Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Christmas Tradition

This is my Christmas Tradition.....It is kind of long to read but it may just be what you or someone you know may need to get thru the holidays...

Christmas time for most of us is our favorite time of year but for many it becomes a very sad and difficult time to struggle thru after you have lost a loved one. Please read what I have to share with you so that you may find your Christmas spirit again. Perhaps you have not lost a loved one...Well then maybe you can share this with some one that has and make a big difference in their holiday.

I lost my Dad 15 yrs ago and found that Christmas had a whole different meaning now. Instead of the the warm holiday spirit that my family always enjoyed with a great passion it was replaced with such a huge sadness and painful emptiness that was unbearable and seemed to grow worse when each holiday rolled around.

I began what I call my Christmas tradition that has helped me find my Christmas spirit and with each year it has grown and once again I am able to enjoy the holidays. It all began a few years after I lost my Dad......I still had to go thru the motions of Christmas because I had two little girls and so tried very hard to hide my pain. I used to love Christmas but now had grown to hate this time of year. I had to shop for Christmas gifts for the children but avoided the Christmas department with all the decorations and such like they were selling the plague! And then they would play that Christmas music thru out the store that was sure to have me standing in the middle of Walmart crying my eyes out. Sound familiar, or perhaps It's just me.

It is kind of hard to buy wrapping paper with out entering the dreaded Christmas department so I intended to make this quick. As I made my way back down the aisle with paper in hand a little gold trumpet caught my eye, not that I was looking for anything but it kind of jumped out at me and said, DAD! My father was a musician and among the many intstruments he played the trumpet was what he had played since he was a young boy. Tears welled up in my eyes and felt the urge to just flee out of the store but instead I picked up the little trumpet and wept in the middle of Walmart yet again.

I bought the ornament and hung it on my tree that year. I still had many episodes of tears thru out that holiday but each time I looked at Dad's trumpet hanging on the tree I felt as though in a way he was with me that year. The little gold trumpet is a tribute to his memory and began the healing of my Christmas spirit. I have since each year bought an ornament or some sort of decoration in memory of my Dad.
I can't tell you how much that has helped me and brings a warm and happy feeling to my heart each year. I am doing something with that grief and have found a way to still include my Dad's memory in my holiday celebration! He would not have wanted me to let my holiday spirit die with him.

I since have lost my Mother as well and each year I buy an angel in memory of her. Many others have adopted my tradition the past couple years and found that this has helped them as well and with each year their hearts and Christmas spirit heals a little more with each holiday. In addition to our 7 ft tree with all the trimmings I now have a tree especially for all those "tradition ornaments" that I call my tribute tree. It is a little not quite 3 ft artificial tree that I sit on the end of my dining room table that sits in front of the window. It takes me about 3 hours to decorate it each year with the many ornaments I have collected for Dad, Mom and a few other loved ones. It does not make me sad but is decorated with love and great memories of each person and pet.

Yes....I even have ornaments in memory of my horse Cherokee and "Gumpy" my cat.
Hey, what ever helps us thru a difficult time, I say, do it! Our pets become as family members and is painful to lose as well. Gumpy had a favorite green bulb he would steal off the tree. He is no longer with us but his favorite bulb is still hung on the tree inspite of all the scratches on it. I wrote his name with Elmers Glue on the bulb and sprinkled glitter on it so it now bears his name.

I know that you are probably thinking nothing could help the dreadful pain you are feeling with each day as the holidays approach but believe me you would be surprised how a tiny symbol of your love and memory of your loved one will give you just the little shove you need to begin to heal. My Aunt Mary loved Cardinals so my cousin Judy buys something with cardinals each Christmas. Think of something that reminds you of that person and go buy that ornament today. I know that I can not be the only person that has stood in a department store during the holidays with tears in her eyes.

Share this post with anyone you like. My hope is that my tradition will help others this holiday. If you would like to contact me about my
tradition email me at mycherokee@earthlink.net

p.s. I have shared my tradition every year for about 12years and have heard back from so many people that decided to join in my Christmas Tradition and found it very helpful thus it became my Tradition.....

Corry Geissinger

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Been a While.....

Well I know it has been a while since I have posted on my blog. The last I wrote I was starting to quilt the Antique Car quilt I have been working on over the summer. I had hoped to have it done long ago but...Well it took much longer than planned. I really took my time with the quilting as it was the first time I actually have quilted a quilt with the exception of the Sun Bonnet Sue which was done only with "stitch in the ditch".

I had a few health issues over the summer that held me up quite a bit on my sewing but that is all behind me and I completed the quilting and the binding. Monday I made a quilt label and hope to put that on the quilt today and the Antique Car quilt will be done.

I am going to create a tab for this quilt in the right hand column of my blog. I hope you will take the time to click on over to the page for this quilt and check out the photos of the completed quilt.

I am so glad I decided to quilt it myself although I was extremely nerveous to begin with. I was afraid to start because of my lack of experience and did not want to ruin all my work. It turned out well and I learned alot and have alot more confidence now. I am still not ready to stipple but there will come a day when I will conquer that fear and perfect that technique.

Not sure what my next project will be yet but for now will publish a page for the Antique Car quilt....don't forget to check it out.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Quilting Today....

I started quilting the Antique Car quilt that I have been working on yesterday.

This quilt has machine embroidered antique cars in the blocks and will be given to my Father in Law when finished. I have been putting off the quilting of this quilt for a while. I don't have alot of experience doing the quilting myself but I have to start somewhere don't I. I so far am doing stitch in the ditch. This is going good so far.

I ordered some templets a few weeks ago to use on the outer borders. The background quilting inside the block is what I am not comfortable with. I have been practicing but not getting the hang of it so far. My stippling looks pretty sad but I am going to still work at it. I heard somewhere to practice on paper doing the design and then it will come easier when I am using the machine. I plan to try that and see if it helps....will let ya know.
When I get this quilt done I will take some photos and let ya'll take a peek before I give it to Pop.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Design Wall this Monday....

The past week I have been working on some blocks that I needed to make for an exchange in the Quilters Board. I have gotten behind on my blocks and need to get caught up on this.

The first blocks I made are a bird theme. I found my block designs at the quilters Cache on the internet. These two blocks are called Squares and Stars

This block was also from quilters Cache and is called Lovers Knot. I like the way this one turned out.

This last one was paper pieced and is from the Carol Doak web site. The design is called Laced Star Variation.

I really enjoy doing paper piecing although these blocks are more time consuming but they turn out nice. One more block to make tomorrow and then I am back to work on the Antique car quilt.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What a Week.....

Good Sunday Morning...... Not a whole lot accomplished this week as far as my sewing. The Florida weather has been consistant in keeping me from using my sewing machines. I have started to just take that time to sit in the recliner with my Christmas quilt I am hand quilting and have gotten alot done on that this week.

Inbetween storms I have made a few quilt blocks for an exchange I am in. They have turned out nicely. At my thursday sewing group I again worked on my handquilting.

I have not been able to set up this blog as I had wanted but changed some things around this weekend. Instead of getting to one page for My Quilts from a tab at the top I have a tab for each quilt I have made under a My Quilts title in the column on the right of this page. Last night I added "My Horse Quilt" to my blog with sort of a story behind my horse quilt and what has inspired me to make this quilt. Rarely have I made a quilt that was just made because I saw some pretty fabric. At least so far I usually make a quilt for someone reflecting something about that person or something they really like. So if you have the time check out my Horse Quilt page from the link on the right.

My cousin Judy from Ft. Lauderdale came for a visit yesterday. She always has a goodie bag for me and it sure felt like christmas yesterday. She brought me the cutest little hummingbird figurine that will hang in my sewing room. I love birds and my favorites are Hummingbirds, Cardinals, Chickadees and as far as real birds I have 2 cockatiels.

She brought me several yards of an assortment of Christmas fabrics. My favorite she brought has a green background with sparkly Hershey kisses all over it. During the holidays I always have a little Christmas sleigh full of hershey kisses in it.

The most exciting thing she brought me is my Aunt Mary's quilt she pieced probably more than 50 yrs ago. For some reason she never finished this quilt. It has the backing and batting basted on it but it was never quilted. It is beautifully appliqued and will be an honor for me to finish it for her. My Aunt Mary has long passed away and the quilt, when I am finished will go to my cousin Judy. Judy used to quilt with her Mother but just can't bring herself to quilt now without Aunt Mary so I offered to hand quilt this for her. Later today I will add photos of this quilt.

I plan to remove the batting and backing and use new batting and buy some muslin for a new backing too. I need to wash this quilt as it looks discolored but am not too sure if that is a good idea and what to use to wash it. Not sure if I really should go ahead and quilt it first or if it would be alright to wash it before hand. Even though it has been in storage all these years it has 50 some years of "something" (discoloration or yellowing) on it. If anyone has any suggestions on trying to refurbish this quilt, please contact me at corrygeissinger@earthlink.net

I am hoping to be able to spend the day sewing today. I want to finish the blocks for the block exchange I am in if weather permits. Later.....my Friends.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Good Tuesday Morning.....

Well good tuesday morning to you. It has to be a good day since my plans are to sew all day. I should be able to finish piecing the antique Car quilt today with the last border to go now. Then I can think about quilting it. That has me nervous as I am unsure of how I want to machine quilt it. Any suggestions are welcome.

I am still trying to get this blog organized. I added a button up near the top that takes you to my quilts. I have photos of my first two quilts I made and the story about the Unicorn quilt I made for my step daughter. It starts out rather tragic as her house burned down one cold December morning just two weeks before Christmas. No one was injured in the fire but she lost everything which inspired me to make this quilt.

I worked for a whole year on this quilt in secret which for this family is impossible to keep anything a secret but I did it. Well you just have to read the story and of course there are plenty of photos.

I did leave one thing out of the story. While at my thursday sewing group a lady came and informed us of a local quilt show to be held. Well after she left most of the ladies told me I needed to enter the Unicorn quilt!! I said, "I don't even have it, I gave it to Melissa. It is hers now". Well I asked her if I could enter her quilt in the show and of course she was all for it.
A few weeks later I dropped the quilt off at the church for the show. The next day I went to the show and when I walked in several ladies met me at the door with the news that the Unicorn quilt had won a blue ribbon! My first time entering a quilt show and I was glad it was with the unicorn quilt. It is now back home with Melissa.

Well I better finish my coffee and get to my "Grandma Cave'(the sewing room) and get some work done before the Florida storms roll in this afternoon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Weekend......

Good Morning......sittin here just enjoying my cup of coffee lookin' back over my week so far since we are coming down the backstretch, planning for a nice finish to a good week. Going to try and spend some more time sewing although it is Father's Day. Let me tell you about my plan.

Several months ago I decided to make a quilt for my Father in Law and give it to him for Father's Day. I designed this quilt all myself with lots of machine embroidery.

I used some designs from Embroidery Library of Antique Cars and that is the theme of this quilt since Pop is into antiques. EL has a great selection of antique car designs. This one is a 1941 Chevy. I think I got a really nice selection of twelve cars and of course there is a 57' Chevy too. That model is the all time
classic of antique cars, in my book...lol.

I've been working right long on this quilt the past few months and got all the car blocks done and pieced together but unfortunately I will not have the quilt done to give it to Pop today. It still has to be quilted and the binding done before it is finished. These are the last two photos I took of the quilt.

I am hoping if I work on it thru out this next week I can have it finshed for next weekend and give it to him. I will post some photos of the completed quilt when I am all finished.

So off to my sewing room to try and get this quilt done. Stop back and see my completed quilt in about a week, me hopes...lol.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

This and That.....

   I have been thinking about starting my own blog for several months and finally have begun to set it up. This has been a slow process as I am trying to figure out how this all works and how to get the look and feel I want for my blog. So have patience with me, I will get to uploading photos of my quilts when I get the format just right...lol.

   I had a few distractions this week. Daughter Christi and her girls have spent alot of time here thru out the week as Christi has prepared to go to the state National Barrel horse Show in Kissimmee Florida. She left yesterday so it has calmed down quite a bit now .....as I continue recuperating from a "Super Shopping Trip" I went on with 13 of my sewing friends on Tuesday. We had a caravan of 4 cars as we made our way to north Florida to visit some quilting stores, JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby and a great lunch in what is known as a haunted restuarant.

  I had a few things I planned to buy on my trip as I have not been shopping out of town since last fall. I was in need of a new rotary cutter and some needles for my embroidery machines. My main focus for this trip was to find backing material for my horse quilt.
 It has been done for several months and all I needed was the backing and then it can go to my long arm quilter. This quilt is just too large for me to quilt on my machine.

  As I said I am still recuperating from the shopping trip and my allergies have been giving me a fit the past few days so I have not gotten back to my sewing room the past few days. Last night I never got to sleep at all I was so stuffed up and felt like I was smothering every time I tried to lay down. I spent most of the night sitting in the kitchen reading a book. "Storm Prey" by John Sandford, at least I had a good book to keep me company thru out the night. I LOVE to read but then that is another topic I will get to another time.

  Well that is enough about my week so far. I hope to get my quilting and embroidery projects on here very soon. Sew that's enough of 'This and That".....Catch ya later....