Saturday, October 30, 2010


This is a new recipe I tried for supper. It's a pizza braid. I used cubed ham, browned pork sausage, pizza sauce, and 2 cups of mozzerella cheese for the filling.

The recipe is from a blog (that I can't remember visiting...). It's Your family will appreciate it.

I mixed the dough in my bread machine and it. turned. out. perfect.


Steps and Stars Machine Quilting Started

Here is the progress on the Steps and Stars. These first two pictures show the dwirling from the front then the back. I am getting the hang of this. It is different for me...well, new is the word, I guess. The quilted lines are about an inch apart.

Here is a triple paisley shape in the border with thread matching the border print. Again, this is from the front and the next picture is from the back.

I am taking a break for now, but hope to do more tonight. I have had lots of questions from other home quilters using a domestic machine. I feel like all of us quilters should help each other do our personal best. I have a lot to learn, but here are some tips from me. Maybe you will find some of them useful...

*I use straight pins to baste the quilt. I put all the pins going in from right to left. They are about 4-6 inches apart in a grid. The reason I use straight pins is that it is so quick to whip them out as I quilt and toss them towards the magnetic pin cushion.

*I often quilt the border first to get rid of a bunch of pins so it's less like wrestling with a porcupine.

*Pick a design that gives your a place to stop (with needle down to keep the quilt from slipping) so you can reposition your hands.

*There are times I don't use any aids in moving the quilt. I just purchased a pair of Machingers and LOVE them. They are snug but not warm, give enough fingertip control to remove or place pins, and are inexpensive.

*Practice drawing new designs on paper or a whiteboard to imbed the design in your mind.

*Plan ahead for where you're going to quilt toward so you don't "paint yourself into a corner".

*Keep as much of the quilt up on your sewing surface as possible to prevent drag on the quilt as you sew it.

*Prefill as many bobbins as you think you will need.

*Practice practice, practice!

That's it!


Steps and Stars on Deck Today

I plan to start machine quilting on this quilt top today. I've had a productive last few days. Today it's just my husband and 3 youngest boys home. I will have to make a couple meals, do a little more room clean up (Susanna will be expecting great things when she gets home tomorrow), and a little more putsy-ing around (it's been a long time since I've heard someone say "putsy")...

As I searched for an inexpensive place to buy the new Pajama Quilter DVD (and didn't find one!), I came across Dawn's gallery. I am going to do dwirling on this top just because I've wanted to try it, and it looks so cool on this quilt.

Off to the races, and thankful for the energy to get things done today. I pieced a backing for the Steps and Stars last night. Had to make the backing 4" wider than it would have been just using width of fabric pieces, so I used some more 4-patches from the "where did these come from" drawer.


Friday, October 29, 2010

This Makes Me Smile

This is the first thing you would see if you came in my front door, our main entrance.

Have you seen the acrylic signs? I don't think signs is the right word. Wall words is more like it. I picked this up at (of all places) Wal-mart this morning. I have seen these in magazines and in decorating blogs. I. love. them.

I was picking up som DIF for my son who is taking down a wallpaper border in his bedroom, in preparation for painting in there tomorrow (can I get an amen??). I glanced up, and there it was. This was calling my name.

Despite there being few directions, I managed to get it up straight, centered, and fairly evenly spaced. In person there is very little glare from the acrylic backing.

I am showing a pic of the lamp on and off. This is so heart-warming!!

Best part? Even with the measuring, putting up a "level" made out of paper, etc., it only took about 15 minutes to apply. As someone who has painted signs on wood that take hours and hours, that blows my mind.

I don't usually post more than once in a day, so don't miss my other new post below.


Last Pictures - I Promise!

Seeing as I could snag my 4-footed quilt holder, I took two last pictures of the Bull's Eye quilt before it goes into family circulation (that means I may never see it again!). It measures about 96" x 86". I can't express how much I like this quilt. Leeanne got it just right in the comments. She said she liked it because it looks antique, but it's new.

Off to do some more cleaning up and decorating.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Bull's Eye Quilt--She's Finished!

I am happy to say that this quilt is labeled, washed, and dried! I hope you can see the quilting I did in the cream areas. First I used my walking foot and did straight lines through the bull's eye block centers in both directions (with dark brown thread). I used a variegated cream/taupe/tan to quilt freehand circles in the center of the background blocks. It went so well, and I was done in a flash. I love the way the edges of the raw edge applique circles curled up gently after it was washed and dried. What a wonderful and fun quilt to piece!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Bull's Eye Quilting

Finally started machine quilting this baby tonight. I have had the borders on for some time. Tonight I pin basted it using my Little Gracie frame. I pinned it so that I could stitch in the ditch one way in the center through the middle of the pieced circle blocks and remove MOST of the pins. I use straight pins. Safety pins would be, well, SAFER, but they are a pain to put in and take out. As it is, I just wrestle with the porcupine, fling the straight pins towards the pink magnetic pin cushion in front of the serger in the picture, and get a few scratches.

Making this used up so many ugly prints. Plus I used a piece of backing that someone sent me way back when that I forgot I had. Win-win!

Here is a close-up of the border fabrics. The inner border is chocolate brown and the outside is an orangy-red (the color of tomato soup). The quilting thread matches the border soooo well that it's hard to see.

I am quilting loops and hearts in the border. I also made a scrappy binding using up even more of the ugly fabrics that we used in the center. Also pictured are the Machingers (machine quilting gloves). They are wonderful. Not hot and give one great control. Plus they were only $7!!

That's enough for tonight. Off to bed soon. Hope you enjoy a quilty day.