Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pressing Table

Several years ago I started seeing "pressing tables". They were available for use during classes in local quilt shops... and several shop owners put their husbands to work making them to sell. They were large boards covered in insulbrite and assorted printed ducking that could be fitted to your ironing board.

My husband likes to tinker and make things occasionally, so I looked online and found directions and gave them to him for a rainy day project. I guess it never rained. Occasionally I would look at the ones for sale in the quilt shop, but I never saw one in a color that enticed me enough to purchase.

Early in 2011, while surfing the web, I found another set of directions that sat on legs sold by Ikea and would be much more stable than my wobbly ironing board. My husband did try to get the legs, but the problem was we have no Ikea store locally and for some reason Ikea wouldn't ship them! So I figured that was the end of it.

My husband had other ideas!

First...his Christmas wish list included a coping saw and a 3x5 sheet of OSB. I, of course, had no idea what either was! Thank goodness for the guy at Lowes on Christmas Eve... he was VERY helpful. I made my purchases and he loaded them into the van. I gift wrapped the saw and put it under the tree with a card that said the OSB was in the van for him to unload! He was very happy with his gift, but elusive when I asked him what he was going to make.

Second...He conspired with his brother who lives in the Baltimore area, near an Ikea store! We make the 12 hour drive every year at Christmas to visit family and exchange gifts. When I opened the box from my brother-in-law I had NO IDEA what I was looking at! It had been quite some time since downloading those directions... and since I'd given up on the idea of having a pressing table... well, I was totally clueless! They left me guessing for a while before finally telling me it was the legs to a pressing table! Then I knew what the OSB and the coping saw was for.

Over the last couple weeks he has spent some time down in my studio-in-progress carefully sawing rounded corners on the OSB and setting up and attaching the legs.

Recently I went to Hobby Lobby armed with my 40% coupon looking for the insulbrite and a ducking fabric I could live with. I got lucky! Granted, it's not the beefcake construction workers or cowboys that my online friends recommended, but I don't think my husband would have appreciated them. I did find this awesome fabric! I absolutely love it and I bought extra with the idea of making myself some bags to carry supplies to classes I have signed up for in the coming year.

After asking for advise from my online pals I decided to save the expense of the insulbrite... I can make LOTS of pot holders with what I have. So I covered the table with aluminum foil to protect the board from moisture, one layer of warm and natural and then my ducking.

This gets stretched nice and tight and stapled to the underside of the table.

and VOILA! I have a beautiful new pressing board!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

FCE Camp

I belong to a group called FCE (Family Community Educatition)run by an extension officer from the University of Tennessee. One of the many activities we do throughout the year is to hold an annual "camp" to teach classes and share our skills with each other and the community.

This year, I will be teaching a quilt block sewing class and have been busy making samples. I decided to do this when I heard that the theme this year was something about crossroads... (I forget what the exact words are) I remembered there was a quilt block named crossroads so I thought it would make a perfect fit! Everyone from beginner to experienced sewists could come out of class with a completed block!

After making the sample block I thought it was nice, but what would anyone do with just one block? So I decided to make a few more blocks and offer a second class with kits and instructions to make additional blocks that could be made into a tablerunner or even a set of placemats. I decided on the Basket, Shoofly and Bowtie blocks.

And here are the four blocks sewn together into a table runner. I'm still debating adding a cream color border all the way around before quilting...or even changing the cream to something else.

I decided to add the cream border and love the way it looks now!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Addicted to Quilting

Found this on the internet and wanted to share:

She learned to quilt on MONDAY.
Her stitches all were fine.
She forgot to make us dinner
So we all went out to dine.

She quilted miniatures on TUESDAY;
she says they are a must.
They really were quite lovely
But SHE forgot to dust.

On WEDNESDAY, it was a sampler.
She says stippling's fun.
What highlights! What shadows!
But the laundry wasn't done.

Nine Patches were on THURSDAY -
Green, yellow, blue and red.
I guess she really was engrossed;
She never made the bed.

It was wall hangings on FRIDAY,
In colors she adores.
It never bothered her at all
That crumbs were on the floor.

I found a maid on SATURDAY.
My week is now complete.
My wife can quilt the hours away;
The house will still be neat.

Well, now its only SUNDAY.
I think I'm about to wilt.
I cursed, I raved, I ranted
Cuz the maid has learned to QUILT!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Just For Today

JUST FOR TODAY I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

JUST FOR TODAY I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me.
If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

JUST FOR TODAY I will accept what is. i will face reality. I will correct those things that I can and accept those I cannot.

JUST FOR TODAY I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.

JUST FOR TODAY I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind an courteous to those who cross my path and I will not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance, speak softly and not interrupt when someone else is talking. I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.

JUST FOR TODAY I will do something positive to improve my health. If I am a smoker, I will quit. If I am overweight, I will eat more healthfully and also get off the couch and take a brisk walk.

JUST FOR TODAY I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions.

(Taken from Dear Abby)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Year Starts With a BANG!

Last Thursday was a beautiful clear-blue sky, sunny, warm day.
I was having a good day....getting many little errands accomplished.
I was just minutes from home.
I slowed down to make my turn off the main drag.
I'm almost around and through the turn when....
I hear squealing brakes!
I see a flash of yellow in the rear view mirror.
A guy in a yellow F150 pick-up was drinking coffee on the way to work when the top slipped off his cup and he spilled it in his lap! He, of course, was distracted by that for "just a second" and when he looked up my bumper was way too close! Thankfully he was able to slow down some and didn't hit me at 50mph, so no one was hurt. But he did mess up my bumper and break my tail well as his headlight.

No major damage, just one more thing to deal with!

We both pulled off the road into the corner market parking lot and he just sat there. I kept waiting for him to come over to me and apologize... it was clearly his fault... but he didn't. So I got out and cautiously went over toward him. He was talking on one of those earphone things. When he did get out he asked me if I was ok and then stated that he was late for work and could we just exchange information. He handed me an envelope with what he said was his insurance number written on it and was pulling his lisence out of his wallet. I looked and the envelope was marked Past Due. He had his lisence but not his insurance card. I took one look at the envelope and told him no... my insurance adjuster has told me to always call the police and get a report. He rolled his eyes, sighed and got back in the truck.

I called the local police and about 30 minutes later THP came to take the report. He was cited for following too close and not having proof of insurance. With the way things have turned out so far, I'm really glad I called. I picked up the report from THP earlier this week and took it to my insurance agent. They have been unsuccessful in their attempts over the last few days to contact this guy to get his insurance information (maybe I should have kept the envelope). I have had to file a claim with my insurance for an uninsured driver and it is going to cost me the $200 deductible. My claims adjuster will be here in the morning.

If I am really lucky, the guy will come through with insurance and all will be covered. If not, I'm out the $200 deductible unless I want to try and sue him in small claims court.

The new year is staring off with a real bang!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cheddar Bow Tie Challenge Update

Bonnie has asked us to Link Up and show updates on our Bow Ties. For new visitors to my blog that don't know what I'm talking about... I'll start with links to earlier posts I have written about this...

Back in July 2011 Bonnie Hunter issued a Cheddar Challenge to all quilters. The initial challenge for me was finding Cheddar and I posted about it here:

Because of work, projects in progress, family distractions, etc. I didn't have time to begin making blocks until an opportunity presented itself in November resulting in these two posts:

Since returning from California I have enjoyed carrying my kit and working on blocks while waiting for appointments, between frames at bowling, at guild work-day meetings and have even done a few while watching TV in the evening. I have had to cut more fabric to refill the kit and have, thus far, completed 63 blocks. My progress is slow because I'm doing them by hand... and like Bonnie's Hexies, this may take me years to complete... but I'm having fun! ...And that is what quilting is all about!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Last year I discovered Bonnie Hunter's blog and mystery quilts. Her quilts are made from recycled materials... clothing, scraps and leftovers from projects and fabrics donated to her by her adoring fans! I don't know exactly where I read it, but it was suggested that recycled fabrics could be gotten by purchasing shirts from Goodwill. Each size L shirt contains approximately one yard of fabric and with a cost of $.99-$2.50 per shirt, quilting could be very affordable and economical! I went to our local Goodwill in search of shirts to use for the neutrals needed to make Roll Roll Cotton Boll (here is the finished quilt I sent my niece for a wedding gift) Unfortunately, our local store carried mostly flannel or denim. I called my SIL in Baltimore who searched her local Goodwill and found 20 shirts for me! Enough to cut up for RRCB and still have leftovers for the next project. (see them on top of the pink boxes!)

Over the past year I have found 15 suitable to be use as neutrals and also purchased some denim and flannels for other projects.

But, on a recent trip we drove through Kentucky and I convinced my husband to stop at the Goodwill store we passed so I could look for a few shirts. I was absolutely amazed at what I found! 75 shirts in a variety of colors and neutrals! I am especially fond of the orange/reds!

Here they are color sorted and laid out on the floor and then placed on my shelves.
I will be spending many evenings deconstructing and deciding on how to cut them and make them into nice warm quilts!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Michael T's Quilt

Way back in February 2011, while I was in the middle of making RRCB for Kim's wedding gift, I "met" my cousin/Godson on facebook. During our conversations he mentioned that he would love to have a quilt made by me and told me his color preference. I found and downloaded a pattern off the web and the next time I was in the LQS I found these fabrics and set them aside thinking if the stars aligned just so I might be able to complete it for his birthday in June.

Well, the stars were not in my favor... too much going on with immediate famiy. I didn't even finish Kim's quilt until months after the wedding. I did pull out the fabrics to cut and sew whenever I had a spare minute. Here is a pictorial diary of how I put his quilt together.

sewing the light and dark strips into blocks

layer, mark, pin, sew and cut the blocks

press open blocks and stitch them together.

I finished the quilting and bind last week and added the label during Pat's UFO weekend challenge.

Now I'm off to the Post Office.

Monday, January 2, 2012

UFO Weekend ... Part Two

Today, once again, I was distracted by my grandson and didn't get a lot of sewing done. He was fascinated by the snow flurries that fell today and kept wanting to go out and play and leave footprints everywhere! I showed him how to scoop up some snow and squeeze it into a snowball to play catch with, but it was too cold for his bare hands and I didn't have any mittens or gloves for him.... Note to self... make kid-size mittens!

I finished the binding on Michael T's quilt last week and today I made the label and stitched it on the back. I'll go to the Post Office tomorrow and send it on it's way to California.

I completed the Shoofly block for my class sample and pieced the three blocks into a tablerunner. I can't decide on a pattern for a fourth block so I may just add a strip of muslin to each end to surround the blocks and call it done.

I can now declare this weekend a success with three completed UFOs and lots play time with the grandson.

UFO Weekend

Pat Sloan's UFO Challenge began at 8am EST Saturday morning and continues through Monday night...or is it Tuesday morning? You can read details about it here:

Participants make a list of projects they believe can be finished and work as fast and furiously as possible to get them done before the long weekend is over.

I had a delayed start because of a visit from my grandson, and I just had to make a crabcake dinner with fresh crabmeat bought on our trip to see family in Maryland.

I did manage to load Oklahoma Backroads on the quilter and get started quilting. I had to quit to watch the ball drop and toast in the new year and get a few hours sleep. I finally finished the quilting by 2pm Sunday.

I have several other tops that have been waiting patiently to be quilted. I did plan to work on them, but I remembered that sample blocks needed to be made for a class I'm teaching in May. I should have just shopped my stash, but the LQS 50% off sale called to me and a succumed. I found a lovely purple Civil War fabric (my favorite!) and a contrasting rust and after a late lunch and a couple hours work I had two sample blocks made and some kits cut. I still have the Shoofly block and one other as yet undecided block to make tomorrow.

I spent the evening adding the binding and handstitching it down to complete this UFO! It will make a nice present for Mom on little Christmas (the Epiphany).

Now off to catch a few hours sleep before beginning work on the remaing two sample blocks and hopefully complete another quilt before this long weekend is over.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve

Pat Sloan is hosting a weekend long UFO sew along to ring in the new year...the idea is to finish up as many UFOs as possible this weekend. So I pulled out several projects and loaded up my quilter and planned to quilt all weekend hoping to finish up three wall hangings and maybe a quilt too.

But I was sidetracked for most of the day by a visit from my grandson. Instead of quilting all day we walked the dog, read books, watched Scooby-Doo movies and I pushed and pulled him along on his new bike so he could have a ride!

After his Mom picked him up I made a dinner of broccoli salad and home-made Maryland crabcakes! YUM!

After dinner I headed downstairs to quilt. By 9pm, I did get the center and one side of the Oklahoma Backroads wall hanging done but then my grandson comes walking in shouting... "Nana, I'm here!" Mom wanted to meet some friends for dinner so we were back on duty again. So instead of quilting and watching Dick Clark, I supervised a nice warm bubble bath, put on his favorite pair of pajamas and watched more Scooby-Doo!

Mom was home before midnight to watch the ball drop and toast in the new year, but it as too late for this little one.

And now it's too late for Nana too! I didn't finish any UFOs today, but there is always tomorrow!


The decorations were finally put on the tree December 23rd. Mom didn't want to stay up late so instead of the usual Midnight Mass, we decided to go to the 9am Mass with her on Christmas morning. That worked out really well as it gave me extra time to get all that "last minute" wrapping done.

Mom went home after mass to start cooking for dinner and the three of us went home to open presents. My "big" present this year was a Kindle Fire. I love it for reading books.... I started my fourth book this afternoon. Having trouble getting online and checking emails with it though. Wish they would give you an instruction booklet. I'll have to go online with the desktop and download one when I get a chance.

Matthew was thrilled with his new digital camera and is having fun taking pictures of everything!

Hubby's Garmin came in handy on the trip to grandma's house when a traffic accident had the beltway at a standstill six exits before our regular turn off. We were able to exit just before getting trapped in traffic and Garmin helped us find our way through Baltimore rather than around it.

D and her boyfriend brought our grandson over after lunch and opened their presents. It was a workout for all the adults trying to teach him to pedal his new bike... he preferred sitting on it and letting us push him around! He is really enjoying his Leggo blocks and cars of all shapes, colors and sizes.

Dinner at Moms was set for 6pm. K and her boyfriend arrived early and the next round of presents were opened.

We all worked together and enoyed a wonderful dinner of ham, roast beef and yorkshire pudding, an assorment of vegetables and three different pie, key lime pie and eclair cups! It was great having the entire family together!