Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 in review

It is time to look back on the past year and make note of all the crafts that have been finished and the family events that have made this such a wonderful year for me.

First though,  for Carol in Texas, the header photo is Little House Needleworks "Through the Woods".

April was an eventful month. First, I finished the Baby Elephant afghan for my first grandchild.

Later that month, Hubby and I traveled to California to celebrate our son's wedding.

In June, I finished the first of two vintage embroidered bibs. This one is quite small.

I finished my son-in-law's Christmas stocking in July.

I finished the second, larger embroidered bib. I don't think I ever posted the finished photo so here it is now.

We also celebrated my daughter's baby shower in Rhode Island.

I made the diaper cake that was part of a game as well as the centerpieces.

In August we took another trip to California to visit my son and his wife. We went to the San Diego zoo and did some other great sightseeing.

September was most notable for the birth of my first grandchild, Natalie.

I finished her cross-stitched birth announcement in October and had it framed.

I also made this cute little crocheted dog for her.

Hubby and I took a trip to Hyde Park, NY where we visited the Vanderbilt Mansion, FDR's home, Val-kill and a vineyard. We also had dinner at the Culinary Institute of America.

I finished hand-quilting a crib sized quilt that my mother hand pieced years ago. It still needs a label.

I also finished two sets of four Christmas placemats for each of my kids.

I made an ornament to commemorate my granddaughter's first Christmas.

I stepped away from stitching to make two cork Santa hats from the many, many corks that I have.

All in all, Hubby and I had a very happy and eventful 2022. Looking back, I did finish quite a few crafts this year. I have several WIPs that have been hanging around for quite a while, but I have several new projects that I want to work on also. I will make a blog post on all of those in the new year.

Happy New Year's Eve!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

HQAL update and Christmas cooking

On our last update I was trying to decide whether to quilt a table topper that my mom pieced or her Overall Sam quilt. Ultimately, I decided to quilt the table topper as I needed to find a different backing fabric for Overall Sam. The navy fabric that my mom had ran terribly when I washed it and obviously couldn't be used as the backing for a mostly white quilt.

So I have been slowly stitching the center medalion of the table topper. It is almost done.

I am using the variegated brown perle cotton that I inherited years ago. I offered the thread choices to my mom and that is what she liked best. I have yet to decide how to quilt the borders. I was thinking piano keys, but they won't work at the corners, so I have to think on this.

The HQAL is an opportunity for hand quilters to share and motivate each other. The talented quilters below post every three weeks to show our progress and encourage one another. Stop by their sites to see what they are working on. If you have a hand project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyMargaretDebNanette, SharonKarrinDaisy, and Cathie 

I have been busy prepping food for the Christmas season. The first cookie that I made were good old Nestle's Toll House cookies. 

I haven't made a batch of these in a long time. I don't usually make them at Christmas, but my mouth was watering for them and they freeze well.

Then I stirred up a double recipe of Raspberry Walnut Thumbprint cookies. I made one half with seedless raspberry preserves and the other half with apricot preserves.

Next up was making Stuffed Clams to serve as appetizers on Christmas day. My mother got the recipe years ago from my Aunt Emma and she used to bring them to every Christmas celebration. Now I make them.

A local restaurant supply store sells the aluminum shells, but I am sure you can find them on Amazon.

Here is the recipe:

Stuffed Clam Shells

1/2 cup chopped onion              1/4 cupp chopped green pepper                  

1/2 cup chopped celery              4 Tbsp margarine

2 Tbls flour                                1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

dash of pepper                           dash of tabasco sauce (optional)

12 crushed Ritz crackers             1 can minced clams (do not drain)

1. Cook the onion, celery and green pepper in a medium sized saucepan until tender, but not brown.

2. Add all the rest of the ingredients and cook until thickened.

3. Stuff the clam shells. At this point you can freeze them and defrost before baking.

This recipe will fill 9 large clam shells or 15-20 small clam shells. (I always use the large) 

4. Bake on a aluminum foil lined cookie sheet at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

I tripled the recipe as everyone in my family loves these and ended up with 26 large stuffed clams.

Lastly, I made Peanut Butter Dog Treats as my daughter will be bringing her pup, Ruby.

Someday I will get a bone-shaped cookie cutter, but a plain circle sufficed this time.

I hope you enjoyed this post and try some of the recipes.

I am also joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 11, 2022

SAL update

Once again it is time for a Stitch Along update. I have been steadily working on the Woodland Animals stocking for my daughter in law. This is where I was three weeks ago.

Looking at this now, I realize how much I have been stitching. I have almost finished the bottom half of the stocking.

I added the squirrels and the bunnies. Here is an up close photo of the squirrels before I had done the backstitching on the bunnies.

I am going to keep working on this until Christmas, but I doubt it will be finished. I still have the whole upper half of the tree and several more animals to stitch. 

I have been very busy decorating my house for the holidays. You can see that post here. This coming week will be spent figuring out what to serve for Christmas dinner and baking cookies. I am sure I will work on the stocking too.

 Thank you to Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea for hosting Stitch Along every three weeks and sending us the needed posting reminders. 

Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and take some time to visit the other bloggers below who are part of this stitch-along. There is a wide variety of stitching projects. These talented stitchers are from all over the world, so please allow for the time differences and check back for each post. 

AvisClaireGun, ChristinaKathyMargaret


DaisyAJCathieLindaHelenConnie, MaryMargaretCindy

Thanks for stopping by! 


Saturday, December 10, 2022

Christmas decorating and crafting

Hubby and I started decorating just after Thanksgiving and before December 1st. That rarely happens here. I like to wait until December 1st to decorate, but Hubby wanted to get the lights on the house and I wanted to put up the village since we were going to be away for the first weekend of December. So the house is lit.

The village is on display.

The front porch and bay window are decorated.

The snow people are on display on my upstairs landing. 

I also wanted to share a Christmas craft that I was able to make last month. Yes, I have a whole lot of corks. That bag is only a small fraction of what I have. We have finished a lot of bottles of wine over the years.

I painted both ends of each cork either red or white and then hot glued them together to end up with 2 of these Santa hats. The pompom has some sparkly fibers in it.  I didn't have any directions, just the photo that I had found online. It wasn't hard to make at all.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. I am working on the Woodland Animals stocking which you can read about in the following post.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Two more projects added and Christmas gifts to show.

I am back to working somewhat steadily on the Woodland Animals Christmas stocking. I have finished the holly leaves, backstitching included, and have stitched the squirrels. I am working on the bunnies now.

 I doubt that I will finish this by Christmas, but I may put it aside for a while if it is isn't close to being finished. I just added two more time sensitive projects to my already long list of WIPs. 

Do you remember this cross-stitch pattern that my son found for me as a souvenir when on his honeymoon? 

Well, I need to start it asap. My son and his wife just announced that they are expecting a baby boy next June.

That means I also want to make a baby blanket. I have a crochet pattern chosen and the yarn on order. I can't share it here as I want it to be a surprise and I know my son reads my blog. I will show you bits and pieces as I am working on it. 

Now for the Christmas gifts. In between quilting Country Rose, formerly know as the Maroon Baby quilt (whose finish you can see here) as well as cross-stitching, I decided to make a set of four Christmas placemats for each of my kids. 

I used a pattern from "The Thimbleberries Guide for Weekend Quilters" and fabrics from a Moda jelly roll that my son had gifted me last Christmas. I supplemented with a few fabrics from my stash. I even had enough of one fabric to back all 8 placemats.

On a trip to Marshall's, I scored these fantastic napkins that match a the buffalo plaid boots and mittens in one of the fabrics.

One set of placemats was sent to my son and daughter-in-law along with a Christmas tree ornament commemorating their first Christmas as a married couple.

When I visited a few weeks ago I gave my daughter and her husband the other set all wrapped up with instructions to open on December 1st. I have always used my Christmas placemats and dishes for the entire month of December rather than just saving them for special gatherings. I thought that my kids might want to do the same.

Included in my daughter's box, was an ornament for Natalie. 

I have had the magazine clipping with this pattern for many, many years. Since I had all the felt that was needed, I finished it to commemorate her first Christmas.

I am planning on making a new ornament each year for each grandchild. I saw another blogger does this and I thought it was a great idea.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. I certainly have a lot to work on, but I think I will sit with a cup of tea and enjoy looking at all the different projects.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Happy Dance for HQAL Update

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! Our gathering was just me, Hubby and my mother-in-law. I made enough food to bring to my own mother and her aide as well as send leftovers home with my mother-in-law. 

The Maroon Baby Quilt is finished. Happy Dance! I have to rinse out the markings and wash it still. The sun rays shining on it highlight the quilting in this photo. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I also need to give the quilt a different name and add a label. Any name ideas? My mother hand pieced this quilt several years ago, but didn't really love it and didn't want to quilt it. I took it and started hand quilting, then I took a break from it. I recently picked it up again to work on while visiting my mom. I finished sewing the self-binding on Thanksgiving.

If you are wondering what I mean by self-binding. I did not add a separate binding to this quilt. I cut the backing fabric one inch wider than the top and batting once the quilting was completed. I folded over 1/2 inch of this fabric and then folded it to the front of the quilt. 

This is not as sturdy a binding as if I had used a separate double fold binding, but I only found the extra fabric needed to make a binding after I had already started this method. I will keep the extra fabric and label it for the appropriate quilt so that I can make sturdy binding in the future if it is needed. 

On Friday I tried to figure out what project I wanted to work on next. I have several items that my mother started, but never finished. I could work on the Overall Sam quilt. Each Overall Sam needs to be echo quilted with DMC floss  and also needs a running stitch 1/4 inch from the edge of each block. 

My mother made a Sunbonnet Sue quilt and this is supposed to be the companion to it. I want to quilt it as she did the Sunbonnet Sue.

I could also quilt the green/brown table topper that I purchased a new stencil for. If you zoom in, you can see that I already traced the stencil in the center. 

 My mother had placed small shamrocks in each corner of the center block and they looked really odd. She didn't like the way it looked, which is why she stopped working on it. She had the backing fabric already pinned, but was using a thin flannel as batting. I have plenty of batting scraps so I cut one to size and have basted the sandwich. I just need to figure out which of the floss/thread colors to use to quilt the stencil. I am leaning toward the variegated brown tatting thread. 

I think this is what I will work on first, as I washed the navy backing fabric for Overall Sam and it ran badly. I think I will look for a lighter blue fabric for the backing. My mother had already purchased the batting for Overall Sam so I don't have to buy any. 

The HQAL is an opportunity for hand quilters to share and motivate each other. The talented quilters below post every three weeks to show our progress and encourage one another. Stop by their sites to see what they are working on. If you have a hand project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyMargaretDebNanette, SharonKarrinDaisy, and Cathie 

Thanks for stopping by!