Saturday, January 31, 2009

Batik Challenge Progress

Finished this homespun quilt I was working on.

When I started cutting the fabric for the sashing, I thought it looked way too dark.

But I like it now that it's done. It finished at 70 inches square, the individual blocks and sashing at 3 1/2 inches.

I've been working on the Batik Challenge that I am doing with Nicole, Lisa, and Kristin. Dug out my basket of Batiks (had more than I remembered, I do think they multiplied!).

I thought color sorting things might be called for. I wasted quite a bit of time oohhhing and aahhhing all the pretty ones.

After reviewing my inventory, I've decided to do this pattern. Mine will be using bright fabrics though.

These are the ones I chosen. I just love that fabric I am going to use for the border, the one with all the colors in it. They are all beach-themed and just so summery and cheery. I guess I will have to come up with a new name, Bright Pond in Florida?
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 26, 2009

How I Spent The Weekend

I promised Jackie in December I'd make some pillowcases for a charity she supports.

So I spent Saturday afternoon cutting and sewing. I figured this would be a good project as I am also caring for a pet who is terminally ill with cancer. While I am in no way equating sick children with sick animals, my efforts seemed to dovetail nicely.

I've made 8 so far and I must say the instructions she sent are easy to follow and produce a great finished product. You first sew the body of the case to the cuff which also hides the seam. Quite ingenious! Then you sew a French seam along the sides which makes everything so tidy. Ingenious again!

Here's my stack.

I had to share a picture of the selvedge on one of the fabrics I used. I love the typo!

On Sunday afternoon I cut out some homespun for making cornerstones

for this quilt that's been on my design wall too long.

Here's a look at the sashing fabric I'm using. Darker than planned but it's out of the stash!
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Challenge

Nicole issued a challenge to make a quilt by April 24 using batiks and a pattern from either the Batiks and Beyond or Batik Beauties books by Laurie Shifrin. I've decided to play along! I have quite a number of batik fat quarters in my stash and about a year ago decided to make a quilt using them. I say about a year ago because my quilt is finished but I neglected to put a label on it. {sigh} I liked working with the batiks. They have a different feel, crisp, smooth and tightly woven. And the colors are just so wonderful.

I am going to use the Batiks and Beyond book and am leaning toward either this pattern. Don't you love the name? Suits me, I think!

Or the cover quilt.

A few people asked about the pattern for the sewing wallet. It is in this magazine that was on the newsstand around Thanksgiving, Fall 2008 issue. The pattern was designed by Penny Sturges and it finishes at 5 1/2" by 9".

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Tried a new recipe yesterday straight off the King Arthur Flour sack! I just started buying this brand and really like it. The loaf turned out nice and moist with a fine grain to it. The rising was a bit lengthy, don't know if it had to do with the dough being all whole wheat flour with no white, or the chilly house.

I did finish that sewing wallet I made for the Black and White Challenge Project and am pleased with the results.

That fabric with hearts where the yellow flower head pins are is the replacement for the Andover black dots on white that I had problems with bleeding. No problems with this fabric with the Pellon Fusible Fleece. In hindsight I guess the other fabric just had an excess of dye that did not wash out entirely. I actually think I like this fabric choice better.

Here's the back.

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


"As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before Nine-Eleven. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our Nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe."
Thank You, President Bush, well done.


Sunday morning I managed to talk myself out of walking and was rewarded by an interesting sight. There were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of these Bank Swallows flying all over my back yard and lake! We must be in the migratory path as they fly down to South America for winter. What a sight to see and hear!

They would land all at once in the pine trees and after a bit take off with a resounding swish!

While I was having those problems with the sewing wallet yesterday, I looked out the window and a Florida bobcat went strolling by! This was a real treat as they are very elusive. The picture is fuzzy as I snapped it through the screen. A minute later and she was in the nature preserve abutting our yard and out of sight.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Just One of Those Projects...

A few months ago I joined the Black and White Challenge Project. There's a badge in the right sidebar attesting to such. The minimal requirement established by the project's founder is to make one project using black and white fabrics with one accent color to be completed in 2009. Well, I do plan on making a quilt but when I ran across this cute little sewing wallet I thought it would be a great Black and White project. What's this? I need something called Pellon 987F Fusible Fleece? Stood in line for 25 minutes on Saturday at Joann's to get some cut. That in itself was a mistake. I forgot I'd encounter all the tourists. But I digress. Back to the matter at hand.

Gathered all the supplies, chose the fabrics and accent color, a pink Batik, and got started. I fused the fleece onto the wrong side of the front of the wallet with no problem.

Then I fused the fleece onto the wrong side of the back of the wallet. Ack! The black dots bled! Darn, must not have washed the fabrics before hand. Well, let me go wash and try again.

As you can see the dots still bled, not as much but it's still there. The only thing I can figure out is the adhesive must have interacted somehow. Has anyone else used this product and had this problem? I will have to try again with another fabric as I am all out of those dots.

Sewing wallet project comes from this magazine.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

January House

Took a break from sewing the homespun blocks I made yesterday to make a house BOM block. It is as easy as it looks and fun to boot! I think I am going to make it with Christmas fabrics/colors all from scraps.

Block of the Month

I've always liked doing BOM quilts. When I became a quiltmaker back in the early 1990s a LQS would kit up their BOM blocks with all the necessary fabric and pattern for $2,50. My have times changed! None of my LQSs offer BOM and the online stores are really pricey complete with a signup fee. If you participate you end up paying one to two times the cost of the fabric used. I know a lot of people signup because of the pace and the surprise element but I'm too much of a penny-pincher.

I found this web site yesterday that has a BOM started. The finished quilt is about 40 by 46 inches but it can easily expanded by increasing the number of blocks you make. The directions will be posted on the 15th of each month and left up for 2 months. The block finishes at 8 1/2 inches. I love house blocks so I think I'm going to participate.

First off, let me say I am clueless about how to zoom in on this picture so you can actually see the deer! We've had these 4 deer hanging around behind our house for the past few days. I tried to sneak up on them to get a picture but was spotted. Prior to moving to Florida I always thought deer were a Northern animal but we have loads of them! In the spring they bring their fawns to the lake, which is just to the right out of the picture. Happy sewing!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Catching Up

Isn't this a great floor? We had about a twenty minute wait at Ruby Tuesday's the other night and this was the tile in the lobby. I don't know why I've never noticed it before, maybe because we've never waited before.

This is what I've worked on yesterday and today.
I've had a basket of leftover homespun scraps in my sewing room since making this quilt. Started with this design and it got way too tedious. Those are 4 inch blocks, using 1.5 inch wide strips with a 2 inch square center.

I used up all the scraps and decided on a new arrangement along the way. I'm going to group 4 blocks together and then sash them with some muslin or another homespun, a small light blue check. I cut the remainder of the scraps into 1.5 inch squares to use as leaders and enders to make 4 patches.

While I was at it, I used up a lot of half-filled and quarter-filled bobbins of a variety of thread colors.

It got rather tiresome after awhile but I emptied a lot of bobbins! Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Fresh Start

After a nice long break of twenty-two days my daughter is back at her university. She did very well with her classes last semester, I'm so proud of her! We had a great time just hanging out together. I was missing her something fierce yesterday so...

what would a quilter do? I headed on over to a quilt store. I am lucky enough to have five in about a twenty mile radius. The one yesterday just recently moved to much larger location and doubled their stock. I have been really good about my purchases and didn't buy a whole lot yesterday.

A few patterns mostly from one of my favorite designers Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.

And a few lights I am running low on, two charm packs and some extra yardage from the Recipe for Friendship Collection by Mary Engelbreit. This collection is so bright and cheery, just what I needed!

Monday, January 5, 2009


My daughter and I drove to Venice on Saturday afternoon. Once you cross the bridge you find yourself on a tree lined boulevard filled with a variety of stores and restaurants.

Here's the city hall.

In the spring the street is closed for an arts and crafts show. Further on down, is Deborah's Quilt Basket of which I forgot to take a picture. It's a great fabric store with a nice assortment of fabrics.

Venice has a quaint feel with its low buildings and tree lined streets. The town was built mainly in the 1920s utilizing urban planning before this was even popular. While you can't tell from my pictures, most of the buildings were constructed using Northern Italian Renaissance architecture. Venice was in the news in 2001 as 3 of the WTC 9/11 terrorists took flight lessons at the local airport while living in Venice.

If you drive to the end of the boulevard you come to Venice Beach which has the reputation as being the Shark Tooth Capital of the World! With a bit of diligence you can find fossilized shark teeth in the sand. We decided to go to Caspersen Beach which is usually a little less crowded and also has shark's teeth!

Wonder who made these?

Willets! We followed these guys down the beach.

It's always amazing how close you can get to them.

After about an hour they took off.

The water was very cold about 65 degrees. I love the beach in Winter.

Back to Venice for dinner and a look at the shops. Most were still decorated for Christmas.

This window seemed particularly pretty.

As well as this one.

The end of a delightful day, hope you enjoyed the photos!