Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sailing, Snowballs, & Swans

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness.
~Bob Hope

I have many memories of Christmas past.  Some memories are from my childhood.  Some of the memories are from when my girls were small.  One of the most vivid memories I have was when my DH and I were still dating and I was invited out to his family's home for their big Christmas meal.  I knew he had three older siblings - two sisters and one brother - all married but none yet with children.  Little did I know what I was in for!  Christmas dinner at my home was a small affair with just my parents and younger sister - maybe another older couple would join us.  It was a very quiet and sedate affair.  So out to the ranch (that's what the DH's family called their home) I went.  The house was packed with people!  Aunts, uncles, cousins and other 'in-laws'.  And talk about a noisy group!!!  All of them were talking at once, or at least seemed to be to me.  The only time there was any quiet was when grace was being said.  This was my first of many 'family' dinners at my soon to be MIL and FIL's home.  It was either get used to it or don't be part of the family.  I survived and lived to tell about it - lol!  Do you have a big family Christmas dinner or do you have a nice, quite little affair?



Seven Swans A Swimming

On the seventh day the lover sends seven swans. Throughout history swans have been associated with royalty and the swan is often used on royal symbols and other decorations. Swans are also found in myths and folk tales dealing with love.  Swan meat is supposed to be quite tasty and from ancient times to the nineteenth century, roast swan was on the menu for the king's Christmas dinners and other royal banquets. Since the nineteenth century, the turkey has replaced the swan as the bird of choice for fall and winter holiday feasts.  With its close connection to royalty and royal holiday feasting, the choice of seven swans as a gift for this high born lady from her lover is appropriate.


Yesterday, the fourth block for the Layer Cake Quilt Along being hosted by Moose on the Porch Quilts was revealed.  Here is the block I made.....

This block is called Starry Starry Snowball and was designed by Sherri McConnell at A Quilting Life.  I stayed with the Sweet and Sour line by Connecting Threads.  I had a little trouble but only because I didn't read the instructions completely.  I had to do a bit a trimming on four side blocks to make them the right size.  If I had read the instructions, I would have known to trim down the HST blocks prior to putting them together.  Oh well, it all worked in the end.  I actually made two of these blocks but the other one is for a Bee in Oz group member for January so I can't show you that one until she receives it.  I think I should have gone with either a different center or different points on this one.  However, it will work with the other blocks that I've made.


Yesterday I also finished up the "summer" quilted block - the third block of four for a Christmas gift.

This little block is called Ship at Sea and I found it at  The pattern itself was quite easy, the hard part for me was selecting the fabrics.  I had no idea where I was going when I was looking at my scraps.  At first I started with the boat itself and didn't like anything in my scrap pile.  So I decided to start with the water.  I found three different fabrics but when I found this one I knew it was the one I had to use.  I don't know if you can see the silver in the water and I even did some fmq!  Then I had to pick the sky.  I didn't want just plain blue.  I found some scraps of batik and it even has a sort of sun shape in the two top corners.  Of course the sails were easy - white.  Then back to the boat.  I just closed my eyes and put my hand into the black scraps and used whatever came out first - lol!  I really like this little block with its rolling waves and funky sky.

And what better for a backing than an underwater scene.  I used the same fabric as the boat to make the little hanging sleeve.  So, you are supposed to imagine you are looking at the bottom of the boat (the sleeve) and that is what you would see under it.  I think this is my favorite of all the little quilt blocks so far.



There aren't really any new giveaways out there - well, at least none that I could find. 

We are half way through the 12 Days of Christmas giveaway over at It Seams To Be Sew.  But go check it out as it is a fun giveaway.

And you have today and tomorrow to enter in most of the giveaways listed at Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day.  There are lots of great giveaways to enter.

And if you haven't entered my giveaway yet for 5 Christmas batik fat quarters you still have time.  My giveaway ends tomorrow, Friday, December 17th at 9:00 pm PST.



I'm rather blah today - not really sure why.  I'm looking forward to all of the Christmas uproar and festivities.  At times I think it all is a bit overwhelming though.  I always seem to go through a little bah-humbug before the special day hits and this must be that time.  I have no motivation even though I sit here and sew.  No words of wisdom come to me - just a little bit of emptiness.  Maybe it's because we have to go to Walmart and Costco tonight.  That's enough to put anybody in a funk this time of year - lol!  It will pass soon - decorating the house this weekend will probably help.  And only one more week until my girls and their families are here!!!!!  And today's final quote is our mission tonight.......

Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space.
~Dave Barry

Off to complete that final homemade Christmas gift.  I hope your Thursday is productive!!


Lynda said...

Linda, it says you posted today at 4:45 a.m.!!! I thought I was the only one up at this awful time of day. Konda at Moose on the Porch has quilted many of my quilts. She is fantastic. Love your summer boat quilt. The sky and water are perfect. I liked the back looking under the boat at what surprises were there too.

Barb said... post gave me lots to thinks about. I do love all the quilts you showed and as far as Christmas just depends if all the boys are home, if so, then it is a hoot!

Wendy said...

Hey Linda, enjoying my morning cup of coffee reading your blog. This is becoming a (welcome) habit. I share your sentiments about Christmas and the holidays. For me it gets better as time goes on and the "event" gets closer but I too slip into a bit of a funk right about now. Today is our last day of finals and school is out for two weeks. THAT makes me smile :D Anyway, I love the sailboat block...the fabric choices turned out perfect. Thanks for sharing!

Cheryl said...

I think the last week before Christmas is sort of a let down, at least for those who are organized. I like to leave a few 'things' to do at the last minute so that I don't find myself tweedling my thumbs waiting for the big days to arrive. And then poof, they are over so quickly.

Needled Mom said...

I love your choices of fabrics for the sailboat. They are perfect!!!!

Our family parties are always very large. Christmas eve will bring about 60 people to our home, but Christmas Day will be quieter with just our one son's family and us. We will be celebrating one grandson's birthday on Christmas day too!!!

I think the holidays can put many people in a funk with all that needs to be done. Hopefully you can enjoy the quiet of the season as well.

Maria said...

We have both quiet or big affairs for Christmas. This year is going to very quiet as the kids will not be here but I am looking forward to it.
Yes it always seems very flat just beofre the big day. I think it is like PHEW!!!!
Boy you sure have been busy sewing your blocks. Love the boat one.

Tiffany said...

You could add my two giveaways to your list! :D


Also...I really like that block you made for the layer cake quilt along. I like the fabric :D

Megan Harmeyer said...

I really like the Summer block! And the fish on the back is a nice touch. I had a busy day yesterday and didn't get near as much stuff done as I would've liked. We'll get it all done eventually.

quiltzyx said...

The Summer mini-quilt is awesome! I just love the fabrics you picked...I think I want to check thru' YOUR fabric piles!

Talin's Corner said...

It's funny that you should mention your holiday get togethers. I have been thinking about this the past few days. There was a time when I was very young that we celebrated with a very small group (8 of us all together). Then, in my teens, there were so many of us, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. that there was hardly room to sit. It has remained this way until recently. Now we have small group (just two families). No matter how many are there, it is always so nice.

Christine M said...

Hi Linda, My first Christmas with my soon to be husband's family was the same. Our family was small with no kids. He is one of 6 and there were people and kids everywhere. I didn't know what hit me. Then after the presents were opened there was a massive paper fight (which is tradition)!

Melissa said...

I just love your little boat! What is that very cute stand you have it on? Was that made for quilt squares?

Quilting Mom said...

Your blocks are just beautiful!I am sure that your Christmas will be a wonderfully magical day filled with your family around you!

jednoiglec said...

Your mini-quilt with boat is fantastic! I love the fabric selection (especially the waves!!!). Thank you for sharing it with me:)

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