Friday, January 30, 2009

Fabric shopping with iPodTouch

Found out the coolest and greenest thing (no printing) to do with my iPod Touch. My method works with EQ6, but you might find other uses.

When I design a quilt in EQ6 and print out the Fabric Yardage to take with me to the store, I find the printout is “not exactly” what I viewed on my computer monitor in the design process. BUT if I view an exported image of the fabric, it looks “exactly” like what I saw on my computer. AND when I put that image in my iPod Touch, it gives me a much better idea of what fabrics I need to get. Can zoom in and out of the pic, too.

The fabrics I used to design the quilt might not be available when I go shopping. Why do fabric manufactures have to change their lines so often? I have some wonderful fabric in my stash that was purchased years ago and it is just as “current” as fabrics of today. And is sometimes just “exactly” what I need. I hate using up a favorite fabric, cuz I know I won’t be able to replace it.

So, if those desired fabrics are not available when I go shopping, when I view the fabric images on my iPod, I get a pretty close representation of what I need and can buy something that is “close enough”.

I found that creating 3 images covers all bases.

1) An exported pic of the quilt (a faraway look)

2) A “print screen” of the fabrics from the sketchbook (a close-up of fabrics)
3) A “print screen” of the fabric yardage page (yardage requirements)

2 & 3 were manipulated in PaintShopPro with some text added on 3. Actually, all you’d have to do is crop them and maybe add some text to 3 – like the date. And with the “zoom in” feature on the iPodTouch, you can view all of what you want to see.

If you have the current edition of “Stash” and used fabrics from there, you could probably find those fabrics still at your Local Quilt Shop. Then you might want to go the extra step and take a “print screen” of each fabric and its notecard. That way you would have the Manufacturer, the line and the numbers needed to purchase that fabric. No paper needed! Is this green or what!
I’m thinking that shopping at online shops would be easier by matching the iPod Touch image of fabric to an online image of fabric.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jason Quilts – Day 16

Jason is pointing to the last stitch in the quilt binding! Happened at 5:45pm on Saturday, January 24. when he finished sewing the binding to the quilt. The excess batting and backing then had to be trimmed away from the quilt. Since this is going to be a much-used quilt, chose to machine stitch-in-the-ditch to secure the folded-over binding to the back of the quilt. Used Steam-a-Seam ¼” iron-on tape to hold the binding to the back for easier stitching on the front. Did some hand-sewing to secure the binding at each corner. This was the 1st time that Jason did some hand-sewing.

Here’s the quilt after it came out of the washer & dryer. Used Fairfield’s Quilter’s 80/20 cotton batting. Did not pre-shrink the batting and love the way it shrank up and gave the quilt such character.

Whenever someone asked, “How long does it take to make a quilt?” I could never answer cuz I never really kept track in hours. But, now I have a pretty good idea. Jason had 16 sessions and estimating about 4 hours per session (includes the designing and shopping) can fairly say that this quilt took 64 hours. And how much is it worth? Priceless …

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jason Quilts – Day 15

Friday January 23
Jason learned a few new things today which has been no different than any other day. It seems that just about the time he masters a new technique, we are on to learning another technique. One thing he has found is that things are easier the more you do them. The machine quilting went faster today.

He finished all the quilting lines. Cut the binding for the quilt. Learned how to sew diagonal seams necessary to piece together a long strip of binding. Learned how to sew binding to a quilt and make mitered corners in the binding.

More than half the binding sewn to the quilt. Trimmed up a portion of the sewn area so he could see how the binding would turn under and how nice those mitered corners looked!

Those wavy quilting lines really look good. This picture really doesn’t do the quilting justice. Used Sulky Blendable thread 30wt. for the quilting. Love the changing of the colors in that thread.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day – 3

The sun has set in Washington DC. The parade is now being held in the dark. What brave souls they all are to march in this cold. But, at least they’re moving – the ones watching have got to be colder. I certainly think that the First Lady must have Chicago blood in her! How else could she tolerate the cold with her coat open all day long?

It was a good day. I’m glad I watched all the festivities.

Inauguration Day – 2

All the powerful politicians, presidents past and present and Hollywood folk are gathered for this event. It always surprises me that some of these very wealthy people can’t seem to afford a decent hair stylist.

Sasha & Malia Obama (the president-elect’s daughters) had the prettiest coats, in the prettiest colors. Blue on Malia and peach on Sasha. Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul, had on a hat that was something else - a huge be-jeweled grey ribbon affair.

Through all the formal-ness of this event, it is nice to see the sincere hugs amongst people who are glad to see each other. I got a chill when Barack Obama walked out to the platform. This is history. How he must have felt looking out over the multitude of people who came to see him and hear him speak. They say over one and a half million people are in that crowd on the Mall.

Aretha Franklin sand “My Country Tis of Thee”. She did it like no other. There were tears in the audience while she sang.

At 12:05pm, it is now President Barack Obama.
The crowd went wild. A sea of waving flags. Such hope we all have. Hope was reflected on many of the faces in the crowd. Happy faces. Joyful faces.

While the newly-elected President spoke, he promised change. I think he will change things. Some of the things he said “ Remake America”, “Restore trust between people and their government”, “We are ready to leave once more”, “The world has changed and we will change with it”.

Enjoy your day, President Obama. The celebrations are all for you. Change has come.

According to this morning’s newspaper, the inaugural lunch will have wild game & root vegetables like in President Abraham Lincoln’s time. Pheasant fingers? No thank you, I’ll be happy with a nice Beef Pot Pie.

I’ve always wondered – as the incoming President says goodbye to the outgoing President and the outgoing President walks to the helicopter – what’s the outgoing President thinking? “Whew. It’s good to get out of there and start a normal life”. Maybe.

Inauguration Day

Today I am going to have a TV nearby. I want to watch this historic day. The day that Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States.

I hope to edit this post throughout the day.

Mrs. Obama wore a beautiful yellow-gold suit this morning. When she & President-elect Obama arrived at the White House for coffee with President & Mrs. Bush, she brought a gift. We were told it was a journal and pen for the departing First Lady’s memoirs. What a thoughtful gift.

The Mall in Washington DC is overwhelmed with people on this cold day.
Temperature is 26°. They have closed the Mall because it is full. People are now standing 1-1/2 miles from the Inauguration site. They will be able to see and hear everything on Jumbotrons that are set up all over the place. I think I have the best seat in front of my TV, tuned to ABC with Charlie Gibson, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopolous providing the commentary.

At 11am the motorcade arrived at the Capitol for the Inauguration ceremony at noon.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Recipe – Brownie Waffles

I have an old recipe box. It contains old recipes that I wrote on 3” x 5” cards and also contains recipes others have given me over the years – in their handwriting. I am so glad I kept those handwritten recipes over the years. Seeing the handwriting of dear friends who have passed on keeps them close to my heart when I read their recipes.

I have some of my mother’s recipes in her handwriting that I would never part with. The recipe itself might not be so terrific, but it was a recipe she enclosed in a letter, many years ago. Mom died in November 1993, but each time I read a recipe that she wrote makes me feel as if she’s close.

Also in the box are odd-assorted leaflets from past appliances. I don’t throw away many things! LOL
DH was looking thru the old recipe box and came across a leaflet that came with a waffle iron we were gifted with when we were first married. Now, we are coming up on 48 years of wedded bliss, so the leaflet is old! No longer have the waffle iron, but I do remember it. It was round and had an electrical cord that was wrapped with black & white threads. The recipe that interested him was “Brownies for the Waffle Iron”.
I suggested using a box of Brownie mix, rather than making the recipe from scratch. So, that’s what he did. Just follow the directions on the box. DH added a ½ to 1 cup of chopped walnuts to the batter. The Brownie Waffles were excellent!

If you make these waffles, here are some suggestions – Put a spoonful of batter on each quadrant of the waffle baker to get “Waffle Cookie Brownies”. They release easier and are easier to serve than if you made one big waffle. Remove the hot waffles with a spatula to a cooling rack or parchment paper. They firm up as they cool. I like to break up the Brownie Waffles & sprinkle over ice cream. You can also sprinkle some mini chocolate chips or mini M&Ms on the ice cream. MMMM delicious!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jason Quilts – Day 14

Happy Birthday, Rhonda!
Today was “Quilting the Sandwich Day”. Jason put on a CD of his music and enjoyed the rhythm of quilting – the sound of the walking foot and the natural rhythm that you get into after a few rows of quilting. It’s relaxing. But, you do have to remember to get up and walk around every 1/2 hour or so. Don’t want to get any stiff muscles. And rotate your shoulders and neck.

I think one of the most helpful tips for Jason has been the “cheater”.

That’s what we’ve been calling the little piece of fabric that you sew between 2 items that you are chain-piecing in case you don’t have another item (yet) to add to the chain.
It saves on thread and it also keeps the threads from getting pulled into the underneath that causes the rat’s nest of threads on the underside of your seam. I’m used to holding onto the threads when I start stitching. As a beginning sew-er, Jason was not used to doing that and sometimes the threads got pulled down into the needle hole. If he uses the “cheater”, that does not happen. He uses it all the time.

Jason Quilts - Day 13

Friday Jan 16
Two pairs of shoes at the back door. Youngest grandson, Brian (almost 9) came to visit today. He was interested in seeing Jason’s quilt and kept Jason company while Jason was pin-basting the quilt sandwich together.

The quilt is all pinned and ready for machine quilting.

Here's the box of pins at the start of the pinning and what was left at the end.

Made up a quilt sandwich to practice machine quilting on. Jason did some straight lines and some wavy line stitching. He liked the wavy lines the best and he will be doing wavy lines on his quilt, following the straight seams vertically and horizontally.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mother Nature has a sense of humor

That’s our beautiful Pon Gam tree in the front yard. Actually, it’s half of what it originally was. It broke my heart when Hurricane Wilma 2005 blew her down and split her in two. I love the tree cuz it has such character.DH & some neighbors trimmed her up and righted her. We didn’t have too much hope for survival cuz the tree was really in bad shape. But, survive, it did! We bought one of those silly faces that you put on tree trunks. The “face” faces the house, not visible from the street. I smile when I see it.
See that “tuft of hair” above the face? Here’s a close-up. We did not put that air plant there. Mother Nature did that. A real sense of humor, I’d say. Perfectly placed. Probably apologizing for what Wilma did.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Recipe - Pumpkin French Toast Bake

This recipe is going to fill your house with wonderful smells! I found the recipe in the coupon section of Sunday’s paper last Fall.
Link to Pumpkin French Toast Bake

When we make a recipe for the first time, we always follow the recipe to the letter. During the taste test, we make adjustments to the recipe, if necessary and I always write that down. Sometimes, the recipe stays the same. When we first tried this recipe, we felt that there wasn’t enough sausage. And there just was way too much bread for my 9” x 13” pan. So, I altered the recipe and used half of the pumpkin pie filling, half of the evaporated milk and half the bread. And added an apple. It now fits perfectly into my 9” x 13” glass pan

My altered recipe:
Pumpkin French Toast Bake
12 oz. Breakfast links
6 eggs
Use 15 oz. of 30 oz can pumpkin pie filling
Use 6 oz. of 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 slices white bread, cubed
1 apple, chopped
Confectioner’s sugar
Maple syrup
Makes 8 servings

DH cooked the sausages on the grill, which gave a real nice flavor. Used the altered recipe yesterday and we both thought it was excellent!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Jason Quilts – Day 12

Had sent Jason home on Monday with stuff to create the quilt label. What with classes and school obligations and catching a bug, he was not able to design the label this week. After he arrived here, he sat at the kitchen table with paper & pencil and a photo on my iPod Touch of his cat Neko. He sketched out Neko on paper. Neko was to be a big part of the label! Then, he re-drew that sketch onto fabric. I was amazed how quickly he worked. Whilst I am good with a pencil and a ruler, I cannot “sketch” anything! I am in awe of an artist …

Another place was set at the lunch table today. Jason’s mom, DD Kim, joined us. She wanted to see how the quilt was coming along and we all had Gpa’s homemade Sloppy Joes. Gpa was there, too.

Jason added the Quilt Label to the strip that was needed to make the back wider. And we cut the backing fabric from top to bottom and he put in that strip. And here’s a close-up of the pic of the label.
We are nearing the end of this adventure …

Free book

Have you heard about Suze Orman’s new book “2009 Action Plan – Keeping your Money Safe & Sound”? Oprah Winfrey’s show is offering a free download:
Offer expires Thursday Jan. 15, 2009. Thanx to Jill for the link.

I like listening to Suze. She has common sense. Common sense seems to be missing in a lot of people’s thinking today. And whatever happened to saving up your pennies ‘til you could afford to buy a new item? Why is it people feel they are entitled to every new toy and gadget that comes out on the market? And they end up charging the new toy/gadget. If not used wisely, credit cards can get you in a lot of trouble. I’ve heard that the credit card companies are now changing some people’s interest rates to 32%!!! Isn’t that called “loan sharking”?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Recipe – Ham & Cheese Cornbread Supreme

I’m always on the lookout for recipes for breakfast for overnite company. Of course, we have to try them out first! LOL I found this recipe in the Sunday paper coupon circular. It’s like a quiche cuz it has the eggs & cheese, but not like a quiche cuz it has the cornbread flour in it. We both really liked it. And we both thought it would taste good with syrup on it, of all things. I like it with maple syrup; DH likes it with blueberry syrup.

I don’t have a cast iron skillet anymore, so I used my brown glass baking dish that measures 6-1/2” x 10”. I cooked the cutup bacon in the microwave while the Cornbread was baking in the oven.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


While Jason was here sewing, I was able to ask him all about podcasts for my new iPod Touch. Putting things into the iPod is so different from making files and directories in a computer. When I first got the it, I just couldn’t figure out how to get things into it. Was so glad to find their Forum. And then having a tech-savvy grandson in my house was even better!

If you have any favorite podcasts, please let me know so I check them out.

With the iPod, if any one asks if I have pics of my grandkids, or my latest quilt, I can really show them – plus have a tune playing while they view the slideshow! Technology – I love it! LOL

I've made a cover for the iPod Touch to slip in when not in use and can use it when carrying in my purse. And am working on a carrying bag for the iPod and accessories.

Jason Quilts – Day 11

Monday Jan 5
Jason had a busy weekend, so he didn’t get a chance to design the quilt back. That did not present a problem. He cut some 3-1/2” squares and then laid them out on the cutting table. He needs a 9” x 63” panel to sew into the back to make the back wider. He sewed most of the strip together. I sent him home with some muslin to make a quilt label.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Jason Quilts – Day 10

Friday Jan 2
Face of quilt complete! Jason sewed on the 4th side of final border this afternoon. We went shopping this morning and he bought some flannel for the backing. This quilt is a gift and it will be going across country where it needs to provide warmth. Sent Jason off with some homework – design a pieced back. He’ll be doing that on graph paper. I’m anxious to see what he comes up with. Also will have the quilt label in the back.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thread-painted wallhanging

A new year. 364 days left to accomplish many things. Some big. Some small. Resolutions? No. I stopped doing that many years ago. All I do now is make “to do” lists and then try to cross things off my “to do” lists. Yep, I’m a list maker. And a bean counter.

I subscribe to In 2008, they presented an appliqué Block of the Month – “Bouquets for a New Day” designed by Sue Garman. Although I don’t usually do appliqué, I find I am doing more today and then thread-painting parts of it. Something about the August block caught my eye. And I liked that I could incorporate some beading into it. And here’s the finished wallhanging. I love the bright colored flowers and the lime green leaves.

I’ve also made a slideshow with some close-ups of the thread-painting and beading. The appliqué is the raw edge technique. I used basting spray to hold the layers together for quilting and thread- painting. I used cotton batt. For the backing, I used sew-in interfacing. I like to use interfacing for small wallhangings as it adds stability to the piece and I don’t have any stabilizer to remove after thread-painting. If the back looks really bad after all the stitching, I make a “false” back of fabric, sewn in place just before I sew on the binding. I quilt in a few places to hold backing in place. I like to take a pic of the back to record all the stitching before the “false” backing is sewn in place.

I love the bright colors of the fabrics in this wallhanging, especially on that burgundy background!