Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Well our big day has come and gone - and we had a blast. We usually do our celebration on Christmas day, but one of our daughters was not going to be here on Christmas day so we moved it all to Christmas eve. Both daughters and their families, including our 3 and 6 year old grandsons arrived yesterday around 1 - bringing tons of gifts to be added to our already overstuffed tree. What a sight - all that love and happiness under the tree.

Our tree - lit and ready for presents. I made the tree skirt when the kids were little - it is pellon with ball point paints (Artex, for those of you who remember) and I'd like a new quilted one, but the kids howl in protest every time I suggest a different one. It is painted with a snow scene and is cute - but the quilter in me wants a different one.

Our youngest daughter's Seal Tree - she decorates it with white lights and all sorts of baby harp seal ornaments and stuffed baby harp seal stuffies. It is a gorgeous tree. She made the stockings hanging to the left of the tree - the one for her partner Jay, is a BigFoot stocking with a furry BIG FOOT on it - and the one on the left has a hot wheels car for Jahn-Zyel - our oldest grandson - with trees and racing flags - she is very clever!!

And this is her Sea Turtle tree - done again with white lights - some twinkle - and sea turtle ornaments and stuffies. The boys both love these trees. She also has a butterfly tree, but didn't get it put up this year.

Usually I set the holiday table with a red plaid tablecloth and white dishes with green holly on them, but I got this table cloth, with deer and trees on it this year and decided to go with a green theme. The pale dishes are jadite from my collection, and the dark green are Depression Glass. I think they go so well with the jadite and the red silverware - very Christmasy, and very soothing.

Some of my Lefton Holly dishes - we've been collecting these since the mid 70s when we found a few pieces in a local drug store. Now they are harder to find - and collectible. The lastest acquisition is the large bowl near the left side. The three little children standing on the back of the table are ceramic paintings I did when our kids were younger. The clothes and hair colors match what our kids wore during that time. One year in Kansas (we lived in a big old farmhouse) the kids dressed up in their coats, scarves, mittens and hats and went outdoors and walked around and around the house, singing Christmas carols to us - then we invited them in for cookies and cocoa. These little figures remind me of that fun time.

We had the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, cranberry relish and cranberry jelly, and all the extras that go with - plus pumpkin pie and apple crisp for dessert - with spumoni ice cream for those so inclined. The boys were excited to open presents and at one time I found them in the livng room talking about "maybe we could just find one present for each of us (the six year old can read very well) and open it and play with it until dinner time". It was so cute to see the little culprits plotting against all the big tall adults.

I got them cute Christmas dishes to eat off - and they did really well waiting for dinner to be over. Neither of them ate much - but that is to be expected with all the excitement. They kept running over to the tree and looking for more presents with their names on them -even the 3 year old can find his name.

Some of my teddy bears - dressed by Don for the holidays. They sit on the steps leading up to the attic and Ben loves to pull them all down on the floor and take their hats off. They have different hats for every holiday.

Then we all pitched in and did the dishes - didn't take all that long, and in the mean time a big package was delivered from our son and daughter-in-law from West Virginia. Then at last - the gift opening - what a time we had - the boys loved all their toys and books and all the adults ooohed and aaahed over their stash of presents. I got a new Brother sewing machine - and I really needed it - plus several fabric store gift certificates - a perfect match!! Don got me another white covered chicken dish for my collection - and our youngest grandson, Ben, had a good time taking the top off and putting a bow in it, then opening it and being surprised every time - just darling.

A little teddy bear on the front door.

The rest of the day was spent munching on desserts and playing with our new toys - and playing with the grandsons - and talking to our son and daughter-in-law in West Virginia several times on the phone - and all too soon it was time for them to leave. Don and I settled down to a quiet end of the day - a little stitching on the Hawaiian quilt with Don reading out loud to me - what a perfect day.

My china cabinet - see the Santas inside - they are making the Peace sign - just my kind of Santa. Most of the dishes in this cabinet have pine cones on them. The dishes that you can barely see at the bottom of the photo are Loon dishes - given to me by our kids a couple years ago. As you might guess - I love dishes!!!

Today we have plans to drive down to the Nooksack River where the bald eagles congregate for the winter and see how many there are there. One time we saw over 200. Then on to Skagit Valley to see the snow geese and the trumpeter swans. They overwinter there and sometimes the flocks contain over 2000 birds - what a sight and what a sound - to stand nearby and then have the flocks swarm overhead - it is almost like being a bird yourself. Then a stop at our youngest daughter's to visit with them and see Jahn-Zyel's newest presents - they opened their family gifts this morning.

It's been a glorious holiday - so much fun with the family - all the rushing around before hand to get just the right gifts and get them wrapped - getting the house decorated and ready for company - and now we have a brand new year to look forward to with all the plans and fun to come. I hope your holidays have been as great as ours.

Merry Merry - Happy Happy

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I've been making a lot of progress on the borders of the Hawaiian quilt. I've been able to take it to work with me (I've got a cushy job) and do some applique during the slow times. It is done in reverse applique, needle turn, and I think that is the easiest and fastest way to do applique.

I have only three more dolphins to do ( out of 27) until it is finished - so I am really closing in on the end. I spaced the dolphins randomly apart - not using the exact same space between each of them so in between I am going to make some splashes and waves - randomly placed. I took the top to a sew-in that I went to last weekend and everyone approved of the border - made me feel good.

The edge of the quilt will be bound in the same shape as the waves - giving a nice wavey edge. I like that kind of edge on a quilt - it gives a nice soft look to the quilt when it is on the bed.

Though the photos are two different sizes - the dolphins are all the same size.

The sew-in is held in Anacortes, WA - in a darling little house that has been set up for crafts/quilting - it is called the Hobby Cottage and you can rent it for your group by the day. We are a group of internet friends from western Wa and we try and get together about once a month. We bring potluck for lunch and our machines and projects, as well as show and tell, greedy gift exchange packages and anything else we can think of to bring. We have such a good time - stitching, eating, laughing, eating, talking, eating, sharing and did I mention eating? It is about an hour's drive for me, some come as far away as three hours - and we all have a grand time.

I hope to get the dolphins done this week and start on the waves - I will hand quilt this, though probably not in the traditional way that Hawaiian quilts are done, in shadow quilting about 1/4" apart - that just doesn't seem right for this quilt. I will do some crosshatching, some freeform quilting and perhaps use some stencils to make fill in quilting. I have it sort of planned in my head already. I will quilt it in purple thread, which I've already bought. I found some purple hand quilting thread at the store one time and decided I should get it while it was there, instead of waiting and then maybe being disappointed because it was gone.