22 August 2011

Only three more panels...

I finished the BOM Month Six panel several days ago. We were busy getting house spruced up because a re-fi home appraisal. I finished the three main blocks relatively quickly, but needed to get other chores done before filling in around them. As suspected, cutting the crooked pink fabric took a little extra time but turned out fine.

I'm just now adding it to the right side of panel five and joining four-five-six to the main body of the quilt top. I'm very excited to have two-thirds of the top's field finished. I like thinking my piecing skills have improved since the first panel.

As we close in on cooler months (please!!!), I need to consider what I want to use for binding and backing, and where I want it quilted together. For a piece THIS big, size-wise and investment-wise, I want the pros to do it. I'm not even sure what I want to do with it once it's done. I've got a few months and some more hundred-plus-degree days to think about it. (On Saturday, we tied a 1980 record of 50 days at 100˚ or more. Upon seeing a still hot forecast for several more days, I mentioned to a friend that this stopped being funny a long time ago. Understatement!)

Okay, I'm a little projectless right now. I suspect I'll come across something I've been meaning to do so don't think there will be too much of a lull in the action.

20 August 2011


Got Chicken Raising Sister's bags done earlier this week. Happily dropped them off Wednesday night. Tah dah! Now I need to brainstorm how I want to use that great typecase.  :-)

Have been thinking about these since a friend mentioned her older son still enjoyed his hoodie towel from when he was a baby, but grew out of it quite a while ago. I could make a bigger one. And one for his little brother, too. (I hear that's what you do when there are multiples in a family.) It took a few weeks for the idea to gel; buy the supplies; find out what colors to use; find some online instructions; and such. Supplies needed: One bath towel; one matching or coordinating hand towel (you'll only use half of it); straight or bias binding.

I decided I wanted to use bias binding, mostly because I chose stripes—the same for both. Ten-plus yards later, I had enough for the hood portion and all around each towel. They went together pretty easily. Here are some basic instructions (she did not bind hers). From here, you can customize the details.

I gave them to the boys' Nana tonight and hope they enjoy them! I'm happy to have another skill set and a relatively quick, easy-make gift option. Win–win!

* * * * *

UPDATE! Here are two very cute boys modeling their hooded towels!

14 August 2011

Just my type...

Several months ago I started making tote bags from pet food bags. From the moment Gwen's Chicken Raising Seester saw them, she wanted some and starting saving some feed bags. I've told her all along I'd sew up some for her. CRS is a self-described junker who finds/buys and sells different items she comes across. The other night she posted a photo (above) of a wooden lead typecase I've wanted one since the 70s, just never had the means and the passion at the same time. So I asked if she was selling it and we came around to a barter arrangement—sewn pet food bags for typecase! Yippie!

A little history
Decades ago, when I was in college learning graphic/commercial art, we had a class, Typography, which wound up being one of my favorites. Keep in mind, along the publishing arts timeline, my education took place somewhere between the Gutenberg Bible and the exponential growth of technology into today's digital layout and design. At that time, photo typesetting was largely used in the industry. One of its predecessors was hot metal, such as Linotype, and before that, handset movable lead type. Handset type was sorted into typecases like this. There were capital letters in the 'upper case,' and the rest were in the 'lower case.' Tah dah! In order to fully appreciate how our field had evolved, one of our assignments had us handset some type and print it on a small proofing press. (That's where I first came across these typecases and is a fond remembrance.

Oh, and a real flash from the past (please keep in mind, I was 18), I just Googled a phrase or two and have found the little love poem I set:

I waited for you to fall in love with someone else; 
to get tired of my difficult ways; to tell me finally,
I’m leaving you, you’re hopeless.
But you didn’t. Now I’m faced with the biggest terror of my life,
knowing I am enough even at my worst for you to love me all my life.
Joseph Pintauo - The Rabbit Box

Fast forward
Up until yesterday, CRS and I had never met. We're Facebook friends and have always communicated that way. I had the chance to make a trip out to the country yesterday and finally met her! What a sweet, sweet lady! I met a yard full of chickens, one daughter, two cats and a dog. I had to get back to town for an appointment so was soon on my way with a bagful of feed bags, a typecase, and a carton of FRESH eggs! How cool is that!?

Tonight, I filled up the bathtub with hot, soapy water for a bag wash! Once I removed the string that opened each bag into becoming a tube, into the drink they went. I swoshed each bag around with my feet to remove any feed residue/oils, then plucked out each one and stood them up to dry. I enjoy making a task into an assembly line. Yeah, that is kinda weird.

So here we go, both parts of a great little arrangement. I plan to get the bags sewn this week and will post more photos later. . I'm so glad this opportunity and love a win–win deal!

Ya know, as I think about it, it's a nice little love poem after all. It was something I wanted; spent year pursuing; and now enjoy. Tah dah!

07 August 2011

August, end of second BOM trimester...

Hallelujah! I've got Month Six of ten BOM packets in hand! As I am remember, the first nine months are the 'field' of the quilt and month ten is simply a pieced 4" wide border. This month's packet was small—three distinct blocks surrounded by dark squares.

The first is Star on Star. This 12" x 12" block is pretty straight-forward. I like the 'bonus' of the second start on top (or below) the first. When I was starting to cut out the pieces, I discovered that there was not enough to cut the four 4.5" x 4.5" squares for the corners. And the fabric provided for the dark purple little pieces at the centers was not provided as the instructions indicated but there was ample to individually cut out the pieces.

The next is called Margaret's Choice. This is made up of many (32) pieces that start out as 2.875" squares and are then cut diagonally in half. I like all the contrast. And the pink fabric was unlike other batiks I've seen—it has a grid-like design in it. But there is trouble here, too. The pink piece I received was neither cut with the grain nor the pattern. From the 3-inch width, I am supposed to cut out four 2.875" squares, then split them diagonally. I cannot fathom cutting visually crooked pieces so wound up carefully cutting out each of the eight triangles all squared up. They seemed to think I was being too picky but I pretty much bet none of the ladies there would want crooked patterns in their quilts. I did my best to disagree without being disagreeable.

Lastly, there's the Friendship Star. Again, a pretty straight-forward piecing job. Cutting...cutting...now, wait! There's not enough for THIS block either. Dang! Got the triangles cut and then needed four 2.5" squares. Only enough fabric for three. Really?!

I'm gonna blame it on the heat. In Oklahoma City, we are swiftly closing in on a 1980 record of 50 days over 100 degrees. We're now at day 44, according to KFOR's weather page. People aren't thinking as clearly as they should. And others are more irritable. (Moi?)

I've got plenty of time to get this block done. Once I do, I'll join it to July's and June's blocks and have well over half of the main body of the quilt top complete. Exciting!!!

Other projects going on? I've been baking and making more Oreo Truffles (aka Oreo Balls, both regular Oreos and Golden Vanilla ones). The baking has been two batches of lime and vanilla biscotti, and a loaf of banana bread (from a mix).

I've been indulging a food memory for Sara Lee Banana Cake. It was a small, frozen sheet cake with incredibly delicious frosting. I'd pry off that cardboard and foil top, get past the lining paper and would dig into a 'still-a-bit-frozen' hunk of cake. Thinking about it makes me want to sigh. After a little research, it seems it is not longer available to the consumer in North America. Australia has it! Go figure.

My banana bread with a schmeer of tub cream cheese frosting with  drop or two of banana extract mixed in came pretty close. I've looked for a recipe to replicate my desire. This is the recipe I am going to try soon. I'll let you know how it turns out!

I've also done another Scrabble® wall hanging. Because Scrabble® Gwen's 'family game,' I knew she'd be a perfect caretaker of her very own 'board.' Family game, huh? Now, would that be the Hussey family, the Haikin family, or the Peacock family? Hmmm. It was a fun project. Getting the layout of the letters is the only hard part. I'm pleased with how it turned out and loved giving it!

Last week, we pet sat for some friends' kids' cat. Ducky was with us for eight days and was very sweet. He is used to being an 'only cat' so the cacophony of chaos around our multi-fur (and one being canine) family had to be a little off-putting. He stayed clear of most of the other cats, but I caught this scene of him (l) and Rocky (r) up on the window ledge. I wouldn't exactly call it friendship, but maybe a little respect? (Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer?) So, I thought Ducky would be all cuddly happy for his mom and dad to return. Not quite so quick—I guess he decided he was gonna make his parents pay and hold off affection for several minutes. Hmm. Eventually he came around and all was forgiven. And they lived happily ever-after! And I was thrilled to get a $5 chip (I have two chips from the two cruises I've made) from their cruise, plus some dining gift cards!

Yesterday I baked a dessert bar treat I'd first tried last year at a Labor Day party. I can't believe it took me this long to get around to it, but the Premiere Cheesecake Cranberry Bars were luscious! Okay, they've got a half pound of butter in 'em, but I did use fat free cream cheese and condensed milk. Little victories.

So, it's been a busy span of time. On the immediate plate right now is trying to spruce up the house for an appraisal on Tuesday afternoon. And as much as this is a pain, we will benefit from tidying up the place, AND we DON'T have to PACK or MOVE!!! Whew.