Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Few Christmas Favorites

I was able to finish a few more last minute Christmas gifts before Christmas Eve. Adriana loves little Tinkerbell so I couldn't resist when I saw her on fabric. Dominic is still not using a pillow but his room is decorated in sports so I made him a pillowcase too. Pillowcases sew up in so little time making them a perfect last minute gift anytime.

After making a Bow-Tuck bag for my Guild exchange I made another one as a diaper bag for the new coming Grand baby. I love the fabric as they have 3 dogs at home and it's so them with the bright colors. The baby's room is bright yellow and orange. No pink, ruffles or traditional girlie girl stuff for this new baby girl and her non-conventional parents.

On my last time out shopping I came across, well lets just say one of those gifts you can't stop playing, smiling or laughing at. It was the perfect gift for the kids that brought many laughs through out the night and was one of Dominik's favorites. He danced his little dance as the snowman was singing his song and his cheeks lighting up. I wished I had the video camera going at that moment to capture it.
Adriana was checking for calls on her cell phone all night. I guess she was expecting an important call. I wonder from who?

Our family was able to share Christmas Eve together this year and that was truly a blessing. Everything after that was icing on the cake or should I say frosting on the cookie.
Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year filled with many blessings through out this new year...................

Till next time...........................
From your stash let a beautiful quilt be born!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Hi all............. It's been a quite a spell since my last post again. Where does the time go..... Our computer went down and was in the shop for strip down and TLC several days. Now the task at hand is to reload every program and update, update, update. On dial -up that can be a process in it's self. Someday fiber optic will come to my road. Until then 45.2 kbps turtle speed but at least I'm on line.

As promised the snow is falling here in western New York. It's like a snow globe and very pretty unless you have to go out and drive. I was going to do a little more shopping but I think I'll wait till the weather settles down. The weather channel is predicting we will have a white Christmas here. :-)

During our computer outage I've been busy sewing. The girls came over last week and we started a group project of a snowman wall hanging. I didn't get very far yet so I'll have to post a picture later. Our Bee group will be the snack Hostesses for the January Guild meeting and we decided on the theme of snowmen and the colors blue and white. It was fun thinking of "snow foods" to serve with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

The other projects I got done was making a couple of sewing machine covers for the Bernina's to keep mischievous Thomas from getting into trouble with threads. Bella is older and a very well behaved young lady unlike get into everything Thomas. It's been awhile since I've had a kitten around getting into my stuff like a toddler. When I get more time after the Holidays I'll measure and have to make one for my serger too.

I next moved onto make our guild Christmas party exchange gift. Every year the chair picks a fabric or a group of a couple prints and colors for us to use. This year they asked us to think out of the box so I figured I wouldn't make a runner or quilt. I purchased this pattern recently at my Bernina Shop. There were many different samples through out the store. The pattern is "Bow Tucks" . The pattern is well written in my humble opinion and went together quite easily plus contains pockets all around the inside. We get to vote on all the items and also have a President's choice. My bag won 1st place and a gift certificate from a local quilt shop..... how cool is that. I was speechless. I stared a couple more for gifts. One is going to be a diaper bag for our grandchild due this Spring. I think I'm going to have to make one for myself too.

Bountiful Harvest top is officially done also. I kept to my word on the top and used only stash I had on hand. I had several pieces and parts leftover so I think I will scrap the back too but that will have to wait till after the holidays. I really enjoyed the process of sewing the strings together without a foundation. I still have many more strings to use up and might try another pattern out of Strips and Strings . I've already made 2 from it.

The last thing I had to share was just so cute. Thomas has found many new spots to curl up in but when I found him on top of my knitting caddy it was a Kodak moment I had to share with you all. Leave it to a cat to find fun places to sleep on or in.

Well I have to get back to the many things that need to get done before Christmas.....baking more cookies........wrapping gifts.....and attending our Church's adult Christmas party tonight.
From my family to yours...........
It's our prayer you have a safe and peaceful CHRISTmas with family and friends.

From your stash let a beautiful quilt be born!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Back on track again

It's been quite awhile since my last post. I feel like I should be attending Blogger Anonymous for support help. I will try to do better and shot for once a week at least. Bella has been recuperating from surgery. Her first visit with our Vet showed she had problems with a few teeth and they had to be removed. Poor Bella ending up losing five of her teeth along with shaving her one leg like a poodle cut above her paw. She is doing so much better now that the bad stuff is gone. The Ten Lives adoption Club was so nice about taking care of her Vet bills so we didn't have to worry about it. Thomas is also glad Bella is doing better so she can play. They both have been a loving addition to our family.

I have been working hard to get back into my sew room again. It was so hard to block off time to just be able to sit awhile to work on a project for a few weeks. I decided to just reclaim my quilting time as therapy from stress. I pulled out another UFO to work on. It originated from the book Strips and Strings and was called Plaid Obsession but I'm calling mine "Bountiful Harvest" because it truly all was harvested from my stash at least so far. I'll update that when it's done. It's a fairly young UFO I started the beginning of the year. It always takes me awhile to figure out where I left off before I can get going on that project. The time lapse between must leave me brain dead or something. Here is a picture half way through sewing the blocks together. Since that picture I've sewn all the blocks together. All that's left is a couple borders then another UFO top is completed........ Another one bits the dust so to speak.............. yeah!!!

Over Thanksgiving weekend I received my squishy from the civil war strings swap some of us participated in on Quiltville Swap . It was full of many lovely prints and colors that I didn't have. I have been anxiously waiting their arrival like a little child waiting for Christmas morning. They will be a wonderful addition to my UFO Civil War quilt that needs more blocks. I'm shooting for a queen size quilt. I'm counting down the days for the New Year to get going on it and sew.....sew..... sew.......

I often wonder how many other quilters have the same bug I do. I have trouble focusing on just one project at a time and always have well.... lets just say a few ???? going at the same time. I'm always seeing more ideas that I want to start. Of coarse it's all with the theory of using up the stash that never seems to go down as fast as the projects appear. That's why I just went to a sale and bought major (((yards))) of flannel fabric for backings for at least 13 or more stash quilts waiting to be started. I don't always want to piece a back for a quilt.
It's madness to most folks and they just don't get it but then again I don't get some of their "hobbies" Quilting has always been very therapeutic to me ;0)

Till next time.........
From your stash let a beautiful quilt be born!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Family Members

Early this year old age took two of our 3 kitties to heaven and there has been a big void around the house without them. I have been a little reluctant to open my heart right away but it has been on my mind to adopt another kitty. We had to go into the mall to shop for an outfit for my Mother in law's birthday party and much to my surprise the Ten Lives Club was in a store front where we came in. I glanced into the store front windows where they had many kitties to view. A couple of kitties stood out to me but Hubby and I stayed focused and continued on to our shopping destination. We completed our purchases and started to head out. Again I stopped to look and the little kitty I saw was still there so before my Hubby could say a word I was inside inquiring. This kitty was 6 months old and named "white rabbit who just came in from Kentucky. After talking some more to the volunteer I went into a room to get acquainted with this kitty. It was a done deal at that moment for me. Hubby still wasn't totally hooked or sure. He was a little lover boy purring away and cuddle only with me at that moment. I don't know how animals know but they do pick their people and homes too.
We have renamed him Thomas. He's the picture with the red bell and collar. Well once that was decided the volunteer helping us said they had a 2 "fur" 1 deal. We laughed and I responded that it wasn't out of the question to adopt 2 kitties and I did see another one in the window that caught my eye too. So then enter "GiGi" that was a 4 year old female from Ohio. She was so gentle and easy going with Thomas. It didn't take long to figure she would be going home with us too. We renamed her Bella.

Bella and Thomas are here now with us settling into their new home. It was a good match for us all. Thomas has cared less about the dog and it wasn't a problem with Bailey either. Bella is a little more reserved about Bailey. She has reminded him to keep a certain distance but it hasn't stopped her from moving around the house at all and it gave Bailey a new respect for her too. Lizzie our oldest kitty is still not coming around to having the new family members but that will take her a little more time.

I have much more to tell about this past week but it will have to wait till I have more time to post and replace my camera that died just before MIL birthday party. Timing is everything..... ;)

Till next time ..............................
From your stash let a beautiful quilt be born!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

In A Blink Of An Eye

Wow............ I can't believe how much has happened since my last post and how much time flew by. The past few weeks have been the busiest ever. My husbands mother went into the hospital just after my last post. One thing lead to another with her diagnosis and now we are facing terminal cancer with her. Her dementia has progressed more as each day passes and she truly doesn't understand her condition which right now I feel is a blessing. She is about to celebrate her 90 years of living November 10th.

It's been a difficult road for my husband as her care taker with his brother living out of town. He is not here to share this part of her life. We have started Hospice care services for her and us. They are a wonderful team of individuals and a God sent right now. Please keep us in your prayers

We have the first picture of our newest Grandchild. Technology rocks when it comes to this kind of stuff. Everything looks good and we are grateful for that blessing. We look forward to meeting this baby sometime around the end of April 2009. I'm still hoping for a May 2....... Time is in God's hands

During all this my Son the contractor and his crew of 4 came to do our roof and some other things around the house. I finally got a doorway in my sewing room which leads out to the side and back yard. We are hoping to be able to put a nice size deck outside this door in spring but it depends on our Son's schedule for availability. I look forward to enjoying it as time goes by. The work took a week to complete and I spent many hours picking up roof shingles to the point I don't want to see another single or dumpster for awhile.

I had just enough time to throw the house back together roughly so our 2 Grandchildren could come visit with us for a couple of days. Our daughter drove them down on a Sunday and they stayed till Wednesday. We had a lot of fun times and it kept us on our toes while they were here. No moss growing under their feet as it's go, go, go, busy, busy, busy till nap or bed times. We laughed, went visiting Great Grandma, colored, they rode the horsey and played house. Adriana and Dominik started to get a little home sick but we got through it. We had a fun craft time and they made a card for Mommy. Adriana was so excited to give it to Mommy when we took them back.
Boy..... do I wish I could bottle that energy.

Till next time.............................
From your stash let a beautiful quilt be born!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Passing Along A Tip For Fabric Storage

I have a little tip I'd like to pass along for folding fabric for shelf storage. This is what I have been doing with my stash as I am cleaning, cutting, and reorganizing the larger pieces getting ready for my cooler weather sew-a-thons. I'm using my 6 X 24 ruler and lining up my fabric at the end and just start winding it tightly onto the ruler like a bolt of fabric.
If you have any leftover fabric that doesn't make another complete wrap just fold it under so doesn't stick out over the edge.
The ruler easily slips out from the center of the fabric bolt and can be then be folded in half once more and it should fit on any shelf, in a draw, or even in bins or bags. If I have major yardage I would just skip that last folding step.

What I have found out purely as an after thought on my part .... a DUH moment.... was because the ruler I was using is 6 inch wide it helped me to know approximately how much fabric was there without unfolding it all and measuring it. I hated the process of looking for backing yardages and coming up short after unfolding the whole piece. This method showed me if I had the yardage I needed without unfolding. All I needed to do was count the wraps. I further figured I could reverse the process for cutting yardage off the wrapped piece of fabric.

Besides all the measuring benefits it looks nice on the shelf too. See the difference.............

I know....I know.... it's slightly type A controled stashing and believe me I wasn't always this neat-nic. It evolved after my hysterectomy kicked in now know as the "mental-pause" of my life by family members. I just have to smile ;D

Till next time...............
From Your Stash Let a Beautiful Quilt Be Born!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Late Good-Bye to Summer

This weekend the weather was gorgeous and I was able to get out of the house and into my garden to cut back my flower beds. It's so sad because it means to end of warm weather and the beginning of cold, frost and eventually snow. Then I'm a snow bunny inside where it's warm. I have one bloom on my clematis vine that the frost hasn't hit yet so I'll enjoy it till it's gone..... The upside to this weather change is it also means more quilting time. Yeah..... I'm more productive with my quilting this time of year.

Our quilt bee, The DoBee's got together at my house Monday night to put together our Bee's auction basket donation for the upcoming Roswell Auction. We had so many "quilty" things for the basket that we were able to make 2 baskets. Go DoBees .... ;D) Our Bee also needed to decide on our program for Guild in November and we were able to get a dear friend who does a wonderful program on using antique blocks and quilts in new ways. We have Hostess due for January and went with a "Let it snow" theme and the colors blue and white. Foods or cookies made with coconut and powder sugar were just a few things that would fall into that category. Our drink might be hot chocolate with mini marshmallows finished with peppermint stick for a stirrer. It was a fun time to hang out and renew our Bees direction for the upcoming year. I did cut some foundations squares ahead for string blocks if we had time to sew but we didn't get to it that night. Now the bags of strings and foundation squares are staring at me every time I'm in my sewing room.

The saying "Waste not want not"had come to my mind recently.... it's a saying I heard a long time ago .... I translated it into my quilting life that it means my full strips for quilt projects. The leftovers are then cut and divided into squares, strings, or crumb blocks stash. After string blocks get sewed the little leftovers also join the crumb block bag. I even save the cut offs from borders after joining them with a bias seam. Those triangle shapes are great to use on the corner ends of string blocks. So bottom line is I will never get to the bottom of my stash with my system. Got to love the method to my stashing.

Tuesday I tried a new crockpot dish, Beef Burgundy. It was on America's Test Kitchen on PBS about 2 weeks ago. Click on the link and go under episodes to Favorite Slow Cooker Classics. It was so good .....yummm it's a good cold weather comfort dish that I will make again.....it's a keeper in our house.

Well I'm off to my sewing room.
From your stash let a beautiful quilt be born!


Friday, October 3, 2008

Yippee Skippeee

I'm finishing the binding on this quilt Linda, Pam and I made for the Celebration of Hope 2008 Auction event that's happening October 17 and 18 in Eden, New York. The Eden Quilt Guild sponsors this event every 3 years for Breast Cancer Research at Roswell Park in Buffalo, New York. Our little Guild of about 55 members has been raising funds this way since 2002 with the help of many other caring quilters making and donating quilts for this auction. You can view more quilts by clicking on the link in this sentence. We named it "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" and really hope it brings in a great bid.

It's been confirmed our family is expanding..... ;0) My son and daughter in law are expecting their first child. It will be due near my birthday beginning of May. I'm so excited......!!!! for them of coarse but it would be so cool if the baby is born on my birthday. They already have the baby's room painted so I went shopping before the official announcement (I was very sure they were expecting....sometimes a Mother just knows) and found this cute fabric for a baby quilt. I saw this adorable quilt that was posted on MaryQuilts blog made by a Deborah..... my name too.... so its calling out to me to make it as it seems like it's just to coincidental and meant to be. How cool is that. The print of the fabric would be perfect I think in that quilt design.

I had to go out shopping for a new dishwasher.... that's done and it's in so I'm good to go again. I also have been cleaning and cutting up lose end fabrics into squares and strips. My theory is to use up my stash mostly for charity but some how it keeps growing and my draws of pre-cut never want to go down.... they just multiply and the cycle continues so I have to look at it as a blessing like a glass half full all the time. I make many charity quilts each year mostly by myself but I have been thinking of becoming more active with the Heartstrings Quilt Project to encourage me to sew more. It's just figuring out the balance of chatting, sewing, and family time. I'm just a lurker reading all their postings and enjoying the pictures of the wonderful quilts that are made and donated. My donated my quilts mostly go to Cornerstone Manor, a shelter for women and children. I feel so blessed for what I have and feel strongly about giving back and my quilts are my way of sharing that blessing. So I'm always on the hunt for patterns, sales especially for backings to continue this personal project. Heartstrings and the Cozy Quilt Ministry for cancer also embrace this gift of giving to others. Two Thumbs up for or should I say two needles up......!!!
Ok I've been online long enough. Need to get back to the task at hand today. Till another time.
From your stash let a beautiful quilt be born!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Part 2 Journey from last week continued

I have been working on my "Cozy Quilts" tops that I didn't take the border fabric with to the retreat last week. It's a wonderful ministry praying for those with cancer and providing a warm quilt that could be used during treatments or time they need a warm hug. We also make a matching tote to carry the quilt and they receive the book "When God and Cancer Meet": True Stories of Hope and Healing . The pattern that's use is a very basic stack n' whack four patch block. They have many satellite spots of volunteers working on these quilts around Western and the Southern Tier of New York. I wish they had a web site or Blog so I could share a link from here because I feel they do a great work for others but they don't yet.

Here are a couple more quilt centers waiting for their borders and their matching totes. I layed the blocks out to get more of the graphic pinwheel effect in the design.

Well I'm going to sign off for now and get a few things done. I will try to post more later on.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

WOW What a Week

It has been crazy here for over a week and I haven't had the time to post either. I did receive my swap strips that was the very first swap on Quiltville Swap. I had lots of fun with the whole process but especially opening and viewing all fabric strips from everyone that participating in this swap. It was great fun and Judi B was a great hostess.

I was also glad and grateful that I was able to start last week off with my quilting retreat at Turtlerock with a few close friends. It was a much needed and I was able to sew my little heart out with UFOs that have been hovering here for awhile on my shelf. I didn't complete some of my charity quilt tops but that was an error on my part. I just couldn't decide on border fabric and didn't want to haul extra stuff as I vowed I was going to travel lite this time ...... yea right. Needless to say I didn't get those tops completely done because of not having border fabric with me.....that was a Duh what was I thinking moment.

Well we surely had a great time laughing ourselves silly at times. We worked hard to stay out of the kitchen and suppress our motherly instincts to feed the masses as we might not have enough food syndrome. I made a double batch of my Turkey Picadillo which makes a great crock pot dish and cooked the rice ahead so we just had to microwave to warm. I've posted my recipe here to share. Don't judge this recipe by it's ingredients till you try it. I have fooled many a guest with this one even picky eaters.

Turkey Picadillo
1 Lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
14 1/2 oz stewed tomatoes
1 Granny Smith apple (I use whatever I have on hand)
1/4 cup dark raisins
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons green olives, chopped coarsely
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
4 cups cooked rice

Saute turkey in a large skillet until not pink. Add the rest of ingredients. Mix well and heat through. Cover and cook on low 20 minutes until vegetables are soft or throw into a crock pot to cook slowly all day. If using a crockpot I usually add more of the spices in it. Serve over rice.

I worked on making my little Granddaugther a coloring book bag. She is around 2 1/2 years old now. She loves to color, cut things out and paste now. I redesigned a tote for her to carry her crayons and books so she can travel around with them. I really like the way it turned out and can't wait to give it to her. I have more cute fabric that I'll probably sew many more for gifts and the children at the women's shelter I donate quilts to.

I was so glad to get my "In The Pink" blocks completed. It was the first quilt kit that I have purchased. I'm not by nature a quilt kit kind of gal but this one pulled me in at a quilt shop over a year ago. My husband periodically will gently asked if I have been working on it. He really liked the quilt too. Now that the blocks are done I can get it up on the design board and get them together hopefully soon

When I came home from retreat Hubby was on vacation ...you know those times when your Hubby is on vacation..... I had plans, he had plans and the plans never meet in the middle of what needs to get done..... I love him dearly but there are those moments I need space. Saturday he is at a contractors auction with our son getting doors and windows for our house. He has a list....hopefully he sticks to it.

Well I have much more to share about my retreat and busy week so I will have to add Part 2 to this adventure another time.
"Till then "From your stash let a beautiful quilt be born!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Autumn Splendor is a Quilt Top

Autumn Splendor is officially a quilt top. I was too tired and having problems with uploading pictures to post last night when I finished it. Happy dance ...... ; another UFO off the self. Now I have to start looking for backing fabric ...........hum to piece or not to piece that is a question.....whether to stash bust more or go buy a whole piece is the question. I'll have to ponder this for a few days as I really like the new wide backings that are available.

Well I'm still in HAPPY DANCE mode
I'm going on a quilt retreat in a few days with friends. It's a Quilter's Cottage by Lake Erie called Turtlerock. It's been our home away from home to sew, laugh, eat and have a blast together.

Well I'm off to see what I can get into today............... sewing and retreat packing yipeeee!!

Autumn Splendor Continued

I finished sewing more of the strip sets I needed to make the rest of the blocks for Autumn Splendor ..... I really like the way Evelyn Sloppy has you using quick method strip piecing. It made making these blocks go so quickly. I have included some more pictures showing the finished block itself. The drawback if it is one is that the block has bias edges. That doesn't bother me but does mean I have to handle with care until borders are on the quilt. Pressing carefully not ironing or stretching can occur.

The quilt is starting to take design form. I'm starting to see spools. Can you see them? I need to think of a name as Autumn Splendor just doesn't seem to fit this quilt and it's colors.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Strips and Strings

This weekend was a good time to be in air-conditioning sewing. It has been hot, very humid and rainy. I decided to pulled out another UFO called Autumn Splendor from Strips and Strings by Evelyn Slopppy to work on. This is a great book filled with string piecing designs without using a foundation. I started this project at a quilting retreat a few years ago and it's traveled to a few more retreats without being worked on so it's been sitting on the shelf with it's UFO siblings. I have to sew more string units together for 14 more block to make it at east a twin size quilt.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

911 Remembered

This morning started with a peaceful calm and beautiful blue skies.

It's sobering to think of what happened on this morning a few years ago. I remember watching TV......watching in disbelief but at the same time not being able to take my eyes off the TV. It was so heart wrenching......
It makes you rethink what is really important in life. say "I love you" to the ones we love everyday as we never know what can happen in that day. Pray and give thanks for how blessed we truly.

We must never forget............!!
United in Memories graphic from PC Crafter

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Border Review

I finished this UFO quilt top over a year ago. It was a Day Camp project called Sweet Sixteen from Atkinson's Designs book Confetti In The Corner For over a year I have been looking for a border fabric to go with this top but never found the right coloration to go with my original fabrics. I had this piece of fabric in my stash that I kept going back to but not enough yardage. I searched the Internet for it and came up empty so I finally decided to use what I have and make the borders narrower utilizing every bit of that fabric. I was so happy to use what I have..... there was a reason why I couldn't find more of that fabric.....use the stash....make it work...busting the stash. I'm a happy quilter... ;)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stashbusting to a Another Level

The past year has been one of cleaning and reorganizing my quilting stash and room. I recently had to move to another room which is smaller than my original sewing room. It's been a reflective time of how much stash I really have. I have drawers and drawers full of pre-cut strips in an array of sizes ..... I have sewn many quilts but the drawers never seem to empty. Well as I was going through some papers in my sewing room something caught my eye....... :0)a paper from a crochet rag rug seminar class from many years ago. I never made one but the gal who taught the seminar made many to use up stash so I thought what an answer to my pre-cut strip overload. Deciding to use up my 1 1/4 inch strips for the project as I don't really use that size much anymore I start to prepare the strips for crocheting. I have gone through a couple mounds of my strips to crochet on the rug so far.

Well as you can see I started. It does use up LOTS of fabric strips but the drawers still haven't gone down much. I've also been reading many post from stashbusters chat group regarding stashes that have gone wrong............ what a hoot.

This has taken me to another level of trying to bust some of my stash.......................

A new blogger is born

Well I finally took a leap of faith and signed on...........I'm now an official blogger. Please bare with me as I'm new and still learning not to mention struggling with being on dial-up as for now I have no alternative in my area.... hum.... someday we will have fiber optic on our road.