Made up my mind...

January 26, 2012

I've been 






for days on what I wanted to do with my huge stack of Simplicity fat quarters by 3 Sisters...

I agonized because I {LOVE} this fabric and it's out of print. 

I decided on block #147 of 100 Quilt Blocks Vol. 2.

In the center will be a Dresden plate. 

I'm excited!!

Vintage sheets duvet cover

January 25, 2012

On our trip last weekend, I found a full/queen size down comforter for $9. It was in pristine condition. Its cold here in Iowa, and to help with the heating bills I the thermostat is turned down to 60℉ at night. A comfy down comforter is welcome on our bed to keep us toasty warm. 

I dug through my vintage sheets, chose 3 pink ones that were 100% cotton (I like the crisp feel to them)  and made a duvet cover for it. I didn't have enough Velcro to use for the closure, so I chose to make ties out of the extra fabric. I like the look better. 

Not bad for just winging it. =) 

Just the two of us

January 23, 2012

Last week, I texted my husband and requested a weekend away...

just the 2 of us. 

He must have been wanting the same thing because with in an hour, he had the plans made and the hotel room booked. Sweet man of mine....

It was a great, fantastic, and relaxing weekend!! 

We bumped into Michelle and Louie at one of the thrift stores, which was a fun surprise and we ended up spending the rest of the day with them and enjoying their company. We hopped into their car and they escorted us all over the Quad Cities. They know the area well, so we could simply sit back and relax. It was perfect. 

These are just a few of treasures we found and brought home...

Russ found this salt shaker and thought it would be cute in our kitchen. I agree. I wish we could have found it's matching mate. 

I scored a pink Gooseberry pattern Pyrex casserole dish. My first, but I hope not my last. 

Another cute Pyrex bowl in the Butterprint pattern. The color is perfect. 

This was Michelle's find and she lead me to it. According to her research, it is a Metlox cookie jar sans the lid. I think she's cute. 

A cake carrier. 

Pink depression glasses and sugar bowl. 

Pitcher, creamer and sugar bowl. 

I love old jars! This one is large. I will use it to store pasta or other foods. 

Another find by my husband. He seems to be looking for salt and pepper shakers...

Sometimes you just need to get away and recharge. I was really needing some time away. I am grateful to have a husband who loves me so very much and provided a wonderful weekend away. 

I am blessed...

Have a great week, everyone!!

One down, one to go...

January 20, 2012

I am feeling the pressure to get two quilts done for my son's supporting teachers. One for his supervising teacher (We are part of a homeschool association. Her job is to that make sure we are one track with his education. She has been with us for his whole schooling career) and one for his piano teacher.

Last fall, I began working on one of them. I figured I had lots of time to get them both done before May, when he graduates. 

Change of plans...

He is going to do a senior recital (piano) as part of his honors program in March. I want to honor the two ladies that helped me educate my son and I could do that more easily at his recital. That means I need to get them done NOW!

One down! One to go!

Dresden Plate mini tute

January 19, 2012

Because I don't think a girl can have too many Dresden plate rulers, I bought a new one a few months ago, but with the holidays, didn't get the chance to play with it. 

My kitchen table needed a new table topper to go with my kitchen's new look. That's where my new ruler comes in. =) Then I thought, "Why not do a mini tutorial while I am at it?"Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? 

Here is how the ruler works. It's really very simple. =) 

This ruler makes 12 fan blades per plate. I want 4 plates for my table topper when I'm finished, so I chose 12 different fabrics and will cut 4 blades from each of the 12 fabrics. As you can see, you can make your fabric strips anywhere from 1" to 8 1/2" with this ruler. I chose to  make mine 8" and cut my fabric in 8 " strips. I usually cut up to 4 layers of fabric when cutting the blades. 

 Line up your ruler on your fabric and cut on both sides of the ruler. The piece on the left is a scrap piece. This is the only time you need to cut your fabric on two sides of the ruler. After the first cuts, you simply rotate the ruler and cut again. Over and over until you have as many pieces as you need. There is very little fabric waste, which is so nice. 

After your fabric is all cut into your fan blades, take your fabric and fold the wider part of the blade in half, right sides together, using 1/4" seam, 

 chain piece your blades. I have found using a small stitch length keeps them from coming apart at the ends after you cut them apart from the chain. On my sewing machine, I use the 1.5 setting. My normal piecing setting is 2.5, if that helps. 

After they are all sewn, cut the threads that are holding them together. On each of the fans, cut the corner on the fold, being very careful not to cut the thread. 

I put my thumb up in the inside of the fan  and use my index finger to finger press the seam open

and then I flip the blade right side out. It's kind of hard to explain, but once you have the blade in your hand, you will understand. If not, please ask for clarification. 

I didn't take a picture of this next part, but what you will need is something to stick up inside the point to get it is all nice and pointy. A chop stick is what I like to use. That seam is going to go in the center (I just eye ball it) on the back side of the fan blade. Give your fan blade a good press.  

It looks like a tie, doesn't it? 

 Once they are all complete, it's time to make the plates. I like to lay out my fabric in a circle for this part. 

Taking two blades and putting them right sides together, making sure they are lined up nicely at the top. The bottom part of the blades will be covered with a circle so that part of the blade doesn't have to be perfect. 

It's important to back stitch at the top to lock the top of the blades together. I also chain piece at this point, always back stitching at the top of each blade. 

Cut them apart, open and lay them right sides together 

and sew until they are all sewn together. Time to press all the seams open. I am pretty free with the starch during this part. 

See how easy that was? 

Now its time to cover the center of your Dresden plate. There are many ways to make circles. This is just how I like to do it. There is no right or wrong way. =) 

I use cereal boxes for templates. I cut out a circle and cover it with foil. The foil gets hot and helps with the pressing, but it can also burn your fingers, so be careful. 

I cut the fabric larger than the template. As you can see, it's not exact at all. 

Its kind of hard to see, but I put tiny snips all around the circle to help get it to fold around the template. This is the time when starch is your friend. I starch these babies like crazy! 

I nudge the fabric with the iron all around the circle. If I don't like how it looks, I starch and press it all over again. 

The finished circle. 

I use washable fabric glue to hold the circle in place on the Dresden plate until it gets sewn on the block. 

I press it with the iron to dry the glue. And now you are done!

Another idea is to make a small Dresden plate to use as the center. 

My new table topper! 

Tutorials are not easy to write, so my hat is off to all the bloggers out there that do it well and have taught me so much!


January 16, 2012

Still here...

January 10, 2012

I hope everyone is having a good 2012 so far. =) 

Though the pace is much slower, we are still plugging away at the kitchen. It will be done.....eventually. 

Going into a withdrawal phase (pulling into myself) isn't unusual and that's why I have been so quiet lately. I have had some stuff (depression, sadness) to deal with and so I retreated into my mind and avoid people, that means the computer, too. In the last two days I have posted a comment here or there on blogs, so I am beginning to come back out of my self imposed cocoon. 

During my quiet, reflective time, I have been busy in my sewing room. It's a great place to get lost and still end up feeling like something has been accomplished. Because I didn't want to talk, I didn't take any pictures of the progress, so all I have to show is the end result. 

It's totally scrappy. I decided on  14" blocks and I made fabric using the smallest pieces to cutting larger prices of fabric, sewing them together to make them. It's hard to see, but I then quilted each block differently. In some blocks I did an all over motif, in others, I quilted each square with in the block. All straight lines with my walking foot. All no rulers or measuring, just going for it. 

I really like how it turned out. 

It's going to special friend. I hope to deliver it today. =)

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