Saturday, December 31, 2016

More Sewing Christmas

Now that Christmas is over (THANK GOD) -- I am also free to write about how my sister Ronda SEWED CHRISTMAS...

At our Sister's Sewing Weekend last fall, Deb did a demonstration -- showing us how to make a pillowcase with no raw edges,

Ronda and Deena paid careful attention to Deb's demo.
It's kind of tricky...
Some people call it the Burrito method...
Fast forward to Christmas. Ronda decided to make a personalized pillowcase for every member of her family!!
She did a few Christmas pillowcases
So cute...every child should have one of these on their bed at Christmas.
Lissa is all about her horses.
Ronda also has many Hawkeye fans.
And she found lots of perfect fabric.
A girl can never go wrong with pink, right?
This was the perfect print for daughter Amy...
I am happy to report that the pillowcases were a VERY BIG HIT.  

As a matter of fact --  we've decided to make them our annual Grant Rita/Grant Ronda after-Christmas-Sewing-Day project with Lilly and Memphis. 

I'll try to remember to take pictures!!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Nice Try, Grandma

SO MANY WOMEN I know sew gifts for loved ones. It's often the REASON we sew!!  And when it turns out the way you hoped -- there isn't a better feeling in the world!!
LP, in Texas, at the Harry Potter Christmas dinner.  The placemats were PERFECT!! 

Of course, I am delighted for my friend LP.  But, sometimes -- things don't go the way you hoped.

The year Lilly was three, I was so delighted about Christmas.  She was getting her first baby doll. For weeks, I'd been making outfits...and I made matching nightgowns for Lilly, and her Mom, the doll AND Sophie...

I had my cousin Linda paint a little train case, using the nightgown fabric as inspiration for the pattern. WOW...

When Lilly opened the gift, she said, "Nice try, Grandma..."

You can see she was MISERABLE about my gift...and we were both quite annoyed with the men in the room, who could not stop laughing...
In this picture, even Sophie looks disappointed...
She never played with the doll or any of those clothes. And I never saw anybody wear the nightgowns.

I was devastated.  So sad, and disappointed.  Lilly's reaction was almost enough to make a girl want to STOP SEWING GIFTS!!

But I was saved by the wisdom of Eileen Roche. Editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine. My friend Eileen is an experienced GIFT GIVER...and somehow, she has come to the perfect ZEN attitude about making gifts for people. She has a very unique point of view...and I have completely adopted her philosophy.

AND, like all good advice -- if you will only TAKE IT -- it could change your life...

Eileen says, 

"Here’s how I look at sewing gifts for other people. I pour my heart into it, pick the project and the materials with that specific person in mind and then I throw myself into it. I think about them the entire time. And when it’s complete, I am done – I mean, I could literally, throw it away because I know I already got what I wanted to get. I wanted to honor them with my time, talent and thoughts. I wanted to spend time focusing on them, kind of ‘spending time’ with them (although they’re not there). In my mind, the process is the gift.

So don’t look at the time and energy that you spent as a waste, look at it as a gift to yourself. The gift of thinking, imagining, fantasizing about how much they will love your gift. The fact that they didn’t, well -- screw it. That’s their loss, just a total loss, it’s not your loss."

That is some of the best advice I ever got....and I'm sharing it with you. Because, my guess is -- TODAY MIGHT BE A GOOD DAY for you to adopt this new philosophy...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sewing Christmas

Every week at TMBC, we do a Sew and Tell. This was going on long before the Splendid Sampler people came along. And, occasionally, we still do sew something other than 6" quilt squares.

 I couldn't post this earlier, because the gifts in question were on their way to Texas and I didn't want to ruin any surprises...but it's just TOO MUCH FUN.
It involves our avid sewing enthusiast -- Linda P.  She has twin girls, and therefore, has been sewing TWO VERSIONS OF EVERY SQUARE...for almost a year now.
So it is quite remarkable that she has time for ANY OTHER KIND OF SEWING -- much less a gift of this massive proportion...LP is on her way to daughter Kim's house in Texas. Kim has three children. Daughter Whitney from Illinois will be joining them. Whitney has four children. (all teenagers).  The entire family loves the Harry Potter books and movies -- and their Christmas in Texas has a theme.

Hogwarts, of course...

SO OF COURSE GRAMMY made everybody their own personalized reversible placemat...
Harry Potter fabric on one side...
Kim is a librarian...
One of the boys plays basketball
wears a bowtie?
Loves music?
Graduated from Iowa State?
Yes, it's a big job. This Sewing Christmas thing...
But there isn't a better feeling in the world, is there??

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Splendid Sampler™

The Splendid Sampler™ Wednesday
(...skip this part if you're not new here...)

The Splendid Sampler™ is an internet sew-a-long created by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. It is an EPIC sew along...
  • 83 fabric designers have created specific blocks that feature different quilting techniques. (paper piecing, fused applique, etc.).
  • The blocks will be released each week, and are FREE to participants until March 2017. (at that time, they'll use the designs to publish a book).
  • You can use whatever fabric you like.
  • There will be pictures on their Facebook page, etc.
The new block designs come out twice a week....on Sunday morning and Thursday morning. I'm doing this with my TMBC...and, therefore, it is my pleasure to BLOG ABOUT IT every Wednesday. *******************

If you come here every Wednesday to read about our Splendid Sampler progress...I don't want you to be disappointed.  But, hey -- WE ARE SIMPLE MORTALS, people...and mothers, grandmothers, doing the best we can to survive these blankety holidays.  SO I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NEW TO REPORT...

But -- just in case you missed this last update -- WE'LL EVENTUALLY GET TO IT!!

Here's the thing....this time of year is SO DARN BUSY -- it's hard to keep up with two block designs each week. MUCH LESS all the bonus blocks. Holy Cow. You'd have to be some kind of Superwoman to do that!!
Even though Linda and her husband Don were out of town for a ONCE IN A LIFETIME trip to New York City to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade -- when she came home, she DID ALL THIS SEWING!!
Linda and Don went to New York to watch their grandsons march in the parade!
Their Thanksgiving Dinner was a cruise...with some beautiful views of the city...
And, then, she did all this...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

For the Love of a Dog...

In the history of little girls and their dogs, there has never been a better pairing than Lillian and her Sophie. Sophie was just a puppy when Lilly came home from the hospital -- and that little dog has always been there for her, every single day...

When she's happy -- and when she's sad. I believe having Sophie changed the person Lilly will grow up to be. 

Last week, the kids were bickering one morning, and I scolded them. Like good Grandmas everywhere, I tried to make it a lesson.

Me: You two need to always be kind to each other. Warren -- when you grow up -- Lilly is going to be your best friend. And Lilly -- when you grow up -- Warren is going to be your best friend.

Lilly: No, he won't.   Sophie is.

Me: Sure, right now, hon. But someday, you'll be grown up -- Sophie will be gone, and I’ll be gone -- but you’ll still have Warren.

Lilly melted down. She ran to hide on the stairs, just sobbing. Instantly hysterical and inconsolable. Who could blame her? She just lost her best friend and her Grandma...


There was a lesson on that day -- but it was for ME -- not them...

Monday, December 26, 2016

An Italian MaMa

Hey -- it's going to take me a few days to RECOVER from Christmas. I'll get there...and in the meantime, John forwarded this to me. He's Italian...and this reminded him of his own mother...

An Italian MaMa
Mrs. Ravioli comes to visit her son Anthony for dinner. 
He lives with a female roommate, Maria. 

During the course of the meal, his mother couldn't help but notice how pretty Anthony's roommate is. 

Over the course of the evening, while watching the two interact, she started to wonder if there was more between Anthony and his roommate than met the eye.
Reading his mom's thoughts, Anthony volunteered, "I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you, Maria and I are just roommates.''
About a week later, Maria came to Anthony saying, "Ever since your mother came to dinner, I've been unable to find the silver sugar bowl. 
You don't suppose she took it, do you?"
"Well, I doubt it, but I'll email her, just to be sure."
So he sat down and wrote an email: 

Dear MaMa, 
I'm not saying that you "did" take the sugar bowl from my house ; I'm not saying that you "did not" take it. 
But the fact remains that it has been missing ever since you were here for dinner. 
Your Loving Son 
Several days later, Anthony received a response email from his MaMa which read:
Dear son, 
I'm not saying that you "do" sleep with Maria, and I'm not saying that you "do not" sleep with her. 
But the fact remains that if she was sleeping in her OWN bed, she would have found the sugar bowl by now.
Your Loving MaMa 

Never Bulla Shita you MaMa ************* For my fitness report: I only get on the scale once a week. Monday is that day. I weighed 274.6.