Wednesday, October 31, 2012

QuiltCam! The Halloween Edition!

No tricks!  Just treats!
This little paper pieced kitty showed up in my inbox today -- and I thought it was SO CUTE!  No time for me to make any this year, but I saved the pattern for future reference.  You might want to make a few for cat lovers you know!  Click for the pattern HERE.
Not to be outdone by a paper pieced kitty --- Sadie is all ready for her trick or treating as well!  OKAY, it's my fault.  She isn't happy with the situation at all, but it has gotten so cold so fast all she does is stay on her bed and shiver -- she doesn't even want to go outside.  So mama bought her a hoodie!

Poor girl, she doesn't know what to do with this thing on!

I've finished folding the fabric.  Big reveal in tomorrow's morning blog post.  I've worked hard at this many days in a row and it's finally getting to where I want things to be.  There is more stuff to move around, there always is --but that will come little by little.

Tomorrow I need to load up the van and get everything ready for heading out to a retreat in West Virginia on  Friday morning.

Tonight I need some machine time!  More Moth in the Window blocks tonight -- I'm persevering.

Come join me, bring a project and visit a while!

If  you get sound and no video, try hitting the pause/play button.  Restart your computer.  Be sure your flash player is up to date.  Try a different browser.  I recommend Google Chrome, it's a lighter weight interface and doesn't get so bogged down.

**Note** If it says "OFF AIR" it's because I'm not there.  It's a live feed, not a recording, so there is no play back or re-runs!

Streaming Live by Ustream

Peek A Boo!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

I didn’t forget what today is – but this morning’s mystery intro post made no mention of it because I have had a one track mind with getting the info out to you!

I have to share what came in the mail yesterday from Di in TN --- Isn’t this cute cute cute!? I opened the box to find two beady little eyes staring up at me.

I quickly unwrapped it to find this little guy!

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I shot Di off a quick email thank you, and she replied saying that the leg part was actually a cupcake holder sold in sets of 4 at Joann’s.  Be watching for these to go on sale after Halloween is over – you are going to want to  run out and snatch these up!  Or if you have a coupon already, go get them.  TOO TOO TOO CUTE!  Thanks, again Di!

I got a phone call this morning about the retreat in West Virginia that starts on Friday --- we’ve had to move locations because Hawks Nest is still without power and is shut down.  That’s the bad thing.  The good part is, they’ve moved us to another state park in West Virginia that is closer to me – so my drive won’t be as long. 

Quilters are a tough lot!  Go ahead and change our location!  As long as we can plug in and still sew, we are good to go – so those coming, I look forward to seeing you there!  My project tomorrow is to kit up more blocks so I have projects to sew on while there.  Class will go from 9 to 4—but after that – it’s free time for me to sew too, and we are going to have a ball!

I don’t know if there will be wifi at this new park, or what the cell reception will be like ---but we’ll make do whatever happens.

More stash folding but the end is in sight --- it feels SO GOOD!

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The Green Yellow Orange Rust cupboard!

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I’ve started on browns/blacks/greys!

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Who remembers this?!?

I bought a flat fold bundle in about 1984 or 1985  Still love this print –good old VIPs!

Anyone up for QuiltCam tonight?  I’ll be turning it on around 9pm Eastern.  Catch me then!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tortilla Soup, Crock Pot Style!

I spent the entire evening working on the yardage and intro to our new mystery ---it’s ready to post in the morning! ((I’m so excited I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight!))

One of the other things I did today while moving and folding stash was to throw the fixings for Tortilla soup in the Crockpot.

It simmered all afternoon and boy is this sure yummy!  I served it with jalapeno biscuits –they were a mix that I got in Santa Fe, and found this week while cleaning out the pantry ---YUM!

And because I’ve had requests for the recipe from facebook friends I thought I’d post it here for everyone to share.

    1 pound ground turkey –browned and set aside.
    1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
    1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
    1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2(14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
    1 can black beans, rinsed
    3 to 4 small corn tortillas
Generally I don’t like to cook from so many cans --- but in a pinch on a cold day, this comes together quickly!

Place browned ground turkey, tomatoes with juice, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth, and season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir in corn and black beans. Cover and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours. 30 minutes before serving, cut corn tortillas into narrow strips and drop into soup.  Garnish with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, or avocadoes. Makes 8 servings.

The best part is there will be leftovers tomorrow!

Slow Progress in the Yellow Zone!

It’s been a morning of interruptions ---good ones!

But I’m making lots slower progress than I hoped.

First off, I learned that I can not have the iron, the quilting machine, and the new infared quartz heater running at the same time on the same circuit.

BAM!  Just as I was replying to my friend Kim in NY that I was glad that HER power stayed on through Hurricane Sandy, MINE went off in the middle of the email.  DRAT!

The only light that stayed on down here was the storage closet ---and that’s where I ran a big extension cord across the basement for the iron earlier in the year so I could run the quilting machine AND have the iron on.  I’ve moved the infared heater to that outlet also, but not trusting to run the iron and the heater at the same time either.

Oh yellow! Oh Orange!!  And that lead to things like…wow…I remember this!  How long have I had this?  1982???

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If you remember this fabric, then you have been around a LONG TIME!  It’s one of the first quilting fabrics I ever bought….and I still love it.  It looks “old fashioned” to me ---and I think that’s why I still like it, it will still play nice with other things.  Vintage looking fabric stays vintage.  Fabrics that look like 1930s fabrics will always look like 1930s fabrics and won’t become more dated looking either.  Same with civil war fabrics.

The things that my tastes change on are the “trendy” things.  Debbie Mumm Birdhouses come to mind--or giant sunflowers--you know the kind.  But since I basically play by color family in my scrap quilts –many of my fabrics are “timeless” and just read as the color they are and don’t shout out “out-dated!”

Still – this one has hung around a long time.  It’s not orange, it’s kind of rust – but not really, it’s more red than rust ---and it’s switched positions in cupboards from time to time. 

Note to self – must sew this up in something.  I’ve had it for nearly 30 years!!

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This is as far as I’ve gone today.  There is still time this afternoon – the color that goes on top of here?  Green.  Loads of green on the living room floor upstairs --- which means I need to slog it all downstairs and start organizing it.

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Yellow to gold to orange to rust.

And the folding continues!

There will not be QuiltCam tonight ---I’m working on the post for tomorrow morning that announces our yardage requirements and other details for our November Mystery!  Look for that post bright and early in the morning. 

Let the fun begin!

Lessons in Stash Folding!

Click HERE for printer friendly version!

Last night on QuiltCam and on Facebook several asked how I do my stash folding and I thought it would be a good thing to share since I am deep up to my knees in it right now!  These are the purples and teal/turquoises.

Messy piles!

Actually, it’s not that bad..much of it just needs straightened and stacked a bit better. I haven’t done this in nearly 5 years --since we moved here ---and things get stuffed and crammed and out of order over time.

I know some use the “roll around a ruler” method….but I found that didn’t work with the sizes of shelves I had ---I needed something that was adjustable to any shelf depth.

I like very narrow stacks so I can simply slip my hand into the stack, remove part of the stack if what I need is buried down toward the bottom, lift what I need out, and replace the stack without disturbing it or the other stacks next to it.  The ruler method made the stacks shorter in depth and taller in height and would have taken up more shelf space.  I would need MORE cabinets to do it that way -- not a good thing!

So this is how I do it!

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First, measure your shelf.  You need to know how deep it is so you know where to fold!  Mine are right at 15".

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This is a 2 yard piece of yellow--- I grabbed it for photography purposes, and I think the fold lines will help clarify what I am doing.  I have the fabric folded in half so it measures 1 yard long.  This isn’t necessary – you can leave it in the 2 yard length, it just means more folding.  If I were folding a 6 yard piece, I’d definitely want it folded end to end first.

The selvages are together at the upper edge, just like the fabric comes off the bolt when you buy it, the fold towards me at the bottom of the picture. This way from fold to selvage it measures 22” tall.

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Bring the bottom folded edge up to the selvages.  The fabric now measures about 11” tall.  There are 8 layers here.

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Fold it once more, bringing the bottom of the piece up to the top fold.  It now measures about 5.5” tall, and there are 16 layers.

Remember the depth of your shelf?  Subtract about an inch.

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I begin folding at the far right end by putting my finger at the 14” mark.

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Here is the right end of the fabric flipped over my fingers where I placed them.  From here, you are going to continue the roll as far as you can go, maintaining the depth of your shelf minus that 1” or so….

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This what I’ve got when I’m done rolling.

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See how it fits??

I can fit 3 stacks across on my cabinet shelf.  There is a bit of a margin on the side where if I had a larger piece, say for a backing, I could stack that on its side to fill the space.

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Close up of the reds!

I know it takes time to do this.  But I love how it fits.  Because I’ve done it to fit the depth of my shelf, there is no wasted space and everything is uniform.

And this is what I will be doing today ---yellows/oranges and greens are on the agenda for this morning!

Monday, October 29, 2012

QuiltCam ---The Hurricane Sandy Edition!

I wonder how many won't be able to tune in tonight because they are without power due to Hurricane Sandy?!  Thoughts and prayers for warmth and safety going out to those in the storm right now!

The design wall is up!  We simply just nailed the panels to the wall into the studs.  It didn't take much to put it there, and I love how it looks!
The fleece blankets may not be as "sticky" with quilt blocks as cotton batting or flannel may be --but maybe the blocks I've put up are heavier with lots of seams and piecing.

But then even the 6" Jubilee Sow Along blocks didn't stick well to the old  flannel-tacked-to-the-wall design wall either -- they also had to be pinned or fell off with the swinging of the quilt room door -- or the turning on of the oscillating fan on the first hot day of summer. ;c)
Whatever it is, it is no problem at all to just punch a pin in there to hold the blocks in place and that will stop them from flying off as we walk by.
I DO love the gray color!
I took some time to kit up some more Moth in the Window blocks.  I'm trying to really stay focused on just a few things at a time, and that is what I'll be sewing on tonight.  I plan to stick around for an hour and a half or so.
Are you ready? Bring a project, come hang out!  
Some have had problems with the feed, getting audio just fine but no video.  If this happens to you, check to make sure that your flash player is up to date.  
Click the "pause" button on the viewer, and then click the arrow to restart the feed ---this sometimes works.
Completely shut down and reboot your computer.  Try a different browser. I find that I have the best luck with Google Chrome.
Leave a comment below while watching along -- I'll try to answer your questions and comments if you leave one!
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Wanna join me?

Click Below!

Buried in the Stash!

Things are coming along in the newly carpeted basement space.

Here’s a shot at one corner where I’ve moved my Davis Treadle and have it displayed with a doll quilt from the mid 1800’s – yes---it’s hexies!

Refolding and reorganizing the stash cabinets is both a daunting and comforting task.  I’m petting old friends! ((Something one should never say in mixed company unless you are surrounded by Quilters!))  And then wondering why I didn’t use them yet – how long have I had this fabric anyway?

The one thing I am doing a bit different this time around is pulling all the pieces that are big enough for backings and am going to put them in one place together, instead of separating them by color. I’ve sorted pieces that are 1/2 yard into smaller stacks.

Goodness, this is a lot of fabric!

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Neutrals and Pinks are next to the FQ drawers.

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Blues and Reds!

That’s it so far.  I’ve got to run some errands this afternoon –including getting my hair trimmed, so I’ll be out and about for a bit and then back at it this afternoon.

For anyone asking – I bought these cabinets about 12 years ago when we were still living in Texas.  They came from Home Depot –in a flat box.  You have to assemble them yourself, or get your DH or son to do it :c)  I don’t know if they still sell them, but I’ve loved them.  I’m sure there is something else similar out there ----I know Ikea has great cabinets for storage that you can assemble fairly easily as well.

The one thing that I keep reminding myself is “It’s not good enough just to have space to store it – you need to USE IT!”

Oh, I’ll be making Happy Scrappy quilts for a good long time!

As far as QuiltCam goes – yes --- I think tonight will work!  Look for me about 9pm Eastern!

Design Wall in the Making!

The “OTHER” side of the basement is done!

This never felt like a living space to me….it was always just “storage”, unfinished, ugly, cold --- never cozy and inviting,  just a necessary overflow space for stuff that couldn’t fit in the studio side of the basement.

WHAT A HUGE difference!  The carpet is done.  New baseboards are all up.  There is a new door installed to DH’s lawn mower garage/workshop space.  my feet feel cushioned, the noise level is way down, and it feels COZY!  It feels like a living space ---

The two sets of industrial shelves have been installed and I have moved my sewing machine museum to those shelves.  Photos to come of that later. 

Today?  The Return of the Stash!  Anyone want to come help haul and fold?  I think I’ll be spending much of the day petting the fabric and putting it back where it goes.

The other day while searching for flannel sheets to use for my design wall, I came across these fleece blankets in a gray that I thought would do the job just as well and be cheaper – they were $10 a piece.  I bought two.

I know some have seamed sheets together or duct taped the foam insulation boards into one big piece..but there is no way this thing would come down the stairs in one piece…no where to lay out an 8 foot X 8 foot design wall to cover it --- so I’m doing it in two pieces which will be butted together.

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I actually only have a 7.5 ft high basement wall, so my insulation boards had to be trimmed to fit.  I laid the fleece down and cut about a 3” margin and simply wrapped the boards using carpet tape to stick it to the backside of the boards.

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It’s not pretty, but it will do the job!

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Two design wall boards ready to be taken downstairs and mounted on the wall --- as soon as I do all the other things down there that I need to do to make room!

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Do things stick?  Oh yes they do!  And I figure if it turns out that I’d rather have flannel after all ---it will be an easy fix,  having the wall space and the insulation boards on hand was the difficult part – covering them with batting or flannel or something else if this doesn’t work won’t be a problem…..only --- I think this is going to work just fine!

My thoughts and prayers are still with friends, family and those of you in the path of Hurricane Sandy ----hang on tight everyone, it looks like it’s a doozy, and the after effects past land fall look pretty extreme.

I’m hoping for QuiltCam time this evening, so look for me at 9pm Eastern --- those of you with power, that is!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

On Hurricane Watch ----

For those asking ((Thank you so much for your concern!))  I am safe from the effects of Hurricane Sandy --- so far.  And it looks like I won’t get much more than rain and wind if anything.

From where I sit, the biggest fear is power outages.

We live in North Central North Carolina, about an hour’s drive south of the Virginia border.  It’s about a 5 hour drive for me to get to the coast, so we are quite a ways inland.

Still, my heart and prayers are with those all along the path of the storm ---be safe, stay warm and dry, and let’s hope this peters out and passes quickly!

I’m trying to keep myself from being glued to The Weather Channel, and have found a new series on Netflix I really like…GLUED is a good word…it’s called RINGER and stars Michelle Gellar.


I already KNOW that the show didn’t go past one season.  Why is it they axe the good ones?  At any rate, I’ll go as far as I can go with it because I’ve come this far and why not?

This little blurb from Wiki:

Bridget Kelly (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is a recovering drug addict and stripper in Wyoming. She is under the protection of FBI Agent Victor Machado (Nestor Carbonell), having agreed to testify against her employer, local crime boss Bodaway Macawi (Zahn McClarnon), who she witnessed committing murder. Fearing that Macawi, who has already murdered several witnesses linking him to previous crimes, will also kill her, Bridget flees to New York to meet her estranged twin sister Siobhan (also played by Gellar).
Soon after arriving in New York, Siobhan, who had kept her sister's existence secret from her family, appears to commit suicide by jumping into the ocean. Bridget then assumes Siobhan's identity and tries to fit in among Siobhan's wealthy social circle, including Siobhan's husband Andrew (Ioan Gruffudd), stepdaughter Juliet (Zoey Deutch), best friend Gemma (Tara Summers), and Gemma's husband Henry (Kristoffer Polaha) with whom Siobhan had been having an affair. The only one who knows that Bridget is passing as Siobhan is Bridget's Narcotics Anonymous sponsor Malcolm (Mike Colter). Bridget's life becomes more complicated as she discovers that her sister was hiding secrets of her own and that someone is trying to kill Siobhan as well.
I’m planning on putting feet up in a bit and start some binding stitching, but right now I’m piecing on another border out of the 2” box of squares that seems never to deplete itself ---
Life is good here in Quiltville, I hope you are having a good evening too!

Time-Out for Bow-Ties!

Things didn’t start very well this morning….I promptly forgot to pay attention to the machine, and it caught the right side border and quilted it back in an ugly pleat. Sad smile

This meant it was time to quit right away, and get breakfast going ((pancakes and eggs! YUM!)) and deal with the issue later.

It wasn’t hard to fix…it’s just that I have an evil seam ripper that loves to catch not only the quilting thread, but threads of the fabric too – and you know what it is like to try so hard to catch the sewing thread ONLY – and not the fabric…argh!

It didn’t take long, and I had that border back flat where it belonged and continued to finish that web on the far right and advance to the next row!

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Here we are on the machine….can you see the basement overflow stuffed at the end of my studio room?  It’s getting better – at least I keep telling myself ---things always get WORSE before they get better.  The carpet laying in the other side of the basement is almost completed.  We have baseboards to do next, and then setting up shelves, and then things can start to be moved back to the “other side” where they belong!

In between everything else, I’m quilting!

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Here is the Halloween block that inspired my idea for spider web quilting!

For those asking, this is a pantograph pattern called “Entangled”  by Willow Leaf Studio.  I love how it is quilting up!

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Close up of the right side border!

How many old fabrics can you see in here that have come through your own stash??  That light blue at the bottom left went back to my early 1990s bunny making days!  Such a sweet print.  The brown  bow tie at the bottom edge is a 1960s pring – fabric for all the decades of my life in here!

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It’s the “doublemint twins!” :cD  Over 700 bow ties and they still wound up together!  No matter how hard I try to keep things apart--- sometimes like blocks just gravitate towards each other---  Those 1970s sure gave us some vibrant greens!

And so the adventure continues here in Quiltville.  A brown binding has been chosen.  A nap is on the agenda ----

How is your afternoon going??

More Basement Progress ---

This is another shot of what came home in Shamu yesterday –packed to the gills!

It’s not as slow a process as I thought.  Things are happening rather quickly!

It’s chaotic yes, but working in sections means we can lay carpet down in one section….and move the next sections furniture and miscellaneous quilt stuff onto the carpeted area and then move on to carpeting the next section.

There has been loads of clean-out going on at the same time ---boxes of miscellaneous cords, old books, and then time out to look at the box of photographs and remember when.

I came across a family photo from when my kids were young, and found myself sobbing for no reason other than ----those were my babies, as I remembered them  and my whole heart and being wanted to hold them again as they were then.

 Don’t get me wrong, I love my boys and am so proud of where they are now in their lives, but to have small boys come to me with frogs in jars, or scraped up knees or eager to help with making cookies ---actually I think they just wanted a finger-scoop of cookie dough ----I wish I appreciated those years more when we were going through them.  It was nice to visit with them again in my mind, and remember, how they were when they were young.

Back to the basement  put the nostalgia away for another time!

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Page protectors & binders!

Any guesses what this is for?  My magazine collection needs a thinning out.  Before moving here I did this --- took all the inspirational photos of quilts and ideas that I wanted to save and put them in page protectors in binders for easy access.  I now have 4 years worth of magazines to go through again and save what I want to save and pitch the rest.  I’ve put stacks by my bed to go through a few each night before falling to sleep.  Good food for quilty dreams!

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Industrial shelves and infared heat!

We’ve listed the old stand up freezer on Craigslist.  Someone is coming to pick that up today.  It has served us well since about 1983.  That's another topic for discussion on "they just don't make them like they used to!"

The extra fridge has a large freezer side, and with mostly just 2 of us here it is sufficient.  We’ve moved things around and I’ll have room for shelving units along that one back wall here:

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Progress so far!

After the baseboards are up, the shelving will go on that paneled wall…the fridge will move back into its corner ((which you can’t see in this photo angle))  This room will be done TODAY!  In fact -- there may be room for one more set of shelves ---but I am NOT running back to Sam's Club today.

And lest you think it’s been ALL work and no play ---
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The quilting has begun on the Cheddar Bow-ties!  SPIDER WEBS!