Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One important reader

Most writers and speakers tell of getting comments and critiques from their readers and listeners. Yesterday, I mentioned how much I appreciate all of you who have come to view and comment on my blog and I sincerely mean that.

One person, though, that faithfully reads my blog and comments, laughs and sometimes just grunts is my husband, Ukester Brown.  Today is his 51st birthday; so, for two months I get to be married to an older man.  :)

He's been a wonderful husband, best friend, and a loving father.  A very admirable man.

Here's a picture from a few years ago that shows him also being a loving uncle, reading to a niece, in his typical humorous style:

Happy Birthday, David!


999-thank you!

That is one away from 1000!

I just checked my stats a moment ago and I had 999 times that people stopped by my blog last month. Wow! I am so excited (it doesn't take much)! Perhaps you only stopped to look at pictures, maybe you realized this wasn't your gig, but maybe you were one of the kind ones who actually read, looked at pictures and commented.  Thank you so much!

You keep me in stitches.....


Monday, February 27, 2012

Quilting with a Friend

For my Jubilee Quilt  I need 56 blocks made up of 25 half square triangle blocks.  So in this post I showed you a stack of squares that only make up about 37 blocks.  Here is my next batch of squares all paired, marked and ready to sew on each side of the line...

The above group will make approximately 300 HS triangle blocks.  This is about 50 more than I need to complete my project but I figure while I am in the mode of cutting and making these I would go ahead and do so.  The extras will go in my "1 1/2" box for future scrappy  projects. Plus I am going to mix in some of the squares I made in this post with these blocks.  So, I will have plenty.

The next step is to slice on the marked line and press open.  This is a bit tedious but something I don't mind doing because I can sit and watch TV as I put them in a slotted box to keep them organized.  After I press I put them in in no particular order because they will come back out to be trimmed to 1 1/2 inches square.

Hezzie loves to be part of the action.  He kept his head here for several hours while I pressed the squares open.  He doesn't find this tedious at all......

Even when I would get up to take a break and come back, he would lay his head back down.  Such a loyal companion.  :)

Be sure to link over to Judy at Patchwork Times  today and see what everyone else is working on today.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It seams to me

I had a request to post pictures of the hst blocks (from my last post) with the seams in them and I thought that was a good idea. For some reason it is too early in the morning for me to get a decent picture - so this one will have to do!

I hope you can see well enough when you enlarge it.
Left column: Dark has seams
Middle column: Both sections have seams
Right column: Light section has seams

Out of the 70 blocks 32 had seams in them and about five will not be useable because the seams are too close to the seam allowance.

I don't mind the seams in the blocks because it gives it that old fashioned scrappy look.  Fun!

Have a good day!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

I just had to try it!

Remember I posted a picture similar to this the other day?

I am using hundreds of 2" squares to make half-squares triangle blocks that I am then trimming down to 1 1/2" squares - one at a time. I want my Jubilee quilt to be scrappy, very, very, scrappy with hardly any blocks alike and so this is the best way I know how to do it.

Well, after reading this wonderful post at Collector With A Needle about the mass production of half-square triangles I decided I had to give it a whirl.  Only I took it up a notch.  My pictures and descriptions below will make more sense if you go and look at the her post above first. She uses two busy fabrics on each side....which gave some wonderful results.

Pictured below are the steps I followed and at the end of this post I will tell you what I learned.

I decided to use three light fabrics and four darks.  You'll notice the lights are vertical and the darks are horizontal.  I measured to be sure all of their seams will fall within the blocks to look even scrappier. I used 4" wide strips and just cut them a little longer than needed for the paper.

Now you can see I have the right sides together, lights vertical, darks horizontal and the paper on top.
The paper product that I am using is called Triangle Paper and is the 1" finished size.

Here is the Triangle Paper sewn through all three layers.  At this point you rotary cut on the solid lines - then remove the paper.

This shows the variety of squares that I ended up with...using three light and four dark strips.

What I learned:
  • it would be better to vary the colors of the fabrics even more - I tried to keep the lights similar and the darks similar just so they were "busy" but I ended up with very similar blocks throughout
  • try for fabrics with splotches of color and geometrics - the green floral is a good one, and the two middle darks because they change colors and shapes throughout the blocks.  The yellow geometric is OK too.
  • overall what is missing in these blocks is just the variety of colors
Will I use these in the current Jubilee project I am doing?  Probably some....but not all.  I don't want that many repeats.  There are 70 blocks here that look too much alike to me.  But I won't throw them away.  They will go in my "1 1/2" box" where I keep all my other half square triangle blocks for future projects.

I think I may try this again with more color variety and if I get something much better I will post my results.  I will definitely try it again in the future when I want  to speed up the mass production of scrappy.  This was a great idea. Many thanks to Collector with a Needle for initially sharing this!

If you try this - please share it and let me know how it comes out for you.

Scrappy and happy-


P.S.  I am going to tag this on here on Monday....check out what others are doing on their design walls at Patchwork Times Monday link up.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fresh Air

Each day Hezzie and I like to go for a walk.  Most times it is just around the neighborhood.
Somedays we like to mix it up and go to one of the many local parks nearby.
A nice winter to get out and walk.  These pictures were taken on a sunny day but it doesn't show because everything is brown, gray and waiting for the new life that spring brings with it.  A few months away yet. 
Normally we would have a big thick blanket of snow on the ground at this time.  This picture would be typical of sometime in April.

Be sure to get out for some fresh air today!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Jubilee Quilt

Last April I turned 50 years old and I thought it would be neat to commemorate my 50th year by making a quilt.  The idea simmered on the back burner and didn't go any further than that.  Then a week or so ago Lori at Humble Quilts mentioned the idea of doing a Jubilee quilt to celebrate turning 50 and that we (bloggers) should unite and do it together.  What a great idea!

That lit the fire under my butt to get going.....I only have until near the end of April to finish my quilt!  I decided I do want to do this in my 50th year - no cheating! :)

I have been working on replicating an antique quilt for a few months that I absolutely love and I have been trying to figure out what to name it.  Well, now I know - Jubilee!!  Obviously I am a little farther ahead in my progress than some of the other Jubilee participants but I still have a ways to go.  I have been taking pictures of the steps because I knew I would someday post this quilt on the internet. Here is a picture of the first step.
The quilt is made of all scraps and solid red,  solid yellow, and a blue print fabric.  These blocks are just some of the blocks used.  Hundreds of scrappy 2"squares, paired, waiting to be sewn together on each side of the line then cut diagonally.

Keep watching and I will show you my steps!

If you would like to join us in doing a Jubilee quilt to celebrate your 50th birthday this year please link up with us at The Jubilee Quilt Project and join in the fun!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

My favorite

Today in church we sang this hymn.  It is my favorite hymn.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

"Great is Thy faithfulness." O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

"Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!"
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided -
"Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!

Text:  Thomas O. Chisholm  (1866-1960)
Music:  William M. Runyan  (1870-1957)

Thank you for reading.  Have a wonderful day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cold outside....Warm inside

I love to bake; however, I don't do it as much as I use too.  Today I baked a double batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

This recipe is one of our favorites and I have been making it for years.   It ships well - I sent it quite a few times to my son when he was away in college. As with most recipes, it is not original, I am sure I got it from a magazine.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars.  Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, oats, baking soda and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoonsfuls onto greased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees F.  for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned.
Yield: 4 dozen.

Before you throw that away...I save Pringles potato chip cans for shipping cookies in.  You need to be sure your cookies fit - and they make a great protective, airtight package that fit nicely into a box. If you want to take it a step further you could even decorate the Pringles can.

Happy baking...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A local quilt show

This afternoon I went to a small local show hosted by Dakota County Star Quilters guild.  Every year they have a show, silent auction, special lecture and "store" in a small museum in South St. Paul and for the last five to six years or so I have made it a point to go.

I took my camera this year to get some pictures of the quilts to share with you and the quilt pictures turned out but the information on the cards about the quilts turned out blurry! :( So, in the interest of giving credit where credit is due I only have a few pictures to share.

Two ladies in the group have been trying to replicate Amish quilts.  One pieces and the other quilts.  I have seen some of the other quilts that they have done and it is very interesting when you see how they are doing them in the very same coloration but perhaps with more contemporary quilting.  The crib quilt below caught my eye the minute I turned the corner.  How unique!  (The color of red is bright red - the photo doesn't do it justice.) Below are two of the quilts they have done.  The card for the crib quilt says:
Amish Crib Quilt
Pieced by Mary Burnes
Quilted by Judy Tendlick? (a bit blurry in my pic-sorry)
Judy and I are re-creating Amish quilts that we found unusual in pattern or color.  This is a crib quilt that Judy quilted in a very traditional manner, with crosshatching in the center and feathers in the border.

The next quilt is done by the same ladies and says basically the same thing on the card only that it is quilted in a very unusual manner for an Amish quilt - very contemporary.

The last picture I have is something that I thought was kind of cute for those of you who collect show pins.  My husband thought it unusual that I wasn't interested in collecting pins from all the shows I go to - since I have been a collector of a lot of other things in my life.  (Am I the only one who doesn't collect these pins?)

Anyway, this tree pattern is designed by Sandi Irish and the card on the quilt said the pattern will be coming out soon.  She does have another quilt pattern on her website for show pins if one is not going to be enough and you want to get started ahead of time. (No affiliation - she had the other one hanging at the show and I noticed it on her website.)

That's it for today in my corner of the world.  It was bright and sunny, a beautiful day - almost 40 degrees!



Nap time......

Monday, February 6, 2012

My "Indiana Snail's Path" quilt

Once upon a time, a very long time ago...well, let's see it has to be around 15 years  ago now....I started a quilt for my son when we repainted his bedroom.  He recently turned 28 years old and hasn't lived at home for eight years.  Do you have any projects like that?

At the time, he had white walls adorned with M.C. Escher drawings, black furniture, gray carpet, and decided he wanted a solid black/solid white adaptation of the quilt from the cover of this book:

Since I grew up in Indiana, I thought it was kind of neat that  he had unknowingly picked the "Indiana Puzzle".  However, another name for this block is called the "Snails Tail".  If you have had teenage boys... well,  let's just say, I was smiling inwardly at the irony. Some days you feel like you are dealing with snails....

After discussing the pattern a bit we decided we wanted to find a different way to finish off the edge of the quilt and I showed him the pattern below (no longer in print?):
He liked how the edges of the quilt were "solid" so he wanted me to take the solid black out to the edge of his quilt just as it  is in the picture.  OK.  I can do that.

But solids, really?  I was sure I could talk this teenager into making it scrappy blacks and whites.  Being very artistic, he surely would see how much more interesting that would be. No can do.  Solids it was.  To be sure I had the same white and black throughout the quilt I ordered a bolt of each since I wasn't sure what I would use on the back and figured I would use the leftovers of either color in future projects.

I decided to paper pieced and printed out the number of patterns I would need. Life interfered in different ways and the project sat for almost 11 years.   Figuring that over the years he surely lost interest, I occasionally would ask him, "Do you still want "that" quilt?"....."Yes, Mom, I still want "that" quilt."

So, a few years ago I started on it and I haven't gotten too far.  I really would like to finish this quilt  this year.  The picture below shows my progress so far.  The blocks are not sewn together and still have the paper attached; some are trimmed and some are not. (I am aware that the bottom block is incorrect and will fix it.)
My husband keeps asking, "How are you doing on the "Drunkard's Path" quilt?!  He realizes that blocks have different names and for some reason he has confused this one with the Drunkard's Path! No way would I make a Drunkard's Path quilt for our son.

So, we have the Indiana Puzzle, Snail's Tail, Drunkard's Path Quilt.

I will get it done.  My son told me not too long ago...."I know you will, Mom.  And by then...it should be absolutely outstanding." :)

No pressure.


Oh, and something else that is Black and White and worth seeing....the movie "The Artist" that is playing in the theatre now.  We went to see it on Saturday.  It's a silent movie.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Window Seat

When I was little and we would travel my Mom would always say, "Judy, look out the window!  You are missing all of the scenery!"  I don't know if I was reading or what I was doing but I obviously wasn't looking out of the window and taking it all in.  Typical kid.

Now, as I travel, I have my nose stuck to the glass and want to see what is out there.  People, places, scenery, horizons, landscape, flora, fauna, it is all so interesting and different (and sometimes the same) wherever you travel.

On our flight to California, one thing that captivated my interest was this....
Center-pivot irrigation circles. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia) I didn't get any photos of the circles on the way out because I thought I would get them on the way back; however, we came a different route and flew too high.  :( 

These are wonderful pieces of art from up in the sky.  There are literally hundreds of miles of these..... in every dotty configuration you can imagine - stretching from one state to another.  Absolutely breathtaking. The plowing designs look like quilting designs.

Well, inquiring mind that I am, I had to research some more.  I came across a wonderful article that some of you might enjoy reading by a man, who stuck his nose to the glass, and wrote about his window seat experiences from above looking at the irrigation circles. He has fantastic photos and explanations.

And, of course all the while we were flying, quilter that I am,  I'm thinking.....what great inspiration for a quilt!  Perhaps someday.  But in my search for photos for this blog I found this quilt that I think is a fantastic interpretation.  Be sure to check it out. 

Inspiration is everywhere.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pink Lemonade Finale

Thanks to Lori for hosting a fun little quilt-a-long for this Pink Lemonade quilt.  You could still do this quilt just check her blog for directions...

Below is a picture showing how I quilted it.  I quilted approx. 1/8" (I didn't aim for perfection!) on each side of all seam lines with the exception of the half square triangles.  I debated about doing those and thought it might be a bit much on a little quilt like this.

Just a little closer view of stitching and fabric......

Then she was thrown in the wash and here she is in her wrinkly, shrinkly goodness. After only one hot wash and dryer experience.   She will get a few more because I want her to look a bit worn.

Thanks again Lori for a fun quilt-long!

And thanks for reading....