Monday Goals

Monday, November 28, 2011
Today Ken and I are driving home to South Dakota.  We're taking the scenic route--Ken is looking at farm machinery, and I'm on the lookout for quilt shops.

Goals for the week---
  1. quilt another top
  2. finishing the binding on Henrietta's two quilts
  3. finish binding on Petey's quilt 
  4. Play with a sample block
  5. Work on a piecing project

I'm going to get as much done as I can before I come back to Minnesota.  Laura Beth is due December 10th, and that's pretty close.  I need to start making a list of what to pack.  So far the list is-

sewing machine
cutting mat
sewing table
sewing case

Maybe socks and underwear should be on that list!  I did a little Black Friday shopping--I went to JoAnn's, Hancock's, and Hobby Lobby!  In the AFTERNOON--I knew they would still have plenty of fabric!   Nothing too exciting, fleece for backing a quilt, and flannel for burp clothes and other baby needs. 

I do have new pictures--these were taken in October at Minneopa State Park near Mankato.

Mason, Laura Beth, and Nick

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.  We ate too much turkey (of course)!

A New Favorite Tool

Saturday, November 26, 2011
Do you look at all the quilting tools out there? I do!  I saw a "Bias Tape Maker Machine".  Whoa!~!  Almost $100--no way!!  But then I saw the "tip"--you buy that separately.  I use tips to make different size bias for applique.  Now, why couldn't you use the 2.5" tip to make quilt binding, without the expensive machine?  So--I bought one. 

ITS THE NEXT BEST THING TO A ROTARY CUTTER!!  Seriously--I like bias binding.  I don't mind MAKING the bias binding.  I HATED the pressing of the binding.  I was always burning my fingers on the iron.  Had a zillion pins stuck to hold the binding while I ironed it.  It took forever!  

I made binding for a king size quilt.  Pressed it using the new tool.  Took me 15 minutes--maybe.  I never burned my fingers.  

I took a few pictures of how I use that tip.
First--you make your binding--and press all the seams the same way--AWAY from the tip.

Then--you thread one end of the binding through the tip and pin it at one end of your ironing board.  See the stick pin on the right?

I pull the binding tool with my left hand--ironing it flat as it comes out the tip.  When you get to a seam--you hold the pressed binding down with your right hand--and tug gently to pull the seam through.  You can pull/iron the entire length of your ironing board if you like.  Then--you reposition the binding back to the right (if you iron from right to left) and stick a pin in.  And press another ironing board length.   You only need the ONE pin, and the iron stays away from your fingers. 

Using that tool makes pressing binding a breeze.  I make binding 2.5" wide and then its folded in half--I sew a generous seam when I apply binding--easier to do, wears longer, and fills the binding on the inside.

Want one? Buy it here for $12 with free shipping. 

And that's why I have so many quilts ready to hand sew the binding!  

Double Slice Quilt is Finished

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Last week I saw a quilt on Doni's blog.   What caught my eye was the homespuns.  If you've ever worked with homespuns you understand.  The plaids and stripes are wonky.  It ravels and stretches and generally just doesn't behave!   I had a small stash of homespuns---mostly given to me from my favorite BIL--they had been his mother's.   I starched those homespuns into submission and started cutting.  Ummm--let's just say they weren't eye catching blocks.   More like "butt ugly".   I sent Henrietta a picture of the blocks sew together.  First there was silence---long silence--and then she said they were "Fnugly".  And she laughed hysterically.  Next I asked Ken to look at them hanging on my design wall.  He stared intently for a minute, then turned and said "this is one of those trick questions, isn't it??!!"  Well, THAT was no help!.  Next I asked Elaine.   Elaine had several suggestions and I used them.  Her suggestions helped turn the ugly duckling into a swan. 

Elaine's Double Slice
Elaine suggested a slubby muslin inner border.  Then--a narrow green TOT border.   Last--a brown border.   She said "simple quilting".   I used a cream thread and an allover pantograph.   It turned out exactly like I was hoping---a masculine quilt--there is not one floral fabric--the backing is pieced with more TOT green from the border, and a pretty cream print with pine cones.  The binding was on my cardboard roll--a homespun stripe and a navaho print in earthy colors.   And the best part--it was all from stash!  I almost threw the blocks out, but Elaine saw past them to a finished quilt.   Elaine---its all due to you!!  I'm very tempted to keep this quilt--but its going to be a QOV--I'll send it to Alycia later. 

Have you ever had a quilt that "almost" threw out before it was finished---and then loved how it turned out??

Monday Goals--Thanksgiving Week

Monday, November 21, 2011
My only goal this week is hand sewing of bindings.  I now have a small pile of quilts to that point.

I haven't started hand sewing on these yet

7 quilts are waiting or in the process of hand sewing the binding.  Whew!

With Thanksgiving this week, there won't be much time to sew.  I plan to play with Mason and cook the turkey.  Maybe Mason and I will have time to make cookies.  I miss my cooking buddy.  
I wish you all a Peaceful and Happy Thanksgiving.

Motivation Friday

Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday was very busy--just imagine it's Friday!  Check on those goals---I did finish quilting the QOV and loaded another top on the long arm.  I haven't worked on Petey quilt--but I have a good excuse!  My right index finger has a cut right across the pad on the end--ouch!   I was cutting up chicken breasts--and from the repeated pushing down on the blade of the knife with my index finger (the back side of the blade must have sharp corners) I have a nice bruised cut.  Since I couldn't hand sew, I kept busy quilting and working on machine sewing projects. 

I haven't any quilty pictures--but remember I said I was working with chicken breasts?  I was canning them--I had bought almost TWO coolers full.   Probably at least 50-55 pounds.  Why--they were on sale for $.88 @ lb (whole with bone and skin).  In the fall I usually can three large turkeys.  But these breasts were quite cheap so I canned them.  How much did I get?

Canned Chicken Breasts
35 packed pint jars.  I quickly pressure cooked the breasts one evening---then I set them outside in big pots on my deck--in a wooden box with a lid.  The box kept all the varmints away that might want to investigate the wonderful smells in those pots!  The next day I removed the fat (its cold here--the fat rose to the top overnight on the broth and solidified), cut the breasts up removing the skin and bones.  Packed my jars fairly tight and boiled the broth down to pour over the meat in jars.  I had added lots of chunked onion, carrots and celery with the leaves when I cooked the chicken.  No salt, no other seasoning.  I strained the broth--throwing away the veggies, they were pretty pathetic by then!

Why do I can meat??  Its easy.  It won't take up freezer space.  Laura Beth and Nick find it handy for those days when they come home from work, nothing is thawed out, and Mason is ready to chew on your leg--he's a 3 yo and he's hungry NOW!  Several casserole recipes on hand, and if all else fails--make chicken salad sandwiches!    Its one of those "emergency" foods we have on hand for when you get company unexpectedly and need to cook FAST!

We finished emptying the camper, had the dealer winterize it, and took it to storage late yesterday afternoon.  I'm always sad when I park it--but snow, freezing rain, and high winds were predicted--so its good its put away.  We missed most the storm--but its cold and I see tiny skiffs of snow outside. 

Tonight we have Thanksgiving at a nephew's--all I had to make was a salad.  Next week I am cooking Thanksgiving at Laura Beth and Nick's.   Tomorrow I have nothing planned, I'm going to spend it sewing!  

Design Wall and Monday Goals

Monday, November 14, 2011
I have this Scrappy Blue Bargello on the wall.   So far border fabric hasn't jumped out and screamed "USE ME USE ME".  

Scrappy Blue Bargello
There isn't any of that blue left.  I'm sure I'll find something.  

All the blue "25 in 25" blocks are done.  Next is to do math for the sashing and borders.  I did a little quilting, a QOV is on the long arm.  Not much to see, but I was playing with the camera trying to take pictures of the quilting.
Waterworld on QOV
Its a simple pantograph---Waterworld by Jodi Beamish using tan thread. 
Goals for this week---

  1. Finish Petey quilt binding
  2. Finish quilting QOV
  3. Load another top

I still have a crick in my neck, and added one in my left arm and shoulder.  Nothing new--I've had it before.  Yesterday we carried most the camper "stuff" in and I've been sorting and putting away.  Found two more cake mixes!   

Lots of errands this week, won't be much time for sewing.  

Veterans Day, Motivation Friday

Friday, November 11, 2011
Today is Veteran's Day.  Remember to thank those who served

Time to check on my goals.  There's been a lot of sewing here! 

Quilted Petey top, made binding, sewed it on. Now its ready for the hand stitching

Work on a UFO--pulled out Sunny Lanes flimsey and put on the borders.  Whew--its a king size, was a bit awkward.

Found a quilted scrappy bargello and applied a scrappy binding--two sections I'd saved on my cardboard tube

Trimmed a kids brite quilt, now its ready for binding

Loaded a QOV

Hmmm--I've done my goals from Monday--except a fun block. 

My progress
I decided to start a new project---I love the pattern "25 in 25" and decided to make it in blues.   2" strips---so I pulled out blues.  I cut 50 different blue fabrics.  While I had the fabric out and flat, I also cut 2.5" strips, and if the piece had a chunk cut out somewhere--I evened it out and put those cuts in the scrap box.  I have all the strip sets sewn and pressed, ready for cutting.

Blue 2.5" strips and Extra 2" strips
Here's my extra strips, all tied up nicely with a selvage.    There are probably enough 2" strips for another project.  Unless I miscalculated--which I often do!  And a whole bunch of 2.5" strips---good prospect for a quilt that uses jelly rolls. 

The camper is being emptied.  I've had a bad crick in my neck--just a muscle spasm--but it sure incapacitates me.   Ken brought in the canned goods.   Why did I have 6 regular cans of tuna--and one MONGO size can?   I've not that fond of tuna!  Five cake mixes.   Still more to be unloaded, but I like to put away the stuff as it comes in, lots of sorting.  There are items that will be stored in boxes in the basement until next year.  

Monday Goals

Monday, November 7, 2011
New week--time for new goals.  

  1. Quilt Petey's top
  2. Hand sew one binding 
  3. Make a backing or binding for a waiting top--or both
  4. Sew on a UFO
  5. Play with a block

Have to schedule some play time---its part of the fun process.  The camper is now parked in front of our house, we will be unloading it and getting it ready for storage.  Always a sad time for me--I do love camping and volunteering.

I finished binding a UFO--Henrietta's American Pie Quilt.

I think she finished the top in March of 2010.  Henrietta loves chickens, the backing is green with tiny yellow chicks.   I still have two more quilts ready for the hand sewing, one of my favorite parts of quilting. 

Do you plan your time?  I cannot plan any longer than a week, it becomes too overwhelming.  But weekly goals--and they are only goals--works for me.  I'm off to the sewing room and a bit of laundry!

Motivation Friday

Friday, November 4, 2011
Time to check on my goals.  Its been a busy week!  

The backing is ready for Petey's quilt.  I've worked on my Secret Santa project.   And, I made a backing for a top.  I even quilted that backing onto one of Henrietta's quilts!   I made a binding for another of Henrietta's quilts.  And machine stitched them on--I just have to hand sew them down.  I was on a roll!

Mason needed some new sheets.  His crib is now a toddler bed, and I forgot how long its been since I made any sheets.  Now he sleeps with a pillow---and of course a pillowcase or two from Grandma would be nice.  Ken and I squished this all in a priority box.  

5 sheets, 2 pillowcases.   4 sheets are flannel, and they just didn't squish real well!  I did find some Beatrix Potter fabric in my stash, but the Dr. Suess I had to buy.  And the yellow and red flannels I bought--I just don't have a flannel stash.  

I finished the baby blue 4 patches.  Having binding ready to go really sped it along.   This finish will keep me from being the UFO Queen--this time. 

If you ever have the chance to meet a fellow blogger/internet friend--DO NOT PASS IT UP!  This week I met Susan--and we didn't get to talk near long enough.  Susan--I have lots of questions I forgot to ask while we talked--expect a LONG email!  

Susan's route took her close to me, she was moving some stash.  Take a peak in her car--

Yup, that SUV is full of stash and things.  There is a sewing machine riding shotgun on the passenger side floor.   This was a solo run--no room for passengers!  But Susan did find room for a bit more stash from the local quilt shop. 

Over the weekend Ken and I plan to pack the camper up and move it home.   No sewing until next week.