Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all. I have a saying above my front door that sums up what I want to do with my life. I wish it for all of you...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bags Finished

 Here are the bags I've finished so far. I decided to keep one for was in the car with Joe when I took this pictures. I found some webbing to use for hands for the rest of the pillowcases I have. It is normally used for strapping down furniture when moving and was only $.26 per foot. The stuff I bought at a local fabric store was about $.60 per foot. The webbing I just bought is a bit too wide, about 2-inches instead of the 1 1/2-inches I used on these bags, but I figure I'll just sew the handles in half where they will be carried. At a sale at Hancock Fabrics about a month or so ago I bought some home decorator fabric to make more bags, and I have some twill fabric I purchased in the summer of last year for some OTHER bags so I guess I'll keep busy until I find out what kind of quilt Daniel wants.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Design Wall

Nothing on the wall, but I am doing something. I finished 8 bags from pillowcases (except for the handles) yesterday. I still have about 11 more pillowcases waiting to be converted. I purchased all of them sometime last  year (at least 6 months ago, probably longer) at ARC and they were $.99 each. I just went yesterday and the cost is now 2 for $5. I'm just not willing to pay that, so I may have to look for another source.

I also got to JoAnn yesterday and picked up Christmas fabric at 70% off. I am determined that I will not use paper to wrap gifts, but fabric bags instead. According to the receipt I saved $115...that makes me laugh. Instead of pointing out the cost, they show how much I saved. How funny.

Check out Judy's blog to see what other folks are doing.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Even though I am usually in bed and asleep by 9:00, I decided it was worth the time up to see the eclipse. It was a warm breezy night (about 35) so no clouds to block the view. I only have a digital camera, but got one or two suitable pictures. Watching the moon slowly be covered by the shadow was very cool. I thought a bit about the ancients, and how they would feel watching this happen. Mysterious goings on, and on one of the shortest days of the year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Design Wall

The design wall is empty, not that everything is done, but I've shifted gears.I'm trying not to use Christmas wrapping this year, and instead make bags that (hopefully) won't go into the trash.

I'm also including cloth shopping bags when I give a gift this year. I was going to wrap with them, but it's easier to put them in the bag, rather than make them the bag. I have lots of pillow cases I'm using for the bags. I was cutting them narrower and  using the extra for the handles, but decided a slightly larger bag would work great, and give a bit more room in the bag. So I'm just using the whole pillowcase.

I have a few more things to make and I hope they'll be done by Christmas. I have time off till New Year's Day so if I can stay focused I'll get them done.

Oops, I almost forgot, to see what other folks are doing, check out Judy's blog.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Judy's UFO Challenge

 A project just jumped to the top of the list. I have a friend whose son was in Afghanistan. He just came home injured (a double amputee above the knee) and I am going to make him a quilt. He has a long road ahead. I'll be working on the quilt as soon as I get information about what colors or theme he would like. 

I've decided to give it a try. I don't know if I'll finish them all, but it will be fun to see how many I do finish.
Here they are: (they are also linked on the right side of the blog with the amount finished so far). I've also added a page with ALL the UFO's I've found at the moment. You can see it at the top of the blog.

1- Disappearing 9-patch swap--DONE
2- One Block Wonder
3-Solar Flare (don't like this one, we'll see if I just happen to "skip" it by mistake). Since what this needs is basically quilting, and I'm not going to spend a lot of time on it, I'm adding a Professional Bag to this month. I've got all the supplies I need, I just have to get motivated.
4- North Winds group quilt--DONE
5-Jewel Box--started this probably in about 2000--I really like it so want to finish it BAD!
6- Round Robin-brights
7- Feathered Tiles
8- Checkerboard Convergence
9- Rainbow Spiral (replacing Butterfly Blooms--it should be done before Christmas)--DONE
10-Totally Tubular-still in pieces. This one needs a lot of work.--DONE
11- Underwater - needs borders to finish the top, and then quilting like everything else.
12- Zippy Strippy

Sad to say I have more than this, but there is no way I  am going to finish more than one a month unless something drastic happens. If I finish all of these, it will be very good!

Other folks are working on UFOs in 2011, too. If you want to see what they are working on, check Judy's blog.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fair and Square is done-and Design Wall Monday

 I ended up just doing straight line quilting. The backing/batting is fleece, so it doesn't need to have the quilting too close together.

 The label idea came from one of the blogs I read. Print out whatever you want on the label in a font you like. Find a fabric that is thin enough to see through, then use a fabric pen and trace the printed information. Fold over and sew the ends in, then sew it into the binding. It's easy, I think it looks nice and I like the way it fits on the quilt.  Not too intrusive.  The binding was some homespun I had, no idea where I got it though. This gets sent today----Yay!

To see what others are doing, check out Judy's blog

Monday, December 6, 2010

Design Wall Monday

 I've made one more size of Dresden plates. The smallest are about 5 1/2 inches across and the largest about 10 inches. I'm putting them aside for a bit because Christmas is coming, and time isn't slowing down.

I'm quilting the present for my nephew, finally. I have that bright orange fleece for the back, so decided to use orange in the bobbin and a variegated orange to yellow for the top thread. I'm not doing anything fancy, just holding the quilt together. I hope to be done in a couple of weeks.

I baked (with Joe's help) about 28 dozen cookies and 10 pounds of various candy--chocolate fudge with nuts, dark chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge and saltine almond toffee, this weekend. We are helping with a church Christmas cookie sale to raise funds for a mission trip in 2012. I still have more to make. It's a lot of standing and mixing and baking, but we did replace my old Kitchenaid. The speed control stopped working so I took it to be repaired. It's more than 20 years old and it would cost $80 to get it fixed. We decided on a new one. Got it from Costco for a pretty good price.

I'll post more progress pictures on the quilt as I go. Check out what other people have on their design walls on Judy's blog.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Design Wall

 Christmas is coming. This quilt is going to my nephew. I have the fleece for the backing, you can see it below. It matches the orange in the top pretty well. I don't want to quilt swirls on the top, I think that feels a bit too girly, so I might just do a simple straight line quilting up and down the top.

 The plates are coming along. I am going to make4 more of the larger ones, and then 3 to 5 of some smaller ones. I don't know the exact layout yet, but something like below. There will be a space in the middle and I'll put the smaller plates there. I decided to put them on background squares, much easier to applique the plates to. I'm going to be sewing them on the background by machine, so need to make the maneuverable.

To see other design walls, check out Judy's blog.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What I've been doing

 Joe's back is not doing real well right now, so we spent a lot of time watching Netflix today. While we watched I un-quilted the spiderweb quilt. There wasn't a lot of close quilting, but there was enough. I origninally backed it with fleece and not long after I finished it it got washed and dried in a laundromat. The dryer melted the fleece enough that it shrunk and felt yucky.

I decided I was just going to have to take it apart and quilt it again. Well, I've gotten the taking apart done, now I have to figure out how I am going to re-quilt it. I don't know if I want to use fleece again and chance it melting again or if I just want to do a standard quilt sandwich. It probably took me about 10-12 hours to take it apart, but I really like this quilt, so it was worth it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cranberry Salsa Recipe

I just had to share this unusual but delicious salsa I made yesterday. We went to some friends house for Thanksgiving, and I brought a couple of things. One was a cranberry salsa that was just excellent. It is very easy to prepare, and if you enjoy salsa with fruit and a bit sweet I think you'll enjoy this. It would be great for leftovers added to turkey burritos, or quesedillas or whatever you can dream up. I just tried it on a stufft baked chcken burrito (without the sauce) from Taco Bell, and it was yummy.

It's very simple to make, just throw the cranberries, apple, green pepper and red onion in the food processor, then add the rest of the stuff. It was good with chips and lots of other uses came to mind while we were enjoying it.

Here is the link to the recipe. The only change I made was to add 4 oz of Anaheim chiles instead of the jalapeno. If you like your salsa more spicy, just use the jalapeno instead.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I've got most of the banner done. I don't have the leading sewn yet, but it is ironed on and ready to be sewn. I still have to figure out how I am going to finish it. I think I am going to quilt it, but I don't know if I am going to sew one side of the leading down before it's sandwiched, then the other as the quilting line. I also haven't figured out about the background, but so far it's been coming to me as I go, so I'm not too worried.

On another note I found some fabric for the background for the Dresden Plates blocks. At first I thought it was too bold, then I thought, for babies, it's just fine. The dots are buttons!

If you want to see what is on more design wall, check Judy's blog.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Banner Progress

I've finally decided how to accomplish the look I want for the rays/halo around the cross. I've been futzing for a couple of days with various fabrics I bought to see what I would like. I have some very nice gold-ish silk that is really beautiful, but I found I want to see the mountains through the aurora. Using a yellow Georgette I could see the mountains. I cut out the rays to use, and it just looked dorky. I tried a white with sparkles on it. I cut a circle and then cut ray looking things from it...nope. I finally decided to look at some pictures on the internet (thank you internet) and found a piece that had lines coming from the sun for rays. That might work. I previously bought some gold 1/4" bias tape that I was going to use to outline whatever rays I ended up with, and decided I will use it. I've done a mock up of what it will sort of look like. I think it will work...I'm hoping it will work.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How fun is that!

This morning, we knew we would have to take a short detour because they are fixing a bridge on the only highway to town. As we came to the detour area (which happened to be on some dirt roads around a local church) there were about 10-15 people handing out glazed donuts to anyone who wanted one. I think they might have had coffee too, but I'm not a coffee drinker so I'm not sure.

I was waiting to join the line of folks turning onto the detour and someone came over to the car with two glazed donuts wrapped in a napkin (Joe was in the car too) and said "Sorry about the detour, enjoy your day." I would have thought that it was just the church folks being fun, but now I'm thinking the construction company may have paid for the donuts and members of the church handed them out. I'll never know, because no one was advertising anything, just folks handing out donuts and making my day (and probably many others') better.

Either way, thanks for a great beginning to the day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dresden Plate Idea

I've made a couple more of the Dresden Plate blocks. I'm thinking that I'll make them in various sizes and scatter them around. I don't see why I have to piece the backing. I could just have a solid piece for the back and put the plates wherever it strikes my fancy.I'll have to make a couple of smaller plates to see what it might look like. I think it could be fun. Something like this. What do you think?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Design Wall Monday

 Thank you Judy, for having this opportunity to post what is on my design wall. It moves me to make something so there is something to look at.

I've got the lettering for the city name part of the banner. It has to dry a couple of days before I remove the paper and heat set it.

I primed and put the first coat of paint on this bookcase. Joe made it probably 23 years ago and we used it with the just the unpainted wood. It is going to go in the nook in our bedroom, so needed white paint. It's been sitting in the basement for about 3-4 months waiting. Today I started. I hope it will be done before another 3-4 months passes.

I have been wanting to make a Dresden Plate quilt since I first started quilting. I got a pattern from Mountain Mist back when they had patterns on the paper that wrapped their batting. I didn't buy the batting, but I did send away for a free pattern. It's not the one I used, but finally, FINALLY I am making one. There are a number of babies coming at work, and I thought this would be a great one. I don't have enough of the white with rainbow dots for the background, but I think something like that will be great. I think I will make the center circle out of the same fabric.

If you want to see what more folks are doing, check out Judy's blog.

Thanks for all your comments. What is really fun that I forgot to mention was I bought the fabric as fat-quarter packs at Walmart. I loved the color combination but didn't know what I was going to do with it. I also used a dresden plate cutting template from June Tailor that I bought years ago. I'm feeling pretty good that I'm making this quilt after wanting to for so long, and that I'm using supplies that I've had on hand for a long time. I love bright colors and I think I will go with a black center (maybe with dots) and find some other white fabric with dots for the background. This is a fabric I bought online and usually it's great quality, but this is kind of flimsy, not good for a baby quilt. So, I'm off to find something that will work!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Banner Progress

I've taken off the freezer paper, and the lettering is crisp and looks great. I'm very happy with the result. Now I have to cut out the other letters and then paint them.

I'm getting there.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I'm posting this a bit early so I don't forget.

Another week has come and gone. I've finished the tumblers top. I think I might need to add another row of tumblers. It seems a little long and narrow to me. When I measure it's 50 1/2" by 72". Maybe I'll just border it on three sides so that it's not quite so long.

I've been working on the banner again. I think I figured out today why I was avoiding it. The step I've started to work on today is stenciling with the Shiva Paint Sticks. I've never done this before and I really didn't know what I was doing. I saw a video about how to make stencils with freezer paper, and today I just saw another post about using freezer paper on the back to stabilize the fabric. Once I saw that I decided to just go for it. I haven't sewn the pieced shield to the background yet, so I can still dye another piece if this comes out looking horrible.

To stencil the letters I first printed them in a font and size that would work, then I placed freezer paper over the print and cut out the letters. Once I did that (with a few weeks between) I ironed a piece of freezer paper to the back of the banner, then placed the stencil on the front and ironed it down well. I was a bit afraid that the small piece in the A might come up when I painted the black in, but it is sticking well so far.

When I had the letters down, I got out the black paint stick and took off the skin, then using the stencil brush I got some paint on it by brushing against the paint stick. I pounced on the plate to get the color into the bristles of the stencil brush, then starting from the edges on the paper side, I pounced into the letters. It takes a while to get the letters filled, and to make sure the edges are sharp, I went back and pounced from the inside to the edges, especially at the corners.

You might wonder why I chose a method I've never done before on this banner. Well, I'm not an appliqué-r, so that option was out. I don't really like the look of machine satin stitched edges--and this fabric is silk and a bit loosely woven, so I didn't think that would work. I was  bit stuck, till I saw that video and I finally settled on stenciling. I did a test and it looked pretty good, so I'm going with it!

I have to wait 72 hours now, before I can heat-set the oil stick and continue with the sewing.

To see what other people have on their design walls, check out Judy's blog.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Design Wall

I know this doesn't look a whole lot different than the last design wall, but I do have 9 rows sewn together instead of the 2 last week. I haven't decided how many rows I'm going to make, but I have enough tumblers for 12 rows.

Using the accuquilt I figured one important rule to follow. Put a piece of paper between the fabric and the cutting mat. I had some tumblers that were 1/4" short, and when I re-cut them with the paper, were just right. I don't know exactly why some of them were mis-cut, but it seemed to be the lighter weight or loosely woven fabrics. Next time I cut, I'm going to use paper on each stack. It doesn't hurt anything and will insure that they come out just right. The white I'm using is Kona cotton, and when I cut the edge pieces there were short. The other stack was the pink/lavender one that looks striped. The Kona is kind of loosely woven and the lavender a light weight fabric. Perhaps if I had starched it would have been fine.

Anyway, just a little tip.

To see more design walls, click on the link to Judy's blog.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Design Wall Monday-New Project

I held out as long as I could.I borrowed a Accuquilt Go cutter from a friend and bought a tumbler cutter. I got the idea for the quilt from Elizabeth Hartman. She has a really cute free pattern on her site, called the New Wave Quilt.

I bought a few 1/2 yard pieces to supplement colors I already had. I like the colors I chose, and I have enough cut to make one more top. I played around with using black for the sashing, but decided I liked the white better. I may do the next one iwth black sashing just for a change.

I only have two rows done so far, but I've taken a picture and played with it in Paint, so you can get an idea of what it will look like when it's done.

To see what others are doing, check out Judy's blog.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hand Made Gifts

A little departure from quilting for a moment. Judy L is asking, what we're making for folks for Christmas. I generally make baked goods, but the fun part is that I put them in Chinese take-out boxes that I've decorated. I bought a bunch of them, so I don't have to make them. They're available at some restaurant supply stores, but if you want to make your own, here is a small pattern, you can enlarge.

One of the favored items I put in them is caramel corn. It's yummy and a recipe from my father-in-law.

1 cup butter, 2 cups brown sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 cup light karo syrup, 6 quarts popped corn (put into a 250 degree oven). I  use a foil turkey baking pan, because I don't have a large enough roaster to hold all the corn easily.

Melt the butter, stir in the sugar, karo syrup, and salt. Stir constantly and bring to a full boil. Turn to low, let it boil for 5 minutes with no stirring. Put it in a large pot, add the baking soda and vanilla--it will foam up. Pour over the popped corn, stir well. Bake it form 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes to make sure all the corn is coated.

I've added nuts to the mixture after it's in the oven; you could also think of other yummy things to add, but the caramel is so wonderful, it really doesn't need much else.

When the 1 1/2 hours is up, spread it out on waxed paper on the counter top to cool, then bag and give away.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Which Banner

Everyone who has commented has liked the banner with the leading better, so thank you all for you input and that's what I'll be doing. Now I just have to get the last couple of elements done, and I'll be good. I need to add the cross and the "aurora" around it. I bought some silk I thought would work, but maybe not. I'll sew it together and see what I think once I look at it.


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