Thursday, December 25, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Craziness

Have you finished your shopping?  Are the presents all wrapped? Did you finish all the gifts you planned to make?  Is the decorating done?  Have you finished the baking? Christmas cards done?  Are you wishing you had another week in December?  If you are like me, these are questions that are running through your mind everyday!  My answers: yes (I think), no, yes, no, no, almost and yes!  Caitlin and I and Copper the dog, are driving to Louisville tomorrow to meet Peter at our daughter's home for Christmas.  I've shipped most of the gifts there, so I will be doing my usual wrapping - Christmas Eve day. Decorating - didn't do any this year because we were gone for week and then will be gone again next week - feels very weird!  A special thank you to those of you that have shared your decorating on Instagram, Facebook, blog posts, etc. I really appreciated seeing all of it.  It helped me with not doing any decorating here. Projects - Monday and Tuesday were Minkie day - 3 Minkie quilts for Brett's family (can I tell you how much lint those things produce!) Baking - hopefully we'll do some in Louisville, but it's not my thing any way. I even managed to plan and organize our Christmas cards and hopefully they will be delivered to Louisville, where I will finish the process - address, stamp and ship!  Extra week - I would love one in every month!!! 

Do you watch Downton Abbey?  If so, then you have seen the commercial for Viking River Cruises.  Peter and I were on one of their newest ships - Eistla - last week for our Danube River cruise.  We had a fabulous time and I have to say, I love river cruising.  The ship was beautiful and I don't think I ever felt it move - quite incredible.  And it had the part of cruising I love the most - every day you wake up in a new city and you didn't have to haul your luggage around or ride on a bus!  We started in Nuremburg and ended in Budapest with stops in Regensburg, Passau, Melk, and Vienna.  There are excursions planned for you each day - usually a bus and walking tour of the city - and then optional tours.  Each city had at least one Christmas Market to see, so I did a little shopping too.  Here are a couple of photos just to show you some of the highlights.
Viking Eistla
Nuremburg Christmas Market at night.

Christmas tree at Market in Regensburg.  That's me dressed for the cold!

Passau, Germany
Church at the Melk Abbey

Matthais Church in Budapest
Castle on the Danube River in Wachau Valley

Schoenbrunn Palace - Home of Maria Theresa - Vienna

Parliament Building in Budapest

Let's take a moment and try to think past all of the holiday craziness and think about 2015 - it's just around the corner and if you're like me, it's filling up fast.  Have you started making plans for workshops you'd like to take, quilts you want to make, vacations you want to take?  Any of these would make great gift ideas for your family.  I've got one that you just might want to add to your list.  Our good friend Ronda Stockton has just opened a new quilt retreat in LaPorte, TX.  If you follow her blog (And Sew It Began), you've had a chance to see her transform this old house she bought into a beautiful retreat that sleeps 16.  Paula and Gloria (Olde Green Cupboard) are teaming up to offer a weekend of fun projects.  Mark the dates on your calendar - February 12-15, 2015 at Ronda's retreat house, Pieceful Stitches.  Here's the link with all of the info: Special Event Opening. Sign up now, there's only space for 16.  I thought a little enticement might get you psyched, so here's the pictures of the projects.

Paula's pieced framed wallhanging
Gloria's armchair sewing cozy

Gloria's pincushion basket
I'll let you get back to your own personal craziness.  Up next here is packing.  Caitlin just called to remind me that winter clothes take up more room in the suitcase!  Sweatshirts, sweaters and turtlenecks - not my usual wardrobe for Florida!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Marcus Fabrics Friends and Companions Sew-Along Photos

Now I know that I did promise that I would post the SAL pictures about 2 weeks ago, but it seems that life has gotten in the way of my blogging again - go figure!!  I honestly thought that I would have nothing to do the weekend before my family descended on me for Thanksgiving besides blogging, but I must have been ill, feverish, delusional, or just plain nuts!  Everyone was here (oldest daughter from Louisville and boyfriend; son, daughter-in-law and 2 granddaughters from upstate NY; and youngest daughter - who just happens to live in town) - that's a total of 7 additional family in our house that usually holds 2.  And all I can say about it is - it was wonderful!!  They are all back home again and the house is so quiet.  I have managed to finish all of the wash, remake the beds, and put the towels away.  

But without further ado, let me share the pictures of the Sew-Along.  I only have 7 for now, but if you finish later, please send me the picture and I will share it at a later date.  The comments from these 7 ladies were wonderful and so kind.  We are all so glad that you enjoyed our very first Sew-Along.  The pictures are the exact pictures that were sent to me - I didn't crop, edit or touch up in any way.  Congratulations to the ladies who submitted their pictures - your quilts are beautiful.  I love how so many people choose their own fabrics also - little stash reduction I'm guessing! Enjoy!
Barbara Leyland from New Zealand

Marja Veldthuis-Kluy from The Netherlands

Heather Gunter

Kathy Wagner of Ontario, Canada - waiting to add 2 borders

Kris Searle

Susan Gilbert

Ursula Yeo

I don't think I've touched a piece of quilting fabric since my last post.  I did a quick repair on leggings for my daughter-in-law and hemmed a couple of pants for myself, but basically it was family time.  Today I organized some stitchery - 6-pointed star blocks, tea towel to be embroidered, and Santa cross stitch to take on our 2 very long flights tomorrow and next Thursday.  Peter and I are going on a Viking River Cruise on the Danube River. We start in Nuremburg, Germany and finish 7 days later in Budapest, Hungary.  We love cruising, but it is usually on ocean-going vessels; this is our first time on a river cruise.  The highlight of this cruise is the opportunity to shop at the Christmas Markets that are set up in the towns we visit.  I'm so excited!! I'll share details and pictures when I return, but right now it's time to go pack!!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen