Friday, February 27, 2009

quilt show....

Well, it was good, but not great. Some of the bigger booths were gone this year. The more recognizable ones anyway. My one big negative was that I was so careful to make sure to write down Mary's cell number, so we could meet. Then I promptly left it right on the kitchen counter! Mary, I'm so sorry I missed meeting you! I had the sticky stuck to my money envelope and then took all the money packets out, divided them up between hubby's front pockets like I always do and left the envelope right there. The second miss was taking almost no pictures! I didn't care for the Best in Show quilt. Not my cup of tea, sorry.... but I did get a few.
Loved this one...Karen Kay Buckley won best Traditional.below....sorry for the ghastly picture, a lady moved right as I was shooting and blurred the whole thing.

This was my favorite one and it won Best in Machine Quilting, for some category...the border is about 8" to 10" and INTRICATELY quilted.

Look at the detail in this border...we're talking quarter inch peacock feather designs!!

Besides which it's just a pretty quilt. The Best in Show that I didn't care for was solid yellow, whole cloth, with machine quilting and cut outs with lattice, and quite frankly...sorry to say, looked like a bedspread from JC Penny. Sorry, if it was your quilt, you did an amazing amount of work, but it wasn't my taste, not Best in Show. Once they post the pictures, or if Mary got pictures you can see more.

quilt show loot...

Now the loot... too many pictures make it tough to do in one post. As I said before I was kinda disappointed this year....and much more selective in what I bought. A big plus was seeing not one but at least 5 booths with REAL wool! Lots of it, but mostly bright odd colors. I bought none of it, LOL! Well 5 small pieces from my favorite booth. I was able to find a big 1 1/2 yard piece of solid black that I needed for backgrounds for a couple projects...yippee!

Here's my whole haul except for a few pieces I forgot that had already been put away. I picked up tons of things I thought were fabulous and then put them down and walked away. I found 4 patterns, a sewing case kit...
I found one guy with loads of the primitive fabrics and homespuns. Some cheddars....Then I got a few FQ's that I wanted like the President pictures. I want to put an Abe Lincoln pic in a CW block. I always pick up background pieces, and 2 yds of that cool cheddar with red flowers. The green FQ bundle in the back is from Pinwheels...6 lovely spring greens.
***By request...that neat cheddar is called Washtub's Santa Claus Lane by Karen Snyder for Andover Fabrics Patt#3305** II guess those could be poinsettias but also pass as just red flowers!!

I had already put up the hoops and wool when I took the first picture. I wanted an 8" Q-snap for embroidery, and bright red and christmas green wool for the letters on the Christmas List quilt blocks. Then I got a smaller 7" hoop and legs that fit the BEST hoop I found last year. This lets me use it separately and with the next smaller hoop. It totally saves my arms !

Now for the BEST find this year. These people were new this year. Cool zippers and purse parts!!The online store at.... has the purse parts, but sadly no zippers. I might email about those. SO here's what I bought... 3 sets of handles, one of those snapping openers(you push and it snaps open and then snaps closed) plus zippers. No ordinary zippers, but the ones I have been trying to find ALL OVER! The ones with cool bronze dangly hangers. I didn't know what sizes I needed so I just bought a selection of ones I liked for purses and mostly sewing cases! Dutch Girl. fish, cherries. Kitty cats....

a heart, sailor girl, more kitties and a tiny purse! I bought a few things, then went back and bought more!The ladies at Pinwheels said they might also start carring the small round bronze beed zippers they found in Japan that came in my sewing bag kit. So that's my stuff. I spent about 2/3rd of what I normally do, but I got exactly what I wanted and everything I had on my list.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

geese in the forest...

today I got working on my new bom Christmas quilt by Anina called Geese in the Forest. I finally got the time to do February blocks. Click here for more information.

Too bad March is right around the corner and there will be more to do soon.

GITF six GITF five
GITF four GITF two
GITF three GITF one

Monday, February 23, 2009


I know I've been missing lately here on the blog, but I've been working on getting the huge SLOL quilt all pinned...and re-pinned. How I hate when that happens, you turn over your quilt and realize you didn't straighten and pull the backing quite tight enough. SO that corner needed to be re-pinned. Now save the stories about the merits of the basting spray, I just really don't care for it on big quilts...well I don't care for it that much at all on any size quilt . To each his own. I don't mind pinning, it just takes time. and I pinned the HECK out of this sucker. But it's all done and ready to start tomorrow.

Before switching machines, I needed to get some swap blocks done before the gals drummed me out of the group! So I sewed this morning and got them finished and put the background together for the next 2 ABC sampler blocks so I can applique them this week. When I was trimming the excess from around the pieces I realized I could share a tip for using the excess scraps of fabric!!

This totally comes from Lucy, who shared all the beautiful quilts she makes out of the smallest little one inch squares. She inspired me to grab a tin and start cutting from even the smallest pieces left from cutting. It's a big tin, but I'm working to fill it up. Above I cut the small dress for the M block and had the pink piece left over. Normally I would have tossed it but nope! Keeping it on the straight of grain I got 3 squares from that piece to add to my tin.

I also got great scrap tips from reading Crazy Mom Quilts scrap saving system and she posted some of the coolest tutorials! I bought fabric sunday for making a few of her fabric storage cubes. I keep loads of scraps for different projects quilts, Lucy's tulip quilt, a spiderweb scrap quilt, and others. Until now I've used small paper bags, but these fabric cubes are much cuter. Go check out some of these links!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's DONE!!!!

Oh I have so many notes to post over at the official how to page, but the top is officially

I sewed on the final border and seam yesterday afternoon after un-sewing it once! Anyone who works with homespuns knows they stretch. I went merrily along sewing and get to the last 5 inches and I realize I have just under 2 inches hanging past the end??? Un-SEW...and pin the edges and it all sewed fine the second time. Now you know from before that I had no more space on the design wall so I'll just show the bottom border to you.

Six large stars, one small star and three houses make up the lower border. My quilt is finishing at 58 1/2" x 81". Definitely NOT the same measurements as Cheri's pattern called for at 63 x 75". But I got curious and started adding up the dimensions of Cheri's quilts by doing block by block addition and hers doesn't add up at that either! Anyone surprised?? Gotta admit I still love her! By my calculations it would measure 57.5 x 79". I came out just about on the nose because I had to add the 2" spacer bar on one side towards the bottom...without it mine would have been 58.5 x 79!! Just one inch wider. I'm very pleased.

Mine is super long and I almost added either a row of economy blocks to the left side or another row of flying geese. But in the end I'll leave it alone. I'm getting the backing sewn least favorite job of all and then I'm going straight to the pinning and quilting.

Someone asked how I plan to quilt it. At first I thought all over meander, my easiest speciality, but I did that on the Christmas quilt and didn't like how it looked over the wool, so I am going to do this one with custom quilting. First I'll do as much ditch quilting as I can , outlining the blocks, then move into the pieces where needed and cover the appliques with a bit of stiitching here and there to keep them down. I'll make it up as I go along!

Monday, February 16, 2009

fat girls R us club...

who the heck knew it was already monday again? I got chocolate for Heart day and I loved...yes loved... eating every single piece. Ferraro Roche are my favorite chocolate candies and the plastic boxes are great for storing goodies like thread inside. 27 pieces in 3 days...geez like a starving animal or something. Now they are gone and I can relax again. I swear they called to me all day long!

Didn't even get on the scale this morning since I totally forgot but I'd bet no loss and maybe a gain of a pound or two. I wasn't really trying this week, just eating when I was hungry. I'm not exactly trying very hard, but maybe soon I can get back in the game and work at it.
Hope you all did better than me!

Friday, February 13, 2009

there was clapping....

I said a silent prayer and held my breath as I laid out the top section over the lower section to see how badly they were going to match/line up. It was sheer luck when they spread out and the edge of the quilt matched PERFECTLY!!!

There was mass clapping!! It's a very big quilt! The one left side section isn't goofed, it's done on purpose. Cheri's quilt had the flying geese switched with the spacer strip as a quirk and I liked it so I left it. I won't do the center seam until after I get the 6" border done for the bottom. SO far...I'm liking it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

another block done..

Pictures first...I say! Here's the latest block in the ABC Sampler Quilt done...K and L.
I really could see loads of these as little mini quilts on the wall! I'm still a few months behind, but I'm catching up fast. You might notice that I added the big letter K to kite. I never liked that the top had so many large first letters but the bottom didn't, so I'm adding them in here and there as they look right. I tried the L, but didn't care for it so that was stayed as is. Speaking of changes..

I got an email from Buggy Barn today cool things inside including their FINISHED version of the Sweet Land of Liberty quilt! Look closely and you'll see they had to "adjust" a few parts too! Please click over and take a look! They didn't have enough space on the left border for flying geese and adjusted in several places. On the lower left, the flying geese were left off, and the upper left just has smaller bricks along the edge. still looks fabulous!! Remember...adjust the blocks and make the quilt work for YOU!

Yesterday I worked on my SLOL and ALMOST have the top done!! I'm shooting for today, but it might be tomorrow before I get the bottom row of stars and houses done. Fingers crossed!

Now I saw something yesterday that was so neat. No more using a wheelbarrow to move cement!! They now come with motors and giant tough wheels and you ride them!! Check out the builders across from my condo. The maintenance guy needs a big shed and we need our tennis courts open again so they are putting up a big shed. Fine by me since the grass has refused to grow there anyway and we get new sod and landscaping around the building.

I watched them loading concrete for the foundation and was shocked to see a ride along wheelbarrow! What the heck will they think of next!! Seems like a good idea to me!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Loser Monday...

Oops almost completely forgot~!! I lost ZERO this week but I'm not worried.
It's been a rough week. Here's what I ate today. Found something new at Trader Joe's...pork Carnitas.

2 minutes in the microwave and it's hot. I warmed the LOW carb wheat tortillas on the flat grill on the stove and added enchilada sauce, sour cream, cheese, tomato and greens. They were good but I really only needed two.

more bom's

I loved reading all the ideas and thoughts behind bom's. It's good to know there really is a good fit for everyone out there! I understand the price thing too. I always try to stick with the less expensive ones...usually below the $200 mark and if it's something I really want to do I just don't add it up! LOL! Seriously though, if I had to buy a FAT 1/8th or FQ or each fabric it would cost me hundreds more to get the variety, so it's not so bad. It's the only vice I have and it makes me happy...or so Hubby tells me every time I worry about the price of quilting!

I got a few more of the blocks done so I thought I'd share. These blocks aren't a formal "block of the month", but I made them into one myself when I decided to do one or two blocks each month so that towards the end of summer I'll have a completed Christmas top!!These are the first two blocks of the Christmas List quilt finished, well...almost finished. The house gets lovely green wording that says..."Take it Home" at the top but I was waiting for my newly ordered wool felt and wool to arrive so I could get them done and sewn on. Who knew I had no suitable Christmas green to use! It arrived today so I'll be sewing tonight!
**The pattern for the Christmas List quilt can be found here at Bearpaws and Hollyhocks quilt shop. I found out about it from Sharon, who led us to Kim. Here's Kim's version. Here's Nancy NO blogs version****

Now to move on to another monthly project! The ABC Quilt Sampler! I got the top section sewn together and all the pieces ready for sewing yesterday. Please open the picture for a better look!! The lower flowers are just pinned on since they fall too close or below the sewing line to sew down right now. I hate having to applique on a larger piece but it can't be helped. they just look better going over the line! I also have the 5 flying geese done that go below the house, but again...they go past the sewing line, so they'll wait. I also have 2009 to trace out for sewing on the left side tonight!

I'll give a more detailed measured explanation of how I did the top section on the ABC Quilt Sampler page soon. Now, I'm off to get the K for KITE block all ready to sew later on! I'm still a few months behind but working to catch up as fast as I can!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Last week, I got some of the neatest gifts in the mail from a few of my lovely blogging friends so I thought I'd share and tell you what's been up here in my neighborhood. Hubby came home last Wednesday and brought me all sorts of cool packages to my sewing room. I thought it was bom day, but NO!! They were surprises!! First I opened my 2nd place winner package from Kim at Kim's Big Quilting Adventure. I love this pattern and that Johnny Depp is nothing to sneeze at mind you! Thanks Kim!!

Then I looked at the second package, saw the label and was wondering what Mary was sending me? Look what she made me as a late birthday present!! Mary thanks you so much again! It's the perfect size for stuffing some applique into and taking along with me on an errand. I love the fabric and I love that you thought about me! You are so sweet!

I spent the rest of the week preparing things for the big 3 day sew-a-thon I was planning. HA! This weekend went by super fast and I really got none of the sewing done I had planned. 3 whole days and I barely got the machine working. Too many household things to get done around here.
Friday, hubby took off to do a conference call presentation for something he's been working on for months,so I had to keep completely quiet while he did that...and keep the yowlers from getting in the computer room and screeching for attention. Once it was over...about 2 hours...I wanted to hear all about it so that blew that days machine sewing. I did get some hand work finished that I'll show tomorrow.

Saturday was grocery day. We usually hit Walmart for the staples, come back home and unload, then grab the Trader Joe's bags and head out again for all the good stuff. After that was all finished we got down to cleaning!! We had a date with the super sucker and all the cat trees in the house, as well as Noodles favorite spot to sleep under the bed. I think we emptied the Dyson 5 times! But the house is relatively clean for the moment. Then we hit the bathrooms, floors and dust mop! Break time!! How happy was I when the mailman rang the buzzer!! Present for me! I see this address label from Miss RED and I jumped for joy! Surprise again! I opened my box to find this wonderful stiff paper heart box.

I can think of load of things to keep in there, let alone what's inside! Sharon sent me a lovely Valentines Day present! You know how much I love decisions made for me, don't you!! She sent me one of her quilt kits!PLUS a lovely pattern that uses yummy wool that is just too fabulous. You can be sure I'll make this soon too! Crows and sunflowers!! Thanks again my lovely! You are just too kind to me!So finally today I had sewing plans and I was working up a storm when hubby decided today was the day to fix the dripping faucet in the bathroom. It's horrid to replace those little rubber rings and usually we got through 2 packs before we get it right. No luck was a huge mess so I threw on some decent clothes and I hit Lowes. 20 minutes later I was out the door with a NEW faucet. Enough with the old crappy one. Poor hubs laid contorted on his back and I was up top... haha...wash those dirty minds!! 30 minutes and several screaming muscles later the new faucet was in and all replaced... PERFECT! I even got my top section done on the ABC quilt. Some easy applique sewing to do and it's ready for the next few blocks! Till tomorrow!

Friday, February 6, 2009

lets talk about bom's....

ie...Blocks of the Month, in case anyone doesn't know what bom's stands for in the quilting world. I was thinking about them the other day. I mentioned the two newest ones I'd purchased just the other day and Jeanette commented that she thought I was the Queen of BOM's. I'll take the title! I'm thrilled to be the Queen of anything really...but it made me wonder why I like them so much. I am really loaded down with them for the time being. Normally don't do this many at the same time either, but they all just looked too yummy to pass up. I sat wondering just why I like them so much. I think it has to do with a few things really.

Brownstone...Month One...from Homestead Hearth
...the blocks will be on point...

One, locally we have a very limited selection of fabrics to choose from.... maybe limited isn't the right word. We have a very narrow style of fabric locally. We can get CW's but hardly ever the whole line, tons of batiks, and serious brights. Just recently we've started seeing Kaffe and more modern stuff. Never any homespuns, Brannock and Patek, Thimbleberries, Minnick and Simpson. No primitive, no wool, nothing near those lovelies! Of course I could travel across the water and get some of my absolute favorites...but it's an hour across the tunnel and I don't normally drive that far alone so it's a rare treat.

Four Seasons Stitchery Quilt (last year)....Country Loft
Summer finished and fall bird completed, just a bit behind....I'm almost done!

Two, unless I became a millionaire!... It's simply too much to buy all those lines. Even FQ's! But in the packages I get all sorts of pieces I've never seen. Most places give you generous amounts so I always have scraps left over and if I don't care for something, I switch it out easily.

Three, the fabric decision are made for me! Changing out takes only a few minutes but the main selections are done. I took one hour today looking for a background and house fabric for ONE BLOCK! I can never make up my mind!

Libby mentioned that she often lost interest by the end and lots of people do. But to me every month, I get a fabulous surprise in the mail and I get so excited to open the package and go through each piece. I read the instructions, match the fabrics and I get excited all over again! I want to rip it open and do it right on the spot! That has never deflated my interest.

If I have any flaws in the progress I'd have to admit that towards the end when all the packages stop...I have trouble keeping the interest and progress going for the big finish. Poor Tumbler quilt is still waiting to be assembled. That's my only bom flaw. But I can live with that one. So I'll keep adding to the list but only as I get another finished. Truly...I have reached my limit this time, including the ones I have comprised myself out of projects waiting to be done.

Now I think I'll open a page to list them all in a separately so I can keep good track of them as they get completed month by month, those which are waiting and those accomplished.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New geese...

Check this out...a new FREE bom! Over on the sidebar is Anina's Geese in the Forest bom. A lovely crisp quilt with wonderful Christmas colors. NO, I'm not doing it now, but maybe before the end of the year. Check out her blog for the details, or click on the button to find out about project.

Be sure to read the post, as this won't be available for FREE forever. Once the month is over, a new block comes out and you will be able to purchase the previous pattern for a small fee.

Hubby will love this one...he LOVES graphic quilts!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Loser Monday...week 4

Well after a month on the Loser diet of my choice I'm sorry I didn't lose the 10 to 15 pounds I was hoping for, but then I didn't exactly do a huge amount of effort either. I cut back and stayed away from some of the really bad stuff, but I could have done more. However I am VERY HAPPY to report that I LOST 0 pounds this week! Seriously, I did some bad eating this week. I needed a chick-fila one day and also I ate ...yes I did...ATE a small waffle fry. OH yes I did!... and it was good. I also ate about 5 spoonfuls of peanut butter cup ice cream yesterday. SO the fact that I lost nothing looks pretty good right now. I'll get back on track this week.

Before I share a nice salad recipe, I want to thank everyone for letting me know they were still either IN or Out of the Diet Losers list. Most of you are still plugging away and that's great. If you can't do it at the moment it's still great.

SO this recipe isn't all that light, but it's easy to make and really easy to keep in the fridge and grab a quick bowl when you don't want to cook and need something easy so you don't reach for the super fattening fast food. We eat bowls of this for dinner with nothing else.

Tomato Spinach link for picture.
1 pkge (8oz) spiral pasta
1 pkge (10oz) frozen creamed spinach
1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes, UN-drained
3TBspns grated Romano cheese, divided
3 TBspns grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, prepare spinach according to package directions. Drain pasta; place in a bowl. Add the spinach, tomatoes, 2 Tbspns of Romano and 2 Tbspns of Parmesan cheese and salt. Toss. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. tips and directions!! I aways cook the whole box of spirals and I put in 2 cans of tomatoes...make SURE to drain them. I open the creamed spinach package and cut a slit on the back and stick it in the microwave to defrost and heat it up. I do this slowly, just until it's warm enough to scoop out the creamed spinach. I don't want it super warm since I'm gonna cool the whole thing anyway. I also don't add the whole thing, I add spoons at a time until I like the consistency of the pasta. THIS is your mayo substitute so it needs to be CREAMED spinach.
I also buy the Parmesan/Romano blend of cheese and I put the whole thing in at the beginning. I stick it in a huge tupperware container in the fridge and stir it ever hour or so to cool it down. THIS IS A DRY SORT OF PASTA. Not gloopy like mayo based ones, but more towards dry. I know it has spinach but seriously you really can't tell and the creamed part of it gets incorporated into the pasta and it's not slippery or wet at all, especially with all that cheese! I hope you try it out!