Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I did it!  I finally made a successful batch of Amaretti
(Same as Pignoli cookies without the pine nuts.  My sister and I always picked those off anyway.)

Egg Whites + Sugar + Almond Paste = Yum!

Shhh.  Don't tell my sister.  These are for her!
I've been trying to make these cookies for 20 years (on and off).  I've tried different recipes, different brands of almond paste, and I have finally landed on the right combination for me.  Julia texted me from school during lunch to tell me they are "the most delicious things on the face of the earth!"  I'm ready to buy an entire case of almond paste!
These are the cookies from Mike's Pastry in Boston that we had to sneak into the Rush concert because they don't allow any "outside" food in the Garden.  But they didn't catch the jack knife in Pete's pocket.  Really?
Much more baking and some last-minute gifts to finish will make this a very busy few days.  I hope you are all enjoying the preparations as much as I am!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Birthday Winner

 And the winner is...

How cool is it that Sarah won on her birthday and the giveaway post was on my birthday?!   I hope she gets the luggage, too.  She will need it for her upcoming adventure- teaching English in Asia!  Best wishes to you, Sarah!

Thank you all for the birthday wishes!  I had a lovely day. 
Bill brought home a dozen of these beautiful roses.

I've been quiet on the blog this week, but there has been some crafting going on.
I totally enjoyed crocheting this wreath from this Goodknits tutorial!  I'm not completely happy with the bow.  It looks a little 90's to me.  It's just pinned into the styrofoam, so I can easily change it out.

I bought a cheap green wreath at the grocery store and embellished it with a variety of greens from my yard. Again, not happy with my bow.  It is too white.  I found a spool of silver ribbon in the stash, so I might switch it.

I learned this technique from Martha years ago.  I make little bundles of the various greens, then wire them to the base wreath.  We cut down our white pine last spring, so I had to get some from Girl Scout camp last weekend!  The branch was already down, so it was OK.

More greens on the front porch...

and on the back deck.

I love this gold bow!

My big birthday gift was new living room furniture.  I need to help Bill dispose of the old sofa that was literally falling apart.  We're off to the dump!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Birthday Giveaway

 It's my birthday, so let's party!  How nice of Sew Mama Sew to host a giveaway party on my birthday!

 To celebrate, I have some handmade-by-me gifts for one lucky reader.

A Christmas print keychain lanyard,
a cute patchwork pincushion,
a crocheted felted wool flower pin,
and a paper-pieced Christmas tree pin.

Even though our silly Rhode Island governor is calling this a "holiday" tree, it is most definitely a Christmas tree!

 The felted flowers look so cute on a wool coat or hat.

To enter, leave me a comment telling us one thing on your Christmas or Birthday Wish List.

All the giveaways close on Friday, so I'll pick a winner soon thereafter.  Make sure I can reach you if you win, or I'll have to pick someone else, and that would be sad for you.

Be sure to click on over to Sew Mama Sew and enter lots of giveaways!  They are conveniently sorted by category. Totally awesome!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Runners

I've been busy this week trying to boost my inventory for the next craft show.  My mother informed me that I need to sell something quilted, so here are three new table runners.

They were actually fun to make! 
I started with (24) 5" squares.  To each one, I stitched 2.5" squares to two corners, similar to this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew

I layered them with Fusi-boo batting, so I wouldn't need to pin.  It is a fusible bamboo blend and it worked great for this project!  I quilted it with free-motion petals.  No marking + no pinning = all 3 runners quilted in under 1 hour!

I was on a roll with speedy techniques, so I completely machine stitched the binding.  (Trim the quilt even with the top.  Attach the binding to the back, flip to the front, and top stitch.)

At this point, I wasn't about to hand-stitch the labels, so I fused some white Kona cotton to a sheet of Heat-n-Bond lite, trimmed it to 8.5 x 11" and fed it through my printer to create a bunch of labels.  Cut them down to size with pinking shears and fused them onto the back of the runners.  They might not last through the first washing, but they'll do the trick for now!

There will be 78 vendors at this show on Sunday!  It should be a fun day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Progress

 I was able to start working on Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay Mystery quilt this weekend.  We have a lot of Bonnie Hunter fans in our quilt guild, so we issued a challenge to finish this mystery quilt before Bonnie's visit to Rhode Island next April!  We have about 10 members interested, and I hope more will join in after show and tell at the next meeting.

I will be working with blues, greens and oranges on a tan background.  

Part 1:  I have only 40 of the 224 quarter triangle units done.
(I'm using blue in place of Bonnie's black.)

Part 2:  I have 12 of the required 72 string blocks done.
(I'm using orange in place of Bonnie's blue.)
I was happy to see that I'm not the only one using orange!

It's progress.  I'll keep plugging along as time permits.

Weekend Update:
I participated in a craft fair at my church, but didn't sell much, as expected.  I should fare better at next week's show at a local elementary school.  

I try not to spend more than I make at shows, so I look for interesting crafts that I would not make for myself.  Isn't this fairy adorable?  She's not much bigger than a quarter! 

Have you seen The Muppets yet?  Classic Muppets, cool cameo appearances and a great story.  We want more!  I would love to see The Muppet Show on TV again.  I think we're ready for a weekly variety show, what with all the singing and dancing competition shows.  Please, Disney, bring back the Muppet Show!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Crafty WIP Wednesday

 Happy Day Before Thanksgiving!  I should be getting the turkey ready and preparing casseroles, but I'm busy crafting!  I'll have a table at my church's bazaar on Saturday, and I don't have much ready to sell.  I get bored easily, so I try new things every year. 

This sweet little bear is from a pattern I bought this morning on Etsy!  She's slightly bigger than the original pattern.  So cute!  I won't be selling them, but will make some as gifts.  You can buy one here.  (Hers are even cuter!)


When I was surfing yesterday, I saw these awesome Lily Pulitzer monograms.  Mine are poor imitations, at best, but still kind of fun.

Way cuter in Central Park fabric and the font from these monograms!

 I made a bunch of felted wool crocheted flowers.  They still need centers and pin backs (a job for my assistants?).  The fabric under them will become covered buttons for the centers.

Maybe a hexie ornament?  Maybe not.

How about some Hexie candle mats?
Too busy.

Ahh.  Much better with 12 Days of Christmas!

 It looks like the only thing ready to be sold are these key lanyards from Stephanie's tutorial.

There will be much cooking and crafting for the next few days!  
When you need a break, enjoy the other WIPs!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I won!

 I won some great stuff from Pat Sloan!

Pat encourages her fans to Finish It Up!  Periodically, she chooses a random photo from her Bust Your UFOs  Flickr group.  I won the Oct/Noc drawing with Timeless Garden!  Here's the link to Pat's newsletter with a photo of my quilt.  Thanks, Pat!

In other news...
Julia received her first two college acceptance letters!   Siena College and Franciscan University.  Yes, she's wearing a poodle skirt.  It was "Decades Day" at school.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

And the winner is...

Thankfully, she left her email address.
(In case you need to know, since Helen (Archie the Wonder Dog) asked to be kept out of the drawing, I didn't count her comment, making anonymous #8.)

 In other news...
Julia and her friends went to the Homecoming dance together this weekend.  A mother couldn't ask for a nicer group of friends for her daughter!

It's going to be a crazy-busy week here!  Hope you all have a good one!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WIP Wednesday and a Giveaway

I'm so excited that the piecing is done on the Wedding Ring Star!
Next, I'll need to start on the applique border. Woo hoo!

To thank you all for being so encouraging, I have a quick little giveaway for you. Julia and I were in Michael's last weekend and she spotted this cute Fandango Organizer!

We both agreed that I would never use it. (I'm not that organized!)

Just leave a comment telling us what you are thankful for and I'll pick a winner on Sunday, 11/20. (Make sure I can reach you if you win! Check out Karen's blog buddy post or include your email in the comment.)

Now off you go to see the other WIPs!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Design Floor Monday

I know lots of other quilters are posting photos of their design walls today, but I use the floor! It makes for a horrible photo with the key stoning and shadows, but it's the best I can do.

All the blocks for the wedding ring star are done! I started to get really excited when I laid out the filler triangles on the sides.

I'm hoping to get the top put together today. I did the bottom right corner this morning and the points are not perfectly perfect, but they are OK.

In non-quilty news...

It was senior night at the high school football game on Saturday. Julia led the band out onto the field for their first half-time show in years and years. She was so nervous and excited, but she did an awesome job!
(That's Julia on the ladder!)

Our happy family!

Have a happy, quilty week!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fresh Fabric Friday

I wanted to show you some fresh fabric today, and it seems appropriate to start with the camouflage!

Julia is planning to make pillowcases for her friends for Christmas, so the Army camo is for Fred and the dessert camo is for Pete.

More novelties for her friends: bikes for Mike, running for Rosa (Josh Rosa), and I couldn't resist throwing in the cute daisy.

A few solids for the next round of the 4x5 bee: pomegranate, sage, medium grey and coal.


Veteran's Day 2011

Our schedule for Veteran's Day and Memorial Day has been the same for the past few years.

7:00 am: Ceremony at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery.

Julia plays Taps with a Boy Scout friend.

10:00 am: South Kingstown Parade.

Grand Marshall
Julia's Vietnam Vet Buddies.
Here come those cute dancing drum majors, Mike & Julia!

Followed by a slew of adorable Girl Scouts including our neighbor and new Daisy, Abby.

11:00: Ceremony at Saugatucket Park.

Invocation by Msgr. Paul Theroux, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi.
(Our church is across the street from the park.)

The band plays the National Anthem and the Navy Hymn.
(There's that cute drum major again.)

Pete on quads.

12:00: Home for lunch.

1:00: We're all ready for a nap!

I hope you all had an opportunity to Thank a Vet today!