Taking the Swiss - Day Four

I change to leave to meet the others and a lace snaps in my fake boots, I forget my knee brace too and in the end I get there 10 minutes late. None of it really matters though as The Jew is on the phone, trying to locate his hitherto lost luggage.

After 15 minutes more of The Jew’s fruitless complaining over the phone, we leave to go snow-shoe walking, the age old pastime that in days gone by would have taken place on something like tennis rackets. These days the technology has evolved into a lightweight metal and carbon fibre shoe that, like a camel’s foot, spreads your weight over a greater area. The result is that your shoe size suddenly reaches about 100, but rather than pierce through the snow with your feet (as had happened to me over the past two days) you now stay close to the top of the shifting surface.
Naturally I worry about my disability, but I've become so guarded, so fearful, that ironically I'm the only one not to fall. The Jew, by comparison has a torrid time of trying to stay upright, frequently clipping his own heels like a shit amateur footballer trying to win a penalty. We head up into the forest along a dedicated snow-shoe route. The snow ahead of us is unspoiled, save for the tracks of an animal I presume to be a deer. After about 10 minutes, though, I find myself with the same defeatist attitude I'd had at the sledging. Meanwhile The Jew and guide marvel at how calm it is up here. They're right, of course, but my legs hurt and I'm going a bit snow blind. It's not a pleasant sensation – a bit like if you hold your breath a bit too long, or shout too loud or huff poppers from the very bottom of your lungs to absolute capacity: little sperm of confusion swim in my vision and I have difficultly focussing on anything in particular. After about an hour we start a precarious decent back to the village and I won't pretend that I'm anything but relieved.

We drop off our snow shoes and poles and walk back into town. The cloud is starting to break, if only slightly, and the snow has stopped for the first time in three days. This means I can get a proper look at Saas Fee for the first time. Truth be told, I'd been holding something against it, primarily that it simply wasn't Zermatt. Now I can actually see the place, though, I can't help but be amazed. The village sits in a comparatively low lying meander of mountains and as such is surrounded on three sides by awesomely high peaks. Knowing how long and dangerous the journey to get here was in a modern coach on a (relatively) modern road, I'm really amazed by the effort occasionally made by human kind. It reminds me of the lengths people go to get oil from the North Sea; every natural hint tells them to give up and yet they continue at extreme human and financial cost. In Saas Fee's case, I think I will always be grateful that they made those sacrifices.
We take a rickety ski lift to one of the northern slopes, in the shadow of The Dome, the highest peak in the Swiss Alps.

We get something to eat up there (more schnitzel for me) and it's predictably expensive – half an hour from anywhere else, high into the heavens, it's little wonder the host, friendly as he seems, charges what he likes.
Soon we're back down the slope and on another lift, this time a state-of-the-art gondola that can take can take up to 90 people. Within about eight minutes we've scaled another mountain, this time to over 3000m and we've barely got a chance to remark how thin the air is at this point before we're on an underground train yet further up the mountain. By the time we disembark, we're over 3500m high and it's hard not to feel a little dizzy. Really luckily for me, though, the cloud has broken, or at least we're so high above it that the views are... hell I don't even know how to describe it. I've never seen anything like it before: ordinarily remarkable mountains stretch below like puny sandcastles. Perhaps it’s the lack of oxygen, but I'm almost overwhelmed by it all.

Soon we're in side the world's highest revolving restaurant, which other than being quite warm is a bit unremarkable, the views are there anyway after all. Next we're being led inside the world's largest ice grotto, which is in fact a museum actually carved into the glacier that hangs above town. While the exhibits themselves aren't all that remarkable, the very fact I'm walking around inside millennia-old ice is astonishing. The place even has a chapel for those who are willing to drag a man of god high into the heavens.

The only downside comes when leaving. Suddenly starved of oxygen, walking up just 25 stairs becomes a distressing business. I feel light headed and struggle to take in enough air. Several times it feels like I've got a nose bleed. I'm not really worried, but it dawns on me how precarious life is in these conditions.
Too soon, though, it’s time to go. I genuinely don't want to leave and for once it's got nothing to do with
Dubai. This is a wonderful country that, completely away from the hassle and expense of skiing, has almost limitless things to offer. You can walk around doing nothing more than keeping your eyes open and be entertained all day. It's the sort of place I can imagine living one day, hell it's the sort of place I can imagine dying: coming home one night drunk, slipping in the snow, my knee giving way beneath as I tumble into a shallow ravine, lying their laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, then closing my eyes to rest – just for a second – as I'm slowly covered in white; my body discovered some time in the spring by a man walking his dog, naturally.

Whoo! Whee!

Have you checked out this issue yet? If not, run out now and buy it! I'm in this issue! My profile is in this issue and so is a special quilt design. Let me know what you think. Oh, if you want to buy a kit for this, contact Nadine at The Material Girls Quilts.

My "Believe" quilt is pictured in the article. Many of you have e-mailed to inquire about it. I am re-packaging it right now and it should be ready very soon. You can contact Kindred Quilts to purchase it when it is ready. I will let you know here and on my website.

The folks at American Patchwork & Quilting did a fabulous job! Thank you to Elizabeth, Nancy, Bryan and everyone else involved. They are an awesome group of people to work with. It has been interesting for me to look back and explore my past while reading this article and writing for the designer hop. Designing the "Believe" quilt seems like eons ago.

What's amazing is that I started my business almost ten years ago. What a wild journey! I can't believe that I've worked with Henry Glass for 8 years now! [I should say that it's been about 4 years with Henry Glass and four years with Chanteclaire Fabrics before it became part of Henry Glass.] Love you guys!

Do you want to hear something funny? [well, funny now but not then] See those long side applique panels? When my friend Steve was going to take the quilt top to Quilt Market, I discovered that I had appliqued them both facing in the same direction by mistake. They're supposed to be mirror images of each other. Well, I am anal and I admit it. I re-did one of the panels in THREE days. Was I crazy? Yes, because it was all hand applique.

Would you have sewn a new panel? Tell me I'm not that anal. Just a little compulsive. Let me know what you think about the article too! I'd love to hear from you.
xo, L

Holiday Shows

If you're in Portland, get ready to add a few more events to your already busy Holiday schedule:

**Thursday, December 3rd.

Holiday Party & Jewelry Trunk Show at my place. My roommate Marci (of Ginger Salon) and I are hosting a little get together complete with yummy holiday beverages, snacks and sweets. Come party and check out the newest Paper Treasure collections. Everyone is welcome (If you'd like to come please email me at: admin@papertreasure.net for my address/ directions). From 7-11pm (or later... who knows!)

**Friday, December 4th.

Paper Treasure Trunk Show at Flutter. Let's keep the festive drinks and treats coming! Come browse the lovelies at flutter and have a peek at my entire collection. From 5-8pm. 3948 N. Mississippi Ave. (Visit http://www.flutterclutter.com for info on additional trunk shows and parties throughout December).

**Sunday, December 13th.

Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale. I'll be there along with 100+ other talented Portland designers. Come see us and get all your shopping done in one swoop! 11am-7pm at the Oregon Convention Center 777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd. Exhibit Hall D. (For a complete list of vendors visit http://www.craftywonderland.com)

**You can also find brand new batches of Paper Treasure jewelry locally at Noun and Xtabay.

*******Happy Holidays!**********Hope to See You Soon!************

Shop, Eat, Shop, Eat

Did you have a wonderful holiday weekend? I sure did! We ate and ate. Then my girlfriend, Roopa, dragged me out of bed at 2:30 a.m. to go shopping. Ok, husbands can stop listening now. Yes, we shopped and shopped. We didn't get carried away. In fact, we got all of our holiday shopping done and we got great deals.

After Black Friday was finished, I was done shopping. I was in browse mode. You know,  looking for inspiration. I found it in Anthropologie. They're so innovative and creative. I saw a lot of rosettes.

More rosettes. Are you liking them yet?

Ruffles are still hot.

One bored but patient husband! Sorry the pics aren't so great. I forgot to charge my camera so I had to use my cell phone camera. You get the point.

I love paper chains!

Leave it to the folks at Anthropologie to have a larger-than-life turkey. Did I ever tell you that I had a nightmare of an egret attacking me when I was pregnant? Ok, I digress. Another day perhaps. Well, this bird reminded me of that egret.

Over at Platypus, I saw lots of curly toes but we don't need to buy one, right? I know that you're going to make my  Sweet Stocking.

Hurry up and finish up your shopping so that you can slow down, relax and enjoy all that this inspiring season offers us. xo, L

Turkey Talk, Winners And Gratitude

I'm in a silly mood. It has been crazy and non-stop today. I don't know why especially since we're not doing anything special for Thanksgiving. My sister, her family and my Mom, can't make it here from Toronto until next week. It's probably because I spent last night cutting up turkey kits for 20 out of construction paper for Little A's class party. I do not want to see a turkey in any way, shape or form until next Thanksgiving. Gobble, gobble, gobble. The little one's class party was a hit and so were our turkeys. 

Check out the turkey that Big A made last year [above]. So cute! See the fabric? Great stash buster and the kids love to have the bird hanging around all year round.

Today [and everyday!] I'm thinking about gratitude. This year my family and I were able to express our gratitude in a different way thanks to the awesome Ree of The Pioneer Woman. You should run out and buy her new cookbook. If you're lucky, you'll be able to see her at one of her book signings.

I won Photoshop CS4 from Ree a while back. There was a mix-up and I ended up receiving two copies. I wrote to her to tell her about the extra copy and she generously told me to keep it and donate it to someone who needed it. How AWESOME is that? Thank you, Ree, for your amazing generosity in all that you share with your readers.

Now, who would I donate it to? The question wasn't hard to answer. My sons are very lucky men. Their librarian, Mrs. Cathy Ahart, is a wonderful librarian but Adam has been blessed twice because he had her for his first grade teacher. She is a gem and the teacher you always want your child to have.  Here's a part of the speech that my son wrote [all by himself!] and presented to the Board of Education that sums up how my family feels about her:

     "Mrs. Ahart, thank you for being the teacher that you are."

Here we are at the Board of Education meeting.
From left, Mrs. Ahard, me, Adam and principal, Mr. Katz.

Thank you, Mrs. Ahart.

I'm thankful for you too, dear readers. I enjoy sharing bits and pieces of my designing life with you and are so happy that you are along for the ride. The other Cross-Country Designers and I thank you for sharing the stroll down memory lane with us last week.

On to some exciting business! I got a fabulous package from the good folks at Martingale & Co. today! Yippee! That means that I have winners to announce today. Here they are:

1. Stina 9:51 a.m. "Thanks for sharing ... In Sweden we don't have the tradition with stockings ... but I think it is a wonderful tradition ... got my first stocking last year ... and long to fill it up with something nice just for me."

2. Becky 4:10 p.m. "Thanks for introducing us to your family, books and creations! Love your book titles! Will look for them in my LQS. This blog hop has been fantastic. Again, Thank you!"

Congratulations! Thank you Martingale & Co., Henry Glass Fabrics, and American Patchwork & Quilting! p.s. See that book "Skinny Quilts & Table Runner II" above? I contributed a table runner in the book. Go and check it out! All of the other designers did a fabulous job!

I hear that my profile is out now. It's in the latest issue of American Patchwork & Quilting [Feb. 2010] issue. Let me know what you think!

Happy Thanksgiving! xo, L

Today Is An Awesome Day!

Thanks so much again for visiting our blog hop. It was so much fun, wasn't it? This weekend I really missed it a lot. Did you miss me? I missed you a lot too! I enjoyed reading all of your posts and was tickled that so many of you would share your memories with us. I hope that you will come back often. 

I had so much to do and so much running around  today so it wasn't so bad. I started to think about making a few things in the next little while. It's always a fun and dangerous thing when my mind starts designing. I'll let you know what I come up with, ok?

I've been hearing from a few of you about seeing my profile in American Patchwork and Quilting. I can't wait to see it. I've seen the proofs but it's always fun to see the real thing. Let me know what you think! See those birdies up there? I designed those for APQ last year. I love them and they're so easy to make.

Now, for the real reason that you are here. We have some winners!

Now, for the big blog hop contest. I know that's what you are hear for! The winners are:

1st grand prize goes to:  Thea M www.theamccurry.com
2nd grand prize goes to: Arlette from Costa Rica http://arlette0521.blogspot.com
3rd grand prize goes to: What Comes Next http://round22.blogspot.com

Much congratulations to the winners. Please verifiy and e-mail Gudrun at gudrun@gequiltdesigns with your shipping info and she'll take care of shipping the awesome prizes.

Another Chance to Win!
That's right, we are giving you another chance to win some of the prizes in the photo above. If you post your finished project on the Flickr site by Tuesday, December 1st, you will be entered into a drawing. One lucky person will receive some goodies. Instructions on how to upload the photos are on the Flickr page. Good luck! Let's get the machines whirring!

Oh, I didn't forget about my little contest. I've been waiting for the goods so that I can take a photo of them for you. I will try to post the winners by tomorrow.

In case you were wondering. I haven't lost my mind. Blogger is acting up today.
xo, L

Taking the Swiss - Day Three

I spend most of the train journey down to Stalden reading as I'd already taken in most of the splendour on the way up. Next I transfer onto a bus up to Saas Fee at 1800m. I really, really wish I had some credit in my phone to send some nervous goodbyes; the journey is all winding, icy roads and sheer drops and while the driver would probably claim to be confident yet competent, I flinch a couple of times at what I perceive as recklessness.
Somehow we stay on the road, though, and, just as we had left precisely on time, so we arrive at the exact minute we are supposed to. And what awaits is certainly a pretty place.

I fish my bag from the guts of the coach and head out into town before stopping after a couple of yards and realising I have absolutely no idea where I'm going. Worse, I've also left my itinerary in Zermatt. Think, what was the name....?

“Ferienart, Ferienart, Ferienart,” says a guy next to me like he's trying to rouse Beetlejuice.
By odd coincidence that's the very name that I couldn't remember and he's standing next to his wife, trying to find it on a town map. I explain my situation; theirs is exactly the same. Naturally they speak English – hooray for Empire. My new friend heads inside to ask for directions and soon we're walking and talking as we head to the Ferienart. They're from
Switzerland, he's a cop and she's in real estate. They've come for a weekend away from the kids, though by the look of them, they could well be expecting another by the time they check out.
“So you've not come to ski then?” I ask hoping for a quote to jam in my thus far shapeless piece.
“No,” he says. Ya beezer! Down with skiing!
“No, we have a glacier next to our house, so we are taking a break from that too,” she adds. Boo.
We all check in together and shoot the breeze for half an hour over a glass of wine. Their room isn't ready yet, though, so I pardon myself and let the receptionist give me a guided tour of the place.
It's probably not as luxurious as the Zermatterhof, though it has a much more authentic Swiss feel; it's constructed largely from wood and has a lot of fireplaces and animal heads and enormous chunks of quartz. I'm shown to my room, which is on the top floor, a luxury double that ordinarily costs £300 a night. It's stupidly big considering I'm only going to be staying there one night and I'm alone (bizarrely there's a jacuzzi bath right in the middle of the room too) but I'm not exactly going to ask to be downgraded.
On the way, the concierge complains about the bad weather: “bad” for Swiss people is when it snows, and each time I hear it called that I want to drag them by their hair to
Scotland and let them see the endless dreich shitfest everyone must suffer 300 days a year.

Anyway, I wind up being late for a meeting with someone from the tourist board and she's quite obviously a little annoyed about it. I've to be back in the lobby for 5:50pm – “That's 5:50pm, OK?” – to go on the next adventure.
When I get to the lobby though I'm surprised when introduced to a travel writer from Tel Aviv. He has a very similar programme to mine but he is not a happy man; he took advantage of a new service to have luggage shipped directly to your hotel and it has not arrived. Alas for him.
We are taken to meet the rest of our party and when Moeshe tentatively asks about
Dubai (as an Israeli Jew, he can never visit), one of the party whips round;
“Excuse me, did you say
Dubai? We've just come from there.”
“Commiserations.” I'm just in the mood for this – to tear strips off the place with someone who also lives there. She's so nice, though, it doesn't really happen. Besides, she's made an enormous decision to uproot and head there and the last thing she probably needs is a fat-headed mope like me slagging off her new life. She's on a snowboarding holiday with her boyfriend (he too works in Dubai) and her brother who works in Switzerland Monday to Friday and goes home to London on the weekends. Bizarre.

Our guide stops us to explain what's happening: we've got a hike through a forest to reach an old farmhouse, once we get there we'll be greeted by Bridget, who will serve us traditional fondue, wine and maybe some schnapps, but before we begin, here's a torch to light – we need it to find the way.

After about 20 minutes we reach a small wall that we have to jump over and into a field of pure, virgin snow. Beautiful as it looks, I sink to my nuts wearing jeans and only two pairs of socks. This, though, is considerably better than the unfortunate brother, who is wearing trainers for lord only knows what reason. However, save for a couple of slips, everyone stays upright and before long we've reached Bridget's grotto.
It's real fairytale stuff, a building that's over 250 years old, cauldrons of fondue bubbling away, people warming their hands on the fire. We're all sat round a bit table; two journalists, three Brits and a German couple who have virtually no chance of getting themselves heard all night. I try my best to include them in the conversation, but it is inevitably swept up by talk of
Dubai. All in all though, it's a Proper Adult Conversation and, most uncharacteristically, I don't embarrass myself or at least if I do, I don't notice.
After three glasses of wine and a bellyful of melted cheese, we're given some schnapps and the moment it splashes down on top of the cheese, I worry that I'm going to vomit into the German woman's curly grey hair.

Now all a bit drunk, we're given back the gift of fire.

The brother insists on playing with a Mongolian camel that Bridget keeps at the top of her farm; Thingby and I talk about inequality in Dubai; the German couple walk arm in arm along the forest path. Our torches shimmer in the dark, but with a fat full moon shining on the blanket of snow, we don't really need them. This is all good, I like this.

Taking the Swiss - Day Two

I can barely remember the last time I went sledding, but I have a feeling it may have been a little over a decade ago on the slope near some local woods. That, as I remember, was pretty fun, but anything I may have learned about its practicalities have evidently been forgotten. I meet my German wearing the following:

A pair of fake North Face boots
Two pairs of socks, one pair bought from Carrefour in Dubai, the other stolen from a friend, or possibly my brother.
One pair of boxers so old I have no idea of there origin. Perhaps my mum bought me them.
Jeans: TK Maxx
A t-shirt: H&M
A polo shirt: a leaving gift
A zip-up top: TK Maxx
A hoody: stolen from my brother
A waterpoof jacket: also stolen from my brother.
The moment I arrive the German clocks me for the obvious dick I am.
“I do not think those are optimal,” she says of my jeans in pitying, broken English. They are also rightly concerned that I don't have gloves. Before we can leave, then, we have to go and get me some equipment. Of course I knew this before I arrived, but this whole en piste lifestyle is a bit beyond my means - £50 for a pair of gloves that I may never use again seems rather extortionate. Thankfully this stinginess pays off and the German stumps up the price of a pair of inferior gloves for herself, then hands me her quality mittens and expensive shades.
A short while later we're on a train up the mountain to begin. I have a traditional wooden sled, while she has opted for plastic. Having a colossal head and below-average size feet mean that my existence and balance have never really got on too harmoniously. Despite this though, I have been skiing. Once. I must have been about 14 at the time and went with a merry band of classmates to Glenshee.

We got there and a combination of my woeful balance, the awkwardness of being a teenager and an innate laziness meant that I quickly fell out of love with skiing. After half an hour of making a nominal effort, things quickly fell into snowball fighting, lectures from the teachers and a general “does not work well with others” attitude that I have been trying to perfect my entire life.
So regardless of the fact my knee would snap like a breadstick if I attempted it, I don't ski, nor will I ever ski. In fact, I'll never ice skate either. Partly because I am a cripple, but moreover because I don't give cat's cock about it. To me “good powder” means something very different indeed, and if I want to be scared and exhilarated I'll watch a decent film or get naked in front of a mirror.

Twenty minutes of an uphill train ride later and we have reached our destination. The first thing to note is that getting a sled started is quite difficult – I throw out so many pelvic thrusts I look like the horniest man in the world who's lost his dick and doesn't know it. After a few fruitless minutes of this unsightly grinding, I get going, some distance behind my Aryan playmate. The lack of control is amazing and the feeling of dazzling incompetence only slightly outweighs that of frustration. It's not long before I'm arse over tit in a snow drift, blinded, uncertain and angry. I want to give in after one tumble – journalistic box ticked, it's time to go home. But once you start one of these descents, you are, short of evacuation by helicopter, bound to finishing the course.

I put my shades back on, sort myself out and get going again. Less than 30 seconds later I've wiped out once more, this time landing like an inverted ostrich, my head sticking out the top of a mound of snow, eyes blinking into the void. After another furious five minutes like this it dawns on me: the crashes are part of what makes this fun and so long as I don't aggravate the fragile biscuit I have for a knee, I might as well enjoy it.

A couple of hours later we are back in Zermatt. It's been snowing all day and it looks like God has gone buckwild with a foam cannon; fluffy globs of snow cling to every surface in town. I nip back to the hotel and collect my camera.

The results are pretty mixed, but the undoubted highlight is a shot of some school kids one the way home: the girls all cower in embarrassment when they see the camera, two of the boys pose and the last one throws a snowball at me.

I do this until my hands are too cold to continue, then head back to the Zermatterhof to try their Wellness facilities. The manager gives me permission to take some shots while I'm down there.

I start in the hot room. There is no steam in here, it's just overwhelmingly hot. Sweat immediately leaks from every pore - the temperature gauge reads 78C. It can apparently go up to 90C but even at this heat it feels like I am slowly dying. I leave after what I think is 10 minutes (it's more like three) when my eyes begin to feel like pickled onions on a barbecue.
Next is the steam room, which is pretty standard, but far less brutal than the hot room. After that is the Alpine room, which if anything is a little dull – not very warm, not very steamy. Finally there's the ice room, which is something pretty new to me. It's about -6C inside, but perhaps because my body temperature is already high, it really doesn't feel too cold. All the while I take photos and pose like the sort of preening, narcissistic shit bag I profess to hate.

I'm supposed to be going out to dinner alone, but I don't really feel like it. Instead I open a bottle of wine and gnaw on some schnitzel I picked up at the shop earlier. I spend over an hour just looking out the window, sipping and gnawing. Mark Twain came here to write; I can understand why.

The whole time the knowledge that I'll soon be back in Dubai looms somewhere in a corner of the room and, like ugly guilt, I know that sooner or later I'll have to accept its presence. For the time being, though, I ignore it and just sit with the wine, getting steadily drunk, happy to be such a lucky, lucky bastard.

Day 12: Crafting - It's My Day!

Hi everyone!

Thanks for joining us for the last day of our Cross-Country Designer Blog Hop. It has been deliriously fun, hasn't it? Please remember to comment on the FEATURED DESIGNER'S Day in order to be eligible for the grand prize drawing. If you've missed some days, that's ok. Just click on the links on my sidebar and start reading. You have until Sunday night to submit your comments. That way you can go through everyone's featured day and leave a comment in order to be eligible for the grand prize. On Monday we will draw names of the winners and we'll all check our blogs to make sure that the winner has filled the requirement of commenting on everyone's blog. Then, on Tuesday, Gudrun [and the rest of us] will announce the winner! Good luck!

For those of you who don't know me, I am Linda Lum DeBono. I am a designer and author. I've designed fabric for the wonderful folks at Henry Glass and Co. I have written books on quilting, knitting and scrapbooking for Martingale & Co./That Patchwork Place and Leisure Arts. I've contributed to American Patchwork and Quilting, Quilts and More and other publications. Here's some more tidbits for those who are new here!

I'm from Toronto, Canada but I now live in NJ with this swell guy, my husband, Reno. As you know well by now, I also have two little boys, Adam and Alex, and we love to have fun!

I've written two books and have just contributed to one recently for the wonderful people at Martingale and Co.

I also write for the terrific folks at Leisure Arts. My latest book, Jolly Stuff [pub. Leisure Arts ] should be hitting your local quilt shop very soon. I hope that you enjoy it!

I have designed fabric for Henry Glass Fabrics in NYC for 8 years now! Love them! My latest line is Inspiration.

I have a lot of fun and exciting things coming up in the next year. Sometime very soon you will see a profile of me in the February 2010 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. [I think in the next two weeks or so.] I can't wait! You will have to check out some of the designs that I've done for the magazine in future issues! I'll be sure to let you know! Phew! I think that that's enough of me.

Sweet Stocking [approx. 12" x 22"]

Now, let's get to my design for today. I hope that you love my stocking!

You will need:
1/2 yard lime green for the stocking front and back exterior
1/2 yard of your choice for the lining
2 fat quarters of different stripes
coordinating thread


Download the template here.
From the lime green fabric, cut:
1 stocking front
1 stocking back [reverse the stocking template]

From the lining fabric, cut:
1 stocking front
1 stocking back [reverse the stocking template]
From the red fabric, cut:
1 ruffle, 6 1/2" x 42" - then trim in half lengthwise to yield two strips, 6 1/2" x 21"


Fold your exterior fabric together, selvage to selvage right sides together. Cut out the stocking template. Do the same for the lining fabric.

Follow manufacturer's directions and fuse the candy canes to the front of the stocking. Stitch around the candy cane applique with a zig zag/satin or any other decorative stitch. Make sure that you have some stabilizer behind the applique when you're doing this step.

Next, layer the front of the stocking with a piece of batting on the wrong side of the fabric. Quilt the stocking as desired. Swirls, loops and circles are always fun! Repeat for the back of the stocking. Trim excess batting away.

Fold the ruffle strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press. Open up the piece and fold in at each end 1/2". Stitch the ends with a 1/4" seam allowance. Use a needle and hand-stitch with a large running stitch at the raw edge of the strip. Pull the thread and gather to form ruffles. Repeat for the other red strip.

Pin the ruffle to the top edge of the stocking with the raw edges aligned 1/4" in from each side edge. Stitch together with a scant 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat for the back of the stocking.

With right sides facing, pin the front of the stocking to the matching lining. Repeat with the back of the stocking. Stitch across the top edge of the front of the stocking and lining. Repeat for the top edge of the back of the stocking and the lining.

Open up the stocking/lining pieces. Pin the front/lining piece with the back/lining piece with right sides facing. Stitch all around and leave a 4" opening for turning. Turn right side out and hand-sew the opening closed.

Push the lining back inside the stocking. Stitch a 1/4" across the top of the stocking body.
Hand-stitch the ribbon to the inside of the stocking. Overlap each end of the ruffle from the front and the back ruffle. Sew a small black button or just a plain stitch to hold the front ruffle to the back ruffle. Repeat for the other side of the ruffle.
There you have it! Your very own candy cane Sweet Stocking!

Today is also "Crafting" day. I love crafting. When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with making pop-up cards. I had several Japanese crafts books that had patterns to make the cards. I'm itching to make some more cards. I will have to dig out the books to show you just how cool they are. I bought this little one at a store in the Mitsuwa plaza in Edgewater, NJ.

I make these silhouette seating cards out of fabric and paper. The kids love to walk around the table and try to guess who will be sitting in that seat.

We have been glitter crazy this year. We covered the clam shells that we had and then I went outside to pick up some pine cones. Guess what got the royal glitter treatment?

Remember to check out my free designs page on my website here .

Last year, my friend Joanne helped me make these easy peasy wreaths for our school library. Just wrap some styrofoam balls with yarn. Then glue down in an alternating fashion, the ornaments and the yarn balls. Cool, right?

Thanks so much for hopping around with us. It has been a blast but more importantly, I have enjoyed it on a personal level. I have been enriched by reading the stories of my fellow wonderful designers. I know the super-talented Heather Mulder Peterson , Pat Sloan , Carrie Nelson and Roseann Kermes . I look forward to meeting the other fab and talented women at Quilt Market next year, Gudrun Erla [I thank you for organizing this awesome experience for everyone], Terry Atkinson , Terri Degenkolb , Sherri Falls , Pam Viera McGinnis , Sandy Gervais , and Kari Carr . Please visit their sites for their crafting stories today.

I thank you, dear readers, for sharing your stories too. We have all enjoyed reading them and your willingness to share them have made our efforts worthwhile. Special thanks to Sew Mama Sew and True Up for letting their readers know of our blog hop. Sew Mama Sew has a Handmade Holidays series going on now. Check it out! Too fun!

I am having a giveaway today. I'm splitting up the prizes and I will draw two winners:

* Fat quarter stack of Inspiration
* Several quilt books generously donated by my wonderful publishers, Martingale & Co.
* Some more fabric,  generously donated by the terrific folks at Henry Glass and Co.
* 2010 Calender/Instruction booklet and a copy of Bags, Pillows & Pincushions, generous donated by my awesome friends at American Patchwork & Quilting

Good luck everyone!

The most important thing that this blog hop has done for me is open the door to many memories. Sometimes we get caught up in the everyday and we forget the little things that matter to us. Create a little magic this holiday and I'll see you very soon.  xo, L