Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Stitching Up Christmas Gifts–Bowl Potholder Or Bowlholder?

My sewing machine has been humming lately making Christmas gifts.  Still have some to go but I did get the bowl potholders done.  Not sure whether to call them bowl potholder or a bowlholder but what ever you call them, I stitched up 8 of the reversible fabric things recently.  2013-12-17-22.27
2013-12-17-22.31The first one pictured above I made for myself to try out the pattern size and construction to trouble shoot any changes I might want to make but had very little tweaking to do to the pattern so full speed ahead to get the other 7 done.

I found 3 webpages with instructions for making these and I combined ideas from all three so please take a look at them.  Syzygy Of Me June 6, 2012Quilting Board-Microwave Fabric Bowls, Quilt in a Day-Hot Bowl TuteIMG_7721I cut two pieces of quilting weight fabric 11 1/2” square for each bowlholder.  The 2 cotton batting squares were cut 11”.  I cut 2 circles from batting to put in the center to pad the very bottom a little more.  I traced around a CD like one of the tutorials suggested.  IMG_7718If you want to use these bowlholders in the microwave the batting must be 100% cotton with no scrim.  If it has any polyester in the batting or scrim it might catch on fire if used in the microwave.  My batting was mystery batting scraps so I am going to advise the people I gift them to not put them in the microwave to be in the safe side.
I tried to select favorite colors or patterns of the people I was going to give them to.  Center the batting squares and batting circles on the wrong side of each of the 2 fabrics. IMG_7731Flip over carefully and pin the layers together and quilt.  I quilted the entire square but some instructions say just quilt from corner to corner diagonally.  I wanted the batting more secured to the fabric for when it was laundered it would not get so misshapen.IMG_7734Fold the quilted square in half to mark the darts which will shape the square into a bowl shape.  I marked 1” from the fold and the point positioned 2 1/2” down from the top.  Mark and pin one dart on each of the 4 sides and stitch, backstitching at the tip.IMG_7738Trim the dart down to 3/8” and press all the darts on both pieces in one direction.  When the two halves are put together the darts will nest together this way.IMG_7741Pin the two halves together with right sides facing each other.  Stitch with a 1/4” seam, leaving an opening on one side between the corner and one dart.
Trim the corners to reduce bulk before turning it right side out and poke out the corners.  Press the seamed edge flat, making sure to turn under the edges of the opening you left for turning.  Pin the opening closed and top stitch around to close the opening and secure the outside edges.  TA, DA…..it is done.  Below are photos of the ones I made.  It was a little difficult to get photos of the two sided bowlholders so flipped them and took photos of the bowl in each side.  Also have detail photos of some of the quilted fabric squares.

I can check this project off my list now but have another in the works.  Need to do some serious sewing in the next few days as we are celebrating Christmas with our daughters and their families this coming weekend and need to be all finished by then.

Until Later,

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winter Sunset

Grabbed my cell phone to get this photo taken through the window in my sewing room Thursday evening.  The sky turned the most beautiful shade of pink but it didn’t last long and then it was dark.  So glad I was privileged to see it and now share this Nebraska View with you.2013-12-13 17.16.43
Until Later,

Friday, December 13, 2013

Noodle Making Time

Yesterday was my annual noodle making marathon.  I love to give homemade egg noodles to friends and family at Christmas each year.  Everyone makes cookies or specialty breads but no one I know gives homemade noodles.2013-12-13 13.04.40
These are the noodles drying from yesterday, minus some I gifted already this morning.  I used a total of 13 1/2 cups of flour in the 4 recipes I made.  I may have to make a few more but this might be it for this Christmas.  I make noodles occasionally for John and I throughout the year but not in these large quantities.

Last year I wrote about making noodles and gave the recipe I used and you can read that blog post here.  The Kitchen Aid noodle attachment is great and I would not be making the volume of noodles without it.  Don’t get me wrong…it is still time consuming and a bit of work but nothing like doing all the kneading and cutting by hand.

Until Later,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cold, Colder, Coldest

The temperature lately has been horribly cold outside.  When the morning starts out with the temperature in the minus numbers you know it is frigid.  This morning it was –8 degrees F. at 7:30 am and got up to 14 degrees F around 4:00 pm.  Saturday we had our first significant snow fall, and unusual for us, it came straight down with no wind.  It is so fluffy and pretty on the trees but we all know in Nebraska we could still get wind and that pretty snow could pile up into drifts.IMG_7669A peek between the trees and you see the cows grazing across the highway.  Looks like they are grazing snow but in reality they are grazing a section that was planted to turnips, radishes, and rye grass. They just poke their nose through the snow and grab a mouthful.  They really like that and will spend a lot of time on those fall planted areas and when it is grazed down then will move into the corn field to get the corn and stalks left after harvest.IMG_7670
Sure was nice to hear the weatherman on TV last night tell us that today temperatures are supposed to get up to 30 degrees F.  Yipee…a heat wave!

Until Later,

Sunday, December 8, 2013

New Profile Photo

Today I am making another attempt to get started blogging again.  Too many activities and overnight guests this last month.  We had my whole family here for Thanksgiving week and that takes a lot of planning and food.  Everyone helped with the food but I still had a lot to do to have 14 extras sleeping here one night then 11 the next night, 9 the third night and only 2 the 4th night.  We also hosted hunters two long weekends and other guests for several days.  Not sure how it happened that we had so many people in such a short time but that is just the way it went this November.  I didn’t even have time to turn on my sewing machine so I am itching to get back to it!  I did take the time to set up my camera and get a new photo for my profile though.  Lynn-GreerI fiddled with the photo in Photoshop Elements 11 a bit and like the brighter face and darker quilt a new technique for me.  Not sure I remember what I did but like the results.  Another secret I should probably not tell you all but I used the program to smooth out the chicken wattle wrinkle on my neck….a result of loosing weight and age.  That loose skin is now magically gone.  Hey – my photo so I can do what I want right? Too bad it can’t really be magically gone like that!

My last profile photo was also taken in front of this same quilt so you might not realize it was a different photo taken 4 to 5 years apart.  I needed a new profile photo for another thing rather quickly and didn’t have any other ideas of what to use for a background so this nine patch to the rescue.  I have a remote shutter release and put my camera on the tripod and clicked away. 

Until Later,

Monday, November 11, 2013

Links List #3 for Quilters

I hope I am giving you enough time to check out the links on the last two lists I posted (Links List #1 and Links List #2.)
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/ do search in box to find many free images
 I did take a quick look at all the links below to make sure they were working.  At this point in time they are all live links that lead to wonderful webpages for you to explore.  Posting these links for you all has also reminded me of a few good ideas that I had forgotten, projects I wanted to make, techniques I wanted to try and lots and lots of beautiful quilts to look at.
Sewing Supplies
Just to remind you... I gather links to send to my guild newsletter editor to publish in our guild newsletter each month.  I stockpile the links until I get enough to send to her and have had these lists here on my computer for a couple of years now so why not share them with a lager audience.  Please enjoy this latest list.

http://www.design-seeds.com/http://www.design-seeds.com/  good resource for finding new & interesting color schemes
http://blog.shopmartingale.com/crochet-knitting/tips-for-ergonomic-knitting/ tips for ergonomic knitting (would be good for sewing too)
http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/quilting-general/how-to-sew-a-rod-pocket-quilting-tips/ making a rod pocket for your quilt
http://www.untrendylife.com/2012/11/city-tote-tutorial.htmll city tote tutorial
http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/sewing-with-nancy/double-needle-sewing-tips/ double needle sewing tips
http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/2012/08/creative-quilts-from-your-crayon-box-by.html crayon quilt tips
http://www.exnovodesign.com/Projects/BobbiBullard-ZipperedToteConversion.pdf zippered tote conversion
http://aquilterstable.blogspot.com/2012/08/triple-zip-pouch-tutorial.html triple-zip pouch tutorial
http://sayyestohoboken.com/2011/06/diy-sewing-a-turban-twisted-scarf.html turban twisted scarf
http://www.animatedknots.com/crownsinnet/index.php tie crown sinnet knot-good for small bag strap
http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/quick-sewing-projects/top-10-creative-bag-ideas-design-4%E2%80%94easy-zipper-upper-closure/ ten creative bag ideas
http://nickelquilts.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/little-blue-dude/ make non slip ruler
http://nickelquilts.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/flower-pot-block/ flower pot block
http://www.sewingdaisies.com.au/sewing_daisies/2012/01/tutorial-kaffe-fusion-blanket.html Kaffe fusion Blanket tutorial
http://www.batiks.com/freepatterns.html free quilt patterns
http://www.red-brolly.com/red-brolly/2011/11/the-final-sampler.html 3rd Christmas sampler
http://www.red-brolly.com/red-brolly/2011/11/second-christmas-sampler-hes-coming-to-town.html 2nd Christmas sampler-embroidery
http://www.red-brolly.com/red-brolly/2011/10/the-first-christmas-sampler.html 1st Christmas sampler
http://www.red-brolly.com/red-brolly/2012/06/may-all-your-weeds-be-wildflowers-needlekeep.html free embroidery patterns
http://www.red-brolly.com/red-brolly/2011/07/sisters-a-video-and-a-pattern.html sisters embroidery pattern
http://carterquilter.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/delectable-stars-made-from-half-square-triangles/ Delectable Stars Quilt Pattern
http://www.red-brolly.com/red-brolly/2011/03/its-bunny-time.html bunny embroidery
http://www.red-brolly.com/red-brolly/2012/03/here-it-is-a-new-easter-project.html Easter embroidery
http://www.red-brolly.com/red-brolly/catalicious-quilt.html cat stitchery
http://www.red-brolly.com/red-brolly/2012/08/i-wish-i-may-i-wish-i-might.html Teddy and Sewing basket pattern-embroidery
http://katiesquiltsandcrafts.blogspot.com/2012/03/basting-photo-tutorial.html basting quilt tutorial
http://katiesquiltsandcrafts.blogspot.com/2011/08/preparing-shirts-for-tee-shirt-quilt.html prep. shirts for Tee Shirt Quilt
http://katiesquiltsandcrafts.blogspot.com/2010/10/harvest-placemats.html Harvest Placemats
http://katiesquiltsandcrafts.blogspot.com/2011/01/half-square-triangles-novel.html many ways of making half square triangles
http://katiesquiltsandcrafts.blogspot.com/2011/07/quick-and-easy-qayg-tutorial-intro.html quilt as you go tutorial
http://www.quiltingonthesquare.com/compass-collection.aspx compass block collection patterns
http://www.shabbyfabrics.com/Free-Patterns-W4.aspx Country Cottages quilt block collection
http://www.gloriahansen.com/articles.php?p=1&ID=14 inkjet printing of fabric
http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/2012/08/tips-for-quilters-on-hot-summer-days.html tips for cleaning your iron
http://opengatequilts.com/howtovideo.html flying geese tutorial, video and combo units tutorial
http://www.superiorthreads.com/videos/charlottes-fusible-web/ fusible web, fusible thread , texture magic videos
http://wiquiltexpo.com/?page_id=379Wisconsin Expo video
http://www.quiltingboard.com/ advice, question/answer...Quilter's Message Board
http://www.quiltingdaily.com/ Quilting Daily free tutorials
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-rThp7KGRw Piping Hot Binding part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_263677&src_vid=q-rThp7KGRw&v=zMlU2jAd-p4 Piping Hot Binding part 2
http://thecottagehome.blogspot.ca/2011/05/color-my-summer-purple-potluck-bowl.html Potluck bowl cover pattern/tutorial
http://www.youtube.com/user/APQSQuilting check out the many YouTube vidoes by APQS longarm machine - lots of quilting designs/techniques can be stitched with a domestic machine
http://youhadmeatbonjourblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/tutorial-modern-chevron-baby-quilt-crib.html Modern Chevron Baby Quilt
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/ do search in box to find many free images
Have fun exploring the links….until later,

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Houston On My Mind

Every fall I look forward to reading about and seeing photos from the International Quilt Association quilt show in Houston.  Some year I will go but until then I enjoy the photos I glean from the internet. imageHere is the webpage of the winners of the International Quilt Association contest.  Make sure to click on each quilt photo as it will open up to a larger photo.imageAnother website with great photos is Pam Holland’s blog “Pam Holland Designs”.  She is a wonderful quilter and photographer and has taken great photos of quilts that struck her fancy.  The close up photos are wonderful as you can see the quilting designs and intricate piecing and applique in the quilts.  Make sure you scroll down to read and look at all the blog posts about Houston as she has several posts full of beautiful quilts for your enjoyment.  Her posts about the 2013 show start on October 27, 2013.

Now I was on a roll to see what other photos I could find and here is a list of webpages that have more photos of the quilts or activities that went on during the show.  Each website has a few different ones that they show so it is well worth checking all of them out.
The Snarky Quilter October 31, 2013
Kevin the Quilter November 3, 2012
Quilt Inspiration starting October 31, 2013
Vimo slide show by Alexandra Alcantara
QN Blog October 28, 2012
Country Log Cabin starting November 5, 2013
Punch and Judy “Judy’s Blog” starting October 27, 2013
And of course I can not forget my long distance friend from Romania – Geta Grama and her group of friends that won a 3rd place award for their amazing quilt pictured here on her blog Geta’s Quilting Studio. (October 30, 2013)

If you have other links to good photos of the 2013 show in Houston just let me know and I will add them to my list of links.

Until Later,

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Computer Woes

What is a girl to do when her computers get sick but take them to the Dr.  The dreaded blue screen with lots of writing and numbers froze my desktop computer up several times last week so I took it to my friendly and very young computer fix it guys.  I am getting older by the minute and those kids are getting younger but they sure know what they are doing.  It is ready to be picked up this week but will be leaving my laptop for the same job as it has the same symptoms.  Sad smile
computer-problem-152211_640I am so glad we purchased the insurance to cover “Geek Squad” fix it jobs when we got these last two computers.  It has been used more than once and has more than paid for itself.  Will never buy another computer without it as those nasty computer viruses, worms or junk can get in no matter how careful you are even with the purchased virus control programs.  I can take the computers in every few months to have them cleaned of unwanted junk too and that sure makes the computer work faster.

By the way the graphics above were all free domain graphics from Pixabay but I did combine 4 different ones for the top graphic.  I used my Photoshop Elements 11 program and added those virus bugs and worms to the computer graphic and saved it to use here.  Kind of cute isn’t it?

Until Later,

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sketchbook Quilting–Triangles

full-pageAnother page from my quilting design sketchbook.  This is the same stitching sequence as the background stitching I did on the whole cloth miniatures only this is stitched in the shape of triangles.  You can find the step outs for the miniature background quilting I call Ripples here on my October 4 2013 post.DesignAs you can see the design is stitched continuously in rows.  I don’t think you have to have your rows all the same or the triangles the same but try to nest them together somewhat.  If you are not planning to make them all identical, deliberately make them different from each other so it doesn’t look like you made a mistake.  You can make some wider, some taller, some tilted one direction or another, etc.  The more varied the size/angle it will be apparent to the viewer that you intended for them to be different from each other and no one triangle shape will stand out from the rest.Step-1Same as before you stitch to the center leaving a wide space then stitch out between the rows.  The trick is to learn to keep the space the same all the way to the inside so when you stitch out the spaces will be the same.Step-2When one motif is finished just start another.  You can put as many rounds on each triangle as you wish – no rules.

One tip for stitching these triangles.  If you pause just a bit when you are going to change directions you will get a sharper corner.  If you go too fast when you change directions the top and bottom thread tend to pull across the corner.  I tell you this from experience but practice on your machine to see what timing you need to turn a corner.

Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sketchbook Quilting–Continuous Flying Geese

SketchbookI keep a sketchbook handy to draw out quilting patterns I want to remember and to draw out the step by step procedures of how they would be stitched so I can go back to it later and browse for ideas or to see how it is done.  This is just a notebook of white paper that can be purchased in a lot of places.  I think I got mine at Hobby Lobby but believe I have seen them at discount stores too.  It doesn’t matter how heavy the paper is and I suppose you could even use lined paper notebooks if you wanted to but the solid white paper is less distracting.
Open-SketchbookHere is a scanned page from my book – I know it is hard to see exactly what I drew from this photo but scroll down on the page and I have cropped the individual steps and posted larger photos of them.  This design I call Continuous Flying Geese and is one I came up with when I wanted to quilt a wavy flying geese design on a quilt border.  I don’t have the quilt to photograph but hope you get the idea from the design step outs.  scan0005This is what the design would look like all stitched out.  The line of triangle flying geese could be any shape or length you want or need.DesignThe first thing to do is to draw registration marks on your quilt using the marking device of your choice.  Use something that can be removed in case your stitching does not follow your markings exactly.  You will mark outside lines, center line and then cross lines to indicate the spaces between geese units.  Make sure to angle the cross lines to follow the curves.Registration-LinesStep 1 - Start stitching at the bottom corner – either side is fine but since I am left handed I started on the bottom left which feels more natural for me but you could mirror image it if this feels wrong.  Which ever side you start on you will want to draw/stitch the same on all geese.  You stitch from the bottom corner to the peak of the first goose then down to the bottom corner of that goose.Step-1Step 2 – draw/stitch across the bottom to finish the goose unit.Step-2Step 3 – Stitch from the initial starting point up the side to the starting bottom corner of the next goose.  You will stitch this goose the same way as the one below.  Follow the arrows to see how it is done.Step-3Step 4 - Continue stitching the geese units up the line keeping your connecting line of stitches on one side.  When you reach the top goose you draw/stitch across the top then down the long side that has not been stitched.Step-4
Now wasn’t that easy?  These drawings are taken directly from scans of my sketchbook so are a little messy but they tell me what I need to know if I want to stitch this design again.

The best advice I can give you about stitching a new design is to draw it and draw it until the path and shapes are imbedded in your mind.   I doodle quilting designs on scrap paper and envelopes I pull out of the trash when I am talking on the telephone or watching TV.  If I come up with something new then I draw it in my sketchbook to refer to later.

Happy Quilting,


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