Saturday, December 18, 2021

Snow, Sew and Vegetate

What a fun week it was as the Christmas season began to bear down on us. We got the last of the shopping done on Monday, just ahead of the snowstorm this week. It snowed overnight Tuesday, and on Wednesday we woke up to a winter wonderland. There was over a foot on the valley floor where we live. The ski resorts were inundated and I’m pretty sure we could’ve heard the skiers rejoicing had we tried. 

Our neighbors pitched in to help us old folk shovel out. And some friends with a truck loaded up our (too large, in my opinion) snow blower and took it to the repair shop for us. It wouldn’t fit in our SUV, and we couldn’t have lifted it ourselves if it did. We have family members with a truck arranged to help us get it back when it’s been serviced. In the meantime,  I’ve kept the walkways shoveled and de-iced as we get skiffs and flurries. It’s exhilarating to be outside in snow and moving the ol’ body! Is it sick and wrong to enjoy snow shoveling? 

I went light on the sewing this week. Usually I spend several hours a day, but we had Other Important Things this week, like dentist appointments (semi-annual cleaning and all is well), going out for lunch, making a trip to the liquor store, walking in the snow and watching Christmas movies. I’ve also been trying to learn some advanced strategies for solving extreme Sudoku puzzles (on You Tube) with some success. Not much, but some. I go on Sudoku binges every few months….

But let me show you what I did sew. Inspired by my friend Julierose, I made a JOY table runner. I cut all the pieces several weeks ago, so it was quick work to assemble it. Actually, it can be either a table runner or a banner.

My goal this season has been to use up as many of my old Christmas scraps as possible. To that end I’ve already made two kitty quilts, a pair of pillowcases, my Christmas Presents quilt shown last week, and now this JOY table runner of scrap squares and yardage. 

JOY finished at 14x36”. The quilting is snowy-looking spirals. I added a hanging sleeve in case I want to hang it, but for now it will be a table runner. And see the Father Christmas in the picture? That was painted by Cousin Carrie (Kim’s sister) last year as a Christmas gift to us. I love it! Carrie selected the Father Christmas with all the wild animals for me as a nod to my Kenya trip back in 2018. Didn’t she do an amazing job? I keep him out almost all year. 

When I finished the JOY topper, I decided it was time to get a year-end chore done. Time to tackle the mountain of batting scraps and pieces. So I put on some lively Christmas music and spent an afternoon making Frankenbatting. I had some good-sized chunks and lots of strips. If it’s over 6” wide I save it. Skinnier strips and scraps to to a friend who makes pet beds. Some batting scraps are set aside and stored for things like table toppers, placemats, kitty quilts or zip pouches. But I had enough “ingredients” to make seven quilt-sized Frankenbatts!

My preferred method of making Frankenbatts is just to trim edges, butt them up and sew together with a short and wide zig-zag. I do have the heat-bonding strips, but they’re more of a pain. However, I keep a roll on hand just in case. (… in case of what, I’m not exactly sure). Anyway, once they were all sewn, I measured and labeled each one so they’re ready to go for the new year!

My final project of the year will be to finish up this Ring Around the Roses quilt for myself. I made the 10” blocks back in January and February, when the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors were pink and yellow, respectively. I’m finally getting back to them now. The first plan was to just sew them together without sashing, like this. 

But I felt it needed and deserved more, and the blocks really needed some separation. An inner white stop border and an outer larger border of pink/yellow Moda Grunge fabric were already planned, but I felt that some narrow sashing and cornerstones would be sharp. 

Yep, much better! That’s as far as I have it now, although the border fabrics are all cut and ready to add. 

And since my daughter Megan claimed my last zipper quilt, I’m making another one for us. This week I sewed a couple dozen blocks or so, just a few here and there as the mood struck. Here are some of them from this week.

That wraps it up for today. We are planning a quiet week, hopefully doing nothing more than visiting a friend and exchanging neighborhood gifts. We’ll be spending Christmas Day with my son Ryan, DDIL Kim and her side of the family. I don’t yet have my food assignment, so I will need to make another grocery run before the big day. Plus, I’m feeling the need to bake some almond biscotti to enjoy in my coffee share with friends and neighbors. *wink* 


  1. that was a terrific post, I enjoyed reading all of it. Your runner is so pretty and father Christmas, well I'd keep him out all year too.

  2. Loving your JOY banner--it looks so festive--lovely work!! Mine is still hanging up on design wall until I can stand long enough to cut batting and pin baste...but I made a little wreath table topper that I just love...small steps...Hoping your run up to Christmas will not be too stressful...We have been quiet here (except for our clothes washer dabacle--on my post today!!) i am knitting on my socks a few rounds per day...hugs Julierose

  3. "Is it sick and wrong to enjoy snow shoveling?"
    No, no it is not! When I lived in Chicago I used to love to shovel snow! By the time the job was finished, I would have shoveled our walk and most of the neighbors too!  At the start of the job I'd be whining and humumphing but by the time I was done I felt great.
    The Father Christmas is wonderful!

  4. Beautiful JOY runner, Cathy. And gorgeous Father Christmas with the wild animals!!
    Ring around the roses are very pretty with the narrow sashing and cornerstones.
    Have a blessed week. Merry Christmas for you and your family.

  5. Wow, that lattice really took the Ring Around the Roses uptown. And snow shoveling is fun. If you think you may ever need snow shoes let me know…

  6. Wishing you and Bruce and your family, friends and neighbours a very Happy Christmas! Loved following your RSC journey all year and looking forward to next year’s hits. JOY table runner says it all. Queen of scraps, Cathy, I salute you!🎄🌟

  7. Your Father Christmas is amazing. As well as yout trip to Kenya, did you have a stop off at Australia on the way home? That's a koala Santa is holding.
    I always enjoy reading your happy posts and seeing your beautiful work. Merry Christmas to you both.

  8. Your sashing and cornerstones are perfect for the pink and yellow quilt. It's so cheery to see something so pretty and colorful at this time of year. I love the little Joy runner, too. (And a trip to the liquor store sounds fantastic.) Merry Christmas to your and your family!

  9. I love your Joy runner! I've been eyeing those at Julierose's place, too - thinking I would have fun making one. Looks like lots of good things are going on at your house - sewing, snowing, and holiday-ing! Have a wonderful Christmas, Cathy!

  10. Love, love, LOVE that JOY table runner, Cathy!!! I suppose you don't need to wonder why, so you? :P

  11. What a JOYful runner/banner! Your roses blocks are soft and appealing. I cut 2" strips of lightweight interfacing for frankenbatts. When I put the pieces together I think of a Mondrian-style painting (but all in neutral). No snow here in Chicagoland!

  12. Happy Holidays! I want to thank you for all the work you do on this blog. I look forward to each post and feel very motivated after reading all you've done. I enjoy the sewing, not the cutting fabric part of sewing, so I appreciate your ideas for scrap quilts. I just want to sew! I find it relaxing.

  13. You have wonderful neighbors, friends and family...all pitching in to help! Isn't that the way it should be? If only everyone could be helpful to others!
    I just love your Father Christmas. He is a work of art!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. We will have a quiet day here with my daughter, cutey pie grandson and myself. It will be exciting, because we are getting things that the other needs and of course, grandma is spoiling the boy!!! LOL!!

  14. Wonderful Joy runner and I'd give that Father Christmas year round pride of place, too. And so much snow. We're way under the usual YTD amount and not much in the forecast. I'll be spending a quiet Christmas Eve with my daughter and having Christmas dinner at the home of a quilting buddy. Merry Christmas to you and Bruce.

  15. Gosh, thanks for reminding me I wouldn't do well in snow and I don't want to move to Colorado to be near DS #1. I'm glad you're enjoying the snow, and anything that gets a body moving is a good thing! Father Christmas is awesome, and the Joy banner is the perfect accompaniment! Thanks for the Frankenbatting tip; prepping the batting "remainders" ahead of time is a great idea!

  16. What a great way to wrap up the year -- making batting for next year! Your Ring Around the Roses is so pretty and the borders make a beautiful finish. For not sewing much last week, I think just the zipper blocks was a lot. Merry Christmas!


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