Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Recycle

Earth Day is right around the corner 
and that fits right in to what I want to talk about today.

I'm a quilter and one of the by products
of quilting is SCRAPS!
I am known as quite a hoarder saver,
and have fabric and scraps from YEARS AGO!
I used to save scraps that were at least 3" square
and then cut them up and save the 3" squares
to someday be sewn together into a quilt.
(Stop laughing Carole and Christina!)

Finally I have a solution for this hoarding saving problem.
I make Pet Beds!

I hated throwing away anything that could be used,
but honestly was starting to drown in all the scraps I had.

A friend told me about how the Human Society is
always looking for towels and pillows to use with the cats and dogs
and they also appreciate pillowcases filled with scraps!

This has really freed me of my hoarding  saving addiction
and now I keep an empty pillowcase handy and all my scraps go right 
into the pillowcase and when it is full I sew it up!
When I have a stack of them I pile them
into the car and off to the Humane Society I go.

As a matter of fact I seem to have become
the pillowcase/scrap bag drop off point!
( can't call me a bag lady)

My small effort to re-use and recycle.

I have been so inspired by a blog I have been reading
called Lots of Crochet Stitches.
You can see it Here.

I'm in the process of adding a sweet crochet scallop edge around
this fleece Receiving blanket.
Isn't it turning out great?

This is just so fun to do and 
can be done even while watching TV.
These blankets will find a home with 
Project Linus
who gives them to children who really need a warm hug.

I kind of made up my own pattern for the blanket on top.
You can see that the edging came out ruffly instead of scalloped.
So glad I stuck with it, did a little research and figured out the scallop stitch!

Have a refreshingly lovely day
and God bless.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for (what else) Quilting

My name is Tammy.
I am a Quiltmaker.

This quilt was hand embroidered by my mother
and hand quilted by my great grandmother.
I've been wrapped in the love of quilts from
the very beginning!
When I was a little girl and dreaming of 
"what I would be when I grew up"
I always thought that I wanted to be a 
wife and a mother.  

Quilt made for my granddaughter

As I got a little older I considered the other options open to me.......
Nurse, Secretary, Teacher.
As a child growing up in the 60's, 
living in a very small, rural
town in Southeastern Ohio with very traditional values this is what I saw as my choices.

Maple Island BQ2 quilt design

High School in San Diego saw me taking typing, business and accounting classes.
Yep, I was going to be an accountant. 
Talk about fitting a square peg in a round hole!

This quilt was made to place on the floor so my grandbabies
have a clean place to play

Fast forward.....I DID become a wife and mother and 
I DID work in the accounting field and I DID work in the school system,
but never a Nurse.  (too afraid of needles!)
Ironic since I now work with needles ALL the time!
I just don't stick anyone with them.
(My husband might disagree with that.....his feet always seems
to find the needles that I drop on the floor!)

Quilt still in progress.
I need to finish this one!

What I didn't realize was that my work training began in a tiny little house in the attic where I
sat under the quilting frames of my great grandmother.  

Small quilt made for a Breast Cancer fund raiser.

Every day on my way home from school I stopped by grandma's house
to watch Dark Shadows.  
Speaking of Dark Shadows....I'm not sure I'm going to like the
new movie that is coming out.  Looks
like they are going to be making a spoof of the original,
but I digress.....

Before I left gramma's house
it was my job to thread 7 or 8 needles so she could hand quilt in the evening.  

Harmonic Convergence quilt made for my son when he got married

I had free access to her scrap box that resided 
under the bed in the attic.  
I can still remember cutting heart shapes from the fabric, 
sewing them together
then stuffing them to make little pillows.  

Engagement quilt

My love of quilts and quiltmaking began with my 
great grandma Lizzie,
but my "formal" training began in a 6 week quilt class 
in Secunda, South Africa.

This little quilt hangs in my husband's office.

That was it!  I was in love and have been quilting
for the last 30 or so years.
The last 6 years it has been my profession.

Quilt I designed for my daughter when she graduated high school
Each of the larger squares contain a picture.

I worked at a quilt shop for several years until I 
purchased a professional Longarm quilting machine.

High school quilt for my son

Following in my grandma's footsteps I
 now I put the decorative quilting stitches on other people's quilts.
Only I use a machine....she did it all by hand.

Quilt design was inspired from a postcard made by
New Orleans artist Jamie Hayes

All of the quilts pictured here are ones that I have 
pieced and quilted.
(with the exception of the very first one pictured)

Mariner's Compass Wallhanging.

Some of them are patterns from a book,
or a class
and others are ones that I have designed my self. 
Scrap quilt made for my parents.
Hey mom......are you using this quilt?

This is just a small sampling of the quilts I have made.
It doesn't include any of the t-shirt quilts
OR any of the customer quilts I've quilted.

Baby quilt I designed

The majority of the quilts that I make are quilts
that I want people to use!

Bullseye Quilt.
Totally made from scraps.
My kids used to take this quilt to camp!

Quilts to cuddle up with 

Class taken in Durango Colorado

and hopefully feel the love that I've stitched in to it

Double wedding ring

and hopefully feel my arms wrapped around them.

Lover's Knot

 Some of my quilts are Art Quilts.
Quilts that are made mainly to hang. 
Teacup exchange quilt
Each teacup was made by a special friend
Their name is written under the lace of each cup.

Definition of QUILT

a : a bed coverlet of two layers of cloth filled with padding (as down or batting) held in place by ties or stitched designs

This may be the dictionary definition of a quilt,
but my definition is :
Quilt = Love

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Pinterest

When I first considered participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge
I thought that I would make my theme my interest in
I made mine with Lemonade and no alcohol since it was
Easter and Kids were there!
Originally I thought that perhaps I could find a craft or recipe or organizational tip,
 DO IT, 
then post about it on my blog!
Ya right! I have time for all that!
I always think I can manage more!  

What is Pinterest you ask?
 Pinterest is a virtual personal bulletin board where you pin ideas that speak to you.
Similar to back in the day when you would clip a picture from a magazine and place it in a file folder
titled "Ideas for my Garden" or "Recipes".
Milk shot with a donut chaser
for St. Pat's breakfast 

Where do these ideas come from?
 Pinterest is a collection of pictures with links back to BLOGS!
How about a grilled buffalo chicken sandwich?

What kinds of things do you find on Pinterest?
My favorite things are Recipes, decorating ideas, stuff I can make or do with my grand kids,
craft and quilting pictures and projects.

Jello Shots
Watermelon shots

 But you can find exercises, inspirational quotes, pictures,
Tips to take and/or pose better pictures, and the list goes on and on.
You can find full patterns for a ton of projects
like this sweet little apron

I've written about Pinterest before........I had a Pinterest party 
shows some really cool party foods
that I made for Bunko.  Delicious and successful!

Mashed potato martini
How about a little mashed Potato Martini?

I've recently joined the ranks of folks who have smart phones and one of my very favorite things about Pinterest is that I can access if from my phone.  I've actually been at the grocery store, pulled out my phone, pressed the Pinterest button and pulled up a recipe I had pinned, so I could buy the necessary ingredients.  
Go Here to read the very first post and see more projects from Pinterest.

Try out Pinterest..........You'll love it!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Oregon, I think

I was thinking that I would write about something
ostentatious or outrageous on this "O" day of the
 A-Z Blog challenge,
but since I'm pretty much an ordinary sort of gal
I guess I'll have to settle for writing about our travels
to Oregon.

Oregon has it all............

Beautiful beaches in Seaside

Two of my favorite people

Treasure hunting in the ocean

Green hiking trails

scenic biking trails

blackberries by the roadside ripe for picking


Mountain side resort where the movie "The Shining" took place
(sad note....only the outside of the building was used!
all the rest of the movie took place somewhere else!)

and where else can you make a snowman in September?

Beautiful flowers

Hiking in God's country
Unfortunately I didn't have any pictures of the QUILT stores you find in almost every little town in Oregon!   
I'm a homegrown Ohio girl and I really miss those 
green rolling hills that surrounded me there.  
Oregon reminds me of the home of my youth..........God's Country.

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for No Bake Cookies

Lots of "N" words were sifting thru my head on my day off from the Blogging from A-Z Challenge.  Naughty, nice, nifty, nothing, nachos, nincompoop, nails, nature, nest, nursery were some of those words.
Gee......Naughty was FIRST?  Weird!

But I finally settled upon NO Bake Cookies.

I love these cookies!  They are my quick go-to recipe when I need to take a little something along to a function.  I usually always have the ingredients on hand, they are super easy, take under 30 minutes to make  and I don't have to turn on the oven to make them.....a big plus since I live in Phoenix and it is super hot in the summer.
Mix 4 simple ingredients.....Milk, sugar, butter and Cocoa powder

I came across the recipe that I use when I was 15 years old and living in San Diego.  I don't remember where I got the recipe, but I do remember that our real estate agent had some of my cookies and asked to publish the recipe in his newsletter to his clients.

I usually mix my sugar and cocoa powder together to
break up any lumps that may be in the cocoa

Stir and boil for 1 minute

Add the next 3 ingredients, mix and plop on some wax paper to set up

There are a lot of recipes out there for No Bake cookies.
Here is my "tweaked over the years" recipe:  

Tammy's No Bake Cookies

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder

Melt butter in a large saucepan and add in remaining ingredients.
Stir and boil for 1 minute.


2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons vanilla
3 cups quick oats

Scoop this mixture out by the spoonful and drop onto wax paper
Then try and wait until they harden before you eat them!
Go ahead.........try to wait!

Notice the empty spot?
I couldn't wait.

Want to read more blogs who are participating?  Click here:  Blogging from A-Z

Have a nice day!
or naughty............your choice.