Thursday, December 29, 2016

Post-Christmas Wrap

Things were hopping in the sewing room in the run up to the holidays.  I made a quite a few zipper pouches and Christmas tree mug rugs, and stitched the binding down on a quilt on Christmas Eve.  It didn't feel stressful, though.  I enjoyed every moment of it. 

I baked another loaf of Orange Date-Nut Bread (recipe back one post)
Our family does a gift exchange on Christmas called the "Dirty Santa" game.  You are probably familiar with it.  Everyone brings one gift to the party.  They all get put in the center of the floor when it's time to exchange.  We pick a number (or draw a playing card, as it were).  The person with the lowest number starts by choosing a gift and opening it.  Then the next person can either choose a gift to open or steal one of the previously opened gifts.  If your gift is stolen, you choose and open another one. You want to be a higher number in this game, so you have your pick of a variety of previously opened gifts, or take your chances and open one of the other ones.  

It's fun to see what shows up as a re-gift from prior years.  The current record is a cupcake maker that's been re-gifted five years in a row!  Most gifts are new, though.  Most are of the general sort, maybe something edible or drinkable, oftentimes useful, and sometimes funny or totally off the wall.

I went with "useful" this year, and the gift I brought to exchange was a quilt. One I'd been working on, off and on, since October, when I started piecing it on vacation.

I used the layer cake of Aspen Frost fabric won in the Hands2Help charity quilt project giveaway earlier in the year—very pretty, holiday-themed fabrics.  I followed the tutorial for the Precious Gem quilt, found HERE.  

It turned out to be a nice lap quilt size, just right for relaxing on a cozy winter evening.

This was the first time I'd brought a quilt to the Christmas gift exchange.  Judging by the fact the quilt was stolen twice, though, it won't be the last.  It was fun and encouraging to see a couple people vying to stake their claim on it.

Ultimately, it went home with my niece, who, in her words, was happy to "add it to her collection."  I've given her two baby quilts in the past, when each of her boys was born.

She announced her engagement on Christmas, so that was pretty exciting too.  That's her fiance photo bombing in the background!

In the process of quilting this quilt, I found my missing Kwik Clip!  It had rolled underneath the table of my Juki.

* * * * *
In the past few days, I've been giving the blog a little facelift.  Made a new header (not at all sure about my design skills, but I gave it a decent effort, anyway).  Also tweaked a few things on the sidebar, did some general cleanup, and updated the gallery tab and a few other things.  Let me know what you think, if you're so inclined.  

Some after-gift-exchange music time.
I've been listening to and reading some year-end reviews in the past few days, and it got me thinking on the events of my own year.  As always, there were ups and downs, good times and not-so-good.  One of the highlights was that Norm and I got new bikes earlier in the year and had fun exploring the trails on them this past summer.  It also gives me something to look forward to in a couple months.  Yep, Christmas is barely over, it's not even the New Year, and I'm already thinking ahead to bike season!

What's near the top of your personal highlight reel for 2016?


  1. That is a nice quilt you brought to the Dirty Santa party!

    I love Dirty Santa it is so fun to steal and scheme. Unfortunately my family is too small to attempt such a thing.

    Your blog looks really clean!

    Have a Happy New Year! May you achieve all your goal. Be happy, healthy and thrifty!

  2. The blog looks fabulous, and so does that quilt! What a great Dirty Santa gift - no surprise it was popular!!

  3. Very nice looking Header! I need to redo mine too. What a great addition to the dirty santa, that lovely quilt! I'm surprised it wasn't stolen more.:) I'd say the top of my personal highlight reel was getting to take an anniversary trip to the Oregon/California coast with my husband. Great memories!

  4. This is the first time I've come across Dirty Santa - it sounds perfect for my lot! I like your new header a lot and the other tweaks make everything look very sharp! My personal highlight was going to see Richmond Fontaine with my no 2 son. I took him to see them when he was 14 (and not old enough to get in without an adult) and this was their farewell tour here, so it felt like we had come full circle.

    Happy New Year!

  5. I like that Dirty Santa game! And, the quilt was an awesome idea for a gift! My mind has been wandering to warmer months as well... gardening, car shows, sunshine... ahhhhh! Happy New Year!


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