Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh Baby Great Sale Price and Bolts are Here

I was surfing Amazon (I love this site) this morning and saw a great deal on the Baby Go cutter.  It was listed as $80.77 and had free shipping available if you were a prime member of Amazon.  I thought I would post the link in case anyone else was on the fence about buying one of these.  Here's the link: AccuQuilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter  Hope the sale price lasts for a while!

Also, my bolts for my Quilt Machine came yesterday!  Now, I can put the microhandles on  and start testing them.  I want to make sure our power stays on before I start messing with any electrical appliances though.  I'm just anxious to get them on the machine so I can load the Hunter's Star quilt finally!  Hope you have a great Sunday!
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Watch for Falling Branches

It is snowing so much here in Central PA that we are losing branches left and right on our trees in the front yard.  We don't dare walk out the front door until the snow is over...  We have to go out the back and walk around front to get photos of the branches coming down.  It's such a heavy, wet snow.   And tomorrow, I think it is supposed to be 50 degrees  hnmmmn

The neighbor said, right after I snapped the first photo of our halloween decorations with a little snow, the branch came down near where I was standing.  Whew, that was close....  Notice my masked pumpkin laying facedown in the front of the photo :-)

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Trick or Treat???

I think someone is pulling a trick on us in the northeast.  The snow started around 2 hours ago (9am) here in Central PA.  It's pretty when you don't need to go out!  The area around the Halloween decorations is blocked from the snow by the leaves still on the tree.  It's a heavy wet snow already weighing down the dogwood tree in the background.

Update - Here's a photo of the backyard snow coming down.... Crazy

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Friday, October 28, 2011

It's that time - Cooler weather and Chili Time!

Last night for our trick or treat it was windy and the wind was chilled.  We usually wait down in our garage so the little ones don't have to climb up our stairs to the front door.  We don't have many trick or treaters so we usually buy the full size variety packs from the local wholesale club.  I have too many left!!  We only had about 35 trick or treaters.  This should not be sitting around my home.

Since it was so cool last night and the weather forecasters have uttered that nasty word (snow) for around here, I have decided it's time to make my first pot of chili.  Love this recipe.  It's supposed to be like the fast food restaurant's chili.  Over the years I have modified mine and here's what I've ended up with:


2 pounds ground beef
1 can (29 ounce size) tomato sauce
1 can (29 ounce size) kidney beans with liquid
1 can (29 ounce size) pinto beans with liquid
1 medium onion, diced
2 cans Del Monte cut tomatoes - zesty chili style
1 rib celery, diced - I leave this out often
2 teaspoons cumin powder 

2-3 tablespoons chili powder (Depending on preference)
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water


Brown the onions and then add beef and brown.  Then drain the fat off. Crumble the cooked beef into pea size pieces. In a large pot, combine the beef plus the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook stirring every 15 minutes for 3-4 hours.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Trish's Tools - Cute Ironing Board

On a previous trip to my local Joann's, I did a quick check in the clearance area.  I found the cutest ironing board that I have been using ever since.  It's a simple press particle board material with two slats for legs.  It fits perfectly on my large repositional tray tables for projects while watching TV.  It's about 24" long and only 1.5 inches high.
 When you flip it over, it has a white board underneath it.  How clever.   The two simple slats on the sides serve as the legs to lift it off of the table.

 That's come in handy when marking sizes of cuts.  I think I'll make some other ironing board covers for it in the future.  I picked this little gem up for 75% off or close to $5 and well worth it!  It fits so nicely beside the lounge chair.  It's usually hidden from view but I know it's there.  If you are handy with a rotozip tool saw, I bet these would be easy to make!!  Off to do some ironing.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Goldilocks and the 3 Bolts

OK, Goldilocks is real stretch.  I'm more like brunettelocks with a little grey but that title wouldn't work.  I'm still working towards putting my pink hunter's star on the HQ16 to quilt.  But, I decided to update my quilt machine "quickly" before I start mounting the quilt on the frame. 

Previously on my HQ16 I had a set of manual micro handles.  They worked well and served their purpose.   I went on a search for a pair of used HandiQuilter microhandles so I could control the machine closer to the stitching with rulers.   Luckily, I found a pair at a great price.  I figured I'd quickly disassemble the front handle setup, slip in the motorized microhandles and then start loading the quilt.  Nope, the 3 bolts that hold the assembly together were not long enough to hold all the pieces together.  When I purchased these used, I knew this might be an issue.

Original Handles

I called HandiQuilter and they advised the size of 3 bolts I would need and the local hardware store probably had them.  I went to the local Ace hardware...didn't have the 60mm screws, had 55mm though and I bought them.  Came home, added them and too short and they didn't countersink so they were really too short.  OK, searched online and saw sears had bolts that looked like the ones I needed... got to store and they didn't carry bolts. ???  OK, off to Lowes...   Again, had the right size but didn't have the allen wrench type heads that would countersink into the holes.  Without the countersink of the screws, it doesn't compress everything together tightly.  So, I resorted to the last try ...   I found some there and ordered them, I'll just need to be patient and wait for my third set of 3 bolts.

New Motorized Handles with the wrong size and type bolts.  Can't really use it yet until I get the right sized bolts that holds everything together with compression tightness,
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

505 Spray - Thank Goodness it's Temporary

We all know that with quilting that it is measure twice and cut once.  Well I usually measure more than twice and then cut but I sometimes still sometimes get it wrong.  You would think this lesson would spill over to other things I do.  The other day I was in a hurry to iron my dress shirt for upcoming (few minutes away) appointment.   I'm rushing around and and hung it on the steam for some last minute steaming the wrinkles out of the shirt.  I realize it has static on it and decided to spray static guard all over the shirt.

My steamer is in my craft room and I was running around looking for my static guard.  Looking in closets, cabinets, etc.  Aha, there it is!  Cap off and spray, spray, spray.   That's funny, what' all that white stuff.  Maybe I didn't shake it well enough like you have to do when using magic sizing or you get all that white stuff.  Shake, shake, shake... OK spray again.  Hmmm, that's weird.  After the second big spray I finally turn the can around to see that it was my can of 505 temporary craft glue spray and not my static guard.  UGH,,, Now I need to change my clothes!

I couldn't wear the shirt for the meeting but at least it was a temporary.  Didn't even dawn on me that the caps were a different color.  I just saw blue and orange and just grabbed the can.  That's what I get for waiting until the last minute. Lesson learned... never store my static guard in the craft room and look twice before I spray.  Hope you have a great day!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Outdoor Halloween Decorations

I thought we were finished with our Halloween decorations for this year, but, after assembling all the photos, I'm thinking I need a little more on my porch.  I pulled out my Halloween wall hanging quilt and had to figure out how to hang it on our new steel door.  Luckily, it was smaller than the center window.  So, I decided to get a few suction cups with hooks on them.  I got mine from amazon but I'm sure they carry similar at a dollar store type store.  To hang the quilt on the hooks, I used office binders.

Here it is centered on the window.  The suction cups are easily holding the quilt.

I didn't want to hang it on the glass screen door because I was concerned that maybe some condensation would build up and get on the quilt.  The only problem with not hanging it there is now there is a glare on the quilt during the day.  But looks great in the evening.  So, I'm OK with the evening view under the lights.  Here's where I think we need a lot more decorations.  All our decorations are in the yard.

Here's the yard decorations.  The main feature is a bale of hay and then a dollar store type scarecrow, some coleus plant from summer that grew like a weed.  A local mum that has a great burgundy color and the pumpkins in disguise.  Hard to believe Halloween is almost here. 

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Decorating Pumpkins

Every year I say that I am going to carve an elaborate pumpkin.  You know, one of those carved masterpieces you see.  Every year I put off the carving and never get to it.  This year is no different.  However, this year I decided to create some embroidered masks to at least dress up our pumpkins.  I drew and digitized two masks.  One is a kitty cat disguise and one is a masquerade mask disguise.  I have to admit, I'm happy with the results. 

I made the cat mask first yesterday.  I digitized the design and appliqued the ears pink.  I also added metallic thread for the whiskers.  I think the whiskers part took the longest since the thread kept breaking.  I pinned on the ribbon to the side of the mask (sometimes pins are just the right craft tool) and then pinned on elastic in back.  As one of my blogging friend cleverly said... it's purrrfect.

I had so much fun with that one that I wanted to do another one.  It would be either a dog or a sparkly mask.  Any chance to use rhinestones wins the choice for me every time.  So I drew a mask outline and added an embroidery design to the overall mask.  Then I used the satin outline last around the mask.  This time, I used pliers to add grommets to the side of the mask.  This made it easier to add the elastic to the mask.  Of course I used pins to secure the eleastic again. This allows me to easily change the sizes.

It's a dreary rainy day here in central pa so my pumpkin photo is not that cheery.  However, once the sun shines later on in the week, I expect the mask to work it's magic for Mr. pumpkin. 

Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Second Breast Cancer Quilt Dedicated

My second Breast Cancer quilt was dedicated over the weekend in West Virginia.  I received information and photos yesterday after I posted my first blog entry.  So, here's another entry to show where the second quilt went to.  This one went to Belington, WV.  It's funny, I don't remember it being that small looking.   At least they were both laying flat in the photos.   I like the second photo that shows the word courage.  I always look forward to assembling these quilts each year and the inspiration they provide.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

One Breast Cancer Quilt Dedicated

I received word that one of my breast cancer quilts has been placed in Strecker Cancer Center at Marietta Memorial Hospital in Marietta, Ohio in honor of Breast Cancer month.  I understand that it will be traveling around a few offices there.   I'm so glad that others will be able to read the messages on the squares that were sent to me to sew together.  The quilt is really basic but the messages are so powerful.  Here's a few photos from the dedication that I did not attend.  I also learned that the second one will be dedicated to a clinic in West Virginia.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vacation Over - Back to Routine

It's great to be back home.  We've been on the go for 2 weeks.  It's been 1500 miles later and the vacation is over.  It's time to get back to a routine and some crafting.  First on the agenda is a lot of unpacking and laundry.  I have a media initiated phobia about staying in hotel rooms and bed bugs so I can't bring the suitcases in the house until I have washed and dried all the contents.  I'm working on this issue but the media doesn't help one bit.

We did take a trip to Lancaster PA but I didn't make it to any quilt shops.  I have enough fabric and hubby is so bored when we are in fabric shops.  Since it was his vacation as well, I decided to forgo the shop visits until I'm on my own.  I am luckily only 45 minutes away from Lancaster PA.  We did make it two other favorite shops.  One for me and one for hubby.  I was able to stop at the QVC Outlet store.  Unfortunately, it was the 5th day of a 50% off store-wide sale and the store was practically empty.  So, I only left with one $5 item.

For hubby, we visited ROOTS Country Market and Auction site.  It's an eclectic mix of outdoor and indoor farmer's market and yard sale.  If you are ever in Lancaster on a Tuesday, look it up.  It is huge and was very entertaining.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Week 1 Vacation Over - Week 2 Begins

Hard to believe the first week of vacation is already over.  In the first week we put 1,100 miles on the car.   When we drove 6 hours to Connecticut, we trusted the GPS and ended up in the Bronx when we needed to take a detour due to an accident.  That was an experience but at least the GPS kept us in the right direction.  I love our basic little GPS.  Our second part of the trip was to travel to Pittsburgh and pick up our dogs.  It's funny but the leaves were changing more on our way to Pittsburgh than in Connecticut.  Hubby took some photos from the car but you really can't see the colors from inside the car window.

Next on the agenda, several things to get done around the house and a few little day trips.  Next week, I plan on loading the pink quilt on to the HQ16 and starting on quilting it! 
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Friday, October 7, 2011

Fog and Sunshine

We are still out running around while DH is on vacation.  The last 5 days we were in the CT area and I did not have WiFi access in the hotel.  What.... no WiFi?  Since I only took my ipad with me, I could not connect to the internet unless I took it to the lobby or some restaurant.  We are stopping by home before heading back out for a couple of days again.  Here are two quick photos from CT.   The first is the fog in the early morning and then the beautiful day we had exploring the coastline.  Another week before I'll be back crafting.  Having too much fun just exploring.

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Finishing Practice Placemats with a Faux Binding

I finished up the four placemats on my practice backing and cut them apart.  I was going to take them on vacation with us to hand sew down some binding edges but decided to try something else out.  I wanted to try a faux binding.

Here are the materials that I used.  Some painters tape, an iron, some glue and of course my rotary cutter and mat.  This method worked out well for me because the placemats had a double sewn edge all around the design.  It would probably work with a single edge as well or even the square placemats.

I started out by rough cutting the fabric (both top and backing) around the edge at least 2 inches wide.  Then, on one edge at a time, I pulled back the top fabric until it was even with the seam.  This is where sometimes I used the painter's tape to hold back the fabric temporarily.  This gave me the ability to cut the batting and backing to 1/4 inch away from the outermost sewn seam on the placemat top. 

Repeat on each side of your placemat until it looks similar to this photo. This is the bottom of the placemat.  The practice backing fabric I had on the frame was a natural colored basic muslin. You can see the top fabric is still very long.

Now with the back of the placemat facing up, I measure 1.25" from the edge and trim the top fabric on all sides to this width.

Next, one side at a time, I folded the front fabric and tucked it under the 1/4 inch lip of batting and backing and then ironed it flat.  This takes a little practice.  You could probably stop at the edge of the batting/backing but then when it's folded over the back, it would be a single fold of fabric.    Make sure to iron flat so that it is easier in the next step. I left the photo below full size so you could probably zoom in once clicked on to get a better view of the folded back and ironed side.  Repeat for each side.

Next, one side at a time, I placed a line of glue (beads or full thin line) in between my two side seams that run the whole perimeter of the placemats.  I'm going to fold back the folded side and glue and iron to secure in place.  The heat really sets the school glue.

Wrap up the folded front fabric on top of the glued edge to set the faux binding.  You want to make sure you cover the border seam since we will be retracing that seam to secure this fabric in place.  Repeat on each side.  The corners can be a little tricky but you just work with them and then they'll stay secured.

Once all sides care glued to the back and secured.  Take the placemat to the sewing machine and retrace the outlines seams around the edge of the placemat.  I had two so I retraced both seams for added security.

Here is mine retraced

The first two had some ripples in the turn back of the faux binding but by the last two, I had it down pat and flat.  Here are the finished placemats.  Once I got started, I finished them pretty quickly and hope to do more in the future. 

The great thing about these are that I consider them reversible now.  I hope my MIL likes them for her fall table.  Although I think I need to do two more since I believe she has 6 settings usually. 

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