Wednesday, December 30, 2009

UFO Challenge for 2010 List is Complete

So far this morning I finished piecing a top that I started yesterday.  Pictured here are the two quilts that needed binding.  That is complete now.  I just need to prewash them and then take them to Family Connections Center.

For now, I'm sitting here tethered to my oxygen and wondering when this weather will change.  The sky doesn't look dirty like yesterday with the inversion sitting all around, but I can't tell if it's cloudy trying to snow or just what.  We did get some snow last night and this morning I thought I was breathing better, but now I'm not sure.  At least I'm getting lots done while I'm inside.

My UFO list is written down and numbered.  I now have 41 unfinished objects that I hope to complete this next year.   Most are kid quilts and those are easy for me to handle on my machine, but there are some larger ones too--so I'll send those out and then I'll finish by binding them.   I can't believe that I have so many starts--I thought I was doing better than that, but the last two days, I made tops from just blocks and starts that weren't even on my UFO list--they are now as they do need to be completed.  In addition, I have strings saved, scraps for crumbs and all sorts and sizes of squares and even some 1 1/2" 9 patch blocks that I'm saving towards a quilt--"someday."  I've listed my UFO's on Stashbusters and I'm ready to begin!--or complete that is!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dr. Oz proclaimed, 'The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished.'

So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house yesterday, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Tequila, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how good that felt.

Just kidding....

Yesterday, I did start combing my stash and putting UFO's into zip lock bags and now I have 17 starts all in one place.  Some, I'll be making into to scrap quilts and some into string quilts.

I did start a few yellow/blue blocks for a lotto at sunshine quillting yahoo group, but I sewed the blocks with the scraps of a particular blue that I had and decided to make it into a top--I'll use up the remainder of that yellow  (WAA HOOO!) and set it aside for a back. 

This year, my goal is to only buy what I need to complete all these starts that I have!  I realized that my purchases will be mostly for backs as I'll need to do something to coordinate that!  I have lots to keep me busy!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas.  As I sit here quietly contemplating, I remember the excitement and chaotic nature of Christmas mornings past.  The children have all moved out and three of them have families of their own.  Our youngest, too, although single I guess has his family of one.  So things here as usual are quiet just before dawn. 

This year, my husband and I decided to exchange presents.  We haven't done that for quite a few years.  But we visited a hobby store and purchaced some remote controlled cars.  We have a full unfinished basement and we also have a flat street in front of our house and a huge parking lot not too far from our house where the high school resides that we can race our cars.  They are waterproof, so we can take them outside, even in the snow. 

We are fortunate.  We have plenty.  Our bellies are rarely empty and our clothes closets though not cramed full have ample clothing for every season of the year.  At this time of year, I wonder about the homeless, the less forntunate, the hungry the cold, the lonely, those whose homes have been ravaged by war, those who have lost loved ones, those who are angry at their lot in life, those whose families are divided by religion, war or any number of things that divided families; I feel blessed beyond measure.  I wonder at the inconsistencies of life and although I have wondered much in the past at why they seem to be, for now I have answers that for me make sense.  I am grateful for the road that has taken me to those answers.  I found answers to many of those questions in the book Human Reality, Who We Are and Why We Exist and I am simply awed by the answers to my previous questions.  I have found a sense of peace that I've not known many of the Christmas days of my past.  I take a calm deep breath and know that life is good/bad/ugly or whatever and it really is all okay.  It's as it has to be for now.  Each can choose to do unto his neighbor as he would want done unto him and more peace will fill the planet.  Will it happen?  I have my doubts.  As in the movie Avatar, we are like the preditors taking over Pandora.  We have many who are fighting and killing our earth and our people. 

We seem asleep to the reaction that all this is causing.  We could easily go into Afganistan and set up some sort of system that would allow those poor and hungry to receive the food and clothing that they so desperatly need for what we spend on war going over there, but no the "hawks" of this world want and have found excuses for war.  I groan--but I know--it's okay.  It will come to some sort of end someday.  I just wonder at what comes between now and that someday to bring us all to the realization that love is the answer~~not war.

My wish is that all can find peace in their hearts.  That is the beginning and at the beginning soon of a new year, that is my deepest wish for mankind.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Another Quilting Start Completed

I actually started this awhile ago, but ran out of thread.  So after buying some matching thread, I was able to complete the quilting.  I tried using a walking foot to make the curved lines in the crumb block area and I don't really like the way it turned out, but it's not bad enough for me to pick it out.  I then tried a different thread and then used my free motion, follow the print of the daisy to quilt the yellow strips.  I think I'll bind it in red if I have enough.  I did a double batting on this as it didn't at first seem heavy enough.  Now it is a bit heavy, but when it's washed, I think it will be okay.  It is from the September crumb making phase I went through....

When choosing a back and thread to quilt with, I find I have to stay closer to a thread that doesn't show the quilting as much, because I'm not a perfect quilter and I don't own a long arm.  The red I used to match the back, really was too strong, but I went with it anyway.  The verigated yellow orange used for the flowers, went with the orange, red stripe on the back and didn't interfere with the fabric. 

Quilting is a process of learning!!!

Ohh! I Love These Colors

There isn't a color that I don't like, but when I finished quilting this I have to say it really feels good to me. 

I bought a yard of these animals and I have enough for one more "happy squares" type block pattern.  I really like the batiks with this.  Haven't got it bound yet, but I wanted to get a quilty picture back onto my blog!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Not Quite Perfect--So It's a Prototype!

This fabric was a bit hard for me to work with and in the picture I can see how the seams are a bit off on the bottom third of blocks that I attached.  I didn't notice til completed how it's off a bit.  The fabric didn't quite match and the fabric had no "stretch" to it, so this will be my prototype for now.  I need to go to the store and get more cording.  It's amazing how much fabric was cut off to complete these squares.  No wonder there is such a high cost for pillows.  They are expensive to make.  This fabric is I'm sure at least $17-30 a yard.  I wish I had more of it and I would have made a comforter--but I've enough for another pillow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

We're Socked In~~So I Might as Well Sew!

It is just frightful outside.  It's still so foggy outside that I can't even see past our field in the back to see if school is in session.  Luckily, I have everything done that needs doing.  We shopped yesterday for any Christmas Dinner things we might need, and I don't mind staying indoors.  I have asthma, so I notice when there is a shortage of oxygen in the air.  So for now, I'm doing a bit of pillow work!

This fabric is some my sister gave me from leftovers of decorating.  I have a couple of pillows that need to be re-covered.  I'm trying: as a way to use up these stripes and make them interesting pillows.

This picture shows the cut.

This picture shows  after the cut and the placement for the seam:

This picture shows another way to cut into the stripe.  The square will be different, as it will show more blue. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thank Goodness for Zappos

With the help of a long narrow foot--one that requires me to shop for my shoes online (btw~~have you ever seen the look of a shoe salesperson when you ask for a women's 9 1/2--and then add N to that request???).

Anyhow~~I now have the quilt ready to send to grandson and it fits in this box!  It is heavy, but I was able to prewash it in my home washing machine with some help from "instant water" feature.  It is now softer and it "molds" to the body better than before.  I used a thick poly batting as that's what my daughter wanted, but it surely makes it heavy.  Anyhow, I'll get it to the post office today.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I've Had About All the Scrapbooking I Can Take....

...At least for awhile.  I was sort of driven by getting the pictures into some binders and clearing up some boxes I'd had for YEARS!  Now, I've loaded the remainders that aren't oriented to these particular children..and put them away for awhile, while I GET BACK TO SEWING!  Someday, when I need a change, I start doing the pictures of the grandkids and play with them a bit more--this project was more getting pictures into a project that started in 1974!!!

Stray pictures are in a small box!  Grandkids pictures are in another small box and I feel like I've cleared out some filing cabinets and some storage boxes and run my shredder into a frenzy!  There's another large box that contains some 12 X 12 pages, that I may make and put up for sale on ebay...but for now I have some other projects that are calling to me!

Got some packages into the mail today and I can say that other than the Christmas baking~~I am ready for Christmas!!

Feels Great!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I've Never Seen a Photo Like This!

We're not really sure what showed up in this photo--whether it's refraction of the sunset or what, but it is a neat photo just before dark.  It's been snowing and really cold and it's going to get colder tonight as it clears up.  BR-r-r-r-r!  Still working on scrapbooking--and I made some fruitcake!  We love it as long as it is a pound cake with lots of candied cherries, pineapple and pecans in the recipe.  I've seen several and they all work if made with real butter!  Yum, now they're in the cold room to "age" for Christmas giving to hubby's mom who is 92 and who likes them a lot.  What else do you give someone who doesn't want anything???

Friday, December 4, 2009

A New Tradition Has Been Started

Grammy has done it now!  This is a quilt that I just got from the quilter.  I haven't bound it yet, (cause I can't get to my machine because of all the scrapbooking stuff there).  My oldest grandson turns 14 in January and he wanted a surfing quilt and I happened to have some fabric that he loved.  We found the blue and the white to go with it and he picked out the pattern.  He has a queen bed so it's big.  Hopefully this will last for a long time.  (Now I need to plan to do the same for each of the other grandchildren when they want to decorate their rooms at that age!  I am really pleased with the quilting!

Anniversaries, coffee and this and that....

My husband told a friend this morning while he was exercising, "My wife stays pretty well caffeinated..."
I've been buzzing this morning and have the laundry, the dishes and some scrapbooking done.

In my effort to complete a couple of scrapbooks for my two youngest, I thought I'd re-post this picture of "My Happy Quilt, 2" while I won't be making many more posts for awhile.  That way at least a photo of quilting will be the first spot on my blog.

Yesterday, hubby and I celebrated our 44th anniversary.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Move Over Quilting for Some Scrapbooking!

I'm taking the next couple of weeks off from quilting to try and tame the photos of my two youngest.  I plan on taking the photos and making scrapbooks~~and it MAY take more than two weeks.  I'll finish these up and then either sell or give away the rest of the scrapbooking stuff.  I'm now either leaving the photos on my computer or when I get some made just putting them into small book type photo albums.  I'd rather be QUILTING than scrapbooking.  I'd like to get the boxes down to none and clear out that space.  Even though it's in the basement--when I die I don't want anyone having to deal with it.  Oh, I'm not planning on dying soon--but one never knows. *grin, grin*

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Came Early!

Yesterday we made it to a JoAnn's 3 Day Sale and hubby made sure that I bought the sewing table.  It has now made it so that I can sew, cut and press in my sewing room.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My cutting table--which doubles as a kitchen island is now clean!

Yesterday, I got in the groove after a few hours of non sleep in the wee hours.  I joined in the Heartstrings Yahoo Group Thanksgiving Block Party.  My contribution will be a kid friendly quilt.  I'll be saving it however for a Heartstrings Sew-In planned for May in Moab, UT.  It will be used as a sample--maybe it can be sent to It's Sew Moab for display.  Anyhow, I got 20 of the 24 blocks needed made.  They are now cut and stored until Monday, when I can finish and add my count to the total.  Eventually these will find their way for donation...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Good Mornin'

Just a bit off from quilts today as I am enjoying a 13.9 lb. weight loss from just 14 days ago!  WaaaHoo!  Here's a pic of me and my grandson yesterday.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another Heartstrings Completed

Mary completed one of my quilt tops and I'm so pleased with the pattern that she used.  Take a look at:
http://blog. maryquilts. com/2009/ 11/20/another- one-of-pats- tops-quilted/

She really is a fantastic quilter and one who does many quilts for donations in many places.  Thank you Mary!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What I'm working on in my spare time--maybe even today!

In the process of trying to clean up my sewing for the company coming next week, I came upon my started crumb blocks.  I thought I'd try them for Christmas presents, and added a border to a handtowel--I added it to the yellow and liked the yellow in there so much that I added some yellow to the crumbs.  I didn't like the hand towel that much, so I decided to make placemats and a table topper.  I had just enough to use up the beaters and the egg fabric to make a table topper and 3 placemats--one for DH and DH's mother and me.  Now just to add the batting and backing and then I'll quilt them.

Guess I'm going to have to break down and go to the chiropractor.  Hate to part with the $45--but I can't sit at the machine for very long and that just doesn't work too well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mary quilted one of my donated tops!

Go take a look at:

The quilting compulsion is slowing down

Sometimes I just almost feeling like I have an addiction to quilting that needs a fix.  I'm currently feeling that calm down and I am enjoying some relaxing mornings.  I'm looking forward to family coming next week for Thanksgiving.  We're going shopping today for a roaster so that I can increase my oven space.  I stopped at my brother's bakery yesterday and got some rolls.  see:

I'm going on a fabric diet for now.  Although I have a stash and also have a large over $100 shopping cart on Thousands of Bolts, I'm going to stop buying for now and continue to use up some of the things I have.  I got my McCall's Quilting magazine for December last week and there's a lovely mystery there that I'm thinking of doing.  I've ordered the back issues so that I can do this.  I have some batiks that I could use and after the first of the year I'll look at this and decide then what I need to buy.

I have 3 quilts I sandwiched yesterday that I can work on without getting out my cutting stuff and making a mess on my kitchen counter.

I received my copy of Human Reality who we are...why we exist yesterday and I'm ready to spend my mornings studying this book.  see:

That's about it for today.  I'm enjoying my 2nd cup of coffee and will soon go take a warm bath to relax my back a bit.  I may still need to make another visit to the chiropractor as just sitting at my sewing machine bothers it.  I tried sewing a few things yesterday and needed to quit.  So that may be on my agenda for tomorrow.

Hallelujah!  nearly 11 pounds lost since last Tuesday!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Something very satisfying about scrappy patchwork

This quilt top started as a swap called Waste Not Want Not on Quilted with Love, yahoo group.  After one swap, I decided to save the postage and just use my own scraps.  There are some bright purple pieces in there I wouldn't have had, so that makes it fun.  I need to find something in my stash to border it with.  It'll be another big one--do I try tying it???  or wait for the quilter????  I'll think about it.  I could possibly do stitch in the ditch and that could give it enough quilting....

A Warm Quilt!

I just finished the binding on this quilt.  It was a heavy one!  Almost more than I could do on my sewing set-up.  I used a twin blanket for the batting and I didn't think it felt very heavy, but added to the strings on a foundation and the size of it, it was hard to sew.  I tried some circles in the middle (eye) of the strings, and it was a bit awkward and didn't turn out quite like I envisioned, but I didn't want to pick them out, so I left them.  I just need to wash it and make sure nothing comes unraveled.  This hasn't turned out to be one of my favorites, but when it's completed, it looks a lot better, than when it was in the "working" stages.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day 2009--Where do we go from here?

As I ponder the state of the world on this day that the United States has declared Veterans Day, I am appalled by the ads that came in the newspapers this week hailing all sorts of Veterans Day Sales.  Have we no heart?  What is it that makes an excuse for buying and selling at someone's expense?

Below are some quotes that have caused me to think about the true cost of war:

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.  ~Jeanette Rankin

Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come.  ~Carl Sandburg

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.  ~Voltaire, War

All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones.  In my opinion, there never was a good war or a bad peace.  When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?  ~Benjamin Franklin

In war, truth is the first casualty.  ~Aeschylus

Man, in his sensitivity, does not give names to animals he intends to eat but goes on giving names to children he intends to send to war.  ~Robert Brault

We have war when at least one of the parties to a conflict wants something more than it wants peace.  ~Jeane J. Kirkpatrick

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die.  ~Jean-Paul Sartre

You cannot prevent and prepare for war at the same time.  ~Albert Einstein

The era of true peace on earth will not come as long as a tremendous percentage of your taxes goes to educate men in the trades of slaughter.  ~Reginald Wright Kauffman

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Belief--what is it?

I just read of a woman who is gathering quilts for the victims of Fort Hood Shootings and their families.  I respect that person's intent and desire to help.  Sometimes I find myself in a rather lonely frame of mind as I consider current events.  I DO NOT believe in war.  I believe that wars have been manufactured from man's inability to live the golden rule.  But, what is belief anyway???

I just read this:
In order to create value for themselves and gain a sense of equality with everyone else, human beings have developed their own individual belief systems.   The real truth is that there is no true human reality in any belief system invented by humankind—not even one!  (Human Reality Intro)  see:

I wonder sometimes in my hours of quilting how things are supposed to work in this world.  I suppose we'll go on doing whatever it is that makes us happy--or in many cases things that could cause others to be unhappy.  I think of wars, poverty, beliefs and the rifts they cause and I wonder even, if the quilts I make will give warmth to some child who may grow up to be a terrorist.  I can only hope that someday truth will prevail.  I'm again posting a link to a video that makes sense to me--the person who doesn't like war.
An acquaintance of ours lost his nephew in the Ft. Hood Shootings.  

This is his view of what is happening:

A message and book dedicated to the youth of the world in remembrance of Aaron Thomas Nemelka, who was killed on Nov. 5, 2009 during the Ft. Hood Massacre.

More to go...

This is the first quilt I put on the quilting frames--see earlier post.  It was Sunday morning when I started this and I didn't have any yarn--at least I didn't think I did.  Then I remembered a stash of sheets and yarn my neighbor had given me.  I found some lavender colored heavy yarn.  WOW, it was hard to pull through, but luckily this wasn't a big quilt.  I had some fleece remnant that fit this quilt just perfectly.  When it was completed, I felt that it needed some quilting so I quilted on my machine the white parts.  Using a previously tied quilt, to machine quilt, especially with the fleece backing worked beautifully.  I had a little trouble with the bulk, but not too bad.  The top was made from some 9 patches from a lotto that I won.  I made them into disappearing 9 patches and laid a layer of thin poly batting that was donated a couple of years ago by Fairfield to our senior's quilting group.  Since I have the small bits of the remainder, it needs to be used in donation quilts, as that was the specifications.  Now that I have the quilt frame, that will be easy enough to do, since I can use the frames to tie quilts.  The seniors quilting group is now a group of one--me!  It may take me awhile to use up the batting, but with the quilt below in the next post, I have now used up all the fabric donated--not counting the sheets my neighbor gave recently hoping to have them used somewhere, as she doesn't want to quilt them.   

This is the current stack of quilts ready to go to the Family Connections Center.  Yesterday, I spent some time in recovery, trying to get some help for my back (massage and a visit to the chiropractor has nearly healed it, I just need a bit more rest on ice).  

A new space now in use for quilting

We have an unfinished basement and I have an inherited quilt frame. I also have some big tops I've made that need to be quilted.  This picture shows the backing tacked down and ready for the batting.

I used a twin blanket I purchased at the second hand store for the batting. 

Then I laid the top over and anchored it down with either tacks or pins depending on where it was.  I should have trimmed the backing to fit better, but I don't have a big table to do that, and this works just fine.  After it's tied it is much easier to trim.

This is another view after I've started tying the quilt.  It's cold in the basement, so I'm going to look for some gloves with the fingers out so that I can do some more when we experience the cold snap that is coming.  I can go down and do a few rows and then emerge into my warm upstairs to get warm.  This is really kind of a fun retreat!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Now what do I do????

I'm not sure what I'll do with this top.  Recently, when I heard that my LQS was going out of business, I knew that they carried the blue stars and the wavy black/white, so I made up my own kits so that I'd know exactly how much to buy so that I could use all the various Baby Genius squares I had.  I came up with enough for 3 tops.  This is affectionately called Happy Quilt 2 since it is the second I've made.  It just makes me happy.  I like a rectangular quilt for kids better than a square, so I added the borders at the top and bottom.  For now it will hang in the closet with the other UFO's until I decide if I want to quilt it myself or send it on.

Below is the first Happy Quilt that I made last year.

Remembering Ft. Hood Shootings--by a victim's uncle

An acquaintance of ours lost his nephew in the Ft. Hood Shootings.  

This is his view of what is happening:

A message and book dedicated to the youth of the world in remembrance of Aaron Thomas Nemelka, who was killed on Nov. 5, 2009 during the Ft. Hood Massacre.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

7:15 a.m. and what to do with the rest of the day...

Gosh it's only 7:15 and I'm about to enjoy my third cup of Java and the Saturday newspaper with all the real estate ads.  I just love looking at all the houses.  Don't know why--just do!  I've completed a quilt that I started quilting last night and now just to enjoy.  I'm what I laughingly refer to as a "recovering Mormon".  I can't believe I missed nearly a lifetime of coffee in the morning.  I savor each drop.  Don't usually drink it during the day--man if I did I would really be hyped up.  But, that being said, I do love to drink it and just enjoy!  It feels good from the first scent of the coffee, to the brewing and then to the sensation in the mouth!  Am I a sense driven woman or just a woman with good common sense?   Or just sensuous??  There will be no vote on this!!!

Another Finish...

This started as a back for another quilt, and I thought to myself--I really could make another quilt out of this and then my work would go farther.  So, another quilt came from my two day crumb making session earlier this year--maybe in September...

I got to thinking while sewing the binding.  In my early years as a frazzled mom, I had quilts that I washed to death.  Most moms who receive these quilts, I am thinking, will be moms who may not even have their own washing machine, so these quilts need to be very durable.  I prefer making the binding and then sewing it by hand, but that may not be as durable as sewing down with a decorative stitch the way I now do most donation quilts.

I remember a quilt that I received when we took in a foster Native American.  I didn't have enough bedding when winter came.  There was a quilt in the Relief Society's closet and I asked if there was any way I could get it.  Of course I needed to remimberse for it--that's a whole 'nother story and I won't go into that today---maybe sometime I'll tell--but to make the story, it was a quilt that had been tied which made it durable for my boy's bedroom.  After a couple of washings the binding which was hand sewn came undone and it was awhile before I could get it resewed.  I was working, my first year as a teacher, having a weekend job as a waitress to help pay the loan we had for my education, and being a mom.  I suppose that has colored my thinking about bindings.  I want the quilts I give to be given freely--no strings attached--no payback and I want them to be durable.  I have several places I send my quilts, as many know.

I have been asked many times why I don't sell my quilts.  I suppose I could, but it would take out the joy for me.  This way I can let my imagination run and sometimes I just go with whatever fabric I have and come up with a design.  If things don't work quite the way I'd imagined--I don't have a e-quilter program nor much of a design wall, I can just donate them which is in my way of thinking a plus--I get to play and someone gets a quilt.  Most of the quilts I do are just from my head, or a combination of a pattern I've seen or just putting fabrics together.  This quilt, I used two layers of Fairfield 80/20 from a package.  It seems a little less thick or sturdy than some I'd have.  It makes me wonder if they've changed the batting.  So I won't be buying that anymore.  I'll be making an order soon of a roll of something advertised on called quilters dream batting.  I haven't yet washed the pictured quilt, but with two layers it is a bit more bulky.  That's one of the reasons I really like doing strings.  It adds just one more layer, not a thick one, but with that and the batting, even though not really fluffy they are quilts that just "mold" around the body.  I like that feeling. 

Well, I've rattled on enough today.  I need to make one more quilt, so that I can wash them and not have my washer go nuts because it's not loaded right!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Quilted, Washed and Passed the Snuggle Test

WowEEE!  I'm back from a short vacation and quickly fixing my lack of sewing!  I quilted the pink one earlier today and actually bound the blue one while on our trip.  So glad to be home.  It's always fun to go, but for me home is really where I love to be.  The blue quilt used up my leftovers of minky.  I tried the binding in that as well as an edging around the pinwheels.  I used up what I had and couldn't purchase any more of the brown.  I still have some of the various blues and maybe I'll make them into a string quilt after I find some brown that blends with it.  The pink turned out a good size for a baby quilt and it is an easy pattern to make and it has some variation in the colors to make it interesting.  It has a cotton poly batting and the blue has a polyester batting.  Overall, my preference is the 80/20 blend.  I'm making an order soon for a bolt of it so that I have some on hand. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

With just a few 2 inch squares comes a quilt!

Yesterday, while getting some crumbs ready for Sarah, a gal on heartstrings yahoo group needing crumbs for a nursing home project,  I found some 2 inch squares that I thought I could use so I saved them. After mailing her box I went to the Family Services Center and donated eight quilts. The woman there
was SO-o-o appreciative of the quilts and told me a story of a man who had requested help. They were from TX and his wife had just delivered a baby in UT and they had NOTHING for the baby.  I thought how much good those scraps made into quilts will bring  to those visiting that center in their time of need.

I came home and made those scraps into squares and added some string blocks and
came up with another baby quilt that I can donate.  While doing that, I thought how much are we saving when we use up all our scraps. You'll be surprised at what I found.

1 yd. = 1296 sq. inches per yard

figuring .006 per inch gives yardage at 7.78

figuring .007 per inch gives yardage at 9.07 etc.

so there are 61.5 sq inches in WOF 1 1/2" wide saving .43 if buying 9.00 yd

fabric (which I seldom use--but for fun just say I did)

a 3 1/2" WOF = 143.5 sq inches or a savings of 1.0045

Now, I'm not the best mathematician, but I think my figures are correct--at
least I hope so.

So ladies and gentlemen: Never say your heartstrings quilts are only worth your
labor. There's lots of money that we save by using all of our scraps!! And
that money we save, we can always buy more fabric. "Waste not want not" is an
old proverb that can be applied here.

I think I'll be taking a break from blogging for maybe a week or so.  I do have other things I really need to get done!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Heartstrings Top Completed

I tried making diamond heartstrings from some brights and some ABC fabric I had.  I'm not sure if I like it.  It seems bright enough to make some child happy, I hope.  The backing caused me some trouble when quilting, but after I picked out the two bad lines and re-pinned it, and it worked okay.  This is already in a box waiting for another quilt, and I'll send it to Mountain Baby Quilt Project.  I made 12 black and red 12 1/2 inch blocks for Sunshine this morning.  I found some 3 1/2 inch squares and made them into a Buckeye block and got them all sealed into an envelope before taking a picture.  Oh well--black and red always looks good together, but it isn't my favorite combination, so I was glad to use up the red with white and a touch of black.  Don't have much red in my stash!  Especially the true red that requires a white combo.  I usually use an off white.  I did however, buy some pure white for my stash when a local quilt store had a quitting business sale.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Playing at quilting

Yesterday, I finished the sunflower quilt, by quilting it on my machine.  It was great fun!  I'm really starting to like quilting--didn't think I ever would.

The black quilt was begun from seeing the black print in my stash and wondering if the crumb blocks would go with it.  A little experimentation and voila--a new quilt.  I quilted it also.

I need to take a break for a couple of days.  I need to take my mom and look at some housing possibilities for her in St. George, UT.  Don't know if she'll really make the change, but the house she's been in since the early 60/s is just too big and too much work for her.  Moving after all that time is a pretty big thing for her to do, and I don't know if she really will.  However, we'll give it a try.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I just got in on a wonderful quilt show

I'm always excited when bevinalaska gets quilts done for Wrap Them In Love.  Her week's work is displayed in this album and it is always a pleasure to go there and see just what she's done with just her home machine--no long arm quilting here.  She is so talented with her machine in doing quilts for Sunshine.

Friday, October 16, 2009

One more finished

Had so much fun playing with the quilting on this quilt.  I have found the Superior Thread's "Bottom Line" is GREAT for the bottom thread when quilting on a home machine.  I used just plain ole Coats and Clarks "heavy" in the top thread and it shows up nicely.  If this keeps up, I'll have to get more thread!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Green Tomato Mincemeat

The green tomatoes are fast turning red, because the garage is fairly warm.  Tuesday, I tried the recipe for green tomato mincemeat and it was great.  So this evening I made another batch and had just enough jars, so it all got canned.   In middle ages, real meat was used as a way to preserve the meat.  I love the smell, the taste, and I took some from Tuesday and put it on a cracker and it was like eating apple butter on a cracker.  There's something about the combination of spices, ground orange, and the apples.  The green tomatoes look just like apples.  As the mince ages it turns a bit darker.  Can't wait to make some mince pies for Thanksgiving.  I used rum to top off the bottles as the recipe called for.  It'll be interesting to taste it, as the part I ate from the leftovers didn't have the rum.  If we like it, I'll keep adding it and if we don't of course the recipe is still great without the rum!!! 
10//16/09  I've added the recipe below since the link isn't working.  With the changes I think I can call it my own...*grin*
1 dozen sm. green tomatoes, about 2 inches in diameter

1 1/2 tsp. salt

4 c. diced tart apples

1 lg. orange, seeded and finely chopped (including rind)

3/4 c. chopped beef suet  (I used 3/4 cup butter)

1 package (14 oz.) raisins

2 c. firmly packed brown sugar

Juice of 1 lg. lemon

1/4 c. cider vinegar

1/2 c. apple juice or water (I didn't add)

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger root or 1 tsp. ground ginger

1 1/2 c. brandy or rum, approximately

Core the tomatoes and cut them into 1/4 inch dice. Sprinkle the salt over them, cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain the tomatoes in a colander ad rinse them well under the hot running water. Place the tomatoes in a large heavy pot, add the remaining ingredients except the brandy, and stir well to combine with a large heavy spoon.

Place the pot over medium heat and, stirring frequently, bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer slowly, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes, or until all liquid evaporates and the mixture is very thick. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the brandy or rum. (I skipped this step and just added the rum to top off the mince.)
Ladle the mincemeat into sterilized 1-pint jars, leaving about 1/2 inch unfilled in each. Pour brandy or rum into each jar just to cover the mincemeat. Seal the jars.

Process the jars in a boiling-water bath (see below) for 15 minutes. Cool and label the jars and store in a cool, dark place. Before using the mincemeat, stir it well.

Place sealed jars at least an inch apart on rack in a large kettle. Pour water into the kettle to cover the jars by 2 inches and gradually bring the water to a boil. Boil pint jars for 15 minutes and quart jars for 20 minutes. Remove the jars immediately with tongs and allow to cool gradually in a warm place before labeling and storing. Makes 4 pints, enough for 4 (9-inch) pies.
(Since I don't have a canner I just washed the pan I used and added water and set the bottles in and the water came just to the top--since the mince was hot the water boiled really soon and I counted the time from the begin of the boil--it worked--the jars sealed.)  This step could be skipped if you just made the 3 pints and stored it in the fridge.

Heartstrings Quilted!

From the ability coming from completely quilting a quilt yesterday, came the desire to take a bigger, heavier quilt and run it through my machine and quilt it too.  I used a method found by visiting blogs on the quilters fall festival,  see:  I found out about a method using the walking foot to quilt, so without purchasing the book, Foolproof Machine Quilting by Mary Mashuta, and and reading just a bit from the "inside the book" at Amazon I just decided to try what I could and I came out with some wavy quilting in the borders and in the black strips.  It was a very easy method and one I can use and save paying for longarm quilting on so many donation quilts.  I'm actually quite happy with the results.  Now, just waiting to wash and dry it.  The book is on my want list, but not really NEEDED just now--just on a WANT list! 

Nothing is absolutely original!!!

This quilt sort of just evolved.  I started making the crumb blocks or maybe your could even call the improv blocks, because that's exactly what they were.  I then made them into a strippy quilt and decided to try my hand at quilting again.  So I quilted it and then bound it and machine stitched the binding down with a decorative stitch as that is what works for me without making my arm go to sleep.  This is apprx. 40" X 54".  I'll be putting it into a box later today to send to Mountain Baby Blankets Project.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A place I send many tops to be quilted is to a retired lady that quilts kid sized quilts as her pastime.  She cranks out over 200 quilts a year and sends them to one of two charities.  This is from a response to a question she was asked:
1. how do you guys decide which quilts go to which organization?

The maker of the quilts is the first to designate which goes where
(so it's your choice). If the maker doesn't say, then basically if it's
bigger than 40x60. I send it to WTIL---but either charity can use ANY size.
The other consideration is that WAS uses the quilts to wrap young children
during the surgery, so 'small' or "large" quilts aren't able to be used as
easily---but WTIL services all sized children so they always have a need for
both large and small quilts. As you can tell, it's a very selective
choice... . Often the deciding factor for me is which next box needs
filling....LOL Also----both charities stock-pile quilts and they'll let
me know if they've got a need for special sizes to fill shipments.

2. Bev.... have you ever kept track????
Yes, I keep track of all the quilts I work on for Sunshine. I
have the last 6 years on the computer. What I do is to number each years
quilts as I do them--so if you check out my webshot album, you'll see albums
for each year. I start fresh each year with number 1 on January (and you'll
see an album for WAS and an album for WTIL for each year). I've completed
280 so far this year---and for 2008--311 tops, 2007--254 tops, 2006--386
tops, 2005--367 tops, and 2004--276.
I am loving retirement because I can devote myself to Sunshine
quilts.....< G>

Other Sunshine's quilting angels do something similar--although not all
manage to photograph all the tops they do. I'm just more vocal, I

3. Gail made the quilts, you quilted them, and now sending them BACK to
LOL---Gail is our west coast representative for WAS--she hand
delivers finished tops to the WAS warehouse.

Miscellaneous- ---40x60 is the 'ideal' size for wrapping most children--which
is why they both can use the most of that size. Also, orphanages don't
have full size beds, and 40x60 is a good "cot" size. We looked a long time
to find charities that guarantee that the quilts we send are hand
delivered--- and could use any size quilts we send. We also decided that
we'd only "officially" support these two charities--- ---they count on us to
supply their needs and we don't want to spread ourselves too thin--It's not
that we don't appreciate all the different charities that individually we
may support. Occassionally, some of our members (that we know and love)
will let us know about special groups that they're working with that need a
little extra help to fill a need---and we'll make some of the quilts for
them also---but only with the permission of the maker of the quilt tops.

Hope I've answered more than just created more questions--- let me
Hugs........ ..bev b (Fairbanks, Alaska)

So, that is one of the reasons I belong to Sunshine Quilter's Online Yahoo Group.  Many are commtted to making either quilts, or tops, or backs to donate to these groups:  Wrap A Smile, which is a group that makes quilts for kids receiving surgery to fix cleft palate disability, or Wrap Them in Love, a group that sends quilts to many orphanages or kids in need of a warm "blanky."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Finished two more.

Earlier this summer I participated in a block donation towards WAS (wrap a smile quilts) through a yahoo group.  The challenge for that month was to make 12 1/2 inch blocks using brights.  I used some of my blocks to make this top.  Yesterday I completed the binding after Judy quilted it.

The quilt pictured below is also from using my "brights".  It's ready to be washed prior to donation to Family Connections Center in Clearfield, or to Mountain Baby Blankets.


Sometimes a quilt just doesn't turn out like you'd pictured it in your mind.  I'd sketched this quilt and thought things would work okay.  I had some leftover ABC blocks and some chenille fabric that I thought I'd intersperse inbetween the blocks.  I even laid it out as I sewed.  When I sewed all the blocks together they just didn't come together as I wanted.  I didn't want to pick it out, as it is a charity quilt and many who receive these just AREN'T quilt POLICE.  So I finished it up and had it quilted.  I bound it and washed it and the chenille is a warm fuzzy surprise and it is soft and cuddly and I gues that's what counts.  I'm sending this to Mountain Baby Blankets when I get the address--how do I lose things so fast????