Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Mystery Quilt!

BJ and I sewed along with over one hundred other quilters in nine different countries to make the online NYE Mystery Quilt today. It was her first and I think my fourth for this event but the first time I have had company [other than Button dog] for the project and it's much more fun to have a quilty friend to share the day!
This is BJ hard at work.........
and here's a sample of her blocks. BJ is ambitious, making a queen size version.
My blocks..........
and 16 of them sewn together. Having more fabric I made another row of blocks, in the pic. above it's only 48" square. There is still enough left for three small borders making a nice lap size quilt and using up just about all of these fabrics. I have no idea about backing at this point.
BJ and I are both quite pleased with our fabric choices and the results of our labors today. Time goes by easily as we sew and press and trim and chat, stopping only for caloric sustenance, a bowl of potato soup and some beer bread!
For Phoenix it has been bitterly cold this week, a good time to stay cozy indoors and sew and eat soup!
Happy New Year to all and a healthy and successful 2011- for quilters may all your tops become quilts!
Till next year................

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas to all my bloggy friends! I hope you had a lovely day, spent just the way you wanted!
This morning I made monkey bread, half of it was cinnamon buns and the other half just monkey bread. I mixed up brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts and distributed it over half the rolls as I placed them in the Bundt pan, I wish I had a pic because it rose like crazy as it baked until the rolls were hanging over the sides of the pan like stalagtites! It was monkey bread on steroids, LOL! I made cream cheese frosting for the cinnamon bun part, oh my they were delicious!
We had roasted leg of lamb and garnet yams baked with EVOO and balsamic vinegar, and fresh asparagus. Yummy lunch with some nice red wine, the house smelled heavenly.
Our family gathered this afternoon for fellowship and sharing gifts. I always have such good intentions to take lots of pics but seldom follow through I get distracted with all the jollity! Our boys get together and the fun never ends, the stories they tell!
Here's Daniel with his quilt.......
Logan hiding behind part of his! You can see a pic. of the whole quilt in the previous post.
Baby Matthew...........
this is a cool toy Grandmother!
The big grandsons will only have one night under their new quilts before heading up to Colorado tomorrow with Grandfather for a week on the slopes- they are so excited, they will be out of here early in the morning.
And I am so excited to have a week of peace and quiet, just Button dog and me and my quilting!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Finished For Friday

And just in time for Christmas!
Logan's quilt is laundered and ready to give him tomorrow.
I used color catchers to wash it because I am not good at pre-washing fabrics and I thought it safest. Daniel's quilt bled more color than Logan's, they are different fabric manufacturers but both are black, white and red.
The center is the AZ Cardinals logo I had to draw and applique. Some of the fabrics in the immediate area around it came from a kit from Connecting Threads that was really only wall hanging size, so I purchased additional fabrics and pulled what I could from stash and kept inventing another row of blocks until it was large enough for Logan's bed. It's another one of those quilts that simply evolved, I made it up as I went along!
The backing was pieced from stash, I have made a serious dent in stash of this color-way with five quilts so far this year in red,white and black, and there's enough left for at least another couple of scrappy quilts!
And since no quilt is finished without a label, here it is!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Andrew!

We won't divulge your age to the entire world mostly because that really dates your Mother,LOL!
You were a beautiful baby and now a handsome and successful fella, very much loved and deservedly so, you have grown into the kind of man who would delight any parent.
Many happy returns son!
Your on the Great barrier Reef with your "little" brother.........
with two other Aussies!
And as Darth Vader!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Puppy Love

Wordless Wednesday

Button and her buddy Baby Matthew.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Phoenix Branch Of The Modern Quilt Guild

On Saturday I went with BJ to what was I think the second meeting of the Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild. This meeting was at the Spaghetti Company and we had a pin cushion swap.

Aren't they terrific, such a plethora of creative ability in this group. There is a pic of us on the group's FB page.
I loved them all so it's hard to choose a favorite - in the bottom left corner is one made using an Altoid tin with roses created with felted wool. I want to try this so I need to go to the thrift store and buy a couple of cheap wool sweaters to "felt". BJ's in the tulip bowl turned out beautifully, top left corner and the donut is very adorable. Ten of them and no two the same.
It was fun to meet some new quilty friends, though I am not sure that my quilts really fall into the"modern" category, but I plan to continue attending the monthly meetings.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stash Report

For the first time I am linking up with Stash Report at Patchwork Times blog.
My goal for the past couple of years in keeping track in the sidebar of fabric purchased and fabric used, is to keep ahead of the game by always using more than I buy. That said I have been successful but it doesn't seem to make any more space on my shelves! They are a bit messy right now because I have been pulling stuff out and shoving it back with less than great care. There will have to be an accounting and when that day comes I will re-arrange and tidy up what I have untidied!

In addition to these there is ...........
the scrap strip drawer[I cut my left over pieces into strips, 1.5" to about 4"].........
the selvedge collection, and, not pictured, a small tub of patriotic fabrics that I use for the Quilts Of Valor for our wounded warriors.
As much as possible when I plan a quilt I really do try to use from stash and much of the time I am able to. This year I purchased quite a lot of red, black and white fabrics for the two quilts for my older grandsons, and have been able to use up even more of those in a scrap quilt this past week.
I don't count fabrics as "out of stash" until the quilt is finished up through the binding, and currently to date this year I have 143 yds. used out of stash and have added 75 yds. leaving me with a net "loss" of 68 yds! And I am not done yet for 2010, I will complete at least two additional quilts perhaps more!
This is about the same result as last year using almost twice as much as I buy. I wish it showed more in extra space on the shelves...........
Originally I had planned to make a second Shakespeare In The Park quilt because I gave the first to my friend Katie, but as plans for the boy's quilts developed I decided to use the Snail Trail and star blocks in their quilts rather than construct another SITP, one of those is enough I have decided!
Still I ended up with some orphan blocks so they went into this quilt and there are yet a few more I hope to incorporate into a backing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Crockpot Candy

Someone on one of my online quilt groups posted a recipe for Crockpot Candy. It sounded simple and tasty, so I picked up the extra ingredients I needed and cooked up a batch last night.
Typically, I did not follow the recipe perfectly and here is my adaptation.

1lb.almond bark
1lb.Girradelli semi sweet chocolate pieces.
16ozs.jar salted peanuts
16ozs. jar unsalted peanuts
Melt all together in large crockpot on low, stirring occasionally for two hours.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper & allow to set.
This recipe made about eleven dozen pieces of yummy candy, I recommend it highly.
The original recipe called for 1.5 lbs. of almond bark, I didn't find anything by that name but I did find a white bark that seemed like the same thing.
I plan to make this again and next time I will use pecans or almonds and some craisins, sound good?
I will report back on the success.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Daniel's Christmas Gift Quilt

The binding on this finally done this evening, another Christmas gift finished, don't you love to cross projects off the "to do" list! I am quite happy with it especially since I really had no idea how I would make it or how it would turn out!
Someone once said that you never experiment on your dinner guests but I do and I also experiment on quilts I am making. I know it is a risk but I am not patient enough to make practice dishes or practice quilts either!
This quilt is my own design, Daniel showed me what he wanted for the center and I used some monkey wrench blocks I had left from a UFO then built around them to about an 88"x90" finished size.
The quilting is a freehand peacock feather with Line Dancing in the monkey wrenches and a tiny version of peacock feathers in the center. Using Sew Fine thread kept the quilting subtle because the fabrics are so busy. Bottom Line was used in the bobbin.
The backing is pieced from leftover fabrics from my stash. I think it's masculine enough to please an [almost] seventeen year old lad, so I hope he will be happy with his quilt- he never looks at my blog so there is no risk that he will see it before Christmas!
Now I need to get his brother's quilt finished it is on the LA but I haven't touched it this week at all, I was finishing up the piecing of a scrap quilt and getting this one bound.