Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Blessings

Hello Everyone,
I appreciate all of you that read my blog and my wish for you is a beautiful day spent with family and friends, and lots of egg salad sandwiches tomorrow!  Happy Easter.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Country Charmer Machine Quilting

Hello Everyone,
Country Charmer is on the long-arm and I have three rows completed and ready to go to number four. 

I quilted one-inch piano keys on the outside border followed by feathers in the second border which should outline the quilt nicely.  You never know how it's going to look until you take it off the machine and you can see the whole shebang!  I knew I had to treat these borders individually so I could change to a different thread color. 


You are probably wondering where I've been the last few days.  Nothing interesting going on here.  I had to stop all quilting and work on accounting, pattern printing, and pattern stuffing.  So, in a way, I'm still working on quilting related tasks......I just don't have anything to show for it other than balanced books and boxes of stuffed patterns.

Today I'll start getting ready for Easter which includes housecleaning, shopping and cooking.  Our Easter Sunday is going to be Easter Saturday so we can all be together.  I hope the Easter Bunny delivers eggs on Saturday!!


Monday, March 25, 2013

These Horses Rock!

 Hello Everyone,
The girls in the Toyland Tree class really rock......right along with their Rocking Horses! All of these horses were rocking across the design wall at In Between Stitches yesterday. 

Here's a couple of ideas to add more detail and make your horse come alive.

This little one looked like it rode right off a carousel onto a quilt.

The Teddy Bears begged to have their pictures taken again too!  They didn't want to be left out of the spotlight.

This month, everyone is working on the Marionette.  By the time Christmas rolls around, the girls are going to have a new Christmas quilt to decorate their homes for many years to come.

If anyone is interested in the Toyland Tree BOM, I have a couple of openings left in the program.  Or venture out and select your own fabrics out of your stash and create the little vintage characters.  It's easier than you think to select your own fabrics and the pattern is available separately.

I'm off to the shop for my Monday work day.  The Monday Ladies will probably be there and I'll get to see what they've been creating since I last saw them.

Enjoy your day!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Stitcherific Contest

Hello Everyone,
A picture of your stash could win the Colorful Stash Buster book by Mary Cowan.  In Between Stitches, the shop where I work, is holding a contest and you have one week to enter.  Click HERE for all of the details.  I took this picture of my old pie safe in 2009.  Do you think it still looks this organized?  Not on your life!  I was expecting house guests, so I had to tidy up my sewing room.

This old mail letter holder is my go to spot for my scraps and it's always pretty organized.  Anything from a fat 1/8th to a fat quarter is usually stored here.

What I'm not showing you are the bins and bins of fabric stored in the closet(s).  No one except the dog gets to see the closets!
I'm headed to the shop this afternoon to teach my Toyland Tree class.  I'll be posting pictures of all the creativity tomorrow. Until then, have a wonderful Sunday.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Baskets, Baskets and More Baskets

Hello Everyone,
I've made my setting decision....and I'll share it with you now.  No matter how hard I tried to line up all of the seams when I sewed the baskets wasn't working. So, to solve the problem, I put a one-inch (1/2" finished) spacer bar between the baskets.  Works like a charm and gives me more space to quilt little pebbles or whirligigs.

This rich, blue fabric is from a Windham line called History Repeated. I'm using it for the setting triangles and borders.  I'll probably put a thin gold inner strip between the triangles and border. Since the border is directional, I'm going to have to pay attention!

Half of the baskets are now together in 9" blocks.  I have a few more baskets to make before I can start putting all of the rows together. The baskets remind me of a new box full of crayons.  I mentioned that to Mr. Joe, and he said I should name the quilt Crayola Payola. That's not going to happen!  I looked at the Crayola website and I was amazed at all the information it contained.  I wanted to name the quilt from a retired color, but Blizzard Blue, retired in 2003, doesn't do anything for me.  What do you think of Bittersweet Baskets?  There is a crayon color called Bittersweet.  Who knew?

I've been doodling on some Press'n Seal as I think about what I want to quilt in the setting squares.  This is the only doodling that is blogworthy.  The rest are in the trash can.  I have to doodle to get the hands linked to the brain so I can transfer my idea to the long arm.  If I can't draw it, I can't quilt it.  I'll use rulers to make the baskets and the rest will be free motion quilting.

If anyone comes up with a brilliant name for the quilt, please pass it on to me.  I'm open for suggestions, and I'll entertain any of your thoughts, except for Crayola Payola!  I'm sure I can come up with a nice prize for the winner......some plaid fat quarters come to mind.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Vintage Pillows

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday I made two vintage pillow tops from my Nostalgic Christmas pattern....just in time for the 4th of July.  I know I'm rushing things, but I want to have items on display for my booth at the Amador Valley Quilt Show next month. 

I started with a cute vintage image that I downloaded HERE  I resized the image in Word, then printed it on Printed Treasures cloth/paper in an ink jet printer.  I stitched two frames around the image to get it to the correct size.

 Then I made flying geese for each border.  This was way too much red and blue for me.

I just wanted a little color peeking out around the border, so I turned the flying geese into double flying geese.  My tutorial for double flying geese is HERE under the Virtual Classroom tab at the top of my blog.

I added two more borders and a plaid flange and this 18-1/2" square is ready for the quilting machine.

I ran across a great source of images HERE.  Go to EXPLORE and you will find hundreds of vintage seed packets.  I wanted to keep with my patriotic theme, but I also wanted to use different colors so I keyed off of the pink hydrangea and blue from the flag.

I added the two framing borders.

Then made a gaggle of geese.

They went from this...... this, double flying geese.

Two more borders and a flange and it's ready to be quilted and I'll have two more items finished for the Americana section in my booth.  My Americana section now has three things. Yippee Skippy!   

Two pillows and my Buttonwood quilt design.

I'm going to get back to my other basket quilt today.  I guess I have a thing about baskets!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Hello Everyone,
My brother-in-law cut this out of the Chronicle for me. 

I think I have the name for my next quilt!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Ninty-Six Baskets

Hello Everyone,
Here's my pile of 96 little baskets soon to be stitched together into a beautiful quilt.  

I'm still contemplating the layout.  I could do this, and quilt it with a pantograph.  I've quilted one pantograph in my whole life.  But then if I use black setting squares, what color thread would I use?

Or I could do this and do some elaborate quilting in the setting squares.

I may decide on something completely different.....who knows?  I know I don't know yet.

I'm headed in to the shop this morning. I filled in at the shop yesterday and it was a great deal of fun meeting a blog follower. Have a wonderful day sewing everyone.  I won't be able to touch my machine until Wednesday.......oh dear!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dinner and a Quilt Show

Hello Everyone,
I spent my afternoon and evening with 6 extremely talented quilters.....The Potty Mouth Piecers.  My friend Kaaren hosts a retreat every year in her quilting studio.  I went over yesterday afternoon and was treated to a quilt show followed by a fabulous dinner!
Let the show begin 
Lynne's amazing quilt.  
You could really capture the essence of the quilt by looking at the incredible back.  Lynne quilted huts and an African mask in the center.

This quilt is for a new little Southern baby named Dixie Pearl. My friend Kaaren, designed, made and quilted this baby quilt.  I've watched in grow in stages over the past few weeks.

Mauna just started stitching the borders on this Lone Star.

Beautiful applique! 

Kaaren finished her beauty.

This is Shirley's house for the Playtime quilt....gorgeous applique.

Shirley is going to be ready for Easter.

All the strips from one jelly roll were sewn together for this quilt.

Love the black check Mauna selected for the inner border to frame her baskets!

Mauna made this needle case in a class she took from Sue Spargo.

This quilt was hot off the machine.  Lynne finished quilting it while I was there.  Incredible.  Lynne really captured the beauty of the redwoods in her quilt.

A lucky little baby is going to receive this quilt at a baby shower today from Mauna.

Pam is making Baltimore Christmas.  This is a labor of love.

More of Pam's beautiful and precise applique....just exquisite.

Kaaren's work in wool. Love the colors and all of her stitching.

Denise Sheehan from A Graceful Stitch was there too.  You can see all of Denise's patterns and books HERE.  Aren't these quilts amazing from her book A Graceful Garden. Lynne and Denise made them.  Denise was working on her newest design.  I didn't want to spill the beans, sorry no pictures!

Kaaren's big farmhouse kitchen table was decorated beautifully for Spring.  What a treat to spend some time with the Potty Mouth Piecers!  (I could tell you the other name they came up for themselves over dinner, but this is a G-rated blog!) 


Friday, March 15, 2013

Savory Baked Chicken

Hello Everyone,
I love to cook almost as much as I love to quilt.  This chicken recipe is easy to prepare and your house is going to smell sooooo good while this is baking and you are quilting.

Savory Baked Chicken

10 garlic cloves
1-1/2 tsp. salt divided
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 Tbsp. grated lime rind
1 (4-1/2 lb.) whole chicken
3 fresh cilantro sprigs
Vegetable cooking spray
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper

- Process garlic and 1 tsp. salt in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.  Remove and reserve 1 Tbsp. garlic mixture.  Stir together remaining garlic mixture, yogurt, and lime rind.

- Remove giblets from chicken, and reserve for another use or toss them outside for the critters.  Rinse chicken, and pat dry.  Loosen and lift skin from chicken with fingers (do not detach skin); spread reserved 1 Tbsp. garlic mixture evenly underneath the skin. (Use disposable plastic gloves if you are squeamish.)  Place cilantro sprigs underneath skin.  Carefully replace skin, and secure with wooden toothpicks.  Spread yogurt mixture over chicken and inside cavity. 

-Cover and chill for 8 hours.

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Wipe excess yogurt mixture from the outside of the chicken with a paper towel.  Place chicken on a lightly greased wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined broiler or jelly-roll pan.  Coat chicken with cooking spray, and sprinkle with pepper and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt.

-Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes; cover loosely, and bake 25 more minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 165 degrees.  Let chicken stand 10 minutes before slicing.  ENJOY!

Yogurt acts as a marinade to tenderize the chicken and make it moist, and this chicken is MOIST.  Yogurt prevents browning, so be sure to wipe excess yogurt from the skin and coat with the cooking spray.  Also, make sure that you bake it on a rack so the chicken doesn't lounge around in the drippings.  The flavors go right to the meat and not just on the skin.

This is a great recipe to fix before you head out for a day of quilting.  Pop it in the oven when you get home and amaze and delight your family.  They will think you've been cooking all day!