Tuesday 17 December 2013

Now, the party's over ...

.... and I guess that today is the wrap-up post for the 2013 Christmas Quiltalong and Challenge.  Boohoo.

Happy Hazel and Jolly Jo have been the most wonderful hostesses this year, and have given us lots of fun each month as they invited us to join them.  There have been games, party foods, drinks and even some competitions and I'm sure you would like to join me in saying thank you to them both as we put away our party hats and streamers.

Thanks too, to everyone who joined in the challenge I set this year.  I have enjoyed seeing the quilts that people came up with.  and if anyone missed them, you can go here to see the entries.  As I promised, I asked Mr Random to select a winner from among the entries and he chose
and number 8 is .............

Congratulations Sunny, and thank you all again for taking part in the challenge.

Sunday 15 December 2013

Music ...

Here's some traditional Christmas music to listen to while you are browsing through the great Christmas Challenge entries, which you can find here.

Just in case "traditional" isn't your favourite, here's a very new Christmas song, that will bring back memories to those of us who were either kids in the 80s (I wish) or parents of the kids of the 80s.

Saturday 14 December 2013

Christmas QAL & Challenge

It's here.  It's now.  What is it?  It's the Grand Parade of Christmas Challenge quilts we've all been working on this year.  You know, that easy-peasy challenge that someone dreamed up to make a small Christmas quilt without using red or green. Well, today's the day to show the world your creations by simply linking up  here:

You can link your entry up to the end of Monday 16 December, and on Tuesday I will use Mr Random Generator to choose an entry to win a prize.  It's easy to do this.  Just write a post about your quilt, you know, things like how you made it, where the idea came from, etc, and put your blog address in the link so we can all come and visit and admire your quilt.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go out as I am due to stand outside one of our large supermarkets for a few hours, with a collection tin in my hand.  I'm hoping the festive shoppers will feel generous and put lots of money in to help our local hospice.  I'll be back at lunch time, and will link up my own entry then.

Friday 13 December 2013

Scrappy's Christmas Challenge

This is my friend Scrappy's entry into the Christmas Challenge.  I'm posting it on my blog, as she does not yet have a blog of her own.

Anyway, as soon as she heard the details of the Challenge, an idea popped into her head, and this is the result.  Her vision was a gift box bursting open with all sorts of sewing items flying out, and who wouldn't love a Christmas box just like this one?

This is a completely original design idea, with Google helping her to find a picture of a box that she could base her design on, and the gifts are all applique, embroidery, etc, all embellished with buttons.  Here are a couple of close ups - I have to say, I love the books.  Wonder why?

I can't remember the exact dimensions of the quilt, but I was there when Scrappy cut the background fabric, so I can assure you that it is well within the size restrictions somebody set for this challenge.

I think this is a brilliant entry.

Challenge entry no. 2 by Bilbo and I

... or Kinky Boots, as we call this quilt!

On the same visit, Bilbo and I then started to get carried away (or do I mean we "should have been" carried away?)

We were talking about the Challenge and started thinking about Christmas songs, and there was one we both liked was "When Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney".  We then applied some lateral thinking to it (and no, we hadn't started on the red wine at that point), and we thought how funny it would be if Santa was wearing his very best gold high-heeled boots at the time, so, here is our version

This little quilt did a few miles up and down the motorway between us as we each did parts of it. It measures 18" x 20" to the lowest point of the snow.  

Challenge entry no. 1 by Bilbo & I

Ok, well, as the person who set the challenge, it was only right that I entered too wasn't it?  So here is my version of a Christmas tree

The idea behind this was that I really wanted to have a go at shadow trapunto, where you trap wadding under voile, sew round the shape you want, trim away the excess wadding, then lay that all on a background fabric and sandwich and quilt it in the normal way.  The tree itself was adapted from a design by Ann Lauer, which I found in a book called quilting for Christmas  

I started this when I was visiting my friend Bilbo, and I had lots of fun playing in her stash to find exactly the right background fabric.  All went really well until I decided to free motion quilt it.  FMQ is definitely NOT my thing, and some of you may remember me whining and whinging about not being able to do it a couple of months ago.  In the end, dear Bilbo took pity on me and rang and just said "send it to me, I'll do it".  I didn't need telling twice, it was in an envelope and winging it's way to her in a very short space of time.  She did a great job of the quilting, as you can see here

with big stipples round the outside and some tiny pebbles inside thee branches, which has really made them pop.  Thank you very much Bilbo for doing that for me. Although I have not shown a uler against it, this measures 16"  x 22".

To Link up your entry, you need to go to this post, here.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Do you remember ...

...  me telling you about the lovely present I was given by Lynn's grand-daughters before I came home?  Here we are just after they had almst reduced me to tears by giving me this

Well, I have now had it framed, but Mr Fixit hasn't quite got round to hanging it yet for me, but I thought I'd show you what it will look like on this wall.  Isn't it great?  It's a very special memory to me of a very special holiday.  Thank you again for this.

Oh, and after I'd taken the picture, I looked to one side of the sofa to see .....

this scary bear who came home with me as a gift from Naughty Notorious Nancy and her husband. He even wrote me a note to explain that he was practicing roaring in a British accent so no-one would notice that he had come over to the British Isles!  What a clever bear.

Sunday 8 December 2013

Christmas QAL ...

... while QuiltSue's decorating the blog ready for Christmas, we thought we'd just pop in to remind you that next weekend is the final Christmas QAL party for 2013.

We think Quilt Sue is going to be making some of our favourite biscuits.

We think there might be some music.

We think she might share some interesting snippetts about Christmas

We absolutely know there's going to be lots of eye-candy.  How do we know that last bit?  Cos she told us it's going to be the Linky party for the very easy Christmas challenge she issued at the beginning of the year.

So, if you've been working on the challenge, don't forget to get your photos taken and your blog post all ready to link next week but if you don't have a blog, just send them to us and we'll post them on here for you.  We'd love to see all your quilts, even if they're not yet finished (and there's even going to be a giveaway for the entrants).  Oh, and don't forget you can go here to get all the background information about this very easy challenge.

QuiltSue said she's putting the Linky up next Saturday, and we'll make sure she doesn't forget.  We don't think she will though, cos she's already got out the Christmas music CD's and will be decorating the house this week ready for everyone to come and join us.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Can anybody help ...

... my father has been sitting thinking about meals he used to have when he was young. This time he has a craving for matzo balls.  I can remember having them too, with chicken soup of course, every time we went to see my grandmother and I also loved them.  The problem is that Dad wants some and I don't have a recipe.  I've found several online and tried them, but, although some have been close, none of them are quite right.  Dad's family are from Russia and Poland, so I'm wondering if there are any special recipes from that part of Europe? Is any one able to help? Please?

(Clip art licensed from the clip art gallery at DiscoverySchool.com)

By the way, why are they spelled Matzo and pronounce Motza, or is that just my family?
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