2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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FREE MOTION QUILTING : PRACTICE PIECE

PRACTICE FOR FREE MOTION QUILTING

I have been trying to get some actually quilting instead of being a fake/ wanna be quilter. My daughter and I pinned some practice pieces to use for me to practice my FREE MOTION QUILTING. My daughter made this quilt from a panel, this is the first time she got her quarter inch seam allowance correct. The panel lies flat. She has design a cute little quilt picking out the fabrics on her own. I am very proud of it; but now she wants me to free motion quilt it. And now I AM AFRAID, I have only played with FMQ before, WHAT IF I AM NOT UP TO THE TASK. WHAT IF I RUIN this little quilt?

My DD says just go for it… do what you can, the baby won’t know or care. What advice could you give me to FMQ this project?

Happy Quilting,


Nonnie

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CHRISTMAS with Nonnie

TIMBO TOY ASSEMBLY FACTORY

DECISIONS, DECISIONS

Best Christmas breakfast EVER!


One of the few, non healthy breakfasts of the year.


I am a trained doctor, now! Do you want a shot?

JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED !


Every present he opens, he says, “JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED !!!” He says it even when he does not know what is in the box. !


Boys at play

DD opening her charm bracelet ( big surprise)

This gift was a complete surprise ! Decided on at the last minute.

Nickel Quilts and More Nickle Quilts by Pat Speth

Nickel Quilts: Great Designs from 5 Inch ScrapsNickel Quilts: Great Designs from 5 Inch Scraps by Pat Speth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

2002

I have a fondness for this book because my husband actually went into my LQS and bought this and the sister book MORE NICKEL QUILTS by Pat Speth, all by himself. It was a birthday gift the year after I started making quilts. Of course I am sure he had the help of my quilt teacher and friends in the shop and they KNOW me so well.

I can recommend this book for making lovely scrap quilts using 5-INCH NICKELS, now called charms. Pat and Charlene give a brief instruction on how to make the quilts using other size blocks. But they give just a brief explanation and concentrate on explaining how to use NICKELS/ CHARMS. Using pre-cut charms make the scrap quilts easier and varied.

When planning scrappy nickle quilt, Ms Speth drives home the need to consider balance, value and contrast in the selection of your fabrics. Ms Speth further explains the need for variety of fabric scale, size of print, style of fabrics. She further suggests using different background to add interest to the quilts. I like her style and she gives a lot of common sense advise.

This was one of my first quilt books that I owned. I like her explanation of chain piecing, accurate seaming and cutting. She guides you through sewing of many of the basic patches. (HSqTri, Four Patches, sew and flip techniques, hour glass and picket fence.)

Favorite Quilts:

JEWEL BOX —

SUNNY LANES—

FOUR PATCH PLAID — Plays using light and dark patches to obtain a diagonal settings.

LABOR DAY MADNESS—This block uses partial piecing to achieve the block construction.

Criticism: As with most books published early in 2000 the finished patch/unit are not included in the direction. It would have been helpful. Especially as a new quilter I did not know how to figure out the sizes of the patches and blocks.

Because of using the 5 inch patches many of the block sizes are unconventional. I think this fact should have been discussed in the preface of the book. I found I had to read very carefully and make my own notes as to the size of the patches and blocks.

Ms Speth choice of colors are traditional and somewhat dated to my eyes. She uses a lot of browns and creams, my least favorite colors. As a quilter who has been around the block a couple of times I now have a better understanding of my own color choices and how to work with them to get the quilts I like.

Yes, I would like to recommend this book as I find using NICKELS / pre-cut CHARMS a fast and easy way to make quilt tops. The patterns would be exciting made in modern quilt fabrics.

Nonnie,

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More Nickel Quilts: 20 New Designs from 5-Inch SquaresMore Nickel Quilts: 20 New Designs from 5-Inch Squares by Pat Speth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

2004

Once again Pat goes through her explanation of collecting 5 inch NICKLES and duplicates but expands the instructions from her first book. In this book she has a larger gallery of scrappy NICKEL QUILTS. What I did note that Ms Speth used more flying geese and hour glass patches in her blocks.

Quilts I liked:

Beach Party —

JACOB ‘s LADDER — I have always loved the black background and the bright fabrics used in this quilt.

Pinwheels on Parade —

Stars over Mitford — I have never seen this block except in this book. I tried looking it up in Encyclopedia of Patch-work and Block Base, despite trying several times. What I like about this block is the masculine flavor/ styling of the block. I made it for a nephew using blues and greens.

BRAVE WORLD — This takes my favorite block BRAVE NEW WORLD and mirrors them putting them with sashing.

I find I like the quilts in this book more than her first book, NICKEL QUILTS.

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Now I remember why I hate making doll clothes…..

I now remember why I hate making doll clothes…. sewed for over an hour… and get tacky results. It was suppose to be a bride made dress but looks more like a night gown. Still need to make a coat and another outfit…hope they turn out better.

tacky doll dress

Merry Christmas to all,

Keep yourselves SAFE.


NONNIE,

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Book Reviews: Scrap Therapy and Dual Applique

Scrap Therapy Cut the Scraps!: 7 Steps to Quilting Your Way through Your StashScrap Therapy Cut the Scraps!: 7 Steps to Quilting Your Way through Your Stash by Joan Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

2011

I have been hearing about SCRAP THERAPY for awhile and I just recently found Joan’s blog. I will be following it. I just purchased this book. I have a ton of scraps to start with; I just have to project to use them with.

I have not had a chance to asses this book in detail so I will be updating this review and the ratings.

December 18, 2011.

Nonnie,

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UPDATE DECEMBER 23RD:

Scraps accumulate in my home … the more I quilt, the more I get scraps. So I have been seeking ways / patterns to use the scraps. I am a devotee of Bonnie Hunter and use some of her methods. I read Cutting the Scraps by Joan Ford, after reading about her via the internet. A lot of what she says makes sense. I will be using some of Joan’s methods in the future.

She believes in cutting the patches into 2inch, 3-1/2, and 5 inch squares. Because she uses the 5 inch squares books using charm squares as the basis for their patterns work well with her cutting methods. I recommend Pat Speth’s books, Nickel Quilts and More Nickel Quilts, as the scrappy quilt patterns in the book are all based on 5 inch charmed squares.

Where I do differ is her cutting and storage methods. For the quilts she makes HER methods are efficient and do-able, but I hate planning quilts so far in advance as I often change my mind, so I do not like cutting up my scraps into quilt patches until I have decided upon the pattern I am going to make. I DO NOT CUT IN ADVANCE AS JOAN ADVISES. Joan also advises storing patches in small shoe size clear plastic boxes, which I find a good method if you are making her patterns or similar charm pack patterns. I however make a slew of different style of scrappy quilts so I tend to pick the patterns then cut my fabric to use in that quilt. If I precut with the idea of someday finding a pattern to fit my cut pieces I would miss out on a lot of neat patterns. I will use her methods when I make on of her quilt patterns.

I also disagree somewhat in Joan’s advice not to sort your fabrics into colors / values but to cut your fabrics then to sort. (This could be my interpretation of her directions.) Since, I do not cut my scraps till I know what quilt I am making, I prefer to sort color and value, then when I need them I cut them into the size patches I need. I keep a bin with neutrals / whites, various colors, and darks. The fabrics in these bins are less than a fat quarter. I do keep separate small boxes of lights, medium and dark small scraps / patches. (Smaller than a layer cake.)

What I can definitely agree and base a recommendation for this book because of Ms Ford’s tips for precision piecing and making a accurate blocks. She does recommend SCANT quarter inch seam and she explains how to achieve accuracy. I also like how she recommends making sample / several blocks then checking for accuracy of size, before committing to an entire quilt. THAT TIP ALONE has saved me in the past many a heart ache.

I do enjoy the quilt patterns in book especially:
Scrappy Trails (Irish Chain)
Feed Sack Peaks ( 9 patch variations with HSqTri using 3-1/2 patches)
Everything Nice ( Square in a Square with Rail Strips)
Lightening Strikes Twice (my favorite)
This is a block I have never seen before and it is made in an interesting fashion. I can definitely see myself making this in the future. I love the zig-zag effect.
Blooming Steps Square in a Sq / flying geese and HSqTri… what could be better and more intriguing?

NONNIE,

I plan to update this book again once I have made a quilt from the book.

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Dual Image AppliquéDual Image Appliqué by Dilys Fronks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

2010

I have several other books by Dilys and have always found them informative and easily understood. I like the way she investigates different techniques and styles of applique. She is never boring. In this book she investigates negative and positive shapes in designs. I like how you can get different results depending on the placement of the shapes. The projects start as very basic and advance in complexity. Some of the projects are pre quilted and Dilys shows you how to assemble a pre quilted quilt.

I particularly liked the dual leaf applique that is on the front cover. I had attempted something similar in the past, but I found Dilys technique easier and more refined.

I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to make a different type of applique.

Nonnie,

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AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN TV COMPANION COOKBOOK, 2001 to 2011

The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook: Every Recipe from the Hit TV Show with Product Ratings and a Look Behind the ScenesThe Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook: Every Recipe from the Hit TV Show with Product Ratings and a Look Behind the Scenes by Editors at America’s Test Kitchen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

2011

790 pages

I recently received this book when I bought the combination book and dvds of the PBS TV series, American Test Kitchen. Features from 2001 to 2011 are included, the recipes, the product tests, the science behind the cooking techniques. My daughter and I love this series and found it made us better cooks. I love reading the text and it can stand alone of the TV series. If you like the show you will like this book.

The books I bought as a combo, were suppose to come with the DVDs but they are on back-order. I am very unhappy that they were not delivered together and may not be available till after Christmas.

I am not happy with Cooks Illustrated / American Test Kitchen. Communications with them has been minimal and I do not know the status of my DVD order. I do not know if there is any way to get these books and dvds without going through them, but I will never order any more products from them without the guarantee of a timely delivery.

Nonnie,

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America Test Kitchen 2011 TV Companion bookAmerica Test Kitchen 2011 TV Companion book by America Test Kitchen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book I bought at the same time as the Complete America’s Test Kitchen, TV Show Cookbook.

I am not happy with Cooks Illustrated / American Test Kitchen. Communications with them has been minimal and I do not know the status of my DVD order. I do not know if there is any way to get these books and dvds without going through them, but I will never order any more products from them without the guarantee of a timely delivery.

Nonnie,

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