12/31/12

The End...I'm Afraid It's a DUD

Here it is The End of the Day, The End of the Month and The End of the Year!
And I'm at The End of My Rope Spool for a post suitable for
New Years Eve and The Ends...thankfully not The Mayan End.
I've been thinking all day about what to 'Show and Tell' that would be worthy and interesting enough to make it worth your while to 'See and Read'.  You see there are a couple of things that bother me about writing an uworthy post....
....besides being a 'DUD'...that's probably going to be a given!
 I have this thing about ENDING with an UNEVEN number.
Reason #1 to write this post...The End of The Year Post Count.
Before this DUD post...171...After this DUD post...172!
Whew!  That was close for my Even/UnEven OCD.
I'm so Thankful that my FOLLOWERS List isn't infected with The Ends Virus!
I don't know how or where I'd get ONE more Follower at this late hour on this
End of the Day-End of the Month-End of the Year New Years Eve!
At The End of The Day, I finished quilting this Lone Star.  I promised I'd have it done before The End of the Year....another Whew!!!
In case you are wondering about the first photo in this End of All Endings Post...it's
The End Clamp at The End of QuiltALottie.
(Now I'm getting desperate and totally unworthy)

 I don't want you to think that I THINK New Years Eve is 'All About The ENDS',
 so I will END with a BEGINNING of the END of the FIRST four
Winter White Friendship Exchange Blocks
which are really for the FIRST of The New Year...at least the FIRST month...January!
OMG...I bet you can hardly wait for this LAST End of the Year Post to End.
Just one more thing...
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
PS...If you are reading this and not a Follower, I would really appreciate NOT ENDING 2012 with an UnEven Number of Followers.  Thanks.  I will check just before midnight.  Again, Happy New Year!!!
PPS...Never mind about the UnEven Followers Number...unless of course you just want to be a Follower.  I can't win for losin' in The END....take a look at The End of the Months Count now that I've EVENed Up The End of The Year!  I'm so ready for the RollOver to 2013.

12/29/12

'R' Is for 'RunRightOver'

It is NO Secret that I am sometimes Directionally Challenged.
It's the main reason I couldn't get hired on at the local CHEVRON Gas Station,
that and the smell of gasoline made me puke!
They (being HiHoney (husband) and his Brother David...owners of said Station) wouldn't even let me be a
window washer or cashier for fear that someone would ask me for directions.
If only I had these nifty directional pins back then.
Now that I think about it, I probably did....have them...just didn't realize what they were for. You see,  they were a Door Prize and such a surprise that I immediately put them away for using on something extra special.  I mean look at that neat box and the pins were wrapped in cellophane and the whole thing was well.....just too fancy and new fangled.  There, I've admitted my fear of the 'New Fangled' anythings!  
Whew, I feel better.  I bet you had no idea this post would turn out to be QuiltPsycho101. 
There's THREE reasons why I am finally getting them out to use.
#1.  New Years Resolution...Use It or Lose It
Yep, in 2013 there will be no more PackRatting of Fabric and Notion Stashes.
There will be MORE Embroidery Machine and Serger Useage.
#2.  The Winter White Friendship Exchange IS an Extra Special Event.
...just justifying...
#3.  I've gotten over Fancy New Fangled Fear.
And, I had to figure out what these Arrowed-Lettered Pins had to do with Quilting! 
At first I thought the 'R' stood for 'RunRightOver'.
I mean, have you ever seen a skinner pin that you could sew right over and not break a needle?
Then I noticed that the ARROW was pointing to the RIGHT.
OMG...the 'L' Arrow points LEFT.
Eureka...the 'D' is pointing DOWN and the 'U'...how obvious, Sue!
 See, I told you I was Directionally Challenged!
 Ya know, it's amazing how getting over Fancy NewFangled Fear has helped in the
piecing of these Beacon Light Blocks for the
Winter White Friendship Exchange.
You might want to RunRightOver them, too!

YaGotta Love FREE Quilt Patterns

While FREE Anything catches Quilters attention, I gotta tell ya....
THESE FREE PATTERNS
are not only FREE, but AMAZING GIFTS!!!!
You can view them at
The FatQuarter Shop Blog


12/28/12

WinterWhite Blocks 1-2-3...Take A Peek!!!

Here it is time to be thinking about what to do in the New Year 2013...now that we have made it past the
 Mayan Calendar DoomsDay Drama!
I'm so glad to still be here...on Earth, in Texas and in Blogland...aren't you?
If you aren't in Texas, but in snow covered Canada, like Lee from LaLa's Lovelys, then perhaps you might want to visit Texas right now.
 
It's a bit cold...40ish this a.m....but no SNOW, none in sight, and no below freezing temps in the forecast....EVER.
 
Anyway, snow or no snow, I am happily piecing the Winter White Friendship Blocks in my NOW warm Sewing/Quilting/Knitting Etc Studio.  Since I added QuiltAntiFreeze in there, it's been nice and toasty.  Check the post below for the QuiltAntiFreeze Formula...I promise if you are a quilter in a drafty sewing room...this formula is for you.
 
Now, about Blocks 1-2-3!  Yep, I'm doing a Gallery of Twelve Blocks from Around The BLOCK Again by Judy Hopkins.  You might think this is an indicator that 'OverDoSue' has had an attack of  'OverDoArexia', and that's probably part of it, but mostly it has to do with my New Year's Resolution for 2013...mentioned in Winter Whites and Icy Blues In FabricLand.
Beacon Lights is the name of Blocks 1-2-3, and the three Units are ready for their quarter inch seaming together.  You'll notice in the top photo that my Janome 6500 MeanPiecingMachine has a SnapOn Quarter Inch Foot...it's ALWAYS SnappedOn.  If you don't have a Quarter Inch Piecing Foot, HERE's an alternative method for piecing a quarter inch seam. 
 
Beacon Lights Blocks 1-2-3 look pretty COOL COLD, don't you think?  Just wait til you see the COOL finishing touch....it's not just COOL-COLD, but Sparkly/Snowy COOL!
Lalas Lovelys
Check out these Blogs of Winter White Friends.
Hostess Lee at LaLa's Lovelys
Suzanne at Colorado Lady
Laurie at Charmed Creations
Corina at CW Quilts...sometimes
Peg at Pieces On My Mind
Deborah at Sew Rip and Sew Again
(Other Participants...please leave a comment with your Blog URL if you would like
 to be added to this list....or email me at collectintexas@gmail.com)
Here is the BOOK mentioned and the Quarter Inch Foot.

12/27/12

Scrap Quilts Make The Best Anti-Freeze

 It is FINALLY Cold in Texas and in my Studio!
I've given up trying to figure out Texas Mother Nature. 
One day I'm running the AC and the next the Heaters in the Sewing/Quilting/Knitting/Etc. Studio.
By the way, in case I haven't mentioned it before, my SQKetcStudio is in the Garage.
That means that those Big Ole NotSoAirTight Doors need Winterizing!
Scrap Quilts and Scrap Bags....that's the AntiFreeze Ticket!
(another use for batting and fleece scraps...just bag it and stuff it in the cracks)
Even though I lose the light from the garage door windows where QuiltALottie resides,
I still have a window by the cutting table and the Sit and Knit Corner.

An unexpected BONUS of Scrap Quilt Anti-Freeze!

12/24/12

Winter Whites and Icy Blues In FabricLand

 I know this is an ODD Christmas Eve post. 
Normally there would be RED and GREEN all over the place with last minute finishing up GIFTS,
 putting on my Christmas Apron, and all the kitchen cooking and baking.
That's going to happen today too.....later!  Yep, I'm setting aside Christmas Eve to get a head start on the
 It's been a very long time since I participated in an InterNet Quilt Block Swap.
As a matter of fact, it was in 1998 and all about a Christmas Quilt. 
 I posted about it this month...Favorite Holiday Treats-Both Tasty and Tasteful.
Anyway, I couldn't wait to go through my Winter White and Icy Blue Stash
for just the right fabrics for the Blocks I will be making.
 Really, it's not too early to get started...the deadline for Swapping is January 20th.
Now, I don't want to come off as 'OverDoSue', but when you have a Super Stash of
Fabric, Thread, Patterns, Machines, EtcEtcEtc and a New Years Resolution of
Use It or Lose It
You gotta get with the 'USE IT' program.
Besides, Using It is Sew Much FUN FUN FUN!
And since it looks like there's NOT going to be a Blue Norther to blow in an
Icy Blue White Christmas here in Texas...I'll just make up my own!
Linking To:


12/21/12

Gluten Free Baking for Christmas

It's been way tooooo long since I posted about Gluten Free Cooking and Baking.
I do want you to know that I haven't given it up....Gluten Free Cooking and Eating.
Nope, it's a permanent part of my life.  You know that when the stockers at the grocery store tag you
The Label Reading Lady.
They are really helpful...the stockers...they Tag the isles and shelves Gluten Free and then direct traffic around that isle warning shoppers that the Label Reading Lady is parked there for an unknown amount of time.  Isn't that nice?  They also stock a variety of Gluten Free Pre-Mixes for Pizza, Cakes, Cookies and more QuickNeasy cooking and baking.  As much as I like Quick and Easy, I don't buy many of those products now that I have learned to Bake and Cook Gluten Free from Scratch.
 Instead, I buy Gluten Free Flours and other ingredients called for in my collection of Gluten Free Cookbooks.
Like Gluten Free Every Day by Robert M. Landolphi. 
It really is an everyday kind of cookbook. 
This morning I made a loaf of GF Bread and decided to make a batch of Christmas Cookies while I had my counter full of baking stuff....and...
I was in the mood !
Of course the Bread Recipe is MINE and you can find the recipe and tutorial for bread machine gluten free bread at this link:
You'll also find a list of  GF Cooking and Baking Posts at this link:
Now....Let's bake these cookies....
As you can see, other than the GF Flours, the rest of the ingredients are pretty much what you would have in your cabinet and pantry.  Even the oven setting is a standard Cookie 350 degrees, however, I will give you a quick tip about Timing for Doneness...it takes longer.  Not hotter....just longer in the oven.  This recipe suggested 10 to 12 minutes....up that to 15 on the lower rack and another couple of minutes on the top rack while the second batch is on their first 15 minutes.  (Keep in mind YOUR OVEN's idiosync's...mine may be on the low side of 350 degrees)

The recipe says to drop a teaspoon of the dough two inches apart.
That tells me the dropped dough will flatten and spread out...wouldn't you think so?
Well, it doesn't...much...so I spread the teaspoon full out and put them closer together!
Makes for more cookies on the sheet per batch and fewer batches!
That's a plus when the recipe makes SIX DOZEN cookies!
Have you ever made PENUCHE Frosting?
I'd never even heard of it...much less made or eaten any...that I knew of!
I don't put stuff on my food that I don't know 'What IsIt'.
So, I Googled it!
Penuche (Italian: panucci) is a fudge-like candy made from brown sugar, butter, and milk, using no flavorings except for vanilla.  Penuche often has a tannish color, and is lighter than regular fudge.
Funny thing....this Italian fudge/frosting is primarily a Regional food
found in New England and some places in the Southern US.
Oh Yeah, I have eaten that Light Brown Fudge...here in Texas we call that 'Muddy Fudge'.
Anyway, I made 'Muddy Frosting', sprinkled it with Snow (powdered sugar) and Red Sprinkles!
Mmmmm....That's Amore'!!!!
And It's Going To Be So Good To Be
Home for The Holidays
with Beverly at
 How Sweet the Sound Pink Saturday
 
Merry Christmas Ya'll

12/19/12

I Found Santa in Fredricksburg, Texas...

...at the Candy Store...with my Sister!!!
How SWEET IT IS!!!!
There's More....
 Texas Vintage Tablecloths at one of my favorite stores that ALWAYS Calls Me To....
"Come and Get It"
Texas Fabric for My TEXAS STASH...YippeeeKiYaaaay!!!!


12/18/12

Christmas Sewing/Crocheting Countdown

Really??? Only ONE WEEK???  As in 7 Days???
I'm NOT Through Stitchin'!!!
Anyone seen my Santa Hat PomPom?
There's no way I'll Stuff Stockings without a PomPom on my Hat!!!
It just ain't fittin'!!!
There'll be no HoHoHo's until it's FIXED!!!
Give it a rest you Ole Coot!
Sue will get to it before the 24th!
Here have a cookie!
Merry Christmas, Ya'll


12/16/12

Santas Snoozin' On My LoneStar Skirt

Shhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
Please TipToe Around the LoneStar Christmas Tree Skirt!!!
For Santa is Snoozin' while I'm busy sewing the last PJ Shirt!!!
 
I've been sewing and serging up a storm.
Who knew that Christmas in Texas would be so warm?
 
Yep, it's flannel, fleece and yarn I'm sewing, knitting and crocheting.
I'll be darn if the weather dictates my Christmas Gift Giving.
 
Out here in the Wild West you never know
 when Texas Mother Nature
Will dump a boat load of snow.
 
So, I'm ignoring the warm weather and pretending
That all the Flannel and Fleece I've been Sewing
Will result in the Winter Heat Wave ending!
 
Even Santa knows that Texas Mother Nature is somewhat Fickle.
She gets her Big Girl Panties in a wad,
And throws all us Texans...and Santa...in a Pickle.
 
Now, I'm not going so far as to wish for a White Christmas.
But it would be nice if we had weather somewhere around
The Double Nickle!!!


12/11/12

Christmas Chicken Scratch

The Christmas Chicken Scratch!
Ya'll do know what It is, don'tcha?

Here's your Three Choices
1  A Texas Barn Dance
2  A Skin Rash
3  A Cross Stitch Embroidery Pattern

If you picked  #3....Ya Got It!

The origin of Chicken Scratch is uncertain, but the craft does date back to early America. As the early settlers traveled across the land and seas to settle their new homes, the craft came with them.

It is known as Amish Embroidery, cross stitch on gingham, depression lace, gingham lace, gingham tracks, lace stitch and snowflake embroidery.

Chicken Scratch is an easy type of embroidery done on gingham (checkered) fabric, which gives the impression of appliqued lace.

With embroidery thread or floss, certain stitches create lace like designs. Gingham fabric comes in 4, 8 or 16 squares per square inch.
Three simple stitches are used in Chicken Scratch...
* Double Cross Stitch
*Straight Running Stitch
*Woven Circle Stitch
Now that you know about Chicken Scratch Embroidery, are you ready to...
* Buy a few yards of gingham
* Buy several colors of embroidery thread
* Buy a couple of Apron Patterns
* Sit N Sew
* Hoop N Stitch
If your answer is Yes, then HERE is where you can get FREE Chicken Scratch Patterns and Tips.
Linking To:

 
APRONS and ART SMOCKS

12/10/12

Knitting Jewelry by A MultiMedia Maniac

 You would think that working with this beautiful Blue Homespun yarn would be enough eye candy for any knitter.
It seems it's not enough for ME.  I'm always looking for more ways to enhance my projects!
Why O Why can't I settle on just ONE pretty yarn and get on with the knitting?
 After many years of getting to know MySelf, I think I have finally figured it out.
I have 'SAS'...Yep, I'm Short Attention Span Sue!
And, the cure is often a 'MixItUp' Pill which labels me a MultiMedia Maniac!
What started out as a Knitted Scarf in Homespun yarn morphed into a Triple Threat Thread
issue with the addition of a Mixed Ribbony Eyelashy yarn and a Ribbon yarn.
When I have an attack of 'SAS', switching needles always helps.
So, on this project I switched from knitting needles to a crochet hook...the same color of blue...of course.

And, as if that's not enough of a MultiMedia Maniac issue,
 I can 'OneUp MySelf' with Knitting Jewelry!
These pieces I made from collected Navajo Jewelry and beads.
It's good to be a SAS MultiMedia Maniac!
Linking To:

12/9/12

FridayNiteW/Friends...I Knitted

Friday Night with Friends is an ONLINE Group hosted by Cheryl at Gone Stitchin'.   For the First Friday of the Month, Cheryl posts a Linky List with this encouraging 'LeadIn'....
...Get your project in mind, tee up the hubby to feed the children, chill the wine... and come on by on Friday night to sit and sew, stitch, knit or crochet... what ever YOU like to do... we just do it with blog FRienDs.
Link up now and then on Saturday go visit the other "friends" who participated and see what they accomplished.
No one judges... we only encourage.

EverYOnE is WeLComE...
 Don't you just LOVE the enthusiasm and ingenuity of the Young Women of the TwentyFirst Century?
They are making the most of technology and taking
Sewing, Quilting, Knitting, Crocheting, Needlework and Crafting to a Whole New Level.
As an 'Old School Gal', I'm here to tell you that it's never too late to 'Teach An Old Dog Gal' NEW TRICKS, and I'm so enjoying the ONLINE Groups, Guilds, and SewOn (etc etc etc).  With that said, I'm also here to tell you that being a member of one's Local Brick and Mortar Guilds, is, and hopefully always will be, an important aspect of Needlework and Crafting.   
This is what I worked on Friday Night and am sharing with my Friday Night Online Friends.
My Local Knitting Guild, the Concho Valley Knitters, are knitting blocks for our Charity Project.
Here's December's block, 'The Basket Weave'.
I hope to make several before our next meeting. 
If I don't get to Repeating Rows 13 thru 16 pretty quick...I'll be on this same block for
NEXT Months Friday Night With Friends!
That would be a Good Thing...the Wine is chilled!
Linking To:

12/8/12

Favorite Holiday Treats...Both Tasty and Tasteful

TASTY TREATS
Both TASTY AND TASTEFUL
My Favorite Christmas Quilt
Tasty Cupcakes come and go...that's expected.
Tasteful Table Settings for Christmas Dinner can be duplicated.
But this Christmas Quilt was a Once In A Lifetime experience and now a Forever Family Heirloom.
Here's it's Story...
Back In The Day when the InterNet was new and DialUp was what we knew, I joined  'Quilt Talk'.
It was...what we now call...an Online Quilt Website that was like a
DotCom, Blog, YahooGroup, ChatRoom, Friends and Followers all Rolled Up in One! 
 
In the Summer of 1998 I signed up for a Christmas Block Swap.
By the end of the summer I had Swapped Blocks with Twenty-five Quilters from all over the world.
(click on the blocks above to enlarge to see the signed blocks and their origins)
I made 25 Ohio Star with the Fussy Cut Santa Blocks...first one in the strip...and sent one to each of the 24 Quilters in my Swap Group.  In return, I received a block from each of them.  We each assembled the blocks in our own design and quilted it to our individulal taste.  At that time, I was a Newbie Longarm Quilter and hesitated to machine quilt this very special quilt top.  But I wanted it finished for the Swap Show and for Christmas, so I put it on 'QuiltALottie' and did my FIRST CUSTOM Quilting job.  It took what seemed forever, but I learned so much and found that I really enjoyed Custom Quilting. 
Linking To:
Beverly's How Sweet the Sound
and
Claudia's Mockingbird Hill Cottage
A Favorite Thing #15

 Happy Holiday Treat Baking and Quilting!!!

12/6/12

Poinsettia Points...I Get The Point!

There are a couple of Points I would like to make about Poinsettias
that have nothing to do with Quilts!
Did you know they were named after a person, and that they are not native to the United States?
In 1825, Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first US Minister to Mexico, introduced the plant to this country.
 In Mexico it is known as "Noche Buena", which means Christmas Eve.

The Noche Buena's association with Christmas began in 16th Century Mexico, where the legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus' birthday.

The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson 'blossoms' sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias.

From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem.

You can read more about the interesting history, the creation of the Poinsettia industry in the United States and the Poinsettia Poison Myth  on Wikepedia....HERE.

In my Christmas Collection, I have two of these Christmas Girls with Poinsettias.  They were made by Lefton and are numbered 7698.  Originally, they were sold as a Threesome.  The third girl holds Christmas presents.  Maybe one day I will run across her, and reunite these three sisters.
Now about Poinsettia Points in Quilts....I GOT Them...FINALLY!
I have to say, though, it took awhile and lots of Pointy Practice!
I started out to make a Christmas Bed Quilt using Bethany Reynolds Stack and Whack Eight Pointed Star pattern.  Then I got sidetracked and the Star Blocks got put in a WIP Basket....for several years.  As I said...FINALLY...I got back to the Points of the Poinsettia Blocks and made TWO Wall/Table Topper Quilts.  So, Yes, I Get the Point of Poinsettias....

....they make Perfect Pointy Poinsettia Plate Places!
and
Perfect Once A Year Greeting Cards
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas Ya'll
Linking To
Vintage Thingy Thursday
Petals To Picots..Friday Link Party

You Too...Can Make Pointy Poinsettias! 

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