Sew What? We're small...but watch us grow!

Sew What? We're small...but watch us grow!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Quilts of Valor

Paula and Jan have gone to the QOV Retreat this weekend. It's an annual retreat for the volunteers who work on Quilts of Valor out of Wichita, the QOV--Kansas Bee. From what I have heard, it's a fun weekend, but also very tiring for the participants. Some of them sew all night. In the past, the average number of quilt tops produced at this retreat is abou 10 - 12.

The Stafford American Legion is also having a fund raiser dinner to help raise funds for the QOV--Kansas Bee tonight. There will be a presentation of one of the QOV quilts too.

For those of you that don't know what Quilts of Valor is, check out their national website

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Icebox Soup

When I was a little girl, growing up in the 1950's and 60's, our family had times when our parents struggled to get by. Dad worked as a pipefitter and traveled a lot to jobs. Sometimes Mom packed up everthing and moved the family to where he was working. Other times we stayed put and got by with what money he sent home or what Mom could make sewing clothing for others.

My Mom was an amazing woman. She could make do with what she had, no matter how little that might be. And she always found time to entertain the 5 kids in the family, and sometimes all the neighbor kids. She was always coming up with ways to keep us occupied like a "taffy pull" or baking cookies.

Needless to say, her ingenuity carried over to the kitchen. In the summer, she always had a garden and canned a lot of the food we ate during the winter months. Nothing went to waste. One of my favorite dishes was her "Icebox Soup." Now, this was not one of those recipes that has exact ingredients and measures and always tasted the same. Each time she made it, it was uniquely different. (For those of you not old enough to remember, and "icebox" was the predecessor of the refrigerator. It used ice to keep things cold.)

You see, Icebox Soup is made with all the odd bits and pieces left from previous dinners with a little seasoning or extras added in to fill the pot. This week's version might contain left over meatloaf, that sausage patty or bacon left from breakfast and chicken from Sunday dinner. All of the leftover veggies and gravies didn't escape the pot either. Each ingredient added it's own unique flavor. The only thing consistent about the soup was that it was yummy every time.

What does Icebox Soup have to do with quilting? My "icebox" is my scrap bin. (Now admit it, you save all those little bits and pieces of fabric from your projects too. You know the ones I'm talking about, the pieces not quite big enough for another project, but too much to throw out.) This week I decided to make my version of Icebox Soup. I took some of my scraps and cut them into strips 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 inches wide. The strips ranged in length from about 6" long up to the width of the fabric (42"-44"). I sewed all the 2 1/2" strips end to end, then sewed all the 3 1/2" strips end to end. The result was two extremely long strips of all different colors and prints of fabrics. Next, I cut each of those long strips into lengths about 62" - 64" long and sewed them together along the long edges, alternating the 2 1/2" and 3 1/2" strips. After the top was as large as I wanted it, I framed it all with a 3" solid black border (my cooking pot).

Here is the finished quilt.
Oops, looks like the pot might have boiled over!

Not really, that is just some excess strips I chose to bind the quilt with. Here is another close up of that.

This quilt was machine quilted for me by a gentleman who has been bitten by the quilting bug. Thanks, Larry! He is the husband of Debra VanSyoc of F&M Machine Quilting in Hillsboro, KS. Here is a close up of the quilting (Note: I have washed this quilt once. I love the puckered look of old quilts, so I never prewash fabrics for my quilts.)

Doesn't my Icebox Soup look yummy? You might want to try this recipe some time.

What's in your ICEBOX?

'Til next time, happy sewing.