October 29, 2012

Jo-Ann iPhone App

I downloaded the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store App. to my iPhone yesterday. The best thing about it is now I don't need to use the printer (ink & paper) and cut out the discount coupons. The next good thing is I won't be leaving coupons at home, or have to dig through my purse to find them. All the currant coupons and bar codes will be on my phone, with expiration date count downs.  I rarely leave my phone at home.

P.S.---    I use Jo-Ann coupons for rotary blades, new cutting mats, Aunt Martha dishtowels to embroidery, books, needles, pins, beads, crystals, craft patterns, fleece, batting, Roc-lon muslin, flannel, felt and etc., etc.   This is a very useful app. It's free for iPhone---I don't know if it's available for Android. Check it out.                                        

October 23, 2012

It's on The Long Arm---at Last

I finished coloring the Prayer Garden embroidery blocks while at quilt retreat a few weeks ago.  When I got home I sort of slacked off doing any sewing or quilting with the exception of the mug rug.  Maybe that little project spurred me on---I finally decided to sew on the sashing and border.  What made me  happy is the 108" inch backing I bought on sale ---I sure like those wide backings as compared to piecing a backing! I sort of bog down when it gets to making backings.

Yesterday I loaded the quilt on the long arm and started some of the quilting, and planning what designs I would do on the sashing. Today I did do the top border, and finished the first row of the embroidery.

I'm doing a wavy serpentine stitch along the seams. I tried stitch in the ditch, and decided because of the bulk of the seams it would difficult for me to keep in the seam line, and it would take a long-long time to go around each embroidery with stitch in the ditch.  I'm edge stitching around some of the larger embroidery designs to tack them down to the back ground.  More later----

October 19, 2012

Mug Rugs ???

O.K.---I made a "mug rug".  I've been seeing postings online about mug rugs for months.  All kinds of patterns, and chatting about them.  Yesterday on Facebook there was another posting related to mug rugs. So, I thought---hey! maybe I'm missing something interesting.  I really should delve into this more----I wouldn't want to miss anything fun to do with quilting! If you want to see what is going on with mug rugs---try typing in Google search: Free Mug Rug patterns....omg! what a variety of patterns.

This particular mug rug pattern posting linked to a bloggers site, and the mug rug is made of fabric selvages. I thought; I have fabric selvages, I can do this.

So, here is a pic. of my Mug Rug in the making:

And the next pic is my mug rug finished. It took about an hour from start to finish. Including hand sewing on the binding.

O.K. it's cute in a way if you like selvage sewing projects, it's square or pretty close to it---to me it looks like a potholder? A mini quilt maybe. --- I've put the teacup and saucer in the picture so you could see what I think it's supposed to be used for---maybe? I wouldn't use it  as a coaster. Aren't coasters smaller?    It's not quite a coaster, it's too large, and if I had a drippy coffee mug, it would be staining those nice white  collectible selvages I used..... It's not quite a potholder, although that would make it more useful wouldn't it? Maybe it's a hot pad??  a tiny table topper? 

I don't get it I guess----So, now I've satisfied my curiosity about making what they call a "mug rug".  (No, I won't be making more----) Have you made a mug rug, and what do you use it for?

October 17, 2012


We have an old apple orchard on our property. I mean it's ancient.... We don't take care of it except to prune a few old leaning branches, and Bill takes his old Ford tractor and discs down the weeds a few times each Spring.  When the kids were home, and teenagers in need of money--what teenager ever has enough money? they would pick the apples and Bill would take them over to the cannery. There are few canneries in the area now, and even fewer apple orchards.  Now it's all about grape and wine.
We never planted grapes, and it's times like this I'm glad we still have our old apple orchard.
Spring Apple Blossoms in the orchard.

The trees have not been too productive this year. We started out thinking it was going to be a great apple year. Lots of blossoms and bee activity, but for some reason the crop is small, and our Golden Delicious tree up near the house struggled to make enough apples for pies. Our old Gravenstein trees had very small apples, and very few.  One of the few pies I've made recently. Golden---and Delicious it was!

However, these apples which we call late apples or Jonathan'   because we have never really known what they truly are ---have been loyal, and produced enough good size apples for sauce.  We've been making sauce for the past few days. Bill peels, I chop and cook. At this rate we should have sauce until next apple season. We just used the last container of  our 2011 sauce this past week. This is a big 8 quart pot of apples. I add some water at the start of cooking the apples so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan.  Get them bubbling---lower to medium heat, stir often. As soon as the apples start to break down and start to make "sauce" I turn the heat down to low and let them simmer for awhile. I add some cinnamon, and 3/4 cup of sugar to the cooked sauce. Stir well. Turn off the heat, and let the sauce cool before spooning into plastic containers.  It's not difficult to make good applesauce. The peeling is what takes time. We use a vintage White Mountain apple peeler.  It's about 40 yrs. old. We have some extra blades, and Bill keeps them  sharpened. It still works great! and so does he!!!

*No, I have not been sewing or quilting. I came home from the quilt retreat, put everything away, and haven't had a moment to go back to the sewing room.  I did have a terrific time at our quilt retreat! As always. I finished coloring all the Prayer Garden blocks and have them sewn together. It's an awesome quilt, if I do say so myself. Sometimes we need to say that to ourselves-----"you did good". And let it be.

I did go shopping on Saturday and found a border fabric, but like I said, I haven't washed the fabric, or cut the borders out.  I'm just zoning out on being home I guess. Sassy was super excited to have me back home! It took her 20 mins. to calm down!

 Watering the outdoor plants--- still. I know I'll be sorry I said this---but, I'm really ready for the rains to start. Everything is so dry and crisp now. And the annuals seem spent. I pulled up some of the older Petunias today. They just looked tired---soon it will time to clean out the flower beds and plant a few spring bulbs, and get back to indoor stuff, like sewing & quilting more---until then, I'm enjoying the last bits of summer weather.