Food for thought.

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

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' 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.


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!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Finishing up.....

Gathering Baskets is completely done now.  The binding was attached and hand sewn down last night.

Then to finish up the Halloween season, I made another Halloween pillowcase because I noticed that one of my grandsons didn't have a pillowcase for trick or treating.  I had to remedy that before next Halloween and what better time than when Halloween fabric is on sale.

So I ran out today and picked up fabric and made this one this afternoon as I will be seeing him tonight.

I will have one more to make  for the littlest guy, but he requested spiders.  Hmmmm....I am not fond of spiders, but I found a "cute" spider (if they can be cute) fabric online and ordered that.  Once it gets here, I will throw that one together and then I am all caught up on Halloween pillowcases.  

Feels good to get things done and out of the sewing room.

Now....on to the next project.  

Monday, November 6, 2017

Procrastinating no more......

Well, I say that tongue in cheek because I know I will procrastinate again, but for this quilt I just figured now was the time.  So I just loaded it onto my Millie.

(I am going to treat this post a bit like a tutorial for a friend)

This quilt has been sitting in the wings for a very long time.  The backing and batting were cut and ready to go, but I guess there was just that fear knowing I wanted to do custom quilting on this one and I felt so unsure.  I might say that this is MY quilt.  Of course my reservations don't make any sense since I have done custom on customer quilts, but with their quilts there is always a time limited so you usually just jump in. is the time.  I should say, too,  that I have quilted this quilt several times in my head, so I probably know what I am going to quilt in each area.....pretty much.  Now to put it down in stitches. 

The first thing I did was do square flowers in my half square triangles.  I have been wanting to try these flowers for some time.  

Once they were done, I advanced the quilt to the next section. This section is mostly stitch in the ditch with some loopy/feathery designs in the red flowers; and some straight line quilting in the background of the large flowers.

Next advance brings me to the baskets.

I am stitching in the ditch around all the features of the baskets and the outside of each block.  Then in the basket itself, I did the "C's" in the colored blocks only.  I am still trying to decide what to do in the larger parts of the background of each basket, but it probably won't be much.  I am putting a feather variation in the basket itself.

In the area outside of the basket, I decided to do a swirly design.

There are 12 basket blocks, so this will take some time.

I have completed  the first of three rows of baskets.  Things are going well.

Here is my final row of baskets.  I finally have this quilting design down pat.  I can outline the basket and do all the "c's" in the colored portion of the basket all in one fell swoop.

  I do this after doing all the stitch in the ditch of the block, the sashing and working on some of the half square triangles as I go.

If you can see, I haven't touched the top border.  It is a large piece (although pieced).  It just isn't done in "blocks".  So, when I get to the end of this quilt, my intention is to take this quilt off the rails, turn it and then reload it.  At that point everything will be stabilized and then I will be able to see the whole border.  I will then take measurements, divide it and treat it as though it were made up of half square triangles and  then quilt it as the other borders.   This is the same as I have done for the last side border.

These pictures show how I divided the border in sections (thank goodness this one worked out to 9" like the bottom border).  I drew  a diagonal line and then did  my square flowers again.

Once I turn the quilt on the long arm, I will do it once again with that plain border.   These faux  blocks will be 7" square.

Then this quilt is done and ready for binding.

Here's the pretty toile' I had in the stash to use for the backing.

I think I have had this binding made since the top was made, but I will have to go on a hunt for it first.  Once found, I plan on sitting and getting this binding on promptly.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Off to California.....

I got this quilt in the mail on October 27,  got it quilted and it's ready to go back to California today, October 30, 2017.  

It was a quick one to work on since all the customer wanted was a meander which is a good stitch for a T-shirt quilt.

My Millennium handled this quilt like a charm.  It's heavy!  It's going to be WARM, too.  

The backing was a pretty flannel print of black and grays.

I am sure hoping the recipient of this quilt lives in a cold climate like Michigan as we are  becoming quite chilly here and it will surely keep them warm and toasty.  

I used So-Fine thread top and bottom in a dark charcoal.  It blended beautifully with the backing and for the top it didn't overpower the colorful t-shirts yet blended nicely with the black sashings.  

This was a nice little reprieve from working on the huge Hawaiian shirts quilt  that I recently did and then taking time out to set up a customer's new APQS Lucey this past weekend.  

Now I am thinking of loading one of my own quilts  if I don't get another customer quilt in  before I get around to actually doing it.  

Happy quilting everyone!