Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stash Report - Week 9

It's Sunday and that's Stash Report Time.  My usage this week was limited to making pillowcases for charity.

Used this Week:  5 yds
Used year to Date:  12.958 yds
Added this Week: 0 yds
Added Year to Date: 1 yd
Net Used for 2012: 11.958 yds

Lady Bugs
 Kitties in the sewing room
Dr. and Nurse frogs

Polar bears

To check other reports, go to Judy's Patchwork Times

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Caramel Pecan Levee High Pie

Right before Christmas one of my customers told me about a local item that was featured in Oprah's "Best" list and the December issue of "O" Magazine.  It was from the famous Blue Owl Restuarant in Kimmswick, Missouri which has been around for a long time. I have been there many times in the summer and especially during the Apple Festival when people flock to the little town to try all things "apple" related. I usually don't get the opportunity to try any of the items mentioned by Oprah, but since this was local and my customer is related,  I ordered one for our Christmas Eve dinner.  This was the largest caramel pecan apple pie I've ever seen!  It stands about 12 inches high and they use 18 whole apples sliced into in each pie.  You have to see this to believe it!   They were so popular that the restuarant hired lots more workers and bought another building with a kitchen in order to meet the demand for the holidays.  They shipped them to the East and West Coasts and even had orders from as far away as Hawaii.  If you ever get to the St. Louis area, be sure to take time to check out the Blue Owl.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Childhood Memories

Do you remember as a kid playing board games?  This may date me a bit, but on rainy days when we couldn't go outside to play, we would pull out the cards or board games -- my favorites were Go Fish,  Crazy 8's, Clue and Monopoly.  Recently one of my customers brought me a quilt she made for her grandson and all these memories came flooding back to me.  The fabric has all the little figures and play pieces in various colors and shapes, and the play board in the center.  I can't imagine where and how long it took her to find all the pieces. The backing has little $$$ signs all over it in the same color as the original Monopoly board.  Perfect!   If I had seen this fabric, I definitely would have made a quilt too. I love this quilt!!   Carol, thanks for the memories.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Trying Thursday

Gosh, here it is Thursday already!  I'm so behind in everything -- blogging, reading, quilting - you name it and it is piling up.  You might think I'm sitting around eating bon bons, right?  Nope.  I've been challenged to fulfil a customer's request.  Several months ago, this customer pieced two quilts for her grandsons, which I quilted.  Now she needs a set of custom pillowcases to match each quilt.
The first quilt is shown below along with the matching pillowcases finally finished.
This pattern is by designer Cyndi Walker which appeared in the July/Aug. 2008 issue of Fons & Porter's magazine. It is called Glory Days.

pillow cases are white with black dots

I have an easy pillowcase pattern, so I thought this would be a piece of cake.  After figuring out which blocks to use so they would fit across half of the case, then reducing their size from the quilt size, I had to recalculate the individual pieces to cut, using her leftover scraps. I was limited by the sizes of the scraps as to what could be used for which part of the case, cuff and the backing on the cuff area plus the blocks. After finally getting them pieced and ready to attach to the top of the pillowcase, something struck me -- "this would not work with my easy "sausage" type construction.  It uses a 9.5" cuff size that finishes off the top of the case completely enclosing all raw edges with one seam.  These blocks are 6" finished so I added "coping" strips to get me to the 9.5 inch size. Then realized that half of the design would be on the inside of the cuff! UGHRRR!! That would only only leave about 4 1/2" of the blocks showing at the top of the pillowcase. If only the "light bulb" had gone off sooner, it would have saved me switching to plan B and then plan C.  And just think, I have another set to go !  After what I went through on these, the next ones will be easier and much more simple in construction.  My customer was delighted with the results, thank goodness.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Design Wall Monday

My design wall looks similar to my last one with the addition of 4 more Stack 'N Whack blocks added.  After receiving some suggestions for the background color to set them together, I'm leaning toward a light color - perhaps light blue or grey so they will stand out.  The other suggested bright colors (yellow, lime, hot pink) might be good for an inner border, sashing or cornerstones or a piping in the binding.  We'll see what develops while I'm having fun playing with lots of options.  Check out other design walls at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stash Report - Week 7

This week was not as productive on reducing my stash as I had hoped, but I did get 2 quilts done for others.  I also made a QOV pillowcase so I would have something to report!  I'm reducing my stash in tiny baby steps. You have to start someplace, right?  :)

Used this Week:  1 yds
Used year to Date:  7.958 yds
Added this Week: 0 yds
Added Year to Date: 1 yd
Net Used for 2012: 6.958 yds

Here's the quilt with it's matching pillowcase.
Jump on over to Judy's and see what everyone else is doing.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cookies on a Cold Day

Today is another gloomy, winter day and I felt like warming up the house with good smells.  I love soup and bread on cold days, especially when they are both homemade.  Nothing smells better to me than the aroma of baking bread, cakes or pies.  So, I got busy and made some Hearty Vegetable Barley soup, (the recipe that was on the back of the barley box) along with bread in the bread maker.  While they are cooking, I tried a new recipe for February - Key Lime cookies. I can't wait until everything is finished and I can sample them.

Here's a few of the first batch of cookies.  They don't look fancy, but taste pretty yummy with just a hint of the key lime flavor.  I was afraid they might be tart but they are pretty mild flavored.  They actually taste like a rich butter, sugar cookie.  They won't go to waste around me.  I like a cup of tea and cookies anytime of day or night!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Winter's Finally Arrived on Applique Day

Today we woke up to a beautiful, post-card picture perfect snow.  The snow settled only on the grass, trees and shrubs; all the streets and sidewalks were bare and dry.  I didn't get a picture before it melted, but it reminded me of a Currier & Ives drawing.  Since we have been having Spring-like temperatures so far this year, it was a jolt to leave the house early with 32 degrees temp registering on my car. Brrrr. I was heading to my monthly applique meeting (The A Team).

Our topics today were not strictly applique, but still applicable to quilting and forms of embellishments that can be used on applique.  We learned about Sashiko, it's origins, supplies and saw examples of the many different designs used.  Terry J. was the leader of this discussion and she brought her beautiful quilt showing the different techniques discussed.  This is a Sylvia Pippen design shown in her book "Paradise Stitched, Sashiko & Applique Quilts". Terry bought this as a complete kit with all the thread and fabric included along with the pattern.  It was truly a work of art.  I wanted to come home and start making one just like it.  I have a thing for butterflies and these were made with marbleized fabric.  They looked as if they would just fly off the front of the quilt.

click on photo to enlarge

Next we saw many examples of Crazy Quilting (blocks and small quilts) which is Barb W's speciality. She uses many different embellishments from beads, buttons, charms, multiple threads, tatting, fringes, and many more too numerous to mention.  Barb also demonstrated several ways to secure seed beads and antique buttons onto a quilt surface. Darn, I was so enthralled with the discussion, I forgot to take pictures of  Barb's beauties.

Our last topic was a technique to quilt and embellish in one step as illustrated in Linda Pool's book, "Quilt & Embellish in One Step!" by C&T Publishing.  I took this class but did not finish my piece yet, but my friend Linda R did.  She was kind enough to lend me hers for the meeting. 

Click on photo to enlarge
All in all, we learned a lot of new techniques and enjoyed the morning.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sailboats & Anchors

I didn't get anything new on my design wall for Monday, (still have those fishy stack 'n whacks up there), but I did finish this little baby quilt.  I ditched the outside of the sailboats, put a few curves within the boat, swirling water beneath them and anchors running around the outside dark blue borders.  My customer was pleased and so am I.  Now I'm off to work on another deadline.  When my deadlines are all met, then I'll be back to working on my own projects.  Soon, very very soon.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week 6 Stash Report & Superbowl sales

Well, I just couldn't help myself today because of all the SuperBowl sales at our local quilt shops!  Darn them anyway.  I was doing so well not adding to my stash this year, but I fell off the wagon a little today.  My excuse was that I needed a binding and some cute ribbons and rick-rack for a little baby quilt.  Here's my report and the fabric I bought.  The binding fabric is that orange,purple,lime green and white stripe.  The fat quarters were not from my stash.

Fabric Bought this week - 1 yard (ribbons and rick rack doesn't count, right?)
Fabric Used - none
Bought YTD - 1 yard
Used YTD - 6.958

The pattern I'm using is from the Winter, 2011 Quilts and More magazine and is called Playing Tag.  It looks super super easy and that's what I need right now.  Click on over to Judy's and see what everyone else's reports this week.

Friday, February 3, 2012

QOV Surprise Newspaper Article

Wednesday when checking my email, I discovered a pleasant surprise.  Someone had sent me an article about our local Chapter of Quilts of Valor.  This is the group that I do a lot of quilting for - both long arm and hand quilting.  A reporter from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper visited one of our sewing days and interviewed and photographed our ladies.  It's a great article on how our group got started.  In the picture at the end, there is a shot of some of the finished quilts.  The quilt the ladies are holding and looking at more closely was one of the ones I quilted and posted about on my blog here.  You have to look closely to recognize it, but having quilted and bound it, I spent a lot of time with it so I knew "one of my babies" even at a glance.