Sunday, September 26, 2010


It feels like I've been remiss in my blogging lately. The only reason is the canning and pickling we've accomplished. Yesterday those chores were finished. So glad it's done yet, I did enjoy the process.

Our grape vines had the most productive year this year. We were able to harvest about 30 pounds of grapes! Since we still had jars of the foxgrape jam we put up last year, we decided to use our crop for Concord grape juice - am I so glad we did. We already opened a pint and tried it out to make sure the jars done with this "new to us technique" had truly sealed. They did. The recipe came from my favorite Amish Cookbook and after juicing, cooking, straining, sugaring and then recooking the juice, you only had to seal the hot liquid into jars without processing in a water bath. It is very robust and flavorful, and I believe it's boasting with nice, natural, healthy antioxident-rich elements.

Sorry this photo is so washed out. I may try to get a better picture later.

As for my conundrums of projects, I recently completed the hand work on 2 projects. Doing my Happy Dance! The green Beaded Bangle is finished (above) as is this:

JOY by Country Cottage Needleworks
28 count EW * Worked 2 /2 with threads called for. They were DMC 744, 3031, 3328 and 3354. Crescent Colours used were Eve's leaves, Aunt Marie's Violet, Betty Bluebell, Really Teally, Ripe Melon, and Bean Sprout. Since I'll be getting rid of the pattern either by regifting or selling it, I wanted to know all the thread colours I used and have a place where I'd know where to find them. This seemed the best possible place. VBG!

Next up is selecting a frame to finish the piece. For the next beading project I'll be working on a St. Petersburg Bracelet. It's coming along quickly and I love the Victorian look so far.

Still need to come up with how I'll be closing it. Most of my gold metal buttons seem too large for such a delicate weave of beads, perhaps a button made up of bead findings? Sounds like I'll be playing a bit. For my hand stitching, perhaps I'll finish my embroidery on the "spring Patchabilities to get that off my list even though I feel like jumping onto the Patchabilities Ball Jar of Flowers.

Enjoy Your Day,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting things done

While traveling on a rainy day, I stumbled across this field of sunflowers. Normally I see these flowers as a perky blessing but on that drizzly overcast day, these are the sorrrowful flowers I ran across. Good to know even God's natural elements are affected by the weather.

AS for getting things done I am, well, sort of anyway. For the canning, we did get 11 pints of mincemeat canned, 35 pints of chow chow and 25 pints of chili sauce. This is our first year doing the chow chow and the chili sauce.
We did open up a jar of both. The chili sauce is wonderful even though it is sweet. We used our DIL's grandmother's recipe. Thanks Chel! I don't think I should use too much of this sauce though with my sugar diagnosis so DH will be one happy husband having to chow down most of it. The chow chow is good, but the baby lima beans I used in it should have been cooked more. That makes it not great but it is still good with al dente lima beans.
The last items yet to be done are the grapes. Since it's raining now, I should be able to get a surplus of juicy grapes for juice. We looked up several ways to can or freeze it and I think we'll be doing it so it needs to be diluted with an equal part of water when wanted for consumption.

As for beading the lime green bangle bracelet I started last month is coming along nicely. It's well over half way done. I hope to complete that by next Monday. Here's a pic of my progress so far.

The CXS that I was working on for most of the summer, ah hum... I mean should have been working on was recently picked up again. The only color I have left is DMC-3031which is a dark brown. The parts left to do are the birds eyes and legs. Then all the stitching will be finished, so it's a good thing I have another 60% off coupon for framing at Michaels.

Status of the Alien quilt is status quo. When the canning process is totally done, I'll be able to use the tables in the garage for sandwiching, so that's at a stand still again. Regarding any machine stitching, I haven't done a stitch since last week so the Miranda Purse is at a stand still. I was able to purchase a perfect pair of handles and a magnetic closure for her which you'll get to see when she's done done.

DH and I went to Glens Falls on Monday. Adirondack Quilts was having a tent sale reducing their inventory so I wanted to check it out. There wasn't a lot that tweaked my interest except... patchabilies, some black batting and 2 pink fabrics that were $3.00 a yard, so nabbed onto those. I just know I'll be able to use them someplace. Of courswe I saw the motorcycle scrap in the scrap bin too and it jumped into my purchases. With all my Harley friends in the lick a chick group, I jsut know I'll be needing this some day.
Of course while there, I did get to Joanns. I purchased a couple of books with the 40% discount, purse handles and a pair of ginghers. I just love those scissors both in using and their looks.
Hope you are enjoying your evening. Hopefully later tonight or tomorrow I can find some time to sew.



Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nancy DiDonato

I mentioned in a previous post about taking a workshop my guild offered with Nancy DiDonato as the instructor. It was more an informational meeting and was called, "HOW'D SHE DO THAT?" What a great class, a wonderful lady and informal teacher! She had an amazing trunk show and lecture the night before at our guild meeting and the class was the next day. She brought all of her quilts to the class so we could ooh and awe over them some more and look at them for the techniques she used.

Here she is with an Umbrella she revamped. She made it out of silks.

This piece has a Birch Bark Border. Yep, real Birch Bark. But before you get your panties in a bunch, she harvested the bark off of a fallen tree. Birch paper is protected and it against the law to strip trees of their skin, because it kills the trees.

This next piece is her Gustav Klimt, I forgot the official name of this piece. I know it's not the Hug or the Kiss but of course you see she perfected the look to his masterpieces but by quilting it.

This next piece she was working with her "In the Square" series and has 3 separate quilts which are then floated into the next larger dimentional piece. She uses radiator plugs, wire, beads and anything else she can find to create the look and feel she currently is working on. The white is the color of the vinyl bag she stores this in. Where you see white, you'll see the wall or see through that area.

This stained glass mermaid is unbelievable. With this she used a lame to soften the water and give it a lustrous look and used grey thread for her leading. Beautifully done!

This quilt which has the iron door that elulates a door from Fort Ticonderoga was made from pipe cleaners.

This piece she created was in her series "to fill the space". There are 4 separate little quilts which are then suspended together with some findings, (such as beads, metal rings and other chotskies).

This next quilt was to get the feel of a forest fire. Notice the discarded "CHAR-BROIL" placard she affixed to the front. The floral fabric underneath was something else entirely. The little quilt with the placard dangled beneath her forest.

Sow's Ear Purse (or something very similiar to that name) is this next award winning quilt. Check out all the heavily embroidered silk purses hanging off this piece. Also the pig, has boar bristles on it that she stitched monofilament thread all over it to have that prickly sensation.

This last photo is her "stamp it" piece. She took a class with someone else on stamping, sorry I can't remember her name right now. Anyway, just after taking the class she was without power for four days. So she took advantage by savaging her house to find unique and different items that she could stamp out on this dark canvas the teacher had given her. To finish though, she used vinyl screen cloth that she painted.

I hope you enjoyed my pictures even though some are sideways and not too crisp. With everything she shared, I have 11 pages of notes written down. With each quilt, she explained how she manipulated, painted, couched, sewed and created each work of art. I am only sharing a tidbit of the information and the quilts she shared.

So, if you ever have the chance to take one of her classes, make sure you do. It is soooo worth it. I have marveled at her techniques for years now and would you believe she started quilting in 2005. Amazing! Of course her sewing and upholstering experience come in handy, but I think that has taken a back seat since she found quilting. (Sound familiar?)

Enjoy your evening,

Stash Report.

Used this week: 0 yards
Used Year To date: 43.25 yds

Added This week: 24.50 yards
Added Year To Date: 84 yards

YTD is a gain of 40.75 yards

Alas, no change since last week. Hopefully this next week,
(fingers crossed here) ;~). Check out Judy's blog to see how the other ladies trying to use up 100 yards of fabric from their stash are fairing.

Did get 20 quarts of Stewed tomatoes put away and 11 pints of mincemeat. When all the canning and jam is done, the 2 tables we've been working on will be left out so I can layer a quilt (my Aien Invasion).


Saturday, September 11, 2010

A lot going on

Sorry you haven't heard from me in awhile. DH, our son and I have been canning and pickling. It also has been a big week. PGD#1 is now a schoolgirl.

This is the pose she did for her Mom. Talk about precocious! But she was so excited. The night before school started, starting around 3:00AM she kept asking her Mom or Dad, MOM, IS THE SUN COMING UP? GRRR.... Where's that sun? huff.., When is that sun going to come? Ending with Huffs quite often. So it was a very short night in their house. Too funny!

We used the garage again this year for canning. It makes it so much easier with all the tomato, peppers and onions with the peeling, chopping and processing. Thank goodness we have a couple of heating elements at our disposal. The 2 burner, homemade stove top (pictured in the foreground of above picture) was fixed and made by our son about 15+years ago. Yes, he's a correction officer, teaches technical, swift and ice water rescue, is an EMT and volunteer fireman, but before all that he was a welder. He and my husband made an ice fishing shanty years ago when he was still in high school. (The shanty is not much to look at but it does keep you warm when ice fishing). Since they would be gone with friends all day long for numerous days in the winter, they liked to cook something out in the natural elements, thus the 2 burner cook top. Since the legs on the stove frame they were given were too short and a possible fire hazard, he made a stove table for it to sit on to keep it a better distance from the tables it would sit on. It's housed in the shanty until we pull it out at this time of year or for emergencies and it runs off propane gas which is so much easier than using our Coleman Camping Stove. Years later, DH wanted to get a turkey fryer and viola, another cooking surface for processing jars in the canners. You'll notice the fryer in the right background. Besides keeping the heat out of the house it's YEAH! for me too, since the drips and spills are in DH's garage, not my kitchen. VBWG!

We were able to process 33.5 pints of salsa, 19 pints of pickled beets. Today is chili sauce day so we only have the chow chow, mincemeat and the grapes to finish off the 2010 season.
Our grape vines did the best this year. Since I've recently been diagnosed with Diabetes, I'll have to forego the grape jam, jelly or juice for myself but will make it for the family. I'm leaning towards the jam and juice with this year's crop. They are almost peak.

I did start working on the Miranda Bag. Here is a sample of the quilting on the pieces. I used monofilament thread for the outline quilting on the floral print and am very happy with the results. The first photo I actually remember to grab my camera while I was doing it. The one following is after that section was totally quilted.

Perhaps I'll use some crystals to enhance the flower centers? IHave to ponder that more.

Besides all the above, I also was down a couple of days due to health, attended a quilt class given by Nancy DiDonato with the subject being: "How'd She Do That?"
Talk about a fantastic class and teacher. I'll have to share more about that and the pictures with you in the next posting.
Oh no, the canning is calling my name. Will catch up more later.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Faux piped binding

Check out this awesome tutorial for a faux piped binding over at TLC stitches. I just might have to try it on one of my soon to be finished quilts. Good to know!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Stash Report, Acquisitions and I feel great!

It's been a while since my last stash report and all I can say is that I am glad I am NOT on the No-Buy this year. I have stopped my frivolous spending and only getting what I need to finish a project, ahh..hum, most of the time. BUT today.......I really outdid myself. hehehe.

This first photo are fabrics to make the Miranda Bag, a Lazy Girl Pattern. Oh, I love her patterns! The column of fabrics on the left will be the outside of it while the two on the right will be for the interior. Would you believe that with the 10 sets of purse handles I have in stock, that none of them could work with these fabrics! Guess I'll have to do some more shopping.

Next for display is a selection of cloth to make a quilt for our new camper. We gave our '77 Vintage Prowler to our children to share with their families and we are now the proud owners of a 2002 Prowler tow behind camper. It is really in terrific shape and the color inside is a soft sage. I'll share more about that later.

Dreamcrafters, a fantastic quilt shop in Awkesawne/Hogansburg was having one of their annual sales. Dyan S. (the owner) has such a great eye for color and buys many fabric lines that appeal to me. It always great to go there and besides getting what I need I usually run into friends that I haven't seen for awhile. It's so nice to catch up when you get the chance.

Can you tell I'm drawn to the green, blue and browns today?
This panel would be a great center for some accessories to the "Prowler quilt" and since it was her last one, I purchased it just in case. You know you have to get it when you see it and get enough otherwise you'll forever dread it.
And of course there is still the "stash" to paw through and audition for this quilt too.

I plan to do my own dimensions and design for this quilt. So, not being sure of anything yet, all of that will have to be figured after I finish my backing for the patience Corners Humpjumper king size quilt that is currently being worked on. (That is after the jam, pickling and canning processes are finished up.

The last selection of fabrics will be for a fall jacket for myself. There tends to be alot of brown, black, green, pinks and oranges in my closet at this time of year, besides of course blue jeans, so this combo will work up gorgeously, I hope.

All of these fabrics (except for the 2 silks) were purchased at Joanns with their Labor Day sales going on. The fabrics are silks, wovens and cottons and the plan is to shove them all in the wash together on a gentle cycle and come what may, call it done. I always do this with any apparel fabrics since that's how it will be washed after it's made. Perhaps it'll be best to stabilize the silks and wovens first or prewash them by hand to keep them safe and from unraveling too much.

The backing is done for the Alien Invasion twin size quilt, but since I don't count any fabric used until the project is 100% done, I still can NOT count any that I've used. But using it, I am! With purchasing all the fabrics I did, it's going to shoot the gain way up, but I really don't mind, I needed the retail therapy. You can't create if you don't get your mojo going. So with out any further babbling, my numbers for this week are:

Used this week: 0 yards
Used Year To date: 43.25 yds

Added This week: 24.50 yards
Added Year To Date: 84 yards

YTD is a gain of 40.75 yards

All in all, it was a very nice DAY. 8~) Be sure to stop by Judy Laquidera's blog to see how much fabrics are being used and with what. Great eye candy. Judy and many of these quilters just amaze me wiht how much they get done.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another Go! Accuquilt is being given away. Can you believe how generous all of these quilters and Accuquilt Go! has been? It's not too late to sign up for this one on a quilting life. Go over and check out Sherry's blog. She has many other goodies and great eye candy throughout her blog too.

Good luck, but I seriously hope I win. This would be heaven sent.

I did finish making the backing for my Alien Invasion quilt too. After it's quilted, I'll post a picture and calculate how much fabric I used. After making several attempts on facial features, I came up with this one.

I think it fits him nicely, this lop-sided quirky smile. This makes him not so frightening. I'm not sure who will get this quilt yet. My daughter saw it the other night and thought it was real cute, so perhaps it'll go to her youngest son who will be 2 in December. Time will tell.

I also slept really well several nights ago and came up with "the perfect plan" for the backing for my Patience Corners King size quilt that is also waiting to be assembled. I was able to do some calculations to figure out how best to proceed and think it should be rather smooth going. I might actually try to machine quilt that beast too, by quilting it in sections and starting with the center section first. Oh no! I'll have to some more math and make sure it'll fit okay. Ohhh, I love to tease! Check back soon. (I think I'm on a roll again.)

Last night while watching TV, I did restart organizing my button box. This is what I have left to go through.

The next few photos are the piles currently on my sewing table. See what I mean about so many buttons. I am using quart size plastic bags and I'll probably use a couple of gallons size bags too for the larger quantity colors of the black, brown and white.

Does anybody have any great ideas on how to store Buttons? I know these bags won't be the best solution for the long haul, but after shopping at Walmart today while my car was being repaired, nothing there seemed like a good solution.