Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

I'll be leaving shortly to drive to Chesapeake VA where the annual extended family New Year's get-together will be head this year.  Lots of family, lots of fun, lots of food awaits!

Of course, most of us will be asleep when the New Year actually arrives but that's okay....  none of us are as young as we used to be!

I would like to wish everyone the best of all good things in the coming year!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet for auld lang syne.

"Auld Lang Syne" is an extremely old Scottish song that was first written down in the 1700s.  Robert Burns is the person whose transcription got the most attention, so the song is associated with him.

A good translation of the words "auld lang syne" is "times gone by." So when we sing this song, we are saying, "We'll drink a cup of kindness yet for times gone by."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mid-holiday Update

It's a quiet, rainy day and I have a cuppa coffee....  the quiet won't last long because folks will start showing up in a bit.

Sewing machine update:  It's working now but not well... gears have been ordered to replace those that I have worn out over 18 years of sewing on the machine.  I'll have to take it back in and leave it while it's being repaired.... so, no sewing will happening until the new gears are installed.   Not sure how long I'll be out of commission as far as sewing/quilting goes... but it will be at least a couple of weeks. 

I've wondered what it would be like to not have a working sewing machine... and I'm finding out.  I'm doing a lot more reading and housework...   *lol* I suppose I'll survive.

I would like to wish you all a very happy New Year with many good things for you and yours in 2012!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of Year

...when your sewing machine hiccups and needs to visit the tech for some TLC and you get behind in your sewing and suddenly Christmas is ONLY five days away and you've only wrapped two presents and you still need to find a couple small things for gift bags...

The Empress is going on hiatus for a bit and would like to share with you a photo of my nativity set as arranged by my granddaughter Chloe, who is in Kindergarten.

And, because I'm a nerd...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

*great big sigh*

I was sewing along yesterday afternoon, making a flannel pillowcase to be a gift bag for one of my granddaughters when....  

You would be proud...  I did not pout and I did not cry.... I called  John, the sewing machine repair guy who takes care of my machine!

I was able to describe what was going on and John diagnosed it as a timing issue...

John could have taken care of this for me yesterday afternoon... but he is 1.5 hrs away and I have family visiting.

So....  I will send my machine home with the kids this afternoon and my dear son-in-law will take it to John on Tuesday.

I will drive up Wednesday to pick it up again....  which won't be too much of a burden because the sewing machine shop also carries lots and lots of beautiful fabric!!!

 Hopefully, I'll be up and running again on Thursday...

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Change in Plans

Today is my favorite daughter's birthday...

...and she and her family decided to come home and spend the weekend with me!

With my three little girls here, I doubt much sewing will get accomplished...  however, I don't think anyone will blame me!

Happy birthday to the best daughter in the world!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tick, tick, tick...

Last night, I removed all the basting pins, snipped all the threads, and trimmed the edges.... after I took photos.

Colors are "off" and dark since I turned off the overhead light so you could see the quilting.

Tonight, I'll work on cutting and sewing the binding strip together... and then on the quilt!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quilting the Border

I decided to quilt a diamond pattern on the border of the Smokey Mtn Stars quilt I'm working on.   Took a little math and some measuring but I'm liking the way it's turning out... the quilting is going much faster than the body of the quilt!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Christmas Clock is Ticking!

While not a Christmas gift, this quilt needs to be finished by New Year's Day so I can present it to my nephew at the extended family get together.    I need to mark the outside border so I can quilt a diamond pattern.

I plan to finish the quilting and get the binding sewn on so I can hand stitch the binding down this coming Friday evening, which is part 2 of this month's FNSI!

Hopefully by Saturday morning, I'll have another project crossed off my "to finish up this year" list.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Little Holiday Nostalgia

It's that time of year when one thinks back to Christmases past... and all the excitement and anticipation... and searching thru the Christmas editions of catalogs at all the toys!

Photo of catalog page courtesy of SmellsLikeSalad!

Television cowboy shows were popular when I was little and we all wanted to be like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans... or Gene Autry.... or The Lone Ranger....  and the catalogs were full of all sorts of things so we could be cowboys too!

Photo taken 1-4-56 at my grandparents' house

Me... I had a major crush on Gene Autry, The Singing Cowboy, who wrote the words to Here Comes Santa Claus as well as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Civil War Block 50: Grapes of Wrath

A great history lesson was included with today's block: Grapes of Wrath

I only had one purple fabric but found some small remnants of the dark blue, which I'm pretending are Concord grapes.

Only three more blocks left...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday Night Sew In Progress

It was a very long week so I decided to pop in a movie, hold down the sofa, and knit....

...making progress on the scarf!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Grandmother's Fan

I wanted to include a grandmother's fan block but could not find a pattern online in an 8" finished block size.  So, I got out my Dresden template and played around a bit...

The block is way dark on the bottom edge because that's the shadow of my arm... so difficult taking photos at night...

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Another block I found online... this one is called Windmill 2..

The usual lousy photography but you can get the idea...

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Don't forget to sign up for the upcoming FNSI!   Heidi and Bobbi are running TWO FNSIs this month because we all need help getting things finished!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Civil War Block 49: Yankee Puzzle

This week's block was a simple one...

Forty-nine down, four more to go!

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It's time for the first of TWO FNSIs so don't forget to sign up!    Don't know about you but I got quite a bit of sewing left to do....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Third Round of Auditions

All that pondering and all the great suggestions and we have a third round of auditions.

I like the dark blue with the lighter blocks and prefer the shirting stripe with the darker blocks.  So... a compromise...

All the pondering left me too tired to sew so I popped in a movie, held down the sofa, and knitted for a while...

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Have you signed up for the FNSI yet?   Plenty of time and remember... there will be TWO FNSIs this month!   Are you done with your Christmas sewing yet?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Second Round of Auditions

I had a nice time playing with and looking at the first set of fabrics being auditioned for the sashings and borders but....  one needs to audition more than just one, yes?

Moda Bella Solid "Paper Bag"

...with cream inner border and outer border.

Moda Bella Solid "American (or Air Force) Blue"

...with cream inner border and outer border.

Moda Bella Solid "Sage"

...with cream inner border and outer border.

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It's that time, don't forget to sign up!   And if you can't join in this week, remember there are TWO FNSIs this month!   We all got a lot of sewing to do before Santa Clause arrives, yes?

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Cleared the dining room table for auditions...


...and laid out the blocks on the tan shirting fabric, adding square of the dark blue.

Next, added the border fabric...

Not sure about the dark blue cornerstones yet but I do like cornerstones... and I'm thinking about adding a narrow inside border in a solid cream.