warm and cozy
I'm back to normal! I was so disappointed to get a cold last week, it's been about two and a half years since I've had a bad cold or flu. I was going for a new record and instead I got sick twice in a month. That's just dumb.
I feel terribly behind, but I'm not going to worry about it too much. I have e-mail and comments to respond to, and I will get to it soon, promise! I'm not ignoring anyone, just trying to get all caught up. Meanwhile I promised to share quilt tops, so here is a little glimpse:
It was dark and gloomy this weekend, so this is the best I can do for now, but I think you can see that I've got quite the bonanza here. I think my New Year's resolutions for 2009 will involve finishing a couple quilts, starting with the Double Wedding ring quilt.
I need to do a little research first. I'm somewhat concerned about the stitching. It's all done by hand, and I'm not sure just how sturdy it is. There are a few places where pieces need to be restitched. I think the fabric itself is still in good shape. Also, the rings are actually the edges of the quilt, it's not square, so I think I have to turn the edges under and sew it by hand? Or can I bind it normally? It would be a pain, but it's doable with a bias binding. I'm just not sure if that's how it's traditionally done. Any expert quilters out there? Mom, what do you think? Either way, it's going to be so cute when it's done.
The four-pointed star is fun too. I haven't looked too carefully, but I don't think there are many fabrics repeated. I think it might have been made from the family's old clothes. These quilts have been in the family for a long time, my mother-in-law doesn't sew or do any kind of handicrafts, and she doesn't really know who made what or when it was made. I think the fabrics look like they are mostly from the 1930s and 1940s.
I feel like I hit the lottery with these quilts. There will be periodic updates, I'm sure. I'd really like to finish and use them. That seems like the best tribute I can give their makers.
Despite the gloominess outside, it was warm and cozy inside our little house, and I put up the Christmas tree last night while the fire was roaring in the stove (thanks to Mr. HeyLucy, fire-builder extraordinaire). Between the tree and the fire the cats were in heaven. At one point I found Lucy sitting in the middle of the tree, precariously balanced across several branches. Oi. They especially like it when the lights are on. I still have all my glass ball ornaments to hang, but that should be done sometime over the next couple days. I wire them to the branches with florist wire, so the cats can't easily bat them off, although they will try.
I also made the most delicious hot chocolate ever, to sip under the Christmas tree lights. Here's the recipe, if you want to try it yourself:
For each serving mix together in a saucepan: a generous teaspoonful of good cocoa powder, an equal (or slightly more if you want it sweeter) amount of sugar, a tiny capful of good vanilla and some finely grated Belgian chocolate (about one square inch). If you're feeling adventurous, add a pinch of cayenne pepper. You won't taste the pepper, but you'll feel the heat when you drink it. It's quite nice. Add a little milk, and stir until all the powdery bits are well incorporated into the milk. Add more milk to make a big mugful. Heat gently, until piping hot, but don't let it boil over! I speak from experience when I say that you will have a big mess that is not fun to clean up if it boils over. And here's my top secret weapon to make it truly the most delicious hot chocolate ever: get yourself one of these little gadgets, and whip up each cup for a minute or so before serving. I found mine at a local Ace Hardware store for $10 or $15 I think, which is a little extravagant for a tool I use for only one thing, but it doesn't take up hardly any space and it really makes all the difference, so I don't regret purchasing it at all. Serving it in a pink café au lait bowl, and sitting down with some knitting and a feline companion will make it just perfect.
There will be more Christmas-y stuff here this week, and a special Christmas gift for my lovely blog readers, so be sure to come back soon, I don't want you to miss out!
Maybe you and your quilt tops could come for a visit next summer. Sorry I won’t be home for Christmas so we could start then. Don’t use binding unless you are making it yourself….no store bought stuff will do. Happy quilting!!
AAAHH I am so jealous of your quilts!
What a great stack of quilts. Nearly all of the double wedding ring quilts I have seen have been bound with the scalloped edge. We have one made by my Great Aunt Bee (yes, I have an Aunt Bee!) and the bound edge follows the curve of the pieced rings. I checked with my mother, a quilt expert – http://www.bapplique.blogspot.com, and she confirmed that most of these quilts were bound in this way. Do not forget to check that the quilt top lies fairly flat or you may struggle to quilt it together. I had a box of Grandmother’s Flower garden flowers that had been pieced by both a great aunt and my great grandmother. Their seam allowances were ever so slightly off and this made it impossible to connect the blocks in the traditional way. I appliqued the flowers to squares instead. If today was not so gloomy I would try to get a picture – I will try to remember when the sun shines again. ~Kelly
Your Christmas decorating is lovely, makes me want to curl up with my cat and have cocoa. Those quilts are stunning! I am not an expert at quilting but you can do what I do: fold them up and put in a trunk, think about them a lot, take them out and look at them 2x per year…then fold and put them back.
Wow your living room looks fabulous! The colors are so warm and happy. What a hidden treasure you’ve found with the quilts! We put up a quilt while my sister was here, it’s fun to sit and quilt and chat about things. Perhaps one will come with you for Christmas for the ladies to quilt upon.
Hey there Lucy! I have the exact same garland of doves with the little green beads that is on your mirror. Also, I thought of you the other day…I actually bought green flip flops (olive green) with candy cane striped ribbon bows. Now, it’s freezing here, literally and I’m thinking…can I get away with these if I have a really good pedicure?
Will they think I’m a circus freak? Do I care? I work at a preschool anyway! Go get yourself some Pho, you’ll feel better. I’m feeling better just thinking about it!
The quilts are just wonderful and I love the little bluebird.
You are so very lucky to have a wedding ring quilt! My great-grandma made them for her 7 sons, but not the 4 daughters, because they could apparently make one for themselves. My Mom and Dad have one, finished, and both my sister and I want it!
Finishing: My family’s quilts have orange and yellow ‘centers’, yellow backing, and green bias cut binding around the scalloped edges.
Supplies: Darlene Zimmerman has some good tips on the scallop bindings, and her solids made by Robert Kaufman are the ‘right’ 1930s shades.
I just love those quilt tops and I hope that you are able to finish them. You will be so happy! And your beds will be fabulous. Sigh.
wow the double wedding ring quilts are absolutely beautiful