Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!
Following German tradition we had our big family dinner on Christmas Eve, preceded by Christkind = christmas angel bringing the children presents - well, traditions have been mixed a bit by now, so there are presents under the tree for a few days beforehand (not for the kids though, so they won't play 'guess the present'). Family bring presents also, christmas angel puts all remaining presents - plus one per child from christmas angel - under the tree and by magic disappears before it can be seen after ringing a little bell.
The weather has been rather unkind to us this year, the remains of that tropical storm Evan have given us full water tanks and a smelly dog. Today it is still very murky though the weather station tells me it's supposed to improve - after using the dryer again yesterday (that's twice in a fortnight after about 2 years without!) I hang out one load earlier - fingers crossed it has not rained again yet - oops, just jinxed it, shower has arrived... DH has to work so yesterday the boys and I just blobbed out, they played computer and xBox, even went for a swim in the rain, I read and sewed and face booked etc.
My Christmas wishes have come true, lovely Suz showed me how to use Picasa which I have now downloaded on to the laptop and my lovely mum gave me a purple little camera with pink bag for christmas - the best way to ensure that none of the 4 boys in my house will use it lol!!! Blogger iPad app has improved, too, but I haven't figured out yet how to insert pics from Picasa that way, so I'll have to draft there and then prey the laptop out of oldest DS's hands to insert pics lol
There has been more sewing going on that I have been able to show you, but now that gifts have been given I can reveal:
Mum has a big birthday come up in July, but as she and we are going to be in Germany at that time, I gave her the quilt for christmas instead. Using the "There's a Square in There" pattern and an Ikea children's fabric "Fabler" by Silke Leffler she had given me for the feature, I made her a king size quilt. Using the walking foot I quilted around masking tape squares, some of them highlighting features of that Ikea fabric (which was not fuzzy cut). The batting is cotton, and on the back I put some world traveller's passport stamps, a fabric bolt I adopted at Spotlight a few months ago - a reference to her and her partner's semi-frequent travels to the other side of the world ;-)
I also made a bunch of oven mitts but only photographed one set, using various fabrics I regarded suitable for the recipients and batted them with two layers of cotton and one layer of heat resistant batting (for my own I only had one layer of cotton, and sometimes things get a bit hot...). Rhianon had recommended some FB videos by Phyllis and I had great fun trying out different feathers on these oven mitts.
In between I finished the second felt background, this time with all-over feathers. Again thanks to Rhianon I watched a video, this time by Natasha, and while Judi from Green Fairy Quilts has made a tutorial about a similar pattern, it only really clicked for me when I saw Natasha do hers on a home machine [note: Natasha's blog is in Russian, so use Google Translate]. I really enjoyed this, and if mum needs another background, I would be happy to quilt it. It gives me a chance to practise something on a big scale without worrying about mistakes because they can simply be covered up :-)
I haven't got major plans for the next few days - get oldest DS off the computer every now and then would be a good start - please, if you can, keep your sons, nephews, grandsons off a game called Minecraft, it appears to be highly addictive though it is certainly one of the more harmless games out there!
On the sewing front I want to make much more progress on my D4P, I am in the process of piecing another 11 blocks but matching those triangle corners drives me up the wall - if anyone has a simple tip, this would be much appreciated!
I also want to dye some fqs so I can make a start on my piece for the Australasian Quilt Convention. I enrolled in another Craftsy class, Wax Resist Dying with Malka Dubrawsky, I love her fabrics so I am sure I will learn heaps for this and other projects.
On the work front I will go back to work on 7 January but I have resigned from my job in Special Education after I have been offered a full-time job as e-Learning facilitator (working with schools to help them further develop their e-learning), starting 21 January. While I will miss the work with my little people, I believe that e-learning will play a more and more important role in 21st century learning. And it pays the bills a lot better than Special Education!
I hope you have a peaceful and happy time wherever you are and whatever you are up to!