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!