Wednesday, November 29, 2006

WIP Wednesday

Today I made the second set of blocks for the Christmas table runner and now I am playing around with EQ4 to find out whether I want cornerstones or not.
I also finished another afghan for the camp this week and because I had a ball of that yarn left I decided to make myself a scarf with it. I like how the color in the yarn forms a pattern of its own.
I have been fighting an early bout of Christmas blues, but I am feeling better now. This weekend we will put up the tree and decorate our home.
My Pens won the game last night and my favorite player scored his first two goals of this season. :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what
we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into
acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It
can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of
our past, brings peace for today, and creates a
vision for tomorrow.
Melody Beattie

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

WIP Wednesday

Today I have something special to share with you. The very first quilt blocks I ever made. When Granny Fran asked about the pattern for the six point star I remembered that it was one of the first blocks we learned in the first quilt class I ever took. It was in 1993, back in Vienna. I knew nothing about quilts or quilting. The first time I ever heard about them was when I read "The Color Purple", quilts are mentioned in the book and they are made out of fabric strips, that's what I remembered. :) So I found a class in one of the community schools in Vienna and took it. Back then I thought all the patterns were traditional ones and everybody who knows about quilting would know them. I know better now. :) I did not have a sewing machine yet and the only cotton fabrics that were available were Dirndl-fabrics. Dirndl costume, the last time I wore one is the traditional Austrian women's of them was when I was very little. Well, anyway, Granny Fran's questions sent me scrambling to find the patterns from that class and I actually found them and the old quilt top as well. It is all hand pieced and I am quite sure it was cut out with scissors. I also found two more blocks for it and as far as I remember I had planned on making a third one to add another row to the top.

My cold wandered from my nose down to my chest and I have a nasty cough. I took yesterday off and did not do any sewing, instead I started the felting project. Yes, I know, I said I only get
to start that once I worked on my Christmas projects. Well, I did make four of the blocks for the table runner yesterday. Please refrain from pointing out the obvious. :) The way I felt yesterday I was glad I did not sew them together with the wrong ends. ;) And besides, there should be at least one mistake in every quilt, only God's creation is perfect. The good thing is, in most cases I don't have to make a mistake deliberately, they just happen. :)

Fran, if you still want the pattern for the six-point star, please email me.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Well, my cold did not get much better but after a healthy dose of aspirin my head was clear enough to get some stuff done.
I always print my own address labels for my Christmas cards. It may seem a bit impersonal but my handwriting is not that great and it is easier on the postpeople if the address is actually readable. ;) So first thing this morning I took a picture of a penguin glass ball I recently bought and used that as decoration for this year's address labels.
Then I went to finish the Christmas cards I made earlier. I used a rubber stamp for the greeting on the inside. Next I had planned to put on the labels, but Miss Kitty thought it a good idea to give me a hand with that. :) After some gentle convincing from my side she finally decided to go to sleep on the blanket you can see in the background.
I also put my alternative advent wreath together and I am happy with the result. It is actually a tart baking form filled with glass pebbles and plastic balls, completed with votiv holders and artificial ivy. So totally different from what I used to do in the past.
Blogger does not let me add the pictures nicely on the side so I just add them all here at the end.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I have a cold and feel crappy and cranky. Whine. :) I have not had a cold in years thanks to the vitamins I took in Vienna. Since we got here I had trouble finding a multi-vitamin pill that would not give me problems. They either have too much iron in them, which I cannot take or the give me digestive problems. I am now taking one that I hope I will be able to keep, but obviously it was too late. Grrrr! I have so much to do at the moment and a fuzzy head is the last thing I need.
We went to a craft show in Winston-Salem yesterday, it was very nice, very high quality items from professional craftsmen and -women, also very pricey.
Afterwards we went shopping, I got everything I need for my alternative advent wreath and my blue Christmas. And some yarn for something new I want to try - felting.
I had 86 of my recent photos printed. I tried for the first time to upload them to Walgreen's photo service from home and then pick up the prints. They turned out very well. I will send them - together with a long report about our adventures - to my parents. Today I printed 12 different photos on my printer at home and made this CALENDAR, which I will give my parents for Christmas. I found the photo-album-calendar at Big Lots yesterday and thought it looked really cute. I have another one and maybe I make one for my friend back in Vienna.
I really hope I feel better tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


That's what I have been working on while watching TV during the past months. A pile of afghans for VJGC, not quite finished yet, still have to weave in the loose threads. The colors represent the colors of Adam Petty's first race car and they are also used throughout the camp.

WIP Wednesday

Here are the three WIPs I plan to work on in the coming weeks and hopefully finish before Christmas. One of them is a true WIP, the other two are new projects that have been in planning for a while. Star wall hanging, table runner and the fabrics I plan to use for it, train wall hanging - Christmas present for Del.

Blue Christmas

Last year Christmas came in the middle of our move and settling down and therefore I did not plan or do much. This year I will. :)
Since we have decided to do things differently when we moved to the US I am going to change "my" Christmas colors this year. For me Christmas was always red-white-green-gold. This year I will replace the red with blue. I never really saw blue as a Christmas color, don't know why. All I really need to buy for the change are some blue baubles, I got a lot of golden ones already, our tree last year was red and gold. I would also like to get some kind of decorative rope or ribbon for the tree.
This is also giving me the motivation to finish one of my WIPs, a star wallhanging that I made many moons ago. It is hand pieced and now I will hand quilt it and hope to have it finished before Christmas.
And I will make a table runner for the coffee table. I have the design all picked out and just made a drawing of it using my EQ4 program (yes, I know, EQ6 is about to come out, but I
use the one I have so rarely that I never considered upgrading to EQ5). Here it is. I can make it with fabrics from my stash and don't have to buy anything. The blocks will be paper pieced and I plan to machine quilt it.
I will also make an alternative Advent wreath, but more about that once I get back from shopping, I still need a few ingredients for it.
May I ask a favor from all you fellow quilters out there? Please keep me accountable for sticking to my plans and really get these projects done. :)
BTW, Del and I are making presents for each other this year. I asked for a display case for my thimble collection and he asked for a train wall hanging. One more project to get done.
On this note I better get off the computer and on to my sewing machine. :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Quilter's Block

I am suffering from quilter's block. I came up with that expression a few years ago when I experienced a time where I could absolutely not get myself to do any sewing. And now it seems I hit that point again. Maybe it is the season, but right now I prefer working with yarn over working with fabrics. I have a number of knitting and crocheting projects lined up and I am taking a break from all my quilting projects. I keep looking at other people's projects and try hard to get inspirations for my own, but no success so far. I know that phase will eventually pass, I just hope it will be in time to get some Christmas presents done. :)