Sneaking in a Little Blog Time

Matthew and Mike just headed into town to trouble shoot Matthew's new-to-him car.  He bought brother Erik's used car the other day so he'll have some transportation when he moves back to Portland.  Mike helpfully had him clean the engine with some kind of chemicals and then rinse it with water.  Great idea, but then it started running funky.  It no doubt just has some water some place where it shouldn't, so The Stanbro Men are taking off into town to see if they can fix the problem just by driving it around.  It seemed a good time to sneak in some blog time.  (I hear you laughing, Dana.)

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner here.  I hope you all did too.  We laughed, and laughed and laughed and then we ate, and ate, and ate.  The is just one of the two fabulous desserts Erik and Mae brought.  It's an apple tart with a custard filling and puff pastry.  Yum.

Here we are sitting down to dinner.

From bottom to top we had sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, whole cranberry relish and the requisite jellied cranberry sauce from a can (because none of us think you can have a proper Thanksgiving without it), bacon mushroom stuffing, Burgundy mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, and good old turkey.  Oh yes, and be sure to notice those beautiful salads Mae whomped up from mixed salad greens, Asian pears, and brown butter beets.  Yum.  ("Yum" was the word of the day.)

And look who enjoyed his first Thanksgiving:

I always boil the neck and the giblets for several hours along with some fresh thyme sprigs, fresh sage leaves, bay leaves, season salt and a clove of garlic.  I use the resulting broth and the neck meat for my gravy.  The rest of the giblets get cut up for the kitties to enjoy along with a ladle of the broth.  Smitty chowed down.  Gracie has never cared much for it, and so he gratefully ate her portion too.

And what's going on here?  I think trouble's brewing.

Friday, my winnings from the August Free Motion Quilting Challenge came from SewCalGal.  Look at this great stuff:

There is a Sewline Trio Color marker with three different colors of ceramic leads.  I have a similar marker, and I love it.  It'll be nice to have an extra to keep next to the sewing machine.  Also, these pretty Aurifil threads...and you know how I love thread.  Also, this extra large SewSlip mat for free motion quilting.  It's a nice big size and will work nicely for the extension table of my sewing machine.  I'm excited to see how this baby works.  I'm told I still have some Machingers gloves coming to me.  Thank you to SewCalGal for sponsoring the Free Motion Quilting Challenge this year and for this great prize package.

After fondling all my goodies, I got to work sewing.  We are attending a 60th birthday party tonight for a long-time friend.  We want to take a bottle of wine, but I wanted to dress it up a little.  So yesterday, I made this little Wine Waiter vest for it to wear, complete with shirt and bow tie.

I'm so happy with the way this turned out.  I got the pattern from So Happy Me a couple of years ago.  It's taken me a long time to make it.  I think I was a little intimidated; but then, I never even really took the time to look at it.  I'm happy to say it went together very easily.  I think the next one I make will go together in half the time.  If I were going to make this again, I would use a less contrasty fabric for the inside of the vest.  There is quite a bit of hand-sewing, and I was having to switch back and forth my thread colors.  Also, I had to be very careful with my hand-sewing so that it would look tidy.  To have two fabrics that went with one light or dark thread would have made the job ever so much easier. 

It's a great way to dress up a hostess gift.  I can see using this on gifts of other foods...say, for instance, some chive blossom vinegar or some chai spice concentrate.  It would work for anything that comes in a tall slender bottle.

Then today I made the background and inner border, and fused all the applique pieces for the November Folk Art Cats block.  This is a pretty wild cat, and it gave me a chuckle given all the gifts of mice we've been receiving lately.  I still need to add the outer checkerboard border, which has pieced cornerstones.  And, of course, there is lots of top-stitching and a little machine embroidery to do.  Most notable is the halo embroidered above the head which will be done with gold metallic thread.  These are fun blocks to work on.  Now I'm excited to start on December's block, where the cat resembles Santa Claus.

Speaking of gifts of mice...this is my view of Smitty's silhouette as he sits on his cat pole in the mornings.  He's back lit by the gray skies of Oregon.  I think he might actually grow into his ears one of these days.

What have you been up to this fine Thanksgiving weekend?

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Barb said...

What yumminess....cute cat

Denise :) said...

Barbara, it looks like you have a marvelous Thanksgiving meal and celebration! Your food looked great, but it was fun to see your family at the table!! Congrats on the nice win/loot from SewCalGal! Smitty is such a handsome little fellow -- the silhouette of him is wonderful! :)

Teresa in Music City said...

What a wonderful feast & such a nice-looking family! Yum is very appropriate - I even said it myself :*) That apple tart looks too yummy for words! I gained a few pounds just looking at it :*D I wish I had thought to give Gypsy the giblets! She is not usually with us during Thanksgiving, but this year we brought her along because I couldn't bear to leave her at home alone at her age. Great win from the FMQ Challenge!

quiltzyx said...

YUM is right!
We had roasted brined turkey, dressing (since it wasn't inside the bird, I won't call it stuffing!), fresh green beans, fresh sweet potatoes - chopped up & baked with butter, salt & pepper, celery with cream cheese or peanut butter, fresh cranberry relish, gravy & my own sinful roasted garlic smashed potatoes. Oh, and pumpkin pie w/ whipped cream of course.
Today Judy & I went to neat little antique/collectibles consignment shop. Last time we went there I found a beautiful Fiesta ware gravy boat that I gave to some friends for Christmas. This time I found a Mickey Mouse ornament perfect for my friend that owns the ceramics shop.
Tonight I'll be wrapping Christmas gifts to stay here so I don't have to mail them later. Tomorrow I'm on my way home & Monday is my job interview.

Love the silhouette of Smitty. I don't think his ears look big....

Diane Wild said...

Looks like a nice day. I started dragging out some Christmas quilts to hang around the house. I wasn't going to decorate at all this year but my sister gave me a lecture so I thought I'd do a little.

Anonymous said...

I don't drink wine, but if I did, I'd definitely want that cute little jacket.

Donna F said...

The colors of the aurifil threads are pretty. And that vest is soo awesome! I love the colors you chose. I may just have to try making one some day. I read your blog every morning. I'm addicted to Smitty. He such a sweet boy.

Dana Gaffney said...

Oh thank goodness, the world is safe and all is right in mine. Yes, I was grinning then laughing. I think this is my favorite of the cat blocks, how appropriate that it's Smitty with a gift, that's my name for it. Here's hoping there is more male bonding so you have time for us. LOL.

LynCC said...

lol!! Perfect cat block for you right now. :) I love the vest and bowtie for the wine!

Snoodles said...

Whoo hooo! I sneak in some time when I can, too! LOL Love the pictures of family warmth and yummy food, and the kitties are so sweet (although I do think some mischief was brewing). Congrats on your win, and happy sewing!

Kate said...

Looks like you had a very grand feast. We did too, but I completely forget to snap any pictures.

Love your new kitty block, very cute.

Sand and Sunshine said...

What a really amazing day!

Valerie Reynolds said...

What a wonderful day and your wine waiter is soooo fun!!! Thanks for sharing at TA this week Barb!