Charity Quilt from Ronda and Friends

Ronda has been busy doing charity quilts again.  I have to tease just a bit.  Before Christmas she sent me a note saying she wouldn’t have time to do much over Christmas then just like that,  a week after Christmas has passed there’s another email in my inbox.

Ronda writes:
The first quilt I have to share with you was a top that you passed on to me from Barbara in NM.  She had made the center of the quilt with the X’s and O’s blocks.  She used some word print fabrics in her background, so I added the newsprint border to go with that.”

…”Then I added the floral border to make it just a bit bigger.  That floral print has some of the same colors used in the center blocks and was just wild enough to go with the wild fabrics she used.”

The backing also came from you.  This will be saved for the Humane Society Quilt Auction or another of the fundraisers that I regularly donate to.  It is a large lap sized quilt.”

WOW!!!  This turned out fabulous.  I saw the quilt top that Barbara had sent and this was a perfect way to get the top a little bit bigger.  So often “odd” sized quilt tops are donated.  If quilts are bigger, they bring better money for a benefit…and all in all they are a little more desirable as people of many ages can use them.  Ronda did a great job with the beautiful quilt top that Barbara sent.  WIN!!


The second quilt is from Debbie in NY….…I used some of that same backing fabric from the first quilt as an added border to pick up the red in the print with the butterflies and ladybugs.”

“The backing on this one is also from you.  It will go to the Ronald McDonald House as they like the smaller quilts

When I was cleaning out my sewing room I boxed up backing fabrics and sent them out to Ronda and three other people.  It feels great to have the space in my closet and even better to see it’s being used for a good cause.  The red from the first quilt I got in a box from an auction and the blue gingham came from the thrift store.  YAHOO!!

Three cheers for Ronda and the quilt top makers, Debbie and Barbara.  You ladies teamed up and look at the great causes and people who will be helped.


My Weekend….

I had a great weekend.  It was busy and I didn’t accomplish much in the sewing room but that’s okay.  Family first ALWAYS.

Saturday morning Kalissa, Carver and I took off early.  Our mission was to find the big orange “H”.  That’s what we told Carver anyway.  He knows his uppercase letters now so we’re always making him look to find them out in public.

Kalissa had ordered online and we only needed to pick up her order.  Yes, we did end up with a couple more things but the things that were pre-ordered were things for Craig.  I love this option.
From there we went to another store with an “H”…Hobby Lobby or “Hobby-Hobby” as Carver said.

I ended up getting some sticky board so I could finish a couple cross stitch projects, a couple solid fabrics (watch for more about that in an upcoming stash report) and picture frames to do my family picture wall.

It was a fun time.  The weather in Waterloo was snowy and yucky.  We might not have gone if we knew.  The weather at our house was perfect.  We made it safe and that’s what counts.

The next day I had something scheduled with Kayla.  We had seen that there was a lefse making class in Decorah.  That’s a half hour from us and Kayla LOVES lefse.  I’m not head over heels for it but do enjoy it.  For those of you who don’t know what lefse is, it’s a scandinavian food.  It’s made with mashed potatoes and flour and a few other things.  It’s rolled flat like a tortilla.  Around here people typically put butter and sugar on it, roll it up and eat it.

Kayla was really wanting to go to the class and I was happy to go with and learn.  The classroom was small but nice.  The instructor was good.

Here I am rolling out my lefse….
The goal is to get it super thin..then is cooks on a griddle like a tortilla.  Makers use the stick that’s in my hand for transferring and moving the lefse.

We were so excited to see our longarmer and friend Carla there with her daughter.  Having people we knew there made it all extra fun.

Of course there was tasting too….
From there we stopped at the Vesterheim Museum shop.  Neither of us had been there and have wanted to stop.  Decorah has a big Norwegian Museum.  We thought to get some equipment there for lefse making but ended up at the kitchen store instead.

Kayla wanted a trip to the yarn shop too.  I know nothing about yarn shops but Kayla does and she loves the Blue Heron Yarn Shop….

From there it was a necessary stop for me at Wal-Mart….Check out what we found….quilty dog dishes.  No…I didn’t get any for Ruby.  I sure was tempted though.

The class was in the morning so once we got home we still had time to hang out.  Craig, Kalissa and Carver came over for supper so Kayla could see them while she was home.

I half apologized to Kalissa saying, “I’m sorry you have to come home every time one of your siblings come home.”  Kalissa laughed and said she liked to and that she always gets in on the good suppers that way.  True.

It was a good weekend…lots of fun filled with all the things I need to get me going into another work week.

Big or Little, Iron or Not?

A bit ago I posted this photo on our Instagram account.  It was of the mystery quilt….a finished top, loaded and ready to go.
Mary from Country Threads left a comment on the post:
How in the world did you get that assembled so fast? I’m just to Border 2! I hate handling big quilts back and forth from the ironing board to the machine! And you’re probably doing day care at the same time! Yikes!

Mary is a hoot!!  We always tease each other back and forth.  Mary calls this a big quilt.  It was 72″ x 72″.  I call this a little quilt.  Mary makes lots of baby quilts to throws, to table runners to table toppers.  Yep.  This would be a big quilt.

Me…I made quilts that are typically 90″ x 90″ up to 100″ x 100″.  I rarely make anything smaller so for me, this was a little quilt.

Mary is an ironer.  Here’s my true confession….I ironed VERY little in making this.  VERY LITTLE.  I ironed my finished blocks and I didn’t iron again until I put on the last border.  I don’t iron.  I know tons of you are thinking I’m crazy but I don’t like to iron and I think it’s highly overrated.  Our Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers made quilts all the time and I can almost guarantee they didn’t run to the iron after every seam.  Who would if you were using those old sad irons??  As long as there are seams to but up to that hold a place, I don’t iron.

Can you tell when you look at my quilts?  Do mine look “unironed” and problematic?

For me, once something is ironed, it’s not flexible anymore.  I can’t flip the seam as well and they don’t but up the right way without ease.  The fabric doesn’t “stretch” as well if I was slightly off on my cutting or piecing and I need it “stretch” so the seams match.  No matter how careful I am…no matter is my seam allowance and cutting is good, I love having the seams be as noncommittal as possible until I sew them down in place.  This way I can flip them with ease.

Once it is all together…Yes I iron.  I iron a lot and with some spray starch.  Then I like my quilts nice and flat, ironed to perfection.

As far as quilting during childcare.  Bahahaha!!  I don’t….well not really.  On the day Mary wrote this my new baby that came to childcare last week, drank a bottle at 10 am…then cried from 10:30 to 10:50…screaming and no matter what I did she wouldn’t calm down.  At 10:50 she promptly fell asleep.

I hit the ground running.  I was trying to do everything I could before she woke up.  I fed the older kids….they all went potty….we cleaned up the toys….I read a couple books….we went potty again….they all laid down for nap.  Every minute I was rushing thinking the baby is going to wake up.  I did all of the things I needed to have done before she woke….but she didn’t wake so I…

Ironed the pieces I had sewn for Geese on a String in Bonnie Hunter’s new book String Frenzy.

Here’s 212 to go with what I already had.  Enough for two quilts.

Still the baby didn’t wake….It was 12:50pm.

Hm…what else could I do?  THIS….Cut binding strips for the mystery quilt.  Done.

Baby was STILL sleeping.  I kept checking on her.  Hmm.  It was almost time for her next bottle.

Well I thought I could quick press Hunter’s Star.

She was STILL sleeping.  I went in and sat with Carver and the other little boy who don’t fall asleep the best….10 minutes later they were sleeping and my baby was STILL sleeping.

Hmm.  What else could I do?  Well I cut out the quarter square triangle pieces that go on the four patches for the quilt.
(note:  They are pink not red.  I don’t know what was up with the camera)

The baby was still sleeping.  She slept even longer….for 3 1/2 hours!!!!!!!!  (She would have slept longer but I woke her up)  I had ran around anticipating that she’d be up in just a few minutes as before she’d only slept for an hour at the most for me.   I had EVERYTHING ELSE DONE so I could do sewing things….the time was like winning the jackpot.  I never get this much time to do quilty things in one day of childcare as I don’t do any of it while they are awake.  I can press a quilt…iron a few pieces…cut a batch of binding strips but only ONE of those things.  I NEVER can I do all of this.

I’m not counting on it ever happening again…but if it does, I won’t complain.

…so no Mary.  I didn’t sew the quilt in between childcare.  I did do A LOT (on this day) during naptime though.

So are you like Mary and thought this was a big quilt…or like me and thought this was a little quilt???

Childcare Valentines Gifts

Since my sewing is clean, no place in my house is safe from a quick cleaning session.  This day, it was my laundry room.  I started cleaning and then ended up completely sidetracked with this….

Somewhere on the internet I saw that you could make crayon letters using molds and old broken crayons.  I loved the idea as most of my kiddos have names that they will never be able to get anything personalized.

I did them myself without the kiddos help and plan to give them as a valentine gift.  I was going to wait and blog about making these closer to Valentines Day but then thought if any of you want to make them for Valentines Day, you’d likely want a little time to get the supplies and make them.

They are SUPER cute and easy….here’s what you need:
I got mine from Amazon…these exact ones, Silicone Alphabet Molds

The letters are 1 1/2″ tall.

You’ll also need some broken crayons.  I just got all new when school started so mine were in pretty good shape.  I ended up grabbing these generic crayons from the thrift store along with others.  I have to say, when it comes to peeling the paper off the crayons, it was easiest with these generic brand and the RoseArt brand.  Crayola were okay but not as easy.

I dumped the crayons in a bucket with warm water and the helped loosen the papers.

I set the oven at 275 degrees and then set the molds out on a jelly roll pan.  I broken the paperless crayons into small pieces and put them in the molds.  I learned that I liked the look best if I stood the crayons on end vs laying them flat.  It was a little easier to predict the design.

I put them in the oven for about 6 minutes.  Then I pulled them out and added a couple more crayon piece to the mold to fill it.  Then back in the oven they went.  I kept them in the oven for about 4 more minutes making sure the last added crayons were melted.  Like this…
From there they come out of the oven and wait to cool.  It’s best if they cool for a bit…Like a half hour.  Then pop them out and start building your names.

I bought these  Jewelry Boxes for the letters. 6 letters fit in the box perfectly.  Names with five letters look okay but I realized the names with only 4 letters looked a little bare.
I ended pulling out my Heart Silicone Molds
and made some hearts and added them to the boxes of the kids who only had four letters in their names.

…it was cute but of course I forgot to take a picture of that!  I think if I were to make them for Christmas or for a birthday gift I would buy a this Star Silicone Molds too.  I’d use that for shorter names.

After the names were finished I closed the boxes and used Baker’s Twine 
to tie them up.

Kelli came as I was finishing up and she ended up making a set for her nieces and nephews on Jason’s side of the family.

Kelli and I were talking that nowadays at school some kids can’t give out candy with their valentines.  It would be cute to make a heart crayon and put them in these small clear bags and give them out with valentines instead of candy like we did as kids.

Then Kelli said it would be cute to make stars for stocking stuffers…and then..and then…and then.  I think I’ll end up getting the star mold yet.  I’m sure I’ll be making them again in a couple years as my childcare kiddos get older.

My older childcare kiddos who are in 1st and 2nd grade would have LOVED making these but I never get them for a long enough time.  Maybe we’ll make some over the summer….oh…star for 4th of July.  Yep.  I’m ordering the star mold.

Well…so much for cleaning my laundry room.  I started out making these because I wanted to get the molds and the crayons out of my laundry room.  Well now I have the boxes with the finished crayons in my laundry room waiting for Valentines Day.  Oh well….hazards of the job I guess!!