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. 
http://tinyurl.com/9qq2sd

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*
GREEN TOMATO MINCEMEAT
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.


BOILING WATER BATH:
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: http://happycottagequilter.blogspot.com/2009/10/presenting.html  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
think....LOL


3. Gail made the quilts, you quilted them, and now sending them BACK to
Gail????
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
know....
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....



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????

Monday, October 12, 2009

I got this in my email this morning and just laughed.  If you knew the person who sent it, you'd know how much fun she had sending it. 

ALERT:


If you receive an email from the Department of Health telling you not to eat canned pork because of swine flu...


Ignore it.


It's just ‘Spam™’!








I'm sure if someone has had H1N1 flu, this wouldn't be funny.  I don't mean to be unsensitive to those.  At an early part of my day this email just made me laugh. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Breaking a Cycle



Rather than sew more blocks, I took a break from my machine and did some binding. I have one of three kids quilts done and still a baby quilt to bind. This ABC quilt is now bound and ready for gifting. I used squares from a swap of 6 1/2 inch squares. I had it sort of sketched out before stitching it and I don't know why I didn't think to have the ABC's going from left to right the way we read. Instead I ran them in columns going down. Oh well, it is a comfy quilt and the backing is the same as the binding, from the line "Sss-sill Safari" by Cheri L. Strole.  I do wish that line was still available.  There were many fun prints from that line that I've used.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

To Quilt or not to Quilt


Just about finished up the sunflower fabric that I purchased a few years back. I had the intention of making a quilt for my bed. Have since sold the pattern and just put all the fabric purchased (a going out of business LQS) into my stash.

These blocks are 10" by 7" and then trimmed to 6 1/2" by 9 1/2" sewn in groups of 4; three across and three down. The length of the block is very pleasing to the eye and I'm starting to think I like these better than the square heartstrings. They are just a bit trickier to sew and not have curves in the stitching lines.

Now...do I tie it or quilt it? I think I could possibly quilt it on my home sewing machine, but haven't really decided. So, for now, it's hanging in the closet. I'm betting I'll wait until Judy starts quilting again and I'll send it to her. What could be defined as a quilting addiction??? Ha! Ha! the need to sew just to sew and then collect tops faster than I can afford to get them quilted?? Yip! I'm thinking that's what it is.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Comfort Wins!



Today is the first day of the Blogger's Quilt Festival--see button on the right of my blog and we were invited to share a quilt. This is my quilt that I wanted to share today. http://parkcitygirl.blogspot.com/


This is probably my favorite quilt. Many of the quilts I've done, I've given away and only remember because I've posted pictures. This one however, is one I made for my husband and finished in 2001. We both love it. Sometimes I'm the winner and get it before he does. The comfort of this quilt is just PERFECT! It is soft and cuddly and I don't know what the quilter used and I've long since lost contact with her. The back is a soft homespun type flannel and all in all it is just comfy.  It actually started as a BOM quilt at my local quilt store in about 1999 or 2000.  The interest in the challenge soon waned for many that started and dwindled into none existence.  It was from a Stitches Along the Oregon Trail or something like that.  I've since sold the pattern in a yard sale cause I grew tired of it.  Now that I'm more experienced in quilting I think I could have made it out okay.  I finished up the part that is the inside of this quilt and then added some blocks I had made for another quilt and then added the two together.  It used to fit my house decor more, in another house that we lived, but I don't care.  It hangs on the banister close to the couch in our "retirement" home here in northern UT.  I had lots of scraps from this, cause being good friends with the quilt shop owner and feeling obligated to purchase all the kits she made up--I did purchase more than my share as she had made some for everyone.  I have made a quilt for my son from some of this fabric and have another in the closet ready to quilt and have made a heartstrings quilt for donation from some of the scraps.  As with many scraps they seem to grow, because you purchase "just a bit" more from some coordinating fabric and soon you have enough for another quilt.  At least I do--maybe enough for another heartstrings--well as soon as I get the back and binding cut for that one hanging in my closet.







Another quilt that I just love and it's because of the weight and just the way it molds around you is one I purchased at Wal Mart in the 80's, BQ (before quilting). It is showing its wear and I haven't made one to replace it, so it gets folded and put atop our bed each cold morning. During the summer it rests in a closet, but it is far better than the quilts Wal Mart now sells. I keep looking for something that I want to replace it with and so far nothing has "spoken". I'm not really into making queen size quilts that much, so for now I have a quilt on my bed for comfort and a quilt on the banister next to the sofa for cuddle comfort.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another Heartstrings Completed



This top was started earlier this week and I've completed it and a backing. The fabric choice came from the mini floral teal that was donated and I added some brown and teal Kona to match, as well as other fabrics from my stash.  Didn't have enough fabric for the backing unless I pieced it. I started it with the Off Center 4 Patch Backing http://www.maryquilts.com/off-center-4-patch-backing/and still didn't have enough fabric. So, I improvised using strips to make up the width I needed.  as I got going on this quilt, I wanted it to be big enough to cover an adult or teen if they needed a bed quilt.



This will be quilted by my quilter, Judy,
when she can get to it. Her father just
passed away and she will
need time to adjust to not having him
to care for. There's no hurry on my
end--so it'll go in the closet for now.

This is a fairly big quilt, and will be donated
to the Family Connections Center in Clearfield.










Time Out to Enjoy the View



We took an afternoon to ride up to the mountains before the red leaves are all gone. They are dropping fast, but we did get this combo of snow and fall in the mountains close to Huntsville, Utah.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Confession


I'm hopelessly addicted to making string quilt tops. Last week, I set aside some fabric for another type of challenge for myself, but since it was making what I call happy blocks in different sizes, I just couldn't get going on it. I stalled for about 4 days and then on Sunday I finished up a quilt top--the one in the background. Now it just needs a border and its ready for quilting.
I then started the blue/brown combination in 9 1/2 inch squares from one of the stacks I'd set aside for that other quilt. I may yet do it, but I have lots of fun trying to do what I call a controlled string quilt top where I make 4 blocks that are alike and then sew them together, later assembling them in a quilt top. I've got 24 blocks left and then another top will be done.
I acquired a quilting frame and it's in the basement. I may put one of these quilt tops on and tie a quilt...Lots to do.

Frary Peak from Antelope Island



This photo was snapped by my husband at Antelope Island recently. It overlooks the Great Salt Lake. Not the hiker, I stayed home while he went, but I do enjoy the pictures! It stands at 6596 ft. above sea level.