Tuesday, January 16, 2018

“Cut my pie into four pieces, I don’t think I could eat eight.” ― Yogi Berra

I made an apple pie this afternoon and have been mesmerized by the steam that is wafting upwards.

So, I though I would share.

Wish you could smell it.  I used Vietnamese cinnamon, a very aromatic cinnamon. 

Waiting for it to cool is both entertaining and exasperating.


Friday, January 12, 2018

January is a fun month

 because there is so much time for sewing.  I've been working on the Cheri Payne quilt.  I made the USA strip but it wasn't long enough so I added that extra blue piece (which I don't like and will replace with something else) to make it long enough.  

I replaced that blue strip with a neutral one.  It looks much better.

I spent so o o o o o o long auditioning fabrics for the log cabin block.  It shouldn't be so hard!

I've got the cabin appliqued and am working on the black bird.  Then I'll do the embroidered flag on the right and a vine with flowers on the left.  There are embroidered words at the bottom.

The cabin is supposed to have quite a few windows but I'm wondering if the plaid will compete with the embroidery.  I guess I'll just give it a go and see.

I've also been working on the right panel of the Roseville quilt.  It doesn't look like much in this state but it's progress.

This morning I decided I was tired of all the pieces of the On Ringo Lake Quilt getting in my way as I prepped my applique blocks.  So, I sat in front of the sewing machine until all 50 blocks were done.

It makes me happy to know that step is done.

And I've spent a number of hours in front of the frames.  I need to spend a lot more time but today it didn't happen because of the block sewing.

And here is my "Garden Gnome" climbing down from taking the Christmas lights down.  I wonder how many more years he'll be able to do this.  Somebody should tell him it's unwise to climb a tree when you're 66 yrs.

As you can see, there is no snow on the ground.  It was in the 50's today but that made it mild for President Monson's funeral and burial.

Hope you're enjoying the indoor time that January affords.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Quilting as usual and 13th grandchild news

The little red bird needs an eye.

I started the "Sweet Land of Liberty" quilt by Cheri Payne in 2013.  I finished 2 blocks and then we went to Wisconsin for 18 months.  I never got around to finishing it when we got back.  Lori at Humble quilts is having a sew-a-long doing this quilt so I had to jump in.  I completed the basket block last night.  If you don't have the pattern, like I do, Lori gives you dimensions and Cheri's Facebook group has similar patterns you can download and create your personal version.

It's interesting sewing one of Cheri's patterns because when something doesn't turn out exactly as you had planned, you say to yourself, "It's okay, it's supposed to be primitive."  It's very freeing (if that's a word) and I find myself relaxing more as I sew.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeupImage may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

We had a very special occurrence on Christmas Eve.  Our newest grandson made an appearance.
We went to see him on snow covered roads (very slick).  He was born in the evening and had to stay 24 hrs. so they all spent Christmas Day at the hospital.  It was my son's year to spend it with the in-laws so they left the hospital and went directly to Christmas Dinner in Lehi.  Then, my husband and I promptly got sick so we haven't seen him since.  We're finally on the mend, especially my DH who was down in bed for days and is just now starting to get some energy back.  Hopefully we can see him soon because they only live 10 minutes away.

Actually, I went over there on Tuesday to take a treat but only Dad was there.  Mom and baby were at the other Grandma's.  We'll connect soon~

Collecting the fabric for the mystery quilt.
Bonnie Hunter's most recent mystery quilt, On Ringo Lake, kept me busy during the Christmas season.  I have more pictures of it than I do of Christmas itself.  Pity. . .

All the parts completed.
I chose to use up my watermelon fabric.  I call it "SPITTIN' SEEDS ON RINGO LAKE".  It's almost Christmasy but not quite.

First block ready to assemble.
I've decided on a different layout than Bonnie suggests.  I'm going to put all the blocks together without the sashing and I'm going to do a straight set instead of doing it on point.  I will only use 49 of the blocks instead of 50, a 7 X 7 setting.  I'm going to use the watermelon rind fabric for my border.  It will turn out smaller but that means less area to have to actually quilt.

First 2 blocks sewn together
We took the tree down yesterday and I'm still putting ornaments and other decorations away.  Christmas kind of came and went.  It was our lean year the year most of the kids go to their in-laws.    There was a miscommunication with my sister so she didn't come for Christmas dinner like usual. My two daughters and families came but were only here for about 2 hours and then the house was empty once again.

I guess this is what happens as the kids grow up, get married, and have their own families.  It's a natural thing.  I think I might go to one of their houses next year so Christmas will last all day.

Boy, I sure ended this on a bittersweet note.  That wasn't my intention.  Let's just say we had a transitional (and exciting because of the baby) Christmas this year and leave it at that.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

I'm more about the making than the having.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  The reason I quilt is to fulfill my need to create (thus the name of my blog).

My current obsession, I love this pattern.

 I see patterns in magazines (like the cover of the most recent American Patchwork and Quilts), or pictures on blogs or quilts in museums and I get inspired.  I picture the quilt in my mind with different colors or slight alterations and it becomes the focus of my quilty thoughts for days, sometimes months, and often years.  I look for a similar pattern or buy the original, or make up one on my own.  The fabric hunt begins whether in my stash, my LQS, or online.

Lately I've been compelled to use the fabrics that I have carefully been aging in my sewing closet.

I do buy some fabric, I always need neutrals.  And I keep track of the new lines from my favorite designers (Barbara Brackman needs to come out of designing retirement)  Occasionally I find myself in the "tempted zone" and eventually go one step further to the "succumbing zone".   I have a lot to say about shopping for fabric but I'll save that for another post.

I bought enough of the sashing fabric so I could do something like this.

This post is about making quilts.  I've found out a lot about myself doing the mystery quilt again this year (this is the 4th one I've made).  What I've discovered is that I'm a block girl.  I don't enjoy making the same part endlessly.  I enjoy making a block and putting it up on my design wall to admire.  It's such a feeling of accomplishment to see that completed block and leave spaces for the next ones to come.  I'm definitely a block girl.  Thank goodness, as of today and Clue #8, we are at the block stage.

So, I have the idea, gather the fabric, cut it out (my least favorite part), and begin sewing,  I have an abundance of enthusiasm at the beginning but it comes and goes during the process of making the quilt.  I am always working toward the end product - that original vision in my head.

I am so intrigued by this Indigo quilt from the 3 Sisters show.

After weeks (or years sometimes) of concentrated effort I'm done.  It's gorgeous, it's so many things all in one.  It's satisfying, it's gratifying, and it's going to make me or someone really happy to use it.

 And then, if I'm going to keep it, I put it up on the shelf of a closet and make a mad dash into my sewing room to begin again.

In other words, "I'm more about the making than the having".


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Holidays here at home.

This has been a busy month, the good kind of busy, not the stressful stuff.

It took me a long time to get around to decorating.  I usually start right after Thanksgiving but I think it was the 4th before the tree went up and then I spent all week just putting ornaments on. (No, the tree is not that big - I just kept getting interrupted.)

Our sweet little tree with my Peppermint Quilt on the wall behind

I've been hand quilting in the mornings.  You can't finish a quilt if you never work on it.  (You can quote me on that!)   I know it's going to take a couple of months to finish this particular quilt so you'll probably see pictures of it on my blog for a while.  AND, they will pretty much look the same but thank you in advance for indulging me.

I'm hand quilting it quite heavily with parallel lines in the blocks that alternate direction from block to block, and all around the flying geese.

I'm absolutely in love with this fabric from the Pat Nichols II Collection so it's a pleasure to quilt.  I'm just enjoying the process - no hurry here.

I have boxes of pictures etc. that I'm determined to go through and organize.  I was cleaning out an old notebook last week that I had divided into different sections for daily life.  One section was immunizations so I took all those records and passed them along to my youngest son.  There were awards and quilting patterns and "to do" lists and on and on and on.  

One thing I found was a record I was keeping  from 2003 of my fabric purchases.  I had the date, the store, how much I bought, and the fabric line and designers name.  Two things stood out to me;
1.  Just how often I went to a quilt store.  The quilt stores in my area were making a haul!!!
2.  I am currently working on 2 quilts with some of those very fabrics I bought almost 15 yrs. ago.

I am quilting the Pat Nichols quilt that I call "Puttin' on the Chintz" (pictures above).  And, I am hand piecing rising sun blocks from the Good Shepherds line from Salt Box Farm by Deb Strain.  It just seems so funny that I would finally be using these fabrics at the same time.  But, the good news is that I liked them then. . . and I still like them, a lot.

My holiday disaster this year came in the form of blonde fruitcake.  I invited two of my grandchildren to come and help me bake.  They were excited to see all the nuts, raisins, dates, and colorful fruit.  It was great fun.  After the 3 loaves had baked for quite a while, and didn't seem to look right, I went back and reviewed the recipe.

I had neglected to put in the baking soda!!!

So we have fruitcake that is glued together with sugar and flour.  Yum!

I cut a few slices and then cut them into squares.  I put them in some oatmeal cookie dough and baked them (remembering the leavening).  They turned out pretty good.  I think that's what I'll do with the rest of the fruitcake.  My husband is such a good sport.  He ate the smallest loaf any way.  

New this year is a treetop angel by Willowtree.  She's a beauty.

Thanks for checkin' in,

PS I finished clue #4 this afternoon.  Tomorrow I get to make a shark sleeping bag.

Friday, December 1, 2017

It's December 1st

I made a tie for my brother today.  I used some scraps from a quilt (seen below) that I made a couple of years ago using his son's (who has passed away) shirts.

I still have a lot of fabric left over.  I didn't use very much making the tie.

I think it turned out kind of classy.

I used more scraps on the small end of the tie.  So far I've made them a quilt (60" X 60") a doll quilt out of the extra blocks, and now a tie. There is still  a bunch of material left over.  I think I'd like to make a tree skirt - hmmmmm?

I finished all 50 nine patches last Friday for Clue #1 of the Bonnie Hunter's new mystery.  I wanted to make OR at least cut out the 200 flying geese units for Clue #2 today.  But, I knew I better spend my time making Christmas presents.  Making the tie took me the better part of the day although I did stop for a leisurely lunch.  Starting from scratch instead of following a pattern always takes longer than I think it is going to.

I wonder if I'll get to the mystery tomorrow or if the next homemade Christmas gift will win out.

Making things is my favorite part of the season.  What's your favorite part?


Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Civil War finish and my garden Gnome

My garden Gnome holding up my finished top

I finished my version of a Civil War sampler commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War from Barbara Brackman's Civil War Blog in 2011.  I call it "Succession to Emancipation" because it starts out with the seven sisters block representing the seven states that originally succeeded from the Union and Emancipation because I have little ladies all around the quilt with different skin colors representing freedom for all races.

I did many more blocks and even bought the book here that has more block patterns but this is the way the quilt top  ended up.  And now it is #19 in the 'Big Top' closet downstairs.  Although I'm in the process of putting a quilt on the frames and there is one in the hoop so there are actually only 17 quilt tops waiting in the closet.  17 sounds so much better than 19, don't you think?

Bonnie Hunter's Mystery QAL is starting next Friday.  It is so fun to participate in these QALs.  It is called On Ringo Lake and requires aqua, coral, chocolate brown, and neutrals.  I don't have enough of either aqua or coral  and prefer using something I already have.  I do have some fabric that I  collected to make a watermelon quilt.  I think I could substitute the green for the aqua and the red for the coral - using black instead of brown.

I would call it On Ringo Lake Eating Watermelon - ha!

I'm still thinking about it.

I am continuing to big stitch the baby quilt.  This project is taking longer than I expected.  I work on it almost every day and thought it would be done before Thanksgiving.  Sigh. . . 

My hands are so dry.  The skin on my thumb cracked last night.  It's from quilting and doing dishes (I've been cooking up a bunch ahead in preparation for next Thursday).  The turkey, stuffing and broth for gravy are all in the freezer to be thawed next week and then heated through.  I bought a roaster oven.  I've been married 44 yrs. and had never used one.  It is really slick.  I think it will get a lot of use when I'm planning big dinners because it is an extra oven.  It even cooks pies (so it says).

Just thought you might enjoy seeing my real live garden Gnome.  He is planting tulip bulbs.

It's actually DH getting the yard ready for winter.

We got snow yesterday.  You can see a little of it in the first picture with the quilt top.  It was a great day to stay indoors and sew - thus the finished top.

I'm linking up with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Thanks for checkin' in,