Saturday, December 19, 2009
I got up early and I looked today. It is beautiful and now I am inspired to finish the rest. Step 3 is mostly done, 4 has the most left to be done and 5 is almost half complete. I do need to get back to some gift sewing but I am having great fun with this mystery quilt.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I don't know what came over me but I decided to make Bonnie Hunters Carolina Christmas Mystery Quilt. She started posting steps the day after Thanksgiving and yesterday the layout was revealed. Of course I have a lot of Christmas sewing to do and I wasn't even near a sewing machine when it started but for some reason I felt compelled to make this quilt and to make it now. We got back from our trip on a Monday and I started cutting on Tuesday.
I couldn't make myself stop for the first few days but now working on the quilt is my reward for finishing something else. So far this is working, I only have one more gift to sew unless I add another one to the list (which I probably will.)
The way a mystery quilt is supposed to work is that you are given a "clue" or step of the quilt and you make that and then you get another clue. I dutifully started clue one without knowing the rest. I made 100 and something gold and neutral 2 patches and then worked on green and neutral half square triangles. Then I got bored so I peeked at the next clue and started working on it, and then when I would get tired of the repetition I would start the next one - cheater, cheater!
I am now working on all of the clues at once and none of them are completed but I am happy. I only work a little bit each day but I can cut for a bit then sew some and then iron when I get the chance. The only problem is now the final layout has been posted and I really want to look. I am trying to be a good girl and follow the no peeking rule but I don't know how long I can last.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
We woke up to white stuff this morning. I know that for many people it is no big deal but here where I live it is not a common occurrence (thank goodness.) I am sure by the time I have to go out it will all be gone but it is fun to look at - for a while.
We got home 2 days ago from a road trip to California. The snow was right behind us in west Texas. Thirteen years ago we hit an icy patch on a trip for Thanksgiving and we totaled our van. We have not tried to leave town at this time of year since then. This year the trip was wonderful and we are very glad we did it.
Monday, October 5, 2009
I have not posted my design wall lately but let me assure you it has not changed much. I did take a picture last week and this is how it looked. All the blocks are complete and laid out in an orderly manner.
I also took one this morning and this is the current look. The pickle blocks are now arranged and ready to sew which I will do today at my lunch bunch quilting group.
I worked on half square triangles for a long time. I got the flu in the middle of making them and I would sew for a while and then go lay down for a while. I was able to complete all of the pinwheels and the blocks with this method. Getting the swine flu may not top every ones list of fun things to do but I didn't feel too bad and I stayed home a lot and sewed.
In the past 3 weeks I also completed a doll quilt, worked on the quilting of Double Delight, finished a store sample for a quilt class, made 2 Boolicious skirts and I have been working on making my scrap pile more manageable - it has been a scary mess, now it is not quite so scary. I use Bonnie Hunters scrap users system so I have been cutting everything into usable strips. I have several scrap projects under construction at this time, I work on them when the mood strikes, someday they will be done but I don't stress about it.
Happy Monday everyone and I hope the rain keeps coming, it really feels like fall around here.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Since I have been off the grid for a month or so I decided I had better get back to quilting and blogging. I went to Southern California for 3 weeks to spend time with my daughter and her 2 little girls, I had a wonderful visit and it was very hard to get back into life at home. Of course having visitors arrive the very next week put me further behind on my quilting.
I was able to take a guild sponsored workshop with Linda Milligan and Nancy Smith. They were teaching paper and curved piecing in the Christmas Pickle quilt so that is what I am working on and have on my design wall today.
I don't usually make a pattern in the same color as the original but this one is a fun and I have lots of greens. I am really practicing my curves. I have completed all 24 paper pieced arcs and I am in the process of adding the five curved pieces that are in each block. Then I only have 120 pinwheel units to go!
Monday, July 20, 2009
This Design Wall Monday thing is great for forcing me to get something done so I can put up something new. I have actually been working on this a bit at a time. When I went on retreat a few weeks ago one of the other ladies was putting together a half log cabin scrap quilt. She was pretty tired of making the blocks and I was collecting scraps so she gave me the leftovers. When I got home I decided to put them together and I will be giving the top back to her so that she can donate it with the one she made.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
The Boy Scouts did the flag ceremony and when the flag is flying with the church steeple in the background it really makes me realize just how lucky we are to live here and enjoy the freedoms that we have.
Now I will start sewing and watch 1776 - another reminder of what our forefathers did for us. I hope everyone has a great day and takes a moment to think about our blessings.
Friday, July 3, 2009
He planted several eggplants and they are now producing. I am not an eggplant lover at all so this week when he brought in five of the purple things I knew I was in trouble. I decided to make Eggplant Parmesan. I found a recipe on the internet at and since we also had lots of ripe tomatoes I made my own sauce. All of the produce that went into the sauce was from the garden. It called for quite a few herbs but I just went shopping outside with a pair of scissors.
The only thing I changed was that I had one lonely yellow squash so I put that in the sauce and I added some sugar to the sauce to give it a slightly sweet taste. I also cooked it longer so that it was thick and not runny.
When we sat down to eat it was amazing. This tasted so good that I wanted to cry. We each had a portion and then even though we wanted to eat more we could not because we were too full. I had leftovers for lunch yesterday and it was just as good the second time!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Of course I had to take them down to come home but I am excited about the project again and I will get them together soon -well soon is a relative term when it has already been this long.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
When the ceremony started they dimmed the lights but I had my handy, dandy magnifying light
so while the 600 or so names were read I kept sewing.
I am so glad I had hand work - we were in the auditorium for 3 and 1/2 hours and I am also glad we sat up high - no one was behind me so when I got tired of sitting I could stand for awhile and the AC was blowing on us so we were quite comfortable. So I have learned that maybe "handwork" is not a bad word and I only have a few more grapes to complete that part, maybe it will get done this year!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
2 sample outfits for the store where I work
1 quilt for a wedding present on Saturday
the fabric chosen and cut for a new project my lunch bunch is doing together - a French Braid quilt
the completed center panel (finished it on Saturday) for my Out of the Darkness quilt that I started sometime in 2002 - now I just have to do the borders, it really is on my design wall, even though I finished it last week I put it up as inspiration to get to the rest of the quilt
Friday, May 15, 2009
Tonight for dinner I made up a new way to cook chicken and everyone liked it and my husband suggested I post it on my blog so here goes:
Squeeze one lemon over the top
Press some garlic and rub it around - you can use as much or as little as you like
Drizzle a bit of honey
Splash on a little soy sauce
Bake covered for one hour at 375 and then remove cover so it can brown a bit
That's it, we also had pan fried potato slices, sauted Swiss Chard (from our garden) and a fruit salad from the friut that was in the fridge. Good dinner, easy to make and it used what we had.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Our egg hunt was in the front yard where our new vegetable garden is so they were just like Peter Rabbit in the cabbage patch. I think they all had fun and they sure caught on quick to what was going on. We just hid plastic eggs and did not even fill them (do you think we can get away with that next year?)
We did take the two little ones that are staying at our house to the park after church today for more pictures. We took along our miniature park bench so they could sit and be dry but of course Shannon did not stay seated for long.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Sarah spent the weekend baking and decorating cookies for the wedding favors- she worked at a cookie store and really enjoys the cookies so she thought it would be a good remembrance of her.
We are also going to put cookies on the top of the grooms cake. As a side note we had never heard of grooms cake until we moved to Texas. The grooms cakes we have seen are chocolate and are decorated with something that reminds you of the groom so this cake will have boots and a Texas cookie on it. Our first one had a chocolate directors slate and the next one was chocolate covered strawberries. We haven't figured out the last one yet.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I did finish my first smocked dress - this one for the baby. I am working on one for her big sister too but I do the smocking while I am watching tv in the evenings. The dresses for the girls are all in various stages of completion and my outfit is almost done. The wedding dress was on hold until I could pin (literally) down the bride for a final fitting. It is now ready for the finishing touches.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
If it needs more support then I will put more boning in the lining. I feel good about my decisions so far, she will be here for a fitting tomorrow night. I also want to have the lining put together and the slip made - we shall see how much I actually get done. I am pretty much committed to finishing the gown before I work on anything else because the machine is all set up and I recovered my ironing board and I don't want to get any gunk or color that might transfer to the white satin. I really, really want to be working on a quilt and finishing my jacket so this is my motivation.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I was concerned about all of that white fabric and all the dog hair my pet leaves around and my husband suggested going over to the church to cut it out. Brilliant! The tables are adjustable and I could put 2 together, the room is big and empty and there is no dog hair. So early this morning I cut out the dress. I still have to do the lining but I didn't get enough fabric for that yet. I really like sewing wedding dresses for my girls - this will be my third- I find it to be a wonderful labor of love and I am looking forward to the experience, I always learn a lot in the process.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I started my sewing life with a G.E. iron, I am pretty sure G.E. does not make irons anymore but it was a functional steam iron that pretty much did the job. I then had a cordless iron - it was a pain because it kept cooling down and had to be put back on the base. I then moved on to a Rowenta and I have been a fan ever since. I wanted the weight to help press open seams and for other functions in dressmaking. I liked the pointy tip and it was big! I really started wanting a steam generator iron because it seemed as though I was always filling the darn thing. A few years ago I got my Rowenta steam generator iron and I love it with a capital 'L'. (I know my grandma used to say that you can't love and object but . . .)
The water goes in the base unit and the steam comes through a hose that has never gotten in the way or annoyed me
A few months ago I used an Oliso iron at a quilt retreat - everyone seems to be talking about this one, it lifts up when you aren't touching it so it does not scorch your fabric. At first it was kinda cool but then it got annoying and when I returned home and started using my Rowenta again I realized how heavy that Oliso was compared to mine and I was "in love" all over again.
I also own the Rowenta craft iron and a Singer press that I got at a garage sale for cheap. I only use the press when fusing large quantities of interfacing - it is great for T shirt quilts. The baby Rowenta is my take along and I also set it up right next to me when doing a lot of little fussy stitching that requires pressing after every 1" seam (some of Pam Bono's patterns)
Now if I could just find an ironing board cover I like life would be good.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Today is the coldest it has been all year and that is probably why the power went out. It was cloudy and dreary outside so it was dark in the house and I wanted to keep moving so I went into the bedroom and started cleaning. The holidays always seem to make my room a clutter catch-all so it was time to put it all away. I was really starting to get something accomplished when the lights came back on and my sewing machine again beckoned to me.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I have been working on Bonnie Hunter New Year's Eve Mystery - Double Delight. It is a scrap quilt with lots of little parts. I had finished part 1 and most of part 2
I get a little bored doing the same thing over and over so I now have pieces and parts spread all over and just 3 complete blocks.
but then I peeked at the rest and I couldn't resist starting the other parts. I tend to work on a project all helter skelter anyway and
When everything comes together I think it will be a great quilt. Thanks Judy for letting us 'sew' with you. And thanks Bonnie for taking the time to share a wonderful pattern and great instructions.
Monday, January 5, 2009
I did not make these pads but they fit my theme so well that I had to use them. My friend, Kayleen made sets of 12 pads for her family and friends. Each month is color or holiday coordinated and nice and thick. They are really too pretty to use but I have been pulling out a new one each month to use as a trivet on the table. I think she said she made 13 sets - that is a lot of hot pads! She used up a lot of scraps of fabric and batting which is always a good idea so I am planning to make some for my family next year. I do know that I will NOT be making 156 of them.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
This quilt is the second in a series of Christmas quilts for my children. We have had a tradition of making pj's to open on Christmas Eve and then we get a picture of everyone in their matching jammies. I have been trying to gracefully move this tradition to the next generation so I decided to make each of them a quilt with pieces of the pajamas as part of the design. I started this quilt awhile ago but when I pulled it out to finish for this Christmas I got the idea of using the pj fabric for the center squares.
I do not have scraps from every year but I have saved and located quite a few of them. My oldest received her quilt 2 years ago and Conrad got this one. When I see the right pattern for the next one I will start on it but I am not putting a time constraint on the next one - it will happen when it happens. I don't know if the other 2 kids have figured this mystery out yet but I know they are still wondering why I cut up Stephanie's baby blanket and I am still not telling - I do love a mystery.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
This quilt was not actually for Christmas but it is for a birthday that is right after Christmas. Last summer I decided to make each of my granchilderen an I Spy quilt for their second birthday, knowing that I would have to make 3 within 6 months. I cut them all out in June and then made the first 2 for August birthdays but number 3 just sat there in pieces until after Christmas when I decided I had better get a move on. I finished it just in time.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
I made the baby a cloth tag book. A tag book is one with ribbons or tags hanging off the sides for baby to grasp and chew on. I used my embroidery machine to applique bright images on each page and then put them together in book form. The cover is soft velour and the inside cover is shiny satin and the ribbons are all different kinds from grograin to satin so there are a lot of different textures.