Thursday, September 14, 2017

DIY Airlock for the apple cider

I sure hope the first batch of apple cider turns out well.  It's used a lot of balloons!  I've only been able to re use each balloon twice.  The balloons filled up so quickly.  Here's one at three hours after "burping" (removing the carbon dioxide).


DH suggested checking some of the shops that sell brewing supplies and just buying an air lock.  They are supposed to be quite cheap. 

They probably are if you can find the shops close by.  The two that we knew about are now closed.  I guess there just are not enough home brewers to keep them in business. 

At the price of gas we were not about to go any further away from home.  So DH checked a few YouTube videos and came up with his own version.   A piece of plastic tubing, the cap for the juice bottle, and a water bottle.  That's it.

He drilled a hole into the juice bottle cap.  Inserted one end of the plastic tubing into that hole so it comes out the bottom by about a 1/2".  The other end of the plastic tubing goes into the cap of the water bottle.  The tubing reaches to about 2" from the bottom of the water bottle.  The bottle is then filled 3/4 with water.  Several small holes drilled into the cap allows the gas to escape. 

The gas leaves the juice bottle through the tube, into the water bottle.  It then forms a bubble in the water that rises to the top.  The gas then escapes.  The water keeps air from entering the juice bottle through the tube.  That shouldn't be a problem until the fermentation process stops producing the carbon dioxide.  But if we're not around when that happens, the air could get in and spoil the cider.  At least that's how the process was explained to me.  If we've gone through all this for no reason......






Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Apple Busy

DS's new home has a yard full of fruit trees.  I managed to convince some of our neighbours that they really, really needed the cherries.  Many 5 gallon pails later they would run when they saw me coming.  But we did get some cherry syrup as well as some jam.

But what to do with the apple tree?  The crab apple tree didn't produce that much.  But the huge apple tree doesn't know when to stop.  From the looks of it there are three different apples grafted to the tree.  The ones turning red are a bit smaller.  One is larger and seems to stay green.  The third type of apples are large and green.  All are tasty if tart.

This is the fifth sink full I've washed and processed.


Not exactly small are they?


So after many batches of apple sauce as well as pawning some off on an unsuspecting relative  (Thanks Mom!), it was time to make something else.

I'm going to try brewing an alcoholic beverage for the first time.  We have the fruit, the juicer, the bottles, the sugar, the yeast and the balloons.

Washing, cutting and juicing two sink fulls of apples produced 4 litres of apple juice.  A distilled water bottle was sterilized and put to use.


For the first half hour there was no sign that the yeast was working.  Mom suggested resting the bottle in a sink of warm water to get it started.  That worked.

 Everything I read and watched on the net said keeping the bottle out of light and warm should help the fermentation process.  Thus the towel.

I get the feeling I best "burp" the balloon before I go to bed tonight or I may have a rude awakening.  Six more days and I'll get to pour over to smaller bottles (discarding the sediment).  And then we'll have a taste test.  That's if the whole thing doesn't explode before then!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Going Somewhere?

Ten or more years ago I had some fun making luggage tags (or bus pass holders) for family, friends and a charity craft and bake sale.  Several hundred were made and sold.

Time passed and one of my best friends noticed that her luggage tags were looking pretty ratty.  Time to make new ones.  She puts these tags on everything that goes to the airport.  Luggage, carry on as well as her purse.  They are very bright which make them easy to spot.  No one will accidentally walk away with her belongings! 

I said I'd make some more tags for her.  She picked up the fabric.  One fat quarter and two hours later:



There is a clear plastic pocket for identification (business card, etc) on one side of each of these tags.  She'll see these coming down the conveyor belt!



Thursday, August 24, 2017

Bento Box Quilt

I had been collecting FQ's with musical theme for a number of years now.  The plan was to make two quilts for two music lovers in the family.  Their lives have taken a different focus lately.  A music themed quilt would no longer be the way to go.  But the fabric collection kept saying "do something". 

One of the ladies on the hearts2hands Yahoo quilting group was making a Bento Box quilt.  So I thought why not.  And the top was made.  And gathered dust.  And was forgotten about. 

The top was came to surface during a recent sewing room clear out.  What a great top to practice some different quilting patterns!  It was loaded on to the frame.  And stayed there.  And time passed.  And nothing else was getting quilted because this top needed to get done. 

Two days ago a friend put out a call for help.  She needs to get three quilts done quickly.  And her sewing machine will not work.  Could she possibly use my Bailey?  Why yes, of course she could.  The Bento Box could be taken off.  Or could be simply quilted.  Knowing if I took it off the frame the top may never get quilted I revved up the Bailey.  Using an all over leaf pattern, the top was finished in two hours.

Next comes a thorough cleaning and Bailey will be ready for my friends three quilts.  Here's the Bento Box quilt.  Ready for the next call for charity quilts:


This is not a pattern I will do again.  I can think of so many other patterns that I enjoy so much more!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lots of Chickens

Yesterday was my mother and father in law's 67th anniversary.  Fortunately DH gifted me with several kits for chicken wall hanging.  Why chickens?  Well it's been a running joke over the years to gift Mom and Dad with chickens.  Chicken lawn ornaments, pictures, spoon holders, you name it. 

We went over with the traditional KFC and a chicken wall hanging/runner.  The hanging was finished with just enough time to wash, dry and press.  Talk about leaving it to the last minute!

DH had actually gifted me with two of these kits.  One to make for his parents and one for us.  That way we have the complete set from the quilt book he gave me at the same time.

So here are a Lot of Chickens:


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cat Sitting and Bird House Wall Hanging

We have two visiting felines.  They arrived late Friday night.   They are sisters and you would think their personalities would be similar.  Nope.  You would also think they would get along.  Nope.
 
Fluffy settled in right away.  A real Purr Girl.  Cuddles does not cuddle.  She was terrified.  We had no sighting of her until Sunday night.  Which was a worry.   It doesn't happen often, but some cats there is a concern that their organs start shutting down if they don't eat or drink within a certain time frame.  At least that's what we were told about our cats a long time ago when we sent them to a kitty resort while we vacationed.
 
Cuddles was way over that time frame.  My knees are sore from crawling around checking in every hiding place we could think of.   Because of all our hobbies and clutter, there are a LOT of hiding places.  We really need to get rid of some stuff.   We did have a sighting once.  But by the time we got some food and water she had moved on.  

For the first time ever,  in our years of having cats come to visit, canned tuna for humans did not work.  I opened more cans of different food than I've ever had to for visiting felines.  Fluffy thought she was in heaven.  Finally Sunday evening around 11 pm there was a Cuddles sighting.  We were able to get her to eat.  Now we could relax a bit.  Monday and Tuesday there were a few sightings but no sounds or signs of her eating.   This morning she came out for a visit.  I still haven't seen her eat, but she batted at a bit of yarn so she can't be in that bad of shape food wise.

With constantly searching for Cuddles there was little time to get into the sewing room to work on the last bit of the bird house wall hanging.  I finally got to the sewing machine and it's done.  
 
The flowers were supposed to have button centers.  But I hate sewing on buttons.  So I used the Flower foot that DS picked up for me months ago.  Very easy to use but the instructions that came with it got me a bit confused.  Actually they were good instructions, I was just too impatient.  There's a close up photo of the flowers with two different size centers.   There are quite a few different looks you can get with this foot.  I'll have to play around with it some more.
 


 


Now that is finished I get to test those attachments we found at the Salvation Army Thrift Store yesterday    I don't want to start any sewing projects until the cats are back home with their owners.  Pins, thread, etc. are very interesting things to check out when you're not familiar with them.  And a safety hazard.  In the past we've taken care of cats that were not as good at finding places to hide.  I could always get them out of the sewing room when it was time to close it up.  Cuddles is just too good at hiding.  
 
But sewing machines can be brought out to the kitchen counter for a good clean and for checking out attachments etc.  So That's my next sewing related project.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Thrift Store Find

Raining today.  So what better way to spend the day than to clear out some clutter.  And buy some more.

A trunk full for Value Village and then off to the Salvation Army Thrift Shop.  At the Thrift Shop we checked out the craft/sewing area.  Low and behold....just waiting for me....is an old candy tin with a masking tape label that says "sewing attachments".  For only $2!!!

A quick clean up and I'm off to spend the afternoon trying the attachments out.  Not sure which of our vintage machines I'll use.  They are all fun.



Now if I can just figure out what the black disks are for and for what kind of machine......

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Time to hit the beach?

I wish.  But no trip to the beach for us this year. 

DH has his days full getting the back yard ready to put up the new shed.  Everything that was in the shed that the storm blew away is keeping safe and dry under our gazebo. 

Concrete blocks are piled up everywhere while he levels out the area where the new shed will go.  Of course we are having heat warnings.  This couldn't have happened in spring when our weather was prefect for working outside.

Sew, the closest I'll be getting to the beach this year is by making a wall hanging.
It's the third from the book DH gave me. 

I used the DIY spray baste again.  It's working really well.  Holds the three layers together long enough for me to quilt.  No damaging the earth with aerosols.  No stinking us out of house and home with the fumes from the commercial stuff.  And a huge cost savings!  A win/win all around.


Next wall hanging in the book is a bird house.  The fabrics have been selected.  Today will be spent tracing the shapes onto the fusible web.  I may even get to ironing the tracings onto the fabric. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Wall Hanging #2

The second wall hanging from the pattern book DH gave me is finished!  This one came together quite quickly.  And I figured out a way to make it easier to machine stitch around the appliqué pieces!


When either zigzag stitching or button hole stitching around the appliqué pieces that are very different in colour or value it's easy to see where to stitch.  But when stitching around a piece that is similar in colour to it's neighbour, that's a different story.  I use a clear foot but with my poor eye sight it's still very difficult.

An example is where the white bunny ears are on the back ground fabric.  Or the light yellow wings lay on top of the darker yellow body.  Or check my last post and the orange feathers on the owl.  That's where I could really have used this simple idea! 

What solves this issue?  Well, it's my favourite marking tool.  Crayola Washable markers for kids.  Trace around the shape you are having problems seeing under the sewing machine foot and that solves the problem.  It all comes out in the wash!


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Another series of quilts.....

Ages ago DH gifted me with a quilt book of fun wall hangings.  He included two fabric kits as well..  I finally got started (and finished) the first quilt found in the collection:


I wanted to use spray basting to secure the top, bat and backing.  Naturally the can of basting spray I had was plugged.  No matter what I did, nothing would come out.  Nothing!  Shaking the can told me that it was at least half full.

Time to experiment with DIY spray baste. 

2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt brought to a boil.

Mix 1 cup of water and 3 teaspoons of flour mixed to remove any lumps
Slowly stir the 1 cup of water and flour into the boiling salt water.
Turn down heat
Stir until flour/water mixture thickens
Pour into a spray bottle and and 1 cup rubbing alcohol. 

Spray the batting and lay onto the backing, smooth.  Let dry a bit and then press.
Spray the other side of the batting and place top onto the bat.  Smooth, let dry a bit, then press.  Let dry completely.

It worked quite well providing the spray basted quilt is not moved until completely dry.  (Ask me how I figured that out....)

I will definitely be washing this quilt right away.  Having flour in the quilt makes me think of bugs.  And we can do without that problem.  But for a temporary basting spray, for small projects, this mixture works quite well.



Saturday, July 15, 2017

Finally....I can show you Eileen's latest design!

A while back I mentioned being fortunate to be chosen to test a pattern for Eileen who is PineRose Designs.

Finally the testers have permission to post photos of their table runners. Check it out!


There is also instructions for the long ends of the runner to come to a point instead of the squared off version I chose to do.

Eileen's patterns are easy to follow.  Most importantly there are no miscalculations when it comes to fabric requirements.


 Unlike:


I'm currently working on a pattern by another designer.  The kit was a Christmas gift from DH a while back.  The pattern calls for four WOF (width of fabric) 2" strips.  These strips are then to be sub cut into twelve 14 1/2" lengths.

The quilt store that made up the kits put in 8" strip of the fabric to used in this step.  You can cut four 2 strips out of that with no problem.

The problem is when you sub cut  those strips.  Lets see.  14 1/2" plus another 14 1/2" is 29".  A width of fabric is 40" to 42" normally.  Depending on manufacturer.  40" minus 29" leaves you with 11".  Just how is one to cut yet another 14 1/2" piece in order to get the three sub cuts from each 40" strip required for the pattern?

No one can blame the quilt shop.  They included the fabric requirements listed in the pattern.  Naturally I didn't start making this kit when the quilt shop might have had more of the fabric.  My solution?

These strips were to be used as sashing to join and go around four 14 1/2" squares.  I used the 2" strips to join the four squares.  Then four more strips for the top and bottom.  On the sides there are 1" strips.  The thinking is that the eyes go to the centre of the quilt and next to the top and bottom.  I'm hoping that the narrow strips on the sides will not stand out like a sore thumb.


After working with this designer's pattern I think one can see why I appreciate PineRose Designs.  There is never this problem with Eileens patterns!









Monday, July 10, 2017

Yet Another Quick Fall Quilt

You never know what treasures one will find when cleaning a sewing room.  All these kits just waiting to be made.

Saturday's quilt was a little one 6" x 10".  Super fast.  Or it would have been super fast if I had remembered to follow directions. 

After preparing the appliqué pieces the next steps should have been sandwiching the top, bat and bottom.  Then lay down the appliqué pieces, iron to secure them in place.  Then button hole stitch around all the pieces.  For some reason I skipped (unintentionally) the part about sandwiching the three layers. 

When did I realize I had missed a step?  As I was stitching around the very last appliqué piece.  Not a disaster, but more work.  Now I have to sandwich the three layers and then do some quilting.  Instead of using the button hole stitch for securing the appliqué and doing the quilting at one time.  Fortunately this is a very little quilt so the fix didn't take very long.  A few veins in the leaves and lines on the pumpkins and call it done.  Stupid mistakes are soooo aggravating!


I was going to start the next kit today.....How To Build A Snowman.  But not now.  Over 10,000 people have been evacuated with the BC forest fires.  Time to get back on the Bailey and get at least two quilt tops turned into finished quilts.
Add these two to the three or four I have ready for donation quilts when the call comes out.   Keeping everyone in my prayers!




Friday, July 7, 2017

Quick Fall Quilt

Today I came across a storage bin full of kits that I had totally forgotten about.  Some I had purchased from Sew Divine (my local quilt shop) and quite a few that were gifts from friends and family over the past few years.  Mostly DH and DS.

With nothing planned for the day I decided to make up the first one in the pile.
After reading the instructions (yes DS....I actually RTFM), I went to work (okay...play).   Four hours later, which included a break for lunch, here's the first kit completely finished:


Now to decide if I work on the quilt that's on my frame.  Or play with another kit.  I noticed another lovely fall hanging in that bin.....

Monday, July 3, 2017

Birthday Quilt Finished

I was asked to make a Florida quilt for a friend's husband.  The catch was the quick turn around time.  The request came last Thursday and the husband's birthday is this Wednesday.  One week to make the quilt.

A quick search turned up the centre of a quilt I got started making with left over pieces ages ago.  It was put away when a new project was started and forgotten about.  Time to get a few borders on this centre.

At least I had kept all the complimentary fabric needed in the same tote bag.  No time wasted trying to find just what was needed in my stash.  It was all there waiting.

A day or so later and the top was ready to go on the frame.  No batting.  Off to the store to pick that up.  Then, what I thought I'd use for backing just would not work.  Off to the fabric store.  Fortunately I found just the right fabric on sale.  It was the end of the bolt.  Only 5" longer than what I needed. 

Bailey felt like sewing.  Only time I had to stop was to change the bobbin.
Even the binding went on smoothly.  This is too easy.  I was right.  Way too easy.

I used a decorative stitch on the top to stitch the binding down.  It looks great on the front of the quilt.  Turn it over and it's very wavy.  I'm not pleased with that at all.  But the front looks great!  So I'm not redoing it.  I just know that it wouldn't be any better the second time around.  Hope he likes it!



Monday, June 26, 2017

Another UFO Done!

Quite a while back Sew Divine had a fun fabric line they were selling that reminded me of Florida.  Disney World to be specific.

The quilt top was quickly made.  And then forgotten about.  It was rediscovered when looking for the next top to put on the quit frame.  It's time had come.

Just before the quilting started, I happened upon a video on using the Bailey sewing machine.  I had been missing a thread guide completely.  Time to fix that.  Full of confidence I re threaded my Bailey and promptly broke a needle.  Three broken needles later and a whole lot of broken thread, both upper and bobbin, I decided the heck with this.  I went back to giving that thread guide a miss.  Within a few hours the quilt was finished.  The only stopping happened at the end of the row or when the bobbin thread ran out.  Now that's fun quilting.

So here's the Florida quilt:

The quilting is swirls, waves and water plants (more or less).  Free motion at it's most fun.

When we stay at the Disney resorts, one of the things we enjoy seeing are the turtles.  There are a few of those in this quilt:

At EPCOT we always try to make time to see the dolphins:


Animal Kingdom flamingos:


And of course, the French Fry Stealer:


DH was busy over the weekend.  He decided to pick up a wind turbine to compliment his solar panels.  It's not mounted on a tower yet.  Hopefully soon!






This will be the second wind turbine on our block.  Hopefully other neighbours will become interested.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Turtle Power!

Sew Divine (my local quilt shop) gets some of the nicest panels in.  Recently I found a turtle panel there.  It was purchased and stashed away for a while.

After I finished making my Florida quilt top, the fabric left over was stashed away. 

During a sewing room cleaning I re-discovered the turtle panel and wouldn't you know.  The fabric left from the Florida quilt is just right!

So here's the finished quilt.  I quilted a few turtles into the quilt so a close up of one is also shown.






Sunday, June 11, 2017

Happy 150 Canada Quilt

The Canada's 150 Birthday quilt is finished.  This quilt must have wanted to get done.  Seldom has a quilt come together at all stages so easily.  And all sides are even!


Next is cleaning the Bailey and loading the next quilt onto the frame.

Gasp....I plan on cooking today.  Pulled beef for sandwiches done in the pressure cooker.   When done in the slow cooker I'll leave it cooking all night.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes in the pressure cooker.

We had a few visitors yesterday evening.  For a while they were not getting along and a few karate kicks and punches were shared.  But they settled down for quite a long visit after a bit.

 Seven rabbits showed up.




Thursday, June 8, 2017

Two months update

It's been two months since my last post.  Time flies?  Not really.  It seems like a very long time.

DS has moved into his home.  The condo sold.  He injured his eye just before his move.  Had an operation mid May.  Still in quite a bit of discomfort.  But he's home and has his cats back with him.  It's just going to take longer to get everything set up the way he wants.

DH injured his back.  He's just now starting to get his mobility back.  Still has some bad days.  It has not been easy getting the plants in and keeping the yard up.

My cataract surgery went well.  I can't wait until I can start wearing prescription glasses again.  Getting tired of the blurry life.  But there are some things to be said for not being able to see clearly.  I don't see the house work that needs to be done!  My leg is doing much better.  I only limp when I over do the walking.

Enough about health issues!  Lets talk quilting.  Not being able to see things clearly hasn't kept me from sewing.  As soon as I had the lifting and bending restrictions lifted, I was back in the sewing room.


One of my first projects was to embroider Daisy on to a friend's hat.  She wanted to individualize her hat from the thousands sold at Disney World.  Not many Daisy hats out there.

Some of the quilters on the hearts2hands group were talking about their Canada 150 Birthday quilts.  I searched my stash and found a panel and co-ordinating fabric.  Enough to make a small quilt along with the backing.  Here's Phileas checking it out.  The top is on my quilt frame at the moment.  Hopefully the quilting will be finished this evening or some time tomorrow.

Then I was given the opportunity to test a pattern for PineRose Designs.  Sorry, no early viewing of the top.  But I can show you the backing I pieced for the runner.


I can' wait to show off the finished project.  This was fun to make!

Now for something scary.  Mom decided she wanted an electric pressure cooker.  After much research and pricing, she decided on an Oster brand.  She is really enjoying using it.  So being a good mom, she decided to get me one as well.

As stated many times in the past....I really do not like to cook.  But I must say that using the pressure cooker has been interesting and so far - no flops.  So who knows.  If I can get DH to start eating stews, chili and soup, I just may start cooking on a regular basis.  I know that there are loads more that can be made in the pressure cooker.  But those are the things I like the most.  So there.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Virtual Retreat Weekend

The hearts2hands Yahoo group held another virtual quilting retreat weekend.  Not as many of us participated but it's still fun to pretend we're all together.

My project was to finish a top that had been on my frame way too long.  Unfortunately DS's cat, Phileas, discovered that quilts on a frame make a very comfortable cat bed.  The backing was a bit more stretchy than the top.  The sagging made getting the rest of the quilting a challenge.

If there hadn't been quite a bit of quilting already done on this quilt the solution would have been to remove it from the frame.  Then steam and press the fabrics in the hope of getting the stretch out.  But this was not an option.  So I did the best I could.  Few pleats, but lots of puckers.

Next step was to trim the backing and bat.  Phileas had to help with that.  Just as the ruler was in place and the rotary cutter to be used, he would jump at the quilt in an effort to pull it down to the floor.  What a helper.  No accidental cuts fortunately.  Bonnie got involved of course by sitting on the quilt to keep it from moving.  Even when it needed to be moved. 

Once the binding was added the quilt was washed and dried.  Using a lot of heat.
Here's the result:

You would think Phileas would be more complementary about the finished product since he was so involved in it.




Friday, March 17, 2017

My Summer Disney Backpack/shoulder Bag

It was time to make a new backpack/shoulder bag for myself.  DS had given me more Disney fabric for Christmas.  I still had some of the limited edition fabric left from Last year's Christmas gift.. 

The new bag went together easily.  As usual, there was no pattern.  Just build as you go.  Making sure there are a LOT of pockets.  Two outside zippered pockets.  The inside has one pocket with a zipper, a sunglass pocket, and 3 smaller pockets.


What I didn't do, but should have, was to make sure the pockets on the outside were placed higher up.  Keys in these pockets drop to the bottom, which is partly at the bottom of the bag.  If the bag is full (as mine always is) fishing the keys out is a pain.  One pocket was supposed to be for my cell phone.  That's not going to work.  It would be way to easy to damage the cell phone when it slides down to the bottom of the bag.  Just plunking the bag down on a counter or the floor could have a bad outcome.

The five pockets (including one zippered) on the inside are fine.   Next bag will have two zippered pockets like my first bag does.  Although this bag does have a special pocket for sunglasses.  No more searching for those.  They are always where I can find them easily.

This is also a case of measure twice and cut once.  The first bag is a perfect size.  Easy to get things in and out of.  I thought that I was making this bag the same size.  It's not.  About 2" narrower.  It's amazing how much difference 2" makes.   But it does carry what I need (and probably more) so I'll use it over the summer. 

My next bag to be made this fall will feature the Disney Evil Villains.  Possibly in purple.




Saturday, March 11, 2017

Another quilt finished!

Another quilt is off the frame, bound and in the wash.  And it's about time.  The top was finished almost a year ago. 

This Trail Mix quilt was sewn as a "Leaders & Enders" project.  Thread tails can get pulled into the bobbin area by the needle.  Having a scrap of fabric under the needle before sewing what you are "really" working on keeps those tails were they need to be.  Not in the bobbin area!

Linda from the hearts2hands yahoo group introduced the group to the Trail Mix pattern.  She makes quite a few of these quilts from her scraps as she is sewing her quilt tops.  Sew two pieces of fabric together before or after sewing what your current project is and before you know it you have a quilt top finished.  It's two for one.  And no using the same sad piece of fabric as a leader that ends up in the garbage.

Not sure who is going to get this quilt.  I really enjoyed making it.  Even though I'm pretty sure at least two blocks are in the wrong place.  Oh well.  That makes it different from all the other Trail Mix quilts out there.


Now to take my Bailey apart to see why it is sounding like a John Deere tractor.  A post asking for help from the Bailey user group seems to be in order.  No more frame quilting until that issue is sorted out!


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Trial and a lot of error

I decided to try making a queen size quilt using a "Quilt as you go" method.  What was I thinking?  Of course 20/20 hindsight tells me that making a small lap quilt or baby quilt first would have made more sense.  Nope, I jump in and make a queen size one.  Live and learn.

There are a lot of things I'd do differently.  In particular, pay attention to details!
Marking the stitching line on both back pieces. Pin on those lines so fabric doesn't shift.  Making the backing larger than I did so I could trim after the quilting was done.  Lots of things are apparent now.  But the quilt is done.

Here's the process....hope it's not too confusing:

First make the number of blocks required.  I used 80 9 1/2" focus fabric and 4 patches in all.  Cut the bat to the same size as the top blocks. One per block.

Of course I had a helper.  This project did use up a lot of the left overs I had saved from other projects.  In fact cutting these 80 squares freed up a huge plastic storage box.


The top block as mentioned above is 9 1/2", as is the bat.  The backing used is 11 1/2".  I really should have cut at least 12 1/2" or 13" squares and then trimmed once each block was quilted.
Here are blocks joined, backings together.  The seam will be right along the edge of the batting and block leaving 1" to be folded over as sashing.
The two blocks are sewn together, laid flat and ready to have the backing pressed open over the blocks.
The 1" backing fabric from each block is now pressed open.
Next step is to fold each of the two edges to the centre to hide the raw edges.  Then press.  Pin and stitch down.
Continue joining the blocks by sewing backs together, opening, pressing to centre and stitching down until a full row is made.  Of course a feline inspector is a must.
Join the rows the same way the blocks were joined.
Binding was done by folding the backing up to the bag and blocks, fold over again and stitch down - self binding method.

Clear as mud?  Sorry.  I'm hoping that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Unfortunately it should be a good photo not the ones I take.....

Friday, February 17, 2017

I spoke too soon

I was bragging this morning about how well my Bailey was behaving.  Maybe we have finally become friends.  A whole quilt with done and the thread broke only once.  I only had to stop quilting when it was time to either advance the quilt on the frame, or put in a fresh bobbin.  Wow.

You guessed it.  I spoke too soon.  Another top has been loaded and there have been issues.  The first pass (row) went smoothly.  Then the second had issues.  And still has issues.  The question is do I give it a rest until tomorrow.  Or dig my heels in, get stubborn and keep at it.  Fortunately the decision was made by my leg. 

Standing for any length of time is still difficult.  Going for a walk on icy sidewalks didn't help.  So Bailey and I will say good night and I'll hopefully be in the quilting zone sometime tomorrow.  It's only February and the quilt doesn't have to be finished until June.  So no pressure.

I forgot to write about the hearts2hands Christmas project challenge.  Every month members are going to see if they can make a gift(s) for their family and friends.  That way we are not scrambling at the end of November and in December.  The Christmas quilt I posted at the beginning of the month is for this challenge.  January's project was fabric bowl holders.

While we all enjoy family dinners at the holidays, it's always a pain trying to pass around the hot bowls and casseroles.  These holders make it easy.  No more casseroles sliding around on a plate.  Or trying to pass along the pot holder along with the hot bowl.  These holders make it easy enough for even the kids to pass along the food.



Not part of the Christmas challenge, but working towards one of my 2017 goals (to get some of these tops quilted), despite Phileas' assistance I managed to get the last of the L Block quilts done!

Of course Phileas has now claimed it as his.