Friday, September 23, 2016

Crabapple Jelly

Well, my friend Lee was telling us at coffee this morning about making crabapple jelly.   It was a nice story about a crab apple tree that she admired in her neighbourhood for some time.   She happened to cross paths with the owner of the tree.  After having a nice conversation about the tree, she offered Lee some of the crabapples.   Lee prepared the jelly and said how beautifully clear and pink the jelly was.    It sounded so nice.

That's all I needed to hear..   I've never made it before, but I have been watching a crab apple tree in my secret garden.  The apples are so red this year, they are visible from quite far away.    I couldn't wait to come home and see if I had enough of the little beautiful red apples.    Sure enough, I did.   More than enough.    After a quick trip to the store to buy cheesecloth,  my husband helped me prepare the juice.   A few hours later, and using this Certo recipe, we have 8 beautiful jars of Crabapple Jelly.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

St. Dunstan's Raffle Quilt Update - Week 3

The Ohio blocks are a dream to sew.  I just loved making the hour glass blocks.  I got most of the blocks sewn last Tuesday at the Ville.  I finished the last 4 blocks this morning, and gave them a press.    Let's see what they look like.

I've laid out the on-point arrangement.   The eight colors are a depiction of the fall harvest. Purples, orange, greens, yellows and reds.   I've tried to mix up the colors pretty good.   I've taken this photo, and will look at it again tomorrow to look for anything that bugs me.  I find it helps to look at the arrangement through a camera.   Already, I can see a couple of things I will change tomorrow.

Stay tuned next week for another update.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

CQA Quilter's Sewing Kit

In the Fall CQA Newsletter, there is a pattern for a Sewing Kit.  It's just darling and so useful.   

I had scraps of fabric in my scrap bag, so I made up a prototype.   It's nice. I love some of the nice thoughtful details.  In particular, the scissor cord end is neatly sewn under the spools of thread.  And when you close the kit up, the spools of thread, and the thimble are off-set with one another to reduce bulk.  The scissors, if small enough can be put in the zipper compartment, or you can store binder clips in it.    Smart thinking...   Thanks CQA.   I'll definitely be making another one or two!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Coat for my Cutter

I made a small project this week.  It was very simple.  A holder for my favorite rotary cutter.   It was quick because I had some already quilted fabric sandwiches laying around.     Why not make a coat for your cutter..   Click here for the free pattern and tutorial.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Presenting my sweet Duffle Bag

While I'm at home and overseeing our landscaping, I dug out a bag of supplies that I brought home from Florida last spring.   It's to make a small duffel bag.  I really was attracted to the colors and the size of the bag.  I put it on my to-do list.    I've been thinking of digging it out for months now.  The directions call for all kinds of stuff that a quilter would not normally have.  I've read through the pattern a few times, but until you actually get started, the directions had very little meaning.  Actually, it all looked a bit scary..

Well, this was the week.   Knowing the landscapers were coming and I would be stuck at home for a few days, I cut out all the parts on Monday.  It seemed like there was 30 pieces of all sizes.   Well, there wasn't that many, but with the different fabrics, piping, interfacing, foam, strapping etc, my brain was mush after cutting everything out.  It was good not to even look at it on Tuesday..    I started it yesterday morning.  I followed the tutorial, step by step.  After re-reading some steps several times, I got the hang of it... The two side pieces done.   I found that I had cut two pieces incorrectly.  It was throwing me off.  I was tired from thinking so much... the sewing part was easy.   I was done for the day.  Way too much thinking..  It would have been easy to put it all back in the bag and finish it later...   haha..

This morning, I looked at it... and loved what I had accomplished yesterday. It was motivation enough to continue.   I worked on the zipper panel and the bottom part.   The zipper was a little tricky.  It was a big zipper... with big zipper teeth.  I just couldn't just sew through that like I usually do with zippers.   I got it done..   With all the components ready,  it all got carefully pinned, and clipped together. The sewing was simple. Although, it was really weird to use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.    Yippee, it's done.  I'm so pleased with it.  

I'm glad that I remembered to put my name patch on it.  It's going to hold supplies for when I go teaching.  Probably for a wallet class.   I'll test it out...

The big question is, "will I make another?"   Maybe.   Are you feeling brave?   Want to make one for yourself?  The free pattern and picture tutorial is here at Sew4Home..  

Drawing the Line

Before going to my Sew Tuesday group this week, I decided to draw my diagonal line on my 48 white blocks. These will be for my 96 hour glass blocks for the Ohio Stars.   I came across this post. (Wait. I can't find the YouTube, but I will continue to look for it).

The suggestion offers a slightly more efficient way of handling the drawing of the diagonal lines.

Take a piece of fine sandpaper, tape it to your desk.   Use this as your work surface to draw the diagonal line.  It stays in position nicely and helps the pencil marks adhere...  I did like the technique.

Then I was nicely working away at my diagonal lines and down to the last dozen to mark, and it dawned on me to put two of my squares on the sandpaper at the same time.   It was slightly more efficient and I wish I had thought of it earlier... 

The good news is, Tuesday has come and gone, and all the hour glass blocks are done.   This week, when I have 10 minutes at a time, I will trim these up to 4.5".   Next Tuesday, I should be able to sew up the 28 blocks.  

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Getting Ready for Sew Tuesdays this Fall

I'm so looking forward to Tuesdays this fall.      We've started a group of Tuesday Sewers at the Ville.   It's a very nice way to get work done on your projects and have a some social time too.

Last Tuesday, I worked on a few different things. One of the things that I'm most happy that I got done, was 32 hourglass patches.   See these are the first ones that will go into the St. Dunstan's raffle quilt.      They are sitting next to my sewing machine and sometime that I have half an hour this weekend, they will get sewn up.   

And again, this week, I'm preparing for the Tuesday sewing by pre-cutting pieces for the rest of St. Dunstan's Ohio Stars quilt.   I have blocks cut to make 24 blocks.   Wouldn't that be awesome if I got all the hour glasses done.   So that's a total of 96 hourglasses.    Well, might be a stretch to get done, but we'll see.

Time is slipping by, and I really want to give this to the St. Dunstan Quilters by the end of October.   With my new found Tuesday time, it will be no problem at all. 

One thing that I realized last week, which was the first Tuesday of sewing, is that I should only bring a couple of projects to work on.  To have a little break from the hourglass blocks this Tuesday, I will bring another small  project to work on.  I'll show you next Tuesday.

Sew, what are you doing on Tuesday's this fall?.   Want to join us?... There are a couple of spaces left.  Contact me and I'll give you details. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Free Motion - Practicing with Rulers

I bought a new free-motion foot for my Juki sewing machine.  I use my Juki all the time for free motion stitching, when I'm home.  My Juki is a domestic straight stitch machine.

This new foot will let me use straight and curved rulers as a guide when free motion stitching.  I borrowed my friend Lee's new rulers for a little practice.   I think I'm going to really like this for a bit of a change.   I enjoyed the circle template more than I thought I would...actually, I loved it.    

I have some straight and curved rulers on order with Diane at Country Crafts.  I'm making a few table runners to practice on when the rulers come in.

Notice the long straight lines that form a star in my sample.  I've used the ruler as a guide and stitched free motion.  And look at the perfect circles.  All this was done with the feed dogs down. In between using rulers, I just free motioned like normal to fill in the spaces.   No changing feet.
I've bound my practice sample..  I'm sure some cat somewhere would love to lay on this.

Monday, August 22, 2016

One Special Cookie!

It all started out as a pretty typical sugar cookie making day.   Aurora's job was to roll the cookie dough in sugar and put them on the tray.   I would bake them, and she would ice them when they were cool.  

So, it's all normal up until now.     
Then it near sent Aurora into a crazy frenzy 
when I was going to throw out the left over purple icing.     
She decided to do what Caitlin and Grace did a few years ago...  
Pose, while squirting icing into their mouths...    

Then it got a little silly.   
I painted her new front teeth with the icing.   
She thought that was cool.   

And then came a mustache.    

The goatee

It kind of looks like henna for her face now..
The icing is starting to harden.  I tell her not to smile..

Well, as you can see, she's a well decorated cookie, 
with a mustache, goatee, and a beautiful heart on her forehead.

She thought all this was so fun.  
She was sick of icing by this point, 
and happily threw the rest out..

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fabulous Fabric.... if You are a Kid!!

A couple of weeks ago, I had my friend Connie bring me a half yard of this fun Shopkins fabric from her out of town shopping trip.

My granddaughter Aurora loves Shopkins... I can't tell you how many she has.   I knew she would love this fabric.

Anyway, she arrived on Sunday and will stay a week.  She was thrilled with the fabric and immediately came up with a bunch of ideas on how to use the fabric.  I said let's think about it and we'll see what's doable.  

Besides swimming, and outdoor activities, we've been busy sewing small projects such as sleep pants and doll clothes.  

With the shopkins fabric, we decided that a cute little zipped pouch would be nice.  That got finished this morning.   It's from a badge holder tutorial.    It has a vinyl pouch on the front to put her card and another slot on the back. And it has a zipped part to keep important things in.     It's darling.    I actually use one from the same pattern to carry stuff in when I walk early in the morning.  It's perfect to keep my phone, and key and it fits nicely under my sweater.

Aurora also decided she wanted a pillow for her bed.   So we made a little bolster pillow to show off a big piece of the shopkin fabric.  It's funny, she can name all the shopkins off so quick.  They are unusual names.    

So, we have one small  piece of the shopkin fabric left.   It will  probably end up as a ribbon blanket for her doll.

We are also preparing to go to Nova Scotia to visit my sister and family later this week.  We have been shopping for lunches etc.   It's so exciting since we haven't been to Nova Scotia in a few years.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Vroom Vroom - Row by Row Car Pin

For those of you who are Row by Rowing, did you see the latest little car pin that Diane has at Country Crafts and Curtains?  

The car pin has a bar on the lower part to hold charms.  For the 2016 row, it is a house charm to match the Home Sweet Home theme.   It's so darling.  I was in Diane's shop earlier this week, and Diane gave me one.  (I was in and out of the shop so quick, I'm not even sure if I said thank-you... so just in case I forgot my manners, thanks so much Diane..  I just love it)   


I've put the little car with the dangly charm on my travelling bag of notions along with last year's pin.    Maybe this bag will become the holder of my pin collection.                                                                                                                                           So, I wonder what next year's Row by Row charm will be.  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Planning a Raffle Quilt = A Recalculation Required

I'm doing the planning and prep work for making the annual St. Dunstan's Raffle quilt.  I plan to do this in September.    This year, I'll be making an on-pointe Ohio Star.    The ladies have requested fall colors such as browns, reds, purples, golds. I've drafted up the quilt in EQ.    I've  been calculating fabric requirements step by step with pencil and paper and calculator.  Blocks, setting triangles, border 1, border 2 and binding.   It's taken the best part of my morning.  This is a good size queen quilt, 88" x 105".   I've done a sample block out of my scrap bin and made a small modification..

  It could be me, but I think I've gone wrong somewhere.    After all is said and done, for the quilt top and binding (no backing), I've calculated that I'll need 13 yards.    Gesh, can that be right?     I think I need to recalculate..      Stay tuned.