We've survived another Christmas

Christmas comes with so many expectations.  Everybody has them.  And, at one time, I thought it was all about meeting other people's expectations.  Those expectations nearly ruined Christmas.  Then I found Rob and we started our family and learned that the holidays are about everyone enjoying themselves rather than expecting everyone else to do something that would make the holidays enjoyable.  Rob loves the decorating.  I love the food.  And, like Jack Sprat and his wife, we make a successful go of it, together.

This is one of my early Christmas quilts.  It's a small hexagon wreath. 

I always take this quilt when I teach a class.  Look at all that quilting in it.  This picture isn't very clear, but it's densely quilted with poinsettias.  I quilted this one upside down and outlined the poinsettias and leaves in the print on the back.  Where the print was red, I used red thread and green and white for the berries.  It was a brilliant idea for getting complex quilting on the front of the quilt without a lot of marking to make it happen.

This is another early quilt where I tried to use a large print to make an attic window.  Another great idea.  But, I had to buy two copies of the print to make it work out right.  Now, I think I could probably do it with just one copy. 

Here is this year's Christmas quilt, hung in its place. 

On Christmas eve, early in the morning, Rob goes shopping.  It's his thing.  And, he came back with a mini muffin tin that holds four dozen muffins, so I had to make another batch of those fruitcake cookies to use up the last of the candied fruit. 

One of our traditions is tamales for Christmas eve.  We have tamales and beans and rice and queso and guacamole and chips.  Definitely gets us prepped for the high calorie Christmas feast.  You can see we're not very formal. 

Sydney makes a gingerbread house.  She has the patience for that.  And, the time.  I do not.  This year, she made two, and I made it a point to include them in just about everything we did. 

On Christmas morning, we have Bubble bread, which is balls of roll dough, rolled in cinnamon sugar and sprinkled with pecans and raisins and baked.  It's always been a good way to get Sydney out of bed as the aroma of it baking is heavenly.  We let Syd sleep in, and we were done with coffee, so we had it with eggnog. 

And, we opened Christmas presents.  There were tears of joy.  Rob is good at surprise gifts.  One of our traditions is that we all shop together, and for the most part, we pick our own gifts so there's no returning after the holiday.  We know it's the right size and color before we wrap it.  I know this looks like a huge excess of gifts, but a lot of it is clothes and shoes and things we needed that we wait until the holidays to buy for ourselves.  When Sydney came, it was all about the package count (a bad parent before us tried to make up for the year in just one day and it was clear early on we'd have to find a creative way to run up the count or it would break our bank).  And, there are some fun gifts thrown in too.  Sydney got a camera, Rob got some tools and a sign to hang out back.  I got a cookie jar that matches my good dishes.  We were all very happy. 

And, then it was time for lunch. 

I am so tired of ham.  Last night, we were talking about what we wanted to do for supper.  And, I was mock crying, talking about how tired of ham I am. "I can't even make tears I'm so dehydrated from eating ham".  It really is a very salty ham and we are all desperately tired of it because I can't stand the thought of wasting food, especially meat.  I've already frozen two baggies of it to use later in soup.  And, I've pretty much hit a wall with Rob.  He's not likely going to eat any more ham, which means I'm eventually going to have to cook something else.  And, I'm not looking forward to that.

On the day after Christmas, I pieced a quilt back for the purple and blue quilt. 

And, I've started quilting it.  It's going very well, but I'm just doing ditch work.  This one told me it didn't want fancy quilting, so it isn't going to get it. 

I've also been making half triangle squares.  I just about have all of them made for the next round, but about 60 of them need trimming.  My cutting station that is at the right height is in the garage and it's been too cold for me to go out there and trim those squares down.  But, I have made a few more blocks and you can see where my quilt is going.  Not quite the effect I was go
ing for, but I'm going to give it some more time before I pass too much judgment on it. 

I'm also doing my very best not to be distracted by this.  Rob went to the LQS and bought me a half dozen fat quarters, all in the same print to go in my stocking.  And, he challenged me to make a quilt from them.  He knows I enjoy that kind of a challenge.  But, he forgot to give me a light to set them off, so on Wednesday, we trekked back to the quilt store and I found two more colors of that print and the light grey.  Now, I need to pick a pattern for them.  I've been thinking something really simple; monkey wrench or churn dash.  Or, go all crazy with something like wheel of mystery.  The print seems to call for something simple, but we'll have to see.  I'm not in a hurry.  It's not like I don't have other projects to work on. 

So, that's a summary of my Christmas week and the break from work I've taken and how I've spent it.  Lots of cooking and sewing and relaxing and enjoying myself.  Well, until I caught a cold.  I spent yesterday coughing and sneezing and blowing my nose.  But, it didn't get any worse over night, so that's a good thing.  We're having lunch with friends of Rob today, and today, he's got it.  So, I guess we will give it to his friends as well. 

Like a bad Christmas gift.  I don't want it.  You don't want it either.  Let's re-gift it. 

Everybody have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend.  It's new year's.  We don't all celebrate the same end of year holidays, but new year's is one we have in common.  I've been thinking about what I want my 2018 to be like; figuring out what I'm going to be working on, what I want to finish.  What I want to start.  What changes I want to facilitate in my life.  And, what I'm going to do New Year's day because what you do on New Year's day is what you'll do all year long.  So, I plan to spend it in the studio.  And, maybe some in the kitchen.  But, no matter where I am, I want to be happy and content.  And, I hope you are too. 

Oh, and I'm not going to eat anything but lettuce and celery and cucumber to try to make up for the damage I did with all my Christmas baking, cooking, and leftovers. 




Patricia Gardner said...

I love your blog. I love your wit and humor. I love this little window you allow into your wonderful and real life. Thank you. Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard that what you do on New Year's day is what you will do all year long. I think I'll cut out a new quilt project so I'll have something to sew all day long. I wish you and yours a Happy, Healthy New Year. Thanks for all your sharing.

jane said...

I thank you , too. I love getting another view of Christmas. I make chili on Christmas eve and we open presents. Then I hope I don't have to cook on the day, but I have to.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your Christmas with us. Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year. Looking forward to seeing what you get up to in 2018. Mary

Rebecca Grace said...

Oh man -- what I do on New Year's Day is what I have to do ALL YEAR LONG?! I never heard that one before. So I'm going to spend the day sewing, too -- definitely NOT cleaning or doing laundry! Your purple and blue quilt and HSTs have me totally smitten, and I love Sydney's gingerbread houses.

Also, I will be joining you in eating nothing but cucumbers and lettuce, because I have been doing way too much baking of my own...

Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year to all of you!

Becky said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!! I LOVE the blue and purple quilt!! Well, truthfully, I love all of them, but that one caught my eye. Two of my favorite colors! Sydney did a great job on the gingerbread houses!

I'm hoping you are all feeling better with your colds. I wish you nothing but the best for the coming year.

Love you bunches!