Wednesday, July 30, 2014

crocheting potholders

My mother taught me how to make these and it's the only thing I know how to make.  You'd think that I was good at by now wouldn't you?  Nope.  Crocheting is something that I'm not good at but these I still make.

I've had a friend ask me how to make them so before I forget I'm writing it down here.

Mom always used Red Heart yarn.   This variegated one was one of her favorites.  How many you chain depends on which hook you use and how large you want to make your potholder.  I don't ever measure it since if it turns out too large for a pot holder I then have a hot pad for my dishes.  They are machine washable and last forever!

So I use a large hook to fit my hands so normally it is about a J or K.

Chain 35 (you might want to increase or decrease the chain after you make them to suit your own purpose)

Do NOT take an extra chain and turn.  After you chain you will be going starting to crochet in the 34th chain.  This will enable you to go around and around creating a circular boat type effect.

You keep going around and around until you can turn in the sides and they meet.  This next picture shows how you would fold in the sides.  Obviously I have to keep crocheting a bit more on it.

Then when they meet you cut your yarn giving you plenty of tail so that you can use that to stitch close your two sides.  After you cut your yarn you will draw it through your last stitch to make a knot of it.    Then take a needle with a large eye (darning perhaps?) that will allow you to thread the yarn through it and start to slip stitch the two sides together.  When done it will blend in.

I personally don't hang up my pot holders so don't worry about stitching a little loop in them or attaching a small plastic circle etc.  I like them so they can be used as either a hot pad or a potholder.

Did I confuse everybody more?  I hope not.  These are really thick so you don't have to worry about putting the pots on them and burning your hand or table.

I hope you figured out what I was trying to say.  

colors picked

On to another project.  Of course by this I mean my applique.  It's good to always have something in the works.  In the evening when I'm too tired to clean (yeah, that's why I haven't cleaned this week so far) I can sit down and veg out in front of the tv or computer.

I pulled out my embroidery floss and tried to match up some colors for the Rainbow bouquet wall hanging.  What do you think.  Did I get close?

I haven't found a good color to use on my leaves that are a combination of two colors (see the two skeins) might work.

With the car being dead (rest in peace Rhea - yes I name my vehicles), I am walking to work.  This morning I went a little different way and had to stop to take this picture.  It was a nice start to my day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What else besides Disappearing Hourglass?

It has been a busy weekend and beginning of the week.  I have now finished putting interfacing on the t-shirts and cut them.  Now to figure out the layout that I liked best.  I took pictures of each t-shirt block and printed them up so I can get  an idea of which way I want it to look.  It will be a little odd layout.  Dan will be putting it above his bed so the layout might end up 4 blocks wide and 3 blocks tall.  Each block is 14".   When I get a layout that I like I will take a picture and send it to Dan to see if he agrees.  Ask two or three times and make sure he knows that once it is sewn it's staying that way so measure that space again!!!

I might do a similar thing with the disappearing hourglass block.  Print them up individually and the play with the arrangement.  A theory based off of putting together puzzles.  LOL.

As I look at the blocks for my "Inspired" blocks, I have to wonder how I will finish it.  I made the blocks 14" instead of the 12 that I had originally thought of.  I like the more open spaces of it.  Next up will be the borders.  I want something that will pop.  Red is an obvious choice but then there is that lone blue in the middle.  I like that shade although I doubt I would match it.  Of course there is always the binding.  The goldenrod color was also brought to my attention as to a possible binding choice or narrower border.

I posted a picture on the page "Baltimore Album Inspired Projects" page.

I also learned this weekend that not only does it hurt to cut your finger with the rotary cutter (duh Bonni) but it also hurts when you drop a 14" template on your naked foot.  OUCH!  It left a mark, scrape almost as good as the rotary cutter.

Break time is over.  Time to get back to work although I feel more like I want a nap.  LOL.

Have a great day!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Finished my 9 blocks - and sorry for the blank email

I finished my nine blocks for the disappearing hourglass block.  I wasn't sure how to lay it out but this is one possibility.  I'm going to stop working on it today and work on something else for a bit.  Give my eyes a break from the layout etc.

This is the layout that I'm starting with.  In a couple of days I might try another layout to see how it looks.  I had to stop at 9 blocks because I ran out of the brown that I was using.

Now to move on to something else.  Perhaps the Inspired blocks or Dan's t-shirt quilt...oh wait.  I have to iron on the interfacing first.  Guess I will start there.  LOL.

Until next time.....

PS:  Sorry for sending out the blank email.  My  computer didn't think I had anything to say I guess.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

4 blocks done and a semi possible layout

I managed to get 4 blocks done and five more started.  Tomorrow I will probably finish the five.  I'm thinking nine blocks.  A 3x3 pattern for a wall hanging.

Here you can see what other colors I have left to sew as well as the four blocks that I finished today.

What do you think?

First patch done

Whew!  This piecing stuff is hard on the nerves!  Of course math was never my strong suit and when you have to divide the blocks into 3 equal parts.  My block didn't divide out evenly (so what else is new) but I got as close as possible.

First here are four of the regular hourglass blocks that I did.  I did it by the Missouri Star Quilt Company method of putting my two 10" block right side together and then sew a 1/4" all the way around it.  Then you cut an X from corner to corner which gives you four half square triangles at one shot.  Then all I had to do was to resew it into the hourglasss block.

The hard part was yet to come.  I had to measure the block and figure out how to divide it into three equal parts.  You cut all all four sides.  This picture shows the green block after I figured it out.  It's not exact since all my rulers didn't have the right markings on them for even division.  

Finally it was time to sew it back together again.  Here is the final version of the block.  NOW I have to work on the rest of them.  Hopefully the notations that I did before will make it easier to do on the next block.

DIsappearing QAL

Now looking back at my subject line I think I had better explain what it means.  First of all QAL means Qulit Along.  My online quilting group (CyberQuilters) holds events and this weekend is such an event.  Even though it's a yahoo group and we don't meet up in person, we are united by our love of crafting and this weekend, for those who want to join in on the quilt a long, there is a theme.  The theme this time is a "disappearing" pattern.  For my non quilting friends, let me try to explain and I will try to not to confuse you more than usual.

A disappearing pattern is where you start out with one block and then you change it.  By the time you finish the original block disappears into the new block and sometimes doesn't even look like what it did originally.  One of the popular patterns is a Disappear 9 patch (D9P).  You start out with one block that is made of up nine squares sewn together.  Bet you figured that out by the title didn't you.  Then you get to cut it into three equal parts and rearrange it before sewing it back together to make it look different.  Many times quilters get asked "why do you cut fabric and sew it together only to cut it again and sew it together".  Got me.  I like doing it though.  LOL.  Art doesn't always make sense to others.  It only has to make sense to you.  I consider it a bonus if it also brings joy to others.

So what am I working on today?  I'm going to be working on a new pattern I recently discovered called the Disappearing Hourglass block.

This is what an Hourglass block is suppose to look like.

So after I make those, then I'll be cutting them apart and resewing them.  Afterwards, if I did it right, I get the Disappearing Hourglass black which looks like this.

Wish me luck because this is piecing and I am not good at it.  I will still try on the assumption that sooner or later (ok more like later) I will get better at it.

I went through my stash of fabric and I think I will be using these colors.  I'm not making a large project.  Never do that if I can help it.  But we'll see how it ends up.

The colorful fabric is 10" blocks from Moda's Color Crush Batiks line.  The brown is called burlap. When I find my notes on who produced it I'll let you know.  If burlap felt this good when I was growing up I would have had clothes made out of it.  It feels sooooo nice.  Anyway.  Off to the sewing machine.  I'll report on progress later.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ironing on the hottest day of the year? I'm nuts!

I sweated all day at work since I was walking visiting students around campus and then come home and turn on my iron.  Really?  I couldn't wait?  No I couldn't.

I've been in a stalling pattern long enough.  I pulled out the iron tonight and ironed on the fusible appliques for Edyta Sitar's Rainbow Bouquet Wall Hanging.

I didn't realize that I was a little off on the placement.  Hopefully it won't show up as much by the time I put the border on.  The vase is pretty much  centered but The flowers and leaves on the right are closer to the edge than on the left.  I'm not going to lose sleep over it but will be careful when I do my border.

Well that's about it.  Stay cool and have a wonderful day.  More updates later.  :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Yep, that's right, another oops.  It's not a bad oops though.  What's the oops then?  I was expecting to receive my fabric pieces for an Edyta Sitar table runner called Spring Showers table Runner.  So I opened up the package and laid out my ironing board (to take inventory) and...gasp...No umbrellas!  Where did they go?  So I dropped a line to where I ordered my pieces from and....OOPS!  I gave them the wrong information.  I gave them the information for the wall hanging of Edyta Sitar called Rainbow Bouquet!
You can see both of the patterns here (PS:  They are free patterns):

Oh well.  It's ok.  It just means that I'll be doing the wall hanging before the table runner.  I am loving the material that Custom Quilt Kits picked for me.  These pieces were cut with the AccuQuilt GO dies and already have the fusing on the back of them.

 I have so much to work on that I'm having a problem deciding on where to start.  That means I started to organize my UFOs (unfinished projects).  I found that I have around 3 months of Rose of Sharon blocks to fuse on and then to stitch down almost 9 months.  Then there is the civil war blocks.  After putting pulling them out from here and there I discovered I'm behind on a couple of months on those also.  So now my Civil War blocks are in one large baggie and my Rose of Sharon blocks are in another large baggie.  Even if they aren't fused or sewn together they are still in the baggie.  A third baggie is holding my Hexie BOM materials.  Yes I'm behind on those also.  Thank goodness that I have very large baggies (2+ gallon size).

THEN I received 12 t-shirts in the mail so I obviously had to cut them up.  No worries since that is what they are for.  I now have to decide on layout for the wall hanging and what size to make the blocks.  Here are a couple of ideas but by no means am I ready to settle on a final cut.

In this first one, it is pretty basic.  12 t-shirts with mixed themes.

The layout on the second one shows off more of the blue dragon in the middle. and in the lower corner two small medallions in each corner.  I will applique them or sew them together to have both in one block.

Another option with this is to put sashings on it.  I think a black red fabric that I have at home.  I might take a picture of that with it tomorrow to see.  The benefit of using that is that it would also tie in the quilt that I am making Dan since it will be used on that also (if I ever finish it).

I'll post more pictures as it goes along.  :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Finished the binding today

I finished the binding today and later in the week it will be going back to my ex co-worker so that she can keep it in the family for another couple of generations.

That felt good.  Another thing that felt good was that I got flowers today from my boss and graduate assistant.  :)

Aren't they pretty?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Post Birthday Thinking and activity

Ahhh, the day after!  I didn't wake up next to somebody I didn't know nor did I wake up with a headache.  I guess that means I must have celebrated in the right way.  Still it's a little off because the birthday has passed and it's somewhat of a little lost.  With birthdays always come the realization that Life is good but it also needs to be reevaluated at times.  My work can be better so I'll try to keep up with that.  And then there is the crafting funk that I've been in.

I am slowly getting out of it and hopefully things will turn around.  So what *have* I been working on?  I am putting on new binding for a friend.  She retired last month and called me up to ask if I could put new binding on her daughter's baby blanket.  She wants to give it to her daughter so that it can be passed down.  I managed to get her to agree to cotton binding instead of that icky sateen stuff.  Here is a picture of what I picked out and started to stitch on.

It should be finished in a day or two.  I'm doing it, of course, all by hand.  It is a double fold so it should last longer.  This is also the first time that I have used my finger tips that I bought.

I really liked using them.  They insulated my fingers from the steam of the iron.  It's one of those "why didn't I try these before".  I probably didn't need it for this binding since they were 5" wide before folding but I know they will be good when I do smaller/narrower ones.

I did get an Amazon gift certificate from a good friend for my birthday.  It managed to let me get a couple of books on my wish list.  I'm getting:

I know...I know.  How many applique books does one person need?  Obviously more than what I currently have since I'm still buying them.  LOL.

Back to stitching.  Everybody have a great day.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Happy Birthday to me....Happy Birthday to me.....

Happy Birthday to .....MEEEEEEEEeee....

Happy Birthday to me.

Now to bring on the...hmm. I'm not overly fond of cake and I don't have any pie around.  Perhaps I'll have to make some peanut butter cookies.  I have all three ingredients on hand so that will be easy.

What a wonderful way to start off my birthday.  Opening up emails and seeing birthday wishes from friends around the world.  Thanks everybody.

Now to start the day...after caffeine that is!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Night Before my Birthday......

Now this would be the space where I could finish a poem or something after starting out my blog that way but not me.  That's because I'm not good on poetry or anything so you'll just have to think up of something yourself.

Yes it is the day before my birthday.  I'll be 58 in a couple of hours and once again I am faced with that age old question....How does one act their age.  I haven't figured out how to act my own age since....since I can remember.  When I was younger they said I was more mature.  When I got older they said I was younger.  MAKE UP YOUR MIND!   LOL.  Age hasn't bothered me yet but I'm sure one day it will.

What will I do on my birthday?  I'm not sure.  Rhea (my car) is acting up and I don't want to take her out of town to the Stitch Out which is around 20 miles away.  I will run around town in short trips here no doubt instead.  One of the ladies who retired (Ev) stopped by the office today and asked me to put a different binding on her daughters old baby blanket.  The sateen binding that has been on there for YEARS is about 1/3 off.  I told her I would but I only work in cottons.  She's cool with that.  The sateen was around 2"-3" wide and single fold.  She doesn't care about the width but since her daughter will probably give it to her grandbabies, it needs to stand up to time.  Perhaps a double fold.  I will only charge her $20 plus the cost of the fabric.  It should be relatively quick to do once I get to JoAnne's or some place to get it.

I also received 12 t-shirts in the mail from my friend Dan.  Before I can make him something with them I think I will take them to the laundrymat and see if I can get some more of the cigarette smell out.  It's not overwhelming but if I can get it out it will be better.  Then I'll lay them out to see how they will look.

This weekend I also will be playing with my new mini iron.

 I will try to use it for some applique but it might just be used for pressing some seams or something first.  We shall see.

In the middle of doing all of this (and laundry), I will be going through my new book and making a shopping list of what to get from the grocery store so I can make one of the recipes.

Now I'm getting tired from all of this so I guess I had better get to bed.  Until tomorrow my friends...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Packages in the mail!

YIPPEE!  I got Mail!

It is so much fun to get mail that isn't bills!  It's even more fun when it is stuff either I ordered or stuff that I wanted.  LOL.

Today's mail ended up a combination of both.  First of all my friend Dan sent me a package that had t-shirts in it as well as a Gemsbok needlecase that I had ordered from his company "It Is What It Is".  What?  You don't know what a Gemsbok is?  Here you go.

  1. The gemsbok or gemsbuck is a large antelope in the Oryx genus. It is native to the arid regions of Southern Africa, such as the Kalahari Desert. Some authorities formerly included the East African oryx as a subspecies. Wikipedia
  2. Scientific nameOryx gazella
  3. Height120 cm (At Shoulder)
  4. Tail length45 – 90 cm
  5. Body length190 – 240 cm
  6. Mass100 – 210 kg (Female), 220 – 300 kg (Male)
And THIS is what the needle case looks like. 

Ignore the misspelling of the name of the beast.  :)  I placed it on a small cocktail napkin so you'd get an idea of how large it is.  This is a large needle case from them.  Can't wait to take it with me on Saturday to show people.  Of course there is a chance that they won't think it is as cook as I do but that's ok.  As long as *I* like it that is what matters since I ordered it.  :)

I do have to say that Dan knows how to pack a box.  Of course now I have to wait until I get home before I can see what is *on* the t-shirts since I know that I won't be able to get them back into the box as nice and neat as he did.  LOL.

Ohhh.  I also got something else (and a new book to read) but it's in the car and I can't take a picture of it until I get home.  Now that I have my other cables in I can transfer pictures again from the camera.    I guess this means I'll have to make another post tonight or tomorrow.  :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Genealogy Update

I have been enjoying getting emails from my cousin Gayla.  Isn't that a great name?  Gayla.  :)

She has been sending me pictures that I hadn't seen before and I've sent her some also.  Today I sent her a story about Grandma Mertie Chamberlain.  I remember her clearly and by sharing stories it also is a way for me to remember and hopefully keep her memory alive after I'm gone.

Here is Grandma Chamberlain in 1976.  :)

So now you know who I am talking about.  :)  I'll post more pictures when my Cousin Gayla sends me some.  We've been trading family pictures back and forth.  Go see some of them on The Bromelands page.

This Saturday is the Stitch Out.  I have been requested to bring some yarn and show Connie how to crochet my pot holders.  I will do that but will also bring something to stitch on.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Updates to Ancestry

Wow!  What an exciting bunch of emails I have had today.  Check it out on my ancestry page!

Now what else have I been working on?  Still working on black bats.  It is hard to work on them for a long time because it's all black!  It is definitely driving ME batty!  I am about half way done stitching the bats down.

I think I will take a Rose of Sharon block on Saturday for the stitch out.  Not sure which one.  Hopefully this week I can match up my thread for it.  I also hope to cut down the blocks for the Inspired by Tradition blocks.

So much to do and so little time to do it in.  :)

I'll write more and show some pictures after I get my camera cable.  I had to order it and it should be here tomorrow.

Everybody have a great day/night.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Turtle Sunday

How I wish it was a turtle SUNDAE but it's not.  It's just a turtle sunday.  By that I mean I had breakfast with mom and I gave her a necklace that I had picked up at the Rockin the Reptiles event last week.  It was a good fit for her since it was easy to put over her head, once she took off her hat, and it hung down low enough she could see it on her.

See the 4th of July napkin I had this week for breakfast?  She didn't want to use it because she said it was too pretty so she conned me out of six of them "to keep".  I know...I know...I'm such a sucker.  LOL.

I've been stitching on some applique bats but I'm not sure that is what I want to take on Saturday to  the Stitch Out at Needles of Rochelle.  I have so many applique UFOs that I should just lay them all out and close my eyes to see to see what to take with me.  I have my folding chair all ready to go plus a cooling towel in case it is very hot.  Now to just figure out what to work on.

I have to make this a short post since I have to work tomorrow.  I'll catch you all up later.

Everybody have a great day/night.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Next on the list of "to do"

I received my Bird Brain Design order today and can't wait to start it.  It will have to wait probably until next weekend but if I get it all set up I might do it at the Stitch Out that I will be going to on my birthday.  Here is the pattern.

If I don't work on that, I might take the Esther Aliu Easter Rose table runner with me to work on.  Of course both of these means I have to get them ready so all I have to do is stitch on them.

The other thing that I am working on (ok, ONE of the things that I am working on) is a mini wall hanging for my friend Janine's door for Halloween.  She liked this and thought it would be a good thing to make for her so I'll probably do it.  It's only 12" and it wouldn't take much to just add a black border or something on it.

The bats came from Custom Quilt Kits and I liked how they formed a secondary pattern for the middle.  I'm not sure how I'll quilt it but I'm still stitching it on so I have time to figure it out.

Now are you ready for more pictures from the museum that I visited over the weekend?