Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quilt Top Marking Tutorial

I was looking for a way mark quilt tops with quilting designs without directly marking the fabric and came up with this technique which has been working extremely well for me. It utilizes water soluble interfacing and is better than the quilting paper because it tears off more easily and doesn't stress your stitching. Anything left in tightly quilted areas or under the quilt stitching just washes away! I've used it several times now, even on white fabric with white thread, and have had absolutely no problems with anything leaving a mark or color behind on the quilt.


Pinned quilt sandwich
Sulky's Solvy Water Soluble Stabilizer (on the bolt, then you can make one piece as long as you need it, and it's less expensive than the packages.)
Crayola Washable Markers, fine point
Straight Pins

1. Pick and scale quilting pattern to size needed.

2. Tape pattern to table, tape stabilizer tautly over pattern.
3. Using washable marker, trace pattern onto stabilizer.

4. Pin stabilizer to quilt top. Remove any basting safety pins and replace with straight pins on top of interfacing as you go along.

5. Free motion quilt along pattern lines.

6. Tear off as much stabilizer as you can. (It will stick to dog and cat noses, so please dispose of it properly).

7. When top is entirely quilted and quilt is bound, wash and dry quilt.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Patio Tomatoes

To all my gardening friends out there with out a space in the ground to call their own:

The gardening catalogs have started to roll in and I thought this tomato planter from the Gardener's Supply Company looked interesting:

I have no idea how they will work, but they look interesting. They remind me of The Land ride in Epcot at Disney where they have the whole hydroponic thing going on.
I love that they have molds for making pumpkins, watermelons and cucumbers grow into Mickey head shapes. You know how I love shaped foods! Some people find them silly and pointless, but they amuse me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dinner Plans

Say what you will, but I love Martha. I have found many tidbits of wisdom and inspiration from Martha and her people over the years. Not to mention the fantastic and inspirational magazines. The funny thing is that it's my dad who originally introduced me to Martha back when she started her first t.v. show.

Contained in the food portion of the Martha website they have started a fantastic new area called the "grocery bag." Contained in the grocery bag is everything you need to plan your meals for the week. It spells out the meals, provides the recipes and the grocery lists! This is the most exciting thing for me. While I love to cook, I'm terrible about planning anything other than special events ahead of time. At the grocery store I end up spending way too much time and money on random things that I could possibly make, so the grocery bag is fantastic for me. The "cool creative dinners" is especially great because I grow all of the vegetables in it in the summer! Think of how little those meals will cost.

As everyone these days is looking to save money and time and be healthier, I thought I'd share this fabulous tool that Martha and/or her people have come up with for all of us to use.

As for my quilting, I don't have much to show right now as I have been spending my waking hours at home cleaning out and organizing my quilting room. It's such a mess that I just can't take it anymore and had to do something about it. Perhaps I'll do a couple of giveaways to help clear things out! Stay tuned for more information on that.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This Rocks!

All I can say is that I LOVE STING!!! It's the only concert I'll pay to see anymore. Thanks to Jennie for sending me this! I can see myself sitting at the picnic table, watching the dogs play, listening to Sting and drinking his wine.......

Every sip you take: Singer Sting is selling wine
In this Aug. 7, 2008 file photo, lead vocalist and bassist Sting and his band The Police perform their farewell concert at Madison Square Garden in New York.(AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)
Thu Mar 12, 1:38 pm ET
ROME – After singing of "Fields of Gold," British rock star Sting is tending fields of grapes as he prepares to market red wine made at his country estate in Tuscany.
Some 30,000 bottles of wine produced on the property will go on sale in September, mainly in Britain and the United States, Paolo Rossi, the estate's manager, said Thursday.
In 1997 the former Police frontman purchased a 16th-century villa, called Il Palagio, in Figline Valdarno, a small village some 19 miles (30 kilometers) south of Florence.
Over the years he has turned the surrounding 860 acres (350 hectares) into an organic farm that also produces honey, olive oil, fruit, vegetables and Tuscan salami.
"When I came here to Figline I wanted first of all to feed my family," Sting said on Tuesday during an event at the village where the 57-year-old star spoke of the time he spends at Il Palagio.
"I also wanted to use agriculture with practices that would nourish the land and not deplete the land and so we went to traditional methods with farming, we got rid of pesticides, we shunned monoculture, and it works, the farm is also a garden," he said in the remarks broadcast by local television Rtv38.
Rossi did not reveal the name of the upcoming wine. He said it will be a 2007 vintage based on the Sangiovese grape, with a touch of Cabernet and Merlot.
A 2008 Chianti could also go on sale in the fall, but tests on the wine's aging must be conducted before a decision is made, Rossi told The Associated Press by telephone.
The wine, along with other products made on the Sting farm, will also be available at a shop on the property that the singer will inaugurate by June, Rossi said.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

While I was away

I have been away from the blog for a while, so I thought I should share what I've been working on.

This is my first mini quilt swap from the Swap til You Drop group on Flickr. What fun it was! You can really experiment and try things out when the maximum size is 15" square. The green scrappy quilt was made for me for the swap. It's really exciting to receive a box in the mail with a mini quilt in it that was made just for me! And everyone includes little goodies too. I got some ric rac, a batik, a magnetic snap, a coordinating fabric button, scraps from the quilt (for those non-quilter out there, quilters love scraps of fabric!), colorful lace, a wooden thread spool and paper scalloped circles for making cards or scrapbooking. Sweet, huh?
I was asked to make something with aqua and red for my swapping partner. The quilter I made it for likes vintage,modern and shabby chic.....basically the vast array of styles that I like as well. She is redecorating her craft room in red and aqua, so I started there. I think I managed to fit all those things in, don't you?

I used the Applique Quilt Revival book by Nancy Mahoney. I bought the book a while back specifically for the birds, but there are several other really cute patterns in it in addition to the birds.

I quilted flowers in the corners and branches all around the birds. I totally love the ric rac and buttons. I'm not big into embellishments on quilts, but I think they are totally cute. My coworker Laura sewed the buttons on for me since I don't think I've ever sewn a button on in my life!

This is the corner of the Feb swap I made. I can't show all of it until it's received on the other end. I want it to be a surpriseThe theme for March is Japanese quilts and I'm really excited about it. I absolutely adore the Japanese Block book that I got for it. I had wanted it for some time but resisted, but it was meant to be when the topic was chosen and the next day I got a 40% off coupon from Borders! I think I have it all planned out now and can't wait to get started.
I also made a baby quilt for display out at Tammy Tadd's that is just too cute to post. (that is code for I didn't take a photo of it before bringing it in.) Take my word for it though, the bunnies on this quilt are so freaking cute that they should be illegal. It's just ridiculous how cute these bunnies are! The fabric is designed by Lisa McCue. She did adorable dogs before that I couldn't resist either.I made the small quilt from the free pattern on the Wilmington website. And miracle of miracles, the directions were actually spot on!!! Most of those free patterns have glaring mistakes in them. The best part of all is that it literally only took me 2 evenings start to finish!
Ok, here's a picture of the fabric I used. I just couldn't deprive anyone of this much cuteness.Seriously, could they be any cuter? I think not.
Have a Hoppy Day!