Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I'm back in Blogland again! (picture heavy....)

I'm sorry I've been gone so long but I'm back again with lots to share!   You may need to go get a cup of coffee  (or in my case, a Diet Coke) while this loads!   Thanks to all my followers for not leaving me behind - I truly appreciate  you sticking with me. 

I had to get out the paint and tools and fix up the ol' blog for the holidays.  Sometimes Blogger is so slow it gets very tedious trying to get everything the way you want it.   My job  has been incredibly busy for me the last 8 weeks - my boss took another position in the company and I've had to take a lot of her work so I've been scrambling with that and lots of yearend activities.   Hoping things start to slow down once they hire someone. (and no I don't want the job)  I've been on a few trips since I last posted at the beginning of September...and even as busy as I've been, I took any spare moments I could to finish up some UFO's and keep on chugging along on my stitching projects.  Here's what I've been up to since I last posted...........

First....I finished my oldest quilting UFO - hurray for me!!

I started this applique project probably 12 years or so ago --- yes it's true.  It's all hand-applique using the needleturn method and believe me I regretted that decision more than once as there are so many teeny tiny pieces especially the window frames!  I finished up the quilt top probably 5 or 6 years ago but then I put it away for a long time before I finally got around to do the quilting . I hand-quilted it all which took me another year working on it off and on between other projects.  Then it got shoved in the closet again until I could face sewing on all the buttons and things. I hate sewing buttons on and this really had a lot!   I was hating the whole quilt by the time I got done but I persevered and I'm SO happy to finally have it off my list!  May I present "Welcome to the North Pole"..........



 Here is Santa and his reindeer riding across the sky....


Santa welcomes you......

 
     Shopping at the North Pole..
 
North Pole calories...
 
Bunking with the reindeer......
 
More of Santa's village....
 
The moon is big at the North Pole.........
 
 


Then we visited "the King" in Las Vegas.....at the Graceland Wedding Chapel

 
My husband and I had a renewal of our vows service at this same place 15 years ago...so much fun.  Our friends were at our service back then and wanted to have a fun marriage ceremony there as well when they finally decided to tie the knot after 18 years together!   The service is done by an Elvis impersonator  - only in Vegas baby!  Here's a shot of my husband and I in front of the building reminiscing about our ceremony there 15 years ago........we definitely look a bit older!
 
 

I was able to finish off another applique quilt....

 
This is "Winter Memories" with pics of some of my favorite blocks.  I really loved making this quilt which I fell in love with after seeing a model of it at a quilt show a few years ago.
 

"Winter Memories" designed by Acorn Quilts
 
This quilt is supposed to look like old photos...see the old-fashioned photo corners
 
Did you have a sled like this one? 
 (I designed this block myself to replace one  I didn't like in the pattern)

Yummm.....hot chocolate!

What's winter without a snowman...
 

Remember those mittens attached to a string that went through your sleeves? 
 

...and then I stitched and finished two more ornaments...

 
LHN's "Be Merry" and "Hot Chocolate"

Love  when I have the perfect fabric in my stash......
 

The husband and I took a trip to New England - so beautiful!

 
I took over 400 digital photos on our "leaf peeping" trip to New England the first part of October....yikes!  For your benefit I'll only put a couple here LOL.  I've been to Boston before but never much outside of there.  I loved traveling through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.  We ate maple candy and cookies...we visited Ben & Jerry's headquarters....we saw a gazillion gorgeous trees...we visited Vermont's quaint general stores and villages and ate their famous cheeses...we sang The Sound of Music as we visited the Von Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe....we walked the Freedom Trail all over Boston and went to historic Fenway Park...we visited some famous diners mentioned on "Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives".....we saw lighthouses and walked on the beaches...we ogled the awesome homes and the Bush compound at Kennebunkport and had our first lobster rolls - heavenly!  What's with the whoopie pies all over New England? I had no idea they were so popular there!
 
 


 
 
 

and I got another sampler framed.........

 
It took me forever to pick out the frame but I think I did good....it's a rustic frame that picks up the reddish/brown hues in this piece.  I am thrilled to finally have this one ready to hang.  I always get museum glass on my pieces which makes it hard to photograph but here's the best I could do.  This is "With My Needle" by The Goode Huswif - a beautiful sampler!
 



  

then I did something a little crazy........

 
Here's a photo of me and someone famous.....do some of you recognize who it is? 
 

 
This is Ralph Waite who played John Walton (the father) in the series "The Waltons". I always liked the series and I have all the seasons on DVD. Earlier this summer I was reading about them celebrating the series' 40th anniversary this year....and there was a cast and fan reunion weekend scheduled in September in Burbank, California. I thought it would be fun and since I'm close to there (Phoenix) I decided I would go.    I've never been to any sort of 'fan' event.   The cast and fan clubs have had reunions almost every year since 1997 but this was the biggest ever - and since it was held in the LA area this time they had a great turnout from the cast, writers, directors, and guest stars - most of whom live in California. There was a dinner, an autograph session, a visit to Warner Bros studio to see what's left of the house and outdoor sets used in the series, and a red carpet reunion show/event at a theatre in LA.   All of the cast came except for "John Boy" (Richard Thomas) and "Olivia" (Michael Learned) who were currently cast in plays and couldn't attend. Everyone was super friendly and down-to-earth and I got tons of autographs and photos.  The cast has stayed close over the years and all of them regard it as their second family.   The series creator Earl Hamner  was there (that's him standing in the back - the tall one).  What a treat it was to hear him speak in his famous voice and to hear all the actors talk about the series and what it meant to them.  I had a great time meeting other fans as well - and just so happy I went.
 
Some of the Waltons cast 40 years later.......
  

....and right now I'm frantically trying to finish some Christmas stockings... 

 
I always had plans to stitch stockings for our dogs that would match ours...but I'm doing the abbreviated versions instead of the full pictorial style or they would never get done!  Buster's is done and I'm working on Abby's below it now....stitching as fast as I can so I can get them "finished-finished"  for Christmas.   It's hard stitching with 3 strands of floss on 25-count....I feel like I'm stitching with a toothpick and string now after my normal 36 or 40-ct fabric and petite tapestry needles!    These patterns are from the old CS&CC magazines from the 80's-early 90's.  The wallpaper patterns were all in blue & mauve (as was EVERYthing in the 80's!) so I changed the colors a bit - using more teal so they won't look as dated. 
 
 


 
 
So there you have it folks.....if you've managed to make it through all the way to the end I thank you for visiting!  I have been cruising around your blogs as I can and everyone has lovely things posted.   I'm anxious to get these stockings done because I want to start a fun holiday project - there are so many to choose from!
 
P.S. I was notified yesterday I won a charts giveaway on Joanie's blog - yippee!!  I'll post pictures when I receive it. 

 

29 comments:

Giovanna said...

My goodness, your stitching and quilting are fantastic. Nice pictures too. It's great to see you blog again, welcome back :-)

ohiofarmgirl said...

Oh My, You have been so busy. All you quilts are beautiful and I am so jealous that you met John Walton. Wouldn't you just love to be in their family!!! Dianntha

Katrina said...

What a fun post!!!! Wow you've been busy, love the stockings, ornaments and quilt. Great trips too!!!!!

DebbieSFL said...

Glad you are back; boy, have you been busy!! And I am so jealous that you got to meet the Waltons!! Love the show and still watch them whenever I catch on tv.

Glenna said...

Wow--wonderful pictures and welcome back! I love everything you worked on (including the Goode Huswife, which I have in my stash), but especially, especially the Welcome to the North Pole quilt. Will you decorate a bed with it or hang it? (I'd hang it because some furry little thing would catch a claw in it or something...)

Margaret said...

Oh wow! Wow wow! And wow! I'm envious of your Waltons experience. My gosh, did I love that show! lol! Although I would have been disappointed with Richard Thomas not being there. Crush time. lol! Loved him!

Anyway, love all of your finishes. Wow! All are so beautiful! And the Elvis chapel. What fun is that? Glad you got to visit the New England area. I love Maine! Hope you left before Sandy came in. Ugh.

Enjoyed your post -- wonderful! Hope work slows down for you soon. Sounds crazy!

Anna van Schurman said...

I just wanted to tell you how beautiful that dreaded quilt turned out. Totally worth the 12 years! But then more and more and more...glad you had fun in New England, my old stomping ground!

Elizabeth said...

BEAUTIFUL quilts! They are so amazing - I haven't waded into the aplique field yet and am always envious of the quilts I see. And wow, you've certainly been very busy. All of your creations are very pretty. I hope you have a good holiday season and good luck on your stockings!

Loraine said...

Oh wow! I'm speechless...you have so many fabulous things that I am in love with.
First off, those quilts are amazing. I'm glad you finished your oldest UFO. What an accomplishment. I love them both.
Love the sampler framed too. I kitted that up after seeing you stitch it a while ago.
The ornies and stockings are too cute.
Your trip to New England looks beautiful. Always wanted to do that too, maybe someday.
I'm glad you went to the Walton reunion. It looks so neat! That was a favorite show of mine growing up.
So great to see you back in blogland.

Corina said...

Beautiful quilting and embroidery!

Nicola said...

I really enjoyed your post. Your quilts are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G !!!

Cath said...

Wow , you have been super busy , with some great finishes. Love them all .x

Chris said...

What an awesome post!!!
Congratulations on your oldest quilt finish. I love the winter white quilt too.
It looks like an amazing trip to NE.
The ornament finishes are just perfect.
OMG! The Waltons :)

Vickie said...

Oh what a post. And with the Waltons too! Beautiful quilts and stitches. I especially love the Winter Memories quilt, just lovely.

Melissa said...

Welcome back! :) You might not have been blogging but my my you were one busy bee!!!

I love the quilts!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE. I have no idea how to quilt so anything that looks as good as yours do requires a big WOW!!! They are beautiful :)

Barb said...

Do you ever sleep! My goodness me how much you acheive, oh those quilts are just fab-u-lous!!! Ido envy you meeting the Waltons just loved that programme. I think we all had a thing for John Boy.Mind you the father (must be my age) for his age is looking good.
Love the stitching too,and the New England pics, would love to visit but it is too much of a journey ,I am in the UK.
Thanks for a great post it was a joy to read.

Lee said...

Terrific post, full of gorgeous work to see and fun stuff to read! Your quilts and stitching are wonderful and I really enjoyed reading about your travels.

Carol said...

Welcome back, Jeanne!! What a lovely, newsy post--everything from the quilts to the cross stitch to your travel photos looks wonderful...And what fun to meet the Waltons! I loved that show back in the day :)

Gray Bonnet said...

Welcome back, and with so many wonderful things to look at!

Your Christmas quilt is just unbelievable. I would love to be able to do something so detailed one day! And such beautiful stitching! I love the ornaments.

Katrina said...

Hi Jeanne, all your quilts and the ornaments are just wonderful. Sounds like a lot of fun on your travels!

Mary said...

So glad to see you're back at it Jeanne, especially with the new holiday look! What a busy fun time you've had. Wedding vows renewed by Elvis - really?! I love it.

Siobhán said...

Wow!!! I am amazed, impressed, and a bit envious of all the fantastic things that you did while away. I go away and have nothing to show for it, but you--WOW!!! Really, I'm so impressed, everything is amazing. I am bowing down to your applique greatness, btw. The ornaments are adorable, too. I loved seeing all of your travel photos!

Faye said...

Welcome back on the blog scene!!! I especially loved the block of the sled you re-did..... And the snowman along writhe the mitten block!!! Such beautiful finishing.... Nice photos... Take care, Faye

Wendy said...

Great to see you back and with such wonderful pictures of your finishes and travels. I am so envious of your Walton reunion! I love that series, always have, and still watch the Christmas special each year - I think it was the pilot episode of that show.

Parsley said...

So much fun in this 'catch up' post! I can't believe your quilting...so BEAUTIFUL! Congrats on the fun renewing of your vows.

Karoline said...

Congratulations on your finishes, your quilts are gorgeous.

I love your photo's from New England, I would love to visit there in the Autumn

Solstitches said...

You might have been gone for a while Jeanne but what a great post you put together for your come back.
Your two quilts are just stunning.
What a lot of work went into them but oh so worth it.
Oh how I love the Winter Memories one.
I'm going to have to buy that pattern just to be able to get the ice skate block. My daughter and grand kids are like the skating Von Trapp family :)
Love your two LHN ornaments and what cute snowman fabric you backed them with.
Your sampler looks beautiful in the frame you chose.
What a thrill to meet the Walton family. I used to love that show.
Margaret

Marie said...

If ever you return to New England come stay with us in VT! Sounds/looks like you enjoyed your visit. I have never seen a tree with pink leaves, beautiful.

I would not have guessed that was john Walton but the minute I read it I looked again and said, Yup...that's him. What a fun experience.

I am more than impressed with your appliqué quilts. Your work is beyond beautiful and I truly appreciate al the work that went into those quilts!

Hope you complete the dogs stockings. :D

Have a wonderful holiday!

Grit said...

Wow , your work is so, so amazing.
Greetings from Germany, Grit