November 22, 2008

I've Hopped On The Shirttail Wagon

Okay, it is official. I have hopped on to what I call the Shirttail Wagon. As I dropped off two big bags of clothing to the Bible Thrift store yesterday (This thrift store uses it's profits to buy Bibles for Missions) I went inside and bought four men's shirts to cut up for quilts. I bought Bonnie Hunter's new book while I was on vacation. At first I had no real intentions of buying men's shirts to add to my quilting stash. After all, I have a fabric stash to pull from right now. But the more I read through the book the more I changed my mind. I was thrifty and just looked at the larger and Xlarge shirts - after all I wanted the most bang for my buck! I also found some fabric yardage that called my name. I believe it is an older Thimbleberries fabric. I got 1 1/2 yards for 90 cents. Cool! I did feel a little funny as I was checking out though. The nice lady at the register said more then once, "These are really nice shirts!". I thought about telling her I was going to go home and cut them up for a quilt but I just couldn't do that.

Ready for some more vacation photos? We once again visited the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. It is a very small zoo, but so much fun to visit.

Of course there is the Reptile building. What zoo would be complete without snakes. This is the first time we were there that these big snakes were actually moving around. I won't bore you with the other photos we took of the snakes, but I thought this one was a little funny.

This year they had an added feature. You could buy a cup of "Zoo Puffs" for $2.00 to feed many of the animals with. Hubby asked if I wanted one, I said no. Why did I want to feed the animals? Well, you know how it goes. We were standing in front of some sheep and goats and I reached down to pick up one of the pieces of food that was in the middle of the sidewalk. I gave it to the sheep, or is that lamb? Boy that animal had big teeth! That was fun. I reached down and picked up another zoo puff (I think that is such a funny name) and did it again. Okay, I was having fun. Hubby got a kick out of me having so much fun. A cute little girl walked up to me and asked if I would like the rest of her zoo food. She was leaving the zoo and still had about half of a cup of food left. Of course I thanked her and said sure!
I sure had fun with the zoo puffs! I don't remember what this little animal is called but it looked like a little deer but of course it wasn't. I fed a swan that wanted to eat my fingers as he took the zoo puffs and many other animals. Next year I plan on buying my own cup of zoo puffs and having double the fun!

My weight watching plan went out of the window quite a few times during our trip. We stopped by a little place called Pattie Cake in Foley, AL. Oh boy!!! We ate a half of a sandwich so we would have room for dessert. I enjoyed bread pudding that was made from their cinnamon rolls and Hubby had a piece of coconut cream pie that had tons of meringue on top.
We took a two day old pie home (they were half price and just as yummy) with us. This was a chocolate cream pie. Check out that meringue! The pies are made from scratch and talk about wonderful. I have a feeling we will go back there in future trips. I am so glad I don't live close to this place. I would have a very hard time ignoring it.

Don't you wish there was a way to eat goodies like this and never gain a pound? I sure do!!!!

November 19, 2008

What's New

Well, I think things are back to normal around here, or for at least a while anyway! Hubby and I went on a wonderful vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama. It is one of our favorite places to go and have a relaxation vacation. Think about this: the ocean with it's beautiful waves crashing on the beach. Watching the dolphins and stingrays swim by and jump up and out of the ocean every once in a while. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets. A fresh ocean breeze wafting over you as you take a nap in the afternoon. The sounds of the waves as you go to sleep at night. I could go on and on, but I had better quit. It just makes me want to go and jump back in the car and forget about the snow flurries that met us as we came home! Ugh! Here is one of the sunsets that we enjoyed.
I am not a fisherman (or is that fisher woman?) by any means, but I did reel in a couple of fish this time around. I even have a story of the big one that got away! Hubby had a great time fishing this year and I kept him company a few times and gave him encouragement to catch some big ones - and he did!
We stay at the same condo each year. It has a fantastic place for me to set up my Featherweight machine and sew away when the weather doesn't permit beach combing or I am just in the mood to sew. I can sew and look out at the waves and the people walking along the beach. Sometimes I spend more time watching the waves then I do sewing. Oh well! I have shared about my sewing space last year in this post if you want to check it out. I shared in my previous post the photo of the scrappy Diamond Dazzler that I made to give the pattern a try before I cut into the jelly rolls I bought. After I made the first top I was able to make the wedding quilt top (also known as Diamond Dazzler 2).

I like the way the top turned out. I like it soooo much I have thought about buying more jelly rolls so I can make one for me! I was asked to share more info about this quilt top. The pattern "Diamond Dazzler" is from the "On A Roll Again" book by Heather Mulder Peterson. The inside cover says to check out the authors patterns and books you can visit her website at

I visited three quilt shops and came away with this:
I love those reproduction fabrics! I was also able to purchase Bonnie Hunter's new book "Scraps & Shirttails: Reuse, Re-purpose, Recycle! The Art of "Quilting Green"" It has been fun looking through this book and trying to decide which quilt I want to make first!

I will be sharing more photos from my vacation, but right now I must try to catch up on a few more blogs and finish unpacking!

November 9, 2008

Diamond Dazzler 1

I have been able to get some sewing time in this past week! I worked on my scrappy Diamond Dazzler. I am working with the pattern from the book "On A Roll Again" and it states that this is not a beginner pattern. I agree. This is one pattern though where the bias edges seem to be your friend not foe. That is always good news! I am making a wedding gift with this pattern, but before I cut into the jelly rolls I wanted to do a dry run so to speak with some fabrics from my stash. I was worried about cutting into the jelly rolls because I had never bought jelly rolls before and the local quilt shop does not carry this fabric line. (Just in case you don't know, a jelly roll is a precut roll of fabric that is 2 1/2" wide. It usually consists of one of the fabric lines that a company puts out. The Moda rolls I bought had 40 different fabrics in each roll.) If I goofed up I would be one upset gal because I couldn't run out and easily replace fabric! I am glad I did this as I got confused a little in a couple of places, but all came out well in the end.

I have started the wedding gift quilt and so far so good. I goofed a little bit with a set of dark strips, but it was not a difficult fix - thanks to my making of the first quilt top I knew just what to do. I combined two fabric lines from Moda as I thought it would add interest to the quilt and one jelly roll wouldn't have been enough to make the quilt. I used the Portobello Market and the Heritage Collection For A Cause fabric lines. Since I am such a reproduction fabric fan I have loved working with the Heritage line. It is reproductions from 1846 and Moda is donating funds for Ovarian Cancer research from the sale of this fabric line. I think of this as "Two, two, two mints in one!" Remember the old commercial that had that saying? It seems like it was for Wrigley's Double Mint gum. There were two twins each holding gum in their hands and they bumped the gum together while they said the two, two, two mints in one thing. Okay I guess I just told everyone how old I was...if you remember the commercial too fess up! Anyway, when I get to work with reproduction fabrics and support a great cause at the same time that is double fun for me. I thought I would show a photo to explain a little better how this quilt goes together.

In a nut shell, you sew strip sets together, cut goofy triangle shapes and then sew them together to make a rectangle block. The tricky part is that there are mirror image shapes going on here and you must stay organized in your cutting and piecing or you are lost and can come up with some pretty weird looking blocks that won't work at all. When I saw this book I thought, cool, I will use the precut jelly rolls and that will save a lot of cutting time. I found that not to be true with this quilt. You must take the 2 1/2" strips and cut them down to 2 1/4" widths to make this pattern work. Okay, it was a little easier then cutting into yardage, but it still made extra cutting time. I also bought some fourth yard cuts of some light backgrounds and a couple of darks where I bought the jelly rolls just in case there were not enough lights or darks in the jelly rolls to suit me. I was glad I did, as I cut into each of the extra fabrics that I bought. Did I absolutely need to add to the jelly roll? I did for the lights but I could have gotten away with the dark fabrics in the jelly rolls if I had to. The wedding is in March, but I would prefer to give this gift at the shower. Time will tell if this will be a shower gift or a gift at the wedding itself!