Apr 30, 2006

Done and what's up next

Color me happy---I am done with that round robin applique and it did not kill me. I can post this because the person who will receive it in the end is not online and is not likely to be reading my blog. I took the last stitch in the silk ribbon embroidered bees at 5 p.m. I see the little things did not show up terribly well in this picture. Looks like a little speck of dirt in this shot, LOL but trust me, they are there! The flight paths I made with two strands of embroidery floss show up better in person as well.

So it will give me great pleasure to cross this off my April goals. I revised the April, May and June goals a couple days ago--much of April had to be moved to May because this applique thing was so time consuming.

Next up? I will be completing a Christmas quilt top that our friend and fellow Bama Belles started for one of her sons. She passed away 2 plus years ago and left about a third of the top completed with some loose blocks included. I was asked to complete it as I have the book that some of the patterns came from. Betsy had already made one for her other son and I know on the second go round she had already decided to make some changes in the design. There is a folded flower block that we did as a group, a friendship star in log cabin that her secret pal made for her and she left the cookie letter off the cookie jar on round 2 as that about drove her around the bend the first time. Good plan!

I have re-drawn it in EQ to accomodate those changes. I should also say that I have one of these started for myself---another UFO on the list. Her son called about this not long ago so it is time to get his mom's top moved along. His dad can take it on to the machine quilter in Birmingham that did her long arm work for her once I'm done.

The patterns were one of those "buy two packets each month" format from Oxmoor House--one was pieced and the other appliqued. The original quilt was designed by Jeanne Kimball. Oxmoor House is based in Birmingham and some of the featured stitchers in the book are quilters that we know from the area. One owns Quiltmaker's Workshop, one is the the long armer I mentioned, another owns Heart to Heart Quilt Shop and designed that "Nine Patch Fun" pattern I referred to in my "Whatever" block post a few days ago as a matter of fact.

Anyway, where you see a gap it is meant to be an appliqued block place holder that I didn't want to try to draw but it should be a little like this with borders. It has been a while since I looked at my notes so some review will be in order before starting it up. I am setting a goal of May 10 to get this done.

I'm taking the rest of the night off!

Apr 29, 2006

Don't have a clue

I don't have a clue what she was doing with this basket. She had a little wild hair thing going last night and this is how DJ caught her.

We have a vaulted ceiling in kitchen and living room with an open spaced wall between them. She hops up from the back of the couch, up to the open window space, to the top of the refrigerator and up to the top of the kitchen cabinets. Then she has the option of going even higher atop the top board of the windowed area. Posted by Picasa

DJ said he had a wonderful birthday. The weather was chamber of commerce beautiful yesterday so that made our laps around the Oxford Lake very pleasant with a nice breeze off the water. We found a tape measure for half price at Sears to replace his worn out one and walked down to where we thought the cafeteria restaurant was. The mall had converted that space into a Goody's department store but a lady walking by heard our conversation about "it was right here" and directed us to where it had basically moved--now it's buffet style. Thank you for all the birthday greetings you sent on to him. He is 16 years older than me and is actually more a contemporary of my parents -- just turned 70. I would rather than be a older man's darling than a young man's slave anyday!!

Yesterday I got all the appliqued pieces that were basted down in the previous post appliqued and still had time to stick down one of the beehives that are part of my design. This means that my work is half done. Once I determine that DJ no longer needs my help with this storm door project I can get back to work.

I appreciate the compliments you gave on the work in progress and the helpful hints that Judy and Patti passed on to me. Y'all are the best! The suggestions may not have helped with this project since I had already gotten the project started the "wrong" way on part of it. I didn't even draw this thing out to have anything to line it up on. It will not be exactly the same on both sides. It does help to know that I can sew the centers down on the remaining flowers first though. Live and learn, right? I think it is possible that I could have this finished up by tomorrow night if I keep at it diligently this afternoon and tomorrow.

I was able to pass on suggestions to Cher so she could get some circles made so it is not all bad.

Break time is over as "carpenter" man is back from the a run to the hardware store. see ya!

Apr 28, 2006

It's finally Friday...........

George Jones song that they play on the country music station here around 4 p.m. on Friday. Funny how that an approaching weekend is not such a big deal when you don't work outside the home.

It's Talladega race weekend and Oxford will be jumping because of the influx of people to the area but here is my little corner of the world my only concern is that my husband have a "happy day" as he passes a milestone birthday. We still have storm door work ahead of us as we basically only got as far as figuring out how the hinged section went on the door itself when it was time to quit. (talk about the blind leading the blind there!)

He has informed me that he wants to eat somewhere near the mall area (about 12 miles south of us) and we will walk around Oxford Lake rather than our section of Chief Ladiga Trail or around the adjacent town park. Meanwhile, I am still in my pj's, thinking about hopping in the shower and doing some of this applique.

Here is the view from my desk this morning. I've got the two sections of stems stitched down and this section of the applique at least basted in place. Hanne showed us her small sunflowers in her post Sunflowers galore and gave me some advice on a cutting method that expedited sewing these little jems. I scaled down an EQ pattern so the motifs would finish about 3- 3 1/2 inches. I knew that the templates needed to be turned into small tumblers in order to make them pointy from making a regular sized Dresden plate like Evelyn AKA Starfishy. I don't know how well the picture will show up I have both 8 pointed and 12 pointed sunflowers here. There is method to my madness, of course--the edges are already turned on them and no needle turning. The blue one and the beehives you don't see in this picture are freezer paper version.

I think it would be far, far easier to applique in block form than a wide border like this. I keep catching the fabric beneath in the stitches and of course, don't see it till I've done a few inches more work. The fabric keeps fraying away in the outside edge of the border too making me think I should have basted down the edge, zigzagged it or ran it through the serger or something ---like you would do with a cross stitched piece.

I was referring to Rodale's "Sensational Sets and Borders" for something else and found out that I could have (should have ?) NOT sewn the borders on first. I was supposed to start the applique, leave the ends loose and then joined them up or left them loose and then appliqued the corner flower on over it. Then join the almost finished pieces to the quilt. Too danged late to discover that when the stems were halfway stitched on, LOL. How would you more experienced folks do this?? ACK, Jeanne is one of them and she is on her way to Vegas.

The other thing I also discovered after trying it "wrong" the first way was I should sew the flower down first and THEN the center. Here I was happily buttonholing around the sunflower center and even stuffed it slightly and the flower is pulling up like a coolie hat, LOL.

I will get through this--I better as the deadline is only a week away now. Y'all may find me in a corner curled up in fetal position sobbing uncontrollably but I WILL get done or learn to enjoy the process a little more as I go along.

Forest Jane, it is the inside curve first stitched down first--that gives the longer outside edge more room to stretch.

Evelyn if you are reading this--what I was looking up in that book was how to do that zig zag set you were using for your blue blocks. I keep tilting my head trying to figure out how in the world you cut strips sewed around them. An email from my mom said that she had used half square triangles to accomplish that on one of her quilts. The book said it was quarter square triangles in a strippie set. Armed with that, I drew up the "Whatever" blocks in that set though I like Forest Jane's sashed and cornerstoned version as well. I think it looked good in a half step drop as well so we will see what I finally decide when I get around to sewing the top together.

I'll post something in response to Vicky's post about how I got started quilting soon but I need to look for a couple of pictures that should go with it. I should be looking at the needle in my hand rather than needle in a haystack looking for the pics right now. Or stop being a blabberfingers and end this post, LOL.

Apr 27, 2006

tagged twice!

Hanne and Serena both tagged me for "6 Weird Things About Me". I'm not going tag anyone else but encourage you to participate if you like as some of the others in the ring have done.

I would tend to think along the lines of Jeanne and her gratitudes that she lists in each of her posts. Let me explain. Maybe we would be better served to concentrate on the good things about ourselves rather than the oddities or strange personality quirks. For example: I might say that "I am a good listener" or "My friends know they can tell me something in confidence and it will go no further" or "I am a good hugger".

We, as women and peacekeepers, say "I'm sorry" even when something is not our fault or we say it in a situation where we had nothing to do with outcomes. Maybe that is to express sympathy or comfort whoever we say it to, I don't know. We suffer from enough hits to our self esteem NOT to concentrate on the good things we do or the positives in our personalities. Just a thought.

Well, enough introspection from me this early in the morning, LOL. Onto the oddities.

  1. I would just as soon dip my french fries in mayo as ketchup (catsup--which is correct?)

  2. I like cranberry sauce on my turkey slices rather than gravy but it has to be my own homemade whole berry stuff.

  3. Physically I have a couple: my left ear is crinkled up more than the right, my left boob is slightly lower than the right but give it time and gravity the other will catch up , LOL. I have one long hair that grows up near the bicep of my left arm. Actually what is odder than all that? Anything that gives me pain or has been injured or whatever is always on my left side.

  4. I cannot sleep if my hands, feet and/or nose are cold. I have socks on my feet (and sometimes on my hands) very often in the cooler months when I go to bed but they have to be clean socks, not the ones that I wore during the day that may be sweat dampened. Once my feet get warmed up though, the inverse happens. I can't sleep if my feet get too hot and I'll be sticking them out from under the covers.

  5. My husband thinks this is odd--I think it is just to keep from hitting the support post of our carport or being the 4th person to cream the Weaver post office building by jumping the curb. I have to LOOK at the transmission to put the car into reverse or drive. Part of this comes from driving a stick tranmission for about 18 years and now I have been given my husband's old Taurus with an automatic. I've driven it for over a year now but he thinks it is silly for me to keep looking at the dash and not feel the clicks. The other part is I also used to check two or three times that the stick was in the right gear at a stop sign because I didn't want to kill it. Habit, in other words.

  6. Oops, that was only 5 but I guess I lumped a few together in #3

Guess that's it. Still not dressed and I have a store errand if I am to get my husband's birthday cake made while he is at the golf course. He needs my help hanging a storm door this afternoon--ugh, it has to be drilled which means more work for the guy who does not want to read the directions and wants it done in two minutes time. I should look through the steps myself to keep him on track rather than provide the two extra hands he needs to physically put it in place on our back door.

I DID get some stems appliqued last night on the round robin though I had intended to take the day off from all quilting matters. I almost sent up a distress call to Patti and Jeanne though because I was not sure which side you were supposed to stitch down first--inside curve or the outside. I was talking to Cher and Pam in IM at the time and they got me straightened out so no panicked email was sent out.

Lastly, "Happy Birthday" to a dear friend--have a great day!

Apr 26, 2006

7th Annual Spring Sew In

The Bama Belles Quilting Club (of Calhoun County) and I just concluded two days of sewing. When we first started these years ago, Joy opened up her home to us--perfect set up! We often imported talent from out of state from the quilt lists we belonged to or other family and friends. We sewed to all hours of the night and had her neighbors wondering what was going on that late in the evening on her front porch. You could go lay down for awhile if you needed to etc. Even I stayed overnight and I live here! Her daughter-in-law and grandkids came to take care of the kitchen details though we brought food in to pass too. Joy's granddaughter who is now 18 or close to it has been sewing/quilting since age 7 or 8 would sew right along with us. But then Joy moved a good hour away back to her hometown. :-(

Now we just tack an extra day onto our regular meeting date and extend the time. Come when you want, stay as long as you want, one day or both days philosophy. I'm the one with the key to the meeting place so I'm always the first there and last to go. Monday, we had 11 of us working and yesterday, 10--about how many are normally at a meeting as someone is always out of town, has family obligations, illness, whatever.

Some of us were working on "whatever" blocks as shown in the picture below. Others were finishing up other WTIL projects that we had started already that needed moved along---putting on borders, assembling blocks etc. Theramae was "manning" the cutting table---I am thinking there were 12 quilts in all pinned, by my tally. Jane and Ginny could only come help out for a while so they assisted her.

Those "whatever" blocks:

Finn, you may pick out some of your fabric from this blocks in progress picture. Carolyn is pairing up the pre-cut squares you sent us to make four patches. Ada was on pressing and pairing detail. Beverly was sitting opposite Carolyn and working on her own pile of checkerboard. I knew Carolyn was on the right track when I said something about a little cat face showing up in one of the squares--she started looking for pieces that had a novelty, "I Spy" flavor that Forest Jane suggested.
Pam had sent on some Marcus Bros. sample squares that I had trimmed down so those are added to the mix.
Theramae tried to sew yesterday but her "new" featherweight belt was shredding! She thought it best to set it aside till the problem could be looked at more closely--the previous belt was doing the same thing so it probably was the machine, not the belt causing the problems. Judy was working on her own stack of 30's repros to make "Whatever" blocks--I know she had enough (and some extras) for a 3 x 4 set. Lovely!

I also had brought a box of 2 1/2 inch strips to share from my stash. Lois and Beverly were following the strip pieced way more like a checkerboard idea (like Brandy's "Chiclets') to arrive at the center sections. I was following the Billie Lauder "2 for 1" way since I had demo'd that for the un-initiated. I only got a couple of centers done but I had other fish to fry, LOL.

Here are some of the completed blocks after the first day.

We do have enough for the one quilt and the starts of another. Lots of four patch units to be completed. Lois was adding the border bits around the checkerboards that you see on the table yesterday. I'll be doing the assembly--that's my "job". Judy and I were talking about possibly floating the blocks a bit and using a half step drop so they staggered rather than stayed in linear rows. Or in my case, to add a small frame of the muslin around in order to square them up a bit with the variances of quarter inches.

This is a top that Aline assembled from blocks we had donated for another project. (Some of you may remember from my "old lost " blog a quilt she had made for a friend of her daughter's who had lost everything in a fire. ) Aline had more blocks than she needed for that quilt but none of us wanted our blocks back if they could be used for the donation quilts. Rather than start another project with the "whatever" block, she sashed these and assembled them in this pretty top. She also made a pieced back for it and the girls pinned it. Stashbusting!!

Later she was working on putting triangles around some string pieced blocks she had been working on at home for another top.

Linda S was working on borders on a top she had made at home. Finn, a piece of blue that you had sent for binding or whatever came in very handy as the color was perfect for the outside edges. She also started making another pile of crazy patched blocks and had another top done. I came home with 4 of her tops to quilt.

Antoinette had three lovely projects in progress when she came--a pinned Pineapple Blossom, a rail fence section set on point with setting triangles in complementary colors that she then bordered and helped pin and a streak of lightning top that we worked out a design for in progress.

Betsy was having to work on a deadline personal project--a Victorian era blouse for a 100th Anniversary for DAR. That's fine though--personal projects are allowed. We were happy to have her company. Marilyn's guest Kim was quite interested in the clothing construction aspect and was able to answer a lot of Kim's questions. Marilyn got borders on a top she had started at home but we'll pin it at the next meeting. She also needed some design help on another project.

Here is Ginny's Pioneer Braid that she started at the last meeting. That Ginny gets any sewing done at home is amazing as she has two young daughters--8 and 5, I think is right. The picture is not doing the colors justice.

I actually got some sewing done this time--since I wasn't having to cut fabric or trim down blocks. The checkerboards, I mentioned. My main objective was to get the 4 1/2 bands of Pioneer Braid done from the last meeting. I had two bands with their corresponding plain strip joined by lunch time yesterday but three more bands to complete! Pedal to the metal time. I took the last stitch at 5:30 last night and trimmed the 3 bands down since the space to do it was NOT what I would enjoy at home. Wahoo--top is still not done but it will be before the next meeting.

Antoinette and her husband came back over to take down the 5 extra tables I had drug out Monday morning. They got things back to the configuration there were in. Antoinette finished up the vacuuming in my area so I could pack up, finish putting stuff away and get the foodstuffs etc gathered up. Of course, none of it is put away here at home yet--other than the food that required refrigeration. The machine, the tote bags, etc--all in the pull cart yet or piled on the cutting table. I've got quilts piled up everywhere--some need labels, some need numbers, some need quilting and I sure wasn't ready to sort that all out last night.

Okay, I guess that's it for any of the curious--Pam, Cher, my quilt group, my mom. I am not sure where the text and the pictures are going to land when I publish this so some editing may be in order. Blogger is good to do that, as we know.

Apr 23, 2006

"Whatever you want to call it" block

Upon awakening, I realized that I needed to get a handout together for the Bama Belles annual spring sew in for the block that we are going to try. At this point I think you could safely call it, "Whatever You Want to Call It" block. There are at least three known ways of assembling it and I added a 4th twist, LOL (as pictured)

This essential layout has been all the rage on one of the internet lists I belong to. On our recent field trip we saw one very similar to this done up at Heart to Heart Quilt Shop designed by one of the shop owners, Cindy Wilson. (click on patterns and then scroll down to "Nine Patch Fun". She used 3 inch squares and had half blocks on the side and used a limited palette of colors. The blocks were huge though and we thought 12 inch blocks would work better for our needs.

The options as I see it------
  • Brandy offers a free pattern called “Chiclets” on the internet. She, more or less, approaches it in doing horizontal rows like a checkerboard and then fits the half square triangle units in rows to all four sides of the checkboard center.
  • Anita, one of Cher's Portland Piecer buddies, looked at the block as Shaded nine patches. I suspect that Cindy did as well though we did not purchase the pattern to know for sure.
  • Debbie Caffrey in her book Open a Can of Worms (from 2000) had a far different view of how this might go together. She views it as a combination of 4- “Exquisite” or Indian Hatchet” blocks and 4- 4 patches. The two blocks alternate -- refer to the book for the correct layout.
  • It makes more sense to me to cut 4-2 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch strips and 4-2 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch strips and 8-2 1/2 inch squares to make diagonal flip triangles for the top/bottom--side/side of the center checkboard that is formed by 4- 4 patches you have made by whatever method you chose---"leaders and enders", Billie Lauder's or the Nickel Quilts book methods of "2 for one" from squares or strip pieced. Guess that makes it a "combo" method, LOL. The advantage would be that you would not need to cut 3 inch squares and do "sew and cut" triangles that way trimming down the resultant units down to 2 1/2 inches. ALL of it is based on 2 1/2 inches--should work.

If I had time I would do up a block but I am half done basting these leaves. I figured out last night that I can baste around piece of templar and set with spray sizing just like you do for Making Applique Circles. Now you seasoned appliquers are probably laughing at me about that discovery but it came to me in a "lightbulb moment". I tried it and these little ovals are coming out fine.

I still need to get my sewing things together; change the needle, de-lint etc the machine I will be using and pack up the quilts that need binding etc, etc. First though, a trip to the grocery store is also in order since I waited too long to order the meat and cheese tray online---make up my own, I guess. Once the trunk is emptied out---it will become the "quiltmobile" and half my house will go along with.

Apr 22, 2006

Shopping and time with a friend

More 30's repros--as if I needed them! You would not think that taking a quilt up to the long arm quilter would lead to buying fabric but it did. Eva has has about 400 bolts in her little shop. Enough to find something that I wanted to go home with me. Plus it was only 3.59/yard!

I picked up Betsy who lives about 12 miles from me putting a few extra miles on the car on our trek. It was good to have the company as I was not quite sure where I was going and good to be out of the house. We stopped for a sandwich before returning home and let the husbands fend for themselves. It was raining when we left but turned into an absolutely gorgeous day. Everything is so lush and green right now!

The pattern is by Debbie Maddy from Calico Carriage. I own her "Shining Star" pattern already but have always been intrigued by the Carpenter Star. If there is no diamonds and y-seams involved than that is just fine with me!

No sewing yet today as I was doing some web design studying/exercises again before I left this morning. The only part I still need to prep are 20 leaves and baste down the design elements. The design is finally firmed up in my mind with some online consultation with Pam and Cher. I have come to the conclusion that I work much better with a pattern I can change than designing my own from the "ground up". One of these decades I intend to be actually stitching, LOL. After supper, I'll get back with the program.

The other conclusion I came to was that I need to put all my applique "toys" in one spot instead of having it scattered in various areas. The press bars and flexible curve are one spot, the circle drawer thing another, the templar who knows where, the fusible interfacing a 3rd place, etc etc. No wonder I can't get anything done for searching! I ran by Wally World on the way home and got a storage container for all that stuff.

Time to go scare up something for supper-----

Apr 21, 2006

Plodding along

Now here is some applique I can handle! The snowman quilt was made for my secret pal on a former quilt list.

I have plans to one day make me one! The design is from Piecemaker's book "Something to Crow About". It also contains some cool folk -arty sunflower ideas I have toyed with in recent days. Who knows? I may end up with a couple of those on my round robin project yet!

In the past I also have done a few Appliquilt patterns from various books written by Tonee White--one of which was a round robin pass around project. I'll save those for another post since I am having a little problem getting images to "play nice"

Here is another way I can handle applique--fuse it within an inch of its life, LOL.

The pattern is designed by Diane Arthurs for "From the Powder Mill" and is appropriately called "God Bless America" . It was made for another secret pal.

You cannot see it very well but I also made the quilt hanger--gold stars on the end of the dowel rod also painted gold.

So how am I coming with my current project? As of last night I am done making flowers for now except I need to make the center circles. I have 4 mottled orange 8 pointed stars 3 1/2 inches finished and 4 golden yellow 12 pointed sunflower like Hanne showed on her recent post Sunflowers galore.

We have had 3 days in a row of severe thunderstorms by late afternoon forcing me to shut down the sewing machine and the computer. Unfortunately we are shooting for a 4th day of storms this afternoon. Yesterday we had about 2.5 inches of rain in about 2 hours time. I had hoped to get the bias strips cut for the stems, etc but that didn't get done and still hasn't gotten done today either. Best laid plans are falling by the wayside.

This morning, I admit, I was distracted and working on my web design exercises and then attempting to put a webpage up on earthlink in my free space. It needs work--that "wysiwyg" stuff can drive you nuts trying to get things placed with my limited skills but hey, that's why I doing the exercises!

Now I seriously need to go make some circles to cover the flower centers---hold my feet to the fire on this one, will'ya?


Apr 19, 2006

Making some progress

I know I have been moaning and groaning about having to some applique on a round robin. I've gotten a little of my project ready but not ready to show. Here is a wall hanging I made for my sister who lives in Colorado circa 2000. I am being too lazy to dig out the pattern to tell you the designed but it is called "Rocky Mountain Spring". I can do it but prefer not to.

I am making some progress today though, thanks to some helpful suggestions from Hanne that she emailed me. Thanks again!

One little bee hive is prepped and one little orange shaded eight pointy petaled flower is sewn. I can use the owners focus fabric for the flower centers. Hey, that's more than I had done this morning! I figure 4 flowers in that goldy yellow I showed you from my first attempt and 3 more orange ones should do it.

The pointy flowers have the edges already have the raw edges enclosed and ready to applique to the borders I applied yesterday. I have dug out my flexible curve and bias press bars so I'll be ready for stems and leaves tomorrow with any luck.

My goal is to have the applique all prepped so that I can hand stitch in between a piecing project--like applique in the mornings and piece in the afternoons. That may be revised however because the sew-in is coming up all day Monday and Tuesday. The deadline is May 6th and I don't want to be taking the last stitches late May 5th.

This morning I did catch a ride with my husband over to our meeting place to deliver a big roll of batting and pinned the two tops Finn sent us for the girls at Big Oak Ranch. The church has a morning kindergarten session that was working on a project in the Fellowship Hall. Daddies were helping the kiddos make bird houses so there were 6 or 7 stations of hammers going when I arrived. Just as I was about to tell DJ that I would just run onto the golf course with him, the director said they would be done in a few minutes. He only plays nine holes and walks so that gave me about an hour and a half to work. I had just finished putting everything up when he came back around to get me. Fun to see all those neat fabrics up close and see how many I have or have in different color ways.

Looks like we are in for some more pop up thunderstorms this afternoon and me, with brats to throw on the grill tonight. Alternative cooking plan may be called from the distant rumbling I hear. We do need the rain.

Apr 18, 2006

Tale of two sunflowers

Evelyn showed us her Dresden Sunflower block the other day--quite lovely and looks terrific on the green background she has selected. Consider this one an experiment that won't quite work for its intended purpose.

I am still agonizing over what I want to do for a 6 inch hand appliqued round for a round robin. Two elements I know will be included--beehives and some silk ribbon embroidered bees. The owner's center is a Honeybee block and she "put in her order" for the bees at least.

It is those flowers, stems and leaves that are driving me round the bend. I am not usually so indecisive about anything. Perhaps if this were my OWN project I would quit waffling so much. I am not fond of applique to begin with and resent being told that it has to be done a certain way to begin with so there is a whole lot of issues involved here, I guess.

Anyway, yesterday I ran through the crafts/fabric area at Walmart Supercenter looking for DMC floss for my "bluework" snowmen BOM before getting our week's groceries . What did I spy but this EZ dresden plate ruler--marked down at that. It included the ruler, a point turner thing, a couple of those stick on decals along with a pattern for a simple wall hanging. All these different sizes from cut strips, as EZ rulers do. Maybe this would work for that round robin?

I sewed a couple more stars and sashing together yesterday afternoon but set it all back in its project box since the robin deadline is creeping up. BTW, I was right about how antique this UFO was when I saw the signatures dated 99 and 2000. It waited this long, it can wait a bit longer, LOL. Good thing quilting doesn't have an expiration date!

I cut a two inch strip and started sewing on the plate blades last evening. It is kind of cute actually but too large for the area that is to fit into. The pieces were a bit small to handle already so I doubt that I would try doing them at one inch--the machine would eat them. The picture is not doing the fabric any justice -- it is a luscious Felines and Canines with some mottling effect, metallic dots and geometrics. I have other sunflower patterns from an old Piecemaker's book "Something to Crow About" but would they be too folk arty to use is the other issue? Even buttonhole applique might look to folk-y though the preceeding round used it but by machine and with a dark background it is subtle.

The owner is a very down to earth person and would probably not care what I did. Still, I want to do a good job for her. I'll waffle some more about the danged flowers but prep some stems, leaves and beehives today and sew the borders on the round to make the base.

Here is one that I made from Eleanor Burns' "Egg Money Quilts". Marilyn was giving a demo on Dresden Plates recently. I had suggested showing the pointy version because the edges are already turned for applique. I did up a sample block for her to use (the center is off a hair, I noticed after the fact). I also did the demo prep work with extra bits cut and sewn so she could show how it was constructed.

It wound up in the block drawing later and one of the newest Belles won them. Carolyn had said while making her blocks for the drawing that should she win them, she was going to make a quilt for the Big Oak Girls Ranch with them. I'll post the picture when she turns it in. She had done a small wall hanging and a bunch of reversible placemats to that point so it was her first quilt!

I'll make another block for me but maybe the blades just a bit smaller so there is a bit more white space behind it. The BOM was naturally just 12 blocks but I wanted a larger quilt and made enough extra for a 5 x 6 -12 inch block set. Now that is the project I should really work on for myself as it is much, much closer to being done!!

Well, that is how it is going at my house this fine morning. DJ is off for an appointment and we will walk when he returns. I'm going to catch a ride with him tomorrow and go pin a few tops since he will be driving right by our meeting place on the way to the golf course. By the time he's done with his 9 hole round, I'll be done with my work. Use his gas, LOL.

Apr 17, 2006

Holiday is passed.............

.........until the next one rolls around. Since I no longer work outside the home, a three day weekend is just no longer as big a deal as it once was but that's just me, LOL.

I served a traditional Easter type meal and even made my first ever lemon meringue pie for dessert! It used to be that if something called for beaten egg whites or separated eggs, I didn't try to make it. I guess I have learned a few things about culinary arts as I have gone along. Now just to get past yeast goods! Sister Shurbet does a bang up job with those (frozen and you heat them) but I still would like know the ends and outs.

If you are like me and will have some leftover ham to use up, you may want to try this recipe for some of the leftover bits. I've already packed some of ours away in the freezer to re-purpose it down the line but will make some of this for our evening meal.

Ham Scrap Casserole

  • 2 cups wide noodles

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (1/4 lb.)

  • 2 tablespoons catsup

  • 2 cups cut-up cooked ham

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided use

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon horseradish

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles per package directions and drain.

In a medium saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine. Add flour and stir until smooth. Add milk, slowly and cook over medium heat until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted.

Remove from heat and add salt, noodles, catsup, horseradish, ham and peas.

Pour into a 2 quart casserole. Melt the other tablespoon of margarine or butter and add it to the bread crumbs to moisten. Top the casserole with buttered crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

On the quilting front this weekend I was rather scattered in my focus but having fun----
  • colored in my "Over the Edge" panel
  • some blue work embroidery on a snowman BOM while I watch a DVD with my husband last night. It is rare for me to sit and watch TV. The living room is more or less the "pass through" on the way to the kitchen so I needed a project while I sat.
  • only the top row of my friendship stars with pieced in stars in the sashing is done. Other than the sketch for sizing purposes I have not done any prior planning about what goes where. Strips and some squares are cut but I am more or less just grabbing something rather than "matchy-matchy". One more day of sewing and I'm setting it aside again, regardless. I have two deadline projects to deal with this week and probably into next.

A partial view from my sewing room. The sewing machine table sets at right angles to the shelving units putting the strips and sketches attached to the lower baskets-- at eye level as I sit and sew. (Shooting into the room I caught some stuff atop the computer) It may look like a bit of a mess but it IS fairly well organized by types of fabric or projects and best of all, works for me.

Errands await now that blogger let me load the picture, LOL.

Apr 15, 2006


Don't these ladies look like Marshmallow Peeps?

Got to give you something to look at. This is Easter holiday- like, in my view, even though it was from a Thanksgiving Day parade. I clipped it from the paper some time back because at a glance all I could see was lines of Marshmallow Peeps. They make them for other holidays now, of course. I am not poking fun or anything as I think it is perfectly charming, actually. We don't have anything like in the Midwest where I'm from or at least not that I am aware of.

I finished up the top I was sashing and assembling about 9:30 last night but cannot share a picture of it yet. (Not when you don't know who might be reading). I have pretty much decided that it is going to a long arm machine quilter. Other than binding and labeling it later , my work is done.

So, the whole day is ahead of me and what do I want to work on? Never just a few choices there! I know what I don't want to do: borders on a top I drug home from the meeting with me---it is not square but then it is a made from a bunch of BOM blocks and several different piecers. I definitely don't feel like starting that applique round robin stuff either though deep down I know I should have some discipline and DO it. Nope, I want to do something "fun". My Over The Edge replacement panel came in so I believe I'll satisfy my inner child a bit and go color. I will have to let things dry a bit before adding more colors next to each other--learned my lesson from my first attempt! See Cher's January 15th posting on Marathon Quilter for her finished version.

And then, thanks to Finn's friendship stars pieced into a scrappy nine patch quilt I believe that I will drag my old friendship star swap blocks out and my newly re-sized EQ file for cutting directions on work on this project as seen. I've got 24- 6 inch blocks to make bigger and into something just for me. The blocks are from a swap with WTIL list members, I am thinking clear back in 99 or 00? Lots of purples--though a few other fav colors are in there too--red, yellow and green so the pieced in ones will need to be other colors.

The cutting dimensions are fresh on my mind from scaling this down from the original nine inch blocks I had drawn up before. AND I found another pile of muslin cut-aways when I was digging in the closet to retrieve that bin in the way back. I thought I used those all up making bowties.

Call this stashbusting a bit at a time. I'm pulling out some of those strips I cut earlier this year and some special fabrics that have not found a home yet for this.

Happy Easter everyone and hope you all have a wonderful weekend-------

Apr 13, 2006

what did and didn't get done yesterday

Newly folded 30's stash Posted by Picasa
Yesterday was one of those days where I seemed to take one step forward and two steps back. Know what I mean? I had great plans though and some things DID get done and other plans were altered.

  1. First, I got all my 30's reproduction stash folded and sorted by color except for the stuff that is already cut in project boxes. Some of this lovely stuff was "flung" to me from Cher who decided a Fons and Porter Pinwheel/Hope of Hartford type star was not to her liking in those fabrics---she being a brights girl after all. Some I have bought recently because I thought I needed them for a project I should be stitching on like, NOW. Others were stuck back up in the closet where it was not easy to get at them. Lots of fats, some half yards and a couple in yards but not much plus some other yardage is in the bottom of that bin--though I think one if probably more of an authentic 40's vintage. My wish to get it all put away in one spot did not work unless I want to get another larger bin. Some is back in the Longaberger basket atop my TV sparkling like little jewels. Either keep it packed like it is in two locales or make some room after a pay committment alleviates some space concerns and get a larger bin.

  2. I got the batting roll picked up from my friend Judy's house. Now I can pin Finn's tops tomorrow or next week once I deliver it to our meeting place. I don't dare open that thing up at home as no way would it fit in my car once it expands! What I didn't count on was another trip to the bank on Home Extension business that I had hoped was straightened out. Fortunately, Judy lives fairly close to there and I was able to get her to sign the bank papers to add her to our club checking account, should anything happen to me. I came home with a top that she needs help cutting and applying bias binding---she will do the hand finishing so that's no biggie.

  3. I got some fabric donations either put away and/or ready to take to the meeting place. Some sample packs were trimmed to the 2.5 inch we will need for the sew-in. Four patches that will turn into one of those Chiclets from Brandy's Quilt Patterns discussed on the stashbuster list. We saw a similiar one at the quilt shop on Tuesday but done with 3 inch squares. To re-size them for kid's quilts a 12 inch block would be better and skip the half blocks the designer had used on the edges.

  4. A load of laundry got done but only because the cat got sick on her perch in the sewing room. I had hoped, and it HAS helped, that her tummy troubles were behind her. We, as the one having to clean up after her, thought sensitive stomach formula was at least worth a try.

  5. I had a nice chat with my mom when she called. What can be wrong with that?

So some cutting is ahead because I finally got the fabric pressing done this morning. Some EQ design work for a pending project is done now as well--re-sizing mostly. BUT for right now my husband needs my help with a home project and I better just post this thing, LOL. After lunch---I'm back to work!

Apr 12, 2006

Family quilts

Finn asked about the block taped to the inner side of the pizza box with cat in my previous post. I DID re-piece that whole thing and the quilt was mailed off to DJ's niece last year. I don't seem to have taken a picture of it for my records but I have the EQ sketch.

The block appears to be a variation of Mosaic #18 or Spinning Star attributed to Ladies' Art Company, 1898. Brackman shows a slightly different coloration than Joen Wolfrom in "Make Any Block Any Size" page 23. I just called it Auntie's Star. One block had to have the background plaid replaced but other than that I was able to salvage all that orange-y red plaid though even Aunt Effie had made some substitutions there.

I have quilted one other of Aunt Effie's tops with three more to go--possibly five as another sibling has two spider webs. I can post picture of that one as well though the coloring is so pale I am not sure if it will show much. All over quilted with Baptist Fans as it needed the tar quilted out of it to lay down, LOL.

Lots on board for the day--pick up a roll of batting from Judy's house, press that fabric I laundered last night, cut some and re-arrange my 30's fabric bin. DJ will want to walk today, no doubt and I want to get some assembly work done as well.

I'll close with something a friend of ours emailed this morning-----food for thought

Inner Strength

If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can get going without pep pills,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him,

If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without liquor,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

....Then You Are Probably The Family Dog! :-)

Apr 11, 2006

a quilty day

Pippi in the pizza box

Today's picture: She is testing out a project box of a quilt I was re-piecing for my husband's niece. His aunt, her great-aunt made it back in the 60's probably (based on when she passed away). The background fabric was torn, stained etc so I had Sheri's permission to re-piece it. The HSTs ranged in size from 4 1/2 inches to 6 plus in the pre-rotary cutting days. I trimmed them all to the proper, uniform size before preceeding though.

Okay, that has nothing to do with what I did today but you need a picture of something up there, LOL.

I got an earlier than usual start on the day as the Bama Belles and I had a field trip planned today. Since I was going to a quilt shop, I needed to be sure if there was anything else I needed so that led to a treasure hunt throught the sewing closet for something. I tell you, I can get up in plenty of time and STILL have to scurry around at the last minute to get out the door. Today was no exception. I only had 5 mins to spare picking up one of the girls who lives near me.

We had an appointment to tour the Big Oak Girls Ranch facility today at 1 p.m. (Link is in my sidebar--I am just being lazy about editing HTML right now.) We are making quilts for this group this year and plans to do the same for the boy's ranch next year. 10 of the 16 active members of the group were able to go today but we had to leave early in order to get to the quilt shop when it opened. I thought they didn't open their doors until 10 and it was 9--no matter, I wasn't going to get up any earlier!! And I'm in charge, LOL.

Shopping time was a little limited but we were able to get our stuff cut and rung up in a reasonable length of time. One of the girls needed to quickly run into the 2nd shop near the restaurant where we planned to have lunch. We sent the 2nd car on to get us a table. Lunch went off like clockwork as we had beat the "lunch rush" crowd. Good! Back to the 2nd shop we went for another 30 mins---love to shop and look!

I got mostly boring stuff today and won't take a picture. A nice purple-teal print to go with the stuff I have previously gotten from the shop and some white on white that looks a bit like snowflakes for some snowman BOM on an embroidery list I co-own on yahoogroups. From the other shop, a fat quarter of the Debbie Mumm print I used for sashing on my round robin section. For the group, I got some peach colored sashing fabric for the project--part of that early morning closet expedition. I need to re-organize the container I drug out and take the box that WAS on top of it out to the storage room. Later though.

All of us were quite impressed with Big Oak Ranch. They take no state or federal money--all corporate or private donations or donations in kind. (We all know that government money comes with big strings attached. ) There currently 7 nice 2 story brick houses on the "campus" with plans to build 3 more. They will be breaking ground on one of them later this year The director who took us around in the van said they do not take out loans either. Ground is broken when they have 250,00 in the bank to pay for it---the house 150,000 and another 100,000 to run it for one year. Each house holds 8 girls--some 9, he said but ideally 8. They are doing good work there and giving kids a leg up from how their lives had been.

So anyway, I got home about 4:30 and here is a box from Finn at Pieces from my scrapbag. She had told me it was coming but I thought perhaps tomorrow or the next day. Like my mom, she knows how to stuff a box!! That thing was packed to the gills and all kinds of lovely things were in there. Remember her recent bowtie top and that wonderful little basket quilt? In there. Backings for three quilts, 9 rolls of fabric that will come in great for our sew in at the end of the month and a pile of 2.5 inch blocks. We are going to make a ton of four patches with those that will turn into Chiclet tops ultimately. Thanks so very, very much, Finn. The Belles will make good use of all these goodies for the girls and later, the Boy's Ranch. I'll post pictures here when they are "done-done"

I'm going to take the rest of the day off and hit the ground running tomorrow. I'm piecing for a few days anyway---

Apr 10, 2006

Pattern source

Does anyone have an idea of the pattern source of this block?
This is a block that was a pile of donation material--possibly from some that Ellen, the head of WTIL, brought with her to the spring sew in a few years back but I have no way of knowing that for sure. I can see that it probably pieced by partial seaming around that little yellow block.
Is it something from Thimbleberries? Any ideas of where to start looking or what it might be called? I would like to make more like it if I could because it is just a cute as can be--maybe about a 9 inch block?
No quilting or sewing around here today. The Belles are going on a field trip tomorrow so I was trying to get all my ducks in a row, so to speak. I had to let everyone know what time we are leaving and from where as that was up in the air last time we met. I keep getting answering machines today so things are still not finalized as far as head count. Quilt shop, lunch out and a tour of the Girl's Ranch are on tap.
A little unsewing lies ahead as does some round robin planning. If I need anything, I'll be able to track it down tomorrow at the quilt shop.
DJ will need my help in a minute with a home improvement project so I'll sign off. Hope you all are having a great day----------

Apr 9, 2006

Sunday afternoon

Pippi napping on the pillows

It is has been a fairly quiet afternoon today so I am sharing some pictures of a special quilt that I own.

In early '97 I made a phone call to my mom and asked if she were sitting down. DJ and I were getting married in a week after being a couple for almost 21 years. This was the quilt top that that she took to the area hand quilters the next day. I love it, of course, because it is my wedding quilt but also because it is my beloved 30's reproduction fabrics but I know there are some authentic ones as well.

I even have a few blocks in the quilt as it was Mom's pass around quilt. Had I still been living in IL, I would have still been a part of her small group and would have made some blocks anyway. Little did I know that I would one day end up with it! See the post below for the quilt full out on the bed.

The block itself has a little family history involved. While visiting my grandmother in Falls City, NE along with my mom and sister some 12 plus years ago, we had gone uptown for a little shopping/window shopping. A quilt with this pattern was in the window of one shop with a basket design that neither of us had seen. Once she had replicated her version of that design, we just named it "Falls City Basket". I remember taking a picture of the mosiac in front of one store for inspiration as well.

I finished quilting Mom's Lexington Town Square last evening. I just barely got the label attached and you know who was giving it the kitty stamp of approval. I didn't get it trimmed off yet, thanks to that but I'll leave that up to the binding helper at this point. I've done a little planning and resizing of some graphics for the round robin today but beyond that nothing else quilt related.

DJ and I walked on Chief Ladiga Trail so got out to enjoy some of this gorgeous weather. I ran a couple of errands that I won't have to do tomorrow because I was missing an ingredient or two for our supper (cavatini tonight) Other than that, a pretty lazy afternoon that is slipping on by--almost a "beach day" as Darilyn would say, LOL.

Guess I'm off to see what the bloggers in the ring are up to--------

Wedding quilt full out

Pippi relaxing on my wedding quilt

Apr 8, 2006

Stormy Night

When we went to bed last night we knew that there were storms on the way in. The temperatures had topped out at about 80 yesterday which a bit too warm for this time of year. It was not a great surprise when the weather sirens and our weather alert system were both going off at about 2 a.m. Winds and rain here though there was a tornado spotted by the public about 2 miles east of us. It is still raining a bit and looks quite gloomy this morning. DJ said we lost a limb off on the small trees in our side yard but that is nothing like TN—another tornado with fatalities and not all that far from where my brother and his family just moved and another dear friend lives.

DJ spent some time yesterday afternoon watching the “Masters” PGA golf tournament. The weather looked glorious on TV, the azaleas lovely, the commentators “commented” blah, blah, woof, woof. All we could think was “look out tomorrow, Augusta. The bad weather we get tonight is probably heading your way next.” DJ said he wasn’t as impressed with the azaleas on TV as he once was either now that he sees them all the time around us in the spring. Still pretty but ours are too.

Both of us had hoped that the rain would put a fire out. You see, we live about 200 yards away and across the road from a privately owned lake. They started clearing some of the underbrush and trees away last week with end loaders, etc. Yesterday we saw why they are doing this work—in one month’s time they are auctioning off 24 lakeside lots. Naturally large piles of brush are accumulating and there is no burning ban here in the county. They keep piling it up and there has been a continuous burn/smolder thing for days now. It can get really smoky outside at times and depending on which way the wind is blowing, it gets in the house. Open the windows, close the windows throughout the day. (Smoke can make my chest feel tight and make it harder to breathe—chronic bronchitis type stuff) Trust me, my husband is not going to turn on the a/c yet so it is irritating that we cannot open our windows to get some fresh air in the house. (That’s another story and another annual complaint.) The ceiling fans help but not when it is getting up to 80 outside, albeit the humidity is not what it will be in the month’s ahead yet. SIGH.

So what did I do yesterday to pass the time? I am working through some of the practice exercises in “Learning Web Design” from a book by Jennifer Niederst and O’Reilly Press. Fooled around with that a bit in the morning and left off at Cascading Style Sheets which is what we use for our blog templates. This may well explain why you can and cannot change things about your font, color, lists and positions. Interesting bedtime reading, LOL? Actually I curled up with a “Nordic Needle” catalog hoping to find some silk ribbon for embroidery and was enthralled by all the various needle arts. I would love to try those someday. I DO love to do redwork, cross stitch, etc and have a dear friend that does bobbin lace so I am familiar with it but there are so many things to tempt one.

I did get a good bit of my mom’s “Lexington Town Square” top quilted yesterday that I spoke about in Busy Weekend This is a top she made for WTIL and donated to the Belles for Girls Ranch. I am just stitching in the ditch and not in some loopy thing as they showed in the magazine as the quilt is a little bit big for me to want to attempt some free motion practice. I’ll finish it today--well, the quilting, not the binding. One of the helpers will probably do that.

Just to take a break and give my “seater” and back a rest after an hour or so of quilting, I headed out to the kitchen to do some prep work for the stir fry we were having for dinner. Still not ready to give up the “Suzy Homemaker” routine, I made a spice cake from scratch since I had some buttermilk on hand to use up. Went back to locking in the blocks on the quilt while it cooled. Later I headed back to make caramel icing for it. LOL, when I gave DJ he said I could just give him a bowl of icing since it was so fudge like. I would say penuche but he wouldn’t have a clue what that was—just that he liked it. Supper wasn’t bad either, BTW. I enjoy cooking when I have time and am feeling creative. Other times, it is a chore or anything old thing, fast, will do.

Since so far this note has been more or less a "slice of life" post--this is my journal, after all-- here is a qult picture to share. Linda S took this one on for the binding and handed it back to me on Thursday. The top is one that Cher brought with her on her last visit east. I had a picture of me quilting it as well in old "gone" blog but won't re-post it now.

Here is raggy quilt that Beverly made that may make my mom smile as many of the flannel bits were leftovers from night gowns she made for my grandmother. Made a nice "girly" quilt!

Guess that's it for me till tomorrow or so-------


Apr 6, 2006

now for the quilt-y notes

Amy or anyone that is interested --I posted my crockpot turkey recipe in the preceeding post. Those of you with Mastercook software MAY be able to export it from my note. I had to do some heavy duty editing after copying it to blogger so maybe not.

My demonstration on bowtie blocks went pretty well today. A couple of the members did stay over to have me help them try a couple of them. It is always neat to see how the one that just learned how to do it can walk the next person through the steps of making a 3D bowtie. I figure they have learned their lesson well if they can do that. Linda S and I went to lunch at a Chinese buffet after I was finished up--DJ played golf and had made his own plans since I didn't know when I would be home exactly. Girl's day out all around!

If there were not a few good sites online with a tutorial for this I would post my own, LOL. Cher asked me to do this for her. I' ve got the pictures except for a good one with the fingers spreading the know and matching the center seams---not enough hands! And my husband is not very good at using the digital camera either. Of course, before I could send my stuff on to her, someone else gave her a hands-on lesson.

As usual, I came home with more stuff than I left with. One of the Belles had her raggy top ready and a friend of hers had donated a fleece throw and hand knitted afghan that they wanted to go to Big Oak Girl's Ranch with our quilt donations. Another Belle had the binding done on another top. Another had been cleaning and re-organizing her sew space-- some panels and some backing fabric to send home with me as she had "been there and done that" with that particular fabric and had no intention of returning.

Then there is the top above. You know how people give you fabric or quilt tops if they know you quilt and either they don't or don't want to deal with whatever that item was?? Mary, the church secretary where the today's groups meets, came up and handed the top you see to me. She said this was a top that someone in her husband's family had made. "You don't want it?", I asked. It was out in her garage so please take it for our use. We may be able to get two tops out of it.

Last year she had given us two huge Sunbonnet Sue tops that we made into 8 donation quilts. Those had come from one of the parishioner's family members. They knew Mary quilted or might know someone that could put them to good use--and we did. Mary just asked for some pictures to share with the family on how their tops were used. Some of these went to WTIL headquarters and others we mailed directly to a Baton Rouge, LA quilt shop for distribution for Katrina survivors.

Finn, you might be interested in knowing that I tried working on a personal project yesterday afternoon--coloring in a Block Studio Party "Over the Edge" panel to make my version of one Cher has made (see Jan 15 her archives on marathon quilter). The coloring was a blast but unfortunately I didn't let the ink dry enough and the purple bled into the nearby color---orange-y brown did not look so hot and I messed up another spot by trying to color it too realistically. Just looked like a big dark blob. ACK! I knew that I would not be able to overlook those areas everytime I looked at the wall hanging. I ordered a replacement.

I decided to piddle dink with the round robin a bit instead---I've got a big paper square area taped together around the block and stuck up on the book case hangers to let some ideas percolate. I had no sense of the scale and space I had to work with on this applique business till I did that. Now I'll be able to tell if the flowers I was thinking of using, beehives, whatever will fit in there.

That's it for today------


Crockpot Turkey Breast

my adaptation of a recipe in Southern Living magazine for Savory Turkey and Gravy. Here you go, Amy and anyone else looking for an easy to prepare turkey without turning on the oven. Just the right size fortwo meals for my husband and I with some leftover for the freezer.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Crockpot Turkey Breast
Recipe By :unknown author
Serving Size : 8
Preparation Time :0:10
Cooking Time: 4-5 hours on HIGH or 8-10 hours on low
Categories : Main dishes, Poultry

3 -4 pounds turkey breast, thawed in fridge
1/2 bunch parsley springs
salad oil and lemon pepper seasoning
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, cleaned and sliced
2 celery stalks, cleaned and sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 can tomato soup
1 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup Land of Lakes fat free half and half--may need a little bit more to thin the gravy
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce, optional

Place sliced onion and parsley springs in the bottom of the crockpot. ( I used my 5 quart model.) Rinse off the turkey breast and pat dry. Set aside the gravy packet if one came with the meat for later use. Apply some oil to the top of the meat and season with lemon pepper seasoning. Place the meat on top of the onion and parsley. ( You may have to fan it out slightly at the ribs--sometimes if the breast is too big I even cut away the rib sections as we don't eat that part at my house.) Tuck the carrots and celery pieces around the turkey.

In a small saucepan mix the 1/2 can of soup, chicken broth and rosemary; heat to a boil. Pour this mixture over the bird. Cover the crockpot with a piece of foil and then put the lid on the pot to cover. Cook on low setting for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Let the meat stand 10 minutes before you attempt to slice it.

To make a really tasty gravy, strain the vegetables from the crockpot and place the resulting liquids into a saucepan. You can add the gravy pack that came with your turkey to this if you wish. Combine the cornstarch and half/half until smooth and blended; gradually add this to the drippings. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. You may need a little more half and half or chicken broth to thin it if you think it is getting too thick. Remove from the heat and add the browning-and-seasoning sauce if desired to give it a little color and flavor---a little goes a long way with that stuff though

Apr 5, 2006

some quilts from my past

I mentioned a few days ago that my niece/godchild would be graduating from the College of Nursing at Illinois State University. This is what my old hospital based nursing program evolved into; my sister Diane and I both graduated from there before the switch. I no longer practice nursing but my sister is still plugging away in the OB department but she has two kids in college at U of I.

The quilt pictured is the one that I made for Allison as she graduated from high school. She said blue and yellow or purple and green and this is what I came up with. One of the last things I hand quilted. The pattern is from Jackie Robinson "Arrowpoint Stars", I think. Her version used flannel and some folding technique. I couldn't understand what I was supposed to be doing, didn't want to fold it, used regular cotton fabrics and just pieced it. It is hanging from the clothesline at my parent's house. I have a picture of Allison holding it but not full out and it is kinda dark to boot.

This shows Allison, Mom and me holding some quilts that Allison was taking with her on a mission trip to Paraguay. We had enough quilts that each person traveling with the group could take one along in their luggage. Allison is holding a Debbie Caffrey "Plaid", Mom one of those ubitiquous Terry Atkinson " Yellow Brick Roads" and me, a "Bonnie Scotsman" from my EQ blocks library.

Mom made the Plaid and YBR and I did the Scotsman. I think she had 10 or more and I brought 4 or 5 from the Belles and I for that trip. Would have to look back at my files to be sure on that.

The "Plaid" pattern is available for free at Debbie's Creative Moments and was also featured on Simply Quilts. Hey, that Snail's Trail and London Crossroad's don't look too bad either from her same page.

In the rush to take the photo my quilt is upside down, I see, LOL. This is another 5 fabric favorite and I have made several in different color ways. I drew it up in EQ in custom set so I could include all the sashing bits and complete the design. Easy to strip piece. I think I even wrote it up as a handout. Oh so clever me.

Oddly enough, I just got my hair cut a bit shorter last week. It looks just about like it does here--maybe more layered though. I just got a card from Locks of Love thanking me for the almost 14 inches I sent them about 6 weeks ago. The first cut, who knew how I really wanted it cut---with that much cut off?

So I spent last evening trying to track down some graphic/ clipart files that did not make the transition from old computer to the new one. Then downloading and importing to that Clip Organizer thing. That used to be so much easier in previous incarnations. SIGH. No further quilting, binding, drawing or coloring which were options in the late afternoon/early evening. Still, I had reached my main goal of the day so "no worries, mate", as they say on my fav program McLeod's Daughters

The goal today: get the stuff together for my presentation tomorrow. It's basically readied but scattered hither and yon.

Apr 4, 2006


see note below for the "rest of the story" Posted by Picasa

Happy dancing and various other ramblings

Simple but effective, right? I just laundered it this morning so the quilting is really standing out. Nice and fluffed up.

I am kind of leaning towards nine patches for the spring sew-in blocks at the end of the month. We had tossed that idea about before we ended up doing houndstooth from one of Ursula Reicke's Fat Quarter booksn for the fall sew-in. A lot of times we gang piece blocks and then combine the efforts to have many quilts made from the same pattern. Lots of things to do with nine patches to make them different.

This was made and quilted by one of our members in her early 80's. (we have two in that age group) Neither of the two contemporaries want so see any fabric go to waste. Sarah is a whiz at putting stuff together out of nothing so she gets the backing cutaways and orphaned blocks. Bless her, she doesn't mind stitching batting strips together either. Theramae would be the first one I would ask to take something apart so we can re-purpose it. She likes working with little panel bits and turning them into something wonderful.

So I am little later in posting today because I was still plugging away on binding. The lighting is best in the house right at my desk which also hold the temptations of the computer. Next thing you know I'm off surfing or reading blogs and email or playing Free Cell, LOL. Short attention span theater!

BUT it is done now as of about a half hour ago. I like how the "ghost ties" fill the alternating block space in the on point setting. Still bowties but different than the one I showed you a couple days back with more white space. I cut the outer setting triangles a bit larger so float the design and NOT having to put on a border.

The backing is pieced of two companion prints--a floral and a floral stripe thing. I didn't have enough of either one to completely back it so used a little over half it and centered the quilt for change. For donation quilts I do not give a hang where the add on seam is just as long as it does not wind up in the binding edge. Stuff from my stash pile bought on sale a couple years back. It is a polished cotton type thing so I know some poly involved there. A little harder to needle it for the binding

The binding fabric I purchased--a nice bright stripe that I cut on the bias that will pick up on all the colors of the ties. Blogger has suddenly decided NOT to play nice so I'll put the closeup shot in another post in a minute. Hello Picassa in a minute then.

I've not quite decided what to do next.... track down the graphics for a label I need to print is one thing, a couple emails to write but I may well try to nail down what I am going to do with the round robin or have fun coloring on my Over the Edge panel? Yes, that might be the ticket as I need to return Cher's borrowed pens.

Quilt top can wait until tomorrow for quilting--what is another day? I hate to switch the walking foot from the machine until I'm done with the stack which at this point really consists of one that needs attention. Yes, Finn, one of these days when I finally feel like I am caught up I will take you up on your suggestion--every 3rd of 4th one is a "me" project? Lord knows, I have a personal UFO list as long as my arm.

Amy, I'll post my crockpot turkey breast recipe too but in a separate post on a another day. Sure smelled good in my house all afternoon!

Apr 3, 2006

Prairie Stroll

Here is the picture I should have sent with the last post. Quilt is called Prairie Stroll--pattern source Sept/Oct 01 Quiltmaker magazine. This was one that we cut up from Mom's stash while on a "busman's holiday" Good choice for a 5 color quilt, I think, with a strong graphic element. I don't know about it working if you used entirely scrappy but planned scrappy works for me. I put a flange of pink in between it and the outside border-- just to add some separation of color. I know the LA machine quilters hate it but on home machine, no biggie.

My club banking matter is finally straightened out as of this morning and I still had time to my grocery store errands almost taken care of. Lunch has been consumed, turkey breast in the crockpot for supper but I have one other stop to make before I can say I am officially finished running errands. I believe I will concentrate on finishing up some binding once I get home so the quilt will be done for the demo on Thursday.

I'm off to Winn Dixie---

goal setting

Some of you have posted about whether you felt your expectations for the preceeding month. It is good to set daily goals for the short range and monthly or weekly, for the longer range.

I guess this will be my "reckoning". I knew that I had too much down in my March goal session about half way through the month as I am notorious about underjudging how long something will take to accomplish. I revised my notes in the template accordingly on Saturday as I was supposed to be working on binding on the little bowtie quilt. Some stuff moves onto April and others, to May--see if that is more realistic.

DJ and I will be gone to IL for a few days when my niece/godchild graduates from the college of nursing at Illinois State University. I'll be there for Mother's Day as well before he whisks me back to Alabama. My point is, I will have 5 days of no quilting unless Mom and I find some projects to get into while I am gone. I have referred to my vacations as busman's holidays as we usually do something Wrap 'Em related. (one year it was Prairie Stroll kits--combining the 4 or 5 fabric combos for cutting almost made us late for church, LOL). I'll track down a pic of one later.

I don't think I will feel bad about not getting the 2nd top quilted by 4/1. Yeah, I would have liked to have had it done but other responsibilities intervened. It won't get started till later today--so what? What I did get done yesterday: the heart quilt is done except for printing its special memory label. I got a little binding done on the 3D bowtie. I had a good chat with my mom on the phone and online, thanks to IM, my good friends. My husband got his hair cut on the day he asked me to do it. We went out for a sandwich and had a good visit across the table without the distractions at home.

What I did get done in the quilting department last month: 4 tops pieced, 5 tops quilted and 2 bound. That ain't too shabby in my book. I will shift my focus to some work for pay this month at least for a couple of weeks but I will have done my part towards the quilt push for the Girl's Home. The sew-in is scheduled for later in the month and I have things lined up for that to work on if I don't get back to wrap 'em's before then.

For now, I better get dressed and out of here PDQ--supposed to meet the prez at the bank to straighten out some banking matters for the home extension club about 20 mins away from here.

Apr 2, 2006

UFO 7 completed

#7 UFO is "done-done"--mark it off the list. I had originally said that I would not post a picture of the EZ bowties once it was quilted and bound. That statement was made before I had to start all over with my blog notes. Bear with me for parts of this post. #9 Card Trick and #10 Jewel Box are with two of my fellow Belles for binding right now and are probably done as well but not turned in yet. I may have more completions for March than I know, LOL.

Most of the ties are done in pairs--a few had more if I liked the fabric. A good many of the fabrics in the ties were leftovers from backing yardage from the "Snuggle Up" quilts we made at one of the sew-in's last year but other scraps had been around a lot longer. To me it represent 3 days of cutting through my scrap bag back in January. I guess this is an example of what you can whip up if you have 3 1/2 inch squares cut out and 2 inch ones to match. Pattern source: one of Mary Ellen Hopkins' Connecting Up series of books. I can dig around and look if you really have to know but probably others have come up with this idea as well.

Stash used? Yes, but mainly the muslin cut aways and some cool green polka dot yardage Marilyn had just given me is used for backing. Hard to see a lot of progress in stashbusting when it is bits at a time but I can tell in small ways with less fabric in that bin now.

I had intended to finish up the heart quilt yesterday but we kept having intermittent bands of t-storms coming through here. Since I have just had to replace the motherboard on my Viking (my quilting workhorse) and our power is known to go off if someone in the neighborhood sneezes, I thought it best just to keep plugging on the binding. Ply a mechanical, person powered needle, so to speak and wait for better weather. Computer time was intermittent, of course. DJ and I managed to get in our walking after lunch when it had cleared for a bit--by then, it was close to 80 and I wished we had gone while it was cooler if we could.

The yellow pine pollen/dust that comes around in the spring is starting to blow the past few days. I am sneezing and so is the cat---watch out, I may zap off the electricity any second.

Apr 1, 2006

3 post story--sorry

Sorry that I could not get this all loaded in the same post--scroll down to the third post to get the complete story here. Actually since I only keep 3 on a page for easier loading, the bottom of the page will work, LOL. Blogger pic uploading is not playing nice again.

Sharing the background story about the quilt presented to me by a quilt list I once moderated for close to 6 years: Joy and I had traveled up to Indianapolis in the fall of '99 to sew for a couple of days with Ellen, the founder of Wrap Them in Love and our hostess Becky. Along for the ride was a young mother from Mississippi and her 10 month old baby daughter. Shown at left is Hilary who had traveled up from TX for the event. Later in the weekend a couple list friends from IL and KY came to be with us. That chubby red head at right is me.

This shows the quilt front. Posted by Picasa

Isn't it pretty? Hard to sleep under since it is heavily quilted but it is my favorite colors and reversible. The list owner and the other moderator received quilts as well but mine was the only one presented in person. I knew the list owner was getting a quilt because I collected the blocks for it and helped with some of the patterns but I sure didn't know I was getting one too. They kept it a very well guarded secret!

I've been off and sewing from Wrap 'Em ever since. This event eventually led us to have our own Sew- in Jan. 2000. We had so much fun sewing with the local friends Joy knew and invited to her home. No group that we knew of could take on another 7 people so we formed the Bama Belles Quilting Club officially in Feb. 2000. We have made and donated about 1400 quilts or so since that time. I would have to do some number crunching for an exact number. After all that paperwork pushing this week, I don't feel like, LOL.

quilt back

Posted by Picasa

it's raining, it's pouring.....the old lady should be snoring!

April Fool's! DJ has been warned not to pull anything. The man loves to tease and what is more perfect a day for someone that does?

Perfect day for sleeping in too--dark, rainy and quiet. Maybe I should climb back in the rack? The thunder and lightning seemed to have passed over just leaving spells of intermittent downpours. Good for the growing things like my husband's grass he is trying to get started in the back yard post septic system work. The last two years he has over seeded in the front and on side yard in the fall giving us the only pretty green grass in the neighborhood all winter. Now Mother Nature is helping to get the front and back on the same page. The white daffodils or maybe they are paper white narcissus and lupines are just up. Gotta love the spring.

Okay so far, nothing quilt related in this entry though I am starting to put a few stitches in the binding on one of the bowtie quilts. Nothing to see there. The memorial heart quilt was half done with the quilting when I quit for the evening last night. Nothing to see there either. Oldie (to me) but a goodie. My favorite picture of Pippi on my alas, unmade bed. Posted by Picasa

I'll show some pictures of the quilt full out. I don't know if you can see that it is reversible---log cabins on the front and Sunbonnet Sues with more log cabin blocks on the back. It is one that was made for me in 99 by a quilt list that I used to moderate. Wasn't this sweet of the listers?

Well, it looks like blogger is not wanting to load pics this morning while Hello will. I'll show 'em, LOL. There is always a work around............but looks like I will have to do it in separate posts.