Fruit Medley Pies, Minecraft Modgepodge Creeper and other randoms

I was originally thinking of making a fruit cobbler.

  • I had some apples purchased on sale, and a few peaches that had been ripening in a bag for a few days.
  • I thought that I could pick up some blueberries at the store to round out the cobbler. The blueberries in the produce department were $4.00 for 4 ounces.
  • Never mind!  In the frozen section, I picked up a 12 ounce bag of a berry mix, consisting of blueberries, raspberries ( black & red ) and strawberries, for far less.
  • I froze the berry mix and a few days later when I was in the mood, I made fruit medley pies instead of cobbler and I made the right decision :)

 

fruit medley pie collage

My oldest son lives in St. Louis now. He’s an engineer and as a kid he was always creating something out of legos or modeling clay.  As a young adult, when he went on a beach vacation, I recieved pictures of an enormous and quite ornate car, made out of sand. So I was not surprised to see a picture in my phone of a “Creeper” from Minecraft, that he spent 20 hours making out of paper, cardboard and modge podge for a friend’s son. I am sure that he was quite happily reliving his childhood while doing that :)

shawn minecraft figure

Awhile back, I posted about the fairly tame bluejay ( HERE ).   The saga continues. He will either call to me, or I can go out and whistle for him and he’ll show up right away. He will continue to land close to the kids as well now, as long as they sit still. This thrills them to no end. If you are tired of my bird photos, here’s an alternative :)

J blue jay pic

Halloween : Aside from the little kids, my big kids still dress up sometimes. Last year the youngest was a gorilla and scared my grandson to death. One year the middle son delighted his kids by dressing up as Scooby Doo. The year before that he was Mr. T. for a grownups party. The oldest spent 1/2 year a few years ago working out like crazy at the gym and working on some gladiator costume for an office party. This year I brazenly stole my niece’s photo from Facebook. Her younger sister did the makeup….how pretty!

shannon halloween

I can still remember shopping for baby dresses for her! I was so excited to have a little girl to shop for. By the way, those ears come from her dad’s side of the family, not mine.

Halloween was dreary, cold and rainy here. The next day was quite cold and windy…though at least we did not get snow like some of the Southern states. WAIT…something is wrong here. WE are supposed to get the snow, not the South :) 

Nevertheless, it’s time to face the depressing fact  that any days of quilting or reading in the wicker chair on the front porch are gone for now and I’ll be huddled up on that lounger by the window for the duration of the winter, catching the natural light as best I can.

its over there that etc

It’s a bit difficult to move indoors initially. I am not sure if all of you might relate to that but some may understand. During gardening seasoning, nice weather, etc….I move through the house but don’t really live in it so much. Now it’s time to once again.

Outdoors, even with a 30 degree temperature this morning, some marigolds and the sweet alyssum are still blooming. I also discovered an echinacea blooming under the tall grasses by the back porch. Everything else has been picked for a last bouquet. I picked the zinnias that had buds on them though I don’t know if they’ll open and bloom in the house or not. Time will tell! :)

You might also enjoy : April Photo Diary  or  Quick Quilt, Slow Stitching, and Chickadee Approved Window Cleaning

Sharing at : Lavender Cottage Gardening / Cozy Little House /  A Stroll Thru Life/ French Country Cottage / Sew Many Ways

How to tie a quilt & more slow stitching activities

I finished up the eagle sampler top early in the week ( “almost done” post is HERE ) and thought to put it aside for awhile. It’s going to be a Christmas gift and there’s time, because I am tying it and not hand-quilting it.

Then it dawned on me that since the basket quilt is ready for binding, if I wanted to get the Crosses & Losses top ready for hand quilting, that unless I did something with the sampler first, I’d need to go purchase more basting pins as I did not have enough for two basting projects. I really did not want to do that, so I added a border, sandwiched it and am in the process of basting it.

basting the sampler

Certainly I was influenced by what has been and is still going on outdoors, in regards to colors, when working on this quilt top :)

Fall colors collage

In case you have never tied a quilt and are curious, while I was still at the basting stage, I did pull out the yarn to take a few pictures and show you what I’ll be doing, and why tying is a nice option.

WHY:

First of all since I am not hand-quilting, I used a sheet for the backing. This is a 300 thread count, Egyptian cotton twin bed sheet, cut down to size, purchased at the mission store for 3.00.  It feels softer than the fabrics in the front. And such a money saving option versus a fine fabric backing !

Next, the recipients ( son and DIL ) have an old tied quilt at their house from when HE was a kid, still in perfect shape,  so they are not going to worry as much about using it and washing it as a hand-quilted one. ( I see my hand-quilted one there on display; never used…while they use the tied ones :)

When I am at the sewing machine a lot, if I am piecing, I have to deal with neck and shoulder problems. Aside from machine quilting small items such as pillows or doll quilts, extensive quilting on my machine is not an option. It’s either hand-quilting or tying….both are easy on me and quite relaxing.

WHAT / HOW:

I chose a neutral color and a nice soft yarn. I have used this silk bamboo yarn before and it is wonderful and oh-so-soft. The biggest challenge in tying a quilt with yarn,  is getting the yarn through the needle eye. What I do is use some scotch tape to create a shoelace sort of effect. Wrap it around the yarn / trim to a point / it goes right through the needle, then you cut off the tape.

yarn collage

Thankfully, they have now invented curved needles…these can be found in Joann Fabrics or most stores, I would think. In my local Joann’s they are in the quilting section.

curved needle

I pull the needle through and cut the yarn at about 2 inches. I then tie 3 knots one on top of each other and then clip.

Meanwhile as to the basket quilt, I started pinning binding around it, though I’ll re-pin and re-work as I go along.

starting to pin binding on basket quilt

Plenty of slow stitching ahead, between this binding, tying the other quilt, and then of course it will require binding next.

For fun, I’ve been playing with little blocks. Have you seen the Stonefields and Briar Hill quilts? Stonefields is a 200.00 pattern. Well, I just can’t go there but I thought to play around and start to make some little blocks on my own…both of those quilts have a lot of little blocks, a lot of hexies, circles, simple shapes, etc.

I thought I’d try some little baskets, see if I had the patience to work with hexies, and play around.

playing around collage

I started some clamshells as well for down the line. I have cut out the background blocks at around 7 inches and will trim to 6 later on. In one of my scrap quilt books, there is an antique baby basket quilt with long vertical rows and I like that idea.  Or perhaps this could be a quilt with a large center block and small ones surrounding it.  For the moment, it is something to have on hand to pick up here and there.

I am not basting these hexies with thread…I am prepping them in the same way that I do applique pieces; with freezer paper and spray starch.

I also have some templates traced out on freezer paper for the next red & green block, but no cutting yet. The contrast between the two is this : when the grandkids are here, with coloring books or puzzles or food on the dining room table, it is not the time to be struggling with trying to get the point right on an appliqued leaf. But to pick up a little hexie flower or a basket for applique works. Since the kids won’t be running outside to play anymore, this is a good here-and-there project to have going on for the winter.

You might also enjoy : Nothing says Fall around here like a wooly bear caterpillar  or Five Random Favorite Things  or  My Grandmother’s Handwork: Embroidery

 

Sharing at : Kathys Quilts / Sew Many Ways / Cozy Little House / A Stroll Thru Life / Freemotion by the River / Sew Fresh Quilts / Freshly Pieced / Savvy Southern Style