Saturday, December 27, 2008

Log Cabin with Cornerstones

There are still a few more days in 2008 to whittle down my stash - a Log Cabin is a GREAT user of stash, so I started another project. Seems to me it takes about ??? 125 yards? Do ya believe that? LOL I DID purchase 2 yards of that dark brown for the centers and cornerstones and binding if there's enough left. I am thinking that using one solid cominant cornerstones would help to coordinate a wide variety of colors, but these are already fairly coordinated.

Does anyone have good figures for estimating yardage used for a queen size log cabin quilt? I'm guessing 13-14 yards for the top? Finished size will be about 86" x 100" inches. There are 64, 9 1/2 inch blocks. (Of course, at this stage, I cannot even see a dent - like we ALL say!)

I count Batting IN and OUT. And, I'm gaining ground slightly!. Happy Day!

2008 Fabric in 152.37 yards
2008 Fabric used -170.15 yards
2008 $ spent for sewing supplies, classes, retreats - $1,763.72

If you happen to make one with Cornerstones, be sure you use a strip method for making the units with the cornerstones. Seems fairly elementary, but this pattern might look complicated to a newbie, when in reality, it's easy. I DID cut my dark strips to exact length each. Some methods say to just lay the dark strip on the block and sew, then trim. I've found that method leads to inconsistencies. While it's a little more work to cut them to exact lengths, it's easier to maintain accuracy. And also, this time I cut my strip WIDTHS across the grain so the lengths are on the length of fabric -- much less stretching. In other words, if my log was 3 1/2 inches long, I cut a strip WOF 3 1/2 inches wide, then cut the logs.

The cornerstones are all sewn to the light logs, and I pressed to the LIGHT.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Another Linus Quilt, and Fixing a Mistake

A quick Linus Quilt - these are such fun to make and the idea is from

Did you ever find this problem (below Linus Quilt, but not the same as above), too late to repair it correctly? That seam (fuzzy photo) was too narrow, and came unstitched, showing the batting. I slid a little screwdriver in the seam to show. There is no room to take seams in, and I've already quilted half the quilt!
First, make a patch along seam lines. At the left is where I did some reinforcing zig-zag lines. That non-pointed corner was the big clue that a problem existed - glad I saw it - Waaaaay too 'wrong' for me!
Press under the seam allowances of the patch, and pin in place.

Voila! I did a blanket stitch with invisible thread and except for the center being slightly misaligned, you would never notice it. I put the pins in the border to show where the patch is - you'd never find it otherwise.

I didn't know how 'the right way' to solve the problem, but this worked well. (You may see basting stitches wandering through the quilt photos.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Do we need all those varieties?

Honestly, sometimes I think I should have been brought up with Little House on the Prairie! Well, I AM on the prairie, and enjoy my life, but wouldn't our lives be less complicated with LESS! Have you ever studied the varieties and options of laundry detergents? Laundry Detergents take up many shelves in the store, each one with another version of 'latest and greatest', this fragrance, that freshener! And each one is getting more costly than the last. My 32-load Tide is now at $10.00 adding a good chunk to my grocery bill. What I really DETEST is that the marketing folks MAKE us think all this variety is important, and we KNOW that the better products pay for those that are less-profit producing. So, OK, I reached my limit - this is my own way of protesting, and I MADE MY OWN DETERGENT!!!!! My friend Sue says she's been making hers for years, so I gave it a try.
Sue said their are various recipes, but this is what I did. I'm not giving the recipe, just telling you about what is what.

First, I spent about $10.00 for 1 huge box of Boraxo, 1 huge box of Washing Soda, and 1 bar of Fels Naptha.

I used 1/2 cup Boraxo, 1/2 cup washing soda, and 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha. There are instructions about cooking, mixing, etc., but I'm NOT going to post that yet. You may want to try other recipes, which are on the Internet. It took me about 1/2 hr. to make the whole batch, cooking adding water, etc.

From this I ended up with 1 and 1/4 gallon of detergent. It gelled up after I put it in the milk containers, (I preferred liquid but dry is available) so I need to find another container but ... I used 1/2 cup per load. Today I washed one load of white laundry and it was just perfectly nice. Smelled good, no suds, white, clean, and I didn't use bleach. I DO think it was whiter than bleach - am I imagining?

So, lets figure this out. 16 cups per gallon, and I use 1/2 cup per load, so I get 32 loads from one gallon, and I have MORE than one gallon. OK, I still have 2/3 bar of fells naptha, and a LOT more of the other two products. So, for $10.00 I have 32 loads x 3 = 96 loads per what I spent $10.00 on, and I still have gobs of the two products, so when I need more I'll buy another bar of Fels Naptha.

I had to actually cook it, mix it, and the first time it was fiddly, a little messy, but all the pans washed up nice (no odor). These ingredients are not in every grocery store - I bought mine at a serious, farmy-type coop store.

Additionally, I have a feeling that all the tips on the back of the packages might be just the ticket for other cleaning jobs, thereby eliminating other expensive. projects.

I must admit, I had my doubts, was scared of having something horrible happening to my stuff, but the load turned out just fine. Why not give it a try - there was not too much of an investment!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chores and "Checkers"

In order to avoid the unwelcome "downer" during the holidays, I've been cleaning and painting closets. sorting and organizing, and throwing out! Oh yeah - who notices closets? I do!!! Don't you love to walk by your clean, organized closet and fling open the doors to be sure all is still neat and tidy? THAT makes ME happy!

I've shown this quilt (above) previously, named "Checkers", and I definitely liked the clean lines of this scrappy pattern - simply pinwheels, and 4-patches. How easy can this get? To achieve that graphic effect, the rows of pinwheels alternate directions, and the 4-patches also alternate light in one upper left corner, and then dark in the left upper corner - very important. You must get them in the right place, although I DO wonder what would happen if I changed it? OK, next quilt!

I had a lot of kids prints and wanted the same effect. Now, you'll notice (below), some of the graphic effect is lost, due to the variety of prints. Uh ohhh ... well I still like it, but it was another excellent lesson to learn. Many of the prints had black in them so I used a small black/white check in the 4-patches. And it WAS pretty 'blah' before I added that border - the last border contains a lot of black/white stripe(bees). The thin black border definitely jazzed it up! And now that I'm looking at the photo, it doesn't look 'blah' at all!

Incidently, there were a LOT of 'possible' pinwheels, that didn't work. I spread them evenly all over the quilt, but they didn't work at all -- too distracting. There are MORE unused pinwheels on my sewing table, than what I used! LOL. Some are big prints cut up that don't show their cuteness, some go the wrong direction, some look terrible with a white background, etc. Hey, ya gotta kiss some frogs before you find that prince! (I now have a LOT of pinwheels to use for labels! - LOL )

This will be a Linus Quilt, and I'll be working on the quilting over the holidays.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Long sleeves, books and boxes

I'm proud of all the things I have learned to do with my hands. Sew, quilt, paint, play piano, work hard, mow lawn, build, cook, carry babies, write, compute, lend a helping hand, etc., but what on earth can you do if you are wearing these long sleeves -- sleeves that don't even push up on your arm? Odd, like advertising how useless your hands are (IMHO).

Below is what I'm reading these days - very interesting. While this book is several years old, piracy (in it's traditional sense) is a current major problem!

Below is a photo of a box For Sale at the Church Rummage Sale, that I really WANTED, but was apparently too slow when the doors opened, and it was GONE when I walked in, clutching my $2.00 in hand. Sigh - look at the cute rabbits, and angel on the top. Oh well.

Monday, when I came to work, there it was, perched next to my computer in my office, with my name affixed! Some very kind person - Norma? Jacci? both deny they were the kind person -- had picked it up for me, having seen my disappointment when I thought it was gone.

But wait! -- There's MORE! I opened the box and was flabbergasted to see another nested box, just as attractive, inside. And then, yes, ANOTHER ONE, AND ANOTHER AND ANOTHER, AND ANOTHER and ANOTHER! What a treasure - there are 7 lovely boxes in all! And each one in perfect condition. I have publickly admitted my lack of decorating sense, but here they are, nicely stacked up next to my hutch. I'll have to work on decor.

I DO love my job - there is so much kindness happening. And I in turn always make a contribution - something about "what goes around comes around."

The News - do you listen to all of it?

My last post made me so depressed, I deleted it (about greed, and selfishness at the top of our industrial economy).

Maybe I can get on with more positive things if I don't have to keep seeing it on my own blog for gosh sakes - my own blog usually gives me comfort - that WAS the point of having one.

DH says I need to know all that is going on in the world. On the contrary, I would just as soon keep my head under the quilts, and catch only the high points. Otherwise the joy of each is spoiled by the constant reminder.

Thank you all for your comments.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Oh My -- several "No Replies"

...another mystery ... Is there some reasonable explanation as to why folks ask a question and then sign it "No Reply"? There must be some reasonable answer.

Many of us bloggers have our blog system/options set to deliver your comment to our e-mail Inbox, as well as show up on Comments. We know right away if someone has made a comment, and, we can answer promptly. As for me, I usually answer all e-mail within a day or so.

If you sign your question "no reply", we have to 'find' you - not fun, and when some of us receive dozens of messages every day, it's hard to 'find' you, to answer your question.

So, my question is, What is the reason people comment "No Reply".