I Want a Warm Quilt!

Sometime in the beginnings of winter my daughter told me she loved the quilt I made her and it was really pretty and all but that it just wasn’t all that warm. She felt because it was quilted quite heavily that all the holes in it was making it not warm. She may have a point there but it was probably that it had cotton batting in it. She asked if I would make her a warm quilt. Music to a quilter’s ears!

I decided to make both daughters warm quilts for Christmas. Simple quilts, tied, and with wool, high loft batting. I also used flannel on the backs. They came out very nice and both of my daughters love them.

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I had the girls choose two colors they liked at the fabric store and then I built on that. I used a simple brick pattern. All the blocks are the same shape and size then sewn in brick layer pattern. It was very easy and quick to make. Good thing since I didn’t really start until a week before Christmas. It is amazing what you can get done when you push through it. The only thing I didn’t do before wrapping them was attach the binding to the other side of the quilts. But doing that after Christmas kept me warm in the sub-freezing temps we have had here in Maine.

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And now they are finished and on the beds and declared ‘very warm and cozy’! Success. Did you make any of your Christmas gifts this year?

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First and Full

I woke up early this morning. Before 5. I was rested and couldn’t sleep anymore so I got up. It was clear and cold and bright as day but of course the sun had not come up yet. The moon was full.  The first full moon on the first of the year. That is pretty special. It was so pretty I had to go outside. I could see every tree, every shadow of every tree. It was beautiful. What a way to start a morning.

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I am back to CurlyCueCreates after a bit of a break. I haven’t been blogging for a couple of months. I haven’t been reading many blogs either. Truth be known I find myself on my phone more these days. I am not happy about it and mean to change it. In all fairness to myself, I have been pretty busy getting ready and enjoying the holidays.

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Like many people I do use this time of year to reflect and resolve. I don’t have any big resolutions this year. I did some new things last year. Went outside my comfort zone so to speak and I am happy with that. This year I resolve to get better at what is working and do better at what is not. How is that? Enough for me.

Since I was last here it did get considerably colder. I wrote how it had been such a warm fall and that I didn’t think we would get winter. Well, of course we have. We have almost two feet of snow and the temperatures have been very, very cold. Over a week now of single and negative digit temps. Brrrr! We decided to go a bit south after Christmas. Only to Boston. The temps were a bit warmer but still quite nippy. We went to Frog Pond to skate and visited Little Italy for supper. It was so fun!

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I have been knitting and quilting! Lots of sewing and creating. I made my sons pillowcases and bought them new pillows for Christmas. My husband and I put together many home made food items for them too. Granola, salsa, and apple rings. This year I made my daughters new winter quilts.

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I will post more about the quilts but for now just snippets. I am still sewing the bindings on. I wrapped the quilts with the bindings on but not sewn to the backside. I just ran out of time! But they loved them and thought they were beautiful. They are very warm because I used wool batting. As I sew on the binding I am covered up in the quilts and now I really want one for me! Something to cover up with on these very cold nights.

Today my husband returns to work after a long vacation. The girls and I are not getting right back into our full schedule. Music lessons start up as does ballet. Cross country ski-ing does too. I think some baking, reading, games and crafts are still in order for a while before we get back into our real schedule.

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Enjoy the New Year!!

I Made the Plunge! I’m Teaching!

For a while now I have wanted to teach sewing classes. I hoed and hummed about it. Planned it out in my head. Thought about it some more and then one morning I got on my computer and posted classes! I got a huge response and was very encouraged.

I started with a four week beginner sewing class. I was so amazed that I had a blast! It wasn’t stressful at all. I enjoyed teaching these ladies (no men signed up) to sew. I just had my second session beginner sewing class the other night and I have added a beginner Quilt class to my list that starts this Saturday.

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I started out teaching about the machine. How to thread it. What the parts all did. We took it slow. I had amazing students. They really wanted to learn to sew.

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Our first project was a pillowcase using the burrito method. My classes include everything. I have a lot of fabric to use up! I think including everything is helpful to a beginner anyway. I remember when I started to sew I didn’t even know what types of fabric were good for what!

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I am using my home right now. I have a finished off basement that is cozy and warm and inviting. I have a big table and desk and ironing station. It worked out well. I did have an offer from a store owner to teach there but once I made it clear that I include fabric and supplies in my classes and that I would not be ‘selling’ fabric she decided it wouldn’t work. Oh well.

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Next up we made drawstring bags. It was so fun to see their faces when the bags started forming. I think one of the best things about teaching is seeing how happy the students are about sewing.

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My first Beginner Quilt class starts on Saturday. Last night I spent some time preparing. I can’t wait!

If you are in Maine and are interested in classes here are the links.

Quilt class and Sewing class.

A Quilt Finished

I am a pretty slow quilt maker. I am amazed at some of the bloggers and people on Instagram that are able to make several quilts a year maybe even several a month. I don’t know how they do it. I am jealous. I try and tell myself it is because I have kids, that I also knit. Both of those things are true of most makers. I almost made myself believe it is because I homeschool my kids but I found that many people do that also and can still pump out several quilts a year. So really it just comes down to the fact that I am slow. Or my priorities are different. I try and sew every night but I don’t make progress very quickly. It’s just the way I am!

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Just this past weekend I did finish a quilt. I call it the Five Stars Picnic Quilt. I made it for taking to the beach and to picnics. My husband says it is too nice for that. I am happy he thinks so. I like it too and it is a nice quilt but I did make it knowing I would be taking it out and using it. I am hoping it will be used a lot.

I showed this quilt in the making in  this post, Five Stars Picnic Quilt. I decided to hand quilt it and that is what took me the longest. After I finished the quilting of lines diagonally through the quilt I felt it needed more. The squares looked a little empty. So I decided to stitch flowers inside them.

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I love how they came out. A lot of the fabric is flowery and it just made sense to put in more flowers. Then the binding needed to be put on. I sew my bindings on by machine and then hand stitch them on the back side. I have heard of a way to sew both sides by machine but I have not tried that yet.

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I use these cool little clips that a friend gave me. They are very helpful. I can sew a long way up the quilt without having to keep pulling the binding straight.

Two other reasons I don’t get a lot of quilts finished is one, I like to play. I like to try new things and experiment.

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I have been trying to use some old denim jeans up. I have been eyeing a pattern out of an old Georgia Bonesteel, Quilt as You Go book. This block is called Glow Shine. I have always wanted to try it. One night I got inspired and just had to try it.

Another reason I am slow is that I have many projects going on at one time. I am still working on some tiny blocks. These finished blocks are 6 1/2 inches. I am using the 1930’s Farmer’s Wife book. I am using reproduction fabrics (not from the 30’s) and I am being very careful when cutting, pinning and sewing them.

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So, I am sewing. A lot. I am enjoying each step too. Slow and steady. How about you? What are you working on?

 

 

Here, There, Everywhere

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The busiest time of the year is here. No other time during the year am I being pulled in so many different directions. I am appreciating each morning here at home because by 10:30 I am out of the house and sometimes don’t return until night time. Suppers are a real challenge. They must be easy, quick and healthy! We did have hot dogs last week though. Sometimes it is the only way. One day this week we may have to grab something out!

I went to visit my son last week at the Carpenter’s Boat Shop and spent the night. It was so nice to see the things he is working on. I even worked on one of the boats!  Everyone was very welcoming and I was quite comfortable.

I went on a knitting retreat in Portland. I had the best time. Who wouldn’t? Yarn, knitting, wine, chocolate. We went out to eat. We knit. I learned how to double knit. We had a party with door prizes and yarn swaps. We knit. We had cocktails together and knit. It was really fun to be around so many like minded women.

Softball season has begun. The girls are on different teams. One is playing through the school, the other through the recreation department. Pretty much every night there is softball. One in the afternoon, one in the evening.

This is gardening season too. I have been out planting early things like greens and peas. I went to the Fedco tree sale and picked up some tomato seedlings. I wanted to get blueberry bushes to replace the ones that were damaged this year but they were all out! My asparagus is up and the garlic too. Next week strawberries are being delivered! So excited about that.

We are trying to keep up on our homeschooling too so we don’t have so much to catch up on during the summer. Both girls are on the last parts of their math. We are reading about the ancient empires right now. Just finished reading the Iliad. Now we are reading the Odyssey. We still have to finish biology. Waiting a bit for that. It is all the summer things like caterpillars and frogs. I went for a walk in the woods last week and found some owl pellets. The girls couldn’t wait to dissect those!

We have started our daily walks again. Last week we even got a bike ride in, dodging all the rain drops. Boy has it been rainy!

This weekend all my sons came home for a visit. One had just got back from a road trip out in California! I wanted to see pictures. I did and it looked like he has a wonderful time. Another son helped me put my flower garden back together. It got ripped up during some pipe work. That is how the blueberry bushes got damaged too. He helped me see that it is still pretty and all will be well.

In between all the running around I have put together a quilt block. Quilted a block or two on the picnic quilt and finished a sweater. I will show that in a future post. I have to make time for my crafts. It is for my mental health.

So things are pretty busy. I know it will settle down after softball ends. And the garden is all planted. Then I can sit outside, with a glass of wine or a cup of tea and relax.

Yea, right.

A Pair of Pillows

I planned and finished a pair of pillows in a week! That is quite an accomplishment for me. It was very fun too. I used Crazy Mom Quilts’ pillow tutorial. It was easy to understand. I love those step by step tutorials. Perfect for me.

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Just like in her tutorial, Amanda advises to quilt it with a batting behind it. I did and I am very happy with it.

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My pictures look better taken outside but the pillows are for inside. They will go in the chairs that are right in front of the wood stove. Even though it is 70 outside right now (in Maine!) and the grass is really green still, it will get cold in a matter of weeks. I am getting ready the only way I know how. Sew!

Happy Sewing!

I am joining Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts today.

 

 

Friends With Liberty Quilt Top

Wow, it has been a long while since I had a finish, but today I do! I finished my Friends With Liberty quilt top.

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My daughter who is almost 10 said ‘It is a simple quilt, but it is pretty’. Well she is right. It wasn’t a very hard quilt to make. It is pretty simple. I wanted to use some Liberty that I had from a club I joined. I love sewing with the Liberty. Very soft and light. Almost like silk.

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I will probably quilt this myself. I don’t actually quilt much. I piece. I like to piece. I don’t so much like to quilt. There are squares in this quilt in between all the stars. They are made up of four different colors. I wonder how to make those squares pretty with quilting? Do you have any ideas for me?

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See what I mean. Kind of plain right now. All I can think of right now is just a big X. I really don’t think that would make it pretty though.

Pretty happy about finishing the top though. Thanks for looking, and please offer up any suggestions for the quilting.

I am joining in with Amanda for Finish it up Friday!

 

 

Saying Goodbye to the Girls

For almost twenty years I have raised chickens. Mostly for eggs but also for meat. The sixteen chickens I have now are getting old. The youngest are two years old and the oldest are around five. They are not laying that well. I get on average about five eggs a day. That is terrible for having sixteen chickens. Rather than feed them through the winter I am going to donate them to a farm that will process them for food.

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This is Princess. One of the oldest. Yes we named them. Well, my daughters named them. Princess has been a good chicken. She is showing her age. Not laying at all now. This year she went broody and we waited, and waited, and waited for the 21 days to come, and she ate her eggs. It was sad. I would have loved to see little chicks.

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Princess again.

We introduced two roosters this year. We have had other roosters in the past as well, but we have had plenty of years where there are no roosters. As you know, chickens will lay eggs without a male.

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This is Prince. He is the more dominant one. He does a very good job keeping the girls happy and safe.

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This is Greg. I like him better. Much quieter. Much more docile.

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This is Emy. Probably the most favored. She is very tame. She will come to the girls. Loves to be picked up and can be hand fed. She will be missed.

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This is Granny. She is slow, old, and doesn’t lay anymore. She has actually never really been active. She sits a lot of the time. Doesn’t really range around or find food. I am actually surprised she is still alive.

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It is fun to raise chickens. I will probably do it again. I just think we need to start over with a new flock. Maybe take a break through the winter, or longer.

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I actually have to have chickens again. My husband made this super duper chicken run five years ago. It has worked beautifully to keep out the critters.

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Maybe while I have no chickens to take care of I will get around to quilting this little wall hanging. I have 22 chicken collectibles in my kitchen. I call it my chicken kitchen. Say that ten times!

We will miss our little ladies, and their eggs but sadly it is time to say goodbye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Made Ironing Board

I moved my sewing room to the daylight basement that isn’t really being used for anyone or anything. I have a big table in the middle of the floor for sewing and cutting and I used a desk for ironing. I use an ironing board to iron clothes, mostly my husband’s for his job. His clothes and the ironing board are upstairs in our bedroom. I didn’t want to take all his clothes down stairs to my sewing room and iron and I didn’t want to keep moving the ironing board every time I needed it so I decided to make a small board for my sewing and quilting. Luckily I already had an extra iron for travel.

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It is just the right size for all those quilt block pieces. I am quite happy with my new sewing space, although I really have not had time to go down there and sew! Soon though, I can feel it.

I like to search blogs for new ideas and I stumbled on this blog. The board looked very easy to make so I decided to give it a try.

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Not many materials needed. A piece of plywood or thin wood cut to your specifications, a staple gun, scissors, pretty fabric for the top and some batting. (I actually used an old mattress pad I had saved)

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Lay the plywood onto the batting and cut it about two inches wider on each side. Then cut your pretty fabric about the same. Maybe a bit bigger.

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Then pull up the sides and staple. You may need to tap in the staple with a hammer (I used a rock because it was handy). Then you may need to trim a bit of fabric and batting from the corners so you don’t have too much bulk.

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Fold each corner and staple. Staple guns are amazing. They are so powerful! Add a few extra staples in spots that look loose.

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Turn it over and you have your very own, custom made, beautiful, ironing board!

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Now go sew and iron something!

 

 

Tidbits

Here I am on my second day at home without the girls. They are having a good time at camp. I am getting some things done that I want to do. For me. Not chore type things. I had to force myself. That is just the kind of person I am. It really felt good yesterday to sit down and sew in the middle of the day! I will do it again today.

I did get the chickens cleaned and I hung laundry. Today I will hang some more and get a few things ready for our camping trip but then it is back to the sewing machine.

I am leaving you with a few pictures from the last couple of days. This morning I picked a handful of blueberries just for me. Being here alone has its benefits.  Have a wonderful weekend!

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