Friday, January 29, 2010

Christmas 2009 - Part Three (Brandy's Quilt)

I don't think Brandy was real surprised, judging by the expression on her face as she started opening her gift.  Usually when a quilter gives you a gift, and it's squishy -- that's a pretty good tip-off. 

Last year when I started thinking about a quilt for my new daughter-in-law  (And I am only telling you she's my "new" DIL because I don't want anyone to think I waited over 10 years to make her a quilt.  That would be a shameful confession from a quilter!!) I asked Adam what her favorite colors are, and he said, "Black and White."  Only Black and White??    "Yes."  Hmmmmmm.   I noticed that a lot of the tops she wears (with her Black and White skirts and her Black or White slacks) are coral or turquoise, so I decided to use those two colors for just a little splash of an accent color.
I thought the perfect quilt would be one from "Thinking Outside the Block" by Sandi Cummings.   I had made a baby quilt from this book in 2005 and it was one of my favorites.




I wanted this quilt to be ready for Christmas so I sent it to my friend Angela at Quilted Joy.com.  She  does beautiful work, and she came through for me with a great quilting design and in plenty of time! She did interlocking ovals all over it and a very cool design in the borders to pick up on what she saw as pick-up sticks in the connector blocks within the quilt.  Very cool.

                 Here's the completed quilt.


















One really neat thing that I did on this quilt (because I love to include "back art" on my quilts) was to make the back one giant transition block using the coral and turquoise batiks from the front.  I was pleased with how it turned out!

Since I mentioned the other quilt I made from Sandi Cummings' book, I might as well show it off now!  I made this quilt per special request for a very special baby who was arriving in 2005.  A friend of my husband's was to become a Grampa so how could I resist?

My friend Barb was teaching from this book at our Guild Retreat in 2005 so it was perfect timing, and I had plenty of fun brights in my stash. I used a great stripe for the border and backing (always a good idea!) and it ended up being one of my very favorite quilts ever.

I got a little off track here, but Christmas 2009 is still.......

......To Be Continued!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Christmas 2009 - Part Two (The Big Kids)


The little kids were happy ("little" meaning the grands) and it was time for the big kids (our sons and daughters-in-law) to open gifts.


Here is a great tip for those of you who never know what to buy for your adult children -- have them create an Amazon Wish List.  It has made my life so much simpler as far as gift giving goes. (And I think it has made the kids' lives easier, too, when they want to shop for us.  You know how they think we already have everything...) 

 In addition to the Wish Lists Phil came up with some excellent ideas, and we were actually able to surprise Adam and Brandy with something.  (It still is fun to surprise them!)

I don't know how much of a surprise it was but one of Brandy's gifts from me was a quilt.  More about that in another post......watch for it!

Aaron and Leah enjoyed their gifts, too.    They wanted presents to open this year instead of photos of things we were having shipped to their home in Seattle, and we were happy to oblige!








I did not, however, enjoy mailing a huge package   home for them after Christmas.  (Well, okay, I didn't actually mind it...)  Next time though, they do need to leave a little more space in their luggage for that return trip!

Now for the biggest kids of all -- Gramma and Grampa!













Gavin really loves to give gifts and every year I get the most marvelous jewelry that he buys for me at the Santa Shop at school.   And I wear it!!  Soon I'll have such a varied selection that Phil won't have to buy me any more. (Do not believe that for a minute, Philip!  I just said that in case Gavin is reading this.)

I cannot resist one more photo of the grands!  Gavin, Aidan and Noah really love their Aunt Leah.  And she definitely enjoys them.  Sometimes she's the biggest kid of all.  They do have fun!                           
 

Christmas 2009 to be continued..........


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Christmas 2009 - Part One (The Kids)



Do these boys look ready for some Christmas presents, or what?  The minute we announced that we were going to be opening gifts, there they were sitting in front of the tree.  You really have to love that kind of enthusiasm.


And oh, yes, and that really is our tree.  Isn't it cool?  Our home decor tends more towards the contemporary, so I have been wanting a non-traditional tree for a while.  It took some looking, but we found this tree at Fine Home Displays and got the glass ornaments from Terry's Village.  I really love the look of it, especially when the sun comes through the window and the ornaments sparkle. 
 
 

 
 

It was so good to have Adam and Brandy here from Huntsville with the three boys, and Aaron and Leah here from Seattle.  I think everyone enjoyed their gifts and it was just good for this mom to have all her chicks nearby.  Now, about those presents........In my defense, even though it looks like Gramma and Grampa went a little overboard with the gifts, appearances can be deceiving.
     Kids' toys come in such big boxes these days!


Like this one -- Gavin was sitting on the couch opening this package, and it was just sooooo much work that he decided to go at it from a different direction......literally.      He was happy with the results, apparently!
                                                                                                                                                           


It took a while to open all of them, but Aidan and Noah were happy with their gifts, too. Gramma and Grampa were just happy that they were happy! 



Christmas 2009 to be continued..........

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Where, Oh Where Has My Blogging Time Gone?

How in the world could I have let more than a month go by without blogging?  My many fans have been asking where I am.  (That would be you, Faye.)  Life has a way of getting crazy busy sometimes, but I am hoping to make a few things more of a priority in the New Year.  Things like blogging, quilting, scrapbooking, spending time with friends, cleaning........oh wait!  How did cleaning get onto that list?
Just after my last blog entry we spent Thansgiving week in Seattle visiting our son and daughter-in-law.  I had the most interesting and clever blog entry all planned out in my head.  Oh, the exciting sights and visual stimulation of a cool, cosmopolitan city!  Of course that possibly award winning blog entry evaporated into thin air after I finally fell asleep that night.  Guess I should have gotten out of bed and written it down!


Seattle's Pike Place Market has to be one of the coolest places to visit.  Every trip to Seattle has to include a stop here.  Just the variety of merchandise available is stunning, not to mention the colors all around, the friendly vendors, and the busy shoppers.  It's exciting. 








We definitely got
some Christmas
shopping done
while we were
there!  And, I'm
sure that some
of the vendors
were sorry to
see me leave!

Here are a few of the folks we bought things from.



There is not only a coffee shop on every corner, there are bunches in between.  Each one has its own personality, but every one is special.  It's fun visiting different shops.  Aaron and Leah's favorite is Makeda Coffee, and I have to say they serve the best coffee I have tasted.  I love how many of the shops dress up their coffees with designs in the foam, like this:




Seattle has some of the most fascinating places to eat of any city I have been to, and so much variety it's difficult to decide on a place.   Just a few of the places we enjoyed on this trip were the Pig 'N Whistle, Red Mill Burgers,  Le Panier Very French Bakeryand we can't forget Mike's Chili Parlor.


Our last night in Seattle we had an amazing Moroccan dinner at Kasbah Moroccan Restaurant   They serve a five-course d'yaffa feast including traditional Harira Soup, B'stilla, Lamb dishes and yummy dessert and mint tea.  Did I mention the belly-dancing?  (Uh huh!)