Slideshow of quilts

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I've had a lot of questions concerning the black and white quilt used in my title picture.  This is Sydie's quilt so named for our wonderful Newfoundland puppy Sydie.  She brought a lot of joy into our lives the short time she lived.  She was hit by a car one night.  Suddenly, all of our dogs were very excited and demanded to go outside, we had an electric fence around the perimeter of our property, so we opened the door and let them out, they all immediately ran to the road never slowing for the fence.  Fortunately, my daughter who tried to stop them wasn't hit by the truck speeding down our road as well.  Anyway, this quilt is in memory of her.  To find the quilt please follow the link.  If you have any problems please let me know.  If you create the quilt I would appreciate you sharing pictures with me here.  As always, this is for your own personal use.  If someone else wants it please send them here to get their own copy, please don't sell the pattern as well.

Sorry for not writing last week, but it was a week of lots of adventure and little computer time.  Our electricity kept going out (3 -4 times a day) making it very difficult to do anything on the computer, I would be typing away and boom we would lose power. (It happened so often it wrecked our battery back up). But you know, losing power was the least of it last week.  I lost a beloved uncle the last of my aunts and uncles.  The husband of a dear friend also passed away.  My older brother, a doctor who every year goes aboard with doctors without borders, let me know he is gravely ill, he is rapidly collecting fluid in his lungs (we'll know this week if it's cancer or TB from his travels). All of this occurred on the same day can you believe it??

 It looks as if I will be taking my 15 year old son to a boarding school in the United States soon, it will be so nice to be home! (Sometimes I am tempted to be like Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz", "There's no place like home" There's no place like home!) The schools here in India just didn't meet his needs.  We are looking at the Wasatch Academy in Mt Pleasant Utah. It seems to have a good program but I won't know for sure until I see it.  The problem is I am enrolling him but haven't seen it.   Makes for a very tense weekend for the mom!

We don't have any prepared foods here in India (at least not any that we care to eat) so I spend my time trying new recipes, I found a great recipe for pumpkin bread this week on the Taste of Home website:
I love this website, I always find just the right thing to make!

Pumpkin bread recipe.
3 cups sugar
1 can (15 oz) solid pack pumpkin
1 c vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup cold water
3 ½ cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Stir sugar, pumpkin, oil, eggs and water until well mixed. Combine remaining ingredients: gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake 325 degrees for 75-80 minutes until bread tests done. Cool on a wire rack.

Last Week was quite the adventure!

Aside from our usual adventures in India of constant power outages and Internet interruptions.   This week was unique in that I learned I could face some of my greatest fears and survive.

It started out as a perfectly normal day.  I have a very small washing machine.  It does four towels at a time or a couple a pairs of pants etc.  Which is good that it is small because I don’t have dyer so everything is hung out on the line.  I don’t like to have the laundry hang on the line over night so every morning I do two or three loads of laundry and hang it on the line then every evening take it down and fold it.  On this particular day, it was four o’clock in the afternoon and I was standing on my baloney hanging a dress on the line, when I heard a noise above me (noise is a constant in India, I don’t think it has ever been quiet here since we arrived) and as I glanced up, a dark cloud was descending around me. In the space of a few seconds my thoughts were the following:

  • ·      What in the world is going on?
  • ·      Something is landing on me?
  • ·      Oh no it’s bugs
  • ·      Oh no it’s bees!

At which time I took off running into my apartment, literally flinging my clothes off as I ran.  Three bees were kind enough to hitch hike a ride in my hair but all in all the other couple of thousand were left outside on the patio.  After I calmed down enough to find my cell phone, I called my husband and told him, “Get home now!”  To be honest I didn’t calm down until the next day.

Fortunately I wasn’t stung.  I have known since coming to India that the Lord was protecting me but never more so than that day.

view of the bees on the 6th floor

view of the swarm from my balconey

When my husband arrived home he told me some masons had been working on the sixth floor and had stumbled upon a bee swarm building a new hive.  (Actually what they had done was open a window were the bees were attached to the ledge and caused them to fall on me).  The bad news is what I thought was maybe a hundred bees was more like a couple of thousand.  For dinner that night we had comfort food!  My husband was kind enough to fix me some rice pudding and we watched one of our favorite tv shows.
view of some of the dead bees from my kitchen door

The really sad thing for me is, as much as I don’t want to have bees near me (or particularly on me) they are all dead.  Instead of moving the swarm (OK I admit it is something I have only seen on the Discovery channel on TV.) They poisoned them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not So Ugly Sunshine Sampler of 2009 is finished!
Wow, it was fun to design but even more fun to have it completed. This quilt was made for me!  In all my years of quilting I usually make quilts that I give as gifts, taught classes from etc.  But never in all those years have a created a quilt just for me!  I used only fabric I had on hand.  It was actually a challenge on the stashbusters list to choose an ugly fabric from your stash for the quilt.  The fabric I choose is the roses.  Not so much that it is ugly but because I had so much of it and had used it and used it.  I wanted to be done using it!  All the fabric came from my stash, even the backing fabric which I would show you but it's only a quilt back of white on white fabric.  It took so long to get it quilted and who would have thought back in 2009 that I would be putting the finishing touches on it in India!  It fits a king size bed, my husband is 6' 4" tall so no small beds for us, even with the king size he just fits!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Quilt Labels

When printing on fabric it is important to either purchase pretreated fabric or make your own, I prefer to make my own, and it gives me control over the fabric used and is cheaper!  I use a product called Bubble Jet Set and Bubble Jet Rinse. I learn about this back in the days when Simply Quilts was on television. I loved watching that show.  Now I hardly watch television at all any more, I can only watch so many home improvement shows, thank goodness for the internet (now if I only had reliable internet connections!)

Using Bubble Jet Set and Rinse:

Shake well and pour solution into flat pan I have a jelly roll pan that I have dedicated to this use.  Saturate fabric in the solution for five minutes.  Allow fabric to dry.  Then iron fabric to the smooth side of freezer paper, cut to fit your printer. Print on treated fabric, and let sit for 30 minutes. Machine wash (delicate Cycle) in cold water with a mild detergent. It’s important to use a detergent in this step.   I like to wash with "Bubble Jet Rinse", I have used it on 100% cotton and silk and they have turned out very nice. I have also  used flannel and a wonderful brushed cotton that were wonderful. I used a HP 2710 printer to print my labels.
( Most of the above comes from the label, I highly recommend reading the label anytime you use chemicals to be on the safe side.)

The first time I tried printing on fabric I was making a memory quilt for my daughter Stephanie, I had ten different pictures of her as a baby assemble and went to town with my editing software and designed a page to print.  Something else I recommend is to fill a page when you do this. Saves money!  Microsoft Word is a great program for laying out your pictures and most of us have it.  Anyway, they printed beautifully, I was so excited to start cutting them out and making the blocks.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that you needed to have treated fabric.  I mean, really, printer ink can ruin everything when you are refilling it why wouldn't it stain the fabric I wanted it to!  Well, to make a long story short, some water was spilled in my crafting room and the pictures ran.  I never did get back to making the quilt once I learned how to create the fabric!  Guess I better put that on my “To Do” List!
Here are two examples unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the others, the quilts yes, but not the labels.  I only do these labels for gifts so....

This label was made with HP Quilt Labels software
I was able to add the picture and a verse for my
Used clip art and a font in word to create this label, inked it with pigma marker
colored it in with prang crayons.

On my favorite yahoo groups, Stashbuster we were discussing making labels for our quilts.  It may not seem like it but someday, someone will hold your quilt in their hands and wonder who made the quilt? How do I know this, because when my father died, my brother and sister were using an old ragged quilt to line the trailer in moving furniture.  They had no idea that that was the last remaining quilt that our grandmother Ruby Stultz Tillotson had made.  How did I know this fact??  Because I loved quilts and asked my dad.  They didn't realize what they had until I had rescued it from the trailer.  So ladies, LABEL YOUR QUILTS!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Guidelines for backing quilt

When I am backing a quilt I take the finished measurements of the quilt top.  For this example I will use a 60” square top. I add 5” to all four sides if I am having the quilt quilted on a long-arm quilting machine. So, I would need backing to cover and area of 70 X 70.  Most fabric is roughly 42” wide.  Because there have been times when I have purchased fabric that wasn’t as it should have been for the purposes of my calculations I use 40” wide, which provides me with a margin of error.  I always think it’s better to safe than sorry when purchasing fabric, I can always use extra but not having enough creates some problems! Each yard of fabric is 36” so 2 yards is 72”.  If I purchase 4 yards of fabric, I can make a quilt back for a quilt that measures 70 X 62.

40 + 40 = 80"
36 + 36 = 72"
5" add to each side for attaching to a long arm quilting machine. You sew the selvage edges of the fabric together to create a large piece of fabric.

Of course you can always buy the quilt backs, which come in a width of 108” by how many yards you desire.  Those work great although I really hate ironing them!  Another problem is they are limited in the colors and designs that are available so one might not meet your needs hence “piecing the back”.  When you are using two, two yard pieces of fabric be sure and check to see if there is a direction to the fabric so that both sides are going in the same direction before you sew them together!

Another favorite way to create a backing fabric is to use up some of your stash a make a patchwork back!  Sometimes they turn out just as wonderfully as the front and it’s hard to know which side you want as the top!  To do this I usually start with a square, the size varies depending with what I want to create.  It can be as small as you want up to 40” if that’s the look you want.  Then I just add strips of fabric to the sides until I get to the desired width. I also like to add the label before the quilt is quilted.  That way the label is quilted right into the quilt. Here are some examples of what I have done.  

the front of the quilt

left over fabric on the back

Using left over fabric to piece the back of the quilt.

the front of the quilt

This quilt shows the label quilted into the backing of the fabric before quilting.  Again I used fabric leftover from the front of the quilt.

If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask me I would be happy to help you!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Stashes and Anniversaries!
I thought I would throw in a few tips from over the years about organizing my stash!

I always kept a bushel basket beside my cutting table and all my scraps would go into the basket (for me a scrap was anything I could not easily cut into anything else with ease. So left over parts of 2" strips etc).  That basket was fair game for my children.  They could use anything in the basket that they wanted.  (All my girls are sewers today because of that basket). I love string quilts so when the basket would get to full, I would randomly grab scraps to make a block, when I had enough blocks I would put them all together to make a quilt. I loved the book Liberated String Quilts! What's great about these is if you have different types of fabric you can have baskets for each type and when you have enough make a quilt.  I used a lot of flannel, cotton and corduroy.

As far as my stash was concerned, the best for me was to organize it by color. My colors would go from light to dark.  It made it very easy if I was designing a quilt for a class at midnight to find what I needed for the quilt.

I have always shopped my stash first then added what I needed from the quilt store! 
But my stash grew because there was always something wonderful coming into the store that I had to have!

I found a great article on the net for working on your To Do List|01-04-2011|

I also found a great recipe I thought that I would share with you for brownies, it's called whatever floats your boat.
1/2 cup of butter melted
1/2 cup of coco
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 cups of chocolate chips (or vanilla chips or butterscotch etc)
Combine butter, coco and sugar until the sugar dissolves.  Add eggs one at a time.  Stir until combined, stir in vanilla, flour and salt until just combined (don't over mix) at this point you can add nuts, toffee chips, whatever you like.  Pour into a greased 8" square pan and bake at 350" for 25 minutes.  You can double the recipe for a 9x12 pan and bake 30 minutes.
You can find the recipe and more yummy goodness here:

My husband had an interesting experience yesterday at work.  A mouse ran up the inside of his pant leg and tried to burrow under his sock!  It was the first time he was wearing his new hand knit 100% wool socks, that I made him for Christmas!

 Today is our 28th wedding anniversary.  Seems like only yesterday we were heading to Washington DC to get married! We have lived in 18 homes, 6 states and 2 countries.  Though it all I am so glad that he is the one sharing this journey of life with me.  Back when we have been married 3 years I wrote him a poem and find that it applies even more today then it did then.  Here it is:

"I don't crave mansions of silver or gold,
Or worldly platinum and wealth untold!
For they soon tarnish as they grow old.
A wealth far greater that I cherish,
It rises with me when I perish,
A wealth far greater that I hold,
Each time my husband I behold!