Friday, July 29, 2011

Scraptastophy & BBQ Ribs

pondering the title.......Hey! I'll have to use that for a quilt name someday!!!!

I walk past these boxes everytime I head to my quilting room. I can't even tell you what all is in here, other than LOTS of garage sale purchases and donations from my mom's church a few years ago. Every now and then, I get ambitious enough to dig through the layers to see what might be useful on a current project, but most of the time, I just walk right by it without too much thought.

Today, I dug through to see what lights might be lurking in there to be cut up into more strings for Jamestown Landing. A few vintage pieces were found, pulled, trimmed and sewed.

Bonnie's post today talked about listening to books as background noise. BOY! Wish I would have done that today. Most of the time, I just put a movie in the player from my collection on my desk shelf. They are movies that I could easily be a replacement for for the lead roles because I have all the lines, lyrics, motions memorized. So......COMPLETE non-distracting background noise. Today, however, I was craving something new as my background noise, so I grabbed some new DVDs from the upstairs collection; Fallen, starring Denzel Washington, and Conspiracy Theory, starring Julia Roberts and Mel Gibson.

Oh BOY! They were distractions. There were moments of no string-block productivity because I was wrapped up with the scenes that I hadn't seen in awhile. Then, once I took lunch break, I was delayed in returning downstairs. Seeing that it's Paul's 40th birthday today, I wanted to make up some BBQ pork ribs. This realization at NOON put me into full action for the next hour, thawing out the ribs, prepping sauce mixture, prepping ribs.......lalala.

THEN, I noticed my finger nails......oh! They weren't pretty! So, I took off the badly scratched nail polish, filed them to neat edges, and then repainted them. All the while, listening to a book on CD that is due back to the library on Tuesday.

Ohhhhhh......and then......I was feeling sleepy. Oh boy. Naturally, I needed to just lay and rest for a moment on the couch. And I'm NEVER one to lay down without some sort of light quilt draped over me, so I grabbed Orange Crush and just relaxed.


My goodness! It's a good thing I put those ribs in the oven when I did.....the house had a lovely aroma of spiced meat.

And now.....three hours later, Paul and I have licked the bones and our fingers clean....(**chuckle**...alright ladies! DON'T go there TMI here......) ;0)

VERY yummy sauce!

I shared one other time how I cook my ribs; I do a combination of dry and wet (sorta.) For the first 2-3 hours, I cook the ribs in an uncovered roaster with a Bicentennial rub (from Penzy's Spices) @ 225 degrees. Then covered for an hour, still at 225 degrees. I have a lil'of-this-&-lil'of-that sauce mixture that I whip up and place on the ribs for a final 45 minutes of cooking at 300 degrees.
Sauce (rough measurements):
2 T. Chile powder
1 T. Paprika
other seasonings that give me the "must be included" feeling at the time
2 T. Vinegar
1/2 cup Sugar
2/3 cup Ketchup
2 T. Worcheshire sauce

I used to add more sugar, but Paul didn't like the too-sweet flavor it created.

Speaking of the birthday boy....he's taking HIS nap right now....also snuggled under my Orange Crush quilt. I'm very thankful I used the Thinsulate batting on that quilt! It is so light. Absolutely perfect for wrapping around yourself....perfect because of the's one of those quilts that are cooling, yet warm. Do you have any of those types?

So, he wants to be wakened at 6:30 so we can spend some time in the garden tonight. We have delayed our departure to my parents until tomorrow AM so we can feed the animals before we head out. (My GOODNESS! Two short sentences, and the word "so" showed up 3 times! Two months off of school is starting to affect me)

While strolling the other night in search of the baby robins, I spotted some deer action in our lower garden. The deer have not really posed much of a nuisance though.

Cabbage butterflies have though! UGH! I'm not sure what we'll be able to harvest from our cabbage patch. Paul made some sour kraut two years ago, and it is DELICIOUS!!! Kinda has an "ewwww" factor once you realize how sour kraut is made, but I'm a fan of it. We are/were hoping to can another few jars this year since we are down to one jar in the pantry.

OH! AND! I have hopes and AMBITION to pull a two-a-day today {{........alright, is your mind going all naughty again??....

Definition: "Two-a-day" - term used by runners to describe two separate training runs; one usually in the morning hours and one in the afternoon/evening.

I hope to clock another 3 miles on my running shoes once the sun lowers a bit more in the sky.

Alright....time to close up shop and wake the poor dear! The garden is a-callin!

3 is better than 0 [2011 Running]

Recall my post last Thursday when I wrote about finally breaking my 6-mile rut by running 8 miles.

Well....I've gone COLD since then! Nadda in the running department. And you'd think....with the girls gone this week, that I'd be running up a storm!

**shaking head**

AND, the deep-fried egg rolls I've enjoyed this week.....oh dear. They may be sooooooooooo yummy, but certainly don't help drop those few pounds that would making running those longer miles easier :c(

I've found myself doing the "oh, I'll just wait until tomorrow and run a few extra miles" game all week. And last night, it was more of the same. I really SHOULD have stayed home to run instead of heading out on the lake with Paul, but I figured...."okay, NO excuses tomorrow! I must run! And make it worthy."

SO......ambitious this morning I was NOT. BUT....I started my day by feeding and watering the chickens. Those gals (and two boys) were a bit thankful; I think they've been neglected a bit too much since the girls are gone this week. The one boy actually stayed right by my feet and I was able to pet him without him running off. He gets picked on by the other "alpha" rooster. ..... Ummm...... is that how we refer to head roosters? Alpha?

Anyway, then I peered around the garden....and slowly I was convincing myself to just head out because it was a beautiful morning. Even if I only walked.....

For those of you who have even been at that mental state, you know that just accepting a walk....enough to get you often all that is needed to turn dragging feet into running feet. Oh....don't get my wrong! My feet were still dragging even though I was jogging; holding 10:30s-11:00's which is really what I simply need to accept as my pace right now. Long gone are the 9:00s-10:00s unless I start taking my training more seriously.

Today's graphic shows Heart Rate vs. Elevation. I am mentally preparing for and physically training to use the Run/Walk method. I plan to run 1.0 mile and then walk 0.1 mile. It was hard to finally accept this mentally, being the competitive person I am. BUT, I think it's what will get me to the finish line in two weeks. the good news!

I did my duty for the day already, so now I can play :0)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

We put the sun to bed

{{5 minutes later}}

Some other "views" of the evening.......

I call this one: "Karate Kid meets Fish Troller"

And this one: "Work is done; I may now enjoy!"

Before we headed out, we each enjoyed a fresh-from-the-garden meal of lettuce, cucumbers, peas, green beans. My plate was a bit too green, so I added a handful of raspberries.

And YES, I did finish de-papering all 70-something string blocks AND cutting off the dogears from the HSTs.

Strung out

Alrighty. I'm done for the day. Anyone who has made string blocks knows what kind of "organized chaos" occurs on the cutting mat and sewing table. Notice my two-handed coffee mug? Even some yummy coffee wasn't enough to keep me at the sewing machine after 8 hours of string piecing!

To wind down, I counted how many blocks I had completed so far....
- 39 completed fully (depapered and trimmed)
- 74 sewed, awaiting depapering and trimming
- TOTAL: 113.
- left to go: 55

Go back up and look at the first picture----see that yellow on the right side of my machine?

MANY of you have taken on Bonnie's Cheddar Challenge.....and as tempted as I am to drop my current L/E project to join in, I simply can't.

Instead, I have the Blue-n-Gold quilt as my L/E project. So many HSTs...I can't recall from the top of my head, but LOTS. I took a lil' bit of time today to press the HSTs I already sewed but haven't counted them.

I'm still hoping that Paul will be interested in boating/fishing when he gets home (....I think I just heard his truck door??.....) If so, I hope to go along with the strings AND the Blue-n-Gold HSTs in hand. I'll depaper the strings and trim off the dogears from the HSTs.

Hmmm.......yeah....pretty sure I heard Paul's door. Maybe he's prepping the boat before coming in the house????.....

I want coffee---what about you?

Sitting here, taking a short break from my Jamestown Landing strings......and suddenly.....

I CRAVE coffee!!!!!

Mind you, if we didn't have AC, I would be singing a different song! I just stepped outside and bolted RIGHT BACK IN!!! Muggggggg-ggggg---ggggggggy! Holy poopers!!!

So, I'm going to make a pot and give Shadow some fresh water outside while it's brewing. Goodness---I hope I don't lose my craving during the short time I need to be outside with Shadow. Otherwise, maybe I WILL be enjoying a "bottomless" cup of coffee :0) No one is closest neighbor is half mile away........okay, TMI again? ;0) **snicker**

Oh! And poor, poor Paul. He's staining with Scot today....oh, my poor dear. I'm sure the boat will be loaded and deployed shortly after his arrival home. He's been enjoying his evenings fishing lately.

{{20 minutes later}}
Alright, I AM enjoying a cup of coffee with 2 tsp honey and some french-vanilla creamer :0) Yummmmmm.
Shadow appreciated the water and the small dousing I gave him. It's warm today! Back to the 90's with my windowsill thermometer showing 107....**sigh**
I actually took a detour to the garden for a walk-through too. Oh boy----I predict next week to start the official "harvest time" for Farmer Amy-n-crew. Many bean plants have sprouts; one plant actually had some ready for picking (yummy snack for now.) Cucumbers are in full bloom and I harvested a small bowl full for (maybe) some cucumber salad; otherwise another yummy snack and for salads. Peas are ready for picking already! I'll see what Paul's plans for them are....are we freezing them before full ripeness to be used in stir fry and egg rolls? Sounds like a plan to me.
Tomatoes----whew! At least those won't be ready for quite some time yet! I can handle beans and cucumbers next week. Tomatoes would put me over the harvest-edge.

Alright---off to do some more strings. Maybe if I get all 168 sewn, I'll buddy along with Paul tonight on the boat and tear the paper off :0)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jamestown Landing has called me long enough...

I fell in love with Bonnie's Jamestown Landing quilt the instant I saw it!!! I searched and searched online for a place to find the Austrailian Homespun edition that had Bonnie's pattern, and FINALLLLLY (with some help from QuiltvilleChat yahoo group), I was able to find it at Ericas Craft & Sewing.

The SAD news-----it was on back order, and STILL is on back order, expected within the next 2 weeks! :(

However, with a slight hint from Judi at QuiltvilleSwap, I was able to get started on the string blocks while awaiting the magazine.

I had HOPED to spend most of the day quilting away today, however I had some errands to do, and didn't find myself back at home until 10:00. And then....I was visited by my neighbor with a pail of cherries, so we visited for a bit. She actually is the lady who took over my Volleyball coaching position, so we found ourselves talking "business" for a bit since the season is nearing. By the time she left, it was 11:00, and the dishes were calling my name so that I could have some room to make up yet ANOTHER couple batches of JAM! I haven't counted all the jam we have, but it's a good thing we have family and friends who enjoy the homemade jam as much as we do. Three more batches, which means 18 more containers.

Then....a quick bite to eat....

and FINALLY at 1:00, I was able to head downstairs.

Thirty-nine string blocks sewn and await trimming. I HAD organized the papers in stacks of 10, however when I was sewing my 2nd set, I realize (too late) that two of the papers were stuck together. 8-) Only 129 left to do :0) Hey Andee-----I'm stringin' away with you!!!

By 4:00, I needed to pack up shop to get dinner rolling for a couple of friends I invited over for egg rolls and chinese stir fry. And then we headed to..........

The Deathly Hallows - Part 2

I'm not a critic, so I won't critique the movie. As a viewer, I was pleased. As a reader of the books, I was pleased. {{However, I AM interested in re-reading the final book again....just to see how close the movie/book was, because I can't remember all the details. For the most part, I didn't think there were any surprises, had you read the book}}

I certainly hope to get some more quilting in tomorrow.
Angela posted today that she heads back next Wednesday-------OMGoodness! I feel like this summer just started! I'm thankful I have almost another full month before I head back. I'm not ready yet.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A day with Paul...

Last night, Paul hinted towards having me work with him today----and the ironic thing is I had ALREADY thought of it at one point in the day! No lie :0)

So at the crack of 7:00 { :0) HEY! It was PAUL who said it didn't pay to get up earlier because the morning dew needed to dry off before staining could happen) Paul and I woke up, had some breakfast, took a shower {{Well...ummm......*I* did...not "we"......ummmm...okay......TMI??}} :0)

Isn't the "cabin" gorgeous? So many cabins that Paul and Scot (Paul's head contractor) have built are amazing. All log -- check 'em out if you have the dough to drop for a BEAUTIFUL cabin! --Golden Eagle Log Homes. Scot is a builder for Golden Eagle, and Paul found Scot ....oh.....maybe .... 7 years ago. At this time, it's just the two of 'em, but Scot has been in Canada vacationing, so........the "wife-slave-labor-trade" was resurrected :0)

Today's (and this next week's) plan is to stain the entire place.

Ah...I really didn't mind. The day was gorgeous, and we followed enough shade around the house as we migrated from the front to the back. This is the first day of staining, so Paul and I managed to cover almost all of the deck railing (NOT Scot's favorite thing). Paul and I actually are a perfect system---he's tall enough to do most of everything without a ladder for the outer railing (except for the 2nd level deck on the back), while I am lil' and can sit, bend, kneel to get the inner railings.

I think the rest of this house will be up to Paul and Scot as a team, though.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Baby Robin update

I stepped outside around 7:00 to enjoy the lovely July evening; it was a nice LOW HUMIDITY 80 degree day today, and really is a shame I wasn't more motivated to have accomplished something more than just pick raspberries. The evening was even nicer!!! AND had I been motivated, I SHOULD have gone out for a 5-mile run instead of sipping on my Amarretto-sour and eating homemade eggrolls. {{BUT, they were soooooooooooooooooooooooo yummmmmmy!!}} I'll feel guilty tomorrow ONLY if I don't get my butt outside running tomorrow. Maybe I'll do an interval workout and try to cover 6 miles.

Anyhoo, I was peering around to see if I could see any of the baby robins in the area where I knew them to be last. I didn't. However, I heard this "bird" noise coming from the spot on the deck where the nest had been built (underneath). I wondered if it was Momma calling her little ones because it was so loud. As I turned the corner of the deck and walked near the stairs to head down.....well.....GOODNESS ME! I was startled to see one of the babies sitting right in the middle of the deck rail. My first thought...."how in the HECK did YOU get up there??"

I must have scared it because it skittered off in its feebly-flying form again, and I paid attention where it landed; then went in the house to get my camera.

I snapped a few pictures, keeping my distance, and just watched it. After about 5 minutes, it started "chirping" again.......and I kept my ears on alert.

Sure-shooting! I heard another call below in the long grassy area, down below our lower garden. So, off I scurried to see if I could find another of the three babies.

I looked.....
I listened.....
and I heard it
BUT, never found another baby.

HOWEVER! I DID FIND THIS!!!!! As I was walking back up to the house, I JUST about stepped right on these plants!!! And, for those of you who were around my blog last summer, you probably remember THIS POST! And, of COURSE Paul rolls his eyes ANY time I'm peering at the bottom garden's edge to see if there is any poison ivy growing; the last thing I want is for the girls to get in this stuff without realizing it's there. Paul either doesn't want to believe me or....well....I dont' really know WHAT goes through his mind sometimes.....

I took a gander around the area to see how much there was.....


I was STANDING in a small patch AND I had just walked through other small plants.

It is SUCH a good thing that I slipped on Cassie's "mucking" boots instead of my flipflops! Oh......that would not have been good :0(

This whole time, I was still hearing the chirping chorus of at least two baby robins; still having no luck at finding the 2nd one. I glanced back up to the area where I had last seen the 1st first I thought the hawk was back, dive-bombing after it. It was hard to determine exactly what had happened, but it appeared that the baby bird was being "shooshed" in the air by another bird. Momma????

I kept my eye on the baby, which was now sitting on a low branch of our pear tree, and off in the distance.........I can only assume this is Momma. I walked at a leisurely pace towards it, and she never ONCE flew away until I was within 5 feet of her. So, yeah.....I'm thinking it was Momma.

So, I feel a BIT better now that Momma (may) be back in the picture and that at least two of the baby robins are around the yard somewhere.

I'm Bored ?

Okay...I KNOW I should be getting loads done with the girls gone this whole week, but....I'm simply not in a mood to do much of anything today.

I spent a couple of hours downstairs this morning preparing backings and batting to Splendidly Marching Along, in addition to Maltese Star and Hopscotch, AND my 13-block BOM from last summer. So, four quilts prepped and ready for quilting, but wasn't in the mood to load anything onto the frame.

So, upstairs I went for a bowl of cereal (10:30 AM) and flipped through the TV channels. NOT MUCH ON after looking through 100s of channels....

Paul arrived home around 11:00, done for the day, so I wandered outside a bit with him. As I was heading back in to get some containers for raspberry picking, I stopped by to peek at the robin's nest. The babies had hatched since I last looked (two weeks ago?); there were three of them, only not so small anymore. Then......CLUTZY ME! When I stepped away, I tripped up on some weeds and startled the chicks into FALLING out of the nest!!!! THAT was a long fall for them......10-12 feet? OH NO! What to do?!?!?!? Pick them up and put them back in? That was my first thought after I just stood, staring for a few moments. They were hopping about on the lower concrete apron, so I went to see about placing them back in the nest. Oh dear---oh soon as I got near the first one, it flew off!!!! At least....20 feet? So, that's a good sign, right??? Then, I tried approaching the 2nd one, and it didn't quite fly, but flapped its wings and hobbled along in the air for a bit. this point, I kinda just stood back again, wondering if I should just let them be. Moments went by.....and suddenly, this HAWK SWOOOOPED down out of NOWHERE, but for whatever reason, did NOT grab the chick it appeared to be aiming for. Hmmmm? I don't know about the chick, but *I* was startled.

So.......I sat and watched the chicks for some time from my deck; one of them had flown quite far off and I lost track of it, but the other two were about 15-20 feet apart from each other in the taller grass, chirping (to each other?). This was about two hours ago, and I just checked up on them and they are still settled in the grass area. Paul simply said...."it's Mother Nature's job now."

Paul and I spent about an hour picking raspberries. I was quite surprised at the amount of berries that were accumulating in our containers. Here's one little snippit from our conversation.
{{Having picked one-third of my section}}
Me: Wow! My container is already full.
Paul: You're not eating enough of them!

THAT was just too funny of a comeback from him.
We have plenty for at least 3 batches of straight raspberry jam, but I'm in need of some more SureJel, so no jam-making right now.

Alright----so, it's 3:00 and I look over at the couch-----Paul's sleeping. So much for heading out on the boat. :0(

Gah! What can I do now? I'm off to look at the Kindle Store.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Some purchases & Stash Report

Yesterday afternoon (Saturday), I left for my parent's place to drop the girls off for a week of Vacation Bible School at my parent's church. This is the 4th year for Cassie to attend "Grandma's VBS" and the 3rd for both Caitlyn and Candace. They enjoy it. Last year it worked out perfectly because I was holding a Volleyball camp during the VBS week, so my "babysitting" was covered. However, THIS year.....with no volleyball, I really have the ENTIRE week open to myself ALLLLL DAY. I SHOULD head in to school one of the days and do some preliminary work for the upcoming school year.........**sigh**.......we'll see. I'm still not ready to get into school-mode yet. I'm having a hard time getting "happy" for the upcoming year; with all the changes and uncertainties that are happening in Wisconsin....and all the changes that are in effect in our 7-12 wing alone.......**sigh**.......{{keeping my smile on}}.....I just don't want to get into school-mode until I ABSOLUTELY have to.

On the way back home today, when I typically turn off on the only exit of my trip to head home, rather, I decided to head into the town of Eau Claire instead. I knew there was a JoAnn's at the other end of town, and I wasn't in any hurry........

I never had been at this JoAnn's before; the fabric section was QUITE a disaster and rather untidy, BUT I really didn't care, nor am complaining. I just browsed around, not really looking for anything in particular except some bleached muslin. I had a roll in my hands and was going to request 10 yards of it (at a price of $2.99), however, when I turned down one aisle, I came across a section of muslin by the bolt, so I snatched up a 15 yard bolt for $29.99.

The Patriotic fabrics were all 50% off; too many of them weren't appealing; quite "scratchy" feeling, but there was this light bolt with tiny flag-like images on it that felt really nice-n-soft. I took the rest of the bolt (5 1/8 yds) @ $1.99/yard sale. CAN'T really beat that price. This black-on-black fabric was also calling to me; the price showed $5.99/yard. I normally don't buy ANY fabric at the listed price (ALWAYS a sales shopper here), but I really liked it. So, I requested the rest of that bolt too (5 5/8 yds), and as she printed out the price tag, she said "at $3.99 a yard." Hmmm???? I wonder if there was a sale that I didn't know about??? I also had the thought go through my head that maybe they offer an "end-of-bolt" incentive that I know some quilt shops do???? Anyway----at $3.99 a yard....I was quite pleased on the fabric.

As I was puttering around some more, this lady approached me, said something.......and it took me a moment to register what it was. She was handing me a coupon for $5.00 off a $35 or more purchase........she had said "Coupon?". What a kind thing to do!!!! She shrugged and said that nothing was jumping out at her, and obviously I had found some goodies, so she wanted to see it useful for someone.

SO.....the final damage was:
15 yards muslin
5 1/8 cream QOV fabric
5 5/8 black-on-black
for a total of 25 3/4 yards that will be included in today's stash report.

The book shown in the picture was given to me by my mother; she found it at her Goodwill store. "Quilts from Aunt Amy."

In addition to the fabric purchased, this week's report includes fabric used in my Splendidly Marching Along quilt. Before leaving for my parents, I started piecing a backing. Some more width is needed before I can load this onto the frame.

Stash Report: July 11 - 24
Used/wk: 8.75 yds
Purch/wk: 25.75 yds

Used/yr: 131.375 yds
Purch/yr: 81.917 yds

Net Used: 49.458 yds

Friday, July 22, 2011

Need a laugh?

Over at Quilty Pleasures, this joke was shared amidst a post, and quite literally had me in stitches! Hope you enjoy too.....

"You’re at the grocery store. They ask you, “Paper or plastic?” You respond, “Either one. I’m bi-sack-sual.”

Splendidly Marching Along [instructions]

This quilt is created using 2" strips from my RWB scrap bin. Total yardage is not given because I didn't want, nor need, to figure it out. I just kept piecing, pressing, cutting, counting......repeated as needed ;0)

Since these are from the scrap bin, I needed to be sure my strip lengths surpassed 17" when I needed to cut the larger QSTs (quarter-square-triangles), and surpassed 6" if I only needed to cut HSTs (half-square-triangles). Pictures to some shortly explaining these requirements.

Creating the Strip-Sets
Sew two blue strips, one to each side of a white strip. Press towards the blue. Repeat using two red strips and one white. Press towards the red.

I used the Easy Angle ruler (for HSTs) and the Companion ruler (for QSTs). The Easy Angle ruler I have is the smaller 4.5" version, so I needed to eyeball up a small part of the cut. Notice the location of the upper "notch".

To note: When I was playing the other day with intentions of only using the Companion ruler, I didn't want these corner ends to be wasted; that's why the Easy Angle ruler was used, which led to the creation of the secondary block in this quilt.

Once the HST is cut with the Easy Angle ruler, switch over to the Companion ruler for the QST cuts.

As you near the end of your strip set, again you will be using the Easy Angle ruler to cut off the "ending" HST unit. Again, notice the placement of the "notch". If you have a larger Easy Angle ruler, you'll simply be able to line up normally with (roughly) the 5" mark.

Now....HERE is part of the minimum length requirement business. From a 17" strip set, you will be able to cut two (2) HST units and two (2) QST units.

I TRIED shorter strip sets where I was only able to get one (1) QST unit, thinking...."no biggy! I'll just cut the extra down to HSTs." {{see where the QST was cut?}} Well folks......this creates a mirror-image HST, which simply didn't work with the rest of the HSTs.

No matter which way I turned the "mirror" HST, it didn't work. Now, by all means, if you plan to cut a bunch of "mirror" HSTs, then maybe you'll play around and get something to work. But from this point on, I only cut EVEN numbers of QSTs from each strip set.

If I didn't have enough left in the stripset for an EVEN number of QSTs, I grabbed the Easy Angle to cut as many HSTs as I could from the remaining set.

The absolute shortest strip-set I used was at least 6" which allowed me to cut two (2) HST units, so don't rule everything out if it's less than 17" in length.

On the other extreme; if you use a full WOF strip set, you should be able to get six (6) QST cuts and three (3) {{MAYBE 4}} HST cuts. Notice that I was JUST shy of getting a 4th HST from this strip set.

Number of units needed

The 5x7 layout I made needed the following units:
- HST units (Easy Angle ruler cut) needed: 36 each in red & blue
- QST units (Companion ruler cut) needed: 34 each in red & blue
In addition, you will need to cut the following from your white...
- 2" x 6.5" rectangles: 36
- 2" x 9.5" rectangles: 36

Starting with the QST units, I set all 34 reds and blues as pictured and chain-sewed the entire stack. Once finished; I pressed towards the blue units.

Then I split the pile in half (as pictured) and chain-sewed these into the 17 "hourglass" blocks. Press and trim (as needed) to 9.5".

Then came time to chain-sew the 36 HST units. I set all reds and blues as pictured and sewed through the entire stack. I pressed towards the blue units.

Split the pile in half (as pictured) and chain-sew these into the 18 "bordered-pinwheel" blocks. Press and trim to 6.5".

Using my Easy Square Jr. made easy-n-quick work of trimming. The center 45 degree lines should match up quite nicely with the seams in the block for you. I trimmed on two sides, then rotated the block to trim the other two sides.

Using the 2"x6.5" rectangle units, attach one to each side of the 6.5" pinwheel blocks. Press towards the white border units.

Using the 2"x9.5" rectangle units, attach one to each the top/bottom of the pinwheel blocks, pressing again to the white border units.

I choose to create a 5x7 layout, alternating the blocks so that each corner consisted of a lighter "bordered pinwheel" block. I also took care to make sure my hourglass blocks alternated row-to-row to create these larger blue and red "on-point-looking" diagonal squares (diamonds).

For the inner border, I cut 2" strips of this checkered red/white fabric. First cutting and piecing lengths for the sides, and then again for the top/bottom. If sewn perfectly without any stretch, the two sides should measure 2"x63.5", and the top/bottom should be 2"x49.5".

The final outer border I added was of some Americana fabrics; and hindsight is screaming at me...."TOOOOO BUSY!" But, the borders are cut and sewn and won't be coming off. The fabric was cut about 6.5" both along the length and WOF in order to keep the directional aspect of the fabric. My final quilt top measures 61" x 78".

This quilt has Alycia's name on it for her QOV projects!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

36-patches & Paul

Amanda (CrazyMom) is hosting a 36-patch quilt along, and (like Candace - WraggedyPatches), I figured......"why not??!?" ;0)

Amanda's directions call for 8" wide fabric pieces......But I was more interested in making the blocks from strips from this collection from Connecting Threads; already organized in strip combos here..... Sadly, 2.5" strip isn't long enough to produce the 18-like colored squares. :0( HOWEVER, I wasn't going to let 2.5" regulations of the quilt-along hold me back.

Instead, I did some quick calculations, and realized that if I cut the strips down to 2.25", I would be able to create a complete block. So, that's what I did ;0)

Choosing two strips, and piecing them length-wise, I was able to subcut them into 20 twosies (2.25" wide), even though I only needed 18 twosies for the block. SO, with a little trimming down, I'm able to make one 11" (unfinished) 36-patch and one 4" (unfinished) 4-patch. These measurements don't play nicely with much of anything......except themselves! So, the game plan is to make up all the 36-patches and use the 4-patches as possible cornerstones with sashing? Or maybe the 4-patches will appear in a border??

Paul is home again today and tomorrow. This morning, he was peeking (more like peering?) at his blueberry bushes. I couldn't resist trying to get a picture of him with his "gardening" hat.

He must enjoy his limelight on my blog, because he was all smiles when he actually saw me with the camera! :0) {{Truth be known, Nancy---I think he likes those "stud muffin" comments **wink**}}

And I DID get my 8 miles in this morning after dropping the girls off at school. The humidity has finally broken for the most part; still HOT due to the cloudless sky, BUT the humidity is out of the air and there is a nice breeze, making the outdoors quite bearable today. So...yeah....8 miles this AM; it wasn't too bad. I took my share of walks again, and enjoyed quite a bit of shade for the first 4 miles.

As for now, we're enjoying a relaxing afternoon. The girls are watching Narnia (Prince Caspian), Paul is browsing the Internet for some fishing "stuff," and I will be either (a) putting my feet up with one of my Kindle books OR (b) writing the final portion of instructions for Splendidly Marching Along.

{{Three Hours Later}}
Or how 'bout reading on the Kindle for 20 minutes, and then taking a 2-hour nap?

Happy Thursday!