Monday, August 25, 2008

Music or no?

This is for Linda--who asked where my playlist went? I took it off after reading some other blogs in which they stated that music is really annoying and if they go to a blog and there is music, they never return. I thought how sad if I was turning people off with the music, so I took it off. I enjoy listening to other's playlists and if I don't like it, I just scroll down and turn it off. What are YOUR feelings? Do you avoid blogs that have music? So, I decided to create a you like to hear music on blogs? Do you absolutely NOT like music on blogs, or would you like the choice? (well, that's silly, because you always have a choice to turn it off). I know this is my blog, but if you think about it, I am not on my own blog for that long--everyone else is! Please vote (poll is on side bar) and let me know how you feel! Thanks!
Editor's addition: ps...guess what? I found out that you can choose for the music to NOT start automatically (this must be a new feature, I don't remember that). SO...I still want your opinions, but I have added my playlist 'jukebox' at the bottom of the page..but YOU must turn it on. :)

New quilt tops done

Now that my Open House is over for my new fall classes--I can show you what I have been working on this past month. This "16-Patch & Pinwheel "is a very common traditional pattern (Bonnie at Quiltville has a free pattern as well as Mary of Maryquilts) although I just did my own thing with 5" charms I've been accumulating. I used entirely stash and scraps for this quilt. Decided after the fact that it would have been a bit quicker to use strips instead, but hey--it got rid of lots of charm squares! This is the quilt that I threw in a little bit of Miss A's top she has outgrown. I think I'll keep this quilt at my house for her. All the other kids have quilts here for them and she needs one as well. here's a close up....doesn't it just want to make you smile? I just LOVE working with the brighter scraps. I showed snips of this quilt this summer while I was working on it..called "Circle Game". Lollipops makes a kit that includes all the precut squares, circles AND the bias binding! How cool is that. I'm always looking for neat kits for my students. Beginners don't have the stash or scraps to pull from like us 'seasoned' quilters. :) Besides--she makes all the bias bindings out of the coolest fabrics, and you get a different one for each circle--think of the time saved AND NO bias binding to make yourself! I made a boo boo--as I read the pattern AFTER I made it! LOL But no one will be the wiser and I'll never tell.

By the way, do you know how to figure what size square you need to cut to yield the bias binding length you need? I had to play a little refreshing game myself! You multiply the length of binding you need (add all 4 sides of your quilt + 18") --(OR in the case of the Circle Game, you need 36" of binding) X the width of the binding you are making (in my case 2") = Y. Take the square root of Y and you get Z. Round up to the next whole number and that's the size square you need to cut. Clever, huh? The problem is that my adding machine is for accountants and doesn't have the square root key. No problem..go to, and they have a square root calculator right there. You just plug in your numbers and it gives you the answer!
For example: I need 36" of 2" wide bias binding. I multiply 36 x 2 = 72. Square root of 72 = 8.48. (done at Round that up to 9" and that is the size square you need to cut to make your bias binding. Just your little math lesson for today. :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

It pays to clean! Finding vintage aprons and more

We tried to sell our house about 9 years ago and in the process, I boxed up a lot of extraneous stuff (gee-you'd never know it now! LOL). Well, those boxes have been in storage in one of our garages and I thought, it's time to go through those and can probably get rid of most of it. But I hated to just throw them away without taking a peek! I had a HUGE box marked "Sewing Room", and found lots of baskets, momentos, some fabric, lots of pictures, a box of greeting cards (can you believe they are almost 50 years old!! )
and THESE:

Yep--5 vintage aprons! I don't think they are from Grandma (you would think I'd remember if they were), but they look exactly like the ones she wore--actually BOTH Grandma's! And I'm starting to think they really had the right idea after all. I ruin more clothes by spattering something on me. Is it my age? my belly? or just getting sloppy? Who knows, but I've taken to wearing an apron ever time I cook now. Here is a little poem I got through an email. I have no idea of the origin of the poem. If anyone knows, let me know!

The History of 'APRONS'

I don't think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot woodstove.Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that "old-time apron" that served so many purposes.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Long overdue Stashbusting report/fabric basket/corn

I kept track of my intake of fabric and usage since my last post, just haven't had time to post it. I debated a long time on what I should enter....if it comes in as a gift, does it count? If you have store credit because you did work for them, does that count? If the fabric is for a gift or something other than quilting, does that count? How do you count it? Final analysis? I bought fabric to make some skirts and little dresses for my granddaughters and have already made one, cut two out. I bought only what I needed (so NOT like me! LOL). So..I decided that fabric isn't going into stash, and therefore didn't count in my totals. Now...the bigger thing I had to decide was if I didn't lay out any cashola for the fabric, do I have to count it? I had a quilt store credit and some gift money from quilter friends (although they didn't tell me I had to use it on fabric, I felt I should--heehee). And is the Quilt Police going to grill me and fine me if I don't count it? LOL Really--the only thing in the end...did stash go into my closet because "I" brought it in? Yes..even though I didn't have to pay for it, I figured it still counts. My biggest dilemma this summer was that a favorite quilt store in Murrell's Inlet, SC (Quilter's Cottage--she doesn't have a website) had an AWESOME sale of NEW fabric--50% off!! The Simplicity Line among one. A few other NEW lines of fabric. Unheard of, let me tell you! My thought was that I had this credit and I better use it in case something happens, right? I was about to walk out of the store, using my very best will power and rhen I thought.... I had the credit, use it. So I did. I did buy stuff for the grandkids clothes (and therefore, not counted), but I did buy stuff for backgrounds and just cuz. So, my goal to not add to the stash fell a little short, but in the end, I'm okay with it. I didn't fall too far off the wagon. This is where I was to insert a picture of what I bought. 20 minutes of trying to figure where on earth I filed the picture on the computer, decided who cares! LOL

Stash IN this summer: 14.5 yards

Stash OUT this summer: 1.25 yards

Stash IN for year: 26.25 yards

Stash OUT for year: 274.25 yards

Total NET OUT: 248 yards

All in all, not bad. I was blog hopping and I end up in the neatest places and am amazed how I get there sometimes! I stumbled on this site, Pink Penguin, and she had a tutorial on this cutest little fabric basket. So similar to the purses I've been making, and all she changed was the handles! Of course, I had to make one. I had a bunch of 2" strips laying on my work table, leftover from a quilt I've been working on, so they were the volunteers for this little thing.
I was lucky to have a friend share 4 doz. ears of corn from her Mom's garden. I MISS having a garden! Anyway, I was able to make Freezer Corn from the 3 dozen we didn't eat. :)So easy to do. Cut the kernels off the cob:
Put in a roaster pan, for 20 cups of corn, add 3/4 c. sugar and 1 lb. of melted butter. I'd use less next time--although very good, I figured out much butter we were getting per serving and it was more than I thought! Oh well, we'll sure enjoy this batch! LOL Bake in a 300° oven for 1 hour. Cool and bag (I double bagged it) and freeze. Just reheat to serve.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

sneak previews

I've been working like a little worker bee trying to get everything done. Some samples have been done for a while and others are waiting patiently in line to be worked on. I thought I heard them squabbling as I was entering the room on who I was going to work on next. They heard a rumor that someone might be left out of the line up and they didn't want to get left behind!

here are some sneak previews of what I've been working on for my upcoming classes. I love this one.....a cinch for 'charming'.....

another simple one that full of color.....and very charming. :)A bit blurry--not intentionally. LOL The "A" word is easy on the machine.....This quilt is so stunning in any combination of fabrics.........

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

City vs. Country

I was just reading Judy's blog and she was talking about how she was happy living in her little town vs. the 'concrete' jungle. There are pros and cons living in the city vs. the country and both sides could be argued equally. I'm just glad that we each have our preferences and can live where we want--usually. :) I love the benefits of living in the city where I could ride my bike everywhere and being so close to so many things. The country gives you lots of privacy, room to grow gardens (okay--so I can't living with so many trees), etc. I've done both and I have to admit I like my privacy, space, and trees. I walked outside and took pictures to show you what I see each day. I love the way it changes during the seasons. Fall is my absolute favorite and we're lucky to have maple trees in our yard that are just brilliant. This is a view from my side porch, looking north.

This is a view as I'm walking out back and kind of on the right.(my studio is unseen on the that the same thing as invisible? LOL) This is south east...No sunrises seen here--just filtered through the trees. Good thing I'm not an early bird, heehee.Looking south at the side yard......see the hot tub? I love sitting in it late at night, looking up at the stars with the trees surrounding the view. It looks better than I'm describing it for sure. I've tried taking photos of it, but I'm a rank amateur and the pictures never turn out. If only I could capture what I see!

Now I'm standing in line with the hot tub, but facing west....this was taken at 6:30 at night in August--loving the shade! You can faintly see the road in front with the field beyond that. This is the farmer's year to get paid for 'not raising' crops. Hmm..I want to be in that business! LOL Just joking, I know farmers have a tough way to go, we have several farmer friends and know the hardships they face with weather, etc. The sunsets can be so awesome, and I'm awake for those!!

Now I'm standing at the corner of the house, facing northwest--nothing but fields and trees, no matter where you look. We do have neighbors on both sides of us, but the trees are so thick , you can't see their houses. And although we love our neighbors, it's a good thing their house is blocked from view, if you know what I mean. ;) My point? ha ha ha none really--I am postponing what I really should be doing. My new teaching season kicks off next week with an Open House and I'm a little farther behind that I should be. I should be out there finishing class samples, taking pictures, writing class descriptions and supply lists, updating my website. I may have to leave some things off the schedule since I am wondering if I can get it all done now. Hmmm, maybe I should have stayed home more this summer, ya think? But I had so much fun. And since I've been gone so much, I wanna see what everyone in blogland has been up to and I've been reading more blogs than I should be reading right now. Okay, enough blabbering and off to work I go! I know, I do have a point! Enjoy where you live and know that differences are good. :)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Divine Miss M's week with Nana

It was M's first time to the beach with Nana--and she got to be by herself-the others couldn't come, so it was just her. Lots of firsts for her....(well, that she remembers!)..going to the beach--hey, did you know the 'water moves'? :) making sandcastles....doing 'candy bars' (that's what she thought the others were saying when they were doing 'cannon balls') in the pool....driving the golf cart...riding a bike...eating kiwi....playing cards (and dang, she caught on quick!)

getting thrown high in the pool by Papa....

making jewelry...

What a great week--and I even made her a 3 tiered ruffled skirt (with all the yummy Simplicity fabric I got for 1/2 off!). I forgot to take a picture of it, but it turned out pretty cute.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Home again and Stained Glass DONE!!

Ahhh, it's nice to go away but it's also nice to come back home. I've been gone for almost 5 weeks with a brief visit after 1 1/2 weeks, so a lot of catching up to do. I only turned the computer once while in SC--too much to do. I'll just recap some of the highlights over the past weeks...

Quilt Group retreat--

At the end of the week---lots of projects done (well for some--I made a vow that my Stained Glass quilt WOULD be done--at least I have another week to work on it when they go home.),

lots of pool/beach/sun time and a couple of visits to a local quilt shop, Quilter's Cottage in Murrell's Inlet who was having a GREAT sale--50% off a lot of newer fabric. Caused this gal to jump off the no buying wagon a little bit. be fair I had store credit for doing some sewing for her, and I HAD to spend it, right? LOL

What you do when you are too tuckered to even sew anymore, you lay on your quilt, lest someone takes it! and the flip flops? well, the pile just kept growing during the week!

And this darn quilt has been a on-going (slow) project since 2002. I thought I would make a block each time I went their. Well, I only had 8 blocks done and I thought, at this rate it will never get done! I had too much invested in it, especially those fusible bias tapes--11 packages of them! I vowed that this summer would be the year I got this done. Not terribly hard to do, but VERY time consuming, especially the prep time. Then I chose to do it QAYG (Quilt As You GO) and had to make a few adjustments to accomodate that and had to be creative when my center block ended up 1/2" short because of the quilting. I spent the week after my quilt group left (one did stay with me--so it was nice to have company while doing the tedious work) and I got it done!! AND as soon as hubby arrived with the kids, I had him hang it. Wow--what a HUGE UFO done!