Monday, January 31, 2011

Jewels in the Crown, Sweet Fellowship!

Just checking in to let you know I'm still alive and well, still trying to get my added borders sewn on to the RRCB quilt and, no surprise, have started a new project! Who was supposed to be in charge of keeping me from doing that anyway?!?

This is the January block for Morning Glory Designs' free BOM called, Jewels in the Crown. If this pieced BOM looks like something you might like to make, don't wait too long before going to her blog for the instructions. I like it because it reminds me of a stained glass church window. My goal is to use up some of my batik fabric scraps on this project.

I did finally get the pieced border to fit right on my RRCB quilt but have decided to add another border to make the quilt a little larger for our queen size bed. I hate it when quilts aren't large enough! Of course, part of the problem may be that one of us likes to hog the blankets at night, ahem. Anybody else know what I mean? OK, enough personal information!

Yesterday we got together with several other families at a church fellowship meal and several of the ladies there found out about this blog. If you were there last night and decided to come check out my blog, thanks and come back again! Thanks to everyone else who comes by here too!

Also, I took a dessert to share at the meal last night. Kind of nervy of me since I'm trying to lose weight, right? I made it through the evening without splurging but I'm wondering how many parents had to scrape their kids off the ceiling last night because my dessert definitely fell into the "SUGAR" category. I know one or two ladies were wondering about the recipe so I'm going to include it in this post. It made the rounds on some blogs last year and I'm not sure where I saw it first so I can't give credit to the creator but I printed it from Pioneer Woman's blog. Enjoy!

Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples, or whatever apple you have available

2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


1 small can Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each crescent roll triangle around an apple slice. Place in a 9x13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream and spoon some of the sweet sauce from the pan over the top.

This is a quote from the recipe I printed out,

It was definitely a time of sweet fellowship last night!

Friday, January 21, 2011

:( Unhappiness is ...

... gray overcast skies,

waking up with an achy hip,

family drama,

and then there's this:

"This" means I will need to take off all four of the borders it took me all week to sew on. Sew on correctly, I thought, ha. If you can't see what's wrong, the corner unit is supposed to match up to the side borders but its off by quite a bit so no amount of stretching or easing would work. Trimming or sewing the seams deeper would only make the squares obviously smaller than the others so all that is left (unless someone can offer me a miracle fix) is to pick out all of the border seams and try again.

I wanted to share this frustration with you just to show some of the newer quilters and the people who read this blog just for the eye candy that not all always goes well and perhaps not all is even fixable.

This morning when I saw what I'd done, I really wanted to wad the whole quilt top into a ball, stuff it into a grocery bag, stomp on it a few times and toss it onto my P.I.G. (Projects In Grocery bag) pile. However, I hate to give up so it will not be a P.I.G., at least not today.

Since then, I've pounded out some of my frustration and unhappiness on the treadmill and I've decided to pick out the border seams and try again. I'm going to "treat" myself to a new seam ripper and go to it tomorrow. Believe it or not, I've still been using the seam ripper I got for my high school home ec sewing class until now because I can't find another one I like. Those of you who know me can calculate how old that ripper must be! I'm just amazed it still cuts thread.

Since I've told you what unhappiness at my house is and I don't want to leave anyone in that frame of mind, go over to Loft Creations to see what happiness is!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I guessed! I won!

Look what came in the mail for me!

I won Staci's giveaway and she sent me a fabric bundle of linen/cotton blend fabrics from Canton Village Quilt Works. I still can't believe I came close to guessing how much her scraps weigh but who am I to argue?!? I needed a pick me up of colorful fabrics so Thank You again Staci!

I should have learned by now not to predict when I'll finish a quilt as I did in my last post. I'm finally ready to put the borders on my RRCB aka Peppermint Hot Fudge Brownie Delight quilt. No pictures yet but they're coming soon. It really is a pretty quilt and I'm looking forward to having it machine quilted and on our bed!

I've already started thinking about my next PhD (Projects Half Done) - the selvage spiderweb quilt. I laid out the pieces I've already finished and here it is.

I would like to make it a bed size quilt but how large it will be depends on how many selvages I have. I do know that there are selvages everywhere in my sewing room and when this quilt is finished, I'm planning a big clean up job in there!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Full Steam Ahead!

Progress on Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery quilt,
"Roll Roll Cotton Boll"!

All of the blocks are pieced and this afternoon I started sewing the rows together. Since the quilt is large, it needs a lot of space and so here it is laid out on our living room floor.

I'd like to get the rows sewn together tomorrow, square the top and start looking through my stash of green fabrics for possible border fabrics. I may not have enough of one fabric so do you think a scrappy narrow border would look good? No problem if I have to go to the quilt store as I need backing fabric for it anyway. I'll brave the really cold wind chills we're having for a trip to the LQS for some show and tell and shopping therapy!

Of course, there's one more step to this mystery quilt - the pieced final border. Its definitely going to take me some time but if I'm really dilligent and nothing happens to keep me from my sewing machine, I might be able to finish the quilt top by the end of the week. I am certainly hoping so anyway!

Bonnie Hunter has named this quilt "Roll Roll Cotton Boll" but today whenever I looked at the colors, I kept thinking "Peppermint Hot Fudge Brownie Delight", a hot fudge sundae made with peppermint ice cream served on a warm brownie. Mmmmmm, my favorite! I think I can identify better with a hot fudge sundae than a cotton boll so maybe a name change is in the works for my version!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Disappearing HSTs

I'm working, as I can, on Quiltville's latest mystery quilt, Roll Roll Cotton Bowl and thought I'd give you an update. Actually the reason I'm posting is I'm probably just procrastinating getting started on it today! You've heard of the Disappearing Nine Patch pattern? This post is about my disappearing Half Square Triangles.

Here's one of the finished blocks from the step released last week. Don't be too impressed because I only have 3 of them done! I've finished parts of several steps but I can't seem to totally catch up on all of them. I have no idea why I'm struggling with the neutral string blocks but I'm way behind on them. Tomorrow, Bonnie Hunter will release the final step which may be a pieced border. What else would you do with 172 parallelograms from Step 6?

Okay, here is what my ironing board looks like today. Well not quite true, I've artistically covered the water stains my iron has left behind but otherwise, this is what's on it. You can see Half Square Triangles sewn into groups of 5 and a few stacks of groups of 4 which should be 5, more red/neutral fabric plus the triangle paper. Guess what that means?

This afternoon, I'm going to solve the mystery of the disappearing HSTs. A few days ago, I determined I was short a few of the red/neutral HSTs. Then the number ballooned up to being short 20 and last night I decided that even though I was really sleepy, I'd recount because that number couldn't be right. I was right it wasn't correct. I now need 37 more red/neutral HSTs! I even got out my trusty old calculator and rechecked. How could it be an odd number? Where have they all gone to? Are my math skills that bad or am I having a senior moment?!? I do know I better make those 37 HSTs and sew them into blocks before I'm short even more.

Part of the problem may be that I didn't get started on the RRCB step to make the red/neutral HSTs until almost Christmas Eve. When I saw that the quilt needed 600 HSTs, I nearly threw in the towel. I'm glad I hung in there but its kind of disappointing to think you have enough made and then have to go back and make more.

I used to think I'd like an entire bed quilt made out of HSTs. I'm rethinking that but you know, I have a short memory so who knows what my quilting future will hold?!?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

PhD fun!

Time for a new start on my quilting projects so I've joined the PhD Quilt Challenge!

PhD stands for Projects Half Done and I know I have more than these three but I'm challenging myself to finish the following projects:

These are some of the blocks for the selvage quilt. I've pieced more blocks but don't have enough done yet to finish the quilt. It will be twin sized, at least. Thanks to everyone who has donated selvages! I'm hoping I have enough now to finish but I may need more later.

My second PhD challenge quilt is this clamshell quilt which I want to make into a queen size quilt. Its all hand pieced and progress just depends on how much time I have to stitch by hand. During October, I was able to complete 7 blocks but it took me all of November to finish the next block and here it is January and I'm still working on the last one. Pease ignore all the mess to the left. My quilting room is in serious need of reorganization and decluttering!

I've been working on this Quiltville mystery quilt lately when I've managed to find time to spend in my quilting room. The quilt is called "Roll Roll Cotton Boll". I'm struggling to get those string blocks done and I'm in the middle of piecing the rows of HSTs. This Friday, Bonnie Hunter will reveal the next step which I think will be a pieced border. Help, I feel like I'm falling further and further behind! As with the other projects, just not enough time to piece lately.

I'm for sure not getting anywhere fast when I make mistakes like the one in the block above. I was so pleased I hadn't chopped off any of the points on the HSTs that I didn't notice for quite a while that something was wrong! How could I have missed that? I really hate to pick out seams but I fixed it and have been careful, so far, to not repeat that mistake.

I'll be checking back in weekly to let you know how I'm doing on the challenge. I want these quilts finished by the end of June but if they were done tomorrow, it would be even better! There's always another project lurking in my brain but why have they all been bed sized lately?!?

So many quilts, so little time.