Monday, November 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Dance Party!

see more wordless wednesday here.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I did an online challenge with my friend Rachel and finished it yesterday. I try to do something new in each quilt I make, or practice a skill that needs work. On this quilt, I did a stripey binding, cut on the bias.

It was a challenge to figure out how to piece it so that the seams were camouflaged in the red stripes. I love the way it turned out. I used up tons of Christmas scraps, including The Night Before Christmas panels which were supposed to be made to make a book. You can actually read the whole story on the top of the quilt (which Thing One loves).

The back uses up a ton of Christmas fabric too. (No, all those little squares on the back are not pieced, it's printed on the fabric.)

I also made pepper jelly yesterday. A friend had given me a baggie full of jalapenos, and I didn't know what to do with them until my sister told me of her pepper jelly-making and I got the envies. She sent me this recipe. It was surprisingly easy and fun. It made me feel like Betty Crocker!

The peppers look so Christmasy in their jars.

And an added bonus: I found a bottle of mead hidden in the cabinet with my canning jars! Sweet!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My new scheme

I just finished working on my guild's annual challenge. The assignment we received several months ago, was to choose one word out of the pot, and make a quilt that embodied that word, using only two colors.

I picked "Scheme."

I thought of two ideas almost immediately. I sketched them out when I got home that night, then got involved with other things.

Last night, three nights before the quilt has to be shown completed, I sat down again with my sketch book to decide which of the two ideas I would pursue. I thought of a third idea, spent a couple of hours sketching it out. I bounced it (and the two originals) off my husband when he got home from fire station duty around 11pm. He said that one idea is much more accessible to a universal audience, and he's right, even though it meant the last few hours of work were wasted. I had found the perfect quote so it wasn't a total waste. Jean Jacques Rousseau said "There are two things to be considered with regard to any scheme. In the first place, Is it good in itself? In the second, Can it be easily put into practice?" It ended up tacked onto the "refrigerator" with some buttons in the finished product.

I must interject here that I am so lucky to have a husband who will listen to my midnight ramblings and not only understand them, but give me honest and sound advice. He has inspired so many ideas, or come up with great ideas, or helped me work through my own ideas.

The idea was to show the boys looking up at a cookie jar on top of the refrigerator, scheming about how to get at the treats.

It's hard to think that those angelic faces could ever do anything naughty. The other morning, upon waking, I found the boys sitting at the table, merrily eating their respective bowls of cereal with milk. This was somewhat unusual. The cereal is in a very high cabinet over the stove.

"Did daddy fix you cereal before he left?"

"No, Mama, we got it ourselves."


"With two stepstools stacked up, and the kitchen tongs."

Egads. No mother needs a heart attack before her first cup of coffee!

So, today, I started working in earnest. I started by photographing the boys. This required a tiny bribe of Halloween candy to get them to pose and repose.

Thing One is thinking about wings, since he is obsessed with bugs and airplanes. Thing Two, my little engineer, is thinking about building stairs.
This is the finished quilt.

I had a ton of fun doing the "thread painting" around the cookie jar.

I also did some fun free motion of quilting of wing shapes and traditional "feather" shapes in the black background, although you can't see them unless you are really close. I got lots of positive feedback at the guild challenge meeting. This will go in the spring quilt show with all the other (21) challenge quilts.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Thing One helped a neighbor bag leaves yesterday. Just because he wanted to. The neighbor gave him a $2.00 "tip". He was so thrilled. He said, "Mom, are you proud of me for making this money?" Of course, I told him I was proud of him for helping our neighbor, and reminded him that he didn't do the work in order to make money.

After thinking about what he wanted to do with his new-found treasure for a while, he gave the money to his dad, saying "I think you and Mom could use a little extra money." My heart just leaped at his generosity.