Friday, July 29, 2016

What to do with the Leftovers

Leftovers. We all have them. Whether it's meatloaf or lace trims, there's always the dilemma of what to do with them.  When my boys were still living at home, we never had to worry about leftovers. The fridge was constantly raided, sometimes in the middle of the night. And then there were days when I would send leftovers for my hubby's lunch.

But today I want to talk about fabric leftovers. We call them scraps. And I'm sure we have all made some sort of scrappy quilts using the remnants of fabric that clog up our ever growing scrap baskets.

I recently decided that I needed a runner for my dining room table. After digging around in my stash I found these strips of batik that came from another project.

The colors are cool and could be used for any season. And this pattern makes up quickly.

Perfect for this time of year.

It sure makes for Happy Quilting!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Crafting makes us happy

There are so many different aspects to crafting.  I think we all need some kind of creative outlet.  Whether we are good at something, or just enjoy the process.

Are you a sensitive person?  Do you notice fine scents, sounds, tastes or works of art? I tend to notice sensory changes.

 For so many years I would stuff it down, and try to conform to what everyone else was doing.

When I read an article on how crafting can actually advance healthy living along with  joy and creative satisfaction, I stopped to ponder about this.

Whether it is cooking, gardening, knitting or sewing, crafts have become a proven way to bring sanity and calmness in a sometimes hectic world. You see apparently the brain cannot dwell on stress when it is engaged by the repetitive movement of your chosen craft. 
 Sometimes you come up with a solution to a problem when you give your brain a break.

So is that the reason we should cook, garden, knit, or quilt??  No I think the reason is that we enjoy it. And in turn that becomes our "therapy".

Crafting makes us happy, and we can also make other people happy, by making gifts for our family, friends and charity.  
So let's think of it this way.  The quality may not be perfect, but in the end, you have gained a healthy attitude and you have not wasted your time :-)

To find out if you are a highly sensitive person, you can do the self test at this website Highly Sensitive Person.   

Enjoy, and Happy Quilting!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Money for Quilting challenge

What could be more fun than to save your change to buy more fabric? This is too much fun to miss!

Val's Quilting Studio is hosting the 4th annual Piggy Bank Savings challenge.  You can sign up until August 1st. I figured I would just drop my change into a box and see where it ends up.

This is my box -

I emptied my change purse into the box to give it a start.

 And then I had an idea. I always collect change from my hubby and carry it in my car for emergencies. You know, like I needed a sweet tea, or a milk shake :-) I wasn't sure how much change had accumulated, so I raided the change stash... 

and lookee! 

Now this is an impressive start!

How much cold hard cash can you save in a year?  Sign up and let's see!

woo-hoo! This makes for Happy Quilting!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Novice Writer

I've alluded to it. Hinted maybe. It's even written as the last line of my bio. Yep, take a peek at the right hand corner of this blog.

I'm an aspiring writer!

Writing for my blog these last seven years has only been a testimony of my quilting journey. A couple of years ago a new journey opened for me. Writing Christian fiction. Years ago I dabbled with some writing. I was even published in a Christian magazine. But children and homeschooling took most of my time and writing went by the wayside. The only writing I did was for my two blogs.

The kids grew up, married and left the nest, and all of a sudden I didn't know what to do with myself. A story formed in my mind and I sat down at the computer and started writing. For hours, days, weeks. It's probably not the best writing. I have forgotten so many of those pesky grammar rules. But the words just flowed and I recorded them. When that one was done another story came and, again, I just wrote it all down.

So while I may not be the best writer around, I braved myself up and started a new blog. Maybe just for practicing. But I'd love for you to pop over and join me there.  I titled it The Novice Writer because, obviously, I am a novice.

If you come over, and if you are so inclined, can you do me a favor? I'd love for you to leave a comment. Just so I know that everything is working :-) You can follow by email, but the posts will also show up on this side bar when there is something new.

Thanks! You guys are the best.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Apron love

Aprons! Do you love them?? I use them regularly in my kitchen. I've found it cuts down a lot of stains on my clothes. 
Hawthorn Threads sent out a newsletter a while ago where they posted a link to 25 Apron patterns. Check it out and let me know which one is your favorite.
Happy Quilting! 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Placing your trust in a quilt pattern?

Do you put your full faith and trust in the quilt patterns you purchase? Especially ones in magazines? We all assume that patterns have been tested and are correct for construction.

I've had some patterns that were very difficult and instructions that were confusing but up to this time, never one that was wrong. Read this post from Quilts in the Barn for some valuable information concerning magazine patterns.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

How it all started

I took a required Home Economics class my first year in High School. On one of the first days of class our teacher, Mrs. Trainor, told us that we would be constructing a garment, learn to bake, and learn how to design and decorate a home.

I had never sewn before, as my own Mom did not sew. So we learned about fabric and thread, and sewing machines, tracing wheels and zippers. And each one of us made a garment!

After graduating from High School, I realized that making garments was fun and challenging. I ended up taking another garment class through Adult Education offered in our public schools.

After marrying and starting a family, I found the local craft stores offered different classes. Cake decorating was a great asset to make birthday cakes for my little children. But the class that changed how I looked at a sewing machine was the quilting class.
At that time, we used scissors, templates and we hand stitched everything. When our class was almost over, our teacher brought out an instrument that she said would make cutting our fabric easier. Can you guess what it was?

Yep, it was the first time I ever saw a Rotary cutter. None of the students were impressed, saying "How could this pizza cutter take the place of scissors?" Not only were we wrong, but my sister in love took a class at a new quilt shop and learned Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day method. Sewing has never been the same for us since ;-)

How about you?? Who taught you to quilt??

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

An Elegant Facade - a review


Lady Georgina Hawthorne is in need of a husband. After years of planning, she is looking to marry well. Needing a husband who has money and is powerful, Georgina sets her sites on no one lower than a duke. You see, Georgina has a secret. One that would appear to the world as a defect.

When Colin McCrae enters her life, he is everything Georgina does not want. Although he has amassed a fortune, he is not of the aristocracy and has no title. Yet the one thing that draws her to him is his honesty and honor.

This book brought to light something that so many people deal with. Shame and embarrassment when you are not "normal." Georgina finds ways to hide her secret defect yet it becomes more and more of a struggle as she comes out into society. Her fear of being found out leads her to believe that God deems her as worthless. We all have some "defect" we struggle with. I find that many people go to great lengths to hide whatever it may be. It isn't easy to navigate when you are hard of hearing, have physical limitations, are illiterate, or are excessively shy. We find ways to compensate, to try to be part of the mainstream. For years I struggled with hearing loss, to the point where I did not attend certain gatherings, and tried to read the lips of the person speaking.

Georgina's story picks up where the first novel, A Noble Masquerade, leaves off. There is a little bit of overlapping, so that the story can be read as a stand alone. Because I had read the A Nobel Masquerade, I felt that the beginning was a bit slow. But I was enthralled by Georgina's strength, cunning, and ingenuity in tackling her challenges. I found that under her thick skin was a caring, sensitive and lovely young lady. And Colin did too :-)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Irons with a drinking problem

I've read several bloggers lamenting the loss of their irons. I don't put water in my iron, as I prefer to use a squirt bottle.  But it still is good to know how to respect our irons so they give us the best years of their lives.

After reading the directions for cleaning my iron, this was the information they suggested -

Rowenta irons are designed to be used with regular tap water (up to 12 grains of hardness). If your water is harder than this, Rowenta recommends mixing half tap water with half distilled water. Never use 100% pure distilled water since this can cause the iron to spit and leak.

There are many types of household water softeners. Many of them are perfectly acceptable for use in an iron. HOWEVER, some types of softeners, particularly those that use chemicals such as salt, can cause the iron to leak or spit during use. If you experience this type of problem, we recommend that you try using inexpensive bottled spring water. NEVER USE 100% PURE DISTILLED WATER. Once you have changed water it will take several uses to correct the problem.

I know some gals have been experiencing major problems with leaky irons. These are suggestions from the Rowenta cleaning kit, but they may be applicable to other brands as well.
I hope this information is helpful.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Quilts in the Library?

A wonderful place for finding quilting publications is my local library. I am sometimes amazed at what they offer.

This for instance......

Although I am not a new quilter, I thought it would be fun to watch Alex and catch any hints she might share.

I am a new knitter, and I do much better "seeing" rather than reading directions.

And of course there are always these...........

Whenever I am running around doing errands, if I know there is a library close at hand, I will stop in and see what is offered under catalog #746.

I enjoy looking at these books for color study and it's fun to see how designers present their patterns. I may not actually make a quilt, but it is lots of food for thought. In our library system, I can check out the books for 3 weeks, and extend for another 3 weeks via my computer. I can also look online and have something I want sent to my local branch if it's in the county system.

So don't let this valuable resource go unnoticed. Libraries also carry current Quilt magazines.

Enjoy your weekend, and Happy Quilting!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

All People Quilt

Sometimes free patterns can be a bit of a challenge. But this one from turned out to be fun and easy.
I had this wild fabric that was waiting for a great project, and this tote was perfect.

The pattern was so easy to follow, although it took me a couple of days to complete it. Only because I changed my mind on the straps and had to rip out what was sewn and audition other fabrics.

Another great FREE pattern that works up into a really great little tote.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Waste not, want not

A few years ago I made a quilt for my daughter using a line of Anna Griffin fabric. I loved the colors and saved the selvages.

Aren't they yummy? I loved them so much, and there was very little fabric left over. So I made a Tuffet :-)

I had a little bit of the green polka dot, so I used it for the backing.

Thank you Anna Griffin for this beautiful fabric. I just love it!!

Waste not, want not!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Strawberry/Blueberry Truffle

Want a dessert that will keep them coming for more? How about one that adds patriotic look to your July 4th celebration?

My daughter found this Taste of Home recipe and it is certainly a winner.

DD added the blueberries, and it was not only pretty, it was delicious.
I won't copy the recipe for you here but will send  you to the Taste of Home link.