Friday, April 15, 2011

A Pansy For My Baskets

A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they're not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they're not so bad.
~Arnold H. Glasgow

It's so fun to go out to lunch with friends.  Fun to talk and share our lives with one another.  We discussed everything from air fares to deaths to fishing trips.  The topic was varied and never boring.  The time flew by and the food was good.  Even my very best friend and soul mate was able to join us, my DH!  It's not often he can get away long enough to go out to lunch so this was a special treat for him and especially for me.  The people that joined us have been friends for over 15 years - I met them when I was working.  Even though we usually only see each other once a week, we never skip a beat.  Checking on each others families, gossip at work, and discussing hot topics is all normal for us.  Friends are so much fun.  Friends just like you - my cyber friends!



National Rubber Eraser Day

Prior to the invention of the rubber eraser, tablets of rubber/wax were used to erase lead/charcoal marks from paper. Bits of rough stone such as sandstone or pumice were used by various cultures to remove small errors from parchment or papyrus documents written in ink. It has been claimed that crustless bread was, in the past, commonly used as an eraser; this is possible, but the bread would disintegrate, and would at that time most likely have been too costly to replace. In all likelihood this was probably more of a snide commentary on low quality bread, comparing it to a chunk of wax or sanding stone.  In 1770, Edward Nairne, an English engineer, is credited with developing the first widely-marketed rubber eraser for an inventions competition. He reportedly sold natural rubber erasers for the high price of 3 shillings per half-inch cube. According to Nairne, he inadvertently picked up a piece of rubber instead of breadcrumbs, discovered rubbers erasing properties, and began selling rubber erasers. Incidentally, this was the first practical application of the substance in Europe, and rubbing out the pencil marks gave it its English name.  However, rubber in its raw form shared the same inconveniences as bread, since it was perishable and would go bad over time. In 1839, inventor Charles Goodyear discovered the process of vulcanization, a method that would cure rubber and make it a durable material. Rubber erasers became common with this advent of vulcanization.  On March 30, 1858, Hymen Lipman of Philadelphia, USA, received the first patent for attaching an eraser to the end of a pencil. It was later invalidated because it was determined to be simply a composite of two devices rather than an entirely new product. 



Yesterday I made 2 swap blocks for the 6 Inch Block Swaps Australia April swap.  My swap partner, Lynette, asked for a basket block, set on point.

She requested red on white
This was the first time I had ever made this block.  I had seen this block many times and cringed when I thought of having to make the handle.  The pattern said you could use ric rack but, of course, I didn't have any red in my stash.  So, instead,  I decided it was time to try a new technique and a new tool.

I had never made bias handles or stems before.  I had previously bought these Bias Bars as a book I'm following for hand applique said they would be a handy tool to have.  When I got them I looked at them and thought "whatever" and stuck them away.  Well, I'm hear to tell you they really work and make the job of creating bias handles so easy.  No turning anything inside out or burning your fingers trying to hold those narrow little strips in place on your ironing board.  If you have a lot of stems, vines, or handles to make.  I highly recommend you get some too.  Oh, Lynette's blocks will go out in today's mail.



Q: What's the difference between a bra-less woman and a sewing machine?

A: The sewing machine has only one bobbin.



Yesterday I made my second pin cushion. 

This one is called Pansy and the pattern is from Bird Brain Designs.  I bought this in a kit but they didn't include enough of a lilac wool so I had to use some white wool I had on hand.  But that's okay because one of my favorite pansies is the purple and white.  I added the little pink dragon fly as a bit of whimsy.  This time I remembered to add a little bit of lavender to the filling.  This will be going out in the mail to a friend.  I really am having fun making these pin cushions.  The next one is a sunflower.



Today I am going to piece the backing for the Layer Cake quilt so I can send it off to the long arm quilter on Monday.  Hopefully I will get another two hours in on quilting the blue and brown quilt.



Mama Spark's World is celebrating her 800th post (can you imagine?)!  She is giving away 3 charm packs of Dream On.  This giveaway ends Monday, April 18.

Pickle Dish is having a giveaway.  She is giving away 3 Curlicue patterns.  This giveaway ends Friday, April 22.

JustPlainLain is having a giveaway.  You could win an AccuQuilt die - Funky Flowers.  This giveaway ends  Sunday, April 17.

Katie's Korner is having a giveaway.  Katie is giving away 11 fat quarters of the new Denyse Schmidt line at JoAnn's.  She will draw a winner on Monday, April 18.

A La Mode is having a giveaway.  You could win some Patches & Pooches fabric.  This giveaway ends Monday, April 18.

Scarlet Fig is having a giveaway.  Here you could win a fat quarter pack of Pooches & Pickups.  Laurie will use to select two winners on Saturday, April 16 around 6:00 CT.

Harriet Homemaker is having a giveaway to celebrate her 35th birthday.  You could win a handy dandy little screw driver, a Layer Cake Recipe Book, a candy bar of Luna Notte by 3Sisters for Moda, and a pair of her favorite little scissors, Cutter Bees! in Pink of course.  This giveaway ends Monday, April 18th, right after she has some birthday cake.
13 Woodhouse Road is having a giveaway.  You could win  Bella Parade Fat Quarter Bundle from Fat Quarter Shop.  This giveaway ends May 1st.



April is already half over.  It feels just like yesterday that we were talking about April Fool's Day.  How the time does fly.  Looking back over the last two weeks I try to remember what has happened in my life and that of the country and world.  It all seems like a whirling top.  Now we gearing up for Easter in just a week and other spring events.  Before we know it summer will be here, school will be out, and vacations will be the topic of choice.  How can time pass so quickly.  I remember when I was little thinking that time passed so slowly.  It seemed to take forever for a birthday to arrive - not so any more.  It seems I become a year older every time I turn around.  Time could slow down just a tad, I have too many things to do today, tomorrow, and the next. 

The Future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.
~C.S. Lewis

Have a fun Friday and a wonderful weekend!!


Sunnybec said...

Love your pincushion and your basket blocks.

Melissa @ Happy Quilting said...

I loved today's joke. Lol!!!

Kasey said...

I read that joke to my husband- He even laughed!

Quiet Quilter said...

Great post! You hit the nail on the head with every portion! Love your pincushion!

crafty pug said...

i see that i am not the only one that liked todays joke :)

Megan Harmeyer said...

I thought curved sewing was an issue for me just because I'm not so good at sewing - glad to know that's not necessarily the case! Have you known your peeps from work that long already? OMGosh time goes too, too fast! (Now that I think of it, I've been in NM for over 10 years) The pansy pin cushion is cute. *hint hint*

Wendy said...

I love the pincusions and can't wait to see the sunflower. Your joke made me laugh and I really like the quote. Hope you have a successful sewing day and a great weekend.

Connie said...

Enjoyed reading about your baskets and realized I have the bias bars which I haven't used. Amazing the tools we buy and forget to use. Thanks for the great links to giveaways also.

Scrappy quilter said...

That pincushion is so cute. Thanks for responding to my giveaway. Hugs

Vesuviusmama said...

I've said it many times, but I LOVE reading your blog. So much inspiration, variety, tidbits of knowledge - it is wonderful! Loved the joke, and I'm glad to hear that those Bias Bars work because I love basket blocks, but fear the handles!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love your basket blocks - my Mom had someone make her a set of the bars years ago (blacksmith friend) and she swears by them. Loved the joke of the day. Oh I agree - the older we get the faster the time goes. Have a lovely weekend.

Kathy H said...

Your pincushion turned out so well. Loved the joke, I will have to tell it to my quilting friends.

Mommarock said...

Loved todays chuckle... I surely did!

Needled Mom said...

I'm still laughing about the bobbin! Too cute.

I love those bias bars. Aren't they fabulous?

Lynda said...

I also have the bias bars and they do make the job super easy.

Love your pincushion. Now I can't wait to see the sunflower.

The red baskets turned out so cute.

I'm thinking of a relaxing weekend before a busy week at work again.

Sallie said...

Your red basket turned out great! Today's chuckle made me laugh. Have a great weekend!

Staci said...

Chuckling here, still chuckling. I'm about to get on the phone and call my daughter because I'm sure she needs a giggle this morning, too!

You basket blocks are darling!

Cheryl said...

Bias bars work well...and love the joke.

quiltzyx said...

You have some of the luckiest swap partners! Congrats on learning to use a new tool. :D

That pin cushion is soooo lovely! You are on a roll with those & now we have the next one to look forward to.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Linda said...

I loved the chuckle. My sister gave me a cup that said, "My sister is like a great bra: supportive, makes me look good, never leaves me hanging and is always close to my heart."I thought of having a Ladies Brunch (or something similar) with that as a theme, complete with games and "booby" prizes. My sister nixed it. :o( Oh, well, it seemed like a good idea at the time! I get carried away sometimes.

Joanna said...

I love red and white, and I think your baskets look so nice.

Gene Black said...

The chuckle of the day made me laugh out loud! Thanks

LynCC said...

I'd never seen these "Bias Bars". Gotta find some!

Sonia said...

Thanks for the chuckle... so true! :)

Great job on the blocks and pin cushion!

Sheila said...

Cute Pin Cushion!!
Joke brought a chuckle :D
Love your blog.

The Vegetarian Hunter said...

I am really interested in the bias bars that you show. I have never heard of such a thing. Off to the store I go, I go, Off to the store I go! yes I just sang that out loud as I typed it.
hee hee

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