Monday, December 31, 2012

Hello New Year

Step six of the Easy Street mystery was a cinch. Step seven published this morning and the finish happens tomorrow. Bring it on. Step seven actually involves piecing all these units into large triangles. I wonder how they'll be used? Setting triangles? I guess that's why they call it a mystery, right?

This was the practice block for Don't Call Me Betsy's Lucky Stars BOM. Tomorrow we get the January block. I think this is going to be a lot of fun. I'm linking up to Skip to my Lou's Made by you Monday. I love seeing what everyone is making.

I'm looking forward to a brand spanking new year filled with fun. Happy New Year! Let's get this party started!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Friday!

Red, my sewing machine was sounding a little rough yesterday. And just look at the tension issues. I'm too chicken to play with the tension dial. My sewing machine knowledge is very limited and I'm afraid I'll mess something up permanently. How I solved the problem? Re-threading. Works every time. If I get up the nerve to be without a machine for a while, I'm going to get Red serviced this year. I've had her four years and she's never been to the machine spa. She doesn't take oil either. I simply clean her every week or so. I do have a spare Singer and my antique Singer, so it wouldn't be too cold turkey.

I used my tiny trimmed triangles to make a mini quilt for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI). I love making quilts for this organization. They've raised $878,000 since January of 2006. All by selling little quilts. Mini quilts are among my favorite to create. They're quick and easy and you can try new things. The little shoofly blocks finish at 2.25". I used some Easy Street Mystery scraps to frame them all wonky.

So why stop with just one mini quilt? I dug into the scrap bucket and built a little leaning house. Now to get these two quilted and bound and sent to AAQI. I may practice some free motion quilting on these minis. Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year, New Projects


I just loved this block-of-the-month club by Don't Call Me Betsy. Paper piecing is still a challenge for me, so I'm hoping to get a little better at it. Membership is only $10 until January 5 and includes pdf patterns for 12 blocks and one bonus block you get when you sign up. I want to use up some fun solids for these blocks. I love the colors Elizabeth used for her example. I may copy them exactly so I don't get confused.

These improv Love blocks by Tonya have always intrigued me. I was lucky to score a free copy of The Quilt Life with the instructions. If you've never done improvisational letters, Tonya's book walks you right through it.

In another free copy of The Quilt Life I found this pretty Heart Strings quilt. I really need another project to tackle my drawer of color-coded scraps. This quilt looks fun and easy. Right up my alley. And as if I haven't found enough projects to tackle in the new year, I love this idea of using orphan blocks from Karen at the Selvage Blog. I have orphan blocks out the wazoo.

Another fun giveaway bundle arrived Christmas Eve. This one came from the talented Julia at Hand Knitted Things. She has some adorable creations on her blog. One of these days, I'd love to learn to knit. First, I'm going to master the touch pads on my computers. I'm a mouse girl from way back. I need to learn these newfangled devices.

My Christmas ham. I slathered this spiral cut beauty with whole grain mustard and brown sugar and then drizzled honey on it. I poured orange juice in the bottom of the pan and basted every 15 minutes. It was delicious. We have so much leftover. I think ham salad, bean soup, and ham sandwiches are in my near future. Inspector Gadget wanted to toss the bone after he carved off the meat. What is wrong with him?! That's the best part. It was Christmas so I didn't bonk him on the head.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Boxing Day

And just like that, Christmas is over. That's why I celebrate all year long. ;) It's such a fun time of year. Kids, family, friends, goodwill, cooking and baking, yummy foods, relaxation, and let's not forget those presents. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and you continue to feel the spirit of Christmas all year long. And if you didn't get what you wanted, go buy it for yourself.

Not so sure those little triangle trimmings are going to get used. Sharon suggested shoofly blocks, so I made one. These would finish at 2.25".

Started a little salt dough craft with the little friend Hollywood watches. They took forever to bake so we never got a chance to paint them. They look like this when you're done. Cute! My family made adorable salt dough ornaments when I was growing up. They all disintegrated after many years, but they looked cute on the tree. I enjoyed seeing ornaments from my childhood on my mother's pretty tree.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I inherited my grandmother's all-purpose cookbook. I can't tell what year this is, but I think every cook has a version of this type of cookbook in their library. I got Hollywood the red gingham version for Christmas.

My great, great grandmother's gullets recipe is in here. My Meme must have made these for her entire neighborhood. Five pounds of flour?! I just made a little batch. They were one of my favorite cookies growing up. Not too sweet, but buttery and light. They get better with age too.

I have the old original cast iron maker rusting away in a closet. I think my grandmother used it, but I can't figure out how she could have without a fireplace. She lived in a condo on the beach. I'll bet she would have loved the convenience of an electric pizzelle, gaulettes, gullets maker.

We boarded a festooned party boat last night to join in the boat parade. Our boat is getting a tuneup so our friends picked us up. We've lived in this community over 25 years and love boating, but this was the first time we had seen the boat parade. It was really a sight. Over 100 boats decorated with bright lights and decorations.

Snoopy as the Red Baron. This boat was huge.

Santa and his reindeers made an appearance.

Step five of the Easy Street mystery. Nice and easy. You can see everyone's progress right here.

Dare me to make something with the trimmings? 128 one inch triangle pairs.

The finished segment. I'm pretty proud I'm keeping up. My house is a wreck, but I'm going to remedy that today.

My shoe box is filling up.

Bones looks a little evil this Christmas Eve. Actually, he's patiently waiting to go outside. He'll give you this evil eye stare until you take him out. I've already caught him under the tree. Silly dachshund thinks the quilted tree skirt is a quilt to lay on.

Merry Christmas to you and yours! I hope your days are filled with fun, laughter, good food, friends, and family. It really is a magical time of year.

Linking up right here too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

600 Posts!

Squishy mail alert. Lucky, lucky me. I won four, count 'em, four giveaways for Sew Mama Sew's giveaway day. I've always thought this A Walk in the Woods fabric collection was really cute.

Another charm pack of adorable novelty prints. I think I have a project in mind for these. The wheels are a turning.

To celebrate 600 posts I'm showing you 600 of my Christmas ornaments. Just kidding, you have things to do. But here are some of my favorites.

Bones is not impressed with his Christmas Snuggie. Probably because it's 100 degrees.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Moving Forward

My Easy Street mystery quilt fabrics so far. I may throw a pink in there if the opportunity arises. I even found some batik orphan blocks for the back side. It looks like everyone is having fun with the mystery and Bonnie says we're only halfway through.

 I'm all caught up with step four.

 Even cut the green squares needed for a future step.

My shoe box o' everything. I was a little over zealous cutting triangles for the last step.

Speaking of being caught up, the Christmas tree is up. I almost skipped it this year, but apparently my children (and mom) will call you Scrooge if you don't drag all your crap decorations out of the attic. Doesn't it count that I have Christmas in my heart all year long? I do enjoy seeing all the fun ornaments we have collected over the years. Plus, I needed a little comfort after Friday morning's tragedy. I know those directly affected won't feel comfort for a long time, but I hope they know everyone is thinking of them.

Quilter's Corner in New Milford, Connecticut is collecting fun pillowcases to give to the children of Sandy Hook Elementary. I used Crafty Gemini's burrito, roll-up pillowcase tutorial which includes really easy French seams. I always thought French seams were fancy pants and out of my league, but they are quite easy and encase all the raw edges. Ooh la la.

I used a cute print from Little Golden books. These books and characters made me and my children smile, so hopefully they'll bring a smile to the recipient.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sew Day Shenanigans

Our guild's monthly Sew Day happened Saturday. I kicked butt and got my pieces cut for step four of Easy Street so I could sew those up. Check out my new rolling trolley for Red, my machine. That little bag holds tools and accessories and there's a third bag for all your projects and other junk. Now I can travel in style versus lugging my heavy machine and toting my tacky cardboard box.

I also brought my 42 scrappy log cabin blocks so I could use the ample floor space as a design wall. The blocks were sewn into rows and I hope to get those rows put together today.

Look who I found in the Christmas decorations.

Here he is behaving himself at Sew Day. I wonder if he has decided to be good this Christmas?

Our fat eighths of Madrona Road are all folded and ready to be bagged for distribution. A huge thanks to Michael Miller Fabrics for letting all the Modern Quilt Guilds play with this fun bunch.

We only had five people for Sew Day, but we always have good things to eat. Brie en croute, crab dip, gourmet cheese, fancy pastries, and this Greek dip I made. I ran out of kalamata olives so I threw some green olives on top. There's homemade roasted red pepper hummus under the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, olives, capers, and feta cheese.
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