Thursday, December 23, 2010

Waste Triangles are "GOLD"!

 I made two Pink Smokey Mountain Stars  quilts from Bonnie Hunter's website. It is a free pattern and a breeze to make because Bonnie has a way of breaking down steps to be totally doable no matter how large a quilt is.
I double sewed all the corners and saved these Waste Triangles.
These are my Clue#5 triangles. I used 44 different neutrals.
I kept them in stacks and will distribute them evenly in the Mystery Quilt, Roll, Roll Cotton Boll.
 I added some sashings to the "Odds & Ends" topper. I will keep this small and it will be one of the Kittie's quilt. As you can see the black/white one is still on the design wall. Hubby and I cannot agree on the borders. I respect his decisions but there are times I do NOT agree. So this quilt will have to sit and be analyzed until I decide what is needed. I do have a nice container FULL of black/white waste triangles. I can almost see them dancing around the quilt.
 Another loaf of bread was a total success! I found vital wheat gluten and milled flax seed in the baking aisle. I added these to the basic bread recipe and this loaf was so big I was afraid it would open the lid of the bread machine. And I did not even use the biggest recipe.
I made french toast with this loaf and also made garlic bread with it. The loaf is way too big for hubby and I to consume. So today I am trying a smaller loaf. But as I keep peeking into the machine the loaf does not seem to be working as great as this loaf did. I hate cooking but was beginning to feel excited about successes. These failures are depressing me!
Success with the bread! It rose high and beautiful and is the right size for us! I did the smallest loaf size and it is still quite large. I have another loaf baking. I will give one to each of my two daughters tomorrow on Christmas Eve. We lost our (mother-in-law) their Grandma a year ago this November. Iole made bread every week. Being Italian and a fantastic cook, I could never replicate her bread making. I know there will be tears when I gift these two loaves. But they will be good tears.
Merry Christmas to all of you!
Some of the triangles need to be sliver trimmed.
A process I detest and have been so spoiled when I use the Easy Angle Ruler.
Sliver Trimming is never needed.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Virginia Star quilt and success with making bread!

 I quilted this monster on my DSM.  The pattern is by Bonnie Hunter of and is in her first book that is called Scraps and Shirtails. I used all batiks. I quilted it in three sections and then joined them. The seams hit the edges of the mattress perfectly and that makes bed making easy. I used wool batting and this quilt is warm without being too heavy!
 In between clues I have been aimlessly wanting to sew "something"!!!! I made these little units maybe 10 years ago and never joined them into a quilt top. I saved them in clean strawberry boxes. Love 'em...easy to open and easy to see what is inside. Well...took care of that in two days worth of sewing. The top is now a satisfying 36X39". just need a small border and I can call this one done!
 I really am in love with this top now. Why do we (me) I sew units and then set them aside. Poor little units are 3.5" and wanted to be sewn together so bad!

Just a little closeup photo for you!

While making the string blocks in clue#3 I generated lots of little scraps too big to throw away. They get saved in this neat plastic container next to my machine. Hubby brought this gome from the hardware store. He knows I like plastic containers! Most of my Pineapple Block's  little centers came from this container.
 I have 60 string blocks made. I planned on making 60 more but I want the second quilt from Bonnie's Mystery to use smaller know a miniature I am waiting to see more clues before I committ myself.
 I loved the process. String piecing this way really dulls your needle. And makes lots of lint.
Can you see my mega spool of thread on the machine? It is ginormous. I do not know where I bought it and would love to have more in this ecomomy size. It was probably bought on E-Bay. Sigh! I need to keep records on my thread collection too!
Messy sewing area!

 Baby in the basket and Bess next to her. They are half sisters from a feral cat colony that does not exist anymore. Their markings are the same but on opposite toes etc. And Baby is short haired and Bess is long haired. They are both the sweetest cats in the world.
 Hubby is laid off from his job and for once in my life I do not have to shovel the snow! WHOOOHOOO! Warm and cozy feelings watching him battle the elements.
 And the cats enjoyed watching Hubby shovel.
 Pictured are (from left to right) MaggieMae, Bess and Macy.
 This is the second swap I have participated in being hosted by Bingo-Bonnie on HGTV. She takes such care in her sorting and shipping back. She is not going to be swapping anylonger. SO sorry to hear that. These  4.5" units can be worked into many of Bonnie's patterns.
 Another project waiting on Clue#4 was using up the scraps from my This &That pattern. Cute little blocks to make. It does not take much fabric at all.
 This fabric is sooooooo beautiful. I still have little scraps left...Hummmmmmmm

I made 9 little blocks. I am still deciding on sash fabrics.

 I bit the bullet and Hubby and I bought ourselves a Christmas present.
A new Bread Machine by West Bend. It makes a loaf that looks like a real loaf of bread. There are two kneading paddles. But boy is it ever big (but not heavy). It takes up some valuable space on my counter. But I love it anyway!
 I turn it sideways to fill and then move it back to do it's work. It is quiet and keeps quite cool even while baking.
 The end result....a wheat/blend bread. Yummy and perfect!
 I also bought one of those acrylic bread boxes. The loaf fits perfect!
Raisin Bread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

RRCB progress and This and That pattern

Roll, Roll Cotton Boll!

I am way too frugal. My strings are so skinny. The smallest I save: cut nicely is 1". All the rest go into bags to give to a fellow guild member who crochets with fabric strips. After gleaning through the bags I have not gifted to her yet I did make two string blocks to see if I was comfortable using this small of a string. So, are these strips too small????? are the bags.
 Yes...I do feed the birds too. The squirrels chase the birds away and the hawk scares them all away. The squirrels have managed to un-nail my feeder from the barrel top. Hubby will have to use BIG nails next time.
Tame squirrel eating her fresh raw peanut. And SNOW on the ground! YEA!!!!!!!
 I used this pattern as my main sewing and used clue#2 as leaders and enders between these blocks. I also double sewed the corner triangles. I have a whole container of these extras! WHOOOHOOO!
 I found this pattern on a new blog I follow. I met the writer of the blog (Jill) at the Shipshewana retreat. The pattern is from This and That and is called Paris in the Fall.
Thanks Jill for this great kit. I am all done with it already!
 I call these swatches my "road maps". I cut each pattern and put them into their own baggie. Since there were 12 blocks I needed that road map to keep me on the right path.
 Here it is all done. I loved the whole process. I may make another one in a different colorway.

And my Precious Pearl test driving the newest quilt top!

Friday, November 19, 2010

RRCB progress and critters (of course!)

I have been so very busy. And I know all of you out there can relate to even feeling whipped just because your head is full!
But I have a lot accomplished:
Christmas shopping is 3/4 done
Spent yesterday with Daughter#1 as moral support and driver in case she needed to "freak out".
Decided to make lots more patches for the Scrappily Irish Chain quilt. Pictures are here in the blog further down the page.
I keep fiddling with my bread recipies TRYING to get a good looking loaf. Luckily James will eat almost anything and the birds get all the crumbs.
And I have clue#1 all sewn (not cut) for RRCB the newest mystery being designed for us by Bonnie Hunter of

Here are my pinks and greens. Oh my I love this combination! I am also getting an "itch" to do a second quilt in this mystery in a different color combination. I have done this with most of Bonnie's mysteries. It is amazing how different a quilt can look just by changing the colors used.

 There is a food chain in the world we live in. I totally understand and I can appreciate this hawk's beauty and strength. It is a Coopers Hawk. And I have seen them floating in the air over the homes here. I am sure that they LOVE the birdfeeders giving them an easy prey option. But this one missed two times the day I took this picture. I can see his frustration. And they are so awkward on the ground. They even make a common chicken look as if they were dancing. They would never make it on Dancing with the Stars..........
 I had to buy a new printer. My faithful HP printer decided it was done being a useful tool. And the timing sucked. I had just replaced the ink cartridges....$$$$$$ down the drain. I wonder if having MaggieMae sleeping on it had anything to do with it expiring?????
 My strips are all cut for the neutral swap on Yahoo. And can you see how I have a large "logroll" of uncut fabric there in the background? The fabrics are all pressed and rolled to store. All I have to do to cut more strips is unroll the log, select a few and then smooth them out and cut away. I have really been happy storing my uncut fabrics this way. Little FQ's are pretty but all those folds then need to be ironed out...a pain. And I can still see all the fabrics at a glance. This works for me!
 700 more little 2-patches. I have all the connector squares done and will use these as the Leaders & Enders while I piece the RRCB. This quilt will be king sized when I get done!
 Here are some of the pinks I used. I pulled all these from one container. I pulled more this morning.
Hopefully I will be able to work these 1/2 square triangles into this quilt we are working on. Check out the date! I double sew corner triangles all the time and have many containers just like this in different color combinations. Only thing I did not do was count them! HA! Almost a year ago from the date. I believe these are from a Pink Smokey Mountain Star quilt.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I love neutrals!

 And it shows that I love neutrals. I invaded the dreaded quilting/storage room and harvested neutrals that have been buried and have not made it into any quilts or swaps yet.
I guess I was saving them for my next life!
I cut 1/2 yard hunks off 54 neutrals. read that right 54! There was 2-3 yards from each fabric left. Once again these were purchased before I discovered scrap quilting.
And I did find two chocolate browns and added them to the group for cutting.
I think I wore out my iron and I used a whole bottle of spray starch!
Now all I need to do is cut into these lovelies. I will have two sets of 25 neutrals for my Yahoo swap! Yes!
 Love my Baby...she always gets into any container she can. Even if the container is too small.
 Here is one of the three baby squirrels. Their mother is the one that climbs the door. Stubbie allows them to feast here too. I watched the Mother bring each of those babies from somewhere in the addition. She carried them one at a time in her mouth. The youngin's curled around her body. She rested every few feet. And them climbed the spruce tree with each of the babies. I bet she was worn out! Then after a few days the babies ventured down the tree. They are still shy of me and the feeding ritual I have with their Mommie and Stubbie. I am looking forward to watching them grow. Their little tails are sooooo sweet! I think this one is a boy.
Here is Baby and Bess helping me to quilt. They always have to test drive the quilts. This one is destined for Grand daughter Zoey.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Irish Chain, failed bread and house critters

 Heaven, I'm in the tune by the famous dancer/singer Maurice Chevaliat (sp). I am in scrap heaven. I wore out a needle and emptied many half used bobbins.
I kept a log of the time and the name of each swapper's stack of squares I used.
(that was to avoid repeats and I do like to know how long it does take me to piece a quilt)
I now have the top done...but no picture in my camera yet. I am thinking I may make another whole set of blocks and make this quilt GIGANTIC for my own bed. It seems I have been churning out lots of lap size quilts and I do need another for my bed.
 I rotated my sewing area back to "winter" mode. The sun no longer blinds me when I sit in this position. Only problem is hubby has to back into the driveway because the sun reflection from his windshield hits me right in my left eye. I have been very light sensitive lately. Maybe it is growing older...maybe it is something else.
Anyway, here is the work area. Fun, fun, fun! And Baby on the back of the chair. She gives me back rubs when I am sitting in the chair. She also tries to kiss my neck...but I stop tickles!
 Love the little baggies with their BEAUTIFUL patches. I have another swap on my Yahoo group going that is due by December 15, 2010. Then I am doing a neutral swap due in January 2011.
 This little clear napkin holder is the best for holding Bonnie's book. So I can admire her work as I work.
I do have an extra copy (autographed) of her book Adventures with Leaders & Enders if any of you are interested. E-mail me privately please.
I started another hand quilting project using Bonnie's Freehand Fan method.
 This is Stubby's spring litter female that Stubby allows in her territory. She also takes food from our hands now. But she does one trick that Stubby never did. She climbs the storm door and peeks in and I swear she knocks on the door. When I open the door with food I am afraid she will dash in. The kitties are hoping she dashes in! You can see just a tiny bit of MaggieMae's fur at the door. They sniff noses at the corner. Too funny!
 Poor Stubby. When it rains she gets so very wet. Her tail does not work like an umbrella. I worry so about her when it does get cold. Squirrels wrap their bodies with their tails to keep warm too. But we must be doing something right as she is starting her thrird winter with us!
 Before the turning of the sewing area after my return from Shipsee. Baby loves cubby holes.
 Macy says "hi". She is getting famous from her video. And I do believe that she has hubby trained!
Who could resist that belly?????
 We had a tornado warning. The sirens went off. So the kitties and I went under the dining room table and we all snacked on yogurt until the "all clear" sounded. Some areas very close to us had wind damage. I believe 10 tornadoes struck the area that day.
 My bread did not was edible but short.
I bought some fresh yeast and the next two loaves were great. Then I tried some wheat flour and was disappointed again. sure smells good baking.
My patch from Shipshewana retreat!