Monday, December 31, 2007
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 10:32 AM
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Reminder: I will be drawing a winner for the mini-quilt on January 1, 2008. Post a comment by midnight 12/31/07 for a chance to win it. :)
Late this past summer, I began an unplanned but much needed diet. Health issues forced this on me, and without them I probably would still be eating what ever I want whenever I wanted to. However, since I have been following my new diet, I have seen many changes, pretty much all positive, in my life.
This brought me to thinking about ways to further improve other aspects of my life. And one that came to mind almost immediately is my sewing/quilting habits. They are, quite honestly, as bad as my former eating habits. I quilt what I want, when I want to. Some things get finished right away, many more get tossed aside when something new sparks my interest. And I have a tendency to buy fabric without having any idea when/if I will use it. As a result, my sewing room is packed full of fabric and unfinished projects. It is always a mess!
So, I have decided that it is time to put myself on a fabric diet now too. I am going to attempt to finish up the majority of projects I have already begun within the coming year. And I will also try not to buy any new fabric unless I need it to complete a specific project. Am I looking forward to this? Heck no! I am breaking out in a sweat just thinking about it. But, I am hoping that this will lead to some positive outcomes, much like the food diet has. I have posted a reminder badge on my blog. Hanne made it and offered to share.
Care/dare to join me?
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 8:20 PM
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I think this will need more borders added, as it is not going to finish large enough as it is. That is yet another design feature I need to concentrate on. My youngest child has expressed an interest in this one already, so it will likely be for his bed when finished.
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 5:50 PM
Friday, December 21, 2007
My posting is pretty sporadic- I have not got a regular daily routine-yet. ;) However, I have managed over the past year to post 99 times. I am happy with that number, but I will try to improve upon that for this next year.
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 8:14 AM
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I was inspired to get caught up on my buck a block quilt yesterday. I am not sure when I posted last about this one. There are still two more months left, so I don't have all the blocks yet, but I have some of my blocks assembled into a partial top. This is what I have so far.
And I will share another flimsy with you today, just because. I have quite a pile of tops needing to be quilted. I hope to get some of them finished after Christmas is over with. I have several new projects that I would like to start, but I really need to get some of the current ones completed first.This top is made from swap blocks from a couple different internet swaps. It has alot more color than the picture shows. It is probably too busy. But this is the way it will stay.
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 3:19 PM
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
In my travels through blogland, I found a post with a recipe for gingersnap cookies. I'm sorry I don't have a link to her blog, I tried to go back but just couldn't find it (airhead attack!). But, I did copy the recipe. So I put on my favorite (ok,only) Christmas apron and whipped up a batch. Yummy! They are fantastic!!! And I will share the recipe with you.
3/4 cup butter (softened, not melted)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
Mix together above ingredients until well blended, then add:
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger
Beat all ingredients well. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator at least an hour. Then roll into small balls (large marble size). Dip balls into a bowl of white sugar, and place on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 preheated oven for 8 minutes (not a minute more, you want the cookies to be crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.)
I want to admit that I was impatient and did not allow my dough to chill. And you can see in the picture that my cookies came out quite flat. So I would recommend that you allow your dough to chill.
I also baked some gingerbread so that I could make this house. Usually I use alot more color on my gingerbread houses, but this year I decided to stick to just red,green, and white.
There is still so much to do before Christmas and I really don't know when I will get another chance to stitch anything. But I will try to post some pictures of some of my other projects soon.
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 7:38 PM
Monday, December 10, 2007
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 11:11 AM
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Today I finished up the last block of the Debbie Mumm 'Garden Favorites' block of the month. I changed the flowers in the block to make them easier to applique using a technique that does not use fusible webbing.
This evening I stitched the blocks together into a top.
But now I have a problem. The pattern calls for a couple borders. When I made the blocks for this quilt, I pulled all of the fabrics from my stash, using mostly fat quarters. So I don't have enough of any fabric for my borders that is already in the quilt top. So now I don't know what to do for the borders. What would you do?
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Sorry it is not the best picture. I probably should have waited for daylight. But I think you can see it well enough to get the effect. Have a great day!
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 8:57 AM
Saturday, December 1, 2007
For those who are interested only in quilting, today's post is not for you. I will be blogging on a little bit more personal level today. I have hit a personal milestone, and feel the need to indulge myself by blogging about it.
At the end of August, I was diagnosed with type two diabetes. Oddly enough, a trip to the emergency room for a severe kidney stone attack is what alerted me to my elevated blood glucose numbers. Anyways, I had a series of tests done that verified I am a type 2 diabetic. And more tests to find the cause of recurring kidney stones.
I was sent to diabetes classes to learn how to manage my glucose levels and given an eating plan. I was just nicely getting accustomed to this new eating plan when I got the results of the kidney stone lab tests. Turns out many of the diabetes friendly foods were not friendly to my kidneys. So, I went for a visit with a dietitian, who helped me develop another new eating plan.
I have been following this plan fairly faithfully since the end of September. It has not always been easy, but I can feel a difference in how I am feeling. And I have lost 38 pounds. This is a significant amount of weight, but only a fraction of what I still need to lose. I had tried weight watchers a few years ago, and lost nearly this same amount of weight before I hit a plateau, lost focus and eventually dropped out of the program. Only to regain all of the weight within a couple years.
That is why today I was overjoyed when I stepped on the scale and realized that I am now below the weight I had gotten down to on the weight watcher plan. And my "skinny jeans" I was into then are now too big! And this disease that I was not too thrilled to be labeled with a few short months ago has turned out to have some positive effects on me. God works in some pretty marvelous ways. :)
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 1:57 PM
Friday, November 30, 2007
I managed to snap a couple pics of the final woolly flower block. I will be honest, it is not my favorite. But, it is staying as is, because I want to finish this quilt soon.
I am a little sad to be finished with the class. It was really nice having my own personal teacher. Thanks Caroll, you were great!
She helped me pick out some fabrics for the sashes and border during the last class. After auditioning many different fabrics and color combinations, I eventually ventured out of my comfort zone and chose a couple of blue fabrics. Here is a little peek for you.
And speaking of peeks, I will show you my progress from yesterday. Sadly, the top is not finished. Silly me, I answered the phone and ended up running errands for my hubby. I should know better by now. Still, I managed to get something done. :)
After the deep purple side borders are added, I still have another two borders to add- another narrow light purple one and a wider pieced border.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I have the setting fabrics all cut out, and I will head to my sewing room shortly to start stitching the top together. I made some changes to the layout they have provided at Block Central, but those of you who know me probably already assumed that. You know I always have to do something to make a pattern my own. Anyways, I will post a photo of the top when it is assembled.
I am also sharing the latest completed block from the Garden Favorites BOM. There is only one more block for this one. I will be making some changes to that block, as it has appliqued flowers on it that look too difficult to do without using a fusible web. I will change the flowers to suit my needs.
Have a great day my friends! I'm off to do some stitching. :)
Monday, November 26, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Yesterday I mentioned that I was going to skip the black Friday sales and stay home and sew instead. Well, I feel the need to confess that I did indeed go out to a store this morning.
It started out innocently enough. I needed to go to the bank today. And since the bank was only a couple blocks from the Target store, I figured I would just pop in and try to pick up a couple things. EH, it was after 8:30 AM- all the crazies would be long gone already, right? Well, I definitely underestimated how many shoppers would be at Target so long after the mad opening in the wee hours this morning. Had to park in BFE. But I did manage to snag a set of king sized 600 thread count sheets for $29.00. :) The other item I wanted, a vaaccum cleaner, was gone already. But I did get a rain check, so all is good.
Except that while I was gone, I managed to miss taking my son to get some stitches out. OOPS! I forgot all about that appointment. No harm done though, as the receptionist at the Oral surgeon's office was quite understanding and sympathetic after I explained how I got drawn in by the evil sales. I swear it really is a sickness. Anyhoo, my son now has his stitched removed and I am safely home and snuggly nestled into my sewing room. (Where I hope to remain for the rest of the day.)
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 11:06 AM
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 10:02 PM
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Today I had intended on finishing my ostrich round robin. I have the binding partially stitched on. I was hand stitching the binding down when my daughter called. She is trying to get plans finalized on her June wedding. She still has alot to arrange. For example, her dress.
We have been out a couple times shopping for "the dress" this past week. We started at a store that we knew little about. They had a few dresses that we liked, but they did not have much in my daughter's size. It was so hard to tell what would work and what wouldn't in all of those too-small gowns. After the first store we were all ready to stop for a drink (or two). So we tried again another day. The second store had nothing that was suitable, and by the time we left we were getting discouraged. But today we took off at the spur of the moment for a bridal shop about an hour away.
This shop was worth the drive. They had a great selection and the service was wonderful. We showed up without an appointment and they still went out of their way to help us. In fact, after trying on several dresses, we got it narrowed down to a couple dresses. And before we left, my daughter had made her decision! :) In fact, we took it home with us.
Nope, in case you were wondering, this is not "the one".
So, while I had intended this day to be my chance to wind up a project, instead it was a day to wind up a loose end in my daughter's wedding preparations. She has her dress! That is a much more important accomplishment. And I am determined to finish that binding tonight too.
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 6:06 PM
Saturday, November 10, 2007
On my very first blog post, I mentioned a quilt that I had made for my son years ago. It had fallen into disrepair from the use and abuse of my son. I posted a picture of the quilt I had just completed to replace that quilt as my son went off to college.
I tried to warn you! As bad as this quilt is, I just cannot make myself dispose of it. Clearly it was well loved. I sure wish I had known then what I know now about quilt making. For instance, I did not place any quilting lines inside of any of the borders. I had only quilted in the ditch between them. Maybe the borders would have remained attached if I had quilted in them.
Can you see the little fish appliqued on the block? That was a patch from the early days of the quilt. That little hole seems pretty insignificant now. Yup, that is the backing of the quilt we are looking at just below the fish patch.
Another thing I regret is not putting a double thickness binding on this quilt. Instead, I turned fabric over from the backing and used it as the outermost border. That gave the outer edge only one thickness of fabric. And this is what it looks like now.
I am going to continue this in another post, as I want to be able to add more pics. Please continue reading.
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 11:35 AM
Ok, to continue on, let me say this. I did not use quilt shop quality fabrics in this quilt. I bought what was cheap, as that is what I could afford. And I did not know any better. I do now. I would like to strongly encourage all of you to purchase the best quality fabric you can afford for making your quilts. If you are going to put the effort into making a quilt, you will want it to last.
As for what I did right about this quilt, well, I like the color combination. And I made it! That in itself was a huge accomplishment. At the time I had three kids between the ages of seven and three and I was also running a daycare in my home. So I was a busy woman.
And the reason I know that the above information is true leads us to another thing I did right. I personalized it with a label of sorts. Since I put the year on my label, I know how old this quilt is.
And if you are curious but can't make it out it says:
I love you.
Which I will admit is nothing too fancy, but not too bad for my second quilt ever.
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 11:17 AM
Friday, November 9, 2007
I just found this on another blog , Paris Bebe fabrics, and thought I would share it with you. She is giving away some fat quarters of her "In Your Dreams" fabrics to someone who leaves her a comment. Could it be you?
I have been having fun with the Handmade Holidays event on SewMamaSew's blog. I posted about this a couple days ago. So far I have made some fabric grocery sacks and a pincushion. But there are other ideas I still want to try, if I get the time.
I can't believe it is already Friday. Hubby and son will be gone all day tomorrow to make preparations for opening day of firearm deer season. That give me an entire day to do what I want. Hmmm, I should make some plans. ;) Maybe I'll sew...or maybe I'll shop! I win either way. :)
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 1:40 PM
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 10:50 AM
Saturday, November 3, 2007
I am lucky enough to have a room of my own set up as my sewing studio. It is my sanctuary. I spend countless hours in this room. It is almost always a mess because I am always working on something. But right now it is such a mess I am overwhelmed by it all. There are so many things I would like to work on, but I simply cannot stand to spend any length of time in my horrible messy room. I guess I need to dedicate some time to get it all cleaned up and reorganized. Soon. Anyone want to come help?
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 9:04 PM
Friday, November 2, 2007
I love sewing and doing crafty things. And if I can incorporate my crafts into a gift for someone, all the better. I love the idea of giving homemade gifts for Christmas , but the reality for me is usually store bought. This year, I hope to make a few things. I have found some inspiration here. They are featuring thirty days of gifts to make, just in time for the holidays.
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 2:01 PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
My least favorite part of making a quilt has to be the quilting process. It would be nice to be able to send my tops out to a long-armer, but then I would need to cut back on how many tops I could piece, as my fabric budget would have to be cut way back. So I quilt almost all of my own.
I have spent this past week obsessing over how to quilt my ostrich round robin quilt. It is such a different quilt style than I normally make. The medallion type style seems to ask for something different in each border area. A simple all over pattern or outline quilting just isn't right for it. So I have been searching my books for ideas.
These are some of the designs I tried out on my quilt. A few of them made the cut, others did not. Still, I needed to get the designs onto the quilt. And I already had the layers sandwiched, so I couldn't trace them on using a light box. So I decided to try something different.
I photocopied the chosen patterns onto paper that is designed for paper piecing. This actually worked out fairly well. I cut out the design strips and pinned them into place on my quilt. Then I just stitched over the paper and followed the lines. The paper was then torn away and this is what I ended up with.
Moving outward, I added this:
You will notice that the yellow and red border is still not quilted. I have decided what to put there, I just haven't gotten it quilted yet. Maybe today I will get to it. Or not- I have a lot of dirty laundry to deal with.
I am not sure if the quilting on the white area is showing up here, but it's there, honest. Again I have an unquilted border between the quilted ones. This one I think is going to be outline quilted. I haven't found anything else that works with my tiny NYB blocks.
But I did add a little something to these triangles, which still leaves me with the final border needing something. I am still thinking about that one.
And finally, the whole thing as it is in progress.
I am sorry that my photos won't expand when you click on them. I don't know why won't. The actual photos are larger. I have yet to figure out what is causing this to happen.
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 9:04 AM
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 9:11 AM
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 8:41 AM
Monday, October 22, 2007
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 11:01 PM
Friday, October 19, 2007
This week the weather has been all over the place. Earlier this week it was warm and sunny. But today it is windy and rainy. Very windy. In fact it is downright blustery. Bummer.
I have been making progress on a couple projects, but I am not finished with anything yet, so no new pics today. But hopefully I will have some before the weekend is over. I met with the family quilters this morning, and thought I was going to get a lot accomplished. But somehow I managed not to bring everthing I needed for any of the items I brought along to work on. Oh well, I can't be on my A game all the time.
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 6:50 PM
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 7:40 AM
Monday, October 15, 2007
As much as I liked how the red was repeating the shape the brown had in the previous photo, I decided it was time to square things up a bit in order to make things go a little easier. Plus I like the way the green star shape is accented here. So on to the next round.
This was my most challenging addition, as there were so many different ways that I felt worked well. This is one option that I did not choose to go with. I don't know why. I liked how this looked, but instead I went with the layout below.
I like this enough to leave it be and call it done. But, there were still too many left over pieces for me to stop yet. So I decided to go for one more round. The thing is, while there were many pieces left, at this point I was much more limited in the variety of shapes left. And I had already cut into almost all of the extra strips for shapes I ran short on. So I had to do the best I could with what was left. And now I present my final outcome of the half-yard challenge.
I would have liked to do this one a bit differently, but I did not have enough of one of the fabrics to do it how I wanted. Still, I am satisfied with the end result. And while there are still some pieces left over, I am certain that there are not enough to add another round. This was a fun experience and it was a great challenge.
Posted by Pieceful Jane at 11:23 AM