Sunday, October 30, 2011

I might be a bit Monkish

I was checking out the local thrift stores the other day and off in a corner i spied a box with 30 glass spice jars in it for $2.00 .... couldn't pass that up....they came home with me.

I washed them all up and printed out some new labels and got rid of all my old spice containers....different sizes, different they all look pretty.

I keep them all in alphabetical order, too.  perhaps a little Monkish...but it works for me.

Who knew i could fill 30 spice i am out of 2 or 3 i could actually use a few more.

How many spices do you normally keep in the cupboard?  can you beat 30?  LOL

October UFO Challenge

This is another class quilt that was designed by my friend, Marilea. She gave us the fabrics and each month we made a block. It took a year to complete and it's been aging in my quilting cabinet for a couple years. But thanks to Judy Laquidara's UFO Challenge for 2011...this one got finished. It was October's challenge.

I did something new for me with this one....i used 2 battings. wool on the bottom and warm and natural cotton on top. it is kinda heavy...but it will stay with me so it should keep hubby warm when he is complaining of being cold.

I used King Tut on the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin. I was pressed for time and decided not to get too fancy. It is all ruler work...i like the geometric feel of it. but don't let anyone tell you ruler work is took me 4 days.

Marilea gave us a story along with the instructions. about a woman named Sarah in the Civil War and her quilt. she always makes class interesting.

I'm glad i used her fabrics this time because i tend to use brighter fabrics but this one needed the darks.

It's hard to get a straight on pic of the back for me unless i take the quilt down and turn it around and i'm too lazy to do that. LOL

I keep telling myself to move the hanger another place but this spot works the best ... except for the back shot.

We are about to start this year's quilt and it looks rather challenging. Marilea tends to use 9" blocks and if you have lots of pieces you are cutting strange measurements. sometimes i redraw her design in EQ and make it a 12" block and that usually works out better for me....i don't like cutting 1/8s and 1/16s.

Now i have to get busy on November's challenge.....the monochromatic challenge is black and white and one color. i'm using yellow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ladies of the World and a sneak peek

While doing some excavation in my studio closet I came across some blocks from the Aunt Sophie inheritance. They are probably from the 60s.  Aunt Sophie might have painted them....but it is more likely that her daughter, Pat, painted them for her. Pat did a lot of the painting and embroidery to help keep the production line going. LOL

The fabric is sort of a stiff you would use for lining a bag...these were made to be painted with tube paints. I used to have some and painted lots of stuff back then in my other life. LOL  I believe Aunt Sophie got me started in this.

They had paint today's tupperware parties or jewelry parties. There was a little case with an insert that had holes that held the paints upright. And you had a small kind of pliers. you could replace the tips of the tube paints if they clogged up or started to leak.

You used the top of the case for the surface to paint on. it had a ring around the outside like an embroidery hoop. my goodness, memories....LOL  You could buy dresser scarfs and doilies and quilt blocks and other stuff...all to paint. 

I used my map fabric to border the little blocks and then used the last of the dark brown with spots for sashing. and then another border of map fabric. only have about a yard of that left. may use it for binding.

There were 24 of the ladies so this is queen size. here are a few more.

I didn't take pictures of all of them...but you get the idea. I will keep this after it is quilted so i can remember Aunt Sophie and the tube paints. I think it is quite adorable.

Yesterday my friend Brenda came by with a project that i helped her with. She wanted me to embroider some designs for her. I can't show you all of it yet because she reads my blog and i don't want her to see this piece. she has seen the other two...but they were sort of plain. this piece is's a sneak peek.

I think Brenda will like it and i hope the recipient likes it, too.  this whole piece took over 3 hours to embroidery. so i am done with that for today...will finish up tomorrow, i think.

Gonna go chill out for a bit before making homemade pizza for dinner.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sweet baby quilt top

Well, it's not officially a quilt yet.....but it is a top.

While digging through fabric to donate i found some pink flannel. at first i put it in the box to donate. there was plain pink and some pink with tiny roses. then i found a charm pack that i thought would go with the pink. so i dug the pink flannels back out of the donation box and put this together last night.

It's a bit small....only 42x47.....but for a newborn it might be just the thing to wrap up with.

There were only 2 plain yellow blocks left and i threw them in the scrap yellow box.

I still have a bit of the pink roses flannel left. not enough for the backing...but i kept it anyway in the hopes i could add something to it and use it for the backing when i quilt it.

It is all flannel except for the charm will be nice and cozy.

I'm off to add more quilts to eBay today. i managed 14 of them yesterday. if you are in the market for a quilt go to ebay and check them out. my seller name is    shimmymom

You will see this

and this

and this

and others.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Today was eBay day

I decided today i should stop talking about it and start doing something about it.

I have wanted to get my quilts out on eBay for some time....the studio is filling up. I am keeping everything in plastic tubs to keep the mice out and I'm running out of plastic tubs. this is experience talking.

I started at the studio at 8am....good for me....these days i might not even be up by then. and i worked till 4:30. i got 14 quilts listed. all shapes and sizes....from $20 to $400. hopefully i can sell a few and buy a few more windows for the Duck.

It's been a while since i sold anything on eBay so there was a bit of a learning curve on the picture insertion. they changed things a bit. i had to go and resize my pics first and then fight their system to get them to upload. but it finally turned out ok and i was successful.

I took pictures of a few more before i left for the day. i think tomorrow will be another eBay day. couldn't hurt. i have some embroidery CDs to put out there and a few other things.

If you are inclined to take a look....look for seller   shimmymom   that's me.

Since i basically sat on my butt all day i spent 30 minutes outside stacking some firewood for hubby so he'll be ready for the snow and he can start up his wood heater. we got frost this morning for the first colder weather is not far behind.

Gonna go rest up now.


I'm tired of nature

Most days i like 'living off the land' .... gardens and fruit trees.....blackberries and persimmons and black walnuts. but today i am officially done with nature. no more picking black walnuts and hulling them. more black fingers.  i have great respect for the folks in the 'good ole days' who toiled all day every day just to get food on the table to feed their families. at least i don't have to go out and shoot game for dinner.

I have 2 containers of persimmons in the freezer...enough for this winter's breads and cakes and cookies. enough walnuts to crack for several years.

I got rid of the chest freezer in the barn. we never kept it full and it was old and not energy efficient. it will be replaced with a new, smaller model. there was corn on the cob in there from 2007. and loads of green beans and banana peppers. we always seem to freeze veggies and then forget they are in there. the new rule around here is no freezing of veggies. a friend bought the old freezer for her son so it has a life elsewhere for a while.

I believe today will be an eBay day. i have loads of quilts that are taking over my studio and i need to get them sold. hopefully today i will get a large portion of them listed. if you're in the market for a new quilt go on over to eBay and give them a  look. might be something you like....Christmas is coming you know.  look for a seller called .... shimmymom .... that would be me. and just so we are, it does not mean i am a belly dancer....shudder....bad picture. LOL   it is the name of our last dog.

So, i need to go start my day. hope yours is fun.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The story of black walnuts

At our place...these centers around black walnut harvesting. I've had inquiries about the process i here's a bit of explanation.

We have several trees at the farm and at the studio and it takes a couple weeks for them all to fall off. so, when they start, i am out there with my 5 gallon bucket .... picking up and picking up.

Then we throw them all down the driveway and run over them for a few days going in and out....till the hulls are all mashed off and they dry out a bit. Two of the walnut trees are at the top of the pic...on either side of the driveway where it turns.

After they are ready.....i go out once again with my 5 gallon buckets and a milk crate to sit on and pick them all up. as i separate the nuts from the smashed hulls....i toss the hulls over on the the ditch next to the driveway. maybe they'll kill the weeds there....LOL

Then we toss them in the old wringer washer that we have in the barn and give them a good washing. they agitate in the washer for about 30 minutes...then we drain out the water....and give them another wash for another 20 minutes or so. We store the washer out in the barn and just wheel it over to the doorway...close to the hose connection outside and easy to drain outside. works like a charm.

Then we lay out some feed sacks on the garage floor...out of the way of things. and lay the washed nuts all out to dry for a few days. they look so pretty after they are all washed.

When i got home from quilt class yesterday hubby was just laying out the last of the loads for the day. he finished them all while i was gone. isn't he the best?  here are 4 loads of walnuts. that's a lot of nuts.

In the evenings i sit and crack them up for us to use in baked goodies....and hubby's ice cream. here is my cracker that i got online several years ago. i think it was like $80 but so worth it....don't have to use the hammer. and i've learned a trick to soak them overnight and they crack better...the shells don't all shatter. and you just have to pull till the shell cracks and then take them apart. too much and they are all busted up. it's a fine line. LOL

In a couple nights i filled a pint size jar...they are now in the freezer. and am on the way to filling a second jar.

So, that's what happens around here in the fall. dh woke up this morning saying it sure would be nice to have some black walnut cookies. might have to make some for him. after all...he did do all the washing by himself.

This morning i was out in the drizzling rain....picking persimmons. gotta go out every morning before the critters get them all. from 2 trees i got 5 pounds this morning. gotta go start processing them. work is never done...sigh!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Abby's 3rd birthday quilt

This might be the cutest thing i've done in a while.....even if i do say so myself. LOL

I figure 3 year olds like to have things with their name on it....and it is time for them to practice tying shoelaces, buttoning clothes, velcro, snaps, zippers. they want to do it themselves. and for the treat of learning to do these things....there is a surprise in the pockets. i sure hope she likes it.

Here is the front....with her name and 8 pockets.

The back is a chocolate brown in dots

For the letters i enlarged them from a font on the computer to paper size and printed them out to use as a pattern and fused them to the top. when i quilted the top i made sure to go around the edges. I quilted it first and then added the pockets.

Here are the pockets...

The side pocket....just like in jeans

The velcro pocket...i think every kid loves's that riiiipppp sound. LOL

The zipper pocket...i was going to put a zipper pull to make it easier but didn't want something she could put in her mouth if it came loose. plus there is a small baby in the house, too.

The magnetic snap you find on purses. i found the number 3 on the fabric and used it to cover the snap. and she will remember she got this quilt when she was 3 years old.

The open pocket...i like this one...all ruffly and easy to stick your hand in.

The shoe string kids still wear shoes with shoestrings? i sewed the lace down at the top 2 holes so it couldn't come all the way out. it reminds me of the old girdles that they tied women into in the 'good ole days'.

The kangaroo in hoodies....for 2 hands.

And the button pocket...a pretty large button for little fingers

Some of the pockets are larger and can hold more than one animal in them. I made 8 for each pocket...but they were so darn cute that i couldn't stop until i made them all. 21 in all. LOL

So, all those animals wouldn't fit in just 8 pockets so i had to make a bag for Abby to carry her animals around if she wanted to.

I still had some fabric left to make the bag. it is lined and closes with velcro.

I put batting between the outside and the lining and sewed random lines across and down.

And here is what you have been waiting for.....the animals.   these were too fun.

The horse, giraffe, and whale

The elephant and cow

The cat and pig

The butterfly, bunny and dog

The koala and alligator

The sheep and lion...looks like they had the same hairdresser.

The monkey

The snail and chick

The turtle and tiger

And, finally, the raccoon and the bear.

All the animals are about 4 inches in size. and all are baby friendly. can be thrown in the washer and dryer. they are applique and completely done on the embroidery machine.

I hope Abby enjoys her quilt and shows her little sister all her animals. and if little sister chews on something....she can't hurt it.

Happy Birthday, Abby

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