U CUT $10

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So many trees to choose from!

 

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“Here’s a cute little Charlie Brown Christmas tree.”

 

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“How about this one? It’s nice and full for it’s size.”

 

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“Do you think this one will fit in the living room?”

 

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“Here it is. The perfect tree!”

 

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“Cut in record time—27 seconds!”

 

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 Camelia has always been intrigued with tractors and just had to get on the tractor.  This goes back to her mom driving a tractor.

 

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Ruby Gardenhire driving a tractor.

 

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Such a perfect Christmas tree!

 

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Mr. Board and Jim putting a net on the tree.

U CUT $10

I grew up in the Texas Panhandle where trees are scarcer than hen’s teeth. Cutting our own Christmas was something I’d always dreamed of. On our first Christmas in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this dream finally became reality. With much excitement and great anticipate, we drove to a Christmas tree farm to cut our tree. The signs leading to the farm said, “U CUT $10.” 

I told Jim, “This must be for the tiny Charlie Brown trees and the larger ones will cost more.” 

When we arrived, the owner said, “It is real simple you pick your tree, I give you a saw, you cut it and they’re all $10.” 

It had been a long time since we had a real tree. Jim remembers buying trees when he was a kid in the 60’s and they were $25 at that time. I took gobs of photos and asked Mr. Board a lot of questions. We went through all the trees and finally made a decision on the most beautiful one. As Jim started to saw, I took his picture. The photo was not up to my standards since he was under the tree and I could not see him. He was so close to the ground that I decided to plop down on my belly and get “the perfect action photo.”  As I looked through the viewfinder and before I could get the camera into focus, the tree fell to the ground. So much for my perfect picture, plus I still had to work my way off the frigid, icy earth which I had become one with.

I told Jim, “Good night in the morning, I certainly thought it would take longer than THAT to saw down a tree.” He boasted about his fast tree sawing abilities and how he won a “sawing contest” when he worked in construction. The record to saw a board in half was 115 seconds. He broke the record at 27 seconds!  All the guys he worked with and especially the one he was in competition with were so furious at him that their mouths dropped to the ground and they turned around and walked off.

I told the owner of tree farm that I had a strange question for him and asked if I could cut some rhododendron leaves and pick tiny red berries that I found up in the woods, to use for a table arrangement. Mr. Board was generous and told me to take what I needed. When I asked him what we owned him, he refused to charge me anything for the leaves and berries. Jim tried to give him more, but he replied, “No, the tree is $10.”  

What a delightful afternoon we had at the tree farm as we enjoyed the smell of the fresh cut tree all the way home!

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Merry Colonial Christmas

I had a delightful time at the Colonial Christmas Tea at Smithfield Plantation, established in 1774. I love being in Virginia and attending events of this nature. It is especially fun during the holidays. Everything was scrumptious but the sweet potato biscuits with ham spread and raspberry tea were my favorite!  Using natural greenery, fruit and feathers, Smithfield Plantation creates wreaths reminiscent of yesteryear. For more info about Smithfield Plantation in Blacksburg, Virginia visit http://www.smithfieldplantation.org/

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A Good Lesson Learned

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I have been working on “Camelia’s Kaleidoscope Flower Garden” for a few days.  Yesterday, I pieced eleven blocks.  Today I’m cutting out and piecing the sashing and cornerstones.  I accidentally arranged the blocks incorrectly.  It’s amazing how different the wall hanging looks.  Which layout do you like best?  This is a good lesson for future reference—layout out blocks in a different manner and see if you like it better.  I also discovered that it is helpful to take a photo of both layouts and study them on your phone or computer.

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I had a thought about chain piecing all of the sashing and cornerstones (the rows that go in between the block rows) and decided to give it a try.  It worked out well!  I guess this technique could be called “the mother of all chain stitching”.  

What new quilting ideas have you tried that worked out well?

Quilting Tools Used for Other Purposes

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I’m just curious—have you ever used quilting tools for other purposes?  I have and they really come in handy!  I use my rotary cutter, mat and quilting rulers for cutting paper.  Don’t cringe.  I have a rotary cutter for fabric and one for paper, same as my “fabric scissors” and “paper scissors”.

We live in the mountains where it gets really cold. For several winters, we nearly froze to death before installing our wood burning stove.  We have a heat pump but it does not keep us warm when the temperatures drop below freezing.  We installed the chimney ourselves.  When my husband needed to cut the square hole in the ceiling, he was stumped on how to get it perfect.  The ceiling is on a slope, which made it more complex.  I had an idea and drew a pattern for him with my quilting tools (rotary cutter, mat and quilting rulers).  I drew the pattern onto freezer paper (another item that I use for hand stitching needle turn appliqué) and had him pin it to the ceiling with my quilting pins.  It worked perfectly. 

Another tool in my sewing room that comes in handy when I’m canning is the magnetic wand that picks up pins.  I purchased a gadget at my local hardware store to pick up canning lids out of hot boiling water, but it did not do near as good of a job as the magnetic wand from my sewing room.

I’d love to hear your comments about what other purposes you use quilting tools for.

Camelia’s Kaleidoscope Flower Garden

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I’m excited about designing and publishing another quilt pattern!  It’ll be called “Camelia’s Kaleidoscope Flower Garden” and will be available in wall hanging and all bed sizes.  There is only one block and the layout creates a kaleidoscope effect throughout the quilt.  My friend, Mary Ellen Futch and I are creating some YouTube tutorials that I’m thrilled about.  You can look forward to the following subjects: Demystifying Y-Seams, Easy Paper Piecing Method and Quick Needle Threading Technique.