Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holidays at Home

We had a sew day over at Koleen's yesterday, and I started this wallhanging called "Holidays at Home". Koleen's sister has a quilt shop down in New Hampshire, and last summer she had these Block of the Month kits for sale, so we each bought one. With the Champagne quilt I had to get done for my niece's wedding, work, and everything else, I never got a chance to start on it. I'm still very much in the holiday mood though, so I'm happy working on it right now.

The colors aren't very true in the cover photo, but they are in the picture I took of the blocks I've done so far. I love the blocks on the left because they look like gift boxes.

One of the fun things about the kit is this striped fabric that's included in the packet each month. From this striped fabric, you cut out half square triangle units and strip sections for the different blocks. Less piecing, faster assembly, but it still looks like you did all the work. I'm sure this isn't a new concept, but it's new to me, and I like it.
Hancock's of Paducah still has these kits if anyone is interested.

Catching Up After Christmas

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas celebration with family and friends. We had a nice holiday except that we missed our son. My husband has missed a few Christmases over the years because of his job, but this is the first year one of my children hasn't been with me for Christmas.

Our elder son joined the armed forces on a delayed entry program back in April and shipped out to boot camp the first week of December. We finally got some letters from him today in the mail. He spent the first week wondering what the hell he'd gotten himself into, but he's doing just fine now that's he's adjusted to the routine and the mind games. He's a tough kid with a good sense of humor, so I'm sure he'll make it through with flying colors.

The kids got together and bought me an Ipod Touch before my son left for boot camp. My son has an iPhone that I sort of commandeer every time he comes up for a visit to play a game called Booley, so I guess he figured maybe I should have my own. I actually considered buying one for myself several months ago, but mostly I could care less about all that technology and thought it would be wasted on me. Now that I have one, I love it. I have a camera, email, a web browser, an app for FoxsNews, an app for Weather Channel, some kitchen apps, and a few games, among other things. And I've created endless lists for myself on this thing, eliminating tons of paper. I'm sure this will rank as one of my best ever gifts.

Two days after Christmas the blizzard rolled into Maine. The storm raged for nearly 24 hours, and we got 15 inches of snow; but we never lost power, which I thought was amazing. I took the day off work because I refused to drive 45 minutes down the interstate in it, but my husband went to work. He had no problem until he got home and got stuck in the driveway, so I threw on some snowpants, boots, and a coat and went out to help shovel out the car. Then I played around out in the snow for a while, while my husband snow blowed the driveway.

It was about 22 degrees that day with a wind chill of 8, and maybe that's why I developed a case of laryngitis... again. I had it just over a month ago and missed three days of work because of it, and I had to call out again today. Can't be on the phones all day with no voice. It was a very fine day to sew though.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Catching Up Before Christmas

My work schedule really ramped up in December, and I've worked six- or seven-day weeks for most of the month. There's been no time for anything else, and I'm exhausted. I've missed all the Christmas events and missed seeing all my friends. I've done this nine seasons in a row, and I don't think I'll be going back next year. The Christmas tree didn't even get decorated until today. Two more weeks though, and then I'm done with work.

I may have touched my sewing machine once this month, but I did find some time for sewing last month. I wanted quick and easy projects, and what's easier than pillowcases and strippies? So that's what I worked on, plus a small baby quilt. I even got the baby quilt quilted, but it's still waiting for binding. In the dinosaur strippy, four of the five panels sewn into the quilt top only have dinosaur bodies, no heads. I managed to cut them all off when I cut out the strips. Think a kid will notice that?

I made time for some knitting too. I made a little santa dishcloth and finished a pair of socks.

Then I started another pair...

.... and another. Don't you ever get anxious to start the project just to see what it will look like? Same thing happens to me with quilting too. I suppose that's why I have so many UFOs.

I'm crazy about this magic loop method of sock knitting. I don't think I'll ever go back to double pointed needles.