Weekend recap………..

Well, sorta. Saturday was filled with hemming (DHs) jeans and finishing a client project…….but Sunday/yesterday was definitely a “Christmas time is here” day! Morning church service brought a glorious time of songs of the season and an inspiring message. The afternoon was spent with friends in Caledonia (MN) at the County Historical Society’s “Old Fashion Christmas” annual event. A beautiful facility surrounded by preserved local buildings. Grab a cuppa and join me in a little look-back on our afternoon……….IMG_9914 IMG_9895 IMG_9896IMG_9897IMG_9909 IMG_9907 IMG_9903IMG_9910   A Scandinavian Kubbestol beautifully carved……                     IMG_9899IMG_9898 IMG_9905  Friends, Dallas & Karla, had a fab display of some of his John Deere toy collection. IMG_9906IMG_9911   And, of course, a delightful area serving holiday goodies.

The days are counting down……..how’s your “to do” list??????

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Absent but not quiet……………

Projects of the secret kind continue to come together in my little “elf” studio. Although time seems to be in less than sufficient supply (or, maybe, it’s energy….mine!), I am finishing a large-ish wall hanging for a friend. Begun years ago, it will make the perfect appearance after a little handwork completes it. The pattern was originally found in “Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine”, 1991. IMG_9888 When given to me to quilt/finish, the center portion (window) was done but the outer border and star were missing. Raiding my stash produced the perfect border materialIMG_9891 and a small piece of gold “Radiance” fabric was ideal for the star! IMG_9883 

 

 

 

The tree in the lower left corner is the only one with “decorations”..IMG_9890                                                          

 

 The magazine directions had 2 versions: paper pieced and templates. This one was paper pieced.IMG_9884    The challenge with this ‘simple’ quilt stitching is avoiding the fabric bias stretch/”creeping” that comes with those diagonal lines. On a “sit-down” machine (HQ Sweet 16), this stitching is achieved well with the use of the “Line Tamer” ruler which helps to stabilize the sandwich, minimizing puckers/folds. Very effective, I think.

Thread: (top) Superior’s Variegated Gold metallic, #02 (my “go-to’ metallic!) (bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly,70 wt.  Batting: Hobbs Heirloom cotton/poly (80/20)

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“Count your blessings……………

Name them one by one” (as this traditional hymn admonishes) ………….yes! It really isn’t sufficient to give thanks for all the huge “lumps” of blessings we’ve been given but to take the moments to retrieve and name each one, perhaps recalling a bit of life ‘happening’ that surrounds each. I am so thankful for each of you, dear reader, who have brightened my days, encouraged, inspired and critiqued this journey! Although this day is an “official USA” observance, I pray that it’s a nudge for all to reflect on the challenges and blessings that have brought us all to this moment. Whatever this day is for you, please know, I am giving thanks for you all!!!!!! Thanksgiving clipar      And may I leave you with this simple little thought………………Thanksgiving clipart 1

Sending hugs……………..

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A photo recap……..

Of our monthly (larger group) guild meeting last Monday………. IMG_9801      The morning began with a relaxing workshop working on ‘crazy pieced’ blocks….thank you, Nancy!!!IMG_9802

 

 

A military quilt……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9803 IMG_9804IMG_9806IMG_9807 IMG_9808IMG_9809 IMG_9811IMG_9813IMG_9814 IMG_9815                                     IMG_9817IMG_9820 IMG_9818 IMG_9822IMG_9825 IMG_9827IMG_9829 IMG_9826IMG_9830 IMG_9831 IMG_9831 - Copy

A not-very-clear close up of the above quilt that will be gifted. Faye’s first venture into fmq all that negative space….and she did an awesome job at it (love the feathers!!).

The next gathering will be the Christmas party in a couple weeks (eek!!!!). Beautiful post will follow……….

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A gorgeous sunny Saturday and……………

A lovely 40 minute drive to my bi-monthly SEAMS (SouthEast Area Minnesota Stitchers) gathering near Chatfield (MN). Our attendance number (21!) sure indicated a shared love of all things quilted! Hmmmm….did I mention that this is a group of gals who spend significant time and energy adding that incredible texture to the pieced quilt tops that are before them—–either by a client or the quilter herself. All that thread definitely has fantastic “binding power”!!! As always, at these meetings, the obligatory “sharing” time was inspiring—–photo evidence following………………IMG_9765 IMG_9767 IMG_9768 IMG_9772 IMG_9773 IMG_9769 IMG_9771 IMG_9775 IMG_9776IMG_9777 IMG_9779 IMG_9780 IMG_9781 IMG_9782 IMG_9785 IMG_9786 IMG_9787 IMG_9788 IMG_9789 IMG_9792 IMG_9795 IMG_9796  IMG_9797                           Those last two were done “block of the week”! Yikes!                                            IMG_9798IMG_9799 

A tad(?) photo-heavy but awesome examples of fmq! “Click” any of the pics to enlarge……..I think I’ll go stitch a bit!!!!!!!

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For those who ‘think’ they have “extra” time………..

I have a couple of “oldies but goodies” ideas from past posts. First, a pumpkin idea that only requires ONE stitched straight seam!! Yup…..1!!………..

      Just ‘click’ on the above photo to go to the complete tutorial.      Number two is a fowl feathered friend IMG_9763      from not so long ago. For the tutorial/pattern, again, ‘click’ on the photo to go to the appropriate post.

Activity in the “secret” stitchin’ workshop continues……. Till next we meet, don’t forget to stop and smell….the coffee!!!!!!!!!

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Wordless Wednesday….from a Vintage perspective……

IMG_9759IMG_9760IMG_9761     Note: this is the first project I’ve done with Glide 60 wt thread……..wonderful to work with, perfect tension, great finish!

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And, oh yes, may I add……………

A little Monday laundry (the “norm”?) and adding the wonderful aroma of bread baking to our home….sourdough craisin pecan bread……I wish I could share with y’all……………IMG_9757IMG_9758 These are baked (one loaf at a time) in a covered cast iron Dutch oven so that the crust is that gorgeous brown crustiness. The recipe for the bread may be found in this post….with this modification…..in place of that water measurement, I use 3/4 cup sourdough starter and 3/4 cup warm water. The rest of the ingredients remain the same. For the cast iron method: Preheat the oven AND the Dutch oven & cover together to 450F (use the rack placed in the lower 1/3 of the oven). Shape the dough into 2 loaves (forming tight balls as described here) and allow to rise on floured cloths in a banneton or bowl til double. I preheat the oven/cast iron for 30 minutes, spray it lightly with oil and sprinkle cornmeal in the bottom of the pan. Flip the risen dough ball (yup!) into the hot pan, make several knife slashes in the loaf top, put the cover on and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 10-15 minutes more to achieve a nice crust. I did the first loaf while the 2nd continued to rise on the counter then repeated the baking process for that loaf. Any covered cloche will work for this method.

Now….back to stitching……………..

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It’s (another) Monday!!!!!!………

Although, I’m aware that every day is a Friday…….in the life of a retiree!!!!

Last Saturday kicked off the local (upcoming) Holiday Season with the annual Holiday Craft Event held at the high school. A dreary November morning greeted all (with freezing drizzle and parts of the nearby interstate highway shut down because of ice and multiple mishaps). This event served to buoy the spirits of many, as I observed the number of cars already parked……IMG_9752 and indoors, the bustling energy was definitely felt………..IMG_9753 My purchases were meager & few…..a dozen molasses cookies did find their way my direction!!!! The perfect accompaniment with a cup of hot coffee!

But….this is Monday and I’m spending it with “friends”: Ms Sweetie, my fave rulers and a sweet vintage piece…….IMG_9756 the “Line Tamer” and Handi Quilter’s “Versa Tool” are the perfect duo to finish up this little piece………IMG_9754 

How’s your Monday/week shaping up?? The calendar is full here but there’s always time for stitching!!!! Til we meet again……..hugs and blessings…….

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My pre-Veterans’ Day Friday morning……….

Was spent in attendance at a most amazing program put on by the local elementary school children. It was 1.5 hours of watching a young generation give honor to those who have given so much so that this program could be presented! IMG_9751 The town’s Legion group presented the Nation’s “colors”, following flags (carried by students) presented for each of the states…….IMG_9733   What followed was a skit that was a virtual tour of the important Washington, DC, sites that commemorate US military events beginning with WWI. Everyone in attendance learned so much with each vignette. ……..IMG_9734 The local quilt group, “Bent Needle Quilters”, presented quilts to several of the veterans………….IMG_9739    There are 7 WWII veterans living in our town and 4 of them were present and were recognized….and applauded. There were tears in many eyes.IMG_9742     After the program there was a “photo op” with the 5th/6th graders and all the veterans in the audience. A very special moment! IMG_9746   Did I mention that it was a packed house??? Well, more chairs were hastily secured and set up!!! This is one special community! Everyone was invited to the high school for a wonderful soup lunch…served by those students. Very special.

Before we left town, we stopped by the Veteran’s Memorial in the city park…….IMG_9748     My DH was in the Navy……….IMG_9750 IMG_9749

Individual bricks, inscribed by caring sponsors.

 

 

 

 

May we never forget…………..

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A short Friday follow-up……..

To give you the ‘rest of the story’/’big picture’ (actually, it’s a little picture) from Tuesday’s mug-rug post. You can read about this one’s beginnings here. And the completed cutie……a backing view..….IMG_9715     and a formal/front view………..IMG_9710     Happy weekend to you all. A local craft event happens tomorrow and that occurrence really kicks off our holiday season!!!!

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Not just today but every day……….

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Little “teasers” continue……….

It is that time of year, after all!IMG_0065      I think (blog) posting is hard at this time of year!!!! Never know who’s lookin’ this way!!! LOL!  What do you think??

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More little stitchings……….

I think these little stitcheries are my faves!! They combine all the ‘ingredients’ that so appeal….vintage, free motion (FMQ), micro-stippling and my Ms Juki (Juki 2010Q domestic sewing machine). The first little mug-rug will be in the mail tomorrow……. IMG_9721   The  dimensions are quite small, really….. 7”x 10.5” with a simple little vintage piece. Perfect for that little afternoon cup of tea. The next one is just a “sneaky peek”, since it hasn’t been gifted yet……..IMG_9711IMG_9712IMG_9713IMG_9714  This one is a round, 8” diameter, mug-rug that was so much fun!!! Reveal in a few days…sh………The triangle window covering for my DIL continues. This is for the 3rd window, which is a bit larger….33” high by 82” wide……IMG_9696    I need to add 2 more rows to the bottom and 1 row along the top. Coming along very nicely!

I think that’s enough for a day’s time at the machine….don’t you?? On to “wine time”….IMG_9724

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Hints of what’s on the horizon………..

There are many, really. This next season is a chilly one (temperatures are in the appropriate lower range!), Daylight Savings Time is over/days are very much shorter(!), the sounds of shotgun discharges are frequently heard (last weekend was the “opener” of deer/gun hunting season AND…it’s time to pack shoeboxes for “Operation Christmas Child”. Follow that link to learn about the joy that is sent out in small red/green boxes to children throughout the globe through the ministry coordination of Samaritan’s Purse. Our small church youth group meets regularly every Monday evening and last night was ‘’pack-the-shoebox’’ night.IMG_9698 (640x324)    The children take a box and a label that will designate the age range/gender of the recipient and visits the tables that are filled with items of all types. IMG_9700 (640x377)    Once the box is filled, an adult will do a double-check of its contents and place a rubber band around it to secure the lid and ID label. IMG_9702 (640x480) IMG_9704 (640x342)   Once that task was completed, everyone enjoyed a pizza supper.IMG_9705 (640x338)IMG_9707 (640x201)

The boxes were put in place for next Sunday’s dedication…IMG_9709 (640x449)    and off they will go to a shipping center (Minneapolis) and will join hundreds of others. Yup, another sign of upcoming celebrations! Are your days showing signs of what’s coming?????

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Sneaky peek…………

Yup….it’s “that” time of year. You know…..when projects take on an air of secrecy til THE day is upon us. “They” say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. I’m not sure that that many words are appropriate in this case, but here’s the little peek………….IMG_9695       It’s just in its infancy but will come together in a short time. I so love moose!!!!! Has your secret sewing begun??????

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Starting in the middle……………

Well, it’s a project begun by my DIL (who is very much not a quilt person but does sew) for their home. It’s an “A” frame home with a couple of (high) windows that are in need of shading a tad from summer sun. She made the piecing for the first window……              IMG_9686 It’s approximately 24” by 82” and will need a second piece like it. She beautifully pieced/cut a ton of half square triangles….many more than are needed!!!…………IMG_9685 and I’ve been pressing and arranging some for the 2nd piecing…..IMG_9684 After a day of stitching & pressing, I will say I’m better than 1/2 way done……..IMG_9687 IMG_9688  This will be backed with a muslin (probably) so that the light through the windows will give a stained glass feel. We’re having a Thanksgiving meal with them, so we’ll see how it goes.

Christmas is fast approaching. How’s your project list??? Mine is coming along nicely. Til next time…….thanks so much for stopping by. I so appreciate all your visits! Hugs……

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Quilt binding…….my tip for the day…….

When faced with a quilt binding, all nicely pieced and pressed, in a heap on the floor, my mind wonders how am I going to apply it to the quilt edge without the binding twisting and kinking into an unmanageable knotted mess! Yes, I’ve heard that a swimming pool foam “noodle” piece works. Just wrap your length of binding around it and………………..hmmmmm, still a twisting possibility there, Another idea is to very loosely place the binding strip into a large paper bag, or basket, and place it on the floor next to you. Well, I have tried that with marginal success.

Today…..a new thought struck me..how ‘bout if I place the binding heap on the floor (to my right) and take the free end up and around the thread “tree” on my Juki…..hmmmm……Juki with bindingJuki with binding 2   Wow! Now, this worked slick!!! Any twisting was between the floor and my machine and it just “naturally” was perfect as I pulled the needed slack towards me to stitch!!!! I’ve noticed that it’s always the “little” things that bring the most satisfaction….how ‘bout you????

Just thought I would share a “success” story! Have an awesome rest-of-the-weekend!!! Hugs………

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So much to tell………………….

And, with this post, I will begin to bring you up to date with what’s been going on. I will share my yesterday to start.

I’ve been stitching on a very nice client/friend’s quilt (on Ms. Sweetie/Sweet 16) and it has gone beautifully. I’m doing a stitching motif inspired by Angela Walters (video on her blog “Quilting is My Therapy”)…….IMG_9647IMG_9648 IMG_9650 IMG_9649   The stitching patterns reminds me of a chrysanthemum…..kinda….definitely a flower.

A little break for a quick short rural story………….

Today there are snow showers….ugh. The soybeans in our field were harvested just in time (last eve)……….IMG_9660     Believe me when I say that that combine is definitely “overkill” for that little 2+ acre field (we rent it out!).

Back to quilting…………..

To finish the above quilt, I switched from Ms. Sweetie to Ms. Juki (who had been quietly waiting since her 2-day demo marathon at the beginning of this month) to stitch some binding strips. Whoa…………….I couldn’t get the feed dogs to come up!!!!!! This had been somewhat of a recurring problem for the last year and I’ve been able to manually click them up but no such luck this time……so I did what I knew I must and (after unplugging all power sources!!!) took the machine (sorta) apart!!!! IMG_9664    Okay, I was not sure how things were supposed to work but I knew how I thought it should…ha! Well, to shorten this saga, I called my trusty, wonderful Juki dealer—Ed Raichert Inc. Industrial Sewing Equipment—and was put through to Thomas, a very patient and clearly adept technician, who talked me through the fix-it process. As we spoke on the phone, he was sending me photos of how the feed dog part was supposed to work and how I could go about freeing it. A couple of his photos…….Juki feed dog repairJuki feed dog repeair 2 and…done!!! Ms. Juki never worked better!!! IMG_9667

And the binding task was continued…..IMG_9669Thank you so much, Thomas, our talk time was a treasure and I learned so much with your generous help!

More very soon. Now, back to happily stitching…………………..

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Engagement!!!!!………

Yes……mostly this little corner is quilting related but……life is really crazy busy and diverse at the moment, so I will share some uber joyful family news…….GS #2 “popped the question” to longtime girlfriend this past weekend in a classic storybook fashion…….Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, shoes, sky, plant, tree, outdoor and nature   The photo is not staged and, yes, that is the actual moment, with ring/box in hand and down on one knee, he asked her the sweet question. GS is a true romantic and friends with camera obliged. The place was Grand Dad’s Bluff in La Crosse (WI).

A “catch-up” post is long overdue and will be along shortly………hugs to all…..

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A Sunday/Special dessert………

Actually, any day a cheesecake enters my life, is a special day! This time, it’s a recipe from the “This Old Gal” blog that is one of many great hot weather recipes because they utilize the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. Yes…..for this cheesecake, no oven is turned on to heat up a summertime kitchen….gotta love that. The New York Cheesecake recipe was followed (for the 7” pan) with these slight modifications: in place of the heavy cream addition, I added 3 tablespoons of Blue Chair Bay Key Lime Rum Cream (yum!) and 3 tablespoons French Vanilla Creamer. I used the zest of 2 limes only rather than the 2 types of zest in the original recipe. I, also, used Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream topping               Key Lime Cheesecake 2 Resting for an hour….still very hot!      Key Lime Cheesecake And after 24 hours in the frig. Now, since it’s only 9:15 in the morning, I will take a bit of a break til I slice this beauty after lunch..significant pause……………..while we’re waiting, you might find this no-bake version interesting. It uses sweetened condensed milk like most Key Lime pie recipes.

   I’m back with the honest assessment of this version……AWESOME!!!!!!! IMG_9508      I highly recommend this recipe, and any variations you can come up with!!! Wonder what I should have for supper tonight??!!!!!! hehehehe…….

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A “Grab Bag” of topics…………..

That seems to be how my days are, right now. A somewhat disconnected grouping of activities, all,needing immediate attention. First off……a quick recap of last Monday eve’s quilt gathering…..IMG_9492

Carol had just completed a t-shirt top for a gal and had this piece left as an “orphan” block…..bonus for the recipient for sure!

 

 

 

 

 

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These next photos are Joan’s “quilt rescues” that will be added to her enormous collection of vintage quilts. This one, found at the Salvation Army by her hubbs, was in amazing condition!!!!! But wait….there’s more……………….

 

 

IMG_9498IMG_9499IMG_9500 Yup, she did very well and is the reason I don’t find this type of treasure when I go to these spots!!!!!               IMG_9502IMG_9503 IMG_9505IMG_9504    Next, I share a couple of travel pillows I covered for a (quickly) upcoming Amtrak vaca that DH & I will be taking………IMG_9506 And, sandwiched in amongst all, is the beginnings of the upcoming holiday’s secret stitchings…..IMG_9507

 

 

 

Lastly…..a little marking “hint” that I often use, when needing registration markings on darker fabric……..IMG_9482     You are seeing correctly. Plain blackboard chalk leaves absolutely no residue and is able to be sharpened nicely in a small handheld pencil sharpener. The markings seem to hold just fine even though I’m not quilting on a frame-mounted longarm machine.

Remember: to enlarge any photo, just ‘click’ on it. Thanks for stopping by and sharing a moment with me. Please, do come again!

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