Sunday, July 31, 2011

weekly stash report



Cabbage Roses is quilted, the scrappy little tree is quilted, and I can't find that UFO that was already pin basted, the one I've been moving around my sewing corner for the past year. Apparently I decided at some point to really put it away. But I did dig out Chickens at the Crossroads and another little lap quilt to baste.

No new fabric or yarn in and a few yards used up. It hasn't been a bad week!

Fabric Used this Week: 4 1/4 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 45 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 707 yards
Net Added for 2011: 662 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 6240 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 13375 yards
Net Added for 2011: 7135 yards

Visit Patchwork Times for the rest of this week's stash reports.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Weekend Retreat - 2nd try

Last weekend was the official Stashbusters July retreat and I wound up doing everything but quilting. This weekend is going to be different!

I've cleaned my sewing machine, wound some bobbins, quilted a little UFO, wound some more bobbins, and started quilting Cabbage Roses...



Saturday's plan is to finish quilting Cabbage Roses and get the binding on the UFO. And cut some scraps for the bowtie challenge.

Friday, July 29, 2011

plans

I am going to quilt this weekend. There's a big event going on in town, which gives me a wonderful excuse to stay home and off the road. I've got projects ready to quilt. The scrappy little tree is pin basted, and so is Cabbage Roses. (And my Double Irish Chain, which I basted over a year ago.) Just about every safety pin I own is in a quilt right now.



The plan for this weekend is cutting and quilting -- hopefully lots of both!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Loving my vintage sheets!

I think my favorite thing about this little quilt is the fabric. When I started cutting up this sheet, I had doubts about the color. Now I love it so much I almost wish I'd saved it for a bigger two color quilt.



But I can't feel bad about the two baby quilts I got out of it. Two little quilts - tops, backings, and binding - out of one twenty-five cent sheet. And did I mention that this vintage percale is much nicer than anything I could run out and buy today -quilt shop or not? And that it cost a quarter? And another quarter for the white sheet?



Cutting and assembly instructions for the isoscoles triangle quilt are here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mercy House

I've written about Mercy House before, and about the post that really made me stop and think about what they're doing. Since then, the house has opened and the first baby has been born. By emergency c-section. Those words just terrify me -- I'm so glad mother and baby had proper medical care and are being taken care of.

But what I'm writing about now is the giveaway at the Mercy House Shop. These wire and paper bead necklaces look so pretty, they could make me forget that I don't wear jewelry.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Design Wall Monday



I started my Texas Braid quilt in March. It was supposed to be my birthday quilt, like 38 from last year, but it got put away after just a couple of days. Not much this year has gone as planned.

So I'd have something exciting to share on my design wall this week, I pulled it out and started cutting the rest of the light strips. I think I needed 100 more pieces, but my scribbled notes are long gone. I know I had at least a couple more sections started, but they weren't in the box with the rest of the project.

A couple of things about this quilt make me nervous. I want to make mine smaller than the one in Bonnie's book. I'm fairly sure my math is right and I know about how many strips I need (and if I wind up with more, there's always the rail fence that I started cutting these strips for before realizing they were the right size for this project and that I wanted to make it more than I wanted another rail fence.) And I worry about getting my scraps evenly distributed between the braids.

But I can do this! I've made how many scrap quilts? And they usually come out just fine.

For more Design Wall Monday fun, visit Patchwork Times!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

weekly stash report

Some fabric used this week -- for the backing and binding of the drunkard's path baby quilt and the finished top of the drunkard's path throw.

A little bit of fabric bought this week -- the cheddar for the bow tie challenge and a half yard of binding to finish my scrappy tree UFO. And I was given a bunch of scraps by Grandma and Mom.

I was good yesterday and didn't go back into the thrift store to look at the big scrap bag that Grandma saw and forgot to tell me about. Now I'm not sure if I should've been that good, because sometimes what Grandma says isn't worth it is a complete treasure.... but at least I get to claim that I was good.

The bees needed wax frames for their honey super, because they won't go near the plastic frames that we gave them two weeks ago. And if they don't have frames that they'll use, they could all just swarm and fly away. Or something like that.

And I'll totally drive 200 miles round trip to pick up wax frames if it puts me conveniently close to Red White and Blue and Finders Keepers, the absolute best thrift stores of my childhood!

Fabric Used this Week: 4 3/4 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 40 3/4 yards
Added this Week: 15 yards
Added Year to Date: 707 yards
Net Added for 2011: 666 1/4 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 6240 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 13375 yards
Net Added for 2011: 7135 yards

Friday, July 22, 2011

cabbage roses top finished



This is my "getting better" quilt, the one I started cutting so I'd have something easy to sew once I was recovered enough from my knee surgery to do any piecing. (Easy in that case meant having fabric right by the sewing machine and not scrambling around for the right scraps to finish the project.) It was a good project, because the drunkard's path units took lots of time to pin and not much time at the sewing machine.

Two months later, and I've got the center of the top done. There are 320 curved seams here -- I'm kind of excited about that!

I thought I was making a twin size quilt (that's what the pattern I'm following is for), but I'm not a big fan of borders. If I stop here and just make it a throw, it'll get a lot more use.

Now I want to make a scrappy drunkard's path. I could see myself wearing out my die by the time I get bored with these.

This post is linked to Can I get a Whoop-Whoop?? Friday over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

the list is getting shorter



That to do list I posted on Tuesday? I'm steadily getting it done. Now that I'm back at the sewing machine, I can see these projects leading into other projects.

I can't tell you how great that feels!

While I was running errands yesterday, I stopped at Joann's and bought four yards of Kona. Bonnie's 2011 Leaders/Enders Challenge looks too fun to miss out on! Between the hobo blocks and the letters, I'm going to need something like this.

I'm not sure if my yellow is a true cheddar, but it's pretty. I need to get it pre-washed and start cutting squares. Guess that's next on the list!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WFMW - A New Cookbook!


A couple of weeks ago, I bought a magazine in the checkout line at the grocery store. Not really a new thing for me -- I'm always pulled in by those little cookbook magazines full of crock pot meals, or casseroles, or just the ones that promise to tell me new and exciting things to do with ground beef and chicken. And I usually do try a couple of recipes that don't linger in anyone's memory long enough to repeat them again later.

What's different about this one is that I've made a LOT of the recipes (and plan to make most of them again) --

Cuban Sandwiches

Chicken Enchiladas with spinach and plain yogurt inside

Quesadillas with salsa and black beans inside (the little guys eat a lot of plain cheese quesadillas, but these were tasty for the grownups, too!)

Hashbrown and Ham Casserole

And there was that one unfortunate shrimp and rice concoction that made my husband almost head out for a pizza after it had gone uneaten.

(Except for the awful shrimp and rice thing, I plan on making most of them again. And there are a bunch of others I want to try, including the cheese souffle.)

One of the things I really love about this magazine is that the meals are suitable for large families. I've done some scaling up, but not nearly as much as usual. And the recipe call for actual ingredients and aren't riddled with specific brand names. (Yes, I know that I can use whatever brand I want, and I almost never buy the brand the recipe calls for, but it's nice that the magazine isn't one big advertisement.)

Most of the recipes seem to have been reprinted from other publications, but I didn't see them the first time around and I'm looking for ideas that I can cook and that my family will eat, not originality.

And maybe it's just me, but there seems to be a lot of sour cream called for. Works for us, because we all love sour cream. But I've bought endless containers and still haven't managed to make the Sour Cream Blueberry Pie from Jo's Country Junction. We finally ate the blueberries with the yogurt left over from the enchiladas.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

to do tomorrow

I had a long list of projects I wanted to get done this morning before the other stuff we had planned for the day, but I woke up with a migraine and that was the end of that.

So here's the to-do list for tomorrow, or whenever else I've got a decent stretch of time:

-- finish hand stitching the binding on the pink and white quilt
-- assemble the blocks for Cabbage Roses
-- cut backing and batting for the little tree quilt and get it basted

I'm hoping I can finish the binding and get the Cabbage Roses blocks pinned while we're watching tv tonight.

Monday, July 18, 2011

This project calls for a real design wall!



This project was inspired by this post at the Patchery Menagerie. I got my copy of Word Play Quilts as soon as it came out, and have the perfect quote picked out for my dream quilt, but I haven't managed to work up the confidence to cut into my stash of yellow and orange fabric.

A two color sampler doesn't sound quite so intimidating. And I love black and white alphabet samplers, like this cross stitched one I did a few years ago.

Lynne is doing her sampler in alphabetical order. I haven't done many pieced letters, so I'm following the order they're explained in the book. Not the best idea -- I finished most of the easy ones last night and now I'm a bit overwhelmed by the idea of the more complex ones.

Some of these letters definitely need to be redone, but I'm happy with the "A" and "K" that I did Sunday night. Those are keepers!

For more design walls to drool over, visit Patchwork Times.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I forgot

I can't tell you how long it's been since I quilted something. Definitely before my knee surgery on May 16, and I'm thinking it might have been a couple of weeks or months before that. When I sat down to finally start on the little Drunkard's Path, I had to remind myself to drop the feed dogs.



I forgot how good it feels just to sit and meander. So good that not even a partially assembled piece of another quilt that got quilted to the bottom of my baby quilt upset me too much.

And I forgot how much better things look once they're quilted. What else have I got to quilt around here?


Weekly Stash Report

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 36 yards
Added this Week: 5 yards
Added Year to Date: 692 yards
Net Added for 2011: 656 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 6240 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 13375 yards
Net Added for 2011: 7135 yards

Saturday, July 16, 2011

quilting!

This quilt is the sister of the one I used for the Two Color Quilt video I did for AccuQuilt a while back. It's been pin-basted and migrating around my sewing corner for the past four months, getting steadily more and more rumpled.

And I really could get it quilted in an hour or so, if I just sat down to do it.

So I'm doing it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

pencils and graph paper

So what does a quilter who doesn't have any quilting software, or much other fancy software for that matter, do when she's got an idea in her head that she needs to show someone else?



I bought myself some colored pencils and graph paper and so far it's working. I know exactly what I want to do, so I don't need to try different settings or layouts, just get the thing onto paper.

I don't exactly love my color selection, but I suppose that's what I get for buying the cheapest pencil set I could find. A good decision, since I've already rescued them from the boys (who have their own pencils and crayons) more than once.

There has to be a slightly better way to do this. For most of my scrap quilts, I just start piecing and see what happens. One variation leads to another quickly with the baby quilts. Now and then, there's one that doesn't thrill me, but I've had that happen when I was following a published pattern and I thought I knew what I was making.

What about you? Do you plan carefully or leap before you look?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Floppy Hat

(there is supposed to be a picture to go with this post, but it's on my daughter's camera and she can't find her cord -- I'll add it later!)

Last summer, I bought myself a hat. It wasn't terribly expensive, but it wasn't dirt cheap either. I'm not sure what made me decide that I needed to put that hat in the shopping cart with our groceries. (That's one of the things about grocery shopping at WalMart -- anything can and sometimes does find its way in with the groceries. It happens at Costco, too, but not quite as much.)

I kept my hat in the car and wore it every time we went down to the river.

I LOVE that hat!

It keeps the sun off of my face, which means I don't have to use suntan lotion, which always gets in my eyes at some point during the day. I don't get as overheated, so I'm not nearly as miserable by the end of a day at the park with the kids. And I'm much less likely to get a headache. (Why is it that kids are apparently immune to the heat?)

It's finally warmed up enough to go play in the water, so my hat is back in the car. This poor thing has been dunked more times than I can count and is still going strong -- I had no idea how useful that little splurge would be!


(for more great tips and hints, check out Works for Me Wednesday over at We Are THAT Family)

it's raining

The weather we're having is just weird. It was supposed to be hot today, so I made plans to meet another mom and her kids down at the river. This is the third time we've rescheduled -- twice because the weather didn't cooperate. And the forecast has switched from hot and sunny to warm and rainy.

I'm fine staying home and quilting, but the kids aren't going to be happy.

The little weather trick that has me annoyed is what it apparently did Saturday in Sisters. It didn't get hot. The coolest temperatures since I started going and the one year I volunteer to stay home, it didn't get hot.

Honestly, I chickened out because I wasn't sure how my knee would take the drive and walking. It would've been just me and the kids this year and I had visions of one of my little guys throwing a tantrum at the far end of town from our parking spot when I'm not able to carry them anymore.

And I figured I could drool over other people's pictures later.

Look at all of the antique goodness Bonnie took pictures of. Especially those string stars!

More quilt show pictures --

With Heart and Hands
Amy's Creative Side
Paris Bebe Fabrics

And I'm sure I'll find more once the Internet cooperates.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The one!

I'm still sorting through the UFOs, trying to figure out where I left off and where I want to go next. I should finish that quilt for our bed...or start it. Didn't I have more than two blocks done the last time I posted about this thing?



Instructions for making the blocks are here.

No progress on this one or anything else today because we went grocery shopping and I am exhausted. It was worth it, since I've got dinners planned for the next week and a kitchen full of snacks.

7-11 was celebrating its birthday today and giving away free Slurpees. I had to double check with my husband that the convenience store in town actually is a 7-11 and was halfway afraid that we'd get there after they ran out of cups, but the kids got their sugar. And I gave them mine because Slurpees just aren't as good as I remember...either that or Alienade just isn't as good as the other flavors.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weekly Stash Report

No fabric or yarn used this week, at least not in finished projects. I'm working on that big two color quilt I posted about yesterday, which will add quite a few yards to my totals once it's done. And spent a couple of hours knitting a shawl that I think I'm going to have to rip out.

I ordered some clearance fabric along with my thread, and picked up two yards of cheap Halloween prints while I was picking up my diet Coke at the convenience store on the way to the park today. But I didn't go to Sisters, so I've decided the fabric is more than justified by the gas money I saved.

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 36 yards
Added this Week: 6 1/2 yards
Added Year to Date: 687 1/2 yards
Net Added for 2011: 651 1/2 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 6240 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 13375 yards
Net Added for 2011: 7135 yards

To see how everyone else is doing, click over to Patchwork Times

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Thread is on sale!

I've been waiting what seems like forever for Connecting Threads to put their thread on sale....then the cost of cotton went up and they raised the prices and I was hoping for a sale that would bring it back down to what used to be full price...and at some point I ran out of the neutral color I use for piecing and did order more, but I've still been waiting for a sale so I could stock up again.

I was down to my last spool of neutral and had mooched another one from my mother to keep me going until I could place an order. Then I had my knee surgery and went a whole month without using any thread at all..

AND NOW IT'S FINALLY ON SALE!

IT'S ON SALE FOR LESS THAN THE OLD PRICES!

I'm such a happy quilter. I've got enough neutrals coming to last me for a long time. And a few colors just because they're pretty.

Essentials is really my favorite thread. I've done the math and compared the cost per yard to thread from WalMart and sale prices at Joann's and even at the new regular price and paying for shipping, it's a lot less expensive. (I don't do quilt shop thread. I've tried the thread from the sewing machine store, I've sat through the long interesting lecture on why I should think it's better than the inexpensive stuff, and I'm still perfectly happy with my cheap stuff!)

I've got scraps. I've got sheets for backing. I've got thread on its way. I've even got some yardage.

Now what I need is a really incredible sale on batting!

Friday, July 08, 2011

lovin' the curves



I am so glad I didn't put back the bolt of red fabric I'm using for this quilt! When I was standing there in the fabric store deciding whether or not to buy it, I didn't have any real idea what I was going to use ten yards of this red floral for (other than the usual options of backing, binding, sashing), or realize how close it was to the fabric I fell in love with when I used for Strawberry Fields.... I definitely wasn't thinking of using it for a two color quilt.

I'm slowly working my way through the piecing. The finished quilt will be big enough for a twin bed and have twenty big blocks. I've got nine of them done so far and have been trying to do three a day...on days when I find time to sew.

I need to start making time.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Drama in the Hive



As if we didn't have enough stress around here lately already, our queen died this weekend. We found her during a hive inspection, breathing (do bees breathe?) her last. And without a queen to lay eggs, the clock is ticking as far as the rest of the hive is concerned. They hadn't made another queen of their own, and of course if something like this is going to happen it's going to happen on the holiday weekend because that's how life works...

We got lucky and found a new queen to buy yesterday and while we were installing her, I learned something new about our expensive bugs.

They will warn you before stinging.

While I was holding things for my husband, a bee whacked into my arm, hard. It felt deliberate, so I asked him about it later since he's the one who's read all of the bee books. That thwack was a warning to back off.

I haven't been stung by one of our own bees yet, but now that we've got a hive in the yard I'm expecting it to happen sooner or later. There are worse things in life than a bee sting.

What do you do for bee stings?

The last time I got stung, which was a couple of years ago, I couldn't find the baking soda, we don't use meat tenderizer, and I didn't want to go to the car for the bee sting stuff in the first aid kit. So I tried pressing a penny against it. Everything I can find about pennies and bee stings on the web today says it's an urban legend, but it made me feel better at the time.

The bee books say to take a couple of Benadryl.

Honestly, I'm hoping that I don't have an opportunity to test any of these suggestions anytime soon.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Mid Year Report

Halfway through 2011 and , except for knitting baby hats, I'm nowhere near my goals!
I've finished thirteen little charity quilts, knit 88 newborn hats (most of them in January and February when I was trying to finish up that box for Mercy House), 5 pairs of booties, a dead fish hat for my kids, three pairs of worsted weight lace socks, and one little lace scarf...and I'm not going to mention the UFOs...

I've only used 4 spools of thread -- by this time last year, I'd used up a dozen.

I keep telling myself that life will settle down and I'll be back to the quilting I had planned, but so far it hasn't worked out that way. I'm hoping the second half of 2011 will go better!


Weekly Stash Report

Fabric Used this Week: 1/4 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 36 yards
Added this Week: 5 yards
Added Year to Date: 681 yards
Net Added for 2011: 645 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 400 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 6240 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 13375 yards
Net Added for 2011: 7135 yards

To see how everyone else is doing, click over to Patchwork Times.
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