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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Monday, November 21, 2011

MORE WINTER WONDERLAND BLOCKS

I have been working on more Winter Wonderland blocks.  Remember the stitchery blocks and the other pieced patchwork blocks?  Here are more to go with them. 
These are 9" blocks

And a 12" block and another 9" block.

And two more 12" blocks.

I'm actually looking forward to the 10 hour trip to Missouri for Thanksgiving.  I'm getting anxious to get the last two stitchery blocks complete so that I can set this quilt together.  I wonder if I'll get it done before the Winter Wonderland season arrives. :o
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

BUCKEYE TABLERUNNER

I didn't blog last evening as I spent the better part of the evening looking for the binding I was just sure I had prepared for the table runner I was making for my sister for her birthday.  Rhonda had picked out the fabric and pattern when she was here visiting in August.  The pattern is called Buckeye Beauty from Quilts Through the Seasons book by Eleanor Burns Quilt in A Day Series.  I finally cut the table runner out and sewed it together a couple of Saturdays ago when my friend Jan and I got together to sew.  It was really easy and only took me a couple of hours to put it together.  I pieced the backing together with the scraps left over and was just sure I pieced the binding strips and pressed them too. 


I finally got around the quilting it yesterday and was ready to put the binding on.  I looked everywhere for that binding.  I couldn't find it nor could I find the leftover fabric which means I was still pretty sure I made the binding.  But where is it?  I looked in my studio, I looked in my stash closet, I looked in my new taken over the spare bedroom sewing room.  It was nowhere to be found.  Finally I gave up and cut new binding from the cream background fabric.  I didn't like it as well but I was too frustrated to look anymore.  As I'm sewing the binding on and ready to turn the corner on the last side.... guess what I found!  Yep, you guessed it, the red binding I originally made for it.  There it was, bigger than life, or as my mother would say, "if it were a snake it would have bit you".  Right there on the table my sewing machine sits on, just behind the pin cushions.  (Can you see the red binding rolled up behind the big pink tomato pincushion?)  How did I miss that?  I know I looked there at least once and probably two or three times!  It seems I look for more things than I care to admit lately.  Am I that scatter-brained, or forgetful, or getting old and losing my mind?  I prefer to think I just have "too many irons in the fire"!  Oh well, the binding is on and the table runner is finished.  I can take it to her when we go home for Thanksgiving.  Her birthday isn't until December 8th and she will be 29 plus 20! :o  But I won't see her on her birthday so she'll get it early.  Plus she can use it on her table for Christmas. 
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

WINTERWONDERLAND PROGRESS

I finished another stitchery block yesterday for my Winter Wonderland quilt. 

Here are the other stitchery blocks I've completed so far.  I just have 2 more to do.  A 10 hour drive to Missouri over Thanksgiving will knock out a chunck of the work left to do.
 


I did this big one first, I wanted to get the one that would take the longest out of the way first in case I got discouraged!  Thank goodness I didn't!


Sorry this one is upside down.  I tried to rotate it before I posted this but just couldn't figure it out!  Technology isn't my friend tonight!
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TEXAS QUILT

This is the Texas quilt I was talking about in yesterday's post. I hope you zoom on on the blocks and check out the embroidery work on the flowers. It is awesome. I probably would have quilted it a little differently but my customer requested "light quilting". This is also the same quilt I had to frog one of the barbed wire borders that I talked about.










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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WHAT A SCARE

Last night I had one of the worst scares a mother could have.  My oldest son Drew lives in Nevada, MO in our hometown.  He also works at the ADM biodiesel plant just outside Nevada, MO near Deerfield MO.  I knew he was working last night as I had already spoke with my mother who was having a birthday dinner for you youngest sister.  She had stated that Drew and his family wouldn't be there as he had to work. 

At around 8:00 p.m. I noticed on facebook that a cousin had posted that the ADM plant at Deerfield was on fire and all the area fire departments were responding.  OH MY GOODNESS.  I began calling Drew, not that I really expected him to answer.  Of course, no answer.  I tried calling Bethany, his wife, no answer.  In the mean time, others are posing on fb that ambulances have been dispatched, and yes, of course this is how rumors get started.  Someone posted that they heard there were 3 deaths reported.  Really, they "heard" this.  Ok now I realize this is just rumor but in light of the fact I can't reach anyone, there's a tiny part of me that says "it's possible".  Then I got mad!  I posted back to the lady, "unless you know it to be a fact, please don't post things like that on here.  My son works there and I have been unable to contact him."  She did post an apology and said she wasn't thinking.  

Finally, at 9:30 p.m. I was able to make contact with Bethany, and yes all is well.  Drew wasn't working in the area of the fire so he is fine and safe and so are all the other workers there.  This old mom was pretty scared and really doesn't want to experience that ever again. 

On a lighter note, I'm off tomorrow to Pocketful of Posies for the Cotton Club BOM in Fredericksburg, TX.  I'm sure I'll have something fun and interesting and quilty to blog about tomorrow.  Plus I should finish up the Texas quilt I'm quilting for a lady in Midland TX.  I can't wait to show you.  She has done a fabulous job and there is lots of mixed media on it. 
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Monday, November 14, 2011

FROGGING.... RIP IT, RIP IT

This is a screen shot of a designed I programmed to stitch out in a narrow 1" border.  Notice how it is perfectly centered in the middle of that border.  Each of those grid squares represent 1/4". 

This is how it stitched out!  All 35 of those barbed wire repeats.  I left my machine stitching, went into the house to use the restroom and came back to this!  Of course, prior to this my thread had been breaking quite frequently and the machine would stop when that happened.  Did it do that this time?  OH NO, not a chance!   I worked an hour and a half ripping the stitching out on the barbs and am almost halfway through!  URGH!!!
 
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