Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Pinterest Inspiration

January 28, 2017

I spend way too much time looking at Pinterest suggestions or “inspiration for the week” that shows up in my mailbox. No way can I delete them without taking a peek. The boards I most often pin to are photographs, vintage lace, quilt ideas, and hearts.

When I decided to make Valentines/hearts again to put in my etsy shop I  looked at all the hearts I had pinned to my Pinterest heart board. I made copies of 20 of them for inspiration for making hearts. I used 14 of the ideas. There were no instructions, just pictures. It was so easy to go my own direction with someone else’s idea. My apologies for not recognizing the designer of the hearts I used for inspiration. Rarely can you find credit for things posted on Pinterest. However, I thank you for your creativity.

I had so much fun this last week making the Valentines. It was like I was an artist in residence in my own home studio. My studio was a wreck, but I was so happy and content. There weren’t enough hours in each day. Even the two days I spent at MD Anderson I still came home and worked into the wee hours on another design or two.

Cutting Table

My Cutting Table

I have made stuffed hanging hearts for so many years. I posted some on my blog with a tutorial on how to make them five years ago. If you are interested, check-out my blog post on February 12, 2012, Play Date #2.

Hearts

Hanging Hearts

I’ve also made collage Valentine cards for several years.

Assortment of Valentines

Collage Valentine Cards

The tutorial for those is Play Date #1. I’ve refined the process for making them over the last five years, but I think this post will get you going.

Looking at the heart pins from Pinterest and executing from the pictures was great fun. Below is a photo of each of the hearts I made on the left and the inspiration on the right. If you want to see more details of each of the hearts, go to my etsy shop.

My version is on the left. I had a painted canvas on which I attached my design.  The inspiration on the right.

I made a little wall quilt on the left from the inspiration on the right.

On the left I am back to making a hanging heart using the inspiration on the right.

The inspiration on the right of a hanging heart was different. Using a solid piece of fabric with just a little embellishment was a departure for me.

Using a cabinet card to make a greeting card was new to me. Following the inspiration on the far right, I made two cards using cards from my collection of original cabinet cards.

The inspiration on the right appeared to use wool felt for the foundation. I tried this and added a little stuffing to the fabric heart stitched on top. It was a different process for me.

My rendition of another wool felt flat heart from inspiration on the right.

So those are the 14 Valentines I made this week. If they have sold from my etsy shop, you can still view them under sold items. If you are a Pinterest pinner, I hope you will take the opportunity to use some of those pins for inspiration. I highly recommend it.

You inquire about my health.

There’s not much different to report about my journey with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). We now call it a roller coaster ride. We thought the 27 day stay in the hospital treatment was beginning to kick-in. However, one week we are up about my blood analysis count and the next we are down again. One week I need only a platelets transfusion and the next I need platelets and blood. We still go to MD Anderson twice each week. I still can’t travel too far between visits.

I had a second consultation with the stem cell transplant doctor at Methodist Hospital last week. He repeated all the statistics of someone my age trying a stem cell transplant and the possible year long recovery protocol. The fact that I wouldn’t be able to be around children under the age of 8 really makes me hesitate. We have a 19 month old grandson and another grandbaby due April 2. Being a grammy is at the top of my list of what makes me the happiest. I still believe God has a different plan for me than trying a stem cell transplant and I still have faith in my oncologist, Dr. Garcia-Manero.

Through all this I feel good. I can still go to church, to the office once a week, participate in the lives of our children and their families, and work in my studio. My husband is always with me for hospital visits and our three children are caring and supportive. I am happy.

May you be happy too, my dear friends. Love and Happy Valentine’s Day,  Judy

img_1566

Two of my Valentines. They make me happy.

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 23 Tortilla Soup

February 22, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a little retreat to Bide-a-While in Dickenson, Texas with Vicki Mangum

Vicki

Vicki Mangum

and Willie Hart.

willie

Willie Hart with Studio Cat

Teresa Duggan was supposed to complete our foursome, but she came down with the flu. We carried on without her, but truly missed her. We spent our two and a half days creating in Miss Sue’s Studio.

studio

Miss Sue’s Studio

We spent our nights a few steps away in The Cottage. We each had our own unique bedroom.

The Cottage

The Cottage

The proprietor, Sue Bown, fed us morning, noon, and night. We had scrumptious meals in her large kitchen served on beautiful place settings complete with vintage linens. In the evenings she laid out an array of yummy snacks and treats in the Studio. We were well cared for in a shabby chic surrounding with so much to see and admire inside and out.

miss

Miss Sue

My goal was, with instruction from Vicki, to complete several pieces of jewelry I had started in classes with Kaari Meng, the owner of French General. Vicki also directed me in remaking some jewelry pieces and repairing others.

necklace

Another Necklace Complete

I was in the middle of my tenth round of chemo during those three days, but it wasn’t a problem since I can take the drug on my own. Note one day’s dosage of chemo tablets in a dish along with my beading supplies.

IMG_2341

Six Chemo Tablets

I’m so thankful that the chemo treatment continues to work for controlling my MDS. Because of that, I’ve been able to continue enjoying family, friends, creating, and working for Quilts, Inc.

As a thank-you for the weekend, I sent Miss Sue a complete copy of my family cookbook that you’ve received in small doses over the last several months. She said she wants to try each recipe. I hope she does, as she’s an excellent cook. After the addition of your recipe today, there are just two more for you to receive to make your cookbook complete.

Tortilla Soup

Andra Hrdlicka, from Victoria, Texas, at the time, served this recipe to our 4-member Canton Bunch during a retreat at her lake house. Several years ago Andra, Betty Jo, Michelle, and I also got away to create, shop, laugh and eat. Andra is always a great hostess with lots to teach about entertaining.

Ingredients

3 cups cubed, cooked chicken

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves minced

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped from a can

1 large can stewed red ripe tomatoes diced

1 can tomato soup

6 cups chicken broth

¼ cup chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon Corn oil

1 tablespoon Worcester sauce

When serving

2 limes, juice

Shredded Cheddar cheese

Tortilla strips or broken tortilla chips

Chopped avocado

Instructions

Sauté onion, garlic & jalapeno in corn oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients and simmer one hour. Makes 6 servings.

To serve

Place cheese in bottom of soup bowl. Sprinkle tortilla strips on top of cheese. Ladle soup over all. Sprinkle with lime juice and top with chopped avocados, cheese, and cilantro.

Andra served this with a Caesar salad and the flavors were yummy together.

I’m looking forward to the next get-away, the end of April, for a retreat with women from our church. Last year was the first time it was held and I heard it was lots of laughs, enlightenment, and fun. So I was one of the first to sign-up for this second year. Hope you have some time planned in the future to get-away with your girlfriends. Would love to hear about it. Keep on living life to its fullest. Love to you all, Judy

 

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 22 Taco Soup

February 13, 2016

Hello Everyone,

Sorry it has been a couple of weeks since you heard from me. When I’ve been home, I have spent time in my studio every spare minute. I had a big order from the Texas Quilt Museum that I finally finished yesterday.

I made 20 collage greeting cards,

birthday

Happy Birthday, Jennifer

thanks

Thanks

thirteen Design Packets,

design

Thirteen Design Packets

and twelve mug rugs or hot pads.

pads

Twelve Mug Rugs or Hot Pads

I loved every minute of the hours in my studio. There are only a few other places I would rather be.

Now let’s think about cooking. We are getting near the end of my family cookbook. Here is the fourth from the end.

Taco Soup

In the middle 90’s, I went to Seattle to teach several of “That Patchwork Place” employees how to make the second five Jazz jackets. The jackets were pictured in my second book Jacket Jazz Encore. Marta Estes made this soup for our lunch one day. My husband loves this and will eat it for several days. Thank you, husband. I don’t feel guilty when I’d rather be creating in my studio than cooking in the kitchen. The soup is very easy.

soup

Taco Soup

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs. hamburger

16 oz. can diced tomatoes

15 oz. can kidney beans and juice

1 pkg. taco seasoning mix

15 oz. can chicken broth

1 can corn

1 chopped onion

1 small can rotel tomatoes (mild)

1 can hominy

Toppings

Tortilla chips

Grated cheddar cheese

Chopped avocado

Sour cream

Sliced black olives

Fresh cilantro

Instructions

In large kettle sauté meat and onion, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks.

Add taco seasoning and stir. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, hominy and broth. Stir and simmer for at least ½ hour or up to a few hours.

Serve by mounding broken tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl; add a dollop of sour cream, then the soup. Top with grated cheese, sliced olives, and chopped avocado and cilantro.

Ummm…I think I’ll make a pot this week. Those of you who are looking out your window at snow would love this hot, tasty soup.

Happy cooking and creating to you until we meet again, Judy

The Winners of “My Favorite Christmas Recipe or Project” Contest

December 2, 2015

A few weeks ago, I asked you to send your favorite Christmas project and/or recipe to me for a Christmas contest. My little committee and I chose our favorites yesterday, but we were so busy decorating for Christmas, I didn’t sit down to let you know.

Christmas

Merry Christmas Decorating

I have sent the 24 Fat Quarters batches to the two winners, but I want to share their winning entries with you, my readers. You may want to try them. Now for the drum roll…

The Christmas project winner was submitted by Teresa Duggan. It’s a darling little gift bag. She and her friend, Ann, get together weekly to sew. Besides enjoying each other’s friendships, they create and have fun at the same time. I met once a month with a friend many years ago to create new projects. I looked forward to each get-together. Do you have a “create-with-me” buddy?

Teresa and Ann have made more than 30 of these little gift bags in which to put a small Christmas gift for friends and family. The bags measure 4″ X 4″ X 2″. What do you think they plan to put in these tiny bags?

tiny

4″ X 4″ X 2″

They found the instructions on the “All People Quilt” website. Check-out http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/bags-pillows-gifts/bags-and-purses/tiny-treats for the instructions. The tiny treat bags on the website were made in Halloween fabrics, but certainly can be made in other fabrics for gifting on any occasion.

bags

Little Gift Bags

Our favorite recipe submitted was by Carol Luther. She wrote that this Custard Pecan Pie was her grandmother’s favorite. Her grandmother got the recipe when Carol’s mother was attending Mary Baylor College. On one of her grandmother’s visits to see Carol’s mother she received the recipe from a tea room there.

Ma’s Pecan Pie

Ingredients

1 cup granulated sugar

3 cups whole milk

3 eggs

1 cup pecans

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 tbsp. butter

Instructions

Put milk in sturdy pot and scald.

I googled “scald” and basically it means heat until almost boiling. This was done many years ago before milk was pasteurized.

Separate eggs.

Cream sugar and beaten egg yolks. Add to milk. Stir constantly.

Slowly add 1/2 cup of flour. Continue stirring.

Cook until thick as summer butter. I don’t know what summer butter looks like, but I stirred constantly with a wire whisk until it started to thicken. I was happy with the results.

butter

Like Summer Butter

Add pecans, butter and vanilla. Pour into baked pie shell. Top with meringue and brown.

oven

Just Out of the Oven

I could hardly wait to taste it. My husband was cooking dinner when the pie was cool enough to cut. I must confess I had to try it before dinner. It is so yummy, but very different from the pecan pie recipe I gave you last week. Give it a try.

pie

Pecan Custard Pie

I loved all the recipes, but could only choose one for the Fat Quarter Bundle. There were several recipes submitted using cranberries. What could be more like Christmas than cranberries? I especially liked the recipe I received from Amy Cottrell. I’d like to share it with you, too.

She wrote:

My favorite recipe for Christmas is Cranberry Bread.  The original was from 1965.  I have made some changes.   This recipe is easy and awesome.

Cranberry Bread

INGREDIENTS:

2 Cups Flours

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 Cup Sugar

2 Tablespoons shortening

¾ Cup Orange Juice

1 Egg – beaten

1 Cup cranberries, raw, cut ½ Cup into pieces

1 orange rind zested

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9x5x3 Loaf Pan

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. (Flour, Baking Power, Baking Soda, Salt, Sugar)

Mix in shortening, juice, and egg.

Fold in cranberries.

Grease pan and pour in loaf pan until done

Bake at 350 for about 40-50 minutes. Bread is done when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

So there you have it. Two recipes and a little project. Let me know, if you try any of them. Thanks to all of you who took the time to enter my little contest. It was fun reading your entries. Hope you’ll play along again next time. Would love to hear from everyone.

baking

Happy Holiday Baking

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Judy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 12 Lasagna

October 9, 2015

This week I’m a day early with your weekly recipe. Today we are going to College Station for a Letterman’s get-together of the guys who played on the first team Gene Stallings coached at Texas A & M. Needless to say there will be many embellished stories going around the next couple of days. It will be fun.

Yesterday I spent the day making another garment to wear at Fall Market and Quilt Festival. Fabric manufacturers and pattern companies, who exhibit with us, are happy to give us their new fabric line and pattern line for us to make and wear.

My latest garment is made from Vintage Modern fabric designed by Amy Barickman for RJR Fabrics. The pattern is Over the Top Tunic from Indygo Junction by Amy Barickman. Our Education staff will also be wearing a garment of their choice made in this same fabric line and color way. It will be easy to identify us on the days we wear them. Look for us on the third floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center. That’s where all the classes are held for 10 days. Come visit me in room 340AB. I would love to see you.

tunic

Over the Top Tunic Front

tunic

Over the Top Tunic Back

I have been sewing and creating since I was a little girl. Every where we have lived I have found friends who also love to create with their hands.

The recipe this week came from Emily Waldron, (from her grandmother) my best friend while Tommy was going to graduate school in 1969-71 in Boston. We each had a young son and did not work outside the home. We got together once a week, alternating our homes while our husbands were in school. We each had only one car so the husbands would come to the house where we were for dinner, and then we’d go home after dinner. It was always a fun day making crafts and dinner together while our sons napped and played with each other.

Best Ever Lasagna

Makes two 9″ X 13″ casseroles

Instructions

Brown 

2 lbs. ground meat

4 crushed garlic cloves

Add

12 oz. can tomato paste

28 oz. can tomatoes diced with juice

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

2 tablespoons Oregano

Cover and simmer 30 minutes until slightly thickened.

Cook

1 lb. Lasagna noodles. Drain.

Mix 

3 eggs

dash salt and pepper

¼ cup dried parsley

30 oz. Ricotta cheese

Fill casseroles with alternate layers of 

Meat sauce

Noodles

Egg and Ricotta cheese mixture

Cheeses (2 pkgs. Grated Mozzarella and 2 pkgs. Parmesan)

Start with a thin layer of meat sauce. End with sauce and cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Remove foil last 20 minutes of baking.

This is a great recipe to make for a group of 12. Serve with a green salad and chocolate dessert.

It’s my birthday this month, and I plan to celebrate every opportunity I get. My chemo treatments are working, and I’m thrilled to have another birthday.

birthday

Happy Birthday to Me

Lots of love, hugs and kisses until next week, Judy

 

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 6 French Toast

August 29, 2015

It’s Saturday evening and I haven’t sent your recipe for this week. But it’s still coming. My goal today was to finish one of the three garments I need to make for the Houston Quilt shows.

We have many fabulous fabric manufacturers who are exhibitors at Quilt Market. Two or three of them donate fabrics each year for the members of the Education team to make garments to wear on the same days. This all began when my first book, Jacket Jazz, was published. For many years, I wore garments from my books, and many of our staff did the same. When I finished writing this series of books and teaching, I quit making garments until last year. It has been fun to create these show garments again. The one I finished today is made from a jelly roll of fabric strips by Robert Kaufman. Jennifer Sampou is the designer. A pattern company,  Indygo Junction by Amy Barickman, donated our patterns of choice from her line. I chose the Gathered Back Top & Tunic pattern for this fabric. I’ll wear it with black tights.

Strip Pieced Tunic

Strip Pieced Tunic

Now that my first show garment is complete, it’s time to give you the recipe for this week. A book of family requested recipes could not be complete without my French Toast. I learned how to make it while watching my mother as I grew-up. There are much fancier ways to create French Toast, but most everyone in our family loves Grammy’s the best.

Holly and Julie getting a Lesson

Holly and Julie Getting a Lesson at Christmas

Once, Troy ate 8 pieces at one time when he was home from college. I think that’s the record. Madison has loved Grammy’s French Toast passionately since the first time I made it for her. Now Lindsey is just as great a fan. Ashton, Tyler, and Sydney get caught-up in the excitement, but they aren’t fans like Madison and Lindsey. They all enjoyed French Toast during our “children only” Christmas Tea last December

Christmas Tea

Christmas Tea

Grammy’s French Toast

Ingredients

White bread from the grocery store

2 eggs

1/3-1/2 cup milk

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon Vanilla (The secret ingredient)

Butter

White sugar

This will make 5-6 pieces. Just double it for more.

Instructions

I make mine in an electric skillet. I can use other skillets, if necessary, but really prefer my electric skillet.

Beat together eggs and milk in pie pan. Stir in salt and vanilla.

Melt butter in heated skillet. Quickly coat bread in batter on both sides. Place in skillet. When slightly brown on one side, turn and brown on other side. Add more butter if bread sticks to skillet. Remove to plate when brown on both sides. Butter one side and sprinkle with white sugar. Eat while hot.

waiting

Waiting for French Toast

If you have a leisurely Sunday morning, you might want to try my recipe. Try topping it with plain white sugar before you pull out the powdered sugar or maple syrup. That’s the way we like it. Have a great day. Hugs and sugar, Judy

 

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Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 4 Chocolate Meringue Pie

August 16, 2015

Oh, dear. I didn’t send you a recipe yesterday. Sorry I’m a day late. My sister came from San Antonio for a weekend visit to sew pumpkins for her shop, Apples of Gold, at Artisan’s Alley. I’m sorry to say that as we sewed all day Saturday, I never thought about my blog.

Pumpkins for Sale

Pumpkins for Sale

Then today we went to Sunday school, church and lunch before we packed-up her pumpkins and sent her on her way home.

Suzanne and Me

My sister, Suzanne, and Me

Then, I came upstairs to catch-up on email and remembered I forgot to send you Page 4 of my Recipe Book yesterday. It’s one of my favorites from my mom.

Shortly after I wrote my first book, Jacket Jazz,  in 1993, I taught frequently in San Antonio. I’d stay with Mom, and she always fixed my favorite meal for dinner with chocolate meringue pie for dessert. We ALWAYS had dessert after every meal in my home when I was growing up. I looked forward to dinner at Mom’s house all day while I was teaching. Now her pie is one of the most requested desserts from my family.

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Ingredients

2 cups whole milk

1 cup sugar

2 rounding tablespoons flour

1 large heaping tablespoon Hershey’s cocoa

Dash of salt

3 egg yolks (Whites will be used for the meringue.)

Instructions

Heat 2 cups milk in sauce pan until warm. Add sugar, flour, cocoa, and salt. Stir until dissolved. Add egg yolks one at a time, and beat quickly with a wire whisk. Cook until thick stirring vigorously all the time to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Stir in vanilla just before finished. Pour into a baked pie shell.  Top with meringue.

Mom’s Meringue recipe will be on Page 15. Her Pie Crust will be on Page 18. We’ll keep going until you have 26 pages of my favorite and most used recipes.

My mom

My Mom when I was growing-up.

I really have thought about you during the week. I love hearing from you and your well wishes as I go through monthly chemo treatments for MDS. At my visit last week with my oncologist, Dr. Garcia-Manero, I was given a good report. He says my recent bone marrow aspiration shows that the chemo is working. The question most people ask is how long will I have to take chemo. Dr. Garcia-Manero’s answer is “As long as it works.” So that’s it folks.

Hope you have a great week. I’ll talk to you again next week. Much love and hugs, Judy

 

Put Me In Coach

May 3, 2015

“God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is very important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.” This is a quote from Bear Bryant (1913-1983) who was an American college football player and coach. He was best known as the longtime head coach of University of Alabama’s football team.

Team sports have always been a part of my life. Growing up in the 60’s, girls were not encouraged to play sports so I was never on a team, but attended  my brothers’ football and baseball games. Their games were always a family occasion. My high school sweetheart, Tommy Murrah, whom I married, played high school and college football. He didn’t stop there, but played softball on adult recreational teams for many years. Once our children were old enough to play team sports, he coached their teams.

Now, all five of our grandchildren have tried their hand at playing baseball or softball including our three granddaughters. Two of those girls have chosen their teams on stages rather than on the field. We have spent a great part of the spring attending activities that involved our grandchildren.

Lindsey Huebner turned 12 years old the end of March. Our three grandchildren who live near-by traditionally get a day of shopping and over-night at Grammy and Granddaddy’s house without their siblings for their birthday. After we attended one of her softball games, she came to our house for the Easter week-end.

Lindsey on Jaguar softball team

Lindsey ready for a game on the Jaguars

After our day of mall shopping and a chair massage, we began cooking for ten family members coming for Easter lunch.

Lindsey loved the chair massage

Lindsey’s first chair massage

I hadn’t set the table or decorated it for Easter, so Lindsey did most of it. I love teaching our granddaughters the things Grammy does. I hope they will remember when they have their own homes. What a precious time it was to have her with us for fun, work, and church service.

Easter Table Set

Easter Table Set

After lunch it was Easter egg hunt time in our backyard. Our egg hunters ranged from 7-17 years old.

Easter Baskets Full

Easter Baskets Full

Our younger son and his wife, Michelle, live in Long Beach, California. She is expecting their first baby this month. Baby “T” will make six grandchildren for us. We are so blessed. Since they could not come to us, we went to see them for four days of loving them and fun. We attended a baby shower on a gorgeous California Saturday in the park. The hostesses outdid themselves with a beautiful array of all kinds of Tea Party treats for the “T” party.

Beautiful Table

Beautiful Table

We know Troy and Michelle’s baby boy’s name will start with a T, but Troy says he has to meet him and shake his hand before he’s sure what his first name will be. We know he will play sports because Troy has already checked-out the ice skating rink in Long Beach where they can play hockey. Troy has played one sport or another all his life. So the quilt I made for the baby is just that…all kinds of sports. I found a long arm quilter, Karen Shively, in my neighborhood,  who quilted it for me.

quilt

Quilt for “T” Murrah

When Troy and my husband are together you can be sure there will be a ballgame involved. We spent one afternoon at Dodgers Stadium which was a first for Tommy. Michelle did not grow-up going to ballgames, like our family, but she has adapted beautifully and seems to enjoy them.

game

Baby “T” at his First Game

Late last month we made a trip to Dallas to see our older son’s family. Madison Murrah played Alice in “You Can’t Take It With You” for her senior play. We loved seeing her perform one last time as a student of Ursuline Academy at Jesuit Theater.

Madison

Encore Madison

It was great to be with our older son, Todd, and his family for a couple of days.

todd

Todd Murrah and family

Tyler Murrah was supposed to play a baseball game while we were there, but it was rained-out. We’re so proud of him. He has played on the freshman baseball team at Jesuit in Dallas this year. The Freshman season is over, but he along with two other Freshmen, were pulled up to Varsity for the playoffs. He won’t get in any games but will get to keep practicing with them.

Tyler

Tyler Gets a Single

We spent much of yesterday with our daughter, Holly, and her family. Ashton, who is seven years old, is playing machine-pitch baseball. His coach is quite a motivator. The kids love his antics and team spirit.

Ash

Ashton & Coach Ron

Sydney joined us later in the day, after attending a birthday party. She tried baseball several years ago, but decided she likes the stage better. She is in competitive cheer and choir. Her spring choir program was this past week. I loved watching her moves. She has lots of fun singing and performing. She’s in the center with the sunglasses.

Sydney

Sydney Huebner

Yesterday, I also gave Holly a quilt I started for her after she graduated from Texas A & M in 1995. It’s made from her sorority t-shirts. Michelle Henson did a great job long arm quilting it for me. Aw, come on. I know you have lots of quilts that marinate before they are completely cooked.

holly

Holly’s Quilt

Tomorrow will be a red-letter day for me. I will start chemo therapy at MD Anderson Hospital. I was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) eight years ago. Luckily, I have not needed any treatment for my low hemoglobin until this past month. At that time I was given two pints of blood and had another bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. If the MDS goes untreated research shows that I’ll have AML in a year.

My oncologist, Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero, is a Professor in the Department of Leukemia at MD Anderson University of Texas. His main academic and clinical objective is to contribute to significantly better outcomes for patients with Myelodysplastic Syndrome. Dr. Garcia-Manero is the Chief of the Section of MDS in the Department of Leukemia at MD Anderson Cancer Center. One hundred percent of his research and clinical efforts are devoted to patients with MDS. So when he suggested I start a clinical trial taking Dacogen by capsule, my family and I agreed.

Tommy and I will be at MD Anderson very early tomorrow morning for at least eight hours. We’ll do the same each day through Saturday this week. The trial will last for three months and I will be closely monitored. I feel I’m in the best hands possible.

My blessings have been overwhelming as you can see by the joy our family brings to us. My prayer is that I’ll continue to see the growth of our loving children, their spouses, and children. If you could offer the same prayers for me, I’d be ever so grateful. Much love, Judy

coach

Put Me In Coach. I’m ready to play today.

 

 

 

Play Date #14 Button Cuff Bracelet

March 24, 2015

Since I was a little girl I have loved buttons. I can remember hanging-out with my mom while she sewed in her bedroom in sunny California. I’d sit on her bed and go through her round tin button box time and time again. She had one large flat box and a smaller round taller box. I preferred the larger flat tin. It was black with small colorful designs on the top, as I recall. This was the beginning of my love for buttons.

I Love Buttons.

I Love Buttons.

Needless to say I have collected buttons since I was a young woman. I spend time sorting them, choosing the right one for a design, and gathering an assortment in a specific category for another project. I never stop buying buttons at Goodwill, flea markets, and antique shops. The price still has to be right. If you could see all the buttons I have, you would wonder why I need any more.

Button Jars

Button Jars

Button Boxes

Button Boxes

So when the founders of the Texas Quilt Museum asked me to make button cuff bracelets for the Museum gift shop, I was intrigued. They had each received such a bracelet from a quilt friend in Paris. I examined their bracelets and how they were made. I had to decide if I could part with some wonderful buttons, old and new, I had collected over the years.

Original Paris Bracelet

Original Paris Bracelet

It took many months before I decided to give it a try. The first one took me many more hours than was worth my time. I was happy with the results, but it was a tedious job.

My First Attempt

My First Attempt

The second bracelet went a little faster as I made some changes to streamline the foundation process. I also added batting to make the foundation sturdier for hand sewing.

Pastel Buttons on Second Attempt

Pastel Buttons on Second Attempt

The third bracelet took two nights of hand-sewing and watching the Season Two DVD of Downton Abbey. It had more buttons than either of the other two I had previously made. The original bracelet had a gold lame fabric for its base. I followed this same idea thinking it made it dressier. However, with the red buttons it was hard to hide the fabric peeking through.

Red Button Cuff Bracelet

Red Button Cuff Bracelet

So on my fourth attempt I chose fabric for the foundation the same color as the buttons I was going to use. Now that was much better. I’m very happy with the results and the amount of time I spent making the bracelet.

Black Button Bracelet

Black Button Bracelet

I feel comfortable enough about making these Button Cuff Bracelets that I can now share the instructions with you.

Materials Needed

  • Matching button color fabric for top, backing, and facing
  • Light weight batting such as Warm and Natural
  • Buttons small and large
  • Beads and trinkets
  • Strong thread such as carpet thread
  • 1″ piece of velcro

Instructions

1.  Make foundation template. Draw a rectangle 2 1/2″ X 7″. On one end mark in 5/8″ on both sides. From here draw a tab closure 1″ tall. This is the finished size for a 6″ wrist. Make template longer for a larger wrist.

Make Template

Make Template

2. Using template, cut a top and backing 1/4″ larger than template. Cut a lining same size of template without the tab. Cut batting same size as template.

Cut Matching Fabric

Cut Matching Fabric

3. Pin top fabric to facing fabric right sides together. Pin batting to one of these wrong sides. Stitch close to batting. Leave an opening for turning. Clip off corners. Clip to stitching where straight edge meets the tab.

Stitch Three Layers Together

Stitch Three Layers Together

4. Turn right side out making sure all edges are out and flat. Turn opening to inside and stitch. Cut Velcro round at one end. Pin one half to wrong side of the tab. The straight edge will extend into the foundation. Stitch.

Velcro to Tab

Velcro to Tab

5. Match the other half of the Velcro to the right side of the foundation. Straight edges of foundation should just meet. There is no overlap. Cut off excess on straight edge of Velcro.  Stitch with machine.

Add Velcro to Front of Foundation

Add Velcro to Front of Foundation

6. You are ready to stitch your buttons to the foundation. Depending on size of your buttons, you will need 30-40 buttons. Get them together with a few beads and trinkets in a flat box big enough that you can spread out your collection.

Collection of Black Buttons

Collection of Black Buttons

7. Thread your sturdy hand-sewing needle with double strand strong thread. Knot. Starting in center bring the needle from back side to front. The side without the Velcro on the tab is the front side. Start with largest buttons in the center. It’s OK for knots and threads to show on the wrong side. It will be covered with facing fabric when you are finished. Stitch through each button three times. Back tack before moving to the next button. Feature your most impressive buttons in the very center. Sew through buttons that have holes on top through each hole once. Then sew again with beads or smaller button to cover button holes. Add smaller buttons on both sides tucking them under the larger buttons you stitched down the middle.

Cover Foundation with Buttons

Cover Foundation with Buttons

8. When you are satisfied with the look, turn bracelet to wrong side. Turn under raw edges of facing fabric and pin to cover all the button stitching. Hand-stitch to edge of cuff using matching thread.

Facing Stitched to Back

Facing Stitched to Back

9. Cuff bracelet is complete and ready for you to wear. The closure will not show so you can choose to wear the bracelet turned the direction which is your favorite. Or, you can alternate the sides with each wearing.

Black Button Bracelet

Black Button Cuff Bracelet

Red Button Cuff Bracelet

Red Button Cuff Bracelet

I have an order from the Texas Quilt Museum for more button cuff bracelets. My next one is going to be made with mostly gold buttons. I’ve collected them and can hardly wait to get started.

Gold Buttons

Gold Buttons for Next Cuff Bracelet

Tomorrow I leave for Chicago for the Spring International Quilt Festival. I would love to start stitching on this fifth bracelet, but I need to bid you good-bye and pack. I’ll be teaching in Open Studios and Make It U on the show floor and have a few more things to gather and prepare for that. So it’s time to put this away and get my head focused on a really great show. I hope to see you there. Bye-bye.

Chicago Quilt Festival or Bust

Chicago Quilt Festival or Bust

Play Date #13 Triangle Pin Cushion

March 13, 2015

This silk pin cushion has been on a library shelf in our Quilts, Inc. office for many years. I did not pay much attention to it until I attended a Quilt Camp led by Heather Thomas in La Grange, Texas. I sat next to a woman who had a version of this same octopus-like pin cushion. However, hers was made with eight smaller cotton fabric triangles rather than six like the one pictured here.

Vintage Pin Cushion

Vintage Pin Cushion

So, like we all do when we admire something, I asked if I could take a picture of her pin cushion and make a few measurements. She was gracious and told me how she made it.

Original Pin Cushion

Original Pin Cushion

I scribbled down a few notes about the pin cushion.  They’ve been tacked to my design wall for over a year now.

Instructions

Instructions

When I was asked to do a short, small project for Open Studios at the 2015 Chicago Quilt Festival in March, I thought about the Triangle Pin Cushion.

My First One

My First One

As I made this first one I realized students wouldn’t be able to make it in an hour, even with the triangles stitched for them. I knew they would need to go home with pictures and good instructions. I thought you might like the same things, so here we go.

Materials Needed

  • 8 different fabrics. They should coordinate, but have contrast.
  • 1 yard of silk ribbon 1/4″ – 1/2″ wide
  • 1″ button
  • stuffing

Instructions

  1. Cut a 4 1/2″ square from each of the eight fabrics.
    Eight Fabric Squares

    Eight Fabric Squares

    2. Fold each square right sides together on the diagonal. Stitch two short sides together leaving a 2″ opening in the middle of one short side. Clip off three points.

    Sew Triangle

    Sew Triangle

    3. Turn right side out making sure points are pulled out.  Use a chop stick or dowel to push stuffing firmly into points. Then stuff the remaining triangle lightly. Stitch opening closed. You’ll have 8 little triangle cushions.

    Stuffed Triangles

    Stuffed Triangles

    4. Arrange in contrasting order. Thread hand needle with double strand thread. Knot. Hold 2 triangles together with long, unseamed side facing out.

    Long Unseamed Side

    Long Unseamed Side

    Hand-stitched side should be facing in. When triangles are together, you will not see hand-stitched side.

    Hand-stitched side

    Hand-stitched Side

    5. Stitch 8 stuffed triangles together at top. Go through each triangle a couple of times. Turn over and stitch triangles together on bottom.

    Stitch Together Bottom

    Stitch Together Bottom

    6. Thread needle with double strand thread. Knot. Loop one yard ribbon back and forth in approximately 2″ loops. Tack each time to hold. I use my fingers to loop the ribbon.

    Loop & Tack Ribbon

    Loop & Tack Ribbon

    7. Stitch to the top of Triangle Pin Cushion. Add button on top of ribbon.

    Finished Pin Cushion

    Finished Pin Cushion

    8. Have fun stitching.  Get some friends together and stitch, chat, and eat. How much fun is that! Thanks for stopping by. Until next time I wish you fun, friends, love and stitches, Judy

    Make Your Life Fun!

    Make Your Life Fun!

     

 

 


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