Sunday, May 1, 2016

Not my first rodeo

I have been quilting on my Welsh Study II off an on since Christmas.  It is taking a long time because of the intense quilting.  I wanted to do a knife edge binding since that would be appropriate for a Welsh quilt.  BUT, I designed the little quilt to have a sawtooth outer border and didn't realize that that would make for a very bumpy and difficult binding until I had finished most of the quilting.

Once I realized my error, I did what any normal quilter would do, I rolled it up and stuffed it in the downstairs closet and went on to the next project.

The border space for the next quilting marathon.

I had calmed down enough to be sane after two months so, I retrieved it from it's dark corner to come up with a solution.  I knew I had to add another border of some kind and it would be a wrestling match with all the backing and batting attached too.  I seem to find the hardest way to do things.

I dug through my stash to see if I had anything that would match some of the colors already in the top.  Luckily I found a yard of the original toile I had already used in this quilt.  It's a miniature print that I bought in the last century.  (It was kind of fun to say that - ha!)

I cut a 2" strip and put it around the quilt but not before I had to deal with the wavy sawtooth border GASP!  Why do we do this to ourselves?

There is still a little too much fullness in that sawtooth border that I hope will quilt out.

I think it looks pretty good and will look great once it is quilted.  When I'm finished then I can do the right kind of binding for it.  And, hopefully, I won't have any other concerns to slow me down.

This was the "supposed" relief project I turned to in my frustration over the sawtooth border debacle.  I have been quilting on this at the frames (a quilt that has it's own misguided history) and am over 2/3rds  done.  I was hoping to get it done by April 30th and it May 1st today but I'm still chugging along.

If I didn't love my sport i.e. quilting so much, I'd have given up long ago.

Friday, April 15, 2016

I've wanted to make this little quilt ever since Cheri first posted the instructions here.

So today I did.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


This block just about did me in...................

Not my most accurate work but it's finished.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Basket Quilt

The gold basket quilt from my previous post is called;
Baskets of Flowers from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska

The pattern is in the Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine  May/June 2011

I've gone through my stash of patterns to get rid of the ones I no longer have an interest in making and I'm in trouble.  I didn't put very many in the throw away stack.  The lid does fit on the box now, I guess that's some progress.

(just because I didn't want to post without a picture.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Two new blogs to inspire

Blog reading has been inspiring today.  I read the "Quilting Everyday" blog by Rebecca and she has motivated me to re evaluate my quilting queue and work on the things that give me the most joy.

I just pulled out an applique project I started in 2001.  I only made two 18" blocks and then it got put away.  I still like it but I don't think I'll ever finish it.  I can incorporate the fabrics into my stash no problem but, what do I do with the two finished blocks and the 10 other 18" squares I have cut out?

I also read "Lining up my Stitches" blog by Juliann who is taking the time to be more thoughtful, quiet, and enjoy some simpler pleasures.  I know I enjoy life more when I don't fill it to the brim with things to do.  Just pick out a few good things and then enjoy the process. (Oh, and make sure I have a bakery item close by~)

I began going through my box of patterns from magazines and the internet to see if I still want to use them.   AM I REALLY GOING TO MAKE ALL THESE and the 100's more?

Sorry about the blurry pictures.  

I took them through the plastic sleeves and so the quality is diminished.

It is such a beautiful today that spending some time sitting in the sun and pondering will give me as much joy as I usually get by appliqueing new leaves on the latest block or making a sensational dessert. (Although dessert IS pretty important - ha!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A queenly heart, American Jane, and Biscuits/Scones

I finished block #11 for the 1857 quilt.  I am finding that some of these blocks are quite a challenge for me.  But, I keep telling myself, the only way to improve my skills is to try to do something more difficult than I've done before.

The thing I'm working on in between hunkering down with the applique blocks is this little project.  It helps me breathe deeply and not tense up. I find these fabrics just cheer me up.

I have cut out 32 blocks so far but that is only half of them.  I find it interesting that the 1857 quilt has 64 blocks and now I'm working on another one with 64 blocks.  I hope I don't confuse them somehow.

As I cut out the blocks I put them in sandwich bags.  That way, if I drop something while I'm transferring them from the kitchen to the sewing room, I won't loose anything.

The blocks are just so cute!

I made biscuits yesterday again AND I think I found a wonderful recipe.  It is from the Farm Journal's Cookbook and it's called Crusty Hot Biscuits.

This picture doesn't do them justice.  They were flaky and crisp as my teeth broke the surface and then soft and tender inside.  Just the best.  I'm still going to try other recipes but this just may be the winner.

Crusty Hot Biscuits
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TB sugar (I didn't put any sugar in)
1/3 cup lard (I used Crisco)
2/3 cup milk
1 egg

Sift together dry ingredients. Cut lard into mixture to make coarse crumbs.  Add milk, then the egg.  Mix with fork until dough follows fork around bowl.

Knead on floured board five or six times.  Roll or pat to 1/2" thickness. (I patted the dough until it was 2" thick.  I thought 1/2" wouldn't be tall enough to have a fluffy inside.)  Cut with biscuit cutter.

Place on ungreased baking sheet about 3/4" apart and bake in very hot oven  - 450 degrees - 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 16 biscuits.  (Except since I made them so thick it only made seven.)


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Good light makes a difference

I am always seeking good lighting.  Our house faces N.N.W. and gets no direct sunlight through the windows between Nov. and the first part of Feb.  I am excited when the slivers of sunlight peek through the dining area window at last.

My sewing space is downstairs and as you know subterranean spaces are darker anyway.  We bought this house from an electrician and so one would think that it would have an abundance of light with outlets everywhere.  

The thing that is everywhere is light switches. 

This picture is with regular light

I bought a new lamp yesterday.  It is a torchiere lamp like we purchased for the missionary apartments when we were in Wisconsin.  It gives off great light.

This picture is with the new lamp.
 It is subtle but the brighter light (even better than my Ott lamp) gives me the clarity I need to quilt at the frames.  I haven't quilted for hours yet but I'm curious to see if my eyes don't become as tired.

Notice the bank of 8 light switches on the wall 
 The top picture shows the regular light that consists of three fixtures with three 60 watt bulbs in each. The picture below shows the 150 watt light at it's finest (in addition to the other lights which can be turned on by choosing the 2nd, 5th, and 6th switches - each fixture turns on one bulb at a time.

I know. . . . . . 

Isn't it glorious?  At last, good illumination in my downstairs retreat!!!

I bought a bunch of "Potluck" fabric by American Jane when we were in Wisconsin a year or so ago.  I've always wanted to do something with her crayon box colors and finally took the plunge.

I am making blocks for this quilt (based on an exchange) by Betsy Chutchian.
I am in no hurry, mainly because I have so many other things calling for my attention quilting-wise.
I'm just going to cut it out the blocks ahead of time and assemble one or two when I have some small pieces of time.

I don't know about you but sometimes I just want to sit at the sewing machine for a 1/2 hr. and it will be nice to have some mindless sewing waiting for me.

   I just thought I'd add this picture from Sunday morning.  Our apricot tree and daffodils are in full bloom and that's snow you see on the ground.  Spring is so fickle.

And one last thing - I made one of my favorite comfort foods a few days ago.  It is the easiest thing in the world.  I can't eat it without smiling.  Silly me, it's lime cottage cheese jello with crushed pineapple and chopped walnuts.  I don't know why I like it so much, I just do.