Saturday, April 30, 2016

Midnight Blues

Tuesday was not wonderful. There was rain, snow, sleet.

Only Sue and I made it in to sew at The Alton, New Hampshire Senior Center. Here she is working on her granddaughter's sleeves project.

I hand hemmed on Matthew's "Midnight Blues" quilt until my hand cramped and I could do no more.

But by Wednesday, the sun came to melt away the nonsense and bring us cheer!

I was able to get the binding finished on my quilt, Midnight Blues, although there is no label yet.

The quilt was begun in June of last year and I'm thrilled with this Kim Brackett design that I adapted to become a queen sized quilt. Her pattern is in her book, "Scrap Basket Surprises."

The blues were difficult for me to work on as they always put me in touch with my sadness, but it was what Matthew chose.

Seeing all the blues glowing in the glorious sunshine they look great to me now.

There are 36 large 12" blocks made of four quadrants each. Those 36 blocks are surrounded by an inner border, and then a piano key border.

I used a very dark blue flannel in a wide backing.

The fabrics are all Civil War reproductions with just a few traditional Civil War wanna-bees thrown in here and there.

The batting is Warm & White by the Warm Company and I quilted this myself in Hearts & Vines on a rented longarm.

There was one fabric that perhaps I "shouldn't" have used. It is a neutral but it "reads" as a red. It gives the quilt little pops of red. Since I am a red person more than blue, I left it in, LOL!

All  in all, I'm very happy with Midnight Blues!

The quilt taught me to work through the sadness to get to the other side where the sun shines.

Linking up to Em's Scrapbag. Link.
And to Oh Scrap! Link.
And to Love Laugh Quilt! Link.
And to Patchwork Times Link.
Happy quilting!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Living the Dream!

There is nothing like a fine Spring day to remind us of just how blessed we are to have made it through another winter.

I was so happy to wander about my yard enjoying the daffodils. I couldn't even bring myself to give Miss Emma Lynne a righteously deserved scolding for her having dug a brand new hole in the lawn of her dogyard.

Recently a dear friend gave me a recipe that made me laugh for the name of it is "Crack Green Beans." Thank you, Marge!
Felix made it up and it was as delicious as can be! Here is a picture showing that we just snipped the bacon onto the top and then let it bake to cook it with the green beans and the "Crack"sauce.

Crack Green Beans

4 cans of cut Green Beans (or frozen or fresh)

12 slices of Bacon cut up

2/3rds of a Cup of Brown Sugar (or all Splenda with some molasses)

1/4 Cup of Butter

2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

2 Teaspoons of Garlic Powder or Granulated Garlic

 Put the drained beans into a 9x12 baking dish and cover with the bacon pieces.  Mix the remaining ingredients (the "crack sauce") and pour over the beans and bacon. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes at 350, toss and serve.

In the meantime, in addition to plugging away on hand hemming my bindings on two quilts, I've also picked up where I'd left off with my low volume neutral strings piecing. This week, I got another ten blocks done, and I also cut and ironed more foundations from pre-washed muslin.

My stack of these is now up to 70 blocks all pressed, starched, and trimmed, then counted and pinned into sets of 10. Wheeee, only 11 to go to make my 81 blocks!!!

Over at The Golden Gese Quilt Shop at 22 Liberty Street in Concord, New Hampshire, the Friday Quilters gathered for some fun. Eleanor was making rows from her blocks, look!

The foam-tipped stick is perfect for pushing a block into position whenever your arms cannot reach it.

I thought that these were "Surprise Pinwheels" from Missouri Star Quilt Company, so I am providing that
But now I'm not sure which pattern it is! This is her block: It sure is pretty!

-Later. I have discovered that Eleanor's block is the Disappearing Pinwheels #5 from Missouri Star Quilt Company and here is the Link.

 Maureen was doing a great job of stitching and pressing her blocks, too!

Look at all the ones that she has done already! Good job! This is the Double Square Star. Link.

The whites are actually a white on white, but they look solid in the photos.

Beverly was back from her Canadian visit to her grandchildren and was sewing up a big bunch of those cool microwaveable bowl potholders.

Aren't they colorful in this pretty patchwork?

She's also making these blocks, too. So sophisticated!

Then "Little Claire" showed us her progress with chevrons. Wow, that's really Spring colors!

As for me, I had a ball sewing Mile-A-Minute Log Cabin blocks and was only disappointed to discover that my dang bobbin had run out, LOL!

Quick! More chocolate! I got the bobbin refilled and was soon off and running again!

Linking up to So Scrappy, Link.
Also linking up to Love Laugh Quilt, Link.
And Oh Scrap! Link.
And Em's Scrapbag. Link.

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Stringing Along

We had great fun at the Alton, New Hampshire Senior Center where The Sunshine Quilter's Club meets for our Bee every Tuesday.

Our group project has been to share some scrappy strips and to make some "Scrappy String Blocks", all with a unifying red strip diagonally in the center of each block. We were gleefully counting them!

Sue, on the left, and Joyce, on the right, determined that we now have 41 of the 48 blocks we needed!
YEAY!!!!! Almost there!

Do you recall Diane's lovely batik top from a couple of episodes back? Here it is to remind you:

Well, at my suggestion, Diane took her top to Linda Monasky's Bear Paw Gallery, in Alton, New Hampshire, to have it quilted. Link.

Diane had her top back and quilted inside of five days!! Good going, on the quilting, Linda! She can't always promise a turn-around that is that fast, but this time all the stars were aligned. Can you see how smooth and even the quilting is?

Even the back looks lovely!

Bev was diligently updating her counted cross stitch patterns in spite of some very painful twinges in a pinched nerve in her neck. The antique fire trucks design is awesome!

As for me, I wore my funny newest Tee shirt that reads, "Chocolate is the answer to all questions."
Matthew's quilt, Midnight Blues is now officially at the halfway point of the hand hemming, hooray!

Felix made me a special treat for my supper. If you absolutely hate cooked liver, then you should quickly close your eyes, stick your fingers into your ears, and run away babbling monkey noises right away!

The pound of bacon and the two pounds of fresh chicken livers dredged through whole wheat bread crumbs, were lightly cooked in the same deep wok, but separately, with the bacon first, then it was set aside to drain. Yellow summer squash was lightly steamed for the perfect counterpart. I ate myself silly!

Later, I even made another four string blocks for the stack!

Hope you made some progress on your goals and had some fun while doing it!

Linking up to Em's Scrapbag. Link.
Linking up to Whoop Whoop Friday's. Link.

Happy quilting!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Delightful Day!

My Saturday began early with helping my beloved Husband Wonderful get off to a good start and out the door to his trade show this weekend.

I played in my scraps and sewed up a respectable "nest" of mice, the calico catnip variety, that is.

My next door neighbor, Al, had pretty much cleaned me out of them with his eight, yes, eight playful kitties.

I wanted a few extra mice and I made that above seen HST orphan into a nice French Lavender & Pakistani Rose Petals sachet, too.

These were all gifts for my Quilting Guru, Ellen Peters, up in Laconia, New Hampshire. Below is Ellen, wrangling a small "Franken-batt" that I'd cobbled together from scraps of batting.

Ellen was helping me by loading my little top made from fabrics designed by Howard Marcus', "Collections For A Cause" Community line from Moda.

This top was sewn from a couple of Charm Packs that I'd bought in the wee hours of the night when I was lonely and bored and although I know better, I bought them anyway!

I just love those olde timey looking Civil War reproductions! Soon the little 48" by 58" top was ready to Rock & Roll. Or Minuet, as the case might be.

I quilted this one in just over an hour in spite of it being a small, recliner-sized quilt.

What took the extra time was my learning curve for a new-to-me feathers cluster blossom quilting pattern that I had heard discussed on a fellow quilting group, Stashbusters. Here is the scrap of paper that I practiced upon and brought with me to place before me as I worked. Click to enlarge the shot.

Going in lines in either direction and keeping the scale evenly spaced was quite challenging enough for me, thank you very much!

The echo-stitching often got way off course, but the overall effect came out very pleasing to the eye.

Soon it was done and my back and shoulder muscles were very happy that it was a small quilt.

The regular stripe of the outer border was a Judie Rothermel by Marcus Brothers' Textiles that had been kicking around in my stash. It felt good to see it chime in perfectly with the Moda. The backing was a lovely red paisley that was given to me by my very dear friend, Ila, in Illinois. Thank you, Ila!

Now the quilt is home and ready for trimming and binding.

The late afternoon sunshine made the quilting just glow.

Not bad for a rank amateur, huh? Glad that I chose an antique tan with a rosy overtone for the top thread, with a deep red in the single bobbin that I used below on the backing.

Before you leave, let me also share a quilt that Ellen just completed called, "Simply Woven," done in batiks. (Link)
She quilted it in a large, loose, bubble pattern that is very becoming! Nice work, Ellen!

Roseanna held up her lovely and elegant fused applique giraffe top. So fetching!

It was a great day all around!

This post is linked to Scraptastic Tuesday! Link.

Ps. This was from a little later when I got the little quilt trimmed.

It was still sunny at 6pm!

All set and trimmed!

Miss Emma Lynne tried to help by chasing kitties down the hallway because she knows that kitties aren't supposed to be inside the house, gasp! Those are outdoor-only kitties!!!

Good dog, Miss Emma!
Linking up this post with So Scrappy! Link.
And to Love Laugh Quilt! Link.

Happy quilting!

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