Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tree Pants

After having the same green velvet Christmas tree skirt that I've had for I don't remember how many years, I decided I'd like a new one.  I found this pattern for tree "pants" (square not round) back in October, but didn't make it until a week or so ago sometime. (At this time of year time just all blends together with school activities and other projects.)

Very easy pattern and very fun.
I sort of did a combo of the Red/White version with some scrappy fabric that I already had. 

 I wish I had had more of this print.  I think I would've used it for all of the stars had there been enough.  Instead I did plain red solid, green on green print, and the multi-print for the stars.

My kids were very excited to put it around the Christmas tree when we got out all the decorations and got serious about the holidays.

Now on to pajama bottoms.....

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Scrap-Tastic Finish

Got my Scrap-Tastic quilt back from the quilter last week.  Yay!

Thanks to the long weekend I was able to spend some quality time with the fam watching movies and working on hand stitching the binding.  Love when I can combine my sewing time with family time.  Makes me feel less guilty about my hobby, ya know?!

My girls were pretty funny, though.  They kept asking when I was going to be done... Like it was a speedy process or something.  At one point the youngest plopped herself right next to me, legs on top of my lap, all the while pulling the blanket closer to her chin the more I'd sew.   

The minute the last stitch was put in my older daughter jumped up from the couch and said "I want to use it!".   She promptly took it back to her spot on the couch and curled up for the rest of the afternoon. 

So here it is in all it's crazy scrappy glory! 
I should've named it "Everything But The Kitchen Sink" because there is seriously every kind of fabric in it--the good, the bad, and the extremely ugly!  Even some squares from a bloggy friend.  (Thanks anonymous friend!)
I love it in all it's craziness!! 

 For the back I chose to use solids.  
There was SOOO much going on on the front that I thought the back needed to be less chaotic.  

Here is a shot of the quilting detail.    
 Not my normal taste for quilting, but for some reason I'm liking it on this one.  Who would've guessed...

Finished measurement 70" by 98"
Block directions from imagingermonkey here and here

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shirtwaist Dress--Mock Ralph Lauren

Here is a new dress I made myself after purging my closet a few weeks back.

View C with View A ruffle added
Fabric--Ralph Lauren chambray sheet from the Thrift store--about $4.00
Lengthened about 9 inches.

Super comfy.
Love all the topstitching.
And even though my style is usually more tailored I love the little ruffle.

Linking up to Quilt Story.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mincemeat Cookies

You know how as moms we disguise food so that our children will eat certain items--usually veggies.  i.e. broccoli pureed and put into spaghetti sauce for example.  This is our longest running family food secret to date.  I'm sure of it.

Our youngest brother is turning 30 this week. 
Mom, it's time to let Nate know the truth.
I think he can handle it.
He's married and has 2 kids.
He really is a big boy now.

For years, our Mom swore the remaining 5 of us siblings to secrecy about these cookies. 
Nate loves them! 
Probably one of his favs. 
But she never told him what was in them.
She always called them "spice" cookies.
Well, it is true, there are spices in them.
But that's not all....

Mincemeat Cookies
Cream together:
  • 3/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
Sift together and then add to above:
  • 2 1/2 c. sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. mincemeat
  • 1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)  Oh how I wish I could put nuts in mine, but about half my family complain about them.  Bummer!
Blend together thoroughly.  Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet.
I also usually take a glass w/ flour on the bottom and flatten out the spoonful a bit so it ends up being more round, not mounded.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Let cool slightly then drizzle glaze over top of each cookie.

1 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. milk


Then watch your youngest brother eat them all up and smile to yourself because you know the truth. 
Happy B-day Nate!

***And by the way, my kids know what's in them, and they LOVE them besides the fact they know what's in them...i.e. green tomatoes and raisins.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kindergarten Handprint Quilt--Finished

Let me just say that a little OCD can be a beautiful thing.
Remember when I started this quilt back the first part of November for my youngest's kindergarten class?

Here is the finish

Once I got the idea on how to put this quilt all together it just sort of ran away with me and I didn't want to work on any of my other projects.  (And there are plenty of others...)

Thrifted striped sheet for the backing.

On opposing corners I had to make an additional 9 patch because there were only 22 kids. 
C. kept telling me I needed to go get 2 more handprints, but I like how this worked out in the end.

Raided the stash for the binding fabric.
Love how it worked with the fabrics, and there was JUST enough
to piece together so that I didn't have to go buy anything else.

Later this week I'll go take a pic with all the kids and their teacher.

  • Cut 8" white blocks--22
  • Cut 3" squares for 9 patch blocks---26 blocks total using 236 - 3" squares.
  • 6 blocks across and 8 down.
  • Added 3" cut strips for outside border in marbled blue.
  • Finished dimensions: 50 1/2 by 64 1/2 inches.
Linking up at Quilt Story.

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Quilt Club Challenge Quilt #2

    While I'm off enjoying some much needed R & R with the hubs this weekend (yay!) I'll share with you my 2nd quilt club challenge quilt.  It's a crazy one! 

    When I first showed Leslie what I was going to do she was like, "Whoa, That's one crazy quilt -- Like mad hatter crazy!"  The name has stuck so I'm calling it The Mad Hatter.    

    The story behind it is similar to my other one.  But this is the quilt club challenge from the previous year.  The ladies were given a stack of florals (again, cut from one of the club members own stash).  By the time I entered the group everyone had mostly gotten their quilts finished.  I was given an "Oh, here's some floral squares for you!" stack of leftovers.  Again, didn't love the fabrics, so they sat and sat while I figured what the heck I was going to do with them. 

    When I saw this... 
    Photo from Quilt Magazine 2010
    I knew I'd found my inspiration! 
    It is a Kaffe Fassett quilt that graced the cover of Quilt Magazine in June/July 2010.  While I am generally not a big fan of his (Sorry Kaffe lovers!) I knew my florals could take on this same look and be awesome in their ugliness.  

    I think my cheap-o, knock-off, quilt club challenge version is a pretty good one, don't you?

    Updated: You can view the finished quilt HERE

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Green Tomato Mincemeat to Can

    With all the green tomatoes that I picked off my plants a week or so ago I went ahead and made up some mincemeat to can.  Unfortunately it doesn't use up as many tomatoes as I'd like, but the rest of them I've put into paper bags to ripen them up and then can those just as tomatoes.

    Green Tomato Mincemeat

    6 c. chopped apples, seeded
    4 c. chopped green tomatoes
    5 c. raisins
    3 c. sugar
    1/2 c. vinegar or lemon juice
    2 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. allspice
    1 tsp. salt

    Boil all together until cooked through (it will be brown). 
    I cooked mine about 1 hr.

    Ladle into hot, clean jars.
    Hot water bath for 25 minutes.

    • This recipe makes 6 pints. 
    • This time around I canned it in 1/2 pints because that is the amount I need for my Mincemeat cookie recipe.  Thanks, Tiffany, for that heads up.
    • 2x recipe need 1 - 5# bag of apples.
    • Raisins -- a 24 oz. bag = 4 1/2 c.

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Quilt Club Challenge Quilt #1

    This quilt has a bit of a story behind it (...don't they all?).

    At the beginning of summer one of the ladies in my quilt club came to club with bags of fabric for everyone!  She had decided to get rid of a bunch of her stash and in so doing had made "quilt kits" for each of us.  The catch was that all the bags were sealed in non-see through bags so that we had no idea what we were getting.   She included instructions and all the fabric needed to make a generous sized top.  We had to do the rest.

    Over the course of these last few months the ladies have been bringing their finished tops (and even finished quilts!) to our monthly meetings.  Last month I was feeling a wee bit guilty that I hadn't even thought about my kit yet.  Mainly it's because the fabric is not exactly my taste.  But I came home from club and decided that I needed to stop being a what-ever-you-want-to-call-it and get to work.

    So here's a little peek at my finished top:

    I got an array of pink's and red's in my bag.  Again, not my favorite fabrics, but now that it's done I don't hate it.  The pattern we all used is called Turning Twenty.  It is super easy and and super fast to put together.  I think it took me less than 2 hours to put together.

    Here are some of the other tops from the ladies in my club.  Again, no one had any idea what they were getting...
     This one has sort of a stained glass look to it. Lots of pale blues and greens.

    Cowboy/Denim:  This one got quilted with loops and stars all over it.  It looked really cute with the fabrics!


    (There were 2 more but I can't seem to find those pictures.)
    Even after cutting up fabric for 11 quilt tops I'm not sure that it even made a dent in my friend's fabric stash.  Can you relate?  Irregardless of whether I like the fabrics or not, it's been a fun little project with the ladies. I've got one more challenge from them that I will show next week.

    With all this "challenging" it's got me thinking.  I should give the ladies some of my scraps and see what they come up with. That would be fun wouldn't it?!  Maybe we could turn my strings into a wonky log cabin quilt.  I wonder if they can do wonky? ...Humm

    Updated: You can see the finished quilt HERE.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    WIP Wednesday--Kindergarten Handprint Quilt

    I love it when your "no set plan for this quilt" comes together.  Inspirationally...after less than 24 hours.

    This is the first time for me to make a handprint quilt with kindergartners and I wasn't really sure what I would do as sashing or in between.  I just knew that I had a lot of blue scraps that I would use so I made sure the paints were varying shades of blue for the handprints. 

    Originally I thought I would piece 3" squares as the sashing, or even cut them down to 1 1/2" strips and piece them.  I played around with it a bit and then decided I didn't like that idea AND it would be way more work than I wanted to do.

    I've also been working on the 9 patch blocks that the 5th grade class designed for their quilt when the thought came to me to make crazy 9 patch blocks in blues only to put between each handprint block.  Brilliant!!!

    After a few testers I decided this was the look I was after.

    • Cut 8" blocks in white for the handprints. (22 kids in the class) 
    • Use freezer paper on each handprint block to stabilize it.
    • Tape across one edge of the block to help the kids know where to write their names.  This way the kids can't write into the area that will be sewn into the seam allowance.  Do this before the handprint.
    • We painted the palm of the kids' hands for them and then helped them print it.  They chose the color.
    • Make sure you have someone to help push their fingers and palms down as best you can to get a good print.
    • And another helper to be the handwasher. 
    • Cut 3" squares for the 9 patch blocks. (26 - 9 patch blocks = 234 - 3" squares)
    • 6 blocks across and 8 down.
    I am really excited about this quilt.  My little C. wants to know if he gets to keep it, but the plan is to auction it off to raise money for the kids' school.  I may suggest a raffle on this particular quilt so I can put in too and then maybe win it back. 

    Hmmm....I'll have to think about that one.

    Also linked up at Freshly Pieced


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