Bloom with Grace

A while back, when the Bloom With Grace fabric first arrived in my shop, I knew I wanted to use some to make a Mercyful Quilt. It seemed so perfect for bringing comfort to a grieving family. The colors are gorgeous and the sentiment is very sweet. I took a panel and cut the four main blocks apart. Then it sat. This seems to happen quite often in my sewing room!

After a bit, I cut borders from some of the coordinates in this line. I added these to the four blocks and alternated the colors when I placed the bocks together. After stitching those up, I added a narrow pink border with tiny green cornerstones. Thinking it cute but a bit small, I cut up some scraps and added a patchwork border to the top and bottom. There. Now it felt finished!

Using a vintage sheet seemed like the perfect backing. A soft floral was the right complement to the colors and vibe of the quilt top. Each square block is quilted with a crosshatch and the borders have basic straight line quilting. The patchwork at top and bottom are stitched in the ditch to hold it all in place.

I am really pleased with the finished quilt. It isn’t huge, finishing at 44″ x 46″. With some additional pieced blocks between or around the four main panel pieces, one could make it quite a bit bigger if desired.

After taking some pictures I put it in the wash and now it is all soft and crinkly, ready for Mercy Hospital. Most of you are familiar with the Mercyful Quilt program but just in case you aren’t, I organize a program where quilts are made and donated to Mercy Hospital in Sacramento. Their palliative care team offers a quilt to families who are comforting a loved one who is dying. The family often chooses a quilt and uses it to cover their family member. After the person has died, the family takes the quilt home in remembrance of this special person. It brings great comfort to the person and to the family. I have received (and shared here) many thank you notes from both families who have received quilts as well as the team at Mercy who distributes them. I would love to have more donations for them. If you feel called to make one, there are just a few requirements. Your donation must be lap size, made with adult fabrics (because this hospital doesn’t treat children) and must be a new, unused quilt without any fragrance, especially not cigarette smoke. Other than that, the quilt can be as simple of complicated as you like. All quilts are hugely appreciated!!

This is the completion of my February OMG and I will be linking up to Elm Street Quilts. This is also to be a donation used for the 2021 Hands2Help hosted by Sarah Craig. I will link it up when that event opens up. For other link-ups that I enjoy, take a look at the top of the page and click on the Link Ups tab.

Wednesday Words

I fear I have become a lazy blogger. No fair to just read all of your posts and then never write one. Becomes a bit of a one-sided conversation. Here is a quick update for you.

Julia and I were called to jury duty on the same case – a faux pax on the part of the jury selection system I suppose. Anyway, we both went and answered their questions as well as filling out a huge questionnaire. Fortunately neither of us were selected. It was an ugly case involving domestic violence, rape and more. I know this stuff happens and it is horrible but listening to this case for three weeks would have been quite unpleasant and we were both just fine with not being picked for the jury.

This is the road we have been using for our walk/jog program. So pretty!

Last week we both (Julia and I) decided we need to up our exercise game. We walk most days which is nice. After tossing it around a bit, we downloaded the Couch 2 5K app. This is an app that adds short segments of jogging to the walk and eventually shortens the walking segments and lengthens the jogging. Today will be the 3rd day of it. (We walked on the days in between doing a segment of C25K). I have used this app before to get into running and it works quite well. In the beginning, where we are now, it is basically a warm up, then walk 90 seconds, jog 60 seconds, and repeat for about 20 minutes, ending with a cool down walk. My legs are a bit sore but that is to be expected. So far I can’t say Julia is loving this but she is willing to keep at it for a bit.

In the sewing room the other day, I wasn’t feeling like working on the myriad of projects I needed to be. So instead I decided to try something different – I wanted to learn something new. I decided to make a pair of underwear. Not the normal project for me but I had fabric that would work as well as some lingerie elastic. Needing some cotton fabric for the crotch lining, I went to Ray and asked if I could cut up one of his white undershirts. He looks at me and says sure you can, but why? I told him I wanted to make underwear. He got such a funny expression on his face and says, ‘uhh… for me’? Hahaha, nope. For me. Anyway, I made a pair and it worked quite well. The only problem was I cut the elastic for around the hips too big which means it didn’t gather correctly. While they fit reasonably, I think they would feel like they were slipping down. So, I am going to try again. It was fun to do something different. No pictures because I am just not much on modeling underwear!

The Bloom with Grace quilt that I am making for Mercy Hospital is coming along great. I am just over 1/2 way done with quilting it. Shouldn’t be much longer and this will be a finish to share. More on this one soon.

My sweet Vermont native was beyond thrilled to have snow in her new home in Washington state. This girl loves being outdoors and cold has never been an issue for her. She was so excited to have snow to play in for a couple of days.

For my other sweet girl, snow was a completely new experience. She isn’t quite walking yet so when plopped down, there she stayed. I don’t think she quite knew what to make of this cold stuff! Luckily her parents have tons of snow gear in all sizes from her sister so they were well prepared.

Finally, I finished the dolly quilt for the snow bunny up above. I need to take some pictures and I will share that soon. It is adorable!

In shop news, you might have seen this cute bolt of wide back fabric in a rainbow of polka dots I shared on social media last week. Well, after I shared it there were a number of orders for it. (Thank you so much!) As I unrolled the bolt to start cutting orders, I noticed all of these teeny tiny white spots splattered on the fabric. At first I hoped it was just the one area. I unwrapped the entire bolt and checked it. This is no small feat with 108″ wide fabric! The spots were all over the place. Ugh. I returned the bolt to the manufacturer and they said they were having trouble with this run of that particular fabric. So sad because it was super cute. Anyway, if you wondered what happened and why I took down those posts, now you know. Customers were very gracious when I explained the discovery and canceled their orders.

I spent some time cleaning up yesterday. For my bargain hunting customers, there are a number of new bolts added to the Clearance section. Plus quite a few new remnants were added to the Remnant section. Be sure to take a peek and see if anything catches your eye!

That’s it for now. I hope you are all staying warm wherever you are located! Such a crazy winter this is for most of the country.

Linking up with Stitch Sew & Show over at Life in the Scrapatch.

A Cute Quilt and a Cute Baby

My niece just had her first baby! She was due on January 25th and this little tiny girl decided to join the family on January 8th. She must have been in quite a hurry to meet her mama and daddy.

Some months ago (in September I believe) I was talking to my sister and she helped me to choose colors for a baby quilt. After some back and forth, I had a stack of fabric in shades of pink, lavender, gray and cheddar yellow. Really unusual colors but I loved them together.

I went back and forth on patterns and finally decided to make a triangle quilt. I have never made one and it seemed like a fun thing to do. My crafty husband cut an acrylic template for me to use to cut pieces. It went really fast and soon enough I had a stack of triangles.

Once I had these rows stitched together I realized it was too narrow. So I sent of this photo to one of my many quilty advisors, Wendy, of Pieceful Thoughts to ask for ideas. She suggested an outer border with segments of triangles within the border. Genius! I loved the idea.

I added a narrow (one inch finished) border to break between the two sets of triangles. Luckily I had another triangle stencil that was smaller and worked well for the border. On opposite corners I put the smaller triangles and then used a pink solid (Ballet from Free Spirit) for the rest of the border.

The biggest hurdle for me was where the points all joined – it became so thick and I knew it would be hard to quilt over that spot. To avoid this, I echoed the lines of the triangles which meant I never had to go through that spot. The quilt is backed with lavender flannel which makes in soft and drapey (I don’t think that is a real word but you know what I mean.)

The two cornerstones between the triangles have flowers quilted on them and the pink sections of the border have loops meandering along.

I quilted the baby’s name in one section of the border and in another section I signed my name to it.

Just look at this tiny peanut! She was just over five pounds when she was born and as often happens, she lost a bit of weight. She is now three weeks old and is over 5 1/2 pounds. I think she is just gorgeous. She is giving her parents a run for it and not sleeping a whole lot unless it is mid-day. Remember that feeling? Sleep deprivation at it’s finest.

I love this photo. For one, it shows how very tiny this little one is. Those are six inch triangles and she is barely covering three of them. It also reminds me of the times when I had new babies and there was nothing better than to just sit and watch them. A new baby is nothing short of miraculous and sitting with them, soaking it all in, is just the best. My sister is on the left (this is her fifth grand daughter!) and my sleep deprived niece is on the right.

That is it for now. I started quilting the Bloom with Grace quilt and it is coming along nicely. Yesterday I went to drop off the placemats for Meals on Wheels but left the placemats at home. Because that is just how I am. So I guess I will drop them off another day. Silly silly me.

Linking up this post with my favorites. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

February Plans

Just sitting here on a chilly, damp morning drinking that first cup of coffee. (Nothing better than that first cup, is there?) I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that my oldest child is celebrating his 36th birthday today and number two celebrated his 34th birthday two days ago. How did that even happen? Time just marches on. I love having adult children – watching them carve their path, raise children, and develop their careers. It is truly satisfying.

OK – moving on from blathering about my boys, let’s look at a fun project I worked on this week. Our local quilt guild is doing some community service work, making placemats for both Meals on Wheels and the local senior center. I thought this would be a fun project to contribute to. The only requirement was to make them finish at 12″ x 18″. My plan was to use some orphan blocks as the starting point. I have three finished and two more that just need binding.

This one used six HST’s that were leftover from making my Pikes’s Peak quilt (which still needs to be finished). Love the blue and gray tones in this placemat. I used a fun stitch to quilt the outer border. All of the placemats have machine stitched bindings.

Placemat number two used up a few odds and ends from the Twisted quilt I made several years ago and donated to Mercyful Quilts. I actually have quite a few of these rectangles left because I had stitched a number of them backwards and didn’t notice it until after trimming the backside (making it too late to rip them apart). This made a cute placemat and, again, I used a decorative stitch for the two borders.

Isn’t this a cute one? I have had that little heart block for at least four or five years. I made it with a pattern from Kitty Wilkin over at Night Quilter. I never used it though and am happy to see it finished up.

Thinking forward and making a plan for what I will work on next, I think I want to finish up a quilt for Mercy Hospital. I had shared my Bloom with Grace flimsy two weeks ago and, at the suggestion of a couple of you, I decided to add top and bottom borders to give it some length. That is completed and it is basted and ready to quilt.

This is the main goal for February and I will link this up to OMG at Elm Street Quilts. Beyond this quilt, I want to make something for my grand daughters. Both girls have birthdays next month. As I said above, time marches on and A will have her first birthday just after H celebrates her fourth! Wow. I am thinking about making a teepee which can be set up in one of the play rooms. I have a feeling they will like playing in it. For this, I need to order some heavy fabric, maybe a canvas, with a non-directional print..

OK – time to get going. The coffee is now lukewarm and there are orders to pack. Looks like it will be a rainy day but hopefully there will be a break enough to take a walk and get a little outside time. Have a great day all!

Finishing Up a Nice Week

Even though nothing extra special happened, this was a lovely week. I got to have a nice visit with my parents. We knew snow was coming so we got together before their driveway became difficult. (They live about fifteen miles from here but they are at a higher elevation. When they get some snow, it is usually a lot.)

My yard earlier this week.

We did get some snow but just a dusting and it only lasted a day. I do love when we get a little snow. When I woke up that morning and saw it was snowing, I woke Julia up so she could watch the snow. It is such a treat for us. Most winters we don’t see any snow. I remember when I first moved up here (back in 1994) we did get snow each winter and it was more substantial. Climates have changed and now we rarely get any.

The rest of the week was quite rainy. This is always well received. Each time we get a good rain, we hope it means the fire season in late summer will be a bit less dangerous. Due to the rain, I was able to spend quite a bit of time in the sewing room. Above is a stack of strips I cut for a coin quilt. I am focusing on blues, greens, pinks and yellows. I told myself I don’t get to start sewing these strips until I get somewhere with my Meadow quilt though. I just don’t want to have quite so many projects in process at the same time. This quilt was designed by Kirsty of BonJour Quilts. Click the link if you want to see her version.

This is the background for the Meadow quilt. It is a series of disappearing nine patch blocks in three sizes. The largest size has a greater proportion of the cream and white colors to the greens. Medium has about an equal portion and the smallest size has mostly greens. I like how this causes the colors the gently change as the eye moves up. I will be appliquéing a large swath of cut florals through the meadow as soon as I have the background completed. I am almost there and I am itching to get to those florals.

I also took an evening to make some pink diamond blocks. These blocks are made using half square rectangles. I am going to use them for my RSC2021 quilt. I really like the blocks and found them (once again!) on Kirsty’s site, Bonjour Quilts. I think the quilt will have a cool mid century modern vibe to it.

The blocks are finishing at 6″ x 12″. I will need quite a few for a nice sized lap quilt. If I put 12 across and 5 down, it would finish at approximately 60″ square. I think I will be interspersing some plain rectangles here and there to break up the pattern though. I have all year to figure this out though. For now, I am waiting to see what the color for February is.

In the evenings I have been working on the hand quilting for this project which I am calling Homespun. I love this quilt. It is so cozy. Once I finished stitching around each of the background squares, I decided I wanted to keep hand quilting it. This is the perfect time of year to snuggle under a quilt in the evenings and do some hand stitching. I have nearly finished going around the background border. Hard to tell from this photo, but the outer border is a dusty purple color. I think I will mark a pattern on it and hand stitch that as well. It will be a while until it is finished, but really – what is the hurry? While stitching, I have been going back and forth between watching Queen’s Gambit and The Last Tango in Halifax on Netflix. I like both of them, though they are quite different. Have you watched either of these? What do you think of them?

I have also worked on some projects for my shop. There are a number of new bundles available – each one contains three coordinated pieces of fabric, cut in one yard pieces. They are perfect for using with the Fabric Cafe, three yard patterns. These patterns are very simple and quick to piece, making them nice for baby quilts, a gift or donation quilt. These kits and patterns are also wonderful when teaching someone to quilt. They make a lap size quilt and there are a number of different patterns to choose from. I also have some fun kits for baby or toddler quilts. To take a look, click here.

That sums up my week. How was your week? Hoping you found some time to be creative. I would love to hear what you are working on. Enjoy the weekend all. 🙂

Sharing this post at a few sites. Check out my Link Up tab at the top of the page.

Finished a Mini This Week

Like the really creative title says, I finished up the mini I shared with you earlier! It is so cute. When I was piecing the Mosaic Mystery Quilt (yet to be finished) I had loads of bonus HST’s – you know, the bits that are left over when you make a flying geese block? Luckily, I stitched them as I made the blocks so they were all ready for me to use.

Making this mini used only a small portion of the little 2 1/2″ HST’s. I saw the idea to incorporate a friendship star with the fussy cut center on a site and I cannot remember which it was. I think it was something like All People Quilt but I am not sure. If I figure it out, I will update the post accordingly.

At twelve inches square, it will be easy to find a little spot to hang this. I quilted all triangles except for the background (pale green) pieces. It looks cute and for the most part went well. There are a few wrinkles near the friendship star that could look a little better.

The fussy cut square in the center of the star is my favorite part. I have a stack of squares of this fabric depicting the very famous Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte painting by Georges Seurat. While on a trip to the Chicago, I saw this painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. It is so beautiful. When I saw a handmade shirt at a thrift store made with this fabric, I grabbed it, deconstructing it for the fabric.

There are only so many ways to take a photo of this little quilt. But here is a cute one. You probably noticed I decided to face the quilt, rather than bind it. I like the look of this but it caused me to lose some of the points on the top and right side of the mini. I didn’t lose them by stitching over them with the facing. Rather it was when I rolled the facing to the back, those points are rolled over just enough to make the points round off. Sigh. This was disappointing but I have managed to recover from the trauma. I didn’t have leftover strips of any of the fabrics used on the mini and when I looked at using other fabric for the binding, nothing appealed to me. I do like facing quilts; I just hadn’t considered the issue of those points.

In other projects, I decided what I would do for an RSC quilt this year. Since I skipped doing anything for Rainbow Scrap Challenge last year, the bins are loaded. I need to make some scrappy projects for sure. I saw these pretty diamond shaped blocks over at Bonjour Quilts and thought they would be fun to make each month. Not hard to piece and they will use up some fabric. The blocks will be 6″ x 12″. I suppose I should figure out how many I need to make but I have plenty of time for that. This month is pink and I have cut pieces to make three of them. Pink is probably the scrap bin with the least fabric in it so three will be plenty.

Not a whole lot more to report today! I have had an annoying cold this week. Where the heck I picked that up from, I have no idea. But it means I got no exercise this week and took lots of naps. Hoping to be a little more active this weekend! Hope all of you are well and staying healthy.

Post Update: Now that I am informed about the fussy cutting challenge for Project Quilting this week, this will be entered! Thanks to Wendy and Kathleen for commenting and letting me know. 🙂

Linking with my favorites – check them out at the top of the page under Link Ups.

Project Updates

Somehow almost two weeks have passed since the last post. Not sure how that happened, but here we are. I have actually been in the sewing room quite a bit so I will do a quick update on what has been in the works.

First and foremost, I have been working on a cute baby quilt for my niece. It is just about done – I have a few more inches of binding to stitch down and then into the wash it goes. Once she receives it, I will share it here. I am 99% sure she doesn’t read the blog but since I haven’t taken photos of it anyway, it will have to wait.

Additionally, I decided to make a quilt for Mercy Hospital. If you are new here, I coordinate a program called Mercyful Quilts and you can read more about it here. It seemed like a good way to start off the new year by making a quilt for them. I have a panel (by Three Wishes) in the shop that is very pretty. It has four large sections and each has a quote. I thought, for people who are going through the process of saying goodbye to a loved one, this quilt would provide comfort. The prints are reminiscent of a water color painting.

Being a panel, this was a simple quilt top to create. I cut the panel into four sections and used some of the coordinates to create borders around the squares. (Looking at the squares, I think these would also be fun to use for a tote bag for bible study.)

Now that it is all put together, I am thinking it might be a tad small at 49 inches square. Just trying to decide if I add another border or go ahead and get it basted. Decisions, decisions. I am thinking of using a soft vintage sheet for the backing. I hope I have one in the right colors for this.

In the on-going saga of pretending to clean the sewing room, I started playing with a stack of leftover HST’s from the Mosaic Mystery Quilt I participated in last winter. (The top is still in the closet, patiently waiting for me to get it finished up.) As a result of piecing that top, I have a large stack of 2 1/2″ HST’s that I want to use for something. I poked around that wonderful rabbit hole, aka Pinterest, until I found some inspiration. I am working on a mini. I haven’t made a mini in quite a while. I remember making a bunch of them when I first started blogging but seems like it has been a while. So this will be finished up soon and I will share it with you then. I am thinking it may need to be hand quilted.

OK – that is it for now. Sorry to have been remiss in posting. I have been reading tons of posts and am loving the Stay at Home Round Robin that is going on. Have you seen the posts about this? It is being hosted by Quilting Gail and I am enjoying it. Check it out – maybe you have the perfect orphan block to build from.

Linking up to Stitch Show & Sew as well as a few others. Check out my Link Up tab at the top of the page.

New Year, New Placemats

First project to share for this year! Continuing on with my supposed clean-up in the sewing room, I found my bag of linen scraps. These are scraps left over from making French Press cozies which I sell in my shop. I cannot bear to throw these scraps away so I have been stashing them in a zip lok bag and stuffing them under the sewing table.

The first mat

Last February, I made one place mat – fully intending to make several more for the table. That didn’t happen because – you know…. I got distracted. But I have used it here and there in the house and love it.

And now there are three.

I made two more placemats but this time, I didn’t quilt them as much. I decided to go with a minimalist approach which I think looks a lot better. The fabrics are so pretty and have a lot of texture – they just don’t warrant heavy quilting.

What do you think? They really need coordinating cloth napkins. I have some off-white cloth napkins but they are getting really grungy. It is definitely time to replace them. I still have more of these linen scraps so hopefully I will get a few more coordinating placemats made. For now though, at least I have three, enough for Ray, Julia and me!

In my last post I mentioned I was going to tackle taking down the Christmas decorations. Well Julia and I did a lot of it and then got bored of doing housework. So we only got about 1/2 way there. Maybe today I will get around to the rest of it. I am also working on a cute baby quilt for my niece who is due to have her first baby in a couple of weeks. Hopefully I will have that finish to share with you soon! Finally, last night I attended a Zoom meeting of our local quilt guild. These have been happening for a while now and this is the first time I joined in. While it wasn’t the same as the in person meetings (obviously), it was really nice to see so many of the people I haven’t seen in such a long while. The coordinators of the meeting really try to keep it warm and interactive. The ‘show and tell’ portion of the meeting was actually kind of a bonus since we could see the detail in the guild member’s work up close (on our screen) rather than from the front of a large room. So that was great. If you haven’t tried joining in on something like this, give it a go. We are all home so much of the time and this provides a much needed bit of community. Take care all of you!

Linking to Stitch, Sew & Show over at Life in the Scrapatch (this is a new link up that just started this week. Go take a look.) Also at Finished or Not Friday and a few other link parties – they are listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Christmas Gifting

Hello all and Happy New Year to you. I hope the holidays were pleasant for all of you. While this year was definitely not how we normally celebrate, we did enjoy them. We scheduled a Zoom call with our three boys who live away from home and that was great. Also, my son set up a Zoom so we could just quietly watch the girls’ Christmas morning excitement. That was especially great – seeing them so excited, opening their gifts. Sometimes I wish I could just have a webcam to the girls’ play room and watch them all the time. However, that would also mean I would get absolutely nothing done. They are so entertaining.

This year our tradition of making some holiday gifts continued. I wanted to show you some of them.

Bookmarks!

Have you made these bookmarks before? There are loads of tutorials for them on the internet and they are super fun. It is made to slip over the corner of the page to keep your place. I used a stack of miscellaneous charm squares I had for these. I tucked them into cards for my sisters and included them in gifts to (most of?) the family. Coincidentally, I also received one in the mail from a quilting friend which was a fun surprise!

Pajama Pants

I made three pair of pajama pants. The two above were made for my parents. I believe this is their first pair of matching pj’s and I am hoping they will take a picture of both of them when they wear them.

Opening gifts.

They seemed quite happy with the idea of matching jammies though I did get them different color t-shirts to go with them.

Julia and Townes

This is the only picture I could find of Julia in her new pj pants. Cute polar bear flannel, right? You will also see Townes in this photo. Julia is fostering him for the shelter. This is the third dog she has fostered and he is such a sweet animal.

Wooden Christmas Trees

My husband made a set of these sweet Christmas trees, enough for one for each of our children plus our parents. I love these and they are definitely one of my favorite of all the things he has made. So simple and really pretty.

Julia painted this wooden ornament for me. A while back, Ray sliced a branch into small rounds and gave them to her to craft with. She has made several ornaments so far. Mine is so sweet. She made one for Ray as well but he keeps it in our room and I failed to grab a picture of it for this post. It is a cute camping scene of a lone tent in the mountains. Perfect for him!

I also made two aprons, one for Julia and one for my daughter-in-law, Shar. I don’t (yet?) have any good photos of those gifts though.

I do love making gifts for people. I am happy to see Julia also making some gifts. It makes gift giving even more special. Today is going to be the take-down-the-holiday-decorations-day. How about you? As much as I love Christmas, I am ready to get the house back to normal. Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Holiday Tales & Traditions Blog Hop

Post Update: Two things I wanted to update here. First of all, the winner of the giveaway on this post is Darci. Congrats Darci and I hope you enjoy the fabric. Second update: I talked about the Christmas Through the Decades later in this post and mistakenly said it was on Netflix. However it is really available on Amazon Prime’s streaming service. Sorry for the misinformation.

Hello everyone. If you are new to my blog, coming here from the Holiday Tales and Traditions Blog Hop, welcome. I have been blogging since 2014 (which seems crazy but it has been over six years now)! I would love to connect with you and invite you to take a look around to see what Needle & Foot is all about.

This week I am hosting a blog hop to share some traditions celebrated over the holidays. I asked a number of bloggers to write a post telling a tale they remember from their holidays or a tradition they celebrate during the holidays. Last year I wrote about family traditions from this time of year and I really enjoyed reading comments about the traditions all of you remember. I thought I would carry this forward to this season as well. We certainly need to come together and lift each other’s spirits during this time of year, especially in 2020 when so much feels heavy and abnormal. I hope you will enjoy the hop. Be sure to click through to the other blogs and enjoy some holiday stories.

I have a few tales to share with you. One from my childhood Christmas memories and the others from Christmases spent with my children. Because I think blog posts are more fun with photos, I am randomly including holiday pictures here and there.

Ian and I, Christmas 1994

When my three boys were young, Christmas was naturally an exciting time. As it is for most kids, right? After we put up the tree, I would wrap the gifts from Mom and Dad and put them under the tree. This happened about ten days or so before Christmas. My boys would spend a lot of time checking out the presents, shaking them, trying to guess what they were. It drove me crazy if they guessed correctly – I wanted it to be a surprise on Christmas morning and I don’t have the best poker face! So, one year I decided to try to outsmart them. I bought three rolls of wrapping paper. Using one roll for each boy, I wrapped their gifts. Then I didn’t put any tags on the gift. They were just blank. Under the tree they went. The boys were totally befuddled. “Mom, how do we know whose is whose?” they would ask. I would casually reply, ‘oh, I’ll figure it out.’ or ‘don’t worry about it, we can figure it out on Christmas.’ They went nuts and I thought it was hilarious. On Christmas morning, I played Santa (usually it was one of the boys) and passed gifts out to them. When each boy had gifts wrapped all in one type of paper, they figured out what I had done.

The following year, I knew I couldn’t pull the same stunt. It would not be as fun because they would know what I was doing. Instead, I switched name tags between two of the boys. When wrapping Ian’s gifts, I put a tag on them saying “For Andrew”. On Andrew’s gifts, I did the same, putting a tag on them saying “For Ian”. Kyle’s gifts had his name on them (I couldn’t figure out a way to mix it up any further without making some sort of mistake.) Christmas morning I played Santa again and placed all of the ‘Andrew’ gifts in front of Ian and the ‘Ian’ gifts in front of Andrew. Fooled them again!

My favorite holiday quilt-I hang it each season.

Let’s go back in time now to Christmas in the 1960’s when I was a child. I have a fond memory of one year when my father was scheduled to work at church on Christmas morning. I am sure it was the only year this ever happened but there we were, waking up and Dad was going to be gone for the majority of the morning. Mom insisted we would all just wait until he got back and then we would open gifts. Not so easy for a child, let along six of them! To distract us, Mom thought she would light a fire in the fireplace. Well the damper wasn’t opened and she totally smoked out the living room. She sent us all outside while the smoke cleared. I remember being on the front lawn with my five sisters in our pj’s on Christmas morning. I wonder what the neighbors thought of that. 🙂

Since I grew up in the 1960’s, I had a lot of fun watching a show on Amazon Prime recently, called Christmas Through the Decades. The episode on the 1960’s was especially fun. I enjoyed hearing what the top selling toys were for that decade. The list is slightly different depending on what you are reading but this was the list from the documentary.

1960 – Chatty Cathy
1961 – Ken Doll
1962 – Slinky
1963 – Mouse Trap Board Game
1964 – GI Joe (“Pull his ‘dog tag’ and he will issue commands”)
1965 – Rock’em Sock’em Robots
1966 – Spirograph
1967 – Battleship
1968 – Hot Wheels Cars
1969 – Big Wheel

I think it is interesting that, other than GI Joe and Chatty Cathy, all of these classic toys remain popular today. I read that GI Joe is going to be re-introduced but I am not sure if that is already happening.

1/2 yard bundle of Wintertide and 1 yard of an old fashioned Santa print

Thanks for taking this little trip down memory lane with me! Since this post mostly centered on childhood gifts, I would love to hear your memories of toys that were popular when you were a child. Did you receive something you really wanted or give your child a toy he or she was drooling over? Leave a comment – it is so much fun for me to read your experiences and I know other readers will enjoy going through the comments as well. I would love to give one of you a gift this year as well! I will draw a random name from the comments and send along a fun holiday package of fabric (see above) to the winner. Winner will be selected on Friday evening, giveaway is open to US residents due to the cost of postage.

The Holiday Tales and Traditions Blog Hop is being celebrated on the following blogs:

Sew Preeti Quilts
Quilting Jetgirl
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Academic Quilter
From My Carolina Home
Pieceful Thoughts
Devoted Quilter
The Colorful Fabriholic
Me & My Quilts
Kathleen McMusing
Sarah Goer Quilts
MMM Quilts
Needle and Foot  – That’s Me!

Thank you to all the bloggers who participated in this fun event. Wishing all of you the happiest of holiday seasons!