Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Morning

"Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray, 
do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your might to all who are to come."
Psalm 71:17, 18

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Quick Make Over

My favorite little ironing board has been looking very gross shabby lately 
and in need of a make over...
Amy Butler to the rescue! These orange dots used to be a curtain in my grand daughter's nursery. The fabric piece was almost exactly the size I needed to make a quick pillowcase style cover for the ironing mat.
A couple of safety pins keep the cover from shifting as I use it. 
I can flip the cover over when this side gets dirty and even slide it off to run it through the washing machine when it gets unsightly!
Such a quick fix; why did I procrastinate?
 I so enjoy looking at a nice clean pad 
as I press my quilt blocks!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Morning

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, 
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:18

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Random Yummy Stuff

 My grandsons spent last weekend with us, and since eating is a major activity all the time  when they are here, we made the best of it. Hot dogs and smores are always a big hit...
...especially when the marshmallows become flaming torches just before they hit the chocolate...
...mmm..there's just nothing like that gooey treat!
And since Grandad and I like to load them up with sugar before we send them home, we also found ourselves at the local Tropical Snow Hut. Noticing the poster out front, Ollie asked for a Snow Angel. Seeing Oliver's disappointment at learning there was NO such thing, Mr. Shaved Ice quickly replied, "You know, I've been trying to think of a good name for a new flavor (peach, black cherry and tiger's blood?) I've invented and I think that you have just named it!" Of course, everyone needs a picture of themselves with the snow cone they've just named!
Speaking of sweet treats, do you recognize this pretty fruit? Looks like an apple, right? Nope, it's a pear!
When a high school boy came to my door selling cookie dough a few weeks ago, I ordered peanut butter cup. This afternoon he rang the doorbell and handed over this box of dough. Reading the directions printed on the front,  I took special note to "Not burn the cookies". Well... okay, if you insist. Oh, and apparently, I'm not supposed to eat the raw dough either. Well...we'll see.
We parked next to this pretty truck at Ezra's soccer game Saturday. Being the scrap saver that I am, I'm thinking that it would be the perfect truck for me if he ever wants to sell!
On the subject of scraps, I'm really enjoying putting together the blocks for my low volume quilt. About a third of the blocks  are already done!
Vicki and I enjoyed another fun day of sewing on our Good Fortune quilts as well...
Now, if I can just get Ginger to behave, things might go a little bit faster! I'm linking with Cindy for Really Random Thursday.
P.S. I've waited a whole week for the winner of the Farmer's Wife Scrap giveaway to contact me. So, after several tries to contact her, I have gone ahead and drawn another winner: #17 Carla (great name!) please email me your mailing address so that I can get your prize in the mail!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Scrap Saver System

Wednesday is the day I get to sew with my friend, Vicki. We talk so much while we sew, that there always needs to be a seam ripper nearby! Slowly, but surely, our Good Fortune quilts are coming together. We are trying to sew at the same pace: one not getting ahead of the other...more fun that way, we think! I'll put it away until next Wednesday.
 I don't think that I have converted Vicki into a leader/ender fanatic yet, but I can always hope. Here's my pile of leader enders, sewn into 3'sies already. Next I'll sew these parts together as my leader/enders. (See this post for a description of how to use leader/enders to make "Free Quilts".) Oh, how I love my scraps!
 Yesterday I started sewing random light colored strips together to make a low value quilt using the directions in Sunday Morning Quilts....easy peasy, and another good use of my scraps. This will go together really fast and will make a great donation quilt.
 There were a total of eighty-three comments on my last post about saving scraps and many of you have a great system in place, some very similar to mine. Bonnie Hunter's organization ideas were mentioned several times and is the basis for my system as well. After working with it for several years now, I have honed it down to the sizes that I use the most, collected and stored in plastic labeled containers. I regularly cut small scraps into squares measuring 2, 2.5, 3.5, and 5 inches. I sort them by size but not by color as I enjoy looking through them to pick out what I might want to use for a project. Animal cracker containers corral my growing selvedge collection...(I need to start using them instead of just hoarding them.)
 Several of you mentioned that 2.5 inch squares were your favorite size to collect and use. The same is true for me, with 2 inch squares coming in as a close second. Here's my collection right now....
 Likewise, I find that I use 2 inch and 2.5 inch strips the most, but also cut 1.5 inch as well as 3.5. I never let myself have more than one tub full of each, so that they don't over run my sewing closet. (As you can see, I am a bit behind in cutting up some of my scraps into usable strips so I'll be pulling these out to work on while watching Monday night football this fall.)
 Here's my very-full-1.5 inch tub. I'm going to need to come up with a way to use them soon if I want to keep to my rule of only one tub per strip size! As you can see, I prefer to keep them neatly folded in the tub...I can get more in the tub and don't have to iron them to use them!
 It was a lot of fun to read about every one's scrap storage and to know that even when you already have a lot of scraps, there's always room for more...and in this case mine! I hope that my ideas, (and those of others in the comments) have motivated at least one person to start organizing and making a plan to use their beautiful fabric. One last thought, and that is to address those who feel that they might be sorry that they cut something up...I feel that way sometimes too, and am usually only cutting up narrow leftovers or small uneven pieces. If it can be folded neatly, it goes back into my stash which is sorted by color and stored in plastic drawers. I will show you that another day. 
And now, (drum roll, please!) the winner of my Farmer's Wife scrap pack, chosen by Mr. Lollyquiltz, is number 59, HandSewFull who said:

I sew a lot of clothes and bags as well as quilts so many of my fabric pieces have very odd shapes cut out of them. When I am done a project I try to trim down the left overs to the largest possible piece that is still WOF which goes back on the fabric shelves. Then the weird leftover piece gets trimmed down to any available squares (I keep any 6" squares for Alzheimer's touch quilts) then the rest is cut into strips of varying sizes as the shape allows. These are then stored in clear shoe boxes as "squares or strips". There aren't enough of them for a colour arrangement.... but, I have the shoe boxes ready for when they breed!!
Thanks, everyone, for your creative ideas. You're the best!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Do You Like Scraps (a giveaway)?

While my hubby went to watch the KC Chiefs lose play on Sunday, I stayed home and sorted through my scraps. You see, during the night, when I couldn't sleep, I'd decided to start on this "mindless sewing" quilt. (Sometimes, it fills my cup just to sew random pieces of fabric together!)
 Fortunately, I have a scrap saving system in place, so preparing for this low volume quilt was quick and painless. Because I routinely cut my fabric leftovers into 4 sizes of strips and squares, it was just a matter of picking out the lighter colored strips. From the strips, I lopped off chunks long enough for the blocks. In no time at all, I have the makings of a lap size quilt! 
 As I was looking through my fabric containers, I came across the one containing all of my Farmer's Wife Sampler fabrics, which I hadn't put away yet. After using these fabrics for over the last year, I  am a little tired of looking at them to be honest!
 But, then I thought that maybe one of you would be interested in adding them to your scrap drawer, or possibly even starting a scrap system if don't have one yet. So, as just a little perk to someone who would love them, I'd like to send my scraps to you. I'll fill up the little pink polkadot mailer with as much will fit into it. 
To enter, just leave a comment telling me what your system (or lack of) is for the leftovers from a quilt project. I'll randomly pick a winner on Wednesday at noon. (Please be sure that your email address is available to me or your name will be taken out of the drawing.)
^The giveaway is now closed.^

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Farmer's Wife Friday--It's A Top!

A few weeks ago, my finished blocks they were just a heap of pieces patiently waiting to become a quilt...
As I worked, the only place large enough to lay them all out was the middle of the living room floor. Ginger was very interested in checking to make sure that they would make a comfy quilt, but, fortunately for me, she resisted the urge!
 Trying to find a cute binding hidden in my stash...
...I found a yard of black/white stripe purchased on clearance from the Me&My Sister Designs booth at Quilt Market in May. Maybe it will work. What do you think?
 For backing, I did something new, and purchased 3 yards of 118"wide white cotton sateen. There are so many seams on the front of the quilt that I didn't want to add more by using a pieced back (my usual go-to backing). I know that I am going to really enjoy how the machine quilting will show up on the solid fabric back. The Happy Farmer's Wife is now safely in the hands of the machine quilter, Lynne: Pieces in Plaid Quilting.
 I'll do one more final Farmer's Wife post once the quilt is completed and then you can give a sigh of relief. I know that I will! Thank you for all of your kind words over the last year as I've plugged along with this project. It's helped a lot to keep me motivated in completing all 111 blocks and not adding just another UFO to my sewing closet!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Random Projects

Currently, I am actively working on four quilting projects. This is normal, or below normal, for me. (Believe me when I say that there are many 'inactive' projects on the sidelines.) If you have been reading my blog for for long, you are sick to death of hearing about this one: My Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. So, just for today, I'll spare you. (Come back tomorrow if you are a glutton for punishment!)
 This week, I was so excited to again work on my Good Fortune quilt. My good friend, Vicki, and I are making this one together. Sewing with a buddy is heaven to me! I'm using Flea Market Fancy and Kona PFD white.  Our first sewing day was spent cutting, talking and eating. This week we finally got to sew some strips together before it was time to quit!
 Vicki and I are both struggling a bit with the directions. Having done a little pattern writing and testing, maybe I'm just overly analytical, but we did find a mistake...see where I crossed out the word "Block Centers" beside section 1. To us, it should have read "Sashings" because, as you can see, that is what the steps A,B,C, and D have you making. Section 2, on the next page, again is labeled "Block Centers". Oh, well, we figured it out, eventually! It  does makes me wonder if Kate Spain and Moda used any testers, though.
 Slowly, but surely, my patriotic Great Granny Squares are adding up... only 3 more to go!
 This week I only added two: I love this mostly red one. (The color is really washed out in this picture, taken in too much sunlight....the pix above is more true to life.)
 Because I usually am working from my stash for most projects, finding the right blue has been a little challenging. I added this blue batik to my stash this summer, which was unusual because I don't usually purchase batiks....but loved this one.
 You probably get tired of me trying to convert the quilting world into using leader/enders while sewing on...well, anything. (Check out this post if you don't know what I'm talking about.) As I've mentioned before, I'm using this "Mazed"pattern and a layer cake of Bohemian Festival, for my current leader/ender quilt . I almost have all of the squares sewn together!
 A key to using leader/enders to sew more quilts without much extra time or effort, is to plan ahead. I hate to finish up a leader/ender quilt and not have another waiting in the wings. With anticipation of finishing up Mazed, I'm leaning toward this quilt...
 ...found in this fun little book that I got at a really good price from Connecting Threads.
Just curious, how many projects to you "actively" work on at one time?
I'm linking up with Live a Colorful Life for Really Random Thursday.