Well first of all, Sorry, I haven’t been able to keep this up for a while, I have been so busy with so many things, but that is what happens at Christmas isn’t it.

I am involved in a Sports & Social club and we have been holding a number of children’s parties. We started on Thursday by building the frame that forms the grotto.  This is made of very large wood panels and is then bolted together and then we bring in an actual  fireplace and attach that to the wall.  The frame is then braced with roof bars to make sure it is both square and solid.  This takes a full half day to do and this time we managed it with just 5 people.

The following day a slightly larger group of us set to work and decorated it all out.  We bring in loads of decorations and make the grotto look like Santa’s living room with a magic ceiling which is a star cloth that twinkles all the time.  The outside is also decorated to look like the outside of his house.

This was taken by one of Santa’s helpers on her phone and it was quite dark as the lights were not on at the time but you get the idea.  Loads of lights hung all over the place, tinsel etc everywhere.

This stage takes all morning and a little of the afternoon.

The following day is the day of the first party so we were in just before 8am to make sure everything was ready.  We got the goody bags ready with the chocolate boxes, sports bag, hat and bits and bobs in it.  We have a balloon man who was making balloon swords and hearts and other things so that each child had their own.  We have an entertainer who plays games with the kids, has them dancing and generally running wild.  We also feed the kids and the adults and each one also goes in to  see Santa and receive a proper present all nicely wrapped.  10.00 am the doors opened and in came 86 children and about 140 adults.

Three hours later, we knew they had been there and we were all very tired, but the place was clean and tidy ready for the next event to be held later on in the day.

All this happened again the following afternoon and again the following evening.  In total we entertained, fed, watered and made happy with a present a total of 246 children and an awful lot more adults over the three party days.

Our next performance is Xmas eve and then on the 27th we go in and take it all down again, box it up and put it away ready for next year.

So, not had much time to do a lot of quilting.  However, I have got stuck in today and finished putting together a small applique quilt that I have adapted from one called Pressed Flowers featured in Quilt.
It looks a bit washed out in this photo but they are actually lovely pinks and green floral patterns.  I had 5 fat quarters that I wanted to use and didn’t want to just cut them into squares or triangles so decided to make this pattern but do it as a lap size rather than a larger one, and to adapt it accordingly.  I will be quilting this one just after Christmas.

I also had a lovely panel that I wanted to use and so put this together as well by adding a couple or borders. The outside border is very small white spots that appear in the panel as well. 
I am going to enjoy playing with this one, its going to have lots of different stitches and ruler work on it and then its going to be hung in the studio to show clients what can be done and used on their quilts.

I have also added the binding to my sons quilt, which is 96 x 96, so that is going to keep me going tonight hand finishing it.  I also added the binding to the charity quilt and that will also be finished over the next few days.  

I have two more sets of fat quarters that I am going to use in a couple more small quilts, one of which will be for a child the other will probably be another lap size quilt. I am hoping to be able to get those done between now and New Year.  I will keep you posted about them, promise.

If I don’t see you here again before time, let me wish you a Very Happy Christmas and New Year and I will see you then.  Take care and see you soon.   

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