Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Birthday Drawing

The names of all the commenters were placed into the larger coil fabric bowl. (okay, I know Christmas is past but the bowls were in the family room closet and I knew exactly where to find them).

Two names were drawn by DD.

The first name chosen was...Mamaspark! Congratulations! A heap of 6.5 inch novelty squares will be heading to your home!

The next name drawn was...Chris from Greetings from the Shady Grove! Congratulations! The pincushion kit will be heading to your home!

Please e-mail me your snail mail address so I can get these 'gifties' in the mail.

Thanks to everyone for sharing and playing along with Bell Creek's 1st Birthday! :)

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Got Lint?

Just as I suspected, Baby was full of lint!

Here is her before picture.

Here is her after picture. Quite a difference won't you say?

Unfortunately, I cleaned Baby a little too vigorously and now her feed dogs aren't advancing the fabric...oh oh. I took her to the Baby 'Doctor' and he will give her a expert cleaning and check her out! I also noticed that her brain is a little confused as she was giving me the message 'Needle Down' when in fact the needle was up.

I do have a smaller Janome Gem. I was going to use this as my portable machine to take to classes and retreats and such. DD was also interested in sewing for a bit, so I thought she could use it too. Last February, I was doing a demo on these coiled bowls as seen here and here. The tension went south of the border. I adjusted the tension and never got back to finishing DD 2008 Easter Basket. Guess that UFO just jumped to the top of the list as I didn't want to take the basket parts off the Janome and lose them!

Birthday Presents Update:

The comments are now closed. After I print off the entries, DD will draw the names! Stayed tuned to see if you will win a gift. :)
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Friday, January 30, 2009

Border Decision Made

Thanks to everyone who helped make this border decision. I agree that the checks would have been a little too much and should be broken up with black cornerstones.

Yet, Uncle Mi was thinking outside the box and wanted an all black border. Okie-Dokie. Mission Accomplished.

In case you are wondering, I followed LindaJ's 'Sorta TShirt Tutorial' when making this. Many thanks to Linda for *holding my hand* during the process. :)
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Border Decision Time

T-shirt quilt update:

I finished piecing the inside portion and now need to make an outer border decision. Uncle Mi expressed a desire to have the check fabric as the outer border...since I *know* that I won't be able to line up the checks from vertical to horizontal, I was exploring the options:

a) add 4 black cornerstones
b) add 2 black cornerstones and 2 pocket pieces as cornerstones
c) just add the check fabric and let the *checks* fall where they may
d) be happy with the 2 inch white border and call it a day!
e) miter (!?!?!?!) the check fabric

Wonder what I should do...wait for Uncle Mi's input!

I'm following LindaJ's 'Sorta T-shirt Quilt Tutorial here' for making this.

ps. There is still time to enter Bell Creek's Birthday Give Away. YOU could be one of the lucky commenters to receive a birthday present from Bell Creek Quilts! Click here.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Cajun Dish

JudyL challenged bloggers to make a cajun recipe then blog about it. Inspired by Lori, I search online and found this Cajun site with lots of recipes.

I made one of the jambalayas.

Sausage, Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

1 chopped onion
1 chopped green bell pepper
1 chopped celery stalk
3-4 boneless chicken breast chopped
1/2 pound Andouille sausage
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tsp Creole or Cajun seasonings
1/2 tsp dried thyme
hot sauce (Tabasco) liberally applied

pre-cooked or frozen pre-cooked shrimp

1. Place ingredients into slow cooker in order given
2. Set on low for 7 hours or high for 3 hours
3. Add pre-cooked or frozen pre-cooked shrimp for 5-10 minutes

I used Lousiana Cajun Seasoning and served the jambalaya with brown rice. We also had silver dollar dinner rolls. I made some vanilla pudding for dessert. It was a tad spicy for DS and GF, DD slept through dinner then ate a bowl of Golden Graham cereal. She wasn't even interested in trying it! DH and I each had two helpings but I think DH thought if he ate more tonight then I wouldn't have enough to serve tomorrow as leftovers! I'm glad I tried this recipe but I better stick with milder recipes for our Midwestern palates! :)
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Updates

T-shirt quilt update:

I finished piecing the shadows, now I need to decide on a layout. The *design team* (DS & his GF) thought the t-shirts would have more interest if the shirts were scattered. I had the same size shirts all in a column. I agree, it does add interest but also more work as I need to calculate and add white spacers to the left side of the shirts to bring each column to an equal width.

I'm following Linda J's tutorial here for the design of the tshirt quilt.

While I was thinking this over, I wanted to do some *mindless* sewing. 4 patches came to mind but the 2.5 inch r/w/b strips were calling my name. So I sewed the r/w/b strips together. I sewed some continents together and next the r/w/b world will be sewn together. Of course, then the inner and outer borders will follow. This will be a good example of a project using the 2.5 inch strips won in the exchange earlier this month. I think I used all 6 strips that I won! And you know, it was fun to sew with someone else's fabric!

At the end of my last continent, my top thread ran out. Perfect timing, amazing. I had purchased one of these big cones of thread and I'm going to sew with that for a spell and see how I like it. I also couldn't remember the last time I changed my needle so I did that, too. This would mean that I probably need to clean the lint out of the bobbin area, too. :) Thanks, Lori for reminding me to change out my needle!

I keep my needles and rotary blades (both new and used) in this Valentine tin on the cutting table. The old needles go into the medicine bottle (dated 2003!) and the blades go into the well marked container. I buy the blades in a 5 pack when they a) go on sale at JoAnn's or b) have a 40% off coupon that is about to expire.

ps. You may still enter Bell Creek's Birthday Give Away. Click here and check out the birthday presents!
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Stash Busting Week #4

I went fabric shopping this week and my report follows:

Fabric received in this week: +7 yards
Fabric received in YTD: +7 yards

Fabric used this week: -3.5 yards
Fabric used YTD: -14 yards

What I accomplished this week:
  • completed FAB Challenge #2 and it is on it's way to it's new home

Goals for next week:

  • continue working on Uncle Mi's t-shirts

Another finish this week...always helps lift the spirits. I'm going to continue working on Uncle Mi's t-shirts and hopefully, to a flimsy. I ordered some new thread to quilt my SIL's quilt that has been waiting for me to quilt it. Let's just say that I am very lucky that she is so patient with me! It's a variegated one and will be the first time that I use one! I also ordered a new panto that I will use on it.

ps. Don't forget about Bell Creek Quilt's 1st Birthday! Click here for a chance to win a birthday present from Bell Creek Quilts!

ps#2. If you are LAURIE, please e-mail me as you left a comment to be entered in the give away and I have no way to contact you! Thanks!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Final FAB *Project* Clue

Clue #7: The FAB *project* is complete and is now in the trusty hands of the United States Postal Service on its way to it's new home with Pam. The 'Reveal' will be in the beginning of February, sometime around the 6th, I believe.

Stayed tuned...

ps. Be sure to leave a comment here for your chance to win a birthday gift from Bell Creek Quilts!

An Award Given and Belated Thank You

Last week, Chris at Greetings from the Shady Grove betsowed upon me this award! Thank you so much, Chris for your thoughtfulness! Chris, if you have been reading her blog, is working tiredlessly to help liquidate the assets of a quilting friend who recently passed away. What a wonderful way to help this family in their grief from losing their Wife/Mother/Sister.

The spirit of this award is given as: 'This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!'These are some very wonderful gals to visit. They are thoughtful, friendly and have so many wonderful ideas.

Now typically one would nominate and give an award like this to (5) fellow bloggers. Since I find inspiration in many different bloggers, I wish to nominate YOU as my friend and inspiration. If you wish, display this award and pass it along to bloggers who have inpired you that you have meet here in Blogland!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday!

Today is the one year anniversary of Bell Creek Quilts!

Did you also know that today is National Pie Day? I didn't know either until I visited Patched Works where they are celebrating by giving away pie and a pattern for a yummy pie pincushion.

At the store, they also had kits available for the pie pincushion and the little tins to put the pie in once it is done. Too cute!

So for Bell Creek Quilts 1st Birthday, I am going to give away...this cute pie pincushion kit and plate!

I'm also going to delve into my box of 6 1/2 inch novelty squares and give a 'heap' of them away, too.

Let's see, to be entered...please leave a comment on this post and tell me what kind of pie is your, cherry, lemon meringue, pecan...ummm...I don't think I've meet a pie I didn't like. :) Also tell me if you would like the pie pincushion kit or the 'heap' of novelty squares. What I think I will do is print off your names, put them in a cigar box and have DD draw. Unless there are a bazillion names and then I will figure out the random number generator thingie. The first name will receive whatever their preference is. For example, Ms. A's name is drawn first and she would like the novelty squares. Mr. Z's name is drawn next then he would get the pincushion kit. If you really don't want one or the other, then put that in your comments, too because I would hate to send you something that you don't want or like. Let's give plenty of time for bloggers to enter so, the comments will be open until next Friday January 30, 2009. At 3:00pm (central time zone USA) I will close the comments and we will choose the bloggers to receive the goodies. Please make sure that I have a way contact you, if you are the lucky commenter!

Thanks to everyone for a Wonderful First Year of Blogging! :)

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mail Call

I had a note from the post office that I had a parcel waiting for me...woohoo! Many thanks, Norma! It arrived a whole week ahead of schedule. :)

It's my FAB Challenge #2 giftie! I have strict orders NOT TO OPEN until we are all together online as the *project* is not wrapped. Norma will be available online sometime around February 6th! Stay tuned for the *Reveal* in the beginning of February. :) and I did Norma used the *tropical camouflage* challenge fabric???

FAB Challenge #2 update (umm...the one I'm still working on):

Clue #6: I was all excited as I finished stitching the binding and label and thought, 'WooHoo! Time to mail!'. Then I remembered the EMBELLISHMENTS! (????!!!), so I'm still stitching away inching ever so close to being able to post my package. Now, I almost never, ever put embellishments on *projects* (oops! I almost gave IT away) so this part actually might fall into 'the quilting bucket list' I have on my sidebar. (Many thanks to Pam, who designed the buckets.)
T-shirt Quilt update:

I wanted to *try out* the shadow size and *see* if it looks okay. I also put a 2 inch border around the whole piece to try and get an idea of how one might look once pieced inside the quilt top. This particular logo was kinda big, so I'm thinking it just might end up on the back in some capacity...a label perhaps?! I took the picture with the block against the tile floor in the sewing room so there would be a little contrast between the block and background.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WIP Wednesday

My tradition continues...if it's Wednesday here at Bell Creek Quilts, then I am working on binding! I just made this binding and will machine (and hand) sew it later to the *project* I am working on.

Right now, I'm off to the quilt store to *see* if I can find *something good and creative* for my one year Blog Anniversary Give-Away on Friday. :)
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Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Updates

Update #1: I worked more on the FAB Challenge#2 piece.

Clue#4: Tore off the paper foundations. This worked much better after I got a pair of tweezers. I think if I do more paper foundation piecing, I would definitely invest in a good pair of tweezers for the sewing room tool caddy.

Clue #5: After a portion of the *piece* was together, I decided that I didn't like how this little 'zipper' was playing with the other fabric around it. So, out it came! This ergo-seam ripper seamed to work easier than the straight one or maybe, I'm just getting used to the *frogging* motion! :) I was done *frogging* in a jiffy.

Enough clues for you, Pam?!

Update #2: Uncle Mi's t-shirt quilt

I finished sewing the frames onto the t-shirt motifs. Next up is to organize by size then trim (or add) to get all the shirts in a vertical row the same size. After that, then it will be time to add the shadows.
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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stash Busting Week #3

Okay, an easy week to summarize. I didn't buy any fabric and I didn't finish any projects. My report follows:

Fabric received in (week): 0 yards
Fabric received in YTD: 0 yards

Fabric used (week): 0 yards
Fabric used YTD: -17.5 yards (used)

What I accomplished this week:
  • framed 9 t-shirts
  • pieced components for FAB Challenge #2
  • sewed binding back on 'Stars and Bars'

Goals for next week:

  • continue work on Uncle Mi's t-shirts
  • assemble, quilt and bind FAB Challenge #2

Well, my goals don't seem very *lofty* but I'm sure it will keep me busy in the sewing room.

My one year blog-iversary will be this Friday on January 23rd. It seems like just yesterday I was thinking about starting a blog and I want to THANK everyone in blogland! It is wonderful to meet and share and grow as a quilter with all *yous guys*!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A *Frogging* Kinda Day

What do Kermit and I have in common?
We've both been *frogging* today!

FAB Challenge Update:

Last night *seemed* pretty productive as I finished two portions of the *challenge* and use 6.0 more inches of the Challenge fabric! I was feeling pretty confident as I only had to use 1/2 inch more and I had one whole section to go! Well, pride goeth before the fall. When I went into the sewing room today, I realized that I had made a major portion of one section wrong...I spent the better part of an hour *frogging* and then a some more time, sewing it the right way! To add insult to injury, I'm just about all out of that go-with so I have to scrimp to get out what I need to finish that section. Lesson learned, "When tired, stop sewing".

T-Shirt Quilt Update:

5 shirts have the framing sewn. Hope to do a few more after dinner.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I worked on a few things today from my 'weekly goal list'.

Item #1: Hand sew back the binding on the 'Stars and Bars' quilt. Seems like when Wednesday rolls around, I'm getting ready to sew a binding back!

Item #2: Sewed the framing around one of the t-shirts.

I didn't have much ambition today, must be frozen like half of the United States. I'll let you know when I thaw out and get some more done. :)
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Little of This and A Little of That

A mixed bag of happenings here today.

First up

I pulled some novelty fabric for Lori today. She was making Happy Blocks for HeartStrings and I volunteered to send her some novelties. (My loss is her Stash Busting!) I also cut into a few of the novelty yardage that has been hanging around the sewing room, hoping to be made into grocery bags. Not sure when that is going to be on the lookout for a package Lori.

The FAB Challenge #2

Clue #2: Really can't tell a lot can you? LOL
Pretty blue with the Tropical Camo, right? And do you spy a little black, perhaps?

Clue #3: Trying my hand at Foundation Paper Piecing. I had to *frog* my first two seams. Ummm...not a great start but I will stick with it. This is another item from my Personal Growth List. I might just rename it 'My Quilting Bucket List'. Yeah...quilting techniques to try before I expire from the quilting world!

These segments took 6.5 inches of the Tropical Camo. Left to use: 6.5 inches.

T-Shirt quilt update:

A fabric selection was made for the framing strips. I washed and cut the strips and are now ready to be sewn to the t-shirts. I am following Linda J's 'Sorta T-shirt Tutorial' found HERE. Linda has been very helpful and generous with her time and knowledge helping through this project with pictures, e-mails and chatting. Thanks Linda :)
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stash Busting Report Week #2

I had my first finish of 2009 this week and another just needs the binding sewn back. I also played *strip poker* and lost way more fabric than I came home with! LOL. I think it is safe to say that I lost at least 15 strips, which would be approximately a yard of fabric gifted to the other *players* at my table. My report follows:

Fabric received in this week: 0 yards
Fabric received in YTD: 0 yards

Fabric out this week: -18 yards
Fabric out YTD: -17.5 yards

Net fabric YTD: -17.5 yards (used)

What I accomplished this week:
  • prepared and trimmed t-shirts for Uncle Mi's quilt
  • worked on FAB Challenge #2
  • quilted and bound 'Framed 4 Patch'
  • pieced and quilted 'Stars and Bars'

Goals for next week:

  • continue to piece Uncle Mi's t-shirt quilt
  • continue to piece FAB Challenge #2
  • sew binding back on 'Stars and Bars'

The t-shirt quilt is stalled until a few decisions are made. That will give me some time to catch up on my FAB Challenge. Let's see how far I can get on my goals this week. :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Update

I trimmed the t-shirts to size tonight. I decided to leave 1 inch beyond the motif to give it an extra little border. I figured I could always trim again if I wanted! :) One pile is the t-shirt fronts and the other pile is the t-shirt backs. Over the holidays there was some discussion as to which fabric to use, so once I touch base with Uncle Mi then I can continue with this project. A call to his house let me know he was *up north* and I had a wonderful chat with my SIL!

What do I spy here?! More hst's! Can you believe it?!

This is the beginning of my FAB Challenge #2 which is due February 1st at my partner's home. I do believe that I am the last to start. I, also, was last to start the Wacky FAB Challenge #1. This time the theme is 'Summer in Winter' using 18 inches of the challenge fabric. So far, I've used 2.5 inches. Only 15.5 inches to go. :)

This fabric was distributed in September 2008 and here I am, just starting my Challenge gift 4 months later!
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Friday, January 9, 2009

A few 2.5 inch Strip Quilts

Here are two quilts that I made using 2.5 inch strips, bindings yet to be sewn back.

This first one is from a pattern I saw on Mary's blog, Happy Blocks that are being made for the Heartstrings project. Instead of using a novelty print center, I simply made cream 4patches. Later, I found this pattern. I used 10 cream colored strips, 18 red colored strips and 17 blue colored strips (by width of fabric). With the red and blue strips I used about 26 inches of the 40 inches, so I divided the strips into two piles. One pile had strips at least 14 inches long and the other less than 14 inches long. I only had to add a few strips and I had enough coins for this second quilt.

This quilt is a combination of Mary's Easy Chinese Coins 2 and a pattern called 'Stars and Bars' where you insert Friendship Stars into the coin sections. To access the pattern you will need to go to Free Patterns and enter 'Stars and Bars' in the search box...(sorry didn't know how to hyper link pattern page if no Internet address on top of page).
Did you notice the hst's? One of my Personal Quilt Growths...using blocks that I normally shy away from!

I then found this Strip Tutorial on Kairle's site and just had to make a few blocks. It looks more complex than it really is to make but the edges of the blocks are all bias. Can you just imagine HOW easy I could pull that out of shape?!

On the agenda for today, finishing cutting the TShirts for Uncle Mi's quilt, laundry and some house cleaning. I really need to go to the grocery store but right now it is snowing. We are suppose to get between 5 and 8 inches depending on the storm track. I think I'd rather be comfy and cozy inside than out on the roads. How about you?! :)

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thursday Happenings

Remember this large (or rather, large-ish, I thought) pile of 2.5 inch strips I was cutting?

Well, today was the day that we played *Strip Poker* at my day guild. I think the ladies at my table really, really liked me! I had never played poker before so I was on a very steep learning curve...LOL. My fabric *coins* went very fast in the games!

Here is the loot I came home with...eight strips! The only reason I had any left is that we had to end our game because one member had to go to work and the others were done playing. :) Looking on the bright side...7 of the strips are new to me and only 1 is one I have in my stash.

Do you want to *see* what I made with my other 2.5 inch strips? The bindings aren't sewn back yet...let me know if you want to *see* the two quilts finished or unfinished...
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