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Brown/cream seersucker

Brown/cream seersucker

…I’m tickled my son is well dressed with shirts that fit beautifully and he’s proud to wear. 

He is visiting with us this weekend and I presented him the three latest shirts.  He mentioned he now wears nothing but mom-made shirts to work.  He’s demoted his purchased knit shirts to weekend wear until I make enough casual ones to fill the bill.  He admitted his first choice for weekend wear is also mom-made shirts.  I’m so glad he acquired another this visit.  He certainly knows how to push my buttons and encourage me to make more.  At this point, I could construct them in my sleep!

Shirt #11 is brown stripes on cream colored seersucker with rounded button-down collar, horizontal cut pocket, yoke and collar accented with a paisley inner collar band.  It has a rounded shirt tail hem and antique mother-of-pearl buttons.

In the stash, there is currently fabric for making 5 more office shirts and several casual ones.  I’ll continue to make them until Jake tells me to stop or I get sick of the process.

This week, I decided I want to try my hand at making a blazer for Jacob to wear to some of the meetings he attends.  I’ve selected a medium weight midnight blue denim for a casual but dressy look.  I hope it will look nice over jeans for casual wear or khaki, gray, black or blue slacks for a dressier look  After ordering and receiving all the supplies and fabrics (denim, lining, interfacing, sleeve heads and shoulder pads) I’m ready to study several purchased patterns for hints, tricks, techniques and instructions in hopes of a successful endeavor.  Thus far and sadly, I’ve found little help in searching the Net.  Guess I’ll just figure it out or make a ‘wadder’.

Tomato production continues and I’ve canned 7 more pints this week.  Each evening, I persevere constructing units to add to the Urban Renewal quilt.  It’s an extreme labor-intensive project and a good test of patience.

Yes, life is simple here on our hill.  We like it that way!

Shirl

Same o’, same o’ going on around here this week.Gecko shirt  I continue making shirts.

This one is a gecko and pebbles print Jake picked out several years ago.  He’s always been partial to gecko prints.  Since he mentioned wanting more weekend/casual shirts, I decided to make this one.

This shirt features an all over print (no contrasting fabric), rounded collar and straight, vented hem.  The buttons are antique mother-of-pearl I purchased a couple of decades ago.  I bought the buttons by-the-pound and have a Tupperware container full.  They are truly wonderful; unlike any made today.

The more I look at this shirt, the more I think it would be perfect if one wanted to hide in a red ant mound.  Camo!

I don’t know why it seems these casual shirts are much easier to assemble than the office shirts… it’s the same pattern!  The only difference is a straight vented vs. a rounded, shirt-tail hem.  Both take equal effort.

I’m glad to have the ‘break’ in making office wear.  I do enjoy patterned, colorful fabric and plan to make several more ‘fun’ shirts.

Next up is an office shirt made with brown/cream stripped seersucker.  It’s cut out, the mother-of-pearl buttons are selected and it’s ready to sew.

I was able to can 6 more pints of tomatoes and the kitchen double windowsill is full of more.  Tomorrow morning I will go out and pick even more.  It will be time to can again in a day or two.  Looking forward to it.

Shirl

Hope all U.S. citizens enjoyed their long Independence Day weekend.  It felt liSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESke a mini vacation here and I loved it.  Bob cooked 3 whole chickens and a rack of baby back ribs on the smoker.  I made potato salad and fresh bread to include in our feast.  Much of the smoked meat will be frozen to use in recipes later.

After watching a few modern TV shows and noticing how popular men’s gingham shirts are, I decided a style-conscious guy can’t have too many and in a variety of colors.  I dug in my fabric stash and found a red 1/4″ gingham remnant.  There wasn’t much but upon laying out the pattern, I found with using contrasting fabric for the inside yoke, collar underside and collar bands, I could barely make the shirt if tuck-in tails were eliminated.

Upon checking with Jacob to see if he would wear a non-tuck-in shirt, he said, “Yes!” so I proceeded to make it.

After cutting out the shirt, there was only a 4″ square of fabric remaining …. not enough to replace any piece of the shirt if an error was made.  I rarely mess up while making shirts but I figured it might happen on this particular one.  Thankfully, it didn’t!

This shirt features a rounded, button-down collar and the outside yoke and pocket cut on the bias.  I think it turned out nice.  When Jacob first saw it, he exclaimed, “Picnic shirt!” and tried it on.  It fit perfectly and he took it home.  He messaged yesterday that he had worn the shirt over the weekend and he loves it.  My fear of it being too short were eliminated and I was happy to note he likes this ‘Cafe Camo’ shirt.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Since deciding multiple gingham shirts should be in a well-dressed man’s closet (and finding an awesome sale), I ordered and received blue, hunter green and tiny black seersucker gingham fabric.  I cut into the blue immediately.

I received an ample amount of fabric which opened more possibilities for cutting the pattern.  This shirt includes a bias panel on the right side, a bias yoke and lining, contrasting collar band and pocket accent.  The collar is narrowed and shortened for a ‘shark collar’ look.  I hope he likes it.

Our tomato garden has continued to flourish.  Since we have more fresh tomatoes than we can eat (though we try REALLY hard!), I’ve decided instead of letting them rot, I’d can them.

Our tomatoes are so flavorful.  They are 100% organic (REALLY!) and absolutely no chemicals were used whatsoever in the garden.  We are fortunate there are much fewer bugs to harm the plants this year.  Praises go to late frosts!  The only fertilizer we used was compost we produced ourselves.

I love cooking with fresh canned tomatoes and when I find them to purchase, I can up to 50 quarts per year.  Thus far, I haven’t found any in our area so I’m hording the ones we have.

This was a tiny canning project (2 quarts and 1 pint) but I’ll appreciate theseSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES jars when I use them in our favorite recipes (Mammie noodles, gumbo, spaghetti, etc.).  As more of our tomatoes ripen or if I’m fortunate enough to find some to purchase, I’ll can more.

Shirl

 

 

 

Been working more on Urban Renewal SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESthis week and she grows a little larger each day.  I’ve finished cutting probably more pieces than I need and work on assembling the individual units as I relax at night.  I like how it’s coming along.  Thus far, it measures approximately 45″ x 24″.

Each time I walk past it, I rearrange units.  Upon studying this photo, I see more re-arranging to do.  With the exception of the blue in the lower left corner, all units are unique.  I have another dozen unique units ready to be stitched before beginning repeats.

Although only about half of my print stash (and none of my batiks or solids) is represented, this quilt allows me to see my overall scrap stash.  I’m pleased with the variety.

In this morning’s walk through the garden, I notice the first blushing tomatoes.  Many have gone from totally green to showing some red and several are the size of grapefruit!  Exciting!  Propane is purchased, jars and lids are accessible, ice is made, the canner is washed, the jar lifter is located and my knife is sharpened.  I’m ready to start canning ripe tomatoes!

Shirl

NOT!!.. but I just can’t stop myself!  I have come to understand how my grandmother, after gifting many, died with an attic stuffed with finished quilts.  They are sooo darned fun to make!

Urban Renewal embryo

Urban Renewal embryo

I’m taking a little break from the sewing machine (making shirts gets boring after a while) to enjoy some hand piecing.  I spent a few days researching which pattern I wanted to make when I came upon this one called ‘Inner City’.  It’s made with half-hexagons of colors in light, medium and dark  values.  It spoke to me in more ways than one.

First off, I like the 3D effect of the pattern.  Secondly, I enjoy English Paper Piecing (the assembly method of these units), but mostly, the pattern speaks to my frugality.  I already have unused cut hexagons left from assembling my ‘Grandmother’s Flower Garden’ quilt top.

I pulled out the box of leftovers and after careful measuring, I decided the size of these hexi’s is perfect when trimmed for the new project. 

I drew new papers (for paper piecing), copied them and cut them from last year’s drug insurance handbook.  Used paper is ideal for this project.

I dug around the leftovers and was able to match 3 values of many fabric colors.  Some units will require I cut new half-hexi’s for one of the color values.  Most of little half-hexi’s will come from my small bits-n-crumbs bin.

I put together the pictured units last night.  Ithe addictive quality of labor intensive English Paper Piecing.  It’s mindless busy-work for my hands as I watch movies or visit with family.  I’m also attracted to expending what is essentially trash to become a useful thing of beauty.

Hmmmm, think I’ll call this quilt ‘Urban Renewal’.

We enjoyed a wonderful, extended weekend with Jacob and (as always) hated to see him leave.  We look forward to his next visit.

Shirl

I recently purchase two pieces of sale fabric perfect for making long sleeve dress shirts.  Jacob has requested a couple for those days when meetings require him to wear a tie.  This week, I completed the first.

This fabric is awesome.  It’s a cotton/poly blend (for easy care) that is very soft and has a luscious, though subdued, sheen.  It’s very best attribute is the price… $3.00 per yard for 56″ inch wide fabric and it takes less than 2 yards to make a shirt!  BARGAIN!!  The other piece is similar but with black pinstripes.

Honestly, I dislike making long sleeve shirts.  Assembling a well-made shirt is enough of a challenge without adding the extra steps of cuffs and sleeve plackets.

This shirt is constructed with contrasting inner collar stand and inside cuffs.  The pocket is ‘chevroned’ and the outer cuffs, sleeve plackets, back yoke and collar are horizontally striped for a touch of contrast.  The collar is button down style.

Finding buttons was a challenge.  Most ‘white’ buttons are actually cream colored and they absolutely would not work on this shirt.  I searched several online stores and finally found 1/2″ clear pearled buttons with matching 3/16″ ones for the collar.  I bought plenty to add to my HUGE button stash for future shirts.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the shirt and look forward to presenting it to Jacob this weekend.  I know he’ll like it and that’s all that counts.

To fill my recent evenings, I’ve dug out an old quilt in need of repair.  This is the first quilt I completed WAY back in 1980.  It was pieced with everything in my scrapbag at the time, including corduroy, satin, crepe, twill and seersucker (to name a few).  It’s amazing it has held up as well as it has through all the washings it’s seen.

Some of the pieces have begun to shred so I’ve selected scraps from my stash to make the repairs.  In this photo, you may notice two pieces (green and brown) pinned in place awaiting adjustment and stitching.   I’ve cut away the old shredded bits and will applique the new ones in their place.  After a washing, the repairs shouldn’t be noticeable.

Our garden has switched to Phase II.  The snow peas are all harvested and the weather has warmed so no new ones will develop.  Now is when we concentrate on tomatoes… and our plants are loaded with them!  If the weather remains stable and especially if we continue having timely rains, we should be pleased with production.  I’m looking forward to the first few to mature into big green treats.  I’ve been craving fried green tomatoes and intend to make some with the first two candidates.

Other than selecting a roofer for the impending home improvement (which will temporarily halt our quiet solitude), that’s about it on this hill.  We are anxiously awaiting an extended weekend visit from Jacob.

Shirl

It’s been another quiet but productive week on our hill.Baby tomatoes

I’ve enjoyed walking in the garden each morning and though we’ve   planted very few snow peas, we’ve managed to have several meals of them and I’ve put 2 quarts in the freezer for future cooking.  Since the weather is remaining cool in the evenings, I suspect there may be another quart of two to freeze before the season ends.

The tomato plants are thriving.  They have loved the weekly heavy rains and we’ve fed them with organic, rich soil from our compost pile.  They are happy plants and have begun gifting us with baby tomatoes.  My mouth is already watering thinking of the flavor the ripe beauties will have.  I hope the production is large enough so I might can some but I do plan to purchase more to restock the pantry with home canned tomatoes.  As long as our weekly rains continue, tomatoes should be plentiful in our area.blue seersucker shirt and collar

I’ve also done more sewing this week.  Not surprising, I’ve made another shirt for Jacob.  He likes the green seersucker shirt so much, I decided he needs a blue one.  I rounded the collar a bit and made both sides of the collar stand a matching solid blue.  I’m proud of how it turned out.

The next shirt I plan to make will be a white with red pinstripes long sleeve dress shirt.  I’m not fond of making long sleeves because of the cuffs and sleeve plackets but after making one shirt, I’ll be cured of that dread.  It’s all a matter of one stitch after another…. nothing more.

I wish for everyone a happy and safe Memorial holiday weekend.  We have no special plans but our days will be filled with activities we love.  Have a fun one!

Shirl

 

The Winding Ways sofaSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES quilt is finally finished!  It was set aside with only inches of binding still left to hand stitch but now it is complete and laundered.  I don’t know why I allow other projects to distract me sometimes but it happens.  I’m glad I didn’t let this one languish for months!

This sofa quilt was hand pieced and hand quilted.  It measures 68″ x 58″, has a narrow frame and wider border (both mitered).  The backing is a wide, dark gray fabric with black curlicues.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe hand quilting was done in a hoop, using YLI 40/3 ply ecru colored thread, following the intertwined circles.  The border is quilted in a twisted ribbon design and includes my name and date.  The binding is black.

There were quite a few remaining bits and pieces left after assembling this quilt so I made extra blocks and assembled a dog quilt measuring 42″ x 35″.  I still have enough blocks left to make another one the same size.

Now it’s time to decide what’s next.  I plan to make more shirts immediately but I feel another quilt in my near future.

Shirl

…but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing stuff!

Jacob's new gingham shirt

Jacob’s new gingham shirt

Each morning, I head toward the garden to harvest the day’s snow peas.  Because we planted only a few plants, it takes several day’s pickings to make a dish.  My favorite is steamed snow peas, spinach, mushrooms, carrots and shrimp served over flavored jasmine rice.  I can’t think of anything more tasty!  DH and I both LOVE it!  I’ll be making it again this weekend.

I’ve continued sewing shirts for Jacob.  This is the newest creation, made using black/white gingham originally purchased for repairing an antique quilt.  Since I bought WAY more than needed for the quilt, I decided to make a shirt with the extra fabric.

In an attempt to make something different, I cut 1/2 of the left front on the bias and attached with a French seam.  I then cut the pocket on the bias and placed it so it would align with the bias panel.  By doing this, one half of the pocket nearly disappears.  I also cut the back yoke and yoke lining on the bias for further interest.  The inner collar stand is a black printed fabric.  The seams are flat felled so no raw edges exist.  It may be a busy shirt but it’s well made.

I’ve also been doing some extra cooking.  Instead of making the usual 10-12 entrees on our normal rotation, I’ve been checking out and trying new recipes.  Thus far, we’ve REALLY liked everything I’ve tried!  After preparing a new dish, I make changes I feel will improve the flavor and soon, make it again.  When I’m completely satisfied with the improvements, I type it for my own recipe book and include photos.  Along with my old tried-n-true entrees, I share these new recipes with family and friends.  I do enjoy cooking (and eating) good food!

That’s about all going on around here.  I’ve had a couple of roofers come out to give us estimates for a new roof.  Gosh, LOTS of money!  I continue to read each day and usually find time to work on a quilt and watch movies.  The days are always filled.

We’re looking forward to a weekend visit from Jacob.   Can hardly wait to see him!

Shirl

Jake's seersucker shirt

Jake’s seersucker shirt

So thankful my old Kenmore sewing machine remembers how to stitch seersucker fabric.  It’s been decades since I’ve made anything with this type fabric.  I may need to find more!  I love it and it’s super easy to stitch!  I love the results!

Before making this shirt, I consulted with Jacob to be certain he would actually wear a seersucker shirt and he assured me he’s been wanting another one for ages since he had one when he was a boy.   He hasn’t forgotten it was his favorite.

Well, now he has another and I hope it becomes a favorite too!

This lime and white seersucker stripe shirt has a lime fishbone print detail at the inner collar, the pocket is cut to match the shirt and the yoke and collar are cut with lengthwise stripes.  It was finished with pale green pearled shirt buttons.

This is the fourth shirt for Jacob in my most recent sewing binge and I have purchased fabric for several more.

We’re expecting a visit from him this weekend.  Bob plans to smoke a turkey and I’ll make accompanying dishes.  We’re looking SOOO forward to seeing our baby son!

Shirl

Update 4/26/14:  Jacob has modeled his 3 newest shirts and LOVES them.  He has told me every single thing he likes about these custom-fitted shirts including room across the upper back, perfect length sleeves, slim fitting body while broad enough in the shoulders and extra length for tucking into his pants.  When asked what changes he would recommend, he suggested I fill his closet with them!  He’s gotten many compliments from his fellow workers when wearing the black/white shirt and proudly boasts it was made by his mother.  He’s looking forward to wearing these new ones.  Makes a mom/seamstress proud!

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White/orchid windowpane

While others have been dying eggs and munching chocolate bunnies, I’ve been sewing.  In my life, I’ve learned when the sewing mood strikes…. SEW!  The mood may be slow to come around again.

I’ve completed another shirt for Jacob.  This is a white/orchid windowpane print with darker orchid print accents.  The shirt fabric is cotton with just enough poly to make it truly wrinkle-free.  I hope he likes it as much as Bob and I do.  This makes 3 new shirts made recently and I’ll start cutting another tonight.

I’ve challenged myself with each new shirt I’ve made.  This one has French flat fell side seams, bias yoke and lining and a bias pocket.  I’m not wild for making flat fell seams but I’ve ordered a sewing machine attachment that should make the job easier and help me ‘up my game’.

Recent conversations about travel have inspired me to finished a second t-shirt for myself.  I like it, though it reminds me of Flamenco dancers with castanets.  I hope to make several more tees and some shorts for lightweight summer comfort.  I have loads of cotton knits waiting to become comfy clothes.  They are so easy for travel!

It’s time to start cooking our Easter feast.  We’ll be having my infamous roast beef with potatoes, carrots and rich, oniony gravy.  Fresh bread is already baked. I’m sure we’ll splurge with a few jellybeans for desert.

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Red tee

Happy Easter all!!

Shirl

 

Gray with Red Shirt

Gray with Red Shirt

After receiving raves and thanks from Jacob for his black and white shirt, I was inspired to make another.  Several friends also commented it looked like an expensive designer shirt.  I was very flattered and decided I should investigate modern designer shirts, their styles, fabrics and cost.  Wow!  I was shocked a Robert Graham® shirt nearly exactly like this one retails at Nordstrom’s for $198!!!  Good grief!

My actual cost in making this shirt was MUCH less.  This gray fabric was $3 per yard at Fabric Mart, the red is from my quilting stash, the buttons are recycled from one of DH’s old work uniforms, a few pennies worth of thread and interfacing were used and the pattern is my own.  I can honestly and generously tally the actual expenditure at $10 plus 2 hours for cutting and 6 hours of actual sewing time.

I want to find fools folks willing to pay $198 for custom-fitted shirts!!  I’ll happily sell them a shit pile as many as they like!

Needless to say, I’ve ordered more cheap fabric and will be sewing more for my favorite guy.  I’m thrilled he appreciates and proudly wears them.

This week I also noticed I had cut out two t-shirts for myself that were never sewn.  Since I had my sweet Kenmore machine set up and it happily sews interlock fabric, I decided to finish one of them.  I like how it came out and can always use new ‘play clothes’.  After checking in my fabric closet, I should definitely invest some time in sewing many more pieces of clothing for myself.

Interlock Tee

Interlock Tee

This week, I’ve also taken advantage of cooler weather and spent some time in the kitchen.  I’ve never made old fashioned chicken spaghetti but when I’ve eaten it made by others, I’ve loved it.  It was high time to try making it myself.

My gosh, it turned out delicious and the recipe by Paula Deen makes heaps.  The next time I make it, I’ll use a little less pasta, bake half and freeze the other half to use at a later date.  I love pulling delicious, homemade dinners from the freezer for easy meals.  Bob also loves having home-cooked freezer meals available when I am away.  I simply write the instructions with a Sharpie on the container so there is no guessing for bake time and temperature.

Shirl

I spoke with Jacob last night about the shirt I most recently made for him (see last post) and after altering the original pattern according to his actual measurements since his weight loss, he says it’s the best fitting shirt he owns.  He said he’s worn it no less than 5 times to work and wishes all his shirts fit this well.  Now I’m excited to make more for him and I already have fabric on hand!!

Winding Ways as of 4-2-14

Winding Ways as of 4-2-14

Lately, I’ve been hand quilting the Winding Ways top and finished the main body last night.  Today, I’ve begun marking the border to start quilting tonight.  This photo kinda shows the circular quilting.  Pardon the grungy marks.  Hopefully, the next picture of this quilt will show it finished and laundered.  Because I like it so much, I haven’t decided if it will be kept or gifted.

Except for some severe storms, things have been fairly quiet around here.  The storms have caused some damage to Network equipment but it is slowly being repaired.  We could definitely do with less lightning but we’re glad to see Spring has finally arrived.

Shirl

We are thawing from our mostJake Shirt Kinda recent winter ice experience.  This makes the 5th ice storm this season and if that doesn’t set a record, it should.  I totally dread seeing our third high heating bill when usually this time of year offers relief from them.  I won’t complain.  I’m fully aware when summer arrives with a blast like a steel foundry, I’ll pine for cooler weather.  Every cold day postpones hot, humid, sweaty misery.

Since the winter appears to be lingering, Bob decided to go ahead and plant snow peas.  They should have been in the ground in late January or early February but if our Spring arrives late (as it seems it will do), they still may get the opportunity to produce.  I certainly hope so.  There’s nothing finer than lightly steamed freshly-picked snow peas with shrimp and butter.  Oh YUM!

This week, I’ve been busily sewing a new shirt for Jacob.  He needs new things for his new job and requested I make some conservative, professional-looking shirts.  I’ve finished one and will wait until he tries it on before making more.

I’ll admit I found making the shirt challenging.  Though I’ve made many, many dozens of shirts, it’s been a while.  Techniques that were once automatic, required head scratching and close study to remember.  Now that it’s all come back, I’m ready to make more.  Men’s shirts are FUN!

Winding Ways Sofa Quilt 62" x 70"

Winding Ways Sofa Quilt 62″ x 70″

After finishing the shirt, I’ve returned to working on a Winding Ways sofa-sized quilt.  Today, I added borders and mitered the corners.  Tomorrow, I’ll begin the task of sandwiching and hand basting.  This will be another hand-quilted-in-a-hoop quilt.

I’ve also put together a matching dog quilt using extra pieces left from making this top.  I plan to machine-quilt it for strength and durability.

Shirl

Managed to live through another birthday recently.  It’s amazing how, as the numbers get higher, the time goes by faster and faster.  It makes me realize I should do those things I want to do before this game is up.  I have accomplished many of the bucket-list quilts and won’t be ashamed with what I leave behind.

I’m making the last of the blocks for a Winding Ways quilt.  I’ve made this one with light and dark scraps while I’m considering making another using batiks.  It’s such a fun design to hand piece!  I have too many batiks to allow to languish away in the closet.  They NEED light and I hear them begging to be used.  Hand quilting Winding Ways will give time to consider the next project.  At this point, I’m wide open for ideas.

I’ve actually made enough WW blocks for a full size quilt but I think I may make a large sofa quilt and a separate dog quilt.  Lolita is begging for a replacement.  Her quilt is getting really tattered and may not survive another washing.  I’ll decide as I’m sewing the blocks together.

I should take a break from quilts and get some clothing sewing done.  I have fabric to make 5 shirts for Jacob.  These will be more conservative than the shirts I usually make.  He’s started a new job and feels he needs to dress more professionally.  No problem!  I have very few conservative stripe and plaid bits in my stash so scraps from this newly purchased yardage is welcomed.  I’m already itching to use them in a quilt but can’t touch the fabric until the shirts are cut out! 

Shirl

Patches 'n Pinwheels

Patches ‘n Pinwheels

I finished my first project of 2014.  It’s a quilt for a baby boy expected to arrive in Spring.  The pattern is called Patches ‘n Pinwheels and is machine assembled and hand quilted.  I used high-loft polyester  batting for extra softness and rapid drying.

Most of the pieces to assemble the quilt were left from other quilt projects.  The dark and pale blue borders were left from making Jacob’s Shirt Quilt, the piano border is leftover pieces from The Between Quilt and the various scraps are from my ever-growing pile of clothing sewing scraps.  I love having a large stash from which to choose.

This is another hand quilted project from my hoop.  I’ve found I truly enjoy hand stitching as I watch movies on my computer at night.  It’s very relaxing and I try to have a project available for stitching every night.

The finished quilt measures 54″ x 42″.

Shirl

Log cabin sofa quilt

Log Cabin Sofa Quilt

I’ve been cutting and stitching like crazy in hopes of finishing a sofa quilt for Christmas gifting.  It certainly would have been a wiser decision had it been made earlier in the year but the idea came to me in November.

It’s been a perfect project for the bitter cold, icy days we’ve been experiencing.  I’ve enjoyed digging through my ever-growing stash for light and dark fabrics.  The only tedious part was cutting hundreds of strips to finish at 3/4″.  Thankfully, all materials and supplies needed to make this quilt was on hand so I wasn’t required to venture out in nasty weather.

It was hand quilted in a hoop while I watched movies on my computer.  Unfortunately, the hoop broke as I was finishing the last block.  I order new hoops and worked at quilting the sawtooth border without one.  Because of the weather delays for shipping, the new hoops didn’t arrive until the quilt was already finished.

Oh well!  Now I’ll just have to plan another hoop-quilted project.  A friend of my son is soon to welcome a new baby.  Sounds like a good excuse to make another quilt.

I’ve had my eye on a free pattern featured on Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville blog.  I want to make Patches and Pinwheels and think it will be a precious baby boy’s quilt.

I want to wish everyone a fabulous, fun-filled Christmas and a joyous and blessed New Year!

Shirl

79+ fat quartersI took advantage of Connecting Threads‘ Black Monday online fabric sales and purchased 79+ fat quarters for less than $50!!!  That’s only 63¢ each for excellent, high quality fabric.  I can’t beat that price even for lower quality fabric on eBay®.  SCORE!!

Naturally because the order was made during peak online sale period, Connecting Threads warned there may be a little delay in shipping.  They had no idea our area’s major shipping hub would be iced in for days.  Because of Mother Nature, the order took 13 calendar days to arrive  but since I have no explicit plans for this fabric, it didn’t matter.  I love every piece of it!!

It took 3 days to wash, iron, fold and pet all of it.  I’m also thrilled that Connecting Threads includes the bolt ends with each bundle.  BONUS!  One of the ends is barely short of being a complete fat quarter and several more are fat eighth size… all free!  My PHAT fabric stash is happy, happy, happy.

Since mid November, I’ve spent every minute of spare time piecing and hand quilting a sofa-sized log cabin quilt.  All that’s left to do is cut and stitch the binding and launder.  It’s turning out really pretty and I plan to gift it.  I used high-loft batting so it’s super snuggly.  I’m sure it will be enjoyed.

Jacob is here this weekend so I’ve been doing extra cooking.  I love spoiling him!  I spent a full day making homemade noodles for us to eat and him to take home.  Today, I’ll bake a couple of batches of cookies.  He’s requested cheezy potato and ham soup for dinner which isn’t difficult or time consuming.  I’ll finally get a chance to relax this evening.

Maybe I’ll start planning my next hand sewing project.

Shirl

more potholders

More potholders

In case I didn’t have enough, I’ve assembled more potholders from quilt making leftovers.  They really are fun to make and I’m so attracted to the fact they cost little more than time and effort.  What fun it is while busily cooking to open a drawer and grab one or two of these bright and happy potholders… and they WORK GOOD!!  Frankly, it’s a little unusual to have new and clean potholders in our kitchen.  I could get used to this!  Hmmm, now I need to score new cup towels.

It’s been quiet here during this Thanksgiving weekend.  We celebrated when Jacob was here last weekend, eating typical turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and LOTS of cookies.  I baked several types of cookies with thoughts Jake could take them home to share with his roommates.  When I spoke with him Wednesday, he said most were gone and he was planning to finish them off that night.  So glad they enjoyed them.

Shirl

 

 

Scrappy, Crumby Potholders

Scrappy, Crumby Potholders

I continue to enjoy using scraps and crumbs to make useful items for our home.  These potholders were made by treadle-sewing fabric scraps to foundation (used printer) paper for both front and back sides.  After removing the paper, they are sandwiched with Unsul-Bright® Insulated Lining and cotton batting.  I used the treadle machine to free-motion quilt and apply black binding.  I finished the binding by hand.

I how they turned out and even DH said he wouldn’t be surprised to see potholders like these in a gourmet shop for $10 – 20 EACH!  That’s pretty high praise from a guy who would just as well use his shirttail to handle hot pots.  We’ll see how long he keeps these clean!

Since it’s been rainy and dreary for the past several days, I’ve been looking for a hand project to do.  I have finally finished making batik stars for the Tumbling Stars quilt top (see Unfinished Projects in the sidebar), so I decided to use some leftover crumbs to make hand stitched potholders.  I the way they look and am considering giving some as holiday gifts.  These are backed with black fabric and big-stitch hand quilted (it’s impossible to make tiny stitches through 2 layers of fabric, cotton batting and Insul-Bright).  Pictured is the first four made and I will start making more tonight.

This week found me back at the doctor’s office for another attempt to overcome a persistent urinary tract infection.  I was given 3 different antibiotics this time in hopes of a cure.  It leaves me wondering if the pills will cure the infection or kill me trying.  Hope to feel better soon.

Shirl

 

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