Undecorating for the new year

We will soon be undecorating the house.  Rob has already started taking down village pieces and Santa figurines.  Sydney and I are supposed to start taking down the tree in a little while.  But, in the meantime, I've been sewing.  I've got another border on the black and brown quilt and I've ironed the fabric to cut out a shirt for me.  Just a little bit of indulgence for the new year's holiday.  Anyway, now that it's coming down, it's probably a little late to share the videos of the decorations, but in case you're still looking for a bit of a Christmas fix to get you through the withdrawals, here are a couple. 


I'm looking forward to the new year.  2015 was a great year for my family.  It saw us married and our relationship changed and our kid became an adult.  I'm anxious to see what 2016 has in store for us.  What changes are next?  How will we grow?  Who will we become?  How will we adapt to change? 

That's the beauty of not knowing the future.  It lets things just happen. 

And, lately, I've been relaxed enough to just enjoy them happening without needing to control them.  That's a hugely wonderful thing.  Makes life so much more enjoyable. 

Everybody enjoy your New Year's celebration.  And, may 2015 have been great and 2016 be even better!



It was a very Merry Christmas

I hope your holiday was happy and peaceful as was ours!  We laughed.  We cried.  We told funny stories.  Just like it's supposed to be. 

I cooked.  I cooked a lot.  We do food right!  We had Bubble bread and coffee while we opened gifts. 

And, I made an apple pie...before baking.

And, after baking!  It was real good.  Could have used a tad more sugar and could have baked ten more minutes.  But, it was still good. 

I don't know why Sydney looks surprised.  She knew we were taking pictures.  I did take my apron off before we ate.  It was restraining around the middle...couldn't have that. 

Always done right.  If I want the kid to know my traditions, I have to do them for her...no matter how much trouble they are.  We had a wonderful Christmas.  Family and love in abundance.  Even the kid was pleasant.  And, we all know how difficult that can be for a teenager.  I think she was surprised I didn't make her help.  But, honestly, I decided it was good for her to be left out.  I'm trying to make her appreciate what I have to offer.  And, sometimes that means making her help.  And, sometimes, it means waiting for her to want to help.  (Okay, I know that may not work...but please don't burst my bubble)

On Saturday, I cleaned.  I washed dishes that have been in cabinets for a while, and put them away, clean and usable again.  I did that most of the day.  It was a great, low stress way to spend the day after Christmas.  I'm pretty sure this whole cleaning and organizing thing is related to the end of the year.  I sure hope so.  I've hit a cabinet or two every day or so, just emptying it, throwing crap away, and putting it back together in an accessible way.  I own too much stuff and am taking a hard look at it.  On Christmas eve, I pulled out all the table cloths and tried them on the table.  If they didn't fit, they either became drawer liners or are headed to Goodwill.  I need to do the same with my closet.  But, that's a task for another day.  Cleaning is good.  Cleaning is change.  Cleaning is healing.  For me anyway.  It's a good sign.  Rob always knows that when I start cleaning, things are going to get better.  And, they were pretty darn good before.  But, healing is good, too.  The holidays are always emotional.  Some good and some bad.  And, moving past the bad stuff is always good.  Rob and I have spent a lot of time getting to know one another lately.  And, some of telling about ourselves means we are moving past the hold those things have on us.  For me, that often means saying things, then walking away and feeling about them when I'm alone.  And, washing dishes and cleaning cabinets means two things.  I'm thinking about things and getting better.  And, my house is clean enough that I can clean the places company doesn't ever get to see.  (very big smile)

And, between the cooking and the cleaning and the loving and the family time, I quilted.  I hand quilted until my fingers hurt.  I have almost finished the sashing.  After that, there are just some straight lines along one edge, and then I can go back and "fix" things that aren't right.  And, that's okay because this is a full sized hand quilted quilt and my skills got better over the years I've been working on it, and the importance of the project has grown as it's gotten better and better.  So, a little re-doing is a good thing.

And, speaking of redoing, I have this quilt out.  You can barely see it, but between the off-white flying geese border and the two sizes of squares border, there is an eighth inch line between two strips of black.  That line was a mess.  So, I took off those two borders and yesterday afternoon, I remade the narrow strip (better!) and put both borders back on.  Again, rework that was worth it.  Now, I'm trying to decide what happens next.  I've got the final border laid in, but I'm not sure I'm ready for the final border yet.  We will have to see.  The quilt show isn't until September so I have plenty of time to decide.

Everybody enjoy the last Monday of the year!  A new year.  It's a great time for a change.  Great chances to make things better. 



C day, minus one

Here we are.  Can you believe the year passed so fast?  Our shopping is done...been done.  Although Rob still has packages being delivered.  He jokes that he's trying to break Amazon Prime's two day shipping guarantee.  I worked Monday and have been off the rest of the week.  On Tuesday, we went to see the new Star Wars movie in 3D.  It was good.  But not good enough to keep me from waking from a short nap to all the characters screaming!  Still not sure what they were screaming about.  And, I'll never ask because then people would know that I fall asleep in movies.  That's our secret. 

Yesterday, Rob and I had lunch with his best friend and wife.  We gave them the sunflower quilt that I was piecing a few weeks ago.  They loved it!  We had margaritas on the patio of a restaurant overlooking the hill country.  The weather is beautiful here and we were sitting in the sun.  It was great!

You guys know who we are.  And, I love to tell stories about us.  This is our fun story for this year.  We have a neighbor who is in her late 80's.  Lovely lady.  We've been maintaining her front flower bed for several years.  It started as me sharing some extra plants.  And, now it's turned into creating a garden across the street that I can see from my sewing room window.  She loves purple and we made sure we planted lots of purple flowers that she can see from the kitchen window...which was a real feat since the flowerbed is just under that window...creativity at its best.  Anyway, there were no Christmas lights there this year.  So, we decorated a tomato cage as a tree and Rob took it across the street and put it in her yard, where she can see it from the kitchen window.  Simple and plain.  But such a heartfelt gesture of good will.  And, I'm sure she appreciates it. 

The weather here is so nice that I spent the morning yesterday in the yard.  Even in winter, the garden is delightful.  I referred to it as my second child yesterday.  And, true to my plan, something in bloom all year round.  
Now that all the work is done, I'm enjoying some relaxing hand quilting.  I hope you are also finding some relaxing work to do and that you aren't still out in the hustle and bustle, unless you're one of those people that enjoys the hustle and bustle and finds it relaxing.  Me?  I'd rather sit here and make this thread create a line that goes exactly where I want it to go.
Everybody have a very Merry Christmas, or whatever you do to celebrate the holiday.  I'll leave you with this picture.  Rob sneaked in just a minute ago while I was writing this post and put the hat on me.  The smile says it all. 
Happy Holidays from my family to yours.  May your holidays be peaceful.  That's the best anybody can hope for!
Rob's favorite line of the season: "I found my Christmas cheer.  It was right here on this liquor store shelf all along."  (from Mommy Loves Vodka)


Just a week

Hardly seems it's been a week since I posted.  The Christmas quilts are hung. 

We knocked out a lot of shopping on Saturday.  And, last night, we went to our first party in a dozen years.

We were both a little nervous.  We were invited by a guest and he was the only person we knew.  But, it seemed like a great way to practice being in a party setting.  I'm all about making sure I have things to talk about.  So, we stood in the kitchen.  We heard people say things, like where the trash was, and where the plates were.  So, when other people asked, we knew.  And, then we shook hands and met them.  It was great.  We met a couple that lives near us, and Rob exchanged info with them, so maybe we will have some couple friends.  After all, that was the goal of getting out more, when Syd turned 18. 

I think I started this little project for my friend that invited us last Monday.  Now, it's ready to trim and bind.  This started as a grouping of fabrics that I saw in JoAnn's that made me think of my friend.  I only ended up using the dark floral focus fabric and the reddish fabric from the collection.  The blue and green are from stash.  The back is brown.  I strip pieced the units and then subcut and re assembled.  It really went together quick.  It's not heavily quilted, so that went quick too, and it's a great table runner for his breakfast nook.  Hopefully. it will bring a little color to the space...or maybe he likes all that white.  It makes me nervous.

His house is a museum.  You guys know the type.  Everything in perfect placement, perfectly decorated.  So, now that I know him a little better, every time I'm there, I move something.  He needs a little messy in his life.  And, if I'm anything at all, I'm a little messy!  Everybody needs a little messy!

Y'all have a messy Friday!  Lane


As shown at quilt guild

If yo

u remember, this year I was priviledged to piece the guild's opportunity quilt.  Last night was the unveiling.  It was very nice.  Lots of attention.  Felt really good.  The quilt looks fantastic.  The quilter did great work.  And, as soon as I can get the pictures off my phone, I'll post them here. 

In the meantime, here is the finished sunflower quilt.  It seemed to be pretty popular too. 

I drew out the sunflower shape, in correct size, then drew a sunflower that fit in the gold part.  You can't really see them from the front, but from the back, they're pretty perfect. 

I used a template to fill the border. 

It's simple and nice and perfect for the people it's intended for. 

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  Work is good.  Which means a lot.  And, I'm making some small coasters for some friends for the holidays.  Just a little something I can whip out. 

And, I have a project I want to start.  Because it's just not the holidays if it's not crammed full to the brim with stuff to keep me busy and focused on the important stuff.  Cuz the other crap just loves to come to the party and make a big mess and dare anybody to say anything about it.