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Archive for the ‘crafting’ Category

So many times I started to post something and things kept getting in the way.  I am going to try to commit myself to at least one blog post a week.  Call me out if I don’t please!!

So many thing have been happening around here I don’t even know where to begin.

OK, so work has been crazy busy and I have taken on a few more things.  I started teaching a food dehydration class about 2 times a year and it has expanded and I have been to Centralia schools a couple of times to teach them about that.  They have always been a fun group of kids and love what I bring for them to test.  Dried watermelon is their favorite (and by far the hardest to dry!).  Thanks to everyone that has attended and taught me something new.  I have also taught a few classes on various things at the Fulton Library.  Sherri McBride contacts me several times a year and we plan something (usually food wise).  Last year’s “One Read” was a book called “Station Eleven” where most of the population is destroyed and how people survive (Have to read the book to learn more).  So we had a discussion about foods grown in the wild.  We had a great discussion about this and I hope many learned that Nature provides us with many blessings.

This started the search for elderberries, you see my oldest started her own jam/jelly business and wants mostly stuff grown locally.  Strawberries, rhubarb, peaches, blackberries, blueberries and lovely elderberries.  They are tiny but grow wild in so many places here in Mid Missouri.  We started picking them and they are TINY!!  But they are a great source of immune building nutrients.  We are closely watching them this summer so we know when we can start picking them again.

Last month, I did another presentation at the library and we talked about food to boost your brain power and I will be taking this program to the kids later this month.  We talked about how smoothies are easy and quick to make and make a great start to the day.  We used bananas, strawberries, blueberries and cherries.  Everyone had their favorite and no one was the clear winner so that shows how versatile smoothies are.  We used local honey as a sweetener and  I told them they could add spinach, kale or any “green” to make it more healthy.  They were excited to go home and try it.  Can’t wait to teach the kids how to make their own breakfast.

I am still quilting and late last fall, Jimmy bought me a quilting machine.  No not a long arm quilter but it does a wonderful job and I love it.  Just need more time to work on it and learn about it.  Joined a quilter’s guild recently and we have a wonderful time.  It is really just a group of local ladies that are interested in quilting and we get together once a month, usually make a block with a theme and we draw for the winner.  One of the best times we have is that monthly meeting.  If you are interested in joining, let me know and I will have them add you to the Facebook group.

So Tara started her Jam/Jelly business called Fruit of the Spirit (check her out on Facebook), and it has been a journey.  She is always checking my freezer for my summer harvest to see what she can get and has ventured into my garden to “steal” some of my jalapenos.  She has involved the whole family.  I can’t tell you how many bushels of apples they picked and Greg peeled, how many gallons of blackberries the kids picked (and ate!) or how much fun they had planting the 40 rhubarb plants and 50 strawberry plants I picked up for them at an auction.  Sometimes we make runs for supplies if everyone is busy and she has cleaned me out on pint and half pint jars from my stash.  Luckily my mother gave me a bunch of quart jars and I found some at a garage sale (and a friend has been watching auctions for me).

Greg decided to be baptized and chose July 3rd as the date.  We were a little concerned because the weather forecast was for heavy rain for the weekend and he was going to be baptized at their lake.  We got 5 inches of rain but because we had such a dry spring/summer it wasn’t too bad.  The rain stopped and we all stood by the lake while Scott baptized him and it was a wonderful ceremony.  Ryker was really afraid for his daddy, thinking something like a shark was going to bite him.

Shawna decided she had enough of living in Columbia so she and her fiancee (yes you read that right) are building a house on our property just south of where Jimmy’s grandparent’s house used to sit.  They are doing most of the work themselves and have been wiring it this week.  They are getting married in September  and the time is flying by.  We have most everything done except the food which will have to be done that week.  Her first shower is in a couple of weeks and it will really seem real then.

Thanks for staying with me through all this rambling, next time I won’t wait so long.  Blessings to everyone reading this.

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String quilting??

Sorry it has been a while since I blogged.  I know, Jimmy kept reminding me how long it has been.  The winter has been mild (until this week) and wonderful.  Very little snow and lots of days of 50 degrees+ temperatures.  As I look outside today, it is snowing and they are calling for 2-3 inches.  Being a County Employee, I had the day off anyway and had great plans to stay home and quillt.  Finished one up on Sunday morning that I will be posting about soon, working on another today and making the hubby (and Shawna) a yummy supper, thanks to a Pioneer Woman post!  Can’t wait to try it, she has never steered me wrong yet.

My good friend from Material Girl Quilt Shop in Centralia, Meredith,told me about a new type of quilting she was working on a few months back.  After she explained the process to me and I knew how many scrap pieces of material I had sitting around in the craft room, I knew I could make a queen size quilt pretty easily.  Meredith is an awesome inspiration to me and so helpful in anything quilted.  Between her and Jan, they continually feed my desire to piece quilt tops.  Meredith has so many beautiful fabrics in her store and Jan is an amazing machine quilter.  If you don’t know them, I suggest you visit Meredith at her shop on Sneed Street (right off the square) in Centralia.  Jan works out of her home but you can find her on Facebook at Prairie Queen Quilting.

So here is the direction Meredith gave me.

Cut paper into squares (she cut 8.5 x 11 into 8.5 x 8.5 squares), use a glue stick and glue the first strip onto the paper.  Get the next strip, put the right side to the right side of the “glued” on strip and sew a 1/4″ hem.  Iron each seam down so the strips lay nicely on the paper.  Continue in this manner until the paper is covered.  Trim off the excess (it makes it easier if you have an acrylic square to square it up).  Tear at the perforations off and your first square is complete.

I am going to put mine together with 1.5″ white strips between each square and maybe a border, haven’t decided yet.

What an awesome way to use up scraps (even what you trim off) and anything leftover that is 1.5″ wide, you can save for a postage stamp quilt (which takes something like 6400 squares for an 80 x 80″ quilt, remember!!).  I am close to finishing up all the blocks and then just need to set it together.  Wonder who will get this quilt?

The only drawback is if you don’t like to iron, you might recruit someone to iron the seams for you.  It is a must!

So here are pictures of my quilt.

First strip glued down to the paper!  Sorry you see all the scraps that I have laying around.

Finished squares ready to be set together.

Here it is.  I think it turned out pretty well and I still have scraps left over so I will have to work on another one soon or do something else with them.  Now just to finish a back and get it to Jan to quilt!  Then it will go in the blanket box waiting for someone to gift it to!

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I saw a pattern for a Bed runner in a quilting magazine and thought it would be neat to make. For those of you that don’t know, a bed runner goes on the foot of the bed just to dress up the bed, much like a table runner.

I decided I would do 10″ wonky squares with borders around them and would have two rows of six each. That made me think I could do one for each month of the year.  Then it was deciding what to have each month represent.

I already had a Christmas piece from somewhere, a harvest piece and some flying witches so I basically had the foundation for the last three blocks, so last night when Jimmy was playing on the computer (I think he might have been on YouTube listening to music), I tried to figure out what to do and was asking for his input.  He gave me a couple of suggestions, like snow/snowflakes for January, Fireworks for July, hearts for February.  So we were off and running, by we I mean he helped with those suggestions so I felt he should be given credit.  This is what I came up with.

January: Snow/Snowflakes

February: Hearts

March: Shamrocks

April: Easter

May: Flowers

June: Patriotic (for flag day)

July: Fireworks

August: Garden produce (tomatoes, peppers, beans, ect.)

September: Back to School

October, November, and December were already covered.

So while in town today I went shopping with my list.  I found Polar bears skating for January (might have used it for February since the youngest child is always in the Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics), February, really cute heart material, March, shamrocks (WM just got material in for that), April, cute bunny print, May Flowers, two choices here, bright bold gerbera daisies or just the white shasta daisies (can you tell my favorite flower?), June, I already had some flag material so I used it, July, red firework material, August, sunshine, September, football.

I didn’t find every thing I wanted but I substituted for August and September.  August because our oldest daughter said the sun represented August like nothing else, it is always hot, so hot you can’t stand to be outside (can you tell she was due to have a child in August?) and September, I couldn’t find back to school stuff, not even something with numbers and letters on it, but in honor of one of my best sewing buddies I went with football, you are very welcome Kathy.  I should have thought about football anyway, Jimmy and I had our first date at a football game in September.  Man, was it really 35 years ago that we started dating?  I am getting too old.  I would lie and tell you I was only 4 when we started dating but I was a little older than that.

Now I can’t wait to put it all together and post pictures for you to see.  And guess what, I bought enough material to make two, so I may give one away to a friend if it turns out nice enough.  If you live in Missouri, I hope you do not receive what the weatherman is promising us!  Can’t they ever be wrong when it comes to snow?

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Ages ago, I used to hand piece quilt tops (yes I was very young then) and loved to do it. Somehow when I started the last job I worked at (for 13 years) I never had the time to do this anymore.   A few posts ago I talked about getting out material I had accumulated over the years and to my surprise, I had one log cabin quilt top almost completely finished and another one started.  Well, they were given to the grandchildren as gifts for Christmas and they loved them, Jimmy’s aunt has agreed to quilt them for me so the kids will have something special to remember her by when she is tucked away in warm Florida and they are using the quilts to stay warm.

I worked on several log cabin squares with pink material I had accumulated (can you tell, I only had daughters?) and have made about 6 blocks with it that I have plans for.  Then I started on a rail fence quilt for Shawna, it is almost complete, just have to decide how much bigger (if at all) I want to make it and put the border on it.  Think I will be tacking it so will do it myself when I am watching TV on these cold winter nights.  Started one for Tara (ssshhh she doesn’t know), I don’t really know the name of the pattern but I love it, it is red, blue and off white materials with stars and stripes on them.  One piece of material looks like old feather ticking for those of you old enough to remember feather beds and pillows.  I adapted it from a magazine I had for a quilt called “Wild Thing” because of all the crazy colors.  Anyway it is about 1/2 finished and I am hoping to find someone to machine quilt it with stars on the backing.  I know a few people who do this but if you are interested, please let me know!  Since these are both going to be presents next year, I have plenty of time. 

Tomorrow I am going to a sewing class put on by a very good friend and I can’t wait.  I have never really sewn except when I was required to or for quilting so I am anxious to learn some other things.  She makes the most beautiful gifts for people and hopefully she will share the patterns with us tomorrow.  And the quilt shop, Material Girl, in Centralia has some really cute material, can’t wait.

Plus the hubby gave me a gift card for Christmas to buy material, supplies, thread, books whatever I need.  He said since I was on a roll, might as well keep it up.  Maybe he was hinting around for a quilt for himself.  Maybe a lap robe for when he is sitting around watching TV at night. 

What I really need to make is  aprons for the guys that cook at our community picnic in July.  That is an idea, maybe present them to them at the meeting before the BBQ and tell them they can wear them and keep their clothes from getting grease spots on them. 

I am sad to say, they do not teach children how to sew in school anymore.  They said there was no demand for “home economics”, well, I say they are wrong, there is a demand, they just did not require it.  It amazes me how many people do not know how to cook, sew, or any of the other domestic things that are required in this life.  Well, maybe not required but it sure makes us more self-sufficient.  So I am now restarting an old habit but it is not a bad habit, well unless it becomes an obsession, then my husband might have to have an intervention with me.  So soon, I am planning to reorganize the craft room and make room for a sewing machine/serger, cutting area, someplace to put all my scrapbooking supplies and start working on them to get that caught up (yes it is a dream!) and still work on school.  I just need to keep track of my time and work on my organizational skills to keep everything on task.   Who knows, this might turn into a full time job for me.

One more thing, I am looking for a pattern called sunset, if you know where I can get one, I would appreciate it.  Found one for sale and might have to end up purchasing it 😦

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