Monday, September 15, 2014

Oh what a beautiful Morning!

Oh what a beautiful day, I've got a beautiful feeeeeeeling........

Good Morning Quilty Friends!  Is everyone enjoying the beautiful fall weather?  This is my favorite time of year.   The crisp morning air is so refreshing.  I'm one of those people who loves to have the windows open.  Waking up with a little chill in the air and sipping on a cup of coffee is heaven.  What a way to get the day started!  Add a little quilty inspiration from 
Judy's Design Wall Monday Linky and it's even better.
A lot has happened over the weekend but not a lot in the Studio.  My design wall is creeping along slowly.  After pinning a few of the small dresdens to the design wall and doing the quilt stare I'm just not sure this is "doing it" for me.
 All the white spaces are going to covered with little daisies dresdens.  Well that was a plan, but now I'm not sure.  Maybe once I get them all on the wall I'll like it better.
Below is the time stealing green beans I canned this week.  Normally I freeze green beans.  All of my canning in the past was done by water bath method.  If it couldn't be canned in boiling hot water I froze it.  Why?  I'm terrified of pressure canners.  Why?  When I was a kid my girlfriends mom was canning squash and it the canner lid somehow blew off, leaving her with 2nd and 3rd degree burns on her face and arms.  Well our freezers are full, and there's tons of beans on the vine.  It's time to get over the fear of pressure canning.  So last Tuesday I purchased a Canner.  It sat in the box until yesterday. I read and reread the instructions, watched youtube videos, searched canning blogs, feeling no more confident about using it than before.  Finally about 2 pm yesterday I decided to just grab the bull by the horns and DO IT.  Of course after that little Jiggly thing on top started making noises I hid around the corner watching the pot from afar.  Nearly having a heart attack when I had to run in and adjust the burner temperature.   I'm not quite as afraid, but I've still tons to learn about water to veggie ratio.  About 7 jars will need to be eaten soon because the water in them reduced by half.  That's when big hungry families come in handy.  They love eating mistakes!
Now for the good news.  My grandbabies came to town!  My daughter Amanda(on the right)  and her 2 little sweeties came for a quick visit on Saturday.  The only thing that would have made this day better was to have my youngest son here also, but he had to work.   My oldest son(Derek) is the handsome fella on the left.   And those little ones atop are my grandbabies Hunter and Aylin.  
 Getting everyone to look at the camera was impossible.  I didn't care, at least they were here!

~ Lea Anne ~

Today's freebie 

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Wham Bam Exam

I promise this story is quilt related...eventually.
A couple of weeks ago Momma and I went out for one of our all day outings.  This usually means that Momma has a doctors appointment.  On this particular day she had three appointments within a two hour window.  Luckily 2 were in the same hospital.  The last visit was across town for a post operation check up on her neck.  No need to get undressed.   Now girls I love my Momma, but the older she gets the more she involves me in her "private" life.  And by private I mean she's losing her modesty.  Her memory isn't what it used to be either so she has been asking me to accompany her back to the exam rooms to take notes and for moral support.  So far this hasn't been an issue.  It soon became an issue when the Doc asked her to drop her granny panties and bend over.  That's not where her neck is, how did we get here!   They didn't even ask her to put on a gown!  The option to leave the room was never given, it was a Wham Bam moment and before I knew it I was traumatized for life.    A person has many things to be thankful for in life, my Momma's Wham Bam Exam is now one of mine.  Seriously this could've been long and drawn out, this is one time that Wham Bam is a good thing!

We continued about our day as if nothing had ever happened, putting the awkward moment behind us.  During lunch she tells me the needle threader I purchased for her isn't going to work, her eyesight is to far gone.  Before giving into old age and asking me to mend her clothes she decides to try one of those easy threading needles.  The only place I know that carries them is the LQS.   Visits to the shop are rare due to my inability to resist temptation so I'm more than happy to show Momma around my favorite place to shop.    As we pull into the parking lot ....I lost it, laughing out loud!  It seems our day out has a Back Door theme!  Call me weird or crazy but I took it as a sign to lighten up and put the Wham Bam Exam behind me.  There's far worse things that could've witnessed.
The Back Door is known for it's Civil War reproductions.  However in the last couple of years they've been expanding the brights section.   It was fate that brought me here.  A reward for my earlier good deed.... Moda's Miss Kate by Bonnie and Camille!  There was no hesitation I snatched up a layer cake quicker than a Wham Bam Exam and announced aloud for everyone in the shop to hear
They all chuckled, but they didn't know what I'd witnessed just an hour ago.  I'm not even sure Momma understood.  Or did she?   As we stepped up to the sales counter Momma pushes me aside saying  
"I got this"
Mother's intuition perhaps?  Of course I tell her she doesn't need to pay for my fabric, but she insisted.  One thing I've learned is don't argue with Momma no matter what she always wins.   
So I've had this wonderful little bundle of joy tucked away just waiting for the right moment to unwrap her and play.  These smaller bundles of fabric can be a little tricky when writing your own pattern.   Finally after a few hours of play and lots of math, there's a pattern.  Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can start cutting and sharing the process with all of you!  Yes that means another free pattern here in Podunk.  

~ Lea Anne ~

today's freebie 
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thrifty Thursday- A Free BOM

I'm sure you'll all agree that the best thrifty find is the one that's free.   Well have I found a cutey for you!   Jacquelynne Steves is starting a new Free BOM next month. 
 Beside the fact that it's adorable, I like that it doesn't take an entire year, only 5 months.  And there's more than one option for the finish.   
But wait ...there's more fun!  She's designed a couple of different options for the blocks.  Applique or embroidery or none at all, just pieced blocks.
That's not all!(I feel like an info-mercial)  
GIVE AWAYS!  Why are you still here?  Get over there and get all the details!  Oh don't forget to sign up for the free E-magazine too.  

~ Lea Anne ~

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom

When I started quilting most patterns where still printed as templates, with NO ROTARY CUTTING instructions.  Did you ever wonder where and how quilters come up with all those neat quilty math tricks?   They're all smart and very talented quilters but they too had a teacher, BILLIE LAUDER.   In my humble opinion Billie is the queen of quilt tricks and tips.  She's been quilting and teaching since 1976.  Now I'm not saying she invented these techniques but there's a pretty good chance.   
 Each of her books has several tricks along with the math to make them any size you want.  I've had my books for many years and to be honest they have been the most used book in my quilting library.  Everything from HST's to hexie's and diamonds.   You still can find them for sale at   Now I know many of you are thinking why would you buy something that I could probably find online as a free tutorial.  Well when I purchased these books the online tutorials weren't as plentiful as they are now.  There's still a few tricks and secrets in the books that haven't been revealed online.
Today's freebie is a video.
Here's a link to a Billie video made years ago for the ultimate scrappy four patch.  Billie puts her heart and soul into this video.   The enthusiasm is contagious!

~ Lea Anne ~

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to Podunk, I'm Lea Anne, your next stop in the Around the World Blog Hop.  Before we get started on the tour I'd like to take the time to thank Bev of 44th Street Fabric for tagging me back in August.  We've been bloggy friends for a year or two.  To be honest I'm not sure how I stumbled upon her blog, but was hooked from the first visit.  Right now she's working on the cutest Gossip in the Garden quilt and a Farmers Wife.  She's been kind enough to offer fabric bundles in her Etsy Shop for the Farmers Wife.
   Not only does she inspire me in quilty ways by her use of color and fussy cutting, but she also helped me to quit drinking Mountain Dew.  Yep I've been Mountain Dew free for about 2 months.  The constant spewing of it out my nose while reading her e-mails was the help I needed.  Thanks Bev!  

Okay on with the Hop.  This Hop is all about getting to know your favorite bloggers or new to you bloggers by answering a few questions.  So here we go!

1. What am I working on?

The past few days "The Daisies" have been taking up all my time.  Inspired by my flower garden, designed by me.

The back burner project is My Gals quilt.  The pattern is by Lynn Wilder called Nostalgic Christmas.  Printing the free images found on Pinterest and using bright colors is giving the quilt a whole new look.  
 And lets not forget the one on the frame.  Another one of my designs, inspired by Lori Holts Tulips block from the book Quilty Fun.  

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

What is my genre?  Not sure if I have one.  Is Bright and Happy a Genre?  

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

This is a question asked often from those non-quilty folks.  The best answer is why do some people like chocolate ice cream and others vanilla?  When you know what you love, share it, that's where happiness resides.  Sharing my current kitchen plumbing project(problem) wouldn't make me nearly as happy.  
Podunk Pretties was created because my extended family and friends were constantly asking what I was making.  Being that most of them couldn't tell the difference between a Dresden and a Tulip block, I started this blog.  I also taught a small quilting class that used my blog as a reference.  Posting block tutorials here when the winter weather kept me stranded in Podunk.  

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

IMPULSIVELY!  Learning to keep several pads of paper handy at all times has helped with the flood of ideas.  As with most quilters there's a library of books and magazines in my studio.  To be honest I've made very few quilts from them.  They serve as reference along with the hundreds of quilt blogs I follow and read daily.  For a few years I worked on deadlines and commissioned projects.  After decision was made to not take on as many commissioned projects it opened up the door to creativity allowing me to just work as freely as I wanted.  
 The only thing I make myself do is a yearly Breast Cancer quilt.  Usually starting it in the early part of the year.  Sometimes it's pink and sometimes it's not.  Sadly,  I never have a problem finding a recipient.  So far I've made 7 and delivered 6.  The last one delivered was to my SIL Robin last year.  
 Robin is in her 60's and has two adopted school aged children.  Happy to say she's doing great!
The one below was the most emotional to deliver.  Presented to my moms friend Sherryl that has had cancer 3 times.  She stayed up beat and happy as I shaved what was left of her hair.  When I presented her with the quilt " Flying into the Pink" we both teared up.  She's still in the Pink too!  
So that's all about me now it's my turn to tag a couple of new to me quilters.  The first one is Plum Quilts.  A stay at home mom that somehow finds the time to make cute projects!  Her chicken post card last week gave me a good chuckle.  And the second blogger is In the BoonDocks,  lots of excitement and colorful projects.  Her style of quilting is right up my alley.

~ Lea Anne ~

Of course it's also DWM, so hop on over to Judy's for more inspiration!

 Today's freebie from  April Rosenthal 

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday

The mini dresdens for the Daisy quilt are almost pieced.  So now it's time to think about how to turn under that quarter inch.   Earlier in the week I showed you the Perfect Circles.  It would be great if they made them 5" and larger, but they don't.  So I've a few options
(1)Turn them under by eyeballing the 1/4 inch, in my case that usually looks bad.
(2)Use EQ7 to print out a perfect 5" circle, but that would use expensive ink and take longer.
(3) I could inset them by cutting holes in my quilt top, I could see where this could go very wrong!
(4) sew them to fusible interfacing, tutorial here, but that cost to much
(5) Or I could quickly draw up my own 5" circle using this old throwback tool called a Compass. I bet some of you remember using one of these in school along with a Protractor.  They can be purchased at just about any store that sells office supplies.  And if you want a huge circle most craft and hobby stores sell them in various sizes.  Mine came from The Dollar Store years ago for a $1.   
So how does it work?  The red arrow is pointing to a wheel that will adjust the width of the two "legs".   
Before I can use the compass I need to make a nice stiff template material from 3 layers of Freezer paper.
You can see in picture below
(1) I cut a strip of freezer paper 6" wide the width of the roll.  Then subcut into 6" squares.   
(2)  iron one square directly to my ironing surface.  
(3)Leave it in place, iron the second piece on top of the first, and then the last piece on top of the second.  
(4)After letting it cool for a few seconds the three layers can be easily removed.  No residue is left on your ironing surface, it's magic!  There maybe some wrinkles or air pockets in the paper but that's okay.
Here's where the handy dandy compass works its magic.  I need my finished dresden to be 5", so the Compass needs to be set at half of 5" which is
2 1/2. 
(1) Turning the little wheel in the middle adjust the "legs" in and out.  
(2)Next place the pointy metal leg in the center of the freezer paper square, 
(3)it'll stay in the middle as you rotate the compass around until you have a perfect circle.  
(4)Then cut.... easy and cheap!
 At this point I could fold the template in half  twice for centering perfectly on the dresden, but I chose to eyeball it.  
(1)Iron the template shiny side down to the wrong side of the dresden 
(2)Apply starch to the exposed edges.
(3) press the seam allowance inward
(4) remove template and press 
Ready for invisible machine applique..... One down, 49 more to go!
Sugar fuel to help complete the task!

~ Lea Anne ~

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The dog days of Summer

Here in Podunk the Summer has been fairly mild.  Tons of rain has nearly destroyed the garden.  Normally by this time of year the grass is brown, the garden is drying up and we're preparing for winter.  Not this year.  We're still mowing about twice a week and my green beans vines have finally decided to make green beans.  We've picked (2 1/2)  5 gallon buckets full of beans!  It's better than the below zero temps of last winter. 
What happened to the yearly Dog days of Summer.  It must be that Global Warming!(sarcasm) 
 Below is a picture of my youngest son when he was 4 and his best friend Sasha.  We purchased her when he was very young and she passed when he was a teenager.  It broke his heart, he said it was like losing his best friend.  He's all grown up now, 21, and still talks about his best friend Sasha and their adventures.
So why such a random post about our dog?  Blogland can spark many quilty inspirations as well as memories and I felt compelled to share my little story after reading a post over at Sewing Wilde Blog.  The post was mainly about some great quilt blocks and a super cute feather quilt with the sweetest birds.  But my attention was  on Izzie her Golden Retriever. 

~  Lea Anne ~

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