Monday, December 30, 2019

End of the month wrap up

It is the 30th and time to post my progress on the Celebrating Mary Brown quilt.  I appliqued the above block in 20 minute increments.  It was making me so nervous that I could only work on it for a short time.  That and it was the Christmas season, there were lots of other things to draw my attention.

It doesn't necessarily have an Alice theme or hint to it.  But the pansies in the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland were one of my favorites.

I started working on another block yesterday but as you can see there is still a lot to be done.

Check out the others participating in the Celebrating Mary Brown SAL

Karen at Log Cabin Quilter

Jennie at Over the hill and running

Julie K at Julie K quilts

Cathy B at Big Lake Quilter

Nanette at Do it right quilter

Jan posts on Nanettes blog

Rebecca at Quilting in a Polar Bear Garden

I got caught up with the Cheddarback blocks.  I accidentally cut the basket block with the light as the basket and the dark as the background.  I decided to sew it up that way anyway and it looks fine.  I hand pieced the hexagon-like block with fussy cutting in the middle.

  I really like the black and red block.

 The hourglass block  was inside an online order I received.  You can see the original state of the orphan block below.  Since it was similar to the block I needed to sew, I took it apart, matched the center seam and cut it to size.

I made the little tree from the Temecula Christmas SAL.  It's sandwiched but I haven't quilted it yet.  It was a fun mindless project.  The little blocks took about 15 minutes to cut and sew each day.

And then I felt like sewing one day during the holidays.  You know how it is, you just feel like putting fabric through the machine.  So I got out my floral scraps and matched them up with semi-solids to make some 36 patches.  The fabric needs to be used up so I guess this will be my no pressure/when I get around to it sewing for a while.

And I'll end with the only Christmas pictures I took this year - sigh.  The first is a gift from my SIL next to one of my favorite dolls.  The little house is a lighted toy store with Santa inside.  It is a continual snow scene.  It's quite heavy and my SIL paid the postage to get it here - gasp!  The doll is a Mary Hoyer doll with a sweater outfit made by Pauline McEnery.

One of my granddaughters left her mittens in the backyard.  And someone put them on the tree in the front yard to wait for her return.  I suspect foul play here. . .

And here we are for Christmas dinner.  Not everyone is in the picture but it was fun to have them around.  They didn't stay long enough though.  They were all gone by 1:30.

It's been a busy month.  I always look forward to January because even though the days are short and it is cold. . . no one needs me to do anything for them so I have a whole uninterrupted month and I know exactly which project is going to get the bulk of my attention.

See you when I surface,

Saturday, December 21, 2019

This day

began with the Winter Solstice sunrise.  What more could I ask?

It's like magic sometimes.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Christmas Greetings.

I think I forgot, in all the preparations for the holidays, that I finished quilting this cute little quilt.  It is from the first line from Urban Chics.   I think it is called Swell.  They came out with a Sweet Christmas line this fall that has the same feel but it has poinsettias instead of roses.

The star is just a split 9 - patch block.  It was so fun to piece (years ago) and went together fast.  The quilting is done with Aurafil 12 in white using a big stitch.

I wasn't intending to use it for Christmas but it is so conducive to holiday decorating.

                                                                    As a tree skirt. . .

                                                       A tablecloth for a small end table . . .

                                                       Hung over my small bannister. . .

It is not very big and just turned out stinkin' cute.  This picture shows the paisley backing and the polka dot binding.  I'm undecided whether to give it away or keep it.

Christmas can be so hectic but things have calmed down considerably with our retired lifestyle.  I was planning to go out to lunch with two friends today and one of them texted the other two of us to make sure it was still a good day to go.  I quickly replied that I was planning on it.  Then the next text was my daughter asking if I was coming to the elementary school's band concert at 2:30.  So I texted my friends to tell them I needed to be home by 2:00.  It was all doable until. . .

My cousin from 1 1/2 hrs north called to say they were on their way.  I am really close to this cousin and his wife.  My cousin is more like a brother to me.  He had surgery in September and has kept saying; "don't come and see me, I need more time to get my energy back."

He had complications with an already serious surgery and it's taking a long time to regain his strength.  So, I haven't seen him since the surgery and this is his first outing out of town.  I didn't feel like I could tell them not to come so instead I told my friends I was going to have to flake out on them (at least that's the way I feel).  They understand but I still feel badly.

My cousin said it would be a quick trip, I hope I can still make it to the concert.

Ho Ho Ho

Monday, December 9, 2019

Longing to just sit and quilt

I've finally got this little quilt from 2012 sandwiched and in the hoop.  I was planning on getting this quilted in December because I'm using a "Big Stitch" and it's not very large.  But, alas,  it is December and my attention is constantly being diverted to decorating, cooking, visiting, shopping, wrapping, mailing, . . . I sound like the UPS commercial - ha!


PS  And I'm getting a root canal on Thursday - sigh.

Friday, December 6, 2019

The one that got away

I made this quilt in 2018.  I didn't get it quilted till January of 2019 so this would have been the 1st Christmas for it to go on my bed.  I love this quilt.  It was so much fun to make and a delight to quilt.  But, I gave it to my youngest son and DIL who only have one of my quilts while the other 5 kids have multiples.

This is so silly but I am mourning the loss of this quilt.  It's not like I can't go see it if I want to (sigh) but I don't own it anymore.  Does anyone else do this?

I have/had five quilts that I consider Christmas quilts and they picked out two.  They were delighted.  It will now be part of their Christmas traditions which should make me happy - ya know?  It was so the right thing to do - share the wealth.

My husband said; "You could just make another one,"  And he's right. . . he's so right.

Who knew you could get so attached to something.  I usually have a slight detachment to the quilts I make as soon as they are finished.  I don't know why this one is different.

Some soul searching going on here~

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Alice Jane Blue and Orange Marmalade

The good news on the homefront is that I found my stack of Hope's Journey FQs that I originally planned to use to make the Celebrating Mary Brown quilt.  It was pre-washed, pressed, and neatly stacked in my downstairs bedroom closet.  I had been looking for a stack of fat quarters, not a pile of regular fabric.  I couldn't find a stack of fat quarters anywhere - 😜

I'm kind of glad I couldn't find them at first because it made me think outside the box and use my Alice in Wonderland fabric. Also, trying to come up with blocks from way different fabric than the original and a different theme has made me stretch a little and it is a much more interesting project.

I was only able to get one block done on this quilt for the month of November but it was worth it.  I did block # 3.

Kinda crazy, I know.

The reason I have ORANGE MARMALADE on my block is because of a passage in the original Alice in Wonderland.  Alice has fallen down the rabbit hole and she is looking at everything around her;

     "Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next.  First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the side of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves; . . .   She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labeled "ORANGE MARMALADE", but to her great disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it."

I found a picture of an old pot of Orange Marmalade dated 1862 Great Britain online and tried to copy the shape for my block.  Alice in Wonderland was first published November 26, 1865..

I did the lettering with a black micron pen and then embroidered over it with a single piece of applique thread for distinct but not bold letters.

Please check out the blocks of the others who are working on the Celebrating Mary Brown quilt or quilts of their own choice.

Karen at Log Cabin Quilter
Jennie at Over the hill and running 
Cathy at Big Lake Quilter
Julie at Julie K Quilts
Nanette at Do it right quilter
Jan gets posted on Nanette's blog
Rebecca at Quilting in a Polar Bear Garden
and someone new but I'll have to post her link later.

I made crockpot stuffing for our dinner Thursday.  I just used my regular recipe (no eggs) and put it in the crockpot on low.  It was moist  and crispy around the edges just like I like it.  I won't cook it for so long next time because it was a bit crusty on the bottom.  I think 2 hrs. would be perfect.  I usually stuff the turkey but we were invited to our Son and DILs and were assigned to bring stuffing.  It was a wonderful alternative.

I guess that's all.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

It seems like I am stitching every day but I don't have much to show for it.  If I don't get busy it will be time for the next set of Cheddarback blocks and I haven't finished this months blocks yet.

Block is unpressed

This is my second attempt at this block.  The first one turned out ghastly.  I'm not kidding.  I had to just throw it in the trash.  It is an interesting block to construct.  The border is in 12 pieces.  The pink is really too bright but it's finished and it doesn't stand out too badly with the rest.
I've been working on the sweet little quilt below.  I was hoping to get it done by the end of November.  I could if I worked on it more this week but with Thanksgiving festivities . . . I don't think I'm going to push it.  I made this little quilt in 2008.  It is past time to have it done and gifted.

Just simple SID with an angle through the square making an asterisk between blocks

I love hand quilting.  I am using white Aurifil #12 with little "Big Stitching".  I wish I could do it all day.  But, there just isn't time to spend it all leaning over the quilt frames.

We got our carpet cleaned this week, a regular turning the house upside down event.  Thanksgiving will be at my son and DIL's house so the only cooking I will be doing is making some stuffing.  I am going to miss the leftovers - the best part.

Here is a sneak peek of my next Alice Jane Blue block.  We don't officially post till the 30th.

Some of the ladies working on this quilt (Celebrating Mary Brown) are marathon appliquers (is that a word?) and they get so much done.  It's not a competition, it is not a competition, it is not a competition.

We were expecting about an inch of snow yesterday and we ended up with over 4 inches  (the storm's name was Dorothy - don't you love it).  Here is a picture where the warmth of the sun on the newly fallen leaf has warmed it up and made it sink into the snow.

                                                                  Kinda cool isn't it?

Well, that's all for now.  Hopefully I'll have more this weekend.

And, as a side note, have you had one of Culver's Pub Burgers?  Oh my goodnes!!!!!  Absolutely yummy!  And no longer available~

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Cooking and Quilting

 This is the piece of apple pie (from the last post) that my husband cut for himself.  There really is a piece of pie under all that ice cream!

I finished my Zip a dee doo dah quilt finally.  The "big stitch" is a little bigger than I would like.  I need to work on that.

I just used random lengths of scraps for the binding and as it turns out all four corners got chicks on them.  It has been mailed to it's destination and I'm moving on.

I put this little quilt on the frames from the fabric line called "Sweet".  I made this years ago and there is always another quilt in the queue that pushes this one aside.

It shouldn't take me very long to quilt as it only has 12 squares.  I'm using Aurafil #12 white and taking little "Big Stitches" this time. I doing a small fan pattern in the borders and just SID in the blocks.  I'm not sure who is going to get this quilt when it is done but I have 2 people in mind.

I finished appliqueing the 20 blocks for my low volume quilt.  I was going to call it "Absence of Heat" but I've changed the name to "Mellow".

I cut all the circles  from the back of the applique and it gives me a whole stack of circles for another project - bonus!

I put all the blocks on my design floor and I think it needs some sashing.  What do you think?

Please click on the picture to enlarge and get a better feel for the fabrics.

It sure is a different mind set with such a subdued color scheme.  I'm used to lots of color and especially lots of contrast.

I've been burning my Apple Pumpkin candle almost every day and it got me in the mood for  Apple Butter Pumpkin pie, one of my favorites.

The filling was quite runny so I cooked it a little extra as you can tell by the picture.  But, the texture of the pie turned out perfect and it is yummy.


1 cup canned or mashed cooked pumpkin
1 cupt apple butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 slightly beaten eggs
1 6 oz can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
1/3 cup milk  I just put in 1 cup of evaporated milk
1  9 in. unbaked pastry shell

Thoroughly combine pumpkin, apple butter, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.  Blend in eggs, evaporated milk, and milk.  Turn into unbaked pastry shell.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 45 - 50 minutes or till knife inserted just off-center comes out clean.  Cool

From Better Homes & Gardens magazine November 1972

I've been playing Christmas music all week.  I love this pre-holiday time of year.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Celebrating Mary Brown update #2

I'm calling this quilt Alice Jane Blue after a name I found while doing genealogy.  I think she is the mother of the spouse of one of my ancestors.  I'd have to go look it up.  But, I loved the name and thought it was appropriate for this quilt made with Alice in Wonderland hints.

So, here are my 3rd and 4th block  The first block looks much like a block from last month except for the dangling leaf on the lower right where Alice is falling down the rabbit hole.

This is supposedly the pineapple block.  But I made it the 'down the rabbit hole' block although it looks more like a Faberge egg - ha!

And here are all four of the blocks.  Alice Jane Blue is coming together. . .

Hope you'll go visit the others who are participating in the SAL to see the way different people are interpreting this pattern.

A big welcome to Rebecca of Quilting in a Polar Bear Garden who is new to the group.
Anyone can join, just contact Karen below to be included in the monthly updates.
Karen at Log Cabin Quilter
Jennie at Over the Hill and Running
Julie K at Julie K quilts
Cathy B at Big Lake Quilter
Nanette at Do it Right Quilter  and
Jan (who has no blog)

It was time to make an apple pie, so I got some large Granny Smith apples,  used brown sugar instead of white, and put them in a 50% whole wheat crust.  It was absolutely  delicious.

I'm working on the binding of the quilt that was in the hoop on the right.  I just cut strips from the leftover scraps and made them into the binding.  Hopefully I'll have a picture before this posts.

Not a great picture but a picture nonetheless.

Enjoy you day,

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A little at a time

This month has been beautiful.  My biggest maple didn't have the show it normally does but there are enough trees and shrubs in the valley that are dazzling and more than make up for it.

I have been slow to get things done quilt-wise this month.  I finally finished my cheddarback blocks this morning.

Here is the lily block that is appliqued instead of pieced like the original maker of the quilt made it.
I love the little piece of fabric I used for the stems.  It is so cute and it is all gone.

The lily block looks a little washed out.  The background fabric just blends in with the sashing.  The original maker put it on a light blue floral background but I didn't have anything like that to use.  Instead I put a strip of the pink sprigged fabric (that I'm using around the outside blocks) inbetween these two blocks as an accent since it is right smack dab in the middle of the quilt.

This is the 2nd block this month.  I originally put blue in the center but it drew too much attention to itself so I had to pick it out and re-adjust.    This block goes much better with the other blocks that you can see all together below.

Gay has begun a new QAL called the Ella Maria Deacon quilt.   It is mostly applique.  I don't know how Gay does it because she has to redraft all the patterns for the Cheddarback quilt and then make examples.  She is also drafting the patterns for Ella Maria Deacon  AND she runs a business as well as living her life.  Pretty amazing.

I'm on the last row on the quilt on the frames (see sidebar).  I will be so delighted to move on to something else.  I am so tired of these colors. 

Happy Fall Y'all.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Celebrating Mary Brown update #1

It is our first update for the Celebrating Mary Brown QAL.   I am using my Alice In Wonderland fabrics and so there will be small hints in each block from the story.

The hint above is the cup and saucer in the middle of the flower.

I used Broiderie Perse to sew on the little butterfly.  I have never sewn anything so tiny.

The hint in the above block is easy to pick out.

Here are the two blocks together.  We were going to start in the upper left hand corner of the quilt and just do a block a month across the rows.  Well, the first block was a fairly simple one and the block to the right and below it were exactly the same.  Then it was decided we needed to make the block next to these three so we would have a square.  So, suddenly we needed to make two blocks a month for two months to complete this unit.

Can I keep up?  I am really slow at applique~

Be sure to click on the names below to see their 1st month's progress on this lovely quilt.

Karen at Log Cabin Quilter
Jennie at Over the Hill and Running
Julie K at Julie K quilts
Cathy B at Big Lake Quilter
Nanette at Do it Right Quilter
and Jan DeGan no blog but Nanette will post her progress

It is fall harvest time at my house.  My husband asked what day I wanted to do corn.  I said Friday would work.  So, yesterday he picked 80 ears of corn.  GASP!  We don't have that big of a garden so this was unexpected.

I gave 8 to one of my kids and we had 2 for dinner so that left only 70 ears.

I set the ear on it's end on top of that plastic bowl to cut it off.  The cut kernels fall into the cake pan making easy clean up.    It went pretty fast.

I put 1 lb. in each bag, laid it flat, and then folded it in half to freeze.  Then I can thaw 1/2 a package at a time because there is only two of us or the whole package if I'm feeding more.

Your are looking at 23 meals.  Tasty.

  "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
                                                            -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Stitchin' along

This is the next installment on my Cheddarback Quilt.  I really enjoyed making the tree.  I have never made one before.  I used a deep green paisley fabric made by Pam Buda.

I decided to put in all four of my initials for the letter blocks.  The "R" and "M" are my first and middle name.  I'll put in my maiden name and last name in the letter blocks on the bottom of this row.

Here is a picture of the new section and the one next to it.  I'm really liking this quilt.

I revised the border on my AHIQ floral quilt.  It just looked too plain (below) so I added more red.  I could imagine quite a few different ways to do the border but each one was too fancy.  These primitive flowers just needed something country.  I like how it turned out.

I've finished five of my low volume blocks.  It is an interesting experiment working on something so low key.  The pattern for these blocks is called Grandma's Pie Plate.  It is so soothing to just sit down and applique these gentle curves.

Autumn has shown up at our house.  The Locust trees are always the first ones to turn yellow in the fall and drop their leaves.  (They are also the last ones in the spring to leaf out).

This year they had something more stylish in mind. 

That branch isn't dead, it's just retiring early.

Hope you have something fun to sew on this afternoon.

Wheel Quilt completed

I completed my Wheels quilt.  It's hard to see because it is hanging in my hall and the lighting is very poor.  But, it looks terrific. ...