Journal Quilt # 4 - I'm caught up!

I was really focused this week....focused on journal quilts....when I saw a friend of mine put this little scrap of fabric in her trash pile, I saw journal-quilt-potential.  She took pity and pulled it from her trash pile and lovingly put it my to-do-pile.  She's learned not to question!

step #1

Step #1 is most often the hardest....seeing potential in some one's trash! (or your own trash, for that matter)!
But, what do you have to loose?  

step #2
Step #2 can become somewhat overwhelming if you have a lot of fabric to audition.  In this case, I pulled a few blues and greens, then some multi-colors.  Really glad I did that because the purple and pink and orange and green and yellow and blue stripe was the very best choice...I thought!  But that bright green kept pulling at me too.

step #3

Step #3 involves letting go of all those free-motion stitching inhibitions.  And remember....coloring within the lines is not a requirement!  Also's okay to put more than one color thread in your work!'s okay to add more flower petals - not a requirement but I thought I would give it a try.  Again....what do I have to loose?  Now scroll back to step #1 to see how blah went pop.

steps # 4, 5, 6 jpg

Step #'s 4, 5, and 6....added the bright green piping to separate the white from the stripe....added batting and backing fabric, free motion quilted the "pebble" design.....attached hanging sleeve, added yarn to bind it - and yep!'s finished!  As simple as 1-2-3. 

step final

Now I can be happy strolling along the sidewalk looking at pretty flowers as I sing....zippidy do dah... zippidy day - it measures 8" x 14". 

Journal Quilt #3 - 2011

Continuing in my quest to stay third journal quilt for 2011!

Still Cock of the Walk

I really messed with his head - put the background fabric where part of his rooster crown should be - but that's okay....he's still cock of the walk!  The mistake was made quite some time ago - but I didn't have the heart to trash him so this little guy languished in the corner of my sewing room yea these many months....until yesterday.  While rambling around for something to do, I  found just the right scraps of fabric to raw edge around him to complete the rooster's yard.   While patience is not one of my virtues.....good things come to those who wait!  7" x 9 1/2" 

Don't Cry - a fortune cookie note card

don't cry  fortune cookie note card
Don't Cry
 Fortune Cookie Note Card 5.5" x 4.25"
  heavy cardstock - blank inside - $1.25 each or email me for multiple sets

fortune cookie note card - congratulations

congratulations fortune cookie note card
Fortune Cookie Note Card - Congratulations
Notecards - 5.5" x 4.25" blank inside $1.25 each or email me to purchase multiple sets

Note Cards - yes, they are for sale!

Can work and play be one and the same....are to me when I'm working on a new note card series - getting ready for summer when play overwhelms work!  Printed on heavy cardstock 5.5" x 4.25" - blank inside for your personal message.  $1.25 each or email me for multiple sets.

All Work.....No Play - A note card

February Quilter's Calendar

I couldn't resist using this child's quilt I have for sale here  as the background for my February calendar - in two versions!

February calendar - pretty in pink

Same quilt, second calendar -

February 2011 Calendar

I'm ahead of my game since it's not yet February!  Now, to time machine back to January.....can't waste a minute!

A bright and happy child's snuggle quilt

Child's Bright Snuggle Quilt

It's the little things that make me smile....and it's for sale here!  It's been a busy week, but I did have time to finish this one.  Progress in that's a good thing! 

Apples: Color Inspiration.....and a recipe

A Gala delight.....

Baked apples...we love them.   I like Gala - stuffed with brown sugar, vanilla (flavor or bean), splashed with cream sherry, then sprinkled with cinnamon.  In the oven at 350 for 45 minutes...serve hot....yummm!

But also yummy is the red and brown color combo I pulled from my fabric stash - how delicious....I mean, gala!
a quilter's delight

Pin It

Using Thread Wisely.....

using old thread

I spent the last 30 minutes or so sorting through my thread, pulling out the old spools as well as the ones with just a smidgen of thread left on them, transferring all to bobbins - now stored nicely in the bobbin keeper.    Now, why? at this time?  did I feel so compelled? to organize? 

Well, you see, I have three quilts that need bindings.   To reduce the chance of stretching and twisting the bindings,  I always baste, then press before attaching to my quilt.   Yep, that's a lot of (wasted) thread!   To make life easier today, I took the time to get organized then I could just baste the 900 inches of binding (almost) without stopping.  Not only do I use the old thread in the bobbin, but as the top thread also. 

So, how do I remember which bobbins are old and to be used for waste sewing?  I have three bobbin savers: two blue and one lavender.  I'm remembering a song from the 1980's that goes something like this -

"I want you....I need you....but there ain't no way that I'm ever gonna love you
but don't be sad!
'cause two out of three ain't bad!"

Get it!  Two good - and the third one, well, can't get rid of, but I'm not in love with anymore! 

Pomegranate - The Facts!


Attributes of the pomegranate - just a tidbit of info I found on one site today when I googled the pomegranate! I was curious and thought you might be too.  Here are quotes from the web article...

"A new study has shown that drinking pomegranate juice frequently is extremely beneficial in fighting the hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis). It reduces the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol which contributes to artery clogging and hardening.

Not only does the juice significantly reduce the blood vessel damage, it is found to actually reverse the progression of this disease.

Another study positively proved that pomegranates contain a powerful agent against cancer, particularly prostate cancer.

Here are some common ailments that are known to react positively with the use of pomegranate or its juice:

Anemia: Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon with a little honey to a cup of pomegranate juice. Especially beneficial for women after monthly loss of blood due to menstruation.

Anal Itch: Itching in the anal region is often caused by parasites in the intestines that go to the anal area to lay their eggs. Roast some pomegranate skin until it is brown and brittle. Then crush it to a fine powder form and mix with a little olive oil. Apply this concoction to the anus to kill the worms.

Anti-aging: We all know that anti-oxidant is highly effective in helping to protect the skin from free radical damage known to cause signs of aging.

Asthma: The high content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in this fruit is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It can greatly reduce wheezing in young children with asthma.

Atherosclerosis: The highly cleansing power of this miracle juice scrubs away the old build-up of arterial deposits, reducing the risks of heart diseases and stroke.

Bleeding Piles: Pound the (clean) skin of one fruit from the sour variety. Boil the pound pulp in about two cups of water. Sweeten with honey and drink twice a day until healed.

Cancer prevention: The high anti-oxidant content protects cells from damages by free radicals. Regularly drinking juices high in anti-oxidants keep cancer at bay.

Cholesterol: Drinking juices high in anti-oxidant has been proven to fight the oxidative stress that is the main culprit in oxidizing the LDLs in the blood.

Dysentery: Drinking fresh pomegranate juice is an excellent remedy to soothe the pain and inflammation caused by severe diarrhea with blood and mucus in stools.

Immune booster: The anti-oxidant nutrients in pomegranates are critical in building up your immune system. Drink juice high in anti-oxidant when you feel a cold coming.

Loss of Appetite: If you can't eat, at least you can drink! Pomegranate juice can help increase your appetite.

Morning Sickness/nausea: Mix and drink an equal amount of honey with pomegranate juice for relief.

Sore Throat: The anti-inflammatory agent in pomegranate juice significantly reduces the soreness and redness in the throat."

3 Creative Studios Color Palette Challenge

Here is my inspiration picture for the 3 Creative Studios January color palette challenge - a pine tree orchard I saw in my ramblings last week. While I'm not a symmetrical person, the symmetry of tree trunks lined up perfectly really appealed to my senses that day!   They, no doubt, were all planted the same day and will surely be harvested the same way.

inspiration for color pallette art quilt

The color palette for January was perfect for the faux tree orchard! Scraps of fabric were layered one on top of the other until this tree orchard collage came together.   While my trees are not lined up quite as perfectly as those in the real tree orchard, they are appealing (to my senses) anyway. 

Color Pallette - January Art Quilt

.....and someday the twain shall meet!

Here's the quilt and here's the binding.....and never someday the twain shall meet!

the twain shall meet the meantime, here are my scraps for January's color palette challenge - 3 Creative Studios.  Hmmmm....where will they take me?

3 creative studios feb color pallette challenge
just another work -in-progress!

Grandmother's Flower Garden

It was an Ah Ha moment this cold and rainy morning as I began putting the binding on this quilt - the one I call "Grandmother's Flower Garden."  The quilt and the moment just snatched the rainy-day-blues away from me!

Grandmother's Flower Garden

You see, I'm participating in the journal quilt challenge hosted by The Art Quilt Blog - and this month's prompt is highly prized.  I prize lots of things but nothing really seemed to punch my get-up-and-make-a-journal-quilt-about-it!  Until, this quilt brought back so many highly prized memories I have of my grandmother's flower garden. 

Her garden was always a simple one with zinnias and marigolds and canna lilies - oh, just all those old time flowers that re-seed year after year and flourish in the heat of the South. 

So, I found one of my thread sketched fabric cards, printed it on fabric and surrounded this pretty lady in her smart hat with imaginary flowers.  There you have it, my highly prized journal quilt.  It's a wee one at 7 1/2" x 9". 

Grandmother's flower garden -  journal quilt

Green Tree - A Journal Quilt

Two things:  First thing - my word of the year is FOCUS.   An intentional thought so I would give my best effort to control my flitting in and out, starting something, then something else, doing this, doing that, with no real focus on learning a technique to the limit or taking step 1, then step 2-3-4 before moving on to step 9!   Thus far in this new year, my word is totally failing me.   I'm not focusing on any one project or becoming a purist at anything to the max!  Oh, well.....

Second thing - 3 Creative Studios is hosting a journal quilt challenge this year and I'm joining in....kinda.  You see the first week of January was 3 weeks ago!  Here's my first journal quilt.  Perhaps I'll just do a journal quilt each month rather than each week.  Or, perhaps this will be my journal quilt for 2011.  I'm focused this morning just getting this blog post completed in a timely manner!!!!!  It's gonna be a fun year.

Green Tree - A Journal Quilt

I first focused on my bag of black scraps.  Started the raw-edge applique journal quilt with a black background, then layered with snips of black and ivory fabrics.  I just layered on whatever shape came out of the bag with no real plan....then the tree shapes started emerging.  That's when I decided the black and white scrap bag was too limiting - got tired of winter trees - and grabbed my bag of green scraps, found the perfect green tree - free motion quilted all the layers and the journey was complete!

Green Tree - A Journal Quilt

French a table runner! oh, my.....

french braid table runner

Was delighted, yesterday, to get the binding sewn on this french braid table runner. My first attempt at incorporating piping into any of my quilting projects. I really like the the way it separated the braid from the border fabric....and

french braid table runner seems that Winnie and Hermione like it too!

Vintage Quilt

I couldn't resist snapping a picture of this beauty at the local antique show Saturday.  Hmmmmm wonder if I could duplicate this look for myself!
Vintage Quilt at Antique Show

"Jailhouse Rock" quilt and a binding tutorial

jailhouse rock quilt

jailhouse rock quilt

I called this one my "jailhouse rock" quilt....not sure why.  Using all my red and black scraps thrown in with bleached-to-white-muslin just made me rock.  But, after all was said and done, with all this busy-ness, I could not find a binding that wanted to finish this quilt for me.  Hmmmmmm..........

Several years ago, on a Nancy's Notions TV show, I saw Nancy sew strips of different fabrics together to make yardage for a bias binding.  Since then I have used this technique over and over again to make bias binding. 

So's how.  I gather fabric strips from 2 1/2" to 12" wide and 15"-24" long.

scraps for bias binding

Then, using my ruler as my guide, I lay the strips out, staggering along the 45 degree angle.  By staggering, fabric is not are going to cut off any fabric that is above the 45 degree angle.

stagger fabric strips at 45 degree angle

sew strips, then cut at 45 degree angle

I usually cut my bindings 2 1/4" wide. A piece that is 12" x 24" will yield approximately 90" of binding!

approx 90-100 inch yield

Now, sew all the strips back together end-to-end for one continuous length of bias binding. 

sew bias strips end to end

Since there are so many "loose ends" it is truly advisable to fold in half at this point and go ahead and baste 1/8" from raw edge before attaching to quilt top.  This extra step will save a lot of stretched-binding heart break!

fold in half and baste slightly inside from raw edge


Continuing to downsize -

Now, for this post, you'll have to skip on down to the previous one to see the large pictures as compared to the ones in the post before that.  I've learned a new trick.  I understand  that allows limited user  space and when that runs out, another quantity of space must be purchased!  That's where the downsizing comes in - I don't want them to downsize my pocketbook!   I do enough of that myself without anyone else's help!

I first re-designed my blog to accomodate larger pictures.  Since I don't have a custom designed blog, all I had to do was go to blogger dashboard - template designer. I decided on the simple two column format - adjusted the widths to 1000 px maximum with 280 px for my right sidebar- then applied to blog.  Then I went to dashboard settings,  select post editor and selected updated editor.   So, now I know my pictures can be sized (almost)  to the 1000 px limit.  I've been making mine a 990 pixel width which seems to be working fine.  I  may reduce the size later if I see this is too large. 

Next, after resizing my picture to 990 px width (I use photoshop), I send to my Flickr account.  Once there, click share this, then HTML code, make sure size is correct, then copy the code.  I'm not sure what's involved using Photobucket or other picture hosts. 

Back to blog - in Edit HTML format, paste the code.  Change to compose format to view  the picture. 

It does take a few steps up front, but once these one-time adjustments to the blog are completed, then it's just a matter of resizing the picture, sending to Flickr, then to the blog post.  Keep in mind that I'm not a technician, guru, expert blogger, or any other kind of smart person....I'm the one who didn't even know how to copy and paste when I started my blog two years ago!  So, if I can do it, then I know it will a piece of cake for you!

Drag-along scrap quilt

brown and rust drag-along-quilt

brown and rust drag-along-quilt

Finally completed the drag-along quilt top and it's now ready for my favorite long arm quilter.   I used only fabric left over from other quilt projects which, of course, forced the size of this one...but it's a great lap quilt size at 60" x 72" (+/-).   I keep bolts of muslin on hand, so that's what I will use for the quilt's back.  Scrappy continues to be my all-time favorite look in a quilt.  And, it just feels good to use up bits and pieces of fabric! 

I've changed my appearance!

More that's an oxymoron if there is one!  I've been cleaning out closets and downsizing stuff for the past few months.  First step was to move his office out of my sewing/project room into a very seldom used guest bedroom.  We took a twin bed out, found him just the perfect desk and chair so he is loving his privacy.  Another perk to his being in there instead of in here is that he doesn't find yarn or thread or glue embedded with the electric bill!  

Next on the list is to give the master bedroom furniture new apparel.  The same curtains have been hanging on the windows and the matching duvet cover has draped the bed and the same rugs have been spread over the floor and the same slip covers have hidden the original chair upholstery for at least 12 years.   I've gotten my money's worth out of it all, but enough of a good thing!   I know I'm getting ahead of myself here 'cause  it will probably be at least a month before the makeover is complete. But,  I'm excited. 

To take my clean look even further, I decided to play with some of the free blogger templates to see how minimal I could become.  Really, really downsized the content of my sidebar.   Oh, I'm still following all of you who continue to inspire me with your projects and photos and words to live by, but I'm now doing it from my favorites bar.  Boy, is it a long list!  But, can a person have too many favorite people?  Never! 

Next, I think I'll go back to photoshop and take a wrinkle out of my forehead and reduce my chin skin a bit.  Hmmmm,  not sure it happens that cheaply, nice thought anyway! 

A scrap quilt - work in progress

Moda jelly roll and unbleached muslin, mixed in with a bunch of scraps just happened to make over 70 9-patch blocks.  I had just barely enough of the brown floral to get 36 half square triangles, sub-cut and re-sewn into hour glass blocks. 

A lot of sewing, then a lot of trimming, gives me get the picture? 

I have a way to go yet, but these blocks are working their way into a nice size lap quilt. 

Reflections Unfurling

I've been doing more on my Reflections Unfurling photography blog than I have over here.  Just bounce over to see what photo ops have unfurled while I get on with my quilting.  I actually do have a work-in-progress!

and I'm using this Moda jelly roll and my newest bolt of unbleached muslin!


I often listen to channel 74 - Bluesville - Sirius/XM music.....and today on leaving the exercise place, I heard it said that old habits are hard to break, but staying away from the blues for a week is damn near impossible.  I had to agree on both points; however, don't have time to elaborate just now!  So, I'll just post one of my favorite blue pictures and move on to my next project!  Happy Thursday and TTFN -  marty.

Multidirectional Diagonal Knit Scarf - here's how

Multidirectional Diagonal Knit Scarf
Just finished and it's now in the mail - my very last Christmas gift.  Boy, was I ever behind the times last year - that being 2010.  Oh, well.....

Here is the free pattern by Karen Baumer.  So very easy - and I truly mean that.  I should know 'cause this is my fourth scarf using this pattern.   And, I always use the alternate way to end the scarf - a nicer transition  to keep the diagonal pattern going.

Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf

It takes approximately 200 yds. of yarn to make a 4’ scarf, 300 yds. to make a 6’ scarf. (Your exact mileage will depend on how heavy the yarn is and what needle size you choose.) Use all one yarn, or experiment with alternating among multiple yarns to get a striped or patchwork effect. Variegated and self-striping yarns are particularly well-suited for this project.

For a fairly solid-looking scarf, use the needle size recommended on the ball band of your chosen yarn. Go up a couple of needle sizes for a lacier-looking scarf

Terms defined
Inc = knit into front and back of stitch
SSK = slip next two stitches individually as if to knit, put tip of left needle into slipped stitches and knit them together
SKP = slip one as if to knit, K1, pass slipped stitch over


Cast on 1 st.
Row 1: Inc into stitch (2 sts)
Row 2: Inc into first stitch, K to end. (3 sts)

Repeat Row 2 until one side edge of your triangle (i.e., not the “live” edge on the needle) is as wide as you want your scarf. About 5” is good, but skinnier or wider works too—it’s up to you. Now start your short row sections:

Short Row Section:
Row 1: Inc, SSK (or SKP throughout, your choice), turn.
Row 2 and all even-numbered rows: Knit
Row 3: Inc, K1, SSK, turn.
Row 5: Inc, K2, SSK, turn.
Row 7: Inc, K3, SSK, turn.

Continue in this manner, increasing by one stitch in every odd-numbered row between the inc and the SSK (you won't actually need to count because you will always be SSK-ing the two stitches on either side of the gap that forms from your turn on the previous row).

Work until you've SSK-ed the last two stitches of the row.

Next Row: start over at Row 1 of the Short Row Section.

Continue working Short Row Sections until your scarf is almost as long as you want it. Once you have completed your final Short Row Section, proceed as follows--
Decrease Row: SKP, K to end.
Repeat Decrease Row (i.e., decrease at start of *every* row) until you have one stitch left. Snip yarn and bind off stitch.
Weave in ends and add fringe, if desired

Several people have pointed out that the final section of the pattern is not symmetrical with the rest of the triangles. Here is an alternate ending by Matthew Hesson-McInnis that addresses that issue:

For the last Triangle:
Work as with previous triangles until 1/2 of the stitches are on the right needle and 1/2 of the stitches remain on the left needle. Instead of starting each garter stitch ridge with an increase, start the ridge with a decrease (i.e., K1, k2tog). Continue to work the decrease in the "middle" of the row as before, and after making this second decrease, both needles will have the same number of sts. When 6 sts remain, work as follows:

K1, K3tog, turn, k2
k3tog, turn, k1
K2tog, cut yarn & pull through last remaining loop

© 2003 Karen Baumer - Permission to redistribute granted provided that this copyright notice is included