Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Bountiful Christmas

I thought I would share some of the quilt-related gifts I received this year. This gift bag isn't exactly that, but it sure is cute. I'm wondering if my mother-in-law made it - she was toying with a Christmas stocking for an addition to the family, so maybe she got ambitious. She'll probably laugh when I ask, followed by a long, 'Nooooooo!" She used to do a lot of sewing and needlework, but not so much anymore.

Of course, before I could find out what I got, I was distracted by some of the beautiful wrapping paper. The two floral ones look like fabric I've seen (and may even have in my stash...). The red snowflake one has a sheen to it not picked up in the photo.

Two friends took a chance by getting me books that might very well have been on my shelf already. But no, both of these are welcomed additions to me collection.

They are even autographed...Note that the one on the left has a name crossed out and mine written in. There's a story there, but I have to wait until that friend returns from her holiday trip.

I can almost guess what the story is by the second book she gave me - all in Japanese! I'm betting she picked these up at a guild "yard sale." Anyone out there who can translate and tell me the name of this one?

Here's an interesting page from inside, telling how to care for your quilts, apparently.

Ah, the universal language of pictures and illustrations - this book is full of them, making it usable, I think, even though I can't decipher the instructions.

This particular friend wasn't done with me yet. The books were tucked inside this tote bag, which is a bit of a private joke between us. I'd started the block in a workshop with the "Piece o' Cake" ladies who were touting their new line of fabric. We were given kits for the block, and while I loved the brown background squares, I just about couldn't stand the bright striped and dotted fabric mixed with that electric green. I forced myself to finish the block, telling myself it was good practice for learning their unique method of applique (which I really liked), but I really hated everything about it. The pattern style and the fabric just weren't me.

But as you know, I throw nothing away. I kept thinking I'd finish it out into a small wall hanging and donate it to a quilt auction. Yet every time I'd get it out, those colors would turn my stomach and make me put it away. Finally, I pawned it off on my friend, suggesting that maybe she and her mother could figure out some way to save it. Oh, dear. They thought it was as awful as I did! But they didn't give it back, so I was finally shed of it.

Or so I thought. Not long ago, I asked my friend if she'd ever finished out that block. No, she said. She'd been making lots of bags lately, so I suggested she put it on a tote bag and donate it to an auction. She thought that was a great idea. Little did I know she was going to play this prank and "donate" it back to me.

Funny thing is, I think it looks pretty good as a bag. I'm thinking I'll applique some letters in blue along that bottom dark strip - probably to spell out "Spring," and maybe even use it. That is, unless I decide to donate it to an auction...

I also got a fat quarter of motorcycle fabric from another quilting friend who knows how I follow road racing. The way the bikes are arranged, I couldn't help but think of using it in kaleidoscope blocks. It's a sateen, oddly enough, so maybe it would be a fun purse lining. We'll see.

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