Monday, August 27

What's on the line? is back!!!!

It was a beautiful afternoon yesterday and so I headed out to my new clothesline to hang a rather interesting quilt...................
It is not the most beautiful quilt in the world and, in fact, it's not really a quilt because it's "tied", not actually "quilted". Don't tell my husband that. This was his TV quilt and it is soft and comfy. It saw a lot of Sunday nap times. :-)  The colors in the quilt may be a real giveaway.............all this fabric is from the early 1970's and most of it is from shirts that I made for husband, Steve. He loved bright colors. He had an "interesting" eye for color back then. The 70's was the era of the "Leisure Suit" and I made him one in beige so these shirts didn't look too bad with the pants and jacket. Almost all the fabrics were purchased at a small fabric shop in Dumont, New Jersey. We lived there for just two years, and that shop and the local library were my two favorite places. I only wish I could remember the name of the fabric shop. The lady who owned it was always so nice. The border on the quilt is vintage fabric from the 1940's that my mother-in-law gave me. I thought it was nice to put it on a quilt for her son.There is significant wear on the edges and I am going to do some repairs to stablize the quilt. The extra long NASCAR quilt has replaced this one for Sunday afternoon naps. :-) You can see it here.

The new clothesline that my husband installed is a pulley system. In the photo on the right, you can see that if I unwind the cord then I can lower the heighth of the line. I can hang the quilt at the lower height, then with the pulley system, I can raise it so it doesn't touch the ground when I'm taking pictures. I will need to use an old sheet on the ground when initially hanging the quilt but the system works really well! 

When the quilt hangs high and straight, I can take good close-ups of the block designs. My favorite block is nine-patch. Well, unless I'm making Churn-dash or Hole-in-the-Barn Door blocks as I like to call them. It's hard to have just one favorite!!  Anyway, nine-patch blocks worked great for the left-over shirt fabrics. That green, white and orange plaid was one of my favorite shirts that I made.

I enjoyed my new clothesline so much that I just let the quilt blow in the wind for a bit.  Then I took a photo from a distance. As you can see, the dead tree is still there but sometime this fall, it will come down. Soon, my husband will have plenty of time for this kind of thing because he'll be retiring at the end of September. He's worked for Lockheed Martin since September of 1974 (actually it was Univac when we first moved here). We came here from New Jersey where he wore those wild and crazy shirts to work.  His job at Univac required a suit and tie, and so he went shopping and I quit sewing for him. I did not miss making those button-down collars. As the years went by, casual shirts have become his work-wear but I had no interest in sewing for him. I get plenty of scraps from the quilting projects I make and all the curtains I seem to be sewing. LOL! 


That's the "soon to be retired" husband mowing the lawn next to my quilt line. What is significant about this photo is that this whole area will become a perennial garden next spring. I am looking forward to flowers that I can pick like these lovelies from my neighbor Sue..........and then the next summer.............a backyard quilt show!  It could happen!!!  I'm from Iowa so I believe in that saying........."If you build it, they will come"!

Happy Monday, everyone! Can you believe it's the last Monday in August? Going to be heating up this week but a cool-down coming on the weekend. Just in time to get out the Fall and Halloween stuff and make my front porch look festive.
Back soon and, yep, I will get to those retreat photos soon!

Thursday, August 23

One fabulous find on Facebook!

As I write this, it is late Thursday evening and I see that my last post was made an entire week ago! Oh, I should not go so long without blogging but I was in "vacation mode" and found myself really enjoying life.  I got so relaxed at our weekend quilt retreat (pictures coming soon) that I just can't get back "in the swing of things". And with the cooler temperatures here in Minnesota, I found myself sitting in the chair on my front porch .... a lot!  In the evening, I was in my sewing room, sitting in my sewing chair and doing some stitching or sketching. And I could not put down another good book by Sandra Dallas.  Oh, I have really enjoyed this past week!  And while I may not have been blogging, I spent some time on Facebook where I love to connect with family and friends. And that's where I found this..........

Isn't that cover picture enticing?  I want to make caramel apples now!!  And the title of that magazine is perfect.......  FOLK, all about Real. American. Living!!!  I got a chance to preview this issue and inside, there are more delicious fall treats, lots of vintage inspired Halloween ideas, and so much more!  You all know my favorite season is fall and I am anxiously awaiting that crisp, cool air and the turning of the leaves.  Planning to decorate my front porch for Fall this very weekend!  I am in full agreement with editor Ben who writes in this issue.........."Fall is my favorite season".  Enough said.  :-)

So how did I get  a chance to preview this Fall issue? Well, one of my Facebook friends posted about the magazine and when I saw those caramel apples, I just had to check it out. Then I saw that they were looking for Folks to blog about FOLK. And if they did........there was a free subscription in it and one for a reader. I e-mailed that I'd love to participate and shared a link to my blog. I was delighted when I got a reply that it was a "GO!" 
Soooooooooooooooo, would you like to have a chance to win a subscription to this wonderful magazine? You'll find it's full of great articles on everything that makes everyday life enjoyable.........home, antiques, the arts, hand-crafted traditions, music, good food, travel to small towns and visits to Main Street and local businesses, American made products, all the things that make for great living. The photography is stunning and the articles are so well-written.  I live in the small town of Henderson, Minnesota that is just the kind of place you might find in this magazine.  It's a great place to enjoy everything that FOLK is about. I can hardly wait to get my subscription!  The magazine also has a blog so be sure and check it out here.
And now .......... all you have to do is leave your name and your e-mail address in the comment box for a chance to win a subscription. My regular readers know that I love to ask you all a question when I do a giveaway, and soooooooo, here it is.............

What thing do you most enjoy that says.......
Real.   American.   Living.
Tell me please!
Add your name/comment now. Giveaway closes at midnight Saturday, August 25th. Winner will be posted shortly after midnight CST and you must reply by 5:00 CST Sunday, August 26th. Best of luck to all! Have a great weekend!

AND THE WINNER IS.............. DIANE! Check out her blog .......... Bearly*Wild She makes wonderful Memory Teddy Bears!

Thursday, August 16

In vacation mode!

Well, I went off to retreat last weekend which was actually my summer vacation. It was just three days and it was wonderful. I got so relaxed that I just kept relaxing after I got home. It took four days to unpack my car, not because it was so much stuff but because I only brought in a couple bags/projects at a time. LOL!  Then I had a dental appointment and an allergy appointment and I thought maybe I should do a little housecleaning so I just didn't get around to blogging. I realized it was high-time I did just that!
I'm going to share photos from our retreat later this weekend. Today I wanted to share about the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. For those of you that live in Minnesota, you know it's a great opportunity to visit lots of shops, have a chance for fabulous prizes and there is always a great Minnesota themed fabric and lots of sample projects at the shops. I've made projects for Firefly*Quilt*Shop the last couple of years but I knew this year I wouldn't have time because of class and family reunions. However, I stopped into Firefly just days before the event began and took some photos. The event began last weekend and continues through August 19. Here a peek at the fun projects that you'll find at Firefly ....

If you love the lakes, loons, cabins, and Minnesota, you will love the fabrics that are offered this year. And there's even some that are still available from last year. This is the tabletopper that I designed last year and some kits are still available. They're right there in that loon basket. I won it at a quilt meeting and loaned it to owner Janice because it is just soooooo Minnesota! 
Fabrics for the line weren't available for sale yet but I did pick up a little something at the shop............
One can never have too many seam rippers. I liked this one because the white tip is soft and it's intended use is to rub away the little bits of thread after you use the seam ripper. It works! I was able to use it at retreat. LOL!  Back soon then with photos of our relaxing and fun-filled retreat!
Have a great Friday! I'm loving the cool crisp air that we are enjoying here in Minnesota!

Friday, August 3

A mug rug for my dog!

Yes, I made a mug rug for my dog............
I saw these cute dog fabrics in a scrap bag that I bought at Firefly*Quilt*Shop, and I just had to stitch up a mug rug for Kaiser. I have always loved the challenge of remnants and have bought more than my share of the scrap bags at Firefly. And just in case you are wondering ..........I bought this fabric last year and did the bit of embroidery that says "Biscuit, please" and then I never finished the project.  I am in "catch up" mode so last night, I added the backing and finished it up. However, I don't make clothes for him. He's a beagle with some hound in him so he is no cute little lap dog. The mug rug, though, has it's use because I keep a small saucer for him in my sewing room. I wouldn't want him to go thirsty after he eats my crayons and other stuff.
I'd like to think that Kaiser would be really nice to me because I have made him this lovely mug rug. We shall see. He has not been very well-behaved this past week. He ate a little gift box that my daughter gave me for my birthday and one of the little crocheted flowers that was inside. She's going to make me a new one. Then he tried to eat the little book light that I bought last week! Chewed the thing all to pieces but luckily did not consume the three tiny batteries. My husband thinks he was being naughty to say........"Don't leave me here in Minnesota when you go home to the family reunion..........ever again!"  It's not like he was suffering because he was in the good care of neighbor Sue. I think he just likes to be naughty. :-)
I am working on another project that is in my "to do" pile. Will share it when it's a finished project!
I am so glad it's Friday. Just one week until I join my friends at Bonny's Quilt Haven. It's my vacation. Counting the days.................

Wednesday, August 1

The Tale of the Giant Mouse Pad

Here it is......the project that I made with my GO!'s a Giant Mouse Pad!!!
And it works great, so much better than the little one that I have had for a long time!  This was a project that I started over a year ago but all this health and doctor stuff put a real dent in my quilty projects.  But now I am catching up, and especially since I hired my neighbor, Sue, to come on Tuesday mornings and help with projects. She had never worked with iron-on vinyl so this was a fun, and also a learning experience for her. We took photos as we did it and here's how you can make one, too!
First, you need a vinyl adhesive backed floor tile like this.........

We had a bunch of these left-over tile after we finished our basement last year. That's what inspired this project. ;-)
Then, you need a GO! Baby like this.......
You'll need to purchase Heat 'n Bond Iron-on Vinyl and some 1/2" double sided clear adhesive tape. Then find some great fabrics in your stash, stack up a few and roll them through your GO! Baby.......
If you don't have a GO! Baby, check out the AccuQuilt website for more info. The die I used was one that cuts six- 2" squares.
Remove the squares from the GO! cutter and lay-out a pattern that is pleasing to you. I liked this lay-out............
Begin sewing your squares into rows..........
When the rows were complete, I pressed all seams open............
Sew your rows together and you will have a finished block..........
Next step is to add borders. I added strips that were 3-1/2" wide......
You'll add side borders first, then the top and bottom borders to complete the finished block........
Read directions carefully on the Heat 'n Bond Iron-On vinyl. I really like this product and have used it successfully on a couple of projects I made for my grandson........a team football pillow and a notebook for his favorite college team.
Cut a square of the iron-on vinyl that is just slightly larger than your quilt block.......
then peel away the backing paper but do not discard it. You will need it for another step. Carefully place the vinyl with adhesive side to right side of fabric.
Smooth with your hands, starting in the center and working out to the edges. Use a brayer to smooth out any bubbles.
Flip your block over and place the paper square over the reverse side of your block. Press, following package instructions.
 Remove paper and press again, per package instructions.
 Let cool...............and then you can peek and see if it worked........
 And it did!! So, the next step is to remove the paper from the back of your floor tile........
Place your quilt block face down on your work surface, then very carefully center the tile over the quilt square and press in place. Flip the block/tile over and smooth with your hands and brayer.
Take the block/tile to your cutting board and trim 1/2" all the way around the square.........
Next, place double-sided tape along outside edge of all four sides of tile.
Carefully fold edge of fabric onto double-sided tape. Do one edge, then it's opposite edge. I clipped the excess from the corners before making the last two folds.
Here's the brayer I used during this project..........
The last step is to cut a square of woolfelt that is 1/4" smaller on all edges than your finished square tile.
I used Tacky glue along all edges, then flipped the piece of woolfelt and placed it over the tile design.
I like to press a warm iron to the glued felt surface but I place a dishtowel over the glued area so I do not get glue on my iron soulplate.
The felt keeps the Giant Mouse Pad from slipping all over my desk. ;-) My mouse moves smoothyly over the vinyl surface even though there are seams in the quilt block.
I am really pleased with how this project worked out. I was not sure it would be successful so Plan B was going to be a vinyl covered totebag if the mousepad idea didn't work. LOL! I may yet make a totebag, as I really like these fabrics and the block lay-out. I might even use the lay-out for a quilt project! That's another project for another day!
I was tired when we finished this and almost took a nap on my front porch. I'm thinking that the summer cold that my husband had last week, may be knocking on my nose. Ugh!  Hoping a good night's sleep chases away any sign of a summer cold. Perhaps it will be too hot to catch a cold!
I have another GO! Baby project to share in a few days. It's one I did with my niece last summer. As I said........I'm catching up on things!

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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