Coffee Fabric

It's here!
I received the rest of the Cafe Americano fabric at Thanksgiving and immediately started designing, cutting and piecing to make this 5' square quilt...
Cafe Americano quilt
I'm thrilled that this is my first line of fabric for Wilmington Prints. I like the rich barn red, espresso browns and creamy tans.

I decided to use it as a table topper. It took me about 3 days from the start of the design to the last stitch on the binding. If you are interested, here is a link to a place where you can purchase the fabric online. The Cafe Americano fabric collection is also carried in many quilt shops across the country and Canada.
The fabric, which is 100% cotton for quilting, has a beautiful finish and feel to it. It was a dream to quilt. Speaking of which, I free-motion quilted the entire top, following the steamy swirls and curls, along with stippling and feather designs for the borders.
Happy Quilting!

Who Cares?

How many times have you asked yourself this question? Sometimes it's easy to get the blues and wonder if anyone really cares while everyone around you is caught up in the madness of the season. Why make homemade cookies instead of store bought? Why decorate when nobody seems to notice?

I could go on because that is how I was feeling this season. Blame it on many things, I didn't have the usual holiday exuberance this year. That is, until yesterday.

It started when I walked up the steps of the hair salon to a waft of warm air filled with the scent of Christmas. There was happy chatter among ladies getting their hair done for the holidays. As busy as she was, my stylist greeted me with a hug and smile. A genuine smile, too, if you know what I mean!

As I sat in the chair, Lauren gave me a festive blue package. "You can open it now or later."

In it was a candle (she knows me!) and three pretty little bags that were all Christmasy filled with yummy homemade cookies and candies.  It was obvious that she had thought of me along with other friends as she bought the pretty little bags, made the goodies and festively wrapped them.

I left with a fresh new hairdo and spirit. Lighting the candle as soon as I got home, I finished decorating the house, put out the welcome flag and hung the wreath.

After all...why is Christmas?

The wise men brought Jesus gifts that had meaning. They must have thought of the significance of the Christ child to bring...
  • gold - symbolic of Christ's deity
  • incense - symbolizing purity
  • myrrh - symbolizing his future death to give us eternal life (myrrh was used in embalming)
The angels sang to him. Shepherd's worshiped him.

I have seen how precious something made from the heart and hands is to receive. I might be a bit late this year, but watch out people...I now have a full year to start "making!" is a great blog that gives ideas for celebrating with more meaning. Grinchmas: Top 10 Ways to De-emphasize Gifts and Reclaim your Christmas Spirit  Thanks, Marianne!

I Love Christmas Cards

With mixed emotions (excitement, cheers, joy and a bit of angst,) we received our first Christmas card the day after Thanksgiving. I propped it against a pumpkin.

Each year actual Christmas cards mean a little bit more. Not only does the cost of the card and postage rise each year, but the time spent to think of friends and family and to write a special hello seems to be less available. Speaking of postage, it must be that a lot of you agree with sending actual cards. The demand has risen enough now for the USPS to collect cards the two Sundays before Christmas!

I enjoy form letters and emails from casual acquaintances, but I am so happy to see more cards delivered in the mailbox each year. Nothing beats the traditional greeting from someone that took the time to wish you a personal "Merry Christmas."

Here are some nifty ideas on card displays...

Martha Stewart's idea...attach to branches

Ribbon & clothespins
from Little Birdie Secrets

Old shutters and clothespins

More ribbon & clothespins (from Budget Wise Home)

On a hoop with clothespins
By now you are probably saying, "I must buy some clothespins!" You can buy colored plastic ones, miniature ones and old fashion pins, but the traditional wood pins are what I use. Just attach them to the edge of a cardboard box or a sturdy piece of paper and spray paint. Ta-da!
Attach clothespins on cardboard box to paint