Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Surprise in the Mail

This week there was a wonderful surprise in the mail.  Linda from A Maidenhair Fern  had a give-away and I Won!  She sent these adorable Schnibbles patterns.

The Wedding Quilt has to be finished first, but after that I'm looking foward to the chance to quilt awhile and make these little gems. 

My sister commented that my machine quilting has improved a lot since I started making little quilts this past year.  They are fun to make plus I can get a lot of quilting practice in on them.  Win Win!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wedding Quilt Progress

Progress is slowly being made on the Celtic Square Wedding Quilt.  It's sandwiched and pinned. All ready to begin quilting!  Whoo Hoo!

Photographing a quilt this size has been challenging.  Here's the best shot so far.  Between the snowstorms and the muddy lawn from the melting snow I don't dare take a white quilt outdoors!

The outer border was made large enough to put decorative blocks in each of the corners.  It's called Sarah's Choice.   Can you guess why?

Lisa asked for a tutorial and I've made up a PDF file, but don't know how to attach it to the blog.  So, if you're interested leave a comment and I will send it to you by e-mail.  How does that sound?

Linking up to celebrate http://confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Crabapple Jelly

As the daughter of depression-era parents, I have the habit of keeping a pretty full freezer.  And I ususally don't know half of what's in there - so it doesn't get used in a timely manner.  Yesterday I spend a good portion of the morning defrosting and cleaning out the downstairs freezer. It was a big project!  In the 'use it or lose it' pile were two bags of frozen crabapple juice from my sister's Delgo Crabapple tree that had been there longer than I care to admit.

Our parents had a spectacularly beautiful tree in their front yard for many years.  After it was gone, my sister planted one because she missed the apples so much.  They have very red skins, and are very tart - similar to cranberries.  Mostly my sister makes jelly from the crabapple juice, and she had given me the juice to make jelly.  (As if I would take the time to do that!)

I finally made up that jelly yesterday afternoon.   Ta-dah! 

Recipe:  Bring 4 cups Delgo Crabapple juice to a boil.  Add 3 cups sugar.  Return to boil for 20-25 minutes, skimming off the foam, until just before it reaches the sugar saturation point and suddenly boils up.  Pour into sterilized glasses & seal.

The next thing to use up are frozen raspberries from our garden. Have way too many of those stashed in the freezer!  How does Raspberry Banana Bread  sound?

Friday, April 19, 2013

On the Design Floor

Inspiration struck (finally) as I was playing with my 2 inch scraps this past week.  A bold print - mostly red and blue - from some wild Zuba pants I made for the kids way back years ago has hung on and on.  Love it, but it never fit anywhere.  Until now. 

Made up some four-patch blocks with white-on-white and some alternating Half-Square Triangles in blue and a white pin-dot.  Progress!  But the next step is elusive.

Shall I arrange them like Bonnie Hunter's Blue Ridge Beauty (Quiltmaker Magazine Jan/Feb '08)? 
Or, a more traditional layout ...?
Or maybe this one....?

A pair of small quilts

Winter just doesn't want to leave Minnesota this year.  Snowstorms on Sunday and Thursday have left us with a winter wonderland instead of spring blossoms.  (Sigh)

There was an unexpected surprise this morning.  As I was taking a few pictures around the yard I realized that this old shed in the back has a wall that just begs to be a spot for photographing quilts.

Two finished small quilts this week: 

Temecula 25th Anniversary Quilt.  The free pattern can be found here.

and a little quilt from scraps that I'm calling Vintage Green and Grapes.  The jade green in the nine-patch blocks is pretty old.  I'm thinking late 1950's.  It was from my mother's stash - and only 36 inches wide as I recall.  This is about the last of it.  The alternate blocks are grape vine print from my BFF.   She passed them on to my stash when she moved to Arkansas and had to downsize.  Thanks Carrie!!

I'm holding out for Spring by refusing to put away the Easter decorations until all the snow is GONE!  At least it can look like Spring indoors.

Check out some other finishes this week:
Can I get a Whoop Whoop?
Finish it up Friday

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fabric binge

Totally blew my resolution to reduce my fabric stash.  Added 31.5 yards Friday and another 10.5 today.  Oh. my. goodness!  What have I done?  

Seven yards of that was 108 inch wide backing fabric that was on sale for $6.99/yard.  It rarely goes on sale, and the coupons don't apply to that particular width.  So I saved $20 on the backs for Easy Street (blue), Logs! (brown) and Christmas Redwork (red of course.)

Then I spied some Civil War madder reds and browns on the remnant table along with a lovely golden Elm Creek Quilts - Jennifer Chiaverini grape vine print by Red Rooster Fabrics.  Well, at $2.99/yard they all hopped into my basket too.

Then today I went to pick up some solid black to make binding for two small quilts that are nearly done.  How could I pass up fabric on sale for $1.99/yard?!  I picked up a lovely double pink, some white on whites, a nautical red, some indigo blue, and a green toile print that will be the perfect backing for the greens I've pulled for a Bonnie Hunter "Betty's Choice" (Quiltmaker Magazine March/April 2013.)   Mostly 1/2 or 3/4 yard pieces.  Haven't seen that price in a long while!  Love my Mill End Fabrics Stores.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Finish - Hat Trick

Finished up a cute little quilt for the top of my cedar chest this week and wanted to share it with you.  It's from a Schnibbles pattern called Hat Trick.  I love how it turned out - and it used up another yard from the scrap basket!

I have to admit I only looked at a photo of the pattern and made it up myself using 1 1/2 inch squares and strips.  Got a little daring and put free-motion flower petals in the setting blocks.  I'm trying to break away from stitch-in-the-ditch all the time.

What have you been up to this week?
Check the links to see some other great Friday Finishes:
Crazy Mom Quilts

Confessions of a FAbric Addict

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April Quiltstorm

A little snow on Mr. Cardinal's feeder today.
What better thing to do during an April snowstorm than quilt up a storm indoors?

My scrap basket is overflowing so today I pulled out some scraps and started playing.  Some vintage Jade green ended up in nine-patch blocks, alternating with a grape vine print.  A touch of purple in the border and a cute little table topper for a wine and cheese party is ready for quilting up.

Greens and Grapes 18x24

After that I pulled out a few extra blocks from the wedding quilt and made up these three Lovers Knot blocks, aka Churn Dash.  They eventually may make their way into a wall hanging.

And I tried making a little pink quilt from a Kathleen Tracy pattern called Be My Valentine , but it looks a little busy to me.  A solid border might be better.  But I've been using up my 1 1/2 inch scraps and that's a good thing! Two yards of scraps pieced up today!  Why is the scrap bag still full???

Be My Valentine - partially done

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Murphy's Law

"If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong."  Murphy's Law

I'm about to change the name of Lazy Sunday to Murphy's Law.  The blocks are simple to put together.  I have them all arranged on a cookie sheet and just have to put them together in order.Why, oh why do I keep finding this?

The ones on the left are correct.
 and this?

and this?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Little Red Runner

Kathleen Tracy has posted a free pattern for this wonderful little runner in beautiful deep blue fabrics.  So, naturally I got side-tracked from piecing together my Lazy Sunday blocks and made up a version that will match my new kitchen colors.

Not to mention the fact that I've used up nearly all my blue scraps.  I used quite a few in Easy Steet, and most of the rest in Lazy Sunday.  In fact, I used up so many reds in Easy Street that I've had to buy some more recently - and had to cut into those to even make up this little table runner.

The center square was my test embroidery square for another project.  This pattern is a great way to use up a single block or orphan block!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lazy Sunday steps one and two

Yesterday my Quiltmaker Magazine arrived with the second installment of Bonnie Hunter's Lazy Sunday Mystery!  With the house still cleaned up from Easter company, I have plenty of time to play with quilting.

Lazy Sunday block X layout

I've made the colors my own.  Bonnie's bright pinks, oranges, limes and purples just don't fit anywhere in my home!  I took some advice that that suggested finding a picture or something that you love and use it to select colors for your quilt.

I love the wallpaper border in our second bedroom, and used it for my color 'template'.

Loon wallpaper border

Light and dark blues, greens, whites, black and a touch of red.  This may cause a problem, because one of the block combinations in Step 2 uses my 'black' and looks like it might end up as star points.  I'm not sure I want black stars in the quilt.  But, it's a mystery and I might just take a leap of faith and go with my color choice.