Friday, December 25, 2009


“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."  Luke 2:8-14

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We are Santa's Elve's....

I finished the card production yesterday.  Being proactive {for the first time in my entire life} I mocked up a few designs last January.  This process usually begins in August when Skinny Sister is here for her visit... but we didn't get to it this year.  I began work on the selected card the Saturday after Thanksgiving with the help of Eva K.  I am not waiting to the last minute next year!!

Here is a finished card.  It simply says Merry Christmas inside.

There was also a Allen'09 Christmas Card Version 2.0 because I ran out of the pretty red card stock.  I used green for V 2.0 and burgandy for the border... or in some cases... whatever I could find in my stash.  I made 113 cards... and considered shortening my list several times during the course.  If I haven't mentioned this before, Mom and Skinny Sister got me started on the tradition of homemade cards.  They are both big into Stampin' Up.  And... if I can be SNARKY for a minute... Jeanne sent cards from Target this year.  Come on!!!  We have a reputation to uphold sister!

I also managed to finish my nephews t-shirt quilt for Christmas.  Not the most exciting quilting project, but he will appreciate it.  My friend Juna did the quilting and she put her heart into every block.  I should have taken a better picture before I sent it off.

I wanted to give a bottle of wine to each of my co-workers at the yarn shop.  In a brief moment of genius I came up with the idea to take the arms of some sweaters Theresa and I felted and make wine gift bags.  This was a fun project because it will reuse * reduce * recycle, and my knitting cohorts will be pleased with my cleverness.

Again, my photography abilities stink, but you get the idea!

It is snowing, and Eva K is arriving today.  I am going to make chili in the crock pot before work so I better get moving.

Ho ho ho
Ho ho ho
We are Santa's elves.

We are Santa's elves
Filling Santa's shelves
With a toy
For each girl and boy.

Oh, we are Santa's elves
We work hard all day
But our work is play
Dolls we try out
See if they cry out.

We are Santa's elves
We've a special job each year
We don't like to brag
Christmas Eve we always
Fill Santa's bag.

Santa knows who's good
Do the things you should
And we bet you
He won't forget you.

We are Santa's elves
Ho ho ho. Ho ho ho
We are Santa's elves
Ho Ho!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Remembering Dottie...

I have tried to prepare myself for this day for months.  Today the Rockin' Bobbins will gather with family and friends of Dottie and say goodbye.  Dottie passed away on Friday, December 4, after a couragous fight with ovarian and breast cancer.   

I thank God for my friendship and time with Dottie.  We met about nine years ago when we both joined the Rockin' Bobbins quilting group, shortly after it formed.  I could never guess her age because she took such good care of herself, walking every morning.  Now when I say walking... I don't mean around the block.. I mean a quick, almost sprint, for 5 miles.  Dottie was a vegetarian.  She also dressed very dignified, but not prissy.  I finally learned she shared my mother's birth date, February 20, and was one year younger.  She was 71 when she passed.  

Dottie and her husband Russ have been married 53 years.  They have 4 grown children, 12 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.  And if you can imagine this, Russ and Dottie also fostered 38 children.  One of Dottie's grandchildren, Colton, is just a year older than my Charlie, so I would often go to Dottie with questions.  She was always spot on with advice but didn't offer it unless asked.  She was truely a sage.

Dottie was an artist, and a very productive quilter and knitter.  If she made one quilt, then she made one for all the boys, or all the kids, or all the grandchildren.  A couple years back I think she knitted 9 (okay, I might be embellishing there) afgans for the boys - and began in August for Christmas.  Her last quilting project was 8 Christmas tree skirts she gave to the kids at Thanksgiving.  Dottie was also a china painter, which I loved because my mother-in-law was also a china painter. One year at Christmas we all received thimbles she had painted... how lucky we are!

Above all, Dottie was a loving, mission minded, Christian woman.  She was active in Bible Study Fellowship and Women's Prison Ministry.  Her quiet example of her faith in the Lord bore witness that spoke volumes.

So Dottie....
Enter His gates with
and His courts with
thanks to Him
and praise His name.
For the LORD is good
and his love
endures forever
His faithfullness
continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Rockin' Bobbins Christmas...

The other day I logged on to Facebook and a friend had written on my wall "Have you fallen off the face of the earth?"  Well yes... yes... I believe I have.

Thursday night was the annual Christmas gathering for the Rockin Bobbins.  As always the food was outsatanding and Jenny managed to find some spiked eggnog that wasn't too bad either.  We had show and tell and a gift excahnge from our secret Santa.  My Santa was Juna {WonderQuilter}and she is so creative I had to share her gift to me.  

Quilting the ABC's {yes, there was a gift for every letter of the alphabet!}
A :: Anne
B :: Bag, quilted flannel
C :: Charm Pack
D :: Doll
E :: Embellishments
F :: Fabric
G :: Gauge
H :: Hook, crochet
I :: Idea to knit, Wine Bottle Bag
J :: Journal
K :: Keychain, with a tiny knit sweater!
L :: Labels for knits
M :: Memory Ornament
N :: Note Pad
O :: Ornament, paper pieced by Juna
P :: Pattern
Q :: Quilt Fabric
R :: Ruler
S :: Snowman
T :: Thangles
U :: Ughh! UFO!!!
V :: Vintage Blocks
W :: Wool Penny Rug (not in the picture because it is already under my Balsam & Cedar Yankee Candle)
X :: Xtra Fabric
Y :: Yard of Fabric
Z :: Not a Zipper, 2 clasps for a bag or purse

Thank you Juna!

And now I really need to take this Christmas business serious.  Here is the extent of my decorating - although I do have the Yankee Candle burning trying to fill the house with a pine scent. 

My cards are not done - I make them {thanks to a tradition the skinny sister and Eva K started} - I have 10 made... I send out 100.  No letter written.  No picture taken.  No tree. Little shopping done.  Can we just scrap it all and focus on the reason for the season?  There is snow on the ground.  It is cold outside.  What is wrong with me?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Skinny Sister...

When the family was together for Thanksgiving, we celebrated a few birthdays.  Originally, I had planned to give Jeanne the red 3 button shawl, but Eva Kay fell in love with it.  Then I started a blue shawl for Jeanne, but she made repeated comments about a pink and brown Civil War Repro quilt I had recently finished so I thought maybe that would be a nice surprise.  So...

I think she liked it.  There were tears.

Happy Birthday Jeanne!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quilt Away...

I had the chance to run away from reality again this month and go quilt with my Iowa friends {Theresa & Company}.  We met at Fern Hill, just out side of New Glarus, Wisconsin. 

Here is a little glimpse of what went on {mixed with intermittent hilarity, belly laughs and an occasional tear from laughter by Jackie}.

We arrived late Thursday afternoon, settled in, had a lovely dinner prepared mainly by Theresa {altho I was supposed to be helping}, and then sewed into the wee hours {2 am}. 

On Friday, my sister Jeanne and her BFF Angie came up for the day. Jeanne worked on some embroidery and crocheted 2 scarves.  She also kept the room entertained with her tales all slightly or possibly more than slightly embellished.  There is a stage for that woman somewhere!

Remember the art quilts Angie did for her girls?  Well, the boys quilts were quilted and ready for binding.  They are so cute and very special.

Here is the quilt Jackies worked on ALL weekend.  Dawn and Mary worked on one too.  It is beautiful, but it was a lot of work.

Mary also worked on this reproduction Gee's Bend quilt.  Isn't it neat?!

Diedre was working on this woolies flannel quilt with an applique circle center.  I love it! 

I worked on this quilt the first 2 days.  I painstakingly (according to Jackie) cut it out and pieced it.  I was having a problem focusing...okay???  Too much fun in the room!  These blocks are on a design wall in this picture, and didn't actually leave the premises sewn together.

I did finish this quilt top in about 4 hours.  Jackie convinced me to cut more than one fat quater at a time... so I  cut 5!  A total running with scissors move on my part I must say!  Fun quilt to make.  The patten is called Boxed Blessings.

There were many more quilts...I just didn't get pictures.  Theresa finished 2 quilts by noon on Friday!  I guess the camera didn't come out until later.  We had fun... I'd drop everything and do it again at a moments notice.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just Must Say...

Happy Veterans Day!

Thank a veteran today... and everyday!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Binding Schminding...

I just finished binding this cute quilt I made for Lisa {Charlie's German friend} for Christmas. You saw the top when I finished it, but now it is complete... sans label.  Amy Butler brights and Mark Lipinski white = yummy! Once again, the photo doesn't do the quilt justice.

Here is a wallhanging I made a while back.  It is ready to have the binding hand sewn. 

I LOVE this quilt. It has been ready for binding for a LONG time.
Sewing on black binding is a MAJOR drag with my 40 something eyes.

True Confessions  The main part of this quilt is a big piece of cheater fabric with 2 nice borders added on. I love the quilting Juna did for me. Non-quilters will be none the wiser.

I have 6 more quilts in the Need Binding stack.

     Sew on,

Friday, November 6, 2009

Prince Charles...

My son Charlie has H1N1 and he missed the past week of school. The poor kid is worn-out and has beaten a path from his bed to the couch. He has recently shown signs of getting better. His fever has let up, and he is managing to eat a little.  And I am VERY thankful things are looking up.

We did see a smile out of him yesterday. Here is the background on that…

On October 8th, the husb, and I (both U of Iowa alumni) traveled to Iowa City, Iowa with Charlie for an arranged college visit. Oh, yeah... it was homecoming weekend and the Hawkeyes were playing Michigan… at night.

Charlie saw no reason to visit Iowa. He really had decided to stay in Indiana for college. Nonetheless, on Friday we attended an admissions overview, took a campus walking tour (the weather was beautiful), and toured a residence hall. By the end of the day, he had fallen in love with the place. Let’s face it… it’s in his blood.

On Saturday morning we got up, and true to Iowa weather, it began snowing. Yes people… it was October 10th.

By tailgate time it was dry, the sun was out, but it was chilly. And by the time the game started, it was 28 degrees! BRRRRR! But the game was fun - really fun and Iowa managed to beat Michigan and pull off a homecoming win.

Back to yesterday… Charlie received his acceptance letter from Iowa and a National Scholar Award.  Now that cheered him up and made his Hawkeye parents proud.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Welcome November...

So long October!

You went by so fast, I almost missed you!

Still we managed to have a little fun... didn't we?

And there were a few finished projects....

3 Button Shawl originally intended for skinny sister's b-day... until Eva Kay spotted it.

Cute little pumpkin hat for my niece Emerson.  Emphasis on little... my bro says it fit her like a yarmulke...any chance young Catholic girls will start wearing pumpkin skullcaps during prayer and religious study?

Luckily I also made her this cute poncho.  Now I just need to get it in the mail before the snow flies!

This very bright quilt is going off to the magnificent Juna for quilting.  I am also sending a t-shirt quilt for my nephew.  My skinny sister gave me the t-shirts 18 months ago - sew glad to get that project out of the sewing room! 

This is another stack of goodies I'm working on.  I put the top together, but decided I need 2 more blocks to finish it off. 

So Welcome November!  Only 7 more weeks until Christmas and we have a lot to do before then!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat...

Jack-o-lantern smiling bright
Witches flying in the night
Ghosts and goblins, cats and bats
Witches with their funny hats
A full moon can't be beat
As we go out to Trick or Treat

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