Monday, March 25, 2019

All About Strings Blog Hop


Welcome!All About Strings Blog Hop

Today is the first day of the Blog Hop, and I am so pleased that you have stopped by to visit.

There will be lots of different ideas about using strings in your quilts. But I mainly use mine to make blocks.

This one was a gift for a friend who just became a foster parent. She has a three year old little boy, Eli, who is all smiles every time you meet him.

With a new granddaughter coming this year, I had to dig out my pink strings to make a little welcoming quilt.

But my favorite use of strings was making this bag.

Using all selvage strings makes for a fun and interesting tote.

Thanks again for stopping by. And thanks to Carla from Creatin the Sticks for hosting this fun blog hop. Be sure to stop by the other blogs during this week.


Monday, March 25th










Karrin's Crazy World


Tuesday, March 26th










ShirleyC


Wednesday, March 27th










Happy String quilting!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Oops!

Computer keeps shutting down. I'm hoping to resolve the problem and be back soon.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Summer By The Tides




Summer by the Tides

Summer By The Tides is another home run for Denise Hunter. The story about three sisters, Maddy, Emma, and Nora, conflicted by a family split 20 years before.

The sisters are each summoned to their grandmothers beach cottage by the neighbor, Connor, when he discovers their grandmother appears to be missing. The story line is one of resentment, wrong first impressions, secrets, forgiveness, and restoration. Plus a most intriguing development of romance.

Denise Hunter is a master writer. Writing well rounded sound characters, she is able to covey her characters deep feelings and emotions. Great dialog and very engaging reading. I've read many of her other novels and she never disappoints. I would give this book a 5+ rating.

 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

A little of this, and a little of that

Do you know how it is when you have a pretty piece of fabric, not enough to really make anything from. Yet you don't want to put it in the goodwill box or in the trash? I'm not terribly creative when it comes to putting colors together or making up designs. Yet this piece of cloth just would not let me go.

I guess in a way I'm a lover of florals, and I pondered over finding a solution for this fabric. So little by little I found a few things to match and worked on using these pretty fabrics to the best of it's ability.
 
 
So here is what I came up with. There was only enough to make a pretty table runner (which I am still working on). Yet I think it's a good fit with the colors melding.

I've recently been challenged with downloading pictures from my phone. So I had to dig out my point and shoot camera to fill in the gaps.

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Tender Hope



A Tender Hope by Amanda Cabot is the final book in the Cimarron  Creek series. A sweet story following midwife Thea Michener, as she starts a new life in Cimarron Creek, following the death of her husband. Texas Ranger Jackson Guthrie is on the trail of the Gang Four. A murderous, thieving gang. He suspects Thea's late husband was a member of the Gang, and believes that Thea may be the link to finding the gang.

The characters are well rounded and all have interesting back stories. Ms. Cabot's writing keeps interest by bringing romance and suspense into the plot. A great historical fiction novel, which is a stand alone story.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher.
All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Cross My Heart

March is upon us, and with it brings the challenge of completing another unfinished quilt top.

It's always a challenge to find fabric for borders when you are working on a top that was made a couple of years ago. Thankfully, I found this remnant at the big box fabric store.

So this top is now ready to be sandwiched and completed for a gift. 

How about you? Any progress being made on completing those UFO'S? This will be my third one for the year.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Did you know?

  • Flowers and other blossoming plants have nectarines that produce sugary nectar. Worker bees suck up the nectar and water and store it in a special honey stomach. When the stomach is full the bee returns to the hive and puts the nectar in an empty honeycomb. Natural chemicals from the bee's head glands and the evaporation of the water change the nectar into honey.
  •  
  • Popcorn pops because water is stored in a small circle of soft start in each kernel. As the kernel is heated, the water heats, the droplets of moister turns to steam and the steam builds up pressure until the kernel finally explodes to many times its original volume.
  •  
  • In 1970, consumption of broccoli was only a half a pound per person. Today, the average person in the United States eats four and one half pounds a year.
  • The most popular sweet pepper in the United States is the bell pepper.
  •  
  • Peanuts are not actually nuts. Peanuts, like soybeans, are members of the legume family.
  •  
  • Heart valves from hogs are used to replace damaged or diseased human heart valves.
  • The eggshell may have as many as 17,000 tiny pores over its surface. Through them, the egg can absorb flavors and orders. Storing them in their cartons helps keep them fresh.
  •  
  • The bright orange color of carrots tells you they're an excellent source of Vitamin A, which is important for good eyesight, especially at night. Vitamin A helps your body fight infection, and keeps your skin and hair healthy.
  •  
  • In the United States, lettuce is the second most popular fresh vegetable.
  •  
  • There are about 7,000 cherries on an average tart cherry tree. It takes about 250 cherries to make a cherry pie, so each tree could produce enough cherries for 28 pies!
  •  
  • The first ice cream cone was made, served, and eaten in New York City on September 22, 1886. The maker, Italo Marchiony, was granted a paten on his cone mold in 1903.
  •  
  • Americans eat about 125 pounds of potatoes a year, about half from fresh potatoes and half in processed foods.
There are just some things in life that we need to know :-)

Happy quilting!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

What would you do?

A while ago I found a very cute doll form. It was just an interesting item that caught my fancy. I brought the form home, and even though I am not a garment sewer, it has been fun to look at the form and think about how to use it. But a vision kept coming into my mind. Can you guess what it was??

Selvages............

I don't have a very large selvage stash, but surely there would be enough for this. And I can always cut some selvages from my fabric stash ;-)

And so it grew......

Until we went from this............

























to this...................




I found some pretty little buttons at the fabric store, and just had to add it to the dress.


Have you ever found something fun and made it
your own?




 












Friday, February 22, 2019

A Quilters dream



For quilters, something happens when we cross over the threshold of a quilt show. I think the change affects each one of us differently. There are no specific symptoms but something definitely takes place within us.

It is a magical journey that starts the moment we enter the building. It provides pleasure to our senses. We see beauty everywhere we step. Where to start? Do we look at the quilt first, or do we scope out the vendors for that prize piece of fabric or the latest designs in patterns. It is enough to make my head spin.

15 years ago, I attended my first major quilt show in Nashville with my two quilting buddies. We stayed at the Opryland hotel, which was hosting the quilt show. We entered the doors and could not believe how much there was to see. Rows and rows of vendors and some of the most beautiful quilts we have ever laid our eyes on. We attended two lectures given by Alex Anderson. What fun! By the end of the first day, we were on overload and headed back to our room. We brought out our bags of goodies and took out every item for close inspection. We would oooh!! and ahhh! with so much delight, stroking each others fabric and reviewing all of the books and patterns. For the next two days we enjoyed the euphoria of every quilting treat that was available.

In the years since, I have attended the Quilt Festival in Chicago, and the AQS Quilt show in Paducah. Twice! Each one has its own unique spin on the quilting community. It's what drives the psychological part of our desire to make beautiful things. Whether it is art quilts or traditional, batiks or reproduction. The mere thought of a trip to a quilt show is enough to start my exit from reality. It is a mystery that once again brings me back to the reason why I quilt. For the beauty of it, and the love of experiencing what others have created in a world of fabric.
Next week AQS is hosting their quilt show in Dayton Beach. My quilting buddies and I are hoping to make it there, but the real question is ... Houston anyone?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Postage Please

Have you ever had a quilt that you always wanted to make? One that just keeps rumbling around in your head? For years I have wanted to make a Postage Stamp quilt. The first glimmer of inspiration came from this book -

I bought this book new back in 1983, when my MIL showed me how to make yo-yo's. But the quilt that really caught my eye was this one -


I was always fascinated with this Postage Stamp Quilt. It measures 83 1/2" square, using all kinds of 1 1/2" squares. I'm not sure I am up to making a quilt using 3216 squares! And that was just the scrappy fabrics, not including the accent colors.
What about you? Do you have a quilt you dream about that keeps coming back to your mind?

Monday, February 18, 2019

Sweet Children's Story

When I saw the title of this children's book, I immediately thought of my grandchildren. All children seem to want to defy sleep. There is just too much to learn to let sleep rob them of the excitement of the world around them. 

"Don't Close Your Eyes" by Bob Hostetler is a sweet children's bedtime story. Beautifully illustrated by Mark Chambers, the lyrical rhyme and adorable pictures are sure to keep a little ones interest. The pictures are so cute, they even make the adult laugh.

 Thinking of a child fighting the heaviness of sand in their eyes.
And the weight of slumber sprinkling over their eyelids reminded me so much of my own children when there was just too much to miss if they fell asleep. With animal friends going down for the night, children will enjoy the giggles as the silly animals drift to sleepy land.

A sturdy board book, sure to make reading it over and over without damage, a winner for parents, grandparents, baby sitters or anyone who loves to read to children. A delightful book that I would recommend.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Sky Above Us

As many of my readers know, I am an avid reader. And having the opportunity to review new books is a thrill for me.

I enjoy good historical fiction. Sarah Sundin has once again written a very worthwhile story about World War II. The Sky Above Us is the second in the series Sunrise at Normandy. This story had me hanging on to every word. I loved how Ms. Sundin wrote the dramatic situations the airmen faced.

Lt Adler Paxton has been running for the last three years. Running from the demons of his past. Violet Lindstom plans to become a missionary, but is sidelined by a broken engagement. She joins the Red Cross thinking she will work with the children affected by the war. 

This story drew me in, with the drama, romance, and so many facts about the events during WWII and D-Day. In today's world, it's sometimes hard to understand what these men and women went through during the time of war. When a letter would take weeks to arrive. Or word of whether a pilot survived a crash. In The Sky Above Us each of the characters were well vested and gave the inside views of the events they were part of.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Thank you Betty

I've had the HandiQuilter Sweet Sixteen for almost two months. The month of December was a loss, as I did not do much sewing or quilting during the holidays. So when January came around (along with the cold weather), it was my goal to start learning to use the SS.

 I quilted one baby quilt with no problem. Then decided to change the thread to another color. That's when all my troubles seemed to start. I could not get the stitches to even out, no matter what I did. I studied the manual, watched YouTube videos, and the DVD that came with my machine. Still I was not able to regulate the stitches. I left it for a while, and came back to it this past week. I changed and checked everything that I knew to do, and still there was eyelash stitches on the back of my fabric. Last night I was at the point of tears.

So today I called HandiQuilter and spoke with Betty. She was patient with me, as we walked through each of the steps. After about twenty minutes of checking the bobbin, re-threading the machine and  anything else she asked me to do, she said we would need to reset the tension.

This little tension knob is the whole key to regulating your tension once the bobbin tension is correct. Following her instructions, I loosened the knob as far as it would go without falling off, cleaned around the groves, then pressed the reset button, turning it to zero. Betty told me to turn the knob four complete turns, then check the stitching. Still loose but better. We kept turning the knob a half turn until the stitches on the back of the fabric looked good. 

It was wonderful to be able to talk with someone at HandiQuilter who was able to help me as the dealer we bought the machine from is 1 1/2 hours away. 

So THANK YOU Betty! I am keeping your number close at hand, just in case. 


Thursday, February 7, 2019

New York City triligy

 

A Desperate Hope is the third in the Empire State series, written by Elizabeth Camden. Following the history of the need for water in New York City, many small towns in upper New York were flooded and made into a reservoir. This story centers around Eloise Drake, a brilliant accountant and Alex Duval, the mayor of the fictional town Duval Springs. 

After Duval Springs loses a long legal battle to save the town, Eloise is sent as part of the team that will oversee the demolition. Alex and Eloise have a history, which Eloise would rather forget. Yet when Eloise returns to Duval Springs, Alex only wants to reconnect with her to rekindle the love they once had for each other. And is bent on doing something to save his town.

As Elizabeth Camden is so excellent in her research, this story reflects many of the things that happened in the early part of the 1900's, when New York City was being developed. In the previous two novels, there was a great deal of historical foundation laid for the ability to bring water to the city. Ms Camden has a wonderful and clever way of weaving history into her novels. Yet this book is a stand alone story.

 I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Florida days

I know many of you are still in the middle of snow and cold. But this is what the weather was like yesterday.



Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Pillowing along

I enjoy making pillowcases. And I enjoy them even more, knowing that they will bring a little bit of sunshine to a child in the hospital.

The latest stack going to Ryan's Case for Smiles.

And coming up soon, is the All About Strings Blog Hop.  Hosted by Creatin' In The Sticks
Stay tuned :-)


Friday, February 1, 2019

Helpful hint

Keeping the plate clean on your iron can be troublesome at times.

I've used a product I bought from JoAnn's to clean my iron, which works fine, but can be pricey. My biggest problem appears to be the plate seems scorched in places. 

I recently found something that works not only on the scorch marks but on gunk that may accumulate on my iron.

Using a damp Magic Eraser I found that it works on removing every mark on the iron face plate. I had to use a little more pressure on the indention's as they were pretty well baked. 

But wa-la!!!

Clean iron!! 

I found this great idea on Aimee's It's Overflowing blog.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

True confessions....

...of a UFO addict!

Okay, so here's the story. As I was organizing and downsizing my fabric closet I came across some unfinished quilts. Like, a lot of them.

I start counting how many are waiting (patiently) to be quilted, and I found 21 that need to be sandwiched and quilted. Quite a hefty number of UFO's! I have a feeling I could probably find three more and make it 24 in some form of unfinish.  Well, I am going to try to make it a goal to quilt at least two a month and maybe, MAYBE have them all quilted by the end of the year. Or if I can only manage to tweak out one a month, it will be a two year goal. I've got to make good this wonderful gift my hubby gave me.
Do you have any special quilting goals this year?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

With This Pledge

War is brutal, savage, horrific. The Civil War was the bloodiest war waged in America. Over 600,000 men lost their lives during this conflict. The South could not match the numerical strength of the North. This war was complex, affecting more than the men who died. 

Tamera Alexander has written an historical novel recounting the battle of Franklin Tennessee. She captures the account from the real life letters written between Captain Roland Jones and Miss Elizabeth Clouston. Ms. Alexander masterfully weaves their love story in the midst of this tragic Battle of Franklin and all that it entails. Her attention to detail is well researched.

If you love historical fiction, you will enjoy this well written and engaging novel. It's a powerful story capturing the horrors of war, and the hope of man.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Quilting on my DSM

I've always quilted on my DSM, mostly using straight line quilting. Even after taking a class on machine quilting, I never felt that I could move past geometric shapes.

But when I found Foolproof Machine Quilting by Mary Mashuta, I was able to step up my machine quilting.

Image result for mary machuta foolproof quilting 
Here are a couple of pictures of quilts inspired by her book.

 
If you ever want to move past straight lines, I would recommend her book.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Gift card holder tutorial

I just can't seem to wrap my head around paying for a box to hold a gift card when I can make one from a simple envelope! So here are the easy steps.

I use envelopes that you find in the stationary section of Wally World or the office supply store (approx 4 3/8" x 5 3/4").  They usually come in a box anywhere from 50 to 250 and I use them when I make cards.
First moisten the flap and seal the envelope.  Then fold down the edges on three sides to fit the GC.

Trim the top portion using decorative scissors.
Open the envelope and make little tabs on the bottom.


I use double sided tape to stick the tabs down on the underside.
Your Gift Card is ready to slip inside. 

 I punch two small holes and thread some ribbon to make a handle.

You can stamp or decorate any kind of greeting on the outside for the appropriate gift.