Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where the Addiction Started

I'm looking back at s few quilts that I don't think I've shared on this blog before. The two appliqued ones hang in my house and the Weaver Fever gets brought out every fall for the burst of color it provides.
This quilt is very special to me for a variety of reasons. 2003 was my first venture into applique of any kind and the teacher was excellent. Shelley has a passion for applique and threads and she certainly passed that along to her students. You never know what you will get out of a class. Not only did I get a passion for applique, I got an amazing friend. Muriel also took this class and she later called and invited me on a shop hop and we've been hopping and shopping ever since. Lastly, I hand quilted this piece. In the summer of 2004, my dad was having surgery for colon cancer and my sister and I drove up to stay with Mom and just hang out for the week. I worked on this most times I was at the hospital, and with it's bright colors it added some cheer to the drab hospital room. Dad recovered 100% and is still going strong, and I look at this quilt every day.
This next little quilt was adorable and I just love how it turned out. Nothing special about this one, except I machine appliqued it and then hand quilted it. This isn't my style of patterns, but I love this one. It hangs in my bathroom so I see it every day!
Blogger is acting up and won't let me bring in any more pictures, so this is it!
A very short trip down memory lane.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mission Accomplished

I promised myself I'd finish this top before I went to bed tonight. I got it done Saturday a.m. I started this from a box of fabric that was given to me when I first started quilting. I didn't know there was "good" quilting fabric, I just thought what I was given was what was out there. Plus you can see I did not have any understanding of value. And I didn't value my time. I say that because most of these blocks were hand pieced. Yes, when I pulled it out earlier this year, I finished the blocks by machine.
I'm not loving the black sashing, I tried some funky black and white prints and I really liked them. I backed off because I just wanted this finished and I really didn't want to invest much more time and effort into this. Plus I had lots of scraps of black that I was able to use up, so it fits the quilt. Now I will quilt an allover pattern on this, bind it in black, wash it and put it out at Christmas.

Santa came early, look at the book that arrived in my mailbox. Yes, I bought it for myself, so much for the book diet I'm supposed to be on.
Simply amazing quilts in this book.
An original crumb/scrap quilter, wow!
My dog. She has followed me everywhere this weekend. I love her so much!
And a little holiday spirit. I got my front porch done, with the exception of some red ribbons for the greenery.
The holly this year is outstanding, tons of berries on it.

And yes, I got a new ironing board cover.

Dear Santa

I've been good, honest!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Tis the Season......

....No, wait! It's Thanksgiving, not Christmas. I couldn't tell by looking out my front door.
Oh, I'm sure there will be lots of snow pictures being posted this weekend. This is what my pumpkins now look like. I was so proud to have grown these and had hoped they would last until this weekend. It has been a success, the snow is preserving them for a few more days.

My back yard has a bit of an issue. The winds were so strong last weekend that my fence fell over. I'm thankful it went into my neighbors yard, now there is a bit of an incentive to fix the fence. I seem to remember a conversation I had with them about the fence in the summer......hmmmm.

My g.f. Muriel (no blog) loves to make matching items to go with her quilts. This sure looks inviting after seeing my chairs.

I'm thankful that I have a gas fireplace so if the power goes out, I'll stay warm. I'm thankful that I have water this weekend, unlike Monday morning.
I'm thankful that I have a Subaru so I can make it to Thanksgiving dinner.
And I'm thankful for the friends, family, fabric and health that I have in my life.
Enjoy the season.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Change isn't Alway a Good Thing

There were a few emails asking for my shortbread cookie recipe so I'm sharing it here today. I know I said it came on the cornstarch box. We never had this recipe written down because it was always on the box. Then they changed the box. I called several people and had them check their cupboards for an old box. What relief when Joann had one in her kitchen. Then I wrote down the recipe. They don't even put cornstarch in a box now. It's in a plastic tub. But that's another whole issue. Here is a recipe that you need to write down, or copy and paste.
1/2 C corn starch
1/2 C icing sugar (powdered)
1 C flour
3/4 C butter
Sift dry ingredients. Mix in softened butter with a pastry cutter. Continue mixing with a spoon and do the final mix with your hands.
Roll into 1" balls, flatten with a floured fork on ungreased pan. Bake 300 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes (edges slightly golden)
Makes 3 dozen cookies
Cool on a rack and enjoy! For a more festive display you can add a little piece of green or red candied cherry on top before baking or drizzle with chocolate after they cool.
Store in a sealed tin.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Baking and a Found Treasure

I spent Friday night baking with my g.f. that I've known since Grade 2. Ok, that was 1969 if you want to do the math ;-) She's a gardener extraordinaire while I'm the quilter. She told me she had a needle at one time, but she can't seem to find it! Can you tell she needed to be gifted a quilt with a statement like that? Yes, she certainly did need a quilt, and she has just started to re do her living room, taking it from formal to cozy country. This worked in perfectly.
We got a good jump on some holiday baking. Shortbread cookies. It's not Christmas if you don't have shortbread cookies made from the recipe on the cornstarch box.  Honestly, they are the absolute best cookie that will ever melt in your mouth.

I've never made Ginger Snaps for the holidays, but these were so yummy.  It took 2 pans for us to get the timing and size right. Do you think that had something to do with the cocktails?? Anyways, we got into a good rhythm with these goodies and they are so delicious.
And finally, while my g.f. was rolling out the Ginger Snap dough, I was making these on the other side of her kitchen.  Oh, the smell of short bread cakes baking in the oven; there is nothing like it.  This is a recipe my Grandmother made, my mom made, now my Dad makes it, and I haven't come across anyone who hasn't liked this wonderful, melt in your mouth, short bread.  I left both cakes at her house and she took one over to her Mom and Dad's.  When my g.f. finished doing the chores, she stopped back in and her dad had eaten 1/4 of it!  I warned her that it was goooood!
On the quilting homefront, I got the last of my 9 patches done for a swap. 9 sets of 6 will go in the mail tomorrow. Once this swap is finished, I'll have 4 very scrappy civil war quilts. I'm going to put swaps on pause for 2011. I need to finish the ones I started in 2010.

I will leave you with some pictures of a quilt my g.f. had out to show me. She started off by saying, "well, you won't think this is very nice, but..." Oh my gosh. I grabbed it up and started pouring over the fabrics. I explained to her how quilters LOVE to see things made from those who stitched before us. This is from the late 1960's, it was made by "Granny". She was born in 1899 and died in 1999. My g.f. remembers having this on her bed in 1969 when she moved. There are no poly pieces in this, but in the last one you can see how the orange has faded. The back is solid orange, but it's pieced. Fabric was probably still 36" wide.

What a treasure!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Some Piecing MoJo

It's true, a finished flimsy from my sewing room. I started this when I had other projects on the go and I'm so glad I kept at it. I do not need another WIP in my sewing room.
About this top: It's approx 60 x 70. It was made with 2 charm packs of Fandango and the solid is Bella Solids by Moda. The striped stop border and outer border are also from Fandango. I purchased the Charms from ETC in Hood River while I was away at a quilt show in Stevenson, WA and the borders from FatQuarterShop. They packaged my fabric in a zip bag and for that I'm thankful. The envelop was torn open when it arrived, but my fabric was in perfect condition. I love stripes for stop borders. I was going to bind this with the striped fabric on the bias, but using the stripe on the straight grain is much better.
This was a great design to showcase all the fabric in this collection. It's outside of my normal fabric choices, but it's a gift for a beautiful young lady. I thought it was fresh and modern, a bit trendy, just like her.
Now to get it on my quilt machine and feather it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I've Been Working on This

I don't have much to post because right now I'm in the middle of several piecing projects and none are at the finish line.  There are also a few hand quilting projects on the go at my house, with one that is getting to the end, so I'm trying to pick that project up in the evenings when I can sit and stitch.  And finally, I'm working on this.

It's a BOM from Sentimental Stitches. She is now publishing block #14, but I'm just on block #4. This is my winter project and I'm trying to get 2 blocks per month done. If I can keep up that schedule, I can get caught up by July 2011. Seems like a long time, but the quilt has 25 blocks and an appliqued border.
I have a saying on my office wall, Success is not always about achievement. Sometimes it's about endurance. This project is going to take endurance.
Pop over to Beyond The Cherry Tree blog to see what others are doing with this quilt pattern.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Take a few minutes today......

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New To Me Sewing Table

I've wanted a Koala sewing cabinet for quite some time. I've gone and looked at different brands of these and just couldn't bring myself to spend that much money on a table for my sewing machine. It just seemed a bit indulgent, especially now that I have a house and have been spending money on landscaping and my yard. When I got an email saying there was a table for sale on Craigs list, $175. I looked at it and called right away. Here is my new to me table.
I have the leaf leaning against the wall, but I have room to put it all the way down if I was to need the extra space behind my machine.
It couldn't be more perfect. The previous owner upgraded to a beautiful new cabinet. She had the same brand machine so the insert fits perfectly and I didn't have to make any adjustments at all with the height of the machine bed. Thank goodness for the guys at work. Two strong young men and a pick up truck. All they cost me was a batch of homemade cookies!
I got this all set up on Thursday evening and was itching to stitch. I took advantage of the rainy day today and did some piecing. What a difference it makes having a proper set up. It's so much more enjoyable, and I think more productive. This project is from 2 charm packs and a couple of yards of Moda Bella. It's all 1/2 sq tri's so there's lots of trimming.

And here is the final design. I need to purchase the border fabrics. The dark stripe for a stop border and the big print with the dark chocolate background for the outer border and binding.
This is so out of my norm for colors and prints, but I think it's going to be perfect for the person I have in mind.
We get an extra hour tomorrow, grab a coffee or tea and stitch!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cleaning up and Finishing Up

This was the final of three quilts that I had to finish and send back to their owner. Sometimes it's hard for me to do that, because I want to keep their very cute quilts. This was one that I wanted to keep!

Now do you see why? This is so adorable, I just love the borders, the ants taking away the food, it's over the top on the cute factor. Bye bye, ants, time to go back to live at your creaters home. It felt good to put that big box of quilts back in the mail to Mona! Now she gets to work on them again.
My gal pal Lisa was here for a night and she is Miss Organization. I love when she comes to town. She motivates me and gets my butt in gear and when she left I felt like I could breath in my studio. Thank you, my friend.
All the bolts of fabric are off the floor.

There is room under my Longarm for a roll of batting.
All the piles and groups of stencils are all now in one spot, handy to me when I need them and all organized. I have to admit, I've had the curtain rod for a year, I just needed to buy the rings and hang the darn thing.
Good stuff arrived in my mail box this week. This is the necklace I won from Pam and Debbie and you can read about it here.

There was also a small package of fabric. Yes, I know, I'm not buying right now. But I needed this piece. I only purchased a yard of the Moda Bella in cream and then once I got going on these charm packs, well, I ran out. So to buy with a purpose is legal! I've mixed it with Fandango. What a cute line. It's not my usual style of fabric, but I have the perfect person in mind for this quilt. Shhhh, it's a surprise.
That's all for today, leave a comment to let me know you stopped by,

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday

It was Jo Mortons birthday last month. Lee at Two Thimbles in Bellingham put on a party. She had lots of Jo fabrics all ready to purchase, she had the complete Annandale line along with towers of Fat Quarters.

There were cupcakes and cookies and oh, right. We are talking about quilting.
Lee had lots of great samples of Jo patterns all displayed.

Made me what to go home and start something new. So I did!