Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Passing on knowledge -

Before I show what I worked on last night, I thought I"d talk about teaching somebody how to do a t-shirt quilt.  One of the ladies at the office wanted me to do a t-shirt quilt for her daughter.  I told her that I would help HER do one and we've started to do it.  Theresa doesn't realize that my plan is for her to do the sewing of the blocks together also.  I think she still thinks I will be doing that.  hehehe

We haven't gone and gotten the backing or batting yet (she wants batting, we'll see) but she did get the t-shirts picked out, cut and laid out.  Her next step will be to buy the interfacing and apply it and then start to sew.  This is the lay out that

We decided today to change the layout a little bit.  She thinks that she'll like it if it is better four across and six down.   That way it will hang down over the side of the bed just a little bit.  I think both Theresa and her daughter are going to be proud of the quilt when it is done.  Once Theresa finishes one quilt, I wonder if she'll want to do another one for her other daughter who will be going off to college soon.  

What else did I work on last night?  I started another project.  Yes, I know.  Yet another one.  This one was the pattern of the dancers that I picked up at the International Quilt Show.  I am going to use some Stonehenge fabric for the background and then used some of the fabric that Lyndon brought back from Ghana for their clothing.  It isn't fused on yet but this will give you an idea of what it will look like.

I might also do some embroidery on the collar of one as well as perhaps embroidery some earrings and bracelets on the females.  What do you think?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Boo Mug Rug Finished

This is just a little post because I haven't gotten much done today (except kill some flies that flew too close to me).  I did manage to get the Boo Mug Rug done.  It is a little larger than I usually make them but that's ok.  It measure around 7" x 10".  I good size to have your liquid refreshment along with plenty of room for Halloween treats!

The fabric is still a little wet so that is why you see more of Boo material behind the white ghost then you normally would.  When it is dry you don't see where it overlaps.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Progress on small projects

Whew!  I can't believe it's after 6 p.m. already.  Why does the day go by so fast when I'm doing my crafting?  I made satisfactory progress on some small projects and almost finished on a couple more.  For instance I will probably finish up on the BOO mug rug tomorrow.

BUT that will be in tomorrow's post.  This is what I finished today.

 First of all I found some 2 1/2" strips of a light grey fabric that I had leftover from another project.  I think it might work for a border on the D9P child's quilt.  I still have to figure out what to use for the back.

While I haven't done these yet, I thought I would post them today anyway.  These are the next two blocks in the snowman BOM.  I can't wait to do these.  I think they will be fun to do.

I did manage to finish up TWO blocks for the Civil War BOM that Rose from Custom Quilt Kits is offering.  That brings me up to date on them.  This is what they look like.  I might not have gotten them pictured in the right order, etc. but I thought you'd like to see all three.  The light blue in the third one is actually green.  You can see a better example of the green in the middle block.  The yellows are actually a light orange.  It's hard to get the colors right.  When it's all done I'll take a picture at the office.  The lighting there will be better.

Not too bad for the days work.  I hope everybody had a great day.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Recipes from the bottom of the drawer

I took a break tonight from appliqueing the Boo Mug Rug to look for a recipe to make.  I finished the blanket stitching and now need to go and finish putting it together.  Might get it done this weekend but not sure yet.

At work we celebrate all the birthdays in the month and the theme for the September birthday celebration is "favorite or best dish".  Oh my!  I knew right away that I would need to start thinking on this now.  So, while I was looking for some DVD sleeves that I needed, I ran across some of the family recipes that she gave me.  I started laughing and thought I'd share some with you.

The first one is....well I don't know what it is called.  Mom didn't name it.  At the top of the recipe card it says "From the kitchen of Edith (mom's name) but the crossed it out and put Bonni instead.  Interesting start right?

Here are the ingredients.
1 pound very lean beef.
1/2 cup refrigerated egg whites
1 cup water or beef broth, etc.
1 box stove top cornmeal stuffing
1/4 cup dehydrated onions OR (underlined) 1 pinch of red pepper flakes.

Directions over on back (so I flipped it over).

Mix all together with your hands and put in 8 cup cake tins or a large heavy individual meat loaf pan like I gave Bonni, that holds 8 small loaves.

Check to see if they're slightly brown in 15 minutes.  My oven says that's enough.

Hmmm.  Ok.  Where do I start.  Things that stood out to me when I read this recipe.

1.  Refrigerated egg whites?  My mother NEVER used those.  I'm not even sure she knows you can buy them at the store.
2.  Huh?  Really mom?  Like whomever I give this recipe to is going to know what kind of pan you gave me?  Actually I do know which pans she's talking about but that's beside the point.

Here IS a recipe which made more sense.

Bonni's White Lasagna

9-12 lasagna noodles
1 lb hamburger or turkey
1 large onion
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 can tomato paste
1/2 teas Italian seasoning
dash garlic, black pepper, red pepper
1 beef bouillon
2 cups milk
1 1/4 cup shredded cheese
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour

Brown hamburger and onion....drain
add beef bouillon cube, tomatoes, paste and Italian seasoning, and garlic.

Cook til thick (10-20 min)
Sauce - melt butter, and flour.  Stir constantly, slowly add milk and pepper, add cheese
cook 1 minute.

Put together in 9 x 13 pan and 1/2 meat mix, 1/2 noodles (do not pre cook the noodles), repeat
pour white sauce over completely covering.  add rest of cheese.

Bake 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Hmmm.  I might make this one.  I used to make it a lot.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Productive Night last night

Here's a new flash (NOT!)....if you stay off the computer and the phone, you can get more sewing done.  Who'd have thunk!  LOL.  Actually I sew while I talk on the phone (thank you bluetooth) but the only sewing I do while on the computer is applique.  I do have to get off of that sometimes and sew things together.

Remember my disappearing nine patch (D9P) that I had experimented with?  Last night I sewed it together.

This was done using two charm packs (almost all of the charms but not quite).  I'm not sure what color to use on the back or for a binding.  Any suggestions?  I don't have a purpose in mind for this.  I just wanted to learn how to do a D9P since I had heard so many people talk about it. The next one I do will have more planning in it...like more solids.  I will probably quilt this and keep it on hand in case I ever need a child's quilt or something.

After that I got brave and opened up the second block for the Civil War BOM from Custom Quilts Kits.  I learned from my previous block and this time put them up on the design wall in the order they are to be laid out FIRST.  I haven't sewn them yet but perhaps I will tonight.  This is how it is looks when it is laid out.

Interesting thing about this block.  I noticed that the triangle pieces had the ends already cut off whereas in the first block they hadn't.  We'll see how it sews up then.  Will it make a difference?  I don't know.  I don't do this often so can't say.  I do like the colors in it.

Of course my brain was saying "What Next" to me when I was laying this out.  I knew what it meant.  Over in the corner was a pattern I had bought at the International Quilt Show  a couple of months ago and it still hadn't been put together.  I  think it is time for me to get at it.  I actually have traced all the pieces out on the fusible.  Just need to find the "right" fabric and fuse the two together.

Perhaps that will be fused by this weekend.  I'm not sure.  I want to use some of the fabric that Lyndon brought back to me from Ghana.  Yeah, that's it.  That's my excuse why I haven't worked on it yet.  :)  Notice it is sitting on my small portable ironing board.  That board is next to my sewing machine so that I don't have to get up all the time to press my seams.  If it's sitting on that, you know it won't be long before it's worked on.

Of course after fusing all this stuff, one day I'll have to sit back at the computer and do the blanket stitch around it all.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Applique projects on the bulletin board

I have one bulletin board at work that I hang up my works in progress on.  This is to mostly make sure that remember to do them but it also gives people something to talk about or look at when they come into my office.  I think it also helps to see the projects in different light.  Sometimes what I thought looked good at home doesn't look good when see in better light.

Last night I couldn't resist any longer and had to start to put together a Halloween mug rug.

Of course I had to add it to my craft bulletin board so this is what is on my board today.

That is my Inspired block along with the two mug rugs.  The Boo Mug Rug and the Winter Train Mug Rug.  I will stitching today at lunch but I'm not sure which one I will work on.  Hmmmm.  Decisions...Decisions...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Progress on the weekend

You already know how I started my adventure in quilting this weekend if you read yesterday's post.  Today I'm back at work so my craft time is limited although I do keep things to work on at the office.  I still have my Inspired blocks to work on and today I also brought in the start of a new mug rug.  Before I get to that, here are a couple of small blocks that I finished.

This is the watermelon/August block for the mini BOM offered over at The Quilt Pattern Magazine.  These are small blocks which work up quickly.  I decided that somebody had taken a bite out of my watermelon block (couldn't resist).  Here is what the other blocks look like when seen side by side.  I think a couple of the blocks are out of order but you'll get the idea.

I also managed to catch up on another BOM that I was a little behind on.  This would be Angie's Jungle Babies.  August was the bear and I think he is cute.

It's a little hard to get a good picture when there are so many browns etc.  I took a picture to give you an idea of what it might look like with all the other blocks that have been done so far.  Once again I'm not sure on what the final layout will be but here they are so far.

You might notice that not all the blocks are the same size.  That's because I always cut them larger in case there is any shrinkage due to appliqueing them.  I'll cut them down to a uniform size when all the applique work is done and I'm ready to sew the blocks together.

Now on to new things.  I've been buying up some mug rugs on Craftsy.  They have some cute holiday ones and I decided to do one of the Christmas ones.  I'm still deciding on what to use for the back of the mug rug and if I will wrap it around for a border/binding.  Tomorrow I meet up with Connie for lunch and will probably ask her opinion.  In the meantime, I can start to applique the white.  The blue background is a little darker than it appears in this picture and has white swirls in it that reminds me of a snowy day.  I do have a hand died blue fabric that might work for the back.  I'll let you know how that turns out.

This week my goal is to get the mug rug done as well as block two of the Civil War BOM from Custom Quilt Kits.  Here is what it is SUPPOSED to look like.   You'll have to wait to see how close I come to it.  :)

Look to my post from yesterday to see what the color palette is.  It's done in yellows, greens and blues.

What will you be working on today?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Trial and Tribulations of Piecing

Have I said that piecing is NOT a favorite method of quilting?  Let me repeat it...piecing is NOT a favorite method of quilting.  BUT it is a necessarily evil (evil in my mind) that I have to do periodically to make sure I can do it plus to help put together all the applique blocks.  Soooo I looked through my stash and found the first two blocks of the Civil War BOM that Rose from Custom Quilt Kits is offering.  I remembered that I decided to do this since Rose advertised it as:

These blocks are a beginner's dream!  Each block comes pre cut--all you do is sit down and sew!


Sounds easy doesn't it?  Have a seat everybody and let me tell you the story of how this first block got put together...eventually.  First of all let me specify that any problems I had with it are all mine.  The pieces were cut with a GO! (Studio I think) and are nice fabrics.  So what's my problem?  Me.

It all started after I got back from biscuits and gravy with mom.  I pulled out block one and looked at the fabric and then read through the directions.  The material that I was looking at didn't match the picture!  Oh dear.  Ok.  time to try and figure out which material was substituted for what.  Of course if I had looked further into the see through plastic bag, I might have noticed that Rose put in a picture of what the block should look like with the material that I had been sent.  See what I mean?  It's not the pattern, it's me.  LOL.

So now armed with the material and the directions I started out to sew the pieces together.  Then I noticed the first two pieces were sewn together wrong and I unstitched them.  Then I noticed that I sewed them wrong AGAIN (different wrong though) and unstitched them again.  I was now catching on to the fact that I should lay out the pieces first so that I could have them all put down right and then sew.  Hmmmm.  That wasn't going right either.  I couldn't figure out how to turn the parallelogram correctly to meet up with the half square triangles.  I was convinced that  it was wrong.  I was about to throw it away when I had an "AH HA!" moment.  Why didn't I put them up on my design board?  That is why I made one.

 Oh yeah, that makes it so much easier.  All the lines lined up where they should and now it looked like the picture said it should look.  Now it should be easy peasy.  Just sew them in the order they are on the board.  I can do that.    In fact I did it more than once because I still sewed a couple of the pieces together on the wrong side.  See what I mean?  It's me.

Ta Da!  FINALLY it was sewn together.  So I sent off a picture of it to my friend Connie.  We text each other our progress pix on the weekends and she said nice...just flip the last two rows.  Sigh.  Thanks Connie.  No, I really do mean thanks.  I had sewed them together wrong because in the above picture all the flying geese are pointing up and they shouldn't be.

So out came the seam ripper again and unstitched the two halves.  Flipped the lower half around and resewed it.  I looked at the seams as I flipped it to the back to iron the seam down and noticed....I sewed it wrong.  I bet all of you knew that was coming didn't you.  This was easier to correct though.  I might not have corrected it correctly but I was more than ready to set this block aside.  I had sewn a wider seam than a 1/4".  I had forgotten that my sewing machine stitch starts at zero when it starts up and I hadn't changed it to 1.  It affects the needle position.  I was about to grab the seam ripper, yet again, and then had another "AH HA" moment.  Since I was going to be stitching a narrower seam I just left the original seam.  That way it acted like my pins.  So I sewed my 1/4" seam and THEN unstitched the wrong one.  All that being said....it's done.

There's more flying geese in the second block also.  Hey Kat!  Can I count these as my bucket list geese?  LOL.

I did have a pleasant surprise.  At breakfast this morning, my brother handed me a box.  Inside it was some sewing things.  It appears that somebody had gone to a garage sale and gotten a box of sewing supplies.  They had been passed around and I was next in line.

I can use some of it so it was fun going through to see what was in there.

How has your day been?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Applique before caffeine? Gasp!

I got up at 6 a.m. this morning and realized that I didn't have to be at work until 8 a.m.  That half hour later, we're off summer hours now and back to working 7.5 hours a week, makes all the difference.  I managed to get up and fuse another jungle baby.  That means when I get these two appliqued I will be ALL caught up with them.

I also managed to take a few more stitches on my Inspired block.  The horse shoe and the pinks are all done.  I'm stitching down the red and then soon it will be time to go cross eyed with the green leaves.

That's all I could do before having to leave for work and to grab some caffeine on the way.  Perhaps I'll get a chance to take a stitch or two at lunch.  What are you stitching on Today?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Correcting a mistake

I was getting ready to work on the August animal baby and discovered that one of the blocks that I had already done was done on the wrong fabric.  It was either that OR that all the subsequent blocks were all done wrong.  I figured it would be better to redo one vs. more.

As I was looking at that wayward block I came to the conclusion that it would be a pain to make another block.  I loved the fabrics that I used in it and wasn't sure if I had enough to make another one.  What was I to do?  Applique of course.  Of course it would be appliqued, but this time it would all be done ahead of time.  I cut off the lions head from the muslin it was on and put on some fusible so that I could just fuse it to the correct fabric.

See anything wrong with this picture?  You probably have already figured out that the shiny stuff is the fusible.  Yep.  That's right.  I ironed on the fusible BEFORE thinking to take out that blanket/buttonhole stitching around it.  So I spent around 2 hours picking out the stitching so that I could fuse it onto the right fabric.

FINALLY it is on the right fabric.  Now I have to hunt up the right shade of brown again and blanket/buttonhole stitch around the main.  That will get me caught up on all the past animal babies.  This month I have to work on a baby bear head.  He's cute but I still think that my favorite so far is the koala.  Shhhh.  don't tell the others.

I also figured out that I wanted to do another row on the disappearing patch and I'm much happier with it now.  I won't be working on it any more this week but it might be on next week's "crafting weekend".  I'm not sure yet because I have to figure out what color I'll use for the border and binding.  I'm not crazy about this pattern but I'm proud of myself for doing it.  I will also get to practice FMQ on it, probably just a meander, and give it away.  Here is what it looks like.

Any suggestions on what color for the border and binding?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Where to start when you have a lazy weekend

That would be the question.  I wanted to have a lazy weekend but then I have so many projects in my mind, on my shelves, patterns collected, etc. that I feel guilty about being lazy.  Of course lazy also means not wanting to clean.  After not doing much of anything on Friday, I kicked myself in gear and tried to decide what to do.  I found two charm packs that I had for awhile and didn't know what to do so I pulled those out.  I had originally intended to do a child's quilt with the one which had farm animals (and farm scenery) on it but never could figure out what pattern.  I finally decided to do a disappearing 9 patch design.  I've never done one of those before so I had to look it up.  For those of you who haven't made that yet, do a nine patch block and then cut it in the middle so you have four pieces. That's your new blocks to play with.

Here is how it first turned out.

That didn't look like it would be large enough for anything useful so I went to get my second charm pack.  I laid it out along the side to see if it would work ok.

I thought those colors would blend in find so after seeing mom this morning I came back home and sewed up the new blocks, cut them apart and reorganized.  Here was my next layout.

Not bad but when I showed it to Connie (we always send pictures and texts back and forth over the weekend - thank you unlimited texting), she saw that the bottom row had two grey solids (or what looked to be like solids) together at the bottom.  I just switched it out and even though it's a grey next to a grey, they aren't perceived as both being solid.

I think the length is ok on this.  You can see by the yardstick next to it.  I think it's a little narrow.  If I put another row down the length of it, it will measure 36".  That would be better I think.  I have three left over blocks from cutting the 9 patches.  All I need to do is come up with 2 more.  I might try that.  Anybody have any ideas?  Do you think it's wide enough?

It is laid out on my floor while I contemplate what to do with it.  That isn't the only thing that I'm working on this week.  I ran across my blocks that I had done for Wenches Christmas Baltimore blocks.  I never made them into a wall hanging nor did I ever show them completed to mom so I took them with me to see her this morning.  She liked them although I think she is somewhat prejudiced.  Of course she also picked out three and said that they would make a good table runner.  Oh look!  These three would fit my table!  Yes mom.  I can take the hint.  LOL.  These are the three that she wants me to put together for a table runner.

Now I just have to remember not to show her anything else until next year otherwise I'll never get anything else done.    Wow!  I can't believe that I have project ideas already in mind now for her birthday and now Christmas!  Of course they aren't put together yet. That might take me quite awhile (and I'd better not forget where I store these until I do them).

Does this mean I am working backwards?  Now it's time to work on Thanksgiving or Halloween?

We'll see.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Finished block 4 of the Inspired blocks

Last night I finished a fourth block of the Inspired blocks.  If you follow the blog you've seen it before since it is another corner piece.  I don't like doing all the corner blocks, when they all look alike, at the same time so I split them up.

Next up on the stitching block is a prettier block.  I just have to match the pink in it and get some more floss.  That is easily done this weekend when I'm out at the store.  In the meantime I'll work on the parts I still have floss for.

As a break from doing these blocks, and before starting mom's birthday block, I am contemplating on making a mug rug.  I love this pattern and at $2 a pattern (on Craftsy) I can get mug rug patterns and save them to work on later.

This mug rug might be good for office presents.  I'm not sure yet.  It's just so much fun looking.

Speaking of looking, my friend Helen posted in a couple of my yahoo groups a link that you might like to check out.


It is images from the Quilts 1700-1945 exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, which is running from June 15 - September 22, 2013.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Projects Decided upon by Mom!

Every Sunday I go to see my mother in the nursing home.  For the last couple of Sundays she has wanted to see what I have been working on or talk about craft projects.  She is the one who introduced me to embroidery and while she hasn't ever wanted to quilt, she does appreciate it.  At 93, however, her mind isn't always wanting to think along crafting.  This Sunday, however, she had asked me to bring in some of my patterns or projects so she could see them.  I had told her that I had gotten some new patterns for my Birthday and she wanted to see them.

The first thing that I had taken in to her to see was my Painted Hearts table runner that I had tested for The Quilt Pattern Magazine.  I should have known she would want it since it was done in colors that she liked. Mom and Kerm (my brother) cleaned off the table and I laid out the table runner.  The table that she has is one of the narrow types that is designed to go over the bed or chair if needed.  It fit perfectly!  She looked at my stitching and she seemed fascinated by where I had stitched lines in the large triangle pieces that separated the three applique blocks.  I have to admit that I did that very well and she noticed.  Of course she also put me in my place when she didn't believe that *I* did it.  LOL.  Either way, she looked at it closely, smoothed it out, and then calmly said "It fits my table so it's mine.  Thank you."  Gotta love mom.  I resisted only a little bit because I knew she would expect it.  It's a little game we play.  Finally I said ok.  It's yours and she nodded and smiled.

Then I pulled out the pattern that Connie had given me for my birthday.  I should say patterns since it was Sweet 16, as in 16 blocks.  I pulled out the picture which showed all 16 blocks and she looked at them closely before pointing to two different ones.  When she said "I like these two" I pulled out the pattern.  The pattern is, of course, just line drawings but it would show her the size of the block which she would be able to visualize better.  She shook her head at one of them and scrunched up her face at it.  I guess it didn't look as good blown up.  Then she pointed to the second one and said "You can make that for me for my birthday'.

I guess she really must have liked it because she seldom tells me what to make her for her birthday.  I must say that it is nice to know what I'm already getting her.  NOW I just have to make it.  It will be a 16" block for above her head.  It has flowers and stuff which is probably why she likes it.  I will take a picture once I get things straightened out a bit.  Her birthday isn't until December 10th so I have plenty of time.

She also informed me that if I couldn't get it done by her birthday that Christmas was two weeks later which would give me plenty of time to finish it.  Upon hearing my "maybe" she then informed me that perhaps I was right.  I might not have enough time to work on it.  That was her opening line into her "feel sorry for me" look.  I just shook my head and we both laughed.

Have you laughed today?  Go read a funny or just burst out laughing for no good reason.  It helps if you do it when somebody is walking by.  Makes you wonder why you are laughing (grins).

Friday, August 2, 2013

Finished the snowmen blocks

Progress has been made.  I finished the two snowmen blocks.  Here they are.

Next month will be another two blocks to do.  I will have to look at the BOM and see if I have to buy separately the borders and the material for the four patch units.  They used a light blue and cream but I'm not really happy with that.  If I have to buy it separately, I might use my favorite red or another color.

My friend Lene is going to try and substitute the light color with my favorite red in Photoshop so that I can see what it would look like.  That would be fun.  She is so talented!

Found the pattern

This is just a short post.  Last night I hadn't taken a picture of the jack-o-lantern pattern but this morning I found the pattern and snapped a pix of it.

Isn't that a cute wall hanging?  I will use the pattern for the pumpkin because I love that smile on it.  After that I usually just wing it.  I don't have a specific size in mind so we'll see how it ends up.

Has anybody else thought about holiday crafts?

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Halloween is coming before Christmas so I had better work on something for that....right?

I ran across a pattern that I had used a couple of years ago and it is simple but cute.  I am thinking that I will be making a couple of mini's for the wall again this year using this pattern.  Oops.  Didn't take a picture of the pattern.  Will do that tomorrow.  It's basically a jack-o-lantern face with three stars above it.  It is VERY simply but yet cute.  Perhaps it is the face of the jack-o-lantern.  I don't have the same fabric that I had the last time I made it, but I do have this fabric.

The blue that is shown is actually purple and the background is black.  I think it will be the back of the mini and/or border.  I will have to see what oranges I have for the pumpkin.  I'm trying not to buy more fabric.  Wish me luck!