Wednesday, September 22, 2010

fixing a problem

The quilting looks a lot better now. Yeah! I wasn't happy with the way the quilting in this section of the quilt was turning out, so I quit and did something else for a while. (I started a sweater for Sister Suzy.)

This was my solution to the problem. Using straight pins to stabilize the quilting line. I do that when I quilt straight lines. Why I didn't think of it for these intersecting curved lines is a mystery to me. The quilting looks so much nicer.

Can you see the bunching or puckering at the intersection? Boo! Hiss!

Two posts in one day, amazing!

Have a good day!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

finishing up a quilt

I dug out a quilt I had started at the beginning of the year to finish.

The Plan is done on quarter inch graph paper. I have Electric Quilt 6, however, I find it frustrating to use. I don't know the program well enough to put what I have envisioned into the program, and get what I see in my minds eye out. So I get out my graph paper, mechanical pencil, Pink Pearl eraser, and three sided scale and go to work. It is done in a flash. I am a Luddite, I guess. KISS works every time!

The gingham and red squares are from 9 patch blocks Mother had set together, enough blocks for a bunch of quilts. I have two quilts put together. (I'll have to get photos up to show you.) There is a letter-file box of those blocks to use up. The blue fabric is from a clearance sale at Wally-World.

I bought every thing they had in that print design. At a dollar-a-yard who could resist and something I have always wanted to do. Yeah, I know, first off Wally-World and then the fabric not from a quilt shop. Here is my philosophy(rant) on this: These are not heirloom quilts. I machine quilt them instead of hand quilting. (See previous sentence.) I want them used by whomever gets them. Whomever they are, they are not going to care for the quilts with the specialty soaps, wash them in a bathtub, lay them flat to dry, while supporting the quilt when it is heavy and wet with a sheet under it. The reality is, the quilt is going to be washed in a washing machine, probably a top loader, and run through a dryer. And the quilt will be washed way too frequently. That is the way the average Joe/Jane takes care of a quilt. (rant off)

I won't get to use the Crazy Shortcut Quilt method of quilting because I designed it before I stumbled on that way of quilting. I will quilt the two halves separately then sew them together. It is a lot of material to handle in the machine and it can get very tiring.

I had a brain storm but immediately dismissed it. I am not going to unpick what I have sewn together! But I will use it on the next one that is from scratch. The brain storm was taking each strip, quilting it; then binding the strips together. Hum, could be worth it! It would be so much easier. Well, while the backing fabric is drying I contemplate on it.

I'll let you know!

Have a good day!


two quilts

EDIT: Wednesday, 9/22/2010, this post was suppose to be before the one above.
NOTE TO SELF: I have now found the delete button on the edit post page. This was a post that didn't load pictures right so I reused it. What was it I saying about not knowing a program well! LOL Judy

Two quilts to show you. They are both twin size. More bunk size really, they just cover the mattress. Sister Suzy is camping out in my Woman Cave as we discovered her air conditioner is leaking condensation in the wall in her room. We are waiting for the wall to dry out before tearing into it because it is full of mold.

This first one is blue and white gingham all the same color family but different size gingham checks.

I chose to use a maroon fabric for the border so I interspersed some of the maroon through quilt top to tie it all together.

This is my black and white one with one inch borders and setting blocks.

I used red and black thread to quilt the two end borders. I used a plastic lid to draw the quilt lines. You can also see how I used scraps to make the binding.

A close-up of the blocks and the way it is set together.

I really like the way the that little dab of red makes the quilt sing. The white cross in the center block is chicken scratch embroidery. I liked that little detail also. I don't know where Mother got that fabric but I am sure she didn't do it as I have other fabric in her stash with different stuff embroidered on it. She was, however, planning a quilt top featuring a chicken scratch motif. I have the envelope with the pattern and instruction my Aunt Fern sent her.

Have a good day!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

killing time

While I was out on the web killing time instead of being productive. I ran across a blog that reads like I wrote it, In the Shadows by Shadowmoss. I found her blog through Brian Gore's blog goin' RV Boondocking .

So what did I take away from reading her blog? Not entirely sure. There are several musings.

Why do we have more things we want to do than the energy to do them?

Are we trying to meet the expectations that we think the world has for us and not what we really want to do? You can't serve two masters.

Or because we are not well 'domesticated' we find society's expectations overwhelming? I used the word 'domesticated' in the context of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Because we tend to accumulate unnecessary stuff, is that where the lack of energy comes from? Feng Shui says the stuff you accumulate blocks the flow of energy in your life and you are, also, avoiding dealing with unpleasant life issues; and your local psychologist says so, too.

Are we adult ADD? We think about doing things, we plan the projects out, and we may even start the projects but the projects or chores just never get done. Our minds wonder off to something else or we get interrupted and we don't get back to 'whatever' to get it finished. So, the project is one more thing to weigh us down.

Or are we basically 'present hedonists' and are at emotional odds with our 'Protestant' upbringing which makes us so tired? Professor Philip Zimbardo video The Secret Power of Time

It is nice to know I'm not the only one out there that can't seem to 'git'er done'. The only solution I have seen or heard of, about the problem of 'no energy/too much stuff' is pretend you have the 'energy'. (psychology) You just keep putting one foot in front of the other until 'energy' becomes a habit. That whole scenario of pretending to be full of pep just makes me tired and frustrated thinking about it. Because I can only pretend (lie to myself) so long and I know it.

You know, I think the two, no energy and too much stuff, are related somehow or they are symptoms of the same problem. I will have to give that some thought and see what kind of research there is on the relationship of the two. More time to kill on the web! All right! LOL

Have a good day!


Monday, September 6, 2010


My inspiration this morning when I woke up was to dehydrate them. I looked at my two dehydrator books and then went out on the web. There are a lot of things we can do with dehydrated apples. I will see how the apples look and taste before doing another batch. I am using an Excalibur nine tray with a thermostat. I've used and thrown away a round stackable one with no temperature controls. I threw away food :( We could of saved money by just buying the Excalibur. Sometimes spending the money up front is the most cost effective way of doing something.

I am going to save the peeling and cores to make apple butter on the next batch. My mother said my grandmother did that with apples, peaches, and pears. I have done it once in the past and it made the best apple butter. You put the cores and peeling in a stock pot with some water. You boil it until it thickens, then you run the pulp through a tomato strainer similar to this one :

The one I have will do raw tomatoes, raspberries, and apple peelings and cores. I taste for sweetness, then add spices, and cook down to apple butter consistence(spelling?). The batch of apple butter I made this way I didn't add any sugar. The apples I used were sweet enough! I must confess I don't like overly sweet apple butter. I like it on the tart side!

The washer calls!

Have a good day!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Oh no! I've been sucked in!

Hubby brought home some Sudoku puzzle books. I have found another thing to suck up my time. With cruising for something to read on the web and now I have Sudoku. I didn't get a whole lot done last week. The only thing I finished was the scarf using the yarn from the 'yarn tasting' event I went to at the Twist Yarn Shop in Wichita. When I get pictures I will post them with a run down of the yarns and the stitch I used.

After downloading instructions on how to solve the puzzles, I am now up to level two in the book. I am starting to ration the puzzles to one a day. What a time sucker! I got too much stuff I want to get done.

I went out and picked apples today. I don't know what kind of apples they are but I think they are Cox Orange Pippins. Whatever they are, they taste good!

The tree next to it has some small yellow-greenish apples that are dry, mealy and with no flavor at all. So that tree is going to get a severe prune job so we can mow under it. I think this tree just has the root stock left. I will leave it to pollinate the 'Cox'.

These two trees were dwarfs from Stark Brothers. One had five modern apples grafted on it and the other had five antiques grafted on it. The neighbor's dog used one for a fire hydrant and the other, the local young malcontent used it as the object of a temper tantrum. So we have been waiting for them to grow out and see if we had anything usable on them. The 'Cox' isn't a dwarf any more, either. So I'm going to do some topping on it.

The other apple tree in the yard is an Arkansas Black. The apples on it won't be ready for another month. And I think I need to find a tree to cross pollinate with it. It just hasn't set that much fruit in the three or four years it has had apples.

So tomorrow I am going to start on the damaged apples. The damaged ones have bug bites. I saw wasps, BIG flies, and some butterflies. I am undecided as to what to make with them. I could dehydrate them, make applesauce, or apple butter, but I'm looking for something with more pizazz. Hubby doesn't much like apple butter, I love it on toast, but I'm trying to get away from grains. Applesauce doesn't do that much for me but hubby likes it. If I dehydrate them, beyond pies, what I am I going to do with them? Guess I'll sleep on it. I'm sure to wake up with some kind of inspiration.

Time to check on dinner. We're having Hawaiian Ribs from Stephanie O'Dea's blog A Year of Slow Cooking.

Have a good day! Judy