Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving is for the birds...

yep, turkeys of course! I love Thanksgiving and the food that goes with it. The memories that go along with the food is what I am the most thankful for.

My grandmother (my maternal) always made the best pumpkin pies and cream cheese stuffing for the celery. She also made this wonderful cranberry-jello-orange salad. You have to use that weird food grinder clamped to the table to make this salad...what, use the food processor...oh heck no! You have to clean up the juice from the berries and oranges for days, lol!

I know this is a quilting blog but we have to eat too, don't we?  I am into the cream cheese stuffing, ya gotta love it.

Beau Monde celery stuffing
1 8 oz brick cream cheese
  Soften cheese on counter (grams recipe!) in a bowl for a few hours. Add:
     1 teaspoon each: thyme, savory, marjoram
     1 tablespoon Beau Monde seasoning
     1 tablespoon water
     1 tablespoon dried parsley, crumbled.
Mix everything together and stuff celery, yummo!

Cranberry salad
Put thru grinder: 1 package cranberries, 1 orange (quartered...peels and all), 1 cup walnuts.

Make 2 big boxes black cherry (the cranberry jello wasn't out yet while gram was alive) with 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Open 1 small can crushed pineapple and drain juice...add the juice with water to equal 1  and a half cups, add to jello. Mix 1/2 to 1 cup sugar into cranberry/orange mixture, fold into jello, refrigerate.

I have tweaked the recipe over the years and have no idea what the original really was, lol. I have found that the few people like this salad. My son loves it and I am glad. Maybe he will include it in his family traditions in the coming years.

And speaking of family traditions, the "pumpkin pies" tradition. I have tried to make them, I really have. They just don't scream grandma. So I buy mine. I know, gross. Does anyone have any suggestions for pumpkin pie?

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Do my bloggy friends in other parts of the world, Germany (hi Liz), Sweden (hi Stina), Australia (oh dear, where do I start...chookyblue, Rhonda, Lizzie, Janet, and bunches more) have a similar celebration?

I have some sewing to do before I get my shopping list for all the things I Have a great day, Elaine

Monday, November 23, 2009

Clipping the seam lines....or, where is that kid?

The spousal unit reappeared, fed him and now for the pics! You will want to do this when you lots of time and your kid (s) is around. Using the fun little clippers, clip up to the seam line, NOT THROUGH IT. I have seen lots of patterns where you clip every 1/4-1/2". Uhhh, nope, nada, uh-huh. I like to do the clipping every 1/8", every seam and the outer seam line.

You might want to zoom in on the pic to see where the clipping is. Remember to do those "horrible" little corners where the blocks meet.
I like to move the clippers in and clip one or two layers at a time...saves on the fingers!

I also wanted to point out...if you zoom in on the unclipped section, you will see some pretty awful sewing! This is a fun project, try to relax and enjoy it.

After clipping the seams you may want to take it to the laundry mat to wash/dry. It creates a lot of fuzz, and you would have to clean the lint trap every 10 minutes for the first hour it dries.

The first one I made, it went to the laundry mat. I also took my clippers with me...good choice! When it came out of the washer, I found the spots I didn't clip, go figure!

You can also use school colors for the backing. They make great football blankies for the bleachers in colder climates. If you make them 12 blocks by 20+ blocks, it will "fit" a few spectators. My hateful SIN, who hates everything, loves his couch cuddler. Who knew?

I want to get on with my other Christmas projects. I will post a pic of this finished jean quilt next week, before I go to visit my new granddaughter. But...if anyone has any questions or comments about this quilt-a-long, let 'er rip!

Thanks for joining me, hope everyone had fun, Elaine

Are you ready for the next installment...

....of the jean quilt? Ok then, good, you're all keeping up, lol.

Now it's time for the clipping. Remember when I told you to get 2 pairs of clippers...and recruit the teen or spousal unit? This is the part where you need them. I clip on the sofa with the vacuum at standby, seriously. I have even put a flannel sheet under the quilt and spread out from the sofa. I do like this one since the flannel picks up the strings and fuzz better then a regular cotton one.  Come back later this evening for pics of clipping...dh isn't home and I need him to take pics for me! Later, moi

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Onward with the blue jeans quilt

Sorry, babies sidetrack me to the point of stupid! So anyway, how is everyone doing on the jeans+batting+backing? get your 120 squares and get ready for the big adventure, or as I like to call it, I am not ripping any seams out here missy!

Take 2 squares, flannel sides facing, as in pic above, and sew along 1 side. Continue sewing 2 squares together until all 120 are sewn, using @ 1/2" inch seam. Be careful as you sew, take note if any seam includes a metal button to avoid!

Now, take a two pack, match up with another 2 pack, flannels facing (see the seam lines in this pic?) and sew these together. Move the seams with your fingers as you sew, otherwise you might have to sew over a 1" hump! This is the wierd your quilt will look hopeless and weird, don't dispair, it will turn out very cute, trust me!

Keep adding 2 packs until you have 10 rows of 12 squares each. It (the quilt) is going to get very heavy, put the ironing board (stop laughing, you know you have one SOMEWHERE, or your mom does, lol) in front of your machine to help hold the quilt up  while sewing on it. Once you have the top all sewn up, topstitch around the entire edge, all four sides, @ 1/2" in.

Have fun finishing the sewing of your top, just 1 more step. So, while you are sewing, start thinking about reasons you NEED the hubs or teen to "assist" you with the next step, you really need to trust me on this one!

Don't forget to
pick up a pair of these babies, not the jeans silly, the clippers. We talked about these earlier, remember, Lowes or Home Depot, used to be @ 6-10 bucks a pair, depends on your part of the country. They are made by Fiskars...notice the trend here? I love power tools as well! Get 2 pairs, refer to prior paragraph. Just tell them they surely don't know how to for me!

Get sewing, later...

Welcome Kayla...pic!

 A pic of my new granddaughter, looks just like her momma at birth!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Feeling much better now

Monday at 0505, one of my grand daughters decided to land into this world, via c-section. She is perfect, gorgeous and downright huggable! Her name is Kayla Mae and she weighs a hefty 6 lbs and 10 ozs. I say hefty because she originally wasn't due until 9 December. My daughter was on 2 different controversial (because I say so) drugs to stave off labor. Kayla is having difficulty with her blood sugar and is being watched carefully, a result of mommy having gestational diabetes. I am going to meet her on 3 December, can't wait!

Keep on cutting, sewing and getting your squares in order. More later, tea time for this mawmaw, Elaine

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Do you have all your flannels done yet?

I was lucky enough to find a HUGE chunk of pink felt when I was ready to sew these squares up. This is the difficult part for the ocd people out there...thank God for them when you're doing regular quilting! Remember, the denim and flannel are both 6 1/2" square, but the filler needs to be smaller. I cut the felt up 3-4" square. No math, no headache inspiring measurements here....wing it! Same goes for the batting, if that is what you're using. And, yes, you can mix it up, little of this or  that! Get creative, use your imagination here. I usually take the narrow weird little strips of batting left over from my regular quilts and save in a bag until it overfills....that is usually enough for a couch cuddler.

Place your stacks together....and take an empty slick glass or bottle

or a coke, lol, unopened! Place it down on top of the stack of flannels or denim and twist the bottle to the right, while holding the stack still on the bottom. Continue in this manner

until the stack begins to fan a stack of cocktail napkins at a bar...don't ask! No, I don't know as a customer either! It makes it easier to pick up the squares!

Now on to layering: take a denim square, right side down, add the filler square and top off with your flannel square right side up.

I love to chain stitch mostly all my quilt pieces, this is no exception. Take the squares and feed one at a time through your machine, like this (from 1 corner to the next):

in a half X, don't cut the thread,  continue on. Don't worry to much about the batting shifting, just hold in place with your fingers while sewing. When you are finished with this, turn the squares to the next side and finish the X sewing again from one corner to the next.

Now stack 'em up and get ready for the next installment of Christmas on a budget.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Check out these denim quilts!

Not getting much sewing done tonight, darn it! But I did check some of my favorite bloggers and found one you might find interesting, this nice lady has made some awesome quilts, go quick and take a peek!

Monday, November 9, 2009

On with the flannel

Now that everyone, (stop me, I am laughing hard now), has their 6 1/2" denim squares cut's time for the flannel squares.

If you're cutting flannel from the bolt, the long ruler is invaluable! I do not prewash the flannel for this project.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Please pray for our soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas

My heart, along with millions of others, is broken with the tradgedy that unfolded today.  Pray for our troops. May God bless them and you, Elaine

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Don't tell on me...

...I just had to share my camping blanket with you!

Mama made it from 4 1/2" squares, otherwise the same as the big one. Stupid Chihuahua,  keeps taking it for herself....silly dog, quilts are for girls!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Blue jeans and maaaavaaluuus stuff

In attempting to minimize costs this Christmas, I, like lots of you, have decided to make lots of my gifts. My son always brings me his blue jeans he no longer wears.  I think his expecting wife NEEDS a new apron for the grill. A fun project inspired by this lady and her project.

Ok, back to the jean quilt. Did you get all of your jeans whacked up yet?  Mine usually look like this when I am done and before I cut the squares,

just right for next step.

Are you ready? You will need a 6 1/2" square ruler or a 6 1/2"x24" ruler. And since we are trying to cut costs as much as possible...if you don't have one of these rulers you can use the plastic side of a milk carton, laundry detergent bottle, plastic insert for get the idea. Use a ruler, mark off 6 1/2" and cut out. 

I like to start at any corner, use a pen on the wrong side of the jeans and start marking off the squares. If you have a large rotary mat, ruler and cutter, you can cut the jeans into strips and then into the squares, like this:

You will need 120 squares for a couch cuddler, @ 50"x60" finished, or 10 squares wide by 12 squares long.  Any questions so far.....?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Week 2~~~Cutting the jeans

Now that you have collected, borrowed or stolen the's time to start cutting, wahoo! See these handy, dandy clippers....Lowes or the big orange box, @ $10, get a few pairs, trust me, the teenagers helping you will appreciate them. So you can start cutting at the front top of the jeans, right along the seam line for the zipper...blow the pic up, you should be able to see it.

Continue cutting next to the seam, through the leg seams, up the back and straight thru the waist band.

Easy, peasy so far....right? If you are a mom of a kid who likes to wear name brand jeans and they are big, take care when you cut them up. You will want to incorporate the fun design elements of the the leather name tags, cutsey pockets, logo stitckers, etc. You may end up sacrificing some of the usable denim for the cool logos, you won't be sorry.
I like to leave the waist band on, sometimes using it in the blocks.  Cut up all the jeans until you have a pile ready for block cutting. Great job for the TV or that chat on the phone. Remember, if the jeans have frayed knees, paint spills or unknown spots, ignore them. Don't let that little voice take over....embrace the process!


Send me pics of your jean piles, I want to see them.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How many pairs of blue jeans have you collected?

Are ya ready......grab your scissors and a spare teenager to power those babies up....almost time to get started on the really, really cheapo quilt!  Monday is the day...wahooo...