Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Power of a Few Minutes

We’ve all heard how you can get so much done in just a few minutes, right?
I seriously didn’t believe them until this weekend.

It was another busy weekend in our lives with a large church event I was co-hosting (picnic & small carnival) & a ton of other stuff to include going out with J for our traditional Memorial day meal at Firebirds (Firebirds is very generous to vets), meetings & enough errands to make me not enter another store for one month!

But I stole a few minutes every time I had a small break (if I didn’t fall asleep & take a nap first!) & was amazed at my accomplishments at the end!

Finished some Farmer’s Wife blocks: (forgive the crappy photos)

Finished a customer’s quilt:

& started this project: (which included figuring out the angles needed to square this- the pattern had it finishing into a decagon & I didn’t want that shape)

I’m still in shock over how much I finished over little bits of time in 4 days!

The Loot

So you can’t go to a show like MQS & not come home with goodies.  It’s not right.

I actually got quite a lot this time, mostly because during the past year I kept saying “dang, if I only had….”  Then I’d go look at it online & balk at the shipping costs.  So I decided to take advantage of the vendor mall & the Shopping Frenzy specials this year!

So here’s what I got:
DeLoa Jones books (Scrap Quilt Patterns, Feathers & Borders)
Trillium House Designs “Pocket Guides to Freehanding” books by Darlene Epp
Pam Clark books (Basic 8, Borders & Triangles)
Pam Clark grid stencils
Pounce Powder, blue
Set of Circle templates
Set of Oval templates
Cross Hatch ruler
S shape ruler
DeLoa’s Boomerang, 10″
Purple fat quarters
Pattern for an e-reader w/ 2 fat quarters

I would go into more detail about these goodies, but I’m keeping this short because I just finished a customer quilt & now I want to do a little playing with these goodies!


I’m back from MQS & Quilt Market!

I’m so tired I think I could sleep for a week, but my brain is full of ideas & is running 100mph!

Besides the wonderful classes I took (more on those later) & the beautiful quilts that inspired me (also more on those later), the best part was meeting everyone!
I got to meet the scientific quilter & SewExcitedQuilts.  We had a great time (but way too short!) & you know you’ve found a quilting friend for life when you mention the seating at Chick-fil-A is a great quilt pattern & Sew Excited Quilts shows you a picture of said seating on her phone!

I took classes from DeLoa Jones & Shirley Stutz, and “angeled” for Cathy Wiggins & Mindy Wylie.

At Quilt Market I met Alex from Threadbias & found great scrappy patterns to teach!

I bought all sorts of goodies- books, templates, stencils, fabric & patterns, visited new to me quilt shops & some familiar ones too!

More on all this later because now I’m home regrouping!
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Dishwashing Detergent

I’ve been on a quest to figure out how to get our dishwasher to clean the dishes.  We’ve never lived in a place that has such hard water!  There was consistently a film left on our dishes & glasses that I swear only a 15 minute soak in a vinegar bath could eliminate (and believe me, I timed it.  No less than 15 minutes.)  The stupid rinse aids never did anything & every brand of detergent was a joke.

Since making our own laundry detergent proved so successful, I decided to try to the same for dish washing detergent.

After a lot of research, I ended up with this recipe:

  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid (found in the canning aisle)
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

Shake all the ingredients together well.  I use about 1 tbsp in the soap dispenser & 1 tbsp in the rinse area.

Then, there’s the other secret I learned!  Lemi-Shine!  This stuff is golden!  I just sprinkle 1 tsp in the bottom of the dishwasher before it runs & I swear our dishes actually shine!

One problem solved.

I can’t explain how happy this makes me!

Stay at Home Round Robin, Part 1

My quilt guild is having a “Stay at Home Round Robin” challenge this year.  This month our center block was due.

I decided to give myself some additional challenges (you know, b/c there’s nothing else going on in my life at the moment) that included the entire quilt had to be made from my stash.  So I decided to use my some of my enormous stash of batiks.

It was actually more challenging to come up with a center block than I anticipated.  Let’s also add in I did this under some pressure as our meeting was Tuesday evening at 7pm (an hours drive away for me) & I started at 3pm that day.  And when I say started, I mean I started thinking about what I was going to make……(and yes, a dear friend predicated that was going to happen & she nailed it.  Again. 🙂

Given that I didn’t know what the remaining borders were going to entail (we would draw a different one each month from a pot of suggestions), I wanted to do something that kept my color choices open.  That meant something with a lot of color.

After trolling my modern quilting board on Pinterest, I ran across the flying geese in a circle paper piecing template.  It was perfect.

I really like how I was able to make a color wheel out of my stash.  Who knew I had so many different batiks!

Next month’s challenge is to use some half square triangles.  I’ll just think about that in June. 🙂

Another Tumbling Block Quilt

I recently finished another quilt:

I’m calling this “Floating Tumbling Blocks.”  This is also from Marci Baker’s ABC 3-D Tumbling Blocks & More.  If you don’t have this book & are a quilter, I highly recommend you run out & get it NOW!  She’s got the book jam packed with fun, creative, different designs all using her strip piecing method.  You also can’t beat her detailed instructions & pictures.

I had a blast making this quilt & even more fun quilting it.  I used the “Terry’s Twist” in the tumbling blocks & a basic stipple in the black background.

Teaching Quilting Classes

I’m a person who’s major fault lies in the fact that I love too many things.  Way too many things.  If you haven’t noticed, I like cooking, baking, gardening, quilting, a little sewing, knitting, crochet, cross stitch, teaching, working with youth, yoga, Pilate’s, reading & a thousand other things!

I recently took a break from one of those activities: teaching quilting.  I needed a rest.  I needed to find my creative juices again & rediscover my love of piecing, because I believe the best teachers are passionate teachers.

So I spent about a year in my studio, quilting away, finishing some UFOs, taking lots of classes & basically playing around- time well spent!

Then something happened & I realized I missed teaching the “hard” quilting skills.  About the same time, I met up with Jackie, owner of A Quilting Place.  Jackie has recently made an awesome addition to her business called Stashbusters, where you can sell quilting fabric by the pound & purchase new-to-you fabric for $4/yard! This is a great affordable way to create scrappy quilts!

Well, I’m super excited to announce that I’m going to be teaching some classes in her Stashbuster’s shop!

In June I’ll be teaching these 3 fun classes:

Cat’s Meow Tumbling Block Quilt by Marci Baker
Have you wanted to try making the classic tumbling block quilts but are scared of the Y-seams? This is the class for you! We will learn the strip-piecing method created by Marci Baker, an amazingly simple technique that will have you making tumbling block quilts in no time! Book is required & is an additional cost of $30. 
Skill level: Advanced beginner
Cost: $15
Dates & Times: June 4, 5-9pm or June 5, 1-5pm

Mini Quilt of the Month
In this series you will create small (12″x12″ or so) quilts that fit on a cute tabletop hanger! These are quick little pieces have monthly themes & will be sure to add that little bit of quilty decoration to your home! In June we will be making “Firecrackers & Fireworks” in honor of the 4th of July! Pattern is required & is an additional cost of $7. 
Skill level: Beginner
Cost $15
Dates & Times: June 11, 5-9pm or June 12, 1-5pm
Fat Quarter Table Runner III
This striking table runner only uses 4 fat quarters, so dig through your stash & let’s make this fun strip pieced runner together! Pattern is required & is an additional cost of $8.
Skill level: Beginner
Cost $15
Dates & Times: June 18th, 5-9pm or June 19th, 1-5pm

To sign up for these classes, give Jackie a call at 402.884.2096!  I hope you join us!

Defining the Negative Space

Ta da!
Here it is!

This is my longarm guild challenge piece!

This is actually a part of a special exhibit at MQS this year.  Everyone has the same fabric & made the same pattern, but we all quilted it in our own style.

My style is very geometric & this is a great example of that.

I also like to play in the negative space.  I want to add depth & dimension to those areas & see how they can transform into new spaces, taking your eyes along new paths in a quilt.

I hope to have more pics of my fellow guild members’ pieces when MQS rolls around.  I love to see how different quilters interpret the same piece.  I have had a sneak peak at a friend’s piece & wow!  did she she do a great job!  I can’t wait to share those pics!

Welcome to Sickville…

Hi! *cough*

So the horrific pollen/allergy situation around here finally caught up with me & all I want is sleep, buttered toast, & hot water with lemon & honey.

I’ve been trolling Pinterest for all sorts of home remedies, but that cinnamon/honey concoction tasted so nasty, I think I’ll just stay to sleep & advil.

Still have some quilting deadlines to meet shortly, so I don’t get to take too much of a break.

Can’t wait to show you how my longarm guild challenge piece turned out!  Just need to make a hanging sleeve & attach the label- nice & easy hand work I can do on the couch thankfully.

Alrighty, time to crawl back in bed for a morning nap……