Sunday, December 31, 2023

Peppermint Village

I have finished six more quilts this year. Hopefully I will be posting them in the next week or so. Since the holidays are nearly over, I thought I'd start with Peppermint Village.

For years, I have collected peppermint fabric with the goal of someday using as much as possible in a Christmas quilt. Also, years ago, I purchased a pattern called My Kinda Town by Peggy Larsen, and 2023 was the year when the two came together. As I completed each block and posted them on Instagram, I also wrote a little story, which I will share here.

This pattern was a foundation paper pieced pattern. I think the designer assumed that anyone making this would have some previous experience. I have done a lot of foundation paper piecing, which came in handy as there were times when the pattern could certainly have used some more instructions or illustrations. But all in all, it's a super cute pattern and looks so cute with all the peppermint fabric.

The Van Winkle House.

For the longest time I've wanted to live in Peppermint Village, so when the old Van Winkle House came on the market, I grabbed it. Of course, repairs needed to be made. The first story gingerbread was crumbling and the striped trim needed to be repainted. But now it's nice and cozy, with garlands in the windows and a tree upstairs.

Amelia's House

My next door neighbor is Amelia. Her house is a lot larger than mine, with a room she added, where she makes custom Christmas stockings on her vintage sewing machine. Also, she has plenty of room for her parents to live with her. Her dad loves Christmas, so he is decorating the tree, while she is grabbing a kiss under the mistletoe. Ooh-la-la.

The Village Church

When the villagers decided to build a new church, they opted for a more subtle design, with holly growing on the sides and tiny peppermints here and there. But then there was a sale on green peppermint stick roofing and they couldn't resist. Although what they really wanted everyone to notice were the beautiful stained glass windows.

Locust Street Rowhouses

The Locust Street Rowhouses are in the fancy part of town. Of course that means HOA rules--red doors and a wreath at all times. Candy lives in Peppermint Stripe, the cute aqua house. She makes custom candy canes. Her favorite is the traditional red and white ones, but she will make any colors you choose. In the middle are three sisters who call themselves the Jingle Belles. They are professional Christmas carolers. If you want them for your holidays party you better call them now--their schedule fills up quickly. And next is Rudy. He decorates ALL the places in town with his business S'Noel. He can do it all--from decorating inside and out to just hanging the wreath on your door. He especially loves snow, which is why he keeps a snow globe upstairs at all times.

Peggy Sue's Place.

Peggy Sue's Place is where everyone goes for event catering. Peggy Sue is one of the best cooks in the village. Her daughter, Sandy, runs the diner. My favorite thing on the menu right now is the turkey sandwich with homemade bread, Brie and cranberry sauce. But make sure you order a cinnamon roll with browned butter frosting--they are out of this world.

Avenue D Elementary School

A few years ago, the village built a new elementary school. A nice young couple purchased the old Avenue D elementary school and turned it into a charming bed and breakfast called the Fa La La Inn. There are only two rooms, Boughs of Holly and Yule Log, and they are decorated all year long. It's gotten great reviews on Yelp so book a room the next time you visit.

The Corner Stores

Just in time for your Black Friday shopping, The Corner Stores are fully stocked and ready to help with all your gift-giving needs. Take a break at The Daily Grind for a peppermint mocha, and when you are all done shopping, stop for some ice cream at The Scoop.

Welcoming Arms

The last building in our village is Welcoming Arms, which houses the chamber of commerce and post office. It is aptly named as the people who work there will always make you feel more than welcome. 

I was able to use up more peppermint fabric on the back, and of course, a peppermint striped binding.

I hope you've enjoyed the tour of our sweet village. Please come visit us sometime soon!

Quilt Name: Peppermint Village
Quilt Pattern: My Kinda Town by Peggy Larsen for Fiberworks
Made by: Cindy Wiens
Quilted by Darby Myers
Completed: December 2023
Size: 45" x 58"

Friday, December 29, 2023

Sewing Room Friday, 12/29/23

Vinyl pouch sewing continued before Christmas. Most of these were purchased by friends for gifts.

I bought some fun vinyl that was based on a flowery dress worn by Taylor Swift during the Grammys. I also bought zipper pulls shaped like the stage from her Eras tour, and Eras labels. This was probably the pouch I enjoyed making the most. Of course, it went to my favorite Swiftie, Charlotte.

How do you safeguard your fabric scissors? 

Instagram says this is my Top Nine based on "likes". I like that our wedding photo made it into the mix.

Every year we use the same gift bags. Over and over. They were really starting to show their age. Last year I decided I wanted to replace them with lined drawstring bags made with Jeni Baker's pattern, which I have made probably a minimum of 30 times. It's a great pattern--highly recommended. 

I should have done a better job of time management, and started them earlier than five days before Christmas!! It's a great way to use favorite fabrics. I ended up making 14 Christmas bags and a fun Happy Birthday bag. Last Thursday, when I started cutting and sewing, I was really regretting my procrastination. But when the last drawstring was in and I just popped the presents in each bag, I was super happy I made them. Of course, you know what this means--next year, Christmas gifts will be purchased based on what fits in these bags! Haha.

I've gotten the bindings on six quilts. I finished five of them by machine--not my favorite look for quilt bindings. I think hand finished is definitely the way to go. But time doesn't always allow for that. And I really wanted to get Peppermint Village hung on the wall before Christmas.

And in the evenings while watching TV, I was able to finish all 132 granny squares! Now the daunting task of crocheting them together.
I plan to start doing more physical activity soon, but until then...

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Really Random Thursday, 12/28/23

 Wrapping it up for the year.

Anyone besides me?

Levi went to the winter formal. I dropped by just long enough to see him in his suit. Handsome guy.

Here's a weird holiday tradition. One of our favorite restaurants has this half-ram near the ceiling. They "decorate" it during the holidays, and for some reason I always want to eat here.
The other place we like to eat is at a place called the Galleria, where there are several different restaurants. The hallway, which has tables, is beautifully decorated. We had lunch here yesterday. 

This year our family celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve. 

We were so happy to have our niece, Liz, join us. We played what I think will become a new holiday tradition--Bunco. Have you ever played it? 

As Charlotte said, it's challenging but not complicated, well suited for all ages. You basically roll three dice at a time, starting with 1's. As long as you roll a 1, you get to keep going and adding points to your score. If you roll three of a kind of whatever number you playing, you get a Bunco worth 21 points. If you roll three of a kind but it's not the number you are playing, you get a mini Bunco worth 5 points. Play continues until the team at the head table gets up to 21 points. Then you switch partners and tables, and roll 2's, and so on. 

We added a fun bonus--anyone who rolled three 2's was deemed the "traveler" and got to wear the Christmas necklace until another person rolled three 2's. 

We began our tournament mid afternoon, then took a break to enjoy the Christmas Eve service at church, and then came back to finish. 

We had cash prizes. Ella was the big winner with most wins, then there was a prize for the person with the most losses, the most Buncos, the most baby Buncos, and the person wearing the traveling necklace when the game was finished. 
Dinner was enchiladas, salad and a delicious Cuban dish called arepas, basically cornmeal grilled cheese sandwiches--so yummy. (Aaron didn't want to give up the necklace so he wore it all through dinner.)
Aaron made festive drinks called Poinsettias.

Funniest gift--we got Ella this blanket that looked like a flour tortilla.

I bought these weird sodas, thinking we could have a taste test. Everyone passed on that idea. And I'm not sure what happened to the other three bottles. I think the missing flavors were ranch dressing, buffalo hot wings, and bacon. Maybe I do know why no one wanted to do a taste test...

Anyway, it was a great evening together, celebrating the birth of Jesus and being with those we love.