Saturday, April 25, 2015

Bees in the Hive!

I love the last Saturday of each month because my students bring in last month's block for show and tell.  My students are kicking my butt on their creations, and I'm so loving it!!!  Check out these wonderfully, creative hives!

Last month's block was the beehive and let me tell you we had lots of buzzing going on. Any bee would be ecstatic to have one of these as their home.

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The class ended much too quickly as it always does but everyone got started on the April block which is a spring basket and the May block was shown. This year is truly flying by!

I'm in the midst of a home remodel so posting is going to be hit and miss for a while until I can dig out periodically from all the dust and debris!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sharing your quilts -- do you? And why you should!

Today, tomorrow, and Saturday is my local guild's quilt show -- Clark County Quilters. I have been a member for a number of years, and I must admit that it has been a wonderful experience. Although I would have never gone and ultimately joined if not for my friend, Terry Knott. She encouraged, persuaded, and helped me step into an unknown and mostly uncomfortable zone. I tend to be on the shy side unless I know someone and then you can't shut me up even if you want to!  LOL Anyway being thrust into a big guild like CCQ can be intimidating unless you have a person in your life like I do named Terry. She walked me around and showed me the ropes...sometimes showing me the ropes multiple times before I remembered everything.

Guilds are wonderful resources, and I highly encourage you to look for your local guild. Not only can you meet wonderful men and women that share the love of quilting and art as much as you, but you will be inspired and encouraged and wowed by all of the wonderful things that members are doing and making.

Running a guild is a tremendous job and I have watched first-hand how much hard work current and past presidents put in to making a guild a success. It really does take an army of volunteers to make a guild successful, and we just happen to have pretty awesome members that volunteer umpteen hours of their time to run it. Each year the guild goes to an incredible amount of work to put on a show that really rivals some of the big shows. Again, all this work is done by volunteers.

I am so proud to see the number of quilts displayed at our show. We really have quite a selection from the youth section, to first time entries, vintage quilts, all the way through exquisite applique, pieced, art and modern. I know of no where else where you can get exposed to so many variations of quiltmaking than at a show, which brings me to the title of this post....sharing your quilts.

If you make quilts, please share them. I am my own biggest critic and can point out every area in every one of my quilts that are less than perfect. All of these things in my mind make my quilts non-show worthy. However, if none of us ever allows our quilts to be seen and viewed, shows will cease to exist and that would be a terrible thing. I view quilts as art and love that each and every one is made by human hands.

I took lots of pictures but don't want to post them until after the show so that I don't spoil someone from seeing a ribbon on their quilt.

The quilt above is my quilt I entered. I was tickled that my Piecing through the Decades received a Best Hand Quilting ribbon and an Honorable Mention ribbon. This quilt is what I call my life quilt. I started it back when templates were made with cardboard and drawn onto the fabric, cut with scissors, and hand pieced. I entered a class but was only able to take three classes before we moved out of state. I have no idea of who the pattern designer was for the blocks because we made our templates during the first class and cut up the paper to glue it onto the cardboard. The next 25 years was spent finishing the center blocks and growing and learning what to do with them. It shows exactly where I was in my growth and as I learned new skills, this quilt grew. I learned to be free and do borders so I designed the borders. I learned precision paper piecing and made the stars, I watched and learned techniques from teachers at The Quilt Show, and the quilt top was finished.

Next I pondered. Do I machine quilt or hand quilt. Because all of the center blocks were done by hand and I love the look of hand quilting, I decided to start a new journey and started hand quilting. I learned that I was not able to hand quilt in a hoop. I located a frame and started again. I learned you cannot move a quilt frame around like a hoop, so I learned to quilt with my thumb and finger so I could quilt in any direction. I found hand quilting therapeutic and relaxing. I finished the quilting and bound the quilt. I love it and see myself in many different ages through it. The quilt belongs to my husband who has given me the most fulfilling life I could have ever imagined.

Entering a quilt into a show takes courage. Courage to allow others to see it, judge it, feel the emotion  you've put into it, and gives you a great push to start the journey again.

Showing your quilts is giving back to all of the quilters who came before us and helping grow the next generation of quilters.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Recipe Monday - Quick Cheeseburger Chowder

Sometimes you just need comfy food and this chowder does the trick. It is very satisfying and even more tasty with homemade buttermilk biscuits served with it. Hey, you can take the southern girl out of the south but not the south out of a southern girl!

  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1/2 pound lean hamburger (I prefer 93% lean)
  • 2 cups of cubed peeled potatoes (I prefer gold potatoes and leave peels on)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (I always double but I love celery)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped green or red pepper (if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon of instant beef bouillon (buy the non msg version)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of milk (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of shredded Cheddar Cheese
  1. In large saucepan, cook sausage and hamburger until browned. Drain off fat.
  2. Stir in potatoes, celery, onion, green/red pepper, bouillon granules and 2 cups of water and salt.
  3. Cover and cook on low-medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Combine flour and 1/2 cup of water and stir until dissolved. Stir into meat mixture and simmer until thickened.
  5. Add milk (Note: I prefer to add about half of the milk and then stir. I keep adding until I get the consistency that I like. You control how thick or thin you want it this way.
  6. Add shredded cheese and heat just until cheese melts.
Serve in a beautiful bowl. Add additional shredded cheese if desired and enjoy. And don't forget the biscuits!

Bon appetit!

Friday, April 3, 2015

I'm too Hexie for my love---too hexie for my love...

I'm too hexie for my stash....
too hexie for my hexie that it hurts...

I'm your model you know what I mean...
When I do my little joinings on my hexie things!
On my hexie know what I mean.

I can go on and on...
making hexie things.

Making hexie things.

Come on know you were humming it along with me!  :)  A songwriter I will never be, but everyone know that I am 'head over hexie' for hexies. Don't believe me? Just ask any of my students.

And speaking of my students, last Saturday during the Intro to Hexie class one of my students (thank you Jenny Tuomi!) showed me how to make her awesome pincushion. During the class, she drew a hexagon and asked which direction to stitch and then she numbered each one as I went around the hexie. I used her method of writing the numbers on the paper to figure out how to sew it. I couldn't help but make one for myself after hearing her explanation. I love learning new things from my students!!!

Wanna make one for yourself? Yeah, I thought so. And when you finish it, you too can sing the "I'm too hexie for my love" song.

I should have been making a sleeve to go on a quilt that I am to drop off on Monday. I cannot make myself start the stupid sleeve! Anyone want to make some extra money and make and sew it on for me!

Here is the drawing I made based on Jenny's instructions. I color coded the numbers to help making following it easier. I used 3/4 inch hexie papers and it is a little pincushion that's a perfect travel size.

It is a little fiddly to sew when you get down to the last few corners. Just remember to work on the seam right in front of you and ignore the others sticking out. I couldn't remember when Jenny took the papers out, but I found it too hard to leave them in until the very end so I removed the paper as soon as I had sewn around all sides. For example, I took out the middle (back) hexie as soon as the 6 hexies were sewn on.

Here's the center flower done with Nos. 1 and 2 sewn,
You can see it gets a little odd looking as you keep going.
This photo shows the papers being removed as I progressed. This made it much easier to continue. Note: see that white ball of fluff in the background. My boy, Dillan, is always ready to lend his thoughts on my projects.
Here I am on the last two sides. I left it open so I could turn the hexie. I also removed all the papers before turning it. When you remove all the papers, the edges do 'not' want to stay shut. I used Roxanne's glue baste to glue baste them back in the position I wanted. It works perfectly!
Here it is all turned and finger pressed into position. Isn't it cute?
I opened up the two sides so you could see a little better. Because I seriously dislike feather light pincushions, I stuffed it with crushed walnut shells with added sand and lavender buds.
I love it! Added a ribbon flower to the front and a small button to the back and pulled the thread tightly to make a little indent.

Now go grab some hexie papers and get started!