Saturday, December 30, 2023

Five Pounds!!!

That's what a week of Christmas celebrations will add to you.

We actually had a wonderful holiday with our family in Arkansas.  

Lots of games, including a hotly-contested Ticket to Ride Old West.

I didn't win 😒 but it's always fun to play with our competitive crowd.  We played Uzzle, too.  A lot more challenging than I expected it to be.  Definitely challenges one's spatial observations.

Gifts included art projects from the 2.5-YO great-grand.

And DH gave me travel books to enhance a quilt cruise we're taking later next year.  I'm sure you'll be hearing more about that later.

A brisk hike at Petit Jean State Park on the day after did very little to help me take off pounds, but was fun.

Just a side note:  I think DH and I have worked out the computer/cloud problems and I hope to be posting on a more regular basis next year.

Happy New Year 🎉

Friday, December 29, 2023

Coaster Tutorial

I haven't written much lately because of holiday prep, travel, and computer issues.  Right before we left town I was madly turning out coasters -- first for the guild's mug rug challenge and then for family stocking stuffers.

By the way, the guild members made close to 200 mug rugs for nurses at the county medical center and hospice house.  

I think I made 8 for the nurses and, while I was in high gear, I kept whipping them out for the family.  So easy that I thought my loyal readers might appreciate a tutorial.  Unfortunately, I don't remember the source for this pattern.  But here goes:

  • Start with five 5" fabric squares.  It's fun to pick a theme and use at least two different fabrics on the "pretty" side.  
  • Select one square to be the "bottom" of the coaster.  Fold and press the other four fabric squares into right triangles.
  • Cut a batting square at 4-3/4".
  • Center batting square on the wrong side of the "bottom" square and press to make it stick (just hand-rubbing works).

Turn that bottom square (with the batting stuck to it) right side up and place one of the triangles in the upper right corner

The 2nd triangle goes in the upper left corner, overlapping the first triangle

The 3rd triangle goes in the lower left corner, again overlapping the earlier triangles.

The 4th triangle is a bit tricky.  I bet you already figured out it goes in the lower right corner.

Initially that 4th triangle will overlap the others but you will need to gently raise the first triangle and tuck the 4th triangle under it.

I have found it helpful to pin each edge before stitching 1/4" around all sides of the coaster. (If you don't catch all of the batting in your stitching, it should be OK.)  

Trim the corners.  

Then the fun begins! Turn everything inside out.  Be patient.  You'll probably need to poke the corners out.

Obviously this is a different coaster than the other pictures, but you get the idea.  And, voila!

This is a great use for your batting cut-offs and a fun way to use charm squares and scraps.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Projects from Center Earth

 I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post (Thanks to those who reached out and said they missed me).  I have been trying to weed out some stuff and all I've accomplished is a bigger mess.

That's my cutting table.  Kinda makes it difficult to get much done in the quilting department!  You may recall that back in October I had a failed start with On the Up and Up, an AP&Q pattern that I had seen on Nann's blog (With Strings Attached).  I had assumed my pre-cut squares were 2-1/2" when, in fact, they were 2-5/8".

So I decided to go back to that baby quilt to jump-start my sewing mojo.  I wasn't too far into the project when I realized I was constructing the blocks incorrectly.  Because the pattern download was in black and white, I had a hard time distinguishing what was supposed to be background squares.  I had to deconstruct the blocks in order to deconstruct strips of three squares.  I let the bits and pieces "mature" on my design wall for a bit.  Maybe a quick and easy project like a jelly roll race would give me satisfaction ...

... NOT!  I finally decided it was time to wrap up the baby quilt and today I have a finished top!