Glass Jar Storage

grains, beans, potatoes from dinner
Glass bottles hold so much possibility. What will you fill them up with next? Pins, thread, pasta, cookies, leftovers from dinner, buttons, bobbins, lots of honey; these are just a few things that fill up my glass jars. I've been wanting to share these with you to inspire you to ditch your plastics and go with glass. Storing food in plastic is not so good for you; and forget about microwaving it! A quick Google search of the term 'plastics leaching into food' yields 113,000 results!
this jar is dated 1903!
My jars are a mix of vintage, new and recycled. I collect them from all over. My Grandma gave me the 1903 Kerr pictured above. I've got a bunch of wire closing Ball jars from my local thrift shop and of course the Adam's peanut butter jars are a great size; they've got the widest mouths ever! (which I prefer) Recycling glass jars is a snap when you soak the jars in hot water, the labels peel right off. 

Down in the craft cave my little glass jars do all sorts of organizing. Jars hold seeds, pins, thread, glue sticks and whatever else needs a place. These jar lids I painted with chalkboard paint so I can mark what's in them if needed (think seeds) and it covers up the writing the lids. These jars were filled with bird seed, oysters, mayonnaise, vitamins and jam. 
So small vintage pill bottles

my sewing kit

brown glass; just a pretty if not a little mysterious

Large glass jars, some with lids, some without
What will the next jar hold? 

Introducing Astrid

For the past week I've been jones'ing pretty hard for my viking 980 sewing machine! I've named her Astrid of course; she's a viking and made in Sweden.  Waiting for it to be done at the service center was horrible, just horrible. Admittedly I am not the best waiter and patience is only something I have only recently begun to understand. So when I bought a slightly used 1985 Husqvarna Viking Prisma 980 sewing machine last week and dropped it off at my local viking dealer immediately after I bought it -- there has been a lot of 'oh i can't wait for my new sewing machine' talk going on at my house.

As they say -- good things come to those who wait. Look at that throat space; 8" -- quite an upgrade from my 3.5" Brother. She can do programmable embroidery, even letters and numbers, has automatic adjustments based on the stitch selected and many other cool things I have yet to find out!
Needless to say I can't wait to get quilting! Me and Astrid! Have a wonderful weekend with your sewing partner, the sewing machine!

Sexy Hexy Red #1

Cutting out fabric from template is way easy! The rotary cutter goes through 4 layers and around the pieces so quickly; I am no longer timid about trying the template pattern. And Amy Butler does make super simple to follow directions. So happy about this unfolding quilt. 
Here are the photos, because what is a post without photos?

The process began
sexy hexy

fabrics all from my stash via my grandmother attic. These babies have been around a while

Ready to get together
Next I cut out the bands and side bands of kona white.....mmmmmmm kona

My First (Finished) Modern

It's a new week and that means Linky Parties at Canoe Ridge Creations and  Quilt Story. I'm linking up with both so thanks for coming by! I am really loving sharing in blog land, it keeps me motivated to finish! Speaking of finishes; I sewed up the binding on my first modern and I so want to share it with everyone!
shrinking squares

love the polka dot binding

machine quilted myself

just waiting for a snuggle
Enjoy your Monday and go check out what everyone else has been working on~

Fresh Poppy Design

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

flowers in bloom

a little Zen
Inside the Orchid is in bloom and the African Violet is still going strong.

So many blooms! I have a little 'bloom it' fertilizer to thank for those delicate violet flowers.

Outside the sun is shinning bright and the wind is sharp and cold. The first flowers of spring are blooming in my yard. The Pretty Primrose.
linking up the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for Feb 2011

Show Quilts

My First Modern, My First Finish of 2011

These two quilts are my best work so far and I am proud of them! I'm entering them into the Northwest Quilters Show going on in Portland next month. They are different then anything I saw at last quilt show I went to so I am going to put it all out there and enter into the fun.

Baby J's Christmas Quilt, 2010
Everyone have a wonderful weekend, we are getting a baby-sitter tonight so watch out! hehee...

Work's In Progess

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
lots of straight lines and I like the way the back looks
Hello there! I've been busy trying to get projects finished to clear the way for new quilt projects! Another motivation is the Portland Quilt Show entry deadline of this Saturday; which I am on track to meet and enter with My First Modern (MFM) which I shared last week. This week I am happy to report that I completed the machine quilting on MFM and the binding is just waiting to be hand sewn.
polka-dot binding, perfect for a modern quilt
The quilting process was a little frustrating because I wanted perfectly straight lines - and that is just not possible wrangling fabric through the small opening in my sewing machine. I also learned along the way that I should have started quilting the width first and not the length, it distorted the lines a bit -- but you quilt and learn, right! And that is what the process is all about.

My second almost finish this week is the value quilt I started a while back. I played with the pattern again and I am really loving it. This one is destined to become a wall hanging for the craft cave. I've got a cute piece of polka dot that matches the brown, orange and blue for the back and binding. Still thinking about how to quilt this one. 

In the works: Sexy Hexy Red's. All the supplies have been gathered, fabric washed and templates ready to go. All I need now is time!
quilt baking, waiting patiently for their turn
Small Nine Patch, this one is in the bowl awaiting the sewing machine. I had planned on doing this a little bit at a time but haven't started yet. 

Sister Quilt Show Block: My sister signed us up for a block contest at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sister's Oregon. It's a pretty cool deal, they send you a packet of fabrics (from Westminster Fibers) and you create a block out of them. This year's fabrics are very bright and busy and I thought for a long time about what to make and I've decided to try a Dresden Plate. A little excited about this...

Quilting the Quilt: Practicing, practicing and planning for a long arm class and a new sewing machine. Yes that's right a new (or new to me) sewing machine! I wanted to ask you what you like about your machine or what you wish your machine did. What model do you have?
Hot and Cold; waiting till I learn the long arm
I plan on taking some long arm machine classes so I can quilt a couple larger quilt tops. This is a great way to learn how to long arm quilt, get some quilt tops finished and see if I want to pursue the long arm quilt aspect of quilting. 

All in All:
Needs Binding: My First Modern
Needs Quilting: Value Quilt, Baby Quilts (30 or so), Hot Cold & Asian Flowers both on long arm
Needs Piecing: Small Nine Patch
Needs Cutting: Sexy Hexy Red's, Sister Quilt Show Block

New Projects: 0
Completed Projects: 0
On Going Projects: 8

By the numbers this isn't so good, but it doesn't reflect how I feel about my almost finishes and my readiness to tackle the next set, which I am on fire about!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful week of sewing!

Happy Valentine's Day to me and you....

Happy Birthday

Today is my hubby's birthday. It's also the day we met 12 years ago. We joke that I'm the best present he's ever gotten. But the New York Cheesecake I made for him might rival that; with strawberry sauce. Yeah.
I also stitched up this cute little birthday card for him.

Just a few simple stitches on a cut out image from an old calendar. Have a good weekend!

taking the pledge

I took the process pledge over at rossie blog like a lot of you did (I'm 524!). Sharing the process of the quilt is so helpful to this quilt blog community. There are tons of blocks, patterns and techniques that I haven't tried yet and seeing them done by someone else is an inspiration as well as a starting point for the beginner.
Starting my blog has been about connecting with other quilters, sharing what I am doing with friends and family and documenting my learning curve along the way. Putting my process out there complements all of my goals. So today I am sharing the process.

sketches, can you tell I used to be work with AutoCAD 
Design: For me it's all about graph paper. Years ago I worked with AutoCAD to draft inspection reports for cargo tankers, barges, tug boats and such. This engineering background lends itself to my design process. Did I mention I was an artist years ago too? My eye for color, design and order is the perfect tri-fecta for quilting. When starting a new quilt design I like to sketch it out a few times and color in with different combinations until I get it how I want it.

Superman! My first free motion attempt
Front and Back, I like how you can see the superman outline
Quilting the quilt: I have quilt tops from superbowl 40 that are still waiting to be put together and quilted! Quilting has always been about piecing for me, not the quilting. I have attempted a few and the results are as expected; not quite what I had hoped for. But this is going to change soon because I committing myself to the process of learning and getting better. I started by free motion quilting the top of a simple blanket I made for Baby J. It's just a sheet and piece of fleece sewn together so no worries that I am going to ruin it! In fact I was quite happy with myself when I got done with it because I had attempted it and completed it and got better by the time I was done. This practice and experimentation is so important to learning; I am going to keep at it.
the next project; Sexy Hexy Red's
Next Process: I have written a little bit about this next quilt, the Amy Butler Sexy Hexy Love, sans Love and replaced by Red. These fabrics are perfect for this design, which I am modifying to make work. See my red pencil coloring? I tried it 4 different ways and this one worked the best, one turned out like the bio hazard warning label, not so cool for a quilt. This will be my first attempt at template cutting instead of rotary cutting. Also there are a lot of Y seams which I am not too familiar with but I am sure I will be by quilts end. I plan of sharing this one with you every step of the way...

My First Modern

I've been quilting for a while. The first quilt I started was way back in the early nineties. My sister and I went across the street to JoAnn fabrics and bought some cotton. Mine was red, blue, green all the same print of little leaves and lines. Nothing to write home about. It turned out huge and homely and I discarded it unfinished until many years later when I finally put it all together (I even found backing in the same print but white to match, ha!)
Since then I have made many quilts and all of them traditional. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a modern quilt until just recently. And boy am I loving it. I am even linking this up to Work In Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced, another modern quilter extraordinare.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

The design that caught my eye is the bold colors set in white. The way it makes the fabric pop and move is wonderful. It inspired my first modern.
Ready to baste, quilt, bind

look how the squares get smaller....
my favorite fabrics, red, blue, yellow, brown
I am planning on machine quilting this one in straight lines throughout the white to give another bold graphic element. It will be my 5 attempt at machine quilting and I am excited and nervous at the same time. But we all have to practice, practice, practice to get better, right.

So with this modern masterpiece well on the way to being done my next modern miracle will be an Amy Butler design (also thanks to all bloggers for turning me onto her). It's her Sexy Hexy Love quilt pattern but without the Love fabric line. I am using the pattern to make a large scale red and white quilt. I have been dreaming of a use for some wonderful vintage red's and the pattern is perfect. I can't wait to share that one with you too. 

Until then happy sewing!

Roasted Chicken...or the things we do for love

My husband likes his sandwiches. Everyday for lunch he packs his lunch cooler with the essentials; fruit, cheese its, water and a chicken sandwich with sprouts. Like most people who pack a lunch we stood in line at the deli counter to get our roasted turkey breast or honey ham for the week. And paid upwards of $10.00/lb for the good stuff. 
Then one day hubby gets to thinking and asks me; "would you make me a turkey one a week for my lunches instead of buying deli meat?" Oh sweet, sweet man. There is no way I am making a turkey once a week I thought! But then I got to thinking about it too. "A turkey is a little much to make once a week, but I could roast a chicken for you." 
And so it began the first week of January, my weekly roast chicken for my husband.
mmm, can you smell the goodness? 
This has been a wonderful addition to the weekly cooking and I'll tell you why. For about $0.80/lb (I buy 4 when they go on sale and freeze them) we get lunch meat for a week, a dinner for hubby and I with the thighs and drumsticks, chicken stock from the bones and the rest of the meat gets picked off for Baby J. That's right folks all that for $4.00!

The recipe is simple and from the Joy of Cooking it is for a 4lb bird. Preheat oven to 400 degrees move rack to middle. I roast mine on a wire rack to keep it out of the juices. Remove bird from packaging and take out the bits and pieces from the inside. Washing off is not necessary but if you do pat dry and disinfect your sink (I use lemon juice). Place on rack rub inside and out with a little kosher salt and then brush with unsalted butter all over the top and bottom. Add enough water to cover the bottom on the roasting dish about a 1/4" Place in oven for 1 hour and then check, if bird is larger than 4lbs add 8 minutes a pound. Thermometer should read 170 degrees when done. 

So simple, so cheap, so good, so much love

Quilt Story Block Party!!!

I am really loving being a part of the quilt blog community. I never realized there are so many ladies just like me all across the country quilting away and sharing what they've made. Quilt Story is one of the blogs I've been following. What fun linky parties they have over there! And this time it's a Quilt Story Block Party with wonderful prizes and guest judges; it's all very official. There are 3 categories to enter; modern, traditional and creative. Here are my entries:

Modern Block, for sure

this block either traditional or creative...... defiantly scrappy
I had such a fun time designing my scrappy block from yet again leftovers from Baby J's quilt. It turned out a little wonky but that's the nature of the beast when piecing as you go. I am thinking of turning it into a pillow or wall hanging to go in his room.
So wish me luck in the contest, I would love to win one of the prizes- any of them because they are all fabrics!!! My fabric stash is a whole other topic unto itself, but I will say most of it is hand-me-down from my grandmother's attic and the sale bin at JoAnn Fabric's -- and not that there is anything wrong with that; it's just that now I've been exposed to all this designer fabric and I want some of that too! Until then I will make due with my stash and happily create with what I have. And that's half the fun of it for me, using what I have to make beautiful patterns and blocks.

Fresh Poppy Design

I got distracted....

I love how the pattern pops out, reminds me of spider legs
I just couldn't help myself once I got to thinking about some left over squares and scraps from baby J's quilt. This came together super quick today and I am loving it!! I have some more left over fabric to use as a boarder or I might go all brown or cap off the outside squares...hmmmm...any suggestions?

Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story

wonky stars to keep us warm at night

Hello and Welcome! I am linking up with Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday for the first time! Very Excited!
My next project uses scraps from my wonky star quilt I made while pregnant with Baby J. It was a labor of love; I used all my favorite fabrics and a super easy stack and whack pattern of stars. I quilted it very simply as well (I was about 8 months pregnant) with an outline around the stars and brown open block dividers.
love these colors, can't get away from blue, red, brown.
This quilt taught me a lot about rushing through piecing quilting. I wish I would have taken it a little bit slower and done more quilting to the top and added a border or two. But with that said I love this quilt cause it's all mine. So often we make quilts for the special people in our lives; now that list includes me too.
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