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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Spot of Color

It is amazing what a small piece of color can do.  I spent hours yesterday on my bee blocks for Mer. And I liked them but the longer I looked at them on the wall the more I didn't like them. They were blah. Not me. Even tho' she had asked for blocks with gray, black, yellow and white, in a pattern that include "frames" she also said "I'm a sucker for a spot of color so feel free to add some if you are so inclined".  Okay, maybe not in those exact words, even tho' I have them in "quotes".  So last night, I unsewed some seams and added color.  What a difference! Don't you agree?


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I'm so excited! These are my first completed bee blocks. I hope she likes them. She asked for improv blocks, in grays, blacks and yellows, with frames. I only needed to do one block but thought "what if she doesn't like it?" And I already had the colors pulled from my stash. What harm could it do?

The photo's aren't great..they look a little wonky but they aren't. Well, they are as square and true as I could get them.  I learned that using print fabric is alot more forgiving than using solid colors.

First Block

These are all I've worked on this morning. It took me hours. Fun Tho'!

Second Block

It has been fun!  I'll mail tomorrow.

Enjoy! Toni

Monday, December 27, 2010

Design Wall!

This is the first block of another scrap quilt. Two different blocks make up the design. I have all the sections sewn for this block, I just need to sew those sections into blocks. I will begin block two before I do that tho'! I want to get some of each up on the wall to see how the design develops. This pattern is from the Fons & Porter, Love of Quilting, Jan/Feb 2011 magazine. They call their version "China Girl" if you want to take a peek.

Secondly, I'm back to working on my 3D Bowties.

These had been on the wall and then taken off and now they are back on the wall again. I didn't enjoy sewing the blocks so decided I would quit making them when I had enough for a wall hanging. Once I got them on the wall I thought "those are just too cute...I'll make more and make a baby size quilt".  Well I started sewing more of the bowties yesterday and I'm back to "I don't enjoy these blocks". I've done ten more, not shown on the wall yet, which I will arrange on the wall today and then decide how many more I HAVE to make to make each diagonal row of color "work".

Now back to sewing!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It Was a Merry Christmas!

I had a wonderful time Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We are so fortunate to live close to many of our family members. My gifts included one wrapped by the "dogs"...and it looked like it! He said he made them touch the paper as he was wrapping! And two others were beautifully wrapped giftsbut they were things we already had sitting around the house or hanging in the closet!  You know THAT closet..the one where all the old stuff you never wear goes. I love to open presents and have actually said "I don't care what is in there as long as I get to open presents."  So my husband did that as a joke. I laughed until I cried! I did get actual gifts too.

My last few days have been spent finishing table runners, making scarves and of course grocery shopping. At our TOPS Christmas party I saw two beautiful scarves made with a bobble yarn. As it turned out it was carried by BiMart,a chain of stores dedicated to small communities. I picked up some skeins and made last minute Christmas presents.  Aren't they pretty?

I'm looking forward to getting my cutting table back (it has been used as a wrapping table for the last week) and I'm anxious to sew again.  I think I'm having withdrawal!

I've already committed myself to some on-line fun for 2011...two different bee groups, one Block of the Month group that includes embroidery, a UFO group where we made personal pledges to attempt to decrease that stack of "Unfinished Objects" and a fun challenge to do a quilty project, any size, each month with a primary color chosen by the mediator. But because of all this activity I made myself sit down last night and write down my commitments. I"m not trying to make this "work" but I want to be organized. I'm realistic. I know I will want to do other new quilts and patterns as I'm inspired by my fellow quiltmakers so I've also made a "Bucket List". This list includes pattern types that I would like to try...Snails Trail, a Flying Geese quilt, a quilt that includes birds of some type, etc. My thought is when I'm inspired by new pictures on Flickr or in magazines or books that I can only make new quilts if they are, in a broad sense, on the "Bucket List".

Do you think all this planning will keep my obsession in check?  Do you think I am being realistic? We will have to see as 2011 progresses!

Now go sew!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

10 Minute Table Runners

Have you seen websites featuring the 10 Minute Table Runners? Once you choose the fabric you really can do one in ten minutes. But, it does take longer  if you decide to add batting and machine quilting as I did! No binding, very fun and still really quick.  I have 3 more to do...all cut out and sewn together. I just need to machine quilt them.  Here is a quick picture of my first two. One is correct and one is incorrect.  Both usable tho'!  I will be keeping the one with the green border.

    These are perfect for practicing machine quilting!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Binding Method

They say things happen for a reason! My last attempt at doing a flatter binding finish was NOT done following this link. I followed a video from YouTube. This one works perfectly without extra measuring or marking, I don't know how, but it does.  Try it!

I think I will go work on my Table Runners!

I'm so thrilled!

Procrastination or Inertia?

I did not sew yesterday. It was the perfect day for it....rainy, nothing planned with DH and I didn't need to go shopping.  Now the question I've been pondering is was it Procrastination or Inertia that stopped me from sewing?

I am not working on a quilt, I'm making some Christmas Table Runners to have on hand for unexpected guests and also as small gifts for a group I belong too.  They are quick and fun to do and I get to use up scraps of fabric and leftovers of batting so I feel  virtuous. I had sewn them together on Friday and yesterday I cut the backings to size, cut the bindings and sewed scraps of batting together to make the proper sizes, where necessary and there it stops.

The reason? I need/want to try/learn something new. The "new" is a different method of finishing bindings. I've done it the same way for years and it's always been a little bulky where the end joins up with the beginning but it's been "satisfactory" to me. But now...I want it to be terrific! I need/want to try/learn a new method. I've tried it once and failed which means I will now rewatch a YouTube video and re-read directions and try to get it right this time. And I will. Today. But did I put it off of due to inertia or was it procrastination?

Learn something new everyday!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Cookie Recipe

Good Morning!

No pretty pictures this morning but I wanted to share this recipe. I have had this recipe since 1989 when a co-worker brought them to a company potluck.  I think it is the nutmeg that makes them so special. I'm kind of a nut over nutmeg.  I even have a Hungarian Meatball Recipe that calls for some nutmeg! Mmm, that and ginger!  Anyway, I'm through drooling.  Here is the recipe.

NutMeg Logs with Frosting

Sift together:
3 cups flour
1t. nutmeg

1cup butter
3/4 cup sugar

Add to butter and sugar mixutre, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 teaspoons rum flavoring. Mix.

Now combine flour mix and butter mix.  Roll dough into 3" wide log, cut into 1/2" by 3" little logs.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet -Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Frosting~Mix together

3 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon rum flavoring

Blend in~
2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, alternating with 2 tablespoons milk.

After frosting, but before the frosting hardens, rake with a fork and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Yummy!  I hope you find time for some holiday cooking!

Hugs! Toni

Monday, December 6, 2010

OOPS! I Made the Photo too Big!


Mondays Design Wall

Another "Whirlygiggle" pattern.  I want to do two more blocks (one more green, one more yellow) to give me more arrangement options. Then I will put borders on (or not! Still deciding on that), piece the back as necessary and then put it away until I get my small Christmas gift list done. The fabric to the left is the backing. Too cute!  I don't think I will have any scraps left for future products tho'. Darn!

Both of the Whirlygiggles have to be quilted by mid January for February babies.  I love doing baby quilts!

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What's Wrong With this Picture?

Really the question is, what was wrong with yesterday picture? Especially as my topic was making my quilts larger than planned.  You can now see there are six rows.  There should have been six rows in yesterdays picture also!  The blocks were done but I didn't realize they weren't all on the wall!

Have a great day!  It's going to be cold and sunny here. I feel less quilty spending the day sewing when it is raining!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Why are my Quilts like my Potato Salad?

'Cause they both end up being bigger than I originally planned!

I like to make baby quilts that are around 36x45inches but, even with careful planning and the use of a calculator, it seems that at the last minute I decide to add extra borders or wider borders, or just more rows! Oh well! The bigger they are the longer they will use them!

And potato salad...I don't know anyone that knows how to make just a little potato salad. And who would want to?

I hope everyone enjoyed this day of sunshine. I cut all the pieces for a baby quilt but I haven't yet done a stitch of sewing. Maybe later!

I'm working on two baby quilts using Whirlygiggles. The picture is the blocks for one. The other is brighter. I'll post those blocks soon.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Don't you just love questionnaires?

I found this one on Do you remember loving doing magazine questionnaires? The one you took took to find out "if he loves you". Very popular in teen magazines, womens magazines and the infamous "Cosmopolitan". That was a fairly shocking magazine late in the sixties, early seventies. Now I would rather answer questions to get to know people not to decide is someone loves me.
Copy and paste, and then answer the questions, and tell me you did so I can learn about you, too!

1. Sweet or Savoury?

2. Dresses or Jeans?

3. House or Apartment?

4. Shop Online or Offline?

5. DVDs or Downloads?

6. Cocktails or Juice?

7. Chocolate or Strawberry?

8. Laptop or PC?

9. Magazines or Newspapers?

10. Facebook or Twitter?

11. CDs or MP3s?

12. Kids or Pets?

13. Cookies or Cupcakes?

14. Walk or Run?

15. Breakfast in Bed or Breakfast Out?

16. Market or Supermarket?

17. Sourdough or Grainy?

18. Heels or Flats?

19. Late nights or Not?

20. Coffee or Tea?

My answers

1. Sweet or Savoury? Savory, unless there is chocolate involved

2. Dresses or Jeans? Jeans, sweats, shorts...seldom dresses
3. House or Apartment? House! But as I get older a condo appeals, if they didn't have a limit on pets.

4. Shop Online or Offline? I love to visit quilt stores and fabric shops but otherwise, let me buy online!

5. DVDs or Downloads? DVD's

6. Cocktails or Juice? Juice! I'm loving that they now have lower cal' orange juice and cranberry juice.

7. Chocolate or Strawberry? Chocolate!  Do you know how many people are allergic to strawberries? I don't want to take the chance.

8. Laptop or PC? Well, I have a PC but would love to have a laptop. It's a "want" or "need" situation.

9. Magazines or Newspapers? Quilting Mags and On line news

10. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook...more so in the beginning not so much now.

11. CDs or MP3s? MP3's, what can I say, I love my IPOD(s)

12. Kids or Pets? Heck!  Kids are great but they grow up and leave you. Pets need you until they die :-(

13. Cookies or Cupcakes? Cookies and more cookies! They are better than potato chips but like potato chips I can't manage to eat just one. (Wait a minute! Does this just contradict the answer to question #1?)

14. Walk or Run? How middle of the road can I be? I would rather run than walk. Running makes me feel like a kid again but I find that I (in my sixties) have to interject alot of walking into the running.

15. Breakfast in Bed or Breakfast Out? Breakfast out...but only if I can have a sandwich. I'm not a big breakfast food kind of person.

16. Market or Supermarket? hmmm, tough question. Market for grocery shopping, supermarket for one stop shopping.
17. Sourdough or Grainy? Grainy!

18. Heels or Flats? My favorite shoes have always been a pair of red high heels...but now I would rather wear red tennis shoes. Hey! A fashion statement. They still get attention, just a different sort of attention!
19. Late nights or Not? If I can have a day time nap...late nights! But I still get up early, 5:30 or earlier.

20. Coffee or Tea? Cocoa...not hot chocolate, Cocoa!

I hope you had fun!  I did!

Hugs & Kisses, Red & Aqua

Okay!  Both the top and the back are pieced and ready for basting and then quilting. I don't know where this top falls in the "queue". I'm pretty sure it won't be this month~My machine is going back to the shop on Monday.

Now off to bind the Christmas Table runner.

Sunday Stash Report

Judy over at PatchworkTimes,, does a weekly stash report. I loved the idea so I did my own version. This was the first week:

WEEK of Aug 31

ON THE WALL Sq in a Sq-Dark
PIECING Sq in a Sq-Dark

And while I think this would be very interesting, it was "TMI" and labor intensive. I'd rather spend the time on quilts.  I've simplified my tracking somewhat. Now I basically track fabric in and fabric out.  For fabric used I track when the quilt top was finished, name of quilt, size of quilt and amount of fabric used. Backing fabric is adjusted out when I've cut to size and/or pieced to size and folded with the quilt top for later quilting or, if not previously accounted for, I subtract when the quilt is basted.  This is my new plan. My fiscal year will be October 1 to September 30.  So far...I'm doing well! Meaning that at least I have used more than I've purchased.  Net result, as of today is I'm down 2 1/2 yards. Not much but at least the operative term is "down".   Happy Quilting! Toni

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Same Ol', Same Ol'!

I had better start some new projects! You are going to get tired of hearing about the same things over and over again.  Red and Aqua top will be finished today!  My goal for this weekend is to also piece the back for this. A larger goal is that from now on I am going to get the back ready at the same time I do the top! Hopefully this will lead to fewer UFO's.

I also finished a table runner that I want to get the binding on this weekend. And I am going to get the bowtie blocks off the design wall. I DIDN'T say I was going to sew them together. I want to make it a larger quilt. Originally I was just thinking wall hanging but I think they are so darn cute that I should at least make a baby size quilt from them.  Which means I have to make more blocks. I've been cutting 2 1/2" squares from scraps from other fabric as I go along .... it's just getting back into the mode of doing those

Then I have to take my machine back in!  Dang!  I told them the tension was fine and I'd been machine quilting on it quite successfully but they adjusted the tension anyway and now I am having HUGE, intermittant problems with the bobbin tension.

More in a day or so! Including pictures!

Enjoy!  Toni

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pictures of Red and Aqua

Here is the straight cross arrangement, boring.

A little more interesting set on point

Getting closer with the addition of the yellow. This is not the final arrangement. I have lots more blocks but I do think the yellow makes it more interesting. You should know, the colors in the photo's are not "true". They really look better together than this. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Red & Aqua Progress

For many months I have been planning on making an orange, aqua and gray quilt. I had some of each of the colors and planned on collecting a few more before actually beginning the quilt. But then....on Flickr there have been so many gorgeous red, aqua and white quilts that I decided to change my color scheme. It always seems like I have a lot of red scraps, and I had some old aqua, plus some newer so this meant I didn't have to collect any more fat quarters.

I did not have a particular pattern in mind but I have been attracted to crosses lately so I started out with that premise. I was going to make a cross quilt. I did 50 some odd squares, not enough for a complete quilt but at least I could get them on the design wall and get a feel for it. Guess what? I found it boring! Blah, yuck, yawn! How can red and aqua be boring? But it is. I then decided that if I turned them, making them "x's" rather than crosses and aligned them diagonally that I might like them better. I did but still not what I was looking for. So now I'm working on yellow "O" blocks. Quite frankly I would rather put this quilt in it's plastic storage box and store it in the closet. I don't think I am ever going to love it but after making a UFO list (partial! I was afraid what the whole list would look like) for the UFO challenge I decided I could not afford to put this one away.

I'll keep you it or not, my goal is to have the top done by the end of the month.

Enjoy the "nasty" weather. Perfect for quilting!

p.s. I would be sharing photo's but after being away from blogging for so long I have to retrain myself on how to insert them. Soon!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This will touch you

I found this through another quilting website. Sometimes we need to remember how fortunate we are. Especially this time of year when we are remembering things to be thankful for.

Tomorrow...I am going to sew and I promise to share some photo's and happier thoughts.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Machine Repair

Having to have your favorite machine in the repair shop really makes you appreciate what you have. I've only been without it since Wednesday but it seems like forever. Don't get me wrong! My old machine gets the job done but I have to work harder at it. It just doesn't move as smoothly. I have to pay more attention to make certain I maintain my 1/4" seam allowance and it's amazing how warm the light bulb gets! But of course I would have a real problem not sewing every day. I'm grateful that I have a backup.

I've decided I would finish one quilt top on my old machine and as I've been wanting to do something with aqua, red and white, that is what I am doing. I was inspired by the Crossed Paths Quilt you can see at

It is raining lightly here so I think I will go into my room and enjoy some guilt free sewing.

Enjoy your day!

p.s. You will notice I've been playing around with blogger. I still have a long way to go on getting it to do things I want it to do!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh My Goodness!

I'm really into the quilting world again. Thanks to all the wonderful blogs out there! I'll give specific credit in another post. I've been productive but have not been taking care of older quilt tops, not yet quilts. I'm now involved in a UFO Challenge, beginning in January, which forced me to go through my UFO's (too many to list!) and chose ten to finish this next year. Wish me luck! The fun part is the moderator will, each month, give you a random number from 1 to 10 and that is the quilt you will (with good intent!) finish that month. Obviously you have to assign numbers, 1-10, to each of your unfinished projects. I also found there are 3 tops from the '80ies that I will not bother finishing. Freeing up more room for finished quilts or more quilt tops.

Annnnd, I have joined two virtual quilting bees for 2011. Those will be fun!

It's amazing how our tastes change! I have several (is several 3-5?)tops that are reproduction, '30ies style fabric that I will finish but I am pretty much done with '30ies. Give me bright, lots of white now! Of course I expect next year to bring other changes in taste!

My newer sewing machine (10 years old) is going into the shop tomorrow. Just when I got really enthused about machine quilting! So today I'm back to using my back up about 35 years old. It certainly is noisier, slower and doesn't have as many options (no needle down? what?) but at least it will allow me to indulge my sewing addiction, until I get my favorite, Tamara is her name, a play on the word "tomorroa', back.

I hope your "addiction" brings you as much pleasure as mine does.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Maybe, just maybe, I'm thinking about blogging again. Maybe more pictures, less verbiage? Let's see what happens. Not today tho'. Hubby coming home after 6 weeks of hunting. Hugs!

Friday, January 1, 2010

GOOD BYE 2009!

Where does the time go? I haven't written much lately. It's not that I don't think about quilting every day but I just get caught up in other things. One detriment to my blog is that I am an avid reader. I devour books. I get into a book and hate to put it down. Luckily my hunny is a reader too. It is not unusual for us to spend the day, each ensconced on our own piece of furniture, woodstove keeping the house warm, reading and dozing the day away. Maybe not as good for us as taking a walk but certainly better for our imaginations then watching TV all day.

Secondly, I've not mentioned it much, as everyone thinks we are already nuts to have 4 dogs, we added a fifth dog, we got a German Shepherd puppy in October. That means confine or supervise all the time. My mother always said "God was smart when he made Mothers young". I now know this applies to getting a puppy as well as babies. She is a lot of work! This may not be the last dog in my life but it certainly will be the last puppy. I keep saying "in two years she will be aristocratic and willing to lay around with us." Keep your fingers crossed! In the meantime, it's watch, supervise, train, dog classes, etc, etc. As I was drying her off the other day; bigger dog, longer coat, longer tail; I told her "I should have gotten a Doberman".

The pictures above are my last two quilt tops for 2009. The stripped top is a donation for a charity and the second has no immediate purpose but I finished it last night...before midnight! Seeing the picture now I'm thinking "I could have done a better job pressing" but it's done. I've not kept track of the quilts/tops I've made this year but I just saw a "mosaic" on another blog showing all their projects. I'm going to play around on the computer and see if I can learn to do the same, then I will show all of 2009 projects.

I am able to report, and believe me this is a record, from Sept 2009 through December 2009, I am only up 2 yards of fabric in my stash. I know that idea was to decrease the number of yards...I'll get there! Still a goal for 2010.

I hope you all have high hopes for the New Year and this new decade.

Love and Hugs to All!