Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Blessings Continued

I don’t know how many times I’ve counted my blessings over the past year.  I think I’ve lost count!


It has been a wonderful year, indeed…primarily as a result of the friends I have made through blogging.  I’ve “met” many of you through swaps and some just by visiting your blogs and you visiting mine and leaving comments and striking up a friendship that way.  Well Pat is one of my friends who I met just that way.  Through blogging, we found that we shared a fondness for similar things and styles.


On one of my trips to the post office last week, I picked up a parcel and I knew it was from Pat, simply by her return address.  I wanted to rip into the parcel right away but remembered to grab my camera first.  Well guess what?  The batteries were dead…again!  That meant I had to wait til the next morning to open her parcel because it takes 6 hours for the battery on my camera to fully charge.


At the crack of dawn, guess what I was doing?  You guessed it…opening Pat’s parcel!  I was blown away!


All of these individually wrapped surprises…which one to open first?  The biggest one, of course!

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A darling “bag lady” doll with personalized stitching on the arms and legs.  Click on the photos to see her ‘up close and personal’.  And can you see the pincushion  as well?  It’s made from a mason jar lid.  Now how cool is that?

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The journal on the left with the x-stitched design on the cover just took my breath away.  Pat even personalized it with my initials.  I also received a Stacy Nash…one of my favorite primitive designers…pattern booklet and some x-stitch linen.  I promised myself to take the time to do more x-stitching in the new year.


Pat also spoiled me with other goodies as well, pictured above.  A tea towel with the world “Believe” stitched on it, a wooden block with the words “Merry Quilting” and a tin of mints…and a tree ornament made from a child’s building block set.


Thanks again, Pat for your kindness and amazing generosity.  I am still in awe of all my wonderful treasures. 

And  a special thanks to all of you out there who happen to read this.  In your own way, you have all touched my heart…some by just stopping by to read about what I’ve been up to, others who have decided to ‘Follow” along in my blogging journey and to others who are kind enough to take the time to leave a comment…you are all VERY special to me.


This will be my last post of 2009.  Do remember to come back on Friday, January 1st, for my next FFF or First Friday Freebie because along with another new design, I’ll have something else to tickle your fancy.

And from our home to yours, please allow me to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Kaaren ♥


Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Blessings

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the spirit of Christmas were to last the whole year long?  I feel as though that is what’s happening in my life and what an incredible feeling it is.

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On Christmas Eve day, I went to the post office to check for any last minute mail before the BIG day and there were 2 packages waiting for me.  The first I will share with you today and the other I’ll save for my next post.


My dear friend Robyn hosted a Christmas Ornament Swap with the simplest rules ever…send just a hand made ornie and that’s it! 

Ros was my partner and although it took almost a month for her parcel to arrive from the UK, I was able to hang her lovely ornie on our tree just in time for Christmas.


Ros sent me a gorgeous bluebird ornie, hand stitched with gold thread and with a golden tassel.  She also included some wonderfully different floss that I’m anxious to use in a future project.


In my thank you note to Ros, I mentioned that I had hung her ornie on the highest bough of our tree.  Thank you again, Ros and a special thanks to Robyn for hosting the swap.


I also took part in Chookyblue’s Secret Santa Christmas Swap.

I showed you the wonderful gifts that I received from my partner Carole here and these are mine that I sent to Donna (Chookyblue), who also happened to be my swap partner.


We were to include a hand made Christmas ornie as well as a hand made, Christmas-themed gift of our own choosing.  I made a woolen sheep ornie and a hand stitched and hand quilted mini quilt called “A Christmas Wish” by Cinderberry Stitches.

Thanks again to Carole for her over-the-moon gifts and to Chookyblue for hosting the swap.


Christmas Day has come and gone for another year, but the spirit of the season continues.  Stay tuned!

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Sunday, December 27, 2009

“Christmas Eve” Finishes

I hope you all had the merriest Christmas ever and that Santa was good to you all!

Ours was very quiet this year.  For the first time in a long while, I didn’t have to cook and I only did a minimal amount of baking because we were invited to have Christmas dinner with friends.  We had a wonderful time but there’s no place like home for Christmas.


I have so many things to share with you all and today, I’d like to show you some of the “Christmas Eve” finishes that were sent to me.  If you recall,  “Christmas Eve” is the title of my December First Friday Freebie…Santa stitched on a stocking…and literally, one was completed late on Christmas Eve.

Susan completed two stockings.  Aren’t they wonderful?

Suze's Christmas Eve Stockings

Ariane made hers into a mini quilt which she made as a Christmas gift for her Mother-in-Law.


Then on Christmas Eve, Linda sent me an email saying that she had just finished the last stitches on her stocking.  Take a look…

Linda's Christmas Eve Stocking

I just ♥ to see how everyone puts their own spin on each design.  Thanks for sharing, gals!


I can’t believe it but this Friday is the first Friday of January so you know what that means…FFF…First Friday Freebie day!  So please come back then and check it out!  I think you’ll like it…and I’m already busy with February’s design.  There might even be a little surprise on Friday too!

Have a great week and…

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Allow me to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may 2010 bring you good health and lots of happiness.

This year has brought me much joy because I’ve have the extreme pleasure to “meet” and make friends with great folks like you from all over the world.  Please accept this GIANT hug in the true spirit of friendship.

May you have the best Christmas ever!

Kaaren ♥


Monday, December 21, 2009

A Magical Christmas Surprise!

There’s a place in North Carolina that I heard is kind of special. 

Although I’ve never had the good fortune to visit, I’ve heard that it’s quite a magical place filled with all kinds of treasures that a country decorator/quilt lover/animal lover would fall in ♥ with.

Rumor has it that the mistress of the house is quilter and that she takes in stray quilts over which she casts her spells and transforms them into magical works of art.  She’s also known to magically attract domestic animals in the neighborhood who wish to adopt her and her caring ways.


This magical place is known as Quilt Hollow and what do you think magically showed up in my mail box on Saturday?  Why a magical parcel, of course…from North Carolina!


Mary did work her magic on this gorgeous mini quilt which I absolutely ♥ to pieces.  The piecing and hand stitching were magically executed to perfection.  Also included in my magical surprise was a tea towel that magically dries my dishes, a candy cane that magically has no calories and a magical tea that when brewed and sipped over the Holidays will magically shed any excess weight that might appear as a result of over eating on this less than magical body.

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Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity, Mary.  Rest assured that your magical works of art will be treasured for ever and for always.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Special Afternoon

Yesterday afternoon was special.  It was the time that my friend Lucie and I had set aside to get together at her house to exchange our Christmas gifts.


Being creatures of habit, Lucie and I always sit at her kitchen table where we solve all the problems of the world over cups and cups of tea.    While Lucie was boiling the water, I strolled around her kitchen, snapping pictures of her cozy kitchen all decked out for Christmas to share with you.



We know each other’s likes and dislikes very well  and every year we try to find that extra special something.  This year we decided that our gifts were all going to be hand made by us.


 Lucie went first.


She was absolutely thrilled with my Tisket-A-Tasket quilt that I had been working on over the past twelve months, a block at a time as the patterns were made available on the 5th of every month.  Lucie loves working with wool as much as I do and one of her comments to me was…”You must really like me in order to have used so much wool from your stash!”

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Then it was my turn.


Can you see the card that Lucie made and do you get it?   The ornament is just darling, depicting two primitive snowmen and a Christmas tree in a sack filled with ‘snow’ and all a- glitter with mica flakes.


Then there were some aged chenille candy canes and this gorgeous seasonal penny rug all of which appear in my new header photo above.  Lucie must really like me too because she used quite a bit of her wool as well!  *wink*

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It was a great afternoon spent with a dear friend and rather than solve the problems of the world while sipping our tea as we usually do, we discussed our plans for the new year.  We decided that 2010 will be the year to finish our ufo’s and to keep new projects to a minimum.  Let’s see if we can stick to our good intentions.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tis The Season…

Of giving and sharing, especially amongst blogging friends.


A short while ago, Michele sent me an email asking for my snail mail address because she wanted to send me a little surprise to thank me for sharing my First Friday Freebies with everyone.  Of course I told her that it wasn’t necessary but she insisted and I’ m so happy she did!  Just look at what she sent…


A new addition to my flock!  Isn’t she just the cutest wooley little lamb that you ever did see?  Thank you soooo much Michele…and all the way from New Zealand!


Then just recently, Carrie surprised me with these wonderful pressies.


Some wonderful Sandcastle fabric which is a kind of textured, unbleached muslin that almost looks as though it was pre-quilted, a woolen snowman ornament which is already on our tree and some yummy chocolates which you know are looong gone!  Carrie is a very special friend as she is the first person who left me a comment on my first post when I started blogging back in January of this year.  Thank you sooooo much, Carrie!


Then just yesterday, I received these wonderful treasures from Stephanie.


A gorgeous RED bobbin to add to my bobbin collection and a pincushion to add to my pincushion collection.  You certainly know how to tug at my heartstrings, Stephanie.  Thank you soooo much too!


I am so grateful to all of you for making my days so much brighter.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥   

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Last Christmas Gift Completed!

It’s been a wonderful twelve month journey thanks to Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs


Anne started her Tisket-A-Tasket BOM in January of this year, the same month I started blogging.  Thank goodness for that or I would never have stumbled upon this wonderful design.  I don’t know about the rest of you but I certainly looked forward to the 5th of every month, the day when the next installment would be released.

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As soon as I saw the first design, I knew that I was going to make this quilt as a Christmas gift for my friend Lucie.  I tried to keep up with completing the blocks on a monthly basis as they were released and for the most part, I was successful.  But then there were times where I had to concentrate on swap gifts and other things and found myself sometimes three months behind.


But I persevered.  And just last night, the final stitch was sewn!  Ta da!


My friend Nancy (no blog), quilter and long arm quilter extraordinaire, custom quilted it for me.  Nancy is the same gal who did the incredible quilting on my Lemoyne Star quilt.  I thought it was going to be touch-and-go to have the quilt finished in time to give it to Lucie for Christmas, but Nancy worked her magic and came through with flying colors.


Isn’t the quilting amazing?  And this was all done free hand!


I am so thrilled with the final outcome and I know Lucie will ♥ it!


Now I have to concentrate on finishing next month’s First Friday Freebie because I just looked at the calendar and realized the the First Friday of January is on the 1st!  Yikes!  But don’t worry because it’ll get done in time and I know you’re just going to ♥ this one!

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥


Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Swap Gifts and Snowstorm…the Day After!

On Tuesday, I received two swap parcels.  You already read about the wonderful goodies that I received from Julz here and now I’d like to share the treasures that Carole sent my way.

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Allow me to detract a bit.  A while back, I blogged about a day trip that my friend Nancy (no blog) and I took to Vermont.  Click here for story.  On our way, we stopped at a new quilt shop in Rouses Point, NY.  To make a long story short, Carole…my swap partner in the Secret Santa Christmas Swap…is part owner of the Fibre Junction Quilt Shoppe.  But I didn’t know this until I opened Carole’s parcel and checked out the URL to her blog which she mentioned in the card included with the gifts.


Inside the box, I found a lovely Christmas card, some Lindt chocolates (which have long since disappeared) a pattern for a mini quilt and the coolest turned wooden ornament that Carole’s husband Stephen made for me.  Here’s a closer look.  Isn’t it beautiful?


The rules of the swap were to include a Christmas tree ornament which could be opened upon receipt of the parcel and a hand made Christmas gift that should be wrapped and placed under our trees to be opened on Christmas morning.  Yeah, right!


Well guess what?  I broke the rules because you know what?  I COULDN’T wait til Christmas morning!  I have NO will power!  I could lie and not show you what I got til after Christmas but heck, it’s so gorgeous that I’m betting that you don’t want to wait til after Christmas to see it either…right? 

Are you ready?


Fooled you!  I just decided to prolong the suspense and show you the photos that I took around 7:00 this morning in the front of our house of the aftermath of yesterday’s snowstorm.


The walkway from the driveway to the front door is buried in over a foot of snow.


Mac’s not too sure whether to venture down the steps into the yard below.


We received between 12”-14” of snow but it seems like more than that because of the high winds and the drifting.


This is about 9:00 this morning and the sun is trying to shine.  It sure looks pretty…but now the digging out begins.

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Okay…enough snow pictures.  Now it’s on to the “piece de resistance”.  My SSCS gift from Carole.  Are you sure you’re ready?

First the label.


 Then the back.


And now the front!


Can you hear my heart beating?

A  basket quilt done in my favorite vintage colors…cheddar, turkey red and poison green!  Be still my heart!!!

Now wasn’t this worth the wait and breaking the rules for? 

I’m soooo happy.  Two wonderful swap parcels from Carole and Julz…and on the same day!

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥