Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Terrific Tuesday - Tip

This was a quilt that I was commissioned to make last year for Steve's birthday.
He had purchased the Civil War panel kit at a local quilt show some years back.  His girlfriend snuck the kit out of the house and brought it to me for a birthday surprise.
The one thing I didn't think of or anticipate was that the blocks with the Civil War scenes could start to droop after hanging.  So I let Steve know that I thought I should add quilting inside each scene to prevent drooping within the blocks. 
 I bring this up as today's tip.  Be honest with your customers.  We are human and we all make mistakes or learn of better ways to improve our quilts.  I feel it is also our part to educate and help others with their quilts.  So even though, the customer had already taken the quilt home, I contacted him and recommended additional work on the quilt at no cost to the customer.
Steve dropped off the quilt and I added quilting to the six large scene blocks, using monopoly thread.
Steve returned to pick up the quilt and was going to order a magnetic quilt hanger. 
Today I received the above picture with the attached note:

"Thought you'd like to see the quilt you made now hanging in my dining room. I really love it! Thanks for making it."  Steve Shipp
Today I am linking up with Freemotion by the River and Quilt Story.
Yours in quilting,


Monday, February 24, 2014

Design Wall - Productive Retreat

Woo Wee!  What a weekend I had at the retreat.  I love my retreat girlfriends! (Of course, missed :(
having my best bud, Cathy K, with me.)  There were 17 quilters stitching at a very fast pace. 
The weather was less than favorable when I left.  We had rain and up to 60 mile an hour winds on Thursday night.  This is a view of the fairgrounds where we stable our horse.  Driving to the retreat I encountered water on the roads, flooded fields, rushing creeks and large mountains of snow along the roads.  At least no drifting snow because the rain had frozen a crust on the snow which was shimmering in the sun. 
The first thing I was shown after all the hugs and warm greetings from the group was Mera's tumbling blocks quilt.  Mera had worked on this quilt at several of our weekend retreats.  The first retreat that she worked on it she had a whole eight foot table full of triangle pieces sorted by color and tones which finished into this awesome quilt.  She has enough triangles left to make another.
Second, show 'n tell was this beautiful round quilt by Sylvia B. made using a 10 degree ruler.
Pillow cases were in mass production by Mera and Kathy C.  I believe they both made at least 30 each.  They came with them pre-cut.  All of them will be donated to charitable locations for children.

Here is a fun quilt by Susie R.  Everything on the center of the quilt is applique.  I bet Susie could now applique in her sleep! 
Congratulations on finishing your quilt top, Susie!!
Here's Sherry's Gypsy bag made out Australian fat quarters.  She plans on bringing future projects to retreat in this large, roomy bag.
 Here's Barb O's quilt.  She arrived with the blocks mostly done.  Sewed the center together and then asked for opinions on an outer border.  Never a shortage of brain power at our retreats!
Barb's next project was this fun quilt for a grandchild.  She didn't have a pattern and was a design-as-you project.
 Here is Mera's work-in-progress for the weekend.  She used strip piecing to create her quilt blocks.
 Mera and everyone helped move blocks around playing with the layout.  We used our cameras, taking pictures to get a different view of the quilt.
 When I was heading out the door Sunday morning, she was trying to get the units sewn together.
 Here is Mary's cheery batik quilt.  Some lucky friend will be getting this quilt from Mary soon!
Kathy C., who also made about 30 pillowcases, finished two quilt tops.
 Above is Kathy's leader and ender challenge from Bonnie Hunter at www.quiltville.com.
This a patriotic quilt for a veteran with a TBI. 
Nancy B worked on two lovely quilt tops.  Sorry, I missed  getting a picture of red, blue and cream quilt.  I love this study in red quilt, but not sure its on my bucket list with all the Y seams.
Kathy B. was busy working a this fun quilt for her granddaughter.  She had all her granddaughter's art work printed on fabric from Kindergarten to 5th grade.
 Next Kathy B. worked on a decoration for Easter.
Carol R. had a production line going.  Two tablerunners from her Alaska fabric, two pillow fronts for her grandkids, and a fun golf quilt from a panel.

 Carol R. also completed this sharp block for a guild project.
This is Susan May, our host and owner of Susan's Calico Creations.  Susan was "Super Woman" of the weekend.  She greets all of us individually, gets our cars unloaded and each one of us settled into a sewing station.  She also works upstairs in her shop, sews on her projects and helps us with problems on our quilting projects as they arise.  Susan is holding the 3 1/2" house block she paper pieced for the Washington, IL Tornado Recovery Project.  She also worked on sewing on two bindings this weekend and made her February log cabin block BOM for her www.quiltdoodledesigns.com.
Here's the biggest quilt completed this weekend.  Kathy D. had her center made but spent the weekend putting on the borders.  It is 114" x 114" king size.
I worked on the following blocks.
First, I worked on my February Country Threads 2014 BOM Blocks.
 Second, I completed my February stone cabin for the www.quiltdoodledesigns.com  2014 BOM.
Third, I worked a UFO.  My friend, Corry, embroidered all the states and the dates the state joined the union.  This has been a work in progress for about three years.  I have debated a long time whether write the states on fabric, hand embroider states or machine embroidery.  Machine embroidery finally has been accomplished.  I cut out two states and got them sewed.

Last, I worked on this UFO also.
Thank you for sharing my retreat design wall.  Wishing you a productive Monday!
Today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.  Check out Judy's information about going gluten free and rolling your own oats, interesting!
Yours in quilting,


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Vintage Thursday

Today I am sharing one of my favorite figurines, Holly Hobbie.  This figurine was produced in 1971.  I looked up some the information about Holly Hobbie's many adventures on Wikipedia (information below the picture.)
Today I am linking up with Vintage Thingie Thursday over at the Colorado Lady BlogSpot.
In the late 1960s, Hobbie sold distinctive artwork of a cat-loving, rag dress-wearing little girl in a giant bonnet to American Greetings. This series of illustrations became popular, and her originally nameless character became known as "Holly Hobbie".
As a contract artist, Hobbie worked with the Humorous Planning department at American Greetings under art director Rex Connors, who was responsible for launching "blue girl" as the most identifiable of the Hobbie characters. Also working in Humorous Planning at that time (1973, 1974) was Bob Childers, a veteran humorous concept artist and designer. Childers insisted that there should be a doll. Since no one seemed to listen, Childers went home and, on his own time, hand-stitched the first prototype and presented it to Connors. Rex Connors then took the doll to Tom Wilson, Creative Vice President, after which American Greetings approached Knickerbocker Toys concerning the Holly Hobbie license.
In 1974, Knickerbocker Toys licensed the Holly Hobbie character for a line of rag dolls, which were a popular toy for young American girls for several years. Holly Hobbie products are now once again being marketed by American Greetings in association with Carlton Cards.
In 1980, Holly was featured in a novel by Richard Dubelman entitled The Adventures of Holly Hobbie. In this book, Holly Hobbie is a ghost who lives in a painting that was painted in 1803. She comes out of the painting to help a descendant, Liz Dutton, find her missing father, an archaeologist who has vanished in Guatemala.
In 2006, a redesigned Holly Hobbie was launched as part of a spin-off product line called "Holly Hobbie and Friends." She was featured in a movie titled Holly Hobbie and Friends: Surprise Party. The movie aired on Nick Jr. and is available on DVD.[1] The traditional line still exists, with the back story that the "original" Holly is the great-grandmother of the "new" Holly.
In 2006, Mattel released a brand new Holly Hobbie doll line, which includes Holly (blue eyes and blonde hair), Amy (green eyes and red hair), and Carrie (brown eyes and black hair). The dolls feature an all new face sculpt, a new body style, and flat feet. There is also a series of smaller Holly, Amy, and Carrie figures; each of these figures arrives with a farm animal (Holly has a dog named Doodles, Amy has a pig named Cheddar, and Carrie has a cat named Bonnett). Separate doll outfits are being sold; each outfit can be customized by the child or collector. Holly Hobbie (the cartoon) also has three popular songs, two sung in her own voice, "Just Like You" and "The Things That Make You Special." LeAnn Rimes sang "Twinkle in Her Eye," the theme song.

Yours in quilting,

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Working on Wednesday

It true, I have caught the dreaded cold bug.  So my favorite diet has Green Chai Tea, Advil Cold & Sinus, and now Mucinex.  I had this head cold last week and never felt bad until yesterday.  I started coughing and coughing.....so I went to the doctor.  He said it is probably viral but gave me something for the cough and a prescription for an antibiotic to take in the next couple of days if I don't feel better.

I have tried to do at least a few things around the house and a row or two on the longarm.  Today I just had to sit down for awhile. I had not completed the January large 20" block for the 2014 Country Threads BOM.  Here is the sample picture of what the blocks are suppose to look like.

Here is my 20" block.  I did not have 4 - 8 1/2" large pieces to put in the four corners so I had to make-do.  I cut and pieced to fill in that space.  Here's my block.  Looks a little different than the picture above.
Here is the 10" block for January.  More scraps out of my stash!  WooHoo!

While sipping my first cup of tea this morning, I cut out February's blocks.  I will take them to my next retreat this weekend, if I can get to feeling better.

I am headed back to the longarm machine and hope to have a Friday Finish.

Today I have linked up with Freshly Pieced and Sew Much Ado.

Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday Tips in the Kitchen

Since I am a full time housewife as well as being a quilter, I am trying to make our food budget stretch a little farther and still be interesting.  I am trying to plan about two weeks into the future the meals that I will be making.  From there I make my grocery list and shop.  Nothing is set in cement and I don't beat myself  up if we go out to eat or order a pizza.  But with my husband's change in job schedule and the brutal weather we have been having, this is working out great.  My family can make requests off the menu, if they are hungry for something before I get around to it.

Last night we had roast, carrots and potatoes.  From the leftovers, I am making vegetable beef soup.

I have been trying to clean out the food in the cupboards, freezer and refrigerator.  So what I have in any of those food storage places also helps me decide what to cook.  For example, I have bananas, celery, apples, raisins and marshmallows (that are slightly dried out).  So our salad tonight will be a Waldorf salad fruit salad with the above mentioned items, also using up my leftover Cool Whip and Miracle Whip as the dressing.  If your raisins and marshmallows are a little dried out, they will rehydrate when added to salad.  Just make the salad ahead of time and refrigerate.  If the salad gets too stiff just stir in a little milk.

You can also put slightly dried out marshmallows on top of  Jello while still liquid and refrigerate overnight.  The marshmallows will be freshened up and the kids will love it.  This is something my Mom taught me years ago.  Its saved a lot of marshmallows from the garbage.

One of my favorite recipes is Spaghetti Pizza.
1 can - 24 oz Hunt's Pasta Sauce or your favorite sauce
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
7 oz. spaghetti
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups cheddar cheese
3 cups mozzarella cheese
Brown hamburger and drain fat, stir in pasta sauce.  Cook spaghetti and put in the bottom of a well greased 9"x13" pan.  Beat two eggs and milk together and pour over spaghetti.  Sprinkle a light layer of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses over spaghetti.  Now pour hamburger sauce mixture on top of spaghetti spreading to cover spaghetti.  Top with cheddar and mozzarella cheeses ( I usually add additional cheese).  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes if baking right away.  If you freeze it or put it in the refrigerator, allow a longer baking time.
I like to serve this with cheesy garlic bread and a salad.  This dish reheats beautifully.  Just cut a serving size and reheat in the microwave.  I used to have this pre-made and we would heat up individual servings after a soccer game.  

Crunchy Chicken Cheese Bake
This is a Campbell Soup recipe with my modifications.

6-8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (adjust number up or down for your needs)
4 slices Swiss or American cheese (optional)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can of milk
1/2 cup of seasoned stuffing mix  (like Stove Top) + 2 TBS. melted margarine or butter
Hot cooked rice.

Place chicken in a greased baking pan and top with cheese (optional).  Mix soup and milk together and pour over chicken breasts.  Melt margarine and mix with stuffing mix.  Sprinkle stuffing over the chicken breasts.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve over cooked rice.  This is one of my husband's favorite left-overs.

I hope these recipes and tips help save you some time and money.
Today I am linking up with Connie at Freemotion by the River and Fabric Tuesday-A Quilt Story  Have a terrific Tuesday!!
Yours in quilting,

Monday, February 17, 2014

Design Wall - Retreat

What a wonderful retreat weekend we had!  I had to come home to rest up.  Our church ladies started a retreat about five years ago.  We choose one weekend in February or March and take over the Family Life Center at our church.  The room's walls are all carpeted so every wall is a design wall.
As the weekend goes along, we fill the walls with quilts in progress, finished tops and blocks.  We leave the quilts on the walls so the church members can come view them after church service.

Here is my friend, Mary, who worked on a 10 minute baby blanket.  The center panel is regular cotton fabric.  The back that wraps around to the front is purple chenille and light blue minky.  This took her all weekend not 10 minutes  (she was not with us full time as she had to work during the day).  I don't think she would recommend using the chenille or minky again.  The backing fabrics were very difficult to work with.  We learned the technique using flannel or regular fabric at another retreat.  She persevered through the difficulties and has a beautiful finish!
 Here is her lovely label. 
Here's Kathy C. and Susie M. working side by side.  Notice in the background is Kathy C's Four Patch Posy being set on point.  We auditioned different setting triangle and border colors. 
Susie M. spent her time making a second quilt to go on the back of this quilt.  Susie makes her grandchildren's quilts reversible and designs the quilts as she goes.
Here is another Four Patch Posy quilt by Karen M.  Way to go Karen!  She stuck with one project all weekend and got the center assembled.
I finished my Country Threads 2013 BOM. The border went on perfectly.  Just have to piece my backing and its ready to quilt.
My other project with this wedding quilt with signature blocks.  This is an eleven year old project.
Barb A.(on the right)finished her Majestic Mountain quilt with no fabric to spare.  Another UFO done.
Then Barb started on her son-in-law's t-shirt quilt.  Another UFO 7 years in the making.

This is Kay B.  She was able to finish two quilt tops.  This one will get a border, but she had to make a run to the local quilt store to purchase fabric for the border.

This one is headed to the longarm quilter and then to Louisiana as a gift.
Here is Corry's Four Patch Posy ready for sashing.  We auditioned many fabrics for corner stones and sashing.  We settled on a milk chocolate brown for sashing and a sage green for corner stones. This quilt was not camera friendly.   I took many pics but none of them are very clear.
Corry was our quilt retreat planner.  Its the cheapest retreat, about $3 a meal, plus a small additional fee for classes.  Thank You, Corry, you did a great job.
 Corry also worked on the 2009 BOM Lincoln Quilt.  Isn't lovely.  I have made this quilt also.  My center is together, I just need to add that large outer border.  Corry and I have king size beds, so we make large quilts (112" x 112").  The lady with the big smile is our friend, Lisa, who stopped by to cheer us on.
Below is Nicki (on the left) with her Majestic Mountain quilt in progress and her mom, Donna.
They were working on this baby quilt together.
Maribel's bright, cheery quilt. 
Kathy O's Legacy Sampler Quilt.
Kathy O's (in the dark red) chain piecing.  Look at those big smiles. 
Finally, a preview of the Washington Tornado Recovery quilt project.  These little blocks are only
3 1/2" big!
Stay tuned for more information.  I will be posting the paper piecing pattern soon or my friend, Cathy, will send you all the pieces die cut and you can just sew a block together.  Their goal is to make 1000 of these mini blocks in remembrance of the 1000 homes destroyed or damaged by the tornado on November 17, 2013, in Washington, IL. 
It is snowing and blowing here this morning and we are expecting 4-7 inches of new snow. 
Today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.
Yours in quilting,