Thursday, December 30, 2010

My PHD list

wouldn't you know, I ran out of fabric for this one, the green print was perfect for one of the mug rugs I made for a Christmas gift, so now have to go back for more!

I have started lots of stuff. I have made commitments to

make two BOM's for my guild each month because we never get enough blocks to make a quilt

I joined Block Swap adventure, so that's another block each month I'm really excited about

I am still working my way through the quilter's academy books and need to complete my Town Square and Triple Rail Fence

a baby quilt for my nephew's baby due in June (not started yet)

a quilted block to go with the baby quilt, I have fussy cut the blocks for that one, so it is officially started.

I think that makes 6!
I think the baby has poop, gotta go

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I just love blogland! I have learned so much. This year I learned how to make a fast quick cookie recipe from Heidi at Oreos plus white choc equals YUM! That's my hand holding the cookies I made, my DH decorated our mantel, he did a lovely job as always!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My work Christmas tree

I have to share our little Christmas tree that my co - worker brought to sit between our desks at work. We were displaced from our usual 1st floor area when it flooded last year. We now sit at temporary stations, just the two of us out of 37 or so, on the 3rd floor. The rest of our dept is dispersed on this floor and others. We are working on the same project so it made sense for us to be together. We hope to be back in our old spaces early next year. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday night sew in results

I have actually sewn tonight! I was interrupted once when the baby woke up throwing up. She has a bad cold and is coughing from the drainage in the back of her throat. A warm bath, some honey, and nose spray and she is feeling better. DH, our 9 yr old son and the baby are all in the living room watching Elf now. So, I was able to sew a few four patches, finish a mug rug and put some two-patches (that are going to be four patches) together. It has been a long day, but a good one, I got a lot done. Put in a full day at work, came home, put some frozen meatballs and tomato sauce with spaghetti for dinner. The kids and I made a batch of tea cake cookies while DH went out and shopped (we were out of milk and diapers). DH did something else wonderful today. You know those mobile medical testing units that come around? He made an appt with one and had everything scanned: head, carotid arteries, abdomen, and everything was fine, they found nothing that required medical attention, I am so proud of him. Some men never go to a doctor and won't look after themselves like they should, but he does and I am so grateful.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Two finishes

This mug rug I call Patchwork, front and back.

This one I call Modern Mug Rug.

There were too many kids playing online games in my house and two few computers for me to post these pics yesterday. I finished the binding on two mug rugs and have one more to finish.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday night sew in did not happen

Was it December 10 yesterday? I had also signed up for church last night, I was frosting cookies with 100 or so little kids at our annual Alpine Village. One at a time of course. They say 400 kids were registered to attend, I was one of 5 volunteers in the Gingerbread House. I only ate one cookie! I'm so proud of that! My son was an elf checking tickets at the door. The sewing got delayed until today. So I will be posting later! I have 3 mug rugs to finish. Then back to church for another night of volunteering, the candy cane shop this time. It is so much fun! Happy Holidays everybody!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lazy day

I have not felt good at all today, got up with a headache, could not face going in to work as I had suffered through a cold day at my desk with a headache the day before. I lay on the couch under the baby most of the afternoon. I feel much better now. I have to, lots to do this weekend, gingerbread and cookies to make by Friday. I found a wonderfully easy and yummy cookie recipe on someone's blog, can't remember which one. She dipped oreo cookies in almond bark and then sprinkled them with something. I made some last weekend for a potluck with a few changes, same cookies, but used white choc chips instead of the almond bark. I don't like almond bark!!! The white chocolate chips melted very well in the microwave, I melt them 30 seconds at a time, beating after each 30 seconds, then when the choc was melty smooth I dipped half of each cookie in the melted chocolate, then put them on waxed paper to cool. I sprinkled the white chocolate part with red and green sugar. They were unbelievably good. Will post a picture when after next batch is made, Thursday night. I have to wait until the last minute or DH and kids and I will eat too many of them.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Works in Progress

I put these together with the help of other blogs, search "mug rug tutorial." I am so grateful for the resources we have online! I made them all from scraps.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Friday Night Sew In!

Dec 10th and 17th! I know what I will be doing--Town Square and gifts, I can't say what yet, as I don't know who might be reading this! Whenever I get the chance, I'm making four patches for my Town Square project, 62 total, 36 finished so far.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I am thankful for so much

I am so lucky to be so blessed. I baked a pie tonight for my family with the help of my sweet little ones, safe in our own little kitchen with beautiful autumn leaves swirling outside our windows. Blueberry, yum!

Here are two blocks from my next sewing project from the Quilters Academy book, Town Square. Have a happy day tomorrow, everyone.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday night sew in results

I didn't get much sewing done--we had our annual missions banquet at church. The sewing had to wait until after that. I completed a block from Sylvia's Bridal Sampler (check out the website if you haven't already). This one is called contrary wife, and the pattern can be found in Jennifer Chiaverini's book Sylvia's Bridal Sampler from Elm Creek Quilts.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

my favortie block

this is one of my favorites, I can just see it in shades of purple on a gold background

Friday, November 12, 2010

I can't believe I finished both of them

Can you believe it? It's only been like 1-2 years, something like that. Who's counting. The picture is blurry, my son was taking the pic and he was wearing his roller skates, he usually takes really good pictures, but this one turned out blurry. I have to wait for another sunny day and my sis to come back with her quilt to get a better one. I love quilting!!!!!

these blocks are fun

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

more tiny four patches

These ones are green and will be going into the Town Square. I love the way these look on the back, I may be getting a little obsessive about them, can you tell? I want to do some more!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

back to homework

I am back at my lessons in the Qulters Academy series. Here are some fourpatches I'm working on, the back looks pretty good too, I love the way the little tiny four patches look on the back when the "fanning" works like it is supposed to!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

I picked up this mirror out of Mom and Dad's house, we still haven't removed everything after two years. It's just been a lot harder than I thought. The miniquilt I made in 2007. The pumpkin was painted by my 8 year old son at his fall party, which I am happy to say I attended on Friday. It was a blast! He has a really good room mom, decorating pumpkins was her idea.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Fall

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

recipe for coq au vin

This was so yummy I had to share. The literal translation of "coq au vin" is "rooster with wine." It was considered peasant food, I guess the wine was used to tenderize a tough old bird and make it edible. My only departures from this recipe: I used chicken breast tenderloins, and I did not flambe. My luck I would have caught the house on fire. The bouquet garni is made by tying together a large parsley sprig, 3 sprigs fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf in a small cheesecloth bag.

The recipe comes from The New Revised and Updated McCall's Cookbook, published 1984, it was a gift to me that I treasure and refer to often.

Coq au Vin

2 (2 to 2 1/2 lb size) fryers, quartered
1/2 lb bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
15 small white onions
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup cognac or brandy
4 shallots coarsely chopped
1/2 lb small whole fresh mushrooms, washed
and sliced half inch thick
1 clove garlic, crushed
Bouquet garni
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups dry red wine
1 cup dry white wine

4 slices white bread
14 cup butter
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
3tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Wash chicken under cold water, drain, dry on paper towels. In 8 quart Dutche oven, over medum heat saute bacon until crisp, lift out with slotted spoon and drain.

2. In bacon fat, saute onions over medium heat, 5 minutes stirring occasionally lift out, and st aside.

3. Add 2 TB butter or margarine to drippings, heat. Add chicken, brown one third at a time turning with tongs until golden all over about 1/2 hour in all removed chicken as it browns.

4. Return chicken to Dutch oven. In small saucepan, heat cognac. When vapor rises ignite and pour over chicken. Remove chicken.

5. In Dutch oven, add shallots, mushrooms, garlic, bouquet garni, salt, pepper, sugar, and nutmeg, mix well, simmer 5 minutes.

6. Stir in the red and white wines. Return chicken to Dutch oven, bring to boiling, reduce heat, and simmer covered 1/2 hour. Add onions cook 25 minutes longer until chicken and onions are tender. Remove bouquet garni.

7. Make croutes by toasting round pieces of buttered bread in skillet until brown on both sides.

8. In small bowl, mix softened butter with flour, stir into Dutch oven with chicken. Bring to boiling stirring until thickened.

9. Turn out into serving dish. Sprinkle with bacon and chopped parsley, garnish with croutes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another weekend gone and it's Monday again

Did post this picture already? can't remember:)
It's Monday again. Saturday started off with a soccer game, our turn to bring snacks, then back home to work on my cooking project. I was tired of all the eating out of fast food we ate while on vacation, so I decided to make coq au vin. No particular reason. I've never done it and wanted to try. One day last week while flipping through one of my cookbooks I found out that you start coq au vin by cooking chicken in bacon fat. Every Saturday after our bacon with pancakes made from scratch, I've been cooking chicken in the leftover bacon fat so we'd have chicken for sandwiches or whatever I wanted to make for the rest of the week. I don't like saving fat, but I can't bear to throw it out, it is such a good seasoning. So I was all ready to make coq au vin every week and didn't know it. My mother in law helped by providing cheesecloth for the bouquet garni. She also helped harvest herbs from the backyard, I don't know my parsley from my rosemary but she does. I'm so lucky to have her! It turned out great and the house smelled wonderful. My sis and her family came over and helped us eat it. Yesterday was spent recuperating from all that hard work, napping with the baby, making brownies with my nephew, then following the kids around while they played outside in the beautiful weather. Oh yeah, and a little sewing, and watched Breakfast at Tiffany's with my husband, perfect weekend.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Civil War quilt

This quilt was amazing. It has been passed down through so many generations, and carefully preserved and presented in a glass case along with its unique history. This one was actually buried during the civil war, retrieved after the war ended and kept in the same family ever since.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Quilt show pictures

I spent a lovely weekend with my family in Mt Ida Arkansas. On Saturday we attended the Quiltz Quartz and Craftz festival. The quilts were just lovely, here are a few pics, I will add more as I have time to download. The first one is made to look like a water color, the second one is a pink dresden plate I want to copy for my little girl. After voting for my favorite, we had lunch at the Lion's Club building (nothing like a fair hamburger), then there was a children's dig for crystals. I found some really cool slinky bracelets for my kids and their cousins.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quilters Academy homework

The next lesson for me is drafting. I love playing with this, the graph paper and the colors. It was fun to start that way, as the book said, with colored pencils and graph paper, but faster to change colors on the computer, so as soon as I had the basic rules down i moved back to my computer and a spreadsheet program. I wanted to convert the interlocking circles quilt to Halloween colors, and it was difficult for me at first because I only chose 3 colors, black, orange and purple. No matter what I did it didn't look right. Then I went back to Harriet's pattern, matching color for color and discovered she had 4 colors in the circles, not 3, so after that it was easy. I already have the fabric I want to use, after I finish the bindngs on my pink and brown quilts I will get started on this one, with the intent to finish by Halloween.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I misspelled Sharon's website earlier

Here it is again: Sorry about that. I worked on my quilts again today, and am ready to start working on the binding. I'm so psyched about this, and want to finish so I can move on. I've learned so much since I started these quilts. Can't wait to snuggle with my Emma under hers.

Friday night sew in results

I'm still working on my pink and brown beauties. I am so close to being finished! My plan was to hand sew around each square and stitch around each swap block, then stitch an X in each plain block. I am almost finished with the second one. I have been doing a lot of research on how to do the bindings, and the method I've chosen is Sharon Schamber's. If you haven't read it yet, go to her website and look at her free stuff. From there, click on binding. It is very detailed, with lots of pictures. When I started these two quilts I didn't use starch, but I know the benefits of it now, so I will use it with the binding.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Eight Point Star with log cabin miniquilt

When I started this last year, I had a bundle of fat quarters I won in a gift exchange. I loved the look of them together, and put a large sunflower print as the back, I wish I had taken a picture of the back! I machine quilted it, just an outline around the star and along the main strips radiating out from the star to the edge. The log cabin block was the easiest way to include a bit of all the fabrics, the middle strip is too wide really, but that's the way I made my eight point star, I didn't really measure anything or draw out the pattern first, just cut out strips and made my points, and the finished product evolved from there. The binding is excess backing folded over to the front twice and sewn down.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

what do you call a forgotten UFO

I was looking through my stash for some Halloween fabric and found this. It just needed sandwiching and quilting, it was small enough I did it this morning. It's a gift for someone close to me, I was going to give it to her last year, with the baby and Daddy's funeral, it got pushed far down the list of priorities. I love it, and hope to find similar fabric again for a bigger project when I can get around to it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

learning how to draft a quilt pattern

The next lesson in Harriet's book was drafting with graph paper and colored pencils. I really needed that because I have no problem seeing the finished quilt but deciding what the block actually is can be tricky. I stopped for graph paper on the way home, got out what colored pencils my son had left (what happens with them all) and got busy. The baby and I colored together until I had to take the sharpener away from her, then it was time to stop. It might take me a day or two to get through this lesson!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Friday night sew in--let's do it again

September 17th

can't wait to see what everyone is working on

Friday, September 3, 2010

triple rail fence blocks are coming together

I liked the subtle differences in the greens that Harriet and Carrie used in the book Quilter's Academy, Freshman year, so I stuck with similar colors. There is a lot of green in my house, so these will blend. Where Harriet and Carrie chose red and cream, I chose pink and cream instead because I was afraid my quilt would turn out to look too Christmas-y.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Leaders and Enders

No time to sew today, but I did have time to trim up some leftover triangle squares. I don't have a plan for these yet. Something bright for sure.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

triple rail fence

The baby is sleeping and there is laundry to be folded, there's a lovely warm rain falling outside, I have time to post one picture, here's the mockup of triple rail fence blocks.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

anyone want some dump cake?

my best good friend makes a dump cake, it is wonderful. You dump one can of crushed pineapple, one can of cherry pie filling, one box of cake mix in that order in a 9 x 12 pan. You put slices of butter on top of the dry cake mix, and bake it until bubbly and yummy and done. My BF uses 2 sticks of butter, I only use one. it is great with whipped cream. I like it because there are no eggs, my DH is allergic to eggs, and I'm always looking for something sweet he can eat that doesn't require eggs. Last night I made one with chocolate cake mix and 2 cans of cherries, no pineapple. It smelled so good. I call that one a chocolate covered cherry dump cake.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

triple rail fence fabrics

I had not planned on buying fabric last Friday. I was at work, brought my lunch, the weather forecast was 103 or so degrees, heat index much higher than that, so I was planning to stay in. It was just as hot or hotter as predicted by 11:30, wouldn't you know it the fire alarm went off in my building. We all went outside, thinking it was a drill and we would soon be back in. We waited. And waited. The fire truck showed up, like it normally does for a drill. Inspectors went in, but nobody waved us in after checking the building. Rumors started to flow that there was an actual fire, maybe from something warmed up in a microwave that shouldn't have been. You should have seen us all out there a 100 or so people, some of us, me included huddled in the shade of one scrawny tree. Eventually other people joined us, some had left for lunch before the alarm went off and were returning to find the building closed. After a while my boss came around and told us to find a cool place and come back in an hour or so. Where do you think I went? to the fabric store of course! Here's what I picked out for the triple rail fence. I just love these colors. Next step will be to do the mock-up to see how the strips play together.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Morning after the sew in

I just love taking pictures in the morning when the sunlight is just right. I finished the BOM, and did some more handquilting on my sister's baby girl quilt. I plan on quilting a little on each square, binding it for her, and she will fill any areas she wants to on her own.

sign up to win a go! I just did


Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday night sew in is tonight!

I know just what I will work on: a BOM for my guild, and my pink and brown quilt. The BOM is a red white and blue one which is already cut out and coming together nicely. Once that is finished, I can get back to the hand quilting on my pink and brown quilt. Binding the two pink and brown ones will be my next finish, I will be so happy to have those completed. Pictures tomorrow!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

First Rail Fence Mini quilt Finished

It's finished! after much seam-ripping, measuring, ironing, needle sticks and finger burns we have a finish! It's beautiful I must say. On to the next lesson. I will take a break for a while and hand quilt my pink and brown quilt. It has been neglected while I worked on the rail fence. Lessons learned: how to use starch, how to properly hold a rotary cutter, how to use my rulers, quit when I'm tired. It's not a race after all, but a process I enjoy very much.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Numbered Stacks

After laying out all my blocks as they will be sewn together, I then stacked each row of blocks in order with the first block to be sewn on top. My quilt has 9 rows instead of the 11 the book calls for. Somehow I wound up with one less one-and-a-half inch green strip. It doesn't make sense to me to go back to the quilt store for that little amount of fabric. I'd end up buying something else and blowing my budget, so 9 rows it is. ok so with 9 stacks next to my machine I started sewing, after each row, pressing and starching, then back to the machine. I don't have time to sew the whole thing all at once, so whenever I can get a row put together, I do that until I get another 10 minutes or so of sewing time. Let me tell you, I'm as organized as I can be, but I still find ways of goofing up a project. Today I went to put the next blocks on and started with the bottom instead of the top. It looks the same, each corner has a solid block, but stack number 3 did not have the right block in it. Fortunately it didn't take me long to figure out I had stack number 7's block, not 3, so I finished working my way backward through the stacks. Good thing I can count backward.

How many layers of starch is too much

I'm really liking the way the fabric looks after it is starched. Is it possible to overdo the starchy thing? I have read that 3 layers of starch are recommended. I started out starching my first stack of blocks, then decided to starch as I press each seam. If it is too much maybe it will wash out.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rail Fence Quilt

Not much sewing time since last week. We took a short vacation, then it was time to get caught up on laundry and get school registration out of the way. Tonight I readied my stacks of squares next to my trusty Pfaff, and sewed together all my first and second blocks all the way down. then it was time to starch and move on to the third row. I really love how this miniquilt is turning out. When I started sewing quilts two years ago, I thought I could just throw the pieces together and square them up at the end and have a decent looking quilt. Boy, was I wrong. The measuring, the starching, the pressing as you go, it all makes such a big difference.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday Night Sew In Saturday morning pic

I now have 26 of these beauties! 34 to go

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quilters Academy: Light makes a difference

I took this picture in sunlight, next to a sunny window in my kitchen. Look at yesterday's picture and compare the difference. The picture I took yesterday is under what I think is adequate lighting to sew by, overhead light with a floor lamp next to my machine for more focused light. The block is the same, but in yesterday's pic looks way more yellow than it actually is. Both pics were taken with my phone.

Another thing Harriet emphasizes in her book is the importance of pressing the right way. You can see that my pressing is not as good as it should be. I don't iron, as a rule. My husband irons all our clothes. I iron in more wrinkles instead of getting them out. Maybe I should ask hubby to iron my sewing as well?

I can remember my mom and two older sisters ironing, the smell of the starch and the steam. It was a good, clean smell. They ironed pillowcases and handkerchiefs, dresses and blouses. I don't miss those days, but it is a good memory. That reminds me, I need to buy some starch.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quilters Academy

Before taking a break from my sewing, I got a few blocks done for my first rail fence mini quilt. Look at that, the middle strip is exactly one inch wide! The lighting is bad, but the dimensions I am pleased with. I have a consignment sale to get ready for, and some other things to do, then I will get back to my quilters academy studies.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Giveaway alert

Jill is having a giveaway! Click on the link above and good luck!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday night movie and sewing

So nice to be home. We're watching E.T. tonight, new to some of us, still a great movie, one of the best family ones. Later I'll be working on these strips and a guild BOM that have been accumulating next to my sewing machine. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lesson 120

I am so glad I purchased this book! The instructions and illustrations are very specific and make perfect sense put into practice. I need lots of practice, already my measuring skills are improving. It was frustrating to me, measuring and cutting and things not turning out exactly right. My results aren't perfect yet, but I am getting better. The book clears up a lot of things for me.

This first lesson was strip piecing one rail fence block, which sounds simple, but is the perfect way to tell if you are going wrong, easy to measure and tell if something is "not right" just by looking before you even get the ruler back out. The next lesson will be more strip piecing but a bigger sample. If I were to grade myself on this one, I would give myself a B minus. B because the colors look good, the strip blocks are all the same size, and finished size is exact, but minus because my corners don't quite fit together, and my seam allowances are wobbly. I have a good seam guide and can follow it, but I get distracted or nervous or something and they aren't as straight as they should be.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Phd Finishes

this one was a special order, my sis picked out the fabrics to match her baby's room.

I made two angel hugs, one for my guild that I forgot to take a picture of and this one, with matching pillow for little Jacob Clay. My favorite picture, I love the way the light looks in this one.

there's more I want to do with this one, beaded garlands perhaps, but I consider it finished as far as quilting.

I made 3 of these Valentines, paper pieced, two were sent to my sisters, and this one was given to my DH.

My disappearing nine patch that found a home in front of my computer.