Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Be Thankful

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude."  ~E.P. Powell

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." ~Meister Eckhart

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."  ~H.U. Westermayer

             Here's some Thanksgiving history
"Thou hast given so much to me, Give one thing more, a grateful heart." ~George Herbert

“Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”  ~Charles Dickens

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I feel blessed to have met so many wonderful quilting friends since I started this blog. And I am grateful for the community we all share. I hope you have safe travels and a wonderful holiday with family!
                        Isn't this a cute pilgrim hat cookie recipe?


Keebler Fudge Striped cookies
Reese's Peanut Butter cup miniatures
Yellow frosting


Turn cookies upside down. Frost the top of a peanut butter cup with the yellow frosting. Place the cup face down in the center of the cookie. Draw a square buckle using the yellow frosting.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I Caught Another Bug!

I should be working on finishing up quilts or Dear Jane blocks but - oh no! I've got the jewelry bug now . . . .  I can't stop making cute little earrings. Christmas is coming so I 'm hard at work.

I just love earthy-looking stones.


I call these my Peace on Earth earrings because - well, you know. Blue. Earth.

Could I love turquoise any more than I already do? It just keeps getting better because I recently found some new turquoise beads. I now have approximately 13 pairs of turquoise earrings, LOL.
Cool blue and silver - Brrr! My favorite winter earrings. But they just might cool you down in the summer heat too.
All these and other earrings are available on my Etsy shop - Oh Kathleen! I also do custom orders. My shop got its name from my oldest sister who always used to say "Oh, Kathleen!" whenever I showed her something I made. "It's beautiful!" she would say. It was just the encouragement I needed, you know? Thank goodness for sisters . . . . I am lucky to have four.

(These are actually for my sister, who loves black and does not read my blog, so I'm safe. But I can always make more.)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fall Splendor

I wanted to post these pictures before the snow arrives. When I attended the  quilt show at the Chicago Botanic Garden over a week ago I spent some time walking around outside too. It was a perfect fall day and the colors of the leaves were beautiful. Keep in mind this is Chicago so we don't usually get the color some parts of the country gets. This is pretty much as good as it gets. We've travelled in the past to other places in the fall and New England is still my favorite. My constant dream now is to visit Vermont again and check out not only the colors but the Dear Jane quilt at the Bennington Museum.



In the English garden










Near the top of the waterfall
When I got home that day I showed the pictures to my husband so he could see how pretty everything looked. Two days later he suggested we go back and take a walk around so he could see. In just days everything had changed. The leaves were gone from the trees and landscapers had scooped them up off the ground. Everything was sort of dull and gray. Such a disappointment! But I was glad I went the day of the show and took the photos of the garden in all its glory. Autumn was nice while it lasted.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Little Christmas Stitching

I've never been an early holiday shopper. I like to start my Christmas shopping whenever it snows. I mean REAL snow, the kind that makes me want to throw myself  into the Christmas spirit, not that little sprinkling we had the other day. But then I go shopping and can't decide what to get and so I think "Hmmm, maybe I should just MAKE something."  I know many of you do this too. Perhaps you start in July though.

I love making and giving jewelry. Hmmmm, I wonder who's going to get these??

Or these?

So this year I thought I would encourage you to start making things for Chistmas a little earlier than usual. I know, I know, who am I to talk? I always put things off until the last minute and usually stay up late at night the week before Christmas, struggling to finish last minute things. But not this year. Nossir. I'm getting ready now.

Since I started my new DJ Yahoo group a couple of weeks ago I've made a few Dear Jane blocks while "watching" basketball games in the evenings. Seems like even the easy ones take me FOREVER, but maybe that's because my attention is somewhat divided. Then I went to a Holiday craft show last weekend and now I've become inspired (Thanks, Karen!) to get cracking on Christmas stuff. The other day I pulled out the stitchery pattern I designed last year and had more printed up. If you missed out and did not purchase one last year, you're in luck - the pattern for these sweet little stitched ornaments is now available again here on my website.


Also, if you think you would like to purchase some earrings for yourself or a friend, I am working on some new ones and will add them to my website or Etsy shop soon. I also take custom orders if  you would like to order a pair in a particular color or colors. Just e-mail me if you don't see a color you like on Etsy or my website in the next week or so.

If you are in my Small Quilt Talk group, we are finishing up a few UFOs this month and probably also in December. That's based on what I hear about how many unfinished projects you all have to complete. Some of you will need more than a few months . . . .

Last year for our December Small Quilt Challenge I believe I suggested the Turkey Tracks quilt from my book Remembering Adelia.  I'm getting a little ahead of myself (see what even a little sprinkling of snow can do to me?) but, instead of finishing up an earlier project next month,  if you feel like it and haven't made this one already, how about making a little Turkey Tracks quilt for this year's December challenge?   Follow the pattern in the book (on page 69). The red and green is just so cute, which is why I picked it for next month.

This quilt would sure make a nice gift for a friend. Or, if you don't have the time, here's an idea - why not just buy her the book so she can make it herself?  What are friends for, LOL?  "Here, I would like to make this for you but can't right now so I really think you should make this for yourself  . . . ."

 The pattern for these little ornaments comes in a 4-page full color booklet and also includes antique graphics and some historical info on redwork traditions.

I said this last year and I'm repeating it here - I'm notorious for making useless handmade gifts for people. Cute things, sure, but what exactly are they for?? Watch, someone will get one of these ornaments and then look at me and say . . . "Uh, what is it? Oh, like, to put on the tree??" Well, I think they're sweet. And, like it or not, someone will be getting one of these again this Christmas . . . .
I timed myself when I made these. The actual stitching took about 20 minutes and then another 30 minutes or less to put it all together. If I can make Dear Jane blocks while I'm watching Bulls basketball games with my husband in the evenings, you can do this! (Or Football, NCIS, The Voice, whatever.)
Even more cute ideas for handmade Christmas gifts coming next week.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Quilt Show at the Garden

Yesterday, I went to see  the Fine Art of Fiber exhibit at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL. The gardens were a lovely backdrop for this unique show.

I attend every year and the quilts that are featured are very different from the type of quilts I make--most are modern, bright, versatile and completely non-traditional. There are always a few traditional quilts thrown into the mix, but the fun part is seeing just how creative some of the quilters get with color and fiber.

It's a lovely venue for displaying quilts, surrounded by nature. 

Made by Mario Alonso

Love the scrappiness

Made by Lynn Bradburn

There's something about this one .  . . . Made by Julie Johnson

Made by Roberta Levin

Made by  Mary Meyers

Lots of modern quilts. Made by Rhonda Newman

Lots of traditional quilts with a modern twist. 
Made by  Lynn Dykstra Davis



Made by Georgia Cibul


Made by Carole Naughton

Made by Mary Meyers

My prize for Largest Block Ever. Made by Ardis Mistak
Made by Sue Divarco
The show was nice and the day was beautiful. I spent more time just walking around the garden afterwards, however,  inspired by the incredible colors of nature. I took more photos and will post those in the next few days.