Thursday, January 23, 2020

Machine Quilting Progress

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday I started machine quilting Peek-a-Boo Pumpkins.  I really do love this ribbon border!

I braved the elements, put on my hand warmers, and headed up to the garage to my long arm. It was a chilly 45 degrees in the garage when I started quilting, and a balmy 51 when I stopped quilting.

Once the pumpkins are done, I'll start quilting Buttons and Bows.  This one could take a bit longer, so I'll have to keep coming down to the cabin to thaw out.

My commitment to Henry Glass & Co. as a Brand Ambassador, is that I will make three small projects or one large project during the month of January.  I haven't started project #3 yet.  I do know what I'm going to do, and it's going to be small!  Very, very small. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Peek-a-Boo Pumpkins

Hello Everyone,
I focused on my Peek-a-Boo Pumpkins yesterday and got it all together.  The only thing missing are the eyes and the whiskers on the mice.  So I guess if I leave them off, I could call this 3 Blind Mice!

I used a buttonhole stitch when I machine appliqued.  I hand-stitched the little mice.

Each of the mice are close enough to their houses in case they need to dash inside.

The littlest mouse is already tucked safely inside her house.

Here are a few close ups on how I get my vine to curve.  First of all, I use bias bars to make my vine.  I used the narrowest one I have.  If you look closely, you can see that I made a running stitch along the inside of the vine.  In other words, if I want the vine to curl to the left, I stitch on the left side.  If I want it to curl right, I stitch on the right side.

My running stitch was along about 8" of the vine.

Then I pull the thread, and the vine curls right up.  You have to kind of work with the gathers to get them evenly distributed.

The tutorial for the ribbon border is located HERE in my Patchwork Math segment on The Quilt

The size of the table runner is 20" x 42".  You can bet your bottom dollar I will NOT be putting the turkey platter on it next Thanksgiving!  Or the mashed potatoes, or any kind of food that may leak, or drip.

It is getting out of the 30's today, so maybe I can get this little cutie on my long-arm and start quilting.  Yesterday I checked on the temperature in the garage where my long-arm lives, and it was 42 degrees.  Maybe I can stand it for half-hour stretches before I have to come down and warm up in the cabin.

I have been receiving a lot of requests for this pattern.  As soon as I can come up for air, and finish my projects for Henry Glass Fabrics this month, I'll get this pattern together.  The fabric used in this table runner is called Best of Day by One Sister Designs.

I enjoy responding to all of the comments directly in the comment section.  I like the fact that sometimes you are responding to each other.  Great interaction!  It is easier for me to reply directly to everyone using this format.  It is much more inclusive.

Madam Ambassador


Monday, January 20, 2020

Changing the Front Porch

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday I changed out the quilt on the front porch and put out my Heartfire quilt.
French General fabrics from Moda, always offer something that I can use for an attractive center hexagon.

I've made this quilt multiple times in different colorways.  My sister Gail worked on this version with me and it hung in the Marcus Fabrics booth at Quilt Market.

I also made one in Fig Tree fabrics.  The pattern looks completely different every time I make it.

Yesterday we were glued to the TV watching football playoff games.  I've enjoyed watching both teams this season, and would have been happy to see either one go to the Super Bowl.  But, my heart was with my California team.

Our neighbors came over and we had an indoor tailgate pot luck party.  Here's one of the things I made and I'm sharing the recipe with you.  This Coffee Orange Fudge Cake is my go-to cake that I can't screw up at high altitude backing.  It is so moist, and so rich, and so popular with guests. 

Coffee Orange Fudge Cake
1 pkg. devil’s food cake mix
1 (8 oz) carton sour cream
½ cup salad oil
½ cup water
4 eggs
1 (3 oz.) pkg. instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
¼ cup coffee liqueur
2 tablespoons finely-shredded orange peel
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Powdered sugar (optional)
©      Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan.  In a large mixer bowl, combine cake mix, sour cream, oil, water, eggs, pudding mix, liqueur, orange peel and cinnamon.
©      Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until blended, scraping sides of bowl constantly.  Beat on medium speed for 4 minutes. 
©      Stir in chocolate pieces.  Pour into prepared pan. 
©      Bake in a 350° oven for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. 
©      Makes 12 to 16 servings.  This recipe is a blue-ribbon cake from Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen.  This cake freezes well.  It’s rich and moist.
We also made Shrimp on the Barbie which always gets a laugh.  The funniest part was Mr. Joe trying to find a Barbie doll here in our small town.  He found this one at Dollar General, and the cost was considerably more than a dollar.  There were three little girls in line behind him at the check out stand, and all of them wanted the doll.  It's pretty hard to explain that Barbie was going to be part of the table decorations covered in leafy lettuce and shrimp!  I don't know who was more traumatized.  I'd better put this Barbie in a safe place because he is NEVER going to go buy another Barbie by himself!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Buttons and Bows

Hello Everyone,
It's been a busy week here at Wilder's Last Resort.  I loved being inside at my machine while the snow fell like crazy.  I worked on this project for Henry Glass & Co.  I'm going to call it Buttons and Bows.  There aren't any buttons on it yet, just pretend for now...ok?

With the borders, the quilt measure 46" x 46".  There are (36) 6" x 6" blocks in the quilt.

There is where the "bows" comes into the name of the quilt.  There are little flashes of red in each of the corners.  I finished it off with a flange, border, and a little "scrolly" accent in a corner.

I began the project by combining two lines of Henry Glass fabrics, Country Journey by Jan Mott, and Best of Days by Janet Rae Nesbitt. 

I put a little tutorial together so you can see how I made the blocks.  I began by cutting a lot of 1" strips and put them on my Strip'n Sew that Mr. Joe made for me.  A pasta dryer works well too.

Then select 6 different fabrics.

Stitch them together.

Always press toward the last strip sewn on.

Cut the strip set into (12) 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares.

You will have a ton of these!  Each strip set makes three identical blocks.

Lay them out like this.

Place a 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" square on the two center corners.  Note that I mark each square corner to corner.  Stitch directly on the marked line.

Trim off the extra.

Now you will have this.  Press toward the red square.

Now stitch the sections together.

Now put 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" on each of the other corners. 

Stitch and trim.

Press the corners in the opposite directions.  When you do this, the blocks will "lock" when you put all of the blocks together in the quilt.

Voila!  (36) 6-1/2" x 6-1/2" unfinished blocks.

It has been very cold here.....too cold to venture out to the detached garage and machine quilt.  Yesterday I checked on the temperature in the garage.....31 degrees is not an optimal machine quilting temperature.  I could use my space heater, but it's like heating a barn.  I may be able to get the temperature up a few degrees, but by then, I would still turn into a popsicle.

Don't forget to check out the comment section on my blog.  I've been keeping up with the comments, and I've responded to each and every one.  It's been fun, and it's creating an ongoing dialog about each post.  I like being able to touch base with everyone, even those with a no-reply status.

Have a great 3-day weekend!  It's always a 3-day weekend here in the mountains.  If I didn't have my to-do calendar next to my computer, I would never know what day it is!

Madam Ambassador
for Henry Glass Fabrics

Friday, January 17, 2020

Moda Blockheads 3

Hello Everyone,
When I saw the start of the Moda Block Heads 3, I knew I had to make one.  I have a half yard bundle of Sarah's Story by Betsy Chutchian just begging to be I did.  I'm going to make my blocks using only Betsy's fabrics and call it Betsy's Medley since I'll be combining several different lines that Betsy has designed..

I had to join in on the fun because I've made this block literally hundreds of times.  I've made four Country Charmer quilts with this block.  This is my most popular pattern of all time and it has been in Keepsake Quilting catalog.

My second most popular pattern is Heritage.....and there is that same block again, this time turned on point.  This quilt has also been in Keepsake Quilting.

I helped my guild make their scholarship quilt, also using this same block and my Heritage pattern.

I include block layout sheets in all of my patterns when there are a lot of pieces.  This will keep you organized.

I cut out my fabrics and placed them on the sheet.  I always say, if the piece doesn't fit, you cannot commit to using that piece.  The success of the block begins with exact cutting.

I work my way around the block and stitch as many pieces as I can in one pass around the layout sheet.

When it comes to sewing those little, pesky triangles to the square, I use a corner trimmer and trim the corners at a 90 degree angle.  Then the triangle is ready for stitching.  Also, I turn the unit over, with the triangle against the feed dogs on my machine and stitch.  The stretchy, bias part is then fed in by the feed dogs and not by my fingers that may stretch the unit.

I cut the corners off the next triangle at a 45 degree angle.

When I turn it over and place it on the unit, there's absolutely no guesswork involved.  It fits perfectly.

After I have all of the sections stitched together, I then put the rows together.

Click HERE for a more comprehensive tutorial on my blog that will walk you through the construction of this block.  It's a tutorial I put together several years ago when Country Charmer was a worldwide quilt along.

By clicking HERE you will be directed to the Moda website and find out how you can download the free directions in three different sizes. 

This is one of the fabric lines that I will be using.  It is so gorgeous, and is available in shops now.

So wish me luck keeping up with this program.  It's one more thing on my plate, but it is a delicious part of the plate.


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Ribbon Border

Hello Everyone,
Today I'm going to show you how to make this ribbon border which will be framing my Peek-a-Boo Pumpkins.

I started by making 32 (HST) half-square triangles.  I make my HST eight at a time using an easy method.  You can watch this method by clicking HERE and viewing my video on The Quilt Show. There is a lot of information in my Patchwork Math videos.  To soak it all in, you can watch them over and over again for free!

Now that I've trimmed my HST to the correct size using a Bloc-Loc ruler, I then add another square on top.  This is the process that I use to make Y-squares.  This process is also documented in a video of The Quilt Show.  Click HERE to see how to make Y-squares.  The Y-square is such a versatile quilting component.

I now have 64 Y-squares all trimmed and ready to be turned into a ribbon border.

Ta Da!  The border is coming together nicely, and quickly too.

All of this information is also in my Patchwork Math book which is a wonderful reference to keep by your sewing machine.  The book is available HERE on my Etsy site.  I think I'm going to rename it Quilters Survival Math.  That's all it is, basic math that quilters use on a daily basis.  My book is dog-eared and well used.

All of the fabrics used are called Best of Days from Henry Glass & Co.  I was really looking at the fabrics and saw the words Magical Memories running throughout several of the fabrics.  Some quilting days are magical.  We get to apply our creativity to an empty canvas and make it come alive, and create magical memories.

Mr. Joe stacked a lot of wood by the fire last night so we don't have to go outside in the rain, wind and snow today.  We are going to hunker down and stay cozy while the weather outside is frightful!  I have no place to go, except to my sewing machine, so let it snow!

I love, love, LOVE the fact that I cut down on my lecture, show and workshop schedule.  Now I can spend more time quilting and sharing my ideas with all of you.  An added bonus is that I get to stay home and annoy Mr. Joe on a 24/7 basis!