Friday, January 19, 2018

UFO finish

Isn't it a moment of enjoyment when you put that last stitch into the binding of a quilt? Then I can spread it out on the floor and admire it.  Does a finish give me permission to start something new?
I fell in love with the peach and blue floral fabric the first time I saw it in my local quilt shop, and knew that it would be perfect to build my Saturday Sampler mystery quilt around it.  It was fun to take my little piece of floral and search shops for blending fabrics.  This pattern is Kwik 8 Point Star, and then I added the extra borders.

The navy blue on the back really shows off the elegant quilting.  It's going on my sofa as a splash of color for the rest of the winter. 
And I can check off the 3rd UFO for January. Granted, the first 2 items were pretty small (a bag and a wall hanging), but they were UFOs and they are done.  So now I'm looking at other UFOs on the list. The Friendship Exchange quilt for number 11 has now been quilted and the binding is ready to go, so my plan is to work on that next. I have no idea what month #11 will be drawn but it won't matter that I finish things early since the whole idea is just to finish things. And I'll keep plugging away on the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt blocks too.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Just one block

My regular readers know that I'm working on 2 Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts right now: last year's En Provence and this year's On Ringo Lake.  And on Sunday I did manage to get 1 Ringo Lake block put together. I don't have all of the units made yet, but I worked ahead enough to do just 1 block to admire.
For now I can hang this on the design wall to keep me motivated while I keep plugging along. I'm also still plugging along on a 3rd block for En Provence. Slow progress, but still forward progress.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Goals for the week

The most important goal for this week is to hand stitch the binding on this quilt.  Isn't the quilting on this pretty?  Bonnie did a great job on this one. The thread is actually an ice blue to match the background in the main part of the quilt. And it's just as pretty on the back, which is navy blue.
I also plan to pull fabrics for the 2 new Saturday Sampler blocks, make 1 more block for En Provence, and make another 20 flying geese units for On Ringo Lake.  We'll see how it goes. I have another quilt to bind too because I actually picked up 2 from the quilter on Friday, but this one is first.
And speaking of binding, how to you handle your binding?  Depending on how long it is, I've started hanging it on the second spool spindle on my machine.  The spindle pops up when needed and seems to work pretty well - allowing the binding to unwind slowly as I sew.  It does twist, so occasionally I just take the roll off and turn it over to remove the twist.  

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Strawberry ice cream and deep dish pies

Do you associate certain foods with your grandmother?  While sewing on a binding this morning I was watching Giada DiLaurentiis on the Food Network. Her show was about how potluck dinners were coming back in popularity - which made me laugh because potlucks never went out of style in this part of the country (rural America). Her potluck dinner guests were asked to bring a dish inspired by a grandmother and that made me think about both of my grandmothers.

Image result for strawberry ice cream

My paternal grandmother was a farm wife from Kansas and most of my memories of her involve the kitchen and food.  She loved to cook and was a really good cook.  Pies were deep dish and cookies were monstrous big - nothing stingy about sweets in her house. I also remember her making noodles and draping them over chair backs and curtain rods on clean white dish towels. And my dad and his brothers would cut all of the crust off a fresh loaf of her homemade bread and eat it before anyone else had a chance. That brought scolding from her, but also a smile.  She taught my dad how to cook and passed along that love of cooking to him as well.

My maternal grandmother lived a block from my Minnesota childhood home and I saw her almost daily growing up. Very few memories of her involve food.  I don't think she enjoyed cooking. But she did enjoy gardening, knitting, playing cards, and watching the Minnesota Twins play baseball on TV.  Grandma always had Schwans strawberry ice cream in the freezer which she would generously share, and I also fondly recall eating cinnamon toast for breakfast when I stayed overnight. Heavy on the cinnamon, just the way I liked it.  She made cottage cheese - which I thought was pretty gross, straining it in cheese cloth over a bowl in the kitchen.  But the worst thing I remember her cooking - frequently - was something she called New England Boiled Dinner. It involved ham hocks, parsnips, and cabbage.  And probably other things too, but I mostly remember I didn't like the way it smelled or tasted. 

So now that I've had my trip down memory lane, what foods do you associate with your grandmother?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Scrappy Saturday

My first 20 cracker blocks are finished.  There are 10 blue ones so far, which is the RSC18 color of the month.  I've had fun digging into the scraps to make these.  I made 11 of them this morning in a little over an hour, so it proves they go together very quickly.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Orphan charm squares

The cracker blocks need 2 charm squares of a color.  And I just happen to have a small bin with orphan 5" blocks, so last night I dug in there to find some with 2 alike. I came up with 11 sets of charms.  The color portion of the block just needs 1 charm cut in half vertically, and 1 charm cut in half diagonally. Very simple!  The background needs 2 diagonal halves (can be 4.5"), and 1 rectangle 2.5" x 5". 
I hope to pull some background scraps later today and cut those pieces so I can start to sew these additional cracker blocks.  There are already 9 completed blocks, so these would bring my total to 20.  These make a good leader/ender project too. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

More "Cracker" blocks

OK - these are officially one of my new favorite blocks to make!! So easy and so fast.
Yesterday there was a comment about these being a wonderful signature block. Absolutely perfect for signatures!  My husband's family has a big reunion coming up this summer, and I had this crazy idea to have a stack of these to sign at the reunion.  I did a little figuring and came up with needing 180 blocks to make a queen size quilt but we only had about 150 at the last reunion.  So maybe we could make a smaller quilt. We'll see if this actually happens.
I may need to talk to my sister-in-law (also a quilter) and see if she is interested in making some too.