Thursday, December 31, 2015

"50 Shades of Red" Quilt Challenge, 2015

Every year, my Memory Makers quilt guild has a different challenge to keep us sewing on task through the year.  When they asked for ideas at the end of 2014, I suggested doing a "50 Shades of Red" challenge.  My idea was chosen & the parameters were set that one could use as many red fabrics as you wanted.  In fact, the more, the merrier!  A background of either white or cream could be chosen along with one other color. 

Years ago, there was a huge display of all red & white quilts in New York.  You can follow THIS LINK to see a wonderful selection of them. 

We had three different categories, based on size.
We got to vote for our favorites in each section
along with picking our "Viewers Choice".

I foolishly forgot to bring my camera...(Bad Blogger!)
so these photos were taken with my friend, Robin's phone.

I know I must have missed capturing some of the quilts,
 as people arrived later in the evening.  
I'm so sorry for not realizing that error before we left that night!

Just look at those feathers....DROOL!!!  I happen to know Sue Palumbo quilted this one for Connie.
The pattern is called "Irish Mist"...I ♥♥♥ it!!!

This quilt was my entry, made from the patterns in the book titled "10-Minute Blocks"...See below:

Very fast & easy project that left me lots of wide spaced to practice my free motion quilting in the red blocks.
I used the computer to place the floral daisy motif in the center of each white square.  This pattern ends up with a very thick intersection of seams right in the middle of that block so I chose something that would avoid hitting them & perhaps risk breaking a needle...or worse, messing up the timing on my Innova.  

These were from the smallest category...a tiny 1" blocks & an almost completed table runner, made from leftover toile from her dining room valances!  Great idea!

 I've forgotten the names of these two blocks, above & below.  Perhaps someone who was there that night will pop in to remind me?

We had lots of delicious  food to enjoy too, 
as everyone contributes something to the evening meal.

These "Quilt Block" cookies were a hit on the dessert table!!  They are made with edible rice paper that is placed on the wet icing of the cookie.  What a special treat!
Below is a photo from the website that sells them along with a link, just in case you want to make them next year.

Edible wafer paper Quilt Blocks

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House during the busy time. 


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Quilted Christmas Wreath Wall Hanging

I'm blessed to belong to a long arm guild that meets once a month in Zanesville, OH...(almost a 2 hr. drive me) but SEW worth the trip!!!
These gals are awesome quilters....many are published teachers & everyone shares their talents so generously.
  Well, a few months ago, one of the teaching members held a trunk show that knocked my socks off.
  What an incredible body of work that spanned decades, no lie!!!
At the end of her show, she brought forth a big blue tub of quilt TOPS & the board members proceeded to random draw names of all the members who were present that day & each of us received a GORGEOUS quilt top from the teacher. 
Many were the samples that she had made up for demo purposes with her classes.  We were stunned...there were 28 quilt tops that she gave away...many of them bed sized, too!
I was so very grateful to have gotten a small one, given my lack of expertise at this point.
We made a secret pact to have them all completed by yesterday's Christmas Luncheon/Meeting to surprise her with our *Show & Tell*  She was really touched & even though not everyone who got a quilt was able to be there, we had a really nice representation.
Every one was so different & beautifully done, too.
Here is my little wall hanging &/or table topper that I did.  It is 34” x 34” & fits a little square table that I have in my sun room but I really prefer to see it on the wall, so as not to cover up any of it.
DSC_3756 sm.JPG

She fussy cut all the red & green Christmas poinsettia & holly fabric into little pieces to form the wreath shape.

DSC_3760 sm.JPG

I used a gold thread to mimic the gold veins in the fabric & the shape of a wreath...first with my computer then proceeded to echo & embellish it a bit more with free motion.


I stitched in the ditch (seam) between the dark squares that outlined the wreath, then used my Auto Pilot to place a quilted design in each corner.  I'm sorry I don't remember the name of the design.  I did this 4 or 5 months ago & have been sitting on it, just waiting till after the guild's meeting to share it with you here.

DSC_3761 sm.JPG

This shot shows the quilting so much better on the back.  I had to lighten the photo a bit, so you could see the is really a rich, deep navy blue.

DSC_3762 sm.JPG

This last close up lets you see the cross design I added to the center as well as the tiny little almost Celtic looking motif in the middle of it.
(A wee nod to my Irish heritage)

What a treasured gift this has become & I will think of M. every year when I unpack it for display.

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today especially when everyone is so busy with their holiday preparations.
Remember the “Reason for the Season”!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner, 2015


November has been a sad month here at The Gazebo House.
  It started off on November 1st, when my husband's hospital held a Memorial Mass for him on All Souls Day. 
The Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland officiated & at the end, read a portion of Ern's obituary.
  I cried, of course.


They gave me these beautiful flowers &
this lovely candle to bring home & I
enjoyed them for days until the fluffy gold stuff
in the arrangement started to make me sneeze!
It was all very touching but sent me into a blue funk for days.   


However, keeping busy is the antidote for
wallowing in sadness,
so I dove straight into making an elaborate
EARLY Thanksgiving dinner
for my daughter & family.

  My oldest grandson was invited to spend
Thanksgiving with his girlfriend's family in Boston,
so we decided to hold our gathering a little early
so they could be together here with us
to celebrate ahead of time.


This is the first year I've ever been able to cut some
of my own flowers to use as a centerpiece!
We've had an extraordinarily warm autumn
plus that fact that the celebration
was a week early allowed me to cut
the last of my yellow mums,
plus a few yellow roses, too!  


Ms. C. immediately noticed that one of the blossoms
had PINK on it! 
She has loved PINK since she was a tiny toddler &
said "My PINK",
every time she saw it anywhere.


You've seen these pinecone adorned napkins,
placemats, wooden chargers &
my Eternal  by Lenox china all before.
  I think I even used them
last year for turkey day, too.



However, the flatware is new!
I've always wanted a touch of gold to go
with the gold trim on my china &
when Mary (Home is Where the Boat Is)
featured this Mikasa "Cameo Gold" pattern,
with 24 karat gold trim,
I jumped at the chance to buy it
with her discount. 
Thanks Mary!


I must also thank Mary for the idea to make these
goofy turkey cupcakes with Nutter Butter cookies,
candy eyes & red licorice.
They were a HUGE hit with the kids....
of all sizes.
  The only thing I did differently than
Mary was I used orange Tic Tacs
for their noses.


They look so silly, perched upon my antique
Americana cut glass square cake pedestal. 
Thanks for the inspiration, Mary!


I used both the dining room table
as well as the little round table
off to the side to set up the desserts...
pumpkin & pecan pie,
chocolate chip cookies (DGS#1's favorite),
along with cashews &
chocolate covered almonds (MY favorite)!
Of course, per tradition,
my Mom's little after dinner mints
were on the table in my sugar scuttle as well.
She ALWAYS had those mints out
for every occasion &
this is my way of remembering her on holidays.



My daughter bought me this
beautiful leaf-embossed oblong
serving dish by Hallmark.

It looked so pretty with its copper colored ribbon
that I didn't have the heart to unwrap it!

She knows I have a serious addiction to dishes!!
My collection of milk glass
continues to grow, thanks to my friends, sisters &
their families' contributions.


I wish for each of you a very Blessed & Grateful Thanksgiving holiday. 
I'm counting my blessings & one of them is that my sweetheart went to Heaven before me,
because this grieving process would have been
so much harder on him!
  I'll be glad when this year of "Firsts"
without him are in the past. 

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Labor Day & the End of Summer


Labor Day has always had such a melancholy feel to it for me.
It is the official end of the summer, although certainly not the summer heat!
We're to be in the 90's today!

I'm *Laboring* for a good cause this weekend, by making Christmas stockings for our military men & women.

2015-09-06 001 002 sm label

A member of my KISS quilt guild, Valerie Liambeis spearheads this project every year.
She solicits donations of fabric then cuts the stocking shapes as well as the cuffs & tucks several sets into little baggies.
The KISS members take the packets home & sew the stockings together & once they are all completed,
a Yo-Yo gets tucked down into the toe of the stocking & they are then filled with candy for the troops.
I think we made over 400 last year & will probably do as many this year, too.

As Valerie says “Wouldn't it be nice if they weren't needed at all?”

Another melancholy note….I've gathered the last of my roses & a few hydrangea blooms for an impromptu bouquet.


I'm sad to see the flowers end, although some yellow mums are now opening.
My sewing buddies have kept me quite busy this summer, taking me to several different quilt shows & events.
I truly do not know how I would manage without my sewing friends!
2015-06-04 001 001

These GORGEOUS quilts are from a trunk show by Pat Knoechel, the sister of Eleanor Burns. (Quilt In A Day fame)
What a delightful presentation...she is a sweetheart!!
I was enthralled...both by the delicious quilts she shared but also by the spectacular quilting done on each one.

2015-06-04 001 007

2015-06-04 001 008

Such wonderful variety!!

2015-06-04 001 028

2015-06-04 001 034
That is Pat, taking the time to explain how each one was made. 

2015-06-04 001 013

2015-06-04 001 040

Every color of the rainbow!!

2015-06-04 001 025

2015-06-04 001 043

Some modern....

2015-06-04 001 048

Some traditional...
2015-06-04 001 061

Doesn't that quilting around the leaves look just like wind, tossing them about?

2015-06-04 001 063

Some were very little, like the wall hanging below..

2015-06-04 001 064

with embellishments of sparkles & pearls.  (look closely at the white pine trees to see the pearls)

2015-06-04 001 055

Some really BIG ones...note that pretty scalloped edge...

2015-06-04 001 069

I adore the following color combination!!! 
Purple, green & cream or white is going to be my next quilt, for sure.
2015-06-04 001 071

2015-06-04 001 073

2015-06-04 001 065

2015-06-04 001 059

Actually, this black, tan & creamy-white one, below, was my 2nd most favorite of them all!

2015-06-04 001 020

I just love this classy combination & frequently find myself wearing it, too.
The quilting on this one was really special.

2015-06-04 001 022

Time to put away the flip flops & hang up the beach wear....looking forward to some cooler weather & all the lovely colors of Autumn.

Thanks for visiting The Gazebo House!  You're always welcome here.