Friday, December 20, 2013

Stacked Coins baby quilt top

This is my latest project.  I worked on it on Tuesday, but never got around to posting it.  It is a baby quilt that I am making for one of my husband's colleagues whose wife just had a baby.

The quilt top is made from 13 jelly roll strips, for the coins and inner sashing, and half a yard of matching yardage for the border.  I plan to use the blue polka dot fabric for the backing, and the dark green floral (from the border) for the binding.  My intention is to machine quilt in the ditch between each of the coins and between the coins and the sashing.  Then I will probably quilt one or two straight lines around the whole quilt in the border.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Stocking

Today I made a Christmas stocking for my new daughter-in-law.  I wanted her to have a stocking here at my house so that hopefully she will feel like part of the family.  Her's will be a little different from the guy's stockings, because theirs have white fleece at the top, but I don't think she will mind.  I don't know what happened to my white fleece. . .

Anyway, the stocking is made from poinsettia fabric with a solid green lining.  The top fabric is quilted to the batting.  Then the lining and outside fabrics were sewn together wrong-side out.  Then the whole thing was turned pillowcase style.

Birthday Bag

Today is my mother's birthday, and I made her this bag as a birthday present.  It uses the same basic pattern as the other bags I've made recently, but it doesn't use charm squares.  I wanted this bag to be a little bigger than the bags I made previously, so I cut 6 inch squares to use instead of the charms.  I also cut the strip for the bottom of the bag a little wider, too; it is 9 inches wide instead of 7 inches wide.  When I boxed the bottom of the bag, I came in 2 inches instead of 1.5 inches. 

The only thing that is smaller on this bag is the handles.  My mom wanted them shorter because she says she doesn't carry her purse on her shoulder.  Because of the shorter handles, I moved the handles closer in to the center of the bag.  She also didn't want a closure for the top of the bag, so that was omitted as well.  I hope she enjoys it.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Chaos

This is the finished quilt from the top featured in this post.  It is made from a Christmas Countdown layer cake.  I machine quilted straight lines across the quilt at 3 inch intervals.  I considered quilting at 3 inch intervals going up and down as well, but decided against it. I also considered machine binding it, but opted to hand turn the binding instead.

This is a picture of the label on the back.  After much agonizing, I decided to name it "Christmas Chaos".  Since the quilt has a random design, I thought that chaos was an appropriate descriptor for it.  Plus, Christmas time is often a chaotic time of year, so it seemed fitting in that regard as well.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Auburn Coasters

This Saturday is the Pike County Habitat for Humanity annual Giant Cookie Sale.  And while these certainly aren't cookies, I plan to donate them to the cookie sale.  (The sale actually includes cookies, candies, cakes, and crafts.) 

I made 8 coasters that measure approximately 4 inches square.  They have Auburn Tiger fabric on top.  The top is quilted to the batting only.  Then they are finished by adding an orange square of fabric for the backing, using a pillow turn technique. Then finally, it is top stitched close to the edge all the way around.
Here they are all packaged up for the sale.  I was thinking I would price them at $5 per set (of 4 coasters), but I'll wait and ask at the drop-off before I actually put a price on them.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Christmas fabric purse

I enjoyed using my fall themed bag so well that I decided to make one out of Christmas fabric.  This one uses the same pattern as the last one, but with a few utilitarian additions.  I added a small pocket inside to keep my chapstick and nail clippers. 
 And I added a D-ring to clip my keys to, so they would be easy to find.

The D-ring is attached to a fabric strip that is then sewn into the seam that attaches the outside of the bag to the lining.  It was added at the same time as the shoulder straps and the top closure.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Square Dance

This little quilt was made to enter in the Iron Quilter 2 competition over at the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  It is made from one Lovely (by RJR fabrics) charm pack with the addition of some some off-white " Basic Gray" fabric from Moda.  The quilt is made completely by machine.  The only exception is that I added the label by hand.  It finished 34 inches square.

I really hadn't intended to enter the Iron Quilter competition and didn't even initially purchase the charm pack when it was the Deal of the Day.  However, when I was ordering some other fabric later, I noticed that they still had the charm packs at the discount price, so I ordered one.  I really had no idea what to do with it that would make a quilt and use all the charms so I just set it aside and figured I wouldn't enter. 

But on Friday I got an email reminding people to enter and I had an epiphany.  I could use the same idea used here in this jelly roll quilt, but use half charms instead.  I headed down to the quilt shop that afternoon, and voila, now I have a finished quilt.  I'm sure it won't win anything, but I really enjoyed making it.  I think it will make a pretty wall hanging for the spring.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Christmas Countdown Throw

Today's project is a throw sized quilt made from a Christmas Countdown layer cake.  I didn't actually have a pattern for it.  I used the same technique from a Turning Twenty quilt, but used 10 inch squares instead of fat quarters.  It makes a block that finishes 9 inches. 

From each 10 inch square, I cut off a 3.5 inch wide strip (3.5" x 10").  Then I rotated the remaining piece 90 degrees and cut off another 3.5 inch strip (3.5" x 6.5").  I was then left with a 6.5 inch square.  I mixed up the pieces and sewed them back together, sewing a 3.5 x 6.5 to a 6.5 inch square, then sewing the 3.5 x 10 inch square to the unit that was formed.  I then trimmed off the excess to make a 9.5 inch square.  I then set the squares together in the same layout as a Turning Twenty.  I didn't measure it, but it should be about 54 inches x 63 inches.

It's not the prettiest quilt top I've ever made, but it may be the fastest.  It went from being a layer cake to being a complete quilt top in about 6 hours.  And that includes several interruptions and lunch.  I'm hoping to machine quilt it and have it finished to use this Christmas season.  I still need to buy backing and binding fabric.  I see a trip to the quilt shop in my future.

Rolling in the Deep Wallhanging

Before I start on this week's project, I figured I should post last week's project.  I actually finished it on Saturday, but just now got around to taking a picture of it.  It follows the same pattern as a Jelly Roll Race quilt, but only uses 13 strips in 16 rows.  I wanted to try out the pattern in a smaller scale before I did it with a whole jelly roll.  I was happy with the result, so I bought a couple of jelly rolls to try it full scale.

The quilt finished about 32 inches square.  It was machine pieced and machine quilted.  The quilting is straight line, in the ditch quilting, all the way across the quilt top.  The only hand work on the quilt was turning the binding.  I considered doing the binding on the machine as well, but I enjoy hand binding, so I did it my normal way. 

I named it "Rolling in the Deep", inspired by the Adele song, because it used jelly roll type strips and it reminded me of the ocean.  It has a much more abstract feel than most of my quilts, but I like the change of pace from the graphic style quilts that I normally do.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Christmas Present Block (November block)

This month's block is a Christmas present block.  It is an enlargement of the block used in this quilt.  It was my month to teach the block, so I went with the one I had just finished.  It is made entirely of fabric from the Holiday Accent line.  It is a really easy block to sew, but can be a little confusing getting it laid out correctly.  I always had to consult the diagram to make sure I had those center squares in the right orientation.  Other than getting it oriented correctly, it is just rectangles and squares with a few flippy corners.  The pattern came from Quiltmaker's Nov/Dec 2008 issue.  The pattern was called "Silk Wrappings."

Sunbonnet Angel (October block)

For our current guild project, we are making a Christmas sampler quilt.  Each guild member teachers a block, and we get a new block each month.  Last month's block was a Christmas Sunbonnet Sue, which could be a plain Sunbonnet Sue in Christmas fabrics, a Sunbonnet Cat, or a Sunbonnet Angel.  I decided to go with the Sunbonnet Angel.  She's not finished yet, but here she is, all ready to be appliqued down.  I don't know if you can see the blue line in the photo or not, but the block will be cut down to a 12 1/2 inch square once the applique is finished.  I'm planning to hand applique it, using a blanket stitch in gold thread.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My First Jelly Rolls

Remember that fabric that I said I had ordered from Missouri Star Quilt Company?  Well, it came in the mail today.  The odd thing is that I don't remember getting an email saying that it shipped.  Oh well, better to get it when I wasn't expecting it than to be waiting for it and it not come.

So anyway, what we have here is a First Ladies jelly roll, a He Still Loves Me jelly roll, and a binding tool.  If I had known that it was coming today, I would have waited until I got it to put the binding on the quilt that I bound today.  That's okay, I'll use it next time. . .hopefully soon!

More Fabric!

I've gone a little crazy buying fabric lately, and I just realized that I forgot to document my latest purchases (from late October).  Again, I ordered some pre-cuts and yardage from Missouri Star.  Those pre-cuts really are addictive and I haven't even used any of them yet!

Below I have a Salt Water layer cake, a Lovely charm pack, and some Holiday Accent yardage. 

The yardage was intended for the borders on the Christmas quilt feature in the previous post, but only the white background holly fabric made it into the final quilt.  I'm not sure yet what I'm gonna do with the pre-cuts.

Then my local quilt shop was having a sale, so I bought even more fabric.  Below I have one Christmas Countdown layer cake, a half yard of green fabric, a fat quarter of novelty fabric, and a remnant of brown fabric.

The green yardage (along with an additional yard purchased later and not photographed) ended up as the outer border to the previously mentioned Christmas quilt.  It will also be the binding once I get to that point.  The novelty FQ is tentatively slated for a frog themed baby quilt I have planned.  The layer cake probably is going to turn into another sofa-sized Christmas quilt, this one using a cutting method similar to a Turning Twenty quilt, except using 10 inch blocks instead of FQs.  The brown fabric is completely uncommitted at the moment.

Oh, and I've order more fabric from Missouri Star, but it hasn't shipped yet.  However, I did manage to skip the Veteran's Day sale at the quilt shop yesterday.  It was a temptation, but I managed to resist.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

My border solution

Here is the finished quilt top.  The consensus seemed to be that the green fabric was best for the border.  I think it turned out good and the green fabric really pulled it together.  The finished size of the quilt top is 49.5 x 58.5 inches.  The plan is to bind it with the same green fabric as the border.  Not sure yet what the backing fabric will be.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Design Dilemma

Yesterday I was finishing up a Christmas quilt that I started working on last week (2 weeks ago?), I forget.  Anyway, at the point when I started working yesterday, I had just 3 blocks left to make.  I decided on the fabric for those last 3 blocks, and got them sewn and the blocks sewn into basic top without borders.  I had already chosen my border fabrics, which I had bought especially for the project.  I cut the strips, sewed them on, and thought I was done.  However, once I looked at the finished top, I wasn't happy with how it looked.  I felt like the focus fabric, the Christmas kittens fabric, looked out of place once the outer border was sewn on.  The picture below shows the original outer border.
I removed the outer border, but left the inner border. 
I was thinking that the outer border was a bit too busy, and that it would look better with a simpler fabric that was closer in color to the green of the focus fabric.  I auditioned some green fabric that I just bought at the quilt shoppe, but I don't think I have enough of it.  Although I'm sure I could go buy more.  But I still wasn't sure.
Then I found some other Christmas fabric that I had that was red and green.  I really like it, and at first I thought I was going to go with it, but now I'm not sure about it either.  I'm afraid it still might be too busy.  I definitely like both of these better than the original black, red and gold holly fabric, though.
What do you think?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Travel Fabric

My husband and I recently traveled to Berkeley, CA for my husband to present a paper at the Western Literature Association's annual conference.  While we were there, we visited a quilt shop - New Pieces Quilt Store and Gallery.  It was a really nice shop with a large selection of fabrics.  The shop staff was also very nice and friendly.  (I know that I drive quilt shop staff everywhere crazy because I wander around the store 3 or 4 times before I even pick anything up, but they are always great about it!)

Above is a picture of the fabric that I bought while I was there.  I bought 1-1/2 yards of the fabric on the left (from Abbey's Garden by Eugene Textiles).  The fabrics on the left I just bought in fat quarters (top - from Serenity by Cheri Strole for Northcott, bottom - from Autumn Bouquet by Denise Urban for Quilting Treasures).  Those were the fabrics that I just kept coming back to as I wandered the store.  They are not for a specific project, and most likely won't get used together, but they are my mementos of fun trip to Berkeley.

Friday, October 04, 2013


For several years now, if I make enough cucumbers in my garden, I make homemade pickles.  This year we had a cool, cloudy, and wet summer, and my garden did terribly!  I didn't have any dill pickles left from last year either.  I had bought a jar of dill chips at the store, and I used them, but they just aren't the same as homemade.  Not only is the flavor different, when I went to Walmart, I couldn't find any normal, round, dill pickle chips.  They were either "ovals", which in some cases means sliced the long way instead of the short way on the pickle, or they were spicy.  I didn't want any of that, so I gave up on store bought pickles, and bought cucumbers instead.

Usually Walmart's either doesn't have pickling cucumbers or else the ones they have are all beaten up and shriveled.  But yesterday they actually had several pounds worth and they actually looked good and fresh.  So I bought them and made homemade pickles with them.  They didn't seem to have any wax on them, so hopefully they will turn out good.  The only problem is, with dill pickles they need to sit for a couple weeks before you use them.  So I still won't have usable pickles for a while, but hopefully it will be worth the wait.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Charming Little Bag

This is an adorable little bag that I made today.  From start to finish it took me maybe 5 hours, and that probably includes my lunch break.  I'm sure it could be made even faster than that, but I was stopping periodically to watch the tutorial on YouTube.  The instructions are available here on YouTube.  It is a great tutorial from The Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I've been watching a lot their tutorials lately and I really wanted to try this one.  I had several charm squares left over from a fall themed charm pack that I bought last fall to use in my row swap quilt.

Oddly enough, when I was making my bag, I used more precuts than Jenny did in the tutorial.  She used yardage for the base, lining and handles of the bag, but I used a fat quarter (or what was left of one actually) for the base, the closure, and part of the handles and some extra charm squares for the the other part of the handles.  I only used yardage for the lining.  Jenny's bag didn't have the closure, but she mentioned that you might want to add one, so I did.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Chicken Scratch Heart

I'm not exactly sure when I finished working on the actual embroidery on this one.  I'm sure it was several months ago.  I just couldn't decide what I wanted to do with it.  I thought about making it into a pillow, but I figured that in a house with 3 boys who like to throw pillows at each other, and two cats that sometimes knead on pillows, it wouldn't last too long.  My mother suggested that I frame it instead, so that's what I finally did, yesterday.  I went to Walmart, hoping to find a nice white frame, and to my astonishment, I actually found one.

When I was younger, I remember my mother showing me how to do chicken scratch embroidery (also called Hoover lace, among other things) and decided to try my hand at it again.  I could remember the general nature of it, but I couldn't remember all of the stitches and exactly how each stitch corresponded to the squares on the gingham.  So, I did a quick search of the internet and found a great tutorial at Pink Paper Peppermints.  It's not hard to do, especially if you stick to the basic stitch, and you can use it to makes lots of different designs.

I'm planning to enter this piece in the country fair, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Not as simple fringed blanket

The other day my Walmart had some of their fabric marked down for clearance, including some of their fleece.  I saw this fabric and thought it was really cute and very soft.  I decided to get some to make another fleece blanket, like the one feature in this post to donate to the same organization.  As it turned out, this fabric was not quite appropriate for that application.

Just like with the last blanket, I sewed around the outside of the fabric about 2 inches from the edge.  Then I cut out the corners and fringed the edges.  However, this time, the fringes on two of the sides (selvedge sides, I think) were not stable and just wanted to pull off.  Obviously, that is not good for a child's blanket.  So I went back and cut off the fringes on those two side, almost to the stitching line.  Then I turned under the edges and zigzag stitched it down. 

To my thinking, it is not nearly as cute with fringe on only two sides, but there seems to be no other choice in the situation.  It would have looked neater if I had just left the selvedge edges on, because they were  not white.  But I didn't know it would turn out the way that it did.  I still think it is plenty nice enough to donate, though.  Oh well, I guess you live and learn.  I guess in this case, softer isn't always better.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pineapples in the Pumpkin Patch - finished!

I finally finished my pumpkin wall hanging quilt that I started last fall.  The first block is featured in this post from November 15.  And it is actually a do-over from the original block posted on October 18.  But at least I got it finished in time for fall (and the County Fair).

The quilt finished 24 inches square.  It is machine pieced, with both traditional piecing and paper piecing, and hand quilted (mostly quilting "in the ditch").  I quilted it in a hoop because it was small.  This was challenging for me, simply because I'm not accustomed to using a hoop, but it was also much more comfortable than sitting at a frame.  I'm very happy with how it turned out.

I added a hanging sleeve to it, which I haven't done with a quilt in a long time.  I also made a decorative label for the back.  A cute little pumpkin, unlike any of the ones on the front, but using some of the same fabric.  The backing is a pretty autumn, pumpkin themed fabric.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Day and Night

This quilt top is made from Eleanor Burns Day and Night pattern.  It is made with strip sets (of course) and it requires a special tool to cut triangles from the strip sets.  I bought the book, because it comes with the tool.  I used the "three strips, two colors" option to make the crib sized quilt. 

She suggests using fabrics with good contrast, so I went with complimentary colors: yellow and purple.  The design makes me think of a harlequin, even though it is a little different.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I'm not sure what I'm going to name it, or what I'm going to do with it once it is finished.  I've bought fabric to make a sofa-sized quilt using the same pattern, but that one will be in shades of red to match my living room.  I made this crib-sized one as a trial run before I moved onto the larger one made with more expensive quilt shop fabric.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

More from Missouri Star

I've done it again.  I ordered more fabric from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Earlier in the month I ordered an Ellie Ann charm pack and layer cake to make a twin bed sized quilt.  My local quilt shop doesn't carry any of the Ellie Ann line, but I needed some yardage for the borders (the Ellie Ann Petit rose China Blue and Ellie Ann Twilight Cobalt yardage above).  And if you are ordering something, you might as well get the deal of the day (the Snowmen Gatherings Charm Pack).  And if you order $100 worth or more you get free shipping so you might as well get something else, especially if it's on sale too (the Tea House Plum layer cake).  So, you know, it all makes sense if you think about it, right?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Simple Fringed Fleece Blanket

Here is a picture of the fleece blanket that I made for my church's blanket drive this year.  Two years ago we collected blankets for the Child Advocacy Center here in town and we are doing it again this year.  Last time I made several fleece blankets, but this year I only bought fabric for one.  The finished blanket measures approximately 53 x 56 inches, not including the fringe.  I had hoped to make it a little longer, but that was all the fabric that was on the bolt.  It should still be a good size for a child to cuddle up with it.

To make the blanket, I simply evened up the cut edges and trimmed off the selvedge.  Then I sewed a straight stitch about two inches from the edge of the fabric all the way around.  Then I used my trusty spring loaded scissors to cut in from the edge, almost up to the sewing line, at about half inch (maybe 3/4) intervals all the way around.  It is a very easy project that takes almost no time to make.  It took just over an hour from start to finish.  It probably would have taken less time if I hadn't had a fluffy black feline "helper" in my lap.  In fact, if I see some more fleece I like at a good price, I might make more. . .

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

From Row Swap to Quilt Top

Here are some pictures of my row swap rows sewn into a completed quilt top.  Unfortunately, my design wall isn't big enough to hold the completed top, so I took the pictures with it lying on a twin bed.  The finished top is 66-1/2 inches by 86 inches.

I used all the rows in my quilt top.  Seven of them make up the center of the quilt top.  They are sewn together straight without any sashings.  I then added a dark 3 inch border.  Then I added a light colored 9 inch border.  I took one of the rows apart and used the squares as corners in the border.  (You can't really see them in the picture. You can see a little bit of one of them in the top picture.)  Then I added another 3 inch border of the same dark leaf fabric.  I plan to use the same dark leaf fabric for the binding if I have enough of it.  If not, I'm going to use a different harvest fabric which has a black background.

I'm really happy with how it turned out.  All the rows work together so nicely.  And it goes well with the wall color in the room too.  Now I just need to decide how I'm going to quilt it...

Friday, August 09, 2013

A New Addition

Here is a picture of the newest addition to my sewing room.  It is a Janome DC2013, that I ordered through Amazon.  I haven't had a chance to use it much, but so far I'm pleased with it.  It has a 1/4 inch foot and walking foot, which I really wanted, plus some other feet that seem like they will be useful as well.  I'm looking forward getting good use out of it.  I don't know how many of those fancy stitches I'll be using, but it sure looks like fun.

Precuts from Missouri Star Quilt Company

I don't normally buy precut, except for fat quarters, but Missouri Star is luring me in.  So far I've ordered a layer cake and charm pack of Ellie Ann fabric (by Eleanor Burns), a Starflakes and Glitter charm pack (by Tina Givens), and a Holiday Accents fat quarter bundle (by RJR fabrics).

I've formulated a plan for the Ellie Ann layer cake: a twin sized quilt with four patches and setting squares and a pieced border.  Some of the fat quarters are earmarked for a Christmas quilt, along with the Christmas cat fabric from a previous post.  The charm packs are yet to be determined at this juncture.  I thought I would need the Ellie Ann charm pack for the layer cake quilt, but it turned out that I didn't.  The Starflakes and Glitter charm pack may be used in my next guild project, if we do the charm pack challenge, or it may end up as Christmas gift.  I'm not sure yet.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


This is the finished quilt (featured in this post as a quilt top) that I am giving to my son and his fiance as a wedding gift.  The bridal shower is on Saturday, so I finished it just in time.  I decided to call it "Intertwined" because the center panel had the nice intertwined lines and I thought it was a good symbolic name for a wedding quilt.

The quilt is hand quilted.  The center panel is quilted following most of the black lines, which is then echoed in the tan areas, and along each of the concentric rectangles around the center design.  The narrow border strips are quilted in the ditch and the wide border has cables quilted into it.  The corner squares are quilted in the ditch around the brown corner "arrows" and the blue/green patches are quilted a quarter inch in from the seams.

I think the quilt turned out looking very pretty, but I wouldn't recommend this fabric (Stonehenge ginkgo) if you are a hand quilter.  The silvery marbled effect makes it VERY difficult to see the tip of your needle when you are quilting.  It almost drove me crazy.  Well, that not a very long drive, but anyway...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Fat-Quarter Bag

I finished this project today (I started it yesterday afternoon).  It is a fat-quarter bag made from a pattern in Fat Quarter Quilts by M'Liss Rae Hawley.  It was really pretty easy to make, but it does take a lot of fabric.  It may not be easy to tell from the photograph, but this bag is huge!  To give you an idea, it is made from sewing together six fat quarters.  The lining (including the handles) calls for 2-1/8 yds. of fabric.  So yeah, huge.

The pattern suggests using it for carrying quilting projects or for an overnight bag.  I'm not sure I would use it as an overnight bag, since there is no closure of any kind on the bag, but it works great for carrying larger quilt projects.  I used it to take a sofa sized quilt (that I'm sewing binding onto) to my sewing group today, and there was room to spare in the bag.  I'm sure you could easily carry a twin sized quilt in it, and probably something even bigger than that.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cat Fabric!!!

I just got this new fabric in the mail yesterday and I absolutely love it.  The little kitty cats make me so happy.  I ordered it from Feline Drive on Thursday, July 11 and received it yesterday (Monday, July 15).  I had never ordered from her before, but I'm sure I will again in the future.  The fabric is good quality, the prices are reasonable, and the service was great. 

The Christmas fabric with the kittens on it is for a Christmas quilt that I am planning to make using the Saratoga pattern.  I'm planning to use this fabric for the larger patches - all or some of them, I'm not sure yet.  The other fabric, all or some of it, will probably end up in a scrappy 1930s style quilt that I've been thinking about, and collecting fabric for, for several years now.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Fresh Blueberries and Lemon Blueberry Bread

This is the bowl of blueberries I picked yesterday morning.  My blueberry bush is producing very well this year.  I decided to bake some bread with one cup of the blueberries.  It turned out pretty good so I decided to share a picture, and the recipe.
Lemon Blueberry Bread

1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp grated lemon peel (or 1 Tbsp lemon extract)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup fresh blueberries

2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, juice and eggs.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with milk.  Fold in lemon peel, pecans, and blueberries.  Pour into a greased 8 in. x 4 in. x 2 in. loaf pan.  Bake at 350 F for 60 - 70 minutes or until bread tests done.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine glaze ingredients.  Remove bread from pan and drizzle with glaze.  Cool on a wire rack.  Yield: 1 loaf

Note:  I added more sugar to the glaze, because it seemed too thin.  I also heated the glaze to dissolve the sugar and then cooled it back down before drizzling it on the bread.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Yesterday I worked on an old project that I started probably a decade or more ago.  Back in the day, when the kids were young, our family used to play Scrabble a lot.  I got the idea to arrange all of our names on the Scrabble board, as if it were a real game of Scrabble.  I then transferred the layout to graph paper, including all the word and letter score spaces.  I wrote down the letter values for all of the letters of our names as well.  I bought Aida cloth and cross stitched all the "tiles" I needed to spell out the names.  I cut out the fabric squares for all the word and letter score spaces.  I cut out muslin for the blank spaces until I used all the muslin I had (which wasn't much).  I started sewing the squares together into 9 patch units.  I got the first 5 units sewn together, but then I needed more muslin.  I bought the muslin and washed it, but for some reason I never worked on it again until yesterday.  It's funny how quilting projects get set aside and abandoned like that.

I still need to decide what I'm going to do about adding borders to it.  I had bought some Scrabble fabric online a while back, but I don't think it really matches the color value of the rest of the quilt.  It is bright fabric and the center is much more muted.  It might work for the back of the quilt, depending on how big of a border I add to it.

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend copying this idea exactly.  The Aida cloth is the problem.  If you were starting from scratch on this one, I would suggest applique for the letter tiles instead.  The Aida cloth is very stiff, so it is difficult to press the seams.  The stiffness of the fabric also causes the seams to be thicker.  I tried to use a scant 1/4 inch seam to allow for it on those patches, but the quilt is still a little drawn-in in the areas where there are a lot of Aida cloth patches.  I also assume the Aida cloth will be difficult to hand quilt.  I may try to straight line machine quilt it, if I can ever get a walking foot that works.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Stonehenge Panel Quilt

This quilt top is for my son and his fiance.  The finished quilt will be a wedding gift.  They chose the fabric and the design.  The center is a printed panel and the corners are 12 inch pieced squares.  The borders are simple strip sets from Stonehenge ginkgo fabric.  I would have liked a little more contrast in the fabric for the squares, so the design would have showed up a bit more, but it is what it is.  They seem to be happy with the finished top, so that's good.  The finished quilt top is approximately 46" x 65".

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day pillowcases

This year I decided to continue the tradition that I started last year, and make pillowcases for soldier/veterans for Memorial Day.  This year I planned ahead, so that I could actually sew the pillowcases on Memorial Day.  I made a point to buy different patriotic fabric this year, and not just get the same fabric as last year.

I really enjoyed making them.  I hope that whoever gets them will enjoy having them as well.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The final row!

This is my final row in our guild row swap. For this quilt there wasn't exactly a theme.  Her focus fabric was the floral fabric that is in between the Ohio Star blocks in my row and the colors in the fabric were the only theme.  Since most people had done traditional blocks, I decided to stick with that idea.  My row is four Ohio Star blocks alternating with the focus fabric, fussy cut to have the same motif in each piece.  The centers of the Ohio Stars are also fussy cut from the focus fabric, but obviously from a different area of the fabric.

In the picture below, you can see all of the rows for this quilt.  The one at the top is the original row (made by the quilt's owner) and mine is at the bottom.
She said that she wanted the red in the quilt to pop, but since there was already so much red in the quilt, I decided to use only the red that was in the focus fabric itself.  She did the same in her original row, so I thought it would give the quilt a nice balance to have another row with minimal red.  I hope she enjoys her quilt.  I know I'm looking forward to getting my rows back and figuring how to put them all together.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Finally Finished!

I finished binding this one last night.  It is the quilt top that I made back in December featured in the Jesus and Me Take Three post.  It is machine pieced and hand quilted.  It is quilted in the ditch on all the seams, but because the patches are large, I needed to add more quilting.  I quilted suns in the pink squares.  The green half square triangle patches got a diagonal line (perpendicular to the seam) quilted in them.  I also quilted a line perpendicular to the seam that joins the stripe fabric to the Jesus and Me fabric.  The binding is the stripe fabric and the backing is a sunny yellow fabric.  The quilt finished 40 inches square.

It's been a while since I finished a quilt.  Looking back I see that the last quilt I finished was the Snowmen on Parade quilt that I donated to Project Linus back in February of last year.  I've finished some smaller projects (pillows, postcards, etc.) and made some quilt tops, but it feels good to actually finish a quilt again for a change.

Oh, and this was the first quilt that I quilted using my new Ulmer Quilter quilting frame.  I think it works well, and the quilt turned out really nice and square.  But it will take some getting used to because I'm used to an old fashion frame that stretches the whole quilt out at once.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Balloon Postcard

Today's creation is another fabric postcard.  This one features a 2-1/2 x 4 inch hot-air balloon surrounded by cloud fabric to finish 4 x 6 inches.  The quilting lines are intended to mimic the cords on a hot-air balloon.  The edges are finished with a satin stitch.  I'd be happier if I could over-lock the edges, but I don't have a serger, so this will have to do.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tradition With A Twist

My most recent row swap row is called "tradition with a twist".  The idea is to make traditional blocks using brightly colored fabrics.  My row is the row on the bottom.  It is a Greek Cross block. 
My first attempt was this Day and Night block, which would have been very striking in green and solid black.  But, because the focus fabric (the black multicolored fabric) has so many colors in it, the pattern gets a little lost.  Eleanor Burns specifically warns against using a multicolor as the night fabric, but I wasn't thinking about that when I tried it. 

When that didn't work, I decided to go with a little simpler block instead.  I'm happy with how my finished row turned out.  We only have one more month left in the swap.  I'm really interested in seeing how all the quilts turn out.