Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ho, ho, ho-ness ... quilting, baking, decorating

What a busy day I've had and I feel so good for getting so much done!  I started off my day by loading the king size quilt on my frame.  I was afraid it was going to be too big for my frame; when my friend asked me about quilting it a few weeks ago, I said I certainly would, but I wanted to measure the frame to let her know how big she could make the quilt.  I have a 12 ft. frame, but that doesn't mean I can quilt a 12 ft. quilt.  I think I figured out that I have 130" of leader space ... now I can't remember!  But it's okay because her quilt is about 107" x 107" .. so the back is about 120" wide ... a little room to spare.  The next thing to do was pick the thread color; she has light blackgrounds, and she has blues, reds, browns and some black in the quilt, but there is a lot of grey-colored blue in the quilt.  I held a few colors up, and decided on a beautiful variegated King Tut grey.  I am using a grey So Fine in the bobbin.  I don't have a lot of King Tut, it is a very pricey thread; I haven't used it in a long time, and now I'm thinking I need more!  I just love the thread ... it looks really lovely on the quilt and quilts really nice.  It has a little bit of fuzz, but not too bad.  I am thinking I need to increase the size of my needle ... I know I mentioned that yesterday.  I always use a 18, but think I need to go up to a 19.  What do you all use with the larger threads like King Tut?  Here is a picture of it on the frame ... I quilted for a couple of hours and then I decided I better get on to other things ... I'll work on it more tomorrow.
Aren't the colors great?  It's got a civil war look to it ... I took a picture so you could see how big it is!  This is my biggest quilt I've done to date ... let's see how long it takes.  She wants a tight stipple on it, so it's easy.  I decided to float the top because it is so big and with all those pieces, I didn't want to roll the top onto the bar ... hope I don't regret floating it.  I've done two rows, and all seems fine.  This is a mystery quilt pattern that I taught a month or so ago ... now I can't remember who the pattern is by.  I will find that out and post it tomorrow ... want the credit to go to the right person.  Anyway, it was really fun to do and simple enough for a beginner to make ... a nine patch within a nine patch. I made mine super scrappy and only bought a couple of 1/8 yard pieces to finish mine.  Remember this picture ...
That's mine .. I'll have to get a better picture of it ... It's sitting in the closet all trimmed, just waiting for binding to be added ... I should do that and put it on my bed ... it's a fun quilt.

I have been planning to start my holiday baking early this year ... I always seem like I'm baking the week of Christmas, and rushing to get it all done, so its not very much fun.  My grandmother was a wonderful cook, and a fantastic baker as well.  One of the ways she showed her love was by baking for us at Christmas ... she did some cookies, but what we loved the most was her fudge, caramels, bon bons and coffee cakes.  She would start early in the season and send care packages to all of us grandchildren ... that stuff weighed a lot, and she was on a fixed income, so this was a sacrifice, but she loved doing it.  I cherished every bite ... so now I channel her every year and recreate those recipes ... I always feel like she is with me in the kitchen when I'm baking ... it's one of my fondest memories of her ... I sure miss her.  Of course the goodies don't taste exactly like her's, but I've come as close as I can!  I also do a lot of cookie baking ... it's something I started with my stepmom years and years ago, and Christmas isn't Christmas without the cookies!  So today I made a double batch of my family's favorite peanut butter kiss cookies ... that is 8 1/2 dozen!  Not only are they our favorites, but I think a lot of people's as well ... so I put a few in a container for my hubby and daughter, and the rest get frozen to dole out in Christmas packages ....
They are delicious ... and thankfully look better than they show in that picture!

My daughter commented last night that we hadn't put up any Christmas decorations yet ... we keep our Christmas up until the ephiphany, January 6, so I usually don't start my decorating until after the beginning of December.  We never got our cut tree before the second week of December since it has to stay up so long, and now that our sweet son is at college, we don't cut it down until he comes home.  So that isn't usually until the week before Christmas.  I have a small tree that sits in the hall, and another in the kitchen, so it's okay that the live tree doesn't come until right before Christmas.  Now I went upstairs into the attic and got two boxes down ... my intention was to decorate the mantel.  I did that and hung the stockings, and a few other things in the living room.  I did have to take down all the halloween quilts ... yes, they were still hanging because I love them!  I was looking around in the attic and the hall tree should be in plain sight up there ... I can't find it.  I do recall that last year the base broke, but I thought I had fixed it.  Maybe I decided when it was time for the tree to get packed away that I had gotten enough use out of it and it was time to replace it.  I sure wish I could remember!!  Ha, ha .... I'll take some pictures tomorrow.  Happy December and Happy Christmas!

1 comment:

QuiltedSquid said...

Yummy cookies!
To answer your question on needle size...I use a 16 for all my threads. I've timed my machine that way. I don't have lots lint anymore on my new machine and I like a smaller hole on quilts when stitching.