Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Antelope Valley Fair

The Antelope Valley Fair wrapped up last weekend and it was a pretty good year. We didn't enter any vegetables (hardly anyone did) but did have a few other items entered.

Katie did her first ever fair entry with en Elsa themes case. She received Honorable Mention which is not bad at all.

My Kite quilt took first and my Ruby quilt took second. This was a complete surprise and the larger sized quilts are most competitive but I was very happy with it.

I entered my scrap purse and it received Honorable Mention.

I purchased a bunch of raspberries this year I made a blushing peach jam which had raspberries and raspberry peach. Very different tastes and entered in to two different categories. They both took Honorable Mention.

We made peach butter which took second place.

The corn relish was a hit with the judges and took first.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Quilt catch up

This blog has been very quiet...a lack of a garden has given a lot less to write about. The drought is in full force and most everything in the yard is dead other than my fruit trees and grapes. On the sewing front I have been working on a lot of projects at once and only just started finishing some up, just in time for the Fair!

The Ruby, Pearl and Opal quilt come from the Moda Bake Shop and uses the Moda fabric Ruby. When I first saw this quilt I loved it. I put the top together over a few days between Christmas and New Years last year, it then took me until this summer to bind and quilt it. I love the colors!

The top

The back

Quilted and finished

A closer look

A look at the binding and back

Next is the Kite Flight quilt which uses Kona solids. This quilt kit came from the web site Craftsy which is a newer one I am really enjoying. This quilt was a challenge because I cut the pieces wrong. I ended up having to buy a second kit and cut that onto make up for the cutting. I now have the pieces to make a second one of the quilt when I become motivated. For the back of the quilt I wanted to go with a solid, Katie picked the color if you could not tell.

Here is the top

Here is the completed quilt

A close up

And a look at the back

Joel Dewberry Flora Pocket Tote

The Joel Dewberry Flora Pocket Tote is another kit I purchased from Craftsy. This was a really easy bag to put together, I was able to do it in a day and it is probably the best of the bags I have attempted to make so far. The only change I made from the pattern was to add about 6 inches to the straps. It is a nice solid bag.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Table Area

Just before Christmas I got a table from my Grandmothers house. We are still in the process of sorting out her belongings after her death in December. I got a bunch of cool old quilts that I have been cleaning and will post here eventually. The table held Katie's pink Christmas tree until a few days ago but then I needed to decide what to do with it. Here is what it looks like tonight!

Katie and I created this Pinterest art piece and finished it in early December. Simply search for toilet paper roll craft and you will be amazed at what people can create. Basically you collect then cut up toilet paper and paper towel rolls, hot glue them together and spray paint it. I dont know how long it will last but looks good on the wall.

Tonight I decided to make a table runner. I used fabric squares I had from an early quilt I made in 2008. It was super easy and I made it in about 30 minutes. 

The back is a red fabric, no batting was used and it was very basic construction. It fits perfect and will protect the table.

The table was in questionable condition when I brought it home. I thought I would need to refinish it but after a few coats of Old English it took on a whole new look and was in great shape. There is some staining and it will eventually will need to be refinished but work for now.

Here is another look at the table...

And another...

I am very pleased with how this area came together.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fireplace Blanket

Last winter I identified three projects that I wanted to do to help with the temperature of my home. I accomplished two of these, replacing my dog door with a higher efficiency door and successfully weather stripling my back door. Both of these changes made a huge difference in the temperature of my dinning room and kitchen. The last project was to make a fire place blanket. I did quite a bit of searching on the internet for how people make these wholes in their houses efficient. In colder climates where the fire place is used for heat they have developed several options ranging from balloons inserted against the flue to covers for the outside to blankets. Considering most of these options I found begin in the $100 range I figured a blanket was something I could do!

Here is my fireplace a few weeks ago. Eventually I would like to replace the tile, fix the doors and change out the mantle but those are all larger projects for later.

Last year when I decided to do this project I was able to find a few people who had done something similar. A key piece seemed to be the insulation. There are several products out there but this one is a batting with a foil layer inside. The key is to build up the rh factor which is the level of cold it will keep out. This is based of what I ready about making window coverings which serve a similar function.

I also bought some black upholstery fabric but for some reason never got sewing, probably because of our lack of a real winter last year. A few weeks ago I decided I needed to finish before it started getting really cold. I quickly discovered I did not have enough fabric do ended up getting black duck cloth. 

I measured the fireplace then added an inch to each length. I cut the two fabrics into this size. I decided the duck cloth would go against the fireplace since it was heavy duty. I then cut small rectangles to hold the magnets in place. This was a great opportunity to use up old thread since it would never be seen!

I then build the layers like I first started making quilts. Facing the two outside layer together then stacking the reflective batting then a layer of quilt batting. I sewed around the edge with a half inch seam leaving an opening to flip it right side out. Once it was flipped I sewed again around the perimeter to finish it and close the seam. 

I bought some super strong rare earth magnets to attach the blanket, these are definitely interesting to work with and I advise caution. I left an opening on the rectangles to insert the magnets later, due to their strength I could not sew near them. They are also difficult to separate and break fairly easy. Once they break or chip they start just slicing your hands up so wear gloves!

The final step was inserting the magnets. I had planned to try to hand sew them in place but don't think that will be needed. Here is the blanket in place.

I just put it up today and was quite pleased with how it came out and the coverage. I know it is working because we decided to have our first fire of the season tonight and when I pulled it away from the fireplace the back of the blanket was really cold but the room was quite comfortable.