Sunday, October 31, 2010

BOO.....pumpkin painting and finger food

Happy out for zombies this weekend, you never know where they might be wandering about. I spied this one waking up in our yard.

How many of you carved or painted pumpkins already? Share your links if you have them.
Did you bake the seeds?? They are so good right out of the oven all salty and crunchy.
How are you doing with the candy around the house?
Did you eat most of it already???
Come on be honest, are you going to have to go to the store for another candy run? 
Hubby brought home a big bag of mini peanut butter cups - very dangerous indeed! I snagged a bag of  Milky Way Midnights, mmmmm

Though it's still feeling quite summer-ish here, I whipped up a batch of pumpkin spice mini muffins and also made some ghoulish finger food snacks the other night for our dinner guests.

Some dear friends of ours were at a pumpkin patch and picked out a very nice pumpkin for us last week.
We usually paint our pumpkins because it's still warm here in S.Florida (oh sorry did I mention the nice weather already?) and when we carve them they rot too quickly. So I chose to paint again this year and decided to add a bit of zentangling too. I was torn between a happy pumpkin or scary pumpkin and being a pollyanna at heart guess which won out???

 I had plenty of room left on the other side of the pumpkin so I added the zentangled BOO.

 Then I saw this adorable idea for another Halloween appetizer..... you just take little smoky sausage links, wrap them with a small strip of refrigerator crescent dough, leaving a space for the eyes. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let stand a couple minutes. Then add two dots of yellow mustard for the eyes. Aren't they cute?
They were yummo little mummy dogs!

What are you doing this weekend? Are you going to watch scary movies, go to a party, have a party or just eat candy? What ever you choose to do have a wonderfully spooky Halloween.......
BOO! did I scare ya?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

still stitching along .....and a bodacious bloom

Before we get to the next steps in the Stitch-a-long I had to share this awesome blossom that was on our dragon fruit cactus. The bloom at first appeared very similar to the blooms on our night blooming ceresus but on second look we saw this wacky anemone looking part. (lower front) It is actually the pistil of the flower and I think it is just so cool looking. Too bad the blossom only lasts one night.
We're waiting for the fruit to ripen now.

We also came across this striking grasshopper and he nicely posed for the camera, but the poor little guy only has one big back leg. It seemed to be getting around okay despite the missing leg.

So okay, if you are here for the Stitch-a-long with Linda I'm sure you are ready for more stitching directions.  As I told you at the start, it's very simple and stress free stitching so here's the next step for you to work on.

Round up the 1-1/2" strips that you cut earlier, and using one of each color, stitch them into strip sets.
I mixed up the order on my strip sets but you can make yours all the same if you wish to. 

make six strip sets

I mixed up the order of my strips as I made the sets.

 Press all the seams to one side.

After the sets are stiched and pressed, cut the strip sets into segments. You'll cut eighteen  4-1/2" segments and seventeen 8-1/2" segments.

cut strip sets into segments

Using the 8-1/2" segments we are going to make the sashing units.
Stitch one 8-1/2" strip segment to a plain (dark) 4-1/2" square then add another 8-1/2" strip segment.
Add one 4-1/2" 4-patch unit and then one more 8-1/2" strip segment. Make 3 of these sashing units.

make 3 sashing units

Next..... find the 4 shorter border strips ( 30") . Take 1 of the strips and stitch a 4-1/2" strip segment to one end and then add the second border strip to the end of the strip pieced segment ~ see photo.
Repeat to make the second border.

note direction of the strip pieced segment

Okey dokey, that's all for today's stitch-a-long. No one is feeling stressed are they???
Now I need to go and decide on how to paint my pumpkin - it's almost Halloween after all. 
see you soon.......

Sunday, October 17, 2010

itching to stitch?

I told you this wasn't going to be a hurry up stitch-a-long project.  Like you, I have a lot of things vying for my attention with many glamorous things..... such as work, laundry, cleaning, gardening, cooking, sleeping, you get the idea. Speaking of gardening I have been planting my earthboxes with the Fall crop  and now have brussel sprouts popping up and my beans are really going to town. Naturally, I took my trusty %@%*# UFO out to make a comfy spot to work. OH-OH I may have spilled some dirt.... no bother, it goes well with the car grease and paint.Yes, the quilt destruction continues.....

Now back to our Stitch-a-long project.......
I hope by now you've had time to choose your fabrics and cut it out following the directions in the last blog post.

We are going to make 2 very simple blocks. All seams are a scant 1/4".
Block 1
use 12 of the dark 4-1/2" squares and 12 of the print 4-1/2" squares to make six 4-patch blocks.
When matching up the 2 units press seams to the darker fabric. This also allows the seam allowances to "nest" together for an accurate match.

That was too easy wasn't it? I told you it was going to be stress free.

Okay let's get on with the next block....
Block 2
This is another easy one. This is a double 4-patch.
use the 2 light and 2 dark 2-1/2" strips.
Stitch a light and dark strip together lengthwise.
Repeat.  You now have 2 strip pieced units. Press the seam allowance to the darker fabric.
Cut the strip units into 24  2-1/2" segments.....

Arrange the segments into 4-patch sets and stitch. Make twelve 4-patch units

I like to chain piece when making multiple 4-patches......

Combine these small 4-patch units with 12 of the print 4-1/2" squares to make 6 large 4-patch blocks.
Note the correct placement of the darker squares.......the block on the left is the correct setting.

Okay, that's it for now. I don't want to stress anyone out LOL
I'll post more stitching in a day or so.

In the meantime, if you have the time check out these fun links....
The 2010 contest winners for extreme pumpkin carving
My friend Sue's Zentangle creations
Fun, inspiring, and fresh quilting by Laura Wasilowski love her stuff!
Very cool Halloween decor at Poppytalk
and last but not least, my friend Kathleen's blog.

Keep smiling, it keeps everyone guessing........

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rotary cutting - the Stitch-a-Long with Linda

Do you have your rulers, mats and cutters at the ready??
I hope you've had a chance to gather your fabrics for the Stitch-a-Long with Linda but if your still waiting for a shopping order to arrive, fear not. This is going to be an easy and relaxed Stitch-a-Long. I am posting the cutting instructions for those that might be all set to go already, and if that's you,
I don't want to keep you waiting. Did you pop over to the Quilters Showcase blog to enter the giveaway? If you just got here to my post today you may want to scroll down and read a few of the previous posts too.

* for starters we are going to assume a usable fabric width of 42" a.k.a. *wof

Here we go.....From your focus print fabric: 

cut 6 strips 4-1/2" x wof *width of fabric

Trim 2 border strips to 34" long

Trim the other 4 border strips to 30"long
Yes, I know that's 6 border strips, you'll see as we go.....set these aside for now.

Cut 3 more strips 4-1/2" x *wof from the focus print
 and cut strips into 24  (4-1/2") squares

From the dark fabric cut 2 strips 4-1/2" x *wof. Cut strips into 15 (4-1/2") squares

Also from the dark fabric cut 2 strips 2-1/2" x *wof.

From the light fabric, cut 2 strips  2-1/2" x *wof

From the remaining 4 fabrics, cut 6 strips from each of the fabrics.  Cut strips 1-/12" x *wof.

That will be 24  1-1/2" strips all together

 Okay - that's all the cutting for now. That was easy wasn't it.
Soon we'll start stitching and that's easy peasy too!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Featured designer at Quilters Showcase

Hi all, just wanted to let you know that I will be the featured designer for the next 2 weeks over at the Quilter's Showcase blog. Hooray! I had an interview with Kathleen that will be shared as the feature continues. They are also doing some giveaways so you'll want to get in on that. Kathleen will also be linking to the Stitch-a-long so you can find it here or on the Quilters Showcase blog.
She is also stitching up one of my favorites but I'll let her share that with you.
This quilt is from my Bar nine pattern and the pattern is included in the first giveaway.....

I'm heading into the studio for now and tomorrow I will be posting the cutting instructions for the Stitch -a-long with Linda.  I hope you get busy picking out your fabrics!