Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chickens on the Back

I have been enjoying my husband's visit to California! There are more chores to do because I have to do his chores as well as my own but there is less to do because he is not here. Only one load of laundry all week, the dishwasher has been set off once since he left instead of daily, etc. etc. etc.

I have been working on my blue and white boredom backup quilt. Three out of five rows are complete so I think it may be finished to the first border stage this weekend, then I must return to the Double-X effect because it is calling to me.

A back-ordered fabric arrived . . . one of the great joys of living somewhere without fabulous fabric stores is the arrival of a package! This will be a quilt back.

The fabric is Warren Kimble's Patriotic Roosters for Quilting Treasures. I am pretty sure this is the same rooster called Chicken Sam in the print of the same name, shown at right, a charming folk art spoof of Uncle Sam.

There have been some wonderful chicken fabrics over the years. Somewhere in my stash is some black and white chicken fabric I bought for backing at least ten years ago. I just haven't made the right quilt for it yet although I can think of at least two quilts I have made with chickens on the back.

Y'all come back!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Household Objects

My friend Lori asked if anyone uses household items for quilting. She was writing about applique, which I will not do but I thought I would share with you a project in which I used a household item.

This is a 42 block lap sized flannel rag quilt. You can find the pattern in Frayed Edge Fun: 10 Cozy Quilts by Evelyn Sloppy, right there on the cover. This book must be out of print because I know I didn't pay what they are asking for it. Its a good book but not that good!

I used a Corelleware plate for my template. The last survivor from a set of four place settings which was a wedding present from a much loved (now departed) sister in law. I still use that plate every weekend for the delicious breakfast my husband makes on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and each time I think of Kay.

Y'all come back!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

They Say

The older you get the faster time whizzes by. Where did this last week go? If you find out please let me know, I am still looking.

Monday Goals. It is not a race!

Work in Progress, the Double-X Effect quiltMonday goals should probably be changed to weekly goals! I did finish my goal with the Double-X. Another row is completed. The next row has seven blocks plus pieced setting triangles and I really do not intend to rush the process. I mean, it doesn't make sense to rush rush rush when you are doing something you enjoy. Unless you are the kind of person who enjoys rushing. I don't think I do anymore. I am more into savoring the moment these days. Anyway, I am targeting mid February for this next step.

I don't know why I have been procrastinating sewing together the backing for my French Reel. It is there, waiting. Just like the wall behind my Double-X is waiting for sheetrock and window trim. How do you like my 'design wall'? One day this house will be finished, I live in hope.

The anti-boredom backup project

I always have a second project to play with because I get bored easily. My current one is a very bright and graphic blue, white and yellow affair. I got a great buy on a collection of bright blue batik fabrics at Hancocks of Paducah made by Textile Creations, a company I had never heard of. It is called Corfu Blue and I bought a yard each of ten different patterns. Some are floral but most are abstract or geometric designs. The material is very heavy, similar in texture to the Indian batiks that were being sold a few years back, but softer. The 'hand' reminds me of genuine 30's feedsack fabric; which of course had to be sturdier than our modern reproductions to hold 50# of feed without breaking.

In other news, I have ordered a copy of The Quilter's Apprentice from Amazon. My blog buddy Jay is doing a hand piecing class based on the book at the Keene Library in Freemont Nebraska. No, I haven't had a breakdown and started hand piecing but I thought it might be fun to follow along, at a distance both literally and metaphorically.

If you are ever near Freemont do check out the library, it is an amazing and beautiful Art Deco building in a historic district filled with wonderful Victorian homes.

Lots of new and some 'new gently used' patterns listed in the last week in our Bonanza booth take a look! Free shipping on all new patterns and we love to combine shipping for you.

Y'all come back!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Goals

Nothing has changed, still working on my Double X effect quilt. Still stitching the half square triangles on wrong and doing a fair amount of unpicking as a result. Grrrr.

Last night we had steady but light rain for most of the night. The morning after a rain is especially nice not only because the ever present dust is laid but the rain removes the VOG. VOG is the particlate from the volcano suspended in the air, the effect is exactly the same as heavy pollution with an inversion layer. The dirty yellow sky you used to see in Los Angeles. This morning the air has been washed clean and I can see for miles and miles.

Today I am going to be doing un-quilty things. Bills to pay, maybe even an office cleanup, or maybe not.

Y'all come back!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Cracker Crumbs from Miss Rosie's Autumn Quilts (Leisure Arts Publications 2003).

I have always had a fondness for Carrie Nelson's quilt patterns, even when I had to buy retail. I own two of her books Autumn Quilts and Floral Quilts and have used her designs for inspiration. Why inspiration? I am not always keen on her methods, she paper pieced Cracker Crumbs, but love her work and am always happy to buy the pattern and give credit for the design.

I was enchanted to discover her Schnibbles line of patterns.
Schnibble: noun A scrap of fabric; a leftover bit of cloth; a small piece. The word has a German origin and is found primarily in German settlements in the Midwest.

Sunday Best Schnibbles Quilt Pattern
The patterns are for small quilts, designed for 5" charm collectors and seem to have almost a cult following. There are online Schnibble a month groups.

This one is called Sunday Best and it requires 32 pairs of charm squares and 3/4 yard of background fabric. It finishes to 37" square. I can see this in 30's reproductions or very shabby faded florals. Make it times 4 with one single border and you would have a nice sized throw.

So many patterns, so little time,

Y'all come back!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A New Book

I am an unrepentant book collector. I need to buy more bookshelves. I need an extension on my house to put the books in!

I have a new book for my quilting reference library. It is Carrie Hall Blocks and it contains over 800 historical patterns from the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas. I got it at Amazon 'used' for less than $7 including shipping and it is a brand new book. If you click on the link above and then scroll down for used books you will find another one just as well priced from the same seller 'whypaymorebooks'.

Section One is a full color gallery of over 600 blocks. Section Two has 200 blocks which have been 'patterned' with references to the full sized templates found in section Three.

A treasure trove!

Who was Carrie Hall?

Carrie Alma Hackett was born December 9th 1866 in Caledonia Wisconsin. When she was seven years old her family moved to Smith County Kansas to homestead. Widowed young her second husband was John Hall. She liked to be called Madame Hall and ran a successful dressmaking establishment. By the 1920's the demand for elaborate gowns was less and she started making and selling quilts. Between 1900 and 1935 she collected more than 850 quilt blocks making a sample of each one.

In 1935 she organized and categorized her collection with black and white photographs and published a book The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt In America (still available very reasonably priced) which quickly became the quilt block reference book. In 1938 at the age of 72 she donated her entire collection of blocks to what later became the Spencer Museum at the University of Kansas, to be preserved for posterity.

Four years later at the age of 75 she moved to North Platte Nebraska where she opened a successful doll shop, making and selling character dolls of important historical figures. She lived to the age of 89.

Y'all come back!

Monday Goals

Better late than never!

Last weeks goals were to complete the next diagonal row on my Double-X effect quilt and to piece the backing for the French Reel throw.

I accomplished part one but not part two, so that becomes this week's goal.

The third row on Double-X requires 5 blocks plus two pieced setting blocks. I will make that a get it done by the end of the month goal.

Lori and I got a large shipment of patterns and quilters tools this week. I will be busy listing them and updating inventory spreadsheets.

I noticed my Double-X effect pattern is very similar to one shown here, published in fall 2002 by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company. Called SFNK (Single Female No Kids) she says it is based on the traditional pattern Old Maids Ramble.

Y'all come back!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Scribbles Quilt Pattern
I was looking forward to the arrival of a selection of Canadian designer Margot Languedoc's designs but demand was heavier than expected so we were backordered on several items from our fall order, including all of hers. Clicking on the image will take you to our Bonanza booth.

The throw above, a pattern called Scribbles was calling to me! Loudly. I can take my fingers out of my ears now because it has arrived.

The sample was made with a Layer Cake of Moda's Twelve Days of Christmas, two yards of border fabric and almost three yards of background. I think I will make mine in a stash busting selection of blue batiks with Kona snow for background. A blue and white quilt.

It would also work in novelty prints for the younger set, thirties for the shabby vintage cottage look or soft florals for sheer romance but I am going to use what I have which is a mound or three of batiks.

Y'all come back!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Almost three years ago I wrote on the original Red Ink Diary, (the blogger version) about my philosophy of giving and my participation on Kiva. Every time a loan was repaid I recycled the original $25 into a new loan, adding money from advertising and affiliate income to top up the available capital and enable an additional loan.

You can read updates here, and here. This post link marks the first loan to an American businesswoman and the eighth loan. Loans nine and ten are covered here and I expect to make loan number 13 by April.

Kiva Loan #11
Aiymbubu Kudaybergenova is 48 years old and has four children. She lives in Bory-Bash village, Kyrgyzstan.

Aiymbubu was born into a low-income family and from early childhood, she had to help her parents around the house and earn money at the local diary factory. Aiymbubu got married at the age of 20. Soon she gave a birth to three daughters and one son. Unfortunately, her family life was not happy and she was divorced from her husband in 1997.

As Aiymbubu became the only breadwinner for her children, she decided to start animal breeding. Using an initial amount of 15,000 Kyrgyz soms, she bought one milk cow, whose milk she sold to the dairy factory. Later on, her livestock grew and in order to reduce her expenses for the livestock's foraging, she pastured her livestock in the mountainous areas with native grasses. Now, Aiymbubu has two milk cows, two horses and 15 sheep at her farm. On the weekends, Aiymbubu and her son sells meat at the local market.

Aiymbubu is a very hardworking person, she is also engaged in sewing mattresses, cushions and coverings, which became very popular in her local area because of the low prices and good quality of her products. Now, Aiymbubu requests a loan of 50,000 Kyrgyz soms to buy two bull calves for fattening and reselling. It allows her further development of her household and business. In the future, she plans to hold her daughters’ weddings and give good dowries for them. Aiymbubu in a very positive person, who according to her motto, “nothing seek, nothing find”, makes every effort to provide her children with a prosperous life.

Kiva Loan #12

Islam Dunyamaliyev is a 43 year-old man who is married and lives in the city of Saatli in Southern Azerbaijan. He is the head of a big family. He has two daughters and one son. He sells meat and dairy produced in his cattle-breeding business at the Saatli bazaar. Before Islam started his business in 2005, his family lacked the means to cover all of their expenses. Since then the business has been the only source of income for Islam's family. His brother helps him in his business. This is Islam’s first loan from Kiva. Islam used the 1000 AZN loan to buy two cows. Now Islam has three cows. After repaying this loan Islam plans to take out another loan to buy five more cows.

Meanwhile, if you are planning on buying something at Amazon please use the advertisement box in this blog to go there. So far advertising on this blog has funded twelve Kiva loans and a Cystic Fibrosis Research donation.

Y'all come back!

New Patterns

We are still getting the back orders from our November pattern order, in ones and twos. Last week two Pattern Basket designs arrived, one of which was a complete surprise (more about that later) and a hand bag pattern from Fig Tree Designs.

I am particularly fond of Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Company's patterns, she writes clearly. You don't have to read it nine times and then call your best friend for an interpretive consultation.

Here is what Joanna says about this pattern
"We have designed a whole company of handbags that are easy to piece, simple to construct and super quick to make! I am not exaggerating when I tell you that you can make all of these in one day! These bags are truly made for the quilter- no special techniques or supplies. Just sew a few pieces together, quilt or embellish, fold a few corners, add some basic details & take yourself shopping with your new handbag in tow! "
The Easiest Handbags Ever pattern gives you five different styles of hand bag for the price of one pattern, added to that, all new patterns ship free from Felicitations and it is a positive bargain.

These are handbag patterns made for the quilter.They require no special finishing or crafting skills, use no interfacing or lining (unless of course you would like to add lining and then there are extra instructions for adding that). No buttons or pockets or zippers. Just an easy simple purse in 5 different styles, that ANY quilter can make.

The main problems for me,
  • which one should I make first?
  • which fabric box should I rummage through?

Y'all come back!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The List

Production of my UnFinished Object list has been a struggle. I mean how unfinished does it have to be before it becomes a UFO? I tend not to classify a project as a UFO if it is waiting for its turn on the quilting machine. Strictest interpretation is that it must be quilted and bound to be finished. In the spirit of following along with Judy's Challenge group, without actually joining in, and using the second definition, here is my list of UFOs in no particular order that I intend to finish this year:

1. American Pie, needs backing, quilting and binding
2. 1999 Cats quilt, finish stitching together, backing, quilting and binding
3. Bear Paws throw, needs backing, quilting and binding
4. Chains of Lurve, needs backing, quilting and binding
5. Repro 9 Patch, Curry, needs backing, quilting and binding
6. French Reel, piece back, make binding, quilt and bind
7. 4 Patch Posy, finish blocks, backing, quilting and binding
8. Pre 2000, big Star Sampler, set blocks, piece back, make binding, quilt and bind
9. Pre 2000, Practical Orchard piece back, make binding, quilt and bind
10. My son's quilt set blocks, make binding, quilt and bind
11. Delectable Mountains, can't even recall where it is (!!)
12. Double X Effect which is more a WIP than a UFO, I am working on it.

Some of those qualify for the old age pension! The January project has been drawn and it is Number 6.

Y'all come back!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Goals

My sewing goals for this week are:
  • Piece the backing and binding for my Moda French Reel quilt. I have some (discontinued) Cherry red Moda Marble Mate Multi fabric, shown at right. This picture is a little brighter red than the actual fabric and I think it will work beautifully.
  • Make three blocks and two setting triangle blocks for the next row of my Double X effect project, and
  • Continue messing with the setting for my sons king size Yin Yang quilt.
  • Lastly, make my UFO list for 2011 goals

Y'all come back!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year

Our clouds are so low today they are wisping around the house like fog. By mainland winter standards it is not cold, just over 55 degrees, but I am feeling cold. My husband is taking his first day off in at least eight weeks.

Over the years I have learned that when one is married to a workaholic who also enjoys his work, there is no point in whining. I keep a honey-do list and when the opportunity arises to get one thing done I grab it. The 'only one thing' method works well on the whole, I always use the words "I need you to do one thing for me please." I had hoped to get new hinges on the hen yard gate, I am very tired of lifting, dragging and propping rocks to keep it closed. If I could get the one remaining hinge off by myself I would do the whole job, but on this nasty drippy and chilly day I am not going to ask.

Following the example of my BFF and business partner Miss Lori, the Dakota City Quilter I have been thinking about targets and goals for the New Year. Life is short, the older I get the faster time is whizzing by. I am going to do more things I enjoy.

  • If I am cold I will turn on the propane heater and to h**l with what it costs!
  • I am going to throw away, give away or recycle (off the premises) three things each day. I did this in 2009 and it was a miracle of decluttering.
  • I am going to avoid participating in anything which has deadlines.
  • I will participate in but not join Judy's UFO buster. I missed the deadline :~)
  • I will make a list of UFO's and attempt to finish one each month, but I will not stress if I don't accomplish it.
  • I will organize my time better so there is more me time.
  • I will ignore dust.

Y'all come back!