Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WiP...with a Finish!... (almost!)

I'm so excited! Woohoo! Twin quilt number 1 is done! Well, all except for attaching the binding to the back. But I'm about to finish that right now!

The back of the binding is pinned down. I just have to attach it! Then on to Twin quilt number 2. I will post a completed quilt later in the week, hopefully tomorrow!
And I have been working on organizing. Hubby and I are both horrible pilers so I found this and I turned my "drop everything when you come in the door" area from this...
to this!
I am so excited! We'll see how long I can keep it this way. Oh, the purple thing over in the right hand corner is something my dear daughter taped to my hutch. I'm just so thrilled to see order. Cleaning this one area actually cleaned three areas in the process.
The filing system enabled me to find places for two other "piles" in the kitchen. I picked up both baskets from Target; I actually picked up the two of the orange ones and two green ones that match for later. They were $2.50 up front where the cheap stuff is! Onward and upward to more organizing!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hang in There, Baby!

Anybody remember those posters? I have no idea why it was always a cat!
Anyway, that's what I'm trying to do. I've been wrestling that twin quilt under my sewing machine and "gettin' her done!"
Let me tell you, if you've never wrestled a larger quilt under a regular sewing machine arm, it's an event! My shoulders hurt, my arms hurt; I definitely went to bed tired last night! I did figure out that my chair was sitting a little low...about halfway through the quilting! Once I moved it up, it really helped my shoulders relax. Thank goodness for adjustable office chairs! I'm hoping to get this finished today so I can post it in WiP tomorrow. Back to work!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Great Mama's Quilts

A while back one of the kids pulled out one of the quilts hubby's great grandmother made. I had never seen it before. I kid you not. So I got curious and decided to pull out all of the quilts we have that she made to see what they looked like. No one in my family quilted to my knowledge so these are the only heirlooms we have of their type. These were all handsewn and hubby said she was losing her sight for some of them so they are not holding up that well, which is all the more reason I thought it would be a good idea for me to take pictures of them. Sorry for the sidewalk pics. We've had a lot of rain so I couldn't put them on the grass.
We have two of these quilts that are exactly the same. These are my favorites because like the block and they appear to be the best made of the bunch. I do not know the block name so any help would be appreciated!
I took a close-up of the block to show you, not realizing I chose one with a stain. Sorry! Hubby has used these for moving; the horror!

The second is applique. I have no idea if this is right side up or upside down. Sort of a strange flower design.
Here's a close-up of the flower design.

The third (actually fourth since we have two of the pink ones up top!) is basically a strip quilt in solids.

The last two are in the worst shape. This one appears to have been a "quilt as you go" version where she quilted each block, then stitched them together afterward. It's aso the one I had never seen.
It kind of makes me think of the Flying geese block where they are in a circle.
There are several places where this one needs some work.

Our last quilt is hubby's favorite, Sunbonnet Sue.

It definitely has a few holes that need help. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to do that.

Well, that's all of them! And to go along with the old fashioned feel of this post, a song. Little Man has homework each week on different letters of the alphabet and this week was Z. He comes home with a poem to learn that is usually set to a tune. This one said it was set to "Little Liza Jane" which I'd never heard before so I looked it up. Elizabeth Mitchell does a sweet version of it below. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Growth Chart

I know this is paper and not fabric but how stinking cute is this? I need a growth chart for Little Man and haven't found what I wanted. I came across this a while back but forgot about it. Pinned it on my Pinterest but thought it was definitely worth a looksee since it's a FREE printable here. It gives the impression of a vintage tape measure. Love it!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Turning off the Dreaded Word Verification on Your Blog!

I got tickled over at Lucy over at Charm About You with her blog post about how she abhors the wonderful new word verification blogger has installed on our blogs. She even went so far as to create a button...
Charm About You

How cute is that? What a hoot! Don't know if you have word verification, or don't know how to turn it off if you do have it? Well, let me give you some simple instructions.

1. From your Dashboard, click Settings. Can't find it? Look at the top under Manage Blogs. The name of your blog should be under that. It should be the middle link button under your blog name.

2. When you arrive at the Settings page, click Comments UNDER the Settings tab. This is a subpage under Settings, not the main Comments page at the very top.

3. Scan almost to the bottom of the page and you will see "Show word verification for comments" with the options yes/no. Choose 'no'.

4. At the very bottom of the page, be sure to choose "Save settings".

You're done! Very easy. No big deal. And lots of happy followers not having to jump through hoops!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Testosterone! Yahoo!

Okay, I know you're probably thinking, "she has lost her ever loving mind!" but I really do have reason to celebrate (hopefully!). Let me explain. We moved into our current home about 11.5 years ago. During that time my neighbor and I have alternated having kids (she has three, I have two ) with ages stair stepping each other. Our kids range in age from 12 to 4. Our kids have grown up together and always played together. Here is the dilemma: she has all girls, I have a girl and a boy. You figured it out yet? Not all the time, but on some occasions there have been "only girl" type get togethers. I knew that would eventually happen but it has been a bit hard on the boy; he goes through little bouts of thinking they don't like him which is totally untrue, but hard to explain to a 6 year old.

Well, the house across the street has been for sale for quite some time now, but there's a family moving in this weekend and guess what? They have three boys! One is my daughter's age, one is just a bit younger than my son and there is another one who is about 4. I'm so excited at the possibility that Little Man will have some boys to play with. There IS a little boy down the street who comes down sometimes to play, but I get the impression sometimes that I am being used as a babysitter in that situation. Plus Little Man doesn't get along with him very well when they play inside.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guilt...It Does a Body Good!

So Ive been complaining the last couple of days about not being motivated to finish things, and sabotaging myself by working on other things rather thant the things that are have due dates. Well, there's nothing like a little guilt to get the motor running. Yesterday afternoon I got the backing done for the Girl Twin and got it all taped out on my dining room floor for pinning.
Well, I couldn't just leave it like that, could I? So...
Yup! Pinned and ready to be quilted. I also ran by the LQS to get binding fabric. They were out of any of the darker colors that would have been good for the binding so I picked up some more of the fabric I bought for the back. It has all the same colors in it. And it was on sale! AND they had another fabric on sale that I could use in the Boy Twin. Whoop! I also had to hit Hobby Lobby for more quilting pins because I didn't have nearly enough to pin up this quilt.

Oh, and check out It's So Kiki for a great giveaway here. It's a Connecting Threads giveaway with lots of fabric and thread goodies, but it closes 2/27 so hurry over!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Self-Sabotaging WiP

Hello. My name is Melinda. And I am a self-saboteur.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
I know I have a history of such behavior with my weight but I hadn't realized I did it with quilting until recently. I have two twin quilts that I insisted I could finish before the end of March, but I have not even started on the second one and the first one is here...
on my dining room floor. Batting has been cut but backing has to be put together. It's here...
on my ironing board with my polka dot charms from the Craftbuds Polka Dot swap, and more fabric for my Carpenter Wheels. They reside here...

on my design board. Nothing more has been done with them yet but I'm dying to get back to them. Instead I started cutting fabric for a Granny Square quilt over here...

on my cutting board. So far I have 190 of the 250 prints needed. This is going to be a baby/lap quilt that was requested by someone at my church who is due in May. So with all of this going on (not to even mention the UFO's I haven't touched), what did I choose to work on today? I cut up some strips I won at "Strip Poker" at our last quilt guild meeting and started making Interlocked Squares, a block I saw while trolling Quilter's Cache. I whipped up 4 before bedtime and they are currently here...

on my sewing room floor. I did 12 inch blocks since I was using 2 1/2" strips and I've got enough to make 5 more which will be a little less than 36 by 36. I may but out an all call to the ladies of the guild to see if I can scrounge up some more to make it a bit bigger. Or I may just add some fabric around the edge and call it done. It's probably going to be a donation quilt. The fabrics are pretty but a little more traditional than I usually go for. So what does this all have to do with self-sabotage? Uh, yeah, remember those twin quilts? I'm no nearer to finished with either of them. Time to get to work.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I Plead Insanity.

50 different projects going on with not a finish in sight, and what do I do? I start cutting up fabric for another project. I will say in my defense, it is scraps, not new fabric. And it is for a project that will be due by May. It's a baby/lap quilt for someone at church and I've decided to use up some scraps and make a Granny Square quilt using Jolene's fab tutorial over at her blog, Blue Elephant Stitches. Love it like I do? There's a QAL for this block happening over at Old Red Barn Co. starting March 1. I'm not sure I will be able to do the QAL but we'll see.  Here's my stack so far. It didn't take long to cut up the squares I've already done (190 so far). It calls for 250 in prints.

What? You dare to remind me that I have two twin sized quilts due by the end of March? Uh, yeah. I know. I have the batting ready to be cut and the backing ready to be sewn together and trimmed down for number 1; I just have to do it. The kids are out this week for winter break so that's the plan. Get the twin pinned!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Hit of a Party and an Award! Woohoo!

The birthday party for Little Man was a success. And let me tell you, there is nothing like a birthday party where all you do is show up! We did the jumpy party and all I did was bring the cake. They provided all the paper products, a room, juice, I added ice cream, and the kids jumped until they were pouring sweat! And the best part? I didn't have to clean it up! I just packed it all in the car and came home. Whew! It kind of makes me think of that old Rice Krispie treats commercial where the woman throws flour all over herself like she's been working hard in the kitchen when the treats are supposedly nothing to make. "Here you go dear! I threw together this huge jumpy party for complete with decorations and a helper!" Uh, yeah...NOT!

Okay, so after that we get home and I'm checking through my emails and bloggy comments only to come across this. Wonderful Michelle over at Quilt Matters gave me the Liebster blog award!
How sweet is that?! She is so fabulous and she makes such beautiful projects. I am still dying to participate in her current Colour My World Challenge (if I could just get some other things finished!).

The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to their favorite blogs with under 200 followers. The Liebster Rules are:
1. Post about your win on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award.
3. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
4. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that have less than 200 followers that you think deserve to be recognized.
5. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

This was incredibly difficult to do...just 5? Wow. Well, I chose bloggers that give me inspiration in their frequent posts and who provide wonderful and consistent comments that always help egg me on to do more and better.

1. Lindsay @ LinzSews
2. Michele @ QuiltsFromMyCrayonBox
3. Allegory @ Sew Allegorical
4. Mrs. Pickles @ MrsPicklesGarden
5. Angie @ SummerfieldQuilts

Thank you so much to all these ladies who inspire and encourage in so many ways!
And I have to add that the only reason Michele didn't make it in my list is because she already got the award!  Her comments are always so encouraging and make me feel good about the projects I make!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Cake!

It's done! I finished Little Man's Ninjago cake last night. Needless to say, it is not perfect but he loves it which is all that matters. There are several versions of this cake online but I originally saw this one.

I used what I had, which was two 9 inch cake pans and a glass bowl with a 9 inch mouth, or opening. I made three cakes and stacked with a thin layer of buttercream frosting using this recipe from the Food Network which was pretty tasty. I then covered the outside with a layer of buttercream frosting; I didn't worry about it being too perfect since it was doing to be covered with fondant.

I used this marshmallow fondant recipe, which the children also though was tasty. I also liked that there were only 3 ingredients. I thought about using fondant from the store but the kind I wanted was $20 for a little tub, and even with a coupon I couldn't make myself buy it when I knew I could make some for less than $5. I went ahead and made a double batch and I'm glad I did because we used almost all of it.

Zane in progress
I colored a small amount yellow with gel coloring for Zane's face. I rolled this out and pressed it into the icing on the front. I used another small amount for the eyes. I didn't have black so I mixed colors until I was satisfied. It is difficult to add several colors because it takes so long to mix them that the dough becomes sticky again, so you add more powdered sugar. This is like adding white to colored paint and changes the color so you're doing more kneading which can end up being too dry if you take too long. ARGH! I will also say one should probably use gloves for that part because my hands are now red! I blew up the face on my computer until it was the size I wanted (I trace off the computer all the time!!), then made templates to create the eyes which hubby situated on the face for me. I covered the sides with white squares and the front bottom with a long narrow strip. Hubby helped me with the largest piece and draped it across the top of Zane's head. This was gathered to the back where I attached a fondant tie to look like it had been tied in the back.

I didn't get the 'drape' to the front like I wanted and I think it's a bit more rounded than it should be but the overall look is cute and I think it is recognizable, which is a large part of it. I think the 'too rounded' part could have been remedied by just adding another cake pan layer to give it more height.
Overall, I don't think I did too horribly bad on my first attempt with fondant and I would probably try it again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
I really have been working on some of my projects, really I have. I took pictures of the pieces I'd cut out for my next Carpenter Wheel so I could at least prove that I had done a little, then what did I go off and do? I sewed them together! Then I couldn't stop myself so I trimmed the HST's. Well, I couldn't keep looking at that forlorn stack of HST's that needed to be sewn into a project so here's block number 4 on my Carpenter Wheels.

I also was trying to pick a project as my next UFO to finish. I am really DYING to finish my red and white hexie quilt. I know it will take a while and I should probably pick something else but it's something I can work on while watching tv and such so I pulled it back out. Here it is all across my dining room floor (I still haven't moved my table back to the center of the room from having the Christmas tree in there).

I know. I've got a long way to go. I don't know WHY I thought it would be better to do it all in hexies instead of appliqueing it onto a white background. Probably because I have not done much applique that deals with quilting.

I also have the Girl's Twin quilt out on the guest bed so I can get the batting trimmed and get the backing done. I'm thinking of taking it to my church so I have a really big floor to pin it on. I may be able to get it on my dining room floor but I'm not sure. I know I'm going to have to buy more pins.

I am also patiently (not!) awaiting one of my swap packages. I know it's been sent and some people have reported having gotten theirs, but I will probably get mine today. It's from the Polka Dot Swap over at Craftbuds. Lindsay posted this yummy goodness yesterday!
Polka Dot Charms, Received!

Ach! I can't wait to get my hands on it! Not that I really have a plan yet, but I want it! I'm easily entertained!

And right in the middle of all this chaos? Little Man's birthday party on Friday. Which means I have to make a cake. And I'm thinking of using fondant...for the very first time ever. Not so sure how smart this is but you've got to start somewhere. And it's Ninjago. I don't know how many of you have little boys who have been hit hard by this one, but mine has! It will be at one of the jumpy places around here so we invited his class from school and a couple of other friends. So far half have RSVP'ed, all yeses. But I have heard from a friend whose daughter is in the same class that she invited the whole class, got 7 RSVP's and ended up having 14 kids show up. So I'm worried. I decided not to do treat bags because, how do you prepare for anywhere between 13-26 kids? There's no way! So that's where this week stands. Getting to work on cake today!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to Add Random Generator Results to Your Blog

Many people have figured this out already but I thought I'd throw this little tutorial out there for those of us who took a little longer to figure it out!
Random Generator is a great little device for posting results of your giveaways, but for a long time I didn't understand how people were copying that cute little button with the results listed in it. Well, here is how I did it.

1. Under your Programs and Files, locate and open Accessories. Under Accessories you should find the Paint program. Open it.

2. Go to the Random Generator website to determine your winning number. Plug in your beginning and ending numbers in the min/max range. For our example, we are using the numbers from my recent Fugly Fabric Party drawing. I had 41 entries so my numbers run from 1 to 41. Hit 'generate' and the generator will give you a winning number.

3. Look along the top of your keyboard and hit the "Print Screen" button. Nothing will happen so don't freak out if you were expecting anything.

4. Go back to your Paint program and click "paste". This will paste the entire page from into your program.

5. You Select button is highlighted so go over to the RG results block and capture the block with your mouse (point the mouse at the upper left hand corner, click and hold your mouse, drag over and down to the lower right hand corner. Let go of the mouse).

6. Once you have what you want, click "Crop" in the upper bar. You will end up with the block you wanted.

7. Save this into your pictures so you can pull it into your blog as a picture insert. You are done!

I know. It seems so easy now that I see it but it took forever for me to figure it out. Hope this helps someone else who was lost like me!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fugly Fabric Party Winners!

It's winner time! I did my drawings using Random Generator.
And the batiks go to.........

This was Sallie who said...
Sallie said...

Please put me in the drawing for the batiks. Thanks for the chance!
February 10, 2012 9:53 AM

Sallie blogs over at Sallie's Sampler.

The group with the Kaffe Fassett print in it goes to........
which was Mary Beth and she said...
MaryBeth said...

The first time I saw batiks, I thought "no thanks". But I was the same way about brights and now I LOVE them. That being said, I'd be happy to win either of these groupings.
February 8, 2012 8:26 AM

Good thing she put that second sentence in there about taking either group, huh?
Mary Beth blogs over at A Little Quilting.

I have emailed the winners and look forward to sending out their goods! Thanks to everyone for playing. I hope to be having another giveaway in about a month to celebrate my blogiversary so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Late but Not Forgotten WiP!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Yahoo! I finished the Twin Quilt Top!

It's huge so I had to pin it on the fence sideways. You get a better idea of what it will be like on a bed this way, but it looks weird...
This is done with Dogwood Trail by Moda and Kona bleached white. Now on to the back...
The back fabric is a completely different; I'll have to double check it to see exactly what it is.
Hope your Wednesday was great!

Oh, and I forgot to mention I am participating in the Fugly Fabric Swap over at Charm About You. Check out what I'm giving away here!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fugly, Fugly, Who's Got the Fugly?

Fabric that is! If you ask Lucy over at Charm About You, it looks like lots of people have it! She's hosting a Fugly Fabric Party right now where you can link up to get rid of offer others the opportunity to be graced with some of the fabrics you have found you don't need!
Charm About You

It's funny. I got rid of a lot of fabric at our Christmas Guild party so I didn't expect to have anything major. I was wrong. There wasn't a lot, but there were some things that I could give to others, so here is the first group.

This is a set of 4 batik fat quarters. I just don't use batiks but I know a lot of people do.
And set number two...

The only identifiable print is the one on the bottom; Kaffe Fassett, Turkish Delight. These are all fat quarters as well. I just unfolded them a bit so you could see the prints.

If you are interested, leave me a comment below by Feb. 13th telling me which set you are interested in. I will draw a name on Feb. 14th for each set, unless only one person wants them, in which case I will send it all! I'm sorry but I can only send within the US for this giveaway. I have participated in too many swaps lately and have too many projects going so I need to watch how much money is going out! Maybe next time!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Inch by Inch...

Like many wives, I got some sewing done during the SuperBowl last night. The kids were up for part of it, but after they went to bed, I made a run for my sewing machine!  I am almost finished with the top of the Dogwood Trails Twin.
I put it on my son's twin bed to check it. I thought I'd have enough fabric to go all around the edge but I don't so I was trying to figure out if I needed it more on the sides or the top/bottom. I'm thinking the top/bottom.
I think it's going to have plenty of drop on the sides now but it almost looks a little short top to bottom. I've got it even with the edge of the bed at the top, and there is about 4 inches drop on the bottom end. Yup. It needs more there. So all I have left is to make a strip for the top and a strip for the bottom, sew them on and done is done! Well, except for the back...and the batting,...and the quilting,...and the binding. Sigh.....

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Show of Hands...Who's Ever Blown Up an Iron?

Uh, yeah, let's just say this is not my first time at this rodeo. Well, I take that back. This is the first one I've blown up but not the first one I've torn up. Hubby used to get frustrated when I was making lots of bags because I used a lot of fusible products and they like to stick to the iron. Then they mess up your clothes. Not fun. Here's the one that met it's maker the other day.

I was piecing and ironing, piecing and ironing, until...what is that smell? Yeah, electrical smoke pouring from the top of the iron. Since I sew in the basement, I unplugged it and got it outside as quickly as possible but not quicky enough because it set of the detector. Nice. My own musical interlude. I'm really having fun now. I left the door open until it aired out but I still had to turn the detector off.
It's very similar to what I had but it has one goodie that I love; a retractable cord. It doesn't take much to please me, I know.