Monday, May 26, 2008

Two at a Time Preemie Quilts - Part One

The quickest way to do this is to use 2 different fabrics (3 if you are going to add an accent piece). You will need about 1 1/2 yards of your main fabric (I will call it the dark fabric even though I almost always use a pastel) and 1/2 yard of a contrasting fabric (I will call it the light fabric). You will also need 1/8 yard or a fat quarter of an accent fabric. For this tutorial I am using a lovely pink fabric (part of the stash from Vicki W), a white on white and a dark rose.

There are plenty of other ways to do this depending on how much fabric you have on hand. You could use something different for the borders, or perhaps the backing. But using all of one main fabric will make the process quicker.

Cut the dark fabric into 12-2 1/2" strips x width of fabric.................................

4-2 1/2" strips for the center checkerboard

4-2 1/2" strips for the outer border

4-2 1/2" strips for the binding

The remaining fabric should be cut in half lengthwise (approx 22"x22") for two backings

Cut the light fabric .......................................

4-2 1/2" strips for the center checkerboard

4-1 1/2" strips for the inner border

Accent fabric................................

If you are using 1/8 yard, then cut 4-1 inch strips

If you are using a fat quarter, then cut 8-1 inch strips

Central checkerboard-

Start with 4 dark and 4 light 2 1/2" strips (set everything else aside for now). Cut each strips in half . Sew together two strips sets, consisting of 7 strips each. One set will start and end with a dark, the other will start and end with a light. There will be two pieces left over (save all the leftovers for scrappy preemie quilts). Press all seams towards the dark fabric.

Cut the strips sets into 2 1/2" strips.

Sew 7 of these strips together using the strips that starts and ends with the light, and sew another 7 strips together using the strips that starts and ends with the dark.

So sorry for the dark photos but it is a gloomy day and there isn't much sunlight coming in the house. I hope my instructions are clear enough. Do you have any question feel free to email me. Do you have any suggestions? I'll change the instructions if you think more clarification is necessary.

Stay tunes for Part 2.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm Back!

I love DisneyWorld. I don't even have to go to any of the parks. Just sit me by the pool at any of the resorts and I'm a happy camper.

Here's a happy sight............................

We stayed at the Boardwalk Resort. I got all excited when I saw this store.................

But sadly, they do not sell any threads nor do they sell any thimbles. It is a clothing store, mostly souvenir shirts. I searched everywhere, but could not find a thimble for my collection anywhere. Not even in the marketplace in Downtown Disney.

This picture is for Ann. Yes, we went to Pucks for dinner and yes I had pumpkin ravioli. It was wonderful.

It was a great trip and we got an awful lot of adventures (and way too much food) crammed into two days. We have never been to the Animal Kingdom, so we spent several hours there. We went on the Safari and saw several other sites. We will have to go back there again sometimes to see some of the shows we missed.

That's the tree of Life behind me. It is huge and the trunk is made up of carved animals. On the right is a view of Mt. Everest from one of the bridges. No, I did not go on that ride. I wanted to come home in one piece.

It was a quick trip and we will be back in September with my son, daughter in law and grandchildren.

On the way home we stopped at my son's house as he was taking us out to dinner for an anniversary gift. What we didn't know was that it was a surprise party. He had invited the whole family, my sister and her sons, their wives and all the grandchildren. It was a most wonderful ending to a great trip.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A quick Trip

Monday will mark the 40th Anniversary of my wedding. Everyone in unison now, Aaaaahhhhh!

We are leaving tomorrow for Disney World for a short vacation. We will be returning Saturday night. On our way home, we are stopping at my son's house. He is taking us out to dinner for the big occasion.

See ya later.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Preemie Quilts

As you know, I get bored easily and sometimes I need some instant gratification. (OK, so not exactly instant, but quicker than days). I set aside the tumblers, log cabins, friendship stars, crumbs, strings and coins and made a set of preemie quilts with some of the lovely fabric that Vicki W sent me. I have made a zillion of these. I make these, two at a time from my own pattern design. Maybe I'll type a short tutorial on how I do it.

But first I would like to talk about Preemie Quilt colors. When I first started making these, most of them went to a High Risk Pregnancy Center. I was told that many of the babies didn't make it. The quilts were sometimes used to bury the baby, but most of the time the Mother kept the quilt as something to hold on to. It occurred to me that the quilts are really more for the Moms and nurses than for the babys. I always hear it said that they should be in bright colors, but I much prefer pastels. (I have an unreasonable dislike for red on babies). I have seen preemie quilts in brown and orange because the fabric was given to the maker for free. To me, that is unacceptable. If you were the mother of a preemie baby, how would you feel getting a brown and orange quilt?

This fabric is just so perfect. The colors are bright, yet pastel enough for me.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Zizzy-Dot Swap #10

The challenge, a quilt block.

Mine.........Courthouse Steps.

Dotti's..... American Beauty.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Kids, Don't Try This At Home

I'm not much of a tea drinker and I don't know whatever possessed me, but I bought this box of raspberry tea. Being the slob that I am, I spilled some on the white shirt that I was wearing. But instead of getting upset, I thought it was a lovely shade of pink. So I cut about a yard of some unbleached muslin and attempted to tea dye it. I suppose bleached muslin would have been a better choice but all I had was the stuff I purchased to use as foundations.

I put the piece in a pot of water with 6 tea bags and let it come to a boil.

This is going to be great, I thought, a lovely shade of antique faded pink. Once it boiled, I turned off the burner and let it sit there while I went shopping.

A few hours later, I put the fabric in the washer with cold water on a quick rinse. Here is the results.

Sadly, the color all washed out and the fabric doesn't look any different than when I started. So why didn't the pink tea stains come out of my blouse?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A conversation with Allison

Alli is my 5 year old grand daughter and she is a piece of work.

Me: I have to give you lots of hugs and kisses because someday you will be a teenager, a cheerleader, flirting with the football team, and you won't have any time for your grandma.

Alli: Oh Grandma, you'll be dead by then.

Like I said, a piece of work.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Apparently I can't count to 30. Looks like that upper corner needs turning too. I hope I remember when I start sewing these together. These are mostly fabrics that Elaine sent with some of my own and some of Ann's too.

Looks like 120 charms don't go very far. Good thing I cut more. This one has everyone's fabrics in it including scraps from the Romantic F8 swap. It looks a bit blah in the picture but it is really bright in person. I'm really liking this one.

And one more thing, I haven't pissed anyone off in at least a month. It's a good day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

RAK'd again

I received a large selection of fabrics from Vicki W of Field Trips in Fiber yesterday. What a great bunch of fabric, more than enough for several preemie quilts or a few larger ones.

She also sent this bag of what she calls scraps. I pulled out some larger pieces that I could use for the tumbler blocks I am currently working on. Wow, there is a lot of good stuff there. The bag still has lots and lots of strips, good for more string quilts and squares of various sizes.

Sorry Vicki, these are just a bit toooooo small for me.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


I didn't get a whole lot of sewing done this past week. I did manage to finish those log cabin blocks, but I still have to put them together. I finished appliqueing the flip flops and sewed the blocks together. But it has turned out to be wider than I thought about and I have to rethink the border. Oh well, what's one more UFO?

My friend Ann suggested that I make some tumbler blocks. I thought that was a good idea and I always wanted to make one but I did not want to make a template, draw around it, cut it out. Good grief, do people still do that? I searched the net for a while and found one template that was just what I wanted. I dragged out a bunch of nickel squares I have had for some time now and tried out my new rotary cutter template. Worked like a charm (yes, pun intended).

After cutting a few I discovered a bonus. Hmmm, I could sew those long skinny triangles together and get rectangles. I have no idea what to do with them, but I plan on sewing all those together.

This has turned out to be even easier than I thought. If you cut off those little corners (there are tons of those teeny tiny triangles all over my house now) the charms fit together perfectly. As you can see the rows come out pretty darn straight.

This surely is not enough in this box to make much of anything. I have lots more cutting to do. All those fabrics that everyone sent will go into the mix. Ah yes, some more mindless sewing, my favorite.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Colorful Week

I work in a drab office building..............................

This room is called "The Pit". It too is drab........................................

Then there is my room and my desk, drab, drab, drab, not to mention boring................................

So, when I discovered The Curious Bird I was thrilled to find a whole week of glorious color. Check it out.