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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Crazy Quilting For Newbies - Working On A Foundation

 I always work on a foundation fabric.  A medium weight muslin is my foundation of choice.  I find that this stabilizes the block and supports that variety of fabrics used in crazy quilting.

Other than my sewing machine, these are the tools that I use.  A self-healing cutting mat, a rotary cutter, a quilters ruler, a permanent black marker and a glue stick.  And of course, an iron and ironing board.


The first thing I do, is to mark off my fabric.  The center lines are where the fabrics will be sewn.  It's also the sewing line.  This tells me how far I can go with the beading.  I piece my fabrics to the outside border.  This is because the block will shift a bit when adding stitching and beading.  It allows for that shifting and helps to give a little extra room for squaring off the block later.

 I use a black permanent marker because it bleeds through to the back side of the block.  I'll explain why momentarily.

Once you have your block marked, you can choose your fabrics:





These are the fabrics I used on my Marie Antoinette quilt.  If you're like me, you have way more fabric than you'll ever use!  I always seem to be like a chipmunk stocking up for Winter.  Like I'll never find another piece of fabric, bead, button, piece of lace and so on, ever again!  LOL!!

Anyway, choose your fabrics and cut 2 pieces to start with.  I use what's called the "Sew & Flip" method.


The first piece (dark piece) is face up on your foundation.  The next piece goes face down on top of the first piece.
Now, just sew your seam.

Flip the top piece open and press with your iron.

Apply the next piece and repeat.

 Continue the process until you've covered your block.


I will explain how I do curves in my next article.  For now, turn your block to the backside.  You'll be able to see the marker lines.  Sew on the outside line all the way around the block.  This holds the fabrics down along the outside edge.

Before stitching (and working on the back side of the block) run a basting stitch (by hand) on the inside line.  That's how far you can take the beads!  Don't put beads beyond the inside line.

I will write an article on preparing a block for finishing down the road.  In the meantime, I thought anyone new to crazy quilting might find my process helpful.  If you have any questions, please leave me a comment and I will gladly reply.


Easy Taco Salad

I thought I would share my very easy recipe for Taco Salad.  You won't believe how easy and yummy this is!

Ok, so my photo isn't that great but the recipe is awesome!

EASY TACO SALAD

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Sirloin
1 jar Mild Pace Picante Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
Pepper to taste

Brown the ground sirloin in a skillet.  Add the Picante Sauce and spices.  Simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Serve over Romain lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Sprinkle with some Chedder Cheese, add a dab of Sour Cream or a bit of Ranch Dressing and sprinkle with some sliced Green Onions!

I don't do store bought tortilla chips because they're way too salty but I do on occasion make my own with flour tortillas.  I cut them into triangles, place on a baking sheet, lightly spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with bit of sea salt then bake in the oven until crisp.

Enjoy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

More Vintage Embroidery Patterns

I'm working on a Christmas gift at the moment that I can't share here.  It's almost done and then I can get back to sharing my project photos with you.

In the meantime, I thought you would enjoy having a few more of my vintage embroidery patterns.  These are over at my Flickr site:

Transfer Fruit Basket


Alice Brooks Rose


Little House


I'll be heading over to mom's later today to finish up on a few glittery things for the shop.  Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vintage Embroidery Patterns

Mom and I spent yesterday looking through my collection of vintage iron-on embroidery patterns.  I've been collecting these for years and years so my collection is quite extensive now!

It's been awhile since we've had them out and decided we would actually stitch a few.  So mom picked out a couple and so did I.  We traced them onto white quilter's cotton (muslin is fine too) and crayon tinted them:

As you know, I like pink!  LOL!!!

Anyway, Kim had asked me to post some photos of my patterns so she knows what to look for when she's out and about.

The easiest patterns to find are the old Aunt Martha's:





These are all vintage but new versions can be found in Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabrics and other craft stores.  You can also order them online from Colonial Pattern Company.


My absolute favorite vintage patterns are Vogart:





Vogart patterns are no longer being produced so the only way to find them is to search them out at Flea Markets, antique shops and Ebay.  I'm not sure why I'm so taken with Vogart patterns.  I think they have a charm that other brands don't have. 

Vogart patterns are pretty easy to find but one of the more elusive brands are Superior transfer patterns:




I've been lucky enough to find quite a few Superior transfers but they are a bit more rare.  Walker and Monarch are 2 other brands of old patterns that you can keep your eyes open for.  I only have a couple of each in my collection but am always on the look out for those.

So how do you find these little things in flea markets and antique shops?  Yes, that's a challenge if you don't know what to look for.  They're small and flat and don't usually jump out enough to catch your eye.

Look for sewing, crocheting and knitting supplies.  Those things are larger and if you find some of them, you might find some patterns tucked in.  Balls of crochet thread, knitting needles, larger pattern booklets, even cookbooks will pop out at you and sometimes these vintage treasures will be tucked in along with them.  Look for bags of old lace, bags of fabric scraps, old quilt pieces....ladies things I guess would be the best way to describe what to look for.  Of course, Ebay has a catagory for vintage transfers under "Sewing Supplies".

If all else fails, visit my friend Vicki at Patternbee.  She too is a collector and offers reproduction patterns that can be ironed on to fabric.  You might also enjoy visiting Vicki's Turkey Feathers Blog.  She shares recipes, photos of her lovely gardens, her hand embroidery, quilts, resale treasures and more.  It's a lovely blog with a very homey feel!

For me, I use a washout blue pen and a light-box since I love my patterns and want to keep them in one piece.  In many cases, I scan mine into my computer, print up a copy and trace them from that.  Any vintage patterns that are red, are much easier to scan and then convert to b/w.  It's hard to see the red line transfers with a light-box.

So what do vintage patterns cost?  They're usually quite inexpensive.  I pay an average of $1 - $2 for vintage Aunt Martha patterns and about $3 for Vogart.  If the patterns are complete and uncut, they'll usually go for a little more.  If the envelopes are still sealed, expect to pay about $7 or $8 for Vogart.

If you would like to learn how to do Crayon Tinting, click here.

Before I head out to stitch, I'll leave you with 2 of my vintage patterns for Thanksgiving:




You should be able to click on them and download to your computer.  If you have any trouble doing that, try here at my Flickr site.

Please visit my Etsy Shop for Cottage Style Comforts & Adornments

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Few Finishes

I've had quite the busy day today.  Didn't feel good this morning but kept myself busy and it got better.  First, I finished up this piece:





It's not in the frame permanently yet.  I'll do that tomorrow when I go to mom's.  This piece is a gift.

When I had this finished, I sewed up a few more blocks.  A couple of cat dolls, a couple of purses and another framed piece.  I think I'll stitch that next.  I'm wanting to make some more felted brooches as well.  And some cuff bracelets and some embroidered things.

Speaking of embroidery, I pulled out my boxes of vintage iron-on transfer patterns.  I'm going to take them over to mom's tomorrow and we'll play with those.  It's been a while since mom and I went through them.

Am I all over the map?  LOL!!!  Yeah, my ADD is still here!

Anyway, I just added a few new additions to the shop:










These are recent finishes by Mom.

Also, Kathi asked me to mention that she is donating all proceeds from these earrings to the Susan G. Komen Foundation:

Pink Cat Earrings

All are available here.

Well, I'm off to heat up some soup and some cheese muffins.

Beef Soup Recipe

My sweet friend Judy asked if I would share the recipe for my Beef Soup.  I'm happy to share any recipe that I have so here it is.  This is my own recipe.  It's low sodium and low fat.  And if you would like it be carb free, just leave out the pasta or potato.





PAM'S BEEF SOUP RECIPE

1 - 1 1/2 pounds of Beef Stew meat (cut into bite size pieces)
1 cup celery chopped
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 cup carrots chopped
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 small cans low sodium beef broth
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup dry pasta or 1 large potato chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped (or 1 teaspoon dry parsley)
Pepper to taste

Saute onion, garlic and celery in vegetable oil.  Add beef stew meat and brown.  Add beef broth and bring to a simmer.  Add carrots and pasta or potato.  Add the onion powder, garlic powder, parsley and pepper.  Let simmer for 20 - 30 minutes.  Excellent with Cheese Muffins!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Felted Beaded Brooches

I spent a little time with mom yesterday morning.  She was feeling a little better yesterday.  When I got home, I had wanted to get our windows washed but it was raining and it looks like it'll be rainy most of the day today.  Not like I don't have a million other things I can do!  Anyway, after baking a batch of cookies, because my husband thought he was starving, I took it easy and finished up on these brooches:





All that I have left to do is to glue a piece of felt to the back and then add the bar pin.  These are gifts.

I pulled out another small CQ piece that I had sewn up awhile back.  Not sure if that lace piece is going to stay.  I may pick out something else but I like the little violet image and plan to work this in pinks & purples:




I'm wanting to do some sewing this week and I'd like to pull out my box(es) of vintage transfer patterns and maybe stitch a few of those.  I haven't done any Crayon Tinting in awhile and I have a ton of new transfers from my flea market travels this past Summer so it would be a good idea to use a few.

I think I'll make a pot of beef soup for dinner tonight too.  Soup sounds good, esp. on a dreary rainy day like today!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Marie Antoinette Quilt Block 1 Completed

Yes, I do sleep and I do eat!!  LOL!!!  But I still managed to finish up on Block #1 of my Marie Antoinette Crazy Quilt yesterday:





The soft pastel colors of this project are very soothing on my nerves! 

Here is block #2:



I'm not going to start on this right away.  I need to make this project last until March!  Just thought you'd like to see the next one.

For now, I started stitching on some new little felted brooches:




The blue one will have a sea theme with some fishies.  I wanted to use a one of my pieces of vintage jewelry on it but I didn't have any vintage fish that were small enough.  Instead, I'll use some fish charms.

I've been meaning to mention, for those of you who cope with depression, that the November 1st issue of Women's Day magazine has an excellent article on the disorder.  You might want to check it out.  Very good article!!!

Today, I'll be going over to mom's and we'll be making another stack of business cards.  Yes, we make our own!  Mom is not feeling well these days.  She's still recovering from the last surgery and now is having gall bladder problems.  She can't have another surgery so soon after the last one and the medication they gave her is only helping a little bit.  All the pain and discomfort is aggravating her Bi Polar and depression but I know she'll get through it with my help.

I'm planning on having Thanksgiving here this year.  Will have to keep it simple since I'm still not 100% yet either.   Scott said that he would help me so we'll do fine.

That's my news for today everyone!

If you have a free moment, please check out Today's Specials in our shop:

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Update On Marie Antoinette Quilt

I did a lot of stitching on this the past 2 days:






These get quite heavy as I pile on the beads!  Those leaf beads to the right are not purple.  They're pink.  Anyway, I'll be stitching on this for an hour or so before I get myself together to go into town for groceries.

In other news, I added a few new things to the shop.  First, Kathi's precious little snowman watch:




And then mom has been making Christmas ornaments:




I'm not feeling very chatty this morning so I'll wish you all a great day and I'll head off to do some stitching.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And The Winner Is........

The winner of my Crazy Quilt Snowflake Ornament and a copy of the Spool magazine is:


MARGARET!  Congratulations!!!  Margaret, I need you to email me with your snail mail address asap so I can get this out in the mail for you!

Thanks to all who left a comment on my Drawing post.  I will have another drawing for another of my handmade do-dad's in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Autumn At Kitty & Me Designs

Marie Antoinette Quilt Block 1

Among other things, I started stitching on Block #1 of my Marie Antoinette quilt:





I'll be taking this over to mom's with me today and I'll do some stitching while I'm there.

And speaking of being at mom's, she has some emails to answer so if you're waiting for a reply from her, I'll be helping her do that today.

I also put my Pansy piece in the frame yesterday:




I just added it to my Etsy shop in case anyone is interested.

Finally for today, Scott will draw a name for my Snowflake Crazy Quilt ornament & magazine give away when he gets home from work tonight.  I will post the winner's name tomorrow morning!

Good luck everyone!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Crazy Marie Antoinette Quilt To Begin

I haven't been feeling well for the past few days.  I don't know if it's the medication balancing out again or what.  I'm so tired of trying to figure it out and trying to describe it.  I can definitely feel the depression but I don't care to increase the medication.  It just means that I'd have to deal with more withdrawals when I can cut back again.

I decided that now is the perfect time to start on my Winter project.  I pulled out block #1 of my Marie Antoinette quilt and I will start stitching on this today:





If you're new to my blog, I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and have found that a Winter project, helps me to get through the nasty Winter months until Spring.  This quilt has 9 blocks, all featuring an image of Marie Antoinette.  I love the pinks and other soft pastel colors.  There will be loads of lace and glittery things on this quilt.  Tons of flowers and vines.  I have some special do-dads that my friend Cathy K. sent to me that I've been saving for this project.  One is a little Eiffel Tower charm!
 I finished stitching up on this crazy quilt piece yesterday:




I'm going to try to get this piece in the frame today and then I'll add it to the shop.

Another finish is this little cat doll:




This was a custom order.  I really love making these little cats.  I think I'll sew up a few more this week and just have them ready for when I feel like stitching on one.

A few more things that I added to the shop are more of my glittered bottlebrush trees:




And here are a few of mom's newest items:







All are available here.

Don't forget about the drawing for my Crazy Quilt Snowflake Ornament.  Details can be found here on this post.
http://kittyandmedesigns.blogspot.com/2010/10/drawing.html

I guess that's my news for today folks.  I'll be posting regular updates of my Marie quilt as I work on it so stop by often for that.

I'll leave you with some muffins that I made the other day:





http://www.kittyandme.etsy.com/
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