Monday, October 18, 2021

It appears I can be talked into anything


This could be considered a squirrel project but since it's my granddaughter's and not mine - I'm not counting it as such.  I was planning on beginning the machine applique for my "Love Letters" quilt top when I suggested to my granddaughter that we do a Halloween decoration together.

I bought the small Kitty Corn panel and a few pieces of fabric from the line, thinking we would make a wall hanging.  

Silly me, it tuned out not to be a little afternoon craft project.  

No, she came over with a plan to make a whole quilt.



These are the fabrics from the Kitty Corn line that I bought to go with the panel - the orange check, the green dot, and the mauvey candy corn print.  I picked out some pieces from my stash and she and her mother went shopping for something with a light background and came home with four more fabrics and a backing.




It seemed that this franken-batting was appropriate for a Halloween quilt.

So I trimmed down the panel to a 23" square and then added the black border so it measured 24 1/2".  I cut out 6 1/2" squares from all our fabrics and then we began sewing.





 I finished it up today and here it is layered and ready to pin baste.  the piece of fabric that surprised me is the peach colored one.  It is from my stash and it really adds a sparkle to the quilt.

My granddaughter wanted me to hand quilt it and with everything else that is going on I told her that I couldn't complete it by Halloween so she has settle for "Blind Tying".  Not my first choice but I haven't been in control of this project from the beginning.😁

But, we're making memories right?
Robin

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Yesterday


This is what I woke up to.  Isn't it gorgeous.  The whole eastern sky was engorged with colors like this.


We had a hard freeze warning for today so that meant it was time to harvest whatever was left and bring it inside.  My husband and daughter picked the corn that was ripe enough to use.  If  it froze at the end of October like it usually does, we would have had two more weeks for the corn to ripen.  But, snow was coming and during a drought like we've had, I wasn't going to complain about some long needed moisture.



They also picked all the peppers in varying states of ripening.  Actually, all the green peppers you see in the picture are unripened red peppers not bell peppers so the flavor was minimal.  But, I had enough for my goal of making corn relish, one of my favorite things.


The dahlias are in bloom and some of the blossoms got knocked off as they were brought in to winter in the garage.


I got all the peppers washed and chopped as well as the onions.  The funny thing about the purple peppers is that they look beautiful when raw and they have a wonderful crunch but, there is no flavor.  It's kind of disappointing.  We won't be buying that variety again.



My husband and daughter husked the corn.  My husband says "husked" and I say "shucked".  I guess it's just where we were raised.  What do you say?

Then the ears were scalded and dipped in icy water.



Soon, the corn was cut off the ears (my least favorite part).


And everything was mixed together to boil i.e. corn, onions, peppers, spices, vinegar, sugar, pickling salt, and a little water.



Then I put it the hot relish in 7 pts and processed them.  Lids are hard to come by this year and I had saved a few for just this very purpose.  The pints aren't as pretty as last year because I had less red pepper and it's not quite as flavorful as last year because I didn't have any green bell pepper.  But, I'm so grateful to have these 7 pts.  I'm going to really enjoy the relish as the year proceeds.




Thanks for stopping by,

Robin



 

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Gift giving dilemma

 I gave a quilt to my cousins yesterday.  On the way back home she sent me this picture.



You can see the red and white backing showing through and she said, "It looks like a stained glass window."  She seemed pleased.

I thought, " this was supposed to be a bed quilt. . . sigh"

I texted back, "if you safety pin a sheet on the back it will protect the quilt from the sunlight."

"Great idea," she said.

Once you give a quilt away it is no longer yours and you just have to be happy that the recipient wants to use it.  But, if I'd known it was going up to a window I probably wouldn't have hand quilted it. 

Robin 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Next block finished

 


The Pomegranate block from 'When the Wind Blows is all ready to be machine appliqued. 

I loved doing this block.  There are 3 dots that go on each of the solid dark pomegranates on either side that I'll do after the machine work is done.

Karen at Karensquilting.com has just completed her pomegranate block too.  It is so delightful - all done in oranges.  Go here to see.


My husband brought in a bouquet of Dahlias.  Aren't they beautiful?

I got out some decorations for fall today.  It makes me laugh because fall always gets decorated with Jo Morton quilts from Little Women 11.  They just make everything look like Autumn.

Robin



Sunday, September 12, 2021

Kale block all prepped

 for machine embroidery.  I've prepped 7 of the 9 blocks so far.


It took me almost two weeks to get this block done.  It isn't because it is hard to assemble, it just takes so much time for me to make my fabric choices and color decisions.  It turned out kind of busy but it looks great with the other 6 blocks.

I'm looking forward to starting the next block which is the Pomegranate.  

This quilt is turning out to be quite a project.  But it's going to be gorgeous someday.

My new goal is to be more optimistic. After the solemn and sad memorials from 9-11 yesterday I'm ready to look up.   I'm sure there's a lot of good and pleasant things still in the world.  All I have to do is just be consciously looking for them or I'll miss out.

Robin


Saturday, September 4, 2021

Just checkin' in


I finally got started on another block for When The Wind Blows by Blackbird Designs  It is the Holly Block.  I've auditioned numerous fabrics on this block and have had to reject them after they are cut.  It just didn't look right.  I've got 3 more stems to press and then I can start applying everything.  This is block # 7 (although #5, the center, hasn't been made yet).  This block goes in the lower left.



Still working every afternoon on Sweet Land of Liberty.  I've been surprised that I can work on this all afternoon and my wrist doesn't hurt.  Now, if I put this in the frames and start quilting on it, I would only last about 90 minutes.  I think there is more small hoop quilting in my future.




 I can't remember if I posted about this or not.  It is from the pattern "Plaidish" by Kitchen Table Quilting.  The free pattern is here.  It was such a fun little quilt to make.  I learned a lot about value in this quilt.  There are pieces that I considered light that were probably medium etc.  

I also found another free pattern that I am anxious to make.  It is at Butterfly Threads Quilting/Diane Knott.  And you can find that pattern here.  I'm sure most of you have seen these patterns already but they are new to me and I really like them.

We had a very cool night last night.  September usually teases me into thinking summer is gone and then just when I am convinced, it gets hot again.  So we'll see how this plays out this year.

Robin

Friday, August 27, 2021

Sometimes it just doesn't work out


Good Morning!  The sun has moved south along the ridgeline so the sunrise is not blocked by the trees.  The color in this picture is accurate.  It has been enhanced by all the smoke in the valley from the terrible fires that still rage in northern California and Oregon.



This is what the color catchers looked like the first time I washed the quilt below.  I also added blue Dawn dishwashing detergent.


Here is the quilt.  I know it's no beauty but it was fun to make and brings back a lot of memories.

I noticed that the fabric that I used in the center of the quilt was a bleeder after I washed another quilt that I used it in so I was trying to be extra careful.  I used that fabric in numerous blocks in this quilt.  Everything with a solid white background turned out pristine.  But the block below has issues.



This is the single block that absorbed any of the red.  And the red in this block did not bleed.  It absorbed it from the colored water.  This is the only block I used the "Little Red Hen" fabric.  You can see it in the quilt above 3rd row from the bottom, 2nd from the right.

I washed it again using fresh color catchers, more blue Dawn, and OxyClean.  The block is less pink now but there still has a rosy cast.  The one thing that this did do was fade my label - sigh.  


I was making this for a Christmas gift.  But now it will stay at my house.  Maybe it's just as well because this is the 3rd quilt in the "Poultry Trio" (as you can see on the label) and the other two have been given away.



Our cousin Carolyn and my sister Pam.

It all began in 2002 at the Wasatch Front Shophop.  My sister, above in purple, and I went on the two day jaunt from Brigham City to Tooele, to Orem.  We had a wonderful time and went to every shop.  We were exhausted when we got home.  We also bought bags of Chicken fabric.



I made the 1st of the Poultry Trio and called it "The Silly Chick Quilt".  It has hen and chicks blocks and the cornerstones are from Easter 1988 when my cute little 6 year old decorated the house with chicks she had drawn on paper and taped to the walls.  I traced them on to white Kona and embroidered them in red, green, and gold.  It's not a beauty (none of these chicken quilts are striking or clever) but I enjoyed making it.  I learned a great lesson on this quilt.  There are chicken shapes quilted all over the border and you can't tell unless you get really close.  So, now I only do fancy quilting when it shows up from a distance like the cable on the stop border.  I've also learned to make the stop border out of something that doesn't blend in with the sashing or cornerstones.



Here is a close up the the six year old's drawing of a chick.  I also try and use a certain fabric in each of my quilts and you an see the red triangle here.



The 2nd quilt in the Poultry Trio was this appliqued wall hanging.  The pattern is by Meme's Quilts and is called Spring Chickens.  The same daughter that drew the chicks dubbed this one "Jousting Chickens' so that is what is on the label.  Again, my color placement is not dazzling but I really like it and you learn as you go, right?  And I learned a lot about needleturn applique.


So now, we come back to the 3rd quilt in the Poultry Trio.  It was pieced in 2012 after my sister gave me all her chicken fabric because she was a self proclaimed fabric collector and never finished a quilt.





It will be used as a cuddle quilt, a picnic quilt, a camp quilt.  Who knows, maybe it will turn out to be my favorite quilt of all because of all that is invested in it.   It's named after my favorite chicken restaurant.    Hmmmmm, maybe I need to go there to celebrate the finish.

Robin


This is the backing that also didn't turn pink.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Blessings


Ta Da!   I finished the swags and berries which didn't quite match up in the corners due to miscalculations on my part 😜.  So I decided to do a red ribbon (which I think looks really cute).  And now an unintentional Christmas vibe has appeared.  I've named the quilt Blessings after the line of fabric that is the black border fabric by Jan Patek.  The pattern is inspired by a little Mother's Day wall hanging by Cheri Payne.  I enlarged the flowers and then just made it up from there.

It measures 49 1/2" X 61".




I gathered some Christmas decorations that were easy to get to and assembled a quick vignette. 

 It's going to be fun to decorate with this.  I'd prefer to have it quilted but even if it isn't quilted by Christmas I can tuck in the sides and find a fun place to use it.


  


I finished to Chicken quilt that was on the frames, more about that in another post, and have started hand quilting the Sweet Land of Liberty quilt.  I pin basted it abundantly and I am just quilting it in my lap.  It's very soothing and I am in no hurry.



My youngest daughter has collected all her tropical fabric and came over yesterday to lay out a small quilt.    The beige alternate pieces look like sand if you enlarge the photo.  She has been saving these for a long time.  School started yesterday and after last year of online school and monitoring four children, ages 14 down to 8,  she is home with precious uninterrupted time for a while during the day.



 I look forward to her coming over every week and we can sew together.

We are in the middle of a delightful rainstorm.  It is supposed to last all day and into tomorrow.  
Ahhhh!  It just feels so good.  We got almost 1/2" in 20 minutes yesterday as an introductory downpour for the now present storm.




I tried to take a video but alas, I guess I'm not savvy enough.

I think it might be a good day to put a puzzle together,  What do you think?
Robin


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The things we do. . .


Yes, I've been thinking about the design team Alma Allen and Barb Adams of Blackbird Designs a lot lately (probably too much).  It just saddens me as people I've come to know, if only on the internet, have passed away.  People like Sue Garmen and Cherie Payne, and Linda Brannock and now Barb Adams.

I was reading Barb Vedder's blog  where she shared the different quilts she has made to commemorate past Olympics and the idea came to mind that perhaps I could do something to pay tribute to Barb Adams' passing.

I got out various Blackbird Designs fabrics that I still have and thumbed through pages and pages of patterns.




And then it came to me.  I had already started a BD project.  It is one of the UFOs that needs to be finished.  It is in the book 'When the Cold Wind Blows' 


Alma's version is called "Love Letters" (right) and Barb's version is called "Winter Garden" (left)



I started it in May of 2015 and for whatever reason it got put away and abandoned.

I got five of the blocks prepped for needle turn applique and then I changed my mind.  I decided I need to machine applique it or it would never get done.  




So I have hand appliqued one oak leaf and stems on various blocks and then I prepped two of them with heat n' bond light but I never ironed them on to their backs.




And, look who designed this pattern.  It was meant to be.



I'm anxious to get going on it but I have another UFO I've been working on and I want to get it done first.  

I made this little quilt for the floral challenge with the improv quilters in 2019.  I thought I was done with the toile/9-patch border but decided it needed a repeat of the inner floral.  And then it told me it was finished.



Well. . . it's been calling to me for a bout a year now, saying it's changed it's mind.

 

So, I've been working on a swag border.  I've only got eight more to applique and then I'll put red dots between.  It will be really cute when it's done.  And then I think I better hurry and quilt it before it changes it's mind again

Hope you have a chance to sew today,
Robin

Friday, July 23, 2021

A happy discovery

 I was so sorry to hear that Barb Adams of Blackbird Designs had passed away.  She died just before her 70th birthday.  

I have always looked forward to Blackbird Designs new fabric lines and books.  But,  they have mostly concentrated on their cross stitch patterns the last few years so I figured maybe they weren't making any more lines.

BUT WAIT!


I discovered this new line by Blackbird Designs but it doesn't come out till next February.  

I am still delighted!

I hope there is a book of patterns to go along with it.

It makes me feel a little less sad about Barb's passing. 

 I needed something to look forward to.

Robin

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Gotta whale of a tale


Well (Whale?) it's finished.  It's one of those quilt tops that I like well enough that it doesn't matter whether anyone else likes it on not.  It was a delight to make.  It's such a different color scheme from what I usually choose but it makes me happy.  It measure 80" X 91" and is much bigger than I thought it would become.




I didn't have any one to hold it up for me so all my photos are taken from my lawn.  This is the top half.




And this is the bottom half of the quilt top from one angle showing off the spiral.  It would have been a lot easier if I had decided what to applique before I attached the borders but I still couldn't sew the whales on until the very end.  




And this is the bottom half of the quilt top showing how long the whale is.  I've considered sewing an eye on the whale but it's not supposed to be exact - it's just a representation.




This is the best picture I could get of the whole quilt top.  I find it a little amusing that I made a quilt top about the ocean when we are so deep into a drought.




 I put the leftover fabric into a big tote and I definitely have enough to make another large quilt top. 
 So. . . .
               no more purchasing Janet Clare fabric for a while.




I was sitting in my bedroom when I heard this commotion outside my window.  I knew it was birds but was surprised to find two mail quail fighting it out right beneath my bedroom window.    

These pictures are taken through the screen on the window.  

They figured out their problem and the winner is pictured above.



  

Here are some of the chicks with the male.  They just sat there for quite a while once the spat was resolved.

Hope you're having a great day,
Robin

It appears I can be talked into anything

This could be considered a squirrel project but since it's my granddaughter's and not mine - I'm not counting it as such.  I was...