Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Finishes

A few big quilts,
A few lap size quilts,
A few little quilts.
Some UFO finishes,
Some challenges,
Some swap quilts,
A Moda Bake Shop quilt...
It was a great Quilt Year at Lollyquiltz!
I can't thank you all enough for coming by so often
to read about my quilting adventures 
and for leaving all of your encouraging comments.
It really means a lot to me.
I wish you all the best in the new year.
Happy quilting,

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sack Boys

Do you know what a Sack Boy is?
 Neither do I.
 But, that didn't keep me from making one today.....
Actually, I made two...a tan one and a green one.
You see, my grandchildren have me wrapped tightly around their little fingers. 
And that means, that when Oliver and Ezra started  begging  asking me to
go into the boy-doll making business
 they pretty much knew that I would cave in and say "yes".
First, they had to get on the computer and show me what a Sack Boy looked like.
Then, they helped me find a free pattern. Oliver is 7. His brother is 4. 
Good grief.
You can find the tutorial here that we decided on.
 There sure were a bunch of little pieces!
I needed tweezers and cotton balls to stuff the silly things.
Truthfully, making dolls and stuffed animals has never been my favorite thing.
But, then, I'm wrapped around their little fingers. (Did I say that already?!)
I persevered. All. Day. Long. Pretty much.
In the end, these guys came out kinda cute.
(They remind me of The Gingerbread Man, but don't tell the boys that I said that.)
They both have birth defects: one a twisted belly and the other funky hands, 
but, that just makes them even more special.
And, what's a doll without clothes? 
Of course, they needed wardrobes.
I called Oliver to tell him the news that the Sack Boys were ready.
I'm sure if he could drive, he'd be here by now!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Unexpected Gifts

It took Rudolph and the other reindeer an extra day to arrive at our house this year....
 but I don't think that it really mattered that much because the munchkins seemed pretty happy to extend the gift giving-and-getting for another day!
Then today, Santa brought a special present just for me. One that I wasn't expecting but ended up really needing at the last minute. It actually would have been nice to have gotten it on Christmas Eve as hubby and I were transferring all the perishables from our refrigerator into Coleman coolers filled with ice and sitting them out on the back deck, happy that the weather was hovering in the 30's.
Yep! My beautiful (ONLY!) four-and-a-half-year-old-French-door refrigerator decided on Christmas Eve to quit. It had been threatening to die for months and we'd been limping along, sans three visits from the repairman. Soooo.... last evening, after all the festivities, we went shopping  and bought a Side-By-Side, which Santa brought this morning (I think that guy was Santa, anyway...he had on a red vest). It was funny running to the deck for ingredients  every few minutes yesterday as we fixed brunch for the 15 of us. You just have to laugh! My mother had the same refrigerator for over forty years! It would seem that appliances should be getting better, not just prettier and fancier, don't you? Sigh. 

Well, anyway,  here's a lovely little gift that my friend, Linda, made for me...
 Isn't it the cutest thing? I'm going to keep my special gift cards in it. Thank you, Linda!
I had fun whipping up a few Dumplings for some special ladies last week. Have you been seeing them around the Internet? They are so cute, fun and easy to make....
 Each Dumpling takes only a bit of fabric and a fourteen inch zipper. Find the free tutorial by Keyka Lou here.
 I used some of my saved selvages for covering the inside seams.
 Using a few of of my new Pez prints, by American Jane, was a kick....
 ...and how fun to find fun companion prints for the insides...
as they were... 
Made With Love!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through Him."
John 3: 16,17

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Festive and healthy

My Pyrex bowls can get quite a work out this time of year...usually making something that contains chocolate or cream cheese (seriously)...
but yesterday I cooked up something festive that didn't contain sugar! You might even be able to call it healthy (if you don't serve it over tortilla chips like we did with the leftovers last night!)
 The main ingredient in Festive Rice Salad is this yummy ingredient that I found at my new favorite grocery store, Trader Joe's. This rice product contains barley and radish seeds, (who knew there was such a thing) but any long grain rice will work.
 Here's the recipe just in case you'd like to try it:

Festive Rice Salad
2/3 cup long grain rice
1 1/3 cup water
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 tsp. bottled crushed garlic (or equivalent)
1 1/2 cup chopped chicken
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed
2 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup salted peanuts
1 Tbs. dried cilantro
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 to 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
Prepare rice according to directions on the package. Let stand at least 5 minutes, rinse with cold water and drain. Place in a large bowl. In a small skillet, saute' green pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro and carrot in vegetable oil till tender crisp. Add to rice. Stir in corn, beans, chicken, tomatoes, and peanuts. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne and cumin to make dressing. Pour over the vegetable/rice mixture and stir to coat well. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. This is great just like this, or may be served over crushed tortilla chips or even in a soft tortilla shell. Enjoy!

I always associate good food with my mother. Cooking was her way of showing love to her family, especially during holidays. I miss her a lot. Two of the many ornaments on my Christmas tree decorated my mom's tree for many years. I enjoy hanging them on my tree and remembering her.This plastic Santa was given to Mom by one of her 5 children...maybe it was me, I don't remember....
 My favorite is this little nativity, so sweet and tiny....
 We lost my mother-in-law a few years ago. I helped her trim her tree for many years and always enjoyed hanging this darling angel made from pasta. Now she graces my tree.
I love her so.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Quilt Show

None of these are new....some are pretty old, in fact....but, I thought it might be kind of fun to do a little holiday celebrating with a  Christmas-themed quilt show today....
 Over the years, I've made several red and green quilts. This one is all from scraps...
This wreath might be the oldest one. I have it hanging on my house by my front door.
 This Christmas tree skirt was the first quilt that I ever machine quilted. 
 Here's one of my all time favorite quilts.....a fun non-traditional color scheme of white, red, pink, green and blue grey fabrics, all from my scrap tubs!
The colors were inspired by the wonderful backing fabric....
 I finished this last one in 2010. It's bright and cheerful....
 It hangs above my stairs during December and January...
when it's not on the fence, that is!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Something

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host
appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men
on whom His favor rests."
Luke 2: 13, 14

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pink Birds on My Tree

As I've said before, my Christmas tree is laden with ornaments of every type, some prettier than others. I love them all and have enjoyed collecting the menagerie over the last 38 years. I thought that it might be fun to share some of them with you, especially when I hear about several friends and family members that haven't put up Christmas decorations this year for one reason or another.  I'm still going strong in the "decoration" department and enjoy seeing my grandchildren study the collection and look for ornaments that they remember from years past.
Before I became a member of an "empty nester club" almost 10 years ago called the Pink Flamingo Club, I had never even heard of a pink flamingo ornament, let alone owned one.
 Who knew then that every year since I would add at least one pink feathered friend to my tree...and sometimes more.
 I haven't counted, but would be safe in guessing that the evergreen is laden with close to twenty pink birds by now. Our annual Pink Christmas Party is next week, and I won't be surprised if I come home with another fine specimen to add to the collection!
 Some are gorgeous glass ornaments and a few are silly guys dressed in Santa attire...
 Kitchy, resin Florida birds are even welcome among the branches.
 I would never turn a long-legged special friend away...what happy memories they represent to me. I'd love to hear about your silly dilly ornaments, too!
 Lest you get the idea that I have been sitting in front of the Christmas tree every day, sipping on a hot chocolate, here's a peek at a "leader-ender" quilt that I've been assembling in between Christmas shopping and other sewing projects...
I have some special Christmasy posts for next week, so y'all come back now..ya hear!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BOM Catch Up

I got a little behind on the Blogger's Block of the Month Quilt A-long, sponsored by Jackie, so played some catch up before December's block is posted in the very near future. Here's October's block, by Vicki Welch....
 And November's Split Star, by Stephanie Dunphy of Loft Creations.
 I'm using fabrics gifted to me by the fabulous Mary of Molly Flanders fame (with a few extras thrown in). It's going to make a sweet little quilt, I think.
I'm ready for the next installment, Jackie!
It's not too late for you to play along too! Start here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Something

But the angel said to them, 
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy 
that will be for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;
he is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2: 10,11

Friday, December 9, 2011

My Instant Tree Skirt

I'm keeping it real today. Some of you have noticed that I've been absent a bit lately. (Thanks for checking on me.)  Honestly, between my still weak hand that is now in one of those lovely black Velcro wraps after getting my cast off last week, having the crud that's been going around, and concern for a dear friend that is in a coma, my quilting mojo has been in a funk. But, after being inspired by my modern quilting friends at last night's KCMQG, I think I can feel the flames beginning to be fanned again! Whew! I was getting worried about myself!!
Anyway, during my quilting hiatus, I made a pale attempt last weekend at making, what I call, my Instant Tree Skirt. Here's what I needed to cover........
 Ya. It's a huge piece of heavy plywood that my dear hubby screwed our equally huge tree stand into. You see, we sure don't want the tree to fall on top of any of our darling grandchildren when they come to visit and yank on look at the Christmas ornaments! Last year I just threw a table cloth over it, I think. But this year, I had one of those "Ah Ha!" moments when I spied an "oldie but goodie" Christmas quilt in the cupboard....this Thimbleberries Gameboard quilt. Being the perfect size to cover the plywood, I simply cut into the center with my scissors and then cut a hole out of the middle....
 The quilt is large enough to be pulled around the tree stand and still camouflage the board. In the past, I used this quilt as a tablecloth, and one year a candle dripped a big puddle that left a stain even after I got all the wax out. Cutting the quilt actually solves that little problem too.
 Because I needed it right away, I didn't even bother to  bind off the cut edges. Yet. Do you think any one will notice? My tree is full-to-overflowing with ornaments. I put soft and unbreakable ones on the bottom so that the kids can pull on finger them without getting in trouble like they might at their own house.
I'm sure not worried about the tree falling over anymore... even if the cat climbs it.
Just keeping it real here!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Something

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. 
We have seen His glory, 
the glory of the One and Only,
who came from the Father, 
full of grace and truth."
John 1: 14