Are you having fun yet?

Fall is a time to get “ready” for winter, and those cold cozy nights ahead.  Of course, that means QUILTS. Or table runners or placemats or Christmas projects.

I love the colors of fall fabrics.  When the fabric colors are inspired by nature, how can you go wrong putting them together in a project.

Fall color perfection

  My maple tree in the fall of 2016 was glorious! 

 

My husband and I were in the local quilt shop earlier in the month and I had to stop and touch every bolt of those beautiful fall fabrics.  I used great restraint not to bring home more fabric than what I went into the shop for specifically!

If you have been following me for any amount of time, you know that I enjoy sewing along with Carole and her blog – From My Carolina Home .    Carole is in full AUTUMN JUBILEE mode!  The link above is to the B Block of the current sew along.  Last week was pumpkins, but I am not telling you what this weeks are…you have to go look for yourself. 

Regular readers KNOW that I keep a “container” of fall fabrics to make projects for the Autumn Jubilee (AJ) sew along. I like making half square triangles and sewing with these fabrics all year long.  I take my container of AJ with me to many quilt bees, and keep working with the patterns and projects.  (I think I bore my bee mates working on the same thing every month, but I LOVE having a container, ready to go, that I don’t have to think about!  I just pack it in the car and keep working. )

HST for Autumn Jubilee Quiltalong

This is the 3rd season I have followed along with Carole, and I enjoy seeing the new patterns and projects she comes up with. Truth be told, I did not make the 2017 projects.  I am still sewing blocks from 2016.

I will leave you with a look back at my previous Autumn Jubilee projects and projects inspired by Carole’s patterns –

Autumn Jubilee Table Runner

Table runner from Autumn Jubilee 2016

4 finished Autumn Jubilee 2016 placemats

Placemats from Autumn Jubilee 2016

Then there was this great quilt inspired by Carole, made by my bee friend Joyce —

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And my Pumpkins from 2016 getting prepped!

Pumpkin prep

And a table runner or 2 or 3 – from the 2016 Autumn Jubilee

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Autumn Jubilee Table Runner Number 3

First Autumn Jubilee runner

So, since the first AJ that I followed in 2016, I have had fun with the pattern. I finished the 8th placemat this year, and will work on 9-12 next year!

All 8 placemats are finished Autumn Jubilee

Hoping for a bigger dining table some day!

Just think, it all started with Carole’s great patterns and this little bundle I picked up at Quilters By The Sea Quilt Show in the fall of 2016 –

Bundles of fabric

The blocks that are showing up inspired by 2018 Autumn Jubilee month look interesting….and I wish I was able to sew along.  I’m saving the patterns for now, along with the 2017 “Stars on Autumn Lane”.  I have a few of those  hanging on my design wall…..

Are you following along with Autumn Jubilee and From My Carolina Home  ?  Did you know you can share your projects inspired by Carole’s pattern on a special Facebook group?  It is From My Carolina Home Project Sharing Group

I had fun looking back at my projects and sewing along.  I hope you did too!

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Still playing with Autumn Jubilee

Last fall, Carole on the blog From My Carolina Home published a pattern called Autumn Jubilee.

EDIT — I’ve been asked where to find the pattern?  HERE is a link directly to Carole’s quilt along from last fall – Leaf pattern by Carole.  NOTE- you can also go to the left side of her blog and scroll down and look for categories and select Autumn Jubilee.  She had some really great projects over the fall and you might enjoy them all.  Be sure to FOLLOW her blog, as she has something new planned for this fall! I used Carole’s leaf pattern and added 2 different 3″ strips on either side of the leaves to make the placemat.

Over the course of Autumn, I completed 4 table runners using her pattern.  I had amassed a big quantity of appropriate fabrics, and done quite a bit of “pre-cutting” and building of “bits & pieces” for pumpkins and leaf blocks.  One table runner was gifted, and I ended up keeping the other 3.  One for the dining room table and one for each of the treadle machines in the dining room.

I still had lots of “bits & pieces” left over, so I thought I should make some placemats.  Somewhere along the line, Christmas happened, and the box got put away. I pulled it back out in January to take to a quilt bee.  A fellow member of the bee had said she keeps a tote “ready to go” for the bee, and only works on the project during the bee.  A long term project, since we only meet once a month.  This was a clever idea, and I decided a great way to work on these placemats, with no particular deadline.  Of course, everytime I open the container, I have to “rethink” the project.  “How many more half-square triangles do I need, etc?” Today was no exception.

I got busy building more blocks, and finally, by August I had enough done, that I could put together 4 placemats. This one you might have seen in a January post,

The "original" placemat

but here are the rest.

Placemat using my Autumn Jubilee leaves

Placemat#3

Placemat # 4

They still need to be layered, quilted and bound, but the “hard work” is finished.

I can’t quilt until I get my Janome back from the repair shop, so it will still be a while before they are finished.  Each placemat has the common theme of the leaf centers, but the border fabrics are all unique, and the backing fabric will match the outer border.

Long range, my goal is 8 placemats, so it will probably be next August before I bore you again with the last 4! These have been fun to make.

Thanks again to Carole – From My Carolina Home for the cute pattern !

In keeping with the overall scrappiness of the blocks, I just “had” to make the borders on each one a little different.  Would that drive you crazy?

Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along

Ok…I caved….I have to “play along” with Carole !! Check out her latest  Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along !

I like this one because it will last over a period of 6 or 7 MONTHS; not weeks; and I can fit it “in between” other projects!  Carole writes really great instructions; and she gives you ALL your cutting info up front.

I am going scrappy (of course)!  I read thru the blog post, and printed out the PDF file. THANKS CAROLE for giving us a “down & dirty – 1 page” PDF!

I got out my “Scrap Storage System 2.5” strip bin and selected my medium and darks for the first  step.  I did pull yardage for the background as suggested by Carole. (Note…stole it out of my Bonnie Hunter project bin…..shhh….). (Bonnie would be happy I’m sure to know that I am using my scraps that were “ready to go” from her storage system).  I made a “few extra” of the first step; just so I can have some choices later at assembly point.    I tried to get a bit of a variety in these pieces.

Step 1 Scrap Dance Two Step Mystery

Once step 1 was cut, stitched and pressed “to the dark” , I pulled out my bin of 5″ squares, and made those selections. When it came to the 5 3/4″ pieces; I took a pause.  I have a bin with some 6″ strips (left over border pieces etc); and went ahead and cut the required number of blocks, but left them at 6″.  I will “trim to 5 3/4” later….depending on how they are used.    Now, the 4.5″ squares are not something I have readily available, so I cut down some 5″ squares to the required size.  (You won’t get to see any of these until they get used in a future step! And I may swap a few pieces out.)

I am holding off on cutting the background fabrics until the next round of instructions.  I have tucked away nearly a yard of background fabric in my container with the other blocks/squares.  This day felt like a giant zip-lock kind of day, so instructions, step 1 sewn blocks and cut blocks are all in a bag, ready to roll on Step 2 in February!  (Did I mention I am doing the throw size this time?  Enough with the craziness of king size mystery quilts still hanging around to be quilted!)

If you are interested in “playing along” then hop over to Carole’s blog -From My Carolina Home.  If you are reading on my page, there is a button to the mystery on the sidebar of the page.

Speaking of Carole’s blog…..you might remember last fall she did the Autumn Jubilee pattern and I got busy making lots of maple leaves and pumpkins.  I have been hooked on them, and decided I wanted a “reversible” table runner to keep.  This week, I had a “sit & sew’ with one of my quilt bees.  It was easy to “grab the Autumn Jubilee bin” and take it along!  I had the “Christmas side” of the table runner finished, and was surprised when I opened my Autumn bin to find more blocks completed than I remembered.  I finished this up yesterday afternoon.

Autumn Jubilee / Christmas Runner

I’m sure it looks very familiar.  The Christmas side is the same fabric and pattern I made in November.  I have a lot of that fabric, and I had a lot of the parts for the blocks already cut, ready to assemble.  The Autumn side I changed the orientation of the leaves and skipped the pumpkins-

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No pumpkins on this side!  I previously used this leaf layout to make a placemat, and I like it quite a bit.  There will be more placemats in the coming months.  The placemats may become my “sit & sew” take along project.  I will probably need to dig out the original placemat for sizing!  I quilted this table runner across the width of the placemat using built in quilting stitches on my  Janome.  I think I killed my walking foot tho, as it wasn’t intended to be used for this particular stitch.  The walking foot started malfunctioning when I was sewing on the binding. Very annoyed with myself.  Hubby thinks that there is so much plastic in the walking foot, I may have caused a piece to break inside the case. I took it in to my Janome dealer to have a look today.  Fingers crossed.  I looked to see the prices on a replacement and had sticker shock!

Christmas side

Although I have a lot of this Moda Christmas fabric, I am nearly out of the neutral, so there probably won’t be any more of this pattern in the future.

On another note, I am still thinking about the quilting of my Mittens Pet Mosaic project.  Stay tuned!

Quick edit – Linking this post to Oh Scrap!!  on Quilting is more Fun than Housework blog!  Fun projects with scraps on that blog!  Check out the button for Oh Scrap on the side bar of this page.

 

Happy stitching!

Happy Day after Thanksgiving

Well, it has been a busy but successful week. Since you last read, I managed to pull together the luncheon at church with plenty of food and hungry people fed. My chicken and dumplings were delicious, and there was just enough left in the crock pot to get me lunch a couple of days this week. I also had a nice gathering Tuesday of the Queen Bee’s. Though we were small in number there had been plenty of progress made on the monthly UFO challenge.  I put photo’s of their projects up on my Facebook page –

I had fun getting ready for the ladies – deciding on where to set my Autumn Jubilee creations.

First Autumn Jubilee runner

The “first” Autumn Jubilee runner fit perfectly on the top of the buffet.

Autumn Jubilee Tablescape

The “second” Autumn Jubilee runner I made a tad longer, and it worked well on the dining room table.

Autumn Jubilee placemat tablescape

Then I decided to use the placemats on top of my 2 treadle sewing machines in the dining room.

Autumn Jubilee Placemat Tablescape

Which of course, I had to remove so the quilters could see the machines hiding underneath.  One of these days, I am going to thread those machines and do a little stitching!

And then of course, the big day on Thursday, with Thanksgiving.  I was asked to bring the sausage stuffing; the cranberry sauce and an apple pie.  I did some of my cooking on Wednesday and the rest on Thursday before traveling a very short distance to enjoy the afternoon with family.

I posted and shared to Facebook my favorite Cosmopolitan Cranberry Sauce (must be over 21 to enjoy).

Cranberry sauce

The recipe can be found on Epicurious . com .  The adults seem to really love this recipe.  I have made this for the last several Thanksgivings, from fresh cranberries.  This year, I doubled the recipe, and think the “doubling” of the liquids was a bit “much”.  At least, I felt that way when I made it Wednesday.   You introduce the vodka and triple sec into the cooled cooked berries.  I felt like it was too watery.  I left it to chill over night and it did thicken up, but not as much as I had hoped. Thursday morning, I strained the chilled cranberry sauce and drained off into a kettle the excess liquid and reduced it down to a more syrup like consistency.  After the syrup cooled, I reincorporated it back into the cranberry sauce and refrigerated for several more hours.  It did help with the “less fluid” look of the cranberry sauce.   And, there was only a little bit left to have as leftovers, so I guess it was well received.  So, maybe I boiled off the booze, but I think the overnight “steeping” allowed for much absorption by the berries.  If I double batched again, I think I would not fully double the liquor.  All was well and those that eat cranberry sauce seem to love this recipe.  Of course, now with a little one in the family, I may be asked to forgo the favored recipe for one that is made in a more traditional fashion.

My son-in-law likes apple pie, so I did a deep dish.  It is fun to get out the gadgets when it comes to cooking. The Apple-peeler-corer -slicer device is a Pampered Chef item, as is the big measuring cup behind it.

Apple peeler corer slicer in action

Apple pie prep

Setting the peeling blade depth just right takes some practice, and if your apple is odd shaped, sometimes you get left with a bit of peel on the slice.  I like Granny Smith apples for pie the best because they “hold up” to the cooking.  I used the Pampered chef stone “Deep Dish baker” for the pie, and was surprised how much my crust shrunk in places and how much these apples “cooked down”.  My next pie (note to self) will be stuffed with even more filling!  Epicurious had a great article called How to make the Best Apple Pie . It talked about the liquid in apples and how to use that to your best advantage.  I followed their suggestion, and no soggy bottom pie!  (It also helped when it came to those cranberries!)

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We had a delightful  time and enjoyed everything.  My granddaughter was decked out for dinner in  one of my latest bib creations.  (I got to sew on Wednesday, and after I finished up the table runner I was working on, I got busy making 4 new bibs!!)  I can’t believe I failed to take a picture of her “first Thanksgiving”.  She did look adorable in her Turkey football bib!  (The triangle shape is so stylish when worn, and great for a teething baby; but not the “best” for keeping mashed potatoes off the clothes or out of the hair!)

Fall fashion bibs

flannel backed bibs

Traditional bibs

Flannel backsides

There was to be some fun with the food and the eating at Thanksgiving.

Turkey platter

My daughter made this creative platter!  It was hard to reach in and spoil the design!  I can report it was delicious!  I had some  fun while cooking, taking and sending pictures back and forth with my daughter who is many states away.  My saute pan full of onions, garlic and celery was aromatic, but the picture doesn’t do it justice.  Somehow stuffing never made the photo book!  (It was however tasty.)  Both daughters are fun to hang out in the kitchen and share cooking duties. They share their recipes, menus and ideas freely.  So, even if we are far away from each other, it is like we spent some part of the day together.

Today is “my day”.  I have some sewing that needs to get done before tomorrow – TRAIN pillowcases.   No black Friday shopping – no mystery quilt (either one) for me !  Then the next 2 days are TRAIN days —2016-train-club-flyer

Maybe I will see you this weekend.  It’s worth a drive if you in the mid-Atlantic area.

 

note – The Autumn Jubilee pattern is by Carole – From My Carolina Home

Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along with Carole

REVISED **

Like I NEED another project…………..but I just can’t resist a “scrappy project”.   Yesterday morning, Carole – From My Carolina Home on WordPress posted her Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along .   Of course,  I was hooked as soon as I read her blog post!  If you comment on her blog post you might win a prize!  Carole has Aurifil Thread as a sponsor!

I went out to my sewing room over the garage, and I diverted my time from Mittens!  ( I swore I wasn’t going to let anything interrupt me…..)

I pulled out the bins from the cabinet that hold my “scrap storage system” .  (Thanks Bonnie Hunter  and Joan Ford ); collected some already cut 3″ and 2.5″ squares in the Autumn colors.  I even had the neutrals, already cut, in those sizes.

(note – Bonnie and Joan have similar approaches; both have books and blogs.  My system is a combination of both, which I have previously written about.  Links at the bottom of the post to both Bonnie & Joan, and my previous post about scrap storage.)

I laid out a block; dug in my scrap baskets (sorted by color) for pieces to use for the stems, and got busy.  While I was digging in the scrap basket, I pulled some other pieces that could be cut into squares and starched, ironed and cut them too.

Autumn Jubilee block

I got these blocks together before dinner.  They all need squared up to 6″.    

**Carole just sent me a note –  the blocks finish as 6 inches, at this stage you square them to 6-1/2 inches to allow seam allowance.

Leaf blocks for Autumn Jubilee

I went “back out to the garage” after dinner. (The dishwasher was running and I left dishes in the sink, but hey, I was on a mission and dinner really interrupts my flow……)

I decided I wanted more blocks.  Carole said –  “If you want to make all the projects in the quilt along, you’ll need 24. “

So, I got busy!   Since I pretty much pulled out of my scrap storage box all of the colors, I dug into the scrap bags for the oranges, golds and browns.  I did a little more starching, pressing and cutting.  While I was at it, I cut some other sizes to go into my scrap storage boxes; things that were too small for this project, like 1.5 & 2″ strips and squares. (I always cut the biggest size I want first, in this case 3″, then I cut the remaining into the next usable size).

I built a few more stems, sewed some more half square triangles (HST)  and looked at the clock. It was nearly 10:30 pm.  ( I swear I was only going out for half an hour!)  Time flies when you are having fun!  I brought my small cutting mat and trimming tools into the house with me and will do a little squaring up of the HST’s this morning.

HST for Autumn Jubilee Quiltalong

I think these will give a bit more variety to the leaves.  I might have to dig in my boxes again for greens for another round……. I really don’t know how many I will get made.  At least another 6.

I don’t know what the project will turn into.  That is part of the fun of the Quilt Along that Carole does.  Next block won’t come out until next Friday, and I am leaving for Texas at the crack of dawn the next morning, but I will at least have a start. It will be nearly Halloween when I get home, and I won’t be able to keep up, but I will follow along while I am away.   I think these alone will make cute place mats or a nice fall table runner (which I need), or 4 together for a table topper.  I will have to “wait and see” for now.

What are you working on?

NOTE:  NO YARDAGE WAS USED IN THIS PROJECT……all scraps!   

Bonnie Hunter – Scrap Users System –  http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/scrap-users-system.html

Joan Ford  – http://hummingbird-highway.com/do-you-need-scraptherapy/

My scrap storage posts –  https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/scrap-storage-containment-system/

Linking up today – Show off Saturday