Friday, June 19, 2009

Beginner Quilting Class: Stress & Sweets

If I could say week three went off without a hitch in my quilting class that would make me so happy. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It has been an interesting week to say the least.

I have cut more fabric than I could even begin to tell you. First, it was the strips for the nine patch blocks. No problem. Next, the snowball blocks, which was relatively easy, except it was time consuming. Mostly, because I had to draw lines on the diagonal on the backsides of each of the corner squares.

In class, we sewed some of the nine patch blocks and did more pressing. Of course, I still had a major problem with that. In fact, I pressed all of my strips the wrong way....AGAIN. UGHHH.

We really did not get a lot done during class. Why is that? you ask. Well for one thing, it seems Leo, our instructor likes to throw topics out in the wind for discussion. This week out of the clear blue he asks if anyone believed in ghost. After a brief narration from him about the shop being haunted, and everyone had to talk about that, the next topic was Aliens. And did we believe in men from outer space.

Truthfully, I like things to be quiet when I am sewing, and this was a major distraction. MAJOR. I really did not even care to listen and kept on sewing over the chatter. I could hardly hear a word anyone was saying. But everyone else was busy in conversation of said topics and did not get much done. The result of not getting much done during class is a result of having lots of homework....and I thought I was so over that.....lots of homework.

So, needless to say, I have had lots to do. Finish all the cutting for this weeks sewing. Then all the squares of the nine blocks had to be sewn. It seems that after I finished with these blocks, I discovered I had a few more than what I needed.

Remember I told you about the men at the shop like to insist you can not sew the way you really are capable of doing without a Bernina. Well, this is my clunker......compared to everyone Else's machine. I don't really care. I like how it sews.

This week, when I arrived, Leo had a Bernina set up for me to sew with. I refused. He said, "Well, you really should try it and see how wonderful it is before you buy one." Huh......I am not buying one, not today, not next week, not at the end of the class. Seriously. In this way. I'm not saying I will NEVER buy one, but this is not the time.

Did you happen to notice in the last photo what is sitting on the side of my of my bone know, it makes a great pin holder while I am sewing. Oh, and speaking of pins....I hate pinning....anything. I would rather just straight sew, no pinning. But I am trying to do what he says, and pin...still don't like it. This week all the pinning drove me was a lot.

Here is a photo of the blocks....I like the colors. It took me a few minutes before I realized something.......

....I realized that this is the center of the quilt. I like how it looks, and love the fabrics.

Here is a closeup of one of the fabrics for the flying geese blocks. Now...that was the rest of our homework to cut the fabric for these blocks to be sewn next week. Being the out of the box thinker I am, I decided I wanted to do one green, and the one on top orange. The example quilt had both geese the same color.

Leo, already knew I was going to do that, and he said something about it in class. Well, all of a sudden EVERYONE wanted to do that same thing and it was a major ordeal for the rest of the girls to choose their fabrics.....can you say annoying.

Late last night, I was trying to cut the flying geese, and I was really tired, but wanted to finish. Guess what happened? I cute DOUBLE what I needed. I could have just died. I called Leo today and told him that he could forget flying geese, I had flying flocks....tons of them! I am going to finish these extras and maybe at the end, we can make my quilt bigger. I already have them cut and Leo said to stitch them up next week.

If you remember, there are no women who work in this shop. That really rings true each week because it seems Leo and the rest of the guys really have a sweet tooth. Everyone is instructed to bring desserts to stuff our faces with each week....just like a man I tell ya. It is annoying to me, I am not there to eat...I am there to sew and learn something....maybe I am a bit too serious.

I took this......Dump Cake....look how pretty it is on my Dump Dishes.

I call this recipe, Brenda's Dump Cake. I have had this very recipe for about 37 years. My cousin Brenda, is the best cook and I can remember at a young age being impressed with her cooking skills.

Once, long ago we went to visit them and see their new house they had built. It is so funny how things stick with you over the years. I remember her beautiful stained glass windows and this incredible dessert. I had never had anything like it. It was wonderful. I have kept that recipe all of these years and I always think of that day each and every time I make it.

So when looking for a recipe for the heavily suggested dessert to bring, I decided upon this. Let me tell you something, the men were in heaven. Seriously. They said they had never had anything like that and raved about how delicious it was. Hardly any was left and I made a large cake. I was shocked at how many people had never heard of this cake.

I am going to post the recipe below....minus pictures....this post has stretched out long now, most of you have most likely clicked off my blog. Besides, I need to be sewing the snowball blocks and I still have lots to do. I tend to want to get everything out of the way for the next week so I don't have to stress all week about getting it done.

Yes, I have been stressed. For some reason, I never associated stress with sewing....or sweets with sewing for that matter. I've had lots to do, and really, I don't have time to eat or even need any more sweets.....I wonder if the women teachers are like this...somehow, I don't think so. Don't get me wrong, Leo is an excellent teacher, smart, on the ball....just wish he would lose the sweet tooth.

Here is the recipe for the cake. Thank you Brenda for taking to time long ago to give me this recipe, it has been enjoyed over the years and I always like the memories associated with making the cake.

Brenda's Dump Cake

Use 9X13 dish, layer each ingredient in the order listed:

1/2 stick butter - melt in pan add

1 large can crushed pineapple (drain part of the juice off) spread in pan

1 can cherry pie filling - pour and spread over pineapple.

1 yellow cake mix. Spread 3/4 of mix over pineapple (just cake mix strait out of the box)

Melt one stick of butter and pour over all.

sprinkle 1 cup chopped pecans and remaining 1/4 of the cake mix on top.

Bake at 375 for 1 hour or until brown.

This is super easy to make and super delicious. Enjoy.

See ya next Friday...for another saga of the "Beginner Quilt Class".....I know you can hardly wait...Ha Ha!!


  1. LOL! on your quilting class adventure!

    Yes, there is always alot of homework in the classes that I teach too...classtime is only just enough to get everyone started with the newest thing.

    For years, my one machine was simpler than the machines my students called their "take to class" machines! It and I sewed great together! :)

    Your blocks are looking great! and keep pinning! It actually saves alot of aggravation! (I watch TV.)

  2. Ooooh! I so love "dump cake"!! I haven't had it in years, but now that you refreshed my memory (& gave the recipe!!!) I will bake one this weekend for Father's Day! Thank you, new friend!

  3. I saw the bone dish BEFORE you talked about it!!!! Do I get a prize? Hehehehehehehe

    I admire your tenacity with the quilt. It is looking GREAT btw!

  4. The dump cake looks great. Here is some of what I have learned from my mother, a master quilter...never, ever, measure or cut when you are tired. Ever. Also, I always tell students that learning is frustrating and if frustrating things happen while you are learning then you are learning well! Yeah! I so look forward to seeing your quilt grow. If you would like to see my mom's work, I have one of her quilt blocks as a link on my blog. She is amazing. Hang in there - you can do it and it will soon become fun and quilt class students, other than yourself of course, will likely always be a bit annoying! :) ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  5. Suzanne, your quilt is looking wonderful. All the points on your nine patch line up perfectly. Probably due to all that pinning. =0

    I saw that bone dish sitting by your machine. And I love the Dump Cake on the Dump Dishes, the ones your husband brought home to you from the dump. Clever, girl.

    Thanks for that recipe. I'm going to take it to daughter's for Father's Day. Looks yummy. And EASY!

  6. ohhh Suzanne, i am in stitches as i read about your sewing class antics!!..i can totally understand your frustration at all the unnecessary chatter while your trying to get your piecing done on your 'fab' sewing dare he imply you buy a new one!!!..and who's got time to eat!!..i'm still chuckling about your 'flock' of flying geese just think your quilt will be uniquely yours and pinning [as boring as it is] makes all the difference, believe me!!..your 9 patch blocks look perfect..don't give up!!..i can't wait for the next episode lol!! :)x

  7. It is always frustrating at first, especially when you have the distractions of food and unneeded conversation. Hopefully, it will all become fun for you soon. I'm afraid that next time I would not take any food explaining that you didn't have time to cook as you were busy doing homework. Food is not necessary unless it is an all day class - then a sack lunch is adequate. I've taken and given a lot of quilting classes, and there always are students and/or teachers that cannot stay on task. Annoying, at best. Hang in there!! Sally

  8. Frankly I would be annoyed too if I were trying to learn something. I'm jealous you get to go to a class. I haven't a babysitter nor the extra money. So I teach myself at home. At least I don't' have to listen to any alien talk while I sew.

  9. I can tell you one thing, I would let them know I was hear to learn to quilt, not socialize. Knowing you, you will survive and come out at the top of the class.

  10. Reading the dump cake recipe, it seems like it wouldn't work. No mixing of cake batter, just put it in dry?
    Signed, Inexperienced cake maker

  11. Suzanne, you are doing great! Please listen to all the comments about pinning and such. Ignore the talk and press on. Most classes have someone who is distracting and there's never enough time.

    Your Necchi is a good old machine. I have talked to a lot of national quilters who do not like the machines with all the gadgets they put on them. Simple is still the best!

    If you have an old refrigerator magnet (just the flat kind that's all magnet) lay it upside down in your bone dish to prevent pins from escaping!

    All the good things said, I second!!LOL

  12. The dump cake! Almost forgot. I have made similar from a boy scout book. Mine are made in a cast iron dutch oven on coals--no flame! We Civil War Reenact. And I'm no cook! I'll have to try yours in a 'real' oven. LOL

  13. I hate pinning also but I learned the hard way (ripping out, argh) that it is necessary for exactly straight lines (ridiculous, I know ;). Your quilt is looking great--love the prints.

    And I love dump cake and someone in my family makes it frequently--can't imagine anyone not knowing about it--it's great with ice cream by the way! And yes, viridian, no mixing--ain't that the greatest?--only one pan to wash, if it's not licked clean!

  14. I see you have several comments about the importance of pinning. So my dear I hope you will eventually learn to tolerate pinning. Never like it maybe, but tolerate. I know from experience it makes the difference in have the seams match up the first time. Better than always ripping out the mistakes because of not pinning. Good luck with finishing the quilt top. I can't wait to see the finished project. I am sure it is going to look wonderful!

  15. I keep thinking that I really want to learn to sew, but I never do. However, I dont think I could learn anything in that class!!! It sounds WAY too busy for me! Like you, I like some quiet while I work!

  16. Your quilt looks does the cake! :) My little farmchick just made a quilt for 4-H! Her's turned out pretty good too. Stop over for a visit soon!

  17. Yeah, it was a bit long (sorry!) but I'm glad I read this post! This cake sounds crazy but in a really good way!
    And hey, that class just doesn't sound like it's for you, it seems. Sounds like a fun class for the right person but you're there to learn and not socialize. I think they're all there for the socializing.
    Good luck with it. It's time consuming for so satisfying. Your blocks are perfect. I mean it. That is hard to accomplish! No wonder he's having you pin til the cows come home.

  18. You're making good progress on your quilt.

    Mama taught me the dump cake recipe many years ago.

  19. Hi Suzanne, I love your quilting post. I am impressed that a man is your instructor. Yes, it was a long post, but this is the first post I have commented on for a week. Why, because we have had a wonderful time visiting your cabin. We left this morning and it is spic and span for the next group. We have a terrible connection here in Salina, Kansas. I can't even pull up my email. I hope this goes through. We were on the road for a couple of hours before I realized I forgot to wipe the inside of the fridge. Sigh!!!!!
    It wasn't terrible but I apologize sincerely.

    Our week there was awesome. I left you a run down of the fun we had. I have photos and will let you know when I post them. I am on Bill's computer because mine isn't working. Thus no email.

    We won't be home for three more days so I will be in touch again then.

    I also have made Dump Cake for many years. Love it!!! I hope this gos through.


  20. Hi Suzanne,
    like you I don't liked pinning when I started quilting (self taught) ~ I had to learn it the hard way when my points didn't match at all.
    Recently I found "fork pins" (I got them from Clover - I don't know if there are other brands who produce them too). Ingenious! I just have to align the pieces, put the pin in & don't worry & correct if I've catched both seams even helps me to let the seam allowance stay where it should (and not flipping while sewing over it).
    Don't be too annoyed if the other students want to do like you ~ see it as a compliment for your creativity! ;o)
    Hugs, Julia

  21. Oh MY ---that made me tired just reading it---I am like you--if I am trying to learn something let's stay on the subject. I don't know how you do it and work---I guess I did a lot more when i was younger---but GET SOME REST ---so you can stay YOUNG.

  22. I have NEVER heard of dump cake, but oh my it sounds good!!! All the best,Chrissy

  23. Oh Wow! The center of your quilt looks fabulous! This is going to be THE most amazing quilt ever! I am laughing over your quilting class adventures. Any kind of sewing stresses me, so I would probably have had to quit doing anything in this quilting class (other than eating the desserts)! I can't wait to see the finished quilt. If you have memories when you make Dump Cake, can you imagine the memories you will have every time you look at your quilt creation? laurie

  24. Oh, it looks like you are doing a fabulous job on the quilt..all your squares are matching up perfectly. How fun those 9 patches are to make. I may just make another since seeing yours.
    I, too, have had this same Dump cake recipe for years...about 45. My mom made it and I grew up with it. Now, all my family loves it.
    Did you get my email about the info on your cabin?
    xo bj

  25. I often use the "extra" blocks from a quilt on the back. If I made too many of one, or didnt care for the finished look of a block. It makes a nice surprise on the back, and make the back more interesting. I also tend to piece my back with multiple fabrics. (note, I also took a mystery quilt class and changed that pattern so completely by the end it didnt look at all like the others, but everyone loved it) But thats just me. So anyway, your extras can go on the back, or possibly become a matching throw pillow? Hang in there, it looks wonderful.

  26. I often use the "extra" blocks from a quilt on the back. If I made too many of one, or didnt care for the finished look of a block. It makes a nice surprise on the back, and make the back more interesting. I also tend to piece my back with multiple fabrics. (note, I also took a mystery quilt class and changed that pattern so completely by the end it didnt look at all like the others, but everyone loved it) But thats just me. So anyway, your extras can go on the back, or possibly become a matching throw pillow? Hang in there, it looks wonderful.

  27. i think what you are creating is wonderful- really, it's beautiful so i say, good for you!

    and i like your sewing machine just fine too!

    and thanks for the calorie bomb recipe :)

  28. I ventured over to your blog to find out about this vintage Thursday thing and lookie here! This post is so cute and funny, that I just have to add you to my list. I took a quilting class many years ago. Maxine, our instructor was a jewel. I learned so many tricks and tips from her and still use many of those tips even now. The class was very business-like though. Not a lot of socializing or treats, so I guess there's extremes for everything.
    Oh, and I'd never give up my old Singer Genie for a new one. Never ever!
    Anyway, I enjoyed your post and look forward to trying out your vintage Thursday!


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