May 27, 2012

Memorial Day

You answered the call and gave it your all. We are grateful.

May 21, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I haven't played "design wall Monday" for ages, and while I still have the same quilt, Patchwork Posies", on the design wall, I am finally getting around to finishing it. Just two more blocks to stitch, and I can start sewing the rows together and add the sashing and borders and load it onto the long arm. Yeaah!

Did I also mention to you how freeing it has been this past week to not have a lot of commitments to donation quilting and to focus on my own projects. It is such a refreshing and long overdue feeling! Double Yeaah!----
Yes, I do see the block in the middle with the mistake--It always amazes me how snapping a photo reveals blocks turned wrong, missing pieces of fabric, similar colors next to each other , and etc.--- yet I can sit and look at a quilt top or the blocks for days on the design wall,  or in this case for weeks or months, and never see the mistakes until I look at the photograph! Thank-you digital age photography!

(see more Design Wall Monday photos with links at Patchwork Times)

May 18, 2012

Morning Visitors

Sherlock "Sassy" told me the fawns and their mother were outside the bedroom window.

She always comes running to tell me something different is going on. She jumps up on the sofa or footstool and looks out the windows when she is concerned. I was busy quilting on this-----
  I clearly understood I better go look.
They are the cutest babies! Even though they do eat a lot of our flowers. 

Mother is never far away.

May 16, 2012


Essential Pro 

I bought two cones of this thread when it first came out about a year ago. Lilac and Sea Mist.  At first I thought it didn't show up very well on the quilt top as the colors are matte, and subdued, but at times, depending on the quilting design, this can be a very good thing! The more I used it, the more I liked the look.  

This came in the mailbox today!  It's polyester, it's thin and it's strong!
  I even had an empty cubbie to store it in. How unusual!

May 15, 2012

Fall Treasures-Finished!

One of my own projects--finished.  Ahhh, it feels good!
This table runner is "Fall Treasures, from Accents in Designs. It contains 21 
  precut leaves with steam-a-seam already applied to the back of the leaves, and back of the leaf shadows. The leaves are easily moved around until they are steamed into place.
I used some fabrics from my batik stash for the background, batik backing and binding. Then I free motion quilted the runner with a kinda of breezy looking mctavishing. 

May 10, 2012

What's on the Long Arm

I've made some changes regarding machine quilting. Sort of a late new year's resolution. (can you believe it's May already!) First, I'm no longer quilting for Quilts of Valor. At least for the next few months.   I have three more donation quilts to complete for the Martha Quilts and then I'm taking a break from doing those as well.  I have one quilt to complete for a friend, and then I'm not quilting for anyone except ---Me!

Last month I cleaned and sorted what I thought were UFO's in my my sewing room. I thought all those rubbermaid boxes had unfinished quilts in them it had been so long since I peeked inside one! Actually, only a few had cut and partially pieced projects. The rest were filled with fabrics, thread and pattern. All ready to be cut. I tend to do that with projects. Collect everything and stuff it in a container.  So maybe they should be called "semi-UFO's".

I finished one of two pretty quilts my quilting buddy, Christy, wanted completed. I used the "Cosmos" Circle Lord template. I love this floral design, especially on quilts with large open blocks like this one Christy pieced.

Yesterday I played around with the free motion foot and some colors of Mettler Poly thread quilting veins in the leaves on a table runner I had planned to finish for our daughter months ago. I had never sat and machine quilted with my Pfaff Quilt Expression machine before. In fact I'm a bit rusty with sitting and machine quilting period, but I didn't want to change thread colors often for the leaves on the long arm and this worked out much better. It was a lot of fun playing! The Pfaff free motioned great! Whatever mistakes there are, it's certainly not the machines fault!
Today I loaded the table runner it onto the long arm.
And while it seems like a smaller quilting project than I normally do, this is going to take some time. The quilting I want to do is a small swirling fill and I've reduced the stitches per inch up to 12 from my regular 10 spi.  I'm loving working on some of my own projects.

May 05, 2012

Free Feathers Class at Patchwork Times

Starting June 1st, blogger Judy Laquidara of Patchwork Times has generously offered to teach Feathering on a Carpenters Star quilt standing at a quilting system. Judy has an APQS long arm. You can read more about these upcoming lessons here

In preparation of Judy's feather instructions I finished this quilt top while I was at retreat.
Carpenters Star

May 03, 2012

Quick Fresh Artichoke Recipe

If you want a quick way to prepare delicious Artichokes, here is a microwave method that my friend Pam shared with us up at quilt retreat. On my way home from retreat I stopped at the grocery. Wonderful huge Artichokes were 99 cents each! I could hardly wait to get home and try this recipe.

Trim your artichoke leaf tips and the top as you would for regular Artichoke preparation.

Place a couple of tablespoons of water and the artichoke stem side down in bowl that will comfortably hold the artichoke.

Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder on onion powder to your taste all over the artichoke letting the seasonings drop down into the leaves and top while it's sitting in the bowl.

In another small bowl or cup add 1/4 of a cup of Olive Oil and the juice of one Lemon and beat it up week with a fork. Drizzle this olive oil/lemon mixture over the artichoke letting it soak down into the artichoke leaves.

Cut a good size piece of clear food wrap to cover the artichoke and pull the wrap down the sides of the bowl securely. Poke on small hole in the top of the wrap so steam can escape.

Place the artichoke in the microwave and cook for 8 minutes.

This may be eaten warm or chill for later. The leaves should be dipped in the bottom of the bowl juices as you eat!