Wednesday, February 27, 2013

All Together!

By golly, it's all in one piece now!  Lots and lots of pieces in the top and it's always amazing when you get it all down to five pieces - the top and four borders, than four, three, two and bingo!  It's ready to be quilted!  That is, after pressing and getting rid of all the pesky threads that are everywhere.  I promise this is the last picture of it until it is all quilted!  Think I am through for today - will put the wallhanging together tomorrow!  Time to scrounge up something for supper. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Now I am Almost Done!

I have been sewing practically all day and have finished the fourth border and I have drafted paper pieced blocks for the corners.  Just did the four with my ruler and pen since they are too big to fit a piece of paper for the printer.  Then I spent quite a bit of time cutting the pieces to use for the pattern.  Paper piecing is so tricky - it needs pieces so much bigger than you might think from looking at the space to be filled.  I was getting low on some of the fabrics, but finally found enough to do the job.  One place on this block I didn't make it all the way to the edge of the seam allowance, but I think I can take care of that by the "fudging" I mentioned.  Will wait until tomorrow to do the other three then I can press the borders, sew them on, and I will have the strippie quilt done.  Want to get the blocks sewn together for the dresden plate hanging, too.  But now it's time for a nice bath and some tv or kindle time!  It's snowing again! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I Thought I Was Almost Done

When I was ready to cut the borders for this quilt, I discovered I didn't have enough of the fabric I planned to use (by just a small amount!!).   I was not sure I was going to like the plain wide border anyway and I am just too frugal (nicer word than tight!) to buy probably $30.00 more in batiks so I decided to do a pieced border.  Lots and lots of sewing, but I do like it - and much better than I would have the plain one.  I am sewing in a one inch piece of the dark color between the varied light batiks and miraculously (at least on the narrow edges), it is fitting well.  The sides are longer so we will see how that goes.  There are always ways to fudge!  You have to be able to fudge a bit to be a quilter, agree?
I am almost through with the second short side.  My plan is to do some sort of a paper pieced corner to finish off the borders.  I think I will be able to draft one and print it out.  My old Foundation Factory software doesn't work in this computer and I miss it for things like that. 

The sun is shining nicely now - earlier it was snowing huge flakes - so very pretty!   I guess that is what they call "snow showers".  It's a little above freezing
so my front stoop and most of the sidewalk are clear.  Going over to have dinner with Sherry and Barclay this evening - pork chops!  Sher is a wonderful cook and I so enjoy having one of her nice meals.  Sometimes Barclay does something on the grill and he is a good cook, also!  In fact, he may be grilling the chops!    Either way, it will be good.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Maybe Next Project?

Pinterest gets me in trouble!  This is what I found the other day and it has me thinking about what I could do with it.  I already have mulled it over in my head and figured I could do six inch squares which would mean one inch checkerboard sashings. 
Behind the sillouhette in the center square appears to be an embroidered outline of another applique pattern.  There are many, many applique blocks in my quilting books, files on my computer, etc., and I would have no problem coming up with twelve very nice patterns.   Better finish dresden plates first and get the borders on the strippie quilt. 

I found the quilt online at and it is by Richard Larson.   It is so sweet and so great in black and white.  Think I will probably have to give it a go!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hooked on Upstairs, Downstairs!

In an earlier post,  I mentioned being caught up in Downton Abbey - a really wonderfully, addicting show on PBS television.  When I got my Kindle, I was able to watch the first two seasons free on Amazon Prime.  Then I started watching Season 3 on PBS but missed a couple of episodes which I may just pay to watch.  However,  I started watching Upstairs, Downstairs and I must say I am just as taken with it as with Downton - maybe even more so.  This series was started in 1971 and has really held up well.  Love the cast - they are wonderful.
Here are some of the main characters.  There are many, many more.   Curiosity got the best of me and I googled the cast members - many of them have since passed away.  Many of them are in upper middle age or early old age.  It was so interesting to see pictures of them in the present.  It seems like they did another version of  the show sometime in the early 2000's and I know the pretty girl on the left was the head of the household in that series.  Evidently BBC cancelled that series after a time.

The lady and master of the house,  the Bellamys.  She is beautiful and he is a handsome fellow.  Both play their parts wonderfully.  If you find yourself  kind of tired of some of the things on television and wish there were more episodes of Downton Abbey, give Upstairs, Downstairs a try.  Some of you probably have Netflix by the month - that is where I watch it.  As I said before, I enjoy it as much as Downton - maybe even more.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Up on the Basement Wall

All the plates are sewn, setting pieces cut, the plates pressed and the centers cut out ready to be gathered around a template.  On the wall, you can see the difference in the background pieces. 

This one is fun to work on - and I think it will be fun to quilt.  The quilting will be pretty simple.  Think this little piece is going to be one of my favorites!
(Click to enlarge)

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Dresden Plates

Part of the many pieces of the plates that are being sewn across the top prior to turning to get the pointed edge.  This so much easier than turning under the quarter inch edge as you applique.  The colors in this picture are much truer than the prior pictures.
Laid out on the bed are the three blocks I have sewn and one in the construction stage.  There are two different backgrounds here and a third darker one will be on the outer edges.  Trying to figure out a size for the inner circle.  I just don't like them too small.  That, of course, is just a circle of paper and I am thinking I will go with that size.  Altogether I need thirteen blocks - I think I really like this little piece.  It should be fun to quilt. 

Really enjoy working with these colors.  Good to be feeling more enthused about doing things again.  I am also working on getting the binding sewn on this quilt -
This is just a picture of the quilt as a top - it since has been beautifully quilted by Linda and I want to get it bound.  Still have a couple of unbound Christmas projects  that I didn't get finished and some unfinished quilting on Mexican Star which has turned out to be very pretty.   Oh, girl, you have lots of UFO's but still start new things!  I think that is a trait of a lot of quilters!  Will just forge on!!
(Click to enlarge)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

My House Smells Yummy!


Will be going over to Sherry's for dinner this evening and will bring along some dessert.  I have often thought of the chocolate pudding cakes my mom used to bake - the kind you make a batter, then sprinkle on cocoa, sugar, etc., followed by pouring hot water over all.   Well, here it is, fresh out of the oven and smelling heavenly.

The picture to the left shows the sugar and cocoa on the batter - on the right the water has been added.  That is what makes the pudding.  The dark, choclate pudding is down beneath the cakelike top.When you serve it, you just spoon it out and you have cake and pudding - and it is really in need of some nice ice cream on top.  Best served warm.  Hope it's as good as I remember!
Here's the recipe if you would like to try it - quick and easy!

Chocolate Pudding Cake:


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • Mint chocolate chip ice cream, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the cake: Whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the milk, butter and vanilla. Stir together until smooth with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Pour the batter into an ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Use an offset spatula to level into pan.
For the topping: Whisk together the sugars and cocoa and sprinkle it evenly over the batter. Pour the hot water over the top, resist the temptation to stir it into the batter.
Bake about 30 minutes, you want the center to bubble and look almost set, almost like an undercooked brownie. Take out of the oven and let stand 15 minutes. Serve in dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom of pan over top. Serve with mint chocolate chip ice cream, if desired.   Serves 9

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dresden Plates

This is a beautiful quilt I repinned from Pinterest.  When I first looked at it, I immediately thought it might be one by Edyta Sitar - and I was right.  Love all the batiks she used (and probably non-batiks in the plates, too).  I have finished appliquing and have my strip quilt all sewn together except for the outer borders.  I am undecided about whether or not to make borders of approximately 9 inches (would give lots of room for some pretty quilting) or make another strip and have narrower borders.  Will take it along to Sit and Sew and consult with my quilting buddies before I decide.   Back to the dresden plate quilt - I have been thinking about making this in the same batiks I am using in the strippie quilt.  I love the colors and have plenty of fabric.  So----
here is the first plate I just finished putting together.  This is for a 9" block so the finished piece would be approximately 37" square if done the same as Edyta's quilt which has no borders.  I think the center circle will either be a gold or a soft brown.   The colors in this picture are off and appear harsher than they actually are.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Moving Along

 A bushel or so of leaves have been machine appliqued!  Attagirl, Carol!
 The strips are laid out on the bed.
The start of sewing the sashing to the strips.  Coming right along. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Thursday Night's Snow

We had a big snow night before last - decided I'd better take a few pictures of it since it is one of the biggest snows we have had since I have lived in Michigan.  However, it is just a "dusting" compared to what is going on out in the northeast.  What a horrible situation with so much snow and wind and so many people involved and so many without power.  Unthinkable.

 My neighbor's ac with a topping of snow.  Pictures were taken from my window.

Neighbor has a porch and the ac's are right outside.  Also shows some of the plantings sporting coats of snow.

The big pine tree in my front yard that has a ring of boxwood bushes all around.  Not much of the boxwood showing!  Street is nicely plowed and I plan on going out today for groceries and some Sulky thread for my leaves. 
Speaking of leaves, here are the final five strips all fused and ready for buttonhole applique.  There are 52 leaves on each strip and 9 strips altogether.   I have them about half done so will have quite a while at my machine before they are finished.  I am liking this project - great colors to work with.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Strippy Quilt Progress

First,  I want to show you a darling little mouse pin cushion my friend, Lori, brought over to me on Sunday.  She had made it at a fun quilter's retreat that is held  a couple of times a year here in Midland.  I have been to the retreat quite a few times and it is a good time and lots of projects are finished or near finished despite all the giggling and talking.  Lori makes pin cushions (and other wonderful projects) for our quilt guild bazaar held in connection with our annual show.   I have quite a collection of Lori's beautiful handiwork.
Here is another pose of this sweet little mouse.  Thanks so much, Lori, I will take good care of him!

Next, before I post about the strippy quilt, I wanted to apologize for putting the verification for comments back on.  I really hated to do it, but I started getting spam - and in looking quite a ways back in my blog I found tons of it which I spent quite a bit of time deleting.   Too bad people have to spoil things but that is the way things go now.  So that is why if you want to leave me a comment (and I love them - all bloggers do!) I apologize for your having to read the silly, hard to read nonsensical words and the blurry numbers. 
I have been cutting leaves - a whole pile of them.  I am sure this is more than enough. 
There will be nine of the strips with vines.  I want a separation of the strips and have found this very pretty dark, striped batik that just seems to set everything off.  Yesterday I went to Linda's class (some of us not taking the class go along and work on our projects with Linda's blessing).  I hadn't been there or to Sit and Sew for a while and it was nice to spend time with my quilting buddies again.  I took along my leaves to cut out.   I showed them the idea I had of making a row of 3 by 1 1/2 inch strips of the leaf fabrics (piano key style) and using that bordered by the dark stripe.  Everyone agreed that the plain brown stripe looked the best so it won hands down.  On the way home, Leslie and I stopped at Park Bench and I bought more of it and now know how I will finish the quilt.  Much easier, also.  Now I will head for the basement and iron leaves on my remaining strips.  We are supposed to have a big snow - love sewing when it rains or snows, don't you?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Little Video

Ah, the days of cell phones - all of the cool things that can be done with the new ones  Here is one of those cool things - a video my granddaughter took of Annie.  I just could not resist posting it.  Enjoy.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ready to Go, Binkie and All!

Just had to post this picture of Henry!!  It makes me smile.   Love, love, love the pacifier along with the helmut and googles.   You go for it, Henry!!