Monday, March 31, 2014

What a Mess!

I always show pictures of my "quilt studio" when it's clean, but this is how it usually looks - especially when I am right in the middle of a project or two.  I have been working on the modern mini quilt so I keep pulling my color tubs (my stash is in plastic containers sorted by color) out of my closets to pull more fabrics, then I can't get the closet doors closed because the tubs are in the way.  You get the idea.  It's nice to have a dedicated space for quilting and sewing, so I CAN leave everything out and come back later and pick up where I left off.

I am really grateful for my studio/sewing room, whatever I decide to call it.  I remember when my sewing machine was set up in our bedroom and when I worked on a project I spread everything out on our bed.  Well... I had to clean up every night then, or we wouldn't have gotten any sleep!
March kind of went out like a lamb today, but it sure was windy yesterday!  Don't get fooled tomorrow!  The Quilt Show really got me good last year - I'm kind of excited to see what they have planned for tomorrow :)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Those Blasted Crows!

Friday afternoon I had the opportunity to go to an "Open Sew" sponsored by Laura Pedge of Laura's Home.  An open sew is where you go to a nice location, hang out with friends, and work on whatever project you want to work on.  I arrived just before noon, and Laura was still teaching her class on hand embellishing, using a variety of techniques.  The students were given the wool appliqué sample on the left, all fused down and she taught them techniques to turn it into the beautiful piece on the right!

The class went longer than expected so after we ate a wonderful lunch, Laura continued teaching and I listened in while working on the project I brought.

The class sounded so fun and intriguing that I signed up for the same class which Laura is offering again on March 29th.  I am excited to take it and make this beautiful little piece!  If you're interested you should go to her website (look on the links at the right) and sign up!

Door prizes were given away at the luncheon and I won this bag of wool, thread and a pretty button!  the little sewing kit on the right everyone received, just for coming.

I was able to finish a project!  This is a table mat I made using the pattern "Those Blasted Crows!"  And this is number 13 finished in 2014 :)

We were having so much fun that one of the gals commented that we should all go to the same nursing home when we're older so we can still have fun together.  I was telling that to another friend and she said, "Sign me up for the quilter's nursing home!"

None of the batik quilts I posted yesterday were the one Susan was looking for....  Here is a batik table runner I made awhile ago.  I wish I could think of which quilt it is she is thinking of and wants to see!  I'll keep looking.

Do you take photos of all the quilts and projects you make?  I try to.  This blog is helping me get better at that.

Have a great day :)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Batik Quilts

I ran into a friend today and she told me she saw a batik quilt I had shown at SSQ's show and tell quite awhile ago.  She described it to me and wanted to see it again.  I have made a few batik quilts, so I am going to post photos of them for Susan and hopefully one of these is the one she was thinking of, and the one she wants to see - because I can't remember!

This quilt was a block of the month for CWQG designed by Jan Warren back in 2008.  I half-sized it, so mine is a wall hanging and there are quite a few batik fabrics in it.  The block arrangement is my own design.  I really like the colors!

A batik baby quilt I made and gave to someone!  I like to take pictures of all the quilts I make and I do not remember who received this one. I hope that baby, who is probably a toddler by now, is enjoying it :)

This batik throw size quilt, that I made in 2009, now resides in Germany. My son took it and gave it to his host family when he was a foreign exchange student there.

I don't think this is the one Susan was thinking of because it is a queen size batik quilt that I gave to my niece Kacey (on the left).  That's my daughter Michelle on the right :)

I hope one of these is the one Susan wanted to see!

Tomorrow I will post about the FUN open sew I went to yesterday, hosted by Laura Pedge of Laura's Home.  I had a delightful time :)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Odds and Ends

I recently purchased this book "Quilts in Everyday Life: 1855-1955" by Janet E. Finley.  Janet started collecting old photographs with quilts in them.  She bought many on Ebay and acquired some from other sources, then researched them and compiled them into this book.  I haven't read it all yet, but I find the pictures fascinating.  A lot of the photos have a quilt tacked up on the side of the house to use as a backdrop for a family photo.  It is interesting to see the quilts of that time, the clothing, the people - it's just an interesting book and I am excited to read more of it.  I have a small suitcase full of old photos.  It makes me want to get that out and look through them to see if there are any quilts in my old photos!  I'll have to let you know :)

Here is another Brazilian Embroidery piece that I made awhile ago and had framed. Not a great picture since the light is reflecting off the glass, but I really like this piece.
My daughter sent me the recipe for this soup and I made it last night.  I was skeptical - even as I was making it - as to whether I would like it or not, but it is DELICIOUS, just like my daughter said it would be :)  Here is the recipe:
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large yam (orange), peeled and diced (2 cups)
8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup kale leaves, coarsely chopped
2 T. minced fresh ginger (I just used 1/2 tsp. of the ginger spice)
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the stock, onion, garlic and yam in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, add the chicken and simmer covered for 20 minutes.  Add the kale leaves and ginger and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in the peanut butter, salt and pepper.  Yummy!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Modern Mini

I've been working on my miniature "Modern" quilt.  This is the first block I made and think it will be rejected in the final pick - not enough contrast and uneven paper piecing.

Below are the blocks I have done so far.  They are getting better!

These blocks measure only two inches finished so these little flying geese units are tiny!

I'm having fun with them!  Back to the Quilt Studio :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Brazilian Embroidery

A few years ago I took a class on Brazilian Embroidery and really fell in love with it.  I love the way it looks and I love stitching it.  There is just something satisfying about watching your stitches turn into these three dimensional little beauties.  I like to stitch in the evenings while watching TV and sometimes I can stitch some Brazilian Embroidery, but sometimes I really have to focus on the instructions and the stitching, so it's hard to have the TV on while doing it.  I just completed this one on the right recently.

These other three I completed awhile ago.  I haven't stitched any BE for quite some time, so it was fun to pull it out and work on it again, although a bit scary because I wasn't sure if I would remember how to do it!  The instructions for these are very clear though and it's coming back to me.

I have twelve of these small flower patterns - the design is about 3 1/2 by 4 1/2.  I have completed four of them.  My plan, when all 12 are finished is to make them into a small quilted wall hanging.  So I am working on another UFO!
 In case you were wondering, I looked up Brazilian Embroidery on Wikipedia and found out that it is a "type of surface embroidery that uses rayon thread instead of cotton or wool. It is called "Brazilian" embroidery because the use of high-sheen rayon thread in embroidery was first popularized in Brazil where rayon is widely manufactured.  Brazilian embroidery patterns usually include flowers formed using both knotted and cast-on stitches.
Although many of these stitches are used in other forms of embroidery, the technique used to create them are slightly different.
The difference is caused by the method used to manufacture the rayon thread.  For example, cotton thread uses and S twist when the fiber plies are combined into a strand.  Rayon thread uses a Z twist.  One type of twist turns the fiber plies clockwise, the other turns them counter-clockwise.  When forming the knots on Brazilian Embroidery the embroiderer must wrap the thread onto the needle in the opposite direction
from that used in other types of embroidery.  Otherwise, the fibers of the thread will unravel and make the resulting stitches and knots unattractive. "  (Now I know when my knots are unattractive what I'm doing wrong!  I am sure I learned that in my class, but it's been a long time ...)

Anyway, probably more information than you wanted or needed, but I am having fun working on this UFO!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Gourmet Donuts

I did get back into my sewing room today - more on that later - but I just have to share about a  donut place our kids took us to.  It is called Beyond Glaze.  Check out their website at to see if there is a location near you!  These donuts were SO delicious.  I have a weakness for donuts, but they have to be good donuts - not the grocery store variety.  These donuts are not only good, they're fantastic :)  I tried the Chocolate Chocolate Cake - mmmm.... full of sugar though .... have to stop at one ....
Take a look at the delicious variety!

Here we are, quite satisfied after eating some delicious gourmet donuts :) I am actually glad we do not have a store near us - it would be way to tempting to go there often!

Recently my son came to visit for a weekend and brought a friend.  He was showing the friend around our house and I heard him say, "This is my Mom's Quilt Studio."  SO - my space has been elevated from a "Sewing Room" to a "Quilt Studio".  I like it!
Have fun sewing in whatever you call your space and have a great day :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pillow Upgrade

Years ago my Mom made us these large pillows (they are about two feet square). My kids used them while watching TV, or if they had a lot of friends over and not enough chairs.  They were used a LOT and we've had them for probably 20 years or so.
When moving a few years ago, we were de-cluttering and I offered them to my kids.  My daughter who was at college at the time took them to her college apartment where they got even more use.
She is now married and apparently she and her husband still use them!  They were getting a little worn however, so she decided to recover them.  She found some fleece on sale and here they are! They look beautiful and just like new again!

That sewing skill comes in handy every now and then!  My daughters may become quilters yet :)  My Mom didn't give up on me.  I didn't start quilting until after I had already had four children - just too many other things going on before that.  I always appreciated knowing how to sew though :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pole, Putt, Pedal, Play

Years ago our family hosted an event for extended family which was dubbed "The Pole, Pedal, Putt" because in one weekend family members participated in skiing (pole), biking (pedal) and golf (putt).  It was fun and a great way to spend time with extended family.
My daughter decided to revive the event this weekend - our second "Pole, Pedal, Putt" event, however this time we added "Play".  It has been 10-12 years since that first event and we had just as much fun this time around.  We had several new family members participate too!
Here are the "Polers" - not as many, but they had a great time.

Sixteen participated in the "Putting".  We did a golf scramble so all could participate and it didn't matter how good (or in my case, bad) you were.  Our team - The Long Drives - won the scramble, by the way!  Landon said we were called The Long Drives because it was a "long drive" for us to get there, not because of our driving ability on the course :)

Actually Mike and Landon's Dad saved the day for our team, but we all had some good plays to contribute :)

Even more joined in the pedaling.  I didn't count, but there were probably about 10 more people.  We biked along the beautiful Jordan River.  I would love to go back and bike the other part of the trail.  It was a little windy for golfing and biking, but not enough to ruin the day - we all still had a great time!

Here is our youngest participant.  This little guy golfed too if you can believe it!  And he was better than me!
Our family ended the day with a "Play" at the Hale Center Theatre in Salt Lake City, which is the most awesome theater I've ever been to.  We've been going to plays there for years and I have never been disappointed.  This weekend we saw Les Miserables and they did such a FANTASTIC job.  It was AMAZING.  The standing ovation went on and on for several minutes and several of the cast members as well as the audience members had tears in our eyes.  My daughter and son, who had seen this play in London a few years ago, said this performance topped that one.  If you ever get a chance to go to this theater for any production, I highly recommend it!

So after all the Poling, Putting, Pedaling and Playing, we're officially POOPED, but pooped in a good way because we got to enjoy quality time with our family!  I sure love them all!
(I got to see my Mom too and she's doing much better :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

TQS Block of the Month

I finished up this month's blocks for The Quilt Show block of the month.  H is "House on the Hill" and I is "Irish Chain".

I changed the colors of the houses a little bit.  The pattern shows them in off-white, but I wanted them to show up a little better and I wanted a light on in the window.  I made the Irish Chain block green instead of red - it just seemed like it should be green :)  You can see that this unit is only about four inches tall.

I then got to sew this unit to the one I made last month.  This whole section is only about 12 inches tall.

I'm still making two of them.  So far, so fun!

Now I'm going to work on that miniature modern quilt - the show deadline is fast approaching!

Have a great day :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Monthly Minis

Yesterday I went to the Monthly Mini class at Hi Fashion and finished up April's umbrellas for my daughters.
One woman in the class was working on the lettering on her Easter quilt.  I just hand embroidered mine using the backstitch and that worked fine, but hers really stood out and I had to ask how she accomplished that look.  She said she drew the line, then stitched down one side with the blanket stitch (by hand and using close together stitching), then stitched back up the other side, also using the blanket stitch, this time the "bite" inward filled in the stitching from the previous line of blanket stitching,
so it almost looks like a satin stitch.

It looks really nice, especially if you want the lettering to stand out more.

Here are the designs coming up!  Next month (or May) is the kite and June is the flower and butterfly.  Look how cute the hangars are for these :)

I had mine almost finished when I went to class.  I like to hand appliqué them in the evenings when I watch TV.  Yesterday in class I finished the bindings and sleeves on both, them slipped their hangars in when I got home and they're good to go!  We're ready for those April Showers!

Have a great day :)

Oh, this makes numbers 11 and 12 projects finished in 2014!