Thursday, December 31, 2009

Are You Resolute?

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? I find that during this annual period of reflection and self assessment I do better to commit to learn something in the new year, than to make a resolution to change a behavior (with resolutions I usually don't last through February). Last year I decided to really learn to knit, and I also learned some new techie skills on the computer ~ that resulted in new friends through this Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and my Etsy Group: pretty nice huh.

I know that this year I will be learning how to knit socks. I'm signed up for this class at our shop in January, and am looking forward to it because Mary Hull is a great, patient teacher! But you'll find no profound revelations here today, I'm still reflecting on what else will be in store for the start of this next decade. I'm open to suggestions...what are your plans and resolutions for 2010?

And for a little show and tell, this is a hat and scarf set that I just finished knitting. I made one for a gift for someone, and liked it so much I whipped a set up for the Etsy Store!

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Enjoy the day ~ and the year!
~ Dawn

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Freebies for Redwork Lovers

If you love stitchery and are a fan of redwork, Alex Anderson is offering free redwork patterns during the Twelve Days of Christmas. You can download them here from her site. She started on December 25th and will continue to put one up each day until January 5th. Merry Christmas to us ~ Thanks Alex!

Enjoy the Day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Update on a Hat and a Quilt

Just a quick home made gift update (we're really stretching out the holidays here, I will get back to work here soon, I promise)...Elsie opened her hat first thing on Christmas morning and had to put it right on (it fit ~ yea!). She loved it ~ apparently she had been asking for a pink hat for Christmas and hadn't gotten one, so it was like a little Christmas miracle to her. Her delight claiming, "My Hat" when first seeing it was so cute!

She wore it for quite some time, and had to show everyone the tassel on top.

As soon as she opened her quilt, she said "Animals!" and had to go find a place to spread it out and lay on it. I think this will be the TV watching quilt for a little while.

I think I probably spent the least on these two gifts, and they really were after thoughts whipped up at the last minute, but were well worth the effort!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, December 28, 2009


We have babies on the mind here because my daughter Lisa recently announced that they are expecting again, so some time around July I will be a grandma for the second time!

I saw a new movie trailer when reading Mountain Home Quilts blog and just laughed out loud ~ but maybe it's because I have babies on my mind. For this movie, four babies from different parts of the world were followed documentary style with beautiful footage for one year from their births. The cute picture above is from the movie. It's amazing, and quite touching how similar babies are no matter where they are born! You can also visit the Babies the Movie website and view the trailer. The movie is due for USA release in April 2010. I think my daughters and I will have to have a starbucks/movie date for this one for sure!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Stockings are Hung By the Chimney with Care...

The stockings are all hung by the chimney with care...

These are stockings that I made for the kids and they come out each year.

I made them from patterns found in Cross Stitch and Country Crafts Magazine many years ago. This magazine isn't around anymore, but back issues can be found occasionally on ebay.

I have patterns to make one for my hubby and me too, but I haven't had the gumption to start them yet. Dad's will have a wood working shop, and mine will have an old treadle sewing machine, so they are perfect for us (but I think I'll have to write Grandma and Grandpa on the top instead of Mom and Dad at the rate that I'm getting them made.)

...Last minute gifts are all quilted and bound...

I whipped this up from a panel in the wee hours for Elsie. Starlyn gave me the cute multi-colored ric rac and the idea to top stitch it on the border after it was all quilted. I've had it on my pile for a while and thought I'd get it to Elsie this year. She loves animals, and is starting to say her letters.

...And my last trip to the mall has been made! This is the famous Pointsetta Tree at the Mall in Columbia MD, brought back by popular demand :)

Now let the celebrations begin...Here's wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Joy to the World!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What To Do on a Snow Day

Since it looks like this outside...

I've had the knitting needles a clankin' and I completed my first little hat! It was an easy one that I whipped up (after a few tips from Starlyn) as a quick last minute gift for Elsie ~ I'll let you know if it fits her, I have no idea if it will or not. It was fun to make, and I'm already addicted. I'm starting another, and will take it on the car ride on Christmas day :)

...And Jocelyn over at the Happy Cottage Quilter blog is also enduring home renovations this Holiday Season and has decided to have a give-away for this Meme's pattern, some tea towels and fabric. So hop on over there and leave a comment to be in the running!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Big Dig & Warming Up With Baby Blankets

So the snow stopped coming down, the sun came out (although the wind kept on blowing), and the big dig commenced.

Bobby, being the youngster that he is, was determined to get out in his Blazer and do a little toiling around even before we were all dug out. But we finally got our other vehicles somewhat mobile, and even got over to Heather's to take her a snow shovel (one purchase none of us had thought of yet for her new apartment). After being snowed in all weekend, Heather decided to come back with us and hang out at our house for a while, and we decided to play with/pack up some Mountain Baby Blanket donations that we had accumulated.

Some customers at the quilt shop donated little quilts and blankets last month. Jenny made the cute little flannel rail fence quilt above.

Ruth donated six little quilts that she hand quilted from panels like this one. Some were a little larger for bigger kids too.

Along with some fleece blankets donated from our church, we had enough to box up for another shipment. So because of some very generous people, for 2009 we have donated 30 quilts/30 childrens books and 11 fleece/receiving blankets to the Christian Appalachian Project for Mountain Baby Blankets. Thank you all!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Some Token Snow Pictures

It's snowing here in Maryland, and with just one week to go, I consider it Christmas snow! I think Heather's cat Maddie is thinking that too.

I think we got enough for it to stay around for Christmas! This is what Heather's balcony looked like last night.

I thought our grill looked like a little elf :)

It sure is peaceful here in the back yard ~ definitely magical Christmas snow!

And thanks to forward thinking on Mr Stewart's part, we got the refrigerator in the house before the snow came and all got installed yesterday ~ I now have a, not quite completed, but fully functional kitchen. I think I'll pop some popcorn and make a little hot cocoa!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Santa's Workshop in Full Swing

We've been working and working chopping up old clothes and aprons, and piecing, and piecing...

Santa's workshop has been bustling to meet all the deadlines. It's been a real team effort on the part of everyone at the shop. (Don't worry about us, we've sustained ourselves with donuts, chocolate and spiced tea!)

Starlyn pieced all of these great blocks and the pieced borders, Gail and I worked on cutting and piecing nine patch blocks, Carolyn is quilting the quilts with a little help from me, and Starlyn and I have been binding away.

This is one of the eight quilts that we are making for a customer out of Grandmother's aprons and clothes. What special gifts the members of this family are getting for Christmas this year ~ I like to think Santa would approve :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

PS ~ The pattern can be found is a book called St Louis Stars by Toby Lischko, published by Kansas City Star

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sloanies Show and Tell

Ruth Green brought some of her recent Pat Sloan quilts to the shop for our Sloanies group this week, and it was such a treat to see them. This first snowflake quilt is from Pat's Quilt the Seasons Two book. I just love the fabrics in this one!

Ruth got her Harvest Moon all quilted up. She shared that she pieced the background and borders, quilted it, and then added the fusible applique and blanket stitched through all the layers. This quilt is not too big, so I thought that was a good way to approach it. Harvest Moon can be found as a stand alone pattern by Pat Sloan, and in Pat's Folksy Favorites book.

And finally, this is Folk Art America (it's a stand alone pattern designed by Pat Sloan). Ruth used great fabrics and the little wavy flag fabric was just perfect in it! I think I'll have to make this one, it would look great on the wall in our spare bedroom :)

Thanks Ruth for the great show and tell, you are such an inspiration!

Enjoy the day,
~ Dawn

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tiny Parade of Trees

Since our house is in construction mode, we've decided not to decorate a large Christmas tree in our limited living area, but I'm getting into the Christmas Spirit here, and thought I'd share a few of my humble little (read that as tiny) Christmas trees that I have out around our house. They really are prettier than these pictures show ~ all have tiny white lights, but I don't have the photography skills to give them justice.

Our little seashell tree is decorated with shells that we picked up on Atlantic Beach NC, plus some sand dollar and starfish ornaments that I purchased. When Lisa and Cory got married 3 1/2 years ago, and he was stationed at Cherry Point Marine Base in North Carolina. We went down for a visit with them at Christmas, and spent a memorable Christmas Day at the beach (a first for me!). So I remember that beautiful day each year with this little tree on the side board in my dining room.
These next two trees are crafted by a lady who attends my church. I just love them and they go out somewhere each year. The first one sits atop a basket and has a little model train circling the tree. Seeing that I'm a great basket lover, and make it part of my personal mission in life to keep Longaberger in business, and Bob is a model train fan, this little tree arrangement just had to come home with me and sit on our hearth.

This little tree sits up in our "window seat area" outside my sewing room and just glows Victorian pink. I love the little Angel on top, and this year I sat this little porcelain doll that was given to my by a friend some Christmases ago underneath, and she just looks perfect here.

I think I definitely need to get one of my pink and brown mini quilts quilted up to go with this tree next year, as opposed to my Autumn colored one ~ but it was handy.

And finally, my little elf has to go out somewhere each year. This year he is sitting on this little bench at the top of our steps that Bob's Dad made us. Both the elf and the heart shaped pillow was made by my best friend back in the days when we did craft shows together.

We'll be working like little elves in the quilt shop all this week. All of us are in together to work on finishing up our customer quilts that need to be done by Christmas. We'll have quite the quilt assembly line going!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

PS ~ If anyone just needs the HoHoHo shelf sitter, it is available in my ebay store, so rush on over!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Cute Christmas Quilt

Just a little Christmas quilt to share today ~ Sandy Lynch showed this cute Thimbleberries Christmas quilt at our meeting the other night and I just love it! You can find the pattern in Lynette Jensen's Thimbleberries Table Toppers book. I think I will have to make this one up for Christmas 2010...Oh no, I'm starting the list already!

Also ~ has a promotion where you can receive $5.00 off of your pattern purchase when you sign up for their email list. (Great way to pick up my Rootin Tootin Cowboy or My Hearts Content patterns...just sayin') :)

And...24 years ago today I was missing my company's Christmas party to give birth to my oldest daughter. Little did I know then that she would go on to become one of my greatest joys, and closest friends ~ Love you Heather, Happy Birthday!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Halls Finally Being Decked

Not much sewing getting done in the Stewart home lately. Mostly just spackling and painting when I'm not working, but I'm finally getting around to acknowledging the Christmas season with a little decorating.

Usually I have all of our decorating done by the first week in December, but with our house in construction phase it's been hard to get in the Spirit. Lisa and Elsie came in for a visit to see some family friends this weekend and I was off work, so we got around to a little decorating. We started with the traditional Nativity Scene on the piano where it goes every year. Ahh, now things were feeling a little better :)

Then we tricked out Grand Daddy's old Lionel Train that lives on my mantel with Christmas packages, wreathes, snowmen...

And of course Santa Claus!

And topped it off with my square wreath and swag on the mirror above the mantel.

Tonight is the annual Christmas Concert at church and we'll all go and hear Heather sing in the Choir, so that should ramp up the Christmas Spirit a bit, and hopefully I can get a little more decorating done.

And in the kitchen update department: I now have my microwave, range, and dishwasher installed (and the old sink temporarily sitting in place), so I can use the kitchen while waiting for the countertop guy to come out and measure this week. I even cooked breakfast inside today, and used the new microwave for popcorn for our annual viewing of The Muppet's Christmas Carol ~ life is good :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Finds

So I got this link from a friend this week, and Mom and I thought it was a great idea and wanted to share it with our readers too!

XEROX is doing something really cool for the holiday season.

If you go to this web site, you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it to send to a soldier that is currently serving overseas. You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.

The choices that you can pick from are all cards that have been designed by children across the country, and you can choose a default message for the inside, or create your own!

It is completely free and it only takes a second. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our soldiers over there need to know we are behind them. This doesn't take long at all, and it's a wonderful way to say thank you. We can never say enough thank yous to the men and women who are protecting our freedoms, especially during the holiday seasons.

The holidays are a time for family, and often we forget that there are those who are separated from their loved ones in service for our country. I wish I had known about this program a few years ago when my brother in law was overseas for Christmas. We should never forget to thank the men and women in the armed services who do so much for us and make such major sacrifices.

Lets see how many cards can be sent this holiday season!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Great Mail & Another Magazine Quilt

Yesterday I got this great package in the mail from Pat Sloan. I was chosen from a comment that I left on her blog about her starting to do podcasts, so be on the look out for them, should be cool. She sent me a cute charm pack designed by Sandy Gervais called Object of Desire, some cuts of her own new fabric line called Georgia, one of Pat's patterns from P&B Textiles, all tied up with the cute little green ric rac (that will definitely get used along with the fabrics)!

Thanks Pat! The package made me smile, I can't wait to make something happy!

...And while we're on a happy note ~ here is another publication that I have coming out this week. Quilt Magazine Issue #108 for Feb/March 2010.

The quilt is called Daisy Chain. I made it with the Oops-A-Daisy fabric collection designed by Tricia Santry for Blank Quilting, and my friend Mary Nielsen quilted a beautiful all over flower design on it.

The apron is my same vintage style clothespin apron design with the big pocket that appeared earlier this month in Quick Quilts, but this time made in the Oops-A-Daisy fabrics.

These pictures were taken here back in August, and seeing the daisies and butterflies help me to forget about the slushy mud that we have outside right now, and to feel the summer sunshine again. It's not a good sign that we haven't even made it to Christmas yet, and I'm yearning for Spring ~ yikes!

Enjoy the day :)
~ Dawn