionists are well represented. Here is Cassatt's

"Woman Reading".

One wing had a temporary show of very current 21st century art and here I am in front of one thing which I loved..... this yellow "lace" piece made from disassembled silk flowers which were stitched together...I love the shadows it casts too!

You can see from my smile that I was delighted to be there. Thank- you Alice Walton!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas mice? All creatures great and for the children!

You can find the recipe and links to more here .

The dangers of surfing the web [I was researching Alexander McCall Smith] are that you will find treasures, which in turn you must seek...LOL!

I had no idea that there was a cookbook "out there" the original hardcover of this one is very rare and is listed at $350.00-$500.00! .... but the paperback is available for about $ sure you order from the correct side of the pond though, or you could be in for some shipping costs!

He also has some children's books....

These quiet, cloudy late autumn days are perfect for some reading! I am enjoying this McCall Smith novel, # 8 in a series set in Edinburgh, Scotland.
...and if I had an "e-reader" I would be getting this one too! I love spending time with these characters and this setting!


A "Grandma" post--

Here is a video of our 3 month old grandson, giggling with his mom!

Mary & Andrew's Baby News: Wes and his kicking giggles. Nothing better than ...: Wes and his kicking giggles. Nothing better than a happy baby. Even better when you get some giggles. Here is a recent video to enjoy. W...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A perfect plan for me! [from Cat Patches blogger, click the button]

Occupy Sewing Room

I needed to spend a day down there and it was great fun....with a book on tape and NPR.

First I made more of the Union Jack pillows....

Then, I managed to make 9 bibs and one terry bathmat with a border....all for the children and grandchildren!

These are made with fingertip towels....and rib knit fabric. Tutorials (not mine) are available on-line for these wonderful, easy to use bibs!

Since I had the rib knit neckbands going so well, I cut some scrap denim and made some raw edge (so they can fray over time!) bibs out of old blue jeans.

This terry bath mat is from a remnant from work and some fabric in my stash!

Now, these things are definitely "loving hands at home" but I think they will be quite useful!


Not pictured but fun to do, I managed to make several more paper foundation string-pieced diamonds for a scrappy star quilt!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A few minutes ago in our front yard.....the Red Sunset Maple tree was planted and watered.

It is our Christmas gift for each other and one day may look like this!

It replaces a huge elm tree with we lost last year! I feel so good about having a thing of beauty to


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Yesterday's project......

A Union Jack pillow, perfect for an armchair traveller!

I made the pillow by the dimensions of the bag of fiberfil....18"x 13". Then found wonderful ribbons to sew on for the crosses....

Before starting this, I had seen many creative take-offs on this idea by using Google "Images"...some were even done in soft pink and green shabby chic colors and floral fabrics. One was by British artist, Ann Carrington, and was made from worn blue jeans....create and "fly" any "flag" you like! The flags which feature "crosses" certainly will work well....Sweden? Norway? [I do have ancestors from the Yorkshire I suppose I can claim this one!]

My current knitting leggings for the twin infant granddaughters from Bernat's "Baby Jaquards" yarn.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

A wonderful winter salad! *

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6
1 package mixed baby greens
1 large ripe pear (Bartlett or d’Anjou)
3 oz. crumbled blue cheese
3 oz. walnuts, chopped
For Vinaigrette Dressing:
4 TBSP Extra-virgin olive oil
2 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
1 TSP Dijon mustard
½ TSP sugar
¼ TSP salt
Divide the mixed baby greens onto six salad plates. Peel and slice the pear thinly. Top the salad greens with pear slices, dividing the slices among the 6 plates. Top each salad with ½ oz. of the crumbled blue cheese. Next, top the salads with ½ oz. of the chopped walnuts. For the dressing, combine 4 TBSP of extra-virgin olive oil with 2 TBSP of balsamic vinegar. Mix in the Dijon mustard, sugar and salt. Top each salad with the dressing and serve immediately.
Note: May substitute plain chopped walnuts for candy coated ones, if desired.

*This is a Stemilt Growers LLC recipe and photo.

It is so cold and rainy that we are missing church this morning. At 88, and using a walker, Mom
decided not to "push" it!
So, I have a day to cook, and work on quilts and knitting~~~ back later with photos, if the sun comes out I get better photos....I'm listening to the divine Etta James..a sampler of her newest, comprehensive double CD...."The Essential Etta" is on Amazon. This would make a perfect Christmas gift!

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