Food for thought.

Memory is a wonderful treasure chest for those who know how to pack it.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Checkerboard quilt

One more day before the end of the year and I was hoping to get just one more quilt finished for 2017.


I got this pattern from a blog called The Painted Quilt .  If you go to her blog and  under the free patterns go to "Stopped Me In My Tracks" quilt,  you can have the pattern, too.  

I did get this one quilted today using the Easy Peasy Baptist Fan pantograph.




Personally, I wish I owned the Circle Lord  mechanism that I could attach to my Millenium that would have given me "perfect" arcs, but once I finished the whole quilt, I am pretty pleased with the end results.  

I had purchased a big gingham check in yellow and white for the backing.


It's not a perfect match to the front which is done in Kona daffodil and a creamy white, but the whole quilt speaks Spring/Summer, warmth, brightness to me; and here in Michigan with our sub zero weather right now, that sounds really good to me.  

Anyways, I am hoping to get the binding attached tomorrow (New Year's Eve), but if I don't....that's ok.  The biggest job on this quilt is done and I know I won't wait too long to put that binding on and call this one done. So, it will be my final finish for 2017 or my first finish for 2018.  That's a plus either way. 

 I will be looking forward to putting this one on my bed come warmer weather;  but for now, I will enjoy putting that binding on with this quilt on my lap keeping me warm while I am stitching away.

  




Friday, December 29, 2017

Oh! I forgot.

I forgot to share with you the Christmas sewing that was being kept secret until after everyone opened their presents.

I made 14 of the soup bowl cozies.

Peaches,  the cockatiel (who's almost 22 years old),  helped pick out the fabrics.


But then he started to fool around, so I had to put him away. 


I thought I would really be smart and chain piece these things together, but if you aren't paying attention, you can sew the wrong angle and then things won't fit right. (notice the right dart on this one...way too steep).


Since I had already trimmed that one, I had to make another section.  

It's supposed to look like this.



The pattern I used is this one.

Here they all are with right sides together.  I had quite the production line going.  


I chose fabrics from my stash, but fabrics that I thought would fit each person's personality.

Bugs for the youngest grandsons.


Red and aqua for one daughter.


Bright red and aqua for another one.


A funky print for a teenager.


Pigs for a grandson who loves pigs.  


Some pretty coordinating fabrics just because.



Each family member got one along with a soup mix for each family.  

Here's a stack of the majority of the reversible cozies.


There's an orange one in there for my daughter-in-law who loves orange  and the guys got navy and red ones.  

I was, also, told these work great for ice cream bowls so you don't freeze your fingers off.  

I just know that I have one and I have loved it, so I hope they enjoy theirs.  


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Just couldn't walk away......

 My Accuquilt die cutter  was calling my name back on the 19th of this month, so I cut out my Good'n'Plenty quilt.  

On the 21st, I just had to try a few of the blocks.   So, I chose fabrics that I thought looked good together and made 20 blocks.  Now mind you.....I was supposed to be getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner here at my house for 15 people.  

 

Well, today (the 28th) I walked into my sewing room to do something and thought....well, maybe I will just put a few more together and thought I needed a system on how to pair up fabrics.  I tried out my method and then I had 48 blocks made.  I never did do what I went into the sewing room for originally.


I realized that sewing the blocks together were going so well IF I had them all paired up, so I thought before I ended the day, I would pair up the remaining 32 blocks.  (my system is out the window now, so I just paired up fabrics that I liked in pairs again).


So....I ate dinner  and then back to the sewing room to "clean up".  

Well, we know how that ended.



The last 32 blocks are made.  That's 80 blocks done. 

I am out of room on the design wall, so I guess I will be laying these blocks out on the floor, but I know that is going to take me awhile to get them down and then decide on placement.  So, just maybe I will be able to walk away from this project for a little while before the next step, but I think 60 blocks in one day is a lot accomplished.  

We'll see what tomorrow brings. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Stripology Ruler

Since making all my first cuts for the Good'n'Plenty quilt on my Accuquilt cutter which was easy peasy and fast, my next step was to cut my strips down to 4 1/2" rectangles.  Well, I don't have a die for that, so I got out my Stripology Ruler that I bought at a  Gudrun Erla trunk show.  I thought I would show you how easy her ruler is to use.  

NO MATH REQUIRED!!!

First I laid out my strips.  Layered them, too.


Butted them up to make one piece of fabric.


Laid my Stripology ruler on the fabric.  It's grippy, so no slipping of the fabric.


See the dots  and stars?  That is why you don't need math.  You just need to cut at the measurement you want and then go to the next .....in my case, next star.....and make your cuts.  So easy. 


The left cut is the selvedge and the right cut is the fold.  Each of those piles contain four rectangles.


Then I opened my folded edges and made another two cuts to make some more 4 1/2" rectangles.  The Accuquilt cutter cuts strips so well that there are no "bumps" in the road when it comes to your folds.  


Hardly any waste and it was quick using this ruler.


My quilt is ready to be pieced.  

I think next to the Accuquilt cutter, this is the best purchase I have made in a long time....the Stripology Ruler.  Grips the fabric, easy to follow numbers and markings and it is thicker than anything else on the market that cuts strips keeping your cutting lines nice and straight.   

Now to get ready for Christmas.




Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Addendum......


This is the palette that I showed you previously.

Here is the palette with the added fabrics  and will be my complete palette for the Mirror Image/Candy Challenge (Good'n'Plenty) quilt.


All this cut out in minutes using my Accuquilt.

All I need to do is cut 4 1/2" segments and then I can start piecing.  

I did cut out a few more strips than needed and that was because I found more fabrics than needed after hitting four quilt shops looking for fabrics that would work, but maybe I can make a small string quilt  with those leftovers  and use it as a charity quilt.  We will see.

Getting excited!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

I've done it again!

I got side tracked!

I was cleaning off the sewing machine table after doing some Christmas sewing (which by the way I finished) and I came across this pattern that I copied some time ago.


It's' a free pattern offered by Christa Quilts and I thought it would be perfect for the fabric I bought a few years ago for a challenge quilt with the theme of it being candy/candy bar.  Mine was going to be Good'n'Plenty....one of my favorite candies.

Well, as you can imagine, that never got done other than buying fabric.  I don't even remember what pattern I was going to use at the time either.  


These are the fabrics that I have and I gave one block a try and I think  I am really going to like this one.  It's going to be fun and bright.  Plus, I can get this out of my stash and feel good about it, too.

Well, since recently purchasing the Accuquilt Studio2 die cutter, I thought....why not?  Cut it out.  It will take no time at all.


The only dies I have at this point are the strip dies, so thankfully I had the 2 1/2" die; and it did take no time at all.  

I think I will need a few more fabrics....maybe some solids in pink, black and white and then maybe one more white with pink or black dots.  I'll see what I can't find.  

I do need to get this house in order; a few more packages wrapped AND food needs to be prepped, but I plan on being ready to start whipping this quilt together as soon as I have the time.  

Fun, fun, fun......I can't wait.  

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Things are as usual.....

On a previous post I mentioned not being able to work on just one thing.  Here is one of the reasons that this happens.

My grandson requested a Harry Potter scarf.  Who can say no to a grandson?
Well, that's how it goes.



The kids and their mom were doing some plastic canvas crafts and there was a lot of yarn left over from one of them; AND the kids had just seen me working on my aquamarine hat the other day.  I think that is what peaked the interest of  my daughter's middle child, Cameron, to ask if I could make a scarf with these leftover yarns.



I haven't worked with acrylic yarn in a very long time and this stuff just "rolled" as it came off the needles.


 So on completing the body of the scarf, I soaked it in cool water for several minutes, squeezed out the water and stretched it out on my blocking boards to dry.


That didn't work, so I then put it on the ironing board and put a damp cloth on top of it and steamed it. 

It's still curling.  So, I think I am either going to take it to my daughter who has a steamer or I will run it to the cleaners and see if they will steam press it into submission.  

For now, red and gold fringe is made and added to the ends; and another project is complete.  He will get this for Christmas.  I am sure he will be completely happy with it.

(even the cleaners couldn't get this to stop rolling)


Anyone have any suggestions to fix this problem?

While knitting away on this scarf, the FedEx man came to my door with my new present to ME!


Yes, I ordered an AccuQuilt cutter for myself.  I had used my friend's a while back and was in awe how quickly you could cut out all the necessary pieces for a quilt.  (they say it is 90% faster than cutting it out yourself and I believe them)  From there you could just sit and sew.  I really think cutting out a quilt is the most tedious part of quilting for me, plus it is getting harder and harder on the hands, arms and neck.

Anyways, here it is and I can't wait to use it.


First though, I have to complete getting the house ready for Christmas, but this gives me the incentive to hurry up.  

That's it for me right now.  Too many other pressing things to do right now.  Next time I post, I should have something to show again as there is some Christmas sewing going on and I have a quilt that needs quilting AND I have a sweater to complete, too.  

Always, too many things to do (or want to do).




Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Just had to share.....


As I am sure you are all in the same boat as me....busy with Christmas/holiday preparations, I haven't been able to post much on the blog because it is all secret.

There's been sewing and knitting going on for Christmas presents; shopping for gifts; putting up the decorations, sending out cards, etc.  I rarely do cookies anymore because we just don't NEED them.....but......


We received some beautiful lemons from my son's in-laws, Cheryl and Bill, as they have a lemon tree in their backyard in Florida.   These things are huge, thin skinned and just packed with fresh lemon juice.  These cookies are one of the recipes that I thought I would try out with some fresh lemon zest and lemon juice.

I am going to find it very hard not to eat the whole batch at one sitting.  They are great!  

You can find the recipe for the lemon icebox cookies here.  They were super easy to make.  I have had the dough in the refrig for a few days and thought I would throw a batch in tonight since I just had a taste for something sweet.  

I may just squeeze my remaining lemons and freeze the juice in the freezer and zest up the rind and freeze that so that I can make these again at a later date.  

Anyways, I just wanted to share this wonderful recipe with you.  If you love lemon flavored foods, I think you will really like these.  

Ok.....back to wrapping gifts.  

Monday, November 27, 2017

Can't just work on one thing......

Why is that?

Before starting something else, I should finish the thing that I started.  It's just never been that way with me though.

.
I started this sweater some time ago.  I have a life line at the end of the ribbing on the bottom just in case I want to add more length.  All I need to do are the sleeves which should be easy peasy.  Right?
I think I am procrastinating because I am not sure about picking up all the stitches under the arm  to close up the hole that is always at the beginning of the start up row.  I'll get to it.

So instead, I picked up my yarn for a hat.


This is the yarn I bought for the free patterns that my sister-in-law and I got for visiting all eight shops when we went on our Northern Michigan Knit shop hop.  So far,  I have the brim done.  It's a new stitch for me and I think I really like it.  

But....then instead of continuing on with my hat, I got into the sewing room and picked out a couple of fabrics to make an exchange gift (or two) for my new guild's Christmas party.



It's a reversible soup bowl holder.  

I thought I was going to be really smart and make two at a time.  

I was chain stitching away and then when I tried to put the second one together, I realized I had made one dart incorrectly.


See the angle on the right?  It's too steep making it wonky.  It's supposed to look like this.


Oh well.  Thank goodness I have some more of that paisley.   I will redo it another day since now I am going to go back and pick up my turquoise hat again and see how far I can get with it.  

Of course, I did take a quilt top and back down to the long arm.  I could load that.

See!?!

Way too many things going at the same time.  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

On a mission.....

First off, I was on a mission to get ALL my Halloween obligations done as my youngest grandson didn't have a Halloween pillowcase for trick or treating this year so he ordered one that had to have spiders.  I had to order spider fabric.  Better yet, this fabric glows in the dark (the spiderwebs)

It came in the mail this week and I have the pillowcase all made and ready for him  on Thursday when I see him.


Then what I really wanted to get done this week was my yellow/cream  checkerboard quilt.  I worked on getting everything cut and prepped for my sew-in with my gal pals on Tuesday.  I didn't get the whole thing together that day because I had to leave early, but I did finish it on Wednesday.  This isn't the best picture as it is huge and no one is going to be able to hold it up until it gets on the long arm, so here it is draped over the ironing board.



White trying to finish this one up this evening, we lost electricity.  So while I was working on the last few seams and had to stop because I couldn't use the sewing machine,  I used my reading light flashlight to pin the remaining seams. 

It came in handy because by the time I had the rest of the seams pinned, the electricity came back on and I could complete the quilt.

Now to see if I have enough fabric for the binding and figure out what I want for the back.

I just love getting projects done.  Now...what will I work on while I am waiting for a backing for this quilt?   Hmmmmm......

Oh, I should mention, too, that this week my friends and I attended a trunk show showcasing Gudrun Erla.  Wow!  What wonderful quilts.  She's great, too. 

I came away so inspired and ready to try something that I ended up buying one of her rulers AND two patterns.

The first was Strip Ribbons.  I plan on looking in my stash to see if I have enough of my French General (which I had tons of !) I think this will be a great quilt for that.



Also, I picked up Kira and some fabric to play a little.


The fabrics are Zen Chic.  I can't wait to see how this turns out. 

I guess this will be the next quilt to go under the needle.  We'll see!