Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Andrew's Quilt and so much more!


I finally got to give my son Andrew his 40th birthday quilt. the bottom picture is the back and i had it on our bed. when he saw it he said, mom! nice! i said no, no, that's the back and had him help me turn it over (that quilt is BIG!). He was stunned and i could tell he REALLY loved it. there is nothing like the feeling of totally making a loved one happy. the middle picture is when the mister and i were trying to sandwich it. nora jean, of course, was checking it out but her sitting on it makes you realize how big it is. the one i am making the backing for right now is just as big.
this is the quilt I'm entering in the common threads quilt show this year. i am a long distance member of the Wichita Kansas prairie quilt guild. my sister belongs and we attend the meetings together whenever i am visiting her. i don't have a guild to belong to up here and don't know enough people to form a mini group. i miss it and am happy to belong to this very active and awesome group. the pattern for this quilt is called the Mexican star and it was so much fun to make! i bought the pattern quite a few years ago at a quilt show and then never made it. the directions were well written and it was something i hadn't tried before. it is 3 dimensional and when you are all done piecing it together you sew down the corners to give it a cathedral window look. in my 2014 goal to use what i have, i pulled this material from my stash. i love it! I'm going to have it judged. I'm curious to see if i win anything. speaking of judging and judges........there are so many people who are afraid to have their quilts judged (my sister being one of them). I've never understood that. I've gotten some really excellent and helpful criticisms over the years. one year i got a zero from the judge on my quilting! the back of the wall hanging was a mess. i not only wasn't very good at machine quilting yet but it was a new machine and wasn't calibrated correctly. that being said, it was a really cool quilt and i got 11 people's choice votes for my quilt! so what did i learn about this incident? 1. a good judge would never give anyone a zero for anything. everyone needs a few points for effort! 2. a quilt doesn't have to be perfect for people to like it. other than that incident though, my judges comments have been either glowing or a nice but very helpful criticism. so if you are putting your quilt(s) in a show this year try having it judged. its fun!
we have an aunt celebrating her 90th birthday next week and is in a nursing home. i made her two pillowcases. they always seem to go over big with the younger and older generations. i made them very different so that she could have a change of pace when she puts a clean one on her bed. if you make them for a gift don't forget to put their name inside it so it doesn't get lost in the laundry and end up on someone else bed. trust me, from experience, it doesn't go over well! there is a great tutorial for this quick and easy pillowcase on the Missouri star quilt company website.
well i finally used the dress form i made for my granddaughter. it worked well and the skirt i made her came out really cute. we'll see how well it fits her when we visit her next week. she and my grandson have been growing like weeds recently. we may have to make her another dress form for next year!
i'll close with a picture of my grands. i can't believe how mature they're getting. they are such wonderful young people! today i love our grandchildren, who have been such a blessing in our lives. i love my children and my really great daughter in law. they are all such caring human beings. the mister and i are very proud of them. and finally, today my heart and prayers go out to our beloved nora jean. she was back at the vets today. they still haven't found out exactly what's wrong with her. she seems to recover and then starts going downhill again. it just breaks my heart to see her so quiet and still. i hope they'll find out soon! have a great day and i will too. nancyb

Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's the Mister's Birthday! projects and its Still cold and snowy here!

March 1, 2014
The Mister and Our New Motorhome!
We went and picked up our new motorhome yesterday. it's a bit smaller than our Minnie was but is perfect for us. we took it for a test drive and we kept hearing a sound like a can rolling back and forth when we would turn a corner. the mister took a panel apart that was under the dining table and there was an extra leg for the dinette rolling around in there! the men must have laid it there when they were putting things together and forgot it. its a good thing the mister is so clever with those things because I would have just put up with the noise. we can't wait to go on a few getaways in it! I don't think this winter is ever going to end. it was minus 5 this morning when we got up and very cold in the house. we are almost out of wood so are using our precious propane. everyone around here is in the same boat. next year we'll make sure we have a bigger supply of wood. when the mister gets his tractor running it'll be put to good use. btw, our neighbor, a nice elderly woman stopped by. she saw the tractor in the yard and asked who we had bought it off. we told her and she smiled and said that it had originally been her husband's and she had sold it to the guy we bought it from! she's going to look to see if there are any spare parts around her place and give them to us. its a small world!!!! well, the mister is having a cold but nice birthday so far. the boys and family are coming up tomorrow for vegetarian spaghetti, homemade bread and salad. they haven't seen the tractor yet and don't know a thing about the motorhome. we can't wait to surprise them!                                          
do you all remember when these potato bags were the rage? well, I made some for gifts and for myself and we all love them. i made two this week. one for our aunt's birthday and one for our new motorhome! if you haven't tried baking a potato in this you've got to try it out. wash the potato, pierce it with a knife and put it in the bag. the bag doesn't close. I've put as much as 4 potatoes in the bag at a time. the more you have in the bag or the bigger the potato, the longer you microwave it. i always start out with 3 minutes. when the beep sounds, i take the sack out, pierce it with a fork to test how much its cooked and then flip the bag over and pierce the other side of the potatoes with a knife. put it back in the microwave for 2-4 minutes and check again using the same process. when they feel done then leave them in the bag while you finish cooking the rest of your supper. they are so tasty! i finally talked my mil through the process one day (she's had hers for 2 years and was afraid to use it). she LOVES it and uses it regularly to cook a potato to go with her supper. there is a special batting to use for these potato bags. i know you can get them online or at joann's. the directions for making one are with it. you don't have to use the potato material. 100% cotton will do fine. i used muslin for the lining. i throw it in the laundry and wash it with the rest of the clothes. this is great for a quick gift. its an easy project and fun.

i totally forgot to even mention valentines day on my last post! this is a wall hanging that i made several years ago. i got it off the allpeoplequilt.com site. i think the pattern is still on the site. I love it and it looks festive! i used it for a table runner this year instead of hanging it on the wall. the mister and i went out to a restaurant we had been curious to try and had a lovely seafood dinner. it was a fun day.

this is another of my ufo's I've been working on. it is 96" X 104". i am not piecing the backing like i did with son Andrew's quilt. I'm going to go to joann's with my trusty coupon and get 3.5 yards of backing material. i have got to stop making these large quilts! they are so hard to put together! this one is staying with us. it goes nicely with our bedroom walls and furniture. I've got one more large quilt to finish and then i'll stay away from them for a while.
i will close with nora jean fixing herself up to take a nice afternoon nap on the new quilt. she feels it is her solemn duty to put her kitty love in everything i make. she's such a helper cat! well, that's it for now. today i love, love, love the mister. i hope his birthday is as wonderful as he is. happy quilting, nancyb