Saturday, July 30, 2016

Catching Up

There is news to share from both the Tuesday quilty groups.

Tuesday was The Sunshine Club and we were so happy to welcome Joyce back from her various bouts of radiation and chemo as she bravely battles a brain tumor. Great to see you, Joyce!

Back from Cape Cod, Diane, below, was still working on the binding of her beachy quilt and doing a fine job!

I left a bit early to go on to the Farmer's Wife Hand Sewing Group down in Milton, New Hampshire at the Evergreen Country Primitives Quilt Shop.

There, I shamelessly showed off the big log cabin that I'm still not finished hand hemming.

My hostess, shop owner Camille, was wearing a great Tee shirt that read, "I'm here for the SEX, Stash Enhancing Experience". Too funny!!

Sue, below, had two rainbows of colors of thread for her beautiful applique work.

She prepares each tiny piece so carefully.

This is the pattern Sue is doing.

You may click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Just gorgeous!

Dawn was working on her English Paper Piecing project, Lucy Boston blocks.

These are all fussy cut and look so fine!

It had been so terribly hot that no one, especially I, wanted to bake a goody to bring. So I brought some no bake cheesecake!

It was pretty easy to make and by using Splenda, I ensured that my type two diabetic Felix could enjoy any leftovers.

 No Bake Cheesecake Bites

One 8oz package of softened lite cream cheese
One 8oz tub of no sugar Cool Whip, thawed
One Cup of Bulk Splenda
Splash of flavoring as desired (Vanilla, almond, etc. I used Hazelnut.)
Your favorite Girl Scout cookies or Oreos

Cream the Splenda and the flavoring into the lite cream cheese.Then with a spatula, fold in the thawed no-sugar Cool Whip. Reserve just a few spoonfuls of the Cool Whip as "frosting."

Place one GS cookie into a paper cupcake liner in a muffin tin. Heap the mixture on top of the cookie to fill the paper liner. Frost with a pretty swirl of the reserved Cool Whip and garnish as desired. (Strawberry half, jimmies, chocolate curls made with a vegetable peeler, etc)

Refrigerate for one hour and keep refrigerated until serving. Makes about 10.

Usually I say that we chomped chocolate, but no! The container of Hersey's Nuggets got left on the seat of my car in the sun for, get this, LESS THAN AN HOUR, and they got all gooey. Too hot!

In the meantime, Mr. Tipper enjoyed the shade in his cat bed flower planter.

Pray for rain and stay cool.

Linking up to Oh, Scrap! Link.

Happy sewing!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Friends and Fabrics

Yes, it's still kinda hot outside but I have some stuff to show you. Like in my hallway, I put up one of those huge office store pads with a one inch light blue grid on it. I use my Sharpie fine point marker to doodle a few quilting designs before actually FMQ on fabric.

Most of these were all suggested by Mary Johnson over at, thank you, Mary!! Link.

Having done some practice drawings to train my brain, I spray basted a couple of FQ's to some batting scraps to make a mini quilt sandwich.

This will just be a "Cat Mat", a bit of bound and quilted cloth to throw into the bottom of the cat carrier when transporting a cat or small dog to the veterinarian's office. They wash like rags and it's a good thing!

If you try these, be sure to put the light side up as you are quilting it so that you can see where you are going with the design. You can click on any picture to enlarge it to see better.

Also, I had an incident of a too-long toenail on Miss Emma Lynne. She hates to have me trim them and I hate to make her miserable by doing it. So they occasionally get way too long.

Her toenail ripped the top layer of her Cheapy Chinese Knock Off futon quilt. Ask me why I buy these now for her use.

Being that I still love the quilt even though it only came from Walmart, I had to mend it.

A scrap of a neutral strip from that wonderful box from my friend Teresa in Texas was perfect! Thank you again, Reesie!

Here is the same spot on the quilt after I scribbled a bunch of FMQ on top of the little patch.

There were two other tiny holes that just required stitching over them with no patch at all. But when I went to photograph the mends, it was hard to find them, they were so well blended to the quilt.

Love that Cornsilk colored cotton thread from India by Connecting Threads! Their Tea Dyed Essential Thread is a pretty light color, too. Link.

I think that I'd told you that I'd gotten all my binding prepared for that big log cabin.

This is coming along nicely!

I bit the bullet and finally stopped procrastinating on the task of machine sewing it onto the front of the quilt.

That Paula Barnes designed R&B Tavern red from Marcus Brothers Textiles looks wonderful. With their heavy beefy cotton base cloth, it will wear like iron!

But horsing that big 98" by 98" quilt around was very taxing. I think I'm getting old.

No pictures of me hand hemming it yet, but I'm slow stitching along on it.

Yesterday's mail made me howl with delight!

My very, very dear friend, Grace, had sent me a cute fridge magnet that she saw at Quilt Odyssey in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Oh, thank you, Grace!!

Why, you ask?

This next picture is from my stash-crowded living room where Grace has politely sipped her Diet Pepsi and ignored my mess.

Stash Management Flunkie, Summa Cum Laude!

Also, back on Tuesday, my very dear friend, Maureen, stopped by while I was out gallavanting. She left me this gorgeous gift of a sewing machine mat with pockets! It's by Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company. Link.

She even freehand embroidered my name on it in my beloved favorite color, RED! Look at that!!

I love those Civil War reproduction fabrics by Barbara Brackman. The whole thing was a big surprise and I love it. Thank you, Maureen! She also mailed me the latest Burger King coupons from the Sunday newspaper, Yippee!

Isn't that pocket material that same Jo Morton for Andover? You know, the one on the backing too, that we were recently talking about? With the stylized feather motif? Janet will know!

Well, I hope that you are staying cool enough to enjoy some sewing and quilting! I'm surrounded by friends and fabric; it's heavenly.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Keep On Doing It!

Been pretty hot here, so not much traveling for me. When it's over 80°, I hide in my air conditioning or go down cellar where it's cooler. But a couple of weeks ago, I forgot to post my progress at The Sunshine Club at the Alton, New Hampshire Senior Center, so here it is.

These are 4 or 5 nice charm packs that I'm just throwing together "randomly." They are from the Howard Marcus designed, "Collections For A Cause" Nurture line by Moda.

Sewing them into two-sies and then four-sies for a giant 4-patch is quick and fun. I'm doing them on my little Scotland-made 1951 Singer Featherweight that I named, "Scottie." I even got a few pressed!
They look so nice when they are stacked neatly, don't they?

Sue, below, was working on her Black & White strings project.

It sure is nice to have the ironing board and iron that Marjorie and Bev donated. Thank you, thank you!!

Sue's blocks have lots of pizzazz!

Bev joined us with her big soccer themed Tee-shirt quilt that just needs binding. Whoo hoo! good job, Bev!!

Bev has been determined to do this project right and it's coming out great!

We all enjoyed each others company and chomped some chocolates, too!

 A few days later, I worked on making a couple of sets of potholders, but this time I used orphan blocks from the Jewel Box project. Remember this one?

Well, these are the blocks that didn't quite make the cut to go into the quilt.

The binding is a pretty tan and red gingham that was a constant to unify the matching pairs.

Also made into potholders were the bright white Half Square Triangles blocks. They were rejected because they stood out like sore thumbs in the big quilt's mellow layout. Far better to use them up somewhere where folks will spill spaghetti sauce on them.

With some whimsical Free Motion Quilted doodling on the fronts to hold them together, and an adorable teapot on tattersall backing, these will be stashed for quick but welcomed Christmas presents.

What ho, you say? How fares the big log cabin? Well, I ruminated for a day or two upon what to choose for it's binding material.

After considering the Faye Burgos bias stripe that I had expected to use, I chose instead, a red print by Paula Barnes from her R&B Tavern series produced by Marcus Brothers Textiles. It had been gathering dust, literally, in one of my stockpiles in the living room, but it's perfect for the quilt!

Now I have the Paula Barnes red binding all prepared and the quilt trimmed. I'm just doing my required procrastination time before sewing it onto the quilt.

Miss Tanner stuck her tongue out at me for that one!

Keep the faith and stay cool!

Linking up to Oh, Scrap! Link.
Linking to Em's Scrapbag. Link.
Linking up to Love Laugh Quilt! Link.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Working Up an Appetite

Here we are at the "Buck Moon" full moon for July already. I'm happy to report that I was able to go to Ellen Peters' Cat Whiskers Studio yesterday while the temperatures were still cool. Here is Ellen, below, getting my quilt loaded on to the big machine.

This quilt is a large log cabin at 97" by 99", roughly square. Its size presented some minor challenges with my 90" Warm & White batting. My batting was too skinny!
Fortunately, Ellen is always very generous with her personal batting scrap pile, so we found a piece that was a long skinny strip to tuck in on one side. Thanks, Ellen!

The design of this particular layout is credited to Cheryl in Iowa and I felt that it was complex enough to warrant very simple quilting. This is what the layout looked like before quilting.

I chose a very soft buff antique tan quilting thread for both the top and below on the bobbin.

Here I am, below, ready to start the 24 runs of large scale clam shells. The blocks themselves, at 8" square, provided a very good visual spacing mechanism as I worked across each row.

I quilted this pattern upside down, making approximately 4 inch wide letter "U's" that dipped halfway down the length of each block.
Then, every following row began with a skinny half of a "U" that aimed upwards to meet the middle of the curve of the previous row.

In this way, each row was automatically offset from the next row. The other benefit was that I was never stranded at the end of the row. I'd just drop down the side of the quilt a wee bit and continue on in the opposite direction.

More disturbing than having batting that wasn't wide enough for this behemoth, was discovering at the end of the quilting, that the backing barely made it to the edge! Yikes! My binding is going right out to the selvedge.

All's well that ends well, as Shakespeare said! We made it work.

Soon I was home to photograph the backing fabric. This was listed by Thousands Of Bolts as a "Gold" flannel cotton wide backing, but I'd say it is a warm tan or beige.

Below is another photo of it, but without the flash to show the quilting a little better. The quilting is nice and open so I hope that it will be a nice drapey quilt, albeit heavy.

The pattern is quite an old traditional favorite and I like the way it lets the fabrics speak.

The nicest thing is to know that it is quilted now and not just a pile of blocks gathering dust in a basket! Yippee!

Felix mixed some eggs with Panko seasoned breadcrumbs and flour and sauteed it all with big chunks of garden fresh zucchini. He put a lid on top of the wok to steam the zucchini as the breading browned. Boy, oh boy, was it ever good!

I was hungry after all that quilting!

Linking up to Whoop! Whoop! Friday. Link.

Happy sewing!

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