Saturday, February 9, 2008

New Enjoyment from a Favorite Book

This is the book from which my next leader/ender (Plan B) is coming. I also want to make the quilt in the second picture at some time. In the top picture, Plan B is at the bottom right of the book cover.

When making a quilt, if I have to refer to the book's directions much, it is frustrating to have the book tend to try to close all the time. I had this book spiral bound this past week after fighting with it on and off one day. I had it done at Office Max for $3. A small price to pay for a bit of sanity, eh?

I still feel cruddy with a horrible sore throat. I spent part of this afternoon ironing and cutting I Spy quilt prints. I just laid out 3 more top centers, ready for when one of the children wants to piece them. You have to read the webbing the top instructions for keeping a laid out quilt in a stack off the design wall and ready to sew. It makes piecing so easy w/o fear of mixing up the blocks.


Due North Flannel Top Finished!

This is a UFO I started a couple months ago and then stalled. It was from a kit that I bought on eBay. This is identical to the first top we pieced for a customer, so it has some sentimental value. It is all Thimbleberries flannel. It's like sewing colored clouds. I used a walking foot for all the piecing. It finishes at 58" x 82". I have the backing in the washer now. It matches the strips between the geese and the outer border. I only prewash flannels.

Lest you think I just sew all day (well, you're almost right)...all I had to do to finish this top was put on the navy inner border and large print outer border. When the backing is dry, I'll piece it and get it basted right away. That's my next sewing machine project.

I am trying to finish up some UFOs while only piecing on a leader/ender project. Here are two blocks from my next leader/ender...

The name of the quilt is "Plan B". I'll be posting later on the book from which the pattern comes. The squares are all 2". That's the size I cut most of my scraps down to. If they are not 2" wide, I cut them into 1-1/2" strips for my log cabin boxes. If they're smaller than that, I pitch them.

I'm feeling horrible (sore throat, body aches, etc.), so I'm heading upstairs for some hot soup and a nap. Yuck!


Splintered Arrow Top Completed

Here is DD2's completed quilt top (actually, it's our customers's top, but YKWIM). It measures about 64" square. I think this is a job well done!

She has cut a second kit that will be a joy to sew. We almost always sew with just Thimbleberries. The new kit is a Moda kit of Rhubarb and Ginger fabrics. It's pretty florals and some interesting "light" fabrics.


Apple Pan Dowdy Recipe

I have had many requests for this recipe. So here goes...


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup milk

Mix the flour, powder and salt well. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until small "peas" form. Add milk and mix lightly. Form into two balls. Roll each ball into a 7" x 12" rectangle.

Sprinkle each lightly with cinnamon. Cover with a layer of apples (Granny Smith are best) which have been cut into small chunks (we slice them, then cut each slice into 4-5 pieces). Sprinkle with brown sugar followed by more cinnamon. Roll up from long side like jelly rolls or cinnamon buns. Cut into 1-1/2" wide pieces, place cut side down in a 10" x 15" baking dish.

Mix these ingredients in a separate bowl...

1 cup brown sugar
2 cups very hot water
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Pour over the apple rolls. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

Makes about 16 servings (pieces/rolls).

Friday, February 8, 2008

And The Winner Is...

Congratulations! Please privately email me your address and choice of the FQs or runner. Whoo-hoo!!


Thursday, February 7, 2008

7/8 of Offspring and Scrappy Trips

Here's most of the crew. DS1 is at work. I knew some of you couldn't sleep without a picture of my Scrappy Trips to see before bedtime.

Front L-R are DS2 (holding his birthday sword--yes, you read that right), DD4, DD3. Back row L-R is DD3, DS4, DD1, and DS3. Get that??

I'm thinking this would be a great gift quilt. So easy and fast.


Double Birthday Celebration

If you've been reading my blog for very long, you already know that my DH (center) and I have 8 wonderful children. It's hard to believe that 15 years ago today DS2 (left) and 10 years ago today DD4 (right) came into the world. And hasn't it been a better place because of them? I sure think so! I thank God for each of my children (and DH) daily, but today is special because it's the birthday for these two special and undeserved blessings.

When DS2 realized (when he was 4) that our baby would be born near his birthday (she was due 2-9), he asked me if she could come ON his birthday. I seized the opportunity to teach him that it was out of my control, but he could ask God to send her that day. He started praying THAT NIGHT. Fast forward a couple months...on the evening of 2-6, I went into labor. I distinctly remember telling my husband that baby girl would be born on DS2's birthday because I wasn't going to do the labor thing for >24 hours. For years DS2 thought DD4 WAS his birthday present.

I always enjoy hearing how families celebrate birthdays. We let the birthday person pick all the meals for their day. In the case of these two, they used to agree on meals for the day, but now they opt for celebrating both their birthdays, two days in a row! Getting greedy about the special meals. DS2 asked for Apple Pan Dowdy (in pic above) for dessert. The days of cakes are long gone around here. It's been a long time since someone asked for an actual CAKE. I'll post the recipe if I get a request. Apple Pan Dowdy came from one of my e-friends in Canada years ago. It's so delicious, especially warm with vanilla ice cream (which is how we ate it). We also give the girls a "big girl" necklace when they turn ten.

On another cheery note, I can hardly believe it's true, but my Scrappy Trips quilt is quilted, bound, and LABELED!! I probably need to have label day around here. I rarely make labels for my quilts. But since I've been working on the antique string quilt of Emma's, I have been thinking about posterity more and more. I hope someone will be looking at my quilts in 80 years and wondering who made them and when.

I meander quilted the center and outermost border. I did a repetetive swoopy thing in the outer checkerboard and leaves in the inner black border. I did a bias binding. I could not remember how to cut and resew it, but I found the directions here. It looks neat because it's the same black strips as this border, but on the diagonal.

I got the idea for quilting the leaves from my new fan, er, I mean friend, Marcie. Look at Marcie's quilt border. Lovely leaves, eh?

Gotta go finish celebrating birthdays...


DD2's Splintered Arrow Top Center

You know, everyone has different gifts. My DD2 pieced the above quilt top for one of our customers. Precision is one of her gifts. The little red and white HST's finish at 1-1/2" square. She trimmed all 320 of those squares down before piecing them into the top. She literally shaved off a thread or two from each side so they would be as nearly perfect as possible. The top picture measures abaout 45" square. I'll post a pic of the whole top when it's finished.

I have 20 names so far in the drawing for the FQs or table runner. Enter now...the drawing is tomorrow evening at 9 PM EST.


Ever Have One of THOSE Days?

In my attempt to quilt up some tops instead of starting to piece new ones, I thought I'd just machine quilt my scrappy trips top yesterday. The best laid plans...

It was a very frustrating experience. I was doing it on my DSM. Above is a picture of one of the SMALL thread nests that pulled to the back and drove me near insanity. The top thread is chestnut brown, and the back thread is baguette. I finally had to stop and leave the premises.

The thread kept breaking, the tension wouldn't stay optimum. much going wrong. I rethreaded, cleaned, and oiled my machine. I tried a new needle. I surrendered. After coming back (hours later), I did a little piecing just to see if my machine had a major problem. Well, now it's free-motion quilting like a dream, but I was very keyed up about it for quite a while. I have about 1/3 of the quilt yet to machine quilt.

I bought this backing fabric from a (now) friend on eBay a while ago. It's butter yellow with pears...flannel, too! It's such a pretty fabric. The pears look like they've been stenciled on there.

~Joan, who is back in her right mind

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Winner's Choice for Give-Away

Last night it came to my attention that give-aways on blogs are not unusual. However, after looking at some of the items being given away, I was not inclined to put my name in for any of them! So, to take the mystery out of MY give-away, I am giving you a choice of one of the following items...

Your first choice is the 6 red Thimbleberries fat quarters shown below. This would be the DIY prize, LOL!

And then for those of you who read the above and slapped your forehead while simultaneously thinking, "Oh great--just what I need, another UFO in the works!", your other choice is the mini table runner below. It measures 8-1/2" x 17-1/2". Made from all Thimbleberries fabrics. The blocks are blue, red, and green with cream. The sashing, inner border, and binding are black. The outer border is red. Ideal for a small table or hanging on the wall.

The winner can let me know his/her choice after the lucky name is pulled on Friday.

I have had two ladies (Winona and churlish) not leave email addresses where they can be reached. I still put their name in the bowl. If I pick a name that has no address, I'll give you 24 hours to respond via my blog, then I pick another name. So don't despair if your name is not picked. Remember to include an email address if you don't have a blog or have it set to "no reply".

Count your blessings,


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Big ONE OH OH Give-Away

My 100th post, and I don't know what to say! I'll just report on my everyday life as usual, with a surprise at the end.

Above is DD3 and Houdini, her parakeet. I'm not giving either one of them away!! Houdini is the one with the bright blue feathers. Aren't they cute together? Houdini kept tickling DD3 as she walked around on her shoulders, making DD giggle...such a fun sound. Wish you could hear it!

And here is my accomplishment for this AM and last night. Half of the center of a Scrappy Stars quilt top. I added a block to each row to make it larger (if you've been reading along as I write, you know I need to make larger quilts these days). Can't have anyone complaining about cold feet or shoulders.

This section measures 68" x 34". I like the zigzag coming down like a streak of lightning between the rows. As much as I love scrappy quilts, I like to control it a bit. In these blocks, I've used the same cream background for a block (although each block has a different cream). I've also used the same print for all 8 triangles in the star. Again, each block is a different print.

I am going to go upstairs and hand quilt a while and visit with the children up there.

In honor of my 100th post, I am conducting a give-away. If you want to be included, leave me a comment (and make sure I have your email address to reply to you) before Friday. On Friday night (9 PM EST) I will draw a name and post the winner. I haven't completely decided the prize yet, but you can be sure it will be quilt-y. Probably a bunch of FQs and a pattern. But that remains to be seen. If you comment and want to be included in the drawing, be sure to say so. I'll be keeping a basket next to my computer for names as they are entered. If you just comment and don't mention the give-away, I'll assume you don't want to participate. You don't have to have your own blog to participate, but I do need your email address.

Blogging has been so fun. I know there are always bad things no matter where you go. I have read a blog here or there where the mood is dark and the language is in the gutter. Of course I have since avoided those folks. But I have enjoyed making new acquaintances and making friends of former acquaintances here!

I enjoy reading many of your blogs. It's like peeking over your shoulder while you sew. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement.


Monday, February 4, 2008

99th Post :)

Welcome to my 99th post. And I thought I'd never keep on with blogging. Some of you are wondering when I'll stop!

Above is a block I pieced this AM. It will be a whole quilt some day. I am cleaning up my cutting table. It has so much of this and that on it that I can't find anything. I am cutting down my scraps into usable sized pieces. This block is 17-1/2" square. That's right. After working on the Carolina Crossroads, everything over 1-1/2" wide seems big, but this is humongous!!

Off to do a little grocery shopping. I'll come back later for post #100.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl

I heard that today was Super Bowl day. I read lots of blogs, and I didn't see ONE bowl. The bowl above is my favorite serving bowl. It is Parker-sized (which means it holds a lot) and it matches the red walls in my kitchen. Plus is was purchased at 80% off this past year. Hard to beat...

But wait!

DD2 just brought me down THIS bowl, and I think it's a strong contender for a super bowl. Hmmm...we really are out of the sports loop. And proud of it!

Hope you have a super Monday.