Lucy Boston

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Spring-y colored fun

It is the end of January 
(already!!! - where did the whole month go??!)
so snow is the norm here in central Ohio...
and true to form, it's is snowing and blowing here again, today,
with another half foot of accumulation expected.  YA!
And since I finished my snowmen quilt 
and the little snowman runner for the giveaway, 
I decided it was time to start on something a little more Spring-like.

It just so happens that I've  signed up for a swap
within a repro/prim group,
and the swap is for a Spring-y, little quilt.
Guess that means it's time 
to play in some light and bright reproduction fabric!
Don't those colors look like Spring-y fun?
Who said that Reproduction colors are dark and gloomy? 

I've also decided to quilt it in big-stitch,
with that gorgeous, variegated purple Valdani pearl cotton!
Definitely Spring-y on this blustery Winter day!

Happy end of January to you,
and hope you can do a little stitching today.

PS - I heard from Di, the winner in my giveaway, 
so the little snowman quilt is sliding along the snow to New York!

Friday, January 30, 2015

the 'little' snow giveaway winner

Thanks to all who visited me on my day of the
Blog Hop!
It was great to play along and see all of the other finishes!!
If you missed it, you can visit HERE to see the others
who also participated!

After my finish of the Winter block of the month
with Quilt Doodle Doodles, 
I had a few extra blocks leftover...
so I put them into a 'little' wall hanging:
It only measures  about 4 inches by 13 inches.

I did the random number thing
and drew a name from all of the comments left on my last post,
and the winner is....
DI, of Quilting is Blissful!
Di said:
What a pretty quilt--
somehow I missed doing this one!!
and as for a row of snowmen--well--
it would go right along fine here today 
as it is snowing outside!!
smiles, di and miss gracie

Congratulations, Di, I've sent you an email.
(Di has a cute blog that you can visit HERE.)

Though I think I'm finished with Winter-y quilt projects inside, 
we did get some more snow outside.
I love snow!
And this storm, though not the blizzard like our friends of the East coast area received,
started here as CHUNKS of snow:
Those large flakes were about palm-sized!,
and were the start of about 6 inches of accumulation.
The three-year-old grandson said they were "tongue catching flakes",
and I agree!
Later that day,  my father-in-law,
who also likes to play in the snow, came to call:
Isn't it beautiful?

I'll be back tomorrow to share a peek of the start of my latest quilt project that's going to a friend in Georgia for Spring.

Monday, January 26, 2015

January Hopping! & giveaway

It is hopping cold and snowy here in central Ohio,
but the hopping I'm speaking of is a Blog Hop!!

Hello and welcome to my day to share on 
the Quilt Doodle Doodles Blog Hop!
My winter-y welcome is appropriate
for the quilt that was made for this hop...
My quilt finished at just 22 inches by 26 inches.
It's machine-pieced, with wool hand-appliqued for snowmen noses, roof snow, door wreath & bow, mug steam and skate blades.

Last year, Cindy at Quilt Doodle Doodles  
offered this as a free Block Of the Month pattern 
to make a block or row each month.
I jumped right in!
But, not wanting a bed-sized quilt (approx. 70"x82"),
I choose to downsize my blocks 
so I'd end up with a wall-hanging instead.

I do admit that I thought I was half-sizing the pattern, 
but ended up smaller than half 
because my brain kind of does it's own thing sometimes. :)

The patterns that Cindy offered 
had fabric squares cut at 2 1/2 inches, finishing at 2 inches.
So to make half-sized, I should have 
cut my squares at 1 1/2 inches to finish half-sized at 1 inch.
But, oops, 
I cut my squares at half the size of her cut-size, 
so I cut at 1 1/4 inches, to finish at 3/4 inch.
Besides the down-sizing,
I made a couple of other small changes...
One change was to not put in a row of Christmas-y light bulbs.  
I made them, and love them, 
but wanted this little quilt to stay Winter-y looking,
so I could leave it displayed longer than just the Christmas season.

The second change was instead of the light bulb row,
I used the scrap corners leftover from my Snowman row
 and made these cute little pinwheels!:
Yes, each little, eight piece, white pinwheel is 3/4 of an inch!

My final change was that I re-arranged the placement of my rows to space out my light-colored rows.
Then, on to my quilting.
The whole time I was making this little quilt, 
I was thinking I would hand-quilt it.
I even had it pin-basted in preparation of hand-quilting:
Pin-basted from the back.
WRONG!  Funny, funny me.
The little pieces in this quilt are only three-quarters of an inch!!
That means that the 
seam allowances cover most of the back of each little square!
NOT conducive to hand-quilting.
Instead of hand quilting,  I started by doing some stitch-in-the-ditch on my domestic machine.
Then I loaded it onto the long-arm machine
and did a little echo quilting around the snowmen heads and candies across the top, 
with some clouds and windy-swirls thrown in around the house and trees.
I love my little finish, 
and loved the sew-along qualities of the BOM offering from Cindy.
It was fun checking in each month with others making the same pattern, seeing their progress and creativity.

You can visit today's other bloggers on the January Hop, too:

My thanks to Cindy for offering this at no cost, for the great patterns, and hosting this Hop to share all the cuter-than-cute finishes.

Thanks to you also for visiting and doing some January Hopping!

PS - Cindy is offering a new B.O.M. for this year, so visit her blog to check it out!!
ALSO, she's having a giveaway, so when you visit her blog - just leave her a comment to enter.

PPS - Leave a comment here for me,
as I'm doing a little giveaway, too!!  
I have an extra, little string of snowmen to share!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Won't you join me on the hop?

I've been invited to join in a blog hop!


Last year I did a Block Of the Month
with Cindy at QuiltDoodleDoodles
and ended up with a GREAT finish.
So when Cindy asked me to join in the 
fun of sharing the finished BOM quilt,
I, of course, said yes!

Here is the hop schedule:
January 24th
Mari - The Acedemic Quilter
LeeAnna - Not Afraid of Color
Liz - Hosted by Quilt Doodles
Sherri - Sushine in the Attic

January 25th
Dee - deesdoings
Nancy D - Hosted by Quilt Doodles 
Sharon - Vroomans Quilts
Leslie - 365 Days of Wonderful Jules - Quilting with Calicos

January 26th

Hopefully you get a chance to visit the hop participants
this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday
to see the cute, wintery projects - blocks or quilts -
that we worked on last year.
P.S. Cindy is offering a new BOM this year, (the patterns are free during each month, or just a nominal fee if you miss one) so visit her to see the new year's project!

Happy Friday and Happy Stitching!

Monday, January 19, 2015

flags & a tutorial for Hot Pad blocks - knife-edged method

Flags of the American Revolution Sew-Along... 
This Sew-Along (with Lori of Humble Quilts)
is a pattern by Jan Patek,
and if you don't know, a Jan pattern is kind of primitive...
the seams don't have to match,
points can be cut off, and
fabrics can be mismatched, using whatever you have on hand. 
So if there's some applique that's not turned under smoothly
or a point is not pointy, it just adds to the primitive charm.
No worries. 

With that primitive charm look/style in mind,
I've started quilting my blocks individually,
deciding to use the 'primitive' Hot Pad method to finish this quilt.

In this instance, 
I'm using the knife-edged block, without individual block bindings:
Quilted block on the left, stack of blocks on the right still to do.
For those who asked me previously 
about the knife-edged Hot Pad method of finishing blocks,
here are pictures of my block progression:
#1 - Cut your batting the same size as your finished block.
#2 - Cut your backing fabric at least an inch larger than your finished block size.
 #3 - Layer backing right side up, 
centering the quilt block right side down, 
with batting squarely on top.
#4 - Pin well so the layers won't shift as you sew around your block, above... Note the double pins at the bottom, designating the no-sew area for turning the block through to right side out.
#5 - Stitch with your usual 1/4 inch seam allowance, leaving a generous opening to turn the completed block right side out.  (Don't allow your batting to stretch while stitching!!)
#6 - Above, trim corners of all layers after stitching.
#7 - Before turning the block right side out, 
check the raw edges around your block to make sure you've caught all layers.
 (You want to see your backing and the quilt block
  that are right sides together, with your batting on the top of that.)
#8 - Block is turned right side out, using the Hera Marker to push the block out to seams and corners out squarely.
#9 - This picture shows a block BACK.
Press the block well, then turn in seam allowances 
at the opening left from turning block right-side-out;
#10 Hand whip-stitch closed with matching thread (not shown).

#11 - Block has 'scored' indentations from 
Hera Marker for possible quilting lines, 
and then is pin-basted in preparation for quilting.
#12 - Block on the left is quilted.
The stack of blocks on the right are marked and ready to pin-baste for quilting.
At this point, all the completely finished blocks are ready to layout in their quilt position and to be whip-stitched together!
(The original quilt has borders and binding, and I think I will add those also, but will wait to see as it all comes together.)

Let me know if you have questions after reading this little tutorial.  It makes sense to me, but I/we already know that everyone processes info differently, so my way works for me but may not be easy for you to understand. :)

Back to some stitching for me.
Happy Stitching to you also!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Chocolate Cherry Crock Cake: my slow-cooker cake recipe

As requested,
here's my version of the cake recipe I mentioned last week:

Chocolate Cherry Crock Cake
Prepare slow-cooker crock by generously buttering bottom and sides (up 2 inches at least)

  • Stir together in saucepan:
2+ cups tart cherries
with 1/2 cup sugar
and 1/3 cup cornstarch
and stir on medium high heat, until thickened.

Spread hot cherry filling from above (or equivalent *canned cherries)
into bottom of buttered crock of slow cooker.

  • Mix together in large bowl:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup gluten-free (or all purpose) flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
then sprinkle this **dry mixture over the cherries in the crock of slow cooker.

  • Dot top of mixture in crock with:
1/4 cup of butter, cubed
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Then pour over top:
1 (12 oz) can of Dr. Pepper soda

Cover with lid and cook on high for 2 hours.
Served warm with Vanilla Bean ice cream...

A few notes:
Don't stir the layers together.  This is a very pudding-like cake so don't be surprised when it doesn't set up completely.
*I used my own fresh/frozen/thawed cherries, a quart-sized bag; but you can use a can of cherries.
I mixed up my own 'cake' mix, but if you'd rather, use a dry, **dark chocolate fudge cake mix.
Also, I had a black cocoa on hand, so if you use lighter cocoa, your cake won't be as dark looking.
Dr. Pepper soda has a cherry flavor, so it's the best to use if you have it.  I didn't, so used RC cola- a dark cola, instead.
I refrigerated my leftovers, but don't think that's really needed if you don't have fridge space.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

little pieces from a block of the month

I've put together the top from last year's 
Sew-Along with Quilt Doodle Doodles Block Of the month!
It's a cutie, for sure!
My sincere thanks to Cindy for the free pattern each month.
It was such a fun project!

My finish is a little different 
than the QDD2014 sew-along though, as
I made my blocks smaller than half-sized...
[Cindy's original pattern (quilt finishing 70 by 84 inches) 
had each fabric square cut at 2 1/2 inches, finishing at 2 inches.]
I cut my squares at 1 1/4 inches, 
which then finished at 3/4 of an inch,
and my little quilt finished at 22 by 26 inches.
I'm a little goofy, though.
I have the quilt top pin-basted from the back for hand quilting.
And as I was pin-basting, I'm thinking:
hand-quilting is really NOT a good idea for this little piece...
with each square only being 3/4 of an inch, 
that means that the seam allowances 
cover most of the back of each little block.
So, on to the new quilting plan.
Which I've not really decided on yet. :)
I'll start by removing the basting pins from the back.

Oh, and MORE GOOFY me - 
that bottom row of little 3/4 inch pinwheel blocks 
were not part of the original pattern.
Those are waste corners 
from the snowball Snowmen blocks from the top row.
Also, I opted not to add Cindy's row of really cute Christmas bulbs... (which I made and I'll share later; they will be turned into a little wall hanging banner).
By the way - Cindy of Quilt Doodle Doodles has a new  
Block Of the Month for 2015 -
and the first block is available right now and FREE! 
I've added links, above, in pink, 
if you'd like to jump over and visit Cindy or to join in her next fun BOM! 
(Tell her Debra said HI! :)

Hopefully I'll have the quilting done and ready to share in about a week, with the other BOM participants.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A small appliance was a favorite gift.

Yes, I said that. Out loud, and here in print.
My favorite Christmas gift was a small appliance.
But please, please, please don't tell my Sweetie!
Sweetie and I have an agreement, well a promise...
we promised each other long, long ago
that we wouldn't gift each other with appliances, large or small.

Do you have the same promise with someone about gifts disallowed?
And do you have a recent favorite gift item from a so-called disallowed list? 

So, back to the small appliance...
at Christmas time,
a friend - J, brought some gifts for me -
way too many gifts (!) :
some great texty fabrics, pins, 
and a fun, quilty mug among other things,
and I loved them all to pieces.

J also had another gift for me, tagged 'From Santa',
supposedly that was left at her house...
though I found it curious 
that it was wrapped in the same gift paper as her gifts.

I love all of my gifts, but my favorite may just be the one
that was marked 'From Santa',
shown here:
Yes, a small appliance!, it's a casserole sized slow-cooker.
It even has it's own cord corral:
Also in that last pic is the the fun, quilty mug gift, 
now continually filled with my hot tea.

I had mentioned to J (in the summertime) after my paternal family reunion, that a second cousin had this great smaller-sized slow-cooker and if she saw one when she was out shopping to please let me know, as I think I'd like to have one now that the usual family meal size has decreased.  I never found one myself, and I sure didn't tell Sweetie that I was looking for a small appliance!  

So it was such a great surprise to receive the exact item I'd described, and so very kind that J remembered my comment from 6 months ago.  Isn't that a wonderful friend?

Both the slow-cooker and the mug have been used many times in the last handful of weeks, thanks to J!!!

In fact, right now the slow-cooker is filled with a
Chocolate Cherry Fudge Cake
(which is a recipe that I made up from a few different recipes I found on Pinterest).

Anyway, please don't tell my Sweetie 
that my favorite gift may just have been a small appliance.
I don't want to start that trend. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday & naps

Another week -
the second week of the year is almost gone already!!
And, it's still 'Igloo cold' here in central Ohio.

I had a break from my quilting,
as I got to keep the grand-kiddos aka: the little guys
while Sonnyboy and his beautiful wife-y had the chance to go to 
the National College Football Championship Game in Texas.
Way to go Ohio State Buckeyes!!

It was a wonderful Sunday, Monday, Tuesday for me.
But now I know why the Good Lord has the young having babies!
Man-O-Man am I bushed!!!
They are good grand-kiddos -
a three year old and a molar-teething one year old that's walking
kept me on my toes (and out of sleep :)!
I am so blessed that they live close and love to come to GrandmaB's!
And Sweetie and I were able to watch the final playoff game from our easy-chairs after grand-kiddos went beddy-bye.

Anyway, what all that means is that my in-progress quilting project - Flags of the American Revolution, got stacked and piled onto the sewing table in my quilt studio (aka: spare room, aka: Sonnyboy's old bedroom).
Here's the layout of blocks before said stacking and piling:
I still don't have the quarter-square-triangles on my center eagle medallion...
I'm going with 'I'm still auditioning fabric colors'. :)
Note: the folded fabrics on top of some blocks?
That is the backing fabric for each block.
Yes, each block's backing, 
as I've decided to do this quilt in the hot-pad method,
with knife-edged sides 
(more on that later).

Now that the grand-kiddos are back home with their parents 
and I've had a nap,
I've unstacked the previously stacked and piled project
to work on the rest of this week.
But maybe with another nap scheduled in.

Happy Tuesday and Happy Stitching!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Partly sunny, with a chance of igloos?? And first quilts.

At around six this morning, it was negative 7 here in central Ohio,
with wind chill, it was negative 27.
Pretty cold.  
So cold that the all the local schools called off last night.

As I'm working around the house, 
I think back to what I saw on this morning's forecast.
There was something odd about it.

So I checked back on the weather at about 9 this morning 
and took the photo, below.
On the bottom left - see the Current Conditions?
That's what I had thought odd.
You know it's cold when it's going to be 
partly sunny and igloo-ish. :)
And because school was called off, 
this is what I got to do today:
Above, Granddaughter's first quilt piecing;
and below, sewing on the border!
It was a great day -
great for teaching a new quilter the basics,
and great for staying inside where the igloos aren't.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Snow play day and a little freaking out here

Snow day equals sew day in my house!
It's bitterly cold here and the snow is blowing, but beautiful.
The snow plow trucks are scraping and salting outside
and here inside, the needle is flying.
But it's not the cold/snow that's freaking me out.
I just did an inventory on the blocks remaining to do
in my Flags of the American Revolution quilt project. 
There are just three blocks left!
The last block is a little scary when I think about it.
It's the 'signature' block,
where I'll applique my first initial/last name
onto a 10x20 inch block of fabric in 1 1/2 inch tall letters.

OK, I'm not really FREAKING out,
but freaking out.
My last name is 11 letters.
Yes, ELEVEN!!!!!
And, to top off the 11 letters issue?
The block's length is in the quilt vertically.
If I had had ANY forethought,
I would have stitched one of my other, already done blocks in the other layout configuration and switched their placement.

Well, I didn't have the forethought & 
I'm not redoing any of my finished blocks,
so I've laid out A.L.L. 
my (so far) freezer paper letters in three different ways.
I have a preference, but  
which configuration do you like the best? 
 option A - last name all down the side,
with or without the second, bigger star 
option B - last name across and down
option C - last name curved
There is some embroidery in some of the other quilt blocks, so
hand-embroidery would be another option.
Anyway, I'd appreciate your opinion
and look forward to hearing your wisdom.

So I'm putting aside the freaking out, and
back to snow play time for me!

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

On the first day of the new year

I quilted a quilt!
What a great way to spend a quiet day after the holidays.
It's a great feeling - being productive.

The quilting finish was a customer's baby quilt with vintage cowboy fabric and so very cute:
The front:
And the back:
 Such a nice way to spend part of the first day of a new year!

Now that it's the 4th day of the year,
there has been a family wedding (welcome to a new sis-in-law),
I've tried a new recipe (not so good),
I've worked on my Flags of American Revolution blocks (progress),
stitched on my Lucy Boston - Patchwork of the Crosses (more progress).  

Hope that you've had a great start to your year also!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Flags of the American Revolution part 5!

It's sharing time for the Flags sew-along again.

In the photo below, my Sawtooth Stars are on the left, 
Three Crescents of South Carolina on top/right,
Star and Moon blocks below that,
and far bottom is the Liberty Moon of Fort Moultrie:

I thought,
just for a few days there,
that I was caught up 
when I finished the 'assignment' for December.
Then, laying out my finished F.A.R. blocks, I realized that 
I'm still behind (missed doing one block in maybe October).
But I am ahead, too (did the wrong block when I missed the October one).
So, I'm still calling it even. 

I like to lay my finished blocks all grouped together
to help me in choosing the next flag blocks' colors.
It also helps me when I take a photo of them then,
to see if any color just doesn't play well with the others in the group.
Here's the latest 'group shot':
I love how the quilt is coming together!
And, again, thanks to Lori of Humble Quilts for organizing this F.A.R. sew-along.
If you'd like to see the lovely block finishes of others participating in this sew along, you can click on the Humble Quilts link, above.  There are some GREAT blocks!

Finally, here are close-ups of my fabric choices:
The greens and blacks of my Sawtooth Stars.
The blues and creams of my Three Crescents of South Carolina
and Liberty of Fort Moultrie flags.
The golds and blues of my Star and Moon Blocks.
I think that all of my fabrics used so far have been Civil War reproductions.  I wasn't purposefully pulling those, but really like how the colors are so cohesive together.

Also for me, it's almost time to decide how to quilt it.  I look so forward to the quilting, but have a hard time deciding how to finish it off.  Wonder if others stall at this point also?

Happy 2nd of January, and Happy Stitching!