Monthly Archives: October 2014

Great Getaway Bag - v2.0

I was so pleased with my first Great Getaway Bag (featured over on Sara Lawson’s blog on 10/17!), I made a second one to donate to the East Cobb Quilter’s Guild for their “Small Treasures” auction at the show next June.

Great Getaway Bag

Great Getaway BagMy first version used pre-made handles with very loud, jangly chains.  This one is a little more stealthy since I ma de the handles using some flexible tubing inside the fabric. I also kept the long strap permanently affixed, primarily because I didn’t have swivel clips on hand in the right size.

Despite my simplifications, it holds the same amount of “stuff”, though. Shoes will fit width-wise, a couple days’ worth of clothes on top, and an essential travel cat.

Chevron Baseball Quilt - Finished!

Chevron Baseball Baby QuiltAt last! Pictures of the finished Chevron Baseball baby quilt!

This is a bespoke quilt for a friend’s pending grand-nephew.  The guidance I got was nursery colors (blue and grey) and that the dad likes baseball and his favorite team is the Detroit Tigers.  I added in an orange stripe to complement the team colors and liven it up.

I had pinned this quilt on Pinterest a while ago, but I thought all that white was impractical for a baby quilt. I kept the element of a giant baseball, though, and I think it works out pretty well.

Chevron Baseball Baby Quilt - Baseball DetailThe stitching lines on the baseball are fused down and then quilted for extra security since this will likely be washed quite a bit. It may have been 8 years, but I still remember how messy (and leaky) babies are!

Rather than use the HST method of making the chevrons, I used my EZ Companion Angle to cut the flying geese looking pieces and sewed them together as rows.  I left a big hole (in terms of piecing) where the baseball is, and then stitched the baseball on top of the hole (after glue basting it).  After the baseball was appliqued down, I went back and trimmed any chevron pieces from behind the baseball so it wouldn’t show through the white fabric.

Chevron Baseball Baby Quilt - BackOf course, cutting my chevron pieces left some weird angled bits from my fabric, so I pieced those into the back with a Kaufman polka dot fabric.


WIP Wednesday - Duality

I’m working on two things this week.  Well, three if you count me need to catch up on posting pictures of finished quilts. Let’s not focus on that right now, though.

Scrap BountyFirst, I tackled the miscellaneous scrap bin of bits and pieces that needed to be trimmed into usable sizes.  It was overflowing with 3 months (or more?) worth of projects discards, so here’s what I yielded.

Starting in the upper left going clockwise, I’ve got 5″ & 3 1/2″ strips, 3 1/2″ squares, 5″ squares, 2 1/8″ strips for scrappy bindings, and 2 1/2″ WOF strips. That doesn’t include the frillion 2″ squares that get sorted by color into the right bins as I cut.

Quilting in progressAs I got blessedly near the bottom of the pile, I started thinking there was something I was forgetting.  And then last night I remembered - I had another quilt to finish that I wanted to show off at the East Cobb guild meeting tomorrow night!  So I got it sandwiched and quilted all the background on it last night (it’s the Kimberly Einmo Lone Starburst pattern).

I’ll quilt the actual stars and piano key border in blue thread, so that will be tonight’s mission so I can bind it before the meeting tomorrow (she said, laughing a bit hysterically under her breath).

Sunday Stash - Baggage

I finished up two projects this weekend, with potential to finish up a 3rd.  I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, so I’m just counting the two for now.  The first is a tote bag that will be raffled off at the Cotton States Cat Show next weekend.  I used some 16 patches I made as leaders and enders and added in additional squares of coordinating colors to make the ears for this cat totebag.

Scrappy Cat Tote Scrappy Cat Tote
The baby quilt is currently in the wash, so I’ll get pictures of it when it’s done.  For now, I’m heading back to the sewing machine to quilt more on the Split Nine Patch.

  • Used this Week: 6.5 yards
    • 1.5 yd for Cat Totebag
    • 5 yd for Chevron Baseball Baby Quilt
  • Used year to Date: 294 yards
  • Added this Week: 0 yards
    • Woohoo!
  • Net Used for 2014: 185 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 114.75 yards (39% of total used)

See more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times!

HtbaS - Episode 201

Random Recipe: Beef & Mushroom Stew

Thanks to AJ Dub for transcribing this when I talked through it on podcast episode 168! I finally got around to making it again and testing the directions per my changes, so I’m sharing the deliciousness with you all. Only, you know, without inviting you to my house to eat it because I really need to vacuum the living room and clean the bathroom.

Pam’s Beef & Mushroom Stew

Adapted from  Total time: 1 hour

  • 1-2 lbs stew beef , cut into bite sized pieces (not big honkin’ chunks)
  • 1 cup “classy” red wine (Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot with a screw top or a nice $5 Barefoot Cellar Zinfandel)
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced (you might want to chop these smaller, too, but that’s personal preference)
  •  6 cups beef broth
  • ¾ cup barley
  • thyme and rosemary to taste
  • 1 tbsp flour or cornstarch to thicken the stew

Brown beef in about 3 tbsp oil in the bottom of a pan until edges are brown, to seal in juicy goodness. Once brown, add the 1 cup water and 1 cup wine. Let simmer.

In a large soup pot heat 3 tbsp vegetable oil and cook the onions, mushrooms, carrots, and celery until onions are soft and translucent.

Pour in the beef broth, and add barley, thyme and rosemary.  You may be tempted to add more barley than 3/4 cup because it doesn’t look like much. Don’t do it. Barley is the weed of stew world - give it an inch and it takes a mile and expands like mad until all you have a pot of barley that’s staged a coup and kicked all the beef and veggies to the side.

Add in 1 tbsp flour or cornstarch to thicken the broth, and then add in the meat/wine mixture. Simmer for 30 -40 minutes.

Serve with biscuits or homemade thick sliced bread to sop up the broth from the bottom of the bowl.

WIP Wednesday - State of the Stash

I’m working on a Seekrit Project this week, so rather than posting a picture of a lot of blurred out or black bars across it, I thought I post a picture of my stash.

State of the Stash - October 2014

I do have two drawers next to this shelving units that contains batiks (FQs or so) and novelties (50% holiday fabric and 50% random novelty), and a bin of FQs, but this is the bulk of my quilting fabric.

I’m still favoring the cool colors more than the warm, and I could probably use some grays and blacks as well. The chicken-and-egg question is do I not use more black and gray because I don’t have it, or do I not have black and gray because I don’t use it?

For comparison, here is my stash two years ago:

State of the Stash - A huge mamajamma

So yes, my stash overall is smaller, but that is on purpose. I started tracking Sunday Stash reports in early 2012, and my net used yardage from 2012 through last weekend is over 600 yards .  That’s a whole lot more yardage out than in!  My stash is manageable and doesn’t feel overwhelming. I still have enough fabric on hand to make projects without shopping, but I also have room to add fabrics if I want.

I’ve also spent more time working with my scrap stash, which isn’t shown in either picture, and those are used in a lot of charity projects and mystery quilt and general last-minute gifts for people. In general, I’m happy with where I’m at with my stash, although I wish I had more money to spend on fabric!

Sunday Stash - Charity Case

Is anyone else’s guild discouraging the use of the word “charity” in regards to donations? That has popped up in several areas of my life and I have apparently turned into an old fart who is set in my ways and can’t change my vernacular. Pardon me while I write this while sitting on the davenport, drinking a hot toddy and contemplating hemlines above the ankle.

NOTE: None of those things are true. Except the ankle thing - why do we need to show so much leg? Imagine how much more quilting we’d get done if we weren’t worried about personal grooming on our calves.

Anywho, this week I had to veer off course as I wanted to finish some “community benefit” projects. Or whatever the heck I’m supposed to call the 6 placemats for Meals on Wheels and 2 pillowcases I finished.  I do have two quilts sandwiched and ready to quilt, but those will have to wait until I finish a Seekrit Project for someone.

10690062_10154845349465657_3023901802061887496_nHere’s a previous Seekrit Project I finished that was debuted last night: a fancy flapper dress for a cat! The silent auction last night was “The Great Catsby”, so we were all encouraged to dress in 20’s theme. The model is Tricky, a cat that lives at Good Mews Animal Foundation; she was the victim of domestic abuse seven years ago and is paralyzed from the waist down.  Because the shelter has such awesome donors, they are able to keep her in diapers and pay for her many medications.  She was wheeled in as guest of honor in a wagon draped in velvet and fringe- quite the entrance!

Owly Images

My own “costume” took some liberties since I stuck with a black dress I already had and added some flapper-esque accessories like a headband and a TON of eye makeup. Gah. Reminded me of high school band flag corps when I had to wear enough eye makeup to be seen on the 50 yard line from the stands!

Alas, no yardage used in my or Tricky’s costume since none of it was quilting fabric!

  • Used this Week: 5 yards
    • 3 yd for placemats
    • 2 yd for pillowcases
  • Used year to Date: 282.5 yards
  • Added this Week: 10 yards
    • 10 yd of various fall prints from a bulk purchase of a de-stash (2 of which already used for pillowcases!)
  • Net Used for 2014: 178.5 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 113.25 yards (39% of total used)

See more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times!

HtbaS - Episode 200!

WIP Wednesday: Splitting the Difference

I am typing this out frantically between calls for work because DAGNABBIT I’m going to get it posted on a Wednesday. I also officially have a Pile Up - three tops to be quilted!  I think this one is going to be first finished because it’s smallest.  And because it’s on top of the pile!

Split Nine Patch quilt topThis is made with split nine patch blocks- 32 of those and 4 straight-up nine patches.  I used the same yellow with blue/green floral print for the center of all the split nine patches and a yellow for the HSTs on the corners of the blocks.  From there it’s scrap happiness in blues and greens for the rest of the squares.

I cut this out last minute to take to retreat in case I ran out of projects, and I got all the HSTs made and some of the blocks put together on the last day. Thank goodness I did- it’s a super happy quilt, and it’s going to be a Christmas present for our neighbors. Their kids fight over the baby quilts I’ve given them, so I’m trying to reduce the drama for the parents!