Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quilty Goodies

DSC_3941


I'm 'hopping' in here to wish you a very Blessed Easter!





We're busy preparing for a brunch here at our house after early Sunday morning church services. 

The table can't be fully set until sometime on Saturday, so no pretty tablescape to share with you, just yet.  I'll be in full cooking mode about then, too.  I'm serving Honey Baked ham, along with bacon done on trays, in the oven, my favorite cheesy hash browns, (click for recipe), any type of eggs for the few who want them & homemade Belgium waffles for the majority of the crowd.  Time consuming to make each individual one but soooo worth it!  The batter is made the night before so the yeast can ferment.  I'll share that recipe very soon...it is YUMMO!

 In the meantime, thought I'd share with you a few items that I've been sewing, between bouts of  Spring cleaning.  (We're getting company from Colorado next month & I want the house to sparkle!)
 

DSC_3942

I was inspired by my online sewing friend, MamaCJT to make a little mug rug for my K.I.S.S. quilt guild's auction that is coming up next month.

I used my Embird software to repeat the little cupcake design on the red dot fabric, then stitched HALF of a cut doily up against the embroidery, to resemble a lacy tablecloth.

DSC_3944

 I found this cute polka-dot mug to match  (you KNOW how much I ♥♥♥ polka-dots...especially RED ONES!)

I filled it with some chocolate kisses because every quilter I know, loves chocolate & then wrapped the top with Peel n' Stick, to hold them in place.  Tied a bit of the leftover binding onto the handle & Viola'.

DSC_3943 

 Since I cut a crocheted doily in half to make the mug rug & I ♥♥♥ how it turned out so much, 
I decided to use the OTHER half of the doily to make myself another one! 

I put a little hanging sleeve on the back of it along with little white plastic rings on both items, so either of them could be hung from a nail or placed on a display rack, like you see mine below.

DSC_3946


 Won't it look cute next to my Baker's rack, when I get out all my red polka-dot items?




Below, you can see the one that MamaCJT made that inspired me so much.  I just left off the green holly leaves, as I didn't want mine to be used just for Christmas.

Thanks Carol for giving me permission to do this. 
 I always say "I only copy from the best."

5158360907_9bf1408225_z


One project I worked on was for another one of my quilt guilds that I belong to...Memory Makers.  The members got together & made a "Friendship Star" quilt for an ailing member.  We were given the pattern & a suggested choice of colors to use. 



They had so many stars contributed to the project that they had to use many of them on the backing too.  We were told the day the quilt was delivered to her in the hospital, she had just been complaining about being cold.  I hope she felt the warmth & the love that was stitched into every block!
 
The PURPLE stars with the LIME GREEN centers are the ones I made.  




It took several attempts to get my points to look close to perfect.  Next week, I'll show you what I'm doing with those 'no-so-perfect-blocks' later on.  It was an *interesting experiment*, shall we say.


DSC_3775

Yes, SPRING has finally arrived in Ohio!!  We had a dreadfully long, cold winter, so the warmth & sunshine & pretty flowers popping out all over are especially welcome now. 

DSC_3778


DSC_3780


DSC_3781

I have lots & lots of hyacinths coming up along the front & sides of the house.  I adore their fragrance & will cut a few to bring in to the table for Easter morning!  

DSC_3783

DSC_3784
DSC_3779


I hope you get outside & can enjoy some nice weather where you live.  It really lifts one's spirits!



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Saying The Rosary


Do you know what this is?  I guess the title of this post really answers that question.
DSC_3866

It is a finger rosary, similar to a ring, but is somewhat larger. Rosaries like these are used by either rotating or just holding them between a finger and thumb while praying.  Smaller ring rosaries became known as soldiers' rosaries, because they were often taken into battle by soldiers, most notably during World War I.
It is often referred to as a "Basque rosary".

I keep this one in my purse at all times & have spent many a night, sitting in hospital waiting rooms, fingering the points, while lifting up silent prayers for healing.
One says the “Hail Mary” prayer on each of the ten beads & then recites the “Our Father” when you come to the cross, along with the “Apostles Creed” & “Glory Be To The Father” prayers.  The cycle is then repeated five times around.
If you’d like to learn more about reciting the rosary, follow This Link.

As a Catholic family, we have many rosaries in the house to choose from.
  The pretty vintage faceted glass beads in dark indigo bluish purple,
almost black iridescent blue beads, on the one below,
don’t show up as well as I would have liked them to. 
They really are much prettier in person!
This rosary belonged to my husband’s mother & is very old!
DSC_3874
The next one I’d like to share with you, is this creamy white glass version
that has a wonderful little secret to it.
DSC_3873

 

It glows in the dark!

Phosphoric luminous material is what makes them glow for about 2 hours, after exposure to light.
DSC_3867
We had similar, but much cheaper, plastic versions when I was a child.
I also remember having a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that glowed in the dark, too.
We used to test it out by putting her under our bunk beds, to see her light up!  LOL
It was a magical & comforting sight, as a child, to see that glow as one fell asleep, saying your prayers.  I wonder whatever happened to that statue??

From Wikipedia:
“Glow toys were introduced in the late 1950s.  … radium was the radioactive substance first used to make things like watch faces and hands glow. Unlike phosphor, (found in this rosary) which requires exposure to a light source, the radium disturbed the molecular structure enough to give items a perpetual glow even without exposure to light.”
Do you remember watches with faces that glowed green in the dark? 
DSC_3879
The masculine rosary beads, above, all belong to my husband, a devout Catholic,
who used to get down on his knees every night before bed, to say his prayers. 
He can’t do that now because of his knee replacement & arthritis but it doesn’t stop him from praying!
Several were gifts from his patients & one we purchased at the Vatican in Rome, when we went to see the "Polish Pope"...Pope John Paul II...a dream of a lifetime trip for us both.

DSC_3875

My most cherished & beloved rosary is this beautiful azure or turquoise beaded one
that my father (now deceased) gave to me on my wedding day. 
I have kept it in the nightstand, beside my bed, 
ever since that day & use it often, though not as often as I should.


This is the one I will carry to the funeral of my older sister’s #2 son, Keith.
He passed away last week, after being diagnosed with cancer six months ago…he was only 54.

keith
Rest in His Peace, Keith
We are grateful that you are no longer in pain
&
through our Faith in Jesus, the Heavenly Father,
we know you are in a far better place!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

National Quilting Day, March 15, 2014

DSC_3907

This year, March 15, 2014, is National Quilting Day! 

"The National Quilting Association, Inc. began sponsoring National Quilting Day with a resolution passed by members attending the 22nd in Lincoln, Nebraska in June 1991. The third Saturday in March is officially designated as National Quilting Day, but over the years, observance of National Quilting Day has unofficially expanded to the whole month of March! This year the twenty third annual celebration will be held March 15, 2014."

 I've spent the past couple of cold, winter months working on quilted table toppers.

They are great little projects that give me a chance to practice my free motion quilting skills upon,
as they are easy to maneuver under my Brother Quattro 6700D machine.


DSC_3901 

Sue Palumbo, a quilter in one of my quilt guilds (who owns & reps long arm machines) helped me greatly when she told me to "think about making half hearts" while trying to do free motion *feather* quilting.  I had been struggling to make them look nice and that tip really worked great for me.  Thanks Sue!

DSC_3941

These are some of the best free motion quilted feathers I have ever been able to accomplish!  I know they are not perfect but they sure are better than my first few attempts.

Of course, the fact that I made 2 of the patriotic colored table toppers and 2 Christmas patterned ones has given me LOTS of practice.  I'm told that is the only way to improve, so I'm working on them every chance I get, along with doodling on a dry erase board, too.


 DSC_3942

 You can see the quilting better on the back with the following photograph, below.

Some of the designs, like the center wreath motif, were done with my embroidery machine.
The designs were specifically digitized for quilting, meaning they are sparse & usually just one continuous run of stitching.

DSC_3919

 The toppers, seen above, were all made from this pattern, called "Happy Holidays" from Atkinson Designs.
I intend to make another one in autumn fabrics, similar to the cover photo, later in the fall.
This size fits beautifully in the center of my octagon glass table in my sewing room and on the coffee table in the great room, as well.

DSC_3829 


 Now the following project, seen below, isn't for me to keep.
~~insert sad face~~

  It is going into the K.I.S.S. quilt guild auction, to help raise money for various projects & teachers through the year.

It is made from what is called an "Orphan Block".  Someone in the guild...(don't know who)...made this pretty Christmas Dresden Plate Block & didn't want or need it anymore.  Perhaps it was one too many for the quilt she was making?  

She donated it to the "Orphan Block" basket, which is a catch-all for any unused or unwanted quilt blocks.
 
This year, I was asked to be in charge of an "Orphan Block Challenge"...members were encouraged to pick out some of the "Orphan Blocks" & make something with them, then donate it to the guild's auction in May.  The guild provided extra fabric to add to these projects, but I didn't need any.  
I have so much fabric in my stash, I hope God lets me live long enough to use it all up!!

DSC_3675

I carefully removed the Christmas Dresden Plate from the frayed muslin white background fabric & used clear, Mono Poly invisible thread (from Superior Threads) to attach it to some nice, heavier weight, bright white cotton. 

 I did a blanket stitch with my machine around each point & I used just a straight stitch, down the blades of each of the "fans", as they are called, to anchor it securely.

I then cut the white background fabric into a hexagon shape, added a narrow green & gold fabric border followed by a wider red & gold fabric, which matched the backing as well.  I changed the center circle to a matching red one
 ( you know how I ♥ RED!).
I enlarged it a wee bit, too.


DSC_3941 - Copy

After sandwiching it with *Warm & White* cotton batting, I did what is called "echo quilting" in the white area, following the peaks & valleys of the fans. 

 I had drawn a line straight out from each fan point & valley, to the borders with a blue wash-away pen, so I would know when to turn my walking foot, as I got farther out from the points.  I used the edge of my walking foot as the guide for the width of each echo & just kept working my way out & around.

DSC_3942 - Copy

 I thought it was a very effective & yet relatively easy method of quilting the main body of the topper.  It really didn't take that long, either.

I *stitched in the ditch* (between the seams) of the green border then had fun doing some free motion feathers in the red border.  I'm getting more & more at ease with doing them, after all these table toppers!

I sure hope someone bids on it, come May.





DSC_3943 

This last little project, which I've given you only a "sneak peek" of, above, will be ready for the auction in May, as well. 

 I need some sunlight to return to Ohio so I can capture some better photographs of it to share.
Stay tuned...there are several other projects to share with you too...like a "Professional Tote" in tennis prints!

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today & thanks for hanging in there with me during my winter doldrums.  That SADD stuff happens every year for me.  I think I need to buy those lights you sit under, to mimic the sunshine.

I'll be joining The Tablescaper's Seasonal Sundays meme &  Marty's  A Stroll Thru Life for her "Inspire Me" party on Tuesday this week. Please stop by their blogs,  to see what fun projects other bloggers have been making.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cuisine Kathleen’s 6th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl


DSC_3945

 Tonight is the start of Cuisine Kathleen's 
 6th Annual St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl.

I wouldn't miss it for the world...
I had to come out of hibernation to join in the fun.
(did ya' think I ran off to some warm country? I wish!!)






 We had house guests that included a 2 year old & I spent 
2 weeks moving breakables prior to their visit then another
2 weeks putting them all back...after Spring cleaning the house!


DSC_3947

We're ready to *Celebrate the Irish* now, though...got a "pot o' gold" on the bakers rack, along with my favorite Irish cookbook. 


DSC_3946

Hey...That candy dish was FULL just a few days ago!

DSC_3943

 There are shamrocks all over the house & we've even had some GREEN desserts already. 
(pistachio pudding...always better in a crystal compote, right?)

DSC_3941

 I broke down & bought some Irish Soda Bread
instead of making my own, like I usually do. 
It is pretty good, too but Kathleen's recipe is the best!

DSC_3950

By Sunday, the table will be set, like always, with our GREEN 
Depression glass.  We'll be having the traditional corned beef & cabbage, of course.
BEST recipe ever is HERE.



 Last year, Kathleen asked me to be the "Keeper of the Cloth".
This little table topper has been making the rounds of blogland since 2011.  Marigene, (In The Middle of Nowhere) bought it & used it first, then sent it on to Cuisine Kathleen, with the stipulation that it was to be displayed & then shared with another blogger the following year.







 That was ME!!!  I had it topped with my Celtic Cross last year & for a few weeks of this March, it was on my dining room table beneath my Lenox bowl.

DSC_3942


I made a place mat of sorts & machine embroidered it, to be sent along with "The Cloth", so that the Keepers names could be recorded with a permanent ink pen for future reference.  It will be fun to see all the places it goes to.

DSC_3943

 You'll have to visit ALL the participants of Cuisine Kathleen's Blog Crawl to find out who has it this year!


I'm busy making the one you see above on my embroidery machine.  Each square with one portion of the Celtic Knot is done individually, then sewn together to form the entire knot.  The "Good Luck" wording goes on the side triangles followed by borders & quilting.  I hope I get it done in time for the celebration this year!







WISH ME LUCK!!
Thanks for hosting such a fun party every year, Kathleen! Sláinte, my friend! 

I'll also link up with The Tablescaper for her
Seasonal Sundays meme...thank you, Ms. A. for continuing to host that fun gathering, too.
 


If you'd like to see other St. Patrick's Day posts, just click on the links below:  

When-Irish-eyes-are-smilin'

Top o' the Mornin to YOU!

Happy Early St. Patrick's Day

Warming up with Irish Coffee

Irish Tea Table