Saturday, December 1, 2012

Busy Hands, Happy Heart

I've sorta been getting back into a sewing groove, and it feels great. Progress was definitely made this past week, along with a few finishes.

Prioritizing my to-dos, I accomplished the following:
  1. hemmed two pairs of slacks for my dear DIL
  2. shortened a t-shirt for a neighbor-friend, and unexpectedly received payment... a bottle of wine!
  3. knitted two, much-needed kitchen dishcloths
  4. made a valance for my Kansas City grandsons' bedroom window
  5. trimmed and sewed 21 blocks together to make the center of Snowmen A to Zzz quilt
  6. finished making three Christmas stockings for my son, DIL and grandson
  7. and finished the wall hanging "Beach Cabanas Among Friends."
It took longer than I expected to trim down the Snowmen A to Zzz blocks. I had quite a pile of scraps when I was finished.

But the blocks sewed together perfectly. Now each seam is supposed to be topped with a hand-embroidered fly stitch made with red floss. I'm going to attempt stitching the seams with a decorative machine stitch using aqua-colored thread since I'm bordering the embroidered blocks with an aqua snowflake print. I'm going with a wintry look, versus a Christmas look.

The stockings were hung... and photographed on a holly bush in front of our house. A holly bush! With real, red berries! This is probably as Christmas-y as it gets in Florida.

Each stocking, front and back, was pieced and machine-quilted before sewing.

My "Beach Cabanas Among Friends" is a very happy finish, and it's already hanging in my sewing room. But before doing that, it just had to be photographed near water. Since the beach wasn't a handy option, I headed to one of the pools at a neighborhood rec center. When I took the morning pictures it was about 55 (12.7C) degrees, so I had the whole pool area to myself.

It's pretty heavily quilted because I tried to get the effect of ripples in the sand.

As I briefly explained on the label, the quilt is made with fabrics given to me in April by Iowa friends. Thank you Buds!

Ya know, I'm having a tough time getting into the Christmas spirit. When flowers are still blooming like this - at all the major intersections, in medians, and at entrances to villages throughout The Villages - I can't wrap my mind around the fact that it's getting colder up north, snow could fall at any time, and it's December!

I wonder just how long it will take me to get used to living here. Apparently five months isn't long enough.

A special hello to new friends from my Bible study group who might be visiting my blog. Thanks for stopping by! Linda


  1. Oh, your snowman quilt is so cute.
    Your cabana quilt is fabulous. I really like how you did the water.
    I am sure Christmas is very different for you this year but you will find a way to make it feel like Christmas down in sunny Florida.

  2. Love the cabana quilt.
    It's not really much like Christmas here - not when it's in upper 50's for daytime temps. Tomorrow in the 60's. This is December in Iowa? Should be ooler next week, more like "normal" late fall.

  3. Love the Cabana quilt - how fun. It will take you a while to get used to Christmas in Florida, it isn't like it is up north, but even when it doesn't look like it outside, I make my house seem like Christmas. Just got back from Iowa, how funny is that??

  4. You've been busy!

    It probably will take you some time to adjust to winter holidays in Florida. There have been many Thanksgivings and Christmas's where I've had the a/c on and I live further north! It's rare to have a fire - other than the Yule Log on tv!

    I've had succes using DMC in the bobbin thread and doing a zig zag on my 440. I'm interested to hear how it goes with a decorative stitch.

  5. Oh, My! I **love** your alphabet snowmen stitchery. That is one I've just got to put on my bucket list!

  6. Oh, and YES! Christmas is quite different in Florida. :) I always went kabonkos putting up tons and tons of snowmen to give a Christmasy boost against all the warmth and flowers outside. You will really like not fighting snow and ice for lights, though! (especially getting them down in a timely fashion afterward) ;D

  7. Your alphabet snowman quilt is fabulous,,that was quite an undertaking..the cabana quilt is adorable too. I always love your projects tho. Here in IA it is very foggy and moist today, it was supposed to get up to 55 but it will have to hurry to get there, I'm afraid. But every day without snow, is a great day as far as I'm concerned.

  8. Lots of wonderful projects, but my favorite is the cabanas!! So darling and reminds me or my trip to the sea in England.

  9. I love both of your pieces. Can't pick which one I like best. :) And those stockings look good, too! As to no snow at Christmas, well, you'll be joining us Aussies! lol
    Seafood, salads, BBQs, trifle, pavlova - they're the go, although some of us still have the more traditional things as well. In our family, we do the traditional roast and plum pudding on Christmas eve, when it's not so hot and a little less hectic. :)

  10. Beach Cabanas by the pool looks great. Love those stockings.

  11. I love your stockings! I'm sure they will delight the family. How wonderful to have your very own holly bush! Fancy that ;). Your stitched Christmas quilt is adorable as is the beach hut quilt. I know what you mean about getting into Christmas spirit when it's warm outside, although it is much cooler where you are. It's the rainy season here but of course it's still hot, just hot and wet ;(. Happy First of Advent!

  12. You would not be feeling any more in the holiday spirit here, as it was 68 degrees Monday. I'm not kidding you, I went out at lunchtime and it was HUMID!

    Your projects are looking wonderful. The Cabana quilt is so sweet.

  13. Ohhhhhh you so inspire me..your stitching is breathtaking.

  14. love your cabana quilt - its fabulous and the quilting looks just like sand :)



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