Friday, December 19, 2014

It's Practically Here!!

Christmas is less than one week away!  Yikes.  Everyone seems to be running late and I am no exception.

I managed to squeeze in some time and finish my "Hot Flash" quilt.  I attached an extra wide binding, which finishes at 3/4" inch.  I love the way it looks.

 The backing is Nancy Drew fabrics.

It's a really fun line and the colors go perfectly with the front.

Last weekend, I rushed to Ohio after Hanna had an emergency appendectomy.    She missed most of her finals in a Percocet haze.....We made do at the hotel with quilts from her school collection, bad TV and my Alice Payne applique'.  Thanks to my FB friends for your support and good wishes while I was there.

A Nor'easter blew through while away resulting in this disaster...

After the initial hysteria and panic....everyone did their bast to get through it.
 We will rebuild!
Connecticut Strong!

My first amaryllis was a disappointment so I bought this beauty a few weeks ago at the grocery store.  The first one is showing promise so I'm nursing it along.

 Could this be the craft I was talking about in my last post?
 No, but it does look festive in the meantime.  It's how I imagine they decorate a hunting lodge.

Thank you Rich for taking photos this week before work and for my family's support of my crazy ideas and projects.  I'm so grateful for you all.

I thank you all too, for your encouragement, comments and enthusiasm.  You really make Fun With Barb fun for me.

If I don't make it back here, Merry Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 8, 2014

What the Dickens?

I hope your pre-holiday plans are coming along, what ever they may be.  I also hope that you take time to enjoy the simple things and small moments that make this time of year special.

This year, I set up my Dickens Village on a banquet table in the Living Room.

On the top of the hill is the "David Copperfield" seaside and below is the "The Christmas Carol" neighborhood.

Rich always sprinkles the "fresh fallen snow" on the roofs.  I have 6 different types of artificial snow, which I think is slightly less the Inuit.

I love this gentleman sitting on a bench.  Maybe his wife is in the quilt shop.

Living on "Buck Hill" has created my appreciation for Deer themed decor.  I found these kitchen towels at TJMaxx.  I received this beautiful card from Sue in England.  She posts a lot of beautiful things on her blog here.

I won the antlers on Ebay and I'm going to use them in a new home decor piece that I'm making.  Intrigued?  Stayed tuned.....

Lastly, Sheila sent me this photo of a completed Alice Payne quilt top.  Neither of my friends in the photo made the top; Kathy S. did.  She stayed true to the original - I love it!  I hoping to get another finished AP quilt photo soon.

ho Ho HO

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy December!

Soon after my last post, we had a great sadness here at our home.   We lost our sweet Luna very suddenly and very fast.  This is a photo I took of her with Starbuck recently.  They are brother and sister and have always been together.

Thanks to all my Facebook friends for you kind comments.  We are missing her.

Here is a lovely male downy woodpecker at the feeder.

Here I am doing some extreme housecleaning.  I sweep and dust this once a year before we put a tree up.  I hate the 2 story entry, but we might as well use it.

With help from Mr. Fun, I pinned basted my Hot Flash quilt for machine quilting.  

Seems like a lot of pins, right?  My feeling is if you are doing straight line quilting, you had better do it well.  The best way to keep the lines from wobbling is pins, pins and then pins.

By the way, if you're not familiar, drop diamonds are parallel lines with 60 degree lines creating a tilted diamond.

I quilted all the vertical lines first to secure the quilt.  The diagonal lines are on the bias so I wanted to take care.  I'm removing the pins one row at a time as I quilt.  HHmmm, there is a line here that looks a little crooked.  I'll have to check that out.

I know I'm over 50, but why do my vitamins say Century?  I'm not 100......yet.

Sometimes you hit the jean lottery.  Lucky Brand, my size (short), down from $119. to 29.99. Thanks TJ Maxx.  Recovery Stretch?  Again, over 50....

The sewing room was definitely Luna's territory.   Here is a post that features a fun cat showdown at the end.  Starbuck has been coming in for extra love and petting while I've been quilting.  He even jumped onto the sewing table! a first!

I've added a new feature to my sidebar; an email form.  I am happy to receive questions and happy to answer them, but they are often from non-reply commenters.  So if you aren't a blogger, and don't have a google profile, or don't have settings for receiving email......use my new form.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Happy Wednesday!

I changed the quilt in my sewing room to "Friends and Neighbors" 2004.

This was exchange with my Illinois friend, Mary Pat W when I moved to NJ. Some of the liberated houses are mine and some are hers.  I still love this quit and remember it being very fun to make.

The back is all household related print fabrics.

I'm finally marking my big star quilt.  Great News!!  I'm having 2 versions of my over sized baptist fan stencil manufactured and I'll be offering it here on the blog for purchase.  They are also manufacturing another one of my designs for their catalog. (my room is a mess - again)  At least the dolls are behaving.

On other domestic fronts:

I turned these

Into this

a Food and Wine recipe for Tortilla soup.  click here for the link.

I did a little "fake baking".  I added vanilla and some oatmeal and viola'

I inherited Jill's extensive collection of doilies, aren't these pretty?  Warm fake bake is better than no cookies, right?

The hummingbirds area gone, but the winter birds are here at the kitchen window.

This year I moved the whole feeding station up to the deck where I can see them.

I don't know if this is a red-headed sparrow or a purple finch, but he's handsome.

First cardinal of the season.  He's a handsome fellow too!

I've planted an amaryllis and paper whites.

I'm uploading lots of reading for my ipod.

I finished my first block of the Alice Payne quilt.

I found my name tag collection.  I'm off to my second meeting with my new guild tonight.

If I'm not back, have a Blessed Thanksgiving next week to my US friends.  Hope you are staying warm and find time to stitch, read, bake, cook or watch the birds.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hello Dolly!

Thank you all so much for you wonderfully kind comments about my Jubilee quilt.  It was amazing to hear from so many readers.  Thank You!  unfortunately I had several "non-reply" comments, so I couldn't thank you directly.  Just know that I really appreciated it.  Here a link from my friend, Lori of Humble Quilts, on how not to be a non-reply commenter.

Hooray!  I have finished my repro swap nine patch top.  I measures about 52 x 72 and contains exactly 100 nine patches.

I have received two lovely dolly quilts from readers and wanted to share them. I am always so surprised and delighted when a reader is so generous!

First this came from Rondi, who was in the nine patch swap.  I love the red binding.
She hand quilted it from the back using the fabric as the pattern - great idea!

I received this one from Barbara, a guild friend and blogger from NJ.  Click here for her blog of wonderful quilts and interesting history.  The floral border and pinking top binding are great antique touches.
 Lovely backing fabrics and this one is also hand quilted!

Thank you both so much.  I'll treasure these doll quilts.  They even inspired me to have a dolly tea party.

My doll, Annie, invited Hanna's doll (from the basement) to a tea party and quilt show and tell.  First she showed her Barbara's wonderful quilt.

After lunch, she showed her Rondi's lovely quilt.  (She must live in a studio, given the proximity of the bed to the table).

Then I heard them discussing how I am currently storing the doll quilts.   "Now that is just sad!"...  "A two foot pile in the corner of a closet"..."what a shame."  

In the late afternoon, they had a little "nip" and talked about all matter of things.

It might have gotten a little crazy.......oh dear.

Stay warm!  Looks like most of us are in for cold weather and even snow!