New Year's News

Looking for the NewFO Challenge and Giveaway?  Click here.

And you can find my tutorial on fusible applique right here.

If you're like me, you're hungry for things to get back to normal after the holidays, although it's of questionable wisdom to use the word "hungry" to describe anything.  I don't know about you, but I've pretty much pigged out every day since Thanksgiving.  My diet and exercise commitment renews now!

Everybody in my family went back to work today, except for Matthew.  His internship starts on January 21st.  For now, he's still settling into his house.  We had a nice dinner together on New Year's Day.  In addition to the good food we ate, we had on the agenda to open this very special bottle of champagne that Erik and Mae gave us for Christmas.

It was quite a surprise to open this beautiful bottle on Christmas Eve, and it turns out to be a champagne with a story.  Here is what an article from Forbes magazine had to say about it:

Originally crafted at the behest of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, . . . Cristal is one of the oddest looking bottles on the market with its clear bottle, flat bottom and cellophane wrapping. But all of those oddities have a purpose dating back to 1876. The Champagne’s original promoter, Tsar Alexander, rightly feared assassination attempts. To better enjoy his Champagne and quell his fears the Tsar asked specifically for a clear bottle so he could detect any poison. The flat bottom was also a requirement because the Russian royal was worried someone might hide something lethal inside the ‘punt’ (the large indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle). These two customizations also gave Tsar Alexander assurance that the wine was coming from his cellar. 
We decided to wait until New Year's Day to open it, and it did not disappoint us.  Its grape composition is  55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay grapes from the Grand Cru Vineyards in France’s Champagne Region.  It was aromatic and flavorful, and we enjoyed it very much.  Ordinarily, I wouldn't pay this much attention to a wine and its grapes beyond drinking it, but this bottle was so beautiful and interesting that it warranted some extra attention and enthusiasm.  It was fun opening it and sharing it with the rest of the family.

So that was our New Year's celebration.  Today I got my monthly pedicure, and it was a good way to start off the first day back at normalcy.  I want to thank all of you who left such nice comments after taking a look at my tutorial on fusible applique (link above).  I've spent most of the past couple of days catching up on your blogs, but not doing much sewing.  Yesterday I managed to get into the sewing room to do the final bits of cutting before sewing together and finishing the quilt top for the Plain and Simple Amish sampler.

This was my January 2012 NewFO.  I completed all of the blocks in October, but I'm just now getting around to sewing it together.  I'll be working on this for the next few days until I have the top and the back all finished.  This one will be going to my long-arm quilter.

Speaking of finishing tops, I've decided to challenge myself and join in a couple of  finishing challenges this year.  I blogged about the 2013 Year of the Finished Project last week. 

Never Too Hot to Stitch!

 But there's another one starting up over at Fiber of All Sorts called A Lovely Year of Finishes.
A Lovely Year of Finishes

This one is a little different in that we are encouraged to commit to finishing a project at the beginning of the month.  There will also be a status update mid-month, and then a linky party at the end to show our finished project.  I still don't have a lot of unfinished projects, but I have an awful lot of finishes coming down the pike.  It seems reasonable to commit to one finish per month for these challenges in addition to committing to one start per month. (And I almost always start more than one. Is it love? Or is it lust?)  So for this month, I'm committing to finishing my Plain and Simple quilt top.  

I'd also like to get started on the free motion quilting for the Two Grandmother's Goose baby quilt that I took apart and restored last year.  This quilt has a story, and you can read about its history right here.  

The top and bottom are sitting in a grocery sack under my cutting table where they have been for months.  I think it's time to get going and finish that one up too.  Who knows?  Maybe it will bring good luck on the grandchildren front...and you know that I seriously need a grandchild.

Also, I've decided to join in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2013.  This month's color is pink.  


So many of you have posted such beautiful teasers as ideas for rainbow scrappies you'd like to make this year.  I considered several quilts, but finally settled on turning the Little Red Dresses quilt I listed in my 2013 NewFO wish list into a rainbow scrap quilt.

When I listed this pattern as one of my 2013 NewFO's, I thought I might do the dresses from blues.  Now I'm thinking I'll do them in rainbow colors.  Won't that be fun?

Finally, I want to make an announcement so Ear Ye, Ear Ye!  Do you remember the story about my catrabbit slippers?

If you missed my post about these slippers, you can read it right here.  So my friend Sue implored me to put it to a vote about whether the rabbit ears needed an ear job.  I'm happy to say that 41 of you cast your votes (thank you very much!) and fully 70% of you voted that the ears should stay as is.  So, sorry Sue.  It's years of rabbit ribbing for you.  I know it must be a bittear pill to swallow.  (Ha!  Get it?  Sometimes I just kill myself, I'm so funny.)

So that's all the New Year's News I know.  Returning you now to your regularly scheduled life.  (And not a minute too soon.)

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kirsty said...

LR - How wonderful! That's one I wouldn't mind trying. I drink alcohol so rarely but was surprised and delighted when our friends arrived on Christmas Day with not one but two bottles of Moet - one bottle of pin and the other of white. I can tell you, it was a perfect start to our festivities. Oh, and I'm still giggling over the slippers. Happy New Year to you and yours from me and mine.

Kirsty said...
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Kirsty said...
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Anonymous said...

I understand that Cristal is one of the most expensive champagnes. Good you enjoyed it! I look forward to your finish of Plain and Simple this month.

Sandy said...

Just have to ask, where in the world can I get the Little Red Dresses pattern? I have a new Grand Niece from China, she is now the little sister and this would be an amazing quilt for both Grand Nieces. I can see one girl with dark hair, and, the other with light brown.

Lynne said...

I don't drink but I appreciated the story behind the wine. I'm also doing the Rainbow Scrap Challenge but have no idea what block I'm going to make!

Kate said...

We usually do wine on New Year's, but have done champagne as well. That one sounds very nice indeed.

I joined up with Lynne's challenge. As much as I love your NewFO challenge, I do really need to finish up some of those starts from last year. I could really use a year of finishes to put a dent in my stash!

Diane Wild said...

Happy New Ears. Ha!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting history of that wine bottle. The slippers are cute no matter what type of ears they have.

LynCC said...

Yep, that'll look awesome as a rainbow quilt! And lol'ing big time about the slipper ears. :)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I swoon over the Amish quilt and can't wait to see it quilted up.The little ladies is perfect for the rainbow challenge.

Snoodles said...

What a perfect choice for a rainbow challenge! Heehee....love the comment above: Happy New Ear! LOL

Denise :) said...

Glad the 'ears' are staying intact! In my opinion, it would be earesponsible (haha -- two can play at this game) to snip them! :)

quiltzyx said...

Oh poor Sue...NOT!!! Heeheehee~!

Good luck on all of your challenges - you are much braver than me.

Loved your fusible tute! Too bad I missed the deadline for comments. Oh well, it's good for someone else to have a chance to win once in a while... ;)

Michele said...

I'm so glad the slippers will stay as they are. It would be a huge shame to change them. I'm goign to pinder joining the finish-alongs and look more into the rainbow scrap challenge. I love almost anything in rainbow hues so this could be perfect for emptying my scrap bin.