Friday, July 18, 2014

Give Me The Raspberries!

Summer is here, but my air conditioning has been off all week.  What's with that?  This has been the weirdest summer yet!  It has been beautiful, rainy and cool.  We chose not to put our pool up and I am glad we didn't.  It would not have been worth it.....all the $$ to keep the water clean.  We normally are not bothered with a lot of mosquitoes and the like, but with all the rain, they are a BIG problem.  Especially if you are trying to pick raspberries and there is no breeze.  I feel like a piece of raw meat when I enter into their domain.

 You should have seen me the last time I went out, no you really shouldn't have, hence no selfie here!!!! ........ long pants with bands around my ankles, hooded sweatshirt with the hood scrunched around my face, like a kid would do and make the hoodie be a circle around your face!  Quite a sight!  And I still came in with bites all over my hands and forehead, neck, cheeks......a hot, itchy mess!

All I can say is I must love some special to endure this kind of grief!  My dear Silver Fox only eats raspberry jam on his toast (a jam snob if you can believe that).....have you ever bought raspberry jam from the store.....it is the $$$ in the jam/jelly aisle at the store.  Bless his heart he doesn't ask for hardly anything, so really it is a small indulgence to make him happy!!!!


I started out with 4 quarts of raspberries.  

What do you think of the wooden berry boxes?  I have a stack of them at least 2' high down in the shed. I have no idea how many there are of them! They are brand new, except for the few on top that I have used each season.  I found them at my Grandma Theden's house in Jesup.  I have no idea why she had so many, although she used to have a strawberry bed back in the day. 

But they are too cute not to use!!!

And really as I was crushing them to begin the process......they were almost too nice to crush up.  These babies were huge!

Have the sugar & pectin all mixed in.....ready to fill some jars.

Wonder how many jars I will get filled today?

Yum!


I have been working on this little scrappy number.  I think Karen from IL gave this pattern to me from my Small Quilt online group in a Christmas swap we did last year.  The pattern is called Chattanooga and is by Sew Unique Creations.  My #4 daughter lives in Chattanooga....maybe she will want it????


   It was such a blast to dump out my reproduction basket of scraps and start cutting strips and squares and it just looks wonderful, no matter the color only the value matters!  I have it layered, but haven't started quilting on it yet!

The Dear Jane Challenge for this week!
TR-12
I am making slow progress on the top border of my quilt.  I have had several days of not being able to work on it, but the week has been busy and "jam has been made."  But we soldier on.....  :)  Your challenge for this week is one of the triangles on the top edge.  The link will take you to the triangle tip page and trust these are helpful to you!



Today in the Civil War was The Battle of Fort Wagner.  It is not a place we have been able to visit, but if you have watched the movie Glory....it will the make story come alive for you.




Friday, July 11, 2014

4 Patch Doll Quilt & Dear Jane Challenge

The last 10 days have been a whirlwind around here....lots of company....friends and family!

The good news is the house is all quiet.  :)


The bad news is......the house is all quiet. :(((

There is a part of me that loves the quiet, normal pace of life, but there is another part that misses the kids and conversation.....those cute saying's........the giggling.....all the fun!

We did scrapbook pages, read some books, they played a lot with cousins, so a lot of coming and going. But the Chattanooga bunch is on their way home today and we are left with memories of good times, till we are together again.  Safe travels sweetie!!!


Right before the fourth of July, I made a small 4-patch doll quilt.

So fast and so cute.

I had seen several pictures on one of my Yahoo Groups that I belong to for Kathleen Tracy's SmallQuiltTalk. This quilt is in The Civil War Sewing Circle by Kathleen Tracy.

One can never have too many patriotic quilts....this one is slightly patriotic, but not a screaming eagle.

Subtle!


See if you can pick out what makes this quilt patriotic at all?

Oh I need to tell you, while I was stitching this, we were in a tornado warning on that Sunday night, so while I was waiting that out, I was piecing the top.  The next afternoon....same drill....... honestly!  Headed right for us.....  so I was machine quilting this little beauty during that one!  We were blessed with no damage here, thankfully for this go around and I got a quilt done while I was praying and trying to channel my nervous energy!!!

I used my Viking Designer 1 and did the hand quilting stitch for some of the quilting and then used a wavy line and finished the rest of it.  It is fun to play around with the special stitches on your machine if you have them.....so don't neglect all those buttons, you paid for them!


I have a thing about fussy cutting fabric and tucking them into my quilts.....love to do that and I mixed two red for those center squares, some fussy cut, some not.

It's at home on my porch under the cannon!

Where else would you put a patriotic doll quilt on the 4th of July?

BTW, I would love to get a fake cannon for the Silver Fox.  It would go nicely with the civil war fence we have behind our garden.  But I digress.......for now this will have to do.....sigh.  




My Dear Jane Challenge blocks for this week are L-5 and M-5.....I just quilted them this morning and my bottom edge and both sides are completely quilted.  I am quilting all the triangle borders and two blocks in on each edge. 

I will be starting the top edge next.

It is great to feel a sense of accomplishment as you keep on, keeping on......finally meeting a goal you have set, even if it takes you 14+ years to do it.  Ha!!!    

You that are working along with me are doing great, even if you are not keeping up, but do a block once in a while.....it is still progress. I know there are times when life gets in the way......hence my 14+ years, but I am still working and AM getting this baby DONE!  So slow is still progress....... 

A shout out to Cathy in Arizona, who just finished her block flimsy and is moving on to the triangle border!!!! I celebrate with you, I sooooo know that feeling and you gals are doing so much better than I did.





Have a great weekend and try and get some Dear Jane time in!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Patriotic Flag Banner Tutorial

I wanted to share this idea that I put together the other day.....This would be a very fast project that you could still do for this weekend!

I happen to have an old piece of clothing made out of the red ticking, so I deconstructed my garment, and I had some chunks of fabric to work with.  I was going to use some yardage of star fabric on a navy background until my eye fell of this stripe, that I had cut off the cuff of a pillowcase that had fallen apart.....thought to myself.....that is perfect!!!  Up-cycling clothing and a pillowcase.......awesome!


I cut the red ticking into 7"x 10" rectangles.....I just picked these numbers and partly because that was the width of the star stripe that I had to work with.  :)


Then I got out a package of Heat and Bond and cut strips that were 6 3/4".  Slightly smaller than the width of the star stripe to keep my iron clean.  And following the directions I fused the Heat and Bond onto the back side of the star stripe fabric.  Set it aside and let it cool.


Take the red ticking rectangles and trim the bottom edge to make some nice points.  Cut 1" up on the folded edge to the outside edge at the corner as shown and trim.  Do this to all your rectangles.


This what your rectangle should look like at this point.


Sorry I forgot to take a picture of cutting the star fabric.  You need to cut the star fabric 7" x 5".  Now if you are using a stripe you need to pay attention how you cut that, so you stripe is vertical.  Next you need to trim both sides as shown below, just like you did the ticking fabric above.  1" from the folded edge to the outside points.  When you have done both side it will look like this......


When you open it out, it will look like this......peel the paper fusible backing off the star fabric


I opened it up and creased it in half horizontally.  I am going to encase the top edge and iron the stripe on both side.  The ticking can be seen on both sides, so it makes it reversible.  A nice touch.


Following the Heat and Bond directions, I fused the star fabric to the top of the banner on one side then....



Flip it over and fold and fuse the other side encasing the top edge of your banner.


Then I pulled out my decorative rotary cutters and did a sample on a piece of paper, so I could see them and decide which one I wanted to use.  I chose the larger scallop.  And trimmed the sides of each banner piece.....sorry I forgot a picture of that part....I just used my ruler and took off a scant amount so that the scallop showed on both sides.  Very cute!


I hung them in my dining room with the letter banner that says "Duty......Honor.....Country" using those tiny clothes pins that you can buy at the craft store.  Like those too, easy to change things up.  If you like the Letter Banner, you can find it here.  I back my letters with black card stock.



Now I have a question for you, I have two of these star "bags"????? not sure what they are.  They are double layers, but you can put you arm or hand through the "handle"  or top part, the part that I have clipped to the twine.  My Grandma Kullmer or Great-grandma Weaver crocheted them and I have two of them.


The only thing that I thought of was putting your crochet cotton in the bag part and have it on your arm and use it to feed your crochet cotton as you crochet on a project.  It's an idea, not necessarily a good one.  Any thoughts on this.

Hope you enjoy this tutorial.....and I would love to see your banners.

Happy 4th of July!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dear Jane, M-7, M-8 & M-10

I am having decent progress and have finished all the triangles on the bottom of the quilt, have a few more squares on that side before moving to the final edge which is the top.  I have used my time quilting to pray for my friend, Jane and her husband and family.  Jane went home to be with the Lord last Saturday, I don't have words for my feeling of loss.  She was a sweetheart and will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved her.  I don't mourn for her, but mourn for those of us who are left behind.....I am so grateful for the day we spent with her, just a few days ago and hold those moments and memories close in my heart.  She is now woven into the story of my quilt as she lived her final days with us.  I love you, Jane and praise the Lord for allowing me to share in a part of your life.

I have three blocks to challenge you with this time.....all from the row M, as that is where I have been quilting lately.....



Do you like the inking on this block?  I added all the names from our families that fought during the Civil War to my quilt. We both have family members who fought for the North and the South and we also represent the picture of "brother fighting brother."  As we have some from the same family on opposing sides.  This name does not have a star beside it, so he is not a direct descendant, but probably an uncle or brother of one that is.  Jacob happens to be from my side of the family and fought for the Confederates.
Here is a little history lesson on the 13th Regiment and oh, to personalize it and realize my family was there and lived through that horrific time.








There's a simple one for ya!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Dear Jane Progress

I am so excited today to be in blogland with fiber optics for the first time.....yea!!!  We have noticed a wonderful improvement in our service.  It has been too long in coming, so hoping a lot of my computer frustration will be eliminated because of it.

I have kept at my Dear Jane nearly every day even though I haven't been writing about it.  I have completed 2 of the borders, right and left sides and have quilted 2 blocks in on both of those sides too.  I am currently working on the bottom border and blocks.  I love the look of each block when they are finished, so that helps to keep me motivated.

I recently received news that a dear friend of mine does not have long on this earth.....her name is Jane.  And a sweetheart she is.  So while I am quilting I spend part of that time praying for her, her husband and family. I am always taken by how our quilts take on lives of their own....people, places, memories are packed into these threads and take us back to those times.  So my quilt is writing it's own story to include my friend, Dear Jane.

Here are the challenge blocks for this time....... I foundation pieced all of these.

L-4 St. George's Cross
M-2 Duff's Bluff
M-4 Stepping Stones

M-4
This block reminds me of our visit and time spent at Stones River.  If you have not heard of this battle, check out the link.  The rocks and terrain are nothing like I had ever seen and then they are moving soldiers, horses, cannon over these rocks......unbelievable!

Slaughter Pen, Stones River Tennessee


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dear Jane .......B-1 Batchelor Buttons & B-2 Sweet Tater PIe

I really didn't do so well on my hand quilting of Dear Jane last week....not sure what happened at the end of the week, but little progress was made.  I did a little extra quilting yesterday, but I will just keep moving on.

I have been enjoying Bonnie Hunter on Quiltville for awhile now.  I'm really having fun going back and watching past Quilt-Cam's while I hand quilt my Dear Jane.  They are usually about an hour and a half, so I don't start one, unless I know I will have that time to sit and quilt....but it seems like the time flies by while I am listening to her.   Check it out....if this interests you.....She does great things with scraps.   Past Quilt-Cams

This week's challenge is B-1.....Tips for B-1

I see according to the picture in the book.....I need to quilt inside the circles.  It will make the block look better, I think.  I did in the ditch around the circles, but it's not enough.


Our next challenge block for this week is B-2 Sweet Tater Pie....Tips for B-2....Have some stretching in our skills this week....circle applique and curved piecing!  Let me know how you are doing.


150 years ago today, the Battle of Spotsylvania is continuing. 

The caption reads.....Bringing in the Wounded.
This was taken at Spotsylvania.....from the Library of Congress


I like maps....I don't have real knowledge of this battle.  For me I can read about a battle, but I really don't understand it, until we personally visit and walk it.  And unfortunately we have not visited any of the battlefields in Virginia.  Hopefully, some time we have that opportunity.  So if you like maps too, I hope you enjoy this one.... Map of the Battle of Spotsylvania

Happy Stitching on your Jane.....

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dear Jane.......A-1 Pinwheel Gone Awry & C-1 Trooper Green's Badge

Janiacs, for this week......I am suggesting 2 blocks for you.  Only because many of you have already done A-1 and that way I have this block included in our challenge.   A-1 Tips


A-1 Pinwheel Gone Awry
For my second challenge block this week, I want to suggest C-1.   It is quite an easy block and will take you longer to pick your fabric, than to piece it together.  C-1 Tips

C-1 Trooper Green's Badge
Today in 1864, General James Longstreet was shot and wounded by his own men.