I love quilters!

A wonderful quilter, Lynn, offered to send me a replacement ornament for the one I broke. Guess what came to my house a few days a go? A box of ornaments!

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None are an exact match to the one that was broken, but that’s OK because I love these just as much. In fact, I especially love the pink one, and the gold one, and the blue one… really, I love them all and will treasure them.

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I am really looking forward to putting up the tree! Thank you, Lynn!

I found it, and I wasn’t looking!

Catherine, my Aussie friend, and I were shopping today and I was happily taking pictures of sparkly Christmas trees. This one has reproduction ornaments on it and I knew that, but didn’t look close. I should have!

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Last year I broke one of my favorite, vintage ornaments from my youth. It is on this tree!

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It’s not exactly the same, but it’s pretty darned close. I will be going back for it and while I’m there I will look more closely. Who knows what other treasures are on this tree!

Wednesday Giveaway

Thursday Update: Congratulations to the lucky winner, Barbara Burkhalter! Be sure to mark your calendars for next week’s Wednesday Giveaway.

Welcome to the Wednesday Giveaway! This week you have the opportunity to win my 2nd-to last copy of our much-coveted out-of-print book, A Slice Of Christmas. It has a very slightly dinged corner, but other than that it’s in primo condition.

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This book is full of wonderful Christmas patterns. Click here to see the quilts.

If you’d like to enter your name in the drawing, leave a comment below before 12:00 midnight, CST, February 15, 2017. I will use a random number generator to choose a winner. Good luck!

Happy new year!

Have you wondered where I’ve been? The short story is that I have been chained to my sewing machines. Well, not really ‘chained’, it only felt that way because I was on a very tight deadline.

Last summer when we were in Germany with the kids, Celia (DIL) asked me to make her a special, magical quilt — for Christmas. That was in July.

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Do you know what makes a quilt magical? A unicorn! Yup, that’s right, she asked me to make her a unicorn quilt. Celia doesn’t make quilt requests often, so I said “Sure, I can do that!”.

I was traveling a teaching a lot, but I got to work on it late August. Once it was drawn and on the wall in September I realized that this really is a magical quilt and that others would want the pattern. C&T agreed to publish it (next spring) but they wanted to show it in more than 1 size, with and without a border. That meant I needed to make a 2nd quilt. Again, I said I could do that without really thinking through the time it would take.

As it turns out, having 2 quilts in the pattern is better. I met my deadline for everything (2 quilts, the manuscript, the models for photography, etc.) with a few days to spare.

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Celia got to see her quilts on Christmas morning and she truly did have a tear in her eye. I can’t show more of the quilt because I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but trust me when I tell you that you are going to want to make a unicorn quilt of your own this spring :-).

My year is off to a very good start and I hope yours is as well!

Christmas pillows…

My DIL, Celia, always puts the cutest Christmas pillows on her sofa and bed. I admit to being inspired! I often buy pillows but you know what? We can sew and pillows are EASY! I made these 2 blocks when I was teaching Pick-Up Sticks (from The Quilter’s Practical Guide To Color) with the idea in mind that they would make a good pillow.

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The four 8″ x 8″ blocks in each of the larger blocks are the same, they are just turned differently. I sewed the blocks together, being careful to leave an opening for stuffing. You could insert a zipper on one side and insert a pillow form if that suits you better.

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I turned the pillow right sides out and pressed with steam, using my new Laura Star iron. (More on that in a future post.) It did not take long to stuff it with polyfil and sew the opening closed.

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I love a fast project! I’m not sure which side I like the best.

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The Santa pillow came from Hobby Lobby. It didn’t look nearly as good in the store as it does on my sofa :-).

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Happy December 26!

I last posted 10 days ago (that’s a long time in blog-world) but this was an intentional choice on my part. I wanted to take a small social media break. It was nice! What wasn’t so nice was that during these 10 days many of the women in my family came down with a head cold. Mom, at 83, has it the worst. She slept through Christmas, but is showing signs of improvement today. The rest of us are more on the mend.

Despite the colds, Christmas was lovely. Celia and Jeff flew in from NYC on the 23rd. I love it when they are here! On Christmas Eve, Chris and Lorna and the little kids joined us for church and then dinner and some presents.

On Christmas morning there was more celebrating. Celia and Jeff had already told us that our gift was going to be a summer vacation with them. They sent us on a scavenger hunt Christmas morning to find out where we are going. I am lousy at deciphering clues, and Steve wasn’t much better, but after many hints we found our last clue. If you are a Die Hard fan, this at least is an easy clue:

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We’re going to Munich with the kids next summer! They have been there before and have lots of ideas about what to see. There will be castles! This is something wonderful to look forward to and Steve and I are both very excited. Being female, I’m already thinking about what sort of clothes I need to pack :-).

Steve and I then went to Chris and Lorna’s where her family and more friends had gathered for breakfast and their gift-a-palooza. Bear may have been the happiest with his Octonaut Octopod and various Gupps. Jeff and Celia went to Celia’s parents’ house. I must say that it’s extremely handy that our sons’ wives families all live in Sherman.

After lunch, Steve and I and Jeff and Celia headed to Oklahoma City for more celebrating with the other half of the Goldsmith clan. We ate too much, exchanged stories and gifts, and just generally had a good time.

I have lived through Christmases that were less happy and relaxed so I really do appreciate this year’s celebration. If mom had been better it would have been perfect. Luckily Christmas is an annual event and we can plan better health for next year. (Note to self: lots more hand washing and never touch my nose.)

I hope your Christmas was all that you hoped it would be. If you are on the road, safe travels.

PIE NOTE: Because it’s Christmas, I made pies, which I’ve posted about before. I realized that the gluten free pie crust recipe I posted in October 2013 had a pretty significant transcription error. You add 2 TEASPOONS of lemon or orange juice with the egg, not 2 tablespoons. Deep sigh on my part. The old pie crust recipe I posted will work, it’s just not as good. I’ve corrected the recipe on the older post, but here is a link to the corrected pie crust recipe. I’m sorry for any baking inconvenience that I have caused you to have.

I’m back!

I am happy to report that I was able to stand on my now bunion-less right foot. I am stunned. I can walk and it doesn’t hurt! I thought the doctor was crazy when he said this would be the case but I’m happy that he was right. [I had the same surgery, done by a different surgeon, on my other foot years ago and it hurt a lot more, a lot longer.] I am being very careful not to overdo it.

The day I found out that I could walk, I also found out that I had a screamingly bad case of thrush. I’ve never had thrush. My family practitioner said it could have been the stress of surgery. I’ve taken the anti-fungal drugs and given up sugar. Now I’m taking caprylic acid, probiotics, and drinking water laced with vinegar. I really miss sugar. Even though I’ve dropped 4 pounds, I think I like sugar more than the weight loss.

But wait, there’s more! I also got a sinus infection in the middle of all this, along with the 2 1/2-day headache that goes with it. Today I woke up finally feeling like myself and am happy happy happy!

That leads me to this video. A friend (thank you Mark H.) told me about the elf yourself app for your smart phone. Try it. You’ll love it! That’s me and Steve and Celia and Jeff dancing with the kittens :-). Ho ho ho!