Karen on January 31st, 2010

Our snow is starting to melt already – we got up to 35 degrees today and the rest of the week should be in the 40’s – this snow will not last long!!  Because I spent just about 3 whole days in the house and barely got outside I did get some sewing done, and a bit of tv watched!  Too much, I don’t like to sit still for so long and can only wander back and forth in the house so much.  I spent a lot of time on my applique square for the Red & Green Traditional quilt.  Even though I washed my reds and greens 3 times I can now see I will have to pre-treat as well.  I finished the block and washed it this evening as I had glue basted and I like to wash the glue out.  I had a little bit of bleeding!!!  Not a lot and it isn’t real noticeable.  I have some Retayne and I will try treating it tomorrow and see if that little bit will come out.  I am also going to order a new bottle as I am almost out – I might just order two while I am at it as I can see that even though I washed all of these reds and greens numerous times I might just as well pre-treat them all as well.

Block one of the Red and Green Quilt

Block one of the Red and Green Quilt. In this photo the bleeding does not show up well and my husband couldn't spot it without me pointing it out to him so it is not real noticeable - probably just to quilters that are looking for that kind of thing. All of the rosebuds are from the same fabric, it was a really great mottled red that had some black in it as well to almost shades of pink, great for buds so they are not all the same. The really dark ones in the photo though are a little darker than they actually are, they appear darker here and I couldn't lighten the photo up properly.

Block 5 from Row 10 Dear Jane, Insanity Revisited.  The first time I made this quilt I pieced this block as shown in the book, this time I appliqued it for something different - I think it was actually easier to piece.

Block 5 from Row 10 Dear Jane, Insanity Revisited. The first time I made this quilt I pieced this block as shown in the book, this time I appliqued it for something different - I think it was actually easier to piece.

Tomorrow I am getting out of the house for sure – I can’t stand being in the house all the time I go crazy.

Continue reading about Snowy weekend/Good time to sew!

Karen on January 30th, 2010

The storm passed during the night and although it certainly took it’s time going through Oklahoma and Arkansas we saw on the news this morning that it certainly rushed it’s way to the east coast during the night! amazing how fast it moved once it left our state.  We in the south get pretty excited about our winter storms, I think it is because we don’t have very many of them and all of you in the north are tired of them by December!  I remember – I’ve been there and done that!!  I grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin and had long hard winters, then we lived for a time in Connecticut and Idaho when Mike was in the military so had plenty of snow then too.  Here though we are lucky to get a winter storm once a year, there have been times when children in this area of Arkansas didn’t see snow for several years at a time.  I’m sure there are plenty of snowmen being made today.  I bundled up earlier this morning (high of 25 right now) and took photo’s before the snow lost it’s pretty untouched look.

The snow measures at six and a half inches.

The snow measures at four and a half inches. I thought we had more than that!! Maybe it is higher in other parts of the yard this is on the patio table. (sewing ruler so the numbers look messed up on it - can be used from either end - I thought it said 6 1/2 and had to recheck it)

a frozen pine tree

a frozen pine tree

a part of the yard looking really white

a part of the yard looking really white

a set of animal tracks down by the woods - I do not recognize what they are from - We had plenty of deer, cat and dog prints but these?

a set of animal tracks down by the woods - I do not recognize what they are from - We had plenty of deer, cat and dog prints but these?

yesterday it was covered with ice now with snow - I wonder if I will be able to get the doors open when I go outside in a little bit to clear it off and get warmed out so I can get out of the house for a little while and exercise.

yesterday it was covered with ice now with snow - I wonder if I will be able to get the doors open when I go outside in a little bit to clear it off and get warmed out so I can get out of the house for a little while and exercise.

the road in front of our house - a slushy mess right now, tonight down to 14 or lower - it will be all ice tomorrow.

the road in front of our house - a slushy mess right now, tonight down to 14 or lower - it will be all ice tomorrow.

our yard from the top of the driveway

our yard from the top of the driveway

another view - we have close to 4 acreas, and about a third of it is trees.

another view - we have close to 4 acres, and about a third of it is trees.

Continue reading about Winter Wonderland

Karen on January 29th, 2010

Well thank goodness so far we have not had the massive ice storm that was predicted.  We have ice but it is not too bad out there right now.  We probably got about a 1/4 inch of ice and now it is snowing, the weatherman says it will snow all day.  So far it has gone from big pretty snowflakes to light snow.  We have taken photos of course and maybe tomorrow morning it will be even prettier than it is now.  I hope the snow does not add to the weight on the power lines though and that we continue to be lucky with no outages.

My bird feeder is a little way from the house – I filled it up yesterday and it is empty already.  I don’t want to walk over the feeder to fill it so I threw seed out around the yard from the safety of the porch :)

birds feeding on the patio

birds feeding on the patio

more birds

more birds

my car covered in ice and now you can see the snow

my car covered in ice and now you can see the snow

pretty cardinal

pretty cardinal

looking from the porch to the workshop - admiring the pretty snow.

looking from the porch to the workshop - admiring the pretty snow.

the squirrels are hungry too and eating the birdseed right next to the birds.

the squirrels are hungry too and eating the birdseed right next to the birds.

No quilting photos today.  I finished a book this morning that I wanted to get done with and then sat at the quilting frame for awhile working on the Christmas Quilt.  Now I have a long afternoon and evening to fill up so I will get busy on my applique and see if there is a movie on tv.    Hopefully the roads will be sanded and cleared a little tomorrow and we might get out at least to exercise.  I hope everyone else has been lucky with this storm system and have not lost power, right now they said there are only a  limited few power losses.

Continue reading about Winter Storm

Karen on January 28th, 2010

I know I already did one post today, but I thought I would do another.  I think we are going to be home bound for several days to come with the ice storm fast approaching our area of Arkansas.  I thought I would get an applique project ready to work on.  I have the Christmas Quilt on the frame but if we loose power the room that the quilt frame is in is far from the fireplace so most likely I would not be back here working on it all that much.  I will have to put one of the space heaters back here if I do quilt.

I posted of the Red and Green Traditional Applique by Jeana Kimball at this post I had not gotten started on it although I did get the background fabric last month.  I thought it was time.  I think what I will do is alternate between the Little Brown Bird Quilt and the Red and Green.  I won’t get bored that way I hope.

My first block, I am in the process of glue basting in place.  When that is all done it will be ready for me to bring into the living room where I can applique in the comfort of the fireplace in the living room if the power goes out.

My first block, I am in the process of glue basting in place. When that is all done it will be ready for me to bring into the living room where I can applique in the comfort of the fireplace in the living room if the power goes out.

With the cold weather approaching I thought it was a good day to bake some bread.  I love the smell of bread baking don’t you all?  I made some modifications to a recipe I had – yes I know I do that a lot :)

Mixed Grain Bread

1 package active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups of warm water (110 degrees about)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
4 cups white flour +?
2 tablespoons ground flax seed (optional)

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add the sugar, salt, oil and wheat flour, oats, 1 cup of flour and the egg.  Beat until smooth.  Add as much of the  flour you can with the mixer you use and beat until smooth.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead in a little more flour until the dough is smooth and elastic.  You might need more than the 4 cups of white flour total.  If you are a bread baker you will be able to judge this ok.

Cover and let rise in a warm area until the bread is double in bulk.  About 1 1/2 hours.  Punch the dough down and divide the dough in half.  Shape each into a loaf.  Place into 2 greased bread pans and let rise again until double in bulk.

Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.  Remove from pans and let cool.

Don't they look good!  I think I am almost ready for an evening snack - some butter and jam will make it perfect :)

Don't they look good! I think I am almost ready for an evening snack - some butter and jam will make it perfect :)

Stay tuned – I’m sure I will have photo’s of our winter storm over the next couple of days — thank goodness for our generator!  I don’t know how we would survive our winter storms without it.  Maybe we won’t loose our power – one can hope!

Continue reading about Red & Green Applique

Karen on January 28th, 2010

Lately I have read on quite a few quilting blogs quilters saying that they are terrified or scared of using the blue pen on their quilts.  In fact one person stated that the blue pen “scared the crap out of her and was terrified to use it”. I am talking about a pen called “Mark B Gone”. This product goes by other names as it is produced by many companies.  I have been using this marking pen on fabric for marking quilting lines for I don’t know how many years.  I have never, ever, had a problem getting the lines out.  The one rule the product comes with though is that you have to wet it completely to get the lines out and not to use any heat on it until it is out.  I set up a series of photos to show you how you use it.

mark your fabric (this is muslin) and quilt on your lines

mark your fabric (this is muslin) and quilt on your lines

here is a close up of the pen

here is a close up of the pen

soak your fabric after you are done with your quilting.  For a quilt I put it in the washing machine on a large load, if it is a very large quilt I will put it through a washing load two times just to make sure it is soaked totally through.

soak your fabric after you are done with your quilting. For a quilt I put it in the washing machine on a large load, if it is a very large quilt I will put it through a washing load two times just to make sure it is soaked totally through.

Dry it completely.  For a small sample like this I just used the hair dryer until it was completely dry.  See no blue line.

Dry it completely. For a small sample like this I just used the hair dryer until it was completely dry. See no blue line.

I took part of the quilting apart so you can see no blue in the batting.

I took part of the quilting apart so you can see no blue in the batting.

no blue on the back of the batting - nothing soaked through or didn't come out.

no blue on the back of the batting - nothing soaked through or didn't come out.

The back - no blue line.

The back - no blue line.

This is just a little sample of course.  It works for me.  If you are unsure of a product however you should always test it on a square of the fabric though to make sure it is ok.

(I am in no way affiliated with the company that makes these pens, just a satisfied customer :)  )

Continue reading about Product Evaluation — “Mark-B-Gone” pen

Karen on January 27th, 2010

Some people have commented that part of this quilt looks familiar but not quite like one they saw someplace.  I posted  a post last month that I got a pattern from Bunny Tales, the pattern is called Yo-Yo’ville but I kind of changed it up and wonder why I bought the pattern to begin with!   As you can see at the link I kept the body of the quilt kind of the same.  The change I made in it is that they have all the color squares on a diagonal setting where as I kind of zig-zagged them around a bit.  After I got the pattern I decided that the house border was not “me” that is why I am thinking of appliqueing circles on the border.  The house border is cute, don’t take me wrong it is just not the type of applique I do – I don’t do “cute” very well :) no insult to the designer intended as we all have our own taste of course.

I have the border sewed on to the body of the quilt.  Now I will take a break from it and then decide if I am going to applique circles on it – just plain scattered.  Here is what it looks like now.  It is 100 x 100 inches and I have no space to lay it out completely on the floor without moving furniture even more than I did!  So just use your imagination to picture it completely flat!

Tried to get most of it flat.

Tried to get most of it flat for the photo, but just not enough room.

a close up of one of the corners so you can see the strips in the border better.
I tried to get a better photo of it laying on the bed, maybe you can picture it better now when I say I am thinking of scattering appliqued circles along the border?  The circles that are on the main part of the quilt are about 1 1/2 inches I think the ones on the border will be about 2 to 3 inches - maybe a combination of both sizes and just scattered around.

I tried to get a better photo of it laying on the bed but I don't think it really helps any. The circles that are on the main part of the quilt are about 1 1/2 inches I think -- the ones on the border if I do them will be about 2 to 3 to maybe even 4 inches - maybe a combination of both sizes and just scattered around. Or I could just leave it and do a nice quilted border or something like that? I will decide later. Like I say I need a break from it and will be working on other projects for a week or two I think.

Block 4 Row 10 Insanity Revisited.  Made this easy block this morning

Block 4 Row 10 Insanity Revisited. Made this easy block this morning.

We are still being warned of a possible ice storm for Thursday late in the day and snow on Friday.  Each day they change the outlook a little bit.  Yesterday’s report sounded bad so this morning we moved the motorhome to in between the house and the work shop where it is protected from trees.  Where it is normally parked is by some pine trees – if we get ice we could have broken branches and do not want to chance it.  Luckily the area Mike had to drive through was dry enough and he didn’t sink in to any mud — we have had a lot of rain in recent weeks and it is very muddy in places.  We are ready with firewood and a generator in case we loose power – the refrigerator is full (well be plugged into the generator if needed) so I am ready – now lets keep our fingers crossed that it passes us by!!

Continue reading about Circles and Squares