Monday, December 30, 2019

Design Wall Monday - December 30, 2019

Thank you to all who commented on the Holiday Favorites Blog Hop.  It sure was fun.  Remember the giveaway I had of two Christmas pillow covers?  The giveaway goes to Kelly, with comment #15.

Kelly, who was also part of the blog hop, had a great post last week with pictures of Christmas cookie decorating with her grandchildren.  I am sure the new pillow covers will fit right in with her great Christmas decorations.  Kelly was also the blogger that showed us how to make a "snow" scene with salt and small Christmas items in an old jar. (Here) Congratulations Kelly, on the win!

This is my last post of 2019, and I am looking forward to a very productive 2020.  I have put new eyes on my many UFOs.  My age has made me realize that if I don't work on finishing them, they will not get finished in my lifetime.  And I do want to see them finished - and by me.

So after putting the Christmas decorations away in the basement, I gave a long hard look at the UFOs down there.  There are shelving units on one wall of the basement, and lined up on them are shoe boxes, cardboard boxes, and bags with projects in them that I have stopped working on for one reason or another.  Yesterday, armed with index cards, I made out a card for each UFO.  The card has this information on it:

     Name of project
     What shelf it is located on in the basement
     What kind of project it is (full quilt, doll quilt, pillow, other)
     What season of the year I was planning on using it in
     What method needs to be done next (applique, embroidery, piecing)

I was preparing myself for the dreaded total number......which is one of the reasons I've been delaying getting this information down on paper.  I figured it would be close to 40 or 50 UFOs.  It was, but then some more were found in the quilt room, and some more in the family room.  But it was not the discouraging reality that I thought it would be, because I do love all of them, and now have a clear picture of what I have and a plan to get them finished!  Very satisfying.  And the number is just a number.....nothing to be afraid of. 

Also, I have less interest in starting a new UFO now, while these are refreshed in my memory.  I have the index cards in a little dish by my handwork area, and am enjoying looking at them, and sorting them in various ways.  I will keep them here to remind me to focus on my goals. 

I selected 12 of them that are at least 85% finished, and will be working on one each month during 2020.  It will be wonderful to get 12 projects completed. So at the end of 2020, I will have only about 50 UFOs, which is what I was guessing I had right now.  And in 2021, I will choose 12 more to finish, and so on.  Feels great to have a plan.

Happy New Year to all of you, and may 2020 bring us all a successful quilting year.  I'm looking forward to seeing what is on your design wall!  (Next week I will have something on my wall - one of my UFOs that is almost finished.)

Please provide a link back to this particular blog post from somewhere within your blog post.  I thank you for doing so.  

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Monday, December 23, 2019

Design Wall Monday - December 23, 2019

Penny Lane shows me how to chill out.

l should have written this on the first Monday of December, instead of now, but it’s here to remind us to forgive ourselves for all the things we wanted to get done and didn’t......I’m calling it “Finding Calm”

Finding calm in December:
Work on a project I know.  This season is not the time to learn a complicated new project.  I pull out a familiar project and it brings me peace to move it further along.
Make space to work.  I don’t have to have the whole quilt room clean and tidy  but I need to have the sewing machine area clear, and the ironing board empty and ready for pressing my seams.  If this is not possible, I find some hand stitching to relax me.
Choose my moments.  Some times in the day are not the best times for me to sew, but I try to seek out a half hour or an hour to sew because I know it feeds my soul.  Easier to do on some days than others.
Remember that quilting pleasure is about the process....not perfection.  There is so much self-imposed stress in December that it’s best for me to take a deep breath, relax and lose myself in the process of piecing, pressing, cutting, binding  my projects.  It helps me to work on something that has absolutely no time schedule for finishing.  For example, today I’m hand stitching the binding on a baby quilt for a future great be born years from now.  How’s that for no pressure?

The Holiday Favorites Blog Hop has just finished and if you’d like to get in on the give-away I offered, there is still time. Just comment on my last Thursday’s blog post and you will be in the drawing.  (Here)  It closes next week on the 29th, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 30th.

I’m looking forward to your link and seeing what you are doing this Christmas week.  And have you have given any thought to goals for 2020?  Please provide a link back to this particular blog post from somewhere within your current post.  Thank you.  And MERRY CHRISTMAS to all!

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Holiday Favorites Blog Hop - December 19, 2019

Hello and Merry Christmas to one and all.  If you are new to my blog, I post every Monday, with an invitation to link up and show what you are quilting.  I make lots of small quilts and doll quilts, and it's fun to share what I'm working on, and see what others are working on.  Please join us every Monday!

I thank Lori for inviting me to join her 12 days of Holiday Favorites Blog Hop.   A little about me:  I live in Michigan and am happily married for 56 years.  Our last name is Hansen, and hubby is 1/2 Danish so we've visited Denmark several times.  We have children and grandchildren, and a yellow labrador puppy.

So let's go on a tour of our home to see what quilts and traditions we have.  

Front Door:  Two Danish flags are on the front door swag.  I put different things on this swag each year; last year it had my old ice skates hanging there.

Inside the front door are the wonderful sleigh bells gifted to us by my MIL.  She had some old authentic sleigh bells and had them made into three leather straps, one for each of her three children.  We love the sound of them, and so do our guests.

Front Entry Way:  Just inside the front door I have a little doll dresser that I change out the decorations on for each season.  It is different every time.  This Christmas it has a little quilt on it and a Santa and a Russian nesting doll.  The two tiny Christmas socks are from Lloyd's mother's Christmas tree from many years ago.  

I love these little socks.  They are usually on the Christmas tree, but get lost with all the other ornaments there, so this year they are where I can enjoy them more.  Aren't they cute?

The doll quilt on top of the dresser is this one:  The picture of it is from an old post (Here) if you want more information about it.

The mirror by the front door has been replaced for the season with this wreath.  I bought it because I loved the pine cone seeds that someone had glued onto the wreath.  Amazing.....I had to buy it when I saw it because I sure wasn't going to make it myself.  The little "Let It Snow" sign has been out somewhere in the house every Christmas for at least 20 years.  

The Stair Railing near the Front Door:  I always have a quilt hanging over the railing here, and it varies by the season.  I've given away the Christmas quilt that is usually here, so this year we have "Roll Roll Cotton Boll", a Bonnie Hunter quilt.

Living Room:  Several years ago, I made Christmas fabric pillow covers for the living room couch pillows.  Here are the pillows (Santa fabric) along with some other holiday ones.  One end of the couch:

And the other end:

Another Christmas pillow I made a few years ago is made of felt, and was blogged about (Here)  I changed the pattern from "Happy Holidays" to "Merry Christmas".  

The coffee table in front of the couch has my collection of three "The Night Before Christmas" books.  The oldest one is from 1947, another is illustrated by Mary Engelbreit, and the third is our daughters - the front page says given to her by us when she was little (Why do I still have it?)  

Also on the coffee table, are the skaters.  They used to be magnetized, but alas, are not any more.  We used to put a magnet under the tray and move them around.  Now the puppy knocks them over with her tail.  Similar, but maybe not quite the same.

The Doll quilt on the coffee table is one of my favorite little quilts.  I blogged about it (Here) if you want to know the pattern and dimensions.

Christmas tree is decorated with Danish flags on a string.  I've seen them on trees in the usual garland way we do it here, and also from top to bottom as I've done it this year.  

I change up the quilt I cover the bottom of the tree with, and this year it's an old plaid bow tie quilt, functioning as a tree skirt.

Creche in bookcase is one by Jim Shore, featuring quilts, so I have one of my favorite little quilts under it.  If you want info about this quilt, I wrote about making it (Here).

Dining Room, I usually decorate the light fixture, and this year I also hung three little ornaments from it.  Some of my favorite ornaments are not noticed enough when they are in the middle of all the others on the Christmas tree, and I like to feature them.  Picture doesn't show them very well, but they are a pine cone, a tinsel star and a silver snowflake.  You can see them from sitting at the table much better.  Also two little bird ornaments are hanging on the knobs of the cupboard in the background.

Kitchen:  The kitchen counter has two stools, and I've set two places for hubby and I to use.  Here's a picture of one (they are both the same)

Also in the kitchen are two little birds that are usually in the kitchen window at Christmas time.  This year I have them "wishing" together on the Thanksgiving wish bone, which has been in the kitchen window since Thanksgiving.  I do like whimsy.

Back Door behind the kitchen:  Since we go in and out of this door all the time, and not the front door, I hang bells by the back door too.  Not as beautiful sounding as the sleigh bells, but a slight jingle jingle is good too.  The light fixture in the back room has mistletoe hanging from it, as I like to get a kiss from the hubby when we are coming and going.  

Kiss, kiss:

Our bedroom: We have two dressers directly across from our bed, and this year the snowman collection is on top of them.  When hubby saw it, he said "Are all these guys going to be staring at us while we are in bed?"  I said, yes and you'd better behave yourself!  

Our bed has my recently finished quilt on it, and I love it.  It's 100" by 100" and very cozy to sleep under.  The sheets are ones that we've had for years, and are only used during Christmas week.  I love sleeping with the reindeer.

One tradition we have is playing a game similar to "hide the thimble".  See this small box?

See what is inside?  This Santa is only 1 inch tall.

Can you find him now?  The grandchildren love to play this game with me, even now when they are in high school and college.  One year someone hid him inside a salt shaker at the cabin and we didn't find him until the next summer!  Now I have this little box for him and keep him there after Christmas so he doesn't get lost.

The living room sofa has a vintage quilt on it that I like to use for napping with my dog Penny Lane.  Here's a picture of yesterday afternoon's nap.  This lovely quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted, and I purchased it from a friend in Virginia.

Also, as part of the Holiday Favorites Blog Hop, I have a Christmas giveaway drawing for a lucky someone who comments on this post.  It is for two Christmas pillow covers for square pillows.  The picture shows the two pillow covers - one with the back opening showing, where you insert the pillow.  They are the same size as the Santa ones shown on my couch.  Second picture is a close-up of the fabric.   I will announce the winner on the December 30th regular Design Wall Monday post.  The drawing will remain open until midnight on the 29th.  Merry Christmas everyone!  

Tomorrow, Be sure to check out the last stop on the blog hop - it's over at Kevin the Quilter's blog:

Dec. 20 Kevin,

Thanks again to Lori of Humble Quilts for having this Holiday Favorites Blog Hop.  It was fun.  If you are a reader of my blog and don't know Lori, she is great, and inspires me.  

Monday, December 16, 2019

Design Wall Monday - December 16, 2019

Have you been looking at the daily Christmas related blog posts these past few days from Lori's (Humble Quilts) Blog Hop?  (Lori's Post Here)  I have enjoyed it so much.....while I am s-l-o-w-l-y decorating our home.  My day to share is this Thursday and I will have to be finished by then, so I can show you my quilts that are out and about for the season.

Today is about a small thing.....but happiness in life is finding joy in lots and lots of small things, right?   Here is a picture of a child's size hanger that I think I acquired from my mother's estate - so cute but I have never used it for anything. 

But I had a small serendipity this week because of the Blog Hop.  On Dec. 10th, the pictures were shown from Katy Quilts blog. (Here)  Look at this one Katy shared of her dining area:  

Under the picture, Katy wrote....................

"I need a vintage hanger for that vintage baby dress, but I love having it out on display."

Ding! Ding! Ding!  My heart jumped when I read it because I had just seen this old hanger in my basement last week!  I knew this little hanger would have the perfect home with Katy, and I am so happy to be sending it to her.  

When you are 76, if you find someone to gift something to, and you know they will want and use it, it's a good thing!  A serendipity.  It made my week, that such a simple "match" is being made through this Holiday Favorites Blog Hop.  Thank you Lori for making me smile.  And thank you Katy, for giving this little hanger a nice home.

The icing on the cake is that Katy lives on the other side of Michigan from me - near where my Mother last lived.  I am meeting new people through this blog hop, and how nice that we both live in Michigan!

Quilting has been on the back burner this week for me - only some hand sewing on the binding for a baby quilt.  I am looking forward to seeing what you more productive people have been working on.  Thanks so much for linking up every Monday with Design Wall Mondays.....As you can see from this post, it doesn't have to always have a picture of what is on your design wall.

Please refer back to this particular blog post from somewhere within your blog post.  We are so lucky that we have our quilting to keep us peaceful in this busy month.  Hold that thought as you are having a busy week.

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Monday, December 9, 2019

Design Wall Monday - December 9, 2019

Blog Hop!

This Monday post will be a little different for me because I'm participating in a Blog Hop.  Lori of "Humble Quilts" (Here) is having a 12 day Christmas blog hop that will be featuring holiday quilts in all 12 bloggers homes - and how we decorate with our favorite quilty things.  The Hop starts today at Lori's blog and continues for 12 days.  So I hope you will hop along and get some good ideas for using your quilts in holiday decorating.  I know I am looking forward to it.

Participants for the 12 days are:

Dec  9  Lori, Humble Quilts
Dec 10 Katy, Katy Quilts
Dec 11 Beth, Love, Laugh, Quilt
Dec 12 Diane, Butterfly Threads Quilting
Dec 13 Kyle, Timeless Reflections
Dec 14 Kelly, Pinkadot Quilts
Dec 15 Juliann, Chasing Stories
Dec 16 Sue, Knitty Quilter
Dec 17 Lizzy, Gone To The Beach
Dec 18 Barb, Fun With Barb
Dec 19 Judy (ME!!) Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Dec 20 Kevin, Kevin the Quilter
This is the first blog hop that I've participated in, and I don't know some of the bloggers that are participating.  So I'm looking forward to meeting new bloggers and seeing what they are making (and using in their Christmas decorating).

Here's a start on my Christmas decorating.  Miss Penny Lane is on my front porch:  

She's waiting for me to stop taking a picture and take her for a walk.  This is as far as I've gotten with Christmas Christmas tree in the house Christmas cards in the mail, but I am not stressing out.  I'm enjoying family and friends and the reason for the season.   How are you doing with your holiday preparations?  Remember, Christmas always comes whether we are ready for it or not.

Please link up with our usual Design Wall Monday show and tell below.  As usual, I request that you link back to this particular blog post from your blog post.  Thanks so much.

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Monday, December 2, 2019

Design Wall Monday - December 2, 2019

December is here!  When I think of all the things I like to do during the Christmas season, it makes me so happy.  I only wish I had a personal assistant to help me with all the details, right?  I hope to have some Christmas decorations up to show you next week, but so far, I have done nothing to get ready for Christmas.

So this week I'm going to continue on with my progress on the baby quilt tops that are now becoming completed quilts.  This is another simple one using three fabrics:  All three fabrics are leftovers from other baby quilts, and my friend quilted it for me with lovely hearts and feathers.  I love it.  My goal is to get the binding on it and get it finished this week.

Here is a picture of the whole quilt (before binding):

It is so "girly".  The blocks are cut at 5 in. square and finish at 4.5 inches square.  And the binding is the same width, so the whole quilt is 36 inches by 40.5 inches.  I will probably used the pale pink backing for the binding, because there is enough of it, and it will be simple.

Here's a couple more pictures of it:

I am excited to get most of the baby quilt tops finished into quilts.  I have 10 for charity this Christmas season, and one for a relative, and a few to put binding on for future family babies.  Woot!  Woot!  

Very pale, feminine pink backing:

I wonder how many of you are participating in Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt this year?  I have in past years, but not this year.  I am concentrating on finishing the many quilts that are in my stash that are partially finished.  I am copying the weekly instructions, in case I decide later to make the quilt.  But the fun is in making it along with everyone else and wondering what the final quilt will look like.

Please link up with Design Wall Mondays, below, and show us what you are working on this week.  As usual, I please ask that you refer back to this particular blog post from somewhere within your blog post.  Thanks!

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