Well, not actually short the dollar (although who couldn’t use an extra dollar now and again), but definitely a day late. For what? Well you might ask. The A to Z Challenge started yesterday.
I had joined the challenge when the notice first came out a few months ago, with some vague ideas about what I’d like to do with it, then promptly forgot all about it…..until the reminder notice arrived a few days ago. And I panicked! I was nowhere near ready, and absolutely unsure that I could even begin, so decided to opt out. Then yesterday my sister posted her first A to Z blog, which is when I discovered she’d actually joined the challenge, and had thoughts that I’d be the one to keep her motivated for the month.
Oops! Missed the boat there! Not wanting to disappoint my baby sister, I gave some more thought to what I’d been planning to do way back when, and I’m taking the plunge. It’s too late to rejoin the group, so these will be my Unofficial A to Z posts. I really hope I’m not stepping on any toes by doing this, but I threw down the gauntlet (sure are a lot of clichés in this post already, aren’t there) for my sister and now I need to face the dare! If, in fact, I’m breaking some kind of copyright law, somebody please tell me and I’ll cease and desist immediately!
For my A to Z posts, I want to concentrate on quilting, and I plan to start making quilt blocks of baby animals, one for each letter. In the next couple of days, I should be able to actually get the first blocks made to show you. Along with each block I''ll look for some fun facts about the animal, and I’ll also add a quilting tip of some kind, doing my best to keep to the ‘letter of the day’.
So here goes:
A is for Alligator
Alligators are reptiles, that can get as big as 1000 lb, or 1/2 ton. They have big teeth, and can bite hard, but their jaw muscles are actually weak and could be held open by the human hand. Baby alligators have a yellow stripe down their back (wonder if that’s where the expression came from).
A is also for Applique – this is one of my favorite types of quilts, even though I don’t seem to have done many of late. I’ve never done needle-turn applique (some day will have to try it), but have done quite a bit of fused applique with satin stitch finish. This requires fusible web, and for me I prefer Misty Fuse, which doesn’t have paper backing – and for that I have a non-stick pressing mat. But recently I heard a tip on Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting show (I watch it on WTVS out of Detroit, where it airs at about 3 in the morning Pacific time on Saturdays, and no I’m not up at that time of the morning usually but tape it. Oh, the marvels of the technological world we live in!). The tip: use parchment paper underneath fusible web when pressing – now how easy is that! And most of us have parchment paper in the house for baking. I also think the paper should be reusable – so this is a money-saving tip as well.
Because I’m a day late, I’ll add my ‘B’/Day 2 post as well.
B is for Bunny
A baby rabbit is actually a ‘kit’ but bunny is a much cuter name, don’t you think! Bunnies have 5 toes on their front feet, but only 4 toes on their back feet. They can run as fast as 45 miles per hour, and when not running they nap up to 18 times per day.
B is also for Binding
Again this tip came from Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting TV show – when pinning binding for hand-sewing on the back of the quilt, ‘bury’ the tip of the pin under the binding, so you don’t get pricked and bleed on your quilt:
You’ll see the pin on the right is not buried.
Of course, you can always avoid the pins altogether by using the fancy clips available in quilt stores:
Or even use clothes pins:
Or I also have some hair clips that work like a charm:
These I picked up in a Dollar Store, so there are some money-saving tips included here as well.
So that’s A and B. Happy challenge! Blessings, Peg