Thursday, March 6, 2014

Love in Bloom Block 2 Now Available

I have posted "Love in Bloom Block 2" as a free PDF file.  Just click on the above picture and it will take you to the PDF file.  You can either download it or print it.

I have been trying to get this posted all day but it's taken this long to get back to it. What was keeping me you may ask.  Car registration!!!!  When I went outside to get something from my car I noticed that the tags were due last month.  How could that be I never received a renewal notice.  

When I check out the registration in the car I noticed it still had my old address on it.  But I changed it two years ago.  Something was way wrong here.  So I called DMV and of course had to wait in line.  That wasn't too bad as most people renew online these days.  It  could have been much worse.  The problem with the registration is that my deceased (Bless him) husband is the primary owner on the car and his address wasn't changed.  I can't change it because I'm not him.

They asked me why I never removed him.  That's a long story I will try to make short.  Arizona does car titles differently than all other states.  They don't stop the owner from holding the title if they are still paying on the car.  In other states most titles are held by the loan holder until paid off.  We purchased this car when we lived in Colorado where the loan holder holds the title.  So Arizona never had the title.  If I want to remove my husband from the title I need to go back to Colorado and go through their red tape to get the title.  Then I could get the title here in Arizona.  Why do that when I already have my name on the registration and I'll probably drive this car until it or I die.

Luckily the rep I talked to at DMV just made me primary owner so I can now have the renewals coming to the proper address.  That done I needed to get a smog certificate before I could do online registration.  Off I went.  There is always a line there.  Not as long as it used to be since they can just hook up to the cars computer and do the smog test.  

They charged me and then told me I failed and could go inside to find out why. This part really scared me.  I'm on a limited income and I worry when anything breaks.  I'm still trying to save for a new dryer. Anyway it was only that my gas cap wasn't up to par.  That's an easy fix, so off to Checkers to buy a new gas cap.  They were nice enough to take off my old gas cap and put on the new one. The old one had a tether and it needed to be removed with a socket set. While there I also bought new windshield wipers that I've needed for some time.  Everything made of rubber or plastic just gets eaten up here in Arizona.  We have to change all that out every two years.  Same with our car batteries.  Luckily they are under warranty for 5 years, but can only be replaced once after purchase.

Back to the smog testing site and another line.  Finally I'm ready for my online registration.  Went to get something to eat and then home.  Wow, it's 5 and all I've done is the car registration.  I really can't complain because a few years ago I would have had to wait in line at the DMV for hours to be told what I learned over the telephone only waiting an hour.  The testing used to take hours in line also, then I would have had to go back to DMV in person to finish with several hours wait there again.

Good news is that I am now a legally covered driver again.  Woooooo Hooooo!!!!
I don't have my stickers but I have a paper that makes it okay. The new stickers will come in the mail to the right address and all will be well.

Make it legal!!!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Love in Bloom Free Applique Pattern Begins

Hello!! I'm back!!  Sorry it took so long. I've been cleaning up the ole studio and trying to organize all my projects.  I had promised myself that this would be my priority this year.  I just couldn't stand not doing something new too.  lol  Here it is and I'm calling it "Love is Bloom".  I guess I'm just not done with hearts and flowers.  They are actually two of my most favorite things.  Just click on the picture above and it will take you to the Materials list.
Here is Block 1 of the new "Love in Bloom"  Series.  Be aware that this block has been reduced to fit a standard 8.5 x 11" paper.  To make the right size you will need to increase the size by 160%.  When you open the PDF you will also notice that the outline block is smaller then what fits on the page but the guide lines for placement are correct.  Click on the picture of this block and it will take you to the free PDF file. Hope everyone enjoys this new design.  I'll be back next week to share the second block in this series.
Here is my fabric stash before and below is the picture of after. I used the new way of folding fabric using a 6" ruler as a folding guide.  Then I organized the folded fabrics into plastic tubs that I can see through.
I'm really enjoying this new method.  It gives easy access and easy viewing.  I can view my whole collection of one color without dragging out half the closet.  I just have to lift out the tub for that particular color.  I'm going to have to be good about putting it back the way I found it.  But with this method if I'm not it won't fit into the closet.  
It's been a lot of work but it's also made me sick.  Literally sick,  it created so much dust that I was sneezing and wheezing the whole time.  Now I'm suffering from vertigo created from allergies and am taking meds to clear this up.  The bad news is I'm only half way through.  I've only done the Halloween and batik fabrics so far.  That's the fabrics I mostly use for my applique but I need to finish.  Maybe if I really know what I own it will be easier to use up some of this fabric.  

I'm taking a break from folding fabrics and I have to order more tubs anyway.  I'm going to try and space it out.  That's hard to do as it creates a major mess while trying to organize and fold at the same time.  Fabric and tubs everywhere and no place to put anything until a shelf is clear.

Organization is key to success!!!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!

It's Christmas morning so I thought I would share the items I sent to my partner in the Santa Sack Swap.  She doesn't have a blog or website so it's up to me to post the items.  Let me tell you some of her likes first.  Her favorite color is red, she likes quilted houses, Raggedy Anne, and Gingerbreadmen.  So here is what I came up with for her 6 gifts.  This is everything but the home made jams that I sent.

Now for the individual pictures.  I'll start with the tote.  We had to make a tote or Christmas stocking, my partner asked for a tote non Christmas.   She loves quilted houses so I designed this tote just for her.
This tote is even better than mine because I found a better way to make the strap.  This strap is very strong and doesn't stretch.  Mine does, I'll give the link for this tutorial on another posting.
This picture is deceiving.  It's much smaller then it appears.  It is like 6" x 8" and made with the only gingham I own.  My partner loves gingham.  I took step by step pictures on how to make this pouch so I will make a tutorial for some time in January.
I couldn't do a swap without a pincushion so her she is.  As I've already stated my partner loves Raggedy Anne.  I couldn't make just one, I needed one too.  She's about 6" tall.  I've also taken step by step pictures of her and will share latter.

My partner also received the same ornaments that I gave my family for Christmas. There were 3 snowmen, 1 red, 1 green and this blue one.  Of course I made myself a set of these ornaments and they are hanging on my tree.  
Last but not least I made a small wallhanging just for my partner.  I designed the Gingerbread men and the corner peppermints.  The Candy cane is a free pattern on the internet but I adapted it to be longer than the original. The wrapped candy is also from the same source as the candy cane. The zigzag is double flying geese pattern done in three different fabrics.  The finished size of this quilt is 30"x30".  
I also bound this quilt differently than I normally do.  I found a tutorial on how to add piping along with the binding  and it's all machine sewn.  It worked like a charm, soo soo easy and great added interest. 

Well, that's the lot.  I know my partner was supposed to open these gifts last night.  I hope she will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.  I just love the challenge of making something for someone I don't know.  

See you next year so have a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Santa Swap 2013 Opening Day

This is my last swap for 2013, it was a 6 months long swap.  Cheryl over on Gone Stitchin' organized it.  She collected everyone's names that wanted to join and then gave out the partners.  This was a straight across swap so we knew who had our name and vise versa.  We then needed to make or buy 6 gifts for our partner.  One gift had to be a tote or stocking and one needed to be a homemade gift for Christmas.  We had each others email so we could tell our partner what we liked.  Then today is the day we can open our gifts.  Some are waiting for Christmas but I'm leaving right after Christmas so I opened today.

This the the collection of gifts I received from my partner, Mary Pat.  As you can see there are several more than 6.  Oh dear, I sent 6, but in my defense all of them were made by me.  She's not opening until Christmas Eve and doesn't have a blog.  I'll post pictures of what I sent to her after or on Christmas Eve.

I choose to have a tote that wasn't Christmas so here is that tote along with a yoyo maker, a cute little Chicken Pincushion, along with pins.  There is also those great clips used when binding a quilt.  I really needed those.  I have one package and needed more.  Now how did she know that?

This next picture is the Christmas items sent to me. Mary Pat embroidered a Christmas tree and then framed it.  I'm going to really enjoy this along with the kitchen towel with the appliqued tree on it.  There is also a wood tree with a small embroidered Christmas tree decoration hanging from it.    
Here is the apple items I received.  A glass apple that is gorgious,  a small apple plate, and 2 apple placemats that Mary Pat made.  The three bottles in the top corner are a unique vase.  Can't wait to add flowers.   
This picture shows the great Halloween items I received.  You all know how much I love Halloween!! This is a piece of embroidered linen that I can make into any thing I want along with some great Halloween fabric.  I'm already thinking about what I really want to make with this great embroidery.  Look at the web in the background.  It is very intricate.  Check back to see what I decide what to do. 
Here is the last picture of various gifts, a hand crocheted wash cloth, a Charm Pack and a quilt label that Mary Pat embroidered.  I'm one lucky partner.  I just racked in some really good quality loot.  
May the New Year bring to joy, peace and love!!!

Snowy Noel Finishes with Block 9

Christmas isn't complete without a few gifts.  I love frogs so I just had to add an old fashioned pull toy to complete this quilt.  I am also including in this post the paper piecing pattern for the candy cane 12" sashing here and the 16" sashing here.  In order to complete the quilt with my setting you will need 12 of each size with 1 1/2" finished corner stones. So make sure you cut the corner stones at 2".

The outside border is 3" x 42" and 3" x 54" finished with 3" finished corner stones.   Hope you enjoyed Snowy's journey to Christmas.  I know that I did.  I still have to sew this one together so I'll be busy for the next month or so trying to catch up.  Then I hope to do that floral quilt that I promised last year.

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Snowy Loves Antique Toys!!!! Blk 8 is here!
Only one more pattern to reveal after this one.  This is blk 8 "Snowy Toys".   There aren't any special directions for this block.  Just remember  increase the size by 159% to make the PDF pattern the right size to fit a 12"x16" background.  Now that's the finished size.  So cut your background a 12 1/2" x 16 1/2".  

I've been busy here. I've taken apart my studio and refurbished it.  I had a friend remake a 6' banquet table into a 4' recessed sewing table.  Here is the old table that was due to be trashed because the top was coming apart.  I wouldn't let anyone throw it out.  I've always tried to reuse things other people would throw out.  So I've been going green long before the craze for going green started.   It was just that the legs were perfectly good.  I originally planed on just adding a new top out of plywood and painting it.  Then I had an idea of building my own recessed sewing table.

I did some research on how to take a kitchen table and remake it into a recessed sewing table.  I didn't have an old kitchen table but felt I could pick one up at a yard sale.  Alas all the yard sales were selling the tables with the chairs and for more that I wanted to pay.  Then I remembered that old banquet table that needed to be rebuilt.  I took all my research over to my BFF male friend and had a builder to builder talk with him. 
I showed him my research and everything I liked and disliked about each rebuilt tables.  Then I asked him if he could take the 6' banquet table and rebuild it into a 4' table.  He told me it would be a snap because those old tables come apart easily and he would only have to shorten the side rails.  So that's what he did. 
Then he cut a hole that would fit my sewing machine with the slide on free arm table that comes with the machine.  He then added a lower shelf to hold the sewing machine.  He chose to make shelf the whole width of the table for strength. 
The trouble with that is that it doesn't allow access to the bobbin case.  I told him I would work with it that way and see how it works out.  Well it didn't so I've since turned the table over and cut a 3" recess it that bottom shelf.  I can now use the table and access the bobbin easily.  I'm very happy with my green recessed sewing table.  The cost you ask.  Just $50 for everything .  My friend did the work because he's my friend.  Here is a picture of the table after applying the finish but before I cut the extra 3" off the front of the shelf.  Isn't it pretty.

This was built over the 3rd week in October for my birthday present to and from me.  LOL  But this last week as I was redoing my studio I decided to build that shelf I've been wanting to hold more of my growing pincushion collection.  I've always loved doll making but dolls are too big and take too much room, so I've converted that need to make dolls to pincushions and am really enjoying it.

I decided that this shelf needed to be designed after a shelf I already owned.  I just needed to make it slightly bigger.  I did my math, redid my math and redid my math a third time. Then I called my BFF male friend and asked him to meet me at Home Depot.  When he got there he just asked me what we were doing now.  I told him I was building a shelf and handed him my measurements and wood requirements.  He didn't even go over my measurements.  We have worked together so much that he just went with my figures.  He's better at judging wood so that's why I had him come. 

We choose the wood and had the guy at Home Depot cut it to my specs.  Note to all you would be builders of shelves:  The width of the boards is always off by at least 1/4".  If it says 6" it is usually 5 3/4". I took one look at the 6" and said, "That's not 6 inches".  My friend reminded me that it's never 6".  I told him it wasn't 6 3/4" either.  He went and got a measure tape and sure enough it was only 6 1/2"  I was going to make my shelf with 4" boards for the shelves and 6" boards for the top and bottom.  The 3 1/2" boards just weren't big enough.  I would either have to spilt the boards or resize my shelf.  Which is what we did.  Now it's even bigger than I wanted.  My BFF told me what size screws to use and anything I was forgetting.  Now it was time to go home and build.

I won't bore you with all the details. I just need to say my BFF didn't help except on that shopping trip.  Here it is already on the wall. 

If I was making it again I would make it slightly shorter and make the shelves 6" apart and not the 7 1/2" that they are.    But now my studio has my ironing table recovered, the recessed sewing table fixed to use he bobbin case, my cutting table lowered and a new shelf for my pincushions with room to grow. 

Woodwork builds character!!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Snowy Block 7 "Snowy Santa's Hat with Mouse

Snowy Noel is counting down to the finish!!!  Here is block 7 "Snowy Santa's Hat"  with two more blocks to come.  I really need to get busy as I haven't kept up with my applique as we went along this time.  I will give you the setting but it won't be tested.  There are no special instructions for block 7.

I've been busy putting up my Christmas tree and decorating for Christmas.  I ended up with two very small trees.  I love live trees but money is always short in this house so I decided to buy a 4' fake tree with lights.  Everyone was having a sale this last week so I ended up only spending $25.00.  A live tree would have been at least that much.  Then I brought out the fake baby tree that was given to me last year for Christmas.  It's about 3' and flat on the back.  No problem there I just put it in my short hallway in a corner.  I really had fun decorating these trees.

The larger on has only angels on it and the smaller one has mostly Santa's with a few snowmen.  I still have enough decorations to decorate my potted pine if I so chose.  I just need some where to put it.  I may still do it, who knows.

 Here is the Angel tree.  It's facing north so it's hard to get a good picture.  That room is always dark this time of year.  Below is the Santa Tree.  The elves are

Have fun decorating for the Holidays!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Snowy Loves Christmas!!!!!

Snowy is back with Blk 6, " Snowy Wreath with Toy Train" in the Snowy Noel pattern give away!!!  I really wanted to post this from Memphis but the stupid Google wouldn't let me into my accounts.  They asked me stupid questions like "what month and year did you start an account with google.  What's with that?  Do you remember that?  How about years and years.  lol  Oh well it is what it is.

The only special is the reverse applique to the train windows and the large bow on the wreath.  Remember that the pattern needs to be enlarges 159% to bring it back to the 12" x 16" format.  

I had a great time in Memphis with my son and his family.  He dropped two turkeys and there was hardly any left overs.  He worked on those turkeys for almost a week.  First to thaw, then came a dry brine.  After the dry brine was washed off he did an injected marinade.  Then Thanksgiving he put a dry rub on the skin before dropping them into the hot oil.  Were they ever good.  Juicy and flavorfull. I made his favorite Onion Lovers Twist by Pillsbury except I changed the flour to half whole wheat and half white flour.  My son is trying to eat without white flour.  Unfortunately this recipe was tried a few years ago 100% whole wheat and it was too dry to braid.

I'll be back by the end of this week with another block.  I hope all of you from the USA had a great Thanksgiving!!!!

Happy Holidays!!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Snowy is back with a bouquet of flowers!!!

What is Christmas without poinsettias?  I just had to create this block just to add these lovely Christmas flowers.  They remind me of my mother, she loved them. So I bring you the fifth block in this series: "Snowy Poinsettias".  There are no special directions for this block.  I will add the flower centers after the quilt is quilted.  I will either put in beads or do some embroidery.  We'll see.  Just click the picture and it will take you to the PDF.  Don't forget that you need to enlarge this pattern by 159%  to make it full size.

I will be flying from Arizona to Tennessee on Sunday.  Every year my son who lives in Memphis sends me tickets to fly to him.  We will be having Thanksgiving with his wife's family in the traditional southern way.  Very different from my family's mid-western traditions but very fun and tasty just the same.  

The last two times I've been there for Thanksgiving they have had smoked turkey.  Since my son is hosting this years gathering I think he will go back to his way.  Which is to deep fry the turkey.  If you've ever had this you know how great and juicy the turkey turns out.   Can't wait!!!!

I have finished all my swaps for this year!!!  Yeah!!!!!  The last one is supposed to be in the mail on November 30th but I won't be home until that night.  So I asked for a little leeway and it was granted.  I can either mail on this Friday or the Monday after I get back.  We'll see which is more convenient.  I still have to get my clothes in order.

This job of packing has taken a left turn.  My dryer no longer dries the clothes.  It spins but no heat or air flow.  Ugh!!!  I'll have to save my pennies.  In the meantime I have to wash here and take the wet clothes to the laundry mat.  I think I will purchase a retracting clothes line to see me through until I can purchase a new dryer or have this one fixed.  It's never been served and I've owned it since September of 1992.  It's had 3 moves from house to house since that purchase.
It's worked great up until this last week. Whine, whine.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the seamstress that will make my formal dress for my friend Maria's son's wedding.  I will be a godmother, one of like 15.  This is a big Mexican wedding and they have godparents that contribute money to help support the costs.  My other half will be my friend Johnny's brother who is the groom's step-uncle.  To my surprise one of Maria's daughters has given me the birthday present of paying for this dress.  She always honors my birthday.  She says I'm her white aunt but then again Maria and Johnny tell every one I'm their white sister. 

If possible I will be posting from Memphis with a new block. I will have my netbook with me but I need to do some cooking for Thanksgiving.  My son has asked that I make our traditional onion bread.  He's asked every year but never tells me before I leave so I can have my recipes with me.  I will take pictures and share while there, I hope.  

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Snowy Noel Blk 4 Snowy Lantern with Toy Car

Snowy is back!!!  This time with a old time lantern and a wooden toy car.  Don't you just love the old toys?  They have such great character.  By my standard's today's world is too square.  I much prefer curved edges like the cars used to be. For the free PDF file just click on the picture and poof you will be at the downloading page.  From there either print the pattern or save the file to your hard drive.  I usually save PDF files because paper can be lost and can clutter up the place.  If it's on my hard drive I can print it when I need it and then only the pages I need for the pattern.  Don't forget that the pattern needs to be increased by 159% to make it full size for this quilt.

This is block 4 out of 9.  There are two features worth noting.  First the glass on the lantern is a broken line.  I did it with a full line at first and it looked funny.  So I tried it this way and liked it better. I know it this picture the glass looks blue but it is periwinkle because it is a shadow.

The second feature is that the windows on the car are done with reverse applique so that the cat and lantern can be seen through them.   For those that ask, "What is reverse applique?".  Mostly it is when you turn under the background and sew it to the applique. ie: If you sew a circle onto the background that is regular applique. If you sew the background in a circle onto the circle fabric that is reverse applique.  In this case it is reverse applique because I didn't sew on a circle of fabric but chose to turn under the window and let the background show through. This makes the circle have inside curves which are easier to sew and much smoother than a circle sew with outside curves.  I much prefer to sew circles and hearts in this manner. I hope this explanation is clearer than mud.

On the home front I am trying to complete my last swap for the year.  It is for Santa Sack Swap being sponsored by  Cheryl at Gone Stitchin'.  She is such a sport because even though she is in Australia she includes us over here in the USA.  She does a great job of coordinating this swap.  The sign up's start in June and the swap lasts from July until December.  It is a direct swap in that two people send to each other in stead of the round robin style of swap.  During the 6 months of the swap you have to make or buy six gifts for your partner.  One of the items has to be made and has to be themed for Christmas.  You have to include a Christmas stocking or tote to hold all the items.  I'm down to my last 2 gifts and I know what I'll be making.

This afternoon I will be machine quilting on the tote I've made for my partner and completing another item.  Can't say more as my partner has my blog address and don't want to let the cat out of the bag.  I love surprises and I love to give surprises.  Best part of  Christmas. Well back to quilting.

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.

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