Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunrise, Sunset - More Progress

 Countless hours of stitching.

I still need to go back and stitch some missed grid lines.

I wanted grid lines across the chains because that's the way the previous quilts were hand quilted.
I have to admit that I'm not sure I would quilt this grid again-- so very many starts and stops.

I love the border, but it took over 3.5 hours to quilt.

I'm soooo looking forward to having this done--it's been a really long haul, and with so little energy by the time I get home from work, it's just not gone very quickly.

However, I'm so happy with how beautiful it is.  It captures beautiful dawns and sunsets in the Southwest so very well.

Next decision: binding totally by machine or with the back of the binding sewn by hand?

Happy quiltmaking....

Friday, February 15, 2013

On the Needles This Week

 The lovely shawl that reminds me of meadow flowers--and which I wish I had finished months ago...

 The socks from Mary's gifted painted yarn--yes, I wish these were finished too....

 And the moss pattern large scarf inspired by Connie over at Day at a Time....  I'm using sock yarn (Knit Picks 100% Peruvian Highland Wool), and am thinking I'd better order some more.  I cast on 120 stitches on size 7 or 8 needles (would have to check to be sure), but I could have gotten along fine with 100 stitches.  I was aiming for about 20 inches in width, but this is going to turn out wider--not a problem because of the style of coat I'm making it for.

Knit-Tea Night tonight at Mountainside UMC.

I'm linking to What's On the Needles at Judy's blog.

Happy quiltmaking, knitting, and whatever else you get to do today......

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sweets for Sweet People

 I chopped strawberries and added them to the scone recipe (to which I had added 1/4 cup of ground flax seed).  After they were done I iced them with two ounces of cream cheese, some powdered sugar and vanilla, and more strawberries.
I followed the suggestion of a blog reader who said they just scored the scones and didn't cut them apart.  Well they grew into a lovely golden mass that obliterated the scoring lines.  I might not have rolled/patted the dough thin enough.  Anyway, with this much golden goodness, who cares about disappearing scoring lines!  I must make these again!

What are your favorite sweets to cook for the people you love?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy quiltmaking......

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mary's Missing Quilt!!

Mary would love to have this back!
Mary's quilt has gone missing.  She posted about it here. Lots of lovely piecing--and a hope that she could give it to a grandchild in the future.

When I lived in Tennessee, one of my small Ted E Baer quilts went missing at a quilt show, and a few months later, someone delivered it to a local fabric store, and they gave it back to me.  It would be wonderful if Mary could get her quilt back--especially since hers is much nicer than mine was!

For those of you who are sewing,
Happy quiltmaking.....

Monday, February 11, 2013

More Vintage Treasures

 Our church has a new kitchen, so they were replacing old things with new stuff.
[Unfortunately, the inspector could not be convinced that our new church kitchen is not a commercial kitchen; as a result, we can not have any potlucks or bring in any food that is not commercially prepared.  I don't know if that's the result of an anti-Christian bias or something else.  But I do know that for those of us who love to cook for people we love, taking the potlucks away from a church removes a lot more than just food!]

 JoAnn wondered if I would like these!  Oh, yessssss!  They are old flour sack towels.  I'm guessing most of them are 60 years old, maybe older.

 This is a piece of bark cloth appliqued to the towel with buttonhole stitch.  The selvedge of the print says "Guaranteed not to......" followed by illegible writing.

 I love this one because someone was learning to cross stitch, and the upper line of stitching in the pale orchid leaves is a series of vertical stitches instead of cross stitch.  Also, the Greek key design was stitched only on this section of the towel, not the entire border, and the left petal of the iris is missing.

This towel has three printed circles machine stitched down and topped with three colors of ric-rac.

The hem of the bunny towel in the first photo was hand stitched with a feather stitch, much of which has worn away.

JoAnn said a couple of the ladies thought no one would want these; they were going to throw them away.  I absolutely love flour sack towels.  My first embroideries were done on flour sack toweling.  Then when I was in third grade and my mother decided it was time for me to learn to use the sewing machine (her Singer 201), it became my job to hem the feed sack towels.  We didn't buy flour in those sacks, but after feed and seed companies stopped using printed fabrics, they still used unprinted cotton sacks for many years.  We washed them and bleached out the writing and then hemmed them.

Of course, I love them.  And of course I will use them! And I hope the church ladies enjoy the new towels in the new kitchen half as much as I'll love using these old ones in my old kitchen!

Happy quiltmaking.....

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Return of the Herd

We've had high winds--accompanied by some snow flurries, but no calculable, beneficial moisture.
So, we've had a couple of nights of howling winds, and our yards are full of tumble weeds (eager to plant their seeds, of course).
I guess they thought the cats next door were lonely, so they just climbed right up these cherry trees!  They are horrible to clean up (as in: leather gloves and leather sleeves are good ideas)!  It's always debatable whether we should stuff them into a trash can and try to compact them (can you say "horrible allergens")  or just drag them to the empty field across the street and let them move on!

Fortunately, the winds haven't yet exceeded about 35 miles per hour.

The realities of life in the Southwest!

No quilting getting done here--although I really need to hem a pair of black corduroy jeans. Interestingly, my blog is getting quite a few hits via google from people looking for "sewing on a threadle sewing machine." Love it!!!

Happy quiltmaking......

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Here, Piggy, Piggy (a quilt)

The last time the Victory Quilters met, we went through some bags of donated fabric.
Six little piggies were in those donations.

 Two of the piggies were large one-inch checked spring green gingham.

The other four were this plaid that looks like it could be 40 to 50 years old, maybe more.  Just the pigs, no background.  We're guessing someone was going to make a quilt and changed her/his mind.
 Just looking at them made me smile. I'm wondering if the pigs were published in something like Woman's Day or Family Circle back in the 50's or 60's.  They just have that air about them. Sometimes the Farm Journal published sewing projects, but I think these were probably too big for their publication.

Of course, I volunteered to quilt them if someone would applique them and make a quilt top, so Ruth took them home to do just that.  (There is an additional border at the top and bottom, but I didn't catch that in my quick photo.)

Ruth added what looks like pieced sashing, but it's cheater-cloth left over from some other project.  I just love the appliqued eyes, tiny ric-rac eyebrows, and frayed braid curly tails she added.  I'm not a "brown" person when it comes to fabric, although I do like to eat chocolate sometimes, and am thrilled that this is such a happy quilt.  I don't know if I'm going to quilt piggy tails all over the pigs or, maybe, traveling feathers!  I also have not yet decided what color of Fil-Tec Glide thread to use.  Maybe gold!  Gold thread certainly gets a work out on my quilts, but I find it just enhances so very many colors and styles.

The really nice thing is that either Ruth or Judy also basted the quilt, so it's ready to be quilted. There are more hogs all over the back of this quilt--a really fun fabric I'd never before seen.  I'll show it to you when I make more quilting progress.

Happy quiltmaking....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Eliminating a Fold On the Back of a Quilt

Major fold fixed--sort of....
Here's the post about the horrendous fold as it originally occurred

After a shockingly large investment of time, here's what it looked like. I was still adding quilting at the point this photo was taken.

Yes, I know the solution is hard to see.  Here's what I did:
Using a very fine, thin polyester thread (I used light grey from Fil-Tec's Bobbin Line) I ran rows of running stitches 1/2 to a little over 5/8 inch apart across the bubbly area.  I did not go through to the front of the quilt; however, since I "snugged up" the stitches as I stitched, I didn't worry about catching my small needle in the batting.  In fact, I now think catching the batting probably helped.

Because the fold was originally so deep (nearly 1/2 inch at it's deepest), I ripped out the quilting over a fairly large area.  I did the running stitches over that entire area (just a peek shown above). 

I would suggest a size 7 or 8 sharp or between needle for this kind of corrections, although I'm sure other sizes and styles of needles could be made to work. I began with a really huge quilters knot that I left on the surface of the fabric, tugged out the fullness in the fabric and tied another really big knot at the end of each line of stitching so the stitches would be easier to remove after the machine quilting was done.

 The creases you see in the backing above are there because I first attempted to steam the fabric to get it back into shape.  Steam didn't work because the backing is one of my own hand-dyed backings and it had already been laundered before and after dyeing.  I did the stitching in many horizontal rows and then put in a couple of rows vertically.  I'm still hopeful that laundering and drying the finished quilt in the dryer will eliminate some more fullness, but at least there are no tucks present now.

Of course, without decades of experience making clothing and doing other hand work, I might not have realized there was a chance I could make this work, so I'm definitely glad for all that sewing I used to do.

Sweet Lurline of Lurline's Place assures me she's seen some tucks on the backs of some prizewinning quilts. I've not seen very many prize winning quilts, so I'm taking her word for it.  However, I hope this never, never happens again.  Way too many hours of angst and anxiety, and my correction doesn't look nearly as nice as Karen Marchetti's!  (And I'm sure Karen handled her little error a lot better emotionally than I handled my big one!)

I think I need to take a break and put in at least a few minutes on another project!

Sharing this on Connie Kresin's Freemotion By the River Tuesday Linky Party and Esther's WIPs on Wednesdays.

Happy quiltmaking.....

Monday, February 4, 2013

Baking Fruit Pies

When I was a kid growing up on the farm, near El Paso, Illinois [not TX], it often fell to me to make the pies.

 In fact, it's safe to say that in our family, we ate more pies than cakes.  Without a doubt my grandfather and dad preferred pie to just about any other dessert, with the possible exception of ice cream.

I remember making pies several times years ago and then not bothering to do that very often because the crust, which I always considered the most work, was returned to me with just the filling eaten.  I've made a few pumpkin pies since then, but that's about it.  And frankly, as long as there were little kids in the house, I usually just baked the pumpkin custard and skipped the crust!

Sweet Teen came home a couple of weeks ago and announced that the FFA alumni were having a pie auction as  a fundraiser to benefit a local family that has experienced recent tragedy, and as an officer in the high school FFA chapter, she needed to bake a pie.  So we baked two.

We peeled lots and lots of Granny Smith apples, and the pie at the top is Sweet Teen's very first apple pie [with streusel topping].  It brought $50 at auction.

 This is the one that I expected to bring more.  It's an apple cranberry pie with an almond or hazelnut streusel topping (sorry, I've forgotten which we used).  You can see that she also made this crust a lot prettier.  It only brought it $35.  Of course, that's a lot more than any pie I've ever made!

With the leftover apples and cranberries, I made a little artisan pie and baked it in the DeMarle "hat." (I did try to secure a link to the DeMarle at Home catalog page, but was totally frustrated by trying to get it for you.  Probably something about their website not playing nicely with my browser.)  I did learn that you can buy DeMarle at Home from you don't want to do that because you'll have to pay a lot more than getting the products from a representative.  (Joining the DeMarle at Home family of representatives is something I plan to do when my life changes somewhat--a great way to meet people, socialize, provide a needed product and service in a fun way, and even make some money!)
I'm thinking I'll be making more little pies since a full size pie in our current household is likely to end up in the garbage before the last piece makes it to our stomachs--not because we don't like it, but because a full size pie is just too big for us to eat in a timely manner.

(I'm thinking I probably bought that pretty red serving plate because it looked like a piece of fabric--because it certainly doesn't go with anything in our house--although it makes the pie look even more delicious.)

Happy would be a good idea to use a treadle to burn off a few of those pie calories!  Of course, I well working treadle takes almost no energy.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


 Southwestern Sunrise, Sunset Quilt....
Ooops....and this is after I had already started frog stitching!
 This big fold was actually stitched in by several rows of cross hatching.
Time for a nice cup of green tea....
and more ripping...
I like to use those pretty Asian-style toothpicks to un-pick stitches.
Lots of unpicking, hopeful that I could work in the fullness.
Right now the quilt is on the ironing board having been steamed and smoothed less than successfully. I've sprayed this area and am hoping more fullness is taken up as it dries.  I was very careful when I basted so I have no idea how this much extra fullness accumulated in this section of the quilt, so I'm welcoming tips.

Karen Marchetti, one of my quilting heroes, recently showed a fold that happened in one of her quilts.  (She's a prize-winning long arm quilter based in Florida.) She did a fantastic job of fixing her four-inch fold.  I hope I can do as well fixing my six-inch fold, but I'm not sure.  (Of course, this may be why she is a successful, prize winning quilter on a long arm, and I'm just a busy mom quilting on an antique treadle machine!)

School is very busy, and I'm very tired by the time I get home, and I'm getting so little quilting done that the lack of progress makes me sad.--Of course, I could have gotten more done if I hadn't had to sit in Manzano Medical Clinic waiting almost 2.5 hours on Thursday for a ten minute appointment with the physiatrist!!!!! [A physiatrist is a rehab specialist.]  He says he can see that I'm still making progress in my brain healing [from the student assault last March], but when I'm struggling to remember names, feeling dizzy and/or nauseated, and longing for a good night's sleep minus the horrendous nightmares, I fail to see a lot of the progress he notes, so I certainly hope he can say the same when I see him again in two months.  I am very, very grateful that the headaches are so much less severe (since we never found a medication that dulled them).  Of course, I'm also very, very grateful that I'm now working at a wonderful, nurturing school that eliminates half my commuting time too!

Also, our Friday Knit-Tea Nights have begun and are a wonderful way to let down the stress of the work week and to fellowship with others.
I'm also missing reading blogs and commenting and posting my own blogs. I manage to squeeze in bits of times to read, even less for commenting (and confess I often just give up on commenting if I I have to go through that whole squiggly letters & illegible numbers verification process). If it takes longer to verify a short comment than to write the comment, it doesn't seem worth it.  If those of you who read my blog ever see that verification stuff appear on my blog for posts less than two weeks old, please let me know. (Sometimes blogger changes things without warning.)

Happy quiltmaking,.....
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...