Threads of thoughts to enrich your day – or maybe bring you a smile.
Be forewarned, though, our threads of thought are sometimes tangled.
Threads of thoughts to enrich your day – or maybe bring you a smile.
Be forewarned, though, our threads of thought are sometimes tangled.
Quick Quiz Question: How far back in history do we find the Log Cabin design?
“Hmmm – It makes me think of Abe Lincoln so probably 1860s.”
If you’re trying to win the big prize jackpot you probably will want do some research or Phone a Friend before you make that your final answer.
SPOILER ALERT: Here’s the answer …
The log cabin design has been found in drawings in ancient Egypt! I’m fairly sure they didn’t call it Log Cabin, though.
We at Sisters at Heart haven’t usually associated Log Cabin with Egyptian design at all. At least until recently when my friend Marilyn Stephani did a presentation on the Log Cabin block for the Pensacola Quilt Guild. I learned a lot
(Did you know that Courthouse Steps is technically in the Log Cabin category?)
and came away with some new ideas for using this very old design. Like this basket made from two log cabin blocks.
Marilyn’s presentation included Power Point. We are including it here – Log Cabin Power Point – with her permission, so that you can share it with your club or guild.
Log Cabin is one of those great blocks that looks harder than it is.
The block starts with a center square, referred to as the hearth (that is why traditionally it’s red-for the fire in the hearth.) Although some people make the center yellow and call it “light in the window.” OR, you can make it brown and call it mud on the windows. (I just made that up.) Okay, I can hear the Colorado sister telling me to get back to the main thing…
Checking for accuracy often is a really good idea because after several seams a little inaccuracy adds up to a big” catty whampus” (That’s a technical term for mess.) Or, you can use the foundation paper piecing method for exact stitching every time.
Log Cabin is one of those great blocks that is SO versatile. If you make an asymmetrical Log Cabin you have even more setting options – some of which will produce a round or wavy design.
Or you can change it up a little and make it into a rose. That’s what we have done in our latest use of this ancient idea – and we put it on a picnic basket lid. If you’ve never done Log Cabin and you aren’t sure it you want to get into a whole quilt, you might think about doing the basket lid as a starter project.
The beauty of this design idea is that it can be adjusted to any size picnic basket. After you have made your log cabin block, just add borders until you have enough to cover the lid of the basket. Or – you can use two log cabins.
What if you want to use the idea but your basket doesn’t have a lid? Well, there is a way to make a lid for your basket. You can get the pattern on our etsy store HERE.
PS – Over at Stitched in Color, you might enjoy her Log Cabin quilt as you go tutorial. Check it out HERE.
For instance, there is the one out of three survival rate in my lavender planting attempts.
And the fact that I lovingly wrapped a ‘ grapevine’ around our creek side swing only to be told it was in fact a noxious briar vine.
Not to be forgotten is the result of my attempt to root a rose bush by sticking it in a potato.
The rose stalk died and the potato flourished.
I truly think I’m on the National Horticultural Watch List.
So, you can see that as far as gardening goes, it’s a matter of wisdom to keep my tools and my expectations on the same level-simple and few.
In the quilting studio I have a different approach. I want my tools to exceed my current level of activity and expertise. I need tools that pull me to the next level. I crave tools that expand my abilities.
You’ll find some of our favorite tools on the Tools tab.
And we’d love to hear from you when you find a tool that excites you, too. Especially those that bring more success than my roses attempt.
PS – You can be sure I’d welcome any tips you want to leave about gardening in North Florida especially tips about plants that are “neglect tolerant” or have been successfully grown by small children.
Our summer road trip was the BEST TRIP EVER! And there in front of me was another undeniable example of just the right thing at just the right time!
We had supper plans with friends but what would we DO in the meantime?!?!
Problem solved. After all …
Set just off the main highway that runs through this small town in the Georgia mountains, Patricia opened Fabric Galore and Quilting Store (and a new chapter in life) just a few months ago. Her shop has all the right ingredients for success. You’ll find a large classroom and a variety of classes …
… great display ideas
… lots of natural light combined with a wide range of colors and styles of fabric
… friendly, knowledgeable assistance and assistants …
… fun promotions like this spinning wheel for Tuesdays …
… and a welcoming, helpful host.
So, if you are in north Georgia (or east Tennessee or south North Carolina – they are all close by) look for the giant thimble and spend some time (and money) at Fabrics Galore and Quilting Store. Their website is HERE.
I don’t think I mentioned that this road trip actually started 40 years ago. The Dietz and I exchanged vows on a hot June afternoon without having any idea about what it would really take to keep them. To celebrate the heavenly intervention that it took to build what we enjoy today, we took this road trip on trolley cars, by the ocean, through historical forts, aboard river paddle boats, and finally over winding mountain roads. I think we will call this journey …
Adventures Galore and so Much More!
A modern urban “tactic” employed in firearms training to get around obstacles while continuing a forward movement. It is most often employed by Airsoft or Paintball gamers, however it may be used by live-fire weapons personnel as well.
The technique, almost always done while running, involves diving forward in such a way that your shoulder lands on the ground first, and you roll into a little ball. As you come out of the ball, immediately spring back up into a running stance, or move into a kneeling position.
My mind is racing with what to write about that explains a little of the life journey of this past week. So I decided to put it all into one blog post! If you asked my sister, she would tell you it is NOT uncommon for me to tackle too much at one time. So we just won’t tell her what I’m writing about all this until it is already posted. (Let’s see where that gets me…)
This past week the Colorado family gathered to celebrate a life together. Dan and I raised our four children on the same ranch that he grew up on. What an incredible life! The past holds memories of family tent camping in the Colorado mountains because that is what I grew up doing. So combine the two (Dan & I) and we are camping as a family but on the home ranch. Yes, we drove all of four miles (!) to set up the camp site for our summer vacation. Makes for a good car ride because no one asks, “Are we there yet?”
We are definitely a group of DYI’ers so every family gathering has a project. When sister comes to visit it involves pattern design & sewing. But none of our in-laws are into that yet, so the “planners” of our family picked a swing/fire pit project. Some of the “free-thinkers” of our family were considering… but we quickly put them on the Pinterest path.
But with only a couple of days together to do a
some water fun,
and yes, a family photo shoot, we barely found time to work on the project of choice. It became very clear early on that the pit/swing project would take back burner to the people plans. We loved spending time together with stories
making memories in the “pretend” world
eating too much of the incredible food
and helping Grandpa
We did actually start on the fire pit/swing by removing a dead limb from the space we needed. But the work crew got distracted by the bucket truck.
So here’s the final report:
Bug repellent – F! there were a “few”
Wading in the creek – A+ even if it wasn’t totally clean
Treasure Hunt -A everyone wins a prize
Swing/fire pit – I incomplete; a reason to return next year
Family Photo Shoot – Priceless! Actual pictures will follow in another blog
Don’t let your summer go by without making a few memories of your own (whether or not you’re camping). And if the projects (sewing or otherwise) don’t get completed, just remember to love the people/family you’re with! What summer memories are you making?
While we are all in celebration mode, we want to talk about this Barb-B-Q / oven mitt, a PS project from the Let Freedom Ring Collection.
PS Projects are FREE patterns that we add to our different pattern collections. You can find them all in our Brag Book.
This quick bar-b-q/oven mitt will add to the comfort and the theme of your party. Using the Let Freedom Ring basic background block,
and a quick trim of prairie points, you will have a great accent in no time. See the Prairie Points Tips and Tricks page for a tutorial on this colorful trim.
You’ll need to sew some insulation type fabric between the outside and the lining in order to keep your hand protected. Make sure that you place the shiny side toward the heat source (i.e. facing the outside of the mitt).
Which brings us to the “tutorial” part of this post: advice regarding thermal fabrics. Your options fall into three basic categories (*none of which are safe for microwaving because of the metallic properties in them):
We end to use Insulbright for projects that involve the oven (i.e. high heat). Isulbright has a reflective metalized poly film in it which resists radiant energy by reflecting it back to its source. Did we mention to make sure that you place the shiny side toward the heat source (i.e. facing the outside of the mitt).
We love this fabric because it is easy to cut, machine washable, and is quite nice to work with – though a bit slippery. Though it is in the batting category, The Warm Company does suggest you layer Insul-Bright with a standard cotton batting if you are using it for a high-heat application.
You can get your FREE instruction sheet HERE.
Tip: For an “explosive” hostess gift, fill it with grilling tools or marinate mixes.
*One exception to the “do not microwave” rule is Wrap-N-Zap by Pellon, which is specifically designed to be microwaved.
The Let Freedom Ring Flag is just the touch you need to put some dazzle to your 4th of July celebrations!
You can finish it in an afternoon and it takes very little from your patriotic fabric stash. The only down side is that your friends and neighbors will be requesting them to decorate their yards, too!
Here’s a little confession/ warning, though: they can be habit-forming.
Some design ideas are like that. Like an invasive vine. You know how it goes – all you need is a little, bitty starter and before you know it, the idea spreads to the far corners of your imagination.
That’s the way the yard flag house flag/ table flag idea has been in my mind. Once I made the first Let Freedom Ring flag as a companion piece to the Autograph Table Cloth …
… the ideas for flags were creeping in just about every corner of our design notebook. The Colorado Sister was about to call in the noxious weed control folks.
The little yard flags are so quick to make:
two blocks, some borders, and a casing to hang them on the flag hanger and you’re finished! Be sure of this: the machine applique for the applique figure is E.A.S.Y. (Promise!) And in the process, you’ll get tips on stitching a Y-seam and prairie points. These 18″ x 24″ flags can be secured in your lawn or on the edge of your deck or on a table.
The next project bubbling in my brain is to go BIGGER so we will have a house flag version. Please don’t tell Sister I said that because she will think that the crop dusters need to be called again.
You can get the Let Freedom Ring flag pattern at our etsy store, 2SistersAtHeart.
It is totally true and I’m confessing it to the world. I have a “need” to find, fix, and finish other people’s scraps. Not my own so much, I just collect those. But I find a certain sense of accomplishment in using what someone else was giving away, throwing away or selling “too cheap.”
I see value in the rejected.
I’m in love with the term: up-cycling.
That all sounds very lofty, but the truth is:
I’m a fabric scrap hoarder and I’m not taking steps to correct it any time soon.
In fact, I went to a porch sale of someone (I knew she would have fabrics) simply because another friend in Oklahoma sent me a text mentioning scraps! I kept having to tell other shoppers that I was really buying for three people (I didn’t mention that it was me, myself and I). When I unloaded the bags and boxes, my DH was hoping that it was groceries.
I did feel a little guilty because Florida sister had asked me to use some of her spending money to purchase a few fun things for her. So I sorted them out (We continue to live by our childhood rule: one cuts and the other chooses.) but she couldn’t chose for herself, so I sent her a “small” box just to say she wasn’t forgotten and then I played for the rest of the day.
There are hoarding rules, you know.
All scraps must be sorted! by color, of course. My sister would probably say by size first. The only size restriction is the container I’m trying to stuff them into. I keep adding furniture to my room to
contain organize them.
I have the odds & ends sizes, the smaller than fat quarter sizes, the strips (multiple sizes), the fat quarters I’ve created size, the less than a yard size and on and on it goes.
On the plus side, I did get rid of anything less than 4” square last summer. Then they came out with “quilter’s candy” (2 inch squares) and now I’m back to saving it all!
Contrary to the belief of my spouse, I do actually finish and use most many of these rescued fabrics. Case in point would be the “use it all up” couch throw I made using “scraps” from one of our favorite fabric designers, SWEETWATER.
Somewhere in the process of “using it all up” it to make the couch throw, the creativity looked like this:
Then I pressed a few more, cut some off, sewed back together, pressed again and it began to look like this:
Just so you know, there is such a thing as “scraps too small to save.”
This is the couch throw from Feed Company, Sweetwater, yet to be quilted.
Last year I did a throw for the gazebo …
and I keep one on the chair of my studio …
and I even pulled some “fake embroidered” pieces out of the trash and made into a floor throw for the grand-kids.
So if I can only live long enough to use up other people’s scraps I will be a happy (and very old) quilter.
I was going to ask, “What is your darkest hording secret?” But I think that might be too much information. So I’ll just ask, what was your latest completed scrap project?
Welcome to “Tutorial Tuesdays”
Continuing the Red White & Blue theme from your table to the frig(?) is easy with these simple (and free) food bowl covers. They are adjustable for every size and you can embellish with the words or figures from your Let Freedom Ring patterns.
Tip #1: Use bias tape to make the casing for the elastic and it will follow the curve easily.
Tip #2: Ric-rac is a quick embellishment that adds texture & color.
Tip #3: One size fits MANY. Make it larger and it will cover more sizes.
So easy as 1,2,3 get the free pattern from the link above.
FROG EYE SALAD:
On the day before serving, cook the following ingredients together to form a thickened sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon flour
3/4 cup pineapple juice (drained & reserved from can)
1 beaten egg
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
Cook 8 oz. Acini de pepe (tiny pasta) in 2 quarts boiling water, lightly salted. Drain & rinse. Cool slightly and mix with sauce. Refrigerate overnight. Add 15 oz. can drained mandarin oranges, 20 oz. can drained, pineapple chunks, 10 oz. drained, crushed pineapple, fresh red grapes, 8 oz cartoon of frozen whipped cream. Optional: sliced bananas or marshmallows. Serve cold and store in refrigerator.