Friday, January 30, 2015

Longarm Quilting Books and DVD's

A couple of friends, who are just starting out on the adventure of longarming, asked me for some advice. In putting together that information for them I thought I'd share some on my blog. The picture above shows some of the quilting books and DVD's I'm recommending to them. I'll list them below.

Pathways to Better Quilting by Sally Terry
Darlene Epps, Pocket Guides from Trillium House, Freehanding Textures & Fillers, Meanderings, Borders and Sashings
Show me How to Machine Quilt by Kathy Sandbach
Breaking the Code by Christine Olsen

Mastering the Art of Longarm Quilting by Gina Perkes
Mastering the Art of McTavishing w/DVD's by Karen McTavish
Quilting Wide Open Spaces by Judi Madsen

No Boundaries, Jamie Wallen and Nicole Webb
Mary's Whimsies, The Jelly Bean Quilter by Mary Eddy
Machine Quilting Solutions by Christine Maraccini
Quilting Makes the Quilt by Lee Cleland
Any of Karen McTavish's books.  All come with DVD's 

Pajama Quilter Reloaded w/workbook by Dawn Ramirez
Feathers of a New Generation (Not your Grandmom's Feathers) w/workbook by Lisa Calle
Fancy Feathers by Linda V. Taylor
Fowl Proof Feathers by Myrna Ficken


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dishes, Dishes

Yesterday's Kitchen Challenge from I Heart Planners was to tidy dishes, mugs and cups. That prompted me to pack away the 10 place settings and serving pieces of Pfaltzgraff stoneware for our granddaughter. It took two containers and a lot of scrap quilt batting, but I got it done!
Now it was time to do some cabinet and countertop  re-arranging. I moved the coffee pot across the kitchen. Next was to put all the coffee and tea paraphernalia in the cabinet where the stoneware used to be. The mugs were put on the same shelf. I re-arranged my baking pans and supplies above that. The appliances that are rarely used were put in the bottom cabinet.

Where the coffee and mugs were, now has the china from the buffet.

Our eclectic mix of stoneware also got some re-arranging.

Now for today's challenge: pots and pans!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Granada Quilt And Fractured Squares

My sixteen year old granddaughter, Angelica, made the Granada quilt, by Villa Rosa Designs. It was one of the Quilt of the Month quilts for 2014 at Bernina Sewing Centre. She chose her own fabrics. At first she was going to use red as the accent but switched to the gorgeous light turquoise. I'm so glad she did as it turned out great!
Now it's my turn to quilt her quilt. I just purchased Quilting Wide Open Spaces by Judi Madsen. The book has great advice for choosing your design as well as quilting it. Judi also has several quilt patterns in this book. The main piece of advice, I took to heart, is practicing on the quilt! She says she never practices on paper. Judi has it down by the time she first advances the quilt on the longarm. I decided I'd give it a go. I'm quilting an all over free motion pattern I call fractured squares. I've never done this pattern before but believe I did okay. I'm using So Fine #411, black, in the needle and black prewound bobbins, from Superior Threads. Angelica's quilt is ready for the first advance.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Dog Safety

Today's post is a reminder to make sure your medicines are kept out of reach of your pets. Child proof bottles don't work on dogs. With their strong jaws they just eat the bottle and pills.
This week two goldendoodles, Hudson and Kirby, from different families, swollowed human drugs. Hudson, a bottle of muscle relaxers and Kirby, Rimadyl! They've both had to have dialysis. The costs for ICU and treatments are thousands of dollars. Vet's don't know yet how much permanent neurological damage Hudson will have. It looks like Kirby will be okay.
You might also want to look into health insurance for your pets. Even if you have the insurance, you'll have out of pocket expenses.
Our Goldendoodle Lacey is from Moss Creek Goldendoodles, as were the two sick dogs. The Moss Creek community has rallied behind these families with prayers and money as needed. I'm so proud to be a part of this community.
Please check all your meds, cleaners, chemicals, etc. and make sure they are locked up or out of your dogs reach.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

More Organizing

The Kitchen Challenge this week is about recipes and meal planning. My recipes are already organized in a Longaberger recipe box. My cookbooks are kept neatly in a cupboard. I don't do menu planning. Made for an easy week so far.
We choose our dinner each day by what sounds appetizing. I always have the same meats, and seasonally, the same fruits and vegetables on hand. This works well for us.
Since I didn't have much to do with the kitchen organization, I did some sewing organization. I re-arranged all my sewing drawers and discarded a few items. After they were organized, they were labeled (I love my label maker). I ended up with three empty drawers.
Here are my labeled drawers.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Birthday Pancakes

Over the weekend we spent some wonderful time with our youngest granddaughter. Friday evening we picked Faith up and drove to Kohl's. We were Birthday shopping. We had to go to a second Kohl's before we found the perfect dress. They were on sale so we bought two dresses. 
You can't tell from her face in the picture, but her favorite is the top one. It's because the skirt is higher in the front and lower in the back. She'd recently had to give away her previous high/low dress. She was not happy that she'd outgrown the dress. She is very excited about the new one. She wore it on her birthday.

After making our purchases, it was off to Olive Garden for her birthday dinner. Anytime you ask Faith where she wants to eat, it's Olive Garden! She and Gramps played Tic Tac Toe while we waited for our dinner. We had good service and a lovely dinner. Then, off to Grams house for the night. Faith fell asleep in the car. Brushing teeth and getting PJ's on wasn't too difficult. She wanted to sleep on a pallet on the floor next to our bed. Her routine for that is, to fall asleep in our bed and we move her to the pallet when we go to bed.
At 6:30 in the morning I woke up to a sweet little voice saying, "Can I get in and snuggle?" Of course I answered yes. We snuggled and then I asked if she was excited. She nodded her head up and down rapidly. This was her seventh birthday.
Next, pancake time with Gramps. Faith and Gramps mixed up the batter. For the first time she got to pour the pancakes onto the griddle and flip them. They were making memories. When I sent a picture to her mom, she responded that it's too soon as that's her baby. Gramps responded that seven year olds aren't babies anymore! While that's true, she'll always be the baby of this generation of grands.
For those that read the gourmet pancake blog post, these pancakes did NOT take three hours to make!

After a delicious pancake, bacon and strawberry breakfast it was time to take her home.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Wall Hangings - Joined at the Hip

Another project from last year I participated in was monthly wall hangings. The patterns were from a company called Joined at the Hip. I purchased mine each month with a kit from Bernina Sewing Centre.
Most months I used what was in the kit. Occasionally, I substituted from my stash. I chose not to do the one for October as it was a jack-o'-lantern. We don't do Halloween because of it's pagan connections. I already had a pumpkin one for another month and just used that for October.
The pattern called for you to make a background with buttons that each months quilt could be buttoned to. I chose not to do that either, as it was a little too country for me. Been there done that! Anyway, I just put tabs on mine as seen on the photo below. It's hanging backward on the hanger for your benefit. You can also see the beautiful little hanger I also purchased from Bernina Sewing Center.

The wall hangings were all made and quilted on my Bernina 750. I love sewing on that wonderful machine! It has a stitch regulator, but most of my quilting is done without using that. I've been quilting for more years than that technology has been around, so I'm more comfortable on my own.
I quilt each quilt as I feel it's telling me to. 
Below are six of my favorites from the year. I hope you enjoy them.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Kitchen Organization Continued

The kitchen organization continues. Monday was the day to organize the spice cabinet. That was a quick job since I keep my spices alphabetized. I really just had to straighten up the larger spice containers, seasoning packets, cornstarch, sea salt, honey, etc. Tuesday the pantry got organized. That took awhile but I really like how it looks now. Wednesday our assignment was to inventory the pantry and freezer. We even got free inventory pages to print out, to make the job easier. This morning the challenge was to deep clean the microwave. My husband had just done that, so all I had to do was wipe it down. Being stainless steel, my microwave reflects like a mirror, so is hard to see in a photo.
Here are photos of the organized spice cabinet and pantry, and clean microwave.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Laundry, Quilting Fabrics and My Favorite Tip

Monday Wash Day! 
I have a couple issues to deal with in doing laundry. First, I have allergies to most perfumes. They clog my head and give me a headache. I also find them offensive to smell. Second, is getting a rash and itching from some detergents. For those reasons, I use ALL free & clear and Ultra Downey free & gentle. They work great for my allergies and sensitivities and get the laundry clean.
When I want to whiten our whites I use Oxiclean Free powder along with the laundry soap and I double rinse the load.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with or paid by any company.
Now for my Favorite tip. SHOUT Color Catcher! They look sort of like a dryer sheet only thicker. I started using them when I pre- wash my quilting fabrics, both hand dyed and commercial. I always use a Color Catcher when I wash a quilt. 
I also use it in the load when I wash new clothes with color. My laundry is always separated into whites, lights and darks. Whenever I launder a dark load a Color Catcher gets put in and it ALWAYS has color in it when the load is finished. It doesn't seem to matter how many times the clothes have been laundered. If you aren't using a Color Catcher the dye is going back into your clothes and it makes them dingy.

A little hint for any crafters or fiber artists. You can use the used/dyed color catchers in your crafting and fiber art.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Organizing & Decorating

This week I've been doing more cleaning and organizing. Part of it through the I Heart Planner's, 30 Day Kitchen Organization Challenge. Today I cleaned expired stuff from the fridge, then organized it. That wasn't hard because I keep it pretty neat. All but four of the expired things came from the freezer. 
Christmas decorations are gone and the dining and living rooms are decorated for the next few months. As you can see, I moved my flameless candles from the living room to the dining room table. The linen undercloth is a family antique from the late 1800's. I think it was originally used as a bed sheet. The crocheted one on top was made by my mother in the early 1990's.
Here's my Winter dining room and my organized refrigerator. 


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sunday Ride Applique Quilt

Today I'm appliquing a block of the Sunday Ride quilt, by Cherry Blossoms. This is going to be a quilt done at Bernina Sewing Centre sometime in 2015. I'm helping the owner get the quilt made as a sample. I only have part of the vining flowers and leaves stitched and fused. There will be a cat on the ground that can't be added until the inner sashing is sewn on. Here's the block so far.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Putting away Christmas decorations

I've been collecting my decorations from around the house and putting them on the breakfast table and counter.  As I walk through a room, I pick up a decoration or two and add it to the table.  Now that I have them all collected I'll get the boxes out and pack them away until next December.
I do hope that I can keep the real meaning of Christmas in my heart and actions throughout the year.
Ready, set, pack!


Saturday, January 3, 2015


De-cluttering, simplifying, call it what you will. I feel led to simplify my life. Many people think of de-cluttering as physically removing the clutter from your home. That is only a small part. When I began this journey I pretty much thought that way.
Over the last twenty seven day's I've been doing a Bible study on de-cluttering. 

Declutter Now! 30 Day Devotional on the You Version Bible App. It's a free app with a ridiculous amount of Bible versions to choose from. I highly recommend the devotional. I've learned a lot from this study.

De-cluttering also includes, your walk with God, finances, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, and church/social activities.

I've started a little of the house de-cluttering, passing on stuff to my children and grandchildren. Some of it was even in the form of Christmas gifts. I only want them to take things that will be used or is of great sentimental value. Now that we're past the holidays I shall in earnest go through the process of de-cluttering my home. 
Here's where I'm starting with organizing, discarding and filing papers:


Friday, January 2, 2015

A quicker way to remove quilting stitches

Today I'm learning a quicker way to remove quilting stitches from a quilt. Elizabeth has a quilt that was poorly quilted by a longarm quilter. Another friend, Erica, and I are going to help her to remove the stitches. Elizabeth will then be able to send the quilt to another longarm quilter to be re-quilted. Erica is showing us how to use a rotary cutter to remove the stitches. Here's a photo showing what we're doing.