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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.