That ‘Crazy’ Quilt

I finally completed the nine patches for a quilt top! I’m not happy with the final, square, patch, as I couldn’t find enough of a co-ordinating colour to make it, and the store hasn’t had Jelly Rolls in stock for weeks. I finally used strips from a similar, but not matching, Roll. Oh, well . . . it will still keep someone warm . . .

20130504-075614.jpg Here is the final patch; see the dark square in the centre? When I was done, I felt it was TOO dark, so I unpicked the stitches and replaced it with a lighter block:

20130504-080920.jpg Better, right? And here’s all nine pieces laid out on the floor:

20130504-081407.jpg and from the other direction:

20130504-081553.jpg They won’t be assembled in that order. First I need to buy some plain brown cotton fabric for sashing (separating the pieces with strips of another colour). There will be three rows, each with a square, a medium length and a long piece, but not in the same order. I’m not sure when I’ll get the fabric; the finished top may not happen ’til June or later. But I’ll share pictures once it’s done.

And I may still change the outside row on that last square . . .

The Pillow; and Cooking

I haven’t done much crafting over the last couple of days; I did make a lovely Shepherd’s Pie (what my Down Under friends would call a Cottage Pie), which all three of us enjoyed:

20130411-085138.jpg Here it is after supper:

20130411-085217.jpg . . . and that’s before Mum had any (she eats later than her sister)! I found a recipe at Simply Recipes, then (of course) made a few changes, some deliberate LOL. I had planned a meatloaf, so the extra lean ground beef was already in a bowl with breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic salt, white pepper and poultry seasoning (’cause I like it, that’s why!). Plan altered, I went ahead and mixed it all up. Melted a bit of butter in the cast iron skillet (at medium heat) then sauteed finely chopped onion ’til it began to brown and added about 2/3 of the meatloaf mixture, breaking it up with our smallest wooden spoon. Meanwhile, I set the oven to 450 to pre-heat and buttered an oval casserole dish. When the meat was browned, but still soft, I turned it into the dish. More butter melted in the pan, then the remaining meatloaf mixture was added and broken up. Next I added a cup and a half of frozen mixed veggies (I’m more adventurous when cooking only for myself, so use what you like in the way of veggies. I stirred from time to time. Then I read skimmed the recipe! I recommend reading the recipe first, but I myself usually skim it, often, as now, when halfway through and working from hazy memory . . . Anyway . . . beef broth was called for! We never buy it, but do keep chicken broth powder on hand. Good thing I’d added the poultry seasoning, eh? So I added a heaping teaspoon to a cup of boiling water, then poured a bit more than half into the skillet to simmer with the veg and meat mix. It reduced fairly quickly and I dumped spooned the whole thing over the meat and onions and stirred it all up. I poured the rest of the broth over the mix and stirred some more.

Back up a bit here: as the first set of meat cooked, I took the leftover mashed potatoes from the fridge. Someone had been using them for suppers past! Only about a cup was left . . . too late to peel and cook more . . . what to do? Easy solution: I ‘baked’ two large potatoes, scooped out the insides (I ate the peels; YUM!!) and added that to the mashed in the bowl; a bit of butter and a dash or two of canned milk (use what moves you); then I beat ’em up with a fork! When the lumps were gone, I used a large spoon to make little mounds, spaced out, all over the meat/veg mixture. After smoothing it out so the meat was completely covered, I used the fork to shape lines and peaks all over (because they are so decorative after baking, when the tips of the peaks and ridges have browned a bit).

Popped the dish into the oven, turned the oven down to 400F and set the timer for 30 min so it would bake, bubble and brown . . .

15 min later, I could tell it was bubbling; a distinct smoky scent was drifting into the living room, where I was stitching on my pillow. I hastened to the kitchen, checked the oven for flames (none!) and formed a makeshift tray from aluminium foil. Slid that between the two oven racks and returned to my stitching.

15 minutes more and it was done. There wasn’t much ‘drip’ on the foil, so I brushed that off, turned it over and voila! the drip tray became a cover . . .

We all enjoyed ‘pie’ for supper 🙂

Then it was back to crafting:
A couple of days ago, I dumped one of the button cylinders into a small dish my CF kindly gave me

20130412-084507.jpg and picked out all the green buttons that were
(a) one of a kind and
(b) the right size

20130412-084815.jpg I don’t know why, but I changed my mind here and instead picked out buttons that somewhat matched the variety of colours on the batik side. I chose seven I liked and started sewing:

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I had planned to use satin ‘rat-tail’ to form button-loops, but all the store had was white. So I bought two hanks of embroidery floss (different greens) and cut three long pieces to braid. After a couple of inches I saw that it was too thin and, anyway, would take too long. But I had a crochet hook in my bag of tricks . . . I chained the whole length in no time, then began sewing it on:

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20130412-090704.jpg I began to wonder if the chain was long enough, but resigned myself to making a second if needed (passing lightly over the question of making a decent join). Somewhere the sun was shining, though:

20130412-091006.jpg that’s the last button, my friends, and you can see that the chain is just long enough, and enough ‘tail’ left over to tuck inside and secure with a few more stitches . . . resulting in this:

20130412-091228.jpg another FO!!

Here’s the pillow on my cousin’s forest green recliner:

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Easter Bread!

OK, I’m done whinging . . . you can come back now 🙂

When I was at my crafty friend’s on Thursday, she gave me a lovely loaf of Ukrainian Easter Bread, made by her soon-to-be daughter in law.

20130406-101909.jpg I’m having a slice plain with butter and another, toasted, along with my eggs and orange for brunch. Isn’t the bread lovely?? I’m going to see if she will share the recipe (and how she makes that lovely top!

I’m off again today, to my crafty friend’s (sans grandbabies) for some actual crafting and to catch up on each other’s lives. There may be a trip to the US dept. store in there first; I ‘need’ another brown/blue/orange Jelly Roll; I’m thinking seriously of making a few more patches for that quilt top!

Today, though, I expect to finish the Little Bo-Peep cardi and my two-faced pillow, since both of those only need buttons sewn on (right; the cardi may have yarn ends to weave in and the pillow needs some satin ‘rat-tail’ sewn along the edge to provide button-holes). So, another item to look for: green ‘rat-tail’ . . .

If I’m not out too late, I may feed your RSS feeders (hungry today, no doubt, with such a lack of posting from moi!)

I wish you all a happy day, filled with whatever makes you happy!

FOs and Quilt Top Progress

I have been posting my progress on a Jelly Roll quilt top, all hand-sewn to date. Here’s where I am at today:

20130402-154321.jpg Two square patches, two medium patches and one long patch done! In the bottom right you can see the third medium patch, partly done!

I was going to make two long patches next, but first I need another Jelly Roll; I will get that later this week, when I go with my crafting friend to get the buttons to complete the pillow.

I will have to unearth another UFO to work on! Oh, I forgot!! I did that already!! See:

20130402-154904.jpg This is another of my ‘figure it out while making it’ projects! It’s a two-sided crochet (super easy, but will impress your friends!) pattern that a bus driver gave me after I admired the baby blanket she was making with it. If anyone wants it, I will share . . . it uses one colour on one side; another on the reverse. I have started a baby blanket of my own using this pattern; mine is white on one side and a lovely mauve/blue on the other. Love it!!

Surprise! 2 Squares make a . . .

20130329-075724.jpg

20130329-075749.jpg
Pillow!

Remember the Jelly Roll squares I made a couple of weeks ago? and the Surprise I said was coming? Well, here it is! Over the past few days I joined them with strips on three sides. Like this:

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But I didn’t want to sew the top closed. What to do . . .

Finally, I added a dark green strip at the top of the batik square (you can just see a bit of it in the photo) and continued the light green strip across the top of the other, so they overlap. Now I can remove the pillowform and wash the cover when needed. But here’s the problem with ‘design as you go’ . . . the overlap gaps a bit. So I am off to a fabric store next week to buy seven little buttons and there will be another picture of the final solution! Where there’s a will . . .

. . . and then I started the fourth patch for the scrappy Jelly Roll quilt top:

20130329-082845.jpg Three strips to go!

I do want to say, though . . . these are not patterns and colours I would normally choose; the day I bought this Jelly Roll, it was the only one left. But I thought it would do for a practise piece (less angst about spoiling something lovely) and it will still keep someone warm . . . the real point, after all!

Surprise coming:

Yesterday I was unexpectedly busy! I had planned to clear out items stored ‘temporarily’ in my bathroom, then scrub both bathrooms. But there is water dripping into an apartment on the 8th floor (Mum and I are on the top, 9th, floor), so all owners were asked to personally check all valves in their suite/s. So the two rooms were dealt with in less than an hour!! Then my Aunty came up to visit; then the wonderful couple who are Mum’s landlords came to inspect all things water; then I went down with my Aunty for a visit and ended up cutting her lovely hair and staying for supper. Was late when I got back (around 9:30), so not much time was spent in the Virtual Village . . .

So, the surprise, you say (and thanks for your patience!) . . .

I can’t tell you yet what it is, but another FO is close to being revealed!!

Also, I found a few more things on Friday to share with you; here’s one:

20130324-092820.jpg
When I worked in a tiny antiques store a few years ago (and it was like an alcoholic working in a liquor store, believe me!! I wish my stuff wasn’t all in storage; I know you’d love so much of it; the set of four grapefruit bowls shaped like an open waterlily attached to a lilypad leaf saucer and lustre-glazed in four pastels; pink, green, yellow and blue. But no room for them here, so they slumber on in my dream home . . .) Well, THAT was quite a blade of grass (family saying for being so distracted in the middle of a conversation), wasn’t it?

I was going to say (hope someone is still with me here . . .) that the photo is of the cover of the most amazing book! It came into the store, I fell in love, she went home with me so I would know she was well cared for forever . . . I love that the first lesson is on sewing an apron!

I also found this:

20130324-094025.jpg . . . not the best picture, but my focus was on sorting and organizing that day. This is an antique hexagon-shaped glass dish. I didn’t look to see if it is cut glass or pressed glass, but in any case, it’s gorgeous and I love it!

and here’s the view from my Aunty’s suite on a lower floor at the back of our building, showing the path to the street at the back:

20130324-095834.jpg and a longer view:

20130324-095943.jpg and a close-up showing how deep the snow is:

20130324-100031.jpg I have ordered requested (OK, I begged!) the sun to PLEASE move this snow to much more southerly climes! Get your wellies on, my friends!

A NFO (nearly finished object)

What I did today!

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Top pic taken with flash off; bottom one with flash on.
This is the longest patch, with one row still to add; I set the final strip across the bottom to give you an idea. The patches are all about 14″ wide (I have to say ‘about’, as I don’t measure for the 1/4″ seams; just eyeball ’em and hope for tbe best . . . 🙂 The length is determined by the length of tbe centre strip, in these cases, 2″, 6″ and 10″. I have veen conternplating (HA!) making four of each plus four more with a centre of 14″. Then it would be bed-sized. Currently, with borders, but no sashing, it is supposed to be 45″x58″.

I’m spending the night at my Aunty’s (but not sleeping yet, as you can see), then tomorrow mostly here; Wed am working at my sister’s, then a few days to catch up with other things (like getting my stuff sorted, organized and out if Mum’s living room! …and, of course, the demon blog!! 😛 )

Nearly forgot: the next photo is of my little square tray, which I bought for myself during the post-Christmas sales, and which I use to carry my work and supplies from here on the second floor up to Mum’s on the ninth. It’s about 15″ square. Cute, eh?

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FOs: Scrappy Quilt patches

Remember that picture I posted of a nearly- finished jelly-roll strip patch? The square one? Well, I finished it yesterday:

20130318-012833.jpg and then I started another, longer, one – and finished that tonight! See:

20130318-012938.jpg Tomorrow I plan to make a third, even longer, patch. It takes three of each length to make the quilt top. I’m thinking of adding sashing and borders to make it larger. Well, off to bed now. See you on the dark side of the moon . . .

Postage Stamp Quilt

Remember I mentioned a while back that I was cutting six squares from all new jelly rolls and yardage? Five for the crosses in the quilt top featured in one of my magazines (I posted a photo of the cover with pic) and one for a future (far future, maybe like Star Wars future . . .) postage stamp quilt.

Well, here’s a link to another blog I follow; her header is a gorgeous photo of one of her postage stamp quilts. Have a look and you will see why mine is a long-range project.  🙂    ~ Linne

http://thecuriousquilter.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/march-madness-postage-stamp-charm-swap-begins/