Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mo's Girls

When I first started Miranda's new baby cousin Lyla's quilt, I followed the paper pieced pattern exactly, then decided I didn't like the size (too small) and the material scraps I used just didn't seem organized enough for a newborn's quilt.  So, I  am giving this quilt to Lyla's big 5-year old cousin.  I assembled this quilt using remnants of material from several other quilts I made in the past. The green floral border is overage from a quilt I made for Miranda's Great Grandmother Wise's Card Trick quilt.  The pink hearts blocks were originally made for Mo's baby quilt, but I decided to use lots of colors, so why not incorporate those hearts for the one they were made for?  I'll bet Miss Mo will notice!  She doesn't miss a trick!  Paper pieced dolls and machine pieced by me, then professionally quilted.  Size - 37"x37".

Lyla's Dolly Quilt

This quilt was made especially for my new grandniece, Lyla Grace.  This quilt measures 34"x38", was paper-pieced on my Brother CS-80 sewing machine by me, then professionally quilted at my local quilt shop.  The border is made of squares from the material used for the aprons on the dollies. The quilt is square, the photo was taken at an angle. Here's a picture of beautiful baby Lyla on her birthday, November 23, 2010.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fire In The Kitchen Datil Pepper Sauce

Yep, I made me a mess o' datil pepper sauce!  Uh huh, my fingers burned for two days cuz I thought wearing gloves was sissy.  This paper plate is holding about 1/3 of the peppers I used.  I grew these datil peppers from a plant I got at last spring's family reunion in St. Augustine.  I have some seeds from my cousin Chris that I am going to start after Christmas.

First, I wanted to keep some of the seeds, so I took the seeds out of about half of them.  I didn't want to chop up ALL the seeds, as they add too much heat to the sauce.
I mixed in all kinds of secret ingredients that I am sworn to secrecy to keep the SECRET, but have to admit, I cannot follow another person's recipe, no matter how secret it is. I have to make it my own!!  So I added this and that, and oh my my my my my, this is one batch of hot goodness!  Mark and I had a sampling of the sauce the night I cooked it on some fried fish - on my goodness gracious, meow meow, and holy toledo too!  It's some good stuff!!

Canning is new to me and I learned today after talking to my sister and searching online.  It was a breeze and I'm glad a bought a jar grabber when I bought the jars.  I used my own pots, but think if I plan to ever can again, which I am sure I will, because it was vastly enjoyable, that I MUST have a canning pot with the jar holder/lifter insert thingy.  I worried that my jars were too close to each other, the sides of the pot, and whatever.  Also, I didn't have anything to keep the jars from the bottom of the pot, so I opened up a metal vegetable steamer thing and used that.  Hey, ya do what ya gotta do!  I was pleased to fill 11-1/2 half pint jars.  It was very satisfying to hear the jar lids suck tight as they cooled, little kisses.  I got some of the cooked sauce on my fingers and am burning all over again.  Whew!  That's some hot stuff!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Table Runner Instructions

It's easy to make a holiday table runner and only takes 10 minutes.  The runner I made measures 42" long, 15.25" wide.
Fabric Requirement:
1/3 yard for center (I chose printed)
1/2 yard for back/edges (I chose red)
Batting is optional.  Use very thin batting,  cut  1/2 inch smaller than the 1/3 yard fabric and about 42"- 45" long. Cut length when you trim selvage.

Place fabrics right sides together with selvage on the ends.  Sew sides together to make a tube.  Turn right side out.  Press so you will have equal back (red) fabric on each side of the center (print) material, about 1.25" on each side.  If you choose to use batting, slide it inside the runner now.  Trim selvage ends straight across.  Fold the runner length-wise with center (printed) fabric on the outside, Iron only the ends (about an inch or two) to set fabric for sewing.  Sew across folds on the top and bottom, using 1/2" seam (photo 1 below).  Press seam open (photo 2 below) and flip inside.  Iron and secure with a button (photo 3 below) or just tack the center down.  You can get creative and add ric-rac or some other decoration.  If you chose to use batting, it is recommended to stitch in the ditch of the two lengthwise seams.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lyla Grace's Quilt

So after illness, work, travel, broken sewing machine, and more travel - finally, FINALLY, I have Lyla's quilt top finished.  I will take it to the quilt shop today to be professionally quilted and another strip of bubble gum pink material will make the binding around the edge.  The  back is so sweet.  It's actually at the bottom right of this photo.  Lyla Grace is due to be born a couple of days before this Thanksgiving.

I have harboured a concern that the baby would find a magic marker and make faces on the dollies...It's an heirloom!  But then, I thought of how sweet that would actually be as  an adult, for Lyla to see her own artwork as a child.  Then again, perhaps she never will feel the need to draw in faces.  I have let go of this concern.  Now, what shall I name this quilt?

Castoffs for Mo

Lyla Graces quilt began with completely different dolly blocks.  The original ones I made from scraps didn't suit me for an infant gift, and so I tossed them aside and started over.  Lyla's cousin Miranda is five years old and she will get another quilt.  The castoff dollies.  Mo's baby quilt was all hearts and I came across some pink hearts that I never used, so I incorporated those hearts into Miranda's newest quilt.  The green border material was leftover from a quilt I made for my mother, Mo's great grandmother.  She might find material that she recognizes from her cousins quilts in it too.  The backing is the same green material as in the first dolly block on the right. I hope to find some pink material in my stash to make the binding. 
What shall I name this quilt?

A Gift for Grand-Nephews

Because I made Lyla a baby quilt and I made her cousin Mo a quilt with some dolly block remnants, I decided the little boys needed something special to commemorate Lyla's birth.

For Lyla's oldest brother, 7-year old Chris gets an African animal pillowcase.  I've been to the zoo with his family.  They had annual passes and Chris loved it.

For Chris' little brother, soon to be a big brother to Lyla, 3-year old Joshie, gets frogs.  Joshie's family has an aquarium that houses a pet frog named Charlie. 
Cousin of Lyla, Chris and Joshie, and big brother to Mo, 7-year old Ben gets a hunter's pillowcase.  Ben is very proud of a some deer antlers that he has hanging in his bedroom.from a deer his daddy shot.  Too bad the colors on this one came out so flourescently strange in this photo.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In Memory of Jon Kersten

My earliest memory of my neighbors Jon and Cathy Kersten was 23 years ago.  We met on the street of our neighborhood, and exchanged phone numbers. They had four children, their baby was about six months old, the same age as our youngest son, David.  That afternoon, I dialed their number, "Can you come over? My husband is out of town and I just got home and the front door is wide open!"  Cathy and Jon came over, he in fatigues and carrying a baseball bat, and they checked every room and closet in our new house. I slept sounder that night knowing I had friends that would protect me in Mark's absence.
Jon was a man that was all about family and fun.  Music adds joy to everything and Jon was always be-bopping and skiddley-dooing and drum-tapping his way through every day. His children got the benefit of a daddy that played, really got down and played, with them.  As adults, their father was a mentor, driven to do what was right and good.  His childen and grandchildren have sweet memories.  Jon didn't wait for lemons to make lemonade!

My dear friend Cathy and her husband Jon had the kind of loving relationship that other couples should emulate.  Theirs was kind, caring, thoughtful, and selfless.  Cathy and Jon were in sync.  What a gift that they married so very young...more precious years together.