crafts, handmade quilts, hobby, Home and Garden, home gifts, Montana, Quilted items, Quilted table sets, Quilting, quilting tools, unique quilt designs

Taxing Tuesday

Greetings everyone! Today is the dreaded Tax day. I hope everyone has filed their taxes by now. But I am sure there are a few out there who have waited for the deadline to get them done. Kind of like those folks who wait until the last minute to shop for Christmas. Procrastinators unite!

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It’s so much easier to get taxes filed now than before. The ease of preparing and filing them on line has made life a little easier. However, the tax codes just get more complicated each year. This year we took our taxes to a CPA and had them do it. I was more than happy to pay for someone else to tackle that mess. Last year still gives me nightmares. But enough on that subject. I have better things to talk about today.

I am almost done with my Around the Square Set. I have quilted the coasters, napkins and one of the place mats. I used a stencil that I have had for a few years for the place mat and then I used Westalee’s Templates for the napkins and coasters. Those were a lot of fun to use. I purchased my set, for domestic machines, which included the ruler foot, from Nancy’s Notions. You can also purchase them from Connecting Threads. Click on the picture below to get your own set!

Westalee Sampler Templates - Set of 6 from ConnectingThreads.com

Here are some pictures of the Around the Square Set made in wine, creams and green fabric I had in my fat quarter and jelly roll stash. The batting is left overs from previous projects. I always save those because you never know where they can be used.

It was pretty easy using the Westalee templates. I really like how the spirals came out on the napkins and the flowers on the coasters. For the stencil on the place mats I actually drew the stencil on paper and then made copies of it on my Carol Doaks Foundation Paper. I have a hard time with trying to see colored pencils, chalk and other types of transferring medium on fabric. It all seems to blend away. So even though I have to remove the foundation paper after sewing my pattern, at least I can see what I am sewing. Just one of the challenges of being color blind.

I used a neutral thread color by Coats and Clark. It was just an all-purpose thread. I’m saving the good stuff for the items I’m going to sell in my Etsy store and hopefully in the co-op in town.

The binding is going to be 1 1/2 inch wide instead of the typical 2 1/4 or 2 1/2 inch wide. I am going to make it out of the left over fabric I used to make the set. It should come out pretty nice. I think this sample set will look nice in my dining area. My husband isn’t so sure about the napkins, though. He has a hard enough of a time just using the ones I made that aren’t quilted. I keep telling him they are washable. Silly man.

I will be making the Around the Square Set in various colors so I am sure they will appeal to everyone. I have also been thinking about adding a table runner with the set. Won’t that be lovely? I am going to have to purchase more fabric. Wait, what am I saying? I GET to purchase more fabric! There, that’s better.

That’s about all for now. I got the taxes done. The Around the Square Set is almost completed. New project is ready to go. All right!

Just a couple of reminders, if you click on any of the merchandisers displayed on this website and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. So I want to thank all of those who do so, because you help keep my website going. Also, please remember all of my personal designs, such as Around the Square Set, are copyright protected. Please respect that.

Be sure to sign up to receive an email every time I post a new blog. I promise I won’t load up your email with tons of posts. And please, leave me a comment, even if it’s just to say hello!

Until next time – Where is my refund? I need to buy more fabric!

crafts, handmade quilts, hobby, Home and Garden, home gifts, Montana, Quilting, quilting tools, unique quilt designs

Friday the 13th

Ok, everyone knows you just can’t do anything productive on Friday the 13th, right? I mean, black bears (ahem.. cats), large ghostly apparitions (oh wait, those are elk) and… WHAT WAS THAT NOISE?… Oh… a tom turkey yelling at his harem…

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Rainbow on the ridge. Picture taken from my front porch Apr 8, 2018.

Today was to be the day I finished at least one of my many projects cooking on the back burners. Instead it was spent making phone calls to find out how much rock and dirt and HOW MUCH IS THAT BILL? (paying bills) day. Sorry, yes I know I have rocks and dirt here, just not top soil for a garden. And if you like boulders then I have plenty of those. I need crushed rock for the shop hubby is building in his non-existent spare time. I need wire or some type of fencing to keep the wild life out of my soon to be garden. And I need to find time to finish at least one project.

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Well I did actually finish one project this week. I tend to save my Annie’s Creative Quilters Fabric Club shipments to complete when I am in-between projects or just need to think about something else instead of why my project looks so great on paper but is totally off the beam when sewn together, kind of days.

So I made this wonderfully fun tote and now it’s waiting to be put in use. I love Hydrangeas. We had two huge bushes in front of the house when I was a kid. They were my mom’s pride and joy, besides her roses and azaleas. I would try to grow them here but I am afraid the deer and elk would think they were being served salad. So instead I will enjoy my tote made with hydrangea printed fabric and be happy.

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Spring Tote From Annie’s Creative Quilters Fabric Club, Heavenly Hydrangeas Collection by Clothworks

I did get to play a little with a couple of free motion quilting rulers I have. Before you sew the outer shell of the tote together you have an opportunity to quilt it any way you like. So I did some stitch in the ditch using my Slim ruler and then I made arches with my little Archie ruler. Both of those were designed by Angela Walters and made by Creative Grids.

I did design a place mat set which will include coordinating napkins and coasters. I completed to placemat tops and have started on the napkins. The coasters will be paper pieced because the pieces of fabric will be little and I think it will be easier to paper piece it instead of trying to cut it.

I am using fat quarters and jelly rolls from my stash to make these. The fabric is a combination from Moda (purchased from the Fat Quarter Shop) and Connecting Threads (Hudson Valley by Country Essentials). Unfortunately I misplaced the tag that identified the Moda design. It happens when all the fat quarters are separated by color and put into a large storage tote.

Barring any other interruptions I should have the set completed, backing and batting as well as quilted, by Sunday. I hope. Then I plan to start on another project.

So in the meantime, you all have a safe Friday the 13th and a wonderful week-end.

Until next time – I’m not superstitious, I’m a quilter!

crafts, hobby, Home and Garden, home gifts, Montana, quilting tools

Kits Please!

Trivet Set
Trivet Set designed by Ann Johnson

I really like kits. They can be so much fun because they basically take all of the guess work out of whatever little or big project you decide to do. Some times you only need to purchase backing and batting for your kit project.

This particular kit I want to talk about is just one of the fun ones I purchased from Connecting Threads some time ago. I kept it for something to do between any big projects. Sometimes I just need to do something little and simple.

This kit came with great instructions, all of the fabric I would need except for backing, and batting. I bought coordinating fabric for the backing from the Grace collection by Heritage Classics on Connecting Threads. Unfortunately I don’t believe you can purchase from that collection any more. It also required Insul-Bright batting and regular batting.

This would have probably been a one day project but I took my time and did it in two. Cutting out all of the pieces probably took the longest, like usual. (I am going to get one of those Go Cutter systems from AccuQuilt. Just thinking about how much time I would save in cutting pieces and the wear and tear on my wrist makes it worth it!)

One of the great things about this trivet kit is there are four sizes, and two of each size. That gave some diversity in how they looked. It probably would be all right if they were all the same, but I like how they were all different. Another thing is I can reuse this pattern with different fabric. They would make a nice home-warming gift.

Mine are sitting in a little basket on the kitchen counter. I have a terrible habit of placing a hot pot on the counter without nothing under the pot. My husband informed me that the heat could cause the glue to separate from the counter top and cause problems. Or something like that. I took it to mean, Don’t Put Hot Pots and Pans Directly On The Counter. Hence, trivets. He really is patient with me. What can I say, he married a nutty red-head.

I have a few kits left in my stash. And of course, I have the patterns in my pattern book. So no matter what, I can always make neat trivets, placemats, and mug rugs, hobo bags, well, you get the idea.

Thanks for coming by and sharing a little of your time with me.

Until next time – Got Kits?