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Sunday, August 19, 2007

A week of tomatoes, sewing and circles

Gosh, the week sure has flown by! The weather has been pretty hot, and I've tried to stay inside as much as I can. Today, Hubby did his "every other day" garden thing with his tomatoes. All our neighbors benefited today, and tomorrow the doctor's office will get some, too. Aren't they all so pretty? There's about 5 different varieties there, including some heirloom ones that are my favorites.

I spent most of the week behind the sewing machine or on the other end of a sewing needle. I managed to hand sew the binding completely on the Kitchen Sink quilt. The one thing left for it is a label - why I didn't make one for it at the same time I did my other two is beyond my memory.

The second and last circle class was Saturday, so I spent most of Thursday and Friday preparing for that. We had a lot of fun, and both of the students had all twenty of their circles complete before class began. Of course, they needed to make another 20 in class, so unfortunately, their quilts are not to a where they can be photographed yet. The "girls" assure me that they WILL finish them, though. When they do, I'll post pictures of them for sure!

In the meantime, here's a little trick to get a pretty cool background or even an entire quilt, just by making four patches. You end up with bias edged squares, but if you handle them carefully, you can manage.

We started with 6.5" squares of darks and lights, and made them into four patches. Then when they are done, take a 9.5" square ruler, and cut half of them on one direction of slant, and the other half on the other slant.

When you are done, here's how they go together:

Does this look familiar in some way? Well, golly, I just couldn't stay away from my Cherry Limeade. If you look close, you might see a couple of surprises in my "cups"! The border will have to wait until I return from Tennessee on Friday. Between the AQS quilt show and my genealogy sleuthing, I'll be one tired, but very happy camper!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Look what came in my email yesterday? Our very own Judy has this beautiful book out. And then in the mail, came my AQS flyer with the same advertisement for her new book. How lucky we are that Judy is in our webring, and that she shares so freely with us!

I am finally letting myself start to be excited about my upcoming trip to Nashville, TN on August 21. My buddy, Carolyn and I plan on attending the AQS show there. If anybody is going to be there, let me know, and maybe we could meet up? We are returning home late Friday night, so it's a short trip.

What I am most excited about though, is not quilting (for a change). I've been researching our family genealogy for quite a few years now, and this is the area where two and maybe three branches of the family converge. There are quite a few locations where they lived and died within 100 miles of Nashville, so I thought I would do a little genealogy traveling, too.

It turns out that I have "kin" buried in two different family cemeteries in Dickson County, TN, just west of Nashville. THEN, I have 4 others buried in Civil War National Cemeteries south of Nashville, near Franklin and Murfreesboro. This morning, I reviewed the Civil War Day by Day Almanac, and looked at some of the battle maps to get my bearings. This should really be a great trip, and put some perspective on my heritage as well as one of the bloodiest battles near the end of the Civil War. One of my most favorite books of the year is set in this area. If you haven't read it yet, you should read Widow of the South by Robert Hicks. I plan on visiting Carnton Plantation, which is the Widow of the South's home, since some of the ancestors are buried there, too.

Most of yesterday, I spent working on a driving map of the area, along with cemeteries and places to go. Here's my genealogy route, if you are interested.

Have you ever wondered how many degrees of separation there are in our quilting community? Check Bonnie's blog entry on July 28 and see what she was posting about that day. Then come back and read on here.

Look at what came in the mail for me today. Yep! I was the winning bidder on the quilt that Bonnie was talking about then! What a hoot since I was already watching that entry well before she blogged about it! The quilt is ever so soft, made from scraps of 1930's feedsacks, fabrics from the 40's and even a small piece of flannel made it in. The white is all flour sack material. There's only a couple of small spots on the back, and the quilting stitches are nice and tight. I am going to hang this one in my upstairs hall where you can see it when you come in the front door. It really makes me smile!

And of course, Mr. Clyde has laid claim to his part of the quilt, too!

Ahh, serendipitous events!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I've been working on the binding for the little Sunbonnet Sue Story, along with some help. It's finally finished, even though Bonnie didn't like me moving it around for the edge work. It finished at 56" X 66". Now, I am working on binding for Everything But the Kitchen Sink. I posted a picture of it July 5th - you can see it in the archives if you've forgotten what it looks like. It's a big one, so the binding should keep Bonnie and I busy for a while.

Here's a closeup of the blocks. These are painted blocks of the Sunbonnet Babies story, and in each of them, they are doing different activities. I've had the blocks for quite a few years now, and used Sharyn Craig's Successful Sets book to use the idea of how to set them.

Now, this can be put away for a future grandchild or great-grandchild. It's nice to work on something with absolutely no one in mind!

I've put the circles away after sewing a few of the foursome blocks together, and cutting more squares for the future. That way, I don't have to worry about finding some fabric again for them:) BUT, rest assured, they've been packed in a project box waiting for their turn again!

So guess, what's out of the box now? But what was I thinking when I put it away? I am short some of the setting squares, and the red fabric is nowhere to be found. Looks like I need some more red! I'll need to use a black print inner border, then a second border of red, and then it depends on what comes out of my black and white stash box for the final borders.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Whole lotta quiltin' goin' on!

That's not quite how Jerry Lee Lewis sang it, but it's the truth here in Sillywell, today!

The binding is all done, label attached, letters are written, care instructions packaged and the official photos are done for Baskets of Hope. Yea! This quilt will be auctioned at a High Tea in October, with the proceeds going to Cancer Action in Kansas City.

I made the label a bit different this time. I cropped a section of the quilt, worked with some text in Photoshop and then printed it on the cotton poplin sheet from Crafter's Images (formerly Muttonhead). I like this fabric - it's already pretreated, and the ink from my HP inkjet are stable through the wash. With my JoAnn's coupons, I can get it at half price, too! I think I like using the quilt photo on the label, and it's probably something I'll continue to do. (Names are left off to protect the innocent!)

"The Story of Sunbonnet Sue" came home from the quilter yesterday. It really turned out nice, with feathered circles between the blocks, and two sizes of feathers in each of the borders around. Once the binding is handsewn back, there will be a final picture of it, too. This is what it looked like before lunch.....

This is what it looked like after lunch. Lazy cats! They didn't sew the binding on until after their nap:)

I also finally got the border chosen for the replacement of the braid/no braid quilt, now officially known as Bound to the Prairie. It just happens to be the name of the line of fabric chosen for the connecting blocks, and when I saw that name on the selvedge the other night, it seemed to stick. I hated to go back to the store and buy MORE fabric, doncha know? Seems my math was just about right, too! This is all that is left of it!

The quilt is large enough to fit our bed, as requested by Hubby. I don't often make a pillow roll. I make it generally no smaller than 86" X 95", then turn it sideways on the bed. BOUND TO THE PRAIRIE is 102" X 92"! The backing was prepared today, and it is packed and ready to go to the IA quilter on Monday! (You see a lighter beige quilt under the edges in this picture.)

And last to report about is yesterday's circle class. All I can say, is that a great time was had by all - all three of us. We meet again to finish up the top in two weeks. Their homework was to sew 20 small circles, and make large 4 patch units for next time. Here's Beth and Vicky with their first circles. Class started at 10 AM, and these circles were made by 11AM. Way to go, ladies!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Oh, if it just was this simple

I saw this today in a small town (south of where I live) grocery store parking lot.

You MUST click on the photographs to see the other phrases in all their glory!

I'm not sure, but I think the official Handicap Tag is laying in the dash, but it could just be another note about being handicapped, right? Or maybe the rear view mirror would fall off if a plastic hang tag was there?

I waited a while to see who the grumpy old man might be, but I never saw him, and I needed to get my starch and be on my way. So, beware of the "no fake" grumpy old handicapped man" that might be out there!

More posting later in the week about the successful circle class I held today.

Friday, August 03, 2007

New (additional) blog, flimsies, and more zucchini!

I've had a bit of time to think recently.

I had a bit of a scare with a sudden and extreme elevation of blood pressure, so I've been quiet, and resting until some medication kicks in. With that thinking, I've decided that I need another blog page just to keep my quilt pictures, my art, and my creative writing in one place. So, with that in mind, I've added an additional blog: Granny's Hands. You can use the link on the right side of this page to switch back and forth easily, I think.

I've been pondering creative writing for a while. I will probably use Grannys Hands mostly for that, but I will also from time to time, save other finished art with little or no dialog there. Well, at least I think I will not add dialog. That might be difficult for this Chatty Cathy! So check out Grannys Hands from time to time and see what my "other brain" has been doing!

In the meantime, I'm getting all my stuff ready to teach a circle class tomorrow. It's for the first time, so I hope I have everything I need. I hope everyone has a good time. And, I hope everyone gets a circle quilt done by the end of the second class! Im going to be working on Cherry Limeade as part of the demonstrations.

I've also decided to try a couple of other local quilters (new to me). I've got to get the flannel backing ready on the Dogz flimsie (red and black. Then the blue and white friendship exchange block flimsie is all set to go. Both of them are small, so it will be a nice test to see how their stitches are, and how well we communicate with each other.

Local machine quilters prices are so high, even for overall pantographs, that I often hiccup and just leave them as completed flimsies without finishing them. And no, I don't want to learn how to machine quilt. I WILL do small wall hangings, and I do all my charity lap quilts, but I don't want to do anything bigger. I still have an Inspira quilt frame for sale, with no takers, so if it's not gone by the end of the year, I might have to donate it to a guild, or something creative like that. Oh! I get my Sunbonnet Sue Story back tomorrow, and I am anxious to see how it looks, too!

More zucchini came in from the garden last night. Here's the next best thing to zucchini bread (and healthier too). Last night's dinner was Ocean Perch, green beans from the garden, and zucchini cakes. Ummm yum! Recipe follows the picture.

5 TBSP Bisquick
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 eggs
2 TBSP butter
2 c shredded zucchini

Blend the bisquick, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper; add the eggs. Grate the zucchini (I like mine coarse) and add to the mixture. Spray a griddle or skillet with butter flavored cooking spray over medium heat. Pour batter into patties; cook about 3 minutes on each side until done to the desired degree of browness/crispness. Make about 5 good sized patties.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


There's been a few blogiversaries in our group over the last few weeks, and it got me curious to see how many posts I've made and how many years I've been blogging. I'm not sure I should have looked, because today is my two year anniversary of blogging with the Quilt Mavericks. I can't believe it! Where has the time gone?

This time two years ago, I was sharding a chair on August 10, and still figuring out how this blog thing worked. I as also showing some of my quilts to get acquainted with the group, too.

One year ago, today, I was working on my postcards for FiberArt for a Cause. And today is just another day in blogging, making bread, getting supplies ready to teach a circle quilt class this Saturday, and cleaning up a little. All I know, is that I am just excited about blogging today as I was two years ago. So-o-o-o Happy Blogiversary to me!

Here's the first batch of zucchini bread/s out of the oven this morning that I thought I would share with you. Or should I say share a picture with you? Hubby would be very upset if these didn't make it to the freezer for this winter. Next batch is to eat and share with friends. It's too hot to bake now, so another round will be started tomorrow morning.
Here's Bonnie of Quiltville's best zucchini bread recipe that I've used for several years in a row. It's scrumptious!

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder


Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, mix oil, eggs, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend in pineapple and zucchini. Stir flour mixture into zucchini mixture. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour. Cool on wire racks.

The other day, I was trying to decide what the flip-circles would become. Were they destined only for a "sample" quilt to be taught at a LQS? No, I don't think so. Were they going to be a lap quilt? No, not really, because it seems that there are only two lap quilts used around here, and adding yet another would be silly. And besides, I want to see these because I really really like them! So I asked Hubby, and he immediately said, "Can you make it big enough for our bed?"

So I got out the tablet, the calculator and my pencil. Note: see how neatly I work? LOL!

Here's the statistics:

1) Each circle block finishes at 6"
2) It takes four 6" blocks to make a set
3) Each set finishes at 11.5"
4) Each set is one color family
5) Color families to use are gold, red, pink, purple, green, brown and the focus fabric
6) It will take 64 sets to make this fit my bed
7) A total of two hundred fifty six 6" flip circles!!!
8) I'm 12.5% complete with this quilt plus a few sets

Sometimes the numbers don't tell you what you want to hear, ya know? Only 12.5%? How can it only be that small? Oh well, I'm going to cut the rest of the necessary gazillion squares for color, then sew the sets I have together. THEN, it will be put in a project box, and I'll work on flip circles here and there, there and here. At least there's a plan, and I know what it is. There are other projects waiting to be finished that are further along than this one. So, the math is done, and it has now been assigned it's priority number which is way down the list. Let's see if it will stay in the box!