Saturday, December 31, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Happy New Year to each of my blog readers.  Since I haven't been blogging all of 2011, many of you don't know me or what has happened prior to the start of this great adventure.  I'll have to say it's been an adventure and it's been fun and rewarding. 

I personally will be glad to say good bye to 2011 and welcome 2012.  I'm starting the year off with some changes to my life, well sorta.... at least my living quarters.  I'm taking the spare bedroom captive and making it my sewing room.  I'd call it my studio but that name belongs to the little building behind my house that is home to my statler stitcher quilting machine.  I took the two book cases that were on each side of the TV in the living room and I took the bookcase that matched them that was in William's room.  They now have a new home in the sewing room.  Gregg is jealous.  He says he would like to have just one place in his house that belongs to him.  He says it isn't fair!  Poor guy!

I went to Home Depot today to get black paint to paint the two built-in bookcases that are on each side of the fireplace.  I don't think Gregg is too happy about that decision.  He says he likes the house the way it is.  That's why he bought it (5 years ago).  He also said I always like an "older" home so why am I trying to update it?  I reminded him that I love old antique type homes, not homes that are retro (1970).  Do you know we still have the original cook top and double oven that was built in when the house was built in 1976 and the original light fixtures in the bathroom.  You know the swag lights that hang from chains over the vanity in the bathroom.  I realize that if I leave them long enough they will be back in style but I'm afraid I might die before that happens.

And I'm going to re-arrange the living room furniture.  I don't know exactly how yet but it's going to be different than it is now.  It may involve a new sectional sofa and/or a flat screen TV that can be mounted on the fireplace (who knows!).  The master bedroom is going to play upset the fruit basket and get a new look too.  And William's bathroom is going to get a face lift with new faucet, light fixture and knobs on the cabinets.  The 70's look is going away. 

And last but not least, there are plans to screen the covered patio. 

Think it will all happen?  I certainly hope so.
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ISN'T CHRISTMAS OVER?

Yesterday we went to Abilene to return a pair of boots at Cavendars that we got William for Christmas.  We actually got them in Austin but Abilene is about 50 miles closer and since that's all we needed to do (yeah right), we opted to go to Abilene.  We also needed to do this right away as he needed them for the Youth Fair that starts in less than 2 weeks.  Mr. Big Foot, aka William, used to be able to wear Gregg's shoes and boots, and for that matter his pants but he, Mr. Big Foot has taken a growth spurt and has now surpassed his dad in shoes, pants, and height.  We arrived at the boot store and much to William's disgust, there were only about 2 dozen pairs of boots in his size 13 boot and wouldn't you know it, the ones he decided up were mis-matched at the factory and had two right boots.  The salesman couldn't believe it and neither could we.  Just our luck.  He finally decided on this pair.
Then we're off to find a pair of jeans.  One might think this would be an easy task.  After all he's a boy and how many styles of jeans are there for men?  It also should be easy to just go pick his size.  But there's one problem.  Have you notice this non wearing jean kid wears elastic waist gym shorts most of his life.  He does put on a pair of his dad's khaki shorts to play golf in when forced to though.  So, three western stores later and lots of dollars later, we now have 2 pairs of jeans.  And I thought shopping with a teenage daughter was stressful!

Then we're off to Hobby Lobby for me.  I just needed a couple of things and this is what ended up in my cart.  Really?!?!  Gregg saw this same Christmas tree at the Coop at UT before Christmas and it was $40.  No way am I giving that much for a tree like that!  This has got to be the ugliest Christmas tree I have ever seen.  It was ugly at $40 and it's still ugly.  It's a good thing it was 66% off and didn't cost the $40 to begin with here.  And of course we couldn't pass up a candy cane of UT Christmas ornaments to put on it. 
While we're at Hobby Lobby, William mentions that he is going to need black pants, white shirt, and black shoes for "official dress" for FFA.  Remember he's been wearing Gregg's clothes and shoes but he's outgrown them.  So we're off to Kohl's because I remembered I had a $10 Kohl's cash coupon.  Again lots of dollars later, we're now decked out with pants, shirt, and shoes for official dress. 

And I thought Christmas was over.  I want to spend my money on quilt fabric again!
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

SEWING DAY


This afternoon I went to a friend's house to sew and catch up.  I'd tell you what we talked about but what goes on in the sewing circle stays in the sewing circle!  I did manage to finish one thing.  I got the little doll pillow and pillowcase completed for my granddaughter Raleigh.  She's going to love it.  I almost have the love-y blanket completed for her too.  I couldn't find the satin for the backing or it would be finished.  I'll have to get some tomorrow when I go to Abilene. 
I also worked on one of my UFO's. I posted yesterday that I was going to work on the Let's Play quilt top but somewhere between last night and this afternoon, I changed my mind.  I took the Louisa Jelly Roll Lone Star UFO instead.  This lone star was started over a year ago when I was teaching a lone star quilt class using The Quilt in a Day Radiant Star Book by Eleanor Burns.  It uses 2 1/2" strips to piece the star.  One of my students asked if you could use a jelly roll to make the star.  I didn't know so I tested it out.  And yes, you can.  I only had to add one strip of tan fabric from my stash to complete the star.  I pieced the 8 star points and that was as far as I got.  I got the star put together, added the squares and triangles, and the top and bottom pieced border using the leftovers from the strip set for the stars.  The next time we get together I'll get the remainder of the borders on.  The UFO will be done but it will still be a PhD. 
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WIP'S, PHD'S, AND UFO'S OH MY!

I told you last night I would tell you the difference in a WIP, PHD's, and UFO's as I understand them.   

According to Myra's PHD Challenge a PhD stands for Project Half Done.  A half done project is not a finished project.  A finished Phd is a fully finished project, quilted, bound, and ready to use. 

A UFO stands for UnFinished object and most cases is done at whatever stage you want to call it done.  I have to admit, I call a UFO done when it is ready to quilt.  I think I like PhD's better.  Cuz I don't want to have to deal with it again unless it's to admire the finished work. 

WIP's are just Works in Progress and again its done at whatever stage you want to call it done. 

I've already posted my UFO List and am ready to "get er done"!  Two of my good friends and I are getting together tomorrow afternoon and I'm taking my first UFO to work on.  I know it's not 2012 yet but it's close enough.  I'm taking the "Let's Play" quilt to work on... Of course that's after I make my granddaughter Raleigh a pillow and pillowcase for her baby doll and a "love-y" blanket for her baby doll just like her "love-y" I made for her.  For those who don't know our lingo, a "love-y" blanket is simply a 12 patch top made from minkie with a satin backing.  I made her a small one (18" x 24") when she was born 3 1/2 years ago and it is her favorite still today. 

Do you have your UFO/PhD list made?  Are you ready to work on them in 2012?
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

HOME AGAIN, HOME AGAIN, JIGITY JIG

Thank goodness I'm home again.  Christmas vacation was good.  It was so great to go home (to Nevada, Missouri), spend time with my parents, kids, granddaughters, and family.  As always it is never long enough but it sure is great to be back home. 

It's also the time of year that I start thinking about my New Year's Resolutions or goals and how much more disciplined I'm going to be in the future.  It always works for a while and some things actually work all year long.  I figure that even a few days, weeks, or months of discipline are better than no discipline at all. 

One of my resolutions for 2011 was to work on my UFO's and I actually did it.  I completed several things, unfortunately, I didn't make a specific list last year, but it made me very diligent on working and completing them.  Unfortunately (again), I also added new UFO's (UnFinished Objects) or WIP's (Work In Progress) or as I learned earlier this evening PHD's (Projects Half Done). I'll tell you the difference between these three things in tomorrow's post.  I'll also tell you my 2012 Resolutions.  But for now, I'm off to bed, to sleep in my own comfy bed, that I haven't slept in for 6 nights! 
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

SANTA PAINTBRUSH ORNAMENTS


Each year I try to make an ornament for my kiddo's.  There have been a few years I didn't make one or I made two in one year to make up for the year I didn't do one.  This year I saw these cute little Santa Paintbrushes on Pinterest.  (At least I thought they were cute).  I also thought they would be quick and easy to make.  I was right on one account.  They were easy, quick not so much! 

When I was through I asked William "So how do you like my Santa's?" 
He looked them up and down and said "I've seen worse impersonations of Santa".
I said "Well, you're getting them anyway.  And in 20 years you can look at them and say can you believe mom made us these ugly Santa ornaments".
He said "Why wait 20 years, we can do it now!" 

I'm hurt!  Anyway here's how the easy part went and the not so quick part too. 

First I painted the handles of the brushes.  Well, I asked William to paint the handles for me.  He did it... kinda.... He got the paint on a little thick in places (he was trying to cover up the writing on the handle).  I told him he could have given it more than one coat!  Then he painted both sides at the same time and laid the wet, painted side down on the newspaper, which, of course stuck!  Urgh!  If you want anything done right, do it yourself. 

Couldn't find the pink felt so went to Walmart to get some.  Cut out the felt and glued it on the brushes.  Cut the boa trim for the hat band.  Had to anchor it down with something heavy so the glue would stick.  Had to wait for that to dry.

Couldn't find the little movable eyes I know I have somewhere but found some blue beads instead and used them for the eyes.  Glued them on.  Scrounged through my button tin for some small hot pink buttons for the mouth.  Only found 1.  Went to Walmart again.  No buttons that would work.  Went to the local fabric shop.  Found the buttons that would work.  Glued them on.

Finally found the tote that had the pom poms in them.  Only had 2 larger ones but am using the smaller ones just so I can call this project done and check it off my list of "to do" things before Christmas.
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

CHRISTMAS BAKING

Gregg asked me this evening why I was baking so much!  What !!!  I always baking at Christmas time.  Well, I used to.  Guess I haven't in several years.  Maybe its all a part of trying to get into the Holiday spirit.  It's kinda working.  Of course, with it comes another 5-10 pounds on top of what I've already gained.

Anyway, tonight I made "Special K Cookies".  Well, in reality they really aren't Special K cookies.  The recipe calls for Special K Cereal but mom never made it with Special K cereal.  She always used Rice Krispie cereal.  So I guess they are Rice Krispie Cookies instead. 

Gregg asked if he would like them.
I said no, they have coconut in them and William won't like them either. 
William says "I like coconut". 
Oh okay.  Guess you will like them then. 
When I gave William one, he asked.  Do they have almonds in them. 
No, No almonds.  (He didn't ask if they had pecans!  Haha!).  He loved them. 
Then after about three, he says they do too have almonds in them . 
No they don't, those are pecans. 
He said you know what I meant.  I don't like them. 
Really?!  You have ate at least half a dozen and now because you think there are nuts in them, you don't like them!  Good, that's more for me.  Make that 10-15 pounds! 
Here is the recipe for them.

SPECIAL K RICE KRISPIE COOKIES

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Karo syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut
2 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
1/2 cup pecans (chopped optional) When I use Missouri pecans I don't chop them as they are much smaller but when I use Texas pecans, I chop them a little as they are so big) 

Stir sugar and syrup together in large sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Add peanut butter and stir till melted.  Remove from stove.  Add cereal, coconut, and pecans.  Stir till well coated.  Drop by spoonful on waxed paper.  Let cool.  Store in air tight container. 
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SNOWBALLS

I received the recipe for these Snowball Cookies last year (I think) at a Cookie Exchange with my quilting group friends.  I loved them but I didn't realize how easy they are to make!  I made a batch of these in less than an hour!  Here is the recipe:


SNOWBALL COOKIES

3 sticks of butter softened
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
3 c flour
1/2 c chopped nuts (I usually use pecans or walnuts)
1 bag holiday white chocolate chips (I like to use the mini ones but you can't always find them)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.  Slowly add flour.  Add nuts and chips.  Roll into 1 1/4" balls.  (I used my small cookie scoop from Pampered Chef).  Place balls on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. (I didn't do this.  I just baked them straight on the cookie sheet).  Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Place on rack to cool.  Makes about 4 1/2 dozen. 

Do you participate in a cookie exchange?  What is your favorite cookie?  This probably isn't mine but it sure is in the top 10.  How can you pick just one?


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Friday, December 16, 2011

BARN QUILT

I haven't been able to post several of the things I've been working on lately.  It's that time of year and I don't want to spoil anyone's Christmas gift.  I'm not saying I'm the giver of all the things I've been working on, I'm just saying this elf has been busy!  Since I can't post my busy work now, I'm posting my work from a Christmas past. 

Last year I made this quilt for my oldest son, Drew.  He lives on a small farm near Nevada, Missouri.  I thought this quilt was quite fitting.  I had Karen Woodcox embroider "Liles Farm, Established June 2009" to commemorate the year he bought his farm.  Ironically enough, it is the same house his dad and I rented when he was a little boy.  The house has since been added on to and completely re-modeled and doesn't even look or feel like the same place it was 25 years ago.  I really didn't want to give it to him after all the hours I put in completing it.  He was thrilled with it (well, as thrilled as a man can be about getting a quilt) and knows and appreciates the work the goes into making a quilt.  Maybe someday I'll make another one for me! 





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Thursday, December 15, 2011

CHRISTMAS COMFORT

Yesterday coming home from my shopping spree I realized I'm really a scrooge this year.  I only put up one tree!  But I do have both my Christmas quilts out. 
I have literally no other decorations up or out, there are no stockings hanging, no Christmas lights on the house, no wreath on the door, no holiday baking going on....nothing.  It was really very depressing and then I thought, I can't wait till I go "home" to mom and dad's in Nevada, MO.  There will Christmas cheer everywhere!  There will be decorations, lights, trees, stockings, and lots of Christmas goodies to eat.  Best of all there will be family to see, especially my two granddaughters!  I can't wait! 

I also decided on my drive home there would be no more Christmas' like this one again.  I will take time out of my busy schedule to decorate, cook, bake, and make gifts.  I remember 5 years ago when we moved into this house in Brownwood, TX from Benton AR.  It was almost to the day.  December 19th is when the moving truck arrived in Brownwood.  I vowed then that I wouldn't move again that close to Christmas for the same reasons.... no tree, no lights, not baking, etc.  And again, I so looked forward to going home and couldn't wait to get there.  Even though I will have lots of Christmas cheer next year, I still can't wait to go home to the familiar, comfortable place with family and celebrate The Reason for the Season.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

MERRY QUILTING CHRISTMAS

These are the Christmas goodies I got from my Quilting Friends Quilt Group.  Donna gave us all a pink sewing caddy and it came with scissors, pin cushion and seam ripper.  I just need to add a few other items and I'll be set to go to retreat!  Priscilla gave us the Perfect Corner Ruler and the adorable gingerbread ornament set.  Angela gave us the Guidelines Quilting Ruler to cut perfect strips of the same size and the special edition of Quiltmakers 100 quilt blocks.  Jan said everyone was always asking for a piece of paper or a pencil so she bought us these really neat Blue Q Zippered Pouches filled with cute note pads of all sizes and pencils.  Linda gave us all a 5 pack of rotary cutter blades and I promptly went home and changed the blade in all three of my rotary cutters!  Sheila gave us a Blueberry Crumb Cake charm pack and the cutest pattern for a totebag to make out of the charm pack.  I gave everyone an iron caddy.  I think quilters give each other the best presents.  What do you think?
Are you finished with all your Christmas gifts you're making or do you still have shopping to do?  Please, no one ask me either of those questions!
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

QUILTED SCARF

My quilting group I belong to, that I refer to often as the most awesome quilting friends ever, met today for our Christmas Party and gift exchange.  This year we were to buy a quilting notion or gadget for each person.  I'll share what I got with you tomorrow but today I have to show you these adorable quilted scarves that Sheila was working on.  I just love them and I don't even wear a scarf!  I just hate anything around my neck. Do you recognize the snowmen faces from the Snow Crazy Quilt I blogged about in an earlier post? 

This one is so cute with the roses and harlequin fabric.

Donna looks smashing in this scarf.  She tried to wear it home but Sheila was keeping pretty close tabs on them.  Shelia also had a brown and red one that she had embroidered "faith" and "hope" on a block on each side.  The possibilities are endless for design.  I wonder if my daughter or daughter-in-law would like one of these.  Or maybe my mom or aunt Del or sisters?  How many can I get done between now and Christmas? (I didn't say which Christmas.... )
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

BRRR.... BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE

Will someone please remind me why I'm outside on this warm, windy, balmy 43 degree day to watch my child walk a goat around in front of a judge to get a 3rd place ribbon instead of in my nice warm studio working on a quilt or my Christmas presents that I haven't finished yet.  Oh yeah, because I love my child and support everything he chooses to participate in, and because I'm the FFA Booster Club Treasurer, and because I love my husband who moved us to this great state, and because they have their youth fairs in the dead of winter because it's too hot in the summer - that's why!  I realize it's hot in the summertime in Texas but come on, it's also cold in the wintertime too.  Surely there could be a compromise and do this in the spring or fall when the weather is perfect!

Anyway, today was the Brownwood FFA Chapter Livestock Show sponsored by the FFA Booster Club so here we are, cold and all.  It was a good day for the kids.  It gives them some experience showing their animal and gives them some idea about where they stand when it comes to fair time - which is only a month away.  Seems kinda weird.  We've been here 5 years and I still can't get used to the fact that their youth fair is in January instead of July.  The first year we were here (and weren't showing any animals) the weather was nice.  You only needed a light jacket.  Guess what, it's been the coldest snap of the year the week of the fair every year since.  I wonder what this year will bring. 

William is the one 2nd from the left with his goat "Bevo the 5th".  He also has a second goat, named "Longhorn".  And yes they both have burnt orange collars.

Now he's the 3rd one from the left with Bevo the 5th. 



The judge told him he had a good looking goat and just needed to work with him more so he would set up easier.  Something we've been telling him but it's nice to hear someone else say it because your child seems to listen to someone else better than they listen to mom and dad.

He placed 3rd in his class and he was very pleased with that.  I would have gotten a picture of it but my fingers were froze and unable to push the button to take a picture.  Actually, I just plain forgot.  I was excited that he got 3rd place!  I also didn'[t take any pictures of him showing Longhorn but he placed 4th with him and that was good too. 
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Friday, December 9, 2011

WELL DARN!

Ever had one of those days or in my case night?  Almost everything I've touched or tried to do has gone wrong.  Some of you already know my luck last week with the refrigerator and then the car.  Well night before last last night I was baking some butter cookies with my nifty little cookie press.  I thought I had some almond extract and of course, did not, so I just left it out.  It's only a 1/2 teaspoon.  It surely wouldn't matter that much!  Then I forgot to sprinkle the first sheet of cookies with the colored sugar.  WELL DARN!  The omission of the almond extract wasn't a major catastrophe.  They still tasted good but sure would have tasted better with it and with the sugar.  Must not have been too bad as we ate most of them and what we didn't eat, I took to work the next day.  So last night I decided to bake another batch of butter cookies WITH the almond extract.  First cookie sheet in the oven.  Preparing cookies for the second cookie sheet and my cookie press broke.  WELL DARN!!! Had to roll out in little balls and smash with a fork.

Tonight I decided to make a loaf of bread machine bread to go with the ham we're having.  Guess what, I forgot to put the little kneader tool thingy in the bottom of the canister that stirs and kneads the bread.  WELL DARN!  How am I going to get the contents of the canister out of the bread machine into a bowl so I can put the little kneader tool thingy in it.  Gregg says can't you just pull the canister out.  Yeah and all the contents will fall out of the 1 1/2" diameter hole in the bottom of the canister that you put the kneader tool thingy through and into the bread machine and the heating element in the bottom!  Had to dump the contents of the canister into a bowl and that was quite tricky.  Then I'm binding another iron caddy and forgot to put the handles on before I put the binding on.  Had to rip that out.  WELL DARN again. 

Go back to my supper preparations and decided at the last minute to have some green beans with my ham.  Checked on the bread and just as I suspected, the bread didn't rise.  It's only about 1 1/2" tall in the canister!  Guess pouring the contents into a cold bowl messed up the yeast action.  DARN AGAIN!  Got the green beans on the stove and now it's almost time for the potatoes to be done and the ham is already done.  Green beans were, as my mother says, "heated up but not cooked"  It's still all edible, except the bread!

Now I'm cleaning up the mess.  A shock to most of my family members, especially my mother!  I hate cleaning things up and am not too dedicated about doing it in the evening.  (Awe just leave it till morning!)Somehow I managed to "splash" soap suds all over the back splash, up on the side of the upper kitchen cabinets and on the window ledge and onto the antique fruit jars lining the window ledge.  Trying to wipe that up, I get my sleeve (the part above my elbow) in the dishwater and get it all wet. I give!  I quite! I'm done!  I'm just going to check out Pinterest the rest of the evening!  Surely I can't mess up my laptop doing that!
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

PINTEREST

Have you checked out Pinterest yet?  My friend Paige from Arkansas invited me to join Pinterest a couple of months ago.  She told me "Oh my gosh, you will love it!"  I was busy and didn't get around to answering  her invite, then my email was hacked and I lost her invite.   Finally someone else (sorry, I can't remember who) invited me and I joined.  At first I didn't get it and it took me a couple of visits to catch on.  I know, I'm a slow learner, especially when it comes to technology.  But by golly, I think I've got it figured out!  I'll have to say it isn't the most user friendly site but it is sooo neat and sooo addictive!  Of course, you can always go to the help menu and low and behold, it "helps" you out!  (I didn't do this until I was blogging about this and had already figured everything out.... I think!)

Basically it is like a virtual bulletin board.  You create your profile and the bulletin boards you want and then you "pin" things you find on the web to the appropriate bulletin board.  I am forever finding something on the web and thinking "someday I'd like to do that or refer back to that" and then of course it's gone and I don't remember where I saw it.  Now I can organize them on my boards and refer back to them anytime I want.  Isn't the Internet awesome.  If you haven' checked out Pinterest, you really need to.... if you dare !  Remember, I warned you that it is addictive!
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

WIP's

Do you have WIP's or UFO's?  (For those of you who follow my blog and are not a quilter, a WIP is a "work in progress and a UFO is an "un-finished object".)  If you're a quilter, I can't image that you don't have plenty of them.  There was a time however, that I didn't.  When I lived in Missouri and I taught quilting classes, I didn't have any.  And I really didn't have much of a stash either.  I would make a buy fabric for a quilt top and then make it and move on to the next project. 

When we moved from Missouri to Arkansas, I had a double wedding ring quilt started.  I had no idea what I was doing and was "tracing around templates with a pencil" just like I had seen my Grandma Cotten do. That was as far as I got before we moved.  After arriving in Arkansas, I didn't pick up quilting until nearly 3 years later when it was almost time to move to Texas.  I didn't have a "sewing room" and the sewing machine didn't come out very often.  On top of that, I had no "quilting" friends.  All my friends in Arkansas were scrapbookers; which was fine by me because I loved to scrapbook almost as much as I liked to quilt.

When I moved to Texas I started quilting.  I needed to make a graduation gift.  And the quilting ball was rolling again.  As it turned out, here in Texas I have quilting friends and no scrapbooking friends and I haven't scrapbooked much in the five years since I've been here.  I have however, made up for lost time.  My stash pales in comparison to all my friends (although my dear hubby doesn't think so) and my WIP list is quite lengthy, including that double wedding ring quilt I started.  It is suppose to be a queen size quilt and I'm pretty sure it's just going to be a 9 block wall hanging.  Of course I'm not sure what wall I'm going to hang it on as the colors are peach and blue; not exactly trendy decorating colors today!

My goal in 2012 is to cut the WIP list in half and not add any more to it.  I challenge you to work on your WIP list too and I'm betting you will work on cutting your stash down at the same time.  In 2012 I will offer some monthly challenges and occasionally offer a prize for meeting the challenge.  Get your list made and stay tuned for more information.  Here is my WIP list right row.

1.  Very Hungry Caterpillar
2.  Summer Picnic
3.  (2) Loralie Sewing Ladies Turning 20 Around the Block
4.  Beach Divas
5.  (3) Wiscasset
6.  Dear Jane Red, White, and Blue (at least 1 row)
7.  (4) Dear Jane 30's (at least 1 row)
8.  House BOM
9.  (5) Batik Shop Hop
10.  Santa Year Round
11.  (6) Let's Play
12.  Queen and Her Court Crown Jewels BOM
13.  (7) Winter Wonderland
14.  4 Patch Posey
15.  (8) Louisa Lonestar
16.  Texas Pieced Applique
17.  (9) String Star
18.  UT T-shirt
19.  (10) Black & Red Bargello
20.  Cotton Club BOM
21.  (11) General Wives BOM
22.  Double Wedding Ring
23.  (12) Follow the Steps

Judy at PatchworkTimes.com has a UFO challenge for 2012.  You are to make a list of 12 of your UFO projects and number them 1-12.  Each month Judy will randomly draw a number and what ever that number is on your list is the UFO project you are to work on for the month.  I will have to narrow my list to just 12 so I can partipate too.  I think I will just use the odd numbered UFO's for my list so that I don't have to re-type it!  If by chance I have already completed it.  I will pick the one above or below it. 
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

CHRISTMAS TREE FINALLY UP

The main tree is finally up, minus the tree skirt.  It is in another box and I haven't got it down yet.  I was having a hard time getting motivated this year.  I don't really know why!  I usually put up the tree immediately after Thanksgiving and for some reason kept dragging my feet.  I also usually put up a tree in every room and I'm fairly sure that's not going to happen this year.  I will have to say that after decorating the main tree with all the homemade or sentimental ornaments, it did put me in a more motivated, Christmas spirit mood. 

 

 

Here are some of the ornaments I have made for each one of the kids in the past.  I'm really struggling with that this year also.  I have no idea what I'm going to make them this year.  Any ideas from my readers? 

What do you do at your house.  Do you have special traditions or ornaments?
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Friday, December 2, 2011

QUILT JACKING!!!

One of the blogs I read daily Quiltville Quips and Snips posted this today, so I'm passing it along to all of you.  It is so sad and I can't even imagine how Sharon feels!  Please feel free to copy this picture and pass this along to any quilt group you belong to.



This is what Bonnie from Quiltville Quips and Snips wrote: 
Friday, December 02, 2011Quilt-Jacking ---Get the Word Out!


This morning I received a note from Sue who told me about Sharon’s devastating news that her quilt disappeared after being shown in Houston. It is not a misplaced shipment --- the quilt went missing before shipping.
She writes:

I’m hoping you can post this information and picture on the on-line quilt group you’re with. I just found out that my “Really ‘Wild’ Flowers! Second Season” quilt went missing the day after the Houston show and I’m devastated and heart-broken beyond words. I’m offering a cash reward for its safe return, no questions asked. I would just like to have my quilt back home. The size is 62” x 64.5”.

Please urge each of the gals to send the information out to their own personal contacts as well if you would.

Thank you so much,

~ Sharon

If you have seen this quilt, please contact Sharon Schlotzhauer.

Sharon, being one who has to ship quilts often, and travel with them often, I feel your horror and devastation over your missing quilt. I hope we can find it and return it to you in short order!!

Everyone, please get the word out! I hate the thought of Quilts being stolen or missing for any reason.
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

CLEANING FRIDGE FRENZY

Today I have nothing, nada, zip, zero to show you.  I've made no progress today.  No great ideas to share or cool techniques.  You see... my refrigerator quit today and I've spent the afternoon cleaning it.  Actually, that's not true.  I spent most of the afternoon waiting on the repairman to show up, give me a crash course, as he put it, "Refrigeration 101".  Did you know your refrigerator is cooled by vents that go from the freezer into the refrigerator.  Well, I didn't!  And did you also know that you have to empty the freezer, even though the freezer is working perfectly, making ice and keeping things frozen like freezers are suppose to do, so he can work on the refrigerator section?   And then I had to empty the contents of the refrigerator so he can get to the fan motor the pulls the cold air from the freezer to the refrigerator.  I now have my counter tops loaded with the contents of the refrigerator and the freezer.  And all this for him to say, "Well, it's not good".  
Me - "What!, It can't be fixed?"
Repairman - "Oh yeah it can be fixed, it's just not good".
Me - "What do you mean?"
Repairman - "Well, It's going to be a while".
Me - "How long will it take to fix it?"
Repairman - "Oh, it won't take long to fix once I get the part"
Me - "How long will it take to get the part?"
Repairman - "It's going to take a week to get the part.  I'm really sorry.  I don't know what to tell you to do in the meantime.   Do you have a large cooler?"
Me - "Yes, but I also have a spare refrigerator on the patio!" (Not exactly convenient or pretty to look at, but at least it keeps things cold!)
Then Mr. Repairman proceeds to chit-chat and very casually tries to sell me a new refrigerator.  His boss would be proud!

It's now past time to go pick William up at school and take him to the golf course for his last class of the day (he's called wanting to know where I'm at).  On the way to the golf course, William says, "Oh yeah mom, you can just wait on me.  It won't take long, we're just putting".  (Remember all that stuff on the counter is still there and some of it is thawing.)  So I wait.  Then when he's done, he says "Don't forget I need contact solution".  Great, we might as well go to Walmart and get it before we go home. (Remember all that stuff on the counter is still there and some of it is thawing.  Glad you remembered because I momentarily forgot!  I know what you're thinking...how do I forget about that?)

Meanwhile back at the ranch Walmart, I decided that since I was there, I would return the boxers I got for William that were the wrong size and return the blouse I got for myself that was too big.  Of course, there are no less than 8-10 people in line at the service desk and only 1 person working and apparently I'm missing some breaking news as almost everyone in Brown county as at Walmart.  Just my lucky day!  However, I was there and it was on my mind, and I was returning them!  .....  Mission accomplished! 

Two hours later, I'm back home.  Oh crud!!!  That stuff on the counter is still thawing!  Now I really have to deal with it.  I managed to pitch and/or re-freeze everything except the gallon of blackberries that thawed completely.  Guess I'll make jelly tomorrow!  And the stuff from the refrigerator.  Well, I had to clean out/rearrange the refrigerator outside on the patio to make room for the things that weren't spoiled from the refrigerator in the house.  Good news is that I now have a clean refrigerator!!!  That doesn't work!!!!!
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HAVE CAKE, WILL TRAVEL

I love it when I am able to do things for my kids, especially when they request me to or "volunteer" me.  Seriously, I really do (most of the time)!  William is an officer in the Brownwood FFA Chapter and I am the treasurer for the FFA Booster Club so it seems I get volunteered often.  This time it was to make the refreshments for the "Greenhand Ceremony".  The problem was the ceremony was Monday evening after the long Thanksgiving break.  And where were we for Thanksgiving?  Yep, in Missouri, nearly 600 miles from home.  I knew I wouldn't want to bake and decorate 2 sheet cakes when we got home on Sunday evening and I doubt there was enough time to get them done anyway.  And I knew I had to work Monday morning at my part-time job I love so much.  And I knew that baking them Monday afternoon was cutting it way to close.  What if something went wrong!  Sooo.... I knew I had no choice but to do them over the break in Missouri.  I volunteered my wonderful sister, who is the expert cake decorator of the family to help me.  We baked and decorated these two cakes Saturday afternoon and yes, I transported them all the way from Missouri to Texas without any catastrophes! The kids (and parents too) loved the cakes and that made it all worthwhile!  I know my time is limited; my baby is a sophomore (boo hoo, tears, tears) so I'll cherish the volunteer jobs whenever thrown my way! 

PS.... Thank You Very Much Rhonda!  I couldn't have done this without you! 

 


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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OH SO HANDY IRON CADDY

I made this handy little Iron Caddy from a pattern by Sisters' Common Thread.  I got this pattern at Pocketful of Posey's in Fredericksburg, TX a couple of weeks ago when I went there for my Cotton Club BOM.  It was really easy and fairly quick too.  The longest part was the quilting.  Of course I had to "custom quilt the pattern, which took a lot longer than I intended for it to take.  Why couldn't I just do a quick edge to edge?  It's just an iron caddy.   I think my favorite thing about it is that it's an ironing pad too. 

Hmm... I think I see a gift idea in my future for all my quilting friends.  And I can't wait to use it at my next retreat with Judy at Patchwork Times.  Are you joining us?  
 I think I have it "folded" up wrong. Oops! Either way, it works!




 


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Monday, November 28, 2011

COTTON CLUB BOM #2

Yay! It is month 2 of the Cotton Club and I've already got my blocks completed!  I hope I can continue to keep up but the blocks get harder and harder... I think.  Did I mention that these blocks are only 5 1/2".  I must be insane for doing this.  However, it has inspired me to get my Dear Jane blocks out and work on them again.  They are even smaller, 5" (4 1/2" finished.)

I used a really cool new ruler that I nabbed at sample spree at Quilt Market.  It's called a Bloc Loc ruler.  It is so cool and makes squaring up half square triangles a breeze and perfect every time.  Watch this Video about the ruler.  I promise you will want one for yourself. They come in several different sizes but I got the 6" size.  I also got the Bloc Loc Flying Geese ruler but haven't tried it yet but I'm betting it will be just as neat as the Half Square Triangle ruler. 
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

SANTA ALL THROUGH THE YEAR

I bought this Santa panel three years ago.  I don't even remember where!  And when I bought it I bought 3 panels! Wonder what I had in mind when I did that.  Was I going to make 3 quilts and maybe give the other two away or was it on sale and the end of the bolt?  I have no idea but I have 3 panels so maybe I'll make 3 quilts and give the other two to my two sisters, Rhonda and Jacque.  We'll see.


Then two years ago I found this fabric that I was pretty sure matched my Santa panel.  I originally thought I would use it for the backing but now I'm thinking I will use the Santa strip for a border.  What do you think?

I was digging through my stash and came up with this red, gold and navy fabric that coordinates perfectly with it. I just need to add some green. Green really isn't my favorite color so naturally I don't have many greens in my stash!



I played with EQ7 a little and came up with this.  Of course you have to use your imagination a little.  The solid white rectangles are the Santa panels.  I couldn't get the Santa border fabric to rotate in the final border so you have to pretend it's going to right direction.  And I couldn't figure out how to make my stars continue into the red border but that's what I had in mind to do.  When I actually get to make this I may change my mind all together, but it's a start and a plan.  Maybe I'll have time to play with EQ7 later this weekend and come up with something completely different.
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Friday, November 25, 2011

PREPARING T-SHIRTS FOR A QUILT

T-shirt quilts are a great memory quilt and everyone seems to love them.  I enjoy scrapbooking and a t-shirt quilt is like a scrapbook on a quilt.  You can reminisce about the things you did or the places you've been just by looking at the quilt. 

I start by splitting the t-shirt down each side and under the arm to the sleeve.  That way I have a single thickness of shirt to work with and it will lay out flat. 


I usually make my blocks 12" square and therefore use a 12" square up ruler.  You can make your blocks any size you want but 12" finished seems to be fairly standard.  Sometimes I have shirts that won't fit in a 12" area and then I have to adjust accordingly.  I place the 12" ruler over the design on the front or back of the shirt and roughly center it like I want it.  I try not to use the ribbing of the neck in the block if I don't have to. 

Then I roughly cut the block adding about an inch of margin around the ruler. 

Next I apply a tricot iron-on interfacing to the back side of the t-shirt.  I cut the square of tricot interfacing about 14".  I have found that tricot iron-on interfacing works best as it stays stuck down and doesn't add stiffness or bulk to the shirts. 

Now you're ready to cut the block out.  This time centering it exactly how you would like it.
You will cut as many of these blocks as you need for the size of quilt you want.

You can make a t-shirt quilt with only a few t-shirts and add extra pieced blocks to make it larger.  Or if you have lots and lots of shirts, you can just do t-shirts and no sashing.  Typically I add sashing around each block of t-shirt and then borders.  The options are only limited by your creativity!  Start saving your shirts and get busy!  You still have time to get this done before Christmas!  And you really have time to do this for graduation.
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

BABY JOSIE'S QUILT

This is my newest granddaughter, my little angel, Josie.  Since I didn't finish her quilt before she was born, I thought I better finish it and take it home with me for Thanksgiving.  After all, it is a lot colder in Missouri than it is here in Texas and she just might need this to keep her warm.  Of course, it is quite a bit bigger than a typical baby quilt.  It's 54" x 68".  She will get swallowed up in it. 

I used the "Funny Babies" quilt panel I found at Quilting Cousins Quilt Shop in Clifton, Texas, added a checkerboard sashing around the panels and then designed a pieced rick rack border.  (It really isn't crooked like the picture makes it look like!)


I used a pink minkee backing that is sooo soft and cuddly.  She will just love this when she gets a little older.  I hope her momma lets her use it and not "save" it.  Nana can make her another one if she wears it out!


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