Thursday, December 28, 2006

Crocheted Quilts??? Say What???

One of my favorite gifts for Christmas was an iPod Nano from my younger son! Love, love, love it. I have already listened to several quilty podcasts on it. I headed to the library Tuesday to look for a novel to upload to it also. Well, after selecting one, I just automatically headed to the quilting and needlework section of the library. Vanna White's book on crocheted afghans caught my eye. Brought it home and was just struck by how many of her patterns looked like quilts!!! Square in a square, checks, wedding ring, bear's paw, sunflowers....who knew? I sure hope to get back in the sewing room this week. Waiting for me there are: Birds of a Feather (last two blocks to applique), Jo's Scrappy Stars (3 December blocks to sew), the 2006 Calendar quilt (December's strips to stitch together) plus other myriad UFOs to unearth. Need I even make any 2007 resolutions???

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Circa 1970

This little patchwork tree is from about 1970. I hadn't made a real quilt yet but was always fascinated by patchwork. I think it was the forebearer of an obsession to come LOL! This week has been a typical "week before Christmas"--translation: no time for quilting! Most--maybe all--of the present shopping is done and wrapped. Christmas candies and cookies have been baked and frozen. House is somewhat clean. Christmas cards have been sent. Non-perishable ingredients for the Christmas feast have been purchased, remainder will be bought today. Whew! I am making myself tired. Lovely get-togethers have been had, except for two family ones coming up in a few days. What am I forgetting??? Blogging has had to take a back seat and will probably do so for a few more days. Son #1 is coming in today from Nebraska and Son#2 will be in tomorrow from Indiana---so much of my time will be spoken for. Here's wishing each of you a wonderful Christmas and I thank you for reading my blog!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Gingerbread Kitchen and a Quilt Finish

I love decorating the kitchen in gingerbread for Christmas. The little primitive tree is covered with gingerbread ornaments accumulated over the years. Close ups are a little rolling pin with gingerboys and painted gingerboys measuring spoons. I have a wooden bowl in my sink window full of gingerboys and other touches around the room, including a wonderful gingerbread-scented candle from Lang. Gingerbread people are so darn jaunty!

The opportunity quilt that my mini-group has been making for the guild's show in the spring is finally done-done!!! It is called 25 Years of Friendship in honor of our guild's 25th anniversary. The friendship star motif is our guild's special block. It is made from mostly Moda Marbles. The applique is needleturned and the quilting is longarmed. Fun project--even more fun to have it finished. The really bright colors are quite a departure for us. Hope it goes over with the raffle-ticket-buying public! Note regarding snowmen pincushions: several people asked for a tutorial on the snowmen pincushions posted a couple of days ago. I fear the copyright police would have my hide for that LOL--but the pattern is available in the book, Snowman Threads by Need'l Love. There is a whole series of the Threads books put out by a group of very, very talented local quilters and crafters. These books are just fantastic and I have seen them in quilt shops all over the country so it wouldn't be hard to find. Thanks for understanding.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm A Copycat!!!

Okay, I admit it. When I see something utterly adorable, I want to make it--bad! One of my online groups is having an ornament exchange. I didn't take part due to a lot of activities going on this month. I have really regretted it. As photos of the ornaments started coming in, I pouted and whined (to myself, of course). This little wool snowman pincushion REALLY caught my fancy! I needed a little somethin' extra to add to my gift exchange gift for the Guild Christmas luncheon on Thursday and this seemed perfect. I have a couple of other practical quilty things already wrapped up but just felt I wanted something cutesy to put with them. I have had the book for quite sometime (Snowman Threads by Need'l Love) but had forgotten all about it. It has so-o-o many adorable snowmen projects. I took a couple of shortcuts in the interest of time (I have a houseload of company coming on Sunday and my house NEEDS cleaning bad!!). Instead of hand blanketstitching the nose and top, I used Fabric-Tak glue (love that stuff). And instead of French knots for the mouth, I used pins with black heads. I substituted buttons for the wool eyes. And, since I wanted to make this out of my stash to avoid a trip out today, I used 100% wool felt. Okay, why, you may ask, are there two of them? Well, I had to have one too, didn't I????

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I am kinda bad about remembering to answer questions raised in my Comments section. Sorry 'bout that--I am trying to do better!!! Rabbit Stitchings and Dianne asked about a pattern for the wool tree pincushions. Here is a site which has a tutorial for the trees: I used this pattern but turned it into a pincushion instead of a button tree--cute either way!!! Screen Door wanted to know about the project I was going to use my embroidery machine for. Well, I had intended to machine embroider "Andiamo" on these kitchen towels for some friends who went to Italy with us. Andiamo means "Let's go!" in Italian. Since these couples are snowbirds, I thought they could use the towels in their motor homes. However, my Bernina had other ideas and had to make a trip to the hospital (home now) so I had to do the embroidery by hand. The photos above show these towels. By the way, these little kitchen towels are so handy. You use a quilted potholder and a terry towel (I get mine at Target). Fold both in half and slightly gather the towel to fit the potholder. Stitch. Sew on a button. The potholder's loop acts as the buttonhole. I hang mine on a drawer pull right by the sink. They look cute with or without the embroidery. I still want to try machine embroidering a few though--maybe a snowman for January!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Since the early 80s I have collected primitive Santas. My very favorites are ones carved and painted by a gentleman from a neighboring town, Ed Gilliam. His work always brings a smile to my face. The Santas on the shelves are mostly his work. The Santas on the pie safe are others that I love and bring out every year. There are tons more in the basement, but I tend to pull out less and less each year--it's that old
"Gotta put it all away after Christmas" syndrome!!! Last picture is a group of wool Christmas tree pincushions I made for my mini-group. We don't actually exchange Christmas gifts but I always want to gift them with some small remembrance every year. Not much quilting the last couple of days. I had wanted to use my embroidery machine for a few gifts but it decided to act bad yesterday so it is in the Bernina Hospital. My Bernie tech promises it will be ready in just a few days. Fingers crossed. I hardly ever use the embroidery part but, of course, when I do want to, it throws me for a loop!!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Rags O' Plenty

A post by Libby reminded me of this bowl made several years ago (like at least twenty!!!) made by wrapping clothesline with torn rag strips. It is still a favorite and serves well as a crochet project holder. I wish I could remember EXACTLY how I made it! See, sometimes I actually FINISH a project!!! Yesterday I completed the crocheted rag rug. It was one of those projects that you really hate to see end because it was so much fun to work on. It finished at 33" x 23" and took 350 yards of the 1/2" strips of batik. It is residing on the floor in front of the kitchen sink. Can't wait to make another one--but I really need to get focusing on Christmas now LOL!!!
I have also managed to sneak in a few strippy snowball blocks each day. I have 36 finished (though a few may need to be remade as I can tell on the design wall that some of those triangle corners are not going to match up well!). Another fun sewing project. I do need to cut more strips and squares today. I also need to shop for more of the three colors---but NOT today. KC had an ice storm last evening and several inches of snow are predicted for later today. Yuck! Me and ice? Not so much.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Birthdays, Gift Cards & Coupons, Oh My!

My birthday fell right on Thanksgiving this year (and, no, that does not make me a turkey!!!). I was gifted with a couple of Joann's gift cards. As I was out running errands Saturday, my car just turned itself right into the Joann's parking lot. Armed with the multitude of coupons they have been running, I purchased these skeins of precut fabric batik strips. Each skein contains 50 yds. As I do not enjoy tearing or rotary-cutting narrow pieces of cloth, I used those coupons (Joann's will take Michaels and Hobby Lobby coupons too--yay) and purchased several skeins--all at either 40% or 50% off. Bolstered by Finn's very helpful tips and encouragement, I decided to start a crocheted rag rug. Because both sons were in town for the weekend, that meant marathon football on TV (college games on Saturday, NFL on Sunday). I didn't want to be totally anti-social so this seemed the perfect hand project while watching mass amounts of bone-crushing, flag-throwing, and general hoopla in the end zones. This is how much I was able to accomplish on Sunday. It is worked on a K hook. The first photo shows 50 yards worth of crocheting (15" x 6"). The last photo shows 150 yards of crocheting (22 1/2 " x 12 1/2"). I will just keep going till I run out of strips--or till I get more Joann's coupons. I wanted a long narrow oval so started out with a chain of about 20 or 22. I can see where I need to improve on when, where, and how much to increase!!! But this "practice" one will go in front of my kitchen sink so perfection is not a requirement.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Inspiration Strikes

Leafing through some old quilt books recently, I came across this beauty called Lacquer Luster in the Great American Quilts Book 9 (bottom photo--red, black, and white) and remembered why I had sticky-noted it! Wow, I loved it all over again. I adore strippy quilts and this take on the old Snowball block just knocks my socks off! I decided to switch my plans for the quilt I want to make for Older Son. Instead of the paper-pieced Storm At Sea, I will make this one. The first four sample blocks went together quickly (top photo) and I began cutting strips (8" long by random widths) and 2 1/4" squares. The squares are actually grays and blacks but the photo doesn't really reflect that!!! Patti, do you recognize the teals??? I will use the teal with black and gray color scheme. Hopefully this will satisfy DS request for "lots of black and gray" LOL!!! Since DS is a TV weatherman, I wanted a block that sounded "weathery" so Snowball works for that! I really do not enjoy paper-piecing. I'll do it when the need arises but I find it tedious. I was having a hard time getting motivated to do a whole quilt of paper-piecing. Strippy suits me just fine.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY! My family will gather at my sister's house at noon, each relative bringing along a dish of something yummy. I am glad that she has the festivities because her husband cooks a mean turkey! I'll be hosting the family Christmas so my turn's a'comin'. My contributions will be a pumpkin pie (with that delicious new French Vanilla Cool Whip), a lemon cake with cream cheese frosting, and the old standby Broccoli Rice casserole. (This is always her personal request!) Here's the recipe: In a small glass bowl saute 1/4 of an onion--chopped--in 1/4 cup margarine in the microwave. Cook a bag of Success Rice according to package directions. In a large ovensafe casserole dish, cook 24 oz. frozen broccoli in the microwave, again according to pkg. directions. Drain excess water from broccoli, then add the onion, rice, 1 can cream of celery soup and 1 small jar Cheez Whiz. Stir, then bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Yummy! Hope everyone has a lovely family day with lots of blessings to count.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Productive Day

Saturday was a good quilty day! I was three months behind on my Jo Morton Scrappy Stars blocks. I get little fabric packets for three stars each month from my LQS--you do the math LOL! I am now up to speed on these little cuties and have 30 done. The quilt is from Jo's book, Hearthside Stars. Her finished quilt is 57" x 73 1/2" but I will be enlarging it to bedsize as a gift for my younger son's birthday. Haven't decided if I will make more stars or just enlarge sashing and borders--or both! Jo's quilt has 35 stars in it. The stars sew up fairly fast but it takes me a while to do the cutting! The flying geese are made using the quicky method that gives you all four FGs using one large square (4 3/4" x 4 3/4") and four smaller squares (2 5/8" x 2 5/8"). Love this method! The tablemat I purchased at a local craft fair yesterday. A gal who does some machine quilting for me also has a business of selling handmade quilted items and appliqued shirts. I love her work and always manage to buy at least one thing from her every year!!! This is made from the line of Nell's Flower Shop (Moda). I LOVE this line and had recently bought several FQs myself! The lady who made the mat said she had just used 5" squares from the collection. Boy, aren't those 5" squares addictive. I also managed to hit a sale at another LQS and found that adorable calendar panel from Nancy Halvorsen. Bought that and 3 coordinates. Wow, shouldn't I be buying presents for OTHER people right now???

Friday, November 17, 2006

Doll Trunks and Quilts

When I got back into quilting in the late 90s--after being away from it for about 25 years--I felt so rusty. Plus quilting techniques had changed so-o-o much in those years--for the better! So I decided to start out with smallish items. Since I love antique doll trunks, I made a few doll quilts to go with them! Today I noticed that I had not refolded them in a long time. There are several others scattered around the house, but I took these out to start with. I will vacuum them (with my Dust Buster), lightly press them and then refold them to change the creases around. While they are definitely NOT anything special or heirloom, I hate when quilts get those permanent creases in them! Yesterday was my mini-group and we always have a great time together. The Opportunity Quilt (mentioned in earlier posts) is still with the machine quilter. We are starting to get a bit nervous as it will still need to be bound and labeled and photographed before the December guild meeting. Fingers are crossed that it will soon be back to us! In our mini-group we always bring our own lunch and the hostess provides dessert and beverages. Works out well for us. Yesterday the hostess served a most delicious Pumpkin Caramel Pound Cake. You can get the recipe at It was yummy, yummy, yummy. And why wouldn't it be??? It contained Smucker's Hot Caramel Ice Cream Topping---both in the cake and the glaze!!! Suspend all knowledge of calories on this one!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Little Prim

Started pulling out some ornies and such today. Here are ten little wool primitive folk art ornies I made a year or so ago. Gotta figure out what to do with them. Decided I didn't want to put the little tree up that they hung on last year. Hmmm...

This little runner is a Jo Morton pattern and it resides on my old steamer trunk, usually with a candle in an old tin holder. I love how Jo takes old patterns and puts such a primitive folk art spin on them. Not much quilting took place again today. We were involved in a minor car accident last week. A motorcyclist hit the side of our car while we were sitting at a traffic light. No one was hurt and he took full responsibility (good thing) and we had the same insurance company. So as wrecks go, it could have been a lot worse. However, as with any car accident, it becomes a hassle--taking the car in for repairs, getting a rental car, picking the car back up three days later, returning the rental car, yada yada yada. But it did cut into my sewing time!!! Wonder if I can be reimbursed for that. I'll take my compensation in fabric, please.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank You

I must say right off the bat a big thank you to Kim at Peach Quilting for allowing me to join the Quilting 4 Pleasure blogring and for getting the code on my template!!! So appreciative, Kim!
The photo is of a little scrap bag I made yesterday. I had found the pattern (from Oceanlake Designs) at a quilt shop earlier this week and just HAD to make one. Also that adorable tape-measure fabric jumped in my arms too. I wanted to get a quick one done as a prototype--thought they would make great little gifts for my quilt buddies. A couple of years ago my guild made tons of scrap bags to sell at our Boutique at the quilt show and they were cute too. But this new and improved (note the title "Scrap Sack 2") has a little pocket inside as well as a scissors leash and a nifty little scallop trim. The pincushion is weighted with polystyrene pellets so it sits atop the sewing table without sliding. This evening we will be attending the wedding reception of a longtime friend's son and his bride. The weather has gone all November on us so I'll be dragging out the long dress coat--the one that gets worn about once a year LOL!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Laundry Day Ritual

Being the lazy housekeeper that I am, I usually take bedsheets from the dryer and put them right back on the bed. The downside to this plan is that I have tons of sheet sets but only ONE set gets used!!! Rocky's favorite game is to plop on the warm, fresh sheets as I am trying to remake the bed!!! Now who could disturb such an adorable creature? Not as much quilting as I would like has taken place around here. However, some related activities: Monday I drove about 40 miles to a quilt fabric sale being held in a county fair building. I bought several 2-yard cuts of good brand fabrics, mostly for pillowcases to go with existing quilts. Even though I don't rotate sheets that much, I DO like a new set of pillowcases--often! Tuesday I finished a top for Quilts In Force (my guild's community service project) and it is sitting in the basement ready to be pin basted. I want to have it quilted and bound before the December guild meeting as the police request more quilts around the holidays. Two other quilts, Birds On a Rail and Scrapbag Explosion, also have their backings sewn and are in queue for pin basting and quilting. Gotta get motivated on that front!!! This morning is guild meeting and Jeanne Poore will be our speaker. Gotta get cookies ready to take....

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Love, Love, Love the Library

One of my favorite features of my local library is the ability to request books online--don't even have to get out of my jammies. I have been wanting to preview this Gwen Marston/Freddy Moran book before investing in it. Apparently there was only one copy in the whole several-county-wide system! But yesterday I got the email that it was MINE! Well, for four weeks anyway. I pored over it last night and loved the tips on color and design, as well as peeks into each designer's workspace. I have long been a fan of Gwen Marston and own several of her books. But I wasn't too sure about Freddy Moran's bold, red-is-a-neutral style. Have to admit, her work
is growing on me!!! Their styles seem so different, and yet so much alike--if that makes sense. They both seem to work with such great abandon--a goal I need to set for myself. I just may have to purchase this book. Thank you, Public Library.

Yet ANOTHER shot of my Birds of a Feather (sorry 'bout that) but I wanted to show the first ten months of blocks in the order they will appear in the quilt. Still have a couple of months' worth to go, but I am liking it. I think it would make a nice Christmas quilt. Or, if kept this size with smallish borders, a great wallhanging. A decision for later..... Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Little More BOAF...

The September and October Birds of a Feather blocks are now fused and ready to be machine blanketstitched. I placed the blocks so far on the design wall in the order they are put together in the book. I must say, I am loving this quilt more than ever!!! I have always been a sucker for red and green quilts. The photos in the Kansas City Star have never done this quilt justice. When I saw the first block stitched up in my LQS, I was so hooked. Hopefully, later this week I can post a photo of all my blocks--so far--in the layout from the book.
Here's hoping everyone has a Happy Halloween today. I always look so forward to the little trick-or-treaters coming to the door all dressed up! We tally each year how many we have and last year we had 150!!! My little subdivision doesn't even have half that many kids, but they are brought into the neighborhood by cars and vans and dropped off! I just hope the cold weather cooperates. I remember how much my two sons relished trick-or-treating---all those many years ago. May all your spooks be smiling one! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 28, 2006

When All Else Fails, Knit A Scarf

Spent a coupla days knitting a scarf to wear with denim jackets. Needed to fondle fiber but still couldn't get that groove going in the sewing room. I love to knit mindless things! Cast on 24 stitches onto size 11 needles, hold a strand of cotton yarn together with a strand of eyelash yarn and just knit, knit, knit!!! So soothing and relaxing! Yesterday, I am happy to report, I did finally get back to quilting! I put the binding on Lee's Surrender--it is DONE DONE! Yay!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Birds of a Feather

Lookee, lookee! The book is out! I went to my LQS this morning to pick up my fabric pack for Block10 and there on the counter sat this beauty! I like how it is set together and can't wait to get all my blocks done so I can arrange them on the wall. I am doing Barb's setting so it looks like more applique for the border is in my future. Unless, of course, I can think of a different-but-equally-clever way to do the border. There are lots of extra projects in this book that are adorable. Just need to get busy now...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Part Of a Meme

Since I have accomplished nothing in the sewing room lately and can't seem to get it in gear.....I decided to take part in the meme that is circulating around blogland lately. Since blogger clipped off the last part of this meme, I could only do part of it. Trust me, it is enough!!!
What I've done ...
I have ...
1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said "I love you" and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great%

Sunday, October 15, 2006

See Previous Post

Here's the photo mentioned in the previous post of St. Peter's Basilica in The Vatican with me and my travelmates posed in front of it. We were not allowed to take photos of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, understandably, but it was breathtaking. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is next (on a rainy, dreary day) and just one of the beautiful Renaissance art pieces that we saw on a building there. I am still pinching myself to see if I really did see the works of Michaelangelo, Raphael, DaVinci, and the like.
 Posted by Picasa

A Few More From Italy

The structures in Italy are so amazing. Here are just a few: Giotto's Bell Tower in Florence, St. Peter's Basilica in The Vatican (with me and my travelmates), and the Colliseum in Rome. Also a photo of a gondola in Venice. I have so many more photos from Italy but I don't want to bore readers of this blog!!! It is, after all, a quilting blog. So maybe I will hold off a few days before showing more! One of the things that I became very fond of while in Italy was the fresh mozzarella and tomato sandwiches. Oh, my, how

tasty! So today I am experimenting. I have veggie soup leftover from yesterday that I will reheat for dinner. I will try to make the mozzarella and tomato sandwiches to go with it. I am going to brush a bit of the olive oil I brought back from Tuscany onto slices of Italian bread, sprinkle a bit of minced garlic on
them, then top with Roma tomato slices and sliced mozzarella from the deli. Then I will pop them under the broiler for just a few minutes--or seconds. Maybe grind a bit of fresh black pepper on top. Mmmmm....sure hope they turn out okay. If anyone has great directions for them, I'd love to hear them! This week I will do a hard target search in the KC area for fresh mozzarella (we do have some great Italian markets around), but in the meantime the deli cheese will have to do. Well, pooh. My picture of St. Peter's disappeared just now!!! Don't know what is up with Picasa. I'll try to load it again in a separate post. Posted by Picasa