Quilters Public Service Announcement

I’ve been meaning to do this little P.S.A. for quilters for awhile now.

It is about Free Motion Quilting woes.

(I am in no way associated with the companies I am recommending, I just like these and think you might too!

Although if these companies WANT to send me an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii, I’ll take it. )

I was really starting to have a hard time free motion quilting a few months ago.  Frustration city!

I’ve quilted dozens of quilts, was I loosing my mind?

Then I took a look at my quilting gloves and noticed that the rubber had completely worn off!

Jeeesh! No wonder.  I didn’t have any gripping traction.

So friends,  if you are having a hard time free motion quilting, make sure you have a decent pair of quilting gloves, it really does make all the difference!

 There are plenty of types out there, but I like the ones with an all rubber palm. These are the kind  I like best:

While I was buying my new gloves I decided to try one of these:

STOP THE PRESSES!  This thing is amazing and it makes me so dang sad I didn’t buy this 20 quilts ago.

It’s a sheet of something (Teflon maybe?) that you cling to your machine bed and the quilt just glides like butter when you are free motion quilting!

Go get one.  Today!

I’ve been working on a new wool applique pattern using Barbara Brackman’s new line 1862 Battle Hymn.   It’s a really nice pallet.

They didn’t have yardage out yet when I was at the quilt shop, so I just did what they would have done in 1862 and made do with something else.

I was actually glad that I had to make do because it gave me the chance to break out this hand dyed cotton I have been hording for a few years.

It has the most wonderful texture and color, I just like touching it and haven’t wanted to cut into it. Silly!!

Back to work, Later Gators!

Melissa

an unexpected day at home

Well since my car has put me out of commision to go to work here is what I am going to do today:

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I whipped this little baby up in EQ5 to make to hang on the front door. I will keep you posted =)

Also I want to start working on the Callander Quilt Challenge. We’ll talk soon, heading up to the sewing room!

Update!!:

Well here is what I have gotten done so far. I dug out all the pink civil war fabric I had. I cut it out and sewed some blocks.

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FABULOUS NOTIONABLES #8

Do you have one of these?  A turntable cutting board?? It is soooo nice to use when squaring up blocks! No trying to move your block around and getting wavy cuts! No trying to move around your table. I love mine!! 

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Don’t forget you can use the Coupon code blogged about here http://cornbreadandbeansquilting.wordpress.com/category/fabulous-notionables/  until March if you want one of these bad boys from Quilt N Go !!

Happy Give Thanks day ! (and a coupon)

thnksgv1

We’ll be cruising out tonight after The BG gets out of work. We are heading to my Mom’s for the big Turkey Dinner! Yummmmmm. My stomach is all happy and excited.

 

 This year I Thank God for:

*My Mom and Dad, and their good health.

*My little family , and our good health.

*A home to live in with heat, and water, lights, and food.

*Our two ole cars that keep on ticking.

*Cocktails.  (just kidding, but cocktails are good!)

 

I started working on the candy cane quilt yesterday. I figured out the border and drew out, then basted two candy canes to go in the middle.  I will post it when I get the top done.

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FABULOUS NOTIONABLES #7

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I LOVE this ruler!  Its the Easy Angle. It is yet another lovely tool to help make easy shmeasy half square triangle units.

You simple cut the two fabric’s you are using in strips. You will want to cut the strips 1/2 inch larger than the finished square you want.  So for instance I wanted 3 inch squares so I cut my strips at 3 1/2. 

 You layer the two strips Right Sides Together.

Line the ruler up along the correct line (3 1/2 inch line for me) and cut.

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Then you just flip the ruler over and line the ruler up at the correct line again. The black triangle at the bottom helps you with placement.

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Now you have perfect 1/2 square triangle ready to sew with a nice flat edge to line up under your presser foot and only one “rabbit ear” to cut off!!

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NOW for the COUPON!! YIPPPEEEE. Don’t you just love a good deal?

My boss Ruth gave me a coupon to hand to anyone who reads this blog and wants to shop at her website.

http://www.quiltngo.com/

It’s 30% off your total order. Good for the first 50 people until 3/1/08. Just enter Coupon Code ML200811.

blog-discount

 

Wishing you the Happiest of Happy Thanksgivings!

melissa

A New Day

I don’t know about you, but I am filled with love for our country today. That we should have the privilege of voting , that we should be so blessed to change leadership peacefully, that we are FREE.

I was so overwhelmed last night watching the election coverage. I couldn’t hold it in.  The tears started flowing down my cheeks at about 11pm and didn’t stop till after the President elects’ powerful and amazing acceptance speech. I cried for Mr. McCain who fought a good fight and was so humble and poised. I cried for all of the people who worked so hard for the Republican campaign and how disappointed they must feel.  I cried for African American and minority citizens of this great country who must be feeling triple of anything that I was feeling. I can never pretend to know what this election means to them.

Okay I AM a Republican and after MUCH MUCH MUCH painstaking deliberation voted as such, but who can not be moved to tears and so very proud of  Mr. Obama and his family?  When they annouced last night, ” Ladies and Gentleman, the new first family of the United States,” and this was the image we saw:

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There are just no words. I am in awe. History in the making and to be alive to see it!!!! May God bless this man, our new President, and his family. May God guide him and be with him. Amen.

On the quilt-y front. I worked on machine quilting a new Christmas table runner. I used a pattern out of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine and Peace on Earth jelly roll from Moda.:

 

 yth-0031

 

FABULOUS NOTIONABLES #6

For this project I used these little  2 1/2″ Stripers rulers, perfect for jelly roll strips.  You can make many different blocks with the three templates included. Love em! I will put them up on the Quilt N Go website when I go into work tomorrow if you want em and can’t find em.

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I also tried my hand at “echoing” around the letters in my Let It Snow quilt. Yikes it’s harder than it looks!!

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HAHAHAHA it kind of looks like I tried to quilt left handed with a blind fold on!!!! Go ahead laugh…get it all out. =)~ Guess I better stick to meandering for now. hehehe

 

Have a great day people! Later Gators, Melissa

 

Cool Tool

OH NO!! I totally spaced my appointment with the machine quilter today!!! She called at 2:30pm and asked me where I was?? Opps! So she graciously said that I could come tomorrow and drop off my store sample I need quilted, and another one from my HUGE PILE of tops. If  I ever hit the lottery I am going to hire my very own personal machine quilter so I never have a wait time =)   I mean I can quilt the little ones, but I have no desire to cripple myself quilting my bigs ones.

I worked on putting my 30′s repro blocks together for the shop today. I really enjoyed working with 30′s prints this past year.  Now it’s time to choose what I want to do for my employee block a month for 2009. WOW 2009 yikes.  I think I need to get back to my roots (brown, brown, and more brown). Although bright happy fabrics are fun sometimes I really am a prim girl at heart.  So I probably will do blocks using Whimsicals fabric.

 

So ANYWAY I decided to put the blocks on point and so I thought I would share:

FABULOUS NOTIONABLES #5:

The Setting Triangle

This little guy is soooo cool. You just measure the block size (mine were mostly…cough cough…12 1/2 inch blocks) So you look at the 12 1/2 inch line follow it to the middle of the ruler where it tells you what strip size you need.  Then you line your ruler up on the 12 1/2 inch line and cut! I love anything that takes the math out of quilting =)

A very primitive, frugal solution for my messy cupboard.

My old kitchen

My old kitchen

Okay I fibbed to myself a little when I said I don’t miss owning our old house. Well I don’t miss OWNING it, but I do miss living in it. I desperately miss my enormous kitchen.  We had lazy susans, pantries, and cupboard galore, with all the little slidy outie doors and modern conveniences. We had a dining room so my table and all my primitive furniture could have it’s very own spot. There was just SO much more room. I have been fretting over where I will put my Christmas trees this season. I used to put up 3 full sized trees, and many little ones.  I guess there won’t be anywhere to sit this holiday season cause chairs are gonna have to go before my trees are =)

My old dining room

My old dining room

In the spirit of rolling with the punches, one of my old cupboards that used to be in the family room at our old place, had to take on a new roll and become kitchen storage. There are like 3 cupboards in our town house kitchen, bummer.  I used to just fold quilts and put them in the bottom of this and decorate the top part seasonally, but now as you can see it’s new purpose is to hold food stuffs, and dishes that just wont fit anywhere else.

I was soooo sick of looking at this stuff. It just looks so messy and yucky. So today I couldn’t stand it any longer and decided to do something about it.  I got out my awesome super-tea-stained muslin and made a curtain for it.

Here is a little Fabulos Notionables #4 for you:

Its a hem helper that Ruth (I told you she was cool!) told me about. The other side has many lines with different measurements. You just fold your fabric to the line you want and press! It makes the perfect fold! I have used this baby many times. 

 

 

Here is how my little primitive curtain turned out! Viola…no more ugly food and dishes to look at ..ahhhhh. And it only cost me a dollar fifty. =)

Now that makes me happy =) And here is another thing that made me happy. While I was getting my little $1.50 curtain rod to hang the curtain, I picked up this new little rug for the front door. It was only 4 bucks, I couldn’t resist!

 

But here’s a thing that made me sad, when I tried to leave the store with my dollar fifty curtain rod and four dollar rug my car was DEAD!!! I tried to get a jump, but the battery just wasn’t feeling well.  We just finished paying off this car last year and since then it has been sick more than it has been well. Urggg. Its only 6 years old! They don’t make em like they used to, do they? So the ole grey car is still sitting in the parking lot, the BG picked me up and brought me home. We’ll have to buy a new battery tonight and go rescue it. So much for being frugal. =)~

Lator gators~! Melissa

Labor Day Ramblings.

Here comes fall!

Here comes fall!

 

Happy Labor Day! Well it’s the last day for all of us to be sleepy heads and sleep in. School starts tomorrow, yikers. So I plan to spend the rest of this evening cleaning up, organizing and preparing for the school year.  The backpacks are filled with new school supplies and the girls “first day of school” outfits are hanging up.  Unfortunately the house is kind of a wreck. What? I have been quilting, I can’t do it all ya know. LOL

 

Here is the progress I have made on the turkey quilt.  Ihope to have it finished tonight or tomorrow depending on how big of a slacker I am getting the house picked up.

Two more big stars to baste.

Half square triangles all sewed up!

Half square triangles all sewed up!

Turkeys have their heads now, and their stars are basted and ready to go.

Turkeys have their heads now, and their stars are basted and ready to go.

Super fast easy quilt project.

Super fast easy quilt project.

 

I like to change out the quilts that are hanging on ladders around my house. I thought I would share the one I just put on one of my ladders, because it is really super duper easy and you don’t need a pattern to make it! I thought it would look primy =) Just cut up squares of fabrics you like and sew together. Layer the backing batting and top, but instead of doing time consuming quilting, just sew buttons in the block corners and woila you are done!
 
I would like to introduce you to my new best friend. The BG bought him for me for my Birthday/Anniversary.
My new best buddie.

My new best buddie.

 

It was our 10th anniversay this August 1st! And maybe some girls want diamonds, but I just wanted a new sewing machine!!!  I really can’t believe how many quilts I sewed on my old cheapie machine. I had no idea what good sewing was LOL. This little sugar has so many cool features that my old machine didn’t. I think my favorite is the automatic thread cutter!! Sweeet.  So anyway, the reason I bring this up is that I can’t think of a good name for him. Mom suggested that I  call him “Baby,” and while that’s catchy, I think it’s a bit too obvious being that he is a baby lock.  So I will let ya know when I come up with an appropriate name. I guess we just need to spend more time together, it will hit me.

And lastly I leave you with this:
FABULOUS NOTIONABLES #3
My boss Ruth showed me this a few weeks ago and I just had to have one. It is a newer ruler  by Quilt In A Day. It’s a half square triangle ruler.  You use it to trim your half square triangles before you press them open, ensuring the perfect square! It’s pretty nifty. I hated squaring up half square triangles, turning them this way and that.  You just place the appropriate line on the ruler directly over the stitched line and trim off the excess. In this picture I am making 2 1/2 inch finished squares.
Quilt In A Day ruler.

Quilt In A Day ruler.

You know I was even thinking today that you could just sew two long pieces of fabric together and use this ruler to make half square triagles out of them. Probably wastes some fabric, but you wouldn’t have to mess with bias edged triangles?? Don’t know, but I might play around with it someday if I have a million to make.
Later gators! Melissa

Turkey surprise.

I woke up today to such a gorgeous sunny day (notice I don’t say morning, I slept way in.) I decided since the BG (brooding genius) was going to be in charge of the kiddlets today, I was going to go on a country drive. Sometimes I just like to get out and see open fields, rolling hills, and trees that aren’t surrounded by cement.

 

First I stopped at Cuppy’s, a little drive through coffee joint, and bought myself a LARGE mocha bianca and a chocolate cheesecake muffin…..girl, this is mommy’s day! I pointed myself in the direction of my favorite quilt shop of all time…The Hen House in Charlote, MI. If you are ever in the area I highly recommend stopping in to say hi to Nancy.  She has the coolest primitive/folky stuff in there. I wish I could take every one of her samples home. Darn I wish you could see it, next time I go I will ask her if I can take some pic’s to post. 

On the way I spotted a NEW QUILT SHOP…wooo hooo!! The day is getting better and better! I think it was called The Red Barn Quilt shop?? Can’t remember but I know where it is LOL. I bought a couple patterns there. Then on to The Hen House where I bought some awesome hand dyed wools, and a fig tree layer cake pack. In my drooling around, I mean browsing, I saw a turkey quilt that I had bought the kit to last year. OMGoodness I forgot all about that thing!!!

All in all it was a much needed day. Alone time, driving on the back roads in the car with the windows down listening to NPR and fabric shopping.  And guess what I did when I got home? Took a nap. Could there be a more perfect day?

When I got some get up and go I went into the sewing room and dug out my Turkey quilt. I had the turkeys already appliqued. They just need their stars and heads. I guess I could leave their heads off and say it is a turkey dinner quilt…heheh. But I think they will be cuter with their heads on.

Here is the pattern

 

Turkeys waiting for heads.

Turkeys waiting for heads.

So now I am all inspired to work on these little fellas. I think I will start tomorrow. The quilt looks really cute all put together. Sorry about the picture quality, I must still be in a sugar coma from the enormous coffee and muffin.

I also cut out this panel and contemplated what I might do for borders around it.  Now I am telling you I never, ever do panels so it is very strange that the only two I have ever done (I mean for personal use cause I have  may have done a couple of shop samples for my boss)I have now blogged about. But I must have really thought they were cute?? Or maybe I drank a mocha bianca that day too?  Regardless they have been sitting there for over a year so I might as well sew em up. The other kitties I think I might make little treat bags out of for my kids’ friends for Halloween.
Cutie tootie kitties.

Cutie tootie kitties.

FABULOUS NOTIONABLES #2
Okay these are not too exciting, but the whole point here is to talk about things that make quilting easier for me. Also if I blog for over a year I am sure to run out of things to mention so I have to space out the SUPER COOL stuff right? LOL
These binding clips are great for when you are hand sewing the binding to the back of your quilt. Or in my case they are great for my Mom when SHE is sewing the binding on the back of my quilt teheheheh.  They save your hands from cramping trying to hold that pesky binding.
Yaaa Hooo for Binding Clips

Yaaa Hooo for Binding Clips

After while crocodile, Melissa
 

My inside day.

How could these two sweet little girls be so naughty??!!

How could these two sweet little girls be so naughty??!!

So  my girls were experiencing their “consequences” today. It was a FULL day of not going outside. I know it may seem extreme, but I really can’t think of a better way to drive home my outside rules. I have them written in marker in really large letters on a piece of colorful construction paper. They have been there since spring. I think they are really simple. Easy to follow.  Like ….wear your shoes/flip flops at all times. Always ask before taking food outside to feed the neighborhood (sharing is good, but groceries are expensive.) Ask before you take any toys/mommy’s things outside. Etc. But they continue to break the simple rules everyday, and here it is August!!

Well the floodgates were broke wide open and a river of bad kid behavior gushed over me this week….A few days ago, they broke one of my good glasses that was snuck out with a bowl of popcorn and the entire pitcher of lemonade while I wasn’t looking. The next day my youngest daughter Minate took EVERY ONE of my spoons outside so all the kids in the neighborhood could dig holes. I only recovered 5 of them….sigh.  They gave out an entire box of peanut butter crackers (it was the enormous Sam’s Club sized box!!) On and on. So I sat down and had the whole outside rules convo AGAIN. Well yesterday I walked out to check on them and on my front porch was a newly purchased cereal bowl filled with milk for a stray cat (very kind but would I ever have seen that bowl again? i think not),  and 16 cheese stick wrappers ( I just bought them that day!!)  I am sure that when I was little I drove my Mom insane doing worse things than these, but I was just SOOO frustrated. How do you get kids to be accountable for their actions? When do they get the little guy on their shoulders that says….”hmmm maybe I shouldn’t do this, Mom asked me not to?”

So as my oldest child broke down and cried today, “everyone is outside WHHHyyyyy can’t I go out,” I gently reminded her that she was feeling the consequences of not respecting the family rules, and that I hope next time she is deciding to take out half a bag of groceries and the entire contents of my kitchen cupboards and drawers that she remembers how she feels RIGHT NOW. Think it will work?  One can only hope.

So since we were going to be in all day, I got down to business. I finished all my bindings HOT DOG!!! And I started to work on these little pincushions that have been in the miles high to do pile.

 

Here are the three I got done. I still need to do the little saltbox house.

 

Three down, one to go!

Three down, one to go!

And I got the face and stem on my little pumpkin fella. I can just picture him on the front porch with our pumpkins, mums, and cornstalks.
Almost done!

Almost done!

FABULOUS NOTIONABLES

I thought it might be fun to share little notions and things that I love that make my quilting life easier.  The first entry, and probably the VERY MOST FAVORITE AND ESSENTIAL  thingy is my scissor zinger.  I could never ever sew without them. My mom and aunts all have them and bought me one when I very first started sewing.  Once in a great while I will forget that I haven’t clipped them on myself and I will grasp wildly at my chest….”oh NOOO my scissors!!!” I promise if you don’t already have one, you need one!

My best pal the scissor zinger. Opps there is a leather sticky thimble stuck on there from doing applique, ignore that.

My best pal the scissor zinger. Opps there is a leather sticky thimble stuck on there from doing applique, ignore that.

Later Gators, Melissa