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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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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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. 

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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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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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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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