Monthly Archives: January 2012

Pesky Foggy Glasses (& How I Conquered Them)

Today is Monday, so today I was busy mending and getting some yard work done (it was 65 degrees!!!). While emptying the dishwasher, I noticed our horrible foggy glasses.

Does this happen to anyone else? Does this happen *anywhere* else? *sigh*

No matter what I do to clean the dishwasher, nothing comes out clean.

I was nearly tempted to throw away all our glasses & get a new, matching set from Target. But then I reminded myself that’s not fiscally responsible.

So I soaked them for 1 hour in hot soapy water. Nothing. So I went to the Internet to research how to clean these pesky glasses. After combining several tips, this is what I came up with:

– take a large pot, fill with water (but allow enough water for the displacement of glasses)
– add 1 cup of vinegar (vinegar is a frugal homemakers best friend. We should all store vats of this stuff)
– bring to a boil. I didn’t wait for a rolling boil (not that much patience), but there were small bubbles coming up for about 3-5 minutes
– remove water bath from heat
– using tongs, carefully immerse 2-3 glasses. They should be fully immersed in the water.
– set timer for 20 minutes
– using tongs, remove glasses from bath, hand wash & dry
– repeat until all glasses are clean!

Have any doubts this works?
Here’s a before & after pic:


It doesn’t get any better than that!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Batik BOM, Block 12

We’re here, this is it!

And we have, starting in top left, moving clockwise:
– Pinwheels
– Shaded Trail- must keep this block in my near memory- would love to make a quilt of these squares!
– Single Irish

Now all I have to do is the borders! Wohoo! I always get incredibly excited at this moment in a quilt like this. After all this work, it feels like the borders will be nothing. However, I know that’s not true. Borders are never as easy as they are made out to be. This one especially. I’ve been tossing it around in my head the best way to tackle this beast- I believe I have a workable plan now & can’t wait to share it with you all!

Batik BOM, Block 11

I can’t believe I’m already at Block 11!  In some ways it seems like the journey has been looooong, in other ways, I’m shocked it almost over!

Here are the blocks, starting in upper left, moving counterclockwise
– Indian Plume- what a different block for this quilt!  I can’t wait to see what it will add to the whole picture!
– Clay’s Choice- didn’t I already do one of these?  Ah, yes, I did, back in Block 3.
– Flying Geese
– Boxed Cross
– In a Pinch- what a name!
– Flying Geese (variation)

Batik BOM, Blocks 9 & 10

I’m back working on the Batik BOM quilt top!
Month 9:

And the blocks, starting with the large block on the left, then moving clockwise.
– Gentleman’s Fancy- I messed this block up royally & had to purchase the brown & the orange due to some bad cutting.  Only a few of my corners match, but at this point, I really don’t care.
– Flying Geese- Oh look.  More flying geese
– Whirligig- at least it’s a variation of a pinwheel block!

Here’s Month 10:

This is my favorite set so far- I love all the blues, greens & yellows. Sooooo pretty together!
Here are their names, starting top left, moving clockwise
– Marlene (uhhh, yeah, wasn’t sure that was the “traditional” name for this block & it turns out in Judy Martin’s 501 Rotary Quilt Blocks it’s a Crystal Star.)
– LeMoyne Star
– Pinwheel (oh yes!  We can’t have a month without them!)
– Marge (Again, looked this up in Judy Martin’s book & she calls it a “Mosaic.”)

Alrighty, must get back to the quilting machine now!

Laundry Soap!

Today is Monday, which means it’s “house” day.  The day I clean, organize & attempt to keep our routines sane.

So today, in the midst of wrangling cats for a vets visit, baking bread, writing letters, paying bills & cleaning, I realized we were low on laundry detergent.  (Yes, I did actually leave a corporate finance job for this, but I love every second of this life!)

About 7 months ago, (or sometime last summer), I decided to start making our laundry detergent.  This was partially due to wanting to live a more natural life & partially due to the fact I was irate over paying a ridiculous amount of money for detergent that didn’t clean our clothes. (Does this irk anyone else??)

After hours of research on the internet, I discovered that yes, we could use homemade detergent in our HE washer (it’s actually better since homemade is low sudsing- the main requirement for HE washers), it was actually doable without me killing myself in exertion & it was even cheaper.  Done.  I was sold.

Over the past few months I’ve taken the original recipe & “tweaked” it some.  Here is my revised recipe:

1/3 bar Ivory soap, grated
1/2 c. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 c. 20 Mule Team Borax

– In the biggest stock pot you have, put in the Ivory soap (I use Ivory.  I like the smell.  Some people use Fels Naptha.  That wasn’t available at my local grocery store.) with 6 cups of water on medium high heat.  Stir until the soap has melted & then bring to a small boil for about 5 minutes.

– Add the washing soda & borax.  Stir until dissolved.  Add 4 cups of hot water.  Stir well.  Wait about 5 minutes.

– Now add 1 gallon + 1 quart of hot water.  Mix well, keep on stove for another 5 minutes or so.  Then remove from heat.

– Wait 24 hours before transferring the “goop” into their storage containers.  I use 2 old milk jugs.  They say the mixture will be a “watery gel” at this point.  I’ve never exactly had it “gel.”  To me it just looks like milky water.

– Use about 1/2 c- 1 cup of soap per load.

There it is.  Nothing fancy.  I don’t add any essential oils or anything- I just like that Ivory soap smell.  In the end it really doesn’t take that long- about 20 minutes or so.  The cost point is another great benefit- all the supplies cost me about $5 & so far I’ve barely used half.  Can’t beat $5 for laundry detergent for 1 year.

Random Thought Thursday!

– It’s a pajama quilting day in the studio!

–  Rizzo says “hi”, but would like to go back to his nap.  Being interrupted by me to take photos of him is tiresome- it’s a tough life around here.

– I made the most amazing rolls this week!  Used the bread machine just to make the dough- then formed them into rolls & baked in oven at 350 for ~30 minutes.

– They are even better the next day when you make them into a sandwich with a cooked egg.

– A dear friend gave me some quilting magazines this week.  I now have a severe case of ADD.

– I’m soooo close to being finished with the Batik BOM quilt top.  One more solid day of sewing & I could have that sucker assembled.

– This week I successfully drove to my friend’s farm in Iowa.  This may seem small, but it’s quite a feat in my book, as something always seems to happen to me out there- I get stuck in mud, I get lost, my GPS goes out- it’s never good!

– I’m working on a new quilt design for the MQS Fabric Challenge.  The creative juices are flowing!  So many ideas, so little paper to scribble them onto- I wish I could just take a snapshot of what’s in my head & put that on Pinterest.  Would save so much time.

Ok, enough randomness for today!  Must get back to sewing!

Bargello Table Runner

Remember when I told you about Katie’s Bargello QAL?

I decided I needed to do a tablerunner (because, you know, I have nothing else on my plate right now).  Since a tablerunner is fairly small, I decided to dive into my scraps & see what I could use.  I came up with these fabrics that were already cut into 2.5″ strips!!!

Then I sewed them together into long strips & I opted for a total of 3 sets as I like my tablerunners long:

Then I folded them in half & sewed my segments into tubes:

Now for the next bit, I don’t have any photos for you (sorry!), but then you cut the tubes into 2.5″ strips & then with some ripping you get strips that you can put together & eventually they look like this:

I only have a few more strips left to sew onto the runner (I decided to use all my strips) so it’s almost ready to quilt!  Wohoo!
This has been a great project so far & I’m getting an itch to make more bargello quilts.  Ahhhhh, so many exciting projects to make eventually!!!!

Big Announcement! (and Housekeeping)

Ready for the big announcement?? :)

I’ve decided to start selling thread!

Yes, I’m a longarmer who does quilt for others, but sometimes, it’s best for the piecer to quilt it themselves.  (*Gasp*, yes, I know I just said something that would have many longarmers wanting to throw things at me!)  But really, sometimes it’s not worth a piecer sending a quilt to a longarmer!  It may be a quilt they know longarming wouldn’t enhance (yes, those quilts do exist).  It may be something that needs to be quilted & used before a longarmer could even start the quilting.  So because of these reasons (& plenty others), I’ve decided to bring some of the great supplies I know about to those quilters.

This is a beautiful pic of some of the amazing colorways in Superior Threads‘ King Tut line.
I adore this thread!  It’s 100% cotton, the colors are breathtaking & it quilts like nothing else!  I use it in my longarm & domestic sewing machine.

And in celebration of me opening up this branch of the shop, it’s 15% off with the code THREADJAN.

Ok, I’m done with the sales pitch.  I promise this blog won’t turn into a huge sales pitch.  If you know me personally, you know I can’t stand salespeople.  They kill me.  I promise I won’t turn into one of those people.  And if I do, you have my permission to throw tomatoes at me!  (Or at least just give me a nudge! :)

Onto the housekeeping.  For all of those that have commented: THANK YOU!!!  I can’t tell you how much I love to read them!  They make my day.  I smile at each & every one of them.  One thing that’s frustrated me with Blogger is that is was sometimes hard for me to reply individually to the comments.  (This may of course have been my complete ineptness of how Blogger actually works.  So I can’t blame them entirely).  Now Blogger has introduced “Comment Threads” – this way I can now respond to you!  So please, comment away & let’s chat!

Whew, ok, boring stuff done with.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a great recipe & more!

Thoughts on a Thursday

– Not sure where this week went, but I know some of the loss can be blamed on Anne of Avonlea & Anne of the Island.

Kale can apparently be harvested when there’s snow on the ground & is a hearty winter green.  Then why is it associated more with Southerners & not Northerners?

– When the average temperature has been 20 higher than normal, waking up to find the weather at a seasonal normal of 10 degrees makes the house very chilly.  No amount of green tea can keep you warm.

– My sister’s MIL is correct, bagged tea does successfully last for 2 uses.  I wonder what else I can learn from the woman that survived the dust bowl in the Texas panhandle.

– Kale really isn’t very strong when cooked down to nothing & added to soup.  Must keep this in mind for other soups.

– I own a lot of purple & pink thread.  Very strange.

– There is great joy to be found in knitting socks.

– Soup & bread are magical.  They can transform a chilly house into a warm & cozy dwelling.  I swear the aroma alone can make the house warmer.