Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pimp my blog

My blog-iversary came and went in early December. I was away from my computer at the time and by the time I came back, holiday preparations were in full swing. So it went un-remarked.

But I've been wanting to change my look for the second year. A while back, my awesome e-friend elegantitus gave me a very sweet surprise gift of my blog name with my Habitat challenge quilt as the background and I've been wanting to use it. So please stay tuned and please be patient as I work out the bugs and get the blog looking the way I want it.

Everyone have a fun and safe New Year's celebration and I wish for you a Happy, Healthy and Blessed 2012!
Talk to you next year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Not a smitch of stitching.*

I know I am not alone: things have been so busy & hectic that unless we've been burning the midnight oil to finish gift projects (not me, thankfully -- this year I recognized my limits) we've hardly made it into our sewing areas at all.

I've been finding it hard to get into the spirit of the Holidays. I've been tired, sad and grumpy. But I finally sat myself down and said "Get a grip!!!" So I am counting my blessings and trying to see the glass as half full. Then I started thinking about this picture --

shirley christmas

I think this was the Christmas that I was 5. My Mom got me a Shirley Temple doll a few months before Christmas, then spent lots of time sewing her a wardrobe. Now before you start thinking that I am *much* older than I really am let me point out that Shirley Temple is a contemporary of my Mom's. The dolls were re-issued when I was little and, probably as much for herself as for me, she bought one. I don't really remember this Christmas morning, but I have always loved this photo. There is Shirley down there under the tree. And look at the tree! All the little outfits hanging on hangers!! This is what Christmas is about!

So I dug out old Shirley and her clothes. I washed and pressed them, dressed up Shirley and hung the rest on the tree. (Which we only put up yesterday.) Since Shug and I will be home this holiday, we can do a little decorating. And while we will miss being with the families, I am heaving a big sigh of relief to not be traveling. I got out a few more things and it is really beginning to look and feel much more like Christmas.

our tree

more clothes

the mantle

rhinestone trees

Season's Greetings to Everyone and a Happy, Healthy and Blessed 2012!
love, Beth aka Smazoochie

* My thanks -- and apologies -- to Zuzu Bailey.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Old dogs, new tricks

Recently, several of us HMQG-ers met at Safieh's house for an afternoon of sewing and chatting.

Fi brought her blocks to assemble this quilt. She laid out the blocks on Saf's design wall then asked for advice on how to sew them together. I said that I always assemble my quilt tops either row by row or column by column. Saf said that she sews hers together in sections -- fourths, sixths, whatever is easiest and most logical for the project. Then there is only one seam that is the length or width of the whole quilt.

Wait! What!?!

Now I have been quilting for about as long as Saf has been alive and I have ALWAYS assembled tops either row by row or column by column. And ALL those long seams ALWAYS make me cranky! It is one of my least favorite parts of quilt making -- even though the product is the finished top!

Sections?!? That is GENIUS!!! This is one of the things I love about our group: our mix of ages, of skills, of knowledge.

So with Saf's method in mind, I began putting together some of the blocks made with my Mom's shirts. I still need quite a few more blocks. I think this will be fairly big, maybe 6 or 7 by 8 or 9 blocks -- so 48 to 63 blocks. And I have 20. Ouch, I have quite a way to go. But it is satisfying to see a bit of it with "my" new construction method!

 part one of four