Memory Quilts - Completed

So far December has pretty much come and gone in a blur. The amazing thing is that I've never really felt stressed out like some people get during the holiday season. The cookies were all baked last week, the tree was put up on St. Nick's day, and the house was decorated during the first week of the month - both inside and out.

Then I got the call from one of my son's close friends....."Is there any chance you can make some memory quilts for Josh's mother and grandmother? I would like to give them as Christmas gifts." Of course I said yes.  I was honored by the request. And there I was, 10 days before Christmas making t-shirt quilts. Since I now have experience making them, this would be easy. And with such a labor of love, I was really into making it happen.

I headed to the fabric store to buy some iron-on interfacing and prepped all the t-shirts. In one day I had them cut to size and sewn together. The next day we were back in the fabric store with the new quilt tops picking out backing, binding and thread. I got home and immediately washed all my new fabric.  By the afternoon I had the quilt layers pin basted together and I started to machine quilt one of the quilts.  On day three I had finished quilting both quilts and had the binding hand-sewn on. All that was left was to make the labels.  Within a few minutes I had them printer ready.

Once the labels were completed I sewed them on and put the quilts in the wash machine. And there we have it, in less than a week I had two memory quilts completed and ready to go.  Jessica came to pick them up and when her daughter saw the label on the back of one of the quilts she shouted, "Daddy!" which brought tears to my eyes. 

Jessica was so very happy with them and that's all that mattered to me.  I was happy to see her in a good place considered her tremendous loss earlier this year.

So now I'm back to thinking, my Christmas shopping is done, my cookies are baked and the house is decorated.  I think it's time to head to the grocery store to get the things I need to make our little Christmas dinner next week. I still feel stress free even though my week was busier than expected.

Planning for Christmas

My husband had rotator cuff surgery yesterday.  Due to the upcoming Christmas holiday, this sure forced us to get things done.  So last weekend we put all the lights on the outside of the house.  It didn't hurt that the temperature was in the mid-40's...unusually warm. Even though he was in a lot of pain, he got it completed,

With that done we really had to get the tree up.  These were the only two things that needed to be done because I could not complete them myself. So the day before surgery Jeff put the tree up and got the lights on.

His surgery was scheduled to last an hour and he had the first time slot of the day.  As it turned out, the tear in his shoulder was so bad it took the surgeon two hours and fifteen minuted to complete. Recovery time out of the anesthesia was pretty easy so before we knew it I was taking him home.  He felt so good we stopped at our favorite dive for a late breakfast.

Once he was home, I got him settled in his recliner for the rest of the day and I put the ornaments on the tree.  Since my job was going to be watching him closely for the next few days, I got the house cleaned and decorated for the holidays in no time. I even wrapped the presents and put them under the tree!

I was worried about his surgery cutting into my sewing time but now that it's done, I realize the sewing time doesn't matter one bit.  He is recovering, I am enjoying our time together, and holiday things are getting done. I really thought this was going to be a stressful December but I am happy to report that it is not going that way at all.


Homemade Christmas Ornaments

On Pinterest, I found a recipe for salt dough ornaments. I thought this would be a great activity for me and my granddaughters. Once I read through the recipe and realized that it would take 3 or more hours for the cut-out ornaments to bake, I decided it was better that I baked some of the ornaments ahead of time and just let the girls paint and decorate them.  I did leave behind some of the dough just in case they would prefer the roll them and cut them out part, but they really didn't care about that at all.

So I got out the tempera paints in all of the 10 colors we had, taped newspaper to the kitchen table and we all participated in painting the ornaments. It was a very fun afternoon.  Once they dried, we tied old scraps of ribbons to them and hung them on a little tree that was just tall enough for small children to reach. The girls felt much accomplished once they saw them all in place.

Here is the recipe I used to make the "cookies".