Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Band Box and Sampler Quilts

In January, with Christmas gifts and bazaar crafting done with, I was ready to begin something new.  About 3 years ago several ladies in my quilt group decided to each make a sampler quilt.  I really liked the pattern and saved it, but it was bad timing for me.  I was just about due with Morgan.  The pattern took so many different fabrics that I was overwhelmed.  I didn't have a "stash" of fabric to choose from and it seemed nearly impossible to try to go and buy that many different fabrics.  Then about a year ago my friend sold me a set of fabric.  I bought it just because I liked it, but after I got home I realized that it could be the "beginnings" of my sampler quilt.  I was able to look through my fabric and find almost everything to go with it.  I just had to buy a few small pieces to get some more reds and greens to go with it.

Also, as soon as I saw the pattern, I had one person in mind for it . . . my dear sister-in-law, Anne.  Last year when I was showing the pattern to a friend, she told me she didn't like the chicken in it and that I should do a teacup and saucer.  Anne may like chickens, but I for sure knew she liked teacups, and I didn't really like the chicken anyway, so I decided to go with the teacup.  The only sad thing in the process was that after I had all my fabric, one of those Facebook getting to know you things was going around and I found out Anne's favorite color was blue . . . which I was using precious little of!!

I've never done a quilt with so many different kinds of blocks, but it was really fun.  When I only had the applique and "picture" blocks left, a friend asked me what my plan was . . . was I hoping to do a block a month or??  Haha . . . I had the top finished a week later:)  I was having too much fun to stop!!

Tops get done and tend to sit for a bit for various reasons.  I didn't have the fabric for backing for this one.  I was so excited to find the fabric I found.  I wanted to use flannel because it's more cozy, but printed flannels are more difficult to come by.  Then I went to the fabric store and the fabric I chose was just about the only printed flannel (in the quilting section) there.  It had all of the colors I wanted in it!!  I was hoping not to have to choose a solid, because I didn't know what I would choose.

When I made the label, I wrote "April, 2014" on it, so I had a deadline for it to get done!!

When it came time to do the actual quilting, I was kinda scared.  I laid it on my bed and would keep coming to look at it, wondering what I should do!  I've never quilted anything like this and I usually just do an all over quilt design, but this was calling for something different.  I'm happy with how it turned out.  The whole quilt was just a new experience for me!!


 Some closer up pictures.

And I just remembered when I was looking at this picture . . . in the block on the bottom center left, the two green fabrics are from your Mom, Anne:)  I used them throughout the quilt.



The back of the quilt.

All folded up and ready to send off.

When I was almost finished with this quilt top, we had our annual Stitch & Chatter Quilt Retreat.  When looking for fabric to buy for the "Band Box" quilt we were doing, I was looking for a "layer cake" (10" squares) to buy.  I wasn't really finding anything I wanted, but knew I could make a quilt for Bronwyn (even though it wasn't at the top of my list of quilts to make), so I bought fabric hoping she would like it.  I figured I'd just feel her out and if she seemed to like it, it would be for her.  Of course, she loved it.

For this quilt, we could make all of the blocks the same or a combination of small rectangles and squares.  We could also set them straight across in a line, or "on point", which I chose to do.  Another option was to cut the blocks "wonky", which I chose not to do.  All in all, we had lots of different choices on it.  Marcella taught it to us, and she did a great job and had lots of pretty examples.

I also put "April, 2014" on Bronwyn's quilt, so it was finished in a timely manner:)  Actually, I don't like unfinished projects sitting around anyway.  I was very pleased to find the flannel backing I got for her.  Our local quilt shop has a big variety of flannel, so I went there to look for some when I couldn't find anything at a large fabric store.  I was sooo happy to find the print I did . . . although it's not from the same line of fabric as the quilt top, it's made by the same designer and had the same colors in it.


A close up.

The backing.



The happy recipient:)


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Birthdays

April is our biggest birthday month.  We have four birthdays from the 7th to the 17th.  Clayton turned 11 this year.  A couple days before his birthday he'd been to a store with David.  He was dearly wishing he had enough money to buy this ax.  David  bought it, but Clayton had no idea it was really for him.  He was so pleased when he got it!

Clayton had an ice cream cake.

This was Tara's "sweet sixteen"  birthday . . . and she's very sweet:)

Her cake was an angel food cake with chocolate whip cream.  Delicious!!

I got a few pictures with smiles from Reid on his 20th birthday, but as I was taking them he asked for them not to be posted.  As usual, he asked for apple pie.

Morgan turned 3.  She is my big "baby girl" now.  She was so pleased with each of her presents.  It's so easy and fun to shop for little girls!!

Rachel made Morgan's cake . . . the only normal cake of the four.  It's nice they all want different kinds of "cake".

In three more weeks, we get to start on our next round . . . but only 2 of them in May, 6 days apart.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

When The Cat's Away . . .

. . . we craft!!  David and the 4 middle size boys went away for a couple days/nights to sell their fur.  We decided to have a crafting party when they were gone.

Aimee was in the process of making a small scrapbook.  (She didn't allow me to photograph her!!)

Bronwyn made MANY scrapbook pages.

Rachel asked Hunter, Walker and Morgan if they wanted to scrapbook, too.  Of course, they said "yes!", so she set them up in the middle of the living room with old pictures and papers.  They had a wonderful time!!

Rachel was in the middle of working on a page here.

Tried to keep Tanner out of trouble by feeding him cookies:)

Tara's "crafting" was cinnamon raisin bread, cookies and some soup for dinner.  Nummy, nummy!!

I managed to finish one scrapbook page and then got busy reorganizing my ribbon.

In my head I was thinking they were going to be gone longer, so it didn't really feel like I accomplished much because I had to be gone on Friday.  Oh, well . . . it was fun while it lasted . . . and another craft day is coming soon!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dr. Seuss and Smell

The week of Dr. Seuss' birthday we had a little fun.  Along with reading a few of his books and doing some Dr. Seuss related activities, we had a special lunch one day.


"Thing One and Thing Two"

"One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" - Candy fish in blue jello (water)
 
 
"Pink ink for the Yink"

"The Cat in the Hat"

Morgan
 
Walker

Hunter
 
We did a little project with smell last week.  Each cup contained a cotton ball that had been scented.  There was a match for each scent.

Each cup was labeled with a shape or a letter that they all recognized...Morgan and Walker don't know what numbers look like yet, so this worked better than numbering them.

I had them smell each cup and tell me what they thought it smelled like, as well as if it smelled like a different cup they had already smelled.  On their dry erase boards they made a chart of which cups had matching smells.

 
Walker recognizes about 10 letters now and can write W, M, I, and H.  Hunter knows all his letters and sounds and is reading short words.  They all are excited when school starts every morning.
 
Rachel

Saturday, March 8, 2014

School Again

A while back we did a science experiment.  We washed pennies.  We came up with a list of things that might work to clean them and they each told me what they thought would work best.  We tried water, soap, salt water, lemon juice, vinegar, vinegar and salt, and taco sauce.  I put some of each in separate cups and then we dropped the pennies in.  After a few minutes, we took them out to compare.

Vinegar and salt worked best, so the next day they got to wash them with that.
 
They all looked about like the dark ones there.  The clean one is one somebody washed.

Morgan showing a penny she was washing.

I got them each a dry erase board from the Dollar Tree.  They love them :)  We were doing addition in this picture.
 
Walker

While we were doing school one morning, Tanner was enjoying himself in the toy cupboard :)

 
Most mornings they are wondering when it's time for school.  Though when I bring out the alphabet flash cards Morgan usually gets grumpy..it's not so bad once we get going :)  And they're learning new letters slowly but surely!

Rachel

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pig Cookies!

Grandma Kulla always made turkey cookies for Thanksgiving.  I remember at least once, probably after Saturday night sauna, Grandma had taken pig cookies out of the freezer for us.  Yum!  They are made with the same recipe as turkey cookies.  I got her pig cookie cutter.  And a while back I finally used it!
 
It's a 3 day process.  This time I did it in 2 days.  The dough is supposed to refrigerate overnight, but instead I finished it in the morning and baked them in the evening.

 
They are time consuming.  The dough must stay cold, so you take a little bit at a time and leave the rest in the fridge.  Plenty of flour so the dough doesn't stick.  The ears on the left side were prone to come off when I picked up the cookie cutter too quickly..or was taking the dough out of the cookie cutter because it stuck to it.  They reattached themselves while they baked.

 
While they are still hot, you put a warm glaze on them.  With each step taking so much time, and the baking only taking 5-8 minutes, the oven often sat empty, waiting for a new pan to be ready.

 
They disappeared quickly :)


Rachel