Saturday, December 31, 2011

Binding choices........

I found 3 fabrics that I like as binding for the H quilt.
I think all 3 of them work but I think I'll go with the third choice so it blends into the quilt instead of making a statement of its own.        It's hard to believe this is the last day of 2011.  I need to do a collage of finishes but it may have to wait til Monday because I need to get this binding done today and it will probably take me until midnite to do it.

Friday, December 30, 2011

I needed a change....

My poor embroidery machine has been neglected for a couple months so I embroidered a couple squares for a quilt.  Dad wasn't doing well when I visited him and that makes for a down day.  He didn't recognize me and was having some kind of problem with his legs.  He was really out of it the whole time I was there.  It is ups and downs all the time, a really good day and then a horrible day.  I hope I'm not just seeing a preview of what I'll be like in my old age.

On the quilting scene, I got another 2 rows of H's ditch quilted so I can put the binding on now and I will call it a finish for 2011 even though I'll probably have a few more H's left to quilt around.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What a day.......

I started out the day putting away Christmas decorations, then going 3 places trying to find fake rings to put on a ring bearer's pillow and not finding them. (A reader is going to get some for me and mail them to me. Yay!!!) I came home at lunch time and walked into the living room and saw these dark stripes on the carpet.  It was the vacuuming marks but why were they so dark?  I touched it and it was wet.  My first thought was that I had over watered a plant but there weren't any plants near this.  Then I went over to the little door to the hot water pipes and one of the bleeders was leaking.  This is almost 4 weeks after I got the new pump installed and he told me to check the bleeders for a couple days and then put the covers back on.
The 2 little pointy things are the bleeders, one for each direction of the line at this point.  The one on the right was leaking.  I called the plumbing and heating guy and luckily he was in my town working and was able to get here in about a half hour.  He ended up having to put a plug on it because he couldn't get the style bleeder he needed at the hardware store.  The good news is there is no more leak; the bad news is that all of the water was rusty and I have permanent stains in my carpet.  I have been wanting to tear out the carpeting and put in bamboo floors.  Maybe this is a sign that it is time.
I had an electrician coming at 3 to hang new lights in the basement and replace a ballast in my main floor studio.  While I waited for him I was looking through all of my button boxes for something to use for the rings on the ring bearer pillow and I came across this token.  I looked it up on the internet and it is an early 1900s slot machine token.  My grandpa must have given it to me when I was a kid.  Nice find but still no rings.
While the electrician was here I made the ring bearer's pillow out of my DIL's wedding dress for my granddaughter's wedding in January.
The lights on the left are the new lights, 2 four foot fixtures with the new skinny bulbs in them.  I'm so glad I covered my quilting machine!  I have needed more light here for 3 years and finally I had it done. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A little ditch quilting......

The only sewing I did yesterday was to ditch quilt a few more H's. I felt like I was getting a migraine so I was working a little slow all day. The weather is changing today so it may still develop but I hope it doesn't.

I made a trip to the house where the Quilts of Valor donated fabrics are and chose selections for Take 5 quilt kits. I choose the fabrics and another lady does the cutting with her Studio die cutter. These are the kits that people take home to work on so we like to have a bunch ready all the time.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Flannel quilt decisions.....

I chose the narrow border, the wide border and sewed the piano key yardage which I sliced into 5" strips.  I was using up all of the leftovers so I couldn't make it any wider.  I have a few strips leftover which I'll sew into a smaller section to sew in at a couple random spots in the wide border. The narrow border will go all around the triangle section and also at the outside edge of the piano key border.  I had only intended on putting the wide border on the 2 sides but I may change my mind and put it all the way around.  I like to design as I go.  If I knew exactly what it was going to look like I wouldn't have any incentive to make it.  The triangle section is 54" x 60" so my decision on the border will based on the size I decide it should end up plus the visual appeal.  Part of the backing will be the same print as the wide border but with a red background.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Kringla recipes.....

Several people asked for my Kringla recipes so I took a photo of the 2 together for you.  On the second one it says put under broiler until light brown but in the new gas ovens the broiler isn't separate any more and the heat is at the top so they brown in the oven.

Still blooming.....

I still had one Christmas cactus blooming even though they started blooming in October.  I guess this is a good reason to have more than one plant; continuous blooming for 3 months.  There are a few more buds but the last ones on each plant usually dry up.

The other Kringlas........

This may look like the same photo I posted a couple days ago, but this is the well behaved recipe where they actually look like they are supposed to.  This dough is so much easier to work with.  This one has egg in it and the other doesn't so I don't know if that is the magic ingredient.  I like both as far as taste goes so I guess in the future my decision will be whether I want to make the easy one or the difficult one.

Today I'm having lunch with a friend at a fairly new restaurant in town that I haven't been to yet.  It is our November birthdays and Christmas combined lunch.  Then I need to work on the latest flannel quilt and finish quilting the H quilt.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Baking again.......

My husband was Norwegian so I had to learn to bake some of his favorites.  This is Kringla.  Mine aren't pretty or dainty, just big fat wonderful tasty things.  I was in the family almost 50 years before I found out there are 2 family recipes and they are totally different.  I always wondered why mine didn't taste like my sister-in-law's.  Then I found out I had my mother-in-law's recipe and she had an aunt's recipe.  I still haven't tried the other recipe even though I have it.  Some day....
I baked 2/3 of the recipe last night and will bake the rest this morning.

I finished my flannel pillowcases and got most of the center of the triangles flannel quilt sewn.  Yesterday was my day to visit Dad and he was in good spirits.  He always asks me what my brother is doing and asks my brother what I am doing so we know he still knows who we are. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

A few more gifts......

I gave flannel pillowcases to all of the family 2 years ago.  I figure they might be showing some wear by now and maybe they would like a  new one.  There is a duplicate of the light blue and of the green check that I haven't pressed yet.  There are 2 more to be sewn and then I'll have more than enough.  I used my tutorial that you can find here.  I am trying to use up that flannel that doesn't seem to have a group it fits into.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Center panel.....

I finished pressing the seams on the triangle squares and designed the center panel for this flannel quilt.  I thought about doing a zig zag but I really like this simple layout.  Today I will piece the piano key border fabric and decide what fabric will be the first border.                               I made 2 batches of Chex mix and delivered some Christmas gifts yesterday, 2 of them mug rugs chosen by the recipient.  I still have a little more baking to do.  The house is clean and the party isn't at my house so I'm all set there.  Counting down, just a few more days.....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Planning ahead........

This is my next selection for a stack and slash quilt.  I will use the floral print more often than the rest of the fabrics.  I may wait until after Christmas to start this one.

Yesterday my blogger friend was travelling through this area again so we went to lunch.  She was also looking for a fabric with a certain color group for a quilt she is making so I let her look through my fabric stacks and she found a couple possibilities.  She also had the fun of looking through my mug rugs for the one she would take home.  After she left I had fun rearranging the fabrics on one shelf.  I love grouping and restacking the fabric, very therapeutic.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sewing, pressing......

First I'll show the formal portrait of denim/flannel/corduroy number 2.  I sewed the binding on last night and then washed and dried it.  I should add to the discussion yesterday about the 6" shrinkage.  That is both the amount that it pulls in from the quilting and then the shrinkage from washing.  This one came out 58" x 73" so about the same amount of shrinkage.  This type of quilting allows for a lot of puffing up which means it is pulling in from the sides and therefore becomes smaller.  If I took it out of the dryer partially dried, laid it flat and smoothed it out to dry it would  be larger.
All of the flannel triangles are sewn into squares but less than half have been pressed.
I  mailed this journal cover to its new owner yesterday.  It is made from the leftovers of the striped diamond quilt shown in progress here.
I showed the stash of flannel plaid strips in Sept. 2010.  I just ran across them again and decided to use the 1.5" ones (top container) and make as many squares as I could.  They are 8" so this would make a nice center for a baby quilt.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mug rug collage and portraits.......

I think I am done making mug rugs for a few days so I decided to make a collage so I can see all of them at one time.  It is nice that there isn't just one size for them so I could use a lot of different size patchwork pieces.  A few people mentioned giving a mug with the mug rug and then the recipient can see the intended use.  A couple people mentioned that they can be used as candle mats too.

Batting scrap uses: dusting cloths, mug rugs, doll quilts, preemie quilts...........I might actually use up all of the batting scraps that I create.

I took the formal portraits of my last 2 finishes.  This flannel quilt ended up 60" x 69".
The denim/corduroy/flannel quilt has been washed and ended up 58" x 74".  It shrunk 6" in both directions even though all of the top fabrics had been prewashed.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Finishing, cutting.......

I finished the 2 mug rugs that were just waiting for backings.
Staged view and formal portrait.

This is one of the larger ones, 10 and 1/4" x 8 and 3/4".

I think it will be nice to have a stack of these for guests to choose one to take home.
I should have used black thread on the mug rug too.  I never thought of it as a matched set until they were done.  Isn't hindsight wonderful?

I have been making the mug rugs with patchwork that is playtime fun and leftovers from other piecing.  Here are 2 drawers still full of pieces to play with.

We woke up to this yesterday morning but it is almost all gone already.  It is supposed to be in the 40s for 2 days so it will all be gone.
The first snow that sticks on the bushes makes me run for the camera. 
I use my Studio die cutter several days a week.  Last night I cut 6" finished triangles from flannel left over from another quilt.
This is the variety.  I have several pieces that go with these that I can use for borders.  I will do a piano keys border too.  This will be another fast quilt.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Back to the big projects.......

I baked my third batch of spritz cookies, the green ones, and then decided to do some quilting.  I had loaded this quilt the night before so I had it done by 1 p.m.
I just like large meandering on flannel quilts.  All of the fabrics in this quilt are top quality and feel like suede.  I'm not sure if I'll wash this one since it has the softer batting in it.
It has the orange print on the back and for binding.  I make single binding when I use flannel.  Double binding would be too heavy with this weight of flannel.
Late in the afternoon I decided to load this quilt and get it done too.
It has the same curvy crosshatch quilting that the first denim/corduroy/flannel one has.  I didn't have any problem quilting this one since I did the zig zag stitch over the seams that are pressed open first.  I used variegated black/white thread for both of these quilts and medium beige for the bobbins of both.

Friday, December 16, 2011


I entered this quilt in Quilting Gallery's Christmas quilt contest.  If you would like to vote for me go here.  Or if you like another one better, there are 67 entered, then vote for it.  I finished this quilt in 2009 so this is its 3rd Christmas draped over a chair in my living room.

A finish, more mug rugs.....

I did the last 3 rows of quilting, cut and sewed on the binding and then washed and dried this blue jeans, corduroy and flannel quilt.
I use Hobbs 80/20 batting and this roll was a little bit firm so it needed to be washed to soften it.  I buy the batting on the 30 yard roll and there is just one piece 80" x 96" left on it.  I bought a new roll and it is much softer.
There was a larger piece of patchwork made from all of the lighter colors so it was enough for 2 mug rugs.  These are 10 and 1/2" x 8 and 1/2".
This was a good place to use one of the larger Kaffe prints.  I decided to use it for the binding too, mostly because I didn't feel like looking for another coordinating print.
One of my readers suggested slicing off the edge finish that I didn't like on this mug rug and then applying binding.  Why didn't I think of that?  Now it is presentable.  I should have taken a photo of it with it's matching journal cover.  This one is 9 and 1/2" x 6 and 3/4".
And then there were 12.......I think I can stop now.  No, wait, I have 2 more cut waiting for backing choices............