Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Go! Baby Opportunity at Quilting Along the Gorge

Kathy M from Victoria, BC, Canada has a blog called Quilting Along the Gorge.  She is sponsoring (along with AccuQuilt) a Give-Away of a Go! Baby along with 3 dies.  I’m still hoping to win one of these to embellish my donation quilts.

She has great tutorials on how to use the Go! equipment.  Check out her blog at:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesdays and Turtles

Another rainy day forecast here so I made sure to get my walk in early.  I was expecting the overcast sky to get darker and to get caught in the rain, but unfortunately, it started to break up with some blue sky and got hotter so I had to take the full walk.  Just my luck …

But I did see this cute little guy in the road:

I don’t know if he was escaping all of the accumulated water or what – this is one of the usually dry and grassy ditches near me that shows how wet it's been the last couple of days:

So I *rescued* the box turtle and put him on the grass to save him from being run over (although it wasn’t such a busy road, there are teenage drivers near there that have lead feet,  if you know what I mean):

Anyway, he was still where I put him on my way back by 15 minutes later (with his head out), so he must have thought his new spot was ok.

On a quilty note, one of my on-line quilt guild members posted a great link to a YouTube video tutorial put out by the Missouri Quilt Company:

The lesson is for making quick, scrappy 4-patches.  Well, I’m always up for a new technique that promises to be faster than my current methods so I thought I’d try this one out with a kit that I had purchased with a 50% off coupon.  The kit had 10 different tropical-type floral prints so first I selected some solids that would blend or match to get a more scrappy look:

Second, I cut 5” squares and sewed them on two sides per the tutorial, then I pressed them and cut them in half per the instructions: 

Before cutting them into the rectangles for 4-patches, I thought I’d lay them out to see if I was achieving the scrappy look:

Hey!  I kind of like the rectangles as they are.  I have enough fabric to make a top with rectangles and then continue on to make one with 4-patches.  I might just do that!  We’ll see what develops …

Friday, June 24, 2011

Festival of Mid-Summer's Day

June 24th is the Festival of Mid-Summer’s Day.  This isn’t the same as the Solstice (the shortest day of the year) which was June 21st.  Today is a quarter-day, along with March 24th (Lady  Day), September 29th (Michaelmas) and December 25th (Christmas).

The festival is still important to pagans today, including the modern day Druids who celebrate the solstice at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. For many, the light of the sun on Midsummer's Day, is sacred.
Mistletoe was, and is, highly revered by the Druids. It is regarded as particularly potent when it grows on oak. Although it is more commonly associated with Yule and the Winter Solstice, it was often gathered ceremonially at Midsummer when it is regarded as being at the height of its powers.
According to

Midsummer Is A Magical Time

·         Young ladies wash their faces in the mid-summer’s day morning dew to make themselves beautiful; older people do the same to make themselves look younger.
·         If you walk barefoot in the dew on Midsummer Day's morning, it will stop the skin from getting chapped.
·         If you can bring yourself to skip naked through the dew in the night, then it, supposedly, will ensure fertility for the coming year.
  • It was an old belief, in England, that one of the best times to see fairies is between twilight and midnight on Midsummer's Day.   Let's be sure to look!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Post Office Mishap

I was going to mail my package of NICU quilts out yesterday, but after hearing the news I waited until today.  Unfortunately, some poor woman starting to park right in front of the big glass windows and doors of my local post office apparently blacked out with her foot on the gas pedal, and smashed the place up.

She drove thru the front doors and thru the dividing wall between the front lobby and the back work area - the car didn't stop until it hit the back wall.  Fortunately, all 17 of the postal workers avoided injury and the woman was taken to the hospital with only minor injuries (no customers were injured).

NOT a drive-thru P.O.
I've always had the best of luck with this post office - the people are friendly, the service is fast and my packages always arrive at their destinations quickly.  I'm so glad they are all ok.  When I went today, everything was boarded up nicely, and it was business-as-usual inside.  And you can ignore that part on the sign above that says to "Use the APC" - she took that poor machine flat out!

It rained today for all of 15 minutes.  It blanketed the area we're in, but at least the plants got to get their toes wet.  We're hoping for more rain tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I worked on another NICU quilt (I'm on a roll, I can't stop now).  Here's a sneak preview:

More tomorrow.

Monday, June 20, 2011

NICU Quilts and Sunsets

I’ll be out and about tomorrow running errands so I will pick up a slightly smaller box and get the NICU quilts sent off.  I finished the quilting and binding on the last of the three today.  This one was the easiest since it was just a large panel.  Here are all three that are going to WTIL:
Bazooples Panel
Bazooples Panel with Backing
Rail Fence with Bazooples

Rail Fence with Backing

Baby Bunnies

Baby Bunnies with Backing

And here are a few sunsets that I have been seeing on my evening walks.  Sometimes the reflection in the eastern sky is as pretty as the western sun setting …

Saturday, June 18, 2011

International Picnic Day

Yes, today is International Picnic Day …

Do you remember the famous Hanna-Barbera cartoon character, Yogi Bear, that cleverly worked up many variations of stealing pic-a-nic baskets from campers in Jellystone Park to the consternation of Ranger Smith?  And his almost-as-famous humble sidekick, Boo Boo Bear?  Often Yogi spoke in rhymes and always proclaimed himself to be “smarter than the average bear”!

Over at Little Birdie Quilts, she made an interesting variation of a Picnic Quilt using old denim jeans and a vinyl tablecloth.  The object of the vinyl is to avoid the seemingly continuously wet grass in the Pacific Northwest, but it would also be useful to easily shed sand at the beach.

Where would you go on your picnic?
Jon Sullivan

Meadow, Mountains or maybe the Beach?  How about the backyard?!  Works for me…
Jon Sullivan

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Another NICU Top

Since these are smaller and can be put together so easily, I finished another neo-natal intensive care (NICU) top today.  Now I have three to quilt and send on to Ellen at WTIL. Guess I'll have to get over to a fabric store and get those backings ...what a shame (not!).  So many cute fabrics, so little time ...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Busy Day Today

Well, I guess I could say that it was a busy day yesterday, too, but that was just housework!  Today I was busy quilting and having my kind of fun...

I finished putting on the last two side borders on the Posies top and I have to say that I love the way this top turned out.  I see so many beautiful scrap quilts on-line but I definitely have trouble putting together scraps to make a pretty top.  I think succesful scrappers often use hundreds of small pieces so everything melds together and looks great (like Bonnie Hunter) - but I'm never likely to have the patience for that!

Or they have lots of scraps from one fabric designer (think Ami Butler or Kaffe Fassett), and all of the scraps look coherent.  My stash is just too eclectic.  I have brights and greyed-tones and reproductions (both 30s and civil war) and kiddie-novelties and calicos - all of those together just make for a muddy looking top.  I don't have so much of any one of those categories to make big scrap tops ... but I'll keep an eye out for patterns like this Posies one and keep moving those scraps on out!

Finished top and detail (all of the posies have prints
 - they might look solid in the pictures,
 but they have interesting fabrics):

Ellen, at Wrap-Them-in-Love (a non-profit organization), has an opportunity to send quilts to a neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU), and that type of quilt is great fun to make.  They are slightly smaller, so as to cover the isolettes that premature babies are first placed in, and work up quickly.  The quilts over the isolettes keep the lights and noises at a minimum for these more delicate babies.  I have worked with a LQS to make these before and have donated some locally.

I had some fabrics leftover from a previous quilt I had made for a friend's premie grandchild, so I worked up this fast rail-fence top today.  I also have a panel with these cute little zoo babies (called Bazooples by the designer) so that will be two NICU quilts.  I need to get some backing material for this one, since I don't have enough larger scraps to piece one, but I'll do that soon and get these on their way.
Needs ironing!

So I have been busy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Day in the USA

On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress pass the Flag Resolution that stated “…that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation…”.  The Resolution did not designate any particular arrangement for the stars and their number has now grown from thirteen to fifty representing the 50 current States within the USA.

Flag Day has its roots going way back to 1885 when the idea was developed  by schoolteacher BJ Cigrand.  Other teachers, children and school boards soon joined in, celebrating the flag with parades, pageants and local patriotic programs.  After 30 years of unofficial celebrations, and on the Anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777, President Wilson officially established Flag Day in 1916.  An Act of Congress was subsequently signed by President Truman in 1949 that designated National Flag Day would always be on June 14th..

The following is my favorite *Flag* song … feel free to sing along today!

You're a Grand Old Flag

by George M. Cohan
You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Posies in the Garden Top Grows

I'm still working on the Posies ... I decided to make a few more and make it longer.  And yes, I know the bottom three colors aren't laid out correctly and fortunately, they aren't sewn together yet!  I'll fix that ...

The design is by Caroline Reardon and appeared in an old issue of Quiltmaker Magazine - she called hers Rows of Posies.  As you can see, hers had a medium blue background, but I'm using up stash and the black and white is one of the few larger size pieces that I had for the background.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Scrappy Saturday

On my walk the other day, I saw that a development had put mixed flowers at their entrance that were gorgeous. 

So when I came across a quilt pattern in an old magazine that had mixed scrap posies I decided to make it.  [I'll post the details and the designer's name in the next post - I don't have the magazine here with me now]

This is what I'm working on today.  They go together quickly even with the partial-seam sewing, so I might even finish up this top this weekend!
Note that each posie has a yellow center ... that's so I can say I'm using yellow for this month's color in the 2011 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Yes, there's method to my madness - tee hee hee.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Challenge Blocks

A member of one of my on-line groups issued a Challenge to make 12-inch blocks that she would assemble for sampler quilts to be donated to a children's charity.  She sent us a piece of printed fabric that was to be used in each block.  Any block design was acceptable as long as the Challenge fabric was used in it in some way.  These are the blocks that I came up with.  The Challenge fabric is the print shown in the detail picture.

I did the Southwest Bunny first and then made the other blocks to go along with him.  The challenge fabric makes up the sunburst in the bunny block.  The pinwheels are the leftover triangles from the flying geese in the Dutchman's Puzzle block.  I just saw a picture that another member made for the Challenge that had colorful gila monsters in the blocks.  I wonder if these will go with them?!

My thanks go out to Sindy from FatCat Patterns for the bunny design.  Check out the other templates she offers at:

And thanks also to Marcia at the Quilter's Cache for the patterns for the other blocks.  Her website is at
What a treasure to find these free block patterns that I use for donation quilts.

Friday, June 3, 2011

National Donut Day

Yes, I waited until pretty late to post this just so you wouldn’t be tempted to run out and get some of these tasty treats!

But it is true that the first Friday in June has been designated as National Donut Day and you can give your thanks to the Salvation Army for that.  The day was set aside beginning in 1938 to honor the women who handed out the delicious orbs to soldiers in World War I.

The original recipe that includes lard and evaporated milk can be found at this link.  Many lighter recipes can be found on the internet, but the easiest way to get your fill is to stop by your local Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme or most bakeries (and yes, I know where the closest of each is to my house…).  If you can’t resist – go ahead and have one tomorrow – just remember the generous volunteers in WWI and they won’t have any calories at all!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Not Really Quilting

Yesterday and today I was busy reorganizing my previous quilt pictures.  I am NOT a scrapbooker and really have no creative talents in that direction, but I knew I had to do something with the many quilt pictures and memorabilia that I have collected for my Friends and Family quilts and my donation quilts.

I found several inexpensive 3-ring binders (so they can be expanded) that were made for 12 inch scrapbook papers and this is the mess I am making:

I hope to put all of these quilt pictures, fabric swatches, notes and baby pictures in order and move on to making more quilts!

And the good news on the gardening front is that I put down some new mulch this morning and now it is raining!  We really needed the rain and it looks like this will be enough to actually soak into the ground.  Good news indeed.