Still Got It

17 09 2010

My Grandma Minnie taught me to crochet when I was in third grade.  Even then I was an over achiever.  The first project I started was a red, white and blue granny square afghan.  Notice I said started.  I never finished it.  My tension changed a great deal over time and the first squares were much smaller than later ones. 

When my grandma died in 1981 I inherited most of her sewing stuff as well as her knitting and crocheting tools and patterns.  The crochet hooks are still in the box she used.

(Anyone remember those Ayd’s weight reduction candies?  As a kid with an extreme sweet tooth, I didn’t care that they were intended for weight reduction, if I found them I scarfed them down like carmels!)  There are some old hooks in there that are either bone or ivory.

Anyway, it has been several years (15 or 16) since I’ve done any crocheting.  So what brought on this sudden urge to crochet?  It was actually Guy’s doing.  He suggested we needed a doily for the top of an antique mall find.  Wednesday I stopped in at Hobby Lobby used my 40% off coupon to buy Ultimate Pineapples for Your Home and some crochet thread.  Then I got to work.  This afternoon while sitting at the orthodontist I finished my project.

Yep, I’ve still got it!  Here it is in the place for which it was made.  We’re using the biscuit can as an end table.


Verandah Views

13 09 2010

Another sweet quilt, another finish.  I put this quilt on the machine because it was so small and I knew it would be quick.  It fits right in with my current pastel obsession.

On the off-chance you haven’t seen posts on this before, it was last year’s BOM from Willowberry Designs.

Farmer’s Market

12 09 2010

I’ve admitted repeatedly that I have a short attention span.  I bounce from project to project, which would account for my long list of UFOs.  Most of this month I’ve had one quilt on the longarm, one being bound, one on the domestic sewing machine and one being hand embroidered.  This afternoon I finished the top I had been peicing on the domestic machine.

I purchased the fabric in 2007.  It mostly the fruits and vegetables from the Kyle’s Market Place collection.  The pattern is “Strait of Georgia”  from More Fat Quarter Quilts by M’Liss Rae Hawley

French Cottage Garden Quilt

11 09 2010

I think I’m in a pastel phase!  I keep pulling out projects that are soft and sweet.  Today I finished my French Cottage Garden Quilt  the pattern is from Crabapple Hill Studio.  I bought the pattern while on the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop in 2007.  I started the embroidery in February of 2008.  I had figured out how I wanted to quilt it while working on it, but just hadn’t had the time.  I added one extra column of pin wheels because I had that many extra made and in this house “bigger is better.” 🙂

The “lattice” was marked from a double crosshatch stencil.  The feathers are freehand and the rest of the quilting is ruler work. 

This quilt got me excited about hand embroidery again and I’ve been at it ever since.  (Another UFO to mark off  yeah!)

Things I Learned …

5 09 2010

. . . while quilting “Warm Wishes”.

In a continued push on my own quilts, I decided to try out the Quilt Eze Baptist Fan templates I purchased two years ago at MQS.  The quilt is Warm Wishes from Quiltmaker  (follow the link for the pattern — now free).

The first thing I learned is that installing the stylus bracket as directed by Quilt Eze on my A-1 resulted in a stylus that was at a significant angle, not even close to 90 degrees.  My solution, install the bracket upside down.

The next thing I learned is that while the panels hook together the grooves do not match up perfectly.  I found it necessary to lift the stylus over the join at each connection.

The third thing I learned is that it is impossible to line the rows up exactly with a ratchet system on a longarm.  I ended up with either a slight gap or overlap no matter how carefully I adjusted the rollers.  I prefer the slight gap.

I’ve done Baptist Fan quilting using other methods.  A system for making arcs and circles came with my Gammill almost 11 years ago.  The first times I used it there was only one slider, and it had to be adjusted for each arc on the fan.  My dad kindly made more sliders for me so I could set up the whole fan at one time.

Those of you with newer Gammills probably won’t recognize this system.  Even with the modifications it could still take days to quilt fans on  a large quilt.

The most significant thing I learned on this quilt is even with all the minor issues with the Quilt Eze system it was still many times faster than any other method I’ve tried.  Is it perfect?  No.  But if you used the “ride by on a horse at 30 miles and hour” rule the quilt looks good.  In fact, I think just climbing up on the horse would get you far enough away to make the inconsistencies acceptable.  I will offer this to customers with the understanding it will not be perfect, but it will be significantly less expensive than what I’ve charged with other systems.

Best of all — I get to mark a UFO off my list 🙂


1 09 2010

This morning it was my turn to host our quilt group.  I went a little crazy with food for brunch.  My approach to cooking for groups is it is better to have too much than too little.  I did a little experimenting plus cooked a few tried and true recipes.   Just let me say this meal was all about taste — not health!   I started with Twice Baked Potatoes (Jesse loves these, so I made enough for at least three meals) and fresh corn.

Then a vegetable tray with dip.

Croissants with cheese and parmesan spinach artichoke dip/spread from Costco.

A last-minute addition,  Brunch Egg Cups from the book Crepe Cookery (with some modifications).  If I make them again, I’ll make sure I use a crepe recipe that isn’t sweet, they went over very well anyway.

Brunch Egg Cups

Servings: 6

6 cooked crepes
3 ounces mushrooms, sliced
6 eggs
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons light cream
1/2 cup swiss cheese, grated
2 or 3 green onions, sliced

Spray muffin pans or custard cups with cooking spray. Line each with a cooked crepe. Place several mushroom slices and green onion slices in each. Break one egg into each cup. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon cream over each egg; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until eggs are set.  

For dessert we had Fruit Pizza.  I worked at Sunset Lake Camp one summer and every Sabbath we had this for dessert.  I got the recipe before I left camp, but in the 23 years since I haven’t made it.  Maybe because the recipe is a little too general.

It called for 4-5 cups flour, margarine enough to make like dough, a pinch of salt, 1 cup pecan pieces.   Cook the crust.  Topping  — whipped topping, cream cheese and about 1/2 cup powdered sugar.  Top with fruit of choice.  Keep in mind this was to make dessert for campers and staff.  I only wanted it for a small group.  I used about 2 cups of flour, approximately 1/2 cup of butter, a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup pecan pieces.  For the topping I used 8 ounces of both whipped topping and cream cheese and 1/4 cup powdered sugar.  This was more than enough topping.

 I don’t think anyone went away hungry!


Seeing Double

1 09 2010

Yep, I’m seeing double!  Two Pine Needles quilts on the machine at once. 

These two “All Cooped Up” quilts were made by Mimi and Sharon.

While quilting these (the only two customer quilts in the house at the time) I came  to the conclusion God is trying to tell me something.  Philippians 4:19 kept popping into my head.  “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)  I was reminded the verse says He will supply needs — not wants.  I need to quilt to pay my boys tuition.  I WANT nice easy all over jobs, instead I get my least desirable jobs — Pine Needles.  Ah, well I WILL be thankful for the jobs I have.