Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After......

I had a wonderful Christmas.

I am so spoiled! The family gave me too many presents, a bunch of them quilting related.

My daughter gave me a huge box full of fabric remnants and pieces! She said the lady at the quilt store sold her the box for $10. I can't believe how much fabric is in that box.

We had a lot of fun looking through the box.

She also gave me a new June Tailor Shape Cut because she noticed mine was broken and taped, two stacks of fat quarters and a Brain Age game for the Wii.

That girl is really something! She loves every quilt I make. (Last semester she earned a 4.0 too!)

My husband gave me a gift card for Joanns and a whole stack of DVDs. A Marx Brother movie collection (with my favorite, Duck Soup), The 3rd season of The Muppet Show, A Looney Tunes Cartoon set, plus a bunch of old English horror films starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. He also gave me a June Tailor Shape Cut, a new rotary cutter and a 9 1/2 inch square ruler.

My son bought me 4 more gigs of memory for my computer and will install it for me. He says it will make it run faster, especially if I decide to play WOW this winter.

We all had a fun day, listening to music, opening presents, eating, drinking and playing games.

Today, there is a load of fabric in the washer and leftovers in the fridge.

Life is good.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Quilty Christmas!

With apologies to Clement Moore.......

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

Made by the quilter that resided in there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

Covered in quilts right up to their heads;

Mamma made her 'kerchief, and also my cap,

We just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Jumped over some remnants and tripped on some stash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Moda! now, Hoffman! now, Miller and Windham!

On, Northcott! on Clothworks! on, Marcus and Mumm!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now stash away! stash away! stash away all!"

As small scraps that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of fabric, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in Patchwork, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of scraps he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a seamripper he held tight in his teeth,

And the thread it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Won First Prize In the FabShop Hop!

Early in December I had a bad cold and spent a few afternoons visiting online quilting stores looking for the FabShopHop bunny. I can't believe it but I actually won one of the first prize packages. They sent me an email saying they would ship my package (worth $175) in a couple of days.

You can win more than once so I will be looking for the bunnies again when I have time. The next contest starts New Year's Day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mourning Doves

This pair of Mourning Doves have been visiting out bird feeder all summer. They are always together and usually spend all their time on the ground. Today for some reason they sat on one of the bird baths for almost an hour.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Super Flowers

We been working out in the yard a little everyday, getting everything ready for winter and raking leaves. We have had fairly mild days here lately but some of the nights have been in the 20's. I noticed a few flowers still in bloom here and there. The flowers around them are dead but somehow these have managed to hang on.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

3D Rail Crumb Quilt

This is the quickest I have finished any quilt I think.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

When Less Equals More - Fabric Scraps, Strips, & Crumbs

I will have a dedicated sewing room soon, but for now, I sew in the dining room. I store all of my fabric in the attic except for two medium size tubs of scraps, one for crumbs, the other for scraps smaller than a fat quarter and a small stack of 10 inch squares to use for backings.

A couple weeks ago I realized the bin for larger scraps was stuffed full so I decided to cut some patches for a few scrappy quilts and try to use up enough scraps to make a dent in that tub. I promised myself I would finish each quilt completely before moving on to the next. Going to the attic for border, background, backing, binding and sashing or framing fabric would be legal though.

I like a lot of variety in my scrap quilts so I only cut a few patches out of each fabric in a few sizes, 4.5 inch squares for an Indian Hatchet quilt, 3 X 5 inch bricks for a Nickel Brick quilt, 2 X 5 inch strips for a Rail Fence quilt and 2.5 and 2 inch squares just because. The result after a few afternoons of cutting was 2 shoe box size containers of ready to go pieces and a slightly fuller crumb bin. For some reason the bin for larger scraps looked about the same but the top did fit on easier.

I started the Indian Hatchet quilt first and when my daughter (who loves scrappy but does not quilt herself) saw it, she wanted it for a TV watching snuggle quilt.

I finished it about a week ago.

When I went to look for the stack of squares to make the back of the Indian Hatchet quilt, I unearthed a stash of crumb blocks I squirreled away after I used a bunch for this quilt. I decided I needed to make another quilt from them because the crumb bin was pretty full and soon I would be making some new crumb blocks to try to empty that bin a bit. I decided on this pattern, which was really fast and easy.

But it still left me with this stack of crumb blocks which fill another shoebox container.

And I needed more 10 inch squares for the backing so I had to get some fabric from the attic.

Of course, after I cut the squares there were scraps left over which filled the bin with the larger scraps past the point of closing easily.

I am right back where I started except now I have 3 shoebox size bins full of ready to go pieces in addition to the two medium size tubs.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rail Fence Quilt For Family Reunion Auction

Last year I had everyone at my family reunion sign a piece of fabric. I put them all together in a Rail Fence quilt and took it to this year's reunion for the Chinese auction.

I hand basted it using Sharon Schamber's method. (I recommend it highly, she has made a painful process so much easier.) I quilted it on my DSM.

The back was pieced with large squares, an idea I got from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville. I really like the look and it uses the smaller pieces of fabric I already own instead of having to buy a big piece of new fabric.

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Pond Lily This Summer

June and July were record breaking cool so our pond lily didn't grow the way it usually does. We finally got some hot weather and a bloom. I see two more buds. Hard to believe that summer here is almost over.

The back pond is very shady and even on hot days it is pleasant to sit back there and read or work on a project.

The small pond gets more sun so on a hot day it is only comfortable in the morning. Great place for coffee.

Monday, July 6, 2009


We have attracted wildlife into backyard ever since we turned it into a mini oasis. We really enjoy the birds, squirrels and chipmunk but late last night we had a nocturnal black and white striped invader of the stinky persuasion.

The biggest two of our three dogs tried to run the unholy marauder off and lost the battle before it had barely begun.

Both big dogs hate the bathtub and are very disobedient so it took two strong men to get them into the bathroom, and another swift runner to drive to the grocery store to buy more peroxide and baking soda.

(Thank goodness for 24 hour groceries and the genius that came up with this simple recipe that really works to get rid of skunk odor)

So, during the beginning hour of my birthday, I am locked in a tiny bathroom with two extremely stinky 90 pound dogs and my DD (she deserves a medal). Both hounds are plotting their escape, waiting for an unguarded moment when someone opens the door so they can run through the house and spread their skunky odor.

(As much as the two big dogs want to get out of the bathroom, the small dog, for some strange reason, wants to get in.)

I had enough de-scenting ingredients for the first dog, and he is de-skunked, rinsed, (why isn't there any water pressure on the hand held sprayer?) shampooed, and rinsed again, (why isn't there any water pressure on the hand held sprayer?)and passed off to DD for drying.

The second dog is nervously panting, further heating the small space with his hot doggy breath, while he waits his turn in the tub.

By this time all I can smell is skunk and the bathroom and I are a mess of water and dog fur.

Eventually, the runner returns with the needed supplies and the second dog is de-skunked, rinsed, (why isn't there any water pressure on the hand held sprayer?) shampooed, and rinsed again (why isn't there any water pressure on the hand held sprayer?). I let my guard down for a second (probably to wipe the water and fur from my face) and the old doggy fool manages to leap from the tub at the exact second my daughter opens the door to come in to dry him. He ran down the hall and stairs dripping water with DD in hot pursuit. No one would have believed that such an old dog with hip problems could move so fast.

I cleaned up the bathroom, took a shower and returned to my comfy chair. The yard and house still reek of skunk, DH tried to remedy the problem while I was dealing with the dogs by spraying room freshener everywhere. Unfortunately, the product he used is one I should have thrown away because I think it smells just as bad as the skunk. The combination of both smells is not at all pleasant.

DS brought me a delicious birthday martini, it took the edge off me but not off the smell.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Super Fast Square In A Square Quilt

I finally remembered to take a picture of the Square In A Square top I was working on this past winter. I used Anita Grossman Solomon's method, Here is her video that describes how it works. I just used scraps and didn't try to match anything as long as there was contrast. I would like a design wall so I could play around a bit more with block placement.

I have been working on a miniatures garden. I was going to put a rock garden in a place we normally planted annuals, but then I happened to see miniature plants and trees at a garden store and was instantly hooked. This picture is after I planted the plants, the name tags are still in because I wanted to use the picture to draw a diagram so later I will know which plant is which. I am going to the beach sometime this week to get some small stones for a path and accents. I already had the little flower pot and mini gnome.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gardens = Much Less Quilting

The weather here in upstate NY has been a bit cooler than normal this spring. We finally have finished our planting for this year and are looking forward to some nice warm days to while away in the shade.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Easy Way to Mark Multiple Squares For HST

I was marking squares for HST and I thought of a faster way to do it.

I lined the points of three squares up on a line then lined the ruler up on the same line and marked all three at once.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Today was mushroom day!

My daughter recently joined a mycology club and needed something mushroomy to take to their annual dinner / auction. I made two postcards first, then decided to make a 2 pot holders too as long as the fabric was already out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Magic Crumb Scrap Quilt Tutorial

I combined two ideas in my Magic Crumb quilt, Crumb Squares  and the Disappearing 9 Patch

My crumb squares are 6 inches but any size will work.  You need 4 crumb squares for each  Magic Crumb Block

(These measurements assume you are using 6 inch crumb squares)

The contrasting fabric is cut in 4 1/2 inches strips.  

For each Magic Crumb block you need:
2 patches that are 4.5 inches by  6 inches 
1 strip 4.5 inches by 14.5 inches.

Don't use any crumb block that has the same color on the edge as your contrasting fabric (in the middle seems fine).  

Sew them together so they look like this:

Cut the block half through the middle (2 inches from the seam) 

Rotate the mat and cut through the middle again.  Now your block is in four pieces

Rotate the top left corner and bottom right corner 180 degrees so it looks like this:

Sew the block back together.  

That's it!   Easy huh.  I am thinking this setting would be great for an I Spy Quilt too.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Crumb Block Quilt

I finished piecing together some crumb blocks using a modified version of the disappearing 9 patch. I'm satisfied with the way it turned out.

I made enough of these blocks last year to make at least 2 of these tops. And now my crumb bin is getting full again.

I had some requests for instructions so I put a tutorial here.