Saturday, December 29, 2007

Double, double

There is lots to be said about "doubling" up on things.

My daughter Anna Maria's best childhood friend is expecting twins in a few months. We were excited to be part of hosting showers for her--one in my home for her high school friends, and another at church today for our parish community.

So far, my handiwork for baby gifts has been quilts, but I decided to break the mold this time and knit baby blankets. So I "doubled up" on some knitting. I did learn in this knitting process that the same size, but different composition, needle will yield a different guage. I used bamboo on the first (blue) blanket, but because the joint from the needle to the circular's "wire" was not smooth and my yarn kept catching, I switched to all plastic for the second (pink). Wow, what a difference. By the time I realized there was such a difference, I was too far along with not enough time left to go back and redo the pink for them to be identical. You can probably see the difference in the photo that I took as I was ready to wrap them.

There were several hostesses for the church shower today and a joint gift was purchased. My task for the shower was to get the corsage. I also volunteered to use my poinsettias for the serving table decoration. "Doubling up" all the way around here. Keep that stash ladies, every last bit of it. You never know when you can use the tiniest pieces of fabric.

The decoration theme for the shower today was rubber duckies.

Guess what, I made flannel duckie PJs for one of my granddaughters a couple years ago. I had only 2 small pieces of the fabric left, probably only 5x5 inches. Just put some craft weight "wonder under" on it, cut out the duckies with my embroidery scissors and voila, with a glue gun, there's a little something extra in the corsage!

Use another little duckie, along with some more stash (just plain gingham, again stiffened up with some "wonder under") and you've got a themed floral arrangement. These same poinsettias, by the way were wrapped in pink and blue gingham for the shower at my house earlier in the week--after being in the gold foil from the nursery for Christmas. (I usually use red poinsettias, but this I year opted for the white, knowing that they might soften the Christmas decor a bit for the shower.) Gee, I guess that's "tripling up"!

But I wouldn't wish "tripling up" for you, Jennie--doubling up with your twins is quite enough, don't you think?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ah, Crochet is pretty good too!

I haven't crocheted in so long. It was really nice to be forced back in to that wonderful form and needlework to finish the edge of my baby blanket.

And, yes, to those of you who know that there was to be a matching pink one: it is also finished. Nina, if you are reading this, no fair telling Jenny before Wednesday!

But back to crochet, I think one of my all favorite crochet items are "doilies". I have so many from my mother-in-law and sisters-in law and I love them. And this time of year, I think there's nothing much better than a Christmas tree with lots of crocheted snow flakes. (Oh, I guess I should admit: No, I didn't make these; they are a mail order purchase.)

Now that I'm up to date on my knitting, and the first group of family Christmas visitors have come and gone, I think I'll actually get back to my quilting project that has been so patiently awaiting my return.

And in the meantime, even though it's a night early: from our East Tennessee home

from Mary Lynn and Terry

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I promise I'll be back soon--just busy being busy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Somehow I can't read that title statement without hearing Julie Andrew's voice singing it!

But that's not what this is about. Goodness, so much to do in these days as we near the holidays.

In addition to placing hardware on the walls for me to hang drapery and knowing that he must help me assemble our large Christmas tree before I host a luncheon next week, my dear husband was still willing to hang a rod for me to display one of my favorite (albeit first) quilts. Several years ago, before the family farm was sold, I found pieced squares that my maternal grandmother had hand sewn. (They are pre 1948 as that is the year she died.) I purchased some off white flannel to back the squares, sewed them together, hand quilted them around the patterns, and viola, my first quilt. Although I have used it for some of the grandchildren, I have decided to consider in an heirloom and display it as such.

I have purchased some 1930s replica children's prints for a quilt that I will use to cover the babies from now on. My purchased prints are so much like the print in this central square that it's almost uncanny.

And this is the "hope chest" where those squares were stashed in our Indiana farm attic. The chest had been my mother's 1932 high school graduation gift from her parents. The poor cedar chest was in terrible condition when I found it, with much water damage. I had the top veneer replaced and I refinished the wood. This is perhaps one of my most precious material possessions.

And now for some holiday magic. Although we all know that this is not the reason for the holiday, I love Santas and I have managed with the help of market shopping with my daughter Eleni to get a pretty nice collection. This is the new one for the year. If you look closely, you may see the needle and thread in his hand.

Right now Santa and his elves are sitting on the cutting table in my laundry/sewing room. I hate that not too many people will see it there. Either I will have to move it, or send my guests to the laundry room "potty" instead of the powder room!

I just had to show him to you before tomorrow since December 6 is the day that the Christian world commemorates St. Nicholas. Almost every Orthodox Christian church world wide will celebrate Liturgy tomorrow in memory of this great Saint. And yes, dear grandson, Nicolas, he IS your saint!