Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Four Christmas Trees!!

Christmas Day is one week away!  But Christmas celebrations have started early and go on as long as possible in our house!! 

We finally put up and decorated our tree today.  We had carols playing and a crackling fire in the fireplace, on our TV screen courtesy of our satelite provider LOL!  Our collection of Santas, snowmen and angels will get displayed tomorrow.  We think this is our seventh Christmas here in Florida and we have amassed quite a few decorations.  I miss some of the special ones we have left at home in Nova Scotia along with our family and friends.

My second tree is just above this post - I found a countdown clock to add to my blog!! I read a blog lately where someone was trying to do just this. If you want to know how to do this, email me or leave a note (with your email) and I will tell you how.

Every year, no matter where I am, as we decorate our Christmas tree I think of Boston.  Nova Scotia, my home province in Canada, and Massachusetts have a very special history which dates back to Dec 6, 1917.  Early that morning, just after the school day had started,  in the crowded wartime harbor, a French cargo ship loaded with TNT and other munitions collided with a Belgian relief ship, causing a fire, explosion, and tsunami that leveled over 2 acres of the port and killed 2000 people.  This was the greatest man-made explosion prior to the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Also, that night while thousands had to sleep in the open, a blizzard hit and caused many more deaths.   In the ensuing rescue effort, a well-supplied Massachusetts delegation was among the first to arrive in Halifax and the last to leave. The next year, the still-struggling city of Halifax thanked the people of Boston by sending them a 46 foot fir Christmas tree, a tradition that was revived in the 1970s and continues today.  This is the fortieth year of this unique partnership.

Here is the 2011 tree being loaded  for Boston, on Nov 15th.  The tree is always donated and the tree grower is proud to be a part of this special friendship.

And here it is after the lighting on Dec 1st.

This 45-foot Nova Scotia Christmas tree is adorned with 52,000 LED lights.

Tree number four is our new outside Christmas tree.  My partner came in from her walk tonight carrying a rather large cardboard box, proclaiming that the garbage-picker was home!  Someone had thrown out a tree that appeared to be in good shape.  When we put it together and tried it we found that one section of lights would not work because a few lights were broken.  We replaced them (the spare lights were also in the box) and here it is:

Gotta love Christmas trees - especially the free ones!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

And the Winner is.....

Tampa, Florida, United States
Current Time

Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 12:04:16 AM EST

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2011-12-18 05:04:00 UTC

(Although the date on this blog shows as the 17th it is the 18th here in Florida!)

Congratulations to Francine, aka MochaWildChild!!

This is what you have won:

And what about that surprise I mentioned?  I will be adding some fabric to match the mug rugs so  you can make something to match if you like.  These three fabrics are on the backs of the mug rugs.

There will be almost enough to make the top of a Holiday Hexagon:
(you may have to add a stripe of your own)
Thanks again to Beth at Love Laugh Quilt for the Tutorial.

As you can see I got busy with other things and haven't quite finished mine.

I like this tute by Rose from Rants 'n Random Ramblings that I found on

They are merely half-circles (diameter approximately 16-18 inches), top-stitched to keep their shape and then folded to make the tree.  I made eight of these in 2009 and another six last Christmas.  Four take only about an hour to make.  Of course, you can add personal touches to make these more special.

I will get this in the mail as soon as I get Francine's address.

Thanks everyone for visiting my blog and leaving comments.  I hope many of you will return.  I'll start writing again now that the Blog Hop Party is over.

A Merry Christmas to all who may not drop by again.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog Hop Party!

I have just stumbled upon a great way to celebrate the holidays in bloggerville!  I have joined a Blog Hop Party!  And you can join the party!!  Over 200 quilt bloggers out there in blogland will be offering give-aways for eight days (from Dec 10th to Dec 17th).  Thanks to Michelle at the Quilting Gallery for organizing this great web activity!  She reports that  "As of December 7th at 6:00pm we have 226 bloggers registered from 20 countries."  I just added my site - so now there are at least 227!  Each day our readers will check that site, hop to different blogs, enter the contests and try to win a give-away.
Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways
For my give-away I will be offering a set of four mug rugs. They will look something like these (but the colours and designs will be a surprise):

To be entered, leave me a comment.
If you don't follow me, I'd love to have you join!
 I will be using a random number generator to pick the winners on Dec. 18th. 
I will announce the winner here and mail the items asap.
I will mail Canada and United States.
(You do not need to be a blogger to try to win.)
Good luck!

Check back regularly as I will be adding a couple surprises to the prize package.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Snowbirds can quilt, too!

I happen to be one of the many thousands who migrate every fall and spring. I'm a Canadian snowbird, spending half my life in Nova Scotia and the other half in Florida. While down south I meet every Tuesday for a few hours of quilting, sharing and socializing with a great bunch of women. We have all ages (er,... I do happen to live in a seniors retirement park)within the span of about 60-90 with lots of skills and experiences to share.Last week, Niela showed some of us how to make what she called the "Twenty Minute Runner". I have since found it on line as the "Ten Minute Runner". I tried making a couple, taking more time but learning a lot. I think that anyone who can do this in ten minutes would qualify for the World Bionic Quilt-off!!
So, thirty minutes to make on and more like sixty to write a tutorial which I promised a few friends. This is my first, so here we go~~~

Twenty Minute Table Runner Tutorial
(See the finished runner below.)

(Refer to figure 1)  First, cut a piece of fabric for the front using measurements that are appropriate for the table for which you are making the runner. Here I chose 24” x 6”.

Then decide how wide you wish the borders to be. (Mine was 1.5”) The fabric for the back is cut the same length as the front. The width of this piece is the width of the front plus four times the width of the border plus ½”
Thus the width of my backing was 6+(4x1.5)+0.5 = 12.5”

Sew these two fabrics together along the length twice using a ¼” seam making a tube; see figure 2.

Press the seams open.
Turn the tube right side out. Arrange it so that the borders are equal and press.  See figure 3.

Trim the ends off squarely as in figure 4.

Now fold this in half lengthwise by folding the front together. You will have a long skinny rectangle showing just the back fabric. Sew the two ends using a ¼” seam as in figure 5 below.

Open this so the top is up and turn the pointed ends (that you just created) right side out so that it looks like this figure 6 on the back:

Before pressing this, make sure that the corners form a right angle, using your square as below in Figure 7. Then press.

Stitch the top in whatever design you wish. As there is no batting to shift, you may use a minimum of stitching here. I merely outlined the print part of the top, approximately 1/4 in from the seam lines.

There you have it, the table runner that can be made faster than reading this tutorial!
Good luck with this quick and easy project.  Nice to make a few and have them on hand for Christmas gifts.
Thanks to Niela for sharing this with us.

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