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Monday, March 26, 2012

Personalized Flannel Rag Quilt

I've been so excited about my new sewing machine (Jamnome 6600) and all of it's stitches and needed a project to play with them.  You can imagine how excited I was to find a tutorial about a rag quilt and using my new machine stitches.  I found the instructions over at Patricia's Dogwood Lane Rambles.

My nephew was born in January and this aunt hasn't even been able to see him, but today I am going to put this in the mail to show him some love.

I cut 3" and 5" strips of flannel and used 21 strips on top, 21 strips in the middle, and 21 strips for the bottom.  Once I laid the strips out, I decided to add a little dark blue to give it more color.

When all the strips were cut, I laid them out where I wanted them.  The top strip of every row then had to be pressed to put a crease in the middle to give a straight line to follow when putting those fancy stitches on the strips.

I had a lot of fun coming up with designs for little Will's quilt.   I sewed the strips together with 1/2" seams and sewed around the outside at 1/2" with a triple stitch (one of the neat new stitches on my machine).   I clipped the seam allowances about every 1/4".  I've washed this rag quilt 3 times so far and think I need to go one more time.   

Baby Quilt
Finished size: 40" x 60"

I have a lot of nieces and nephews, imagine the possibilities... lol

Friday, March 23, 2012

Front Porch and Checkerboard Table

It's a beautiful day out here in the sticks.  NO WIND!  Hip Hip Hurray.  That means it's a great day to get out on the front porch and finish my latest project.

Front porch at the Cabin
I love sitting out on the screened in front porch and watching the deer eat out in the alfalfa field or just rocking the day away out there.  We used garage sale money to purchase the chairs at Cracker Barrel last year.  We found them 1/2 price and couldn't resist filling up the porch. They are heavy enough to withstand the western Kansas wind and are very comfy. 

Patio Table from Lowe's

Once the chairs were in place, we needed tables.  I purchased  an outdoor table at Lowe's for about 40 bucks last year and decided that would do until I came up with a better plan.  I really wish I would have saved my money and looked at the local flea market first, but live and learn..

I found these table, which are about 24x 24, at the flea market.  They weren't together and one was priced 15 dollars and the other 20 dollars.  My husband was able to talk them into giving us both for 30 dollars.

I lightly sanded them and had to primer them.  I learned in this process to buy the better primer.  Those stains on the oak table kept bleeding through the 2 coats of primer.  Once we went and visited with the lady at the paint store we were able to purchase a water based primer that actually worked.  Lesson learned on that one.

I painted both of the tables white to match the rocking chairs, but I wanted to put a checkerboard on one of them so I taped out the checkerboard on the "problem table" very easily with my quilting ruler and got to painting. 

 I didn't go with traditional red and black. Mine is brown and barn red.  After I painted the checkerboard I covered the top with a couple coats of clear acrylic to protect it and shine it up a bit.

Checkerboard Table
To finish the project today, I'll need to cut some checkers out of some old sticks and paint them.  I purchased an old military map carrier from an antique store to hold the checkers.  I'll post the end of this project when it's complete.  lol 

For now, I have two great tables for the price of one.  Lesson Learned!!!

Happy Spring,

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five days five ways | because every day is different

Friday, March 16, 2012

I can do it.... Classes

I've been away from blog land for over a week.  Really I haven't.  A few computer issues and spring break (I'm a hairdresser and spring break means everyone needs a hair "do").  I'm just having trouble coming up with things to blog about.  I've been reading other blogs and have been so inspired by so many wonderfully creative people out there.  I'm just having trouble with the writing part of this.  I want to be a better writer, but I would rather be sewing and I get distracted by all the wonderful quilts and projects when I'm researching on the writing portion.   ha ha Can you tell?

I have started so many WIP.  I've decided to start some more quilt alongs and classes to help with my skills.

I want to start a free motion class and have found a couple I'm interested in, but I have a couple quilt piecing classes I've started and need to get caught up on.  I goofed off a little with this mug rug to play with free motion and now know I need a class....lol  But I can do it!!!

My project room is taking shape.  I will show the before pictures this weekend.  The sheet rock has been taped and the texture is supposed to get started today.  (We'll see).

One of the classes I've started is The Perfect Points Sampler by Ann Johnson for Connecting Threads.  Here is the link.  I really feel I need to work on points and triangles.  It looks so easy, but I really need to work on triangle work.

These are the blocks from lesson one.  I put the good ones on top and hid my less than perfect points.  I love that you can show here what you want to show... lol I chose bright spring like fabrics.  Yeah Spring!!!  I want to hang this quilt in my project room when it is finished.

I've also began cutting for a mystery quilt in the American Quilter magazine which I'm using batiks for the first time.  More BRIGHT colors.   It's called Rainbow Rotini and looks like it will be a lot of fun.   Here is the link.  I'll post the first blocks if I ever get caught up with it.

I still have so many UFOs to finish, but I have broke the deal this year and have started new projects. 

I love the new sewing machine by the way,

Monday, March 5, 2012

Craftsy Block of the Month - March

I have successfully ignored some unfinished projects in order to start a new quilt project, but I'm so excited to finally take a quilting class. I have found this great FREE class online and want to share it with you.

The class is called, "The Craftsy Block of the Month" with Amy Gibson. The link is HERE . Every month you will learn a new technique and make two blocks.

March Blocks

The March blocks are foundation piecing blocks.  I had fun with them, but I'm such a rule follower that it was hard not to have every piece in these blocks the same and matchy...lol

String Block Pattern

Broken Spider Web Pattern

I think I would like a whole quilt of either one of these blocks.  They are so colorful and fun.

By December I'm supposed to have a throw-sized quilt.  Here are past blocks for this class:

On another note, Spring is close.  :^)  We took a walk down by the creek yesterday and I was able to take this picture of this Cardinal.  There were 3 or 4 just playing in the trees.  I watched them for about 15 minutes, but this was the only picture I was able to get.  I need a new camera, but I'm getting the sewing machine first.   Happy Spring!
I really need to get some old projects going,

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Reuben Loaf (Or any kind of sandwich loaf)

March is finally here, the month we eat a lot of corned beef.  Although a Reuben isn't Irish (I think it's American), corned beef is a St. Patrick's Day staple.  I'll have corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day and enjoy a slice of Reuben loaf and a cup of potato soup (recipe coming soon) today.  Yummy.

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Reuben Loaf
Here is the Recipe:

3 1/4 Cup all purpose flour (separated)
1  T.  sugar
1   t.   salt
1 pkg. Rapid Rise yeast
1 cup hot  water
1 tablespoon margarine

1/4 cup thousand island dressing
8 oz. thinly sliced corned beef
1/4 pound sliced Swiss cheese
1 8 oz can sauerkraut (drained)
1 egg white (beaten)
Caraway seed

Grease large baking sheet and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix 2 1/4 cup of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast.  (Set 1 cup of flour aside to mix in after you have stirred in water and to flour surface for kneading.)  Stir in hot water and margarine.  Mix only enough reserved flour to make soft dough.  On floured surface, knead the dough for 4 minutes.

Roll dough out on baking sheet to 14 x 10 inches. 

Spread dressing down center third of dough length, top with layers of beef, cheese and sauerkraut.
Cut 1 inch wide strips along sides of filling out to dough edges.  (I use a spoon to measure - it's about the right size.)
Alternate sides and fold strips of dough at an angle across the filling.
At the end, pull the end over filling before crossing the last two strips of dough.  Tuck the last two pieces of dough in to finish.
Cover dough with kitchen towel and place baking sheet over pan half filled with boiling water for about 15 minutes.  Brush loaf with egg white and sprinkle with caraway seed.  Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly and serve warm.

This loaf is also great with 1/4 mayo and turkey, ham, and Swiss.  Use your imagination for the fillings. 

I've made this for Super Bowl Parties, Pot Lucks, and brunches.  It travels well.  I just cut it into smaller pieces when I take it.  At home we cut big ole slices.  Refrigerate leftovers and reheat to serve.  It's just as good the next day.....

Next project please,

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