Burning Sugar

Today was dark, cold, and gloomy here in central Oklahoma. So, what’s a girl to do, except make some Aunt Bill’s Brown Candy? I always forget how much stirring is involved, but it sure is tasty!

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I put the pecans on top because I don’t like them mixed in. I also only do half the pan for those who don’t like them at all. A 9x13 pan makes a ton of 1” squares of candy!

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And, of course, I made some stars too!

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Seeing Stars (Part 1)

Probably a year ago I saw an episode of Sewing with Nancy that featured a quilt author named Lynn Harris. She was making quilts from all manner of scraps, and a quilt filled with teeny tiny 3”(!) stars was one of them. I knew I needed to make that quilt!

I bought the book Every Last Piece and hit the scrap pile. It takes 434 3” stars and a background fabric. The centers of the stars are scraps of printed fabrics, and their points are all solids.

Here are a few I finished today.

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And a few more I finished at an all day Open Sewing event with my Guild. It was nice to be focused just on the stars and not have pets or chores for distractions.

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**The pattern is Stardust from Every Last Piece by Lynn Harris.

Dashing through the snow....

I say that with a little tongue in cheek. Starting December 1st our local news stations in central Oklahoma began massively hyping a huge winter storm that was to land on us Friday night and last until Sunday. Well, I did what you’re supposed to do and bought the bread and the milk with everyone else.

In the end it did not snow, and it didn’t even get cold enough to stick if it had snowed. But I made the most of it! I made several star blocks for an upcoming quilt, and I embroidered this little Peekaboo Santa.

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I love making Peekaboos, but I don’t really NEED 100 stuffed animals, so I share them with one of the tellers at my bank. They decorate for all the holidays so she likes having a cute little something at her desk.

The pattern is Peekaboo Santa from A Creative Medley stitched on my Brother PE770

Winning Ribbons

My local guild, Central Oklahoma Quilters Guild, hosts a biennial quilt show every other summer. This year eight quilts that I quilted for myself or others were entered in the show, and seven of them won ribbons! Here's a look:

First up is some bow ties from my Every Which Way pattern. It received Third Place in Professionally Quilted.

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Next is my husband's Tonga Treats quilt. It is made from gorgeous bright batiks. I'll do another post later with more details about the quilting on this one. He won an Honorable Mention in the first time to show category.

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Here is a 9-Patch created by one of my customers for her husband. Since she typically gives me pretty free-reign, she also got light custom quilting. I had fun working out a thread path to avoid stops and starts. I will do an individual post about this one, but there are also videos of me explaining the quilting on my YouTube channel.

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Here is a wall hanging of yellow Tumblers with sashing. It's an unusual setting and won Third Place in Professionally Quilted Group, as my customer made it with her mother. It's quilted with a kind of all over vine with some bees mixed in.

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Up next is my friends quilt that won a Third Place for Artisan Quilting (meaning I was involved with both the piecing and the quilting) made by a Group. My friend who doesn't sew and doesn’t enjoy pink, girly things, went with me on the Quilt Across Texas Shop Hop in 2011. I walked away for just a few minutes and came back to the cutting counter to find her purchasing this fabric for a king-sized quilt! True to her fun self, she ordered a cow print for the backing. A few months later, she came to my house and spent a few afternoons learning to rotary cut and re-learning to sew. She was frustrated at how slow it was going and put it aside. A few months ago I pulled it from the closet and was surprised at how much she had actually finished. I finished piecing the rows together and quilted it.

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And here we have some Pretty, Pretty Pumpkins. It was in a display only category and did not with a ribbon. I loved how it turned out though and plan to do a full post on the custom quilting one day soon. This customer is also not into girly and pink and typically brings me cheerful oranges and yellows.

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Next up are quilts I quilted for me. First is "Who Are You?" based on Great Horned Owl by Peggy Aare. Somehow I keep making quilts with equilateral triangles even though I swear every one is the last. It won Second Place in Artisan Modern.

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And last is Captain Jack. It is based on the Jack in the Pulpit block and the pattern interpretation of Lisa Erlandson called Graphic Jack. It won an Honorable Mention in Artisan Pieced Medium. I quilted it with an all over swirls and hooks. The upper left corner begins with a royal blue that cascades down to a wider section at the bottom right. The outer areas are quilted in silver/gray. It wasn't as successful as I hoped because the patterns and fabric are pretty busy, and I chicken out on using metallic thread at the last minute.

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All in all it was a great show with some beautiful quilts. I'm really looking forward to 2019 when our theme will be "Seeing 20-20, Looking to the Future." 2020 will be the guild's 40th anniversary.

Cruising Route 66

So my customer made this totally cute Route 66 quilt. It’s got some great novelty prints with notes from Chicago all the way to Los Angeles. I had a fun time quilting it, even though the sun was not out in central Oklahoma today.

The piecer chose a basic double-bubble (is that a thing?) meander for the main part of the quilt, but she asked me to break out the borders as something different. I like a challenge so here’s what I did:

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You can see the center portion of the quilt is meandering around in a light oatmeal color. Then, I used the same double-bubble in the green border with a matching thread, and then she requested wishbones in the red border. I really prefer the textured look, rather than seeing the thread, so it was worth it to me to change the thread a few times.

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Without much sun, I had to use the machine’s lights, as well as an add-on LED setup I have to light it up to work. My eyes are tired, but I think the results are worth it!

Entering a Blogging Challenge

So, for the last (hmmmph) years, I’ve followed the blog of Cheryl Sleboda of muppin.com. I first saw her on a program where she was describing the little quilts she made on a regular basis to develop her style and her skills, and she had a lot of them. I was so inspired!

Flash forward a few years, and every year Cheryl hosts a blogging challenge to encourage us to blog every day during the month of December. Every year I say I’m going to do it, but if you scroll through my site, you’ll see I have not accomplished the goal. But here I am this year!

What I’m working on today is cleaning up a few projects I want to finish before Christmas. Here is some embroidery I have done to make a dog coat for my friend’s chihuahua. It’s actually a free-standing lace project from Kimberbell. Normally, It would be stitched on tulle and mylar with a wash away stabilizer in the middle. Cut apart, the three pieces stack and can be used as a hair bow, applique or other accessory, but I have layered the mylar and tulle directly on fleece and will cut my coat back from that. Enjoy!

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Getting married

So, when a good friend from college got married this fall, my husband said WE should make them a quilt. I thought he meant himself and the mouse in his pocket! I asked my friend and her then-fiance each for three colors and was given blue, gray, green, yellow, and red. Quite the challenge! I love how it turned out.


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Getting Off Track

So, Cheryl Sleboda at muppin.com posted her yearly "blog for 31 days challenge." I'm a wee(k) bit behind, but better late than never I guess. I quilted this customer quilt last week and really like how it came out. The pattern itself is Off Track. My customer said she was good with something simple but I could quilt what I want. Y'all know I don't do simple, right?

Here it is!

Minding the Gap

So when I first read Sunday Morning Quilts, I became very interested in the Original Ticker Tape quilt. But you know I can't do anything randomly. I made a plan to save scraps from all my projects in 2014 and use this quilt as a kind of scrapbook for the year. All year long, I put my small scraps in a zip bag in my larger scrap basket. And since this was such a busy year for me sewing-wise, I had a TON of scraps.

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Creating order from chaos

This quilt has been hanging around my sewing studio for months! It's been up on the design wall. It's been on the floor in hundreds of triangles after I left the window open on a windy day. It's been stacked neatly on my ironing board while I cut and designed something else. With the longarm machine out of the way, there really is no excuse for it not being finished.

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Getting back in the saddle

I've recently moved my longarm quilting machine into a new location! That one small move has generated so much creativity! Since moving it over there just over a month ago, I have completed quilting on two quilts that had been hanging around in my sewing studio for just too long. Below are some pics of the red, white and blue Streak of Lightning. I'm calling it Stars and Stripes Forever because it took so long to finish.

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Keeping it hot

So, I've been so busy lately that it's hard to know which project to tell you about first. I've been sewing, cooking, and trying to keep the garden alive in this heat. 113° in the shade is not helpful for tomatoes or cucumbers, but for some odd reason the jalapeño plants are in overdrive. This leads me to one of my new favorite things to cook: Salsa Doña.  

So yummy! 

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