Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jason Quilts Day 9

Monday Dec 29
Jason sewed on the side borders of Border 1. He had cut them out last week. Today he cut strips for Border 2. Since this is the final border, strips were cut the lengthwise of fabric. It is always a good idea to cut the final border from lengthwise fabric, as it doesn’t stretch. Cuts across the width of the fabric always have a stretch to them.

He had to buy more fabric than if he were to cut strips across the width of fabric. Jason will not be starting a stash, so I told him that if I liked the fabric he bought for Border 2, I’d buy half of it from him. Now, since I ain’t met too much fabric I don’t like, that was a fair deal! After all, I do have a stash that needs constant feeding.

I gave him the pleasure of ripping that fabric right down the middle. It is the best way I know to get a true line down the center. I told him about how they used to tear fabric when you bought it years ago. How many of you remember that little machine with the “clock” on it that they had in the fabric departments? The clerk would pass the fabric through the machine and the handles on the clock would whirr around and count the yardage being passed through. Then when she measured what you needed, she would press a lever and it would snip the fabric. She’d remove it from the machine and rippp your purchase off the bolt. No scissors involved.

Jason sewed on 3 sides of the final border.
One more side and the face of this quilt will be done.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jason Quilts - Day 8

Friday Dec 26
At the start of the sewing session, we look at the printout of the layout of the quilt Jason designed in EQ6 and read the instructions that I wrote out and as we talk it out, Jason is able to understand what we are going to do today. I think that Jason could follow a pattern on his own now.
Today he cut and pieced together the top, bottom and sides of Border 1 and sewed the top and bottom borders on. Seams to sew are getting much longer! And there is much more quilt to handle on the sewing table.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Another Bag in the Gallery

Qpal Jana http://sentimentalquilts.blogspot.com/ sent in her pic before Christmas, but with having my PC in the shop and Christmas celebrating, I wasn’t able to find time to put her bag in the Gallery until today.
Here’s a link to the Gallery where there are more bags to see. http://anotherpat.com/fabricbaggallery.htm

clubEQ Challenges

Do you have the quilting software program Electric Quilt? Have you ever participated in a clubEQ Challenge? Barb Vlack, an EQ author and teacher, posts a challenge every month. The Electric Quilt website http://www.electricquilt.com/ puts up all the challenge entries so that you can see the quilts sent in.

Description of current challenge - www.electricquilt.com/Users/FunStuff/ClubEQ/ClubEQ.asp
List of past challenges by name – www.electricquilt.com/Albums/Albums1.asp

What’s really neat is when you enter the monthly challenge, at the end of the challenge you will receive the project file of each and every entrant! BarbV always has some new wrinkle in her designs and I look forward to getting her PJ6 file to see how she did what she did.

clubEQ is an excellent way to keep in practice with Electric Quilt and also to get the creative juices flowing. I haven’t had the chance (yet) this month to work on a design for the December challenge, but hope to find free time this weekend. I have a webpage of some of the challenges that I participated in – anotherpat.com/patfiles.html. You can even request some of my project files, if you wish.

Here’s a pic of my most recent entry – This quilt is #52 on the August (Postcards) Challenge page --
http://www.electricquilt.com/Albums/08/0808/0808p2.asp You can read the description of my entry on the EQ website and on my challenge webpage.

ClubEQ has been around for a long time. I was lucky enough to be around at the beginning when BarbV began creating the challenges and I was putting up the quilts on my website and in online photo albums. I had to take a break from that cuz it was sure time consuming. So, Electric Quilt took it over and there has been almost 9,000 quilts entered into challenges!

Hope you all had a nice Christmas. We celebrate Christmas with family on Christmas Eve. Then, we had a very nice quiet Christmas Day and another good dinner. The feasting has got to stop! The cookies and sweets – oh my!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day Song

Elvis Presley provides the audio of I'll be Home for Christmas -- a very well-done slideshow -- "Support Our Troops".

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Song

The Slackers do a very unusual version of Little Drummer Boy.

And here's another unusual version by Apocalyptica

And then there's always the classic version by Bing Crosby & David Bowie --
I remember seeing that on the TV special when it came out!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jason Quilts – Day 7

Monday Dec. 22
Lots of intersecting seams today that had to be matched. A couple of seams had to be un-sewn, but not as much un-sewing as could have been! So that means that Jason is mastering the art of “matching up the intersecting seams”. I think that calls for a Hooray! LOL We even squeezed in a popcorn break in the middle of the afternoon. The center of the quilt is now complete. Next, comes the borders.

Tuesday’s Christmas Song

Christmas is near! Hope you can give yourself a little time to sit and relax and listen to --
Joy to the World by Mannheim Steamroller

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday’s Christmas Song

Gotta have a dose of Elvis at Christmas!
Blue Christmas -- Elvis Presley

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Jason Quilts – Day Six

Friday Dec. 19
Didn’t start sewing ‘til after lunch today. This morning, Jason had a final fitting for a tuxedo he will be wearing as a groomsman in a wedding on Sunday. He completed the final block of the quilt today. The rest is sashing & borders. Rows 2, 4 and 6 are sewn together.

Each sewing session finds him more comfortable at the machine. He has observed that the pieces are getting bigger! LOL That calls for a different strategy to use when parts of what you’re sewing are hanging over the edges of the sewing table and their weight is dragging things down.

I have shown him various ways to complete certain tasks and let him decide for himself which method to use. He knows how important it is for the fabric to be even at the beginning and end of seams – can’t have one fabric scoot ahead of the other and end up longer than the fabric underneath.

He knows to clip all threads as the seams are sewn. The back of his work is as “clean” as the front. Jason is doing such a great job on his first quilt.

Jason Quilts – Day Five

Wednesday Dec. 17
When Jason came to the house this morning, he brought his younger brother with him as a surprise. Joe is on Winter Break from classes at Florida State University. It feels so good to know that these 2 young men would like to spend some time with their Gma (and Gpa, too).

Went shopping and Jason got the rest of the fabric for the face of his quilt. Fabric at Joann’s was on sale at 30% off. Got some good bargains. I guess that sometimes when grandsons get bigger, they still do “little boy stuff”. Yes, Jason, I saw you out of the corner of my eye doing the “hula hoop” with one of the large embroidery hoops in Joann’s! May you never lose that “little boy” in you – visit him often!

After lunch, Jason got back to the sewing machine and sewed one complete block and almost finished another. He had cut the patches last Friday.
It was good to be in the sewing room with 2 grown grandsons. We talked of many things as Jason sewed. Why is it that gathering around the sewing machine brings out all those conversations? Just as in the Quilting Bees of the Pioneer Women gathering around the quilting frame.

Computer in Intensive Care

Wednesday was a good day for fabric shopping & sewing. Wednesday was not a good day for my computer. Everything was just fine one minute and then the next minute my monitor was black & the CPU was not humming. Took CPU into the Geek Squad at Best Buy and they had to keep it for further diagnostics. Two days he said. I felt as if I were leaving a member of the family at the hospital. I never thought it would affect me quite that way. At that moment, I found out how important my computer is to my life. All those years when I didn’t have a computer and now I am worried sick that I’ll be without it …

Thursday was a sad day for me. But I managed to make it through by doing some beading on a wallhanging. I will be blogging about the wallhanging soon. Made it through Friday & Saturday.

Got the CPU back this morning (Sunday). The power supply had to be replaced. Everything else checked out okay. First thing I did when I got it back was a backup. I had backed-up last week, but had been pretty busy on the PC, so I would not have liked to have lost that work, in case something was going to go wrong, again. I have done an “Ad-Aware” scan, am doing a full “VirusScan” and will be doing a defrag. PC seems to be running a little slow. All I can do is keep doing preventative maintenance & daily backups and hope for the best. I don’t want to invest in another computer right now.
Now, to play catch-up.

Sunday’s Christmas song

Get ready to tap your feet to this one. What a fun time!
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - John Cougar Mellencamp

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday's Christmas Song

This has got to be one of the strangest Christmas songs - but, fun.
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer - The Irish Rovers

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday's Christmas song

Greetings on this gloomy, rainy afternoon. Looks like this weather is going to last all day. Here's video that you might have seen before, if so it bears repeating. If you haven't seen it -- you're in for a treat. What a fun time these guys are having --
12 Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Bag Thank-you

I would like to thank Cheryl from http://polkadotsandrickrack.blogspot.com/ for mentioning my PaperPieced Christmas Bag. Love the name of your blog. Glad you liked the Confetti Hash Peppers. I know I will be making those stuffed peppers again.

Shopping Bag Gallery - 2 more bags

Qpal Marleen from Alaska made a couple bags and used webbing for the handles -- that makes the bag construction go faster.

Thumbdrive Jacket Tute

Today’s Christmas song of the day – “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives

I do not like to put my thumbdrive in my purse unprotected. And it is so easy to misplace the thumbdrive cuz it is so small. It holds a lot of files and pics and I don’t want to lose it. I thought of making a covering for it – a jacket! Now, this I feel comfortable throwing in my purse. Use a Jacket to slip some folded money into when putting in your jean’s pocket – less likely for money to pop out of pocket.

For many Christmases, I have been making a keepsake item for my gkids. This year it’s the Thumbdrive / Money Holder jacket.

These sew up quickly, so if you need something like this for Christmas, you can do it up fast. I have created a PDF for the convenience of printing off the directions and taking them into the sewing room. You can even make a “Super Fast” version of the jacket that sews up, welllll --Super Fast – in about the time it takes to wrap a present!

Each Thumbdrive Jacket requires a piece of fabric 20” x 3-1/4”. (Super Fast version takes 10” x 3”)
Finished Jacket measures 2-5/8” x 4-1/2”.

If you make any Thumbdrive Jackets, please send me a pic and I will put it up in a Gallery.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Start – Christmas Song of the Day

I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite Christmas tunes. I will be giving a link a day to a Christmas song until Christmas. Today starts with White Christmas by The Drifters (1954). I really like this version. This one comes with a cute animation.
I want to thank Qpal Donna for sending on the link to these upcoming Christmas songs.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jason Quilts – Day Four

Happy Birthday, Greg!

Jason is a shoe-less sew-er.
All the gkids seems to take off their shoes as soon as they come into our house. They always place their shoes at the back door. That comes from habit. When the gkids were little, they were taught that if you’re gonna take your shoes off at Gma’s house, put them by the back door so that we know where the shoes are when we need to put them back on again.

On some wonderful days, I had 6 pairs of little shoes, in various sizes, at the back door. Nowadays all of the gkids shoes are much bigger, as are they. And nowadays we have 7 gkids. We had gkids in 2 batches. Had 6 gkids in 7 years. What a bunch that was when they all got together! When youngest gkid turned 7, we had a 7th gkid. Oh, how lucky the 7th gkid is – he has 6 cousins who adore him and teach him so many things. And, yah, sometimes some real funny things, too!

I’m a shoes-on sew-er. Sometimes, I am a barefoot sew-er. What kind of sew-er are you?
Today we had a shorter sewing session than usual. But, Jason managed to cut out all the pieces needed for 3 blocks. He completed 1 block.

He put together a block that has 17 patches. And it turned out perfect! The horizontal lattice in the block lines up from row to row. Good job, Jas! Today’s block – top left.

The first 3 blocks were made from strip sets and then cut up as blocks. I thought the last 3 blocks should give him some piecing practice, so I had him cut the patches individually and sew them together as rows. Actually, the shorter pieces are easier to keep straight when sewing. And are easier to press.

Jason is on Winter Break now, so we just might get 2 sewing days next week. Will also have to do some more shopping, as we need the fabric for the sashing around each block.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shopping Bag Gallery – 2 bags

Another finished bag has been added to the “Gallery of Fabric Bags”. Elizabeth made longer handles and a “beefed-up bottom”.

Recipe – Confetti Hash Peppers

I tried a new recipe for supper last night, it’s a keeper. If you like stuffed peppers and if you like canned corn beef hash, you might give this one a try. It’s very simple & quick to fix. Got the recipe from the label on a can of Hormel reduced fat corned beef hash.

But, I did change Hormel’s recipe a little. I added twice as much onion, chili sauce & cheese. I don’t cut the tops off the peppers. I cut them in half lengthwise to stuff them. I always wondered what to do with the cut-off tops. By cutting them lengthwise, can utilize the whole pepper. I don’t par-boil the peppers. The peppers always get so mushy when you par-boil. We like them a little crisp. Here’s my changed recipe.

Confetti Hash Peppers

3 green bell peppers (I used 2 green, 1 red)
1 (15-ounce) can HORMEL® Reduced Fat Corned Beef Hash
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 tablespoons chili sauce
2/3 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese (or enuf to give each a good sprinkle)

Heat oven to 375°F.
Wash peppers. Cut peppers in half, lengthwise; remove seeds.
I do not boil peppers. Peppers will be a little crisp if not boiled.
In bowl, combine hash, corn, onion and chili sauce; spoon into bell peppers. Place bell peppers in a baking dish. Bake 20 minutes.
Sprinkle tops with cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weather & thanx

I decided to put the Temp up on the sidebar. This is the time of year that I look forward to in South Florida. Originally, I am from Wisconsin and am very familiar with cold winters. So, I really appreciate the Florida winters. Hope that by seeing the warm temps, it warms your heart. Just remember, I've got to endure the hot, humid Florida summer before I get the wonderful winter.

I want to thank the Quilting Gallery for featuring my Christmas Shopping Bag. And a big Hello! to all those stopping by on a link from the Quilting Gallery. For those who don't know, the Quilting Gallery lists Quilting Bloggers by state, province or country.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Jason Quilts – Day Three

Today we went shopping at Joann’s for fabric. His first choice of fabric for the blocks in the center of the quilt changed the colors of the layout he had designed. And he was okay with that. Only bought 2 fabrics today, cuz Joann has another sale next week.

Came home, put the fabric in the washer & dryer while we had a lunch of Gpa’s homemade chili. After lunch, Jason ironed the preshrunk fabric and then it was time to cut. He cut strips for a strip set. Sewing a strip set for Block 1 was the first time Jason sewed a long strip. It was also the first time that Jason learned how to “un-sew”. VBG There are certain things that we can fudge, but there are certain things that get “un-sewed” and we all learn these things the hard way. VBG

The photo shows 3 blocks of Block 1 that he completed today. Blocks are 12-1/2” x 12-1/2”.

Jason gave permission for me to share his quilt design with the blogging world. So, as the quilt progresses, I will be putting up a PDF file of the construction, so if you like his quilt, you will be able to make one like it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bags - sack, square bottom, book

I’ve been making gift bags for ages. I just hate to pay crazy amounts of money for pretty paper that gets all ripped & crumpled in 2 seconds flat. Plus. I can use up some stash. But, usually, I will buy real cheap fabric at Walmart or Joann’s which turns out to be much cheaper than pretty paper and I get a much bigger piece. Very nice when I have a large gift.

People are still using these bags from years ago! I usually just make a sack for the size of the object. Gather the whole thing in your hand at the top and tie a ribbon or fabric tube into a bow. The denim one above is suitable for a someone in college and is handy for a laundry bag.

Angie Padilla has some easy gift bags.
Square bottom bag – like the paper ones with handles
Book bag – when giving a book as a gift

If “Angie Padilla” sounds familiar to you, she wrote the book “ EQ6 Applique Drawing” from the folks at Electric Quilt. I have learned so much about drawing from her book. Never have been able to draw. Now, I draw with a mouse! Go figure …

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shopping Bag Gallery

It is always so nice to see other’s versions of one’s design. When another sew-er makes that item from the design, then it is assumed that the directions were accurate! ;-) Denise from Canada sent me a pic of the Christmas Shopping Bag that she completed.

Thank you, Denise! I see you used a different fabric for each tree. You must have started the bag shortly after I put up the tute. And I have put your bag in the #1 spot on the Gallery page for Fabric Bags. It shall remain at the top forever. Other pics will go in the next spots below.

Christmas Shopping Bag instructions

I hope to get lots of pics! It will be so neat to see other’s interpretations of the design – or what they can do with a plain bag.

I like blogging. It reminds me so much of the days in the old AOL Quilting Community. We got such nice feedback from the quilters for just about anything we did. And then there would be the quilting chat rooms where we could discuss all what was going on. Yah, I think AOL had a good idea and I think they made a big mistake when they got rid of all the Communities.

Wild Roses - I won!

My luck is such that I usually am the one clapping while others are the ones accepting the prizes. Not this time. This time I won! Patchwork Pie just celebrated a one-year anniversary (Congrats Sunnie!) and Sunnie had a drawing with names entered of all who commented on her blog within a time frame.

The little quilt is just gorgeous. That background fabric is perfect for the batik flowers and leaves. The thread painting made it all pop. The centers of the flowers were done with clusters of tied embroidery thread. Nice effect. Binding was handsewn to back. Be sure & click on the image to see an enlarged version.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Printing pages

While talking with a friend, I realized that she didn’t know that her printer could print more than 1 page to a sheet. So I thought I’d blog about it, in case others didn’t know about this. You’ll really save on paper.

There might be different options on your printer or your printer may not even offer the options that mine does, but here’s what I can do on my HP OfficeJet 6210.

I am shown 7 different tabs that offer different options.

On the FINISHING tab, I can choose the number of pages to print PER SHEET of PAPER! If I print webpages, I usually use the 2 pages per sheet option and I can read the print just fine.

After I click 2 pages per sheet, I get an option in the right column where I can print PORTRAIT or LANDSCAPE.

Go through your printer “preferences” or “options” and see what’s available to you.

I really like the ability to print more than one page per sheet. If I print directions off of a webpage (or from a PDF file), I can get away with using far less paper.

And if you use PRINT PREVIEW in your Browser, you can see which pages you want (or don’t want) to print. And that saves on paper, too.