Thursday, July 29, 2010

close up

This is for Mary, who asked how big this ruler holder is. I tried to get picture of it last night...but it was the middle of the night (like 3:30am!). I was up with my nervous nelly dogs in a thunderstorm (that NEVER got too close...just close enought for them to HEAR up I got....). The light was I took them this morning.

Its 6 inches tall...7 inches wide..and has 8 slots

The slots are its made for the wall. Up it will soon as my wall hanging is hung!

PS Mary...I was looking at your blog...and Maggie (the infectiously happy and brightly decked out maggie?) She is my friend! I met her thru an online friend when she moved to my state. Small world! But how could you miss Maggie!too funny!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a day in the sewing room

well..the good news is we got home from Pinetop around 6 yesterday. The bad news is that the reason we could come home is that the All Star team lost twice in 2 days. They took 3rd, which is good, but they were disappointed. They just didnt play like they wanted it the last game...they stopped running halfway to the base...dropped balls..and played like they wanted to go home. So we did. It was nice to be home, even if I had only been gone 2 days.

here is what I was working on it the sewing room today:

Its called a Fat Sack and I found the free pattern on
Terry Atkinson's blog.

I really like how you make this pleat..that is what gives it a squared bottom. Reminds me alot of the Lands End or LLBean canvas bags. I used denim for my bag bottom. I think I will like it more when I find something to use as the bottom INSIDE. I cannot even find a SCRAP of foam core in this house. I think the men used it all up when Sports guy had to do a marble maze for science. I made the mistake of lending them a rotary cutter...and found cuts in the cover of my homemade big board. GRRRR...I should know better than to lend my tools!

I DID find a very nice quilt shop in Pinetop. I snuck over there when the boys left for the field. They had to be there by 8:30, but the game didn't start till 10. PLENTY of time to peruse the aisles!

I picked up a few patriotic pieces. A good friend of my husband will be retiring from the AF Reserves in the next yr. DH is 'directing' what he wants to see in this quilt. He tried to wrangle a QOV out of me, but I was quilting it for someone else! There is also a cute heavy equipment panel perfect for a little boy (who I don't know yet...but SOME little boy!) with two coordinating fabrics (one has big, and the other one traffic

and this ruler holder. I dont' have it on the wall yet, but I will. I'm waiting till I have my wall hanging up before I add things around it. It will be nice to have most of those little rulers off the work area. I was tickled to find this..and a small one too. Next up: faux piping binding.

Monday, July 26, 2010

design wall Monday

I was kinda embarrassed last my design wall had not changed ONE BIT. I think I like this..spurs me on to keep things moving. Alas, I may be away from my sewing machine ALL WEEK. I think I will be depressed! Knitting and cross stitch will have to suffice. Here is my design wall today

This is on top..I'm trying to figure out what to quilt on this. I hope by this morning to have it on the frame. This is the top that matches the backing I was working on a couple of posts ago.

And this tucked underneath. I'm afraid I will need to move this to a different room. I have a wall in our guest room where I can get the whole quilt on the wall. I'm missing about 3 rows on the bottom. I used a Bali pop (think batik jelly roll), but when I opened it, there were not enough solids for my taste. Some are really pretty..but BUSY. This may grown on me once I get a border on it. This is for our daughter..she asked for 'beachy'. Not sure this is what she had in mind!

I DO like the pattern alot...I'm thinking Bento Box meets 4 patch.

Be sure to zip over to Judy's blog to see what everyone else is working on this week!

Molten brownies in a mug

now...I'm sure by now, you have seen this. As a matter of fact,I got this over on Terry Atkinson's blog. She had a cute bag to go with last Fall. I made some up for teacher presents to go with a gift card of some type. I needed this in a hurry today and could not find as long as I'm going to type up the whole recipe for myself, I thought I would share it with you! (and if you like it, be sure to visit Terry and tell her I sent you!...)

Molten Chocolate (aka in our house : Brownies in a Mug..QUICK..we need brownies QUICK!)

In a coffee mug put:

2 TBSP margarine or butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Microwave for one minute and then

stir till smooth.

stir in a beaten egg


1/4 cup of sugar

2 TBSP cocoa

2 TBSP flour

stir till smooth

microwave for 1 minute. It will look wet on top, but the inside will be cooked JUST enough. Try it will see!

This is only HALF! Its a great dessert for sharing!

What prompted this recipe now? One of our neighbors is a Fire Captain...and is a GREAT cook! He called me from the station...seems the firefighters 'needed a brownie QUICK...we NEED brownies!' I could not find the recipe in my off to the computer I went, not remembering just WHERE I had found them...

LOOK at the mess I made! Most of this is recipes! I think I need a new system!

Here is the recipe for copying and pasting to print. I will see if I can figure out how to do a pdf file tomorrow and edit that in. Enjoy! (hey! Do I see CHOCOLATE on your face ALREADY! See!? I told you it was quick!)

Molten Chocolate Brownies in a Mug
from Terri Atkinson's blog

¼ cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 beaten egg
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp flour

Put butter and chocolate chips in a coffee mug. Microwave for 1 minute or until melted.
Stir till smooth. Stir in a beaten egg with a fork. Add sugar, cocoa, and flour. Stir till mixed.
Microwave for 1 minute. (It will look 'wet' on the top. This is what is SHOULD look like)

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Have you discovered vinegar yet? I'm not talking about making a volcano for a school science fair...or a salad dressing! I'm talking about heard me...that 'C' word! I have used vinegar in my washing machine as a fabric softener for awhile. I DO use a commercial one too...but for sheets, towels, and anything ..well..STINKY, I like vinegar. Its cheap...yeah, you can smell it as you use it, but it cleans the air too. It takes all the extra 'left in the towels' detergent. I find that my towels are fluffier..and less...'crunchy' sounding. And no vinegar smell.

But today..look what I used it for today! I'm not sure you can see these pictures very I may try again on the pictures later..its dark now. Dark the dark...well..its kinda dark! I think you will see what I"m trying to show you anyway.

We have hard water in Arizona...VERY hard. SO most houses..and ours is no exception, has some type of water conditioner. Some use salt, ours does not. So I"m not accustom to finding mineral deposits on sinks and faucets.

You remember this granite with black granite composite sink? I just showed you this the other day. Can you see the deposits on the base of the faucets from here?

Can you see this better? Not TOO bad..but annoying. (its SO easy to get rid of!)

Here is the same sink..with 2 faucets cleaned. NOW there is a difference! The two on the right have been 'vinegarized' and the one on the left is 'au natural'

how did I do that you ask? Scrub scrub scrub?...nope..not even a sponge, scrubby or old toothbrush! All I did was soak a paper towel in vinegar and wrap it around. Skip off and do something else for a SEW ...or QUILT...or make molten brownies in a mug (oh wait! Thats TOMORROWS blog! oops...I spilled the cocoa beans!). Come back in about 15 mins or longer...and see what happens. MAGIC! If you still have minerals, do it again. No scrubbing needed. Gotta love that vinegar! This works on shower heads, sink sprayers, or anything else that gets minerally. You just need to figure out how to soak it. oh..and just FYI...don't get it on tiny cuts on your hands....OWWIIIIEEEEE! (ask me out I know!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

changing colors?

I have ALWAYS thought of myself as a blue girl. Even growing up, blue and more specifially ROYAL blue, has been my focus. Lately I have added periwinkle and other shades, but all in all I have more blue in my house/wardrobe/fabric stash than any other color. (well...after making Sports guy's ORANGE quilt a couple years ago, I do have a nice selection of orange too!). So imagine my surprise...I'm doing all the dib dab of laundry that often get in the wrong pile, the bottom of a hamper that gets moved...and look what I found (you are getting the end product...I'm not showing off my dirty laundry!):

GREEN! And wonder of wonders...LIME green! Who knew!? (that is 5 shirts, a pair of shorts and a pair of socks..this is more than a trend!)

Judy and Julie NoBlog will be SO proud!

And yet...look what showed up in the NEXT load?

MORE green! I think Julie NoBlog would be over the MOON, if I decided I loved green AND the Dodgers. Maybe the moon is made of GREEN CHEESE too!

funny dog!

Rally is my terrier 'of undetermined parentage': (doesnt' that sound grander than MUTT? lol) He is my 'panic during thunderstorms', 'locate every lost tennis ball that is wedged under the couch', 'see what all the other dogs have for dinner before I will eat' and the most all around amusing dog I have ever owned. I had heard that dogs cannot see television. Someone forgot to tell Rally!

It took me a few tries, but here he is trying to 'play' with the dog on Madeline. I had it on while I washed cabinents yesterday. funny scruffy loyal dog...gotta love him!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


What a week!..oh wait..TWO weeks...and it could go on longer! This summer, sports guy (aka only kid left at home..rising high school freshman) played on 3 different teams: Little League Junior team (13-14 yr olds..not the ones you see playing in Williamsport), summer high school baseball, and soccer. I know, You and I BOTH thought soccer was over for the summer...but NO. He usually plays indoor soccer...I love it...all you do is show up for the game. No practice, little 'post game pep talk'. Just fast paced one hour game...kid tired/hungry/ ready to go home/ seen his buddies. Life is good. This summer the soccer coach proposed an out of town tournament to kind keep skills up over the summer (our season is in the fall/winter/early spring). Think of soccer summer school. We said Great! Fast forward to the end of Little League.

Sports guy made All Stars...
(what kid doesn't like to see his name up in lights!...took me over an hour to figure out how to blur that...and see what I got? Some swirly thing! HA!)

team won the district tournament and are now flying their way up the ladder of STATE tournament. Bad news is : its 4 hours from home, you dont' know when you are done (double 2 losses and you are done. IF you dont' lose, you keep INTO NEXT WEEK!) I'm not sure how other families can do this. You dont know in advance, no way to ask for work off, and its not cheap! Dad of Sports Guy is with him now with a changing of the parental guard over the weekend. (oh..I forgot..NO GAMES on the weekend...seems backwards to me!)AND in the weekend between the District and State tournaments? You guessed it :soccer tournament in San Diego! WHEW! I was a wreck and I stayed home! After 2 previous trips out of town this summer, kenneling 3 dogs is just too pricey. Chances are pretty good they may advance to district. That is in Southern California...and I"m on tap for that trip. Hubby will be dogs would be off to "camp". I'm home saving $ meals out (well..maybe one..or two!), no dogs in the kennel..and I"m working on the house.

I"m enjoying my 'forced' vacation. I don't think a time I have been home by myself to do what I like for this long since I had kids! I don't even mind cooking: no one complains! (my DH never complains...just FYI..he is wonderful!) and this strange you have 'mystery dishes'? When I go to bed, the kitchen is clean (I rarely get it ALL done..but wiped up, dishwasher loaded...clean dishes draining/other sink EMPTY) and when I get up..VOILA! these dishes just APPEAR overnight! how does that happen? I thought elves and brownies and such CLEANED up. I guess mine DIRTY up!

But home alone? nope..not one! (yes, that is a BLACK sink! Its Granite compostite: no stains and no water spots. Has a bit of a texture, but easy upkeep...never thought I would have a black sink, but it goes so nicely with the black granite!) And the same thing with laundry. I would not want to do this long term..but for a week...HEAVEN!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

a quick picture

I have had time to myself..and have not gotten much done at all! can you say VEG IN THE HEAT? I was up from 2-4am last panicky dog got all excited about a dry thunderstorm. I love that dog..but DANG. I woke up thinking we were having an EARTHQUAKE! He just had his claws in the bed..and was shaking all over. I was glad no earthquake...and I DID get some sewing done. He just climbs under the sewing table and quakes.

Here is the finished Christmas wall hanging. I had more trouble with this...and the instructions were fine...I was just spacey! I hope to quilt this 2nd in line...Maybe more tomorrow? I did take my backing off the design wall and finished piecing it. It goes on after the quick lap quilt on there now. Thanks for stopping by...

ps This was a free pattern. If you are interested, you can find it at:

clothworks textiles. You have to scroll down ...its called Snow Flurries

Friday, July 16, 2010

coccooning in the sewing room

I have been working on a holiday wall hanging. I saw the fabric and free pattern at my local quilt shop, Quiltz, last Friday. While I have LOTS of projects,I was bound and determined not to leave this one at UFO stage. With our heat...Heat...HEAT...:;;sizzle:::, I have been coccooning in my sewing room. Its quiet, cool...and I GET THE REMOTE! ( a house full of men, that only happens 1. if I"m home alone or 2. if I'm watching in the sewing room.) Here is a sneak peek at my wall hanging.

a star.....

a tree...or...a few trees...:-D

part of a panel...Those snowmen make me feel....a TITCH cooler! (ONLY a titch...)

and some pieced blocks.

maybe tomorrow I will have it all put together. Tonight we are out at the Peoria Sports Complex. That is the spring training home of the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres. Drew's team is in the district finals for Little League Juniors. They get to play on the big field under the lights! I'm excited ...except for the 115 degree heat predicted!

Tomorrow during the day will find me at the July meeting of the Arizona Long arm Quilters. I just love those ladies! This time we have a program and LUNCH! I come home SO jazzed!

Stay cool and keep sewing!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


ok, so with the best intentions of posting today,I burnt the ring finger on my left hand. i'm not going very far from my trusty piece of ice in a baggie at the moment. ( I have heard that is not really the thing to go..but it HURTS w/o it) I must be out of practice with the waffle iron. That and a Little League All Star game this afternoon/evening means I may not get much done in the sewing room. Maybe surfing with the computer mouse is more my speed. A quick check of clean baseball uniform items is in order too...hope to be back later....with out the baggie of ice!

Monday, July 12, 2010

design wall Monday

I'm going to try to play along each Monday. And MAYBE have something different up there every week. Boy, do I feel ambitious!

I'm working on piecing the backing for a USC quilt that is going to live with a friend of my husband. One of the men that goes with us to the beach house each fall. Last fall I had the top..but I never got it quilted. I hope USC does better this year..maybe this quilt will bring our friend luck!

close up of the USC fabric

update: Be sure to head over to Judy's blog to see what everyone else has on their wall..what fun!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

an ahHA moment!

Don't you just love when a new idea tickles your fancy..and then WORKS...really well!? I think it is one of the reasons I quilt! (among MANY MANY others!)

Last weekend, my friend wanted to quilt a quilt for a family that was moving away. The husband always put up the Christmas tree at their church, so she wanted to quilt a tree someplace on the quilt. She didn't want a tree panto..just a couple trees. I pawed thru my quilting books and Quiltmaker back issues to find a tree she liked, that I thought I could quilt. We found a couple...and now the quilt from the back like a panto? Or what is my other option? Now remember, I never got an owners class with Lucy. I"m flying by the seat of my pants most of the time. (with LOTS of help from my Gammill Yahoo group and MQR!). Then I remembered: I can use the laser stylus from the needle side (read: freemotion side). is what we did:

First, I put the laser on the top of the machine. There is a post JUST for this option. Now I can point the light ON the quilt.

Next, I traced one of the trees I liked. (I labeled the copy where I found the tree pattern. Just in case I want to look for it again...I think this copy will go into a file marked :trees. Then next time I CAN look for trees, I just won't have to if this one or the other 3 I found will fit the bill.) Then I found the spot where I wanted the tree to go, put my needle down, and the laser light on the top of the tree. (you will notice too that I taped the corners with blue tape. This time of year, we use ceiling fans in EVERY room. The fan was moving the it got taped: worked like a charm...I love that stuff!)

Then I just quilted the tree, following along as I would with a panto. It was nice to be able to see as I quilted. If I was going to get too close to something, I could just modify the design as I went along. Kind of panto meets freemotion. I hope you can see the tree. We only put 3 on the whole top and the rest was stippled. I LOVED this method and will use it again! I spent more time looking for a tree, than I did moving that laser. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! I hope you will try this and let me know how it works for you.

I have been working hard to get my sewing room ORGANIZED! Just when I think I"m ready to take a picture, I find something ELSE to do...then I trash the whole place again! Its getting to the point I can ACTUALLY walk around in there (of course stepping over sleeping hulks of dogs..they get shooed frequently, but as soon as I plop down at the sewing machine, one sneaks back between the cutting and ironing tables...and we go round and round!). Soon I will be confident enough to show you some pictures...and then maybe I can work on the long arm room! HA! I must be feeling AMBITIOUS today! I think I may be alone next weekend...the anticipation must be going to my head....lolol

Thursday, July 08, 2010

piecing batting

Ready for another quick tip? Do you have pieces of left over batting? I do! Smaller scraps get saved with my left over quilting scraps and stuffed into dog beds. My local shelter loves them! But what about larger chunks? I have cut some to use on my swiffer...or dust with them. I think I have heard of someone washing those and using them again. I bet it was my blog friend Anita that came up with THAT idea! I regularly have larger pieces from my long arm. I have paid enough money for that batting... I don't want to cut it up or throw it away! So lets piece them and use them again!

My first tip? don't try to piece different TYPES of batting. I usually use Warm and Natural or Warm and White. DO piece like types.

Lay your pieces out and overlap the ends like this:

Make sure they overlap the whole length of the pieces.

Now use your long ruler to slice thru that overlap. You can remove the little slivers (and start stuffing your OWN dog bed!). ( I did try this without a ruler. It did not work for me. I had a bit of stretch and then the little variables in the edge didnt' line up. I like the straight edge better. What works for you?)

Take the two pieces to your sewing machine. Set the machine for a zig zag. You may have to practice on some of those slivers. You want to get a 'bite' of each side and still lay flat. The two sides will butt up against each other snugly. Try not to tug on the batting as it will stretch (ask me how I know!)

This has been pieced and is ready to use.

And here is the same piece loaded in a quilt on my frame.

Hope you found this helpful and happy frugality!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Quick Corners

Have you heard of Quick or magic corners? You probably already know how to make them, but my Guild Bee is doing a Block of the Month. They will be using this technique, so I thougth I would do a quilt picture tutorial. Refreshers can be fun! Be sure to let me know if you have a different way to do these...or maybe a tip. I love to see how others do things. You never know when something will be YOUR 'ah HA' moment! Here we go.... (this is easy!...)....

Your pattern will call for 2 square. The large one is background. The small one will be the corner triangle.

On the back of the smaller square, mark the diagonal. you can use pencil if it will show enough for you to see, or sometimes I use a chalk marker. This will be your seam line.

place the smaller square in the desired corner of the larger square. On some projects or with directional fabrics, you will need to pay attention to this step. (ask me how I know!). Sew on this line.

Trim corner edge to 1/4 inch. Put the 1/4 inch line on the seam line to get a nice seam allowance. (some quilters wait to do this step after ironing : to make sure they have enough fabric in the corner. Some quilters do not trim.)

Iron your triangle out. You may iron the seam allowance to the triangle or to the background.

magic! No triangle were harmed in the making of this tutorial!

Thanks for visiting my blog. Tomorrow I will show how to piece batting. (I feel frugality coming on! Anita will be SO proud!