Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year's Eve Eve!

Today is New Year's Eve Eve and we are going to a party at the local senior citizens center!
Lunch and a dance! Am I really old enough to go there?? But I thought I just turned thirty on my last birthday! LOL!
Tomorrow we are going to the local VFW hall for a proper New Year's Eve dinner and dance. . . Not just for seniors!
Wherever you are, whatever age you are have a wonderful, peaceful and Happy New Year with family or friends!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Oh no! Not again!

I was so excited when I got my replacement bars for my quilt frame. I had to wait until after Christmas but I was happy that I had them.
When we got back from my daughter's house, I started by connecting the replacement bars to the quilt frame and using the metal bars that came with the installation kit. Small problem, they didn't send enough screws for all four plates.
It took me about an hour to locate screws that fit the bracing plates
The plates were on the bars and I started loading the backing, then the batting and finally the quilt top.
Now I started rolling and smoothing, rolling and smoothing.  Almost done!  Just have to load the opposite bar and then tighten the quilt and start quilting.
That's when the new bar cracked! Again!
Now I am stuck with no frame, again!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Gluten Free Biscochitos

Biscochitos are the state cookie of New Mexico. They are usually made for Christmas, New Years and major celebrations. They are very similar to sugar cookies but much richer.

Since my daughter has Celiac it was very hard for me to make them and she wouldn't be able to eat them. So between the two of us we came up with a gluten free recipe!  It still needs a little tweaking but it's very close. They taste great!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve!

We are on the way to Albuquerque to spend Christmas Eve and day with my youngest daughter's family and my youngest son.
We are just north of Santa Fe. Aren't the mountains beautiful?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Anxiously waiting for the UPS truck!

Here I am waiting for the UPS truck! Why? Because my new extension bars come today!!  YAY!!

I have been working on my hexie quilt handwork. You know making individual hexies and then sewing them together to make the individual flowers.  I have already made about 15 flowers.  But I need about 40 more.  No problem! I have been working on this particular quilt on and off for about 2 years. I also need to make about 200 white individual hexies.  The white ones are going to be the path between the flowers. This quilt is for me so I can take my time with it. Right now my priority is my oldest daughters quilt, which I need to finish in time for her birthday!

I have also started sewing the blocks for another string basket weave quilt. This one will be for my youngest daughter.  I figure if I sew the blocks for the youngest in between hand quilting the one for the oldest, I should have the second quilt ready for the quilt frame as soon as I get the first one off the frame. . . maybe even before.  Then. . . I still have to make one for my oldest son!  My youngest son already has his quilt. 

So you see, waiting for the UPS truck is really holding up the parade!!  Plus, I will not be able to work on the quilt today because we are making chile rellenos (New Mexico Style) or Chile bullets as my daughter in law calls them. We cooked the meat and green New Mexico chile yesterday. Today we will form the "bullets" and fry them. YUM YUM!

We wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! Have a great time with family and friends!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I was ready to put the scrappy basket weave quilt on the quilt frame so I could start hand quilting.  YAY!

I got it onto one of the cross bars and started rolling the sandwich.  When I finished with the top bar, I inserted the bottom bar into the leader cloth and started rolling it back so it would be even.

Just as I was about to lodge it into the holding brackets, I heard a crack!!!  OH NO! What was that sound?  I looked at the top bar and it had rolled off the frame. When it fell, the middle bar cracked in half!

Oh my goodness what a setback!  I was so disheartened.  I almost screamed, cried and jumped up and down!

Now I had to undo all the rolling from the top bar. I rolled the quilt onto the bottom bar, took it off the top bar and left it on the table.  I immediately went to my cabin and called the company that makes my quilting frame.  I had bought this quilting frame used from a private party and had only used it once for the pink baby quilt that I wrote about on this blog.

Well as I scrolled through the company's website I found a manual for my frame model and found out that it didn't have the middle extension steel brackets to give the bars more stability when a large quilt is on the frame. That's why the bar had cracked. Not enough support!

Well needless to say, I ordered the extension kit (new bars) and the installation kit for the extension kit.  It includes the steel brackets.

So now I am waiting for this order to arrive sometime next week.  Can't start hand quilting the basket weave quilt until that order gets here.  I hope that I will still make my deadline for my daughter's birthday . . . 3 months!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Curtain Valances

 It seems it's been awhile since I have posted an entry into my blog. The year just seems to get busier and busier as it ends.

Well I have been busy! I feel very accomplished for this year. 

Projects I have finished:

The pink baby quilt for my neighbors grand daughter;
The cross stitch xmas stocking for my grand daughter;
The string scrappy basket weave quilt top;
and last but not least the following project . . . 

 When we were going to the flea market in Las Vegas, New Mexico, I found 2 matching curtain valances. They had a beautiful floral pattern that was partly hand embroidered with the leaves painted on. It also had a curved edging with tatting all around.  It was a real bargain because besides the beautiful handwork, the fabric was very sturdy and thick. The only decoration was the floral embroidery.

 I decided to sew them together on the ends that usually would go on the curtain rods.  I removed the sewing that made the casing at the top of each and sewed together at that side.

Now there was embroidery work on each side of the valance.  I wanted to make a table topper with it for my circular table.  It looked pretty good.  The only problem is that the seam in the middle was very bare and you could see the 4 seams where the casing used to be.  I washed them but the sewing marks did not come out.  So I decided to embroider a grid down the middle.  The grid would hide the seam and the sewing lines from the casing.

Here is a close up of the grid work that I put in.

 This is how the whole thing looks now.  Even though I couldn't get the whole thing into the picture, you can get a pretty good idea from this picture.
What do you think? Does it look like a trellis between the florals?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Do You Remember?

I have not posted for awhile because I have been feeling a little ill. I went to the doctor and she gave me some medication and now I am starting to feel much better, thank you! She did a step test so that wasn't it.

Anyway, moving on.  I spent the whole day today catching up on my cross stitch project for my granddaughter. I haven't done any handwork for over a week. Now I am almost finished, which is good because I need to finish it before Thanksgiving. That way she can hang it "by the chimmney with care"!

While I was working away, I used my little scissors to snip my threads many times.


While using these wonderful little scissors, I notice that the hanger that I fashioned out of bias tape was getting pretty grimy again.  So I removed the bias tape and went to the bathroom sink to wash it. WASH IT??  You are probably thinking, just throw it away and make a new one . . .it's just a scrap of bias tape!  

But, in the back of my mind my frugal ancestors, grandmothers and mother are saying . . . no! no! no! Go wash it!  And wash it I did! LOL!  

While washing it, I was remembering my shoes when I was a little girl. I grew up wearing "Buster Brown" white, lace up, leather, high top shoes. Most of the kids wore them when I was little.  One of my chores every week was to wash my white shoelaces.  Every time my parents would buy me a new pair, I would also get 2  pkgs. of white shoe laces. That would give me 5 pair shoelaces. 2 in each pkg. and the pair that came with the shoes.

My job was to keep my shoes clean and change my shoelaces every night. So before I went to bed I had to wipe my shoes with a damp cloth. That would keep them clean for another day. On Wednesday night I was to polish them with the white shoe polish, after wiping them with a damp washcloth of course.  The damp washcloth would get rid of the dirt and grime from the day's use. That would keep the shoe polish applicator more clean. The dirty shoe laces went into the old shoe box to keep them from getting lost.

Wednesday night, after wiping and polshing my shoes, I would collect my shoe laces from the old shoe box and wash them in the bathroom sink.  After washing and rinsing several times until they were white as sheets, I would scrape them with the dull edge of an old butter knife that was in the old shoe box for that purpose. This would squeeze almost all the water out of the shoelaces so much that they felt almost dry.  This guaranteed that they would be dry the next morning and ready to be used.  Of course, the last step was the final inspection . . .by my mother! If they passed I was done, if not, back to the sink!

Now days, I think kids only use the "shoestrings" until they rot and then they throw them away and buy new ones.  Of course by that time the shoes are usually worn out too!  They are not leather!  
I remember those buster browns lasted so long that we could hand them down to someone that was smaller than me and didn't have the money to buy them.  Of course those shoes must have been handed down several times. You know how fast little kids grow out of their clothes and shoes.

I remember my "Mary Janes" were especially new because I only used those for Sundays or parties. So I probably used them 4 or 5 times and they wouldn't fit me anymore.

Remember "Mary Janes"?? Of course that name doesn't mean the same nowadays as it did when I was little. I used to love them in black or white patent leather.  One year I got a pair of pink ones. . . I was in love!!!!

Oh to be little and have those pink patent leather "Mary Janes" again!

Meanwhile . . . keep on quilting!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Just Scrappin Around!

I am working on my scrappy string basket weave quilt.  As "feeder" blocks or strips, I use my crumbs from the strings sewn onto strips cut from used printer paper. I have a plan for these. I am also making square in a square that finish at 2" for the cornerstones of my crumb strips. These are not my original ideas. I am borrowing from Bonnie Hunter's last quilt cam broadcast.

Here are my cute little square in a square 2 " blocks . . .
 and all my crumb triangles. . . Can you see some of the fabrics repeated in each patch?

and my crumb strips. . .

Notice the printed paper? That is actually a health manual that I get every year from my insurance company.  It is about 2 inches thick. You know me, I hate to throw paper away! I cut it down to use for my crumb strips.  I even use letters that come in the mail. They are usually 8 1/2 x 11 paper.  After I finish the project and am stripping the paper away, I save them to use as "kindling" for my wood burning heat stove.

Several people have asked me -- where do I get so many scraps (crumbs) from?  When I cut fabric for my customers I end up with a lot of bags full of scraps!

Here is a picture of the green scraps left from cutting fabric orders.I have several bags of these scraps sorted by color.

This is what the scraps looked like after cutting a hexagon order . . .

Can you see the possibilities? There are triangles on the bottom and top; diamonds in the middle and if I cut carefully, I can get a couple of strips from the fold.
Here I am just starting to cut the scraps apart. I usually do this while "listening" to tv with my husband.
One Triangle done!

Here is what I have after I am finished cutting the scrap "sheet" that was left after cutting the hexagons for a customer. Quite a bit of fabric. Isn't it? Combine these with other colors and I get a new quilt, table runner, placemat, pot holder, sewing machine cover, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Of course you have to like working with small pieces, which I do! I guess my grandmother's frugal gene is firmly planted in me.  She made her small pieced quilts out of necessity from old clothing, as did many of our grandmothers and foremothers.  But as a quilter, I couldn't see all this fabric go to waste. My string basket weave quilt, crumb strips and square in a square are all being made from these "scraps"!

If you look at a previous posting about my granddaughter's baby doll quilt, that is made from these scraps too!

Enjoy your quilting . . . scrappy or otherwise!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

No Rain!

The rain has finally ceased! Now the state of New Mexico has to pick itself up and clean up and repair before the snow starts! There is so much damage from all the flooding and mud. We were very lucky, we had no damage at all!  One place has the only entry and exit flooded. They can not go out or anyone go in.

The governor has said they will take supplies into the area, but there is no place to land the helicopters. They are going to try backpacking the supplies into the little town!!! I have one question . . . if the residents can't come out or go in, how are the backpackers with supplies going to get in????? Just Wondering!!

I just heard there is no federal help because the amount of damage does not qualify.. . there has to be more damage!  Really??

Other than the flooding, deaths from flooding and mudslides, people losing everything, there's really nothing to write about today.

My news pales in comparison to the current events in the state's news.  I don't even have any exciting news about a football game or soccer game or volleyball game or wrestling competition.

All I did today was sew! I am still sewing the ribbon strips for my daughter's cookie project.  And I also sewed on my blocks for my scrappy string basket weave quilt.  I have almost finished sewing all the blocks I need. Since I am sewing on the strip ribbons for my daughter's project, it is slowing down the finishing of the basket weave quilt.  But that's o.k. I love helping my kids.  I just wish I could sew faster!! LOL!

In the meanwhile . . .everybody keep quilting!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Go Milikan Rams!!

Yesterday my oldest son called to say that he had sent me a link so I could read the "Press-Telegram" sports article about Milikan High School. My grandchildren attend that high school in California.

Well it seems that Milikan won the previous Friday night game. A major contributor to that win was our grandson. The opposing team fumbled and our grandson recovered the fumble.  Milikan then scored because they got the ball from that recovery.  It was a great game . . .my son said. He didn't even realize it was our grandson until they announced who recovered the fumble.  We are all excited about the whole thing.

It was a great play, one of the best plays in the game. It was so great that on Saturday, the sports writer mentioned our grandson's name in the article about the game! That is so incredible! Long Beach is a very large city, the Press Telegram is a very large newspaper,  there are tons of high schools playing on Friday night.  To get a line of mention in that paper is a big deal!

I asked my son to send us a copy of the paper so we can see the real article!  Proud grandparents! We talked to the "star" later on Saturday afternoon.  He was very excited! So are we!  He said that he just ran forward and jumped on the ball and "grabbed the ground". He also said he wished he had thought about running with it, he could have made a touchdown! We love you grandson!

Oh! By the way, I am still working on the strips for my daughter's cookie project.  So, no quilting today.  Maybe I will work on my crosstitch project later this afternoon . . .need to get it finished by October.

Well that's it for today. . .

Meanwhile, keep on quilting . . .


Friday, September 13, 2013

Rain, Rain Go Away, Come Again Another . . . ?

New Mexico is in a drought for the past few years.  So, we pray for rain. And boy have we gotten rain!!

The governor has declared the State of New Mexico a disaster. It hasn't stopped raining for several days. Several counties have severe flooding and people's homes have been damaged.  Interstate highway 40 has been flooded so severely that there is a sink hole in the middle of the highway.

It is hard to talk about quilting when all these disasters are going on around me.

I just noticed that the neighbor's wood stove chimney is oozing smoke.  That is a sure sign that summer is over.  She is always the first to fire up her stove. She lives in a 2 bedroom adobe house that her husband built. In case you have never lived in, read, or heard about adobe houses, they always retain the heat/cold for 12 hours. Adobe is a great insulator against the heat/cold. It is always cool in the summer because it retains the cool from the night. And, it is always warm in the winter with minimum effort and wood because it retains the heat from the stove. I love it! I wish my cabin was adobe!

Yesterday I got my latest order of fabric. Part of the order was for my daughter. She has a small business that she is trying to get off the ground.  She sells cookie bouquets . . . Carmela's Cookies.  She wanted specific fabrics for her bouquet baskets. 

I love getting fabric delivered! It's just like Christmas!  I know the fabric is what I will be selling, but still.  I get to open the package . . .(Christmas). I get to play with the new fabric (new Christmas toy). And last but not least, I get to keep the scraps (Christmas Present).  YAY!

I have always saved all my scraps from making clothes for myself and my family andI have always used them in my quilts.  But now, I have an abundance of scraps from cutting all the different shapes for my customers.  I am in heaven!  Just thinking about the scraps puts me in a great mood and with that thought I will close for tonight.

Meanwhile . . .keep on quilting!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Just Beautiful!

This is the view from my sewing room during a short break from the rain!  This is why I love it so much living here!

It's raining . . . I'm Quilting!

Last night, we were expecting rain because it was predicted. It rained all night and is expected to rain all day today and tomorrow!  I have no problem with it because we need the rain. New Mexico has been experiencing a severe drought and our local lake is getting mighty low.  It is kind of cool and cloudy because of the rain.  After the heat we experienced around Labor Day, this coolness is welcomed.

Since it is raining and we can't be outside, I will be quilting or sewing that is.  I am still working on my string scrap basket weave quilt.

For the most part, I have finished the top except for the borders.  Because the quilt is set on point, it has zig zagging endings on each side.  I finally, after much debating with myself, decided to square off the sides.

So, I proceeded to take the 4 1/2 inch blocks that I have been working with to make the top and cut them in half to fill in the zig zag parts.  Unfortunately, I didn't take into account the quarter inch seam allowance . . .I guess I had a senior moment.  All the blocks that I had cut in half were wasted!  I went back to the cutting board and cut a sample with the quarter inch seam allowance. Then I sewed that sample onto the quilt and it worked perfectly!  YAY!

But, since I was so ambitious cutting the blocks in half without the seam allowance, I am now short a few blocks to use in the zig zags . . .back to the sewing machine!

That is what I will be doing today! Next time, I promised myself, I will only cut a couple of blocks and test sew before I cut a bunch! You would think I wouldn't make such a "beginner's" error, but like I said I had a "Senior Moment"  LOL!!!

Now I have to figure out what to do with all those blocks that are cut in half???

In the meantime, everyone keep on quilting!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

National Quilting Month -- ooops! "National Sewing Month" and Rain!

Looks like there are more clouds and rain in our future!

Today starts "National Quilting (Sewing) Month"!  YAY!  Of course, being a quilter, we are always sewing . . . right?

I have been doing my part since last week when my daughter left.  I got back to sewing on my basket weave scrappy string quilt. It was originally going to be a lap quilt, but I really liked it and decided to enlarge it.  It is now up to a queen size quilt and has the overlap on the length to cover the pillows. Today I have been finishing up adding the blocks to make it queen size.  So I greeted "National Quilting (Sewing) Month" at 5 a.m. this morning with my project on the machine . . . see picture below.

Sorry about the quality, this was taken with my phone! 
That's the phone book pages you see on the back of the quilt. I used my old phone book pages for foundation piecing. Our local phone book is the size of half of an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.  I cut the blocks to 4 1/2 inches square.  That way I can get 2 blocks out of each half sheet.  One of our phone books is enough, with some left over for the next project, to make this queen size quilt.

What are you working on during this "National Quilting (Sewing) Month"?  Is it something you have been working on for awhile or did you just start it within the past few weeks?  I would love to hear about it or see pictures of your projects!

Meanwhile . . .everyone keep on quilting!


Lots of Unexpected Rain!

We didn't get a forecast for rain, but here it is! Although it wasn't expected, it was very much welcome. Since we have been in a severe drought in New Mexico, this little bit yesterday was welcomed with open arms.
 This is a view toward our hills from my sewing room.

And here is another view from the other window.  As you can see whichever window I chose to look out of, I have great scenery to look at while I sip my coffee, tea, soda or water while I sew!

In the meantime, everyone keep on quilting!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Busy Weekend and Labor Day

The family barbecue was a huge success!  I am so glad that everyone showed up, enjoyed the food and stayed late!  My sister in law and hubby and his sister were the last to leave. They seemed like they really didnt want to leave.  I told them to spend the night. . .we have the extra room! I think they would have stayed but they already had another barbecue to go to the next day and they were leaving today for Albuquerque and then for California.  They did promise to come and spend a couple of nights with us next time.  They totally fell in love with the beauty of the area . . .everyone does.

Friday we are going to "Bean Day" at Wagon Mound.  Wagon Mound is a small town just Northeast of Las Vegas, New Mexico.  They have a big celebration for Labor Day and call it Bean Day.

Saturday, we are off to the flea market again in the morning.  Then, we are going to a local fund raiser dance in the evening.  I expect to dance a lot with my husband. We love to dance! This fund raiser is for the local school.

Sunday, the is the annual Cleveland Mill Fest.  This is a big local event every Labor Day weekend. It is another small town but this time just past the town of Mora.  It has tours of the water wheel powered flour mill that used to operate in the area. It has been restored and is operational, but is not used for grinding flour any more. There are lots of vendors of all types -- food, candy, crafts of all sorts, music and performers of various talents.  Lots of fun for three days! No entrance fee!

Monday, back to Wagon Mound for the barbecue and Rodeo!

So you see, We are going to be pretty busy this weekend!  Very little time for sewing or quilting, darn!  But!!! I will be working on my string basket weave quilt in the early morning hours before we leave for all this activity, LOL!

Hope you all have a safe Labor Day Holiday and maybe get in some quilting!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Family Barbecue

My Sister-in-Law and her husband and her husband's sister are coming over today.  They are visiting from California.  They come every year around this time for the chili and the chicos.

In New Mexico, the green chili crop is harvested around this time and continues through September.  New Mexico green chili is some of the tastiest, hottest chili pepper around . . .so I've heard!  I have never cared for the green variety. I really like the red.

My sister-in-law and my husband were born and raised in New Mexico with all the typical hispanic foods. Green and Red chili is part of that food tradition.  So, every year, they come to buy and dry or freeze green chili pods and take back to California. Usually they take enough for the whole year.

Today, they are coming for 2 reasons, to visit the grave of a brother and to visit us. We are planning to have a barbecue.  Nothing fancy, just hamburgers, hot dogs, macaroni salad, watermelon, ice tea and cokes. Oh, my husband has invited his cousin and wife to also attend and she is bringing a chocolate cake! YUM! YUM!  I invited the two neighbor ladies and they are coming also.

It seems like we will be having a pretty good group. I really enjoy having company here in Guadalupita, especially for a barbecue in the summer!  Even if it means I can't sew today, LOL!

I have been cutting an order for 3 inch fabric circles. So, I haven't done much sewing the past couple of days. Tomorrow I will finish the order and ship it out in the morning mail on Friday.  Saturday we are going to a local benefit dance and dinner and Sunday is the Cleveland Mill Fest, which occurs every Labor Day weekend.  I am not participating this year but we are going to go and check out the other craft vendors.

It seems the next 4 or 5 days are going to be pretty busy.  Hopefully I will be able to get some sewing done!
Maybe if I get up at 4 A.m.!!! LOL!

Meanwhile, everyone keep on quilting!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back to School Time!

Here in New Mexico, it is back to school time. I still can't get used to the idea of kids starting school in August.  In California, when my kids were in school, they started in September.

Either way, it is a signpost for Fall!  Get ready here it comes!

It seems just yesterday that we were celebrating Spring. Now the days seem just a bit shorter and the sun comes up just a bit later.  Before you know it we will be in full swing for the holidays.

The stores have already put up halloween decorations and Christmas decorations are starting to pop up here and there. I am still thinking of summer and "what else can we do this summer?" LOL!  It seems that I never seem to catch up with the seasons. I always seem to still be thinking of the previous season when the next season is creeping up.

This year I want to make some type of  "Christmas Quilt".  But, I am having difficulty starting.  The problem is that I can't make up my mind which "Christmas Quilt" to make. Do I make placemats or a table topper?  Either of these would be great because they are fast and will probably be finished in time for THIS Christmas!  Or, do I do a wall hanging? This would also be great because it would decorate the cabin for Chritstmas .. . I was thinking a wall hanging of a Christmas tree would be good.  That way, I really don't have to put a real tree in the cabin.  My cabin is only 14 feet by 24 feet and has a lot of furniture in it.  But then again, I really want a full sized bed quilt in christmas colors. . . can you see my dilemma?

Any suggestions? What did you do when you wanted a "Christmas Quilt"?


Monday, August 19, 2013

Time To Sew!!

Now that my daughter has gone home, its time for me to get back to work on my basket weave string quilt!
Here is my container full of strips ready to be sewn.


This a.m. I had my tea ready and started bright and early!

  My cabin feels so lonely and too quiet without my granddaughter running around!  I texted my daughter this a.m. when I awoke to see how far they had gotten during the night. They should have reached Los Angeles Union station around 7 a.m. 

I received the most awful news about their trip. They were not even to Kingman, Arizona yet at 7 a.m.!  Apparently the train experienced some kind of mechanical difficulties during the night and they were stopped for 2 hours in the desert. She said the worst part was that the air conditioning was not working in their coach so it was very warm and stuffy! She carried my granddaughter to the lounge/observation car where the air was working and it was cool.  Thankfully my granddaughter slept through the night, even though she was sweating most of the time.

Amtrak was not forthcoming with any information and did not offer any comfort about the inconvenience.  She said the passengers were kept in the dark, literally, no lights! Conductors and porters were nowhere to be found to be questioned about the status of the train.

When my daughter caught the train in Las Vegas, NM they must have been experiencing problems already because they were over an hour late getting to Las Vegas.  They will be over 6 hours late getting to L.A. Union Station.  

I guess you get what you pay for!  Even though the train is cheaper than airlines, they are also starting to charge extra for everything!  My son-in-law said they no longer hand out free pillows!!  They offer an $8.00 package of a tiny pillow and a small blanket. . . . WOW!

Well, back to quilting . . . 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

She's Gone!

My daugthter left for California today!  I am so sad! I miss them already and I miss the squeeky laughter of my little granddaughter!

I guess all I can do is get back to quilting . . . but not tonight.  We went to Las Vegas and dropped off my daughter and her family at the train station, left and went to a baby shower in Mora.  Then we came home. I am exhausted! I don't know if its from emotional goodbyes or just from a long day.

Tomorrow I will get back to my basket weave string quilt and probably sew all day, but not tonight!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Baby Quilt is Finished, Part 2

Here it is the day before the baby shower and I am waiting on the pink baby quilt to finish drying!  I don't like to dry new quilts in the dryer, especially a gift quilt. For that matter, I don't dry any of my hand made quilts in the dryer, it wears them out quicker.  I thought I had finished the baby quilt but then noticed that the border was kind of wavy. I thought that a little quilting would straighten it out. Here is the border with the quilting. I added a little cable stitch. Hope you can see it.

Here is a picture that is closer on the cable stitch in case the above picture doesn't show well.


I was starting to panic a little because it was Thursday and I hadn't finished the cable on the borders, but my daughter offered to help with the quilting on the borders. So with her help, I calmed down and we finished in time!  Now the only thing left is for it to dry and I will wrap it later today. . .the party is tomorrow!

Do you think the borders look wavy now?

My daughter and her family are leaving tomorrow! :( I have had so much fun while they were here.  Yesterday we went to the Pecos Indian Ruins National Park. My husband and I have been there before, but it is a very enjoyable place to visit and see all the history behind that area.  We then went to Santa Fe, ate some Chinese food and went shopping at my favorite hobbies and crafts store!  When we got home, we were all exhausted! It was a full day starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m.

After my daughter leaves I will set up my sewing again and continue with my string basket weave quilt.  I will let you know how that goes.  I am almost ready to put it on the quilting frame to hand quilt it and start another one.  All in all, I will be making 3 of the string basket weave quilts for my kids. I have 4 kids, but I have already made my youngest son a quilt. So, I only need 3 more!  

Of course, that's only my children.  I still need to make quilts for all the grandchildren!  Oh my goodness!

Meanwhile . . .keep on quilting everyone!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Having a Great Time with my Daughter!

My daughter, her husband, her little girl arrived and have been here since last Friday!  YAY!

We went to Santa Fe on Saturday to meet up with the younger daughter and her family.  All total, we were eleven!  We had so much fun!  We went to lunch and then went craft shopping.  The only problem was that my son's truck would not start!!  So, we moved all his stuff to our car and parked the truck in the parking lot.  Left a note that said we would be back to haul it home on Sunday.

When we got home, it was late so we called it a night.  Early Sunday morning, I got up to make breakfast for everyone. Bacon, potatoes, bacon and fresh coffee!  My workers -- my son and my son-in-law -- went to work on the roof of our new storage shed.  They tore off the old roofing paper, took out all the nails and put on new self-stick roofing paper.  The hail storm 2 weeks ago had torn up the roofing paper that we had just laid the week before and we had to replace it.  They worked so quickly that they got half the "Pro-panel" aluminum roofing put on.

At dinner time, we ate the barbecue ribs that my son had prepared in the early morning hours and had cooked all day while I supervised.  We invited the two neighbor ladies and my husband's cousin came by so we asked him to stay for dinner also!  The dinner menu, besides the ribs, had macaroni salad that I made and corn on the cob cooked on the grill. The whole dinner was just great and the ribs were scrumptious!  Early Monday morning, the workers started on the other half of the roof and finished just as the rain started coming down.  As soon as the work was done, my son got his things and left for his 3 hour trip back to Albuquerque and to work that evening!

All in all, it was a pretty successful weekend!

Today, my daughter is horseback riding with my husband's cousin in the mountains. They will be here until Sunday.  Thank goodness she is helping me with the border on the pink baby quilt!  I have to have it ready for Sunday . . .the party is on Sunday! I promise to post pictures of the completely finished baby quilt.

In the meantime. . .keep on quilting!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Count Down has started!

D-Day is 4 1/2 days away!

Daughter Day that is!  She, hubby and my precious granddaughter will be here on Friday, the 9th at 3:30p.m. in Las Vegas, New Mexico on the train!

I am so excited! I still have a million things to do to baby proof this cabin. I have just finished taking out all my sewing fabrics, tools and knick knacks. Next comes installing the new rugs. Then changing the beds and washing all the linens!  Whew! I am tired just writing about it.

I have also decided to quilt on the pink baby quilt. I will put a cable pattern on the white border around the quilt.  Hopefully that will disguise the wrinkles that showed up after I put the binding in.

I am also going to make a little mattress and pillow for the baby doll cradle for my granddaughter.  Hope I get everything done in time because I would like to make a cake to surprise them with when they get here. I guess I can make that on Friday morning!

O.K. gotta go!

Keep on Quilting. . .


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Customer's Picture of Hexie Box

Linda requested the hexie box pattern, which is free.  She made the following boxes with the free pattern.

The purple and the printed box are made out of cardstock. The plain white was made out of a cereal box.  Great for recycling!

Here is what she said:

"Dear Aveli,  I am sending pix of my attempts at making hexagon boxes.  The cereal box boxes were fine and I, like you, go for function vs. pretty :). It helped to score with the retracted end of a pen on the wrong side  to make fold lines.  Out of curiosity I did buy a couple sheets of scrapbook paper.  Being less stiff, it made sharper folds. I hope that you can see the differences."

As a thank you gift, I am sending her a packet of Hexie Freezer Shapes. Thank You Linda!

You too can get a free packet of Precut Hexagon Freezer Paper Shapes.  Anytime you use one of our products, take a picture and include a short comment or tip and email it to us.

When we use your picture and comment, we will mail you a free packet of precut hexagon Freezer Paper shapes.

Meanwhile. . .
Keep on Quilting!


Finally Pink Baby Quilt is Done!

 I haven't been posting the past few days because I have been diligently frantically working on getting this pink baby quilt finished!

Well, Here it is!  I just finished the binding and took some pictures to post.  I didn't put any quilting on the border.  But now that I look at these pictures, I see that the border is still crooked!!!  I guess that I will have to add some kind of quilting in the border to "hide" the crooked wrinkles that I see in the left lower corner and the upper right corner.  I have no idea how that happened! Maybe because I was in a rush to finish before my daughter comes next week.


 This is a close up of the hand quilting that I did. It doesn't look too bad! Does it?

 There is not much else I can do to improve it, now that it is finished.  I will add a little quilting in the border during this week.  It shouldn't take too long.  Plus, I have to wash it and wrap it in a box.

Now since that is finished, I can get back to my string quilt!  Oh, wait, I have to wait until my daughter leaves from her stay here with us!  

I can't possibly be sewing on the sewing machine because it is in the cabin where they will be staying.  I can't move it because all my sewing supplies are in there too!  Oh well, I guess it's time to get back to my hexagon "insanity" quilt while she is here!

I love my hexagon project! It is still a long ways away from being put together, but I love the hand work.  I am still forming the individual hexies and then forming the individual flowers for the center.

I will post pictures of my progress later this week.

Meanwhile . . .
Keep on Quilting!



Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Well Almost Done!

I thought for sure I would finish the pink Irish chain baby quilt for the neighbors great grandbaby today!

But, it seems that although I have finished my hand quilting on the blocks, I can not mark the border for quilting because it is slightly askew!!!

I can't believe that I missed that when mounting the quilt on the frame!  Anyway, I have to fix that before I can finish the binding and I am reconsidering putting any kind of quilting on the border. I so hate ripping things out that I thought were done.  So maybe I can finish tomorrow!  Tonight I am physically finished!  I quilted like a madwoman for the last week and half to get this done and the baby doll quilt too.

I am coming down to the wire to get this done before my daughter arrives next week.  Why do I have to finish it now? Because once my daughter and granddaughter are here we are going to party!  No time for quilting!! Unfortunately!  But she is only going to be here for a week, so I have to make sure every minute is spent with them and enjoying their presence!

Soooo, tomorrow is another great day to quilt!

In the meantime, everyone keep on quilting,


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Quilting Away on a Baby Quilt Gift

This is the baby quilt I am working on. My dear neighbor's granddaughter-in-law is expecting a girl in September.  She has been so kind and helpful to us since we moved here that I felt compelled to make this baby quilt for the new baby.


Here you can see a close up of the hand quilting that I am doing. I am almost done with it.  I will post a picture of it when it is finished.

I have to work on this to get it done before my daughter comes on the 9th so I can fold it up and put it away.  Don't want my little granddaughter getting into it.  But, I also still have to make that little mattress and pillow for the Baby Doll Cradle for my granddaughter.  Hope it all gets done in time.

Meanwhile any other projects or UFO's that I have, including the string basket weave quilt, is on the sideline until after my daughter leaves.

I just heard from my youngest son and he said he will be here when the oldest daughter comes from California!  YAY! Now, if we could only get the youngest daughter to bring her little family also, then we could almost have a complete family reunion.  What fun! 

My youngest son wants to rework the roof on the new storage shed we are building.  We had a severe hailstorm and it ripped up the roofing paper that had just been laid the week before.  That has to be replaced before we can put the propanel aluminum shingles.  Maybe my son-in-law will help a little while they are here.  My husband is not physically able to help anymore since his stroke.

Meanwhile, Keep on Quilting!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Baby Doll Cradle and Finished Quilt

This is the baby doll cradle that we bought at the flea market. I thought it was a good deal because it is all wood and it was only $12!  You can tell it has been used a lot because it has a few "dirty" little fingerprints on it!  It just needs a good washing and that should take off the fingerprints.

I have put the actual baby doll and the little quilt that I made for it in the cradle so you can see how it will look all together.

It has curved pedestals so it can rock very easily.

 Now what I have to do is make a little mattress and pillow so the doll won't be uncomfortable, LOL!

I thought a couple of layers of batting inserted into a pillow type casing should do for the mattress and another couple of small layers for the pillow would be perfect! I think that I will actually attach the little pillow to the mattress so it won't get lost.  Anyway, if it needs washing, I can throw the whole thing in the washing machine!

I was also thinking of adding a few hexagons to the pillow cover.  A while back I made some 1/2" hexagons to see if I was interested in doing that size.  Since then, I have decided that they are too small for me and just put them away.  Those are just the right size for this project!

I will post more photos as I finish the mattress and pillow for the cradle.

Keep on quilting!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Baby Doll Quilt Finished!

So Yesterday I finished the baby doll quilt! YAY!

I sewed the backing, which is purple and pink hearts, to the quilt top on the machine. You can see the backing in the picture below. I decided on sewing on the machine because I didn't think I had enough time to hand quilt. After I finished sewing the two layers together I needed to bind it and decided to use the border for binding.

First I trimmed the backing close to the quilt top edge as seen below in the picture.

 Next, I rolled the border back onto the backing and tucked it under itself and pinned. See picture below.

Here you can see the rolled border from the front -- before and after rolling and pinning.  

I hand stitched the binding in the back and that was it! I loved making this little quilt from all my scrap crumbs.(tiny pieces) It really did save a lot of fabric and makes a very nice little quilt for a baby doll for granddaughter! Now that I saw how cute this came out, I think I will use my other scrap strips to make a table topper for the cabin. Although, I wont use white for the sashing, maybe a wine.

Now to get back to the baby quilt that I am hand quilting for my neighbor's granddaughter who is expecting in September. I will post pictures of that quilt some time later this week when I am finished.

Keep on Quilting!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hexagon Adventure, Chapter 2

Well as mentioned before I had cut my plastic hexagon template from a 1 gallon plastic milk jug.  Great! Now I am ready to cut the hexagons and start sewing. . .wrong!

What on earth will I use to mark the hexagons?? In my sewing experience I have used chalk, chalk markers and #2 pencil.  But this is quilting! There are so many types of markers out there. I guess the only way to find out which is best is to try them out.

I had heard that you can print on the back of the fabric and then cut shapes out for your quilting. I did that but when I test washed the fabric the ink bled into the rest of the fabric.  I guess that's out. On to markers, I tried regular markers from the dollar store.  First, the tip was too big and chunky and second, they went through the material to the front of the fabric. Then I tried fabric markers, same as the dollar store variety. Then I bought this really expensive pen made for marking on fabric. I got the white one.  It was really neat and was a fine tip and showed up really well and didn't go through the fabric and didn't bleed when washed. So, what was the problem? For some reason, when I was writing on the fabric, the ink didn't show up for a good 30 seconds later. So, for each line I drew I had to wait 30 seconds to make sure the line wasn't crooked or that it had drawn with enough ink. With hexagons having 6 sides, that came out to 3 minutes to draw each hexie!! I had to draw hundreds of these . . .that was not going to work out. I thought I was doing something wrong so I did some research and found out that other quilters were having the same problem as I was with the delay in showing up.

So now I went to pencils.  Regular colored pencils were no good because they need a heavy pressure in order to draw on fabric and that pressure would stretch the fabric. The last resort was my trusty #2 pencil.  Very thin line when sharp, does not need a lot of pressure, washes out and is pretty cheap!  Later I tried a #1 pencil.  Do you know how difficult it is to get a #1 pencil in the mountains?  Practically impossible! I ordered a box of #1 pencils online and used it very successfully.  It is a very soft lead so very little pressure is needed for marking and like #2, washes out completely. Then I discovered that I could get a #1 lead in a mechanical pencil --- I was in heaven.

So here I am merrily drawing and cutting and forming my little hexies.  YAY! I went from wanting a dresser scarf to wanting a bed cover.  So I started looking for a workable pattern where I could use the rows that I had already sewn.  Then I discovered the "Insanity Quilt" made in 1/2" hexies!!!

Oh my word was it beautiful! I was in love! I immediately decided that the hexies I was making were too large . . .LOL! I decided to use my one inch freezer paper foundations that I sell on my website and start all over! OH NO, Really???

Stay tuned for Chapter 3 in my ongoing Hexagon Adventure . . . .

Everyone, keep on quilting!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Working the string blocks, baby quilt and more!

Every morning as soon as I get up, I work on my string quilt blocks.  I go straight to the coffee pot, make hot water for my tea and while that is brewing, I sew my 4 1/2 inch string blocks. I have a large supply of strips of various size widths, colors and patterns in a drawer next to my sewing machine. I pull out the strips, sew it onto a foundation paper made from my old phone book and keep repeating until I have 10 blocks sewn. I end the chain piecing with a foundation paper sized 2 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches.  It is from these little "feeder" blocks that I made my granddaughter's "baby doll" quilt.

I know that sounds very organized, but trust me its not!  Sometimes I run out of fabric strips and have to run to my scrap box and clean cut the scraps into various sized strips to put in my drawer next to the sewing machine. I have several plastic boxes full of these scraps. I am trying to justify keeping them or "hoarding" them, as my husband calls it. 

These are scraps left from years of cutting butterflies, cats, hexagons, triangles for my customers' orders.  There are all sizes and weird shaped pieces left.  But, if I cut just so, I can get several strips of different widths and many, many triangles of different sizes! I can't even begin to think of throwing all that fabric away! If that makes me a hoarder, so be it!

I have already made enough blocks to put together a quilt top from these scraps that you can see here Click Here   But, it was not big enough to drape over the side of my double bed.  So that's why I am sewing more blocks.  Plus, after I finish this one, I am making 2 more for my other kids. I think then maybe, I will have used all the scraps in the plastic boxes, LOL!!!

In the meantime, remember the "baby doll" quilt?  Well I finally decided, I am going to quilt it on the machine.  Even though I am not very experienced in machine quilting, I think I will manage with this one because it is so small. I will post a picture when I am done, maybe on Monday???

My hexagon quilt progress will be posted tomorrow!

Have a great time quilting!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

They're Coming! They're Coming!

I feel like Paul Revere with that title. LOL! But, I am excited about my daughter's family visit. She called last night to say they would be here in 2 weeks!

Just barely have enough time to finish my granddaughter's baby doll quilt. I will have to stop working on my string quilt and my cross stitch project and finish that little quilt.

Maybe I should just machine stitch it together with the backing??  What do you think?

If I go ahead with the tying, I can tie it every 2 or 3 inches. The quilt top measures approximately 24"x 26".  If I tie every 2 inches, that means I will have 12 across by 13 down which equals 156 ties. Am I capable of finishing that many ties in 2 weeks? and then do the binding?

The binding is another question. I always do bindings by hand! Should I hand bind or machine bind? Help me out folks what would you do? It's really not a big quilt, but I also have to organize, stash, clean, dust, vacuum and child proof the cabin for their visit.  My granddaughter is only 2 years old, so I have to go over the cabin with a fine tooth comb to child proof.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.  I will start finishing it tomorrow.  Today my "dance card" is already full of preparations for the visit.

I will post the final decision as to the finishing of the baby quilt.  Let me know what you think!

Keep on quilting!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Baby! Baby! Baby Doll That Is!

I have finished putting together the Baby Doll Quilt for my granddaughter. And, as promised I have several pictures.

Let me start at the beginning:

I wanted to use scraps for this little quilt because I have been sewing "feeder" paper strips after every step of sewing blocks for other projects.  I have several of these "feeder" paper foundation blocks.  They measure approximately 8 1/2" x 2 1/2". I say approximately because I don't cut them precisely with a ruler. I just take a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and cut across the sheet.  I can get 4 strips out of each sheet of paper. I use printer paper that I have already printed on both sides; which I do frequently when testing out sizes of patterns or designing a pattern.  Instead of just chucking them in the trash, I recycle them into these strips to be used for foundation piecing.

So, I took three of these strips and sewed them end to end and came up with an approximate size of the width of the Baby Doll Quilt.  Here is what three strips look like sewn together. I do not remove the paper foundation until the whole blanket is sewn together. This gives the little pieces more stability while I am working with them. Once the blanket is sewn together, I do not need the paper because they have been sewn cross and lengthwise so they have stability on their own.

Once I had sewn enough of these "strip blocks" together, I laid out the little quilt.

I separated the strips because laid out together, with no spaces between strips was too small. So I decided to put some sashing in between each "strip block". Now it was larger. Here it is laid out with the sashing.

Now it was starting to look very nice.  But, I thought it was too small to actually wrap the baby doll in it. So I added another strip and another sashing. Here it is all sewn together with 1 1/2" sashing and 1 1/2" borders.  I put the baby doll on top to make sure that it was big enough to wrap around the doll.  It is!
It measures approximately 24" x 26". The next step is to remove the paper foundations.

I will not put any batting in it because I do not want it to be too bulky for my granddaughter to hold.  The backing is the only thing left for me to add besides the binding and tying. I am planning on tying it with a very thin ribbon. All the fabrics used on this blanket were scraps, even the sashing, backing, and ribbon for tying.  I will post a picture of the completed project.

Hope you enjoyed my journey.  If you have any questions, please feel free to use the contact form on this blog.

Happy quilting!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Flea Market ! Again?

Today, we left early for the flea market. I was determined to find the "pie lady" and "biscochitos" from last week and buy some more.  They were sooooo scrumptious!

Well, once again, my husband couldn't wait till we got to Las Vegas to eat.  This time though, I was also hungry. So, we decided to go to "Kristie's Korner Kafe" down the road from Mora. Mora is 14 miles from our cabin and is our "local" shopping area.  It has a grocery store, several restaurants, churches, schools, library, etc. Kristie's Korner Kafe is one of the better restaurants.  It is very small, only has 6 tables, but is very popular with the locals. Why? because it has great food!  We had breakfast there.  Of course my husband had red chili, let me correct that, red New Mexico chili with his breakfast. Restaurants in New Mexico always have New Mexico chili and the waitress will always ask "Red, Green or Christmas?" "Christmas?" That is a concoction made of both red and green chili . . ."Christmas"! I have never tried "Christmas" chili because I don't care for green chili, but my husband says it's great! He loves either color!!!

So we finish breakfast and off we go to LV.  When we get to the "Flea Market" I noticed that there weren't very many people shopping. My husband says it's probably too early for shoppers. Everyone is probably still in church!  Then I noticed that there were only 5 or 6 vendors!  I know this flea market is small, but this is ridiculous! I was so disappointed :( !  I was really looking forward to an apple pie and biscochitos for the week.

So I kept walking down the aisle and I spied an ironing board attached to some weird contraption. I stopped to look and found an ironing board that converts to a step ladder that converts to a chair.  Here is a picture of it as an ironing board

 This is the way to use it as a stepstool.

And last but not least . . .as a chair!

Isn't it amazing? Have you ever seen anything like it? Please comment if you have. I would love to hear if someone knows what it is called and from what time period it comes.

I loved it! My husband loved it! (which is very unusual) Needless to say, we bought it!!!

After our excursion into the "miniature" sized flea market, we went to Walmart to buy a few groceries and then came home.  Just in time I might say because as we drove into our driveway, a downpour started that has lasted for twenty minutes.  It tapering down some but it is still thunder and lightening and intermittent showers.

My quilting project for today is to finish sewing the "Baby Doll" quilt for my granddaughter. I will post a picture of it when I finish sewing it together tomorrow!

"Talk" to you tomorrow! Keep quilting!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A visit from our Youngest

This past week our youngest son has been visiting us while he was on vacation from work.  What a treat!
It is always great to have him come to visit us.  Even though he only lives 3 hours away, it is difficult to get our schedules on the same track.

So the first thing he says when he gets here is that he is going to barbecue.  Even though it wasn't until yesterday that he got an opportunity to do so, it was nice to hear.  He always makes a great meal!

This time he barbecued 2 whole chickens.  They were scrumptious! And today we get to enjoy more of the leftover chicken.  Makes for great sandwiches. . .especially when combined with the indian pueblo bread made by the Santo Domingo indians.  Yum Yum!

Sadly, he had to leave today. He goes back to work tonight. :(

While he was here, I was working on my string quilt. Making the blocks that is.  I started thinking about making a little doll sized quilt for my granddaughter. They are scheduled to visit some time in August, so I bought my granddaughter a small baby doll.  That way she could have a "baby" to play with while she was here.  Now I am thinking she would have more fun if she could wrap the doll in a blanket.  And of course, a simple receiving blanket type would not do. . .it has to be a quilt!!!

So I started sewing the feeder blocks that I make while working on a project.  You know, a little piece of paper with leftover pieces of fabric on it.  I am using strips of 8 1/2" x 2 or 2 1/2".  I mainly want to conserve the amount of trash I throw out so I recycle my printer paper and print on both sides of the paper.  Especially when I am trying out new layouts for my quilts. After printing on both sides, I cut some into fourths for note paper, i.e., grocery lists, notes to self or husband and so forth. Some of the printer paper goes into providing foundation paper for the feeder blocks.  I cut the printer paper in half to make two 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 pieces and then take those pieces and cut them in half again and end up with the 8 1/2 x 2 1/2 strips.

I layed out the feeder strips into a size that would enable my granddaughter to wrap the doll. I didn't like the layout.  So now, I have added white strips between each feeder strip.  It made the blanket larger and looks nicer I think.

I will finish sewing it up and take pictures tomorrow and post them here.