Monthly Archives: July 2012

Random Tuesday

The cat pic should be a dead give away- I got nothing.

Well, actually I have a lot- problem is an overall lack of energy.

So here’s a *really* quick update.

We had the 1st meeting of the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild!  We had some wonderful energetic women volunteer to be a part of the Executive Board- I’m so excited to see what’s going to happen with this group!

I sold my quilting machine & am in the process of purchasing a new one!!!

I’m doing a major organization/clear-out/decluttering in my studio before the new quilting machine arrives.

I’m now the Communications Chairperson at our church & we’re working on some great social media plans!

Despite the record heat & drought conditions, our little garden is producing tomatoes faster than we can eat them- looks like we’ll try to can tomato sauce again- hopefully it goes better than last time!

I started taking a Cyclates class at my local YMCA.  It’s 30 minutes spinning & 30 minutes Pilates.  Super fun & it’s my new favorite class!

I finished the book “Quiet“.  This is a must read for everyone!  Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, this book has great insight into who introverts are & why they’re that way.  Go to your library NOW & check it out!

& that’s gonna be it for today- I’m taking 2 days to rest & recover from life recently, so I’m gonna go get back to that!

See you in a bit!

A Failed Project, Part 1

So I was at A Quilting Place/Stashbusters one evening & I found a great pattern from a local designer that I wanted to use for a class.It’s a great pattern that uses 5″ charms, plays a little with triangles, but not too much & has some nice borders- best of all it’s small enough so it would make a great table topper so it’s useful & cost efficient.

Sounds so easy right?

Yeah, projects like that are always bound to take you 5 hours!

Which this did! & we’re not even done yet!

The first problem was that I decided to work with a fabric line.  I don’t work well with fabric lines- I feel they are too restrictive & don’t lend any creativity to the end product.  I prefer my “scrappy” look where I just search for fabrics that work.

So I started with a charm pack from Moda called “Grand Finale” & picked up some additional fabric in the line that I thought would make a nice border.

So after making several amateur mistakes (due to my inability to read patterns…reality is I tend just to look at the pictures) I came up with this:

At which point I was so mad it didn’t work out I folded it up & put it away.

Then I got my act together & searched online for someone who sold the solid green that coordinated with this line.

I should have known in the beginning, but it’s an issue of letting the eye rest.  The charms are so busy your eye keeps jumping around & has no place to settle to take it all in.  (A dear friend actually talked about this recently.  As soon as I saw what I pieced, I couldn’t believe I ignored her advice!)

But then again, it’s hard to choose borders when the piece isn’t together- or even when you can’t fully see the charm squares b/c they’re wrapped up in a package.

It reminded me of a line Jaye of Art Quilt Maker said on a podcast with Sandy from Quilting for the Rest of Us– “Make Visual Decisions Visually.”

When I first heard that it just flew through my ears & I didn’t really understand it.  But now I get it.  You can’t expect to make a color/fabric/design choice if you can’t see what your putting it against!  I needed to have my center assembled first, then I could audition borders.

So the good thing is, this actually isn’t a failed project, it’s just not done like I want it to be.

But more importantly, I want it to be done right.

So I’ll take the time & make “Visual Decisions Visually.”

Linking up with Freshly Pieced’s “WIP Wednesday”:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Apple Harvest Mini Quilt

Here’s September’s mini quilt- an apple farm!

I love how the buttons are used for apples- did you notice the apples on the ground?  I *love* those!

This mini quilt reminds me of the 1 time I went apple picking with a friend.  We were living in the DC area & I was feeling the “closeness” of the city & tried to take a hike every weekend.  This weekend J was out of town at a family wedding (which, aside from this story, I’m sorry I missed b/c there were some great stories that came out of that wedding!) & I asked a friend if she wanted to hike a towpath up in Maryland.

We finally get up there & discover it wasn’t actually a hike….more like a walk on a very well laid out path…..  But that’s ok- we were sports- we were going to do this anyways!  Well we get talking & talking & didn’t really pay attention to how far we were going until she mentioned “uh, should we turn back?”  Then of course I realize that it was an In & Out hike, not a Roundabout!!!  (I knew this, but it just didn’t register….)  So we start back & after looking at the map we ended up walking like 11 miles that day- needless to say, we were tired.

But we’d been having such a great time together we didn’t realize how tired we were…..

So on our way home when I noticed an apple farm on the side of the road…

Yeah, we had to stop.

I had never picked apples before & was having a great time & got a little carried away…..

Well…..a lot carried away & the next morning when I woke around noon, I walked into the kitchen & realized I picked TONS of apples.

J came home that night from the wedding to remember & just starred at our kitchen- it was covered in apples!  Not quite what he was expecting!

Needless to say, we were eating a lot of yummy apples well into winter & my friend & I had a great apple story, so it was all good in the end 🙂

Another Donation Quilt

Here’s another quilt for Quilts Beyond Borders:

I did a basic stipple & used the same machine binding technique (back to front) like the previous donation quilt:

It was fun & fast- every time I quilt a top like this (with a very basic pattern), I’m reminded how much fun machine quilting can be- it’s really just doodling & playing on a quilt top- really- what could be more fun???

Plus Quilt

Take 20 fat quarters (10 red & 10 blue) cut into 4 1/2″ squares:

Add a in weekend retreat in Grand Island, Nebraska full of “simple sewing.”  (I literally just brought my sewing machine, 1 spool of thread, some bobbins to use up & a seam ripper- that’s IT!- I really need to do some more simple sewing- very good for the soul!)

Mix some 30 Rock via Netflix on the iPhone…..

Stay up until 1 am……
& you have a plus quilt:

This is actually a free pattern from Jeni at In Color Order.  I think this will be a class quilt as well!  It was a lot of fun to make & very simple.  Speaking of classes- we’re having a great time at A Quilting Place on Monday evenings!  Give Jackie a call to sign up for a class!


Back to the quilt- I am going to add some borders- I like large quilts & this is *almost* big enough!  I’m thinking 2 borders- a narrow blue inner border & a wider red outer border…..

Coupon Holder

This is our previous coupon holder:

Wait, it gets better:

Kinda pathetic, right?

I’ve been meaning to make a new one for ages, it just always got bumped down on the “to do” list.  That & I never found a pattern I was in love with.  There was always something wrong with it- too short, not enough pockets, pockets in the wrong places, difficult to use, tedious directions (this is just a coupon holder after all- I’m not making an award winning quilt here)- point is- there was always an excuse & it just never got done.  (Kinda similar to the story about the shoemaker whose family doesn’t have any shoes….)

Until recently when I had a coupon explosion & realized a new holder was now an immediate need.

So I dug through patterns & found a this from Legacy Patterns that I won at a door prize at a quilting retreat.

The overall directions seemed a little tedious, but that day I didn’t care- it had to basic elements I wanted, so there- decision made.

I grabbed two fat quarters I liked (I love the turquoise/orange combo) & set out to make this.

It was surprisingly easier than I anticipated & maybe took me 2 hours?

Overall I love it!  There are plenty of pockets for loyalty & gift cards, & the long pocket for coupons is perfect.

Between the quilts I give away & the quilts for customers, it’s nice to make something usable for us for a change.

Quilts Beyond Borders

I recently learned about the non-profit Quilts Beyond Borders.  They coordinate piecers & quilters from around the world & then bring quilts to children (mostly orphans) in need.I volunteered to longarm some tops & this is the first one I completed:

It’s a cheery, happy quilt that was impecibly pieced!

I did the 3’s & E’s design again with a nice pink thread (I think it’s Cotton Candy in the King Tut line) from Superior Threads.

It was fun to quilt & most important, I’m happy that my quilting can help others.

Bruschetta, Potlucks & 4th of July

Happy 4th of July everyone!  We’re officially in the middle of “potluck season” at our church.  Every weekend there’s another dinner that we need to bring a dish.  Typically this would be a no brainer, but we have several families in our church that have Celiac- I try & bring gluten free dishes when possible.  For me, this is much harder than it sounds- I like bread & all kinds of gluten-y goodness.  One of my favorite dishes though is Bruschetta w/ a baguette & gluten free crackers.

6 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed & chopped
1/2 c. julienned sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil (make sure they are gluten free!)
3 cloves, minced garlic (be sure to use fresh!)
1/4 c. olive oil (or enough to just moisten)
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

– Combine tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, basil, salt & pepper.
– Add enough olive oil to moisten (for me, the amount of olive oil I need greatly depends on how well I drained the sun dried tomatoes)
– Cover & place in fridge until needed.

Random Notes:
When possible, I try to use home grown tomatoes, but it’s still good with even store bought Roma tomatoes.

To scoop out the seeds, my husband has discovered a melon baller works the best.

If I’m serving these at home, I’ll actually take the time to broil the baguette slices & place mozzerella cheese on top- however for a potluck, I just bring the tomato mixture, let people scoop & forget about the cheese.

When serving Celiac’s it’s best to have 2 different containers of dip- one clearly labeled “GLUTEN FREE” with it’s own servingware.  That way there’s less chance of cross contamination & you’ll insure the gluten-freeness of the dish. (Guess me how I learned this…..)

The brushetta pic above is served in what we call a “Bary Bowl” in my family.  My BIL makes all kinds of pottery & we are lucky enough to get one of his creations most every Christmas.

Shop Hop

This past Saturday was the 5th Saturday Shop Hop in Nebraska.  Bring your bag to participating stores & get 20% off.My two friends & I hit 4 stores that day & had a blast hanging out together!

Of course we bought way too much stuff, but I did get a flannel backing I needed & fabric for my September Mini Quilt.

One thing I hadn’t expected to get was this:

I’d seen the pattern on several blogs & really liked it- but I didn’t realize it came in various sizes.  I like to make large quilts- bed size really & this pattern goes up to a King.

Then I saw these Stonehenge fabrics:

& immediately knew J & I needed a bed quilt in these fabrics.  I still need to collect more fabrics for this, so it looks like I need to go to some more quilt shops!