Posts Tagged ‘decorate’

Fleeting February

February 28, 2017

How can this be the last day of February? Yes, it’s a short month, but so much of significance happened during this month. It has been a roller coaster ride with happy times, disappointing times and times of serious decisions.

At the beginning of the month, I spent a few days making 20 various Valentines for my etsy shop. Spending time in my studio is one of my happy places. It was invigorating to sell more than half of those hearts. Thank you to those who purchased my creations of love.

hearts

Created 20 Hearts

Decorating our house for the different seasons brings lots of joy to me and to those who enter our home.

table

Our Kitchen Table

Valentines

Vintage Valentines

Round Robin

Round Robin Heart

The incentive for decorating for February was hosting a sit-down dinner party for 32 Sunday school class members. We provided the house, and the kind members provided the pot luck dinner. Then they cleaned-up everything before they went home. The class members are so caring and supportive of the health issues I have been facing. They are a meaningful part of our lives.

loving

Loving Class Members

party

Sunday School Party at Our Home

Another happy time is spending time with our children and their children. Tyler Murrah made the Varsity baseball team for Jesuit in Dallas. We joined his family this past weekend in Austin for a round-robin. Madison came from College Station with her precious boyfriend, Jack. It’s the first time we met him. So much fun to be with all of them for a couple of days.

Murrah

Murrah Family

Back in Houston we support the Huebner kids in their selected sports. Sydney’s competitive cheer team won National Champions in Dallas this past weekend. Her bigger sister, Lindsey, is playing tennis and softball. Here we are supporting Ashton at his basketball game.

basketball

With Sydney and Lindsey at Ashton’s Basketball Game

My husband spends much time with Ashton and Lindsey at their practices. He coached our boys when they were in school.

coach

Granddaddy Still Loves to Coach

Our 21 month old grandson in California loves playing sports, too. His daddy is his coach unless he’s with us. Then his bigger cousins love to teach him how to play anything that includes a ball. He thinks he’s a big boy, too.

Our Three Grandsons

Our Three Grandsons

So you ask what are the disappointments and big decisions.

Today was the last day for Shannon McGaw at Quilts, Inc. She has taken on a dream job for her as manager of a new quilt shop to open in April. I came to depend on her for many aspects in the Education Department and innovative ideas for the company. I will miss her every day, but wish her well. Thank goodness we still have Barbara, Jill and Marcia to carry-on.

Shannon

Shannon McGaw (in white shirt) Moves On

 

And yesterday was a huge decision-making day. I was released from my oncologist, Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero, at MD Anderson Hospital. For two years he has tried to get me into remission. At one time I lived without any transfusions for seven months. That hasn’t been the case for over a year now. So all that is left for me is to try stem cell transplant.

I will be moving to Methodist Hospital because my insurance will not pay for stem cell transplant at MD Anderson. Next week I will go through two days of heart, lung and viral testing to determine if I am well enough to go through with a stem cell transplant. So our prayer is that I will pass these tests so I can move forward.

It was hard to tell Dr. Garcia-Manero goodbye. He has been a hard-working, intelligent, and caring presence in our lives. Our daughter-in-law, Julie, Tommy, me, Holly, and Kelly Yeger, my PA, have been present at so many of my MDA visits. They have been such a great support system. I can’t thank them enough.

dr

Dr. Garcia-Manero in center

And thanks go to you, my friends, for all your love, support, interest and prayers. I’ll keep you posted. Much love to you all, Judy

 

 

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Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 17 Pecan Pie

November 28, 2015

My husband and I started our Thanksgiving dinner preparations at 6:30 AM on Thursday. We were ready to sit down to dinner at 1:30, shortly after our  daughter and her family arrived. As a friend of mine said, “You still have to prepare everything no matter if your group is large or small.” We were happy to have one of our families with us. It was extra nice to have Lindsey, Sydney, and Ashton stay with us for a couple of days when their mommy and daddy left after dinner.

huebners

The Huebners with Grammy and Granddaddy

We served a Honey Baked Ham, Cheesy Potatoes, Green Bean Bundles, Jello Salad, and Sister Shubert rolls. We didn’t make the traditional turkey or pumpkin pie. I made Pecan Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie, which are more popular with this group.

Pecan Pie

My sister, Suzanne, comes for a treasured visit each summer, and we sew and cook. She usually brings a new recipe for us to try. She’s a great cook, and I love her Pecan Pie recipe. It’s so easy.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients

¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup white Karo

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whole pecans

Instructions

Blend sugar and flour in a bowl. Add other ingredients one at a time, mixing with a spoon. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. It should be done when a knife inserted comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie ready to serve

If you plan to enter my Christmas recipe and/or project contest, please note the deadline is December 1. I will post the winners that day. Two lucky winners will receive a pack of 24 Christmas fat quarters. Good luck.

stack

Stack of 24 Fat Quarters

Good luck with your Christmas shopping and decorating, too. All our Christmas lights went up and on today. I love Christmas lights.

From Our Home to Yours

From Our Home to Yours

Tomorrow, after church, we have a friend from the Quilts, Inc. office coming to help us with putting up decorations in our house. We have a group of 44 people from church coming for a sit-down dinner next Saturday. Should start off the Christmas season for us in a special way.

Make your week special. Hugs, Judy

 

Put Me In Coach

May 3, 2015

“God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is very important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.” This is a quote from Bear Bryant (1913-1983) who was an American college football player and coach. He was best known as the longtime head coach of University of Alabama’s football team.

Team sports have always been a part of my life. Growing up in the 60’s, girls were not encouraged to play sports so I was never on a team, but attended  my brothers’ football and baseball games. Their games were always a family occasion. My high school sweetheart, Tommy Murrah, whom I married, played high school and college football. He didn’t stop there, but played softball on adult recreational teams for many years. Once our children were old enough to play team sports, he coached their teams.

Now, all five of our grandchildren have tried their hand at playing baseball or softball including our three granddaughters. Two of those girls have chosen their teams on stages rather than on the field. We have spent a great part of the spring attending activities that involved our grandchildren.

Lindsey Huebner turned 12 years old the end of March. Our three grandchildren who live near-by traditionally get a day of shopping and over-night at Grammy and Granddaddy’s house without their siblings for their birthday. After we attended one of her softball games, she came to our house for the Easter week-end.

Lindsey on Jaguar softball team

Lindsey ready for a game on the Jaguars

After our day of mall shopping and a chair massage, we began cooking for ten family members coming for Easter lunch.

Lindsey loved the chair massage

Lindsey’s first chair massage

I hadn’t set the table or decorated it for Easter, so Lindsey did most of it. I love teaching our granddaughters the things Grammy does. I hope they will remember when they have their own homes. What a precious time it was to have her with us for fun, work, and church service.

Easter Table Set

Easter Table Set

After lunch it was Easter egg hunt time in our backyard. Our egg hunters ranged from 7-17 years old.

Easter Baskets Full

Easter Baskets Full

Our younger son and his wife, Michelle, live in Long Beach, California. She is expecting their first baby this month. Baby “T” will make six grandchildren for us. We are so blessed. Since they could not come to us, we went to see them for four days of loving them and fun. We attended a baby shower on a gorgeous California Saturday in the park. The hostesses outdid themselves with a beautiful array of all kinds of Tea Party treats for the “T” party.

Beautiful Table

Beautiful Table

We know Troy and Michelle’s baby boy’s name will start with a T, but Troy says he has to meet him and shake his hand before he’s sure what his first name will be. We know he will play sports because Troy has already checked-out the ice skating rink in Long Beach where they can play hockey. Troy has played one sport or another all his life. So the quilt I made for the baby is just that…all kinds of sports. I found a long arm quilter, Karen Shively, in my neighborhood,  who quilted it for me.

quilt

Quilt for “T” Murrah

When Troy and my husband are together you can be sure there will be a ballgame involved. We spent one afternoon at Dodgers Stadium which was a first for Tommy. Michelle did not grow-up going to ballgames, like our family, but she has adapted beautifully and seems to enjoy them.

game

Baby “T” at his First Game

Late last month we made a trip to Dallas to see our older son’s family. Madison Murrah played Alice in “You Can’t Take It With You” for her senior play. We loved seeing her perform one last time as a student of Ursuline Academy at Jesuit Theater.

Madison

Encore Madison

It was great to be with our older son, Todd, and his family for a couple of days.

todd

Todd Murrah and family

Tyler Murrah was supposed to play a baseball game while we were there, but it was rained-out. We’re so proud of him. He has played on the freshman baseball team at Jesuit in Dallas this year. The Freshman season is over, but he along with two other Freshmen, were pulled up to Varsity for the playoffs. He won’t get in any games but will get to keep practicing with them.

Tyler

Tyler Gets a Single

We spent much of yesterday with our daughter, Holly, and her family. Ashton, who is seven years old, is playing machine-pitch baseball. His coach is quite a motivator. The kids love his antics and team spirit.

Ash

Ashton & Coach Ron

Sydney joined us later in the day, after attending a birthday party. She tried baseball several years ago, but decided she likes the stage better. She is in competitive cheer and choir. Her spring choir program was this past week. I loved watching her moves. She has lots of fun singing and performing. She’s in the center with the sunglasses.

Sydney

Sydney Huebner

Yesterday, I also gave Holly a quilt I started for her after she graduated from Texas A & M in 1995. It’s made from her sorority t-shirts. Michelle Henson did a great job long arm quilting it for me. Aw, come on. I know you have lots of quilts that marinate before they are completely cooked.

holly

Holly’s Quilt

Tomorrow will be a red-letter day for me. I will start chemo therapy at MD Anderson Hospital. I was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) eight years ago. Luckily, I have not needed any treatment for my low hemoglobin until this past month. At that time I was given two pints of blood and had another bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. If the MDS goes untreated research shows that I’ll have AML in a year.

My oncologist, Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero, is a Professor in the Department of Leukemia at MD Anderson University of Texas. His main academic and clinical objective is to contribute to significantly better outcomes for patients with Myelodysplastic Syndrome. Dr. Garcia-Manero is the Chief of the Section of MDS in the Department of Leukemia at MD Anderson Cancer Center. One hundred percent of his research and clinical efforts are devoted to patients with MDS. So when he suggested I start a clinical trial taking Dacogen by capsule, my family and I agreed.

Tommy and I will be at MD Anderson very early tomorrow morning for at least eight hours. We’ll do the same each day through Saturday this week. The trial will last for three months and I will be closely monitored. I feel I’m in the best hands possible.

My blessings have been overwhelming as you can see by the joy our family brings to us. My prayer is that I’ll continue to see the growth of our loving children, their spouses, and children. If you could offer the same prayers for me, I’d be ever so grateful. Much love, Judy

coach

Put Me In Coach. I’m ready to play today.

 

 

 

A Christmas Home Tour From Our Home to Yours

December 18, 2014
From Our Home to Yours

From Our Home to Yours

Since the first year my husband and I married, I have decorated for Christmas. Like most newlyweds in 1966, we were barely into our twenties and lived in a one-bedroom apartment.

I grew-up with a Daddy who loved Christmas as much as I do and was the chief decorator. He made a big production of buying our live tree and letting it set in water in the garage until the limbs had opened sufficiently. Then he’d untangle all those big, colorful bulbs and test them all until he had many brightly lit strings of lights to put on the tree. Naturally I assumed all husbands came equipped this same way.

I think that December 1966 was a rude awakening for this 23 year-old woman. My new husband did not have a clue how to properly put lights on a tree or how to prepare them before starting the task. And further more he really wasn’t interested. As our family grew it became a family tradition to decorate the tree together. We eventually bought an artificial tree with lights attached.

Fast forward many years and now my husband has assumed the task of getting the tree out and up and decorated. I hang a few ornaments here and there, but he meticulously decorates for days before it’s complete. I add the finishing touches and eventually all the empty ornament boxes go back to the attic. I love the Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree 2014

Christmas Tree 2014

And this year my husband bought a taller ladder so he could put an additional lighted tree on the inside ledge above our front door. He was determined to get it up there and positioned without calling an electrician to finish the job. He loves our house decorated and prepared for the kids to come home for Christmas as much as I do.

Tree Above Front Door

Tree Above Front Door

We did manage to get that first tree together and place a small, pretty angel at the top. She graced our tree through the birth of three children and through their college graduations. We retired her to a lower branch on the tree when we added a much larger and colorful angel. We still love our first tree top angel. We wouldn’t have Christmas without her on our tree.

Our First Christmas Angel

Our First Tree Top Christmas Angel

When I was 12 years old I received my last doll for Christmas. She was a Madam Alexander Crissy doll. I spotted her in the department store with my little brother on a Friday night. My mom and daddy were grocery shopping next door, and I could hardly wait to show them this glamorous doll. She was expensive for our family, and I wished with all my heart for her. I also had an older brother and two older sisters who were married with children. When I looked for the doll the next Friday night, she was gone. I was one sad little girl. I still wished and hoped for her.

On Christmas Eve, when we gathered around the Olafson Christmas tree, I spotted her red high heel shoes hanging on our Christmas tree. Can you imagine my excitement? My daddy made me wait until all the gifts were opened before he’d let me have those shoes. Then I had to follow a map he had created to find the doll that went with the shoes. My daddy died when he was only 51 years old, so this memory is very special to me. I still have the doll, and her shoes grace our tree every Christmas.

Crissy's Red High Heels

Crissy’s Red High Heels

For several years our dear, sweet friend Claudia Joines, came from Victoria for a couple of days to help us decorate for Christmas. She worked for an independent furniture store there where we bought a lot of items for our home. Claudia knew how to place everything in just the right spot. Sadly she died three years ago, and we weren’t sure how we could even get into the Christmas spirit without Claudia to bring in the season with us. We still miss her all through the year.

Judy and Claudia Decorating

Judy and Claudia decorating 2011

Thankfully, Kim DeCoste, my assistant at Quilts, Inc., came to the rescue as he often does. Now each year he comes for a day to work with us. He starts with the banister at the front entrance following exactly what Claudia had done when she was here. We are so grateful to Kim.

Welcome. Please Come in.

Welcome. Please Come in.

From the front entrance, Kim  goes to the dining room and decorates the light fixture over the table.  My joy is setting and dressing the table in a slightly different way each year. This year I extended the table so all 13 of us can sit at the same table. No one wants to be at the “kids’ table” any longer. Note the “poppers” at each place setting. Before we start eating our Christmas dinner everyone pops theirs simultaneously and then wears their paper crown throughout dinner.

Christmas Table set for 13

Christmas Table set for 13

We also do “poppers” at our Christmas Eve Day “children only” tea in the kitchen also. I started that tradition when our 17-year-old granddaughter was a year old to teach her tea manners. When her little brother came along, he wanted to join us because he liked the sugar cubes and other fancy treats. Now we have five grandchildren who participate. Next year we’ll have six. Oh, happy day!

Kim places decorative poinsettia and gold pine cones on top of the breakfront and the Spode Tea set on the lower shelf.

Breakfront Decorated

Breakfront in Dining Room

He decorates the buffet and mirror.

Buffet in Dining Room

Buffet in Dining Room

He places the Italian Crèche on top of my Mom’s china cabinet exactly as Claudia had done. Fortunately, we have photos to follow that we took when Claudia decorated. Each year, Tommy and I take pictures of all the vignettes around the house to follow for the next year. Some have stayed just as they were the last time Claudia decorated, but some have changes as I have retired many items and added some new.

Creche on Mom's China Cabinet

Crèche on Mom’s China Cabinet

We also decorate the living room, den, kitchen, great room upstairs and backyard. Following are some random shots of some highlights. It takes me the better part of a week to get everything the way I want it. Tweaking and handling special memories is my favorite part of Christmas decorating. So many things are gifts from friends which some they have made. You’ll note a repeating theme throughout of family pictures over the years, stockings, quilts, and nativity scenes.

Come on a little bird’s-eye tour. When we finish we’ll have sugar cookies and wassail which I make every Christmas. Just call me Martha Stewart.

Table in Entranceway

Table in Entryway

Corner Table in Living Room

Corner Table in Living Room

Washstand in Living Room

Washstand in Living Room

Pewter Creche in Living Room

Pewter Crèche in Living Room on Pie Safe

Coffee table in Living Room Waterford Creche

Coffee Table in Living Room Waterford Crèche

Entranceway to Den

Entry way Leads to Den

Thirteen Stockings Hanging with a tiny 14th one

Thirteen Stockings Hanging in Den

Bookcase Next to Mantel

Bookcase Next to Mantel

Den Coffee Table

Den Coffee Table

Wooden Santas Behind Sofa

Wooden Santas Behind Sofa

Table Next to Sofa

Table Next to Sofa

Toys at Window in Den

Toys at Window in Den

den

A Corner in the Den

Chilren's Desk in Den

Children’s Desk in Den which leads to Kitchen

In the Kitchen Island

In the Kitchen Island

Jim Shoar Creche at Kitchen Sink

Jim Shoar Crèche at Kitchen Sink

Butler's Pantry from Kitchen to Dining Room

Butler’s Pantry from Kitchen to Dining Room

Six years ago I made a recipe book of things I have made over the years that are family favorites. This year I  revised it with additional recipes the kids request and a new, updated cover. I have given you the recipe for the Sugar Cookies and Wassail I make each Christmas season.

Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours

Family Favorites

Recipe Book of Our Family Favorites

Grammy’s Sugar Cookies

I make these cookies at least every Valentine’s Day and Christmas season. Our grandchildren love to participate, but it takes lots of time with their help.

This recipe is the one most people ask me to give to them. I got the recipe with some Tupperware cookie cutters when Tommy was a Lieutenant in the Army. We were stationed in Joliet, Illinois at the Army Ammunition Plant during the Viet Nam War. Lucky us he stayed at APSA for his whole tour of duty. Todd was born during this time…1967-1969.

Ingredients

Cream together:    1 cup margarine or butter

2 cups sugar

Blend in:                 2 whole eggs

Sift together and add to mixture:

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

4 C. flour

Add to mixture:    1 tablespoon vanilla

Instructions

Do not refrigerate. Divide into 3-4 balls. Roll one ball at a time. Use left-over dough from each rolling all together for last ball.

Roll out 1/8” thick on floured pastry cloth using a floured sock on rolling-pin. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool on waxed paper.

Hot Wassail

I received this recipe in 1982 from the wife of the man Tommy replaced at First Victoria National Bank in Victoria. She served it to us in their home the first Christmas we were there. I’ve made it multiple times each Christmas since then. My son-in-law makes a joke about me offering it to everyone who comes in the house during the Christmas season. “Would you like some hot wassail?”

Ingredients

1 gallon apple cider

1 quart ginger ale

1 8 oz. package of cinnamon candies

8 cinnamon sticks

8 whole cloves

Instructions

Pour liquid into bottom of electric coffee maker. Combine remaining ingredients in the top basket.

Perk until ready.

Makes 30 cups.

wassail

Hot Wassail and Sugar Cookies for You

 

 

Play Date #12 Texas Boot Stocking

November 28, 2014

We are all about being from Texas. Everyone in the picture below was born and raised in Texas, or being raised in Texas, except for our oldest son, Todd. He was born in Joliet, Illinois in 1968 when my husband was in the Army. We moved him to Boston, Massachusetts, after the Army stint, long enough for Tommy to get his MBA. We moved our new little family back to Houston as soon as we could. Our daughter, Holly, was born in Houston in 1972, and  baby brother, Troy was born in Houston in 1975. He also was raised in Texas, but after college graduation he moved to California and has lived there ever since. He has a loving wife and her family there, but we miss him here. We look forward to Christmas when he and Michelle will be with us. Then we’ll be the Murrah 13 and growing rather than the 11 you see below.

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 was a grand celebration before the Texas A & M football game was played in College Station. We had turkey dinner, conversation, hugs, laughter, parking lot football, and just good family time. The highlight was the excitement of our oldest grandchild, Madison, being accepted into the 2019 class of Texas A & M. Her daddy graduated there along with her granddaddy and great-grandfather. Our daughter and her husband, Scott, also graduated from A & M along with great-great uncles and all my husband’s sister’s children. It’s a family tradition. We wish Madison Elizabeth Murrah many happy memories while she gets her education at Texas A & M.

Congratulations Madison

Congratulations Madison

Yes, we are about Texas and all things Texas. It’s hard to believe but more than 30 years ago I had a boot stocking design featured in a magazine which went out of business long ago. Does anyone remember Decorating and Craft Ideas? I still get orders for these stockings made from discarded denim jeans. My nephew’s wife just asked me to make more to add to her collection as her family grows with grandchildren. While making those for her I thought you might like to learn how to make them, too.

Texas Boot Stockings

Texas Boot Stockings

Materials Needed

Discarded pair of denim jeans for boot. One pair of jeans will make two stockings.

Fusible web with paper, suede cloth, ribbon, fringe, cotton fabric, felt scraps, etc. for applique

Christmas trim, jingle bells, studs, western charms, trinkets, etc. for embellishment

Directions

  1. Using the pattern provided, enlarge stocking to your desired size. I use the enlargement feature on my copier. My pattern for the width of the boot is 9″ at the top and 8″ at the bottom. It is 15″ tall. The foot is 7 1/2″ at its tallest and 11″ wide. You will make two pattern pieces. The A pattern is the leg of the boot. The B pattern is the foot of the boot. Make a pattern for these two pieces.

    Boot Pattern

    Boot Pattern

  2. Lay out blue jeans pant leg on flat surface with side seam decorative stitching on top. Using larger top half of boot pattern, place straight top edge even with bottom of jean. The side seam stitching will be center of boot starting in the middle of the top edge of the boot and ending at the scallop indentation where the foot of the boot is joined.
  3. Draw pattern on jean leg. Cut two wrong sides together on line drawn.
  4. It is not necessary to use the decorative seam stitching for the foot of the boot. Using foot of boot pattern, draw pattern on upper jean leg. Cut two wrong sides together.
  5. Lay the top part of the boot section under the foot part of the boot with right sides up. Use a zig-zag stitch to sew the two pieces together. Do the same for the boot back. Add trim over the zig-zag stitching.

    Stitch Leg to Foot of Boot

    Stitch Leg to Foot of Boot

  6. Choose an applique design for stocking. I have included several here. You will want to enlarge them. Trace applique patterns to paper side of fusible web. Fuse to wrong side of fabrics. Cuton line. Peel paper away and iron in place on stocking front.
    Deep in the Heart of Texas

    All About Texas

    The Lone Star State

    The Lone Star State

    All Things Texas Appliques

    All Things Texas Applique

  7. Machine zig-zag in place. You may prefer to replace the applique with a blue jeans pocket. Add embellishments.

    Deep in the Heart of Texas

    Deep in the Heart of Texas

  8. To construct the stocking, place front and back right sides together. Stitch boot front and back starting and ending stitching at either side of boot top. Clip curves every 1/4″-1/2″. Turn right side out. Press. My finished boot measures 19″ tall and 10″ across the foot.
  9. Use 8″-10″ of ribbon or cording for making a hanging loop. Fold ribbon in half with ends even. Tie knot near bottom. Stitch to inside corner of boot top extending loop beyond the top.
  10. Embellish further with other trinkets or treasures to personalize each stocking.
    Personalize Each Stocking

    Personalize Each Stocking

    Y’all come back now. Ya’ hear? I wish a great holiday season to you and yours no matter where you live. Merry Christmas,  Judy

Play Date #11 The Stockings Were Hung

October 6, 2014

by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicolas soon would be there.

Family Stockings

Family Stockings

“Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without.” is a quote I grew-up with in the 50’s. Being the fourth born of five children, I knew what hand-me-downs, cleaning your plate, share with your brother, etc. meant. Therefore, it’s easy to realize the origin of my game of using every little scrap of fabric, taking what someone else has discarded, and making it into something desirable. For Play Date #11, come along with me to make a one-of-a-kind Christmas stocking.

To create a stocking foundation on which to embellish, you can do one of three things:

  • Cut a stocking from an old damaged quilt. You may need to piece sections together to get a piece large enough for your stocking size.
  • Use a quilt top and add batting to the wrong side of the top before embellishing it.
  • Piece fabric scraps onto batting that has been cut into a stocking shape.

The stocking I’m showing you here was made from pieces of a vintage quilt. The ten stockings pictured below were made from the same quilt.

Multiple Stockings from Same Quilt

Stockings from One Quilt

Santa won’t be able to resist filling these vintage-looking stockings. They are fun to make in different sizes and shapes and easier than they look. A unique construction method makes them a cinch to line, sew and turn.

Finished Stocking Measures 7" Across top and 17" tall.

Finished Stocking Measures 7″ across top and 17″ tall.

Materials

  • Backing and lining for stocking, 1/2 yard for a stocking approximately 8″ X 18″, much less for small or tiny stockings
  • Assorted small pieces of trim, lace and ribbon
  • Jingle bells and other Christmas trinkets
  • Photo transfer and quote transferred to fabric
  • Vintage quilt or quilt pieces
  • Stocking pattern of choice

Instructions for Stocking front

  1. Piece together vintage quilt scraps or use a piece from a damaged quilt. My sister gave me these scraps she had left-over from one of her projects.
    Scraps from a Vintage Quilt

    Scraps from a Vintage Quilt

    I pieced them together and ironed the piece flat.

    Scraps Pieced and Ironed

    Scraps Pieced and Ironed

  2. Cut stocking pattern from quilt piece.
    Cut Stocking

    Cut Stocking

    There are stocking  patterns to be found on the internet. Or, you may have one in your pattern collection. You could use my pattern pictured here. It is possible to use a copy machine to enlarge or reduce the size of your pattern to get an assortment of sizes.

    Stocking Patterns

    Stocking Patterns in Various Sizes

  3. Embellish seam lines with lace, ribbons, and trims. Sew trims in place by machine whenever possible. Some will require stitching along both edges and others through the center only. If there is a row of visible stitching in the trim design, try to stitch on top of it with matching thread for the most invisible application.

    Embellish Stocking

    Embellish Stocking

  4. Embellish the stocking to your heart’s content.

    More Embellishing

    More Embellishing

Magic Lining

  1. Cut 2 pieces of lining fabric, right sides together, the same shape as the pieced stocking, but 1″ longer at the opening edge. Choose this fabric carefully as it will show at the top edge on the outside of the finished stocking.
  2. Place the finished stocking front face down on top of the backing fabric (the back side of the stocking) and cut the backing piece.

    Cut 2 Lining and 1 Backing Fabric

    Cut 2 Lining and 1 Backing Fabric

  3. Layer the 4 pieces in the following order and pin together:
  • Patchwork stocking, right side up.
  • Backing, face down on right side of stocking
  • Two lining pieces right sides together on top of backing.

4. The two lining pieces will extend above the stocking. Stitch 3/8″ from the raw edges through all layers, leaving the top edge unstitched.

Layers together

Stitch 4 Layers Together

Clip the curves to the stitches being careful not to cut the stitches.

5. Turn the backing piece over the stocking so the backing is on the outside and lining is inside. Use a long, blunt tipped tool to push out the edges for a smooth, rounded finish.

6. Turn the lining down over the top edge of the stocking and turn under at the raw edge. Tuck decorative piping, lace or ribbon under the turned edge, if desired.

Turn Lining to Front

Lining over top

Edge stitch along the fold through all layers using a decorative stitch, if desired. A free-arm sewing machine makes easy work of this on the larger stocking. The smaller stocking you will need to stitch by hand. Press carefully.

7. Attach 4″ to 6″ long piece of trim or ribbon to the top corner edge for hanging. Hot glue or stitch any additional embellishments to the stocking front until you are pleased. Isn’t it darling?

These stockings are so much fun to make! Once you’ve made some for yourself, you’ll want to make them for everyone on your gift list this year. The tiny ones are precious on packages and the medium size ones make great hostess gifts. I’ve used them as place cards for dinner parties with the guests’ names peeking out of the stocking. Your guests will be so delighted when you tell them to take their stockings home.

Tiny Stocking

Tiny Stocking

2" Across Top and 5" Tall

2″ Across Top and 5″ Tall

Tiny

Great on a Gift Package

 

Check-out my etsy site for more ideas. Go to judymurrahdesigns.etsy.com.

Merry Christmas everyone from the Christmas Angel. Love, Judy

 

Welcome to My Studio

June 28, 2014

 

A grand tour awaits you in the fall issue of Where Women Create, but here’s a little amateur sneak peek from me. Yes, I am so delighted I will be one of the featured studios in my most favorite magazine to come out the same time as our 40th Quilt Festival Anniversary. There’s a lot to look forward to this fall. I’ll keep you posted on some exciting things to happen at Fall Quilt Festival 2014, but today here’s my little tour of my studio.

WELCOME! COME ON IN!

Enter Here from Hallway

Enter Here from Hallway

I love displaying things on my walls that have special meaning to me such as small antique boxes, pieces I made in classes, things from friends, my children, grandchildren, photos taken and works by artists I admire. I feel surrounded by love and inspiration.

On the Right Side

On the Right Side as You Enter

Details of Right Side

Details of Right Side

Collection of Wooden Spools

Collection of Wooden Spools

Antique Shelves & Drawers

Antique Shelves, Jars & Drawers Hold Important Stuff

End of that Wall

End of that Wall

Then there are three windows that create a bay where my sewing machine is facing the windows looking out onto a park. It’s really pretty in the green of spring and summer. My kitties like to join me in my studio and sitting where I need to be is a favorite spot.

Kitties Join Me

Kitties Join Me

Then there’s a little corner before turning to the left and my design wall and then studio closet.

Little Corner Next to Windows

Little Corner Next to Windows

Design Wall Begins

Design Wall Begins

My studio is upstairs in our home and the room was meant to be a bedroom therefore the drapes and carpeting. Before we moved-in 7 1/2 years ago, I had a few things done to make it workable as a studio. The walk-in closet was outfitted with shelves. Two full-spectrum fluorescent ceiling lights were added. A design wall was created out of Celotex covered with Warm and Natural cotton batting on the largest wall.

Closet in Studio

Closet in Studio

Then we turn the corner and after the closet is the wall for my ironing board and wire drawers with more cubbies on the wall for treasures.

Ironing & Treasures Wall

Ironing & Treasures Wall

Printer's Box & Drawers

Printer’s Tray & Drawers

Shelves with Jars & Keys

Shelf with Jars & Keys

More on Walls

More Mementos on Wall

And that takes you around the perimeter of my studio. Where do I sew, cut and design you ask? It’s in the middle that you didn’t see. I said this was just a teaser. Get the professional tour in the fall issue of Where Women Create.  Hope you enjoyed my little tour.

COME BACK NOW, YOU HEAR?

Leaving Studio

Leaving Studio

Button Jars in Hallway

Button Jars in Hallway

BYE.

Going to the Chapel

March 19, 2014

The day finally came when we left for Long Beach and Troy’s marriage to Michelle Lee. We couldn’t be happier with the wedding preparations and all the excitement that led up to this joyous celebration. Michelle’s nephew and Troy’s nephew were both ring bearers, and I made their pillows. They are identical, about 7″ square with the wedding invitation photo transferred to the backs.

Invitation on pillow

Ring Bearer Pillow

The wedding itself was on the Queen Mary where most guests also stayed. Our family and close friends stayed on the ship, so it was fun gathering multiple times throughout the week-end.

Queen Mary

Queen Mary

The wedding rehearsal took place on Saturday afternoon in the ship’s Royal Wedding Chapel. Originally, the chapel was the smoking lounge for second class passengers and women. Now it’s a lovely chapel that seats 200 guests. After the rehearsal, we went across the harbor to Shoreline Village Parkers’ Lighthouse for a delicious dinner in the Lantern room. Guests could see the Queen Mary across the water.

Lantern Room

Lantern Room

Our family and the Lee family joined the wedding party for lots of introductions, visiting, and getting to know Troy and Michelle. We were so happy to have my husband’s sister, brother-in-law and their oldest daughter and family join us.

Cousins

Lindsey, Grammy, Holly, Callie and her mommy, Tamara. ( Troy, Holly & Todd’s cousin.)

My friend Willie Hart reproduced 32 photos of Troy and Michelle as children.  We placed them on the tables with the bouquets of flowers created by Romantic, Etc.

Flowers

Flowers and Photos

All the younger generation partied-on after the dinner, but Tommy and I were happy to go back to our room on the ship for a good night’s sleep. We were to meet at the chapel at 10:00 AM the next morning for photos, and this was the first day of Daylight Saving Time. The guests started arriving before we could finish the photos as the word was out that the chapel held 200 people.  250 guests were expected. With Troy’s childhood preacher conducting the marriage ceremony, all was special and went smoothly.  There were big smiles on all our faces when Reverend Dr. Mike Barry pronounced them husband and wife.

Vows

Vows Made to Each Other

Then the guests were invited by Michelle’s mom and dad, Farida and Kwan Lee, to the Promenade for cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres.

Farida and Kwan Lee

Farida and Kwan Lee

The relatives of the bride and groom were invited to a Chinese Tea Ceremony in the Queen’s Salon. Michelle and Troy served each of the family members tea and candy and in turn the family gave them red envelopes of money. I think most brides and grooms would like that Chinese tradition.

Tea Ceremony

Tea Ceremony

When the Tea Ceremony was complete, all the guests came to the Queen’s Salon for toasts, Sunday dinner and dancing.  It was time for Troy and Michelle’s first dance. They danced to their song, a ballad from our era by Sam Cooke, “You Were Made for Me.” The words are so meaningful, they make me tear-up each time I hear them. Oh, BTW, Michelle wore pearls that were a wedding gift given to me from my husband. They are hers now to pass down to any family member who would like to wear them.

First Dance

First Dance

Each of the guests was given a thank you CD with “their song” on it plus prelude, recessional tracks and the song that played for the Father/Daughter & Mother/Son dance. The guests had fun wearing temporary tattoos like the cover artwork found at their seats.

Favor at Reception

Favor CD of Wedding Music

My friends from Quilts, Inc. and my sister thought the music CD and temporary tattoos were such a great idea that they made plans to have a similar thing done for our  Quilt Festival’s 40th Anniversary Celebration this fall.

Nancy, Suzanne, Karey

Nancy, my sister, Suzanne, and Karey

It was so great to have them join us for the week-end along with our daughter Holly and her husband, Scott.

Holly and Scott

Scott and Holly

Their children were in the wedding as flower girls and ring bearer.

Holly's kids

Sydney, Lindsey, and Ashton Huebner

Our older son, Todd and his family were also there.

Four Family

Madison, Julie, Tyler, and Todd Murrah

Todd toasted the Bride and Groom with many childhood remembrances. It was emotional for him to deliver his toast so his daughter read it for him. Troy was pleased and appreciated his brother’s words.

Brothers after toast

Brothers

It was hard to believe when the reception ended around 5:00. I was having such a wonderful time that the time flew by. It was so special to meet so many of the Lee’s family and friends plus those of Troy’s and Michelle’s, and being with our own family and friends. Having Kay and Reverend Mike Barry with us was an added treat. We continued our visit later in the afternoon on the deck of the Queen Mary.

Tommy, Judy, Kay, Mike

Tommy, Judy, Kay, Mike

We later met Troy and Michelle and family and friends at the Observation Bar on the Queen Mary. The sunset was beautiful to end a beautiful day.

Sunset

Sunset from the Queen Mary

Troy and Michelle Murrah left the next evening for a week-long honeymoon in Costa Rica. We loved seeing the pictures posted each day. Best Wishes to the newlyweds. May you have love and happiness every single day of your lives.

Honeymoon outing

Honeymoon outing

Honeymoon Dinner

Honeymoon Dinner

Play Date #7 Chenille Pumpkins

August 13, 2013

It’s been a while since we have had a Play Date.  So, while making chenille pumpkins for my etsy shop, I decided my dear crafty friends might like to know how to make them also. My husband questioned the earliness of working on fall decor when it’s 100 degrees outside in Houston, Texas, but he kindly cut the sticks for the pumpkin stems the same as he does each year. Thank you, husband.

Chenille Pumpkins

Chenille Pumpkins

Supplies You Need

  • Chenille or candlestick bedspread
  • Cotton fringe from bedspread
  • One package or bottle of Rit brand dye in Sunshine Orange or Tangerine and Green found at JoAnn’s, grocery store, or craft store
  • Artificial fall leaves and berries on garland or bush found at Dollar Stores or craft stores
  • Sticks from tree for stems each 3″-4″ long and varying diameters
  • Raffia
  • Button or Carpet thread or other strong, heavy thread
  • Polyester Stuffing
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Foam Core or cardboard box on which to draw templates

Instructions to Follow

1. Remove fringe from bedspread by cutting close to tape edge. Dye fringe in green dye and bedspread in orange dye following manufacturer’s directions.

2. Draw circle sizes listed below on foam core or heavy cardboard box. You want to be able to use a rotary cutter to cut bedspread around this template. Cut out templates.

Size 1          6 1/4″ diameter            9″ circumference

Size 2                9″ diameter           13″ circumference

Size 3              13″ diameter           18″ circumference

Size 4       16 1/2″ diameter            22″ circumference

Size 5       20 1/2″ diameter            30″ circumference

Circle Templates

Circle Templates

3. Place template on bedspread and use rotary cutter to cut around circle. You will be surprised how much bedspread it takes to make Size 4 and 5.

Rotary Cut Circle

Rotary Cut Circle

4. Use heavy thread double and knotted in a large eye needle to stitch around the outside edge of circle. There is no need to turn under the raw edge. Stitch close to the edge.

Gather Circle

Stitch Circle with Heavy Thread

5. Pull-up stitching as tight as possible to gather. Back stitch three times to secure.

Pull-up Gathers

Pull-up Gathers

6. Stuff pumpkin until full. The larger the pumpkin circle the larger the hole that remains. Don’t worry. It will be filled with a stick and covered with fringe.

Stuff Tightly

Stuff Tightly

7. Place stick in middle of stuffing, twisting to make a place for it. Take out stick and put hot glue in center of stuffing. Place stick back in center with a twisting motion until you feel it to the bottom. Glue fringe close to stem and going around the stem.

Insert Stick/Add Fringe

Insert Stick/Add Fringe

8. Glue leaves and berries on top of the fringe and into any space between stem and fringe.

Leaves, Berries, Raffia

Leaves, Berries, Raffia

9. Put a dab of hot glue on stem and close to pumpkin under leaves. Combine several pieces of raffia and wrap around stem starting at the dab of glue. Bring to front and tie a knot and bow with the raffia.

Add Raffia & Leaves

Add Raffia & Leaves

10. Separate and primp the raffia for finishing touch.

Happy Fall

Happy Fall

Make several more in all of the sizes to decorate your house or to give to friends. If I have a small piece of Chenille left  not large enough to cut the 9″ circumference size, I cut it just a little smaller so not to waste the scrap. Therefore, the pumpkin family below has a sixth little size.

Orange Pumpkin Family

Orange Pumpkin Family

You may prefer to make your pumpkins using the bedspread without dying it as I have done with the pumpkins below. Instead of using the dyed fringe from the bedspread I used commercially bought fringes and trims. Some of them have beads hanging from the trim. I think that’s fun. You can also use ribbon instead of raffia for a more fancy look. These white pumpkins also look really nice in a cottage chic setting. You can use them in the fall and enjoy them with your Christmas decorations also.

Neutral Pumpkin Family

White Pumpkin Family

Let me know if you make any pumpkins and send pictures. I’d love to see them. If you like the pumpkins and this looks like too much of a bother, you can purchase them in my etsy shop. I’ll continue to add fall items to my shop. So keep coming back.

Happy Fall preparations to everyone.

Love and stitches, Judy

Clean Closets Campaign

May 31, 2012

Hello everyone,

Sorry for the long absence. Life and work sometime take precedence over chatting. I’ve missed you.

Most recently I have been to Kansas City for the International Spring Quilt Market. To get a great idea of the trends you will soon see in your fabric and quilt shops go to Pokey Bolton’s blog. She reported extensively in two different posts on Spring Quilt Market and what we saw there.

Quilt market

Kansas City Quilt Market

Quilt Market is for the trade only so as one of the show organizers I am not eligible to buy other than at the wild and crazy Thursday night Sample Spree. Among other things I bought great bundles of fabric from different manufacturers with designers such as Joel Dewberry, Amy Butler, Laura Gunn, and Kaffe Fassett. The colors are so bright and so happy I couldn’t go home without a bag of new treats. Now the problem is where to put all these new treats. Right now they are just stacked on my over burdened cutting table.

fabric

Fabric Bundles Purchased at Sample Spree

For weeks my upstairs has been in disarray as I’ve been trying to clean out six closets that house all of my “stuff.” Three of the six closets are in pretty good form. I can get in there and find what I need, but the other three have become a mess and a chore to find what I want. I need to get rid of some of my sewing and crafting supplies, but it’s so hard to do.

book closet

Book and Ephemera Closet

fabric closet

Fabric Closet

studio closet

Studio Closet with some boxes removed

beads closet

Beads and Buttons Closet

After buying and hoarding and teaching and designing for 30 years I have way too much stuff! Cleaning the closets is of no avail no matter how neatly I sort and organize. There just isn’t enough room for everything I have and how could I ever use it all? Recently I’ve been buying supplies to paint and collage on canvas. I just know if I keep trying I’ll finally be pleased with something I create. I’ve cleared out a space in a guest bedroom for a painting corner, but first I have to get all those things sorted and back in the closet so there is room to paint.

paint corner

Paint on Canvas Corner

Lesley Riley suggested I offer “surprise grab boxes” to you. As I clean out and organize I am filling medium and large flat rate priority boxes with all sorts of treasures I’ve been gathering and stashing away for years. I’ve tried just about every craft imaginable so my stash consists of fabric of all types and textures, books, patterns, sewing notions, threads, old photos, fabric, fabric, and fabric, lace old and new, papers, ribbons, trims, shells, trinkets, beads, buttons, found objects, costume jewelry, ephemera, yarns, quilt blocks vintage and new, patchwork started, cut squares of fabric, etc. The list goes on and on and I continue to find treasures long forgotten. Some boxes were moved here seven years ago and I’m just now opening them.

boxes on floor

Boxes From Closet

I’d love to send a box of fun to you so all these treats can find new life. I’ll be doing this for the next week. If the interest is great enough and I still have cleaning and clearing to do, I will continue. I really do want to be able to use my studio space and some of the things I loved when I purchased them, but it’s not possible with the disarray I’m in right now.

cutting table

Mess on Cutting Table

mess

Mess on Sewing Machine Cabinet

If you are interested in a surprise box this is how it will work. I’m charging $25 per medium cram-filled flat rate priority box which includes $11 postage and $35 for the large size flat rate priority box  which includes $15 postage. I have a few of the boxes ready to mail and I haven’t made a dent in all my sewing and crafting stuff.

boxes

Priority Boxes loaded and ready to mail

Please leave a comment here with your name and stating which size you wish to purchase. You can pay through my paypal account at judym@entouch.net or send a check in the mail. Once I’ve received payment I will mail your box.

large box

Large Box Full

box full

Medium Size Box Full

box contents

Medium Flat Rate Box contents

While cleaning out closets and my studio I came across a blog which featured photos of studios. I went to Mamie Janes blog and was inspired by all the vintage shelves, boxes, and drawers she uses for storage and display in her studio. Check out her “Welcome to My Studio” post on July 14, 2011. I love all of her posts, but this one is of particular interest right now.

I am prone to clutter my living space with these kinds of things, but I tried not to use them all when we moved into this house. After seeing the “Where Bloggers Create” post I couldn’t help myself and went on a hunt in our garage. I found and dusted off shelves, printers trays, and little drawers to add to my studio. Now I have more places to put things.

shelf

Add Shelf from Garage

buttons

Jars of Buttons and Trinkets

We all would love to see pictures of your studio and how you organize it. Please share with us. And if you don’t have enough stuff to put in your studio, please let me be of assistance.

My next post will be another Play Date. Please come back for a visit then.

Until then keep stitching and enjoy life, Judy


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