Sunday, December 29, 2019

Another day closer to ending 2019

As 2019 winds down, I start to think on what 2020 will bring or, at least, what I want it to bring.  In cleaning out a plastic tub, I ran across a book that I had bought.  It is called "The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking:  15 projects Inspired by Everyday Beauty" by Jane Brocket. 

This book has resonated with me more than once.  Take page 15.  The title of the chapter is "Decisions, decisions".  She goes on to talk about how easy it is to become paralyzed by the challenge of turning the pile of fabrics into a finished quilt.  Oh boy, this explains a lot of UFO's!  I also like that she admits that he seldom buys all the fabric needed for a quilt in one shopping trip.  It is too easy to get carried away and you might buy than you need or wanted to.  She, and I, like to shop for fabrics on the internet because you can put fabric in your shopping cart, take a break and THEN go back and see if you need everything in your shopping cart.  That's not so easy while you are in a shop and can feel all the fabric, hear the other customers talk about THEIR projects and what THEY are buying, etc.  Temptation get behind me!!!!!! (unless it is Stonehenge).

What are you trying to do in 2020?  I hate to call it New Years Resolution since they always seem to get broken.  I must correct myself.  They USUALLY seem to get broken.  In 2019 I've managed to complete two if not 3 of them.  I paid off my car and I paid off a huge loan.  I also lost 102 pounds and, going by today's date, only need to lose 20 more by the time I retire to meet another goal.  If I lose it, fine and if not fine.  I will adjust.  Sitting at the computer eating potato chips is not going to help but my body said it wanted potato chips so it is getting it.  :)

One goal that I have for 2020 is to REALLY limit my spending and sock money away to retire.  We'll see.  I am not good at saving.

Well that is what is my plans. I hope you have a wonderful day and week.


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Oops - forgot the YouTube link

Ooops.  I forgot to put in the link to the YouTube where MSQC shows you how to do it.


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everybody!  I hope that you have/had a great day.  For me it was a quiet day but I had some phone calls from friends afar that brightened up my day.  One of those phone calls came from a quilting friend who wondered how I did quilt as you go hexies.  I took some pictures and thought to put them here in case others wanted to see them too.

I am using the QAYG 2 1/2" template from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  You don't need this but it does help to make it a little quicker.  Just make sure that whatever size your hexie is (for the finished size, your outer shell is larger.  For this, the outer shell is approximately 3/4" larger.  I also got for Christmas (I am so nice to myself) a rotating 14" (even though the squares measure 13") cutting mat.  I.LOVE.IT!!!!

Now on to the pictures of how I did my hexies.  I don't do them like some of you probably do.  I found it was better for me to change it up a little bit.

Here is what my template looks like.  There are two sections to it.  The inner section and the frame or outer section.

The inner section pops out so you can have an easier time cutting that fabric out.

The hardest thing for me to remember is that even though it says 2 1/2", the finished product is NOT 2 1/2".  You measure hexies across the end.  Like the top of the hexie here would measure 2 1/2".  In the picture below, it is sitting on top of a charm pack which is 5".

You use the inner section to cut the fabric you want the inner fabric to be as well as the batting you want to use.  This is great for me right now, because I am using up a lot of leftover scrap batting.

That takes care of the inner portion for cutting so now let's look at the outer portion.  You use this to cut out the backing fabric.

This is where I change it up a bit.  To make sure that I do it right (yeah, I know me), I trace the outline on the back of the backing fabric.  Not only do I trace the outer guidelines, I also trace the inner.  I just use a mechanical pencil.  It is on the back and will be covered up so nobody sees it.

Now comes the assembly part.  Put the backing hexie that you cut out face down and then the inner batting on top.  The batting would go in the middle of that inner marking that I did.  That's why I do it.  It is easier for me to line up.  Easier for me means less headaches and pressure.  :)  Then you put your center fabric that was cut out on top of the batting.. 

I usually put one straight pin in the middle or some place to keep the three layers together while I fold the backing fabric in.  You fold it twice.  The first fold is up to the batting and front section.  Finger press and then you fold it again so it is up and over.  This way you don't have any raw edges.  You can pin it or do what I do which is baste it to hold it together until I get to sew it.   If you look carefully, you can see my basting stitches.  The individual hexies will look a little "puffy" but they will flatten out when you press them.

Here is a finished one.  It is nice and flat so I can stitch them together  after I get enough to lay out in the design I want.  I am doing mine by hand but you can also do them on the machine by stitching in that outer border and joining them with a zig zag stitch.  My sewing machine only does straight stitch and I could do that but I like sewing them by hand.

I'm not sure if I'll do a tacking stitch in the middle to help secure the layers together or not.  I can go back and do that after I decide.  Depending on what I want to make (quilt, wall hanging, table runner) I might be able to sew a button in the middle of it. 

What do you think? 

I hope you had a wonderful day and are enjoying Christmas and perhaps family.  I am going to call a friend so I shall stop here.  My ham is done and I'm about ready to make roasted garlic mashed potatoes.  Easy peasy dinner.

So to all my friends, I can Happy Holidays and thank you for being my friends.  Now to all I shall dash away.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Eve - Eve

Here we are on the night before Christmas Eve or Christmas Eve - Eve.  Are you rushing around doing last minute shopping?  Are you hurriedly finishing up craft projects?  I'm not.  I am being particularly lazy plus since it is only me now for immediate family, I don't need to rush as much.  Don't get me wrong, I have been busy but just not craft wise.  

So what have I been  working on?  The kitchen, cleaning, and cooking.  The only part of that trio that is fun was the cooking.  :)  I'll get to that in a minute.  First let's talk about the kitchen.  It is small and never enough space.  Then I discovered that the kitchen sink leaked.  Over the last year and two landlords ago, I've had people looking at the kitchen sink about 4 times.  They always say it was fixed and it was for a short amount of time.  This latest landlord (Mike) doesn't like leaking faucets and has been out a couple of times about it.  He had a person come out and look at it and it seemed fixed.  Then I noticed it was leaking again so he came out.  He tightened up things but it is still leaking.  It's not leaking much and the small pail he put underneath it in case it happened again, which it did hasn't even gotten the bottom covered.  He did put in a call to the plumber again and he will be coming out.  I told him not to pay extra.  Wait until after the holidays if he wants since it is a small leak.  Besides it was a good excuse not to do dishes for a bit.  He did put in the call to the plumber and he will be coming out, just not sure when.  

The other kitchen thing is that I now have a new Whirlpool refrigerator.  The landlord bought the extended warranty so it is covered for 4 years!  I had to take everything out of the fridge/freezer and then put it all back.  I decided that it would be a good time to look at expiration dates and what the freezer food looked like.  A lot of it got thrown out and now I am going through and arranging things better in the kitchen.  It's hard when you don't have cupboards.  The only cupboards are under the kitchen sink (well off to the side of it) so food is on 3 foot high bookcases, etc.  

That led me to going through some boxes that were in the kitchen for years.  I moved them into the sewing area so I could go through them.  I'm down to the last of the boxes and am proud to say that if I haven't looked for what was in them or used what was in them during the last year, they got recycled/thrown out/donated. 

Why is it that whenever we clean in the kitchen that I am ready to dirty it up again by cooking?  Today was no exception.  I looked around my more spacious kitchen (since I took down the card table) and my crockpots and smiled.  What would I make?  I had it.  I would make a recipe that was made at our last work buffet.  It is a crockpot corn casserole.  I tasted it before I knew the ingredients and I'm glad that I did.  It has creamed corn in it and I don't like creamed corn but I really did like this casserole.

Crock Pot Corn Casserole:

1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 can corn - not drained
1 can creamed corn
1/4 cup butter - melted
1 egg (I am using two because these are those brown eggs and smaller I think)
1 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded and divided (substitute the type of cheese you want0
1/2 cup sour cream

Pour Jiffy mix, corn, cream corn, butter, egg and 1 cup cheese into crock pot and mix very well.

Dollop sour cream by small spoonfuls and sprinkle rest of cheese on top.

Cook on high 3-4 hours or until a knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

Let sit for 10 minutes then serve.

What I changed:

mix everything together (including sour cream) and then cook it.  It gets the sour cream mixed in better.  I didn't put more cheese on top.because it is just for me and I didn't care.  I can sprinkle more on top if I want when I dish it up to eat.

Like I said I don't like creamed cheese but this was good!

I've had a cold for about 1 1/2 weeks and am now feeling better but am being careful to take naps and rest in between bouts of "I have to get this done".  That means I haven't been quilting much or crafting much.  I am working on a quilt as you go hexies which is about all I want to do right now.  I have to rearrange what I want to do in 2020 but until then I will plug along.

I hope everybody has a joyour holiday and remember:

"Christmas is not so much about opening our presents as opening our hearts" - JaniceMaeditere