Flower Basket Sneak Peeks & Christmas Snippets

Hello Friends, I hope you are well!  Thank you for stopping by again.  I thought I will share with you my Flower Basket quilt that had “refused to be finished”, but is now finally completed and shipped off.  I am exploring the use of basic solid and batik fabrics together in a quilt.

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Meanwhile, here are few Christmas snippets from my British country hutch.  Those snowmen ornaments were featured in Quilter’s World’s Autumn 2013 issue.  Click here for more information.

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Both ornaments were on our Christmas Tree last year, but I decided to place them among my dishes this year. :)

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What do you think?  Do you think I made a good move with these snowmen ornaments this year?

Gotta run for now — I am exhausted, but I still have a few things to get done before I can go to bed tonight. Later, my Dear Friends!

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Woodrow Studio’s “The Magic of Christmas” Bishop

Hi Friends,  it’s good to have you visit again!  I love reading your comments – please know that I appreciate them.

I finished Miss Baby’s “The Magic of Christmas” bishop on Sunday, in time for her to wear to church.  She  has been saying “Mama working on tress, wear to cho-ch” whenever she sees me working on her dress.  So, I was quite determined to get it done by church on Sunday, and I did.  That is the high point.  The low point is, the construction turned out rather nightmare-ish!  I told my husband it was a project sent to torment me.

The fabric is from Woodrow Studio’s “The Magic of Christmas” collection, and it is a dream to stitch!  My needle had no trouble gliding in and out the fabric.  It feels very soft and smooth and satiny.  But my trouble really began prior to smocking when I realized that I should have left the sleeve alone and have them pleated first, and not sewed them with the other pieces.  My mistake was not reversible.  My sewing mentor Annelle suggested using elastic to substitute for the smocked sleeve look.  I am telling you, nothing catches Annelle by surprise.  She always has a solution for my sewing drama went wrong!  She is THAT good!!!  I had a bit of trouble doing that, but in the end I think I won.  But anything that doesn’t go according to plan bothers me.  So, it still bothers me to look at the sleeves even though they are perfectly serviceable.  That’s the short version of the story as I want to spare you the gory and trying details. :)

The smocking plate I used is Harmony by Carrie’s Closet.  It is amazing how different the final result looks with different threads on different fabric:

As I was taking out stitches with much frustration, I was reminded of the verse in 1 Corinthians 13:7 “(Love)… always perseveres.”  So, I kept going until the dress was completed…. all and only because I love my little girl.   How I needed that reminder to persevere…

I am getting ready to start another Holly/Berry dress for Miss Baby for Christmas Day!  I sure hope it isn’t going to be another project sent to torment me.  But even it is, “love … always perseveres.”

Thanks for stopping by!  Good day to you.

Have you put up your Christmas tree?

I have truly enjoyed seeing your gorgeous Christmas trees you had put up for Christmas… I was just wondering how long you keep them up! Mine are still up…

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[Well, as you can see, mine aren’t REALLY the real big and tall trees. I didn’t put one up for Christmas last year. Instead, all I had were these blown glass tree ornaments. And I haven’t put them up yet.]

I generally leave my Christmas stuff up till about mid- to end of January just because I always ended up putting up and re-arranging stuff on Christmas Eve. Plus, I like the Christmas cheer to linger just minute longer… so, here are some more Christmas accents:

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Have a fantastic weekend, Everyone! See you on Monday!

Thou didst leave Thy throne

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

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Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth,
And in great humility.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

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The foxes found rest, and the birds their nest
In the shade of the forest tree;
But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God,
In the deserts of Galilee.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

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When the heav’ns shall ring, and her choirs shall sing,
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me home, saying “Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee.”

My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,
When Thou comest and callest for me.

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Nativity Set by Royal Selangor

Hymn by Emily E. Elliot

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~Christmas Blessings to you from my home to yours~

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You may click here for more Christmas posts!

Christmas on the mantel

I thought I would show you some Christmas accents I have added to the mantel:

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Byers Choice Williamsburg Carolers in the midst of permanent garlands and fruit sprays:

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A bit of brass accent – you can sort of see the Colonial Apple Cone stocking hanger (on the lower right) and a Florentine brass candelabra:

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Speaking of stockings, I added a blown glass stocking ornament to each of the stocking this year. I thought the ornaments added a bit of whimsical charm to things. The stockings are from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I love the look of satin mixed with patterned velvet:

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Thanks for visiting me. I hope you enjoyed my Christmas display with a bit of Colonial flavor on the mantel. Till next time!

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

… CHRISTMAS in my house! I managed to get most of all my Christmas stuff up for this year! I love to decorate for Christmas — each year I try to come up some new ways to display what I already have. Oftentimes I have to re-do certain displays multiple times until I am satisfied with the result, but to me, that’s part of the fun!

Here is something new for this year – I decided to include some Christmas colored threads as part of my Christmas decorations. I thought it was only fitting for the home of a needleworker/quilter:

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I had made this little grapevine wreath to go specifically with the broken arch colonial looking glass (mirror). I added a bit of sparkle this year by adding that little heart ornament:

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These are all the pictures I have for today. I have more coming… stay tuned! :) Have a lovely Tuesday!

Christmas Tablescapes and Centerpieces from…

… Christmases Past, mixed in with some accents here and there. Tablescapes and making centerpieces are probably my favorite aspects of homemaking.

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As you can see, blown glass ornaments are definitely not just for the tree. Since I only do floral sprays accented regular Christmas balls on our Christmas trees whenever we put up a tree, I get to have all sorts of fun with my small collection of treasured European blown glass ornaments.

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(Click here if you are interested in making that napkin fold yourself)

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The very first Christmas centerpiece I made one of the earlier years of my marriage, and yes, we are still using the original pillar candle. :)

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One of my favorite Christmas centerpieces – an antique rotating painted nativity scene within the Christmas pyramid.

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Natural accents – the Heavenly Bamboo berries are just simply, heavenly! They last a couple of months without any deterioration.

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Thanks for stopping by. Now I am going to look at your different Christmas eye-candies. Have a joyous weekend!

Blue Transferware and Traditional Christmas

When it comes to Christmas, my colors are definitely the traditional green and red, mixed in with just the right amount of gold.

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But I am also very much a blue and white type of gal, and would not even contemplate shelving my blue and white dishes for Christmas.

So, here is my compromise — mix in the red and green in the midst of the blue and white, and I still get to maintain a traditional Christmas look. The following pictures were taken from past Christmases.

1. I filled empty serving dishes with green and red Christmas balls, and added other accents like a Christmas-related book and a holly garland. The book was a gift from a friend years ago, and the reindeer ornament was a handpainted ornament from one of my first American friends when I came to the States 14 years ago.

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2. I filled unused teacups with some blown glass ornaments to create more of a focal point. Christmas sprays also come in handy in adding a little something. That Snoopy ornament always gets an honored place because it is from my husband’s childhood.

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3. It’s the little things that count. Those red/gold stripe balls are probably my favorite-st. They are only about 1″ in diameter, and are perfect to go with my tiny salt dish.

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4. I also like to use natural things to add to the festivity. Shown is a heavenly bamboo berry sprig.

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5. I also placed Christmas figurines that have red next to the blue transferware pieces to force a bit of red in the color scheme. The figurines are by Swedish artist Carl Larsson.

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So, with its “Christmas outfit”, my china cabinet that holds most of the blue and white dishes looks like this…

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Thank you for visiting my show-and-tell. I hope you have a terrific weekend! I will see you again on Monday!

Creature of Uniformity

Hello Everyone, Happy Wednesday to you! I was in front of the computer all day yesterday re-working on some quilt designs. It’s a mentally exhausting task – so you can probably imagine I slept WELL last night! :) I did manage to finish smocking the sleeves of my “lemonade” daygown. The reason I haven’t done an update on that daygown is because for the life of me, I hadn’t been able to find where I had put those sleeves. I finally found them in tucked in with some other heirloom fabrics that I had forgotten about. I will do a post once I have some pictures.

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I am showing you one of the Christmas trees we had put up in the past. I love to see other people’s mix-and-match home decor, but for some reason, I just can’t replicate it myself. The Christmas trees that we have put up have always been a “live” tree in the traditional green and red, with ornaments uniformly spaced out almost exactly in the same distance – because I am impaired with a quirk for uniformity. Pathetic, I tell you!!

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Have you put up your tree this year? Please let me know as I would love to see how you have decorated your tree! Meanwhile, have a wonderful day, everyone!!

Christmas in July: Part 5

I thought I would squeeze in the last “Christmas in July” post before August is upon us…

This is a pillar candle I have used for years and years and years at Christmas time – at least 6 years!!  Can you believe it?

One of my favorites – a German Christmas pyramid.  I had bought it from a lady who lives in Germany and had gotten it at an antique store there:

Being a “blue-and-white lover”, you can see I was determined to include them in the Christmas cheer.  The Snoopy Bell dates back to my husband’s childhood:

Another favorite – the Byers’ Choice Carolers, amid the red and green arrangement atop the mantel:

Oh, looking at these pictures makes me anticipate my favorite holiday with MUCH EXCITEMENT!

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I hope you have a wonderful Thursday!  I can’t believe the week is half way over.

Christmas in July: Part 4

Another favorite plant of mine is called the “Heavenly Bamboo”. It is a care-free evergreen that grows into a rounded bush when established. Their leaves turn into a shade of red in the colder weather, make it a very seasonal plant. Here you can see, the berries that would show in their glory later in the year are starting to form:

And this is what I use them for in my Christmas decorations. These berries last for a looong time – way into February when I finally take down my Christmas decorations:

Have a blessed weekend. I will see you again on Monday!

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“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” John 15:16a

Christmas in July: Part 2

We have had company, so I am relying on my “archived pictures” for my post today.  This is from my Christmas table setting in 2004.  The seating arrangement was determined by placecards on each placesetting.  Each guest received a “table gift” placed by the dinner plate.  It’s these little things that lend to the atmosphere of “grand-ness”, and so,

… we had a grand time.  We also had a very special guest from Holland that year.  She brought us an antique cuckoo clock that is just precious.  The weights of the cuckoo clock are the real heavy metal ones, unlike the plastic ones that are used in the newer models.  They were mistaken to be grenades going through security check at the airport.

Have a wonderful day, everyone.  I am off to doing some cleaning…