Friday, July 30, 2010

August BOM posted

The three August BOM's have been posted. Find them here... ;0)

Maltese Star

Friendship Star

Texas Star

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Ol' Man is 39....and other things...

39 years of gracing this earth pictured here in all of his beauty ;0) With all due respect---A lil' salt-n-peppa startin' to show at those temples and speckling the beard....;0) But you can still give Brett Favre a run for his money :0) LUV YA HUN!

Mmmmmmmm........the first green bean pickins---not enough to warrant the process of canning. DH is eatin' em all up anyway. Come Sunday, we should have a good bunch ready for canning, though.


Just LOOOOOOK at this kitchen!!!!! DH snapped a shot of me last night when I canned another 4 quarts & 1 pint of dill pickles. Yikes----looks a bit cluttered, huh? Canning supplies cluttering up the floor on the right, bottles of booze on top of the fridge, cupboard doors open showcasing (?) our spices, counters full of clutter......GOSH! It's embarrassing to show! {{and hair is in braided pig tails}}

Once the canning was done last night, I made some more progress on the rug....

Very little quilting being done, but I did load a quilt of my MIL's on the frame yesterday and did a couple of paths before losing interest. I have four quilts that she wants me to quilt up, so I hope to get them done next week since I have NOTHING on my schedule. YEAHHHHHH :0)

Yup, yup: Two weeks OFF coming up and then....summer vacation is officially over because volleyball season begins. Yes, yes....I love it, I really do! For those of you somewhat newer to my blog----I kinda fell off the face of blogland last year August - October once vball season hit :0( Now that I have my first year of being HEAD coach behind me, I'm hoping life will be a bit better this year and I'll be poking in more often that last year :0) Some of you have inquired about my assistant coach issue. NOPE! Nothing yet, but it is what it is. Everything usually works out in the end and I'm sure this will be another one of those times.

Dinner is just hitting the table, so I'm off. DH is heading out tonight to my parent's house because he needs to work for his sister tomorrow. He'll be able to see the girls, too! I'm heading down tomorrow once camp is over and I get a few things done around the house. is GRAND at the Skattebo-Ranch :0) Hopefully things are super in your neck of the woods, too.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


HEY!!! MY first chance to actually SIT DOWN at the computer since last Friday...sorry everyone, but life definitely took back over these past few days....

So....bare with me...

First, on Friday, I got my first complete July finish.
Dizzy's binding was sewn on. It still awaits a label, but I'm considering it DONE :0)

On Saturday, I was out in the woods with the boys helping...getting in the way....photographing their bonding time with each other and some manly tools. Together, we cut, split, stacked five loads of wood.

And of course the girls were super happy to see Mom and Dad after two weeks of being with Aunt Jenny and G'ma. We loaded them up on the 'pug' (a glorified 2-seater 'car' that pivots in the middle and has a dump bucket on the back) and headed back to the woods to pick some wild raspberries. We had enough to make a batch of jam {{jam that showed up on the table for Sunday morning breakfast---YUM!!!}}

On a crafty note---no quilting for me since Friday, BUT I found some new inspiration when loading things back into my new sewing room. I NEVER dreamed I would have learned to crochet, and I don't know why I was inspired like I was by this book {{it's not like it's the first time I've looked at it}}. Anyway, on the way up to the farm, we swung into Walmart so I could pick up a size J hook. Then, MIL and I attempted some crochet stitches according to the pictures in the book........needless to say the pics were hard to follow. I couldn't tell where the stitches were, blah, blah, blah. SO, after ripping out 3-strips worth of stitches more than 5 times, I finally said, ENOUGH!!!! Then I waited until getting back home and watched some Youtube 'how-to' videos----SUCCESS! So far, I have used 1 yard of fabric and have a "rug" about 12" in diameter. I don't know how big I'll make this, but it's a good way to use up that BLAH, QUESTIONABLE-QUALITY fabric.

I've been running my volleyball camp for the past two mornings with a decent turn-out. The gym has been HOT HOT HOT with the mugginess bearing down on us. Yesterday after camp, DH asked me to join him in staining a deck---HOT HOT HOT....

and, TODAY, the HOT HOT HOT and MUGGY MUGGY MUGGY didn't deter DH, myself, Nikki (pictured), her brother and dad from gathering together on the softball field to have an afternoon of hitting and chasing down balls! ;0) With sweat pooling in places hidden from view, we spent two hours practicing our batting. Nikki, who is also a recently former student of mine, and I play softball Monday nights. Last night was the first night of tournaments, where we proceeded to advance to the second level (next week) with a 10-1 victory. But we talked about getting together to practice some batting, so.....we made a day of it.

Once we got home, it wasn't time to rest (and THANKFULLLLLY we have AC on a day like today!!!) because I had a couple bucket fulls of cucumbers that needed to be dealt with. SO....a couple of hours and 9 pint jars filled with bread-n-butter pickles later, I am FINALLLLY putting up my feet.

So....there ya have it....
Hopefully tomorrow will be a "me" day after camp.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A quick hello...

Friday was enjoyable in the sewing room
DH came home a bit earlier than normal, so we were jettin' up to the farm by 3:00.

The weekend was lovely! Playing and relaxing with the girls; cutting and stacking wood with the guys, picking wild raspberries with the family and making a batch of raspberry-rhubard jam, learning how to crochet (oh yea---wait for THOSE pics!!!), and then a relaxing day with DH at home today, some gardening time picking cucumbers....

...and now, off to bed. I'm a bit tired and I have Vball camp bright-n-early in the morning 'til noon. I don't have a concrete layout of the camp in mind; I will just wing most of the fundamentals tomorrow...

anyway---just wanted to pop in; sorry for no pics; I simply don't want to spend time downloading them from the camera.

Happy Sunday

Friday, July 23, 2010

And Candace writes...

Looks like a refuge from the stress of the world.
{{referring to my sewing room}}

Let's hope so Candace, let's hope so!!! Because after the morning I've had at school, a place to absorb my stress is rightfully needed!!!!! I don't want to fume anymore, so I am not going into detail----but I was just informed that I "lost" my assistant coach.'s only three weeks before season and I have camp next week......

HOW does THAT happen?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!


A Friday's plan...

My 2 week class is done again for another summer. I spent a few hours at school yesterday tiding up my classroom and organizing some vball equipment to be sure I am ready for camp next week. I entered all the fall sports schedules onto the school's website and cleaned up some files on the server. I need to head back to school this morning at 8:00 to drop off a deep-fryer for a coworker who will be sponsoring a "Deep Fried Cheesecurds" booth at Jack Pine Savage Days (local town's annual party weekend). The house is a disaster and really needs some of my attention. DH and I will be heading out of town to the farm to see the girls this weekend; gosh I can't believe two weeks has already gone by!!! But, until it's time to depart later this afternoon/evening....

I think I want to enjoy my new sewing room for much of the day. My "July finishes" sidebar is pretty non-existent, so I HAVE to DO something about that!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

365 Days of Freemotion Fillers

Okay----HOW has this blog never crossed my path before???


AN ABSOLUTE if you are puzting with FMQ!!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Do I HAVE to go to bed????

Oh, this has been a fun and EXCITING night!!!!!
And, Jen...forgive me, but our shared excitement from earlier will need to wait until the end of this post...


I'll let THESE pictures say it all...


From the doorway

sewing area

shelves (the big one is new!) just ready for more fabric!

design wall up in action already (yeah, Star Struck has seen just a little bit of time)

my strip storage

no more lamps needed!!!

I will need some adjustment with this set up because I've never been restricted "behind my machine" before. But, I don't think it'll be much of an issue since I won't be quilting anything of a large nature.

**sigh** It was SO hard to force myself (out of sheer discipline!!!) to turn that light off at 11:00 so I could blog and get to bed by midnight. My previous sewing area is a DISASTER; my sewing stuff strewn about, DH's tools all over, and LOTS of clutter!!!! DH is gung-ho to KEEP working on finishing up the basement. Therefore, he emptied out all the "junk" that had been collecting in the "someday-eventually-will-be-a-bathroom" room. I think he wants to see this room finished by the time school starts????? So, another of my tiling adventures will begin next week after my morning volleyball camp sessions....



Let's back up a few hours.....

Meet Jen. Jen is a former student of mine who coined the phrase, "That doesn't make sense to my brain" while she was in my Pre-Calculus class a few years back. No, it's not because she couldn't understand the material; she simply put the challenge out to me and her classmates to come up with a different way of explaining certain topics to have it make sense. She is truly one of those students that every teacher wants in the classroom!!!

Well, looky-looky at what she's been up to lately!

Doesn't she look absolutely "giddy" in this picture. She had just tried out some border layouts and was admiring her choice!

Oh, this poor girl----This is her first quilt (I think?); well, at least it's her first BIG quilt. She has some more blocks to make yet before she will be able to lay out the entire top, and I think I overwhelmed her tonight with too many suggestions on what will need to be done after that. I assured her it'll all come together, one bit at a time. I opened up my email to her and will open up my basement up to her once the top is ready so she'll be able to quilt it on the frame herself. I can't WAIT to see it together!!!

Okay---time for a quick midnight snack, and then BED.....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rolling Star pattern & how I applique

The Rolling Star pattern can be found in the September 2005 "Quilter's Newsletter Magazine." It was drafted by Lee Fowler after being inspired by a circa-1930's newspaper clipping showing a drawing of four blocks. Lee drafted this for hand-piecing and gives tips and tricks to assist a quilter. I attempted hand-piecing, but found it too time-consuming and I was afraid that the blocks/pieces wouldn't stay together. So, out came the machine---at a MUCH slower machine-pace due to the curves, but still faster than hand-piecing.

When I applique (the few times that I have done it), I use washable glue-sticks and freezer-paper. Here are my steps (sorry for no pics).
1) Trace the finished sized piece on freezer-paper;
2) Iron it (no steam) to the back of the fabric.
3) Cut out shape, eyeballing up 1/4" seam.
4) Press the seam over the edge of the freezer paper.
5) Remove paper. Repress if needed.
6) Unfold seam allowance and dab glue on egde of seam. Refold.
7) Press one final time. (Press on an old towel in case any glue is beyond the folded seam allowance)
8) Machine applique onto background. Sometimes I pin, depending on the size of the piece. Sometimes I dab another dallop of glue to hold the piece in place. I USUALLY use a blanket-stitch with the Bernina foot #20.

{{I'll need to applique again soon, so I can add pics later on.....Be sure to check "Email follow up comments" when you post because I'll submit a comment once pics are added to this "tutorial"---if interested}}

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Today made up for yesterday!

Recap: Goal #1: Finish Jared Takes a Wife top: Completed (see post)

Goal #2 of the day: work on the final August block. Completed! Now I just have to type up the instructions, and I'll be set for y'all :0)

Then, it was the "look-around-for-the-next-project" time......

For those of you who have been around since the beginning of Amy's Passions, you may remember these blocks????

UFO: Rolling Star - Prior to today, I had 6 blocks pieced; today, all 13 blocks are now pieced.

And appliqued on the red centers. It feels REAL GOOD to have these pieced and ready for the next step!!! Now, I need to see how much white I have in my stash to see if I can move to appliqueing these stars onto a background square to get these closer to a top...

...but I wasn't done yet.....

My Star Struck swap blocks arrived yesterday; I swapped 12 sets. I had been piecing additional blocks together as a leader-ender project, and I had some inspiritation to finish up the stack I had pre-cut to see how many total blocks I had. Thirty-two blocks in total once I pieced everything. 32, eh? Hmm....4x8; that sure isn't a great layout. 5x6....then 2 go on the orphan-block pile.... :0(

15 minutes and 3 additional blocks later....a 5x7 layout with 35 blocks; AND sashing fabs being auditioned.

BOY---I should lay out more blocks on my living room floor! I tried some whites and other lights, but nothing worked better than the "tan" of the hardwood floor, so.....
This was the closest color I had in my stash, and NOT a lot of it (only 26 inches), so....... the sashing ended up being smaller than originally thought: only 1" finished. biggy. I like the color! It'll be worth it.

I still am going strong, but there IS only so much time in a day before it gets too late,'s time for me to turn OFF the machine ;0)

So.......{{drumroll please}}

Stash report: July 5 - 11 (I forgot to post last week)
Used/week: 4.181 yards
Purchased/week: 0 yards
Used/year: 169.873 yards
Purchased/year: 173 yards
Net used: -3.127 yards

Stash report: July 12-18
Used/week: 4.625 yards
Purchased/week: 0 yards
Used/year: 174.498 yards
Purchased/year: 173 yards
Net used: 1.498 yards

DO YOU SEE THAT!?!?!!!!!!????? I'm in the B-L-A-C-K!!!!!
doing a lil' happy dance

Back to Monday tomorrow! :0(

Goal #1 - Done

Jared Takes a Wife - GREEN BEAUTY (81" x 94")

"Jared Takes a Wife" isn't a fitting name for this quilt; it was fitting for Bonnie's situation. So, I have renamed it to Green Beauty, since the block is Blackford's Beauty...and well, it's green.

Happy Sunday on my list....

August BOM

Another "me" day?

First of all, an update on the weather...

THANK YOU MAMA-NATURE for not holding a grudge! All the nasty weather blew south of us; I am afraid to watch the news to see all the damage that is/was unescapable with this system! I'll have to give my parents a call too, because the hometown was right in the path of the storms.

DH and I DID get the deck stained and we hope it had it enough time to dry initially before the rain came. **crossing fingers**. A 2nd coat needs to be done yet, but obviously that'll have to wait until things get dry again...

On the way back, we mosied along our merry way, taking lots of back roads. After a cafe-style lunch at a nearby 'blink-n-ya-miss-it' town, we continued to mosey. RIGHT past a "friend's" house (how thoughtful, right?). Nah....DH needed to pick up a motor that the "friend" was going to tune up. While talking and shootin' the breeze, his dog jumped in and made herself at home: Anje (ahn-gee). CUTE AS A BUTTON!!!! She could easily have come home with us!!!!

After checking out the friend's shop area and saying our departing words, we mosied further north to buy some more stain for the deck's 2nd coat, and then drove some more further north to pick up some thread at a quilt shop, then back south for a stop at Dairy Queen.

Once home, the weather was just starting to act up, so after taking care of the animals, we both put our feet up and napped. Ummmm.....can you call a 1.5 hour "snooze" a nap? Needless to say, my room didn't see any action yesterday. NO BIGGY!

Instead, at 8:00, I figured it was time to do something with these cucumbers.....

I've learned a few things from canning dill pickles in the past;
1) Leave the cucumbers WHOLE if you can
2) If you must cut them, cut them at least 1/4" - 1/2" thick
3) Use dill plants rather than dill seeds if at all possible

Our cucumber plants have only just begun to produce; we have BUKU blossoms that are going to be giving us cucumbers daily! So, I hope to keep up with canning, a little bit at a time. We only have 2 jars of dill pickles left in our panty, but about a dozen bread-n-butter (MY FAVORITE!!!), so, we're going to stock up on some dill.

I haven't found my favorite Diil Recipe yet, so I'm trying another "new" one. Here's the recipe I'm trying this year; of course, since I didn't have that many cucumbers, I halved the recipe. I ended up with the equivalency of 4 quarts, and the recipe worked perfectly in half.

I was able to leave a few cucumbers whole, but also had to cut up about 6 of the cuks that were too big. So, look at this gem!!!! A few years back when I helped my parent's clean out my grandmother's apartment, we were allowed to "help ourselves to anything we wanted." {{Yeah, that's when I "inherited" all my grandmother's fabric and quilting supplies!!!. My DH has an "antique-thing" going on, so he enjoyed sifting through much of her stuff. This cutter is one of the tools we have displaying on our mantel, but last night it found some actual use. That thing is SHARP! It didn't take long to cut through a handful of cuks---sure, I can see that a couple bushel-full would be annoying to do this way, but.....psht! I love how the slices look!

Bounty: 1 quart and 6 pints. How many more will be coming????

Today's tasks:
Sew, Sew, Sew.
DH promised me that my room would see a finish today. I think I'm going to hold him to that.
I want to finish Jared Takes a Wife today.
I need to work on August's BOM since my time is limited over the next two weeks.
I need to update my Stash Report since I didn't report last week.
Then?.....don't know yet. It'll be a classic "look-around-the-sewing-area-for-what-strikes-my-fancy" move. Maybe I'll pull out a UFO? Maybe a WIP? Maybe a PIG? {{Oh yeah, I still have Jen's "floofy" quilt to start}}

Happy Sunday

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dear Mama Nature...

I'm sorry about losing my temper the other day. I am no longer mad at you, so please consider lessening the severity of the storms coming our way that created this...

Photo taken from, Channel 5, Minnesota

Amy, who has accepted the fate of the corn, and who really doesn't like severe weather...

PS: Thank you for allowing the weather to be nice for most of the day so that DH and I could finish the deck and the stain had enough time to set before you gave us this rain.

Manual Labor day...

DH: What are you doing today?
Me: Silly question.
DH: You want to come and help stain a deck?
Me: No
{{I head off to shower, and get to thinking....}}
Me: Toweling off...How big is Tucker's deck?
DH: Not too big, why?
Me: Well, just doing a math problem. Two people working together makes a job get done that much faster.
DH: Smugly...Doesn't take a math teacher to figure that one out.
Me: Well, the way I see it... If two projects need to be done, but only one person is "in the know," it only makes sense to have both people working together to get to finishes or NEAR-finishes for each.
DH: complacent look
Me: Do you know what I'm getting at?
DH: Duh---you want your room finished.

So.....I can "give" a little if it means I get that much closer to having a completed room.

Let's see....
Hmmm.....I think he's going to risk the possile rain coming this afternoon. So, we better get going!

Have a wonderful Saturday

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pluggin' along; now all pooped :0(

The title says it all. I have 2 sets of borders planned for this yet, but I kinda feel like a wind-up toy that just ran out of "winding."

So, I'm sitting down for a bit with a pizza cooking in the oven. I'm hoping I'm just low on energy because I haven't really eaten much today {{Hmm....wonder how THAT can happen when there aren't any kids around nagging to make breakfast and dinner and snack..... ;0) }}

Wow---that sashing blends in with the flooring! Hard to tell that it's actually pieced into an almost-top.

As Carol stated---TGIF

I've missed the relaxing days of getting up every morning, sitting with my coffee, inspecting the latest posts from everyone, and then spending much of my day downstairs sewing, quilting, etc.

Today is Friday which means NO SCHOOL. I'm going to have a "ME" day.

I don't wanna clean, so I'm not gonna.
I don't wanna spend hours in the garden, so I'm not gonna (at least not until MAYBE later tonight when it's cooler)

I'm gonna sew.

And last night, during a commercial of "The Ultimate Gift," I quickly ran downstairs and grabbed my machine and block units to set up on the kitchen table. I felt so guilty not sewing, but I really wanted to watch this movie to the end {which, BTW, made me cry and laugh some MORE after my post----A++++ movie!!! Definitely a "chick-flick"). I have a TV downstairs, but we don't have it connected to our satellite; we only have a DVD/VCR set up with it.

Today, I hope to finish all the Jared Takes a Wife piecing to reach flimsy status. I don't have any green thread, NOR do I have an idea in mind for a backing, so I don't know if I can keep plugging away to actually get a finish, but.....we'll see.

Oh yeah...and check out the basement update! I came home on Tuesday to find DH working away on the room. Standing in the room....WOW....walls sure "small-ize" the space!!! And just last night, he said "How 'bout working on the room Saturday? Together, I think we can get it all finished...."

Well, who am I to say NO?? Afterall, I DID set a goal of end-of-July for the room to be done {{secretively: I NEVER dreamed it could actually happen!}}. So...if I'm going to do that on Saturday, I REALLLY want to spend my day "ME-WISE" today :0)

Happy FRIDAY!!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

So much for sewing...

I had intentions of sewing tonight, but started flipping through channels ending on the Hallmark Channel. The Ultimate Gift caught my attention. It's not over yet, but so far has included all emotions that normally classify a movie as "a winner" to me; I've laughed and cried heart has raced hoping for the plot to turn for the best...I've giggled at some lines....

Yes.....40 minutes to go and I can't wait to see how it ends.

Happy Thursday

Half Square Triangles...To tool or not?

Per request, I will throw out a brief post on some of the Half Square rulers that are out there....


Tape tool when "adding 7/8"

This little collection doesn't even include the triangle papers that are out there!!!! Go ahead and google "Half Square Triangle tools"; the pictures and methods go on and on.

My ruler of choice is Sharon Hultgren's Easy Angle ruler. I like the black, slightly raised lettering. For me, some other rulers are difficult to read depending on what color cutting mat you use. (ie: Omnigrids use yellow, Nifty Notions uses red/pink).

The advantage (as I see it) in using the rulers is you only need to follow the "add the 1/2"" rule as you do with simple squares, RATHER than needing to following the "adding 7/8" rule". Reasoning: now that I have become a die-hard Bonnie K. Hunter scrap user, I like to keep my strips and scraps at whole and half inch cuts; those 7/8" cuts annoy me! This doesn't mean that YOU must have or use a tool! This is a personal preference....

Having said all this....The lesson part...

If you want to create a simple 4-patch block that finishes to 4", by now many of you know that each square unit needs to finish at 2", so you need to add 1/2" to allow for the seams. Therefore, you cut the square 2.5" x 2.5"

So now, let's move to a lovely "Jacob's Ladder" layout (which if you rearrange these units, you could have a Buckeye-Beauty, etc. LOVELY UNITS!!!!

If this block finishes at 8", the 4-patch finishes at 4", AND the HALF-SQUARE-TRIANGLE (HST) unit also finishes at 4". Hopefully, your mind shouts "4.5 unfinished" because that follows the typical rule. If you have the Easy Angle ruler (or other similar rulers) to cut the HST, this rule doesn't change! Cut a strip to 4.5" and use the ruler to cut the HST. Does that make sense?

Here is another Easy Angle Ruler tutorial sponsored by EZquilt, the company of EZTools....