Monday, September 29, 2008

Future Project?

Several years ago, I bought this book which I thought was really cool. As I went through my batiks yesterday, I pulled these pieces that I thought would be really pretty in the tablerunner on the coverpage. All of the projects in the book are really pretty. Why do quilters want to do everything they see?????? There are more and more wonderful ideas and beautiful fabric and time flies by so quickly it's hard to decide which should come first. I think it's fair to say that people who love quilting are very seldom bored - maybe frustrated sometimes. Quilting--What a satisfying addiction to be blessed with. (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Really Old Quilt I Never Finished

I told about not finishing a quilt that I did in the "quilt as you go" method that was popular in the late 70's. This afternoon I got it out and took it's picture - mainly because I think you will enjoy seeing what kind of fabric we had to work with back then. I still have a little bit of some of those calicoes tucked away someplace. The prints were so tiny and the colors usually bright. Actually, I think this is not a bad looking piece and would be pretty if it were finished. However, I doubt if it will be me that finishes it! The center part is all done and a couple of the borders. When the borders are applied, it will create a triangle border all around the quilt. (Click to enlarge)


Have spent most of the day in the basement going through my batiks - they were really in need of some sorting out. I think it's hard to know how to group them - so many have multiple colors and look so good with lots of other pieces. I have a few that I don't know where in the heck to ever use them and some of those I will just get rid of. There are some very pretty ones down there for sure. I never buy very big pieces - usually no more than a half yard unless I know I need more for borders, etc. My love is scrappy quilts - the more different fabrics I have in a quilt the better I like it so I don't use large amounts of the same fabric. So, right now my basement "studio" is in a bigger mess than usual. I took some pictures and will post a few. Still have several boxes to go through but decided to give it up for today. By the way, just to the right edge of the top picture is the ribbon with the dogwood blossom that my quilt "Blooms in the Night" wore home from Paducah in 1992! (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Still have More Chamber Pots

When we moved back to Chillicothe in 1984, one of the things I loved to do best was go to auctions. There were lots of them. You usually had to plan to spend most of the day there if you wished to bid on something that was a long way from the auctioneer at the beginning. They were a lot of fun and you could find some great things. At an auction at an old farm west of Chilli I bid on these three pieces and got them. The big chamber pot has one of the handles missing but the smaller one and the pitcher are in good shape. This probably had a pitcher and bowl with it at one time. At this same auction, I bought a couple of boxes of sewing supplies and there were a lot of goodies in those. What fun going through them. There were lots of old embroidery transfers, old floss, needles, etc.
(Click to enlarge)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Front Stoop Begonias

I have posted pictures at two different times of my pretty planter on the front stoop. There are two gorgeous begonias in it - the ones that are grown more for their leaves than their flowers. They may be called Rex Begonias, but I can't say that for sure. Anyway, the plants are just huge now - along with the impatients that are there with them. I found some smallish blooms on the begonias so they do bloom but not the showy blossoms that the other varieties have. The colors of the leaves are gorgeous - all in all it has been a lovely addition to my front stoop all season long. The pictures don't show how large the plants are but you can see the color and the little blossoms. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Start

Fiddled all afternoon with my fabric trying to come up with something for the start of the pass- it-on round robin that isn't an actual "round robin". We were given a piece of gridded interfacing that will be covered by pieces made by different quilters. Each participant starts hers out and places her piece where she wants it on the grid. Approximately 1/5th of the piece must be filled in and the rest will be filled by other quilters - one each month. In turn, each month I will work on someone elses's piece. Each quilter picks her own theme and includes her own fabric if she so desires. These have been turning out very nicely. What I have done here is a start--I need to make it bigger - and I also need to do my applique stitches. This will be a Christmas theme. (Click to enlarge)

A Recipe - Cayenne Pretzels

The other day my neighbor called me about a recipe someone had sent him that he could not download. I had him forward the email to me and I was able to download it and send it back to him. Today, he brought me a little bag of that recipe - Cayenne Pretzels. They are really good but do have a tendency to bite back! Thought I would post it since it would be a good snack for this fall and winter season. Probably really good with a cold beer!!

Cayenne Pretzels:

1 c. vegetable oil - or 1/2 c. vegetable oil and 1/2 c. olive oil

1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 pkgs. (16 oz. each) pretzel sticks

In a small bowl, mix oil, dressing mix, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Put pretzels in a large bowl and pour oil mixture over pretzels - stir to coat. Divide pretzels between two ungreased 10 x 15 x 1 baking pans. Bake at 200 degrees for l hour, stirring occasionally. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. The longer they sit the spicier they tend to get.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ready for Some More Chamber Pots?

While I am waiting for "Dancing with the Stars" to start (can you believe Cloris Leachman?), I will post three more of my potties. The blue one I found in Minnesota lots of years ago. I do have some very pretty ones. (Click to enlarge)

An Older Strips in a Bag Quilt

Have to start planning my "round robin" quilt (not really an authentic one) and get my part done before the next guild meeting. Looking through some pictures, I found one of a really cool Strips in a Bag quilttop that was done two years ago, I think. Fran, the owner of this top, did the panel with the two giraffes. The fabric used in the sashing and for the water and background were all included, along with animal prints, etc. I cannot remember who did the darling zebra, scary snake or the sneaky cheetah, but when I got the bag, I thought it might be time for a person. So I did the lady with the basket of bananas. Even though we had some really great and varied other tops, Fran's could not be beat. I must try and remember to ask her if she has quilted it - she should bring it to Show and Tell! (Click to enlarge)

Hoya Plant

Earlier, I posted a couple of pictures of a blossom on my hoya plant. This plant is an offshoot of a plant that I had for years and years, and this plant itself is probably 18 years old. It had only bloomed maybe two or three times in the past few years and then only one bloom. This past summer, I have had a lot of lovely flowers - the first blooming had seven and the last one had five. They are spectacular and last quite a long time. Right now, the blooms are gone, but I am hoping to find some new buds sprouting soon. (Click pictures to enlarge)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thinking About Some Tablerunners

Such an absolutely beautiful day - and I think it is the first day of autumn. Had some errands to run this afternoon and made a stop at the fabric shop to get my fabric fix. I have been thinking about making some tablerunners for Christmas. They had some lovely Laurel Birch fabric that I loved (with the colorful trees) and I looked around and picked out some other fabric to go with it. I need to find some blue. Haven't even looked through all the fabric that lives downstairs and will probably find more there. Anyway, things are just starting to percolate in my head and it will be interesting to see what I come up with. I also have to start working on my round robin hanging for Q2. That will probably be a Christmas theme for me this time.
(Click picture to enlarge)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gorgeous Weather

What beautiful weather we have been having after a very wet weekend when Hurrican Ike made it's way through Michigan. Lots of places really got lots and lots of rain - I think there was about 3 inches total here in Midland. The last couple of days have really been nice - just the great kind of weather autumn brings.

Will post a few pictures of some small quilts I have made using the reproduction fabrics from the 30's and 40's. There are three of these small pieces and one day they could go to future greatgrandchildren. As I have noted before, I really enjoy using the Aunt Gracie fabrics - they are such pretty colors and darling prints. First one up will be a paperpieced one that I think is called sawblades. The next one is machine buttonhole stitched flowers connected with green vines. Third is one with sunbonnet children and an alphabet and number border.
(Click on picture to enlarge)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Can't Resist Another Potty Post

Photographed some more chamber pots today - promise I will just put up two for now. Singling them out reminds me that I have some very charming chamber pots!! The one that will be on top is a darling little child's potty and on it is a teddy bear that I made in my teddy bear making days! Then below that is one with a beautiful girl and lots of pretty flowers. Can't remember where I got that one, but it is really pretty. Hope you enjoy these two. There are more waiting in the wings! (Click picture to enlarge)

Am I Blue

In 1988, I did a second whole cloth quilt - this time in blue. The fabric again was a lovely cotton satinlike piece that was so easy to needle. I think back in those days I was using Mountain Mist batting and that was also easy to work with. The whole quilt took me about six months to quilt as I recall. Quilting was done in my 16 inch hoop - I'm pretty sure that is the size. It would be no larger than 18 inches. (Click picture to enlarge)

My First Completed Quilt

In 1984, I finally completed a quilt in its entirety. This is called "Pink on Pink" since it is a wholecloth quilt with nothing but quilting. The only difference is that I quilted four rows of three big blocks each and four borders. I then put them together after they were all finished. Believe me, that is something I have no desire to do again. It really turned out well but it is a hassle. I actually have another machine appliqued and pieced quilt in the basement that was done that way except it is not finished! Will take it's picture one day, too. Maybe someday someone will find it and finish it off. It is about 30 years old so I doubt if I will finish it myself. The fabric I used for Pink on Pink is a beautiful cotton satinlike piece that is just lovely. I picked it up at a store that sells decorator fabrics. Quilting it was incredibly easy and I found that I was able to take really teeny tiny stitches. Also wearing a thimble on each middle finger was my salvation for handquilting. I know I could not take those small stitches now, but I am enjoying doing machine quilting and getting some better at it. (Click picture to enlarge)

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Have a Chamber Pot Collection

Way, way back in the 1950's after we had moved for the first time away from Chillicothe to Ft. Madison, Iowa, I brought a chamber pot back from my parents' home when we went for a visit. Dad had always taken care of some summer cottages that belonged to the people they rented from - we moved into that house when I was 7 years old and they lived there for quite a few years after Ray and I married. There were three cottages - one belonged to the older mother and two belonged to each of her sons and their families. The elderly woman was referred to as "Grandma Lynch" and she had, as I didn't know then, a house full of treasures. Wish I could see it again. Anyway, she gave Dad an old chamber pot. When I saw it, I went crazy so Mom and Dad gave it to me. That started my collection. Really didn't get any more for quite awhile as extra money was hard to come by. However, through the years, I have acquired over three dozen potties in one form or another and will post some from time to time. Hadn't had a new one in a long time, but just a few weeks ago a friend and neighbor of mine here at the condos gave me one she was going to get rid of. It's very pretty and loves to be here at my house with all the other little potties! Thank you, Jane!! I will post that soon, also.
I am never sure of the order in which the pictures come up and I have not learned how to move them arround in the way I would like to have them, but my very first pot is the one with the raised flowers on it and a kind of ratty plant in it!! Then there is a pretty one with a lid that I have on a chest in my dining room. Two small ones - one with an eye in it and one that says it's the "Best Seat in the House". One of my favorites is the oak commode that I found at an antique show in Peoria. You can also spot another pot under the commode. Kind of like "Where's Waldo?" When I bought that, we told our youngest granddaughter that it was our third bathroom. (Click picture to enlarge)

The Start of it All

On the left side of my blog, there is a picture of the quilt that was the first piece I ever worked on. The story of the quilt is posted there. I was looking through some of the files on my pc this morning and came across some closeups I took of the quilt a couple of years ago. The neighbor who gave me the blocks remembered having a dress from one of the fabrics (the star to far right in the picture) when she was a little girl. The blocks are probably from 1910-20 as near as I can calculate. She gave them to me in approximately 1975 and she was about 70 at the time. Regardless, they are very old and very well made. (Click picture to enlarge)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

September Meeting and ATCs

Tonight was the start of the new year for Quilters Squared quilt guild - what a great turnout! We are growing by leaps and bounds. I want to welcome all the brand new quilters, the ones who have been here for awhile and all the gals who have been here for varying lengths of time including forever and ever. It is hard to get around to everyone at the meeting, but please know that we want you to keep coming back and enjoy with us the joy of quilting!! I urge you to join in the challenges and projects we have regardless of whether you are a veteran quilter or a novice. Each and every one of started out as a beginner!! I feel bad that sometimes I have a time remembering names - but please forgive this old woman!! I eventually get it all together! You are going to enjoy being part of Quilters Squared - it is a very good group of very good women. Nuf said.

I will now post the Artist Trading Cards that four of us are still doing. The theme for September is Kitchen Kitsch. Top row - Julie and Carol - Second Row - Debbie and Claire. What fun!
(Click picture to enlarge)

Monday, September 8, 2008

All Done

Just one more picture - finished the cactus and will post the scan I just did. Came out okay, I think - kind of looks like a cactus. Really looking forward to all the Fractured Fotos - can't imagine what they will look like. Stay tuned! (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Almost Done

I have been chipping away at the summer challenge pieces and just about have them finished. Still have to stitch Debbie's but as soon as I decide on thread color that should just take a few minutes. It was an all day job - plus parts of a number of other days, too. Two of the pieces I really like - one is the finished piece that belongs to Dana in my post this morning. The other is a graphic design by Tam which I didn't think I did very well on. Wrong!! This is my favorite after I put lots of really colorful fancy stitches on the seams. So here they are, fresh out of the scanner! Don't worry about the jagged edges - they are bigger than the actual piece to enable them to be sewn together. (Click picture to enlarge)

Q2 Summer Challenge #@!!!**&^(Just Teasing, Lori)

I think this is the third time we have had a "summer challenge" to bring to our first guild meeting in September. Lori (one of my very favorite quilters) came up with a doozey for us to work on this summer--Fractured Fotos. Each participant sent her a drawing or blown up photo approximately 20 x 20 which she cut up into 6 or 8 pieces. These were divied up and she mailed 6 to 8 (I think we all got 8) pieces to each one doing the challenge. Sounds innocent enough, right? She did put tiny clues on the backs of the pieces some of which were hard to tell what they were. Wow - what a challenge!!!!!!!!!! I know I have used a few of my choicest expletives in working on this. For sure, I will be posting them at a later date. I have 7 of mine done ready to be stitched and the last one is all figured out. A group got together one Sunday afternoon and compared pieces - it was very interesting how individuals approached the task at hand. At Tuesday night's meeting, the pieces of the puzzles will be put together and each one will take their puzzle home to assemble and finish. Can hardly wait to see the finished products.

Today I will get my part all finished, by golly. I will put in scans of two of the puzzle parts I have together but not stitched yet. The reason they look jagged around the edges is because you have to leave plenty of room for seam allowances and I figured the owner can just trim the excess off with a rotary cutter. The second piece should be really neat - the instructions for that were to change color every time there was a line. That one belongs to Dana and what a clever idea. (Click pictures to enlarge)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

59 Years Ago Today

On September 4, 1949, at the First Methodist Church in Chillicothe, Illinois, Ray Kenneth and Carol Charlene were married at 3:00 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon. Today would be our 59th wedding anniversary. We actually had 48 wonderful years together and two great kids, Sherry and Bill, who in turn added more members to our family to love and enjoy. Ray's job with the Santa Fe kept us on the move over the years - first to Ft. Madison, Iowa, then Topeka, Newton, and Kansas City, Kansas - and back to Chillicothe when he retired in 1984 after 41 years with the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe. In 1992 we moved to Michigan to be near Sherry and her family. Ray was able to enjoy 13 years of retirement - which, of course, wasn't enough but he did enjoy the years he had. Ray was such a good man, a wonderful husband and father, and a doting grandpa who could talk like Donald Duck. So I thought I would post a picture of the Funoldhag and her sweetie pie on their wedding day. And all that brown stuff isn't big hair - it's a feather hat!! (Click picture to enlarge)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More Pillowcases

Just finished pressing the rest of the pillowcases I made for the ConKerr Cancer project our guild is participating in to furnish colorful pillowcases to children of all ages in chemo. We are to bring them to our first fall meeting. According to the newsletter there are already 55 so it will be fun to see how many more are added to that number. We needed pieces for children from very tiny to older teenagers so it calls for a vast array of patterns to appeal to all ages. Bless their hearts - may these add a bright note to their lives and may recovery be complete.
(Click to enlarge)