Monday, September 1, 2014

Mustang


Every once in awhile a fabric can completely catch your attention--stop you in your tracks and DEMAND that you take a longer look. I saw a picture of the Cotton + Steel booth at spring quilt market and found Mustang...and stopped looking at anything else. There was something about that print, especially in the Olive colorway, that evoked so many memories for me.



My dad loved horses. I was raised around them and on them. One of my dad's favorite past times was to go to horse auctions to do some "homework." We only bought one of our horses (a mare named Lady who was in foal with my horse Freckles) at an auction, and that was completely unexpected. We had to borrow a horse trailer to even get her home! The best horse auction we went to was Fort Ranch. The ranch is located out in the no mans land between The Great Salt Lake and I-15. It was a long and beautiful drive to get there. Sagebrush, rocks, golden clay hills, deep blue sky, and the azure shimmer of the lake on the far horizon. Since the ranch was such a distance from "civilization," the owners included a free lunch before the sale began. They served hot dogs, giant vats of baked beans, chips and ice cold pop and watermelon, both chilled in icy watering troughs. I remember hanging over the edge of the fencing, stuffed to the gills with that excellent lunch, and looking at the mares with their foals milling in the paddock.

Here's Dad, me and Freckles
This quilt is an homage to those memories and to my Western roots. I may live in Iowa and love the rolling hills and misty green landscape, but I will always be a Westerner. It's not just a place, it's a personality, an attitude and a world view that is completely unique.


I sketched out the design for this quilt in the car on the way to St. Louis. The block is based on a rendering of a block I saw in Maggie Malone's 5,500 Quilt Blocks. I redrafted the pattern on graph paper to yield a massive 18.5 inch block. Part of the block is paper pieced (the star points) and the rest is pieced traditionally with half square triangles and squares. I think the real awesomeness happens when the blocks are pieced together and the secondary patterns emerge.


I decided to use all Cotton + Steel fabric for the construction of the quilt top, and I used fabrics from three of the lines. From Mustang I used Arrows in Navy, Olive Mustang and Olive Star. From the Basics line, I used Pink Cheeks XOXO and Night Owl XOXO. From Moonlit, I used Navy Arrows and Aqua Arrows. I love the way the fabrics work together. I ran my phone's battery completely down choosing fabrics for the quilt and calculating yardage requirements, but by the time our family hit the St. Louis Zoo, I had a quilt design and a burning desire to make this quilt. Right. Now.


I quilted this using a 40 wt. Aurifil thread in leaf green with a straight line pattern. Originally, I started out doing a free motion design with spiky triangles in a caramel colored  50 wt. thread. I wasn't sold on the design after I completed one bobbin worth of quilting, but I persevered, hoping that it would grow on me. It didn't, so I spent 4 hours ripping out two bobbin's worth of quilting. It was worth it. The real problem with that design is that it fought with the horizontal lines formed with the arrow fabric and the thread was just wrong. Everything about the quilt is bold, so why try to be matchy-matchy with a fine weight thread? I am glad that I buy thread the same way I buy a lot of my fabric...in packs!! I never would have chosen to buy that particular leaf green color, but it was perfect for this quilt.


The backing is a Michael Miller print that I found on the sale table at my local quilt shop. It looks like a gold bandana with a turquoise accent! Perfect! I pieced the "belt" using some of the extra scraps from paper piecing the star points.


Once, someone said to me, "I just don't understand why everyone thinks the West is so beautiful. It's just brown hills. What's so great about brown hills?" I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To me, stark is just another word for graphic or bold and that is exactly what I like. That and homemade beans and memories of home.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sweet and Sour

I taught elementary school for seven years before I stayed home with my kids. For 3 of those years, I was a resource teacher. I guess technically I was the "special education" teacher, but I have never been a fan of that term. One of the students I taught was Mike* (not his real name). I taught Mike his fourth grade math lessons in my room where it was quiet and highly structured. Mike needed a lot of review and I needed to find a way to repeat the concepts enough times that he could master them...without driving either one of us batty. We would start our time together with review problems. I gave him a math problem, I watched him solve it and retaught concepts. As soon as he got ten correct solutions, he could go to my treat bucket and choose a snack before we went on to that day's lesson. I made an effort to keep a large variety of interesting treats in the bucket, but for Mike, variety was not an issue. Every day he would choose a War Head (a hard candy heavily dusted with citric acid) and every day the routine was the same: unwrap, pop in, gag, gag again, blink back tears in watery eyes, get a drink, walk back into the room and pronounce "THAT was AWESOME!!"


Can you see why I was thinking about those pucker-inducing candies the whole time I was making this? I can't really put my finger on the color combination that feels so tart to me (maybe the turquoise and yellow?), but it does. All of the fabric in the mosaic squares came from my scrap bin and orphan charm square jar. Making this was like taking a walk down the memory lane of past quilts.


I used 7/8" strips of a solid gray fabric to sash around my little pieces. I kept building until I had a block that I was happy with, then I added strips of the peppered cotton to each edge. I cut each of my blocks down to 20 inches tall. I started out cutting the blocks down to 18 inches wide, but I changed my mind after I got it up on the design wall. The proportions just seemed off. I ended up trimming the blocks to several different widths and used the calculator on my cellphone to make sure that I ended up with a rectangular quilt! To me, that is the best part of working with improv blocks...those moment to moment decisions when you can completely change your mind based on how something "feels!" I love quilting that way. Bad things (aka ugly things) happen when I over think. If you are interested in a tutorial for this method, please refer to Elizabeth Hartman's website Oh, Fransson!


The background fabric is a lovely gray from Studio E's peppered cotton.  I love the heathered look it has! The two different colored threads make you want to touch the fabric. I think it softens the hard edges of the mosaic design. I quilted the peppered cotton in a squared off meander design using So Fine! thread. It was such a great color match that you almost have to get your nose down on the quilt to see the thread. It just appears to be fantastic texture. The mosaic blocks were finished with straight line quilting in a salmon colored Aurifil thread.


I had this backing fabric in my stash. It coordinates perfectly with the color scheme and in a brilliant stroke of irony is from the "Sugar Pop" line by Liz Scott. There's the sweet!


This is a happy quilt. I was happy when I made it and I'm happy looking at it now. Not just happy, but dare I say "AWESOME!?!" We'll just skip the watery eyes bit.

This quilt is for sale in my Etsy shop.

 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Nobody

The best part of Instagram is the steady stream of inspiration, ideas and like-minded people you can gather (Here is a link if you'd like to follow me). Last week I saw a notice for the start of the Sea Breeze Mini Quilt Along from Gnome Angel. I really liked the simple, graphic design of the block and decided to do my own version. I super-sized it to a 16 block extravaganza of some of my favorite fabrics.


I have a love affair going for shot cotton and peppered cotton. I genuinely enjoy working with solids because I love bold designs. Shot cotton and peppered cotton are the best of both worlds. Solids, with benefits...bold and graphic, but truly works of art in themselves because of the color play in the weave (both are constructed out of 2 different colored threads, woven together).


In the interest of full disclosure, though, I will tell you that there are several small downsides to working with both of them. Shot cotton must be delicious because every sewing machine I've had wanted to eat it for lunch. Yes, you can start with a leader (a scrap piece of fabric that you begin sewing with). Yes, you could also take a firm grasp of the excess thread from the top spool and help pull the fabric from the back. The way I ended up doing it is to start every seam about one inch from the edge. I would finish the seam, flip my piece over, and after taking a few back stitches to secure the line of stitches, stitched from my previous starting point all the way to the other end. That helped to minimize the warping of my half square triangle points AND the cursing in the craft room.

Peppered cotton has a heavier hand than shot cotton. It is luxuriously silky, but it also unravels on the cut edge with handling. I went over the back of my piece several times with the scissors and even with the lint roller, but I can see some thread varicose veins behind a few of the cream half square triangles. Since I am keeping this as a piece of wall art and it was life, not laziness, that led to said varicose veins, I am prepared to live with it. I am also prepared to gently edge you out of the way if you get your nose too close to the quilt on your next visit. I do have limits.

Both shot cotton and peppered cotton have "personalities," but I find the results to be worth little inconveniences during construction.


The last picture I have of this quilt is one of the best. The last two quilts I made were miniatures for my guild's quilt challenge. On the night of the guild challenge I was my typical why-do-I-always-do-this-to-myself nervous wreck. All the butterflies in my stomach died an abrupt death when a single member of the program committee decreed that all unlabelled quilts should not be considered for our competition. The guidelines for this challenge were the same as every other year, "the quilt must be bound, three layers, quilted and labelled." Unlike every other year, this year they were actually going to check for labels. Well, you guessed it. Mine weren't labelled. I wasn't trying to be subversive, I had just given both projects an envelope style back so that they could have a dual display option and it honestly never even occurred to me to label my little pillows. The worst part of the night was after the judging when we had to come up in front of the assembled mass and claim our projects, revealing ourselves as the maker and receiving our accolades. One of the nicest women in the guild handed me my project and said with authentic anguish, "It wasn't labelled." I went home that night with a broken heart. Not because I didn't win, but because my work was defined by deficiency.

As I am wont to do when I am troubled, I searched my mind for the perfect story I could tell myself. Something to give a negative experience meaning and channel my emotions into something constructive. It took me a few days to get my sass back and remember this little gem. My dad was a colorful and interesting man, and as such, had colorful and interesting friends. One of my fondest memories of childhood was the steady stream of friends that stopped by at our farm for a chat. Every time a new visitor arrived, Dad would say, "Miss Jill, why don't you go ice us up a beer." And, every time I would reply, "Dad, we're all out (we didn't drink) and I'm pretty sure you don't put ice in beer." He would shake his head regretfully and ask for a Diet Coke instead. This ritual never got old no matter how many times it was repeated. Afterward, I got to sit in the cool shade of our patio and listen to the stories. One time I remember my dad asking about the personalized license plate on Fred's (not his real name) new truck. Fred told Dad that when he went in to register his new vehicle, he had gotten some guff when he had opted not to get vanity license plates. "What?" the registrar asked in disgust "You're not personalizing? Only a real nobody would get a new truck and not spring for personalized plates." So, ever the sport, Fred decided then and there to get vanity plates. What did they say?

NOBODY.


Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? I can't tell you what an immense sense of relief I felt sewing this on the back. It helped me feel better and reminded me of something important. Who gets to define me? NOBODY. 




Monday, July 14, 2014

Hand Work

I am not so good at just sitting. I have learned from countless drives from our home in Iowa to my mother's house in Idaho (1,250 miles), that I arrive at our destination in better spirits and my husband arrives loving me more if I have something to do. This year I was thinking about my guild's mini quilt challenge so I looked for an English paper piecing project to hand stitch while we were on the road. I found one called Star Hexie on Sew Mama Sew. I reduced the pattern pieces (it IS a mini, after all) and packed myself a charm pack of Mama Said Sew.


I hadn't been sewing very long before I started thinking about how to set the hexagons for the finished quilt. I can say with confidence that the only reason I finally settled upon appliqué was that I knew my mom would help me. My mom is the undisputed queen of needle turn appliqué.


I can prove that last claim, too. This is a quilt that my mom made for my youngest daughter. Mom planned a spring visit around an applique workshop by Angela Lawrence and the birth of my daughter. Both of those events were SUPPOSED to occur within a week of each other. Instead, Mom ended up doing an extended baby watch with me and I ended up with a 9+ pound baby! Needing something to do (maybe it's genetic?), she started a pattern that she'd gotten at the workshop. The awesome thing is, she was forced to use my fabric. Mom calls my fabric "wild." I think that the real wild thing is to see Loulouthi (top middle, if you're looking for it) in this context!


 This picture was completely an accident. Mom got distracted by a darling baby girl while she was laying out some of her finished blocks for my inspection. I am beyond pleased to have Miss E and the beginnings of her quilt in the same shot!


I made hexies the entire way to Idaho and the entire way back to Iowa and I STILL had a few more to do once I got home. I marked out where the hexagon middle would go on my background fabric so I could have help on the needle turn appliqué. Before I left, my mom showed me a technique that helps give each leaf a sharp, pointy tip. Mom stitched on two of the black leaves for me.


You may notice that her right hand is not like yours. When she was 14 years old, Mom was in an accident. A group of friends from her school were driving up the canyon to have a barbeque and a bonfire. Mom was sitting in the back of a grain truck with some of the others and her older brother was driving ahead in a Jeep. Going for a laugh, the driver of the grain truck started purposefully edging the tires up the walls of the canyon. There were screams and yells and laughs as everyone in the back of the truck was thrown off balance. The last time he did that, the motion was severe and abrupt enough that everyone was violently thrown to one side. That time the screams were real. Feeling the vehicle starting to tip over, Mom grabbed on to the side of the steel bed and hung on. The heavy truck fell directly on her right hand, severing an artery and crushing her wrist and thumb. Hearing the thump, her brother turned the Jeep around and arrived at the scene so fast that the dust still hung heavily in the air and the tires still slowly spun on the overturned vehicle. Her brother and friends dug her hand out from under the truck in blood-soaked clay. One of the boys had just received a life-saving merit badge from the Boy Scouts and put it to use. He used a handkerchief and a belt as a tourniquet and stopped the bleeding. He saved her life.

Mom's brother drove the Jeep home to wake up their dad. Her father arrived at the small hospital in the next town over and watched the doctor working on his daughter. Dr. Smith tried to reattach the tendons and stop the bleeding. He attempted to place stitch after stitch to no avail. The doctor turned to her dad and told him that the damage was too severe and that there was just too much gravel in the wound. He had no choice but to amputate. "No," her father barked in his stern voice, "Keep trying." He saved her hand.

Over the course of a year, Mom had nine surgeries. She contracted an infection so severe she nearly died. At one point, to develop a skin graft, her hand was literally attached to her belly for six weeks. She had to learn to write with her left hand. Gravel and heavy black thread from Dr. Smith's stitches worked their way out of her hand for months after the accident. So much effort was expended in saving the use of her thumb that her wrist was not set and it knit together in a haphazard fashion, giving her only millimeters of movement in her right hand. When I was in high school, my dad took my mother to one of his appointments and asked the orthopedic surgeon to look at mom's hand to see if she could get back a little motion in her wrist and to have help mitigating some of the chronic pain. After looking at the X-ray, the doctor came back in the room shaking his head ruefully. "There is absolutely nothing I can do for you," he said. "Be grateful you have a hand."

And she is. I am, too. That so much much beauty can come out of a part of her that saw such ugliness is an inspiration to me. That she was brave enough to even attempt needle turn appliqué as a hobby, knowing that her injuries would change everything from the way she held a needle to the way she placed a stitch with a wrist that doesn't move is an inspiration to me.


What's holding you back?

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Emmeline Mini


Have you ever heard this rhyme?

 “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” 

As a young mother in the Great Depression, this saying typified my grandmother's experiences. Even though the time she spent in abject poverty was short-lived, it altered the way she looked at the world for the rest of her life. Grandma didn't throw much away. Bits of string were carefully wound around the old-fashioned bottle opener to save for later. Tinfoil pieces were re-rolled. Knee high nylons were mended multiple times. Margarine tubs became containers and the lids morphed into coasters for plants. Growing up, my mother never had a chest of drawers to hold her clothes, only a wooden orange crate that had been tipped on its side and fitted with a curtain on a spring to hide the contents. Every once in awhile, grandma would splurge and buy store-bought bread to use for a picnic. After the picnic, the sack was carefully washed for reuse.

Grandma had a great eye for beauty and painted amazing landscapes before her vision deteriorated. A travelling photographer came out to the farm to take pictures of the homestead. Grandma purchased a large portrait that showed the house, her gardens and some of the closer outbuildings. I looked closely at it one day and noticed that she had taken a paintbrush and added color in the section of the picture with her flower gardens. Apparently it wasn't yarrow unless it was yellow. It made me smile. Trust her to look at something and try to invent a way to make it more beautiful.

I had to channel that attitude to improve the disaster I was handed at our August quilt guild meeting last year. My guild holds annual challenges and this year our challenge was to make a mini quilt. The first option was to make a mini quilt with any fabrics we wanted. The second option was to make a mini quilt that used bits of all the fat quarters we shared with our table groups on the night of our opening activity. These are the fabrics from my table. Ugh.



You know how sometimes there are fabric groupings that just need one more fabric addition to unify the collection and make everything seem purposeful and harmonious? Yeah, this isn't one of those. There is only one thing you can do in a situation like this........and that's throw more fabric at it. LOTS MORE FABRIC.

Before I go any further, I should tell you why I shared the Great Depression stories about my Grandma. I am a saver too. I am able to control this tendency in most areas of my life that are outside of the sewing room. Inside the sewing room, all bets are off. Not only do I save EVERY scrap, I also have them broken down into various subsets.

1. 5 inch squares
2. 2.5 inch squares
3.  2.5 inch strips
4. Fabric strings (long strips narrower than 2.5 inches)
5. Triangles (from binding or scraps from making flying geese units)
6. Snippets (irregular pieces smaller than 2.5 inches)
7. Chunks (pieces larger than 5 inches)
8. Solids (all shapes)
9. Flannel (all shapes)

I went through every scrap container and pulled fabrics that I thought might work with my duds collection. With the exception of 3 fabrics, I did not repeat any fabrics in the project (I really regret those three times and can spot EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM). I used a quarter square triangle ruler to make templates out of newsprint from the Sunday paper and used them as a foundation for string piecing. Each of the little triangles are two inches tall.


I added an envelope backing to give myself a display option with this quilt. It finished at 14" x 14" so it can be a pillow or a wall hanging. I chose a print with yellow flowers as another nod to Grandma and bound it with a 30s feedsack reproduction print. I used a scrap of wool batting I had and quilted it with an off-white Aurifil thread from my collection.


I thought of Grandma the whole time I made this quilt, so I named it after her. This quilt didn't cost me one red cent to make. I think she would appreciate that.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Starcrossed

First of all, I have some housekeeping items to clear up.

1. Banana Runts are just plain nasty, and that's the truth.
2. My daughter is 15 months old and has very interesting grooming habits. Tonight she ate her portion of Mayocoba beans and promptly smashed the rest of them into her shirt, hair and various other crevices. My brother patted her curly head and said, "Hmmm, crispy," (just in case you needed independent verification). Bananas are particularly fun to smash.
3. I will eat a banana that is crunchy and kind of hard to peel. My husband dies a little every time he sees this. On the other hand, my husband will eat bananas that reek of ethylene. I gag a little every time I smell this. Together we cover the full banana spectrum.

#3 was the fib. I had a great time reading all of your guesses!

I also had a great time making this quilt. A friend of mine asked me to make a quilt for a special occasion. She told me that she liked a star in the middle. That's it. Isn't trust a beautiful thing?



Believe it or not, I do occasionally make quilts that aren't purple. Apparently I just haven't gotten radiant orchid out of my system yet. I have to say that I am thankful for my burgeoning orange stash. Orange fabric might not be fun to buy, but it is fun to use! Something magical happens in the pairing of orchid and orange. I really like this color combo.

This particular quilt is made from a variation of a Wheel of Fortune Star. I modified the block to make each solid piece in the original a nine patch and every half square triangle in the original into a split nine patch. Each completed block finished at six and a half inches. 




I started free motion quilting in December. My mom is a maker too (which also makes her a championship fabric and quilt kit buyer). I stole one of her quilt kits when I was visiting last summer to take home and do for her. I gave it back for her Christmas present. That quilt was my first attempt at free motion quilting and I am pretty sure I ripped more stitches than I sewed. Secure in my knowledge that mom would love me even if my quilting was marginal at best, I persevered. I am glad I kept trying. The hardest part about free motion quilting is letting go of any illusions of perfection you might be harboring...sort of like getting your first ding in the brand new car.

I tried a new design for this quilt. I threw a little loop and double loop into the meander. Some of it was pretty flippin' awesome.




...and some of it, well, wasn't. Whoops. Since the flippin' awesomes outnumber the whoops moments, I am counting that as a win. Hopefully I get karma points for showing extra large detail shots of the quilting.



Here is a picture of our sweet little "Sister" trying out the quilt. Check out the hairstyle! If you had hair that routinely looked like this, you'd try the banana gel too.



And this is a picture of the back. I contented myself with the simple heart. Not every note has to be written with (ransom note) letters.



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop

I know what you are thinking. Pie Lady? Really? I will let you in on a little secret. I am not the world's biggest fan of pie, but I am pretty good at making them. It has become an annual tradition for me to enter and win our local pie competition at the county fair. When I brought home some more trophies last summer, it was my husband who commented that I was turning into a "Pie Lady" and it just sort of stuck. If it were up to me, I would be Awesome Cupcake Quilts or definitely Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Quilts, but Pie Lady just sounds better. Speaking of sounds better, here is a link for the best chocolate chip cookie (It's the Cook's Illustrated version, thick and chewy) you'll ever put in your mouth. Trust me, I've put plenty of them in my mouth.

These are the pies that I made for other people this Thanksgiving: 2 pumpkin streusel, 2 peach, 1 Dutched apple, 1 rhubarb, 1 cherry, 1 pumpkin and 1 blueberry
I approach quilts like I approach pie. I research the heck out of traditional methods, practice it, and then try to find some way to innovate or update it. I ask "what if?" a lot. I think about quilts the same way. I seem to think about quilts all the time. My little boys have seen these zone outs quite a bit. I never realized how much I did it until they started saying "that would make a great quilt" when we looked at illustrations in their picture books or they stopped to point out some colors to me on our walks. Both of them will sit on my lap for far longer than any normal 6 year old and 4 year old boy would, looking at illustrations of block designs. The ladies at my local quilt guild laugh at the way I check out book after book from the guild library. I am a self-taught quilter and I am hungry for knowledge. I don't care if the book has a modern slant or not. I look for techniques and inspiration everywhere.

I created a collage of the three entries I made for this year's Pantone Color Quilt Challenge (radiant orchid). These projects are a good representation of who I am as a quilter. I have full blog posts for these projects if you are interested in more information. The first is Radiant Triangles. Going through my drawer of rulers one day, I saw my Tri Recs ruler. I looked at it hard and wondered what else I could make it do. I had just finished an improv log cabin quilt and wondered, "what if I use the triangle as the center of a log cabin?" The second is Radiant Improv. I wondered what would happen if I combined a traditional block with improv piecing. The last is Radiant Circles. I love curves and wanted to try my hand at sewing them, so I folded a piece of typing paper and cut a curve. I made a pillow to practice sewing that curve, and when it worked, I committed to a quilt.


The next project I wanted to share was a quilt I made called Mod Boxes. I drew this out on graph paper with my feet dangling in the community pool last summer. I had a baby last spring, so I had a companion snoozing away in her carseat. My husband and I took turns watching her under the shaded awning and playing with the boys in the pool. The colors of the pool and shade seeped into the color inspiration of this quilt. I just love Kona Water. Pretty literal, huh?



Most of the time, I don't order specific fabrics for specific projects. I had a moment of clarity when I heard Bill Kerr from Modern Quilt Studio give a presentation at our quilt guild. He said, "Ugly fabric can be effectively utilized in a quilt." When I went home and looked at my stash, I realized that a.) he was right and b.) My stash reflected my personality TOO heavily. I had lots of splashy fabrics, but not enough of the understated, "drab," workhorse fabrics that make a cohesive quilt. Plus, I had glaring gaps in the colors. Apparently yellow, blue and orange fabrics are NOT fun to buy. I have worked hard in the last 18 months to correct that problem and develop a more well-rounded stash with added design possibilities. My solution? I've stopped picking out most of the fabrics myself. Scrap packs are a fantastic deal. My LQS in Hills, Iowa (Inspirations) has them and Hawthorne Threads has great scrap packs online. The other thing I do is put my mom on the case. She goes to her LQS in Preston, Idaho (Suppose Quilt Boutique) during their semi-annual sale and picks up the $0.99 fat quarters for me. So often, the most, um, "interesting" fabrics are the ones that make it into the next project. Don't believe me? Look closely and you'll spot the dark brown fabric with giant white egg beaters. Yep, giant white egg beaters. Thanks, mom!


So today, thanks to modern technology, I am posting this blog en route to my mom's house. To keep me company through Wyoming, and distract me from the realities of a 1200 mile road trip with three children, I thought I'd try one of the games I used when I taught 4th grade. It's called Two Truths and a Fib. I will share 3 statements about me; 2 are true and 1 is not. Can you spot the fib? Tell me your guesses and/or write one of your own. Bonus points will be awarded to anyone who makes me laugh out loud.

Since far too much of this post has been about food, I thought I'd continue the theme and besides, quilting IS bananas......"and bananas is good!"

1. I despise any banana-flavored candy, especially Runts.
2. My daughter makes a unique and long-lasting hair gel out of smashed bananas.
3. I once told my husband that "I only eat bananas that are brown and smushed."

Enjoy the rest of the blog hop and thanks for stopping here!

Carole @ Fresh Off The Frame 
Camelia @ Camelia Elliott
Nurdan @ Hug a Bit Quilts
Paula @ Mud Pies and Pins
Lori @ Sew Psychd
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Christina @ Wips and Tuts
Diana @ Sew Crafty Chick
Marcia @ Cozy Capatiller
Judy @ Quilt Paradigm 
Jasmine @ Quilt Kisses
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts