Monday, April 30, 2012

Off on another tangent or How to create a UFO without really trying.....

Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it with use. -Ruth Gordon

This past week I have been a plate-making machine!  Since getting the dresden pre-cuts that my Mom had made (and which my Sis had given me).......I made a Mother's Day table topper which I showed you on my last post but then I took it a step further......
Not only did I do the topper but then I pieced together 8 more plates for my Sis so she would have a total of 20.  (She had already pieced together 12 of them).......
Well I couldn't leave it at that because I still had so many precuts just sitting there so I started  strip stitching and didn't stop til I had 21 more plates!  (Mom was a "Dresden Cutting Machine that day.....she cut enough pieces to make about 65 plates! )  Here are the first 5 for my quilt:


Awhile back I had bought a State Bird/State Flower Fabric and it had just been sitting in my stash.....
I decided that all the different birds would make the perfect fussy cut center circles for my Dresdens................
here is the circle I cut with the Mockingbird and Bluebonnet....the State Bird and Flower of Texas:




I'm not going to use any sashing on the quilt but instead will just sew the 18 inch blocks together.  Then I will sew another of the State Bird circles in each corner.....20 blocks with 30 more in the corners accounts for all 50 states!  Stay tuned........I'll post more photos as the project continues..........

Everytime I go to my Sis's house to show her a project or take some fabric to share with her she asks if I don't have a tote bag so I don't have to carry everything in my arms...........I usually hem and haw and say I don't mind but last time she asked I said, "well why don't you make me a tote then?" 
Gosh, she took me serious and look at this beautiful thing she handed me on Friday!

 

The Loralie Designs Ladies panels came from the Traveling Stash box I won in January......I shared them with my Sis and then got them back again!
I don't know if you can see it but there is a darling leaf scroll on the top and every few inches is my name!  I am so happy with my tote!  It is just perfect!  (Little sisters have a way of "making big sisters do things" too!)

Well then..........time to go do some sewing!  Oh yeah.....the UFO part is my Little Apples Quilt....still on the back burner.....
TaTa For now..................



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dresden Table Topper Done! Back to Little Apples and Novelty & Solids Layer Cake Swap Success!

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. -Albert Schweitzer


I finished Mom's Dresden table topper.......as I mentioned before, I was not liking the original way I set the half plates so I turned them around and added some half square triangles to all the corners.....and voila!  I'm happy.


I had put the Little Apples quilt on the back burner while I waited for some charms I ordered to come in and here they are!



I know I usually go on and on about my "bossy" big sister but she is also one of the sweetest people I know........she knew I was short on fabric for the back of my Little Apples Quilt and she just happened to have a half yard of one of the fabrics in the collection.........so she didn't blink an eye.......just donated it "to the cause" and I am ready to get back to it........

Last of all I wanted to give a wonderful report on the Novelty and Solids Layer Cake Swap that she and I coordinated together...........Just look at this loot!



We were able to get all 24 slots filled and all the packets have been mailed back to everyone..............we want to thank all of you who participated and since everything went so well we may just decide to try it again sometime!


I think that wraps it up for today's post...........looks like I covered everything in the title so I will get outta here.........
TaTa for Now..............

 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

One Flower Wednesday and some Dresdens

The only race you have to win is the race against yourself - there will always be someone faster and stronger but there will never be another you, so look within and push your own personal boundaries.    -Unknown


Hello Wednesday!  This is my day off so I always love when Wednesday gets here..........I got one more yellow brick road hexie done this week..........the inverse of one I made last week with the magic poppies..........


I almost got the bricks to match all around but I decided that on the left side must be where the yellow brick road turns and changes direction?  (well I convinced myself of that anyway........haha) 
 Don't forget to go visit Karen's "One Flower Wednesdays" page and see the beautiful flower gardens growing there each week.....Just click HERE to go THERE! 

I have put the Little Apples quilt on hold until the charms I ordered last week get here......so it is still an official WIP and not in my UFO pile..........(grin)..........

From time to time my sister drags spirits my Mom and Dad off with her and her husband to their little ranch in the Texas Hill Country.  (Daddy loves to go and Mom usually complains that she would rather stay home but my sister MAKES her go......lol.....my Sis can be very convincing).....

Well anyway..... during one of those times Mom cut up piles and piles of dresdens..........enough to make more than a couple of quilts........and I was lucky enough to get on the receiving end of a bunch of them.............they are all different fabrics but I slipped out enough to make a table topper/runner using only three of the fabrics so I am working on that this week. 

Of course, we all know that no matter the size of our stash there is always "just the right fabric" missing.........I really didn't like any that I had except for the melon background fabric I used.....



Fortunately I found the perfect fabric in my Sister's stash!  Haha........the same pattern used in the brown dresdens but in green!  ......And the price was perfect too.........Nada!  (Sister's do really nice things.......)

So anyway.....after tacking the 3 plates down I discovered the topper was going to be way bigger than I wanted so I cut one of them in half then added a border with made fabric from the extra dresdens and stash find.....


 I'm not entirely happy with the way this looks so I'm going to re-tack the half plates in the other direction with the flat sides facing the ends and the round sides facing the middle plate.......I think I have enough of the green "Sister Stash Gift" fabric to make the backing so I will use that color to bind it with.....
Ok then...........off to the sewing room........Ta Ta For Now............



Sunday, April 22, 2012

May for Me BINGO Card

"The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good."    -Ann Landers



I am posting my BINGO card for the May for Me Celebration so I can link up and hopefully win some fabulous prizes!

Here is my card....can't wait to start playing BINGO! 

BINGO
FROGCORNSNOWFLAKEGHOSTDRAGON
CATCOWSTARPICKLEOWL
SHIPLADYBUGFREEGOOSEGRAPES
TURTLESOMBREROHEARTSDAISIESTEAPOT
BALLOONSCHICKENSDEERSHAMROCKBATS


Good Luck Everybody....and thanks to all our great coordinators and wonderful Sponsors for this great opportunity to have a lot of fun and win a lot of prizes!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Little Apples Quilt Update

"Don't wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you've got to make yourself."
-Alice Walker
   

Hello Friday!............. and another week is nearly gone...soon it will be May.........it's true that the older one gets, the quicker the time passes for us............
Well my Little Apples quilt is now 82" x 92" and I am finally ready to say it is big enough......






I added the teal border and then the pieced border, followed by another white border...............unfortunately I used so much of the original 6 and a half yards of my backing fabric for the teal border that now I am short for my backing.....I do have some of the white background fabric left and some remnants of the green and red fabrics so maybe I will piece them.  I'm not excited about ordering any more fabric right now so I think I am going to put it away for a day or two and think about it........maybe I will decide to just use something entirely different..............ideas anyone?

Not much else to tell you so I think I will start my May mug rug for my Year Of Rugs Swap........
then maybe work on a Mother's Day table runner.........so I'm off to do what I can before it's time to go to work tonight..........

TaTa For Now........


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Magic Poppies for One Flower Wednesdays and packages in the mail........

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."  -Lao Tzu



On her way to the Emerald City, the Wicked Witch cast a spell and Dorothy fell into a deep sleep in the magic poppy fields.............

  ......     
As I envision the poppy fields....it seems to me that since Dorothy is following the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, there must be bits of the road covered by the poppies......so I will have a few sections of the poppy fields include pieces of the yellow brick road in my wall hanging............Karen at Journey of a Quilter has a whole garden of lovely flowers where she hosts One Flower Wednesdays......Please click HERE to go see them all!

I got some wonderful mail this week!  I received this fabulous sushi bundle from Darlene at Sew Cal Gal from a giveaway I won on her blog........



Just look at this yummy fabric!  There are 18 pieces here of different batik prints!  Thank you, Darlene for a wonderful surprise....I love it all!

The next thing I received this week was 5 lucious fat quarters from Annie at Annies Ruby Slipperz
I won these FQ on her weekly giveaway and asked her to send me some Rainbow colors...........just look at these colors.....they are from Kaffe Fasset...........and this photo doesn't do the colors justice.........in "real life" they are so vibrant, they look like they jumped out of a Crayola marker box!  Thanks, Annie!

If you haven't checked out either of these great ladies' blogs I invite you to do so now.....click on the links above and have fun

Ok one more photo and I'm off to work on my Cross Terrain Apple quilt...........here is where I am now.........still not satisfied that this is big enough so I am adding a teal border followed by another white border.............will post that photo as soon as I'm done but for now here is how the Terrain Apple looks right now................



Will talk to you later.................TaTa For Now.......




Friday, April 13, 2012

A Funny Thing happened from the Layout to the Sewing Machine....and Merlot in the Afternoon....

"A teacher affects eternity; he/she [sic] can never tell where his/her [sic] influence stops."    - Henry Adams

Hooray for the teachers!  I added the "her" to the quote above because I have two wonderful sisters who are teachers and I admire them so much................and I know Mr. Adams must have been including both genders when he made the quote above and if not, then he should have!

I am at this point now with my Terrain Apple quilt and it is a good thing I took a photo of the layout earlier so that I can see where I went wrong!  LOL........I did make one tiny little change from the photo but then something happened when I picked it up and sewed it.....Somehow what turned out doesn't look like the layout......All in all, though, I am happy with the way it looks and I didn't have to undo too many seams......I did have to take out one long seam because I sewed the row on backwards but that was the worst problem I encountered........

The top is a little smaller than I want....since the pattern is based on using a jelly roll (which I adapted to use a layercake instead) ..this is as large as the amount of fabric permits.  But I did buy some extra yardage so I will sew on some borders to make it the size I want....

and another one bites the dust!  Don't know how many spools I've actually gone through because some of them weren't brand new but this was a lot of sewing! LOL.......

Oh!  I am sure for some of you more seasoned and knowledgeable quilters this little tidbit is old news, but I got this little tip from a paper-piecing tutorial...............They suggested that you utilize one of those wallpaper seam rollers to "iron" your seams open..........and it really does work! 



I still press my seams afterward but it really helps when you are sewing a series of seams and don't want to get up from your sewing table to press.......

oh..........you may be wondering about the "Merlot in the Afternoon" part of this post.........well some of you may remember that I work graveyards on Fridays and Saturdays..........On Saturday I have absolutely NO PROBLEM sleeping during the day but for some reason this is difficult for me on Friday...........I just have too many things I want to do before I have to go to work......and just because my brain says I should sleep in since I'm working through the night........my INTERNAL clock says it's time to get up at 7:00 on Friday morning!   So once in awhile I decide maybe I should make that internal clock a little groggy and so I have a glass of wine or maybe a beer in hopes that it will make me sleepy enough to take a nap on Friday...........so now that I have had that glass of Merlot I'm going to go see if it worked!   I'll let you know on a subsequent post...............TaTa for now.....



Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vintage Thingie Thursday......Some Glass and Crystal.....and Terrain Apple Update....

"Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."  -Winston Churchill

    

Today is Vintage Thingie Thursday over at Colorado Lady
so I am going to show you a few of my favorite glass and crystal Thingies..............
This is the first photo I took and it isn't showing everything very well so I attempted to "stage" it a little better and took this second photo.....


Alas, the second photo is not much better than the first......I'm sure I don't need to leave my day job to become a photographer....lol!
 But anyway.... what we have, from the left, is 3 little vintage bottles....I think the one with the shamrock lid was a shoe polish container, the tiny one in front was a toy baby bottle, and the other one in back.....not sure.  
Next to that is a vintage oil lamp, followed by a chandelier-like candle holder. 
In front of the lamp is a swan cream pitcher and in front of the swan is a little glass Scottie Dog who, I am told, was sold packaged full of candy. 
Behind the Scottie is a glass jar of some kind....the glass on this one has turned slightly purple now. 
On the far right is a pretty glass basket.....I use it to hold my makeup brushes.......and last but not least is another little glass dog.......not sure of its history.......
If any of you have some info on any of these items....I would love to hear it!
All these items have been in the family over 25 years some much older than others.......
Don't forget to go check out the other Vintage Thingies.....just click HERE

I'm on a roll............I stayed up last night til 3:00 this morning working on my Terrain Apple Quilt and have ALL the blocks made......and the bottom two rows stitched together.  Took FOREVER to get the layout like I wanted and now that I look at it I still think I could move a couple of blocks.....


But just as soon as I move one....I will have to move two more to make it fit right so this may just be it......
Have to work later today so I'm going to see what I can get done before I have to leave...............TaTa For now............

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One Flower Wednesday, Liebster, and Cross Terrain Apple Update!

"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure."    - Bill Cosby



This week I made 3 flowers for my forest garden!  I know I have one follower who has a special connection to these Oz characters because she used to have to polish them quite often!  These are the famous "Talking Trees"............

"Are you hinting my apples aren't what they ought to be?"


There is beautiful garden blooming at Karen's Journey of a Quilter Blog and One Flower Wednesdays........please click HERE to go there and smell the flowers.....

My friend, Rachel, over at Suz Made Me Do It......(that name has a familiar ring to it....lol.....or should that be a "similar" ring?) nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. Thanks,Rachel....I appreciate it!


The Liebster is given to blogs that deserve to be recognized, but have less than 200 followers.  And, of course, the Award comes with just a few "rules", which are:

1) Post about your win on your blog.
2) Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award.
3) Copy and Paste the award to your blog.
4) Present the award to 5 blogs that have less than 200 followers that you think deserve to be recognized.
5) Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

These are my nominations, I hope you all will go check out these cool blogs:

Jennifer at Hoodies and FlipFlops
Jann at Have a Daily Cup from Mrs. Olson
Julie at Having Fun Quilting
"B" at Billie Bee's Blog
Genevieve at Gigi's Quilty Treasures

............and last but not least.........here is the update on my Cross Terrain Apple quilt...........I have 18 of the 36 blocks for the top made........actually around the edge of the quilt the blocks will be half blocks and quarter blocks so there will only be 25 actual full blocks  .........I hope I remember that when I get to that point....lol.........don't relish the thought of having to book a date with my seam ripper!  Still trying to decide about using the little half square triangles (is that what they are called?  I'm not that up on all the "quilty lingo")......they are so small I'm not sure I will end up with good points if I use them on the quilt........I might save them for a smaller project and if I have enough fabric maybe make larger half square triangles of those thingies instead............



Ok off to Ida's Sewing room..........tata for now!



Friday, April 6, 2012

Cross Terrain Apples Quilt.............

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." -Ronald Reagan

 After much dragging of feet (because I was dreading the cutting).... I have finally started what I call my "Cross Terrain Apple Quilt"..........I am using the Aneela Hoey Little Apples layer cake that I won over at Kelli's blog "Seriously I think it needs Stitches"  Thank you again, Kelli!


I found the pattern at Moda Bake Shop....the creator of the pattern, Lee, of Freshly Pieced named the pattern "Cross Terrain" because she used the Terrain line from Kate Spain. Here is Lee's quilt:


When I won the Little Apples I knew these were the colors I had been looking for to make the Cross Terrain Quilt.
As I mentioned before....I was dreading the cutting.....I had started cutting only two of the 10 x 10 squares and right off the get go I messed up!   And, of course, one of the squares happened to be one that was the ONLY one of that particular pattern..........

OK.......stop.......regroup.......

I bought a new, larger cutting mat and one of those 6 inch wide, 24 inches long cutting rulers that  hooks into the end of the mat so it doesn't move........and what a difference!  I had been using my little 12x18 cutting mat and my little 2 inch wide--18 inch long ruler..........
But with my new tools I was able to cut out my patches for 4 more blocks plus cut my own jelly roll out of the contrasting fabric quickly and I made those 6 blocks the first day! 


The other thing I did was strip piece..........there are 144 white squares and 144 white rectangles that are cut for this pattern for the background in addition to the 144 pieces total cut from the layer cake.........each color builds two identical patches and two opposite and I found that strip piecing really made things go quickly.




After I cut the corners off, I threw out the triangles until I realized I could probably sew them together and make some postage stamp squares........so I dug them all out of the trash can and......


Voila!
The pattern actually calls for a border of random pieces that are one and a half inches wide so I might just throw some of these into it.............

Ok then.......that's all I have to show you because I am going to see if I can finish the 12 blocks I have already cut out before I have to go to work tonight....  Once these are done I am halfway there!...........I love being on a roll...............TaTa For now.....





Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Vintage Thingie Thursday! Grandma Amanda's Montgomery Ward Stove

"A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road."   - Henry Ward Beecher

I am so excited today to share with you a wonderful "Vintage Thingie" that has been in our family for a very long time.  This is my Grandma Amanda's Montgomery Ward Cook Stove.  I was fortunate enough to care for it for about 2 years when I was living in her old house in the 1980's.


Isn't it beautiful?  My Grandmother, my Daddy's mom, Amanda....(the grandchildren all called her "Mamanda").....made the best sugar cookies in the world on this stove.  They were almost like shortbread because they were soft and they just melted in your mouth.  I remember asking her for the recipe when I was a teenager.  Her measurements were not in cups and teaspoons but in handfuls and fingers.  (You can imagine what a teenager was able to do with that)
......Well after MaManda passed away and during the time that I was actually using her stove my Aunt Lucera, her daughter,  gave me the treasured recipe in measurements I could decipher and reminded me that it was a "Family Recipe" and that she had never given it to anyone else.  The cookies I made in that stove tasted just like the original!  When the house was sold my Dad moved the stove to my sisters house, where it still sits today.........waiting to bake some of those fabulous cookies! 

I have one more thing to show you..........I posted this on my blog once before but not for Vintage Thingie Thursdays.........but since I am posting appliances I think my Singer Treadle Sewing Machine is appropriate for today.  I inherited this beauty from my MIL, Ruth and it still works!



Well I am going to add just one more thing...........my own sewing machine that I've had since I was a teenager........an old Rockford that I purchased for about $10. 


It didn't have a cabinet for many years but when my son, Jeremy, was a teenager he found the cabinet at a garage sale.  He hid it in the garage, stripped all the paint and refinished it for my birthday!  I just love this cabinet........don't know who the maker is but it has a wonderful handle at one end that allows it to be pushed easily on its wheels.  This little machine has been working for me for many many years and I used it exclusively until about two years ago when I finally bought myself a new Singer..........
That's it for today........Thanks for dropping in.  Please hop over to Suzanne's place at Coloradolady and check out all the other Vintage Thursday Thingie treasures linked there.......I will see you all in blogland soon but...........ta-ta for now!