Monday, December 26, 2016


Dan and I were home alone for Christmas this year. I couldn't help but feel a little down about that, but I kept busy to keep my mind off how much I missed being with our two children, their spouses, and our five grandchildren.

I read.

I baked cookies for Hogan.

And I sewed.

First, I cut out and completed (or almost-completed; need to hand-sew binding) three Holiday Ornament Mini Quilts, a free design by FreshlyPieced found on the Bernina website.

I took several liberties with my version, making smaller (1-3/4") and fewer half-square triangles; tilting the ornament on the background fabric and machine blanket-stitching it; and hand-embroidering (chain stitch) a wire at the ornament top.

I did a little different background quilting on each one, using a very pale green 50-weight Aurifil thread.

It was appropriate to take a picture in one of our two holly trees.

Though each hanging has a different backing fabric, this one is my favorite. The triangles sewn in each top corner are for hanging.

All three wall hangings are about 15" X 18" and should make nice gifts next December.

On Christmas eve day I cut out and began sewing one Florence Flamingo block, a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman.

After Christmas eve worship, I returned to sewing to complete the block, and then quilted and bound it Christmas day. This is the back, also with triangles sewn on each top corner, for hanging

Simple feather-looking quilting on the flamingo, and a background of horizontal waves. I used a natural linen fabric for the background which proved to be a poor choice. It was stretchy and ravely. If I make more flamingos, I'll certainly use a quilting cotton instead.

Florence ended up 20" X 28". I'm anticipating taking down a wall quilt so I can hang up this one, though I do like it posed in our front yard Bismarck palm. 

On Christmas day we also FaceTimed with both our children and families. That helped a lot to ease how much I missed them. These couple pictures helped too.

Christmas eve in Kansas City and these three cousins posed together: Tripp, Tay and Aesa (the two on the right are my grandsons). They are handsome young men!

In Texas, Luke was plumb tuckered after a Christmas day spent playing with new toys. 

Maybe you looked like that on Christmas day too! I hope it was merry and blessed! Linda


Bluebell Ridge Handworks said...

Merry Christmas Linda. Our Christmas celebrations have changed much over the last few years as family has aged, moved, and a few passed on. I remind myself that all times are sweet in their own ways.

The ornament and flamingo patterns are both fun! You've done great quilting on them :o) I don't think I can pick a favorite.

Cindy said...

This was our first Christmas alone too. It's hard when families live so far from each other. So I know how you feel, I also made the best of it and enjoyed the holiday. Thank goodness for FaceTime!

Debbie said...

Sounds like a good holiday even if kids were missing. I really missed out son and dil not being here too. What sweet sewing you've been doing!

Susan Snooks said...

I love that you were productive with your Christmas, with family a long way away! Your grandsons are so sweet, of course you miss them!
I love all the lovely quilts you've made, but the flamingo is the cutest!
This was our first Christmas in a while where we were all together.....times to be cherished!

OPQuilt said...

Merry Christmas to a lovely quilter and wonderful woman. I love your first comment and it's a good reminder for all of us Moms who don't live near their grandchildren. I think, though, that spending the day doing what you love was a good way to pass the time and to enjoy it in the best way you could. Merry Christmas!

Robbie said...

Your quilting and project are, as always, wonderful!! So how did you like the book???

Dar said...

You made great use of your time alone during the Christmas holidays. We do not have any children, so we try to look for ways to be with people, even though sometimes they are not related to us. This year was different.We were invited to first cousins on Christmas Eve and another on Christmas Day. They requested a special dish that I make plus homemade Challah bread, so that kept me busy. I had a quilting party a few days before Christmas too, so cleaning, decorating, cooking was non-stop from Monday through Sunday. Really looking forward to a quiet week now. Your mini quilts are all cute. I saw the ornament one too, but did not try it. Your flamingo is my favorite. Love the backing on it too. Happy New Year to you both.

KaHolly said...

Love your ornaments and flamingo! Christmas was a quiet day here, too. No sewing happened, though, as I've had the dreaded flu. Not the most opportune time to get sick! Hooray for FaceTime! XO

StitchinByTheLake said...

It's very different being away from our children and grandchildren for Christmas but after experiencing it a time or two I can say there's a certain nostalgia to being back the way we were in the beginning - a couple. Of course, we're looking back instead of forward but even so it's a little easier to focus on the birth and it's meaning. Love the ornaments! blessings, marlene

Teresa said...

I love those Christmas ornament quilts. Color, color, color makes me happy!

Michele said...

I love your ornaments and the flamingo too. Except for being with family I think your holiday was perfect.


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