Slow Stitching in the Christmas Season

I hope that you are enjoying the Christmas season thus far. I’ve been watching Christmas-themed flash mob short movies on You Tube recently ; everything from the carefully staged and magnificent United States Air Force band during the past few years to Gospel singers flash mobbing in Macy’s and the entire store singing along with them.

Each and every one of them had me teary-eyed.  There were others that showed up as well….dancers showing up doing a Lindy Hop at one location and Irish dancers at another. I realized that I was getting teary eyed about everything because the political climate has been so awful this last year, there is so much going on around the world in the way of war and suffering, there are so many disasters….the horrific fires in California going on now…. and yet these videos showed what I think that God intended for us to be like.

Earlier in December I was able to get a quick but decent shot of the Super Moon from my front porch. Wasn’t she a beauty!

There’s a new sweet shop in town. They have the cutest name! “Glazed and Confused”.    My youngest son’s been there on two occasions and raved about them and brought home some donuts.  The middle son and DIL took the kids there the other day and she posted a picture on Facebook.  They too were raving about it and said that it was not expensive, either. Eight people at a cost of 25.00 for desserts and drinks.

As to my Slow Stitching, this week I quilted inside the four motifs of this Botanical block, and am on the final one in regards to outlining them. From there, I’ll move to a cross hatch.

I have two more applique motifs to add on to this Elizabeth’s Pride block, which I’d been working on over the last two days and hope to finish up on Sunday along with other Slow Stitchers over at Kathy’s Quilts.

I don’t know if I’ll post again prior to Christmas ( though I’ll still visit around )   If not, wishing you all a Merry Christmas or Happy Hannukah.

Meanwhile, I recently saw some close friends of my son on FB. Wife is urging Husband to give her a puppy for Christmas.  They have a two year old son. I chimed in advising them to wait until the spring unless they want to go out every 20 minutes in the bitter cold during winter to potty train, like I did helping my son and DIL when they got this baby two Christmases ago.

I think that I convinced them to wait after thinking about the COLD hard truth :)  I am in PA. Currently highs in the 30s and lows in the teens and that is just the beginning :)

You might also enjoy Merry Christmas Cookies Day

Baby September Squirrel & Hand Quilting on the Botanical

I often have a mama bringing baby squirrels here but it always in the spring or early summer. This summer I had little twins hanging out for awhile, and last year one became so tame that she’d eat peanuts out of my hand.

Some years the baby would be climbing the screens of my window…always a source of great interest to the cat sitting indoors on the other side of the window!

To my utter surprise, there was a little baby September squirrel  climbing the screen, making a racket, in mid-September! I don’t want them tearing up my screen so I tapped on the window, scaring him but he clung on. So I went outside on to the porch and there was mama squirrel sitting on the fence nearby. She’d brought him to the lady who feeds her peanuts. No wonder I have squirrels every year. Mama comes, then brings the babes.

That is the lady that I was telling you about. We gather walnuts from the tree down the road, and eat other things, but if  you come here, she’ll feed you peanuts, corn cobs, and she saves the fruit around the peach pits and apple cores for us as well. Always come here when you are hungry, little one. ”

A bit later, they took off….little ‘un chasing after Mama.

Meanwhile, while I have just been referring to this latest hand quilting project as the Botanical quilt top, for those of you that are unfamiliar with it,  Doreen from Aunt Reen’s Place  and  Dawn from Collector with a Needle had hosted a sew-a-long for the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt of 1858.

 I purchased the pattern from the Virginia Quilt Museum and worked on six of the blocks over a period of time for a couch quilt.  In addition to paying for the pattern, if you wanted to work on the actual sized blocks, you had to go to Staples or somewhere like that and pay for the pattern to be enlarged, so I quit after six of them, though I can always use the full pattern for another top down the line if I so choose :)    If you’d like to see other people’s work on this you can visit Dawn & Doreen’s SVBAQ site HERE

When I considered how to quilt this, I thought that I’d echo quilt. I did that in the first block. But as I looked at the blocks, without planning it, three would work great for echo quilting and three would do better with crosshatch and they’d all be opposite of each other….so that is what I decided to do.

This block was echo quilted and then I followed the wavy lines of the musical notes in the background fabric.

I finished up the cross hatching on the second block :

The cross hatch goes much faster. The third block will take awhile ( echo ) …I just started it.  Any Slow Stitching going on this weekend will involve the hand quilting of this block.

One more thing before you leave :)   I was on my way to the grocery store the other day, sitting in traffic due to some road construction, so I took a phone photo of this house on the main street.

They decorate like this on a yearly basis :)  This is their late-summer decor. They’ll go full-out for Halloween in awhile, as well as for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Spring and then Summer :)  This is just the front! They do this around the entire house.  When I take a walk I am amazed at the back of the house as much as at the front.

Do you have any places like this in your area?

My sister lives in a housing plan about 20 minutes from here, close to where my mom is, and where I grew up, and one of the houses on the main street prior to entering the plan goes crazy at Christmas. The kind where the entire house and yard is lit up and people make a point to visit it. They add on every year.

THAT place is the kind that has grown so much at Christmas that they take donations…here, the neighbor just likes to decorate ( and I guess climb many a ladder to do so :)  Whatever they go through, I enjoy seeing it :)

You might also enjoy : Halloween Around Here 

Sharing at Kathy’s Quilts for Sunday Slow Stitching