Thursday, December 06, 2018

The Days of Christmas part 3...

~ Greetings and Merry Christmas ~
to all of my stitching friends!

Well December 6....
and it is St. Nick's Day 😊 for German Catholics - you will understand this tradition we celebrate...but in general St. Nick's feast day is the day, that St. Nick comes and leaves small presents in the kid's stockings, things like candy, crayons, socks, PJs... as our kids have gotten older, St. Nick has gotten more simple with his presents - you know he's tired and has run out of good ideas for treats. Candy is always a great option but when you have kids that are watching what they eat, well he doesn't want to contribute to the delinquency of minors. SO he just brings them a crisp $20 dollar bill so they can go to a movie or buy a new something to wear, or put toward something they are saving for, or you know just save it for a rainy day (hahahaha! they typically don't save money that St. Nick brings). St. Nick thinks that is just a great idea, crisp $20s for every one! Even St. Nick would like a crisp $20 😆 

On December 4th....
it was my boy's 19th birthday!!!
Here is one of my very favorite photos of them...they were 6 months old. They were breastfed and rolly polly fatties...when I got this picture back, I cried...why? because they had been 6 1/2 weeks preemie, born at 33 weeks and a few days gestation. Jake had reflux and he did not eat well and anything he did eat, it came right back up.
And I fretted and worried and didn't sleep for those first 6 months, and you know how you are in a haze of exhaustion and just can't see anything. Well I didn't see they were thriving until I saw this picture. And I cried because finally I could relax, they were thriving and happy.
They really loved their Mama at this stage too...they are looking at me in this photo. They don't love me now, the way they loved me then (look at their little eyes) - and I know that is the natural order of life, and I'm proud that I've raised them confident and self assured enough to walk away from me. That's what God intends.
Ian and Jacob 6 months

And here they are this past June right before their Graduation from high school. Same boys on the same side of both pictures (Ian on the left - he is Baby A and Jake on the right - he is Baby B) 

Ian and Jake 2

Pride and Love...
that's what I feel when I look at them then and now. My heart could just burst I love them so.

December 4....
was also my girl's day in Greenwood with my friend Melinda. OH people, did I need a day with a friend. I sure did. And I had one, believe me! We started out meeting in Martinsville, IN. I hopped into Melinda's car - she was driver this time. We exchanged Christmas Gifts to each other.
I made her this: 
NE_LHN Farmhouse 

and Melinda made me this:
Friendship Braid Quilted Table Runner. She used Kansas Troubles fabrics (which I LOVE KANSAS TROUBLES FABRICS!!!) Now this is much more beautiful than what this photo shows as I have it folded over so you can see it. When it is laying out all flat it has a 9 patch in the very center.

Melinda's Table Runner 

Last time we had girl's day Melinda was telling me about her new mid-arm quilting machine she just purchased. She has one from Handi-quilter. She told me my runner was the first thing she quilted on her machine.
Isn't it beautiful! Oh I love it so! Thank you Melinda!

Melinda Quilting

While we were on our day we started off at Back Door Quilts in Greenwood, Indiana I had never been there (being a new Quilter I am a virgin to almost all quilt shops - LOL!). 

We spent a bit of time there...the shop is huge and it is filled with gorgeous fabrics and patterns and kits OH MY!

Then we went out to lunch....and on the way home we stopped at Trafalgar, Indiana at a small shop there Coffee Cup Quilting and finished out our day. Here is my "haul" from the day:

This sweet penguin quilt was purchased for the last kid that hasn't had a quilt made for them - Katie - who LOVES penguins. This was the first thing I saw when I walked in the door and it immediately went on my "pile" of purchases.

Katie Quilt 

Then, I have made, I think like 8 big quilts since January 2018. In July, I was introduced to the idea of making small quilts by reading/watching a presentation by Jo Morton. Jo talks about how quilting is a wonderful hobby, an obsession (boy, as an avid cross stitcher and now a rabid quilter I can sure understand obsessions!) Anyway, she was saying how small quilts fit the needs of a quilter nicely after everyone in the family has a quilt handmade by the maker. You hone your skills in piecing and even in quilting on a smaller scale but just as grand. She also speaks to stash enhancement and picking up colors when you go shopping. I then soon found and began to follow Kathleen Tracy who also is a small quilts designer. She lives in Illinois and it is my great desire that I attend one of her quilt retreats some day. Anyway, I have all her books (or nearly all of them) and in her books and BLOG - A Sentimental Quilter, she speaks regularly about how to approach "stashing". She writes that if, when going to quilt shops, you choose a color that is lacking in your stash and you focus on that one (or 2) colors that need some growth in your stash palette. So when I go shopping at quilt shops I look at my stash prior and decide what color(s) I'm going to purchase that trip. This trip I focused on:
Blues (I wasn't very successful in finding as many as what I would have liked) I don't care for blue as much as the other colors and its hard for me to choose blues.


Blacks/Grey Tones:



Some pretty great selections right? as you can tell I gravitate to old antique looking prints. I'm old at heart, I guess. I am so thrilled to play in my stash, when I get a chance. To organize my stash (which is really quite small for most quilters),  I cut foam core squares to fit inside my hutch and I have all of my fabric wrapped around these foam core squares and lined up on the shelves so when I'm pulling fabrics to kit up a quilt, I can see which ones I want to grab first. Plus they are just beautiful when I gaze upon them inside the hutch in my cave all lined up like little soldiers 😊

On December 5th....
my husband took the day off and we went out to lunch. Here we are together at Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen:

Keith and Vonna Christmas 2018

I like Cheddar's a lot and I hesitate to say anything but I am working with my doctor and doing the Keto Diet. Essentially I aim to have 20 grams (or less) of net carbs per day. So that essentially means: no sugar, no bread, no pasta, no potatoes, no fruit except you may have limited berries each day. Lots of vegetables, meat, cheese and some dairy. I've been on it a good 8 weeks, I'd say. Since the beginning she's moved me even more strict (yay me! ha ha - no) because through trial and error we found I'm very sensitive to carbs so I went from Lo Carb (50 grams of net carbs per day) to Keto (20 grams of net carbs per day) any way all of this to say, I don't go out to eat much, but I have the last two days and I chose wisely and didn't get anything with carbs, I chose grilled meats only both days (I really wanted the hamburger and fries) and steamed vegetables and salad and I still lost weight both days. Go ME! Plus the reason for doing this is personal to's a journey I have to do for me....but one of my goals is to remain drug free. I am not on any medication at all, besides a water pill because I have inherited my grandmother's water retention in my legs. Even dieting and drinking only water, watching salt intake and having the deep vein angioplasty lazer treatment to get rid of varicose veins.....still my legs have a tendency to carry water. So my doctor put me on a water pill once per day. My blood pressure has dropped from 144/92 (this was in Septemeber) to last week when I went in, it was: 120/72. And I have lost weight, but I'm keeping numbers private for now - I have a long way to go. It's hard, it's a journey I have to do this for me and I am choosing to do it alone - I don't want to hear success stories, I don't want to feel like it's a competition, I don't want to feel like I'm not losing fast enough, I don't want to feel like I'm not good enough, I don't want to cheer others on because frankly -it's all I can do to cheer myself on. 

You know another reason that is giving me incentive to do this....
besides good health and drug free? My husband said if I reach goal (which is losing A LOT of weight), I can get a long arm quilter! DEAL! Sad to say this, but the idea of having a long arm if meeting goal....has been the reason that I've been able to watch others eat a birthday cake for the last 48 hours, while I  don't have even one lick of it. I'm going to love my long arm....after my work is done! 

I guess that does it for today friends....
I'll leave with you with a couple of tantalizing photos.
My basket FULL of Prairie Schooler Santa ornaments....
half stitched by me, the other half stitched and gifted to me last year by so many wonderful friends. I have a couple that are duplicates but other than that, I think I'm pretty close to having every annual Santa. I know their are some holes, but not many holes. Just incentive for me to stitch the remaining ones up so the tree is complete. And also I have lots of the full size leaflets that I can stitch up to add as the years go. This years tree will be amazing! I can't wait to decorate it and share it with you!


and my sweet senior cats, Mr. Red and Chatty...
Mama's Boys :) 
I was sitting on the couch adding the hangers and bows on the last of my Prairie Schooler Santa ornaments to be finished before I put them in the basket. They are always by my side.


Until next time...
Merry Christmas!
Vonna xxxx


  1. What a gorgeous basket of PS Santas! I look forward to seeing your PS Santa tree, Vonna! Happy belated birthday wishes to Ian and Jake; I love that picture of them at 6 months. It sounded like you had a fabulous day out with your friend; what a beautiful ornament you created for her and what a gorgeous table runner she created for you. Thinking of you!

  2. My dear friend, I am praying for your success in this. God bless you. I love your gift exchange.

  3. I am enjoying your posts ,I love days out with my friends we do it a couple of times a month. Love your exchange with each other.

    The basket of Santa's looks fab .

    Enjoy your day .

  4. So happy to hear you had a girlfriend day and what lovely fabric choices you made! Love your Santas, too. Glad that you are feeling better and I am looking forward to seeing that new longarm one day with all her tattoos!

  5. I love this post; and I've always loved that pic of your boys. Thank you for sharing the super-special story behind it. They are totally thriving! Sometimes we just need a chance in life to change our perspective. As for Chatty and Red, I remember when you got them, each of them—seniors now! :O Good going on tailoring your eating to help you reach goals! I'm also using a carb-limiting eating plan since summer with the goal of reducing my weight by quite a bit. I thaibk that grey and white sweater looks lovely with your blonde hair, and the mustards are my favorite of your new fabric stash!

  6. Love, love, love your updates! Thanks for taking the time to share your life, hobbies, successes and challenges with us!

  7. Good for you for taking your health into your own hands. This is the biggest reason I don't try to diet. I don't want the pressure. I know I won't succeed. Wait...I doubt I will succeed. I don't want it bad enough to try as hard as I would need to. I wish you lots of luck. You got this. I enjoy hearing the love you have for your children. It's very refreshing. Thanks for sharing your posts.

  8. I great post. My friend gave me an ornament that said good friends are better than therapy. I loved it. We always try to help each other. Glad you had a nice day with a friend.

  9. Vonna, you are doing this for all the best reasons and keeping some things private is smart. I always find your posts, here and ig, fun, honest and inspirational. Wishing you the best!!!

  10. Good luck with the weight loss journey Vonna, I know how hard it can be to refuse the nice stuff, especially cake!! I keep trying but am failing miserable at the moment, perhaps i need an intensive like your long arm :-)

  11. I love all of your beautiful stitched pieces, and the runner from your friend is gorgeous!! Going to a fabric store is better than a candy store; I love your beautiful purchases, fabric is wonderful and makes me happy. Cheering your on to your weight goal and a healthy life!! The long-arm quilter is such a wonderful incentive - you go girl!! Blessings to you this holiday season......................

  12. What a great post. You picked out some lovely fabrics. I must be old at heart as well because I gravitate to those antique prints as well.

  13. Oh what fun you had. Most likely a well deserved day of fun especially at this time of year. I would love to buy a mid arm quilter someday. I don't know why but I don't buy a lot of yellow. I love all colors but poor yellow gets overlooked by me and when I use it, I ask myself why I don't use it more. I love the table runner and spied that penguin pattern as soon as it came out. I have a lot of her patterns but haven't started them yet. I prefer pieced designs over foundation paper piecing so I gravitate toward her patterns. I also love Lori Holt and Pattern Basket patterns. What cute li'l Rolie Polie's indeed the boys were. Take care.

  14. Aww... your sweet boys! I always remember their birthday as it is the same as my middle son's (who turned 33--yikes!!).

    That is quite an incentive for a successful weight loss, Vonna! I bet you can do it and just remember--if you fall back one day, just get up and start again the next day! One "bad eating" day will not ruin all your hard work :)

    Enjoy all of that luscious fabric--I would be in BIG trouble if I worked in a quilt shop, that's for sure. Can't wait to see that basket of PS Santas displayed on your tree! Enjoy your weekend!

  15. Love your blog
    Live where you had friend day!!

  16. Happy belated birthday to your boys and I love all the stitchy stuff. The Orthodox Christian church celebrates St. Nicholas also. We had a special Divine Liturgy and fellowship with good food after. St. Nicholas left candy in the kids shoes also.

  17. Late reading this - good luck with your diet - can’t wait to see your progress next year. I know you are going to enjoy your long-arm machine so hopefully you will get it in 2019.

  18. Good luck, Vonna. You look great in the picture.

  19. I came over to see your basket of cross stitch Christmas designs! How beautiful! Happy new year!


Thank you for following me on my blog. If you have any questions, please ensure that your e-mail is left or associated with your profile so that I may contact you. Or you may contact me personally at:
My sincere thanks for taking the time to comment!
The Twisted Stitcher