Monday, January 11, 2016

Recharge Review

issued too many letters?

While I missed blogging the first week of January, the time off to be quiet and do gentle things within the confines of my home was refreshing. 

January can be a tough month on the heels of Christmas cheer, but when you think about it, this is as it should be. It's wintertime, when nature is put to rest so it can come back in the spring with new growth, vigor, and beauty.

Today's post is a photo review of how I used my down time. 

The effects of El Nino made snuggling in front of good movies a necessity.

War Room is out on DVD now. We bought our copy at Walmart. I highly recommend this flick with a good story and an even better message. It's entertaining, too.

We packed away Christmas and while my back was turned, the snow people marched up the stairs and mingled in the dining room.

The last couple of years I've kept the snow people packed away until January so the Christmas season is kept in proper perspective. And besides, January needs a little fun after the other decor is taken down. 

Cold, snowy weather is the perfect time to do needlework, so I got a couple of projects started. Our unfinished basement, although heated, is still pretty cold at this time of year so my focus has been on hand work that I can do near the fireplace and the kitchen while sitting in my recliner.  I put all my work on a large tray that sits on my lap and keeps my immediate supplies close-at-hand.

However, I did decide that I needed more storage for the embroidery hoops, boxes of embroidery floss, patterns, and such. So Beloved bought this chest of drawers to keep in the family room. It was defined as a TV stand at the furniture store, which is why there is an open shelf under the top surface. That shelf is a very handy place to store the tray with my current projects.

I like the flexibility to switch out the hanging quilts, so in just a couple of days I whipped together this Nine-Patch Snowman. The blue squares were cut to 3.5 inches and the large white blocks were cut to 9.5 inches. Machine quilting is just inside the perimeter of all the white blocks, and silvery snowflake-shaped buttons are tacked down randomly. 

The month of January isn't long enough for me to embroider one of these cute guys for all of the solid white blocks, so just this one is centered in the middle. I found the pattern for him in the Winter 2015 issue of Primitive Quilts Magazine.

With the wall quilt done and hung, I then worked diligently on a wool felt candle mat for the dining table. The patterns for this project came from several sources. The candle mat was done entirely by hand.

Both the quilt and the candle mat were started and completed within about 8 days. A lot can be accomplished when the electronic devises are closed and ignored.

Friends gave me books for Christmas, so I found niches of time when not sewing to read. I recommend both books.

Amazingly, we are now speeding fast forward to the middle of the month. While I wish I could lose myself with a needle and thread every  day, there are other things demanding my attention, so I'm back now to normal life.  


  1. Well, the new chest is PERFECT!! How nice to have all your supplies so close, but stored so beautifully. You are so creative! The quilt and the centerpiece are just adorable! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Wow! I must turn off the devices and get cracking! Look at all that you accomplished. Wonderful, just wonderful!

  3. I love your snowman quilt and candle mat. They are the perfect January decorations.

  4. {{{giggling}} over the snowman and taking over. I love the décor, Barbara...have a beautiful Monday, friend.

  5. I am loving the idea of January decor...the snowmen are so cute. Have a good week!

  6. Wow! I'm impressed with your busy hands. Yes, these devices can and often do rob us of valuable time. Glad to have you back, have a great week!

  7. The new chest looks so pretty, Barbara, and I'm sure you are enjoying the storage. Your snowmen figurines are adorable, as is the snowmen applique table circle you made!
    My son's mother-in-law also adores snowmen figurines and we bought a very pretty Jim Shore snowman at a place in Littleton called "Nicks." The entire store is Christmas items, year round! Right after Christmas much was on sale 50% off, so I went back a bought a Jim Shore Santa Claus musical figurine that I admired for myself ;) My husband and I don't usually exchange gifts to each other any longer, as we feel we have everything we could have ever dreamed about, but every now and then we splurge on something fun.