Holiday Cheer

Just popping in to say “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays!” or whatever greeting fits the season best for you and yours!

Christmas Mini Quilt by Nadine Ruggles

I hope this finds you safe, warm and happy, and enjoying good times and special moments with family and friends–with a dash of quilting on the side! 🙂

Christmas Beginning Quilting Class Sample by Nadine Ruggles

Decking the Halls with Quilts

I’ve been swept along by the busy, busy, busy-ness of the year, and here it is almost Christmas already! I’ve been decorating, shopping and cooking in addition to all the normal stuff that’s been on my schedule this fall, which was already more than I was used to. I still have one more food shopping trip before Christmas–though I’ve yet to finish a list–and a few more errands to run, but I decided it was time to finish up the decorating with a couple of Christmas quilts that I’ve made over the years. I have a few, and they end up on the backs of the sofas or on the arms of chairs, or even on cabinet tops on display stands if they’re small enough. Read More

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving Day is almost over in our part of the world, and I’ve been cooking pretty much since yesterday Tuesday. Despite the recent post about spice jars, I realize that this is not a cooking blog (and it’s a good thing too, because if it was I’d only be posting once or twice a year being the reluctant chef that I am! 🙂 ), but I do want to share a bit about our Thanksgiving dinner here simply because I’m so chuffed that it turned out as well as it did!

When it came time to plan the menu, I was just feeling sort of lazy, and I didn’t want to think about whatever it was that I usually make and go recipe hunting, so I did a Google search for “Thanksgiving menu” and came up with this Thanksgiving 101 Menu from Martha Stewart. I thought it looked good, and everything was all in one place Read More

Happy Easter and a Coffee Cozy Pattern Review

There were Easter goodies found at our house this morning!

Found it!

The bunny plush kind of took over the whole basket.

The Easter loot!

But what’s that in the back there?

What's that?

An empty…cup?
A cup of ... ?

Ahhh, it’s a hot chocolate cup cozy!

A coffee cup cozy

The bunny had a bit of help from Mom this year. I saw a coffee cozy at Insanely Crafty (cool new blog I found just yesterday through Jennifer at Parrish Platz! I think Jessica is the lovely Corrinea’s daughter? Jennifer and Corrinea work at Patch Arts & Crafts in Stuttgart.). Anyway, I thought “I could make those for the girls for Easter” since the coffee bars around here on the Army posts are frequently out of cardboard sleeves! I didn’t have a cup on hand to use to make a pattern myself, so I went looking and found the Fabric Coffee Cozy Sleeve Tutorial at YouCanMakeThis.com.

I LOVE that site! Downloadable patterns for everything crafty! The tutorial was pretty good, though I’ll make a few changes if I make these again (and I’m sure I will because ITMan was feeling a bit left out because the Easter Bunny didn’t leave him one!). The pattern wasn’t exactly perfect; mine came out a bit small since the printer cut off the bottom of the pattern and I wasn’t sure how much longer to make it. The pattern could have been designed to be placed on the fold, and then it would have fit on a regular sheet of paper for printing.

Other than that, the method of sewing the bottom seam (and having to measure from the top seam first and mark the sewing line) was a bit fiddly, and could have been made easier by just designing the pattern to be exactly the right size in the beginning. I used Quilters Dream mid-loft poly batting between two layers of batik, instead of backing one layer of fabric with fleece, and it worked just fine.

The instructions called for a lot of gluing to hold things in place; I just used pins. The pocket instructions were good, but I added 1/8″ extra all the way around to the cut size of the pocket, so that I could just iron the edges under before sewing instead of gluing them. I wrote on the pocket after sewing it on with a Pigma pen and filled in the heart with Tsukineko Fabrico Markers and then heat set it. It’s probably better to decorate the pocket before sewing it on, of course, but I got a little ahead of myself!

I did make two of these, one for each girl, but GuitarGirl is a bit of a grump when it comes to things like this so her basket is still hidden, waiting for her to go find it. So no pic of that one yet. I did have fun pawing through fabrics to choose the perfect combo for each one that the girls would like! All in all, a successful project, and a nice little thing to put in an Easter basket for teens and tweens (and dads, too). Happy Easter to all of you!

A Picture of Christmas

We spent Christmas morning

opening

 

eating

 

enjoying

 

smiling

 

napping

 

wishing

 

wondering

 

believing

 

From our family to you and yours,
Merry Christmas!

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So much for coasting…

I thought I was going to coast through Christmas, with not much stress after all was said and done. I was kinda congratulating myself a couple of days beforehand, thinking that despite the fact that I waited too long to get started, it was all going along swimmingly and I wouldn’t be up Christmas Eve until the wee hours finishing up the “must-dos.” I felt pretty good about the gifts for everyone and the preparations that I’d managed to handle.

However, while I wasn’t up until the wee hours with last minute rushing around, Christmas day still slapped me to the ground and stomped pretty hard thanks to GuitarGirl. Never happy, that one. I don’t know if it’s her expectations being too high or what, but she was just horrid on Christmas morning, and though I tried not to let it get to me, it did. She spent the morning being surly because she thought her sister was getting more gifts than she was. The cap to the morning was GuitarGirl bringing me the new book that I’d given her that I thought she’d be dying to read and the two others that came before it that she already had, and cuttingly saying “Oh, I forgot to tell you I didn’t really like these books anymore, so you can just sell them on ebay or whatever.” Well, all righty then! Is it any wonder I don’t look forward to Christmas anymore?

Needless to say, I didn’t feel much like Christmas after all that. ITMan watched his new movies, LittleOne (who was thrilled with all her presents under the tree) took off to her room to play, watch videos, read, etc., reappearing for food and chocolate as necessary. I did some quilting, working a little on The Misery Quilt (which is coming along, but obviously I’ve missed my Christmas deadline to have the quilting finished), and I started reading one of the books ITMan gave me for Christmas (which I love, by the way), and went to bed. And that’s been about the extent of my activity since Christmas day as well: quilting, reading, and taking it easy.

We did go out shopping (and returning some of the other gifts GuitarGirl didn’t want) on Friday, and had dinner out since it was our 18th anniversary. It’s hard to believe we’ve been married that long, but the years and the math don’t lie, I guess! Today I spent the day catching up on some web programming for a client, updating a plugin on my blog (which should have taken 15 minutes, but stretched into an hour or so 😦 ), and then I looked at my blog and saw that ten days have gone by since I posted. I guess that’s how years can go by so quickly, when you can’t even keep track of the days!

So I’m ready to put the whole Christmas rigmarole behind me and move on! My creative time of the year is coming and I have new ideas for quilts and website stuff running around in my head, just waiting for me to have some time to get started. Well, the quilt stuff has to wait until I get The Misery Quilt done, but that’s how it has to be. Anybody got some to spare? Time, I mean…