Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Time for Quilting

This past week hasn't been conducive to quilting my Kaleidoscope quilt top, but I've been thinking about how to quilt it, being inspired by the quilting Katie did on her whole cloth quilt. (see here) So last night, I finally sat down to give it a go. I thought maybe I should use my free-motion foot, but one pass down the quilt changed my mind - I just couldn't keep my tension consistent. Frustrated once again with free-motion, I picked it out.

This morning, with fresh eyes, I admitted what had been niggling in my brain all week. Though I love the wobbly straight-ish quilting Katie used, and really do want to use it on a project, what really called to me with this particular quilt was the secondary, circular pattern of the kaleidoscope. I tried to talk myself out of it, but hubby kept insisting, "It'll look good!" Inspired by the quilting on this quilt (see here) by Musings: Kristin La Flamme, I started in a new direction. Yes, it'll be more time consuming, and no, I don't totally know the complete quilting plan yet, but I have a start.

It's a beautiful sunny day in Seattle(!) and I have a list of chores a mile long, but I'm sure hoping to get back to Kaleidoscope before the day is done.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Finish it Up!

I'm finally feeling like I've made some progress on my Finish it Up! list! Dream Big is now complete! See several views of it here!

So two down, one to go.
1. Dream Big Finished!
2. Light and Shadow Bali pop quilt 
3. Gentlemen Caller Finished!

It's not that I haven't been sewing - just not totally sticking to my Finish it Up! list! In addition I've participated in two quilt-alongs this summer - Kaleidoscope (see here and here), which is ready to be quilted, and the Summer Sampler Series. I am caught up as of this morning with the sampler.
These have been very fun blocks to make, using a combination of traditional piecing and paper piecing - often in the same block! It's been really fun to work with these citrusy solids.

I've also participated in several swaps this summer, and realize I never showed off the fun package I received in the A Little Fabric, A Little Chocolate {Swap!}. It was extra special in that it contained a few items from my partner's recent trip to Holland. Thanks again, Deanna! 
Anyway, it's been a busy sewing-summer so far, and even though they weren't on my list when Finish it Up! started in June, I am hoping to finish these additional projects before summer's end:
4. Kaleidoscope
5. Summer Sampler Series
6. Afternoon Snack table runner

SO, I better get busy! Have a great weekend!

Can anyone tell me why I get double-spacing between my paragraphs, when I've only returned once?. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Fair: A Quilt and A Recipe

Gen X Quilters Summer Fair
Summer Fair is being hosted by AnneMarie of Gen X Quilters, and it looks to be alot of fun! Quilts and recipes together - how can you go wrong? There's even prizes - an added bonus! Link up on her post to see other lovely quilts and yummy recipes!

The quilt I want to share is my newly completed Dream Big. Made for my daughter dear for her birthday, the pattern is from Simply with Camille Roskelley: Quilts for the Modern Home. I'm sure you recognize the fabric - Central Park by Kate Spain. I used my daughter's very favorite fabrics from the line, adding some KONA solids to round it out.
The back was pieced with leftovers, including an accent of pluses.
The swirly quilting was done by my friend, Darlene of Girton's Quilting. You can't see it very well in these pictures, but the quilting thread is purple.
All in all, I'm very pleased with the quilt, continue to be a big fan of Central Park, and can't wait to hand Dream Big over to my daughter the next time I see her.

My recipe is very versatile. It was first given to me by a friend as an appetizer recipe. I've tweaked it to my family's tastes, and have used it both as a dip (great with Frito dippers) and as a side salad. Either way, great for summer!

                           CORN RELISH DIP
2 cans corn kernels (or fresh corn, cut off the cob!)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tb. each fresh lime juice and lemon juice
1 small  onion, minced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c. oil
2 Tb. cider vinegar
1 tsp. dry oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate. It's fine to do 1 day before serving. 
Just prior to serving, add 4 avocados, chopped. 
See you at the Summer Fair!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

W.i.P. Wednesday

It's W.i.P. Wednesday again already!

Completed projects
Dream Big is all done, though photos of front and back are being saved for Gen X Quilters' Summer Fair: A Quilt and Recipe Show. The show starts today, but due to W.i.P. Wednesday, I'll be waiting until tomorrow to post. Quilts and recipes - that's right up my alley!

Ongoing projects
My Kaleidoscope quilt top is done and basted. I love how it is turning out! Last night I made the binding and quilting it is next on my agenda! 

The Summer Sampler Series Quilt Along is along coming along nicely! I finished block #7. I loved the blocks on flickr that had each star triangle in a different print fabric, but considering I was working with solids, I went ahead and made the string block. I really like how it turned out, and the pieced triangles were especially fun to make.

Afternoon Snack table runner and Cappuccino Bali Pop "Light & Shadow" have been started, but not much progress has been made. Once Kaleidoscope is done, I'm planning on facing both of these projects before I get totally wrapped up in bee blocks and swaps.

Upcoming projects
* Stash quilt - zig zag quilt
Shades of Grey.
* For the Love of Solids project
* 4x5 modern Quilt Bee blocks
* Quilts for our siblings.

On hold for a while
Block-a-palooza quilt along needs basted and quilted.

Be sure and head over to Freshly Pieced to see more W.i.P.s! They are so inspiring!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday at the Table

You already know I collect recipes, and of course, hubby is free to peruse them whenever he wants. That's not really his thing though. But there are several recipes he's mighty interested in. I've been hearing about them ever since we first met, and that would be some 30+ years ago. Hubby fondly recalls the sausage, the kuchen, the pfeffernusse that his grandparents would make 'back in the day'. The kuchen (a sweet, yeasty coffeecake), after years of trying recipes, I'm now able to closely replicate; pfeffernusse (a spicy cookie) can be purchased fairly easily. But that sausage recipe had remained elusive. Until last week.
I found this cookbook on my desk at work, dropped off by hubby's, until recently, distant cousin. It was compiled in 1999 by another 'line' of the family. But not only does it have the recipe for the beloved "Peppernuts" and "Grandma's Kuchen", but there in all its glory is "German Sausage." THE sausage. Hubby could not be happier.

Maybe because I had family recipes on the brain this weekend, I decided to make my father-in-law's recipe for roasted tomatoes. You won't find this in the cookbook, but it is on a recipe card, written by me, as dictated by my father-in-law years ago. I only wish he was here to enjoy them with me. Since he's not, I'll share them with you.

Roasted Tomatoes*
1# fresh plum tomatoes, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2" horizontal slices
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and split
1 sprig fresh basil

Heat oven to 250-degrees. Lay tomato slices on greased sheet pan and sprinkle with salt. 
Bake 2 hours, 15 minutes. The tomatoes should be wrinkled and dry around the edges, but the centers still slightly soft. 
(I sometimes flip them half-way through baking.)
Remove with a spatula and drop into a jar filled with the oil. Add the garlic and basil, cover tightly, and refrigerate when cool. Delicious with pasta, on sandwiches, or eaten out of the jar with a fork.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Very Good Day

There's not much I enjoy more than an afternoon in the sewing room with daughter dear. What used to be two sewists, each at their machines speeding though their projects has turned into one sewist sewing and another making sure baby is happy, in between cutting, pressing, and generally supporting the sewist. All in all, it's a pretty sweet deal. In addition to moving forward on quilting projects, we managed to get organized with our Dots Swap! and have our swap fabrics ready to mail. That's a very good thing. Thanks to all who are joining us in our swap!

Later in the day, I managed to baste Kaleidoscope, after piecing the backing Saturday night. I must say, the process of putting this back together was a very positive experience, which isn't always the case for me. I credit the inspiration I found from Crazy Mom Quilts. You may remember the last time I basted a quilt, I did it out on our deck, which was really quite lovely. If you've been watching the weather news at all, you may have noted that while most of our country has been experiencing a heat wave, the Pacific Northwest has definitely not. According to those who calculate such things, prior to this weekend, we had had precisely 78 minutes of summer this year - defined as 80-degrees and above. Thankfully Saturday and Sunday (apparently, not today and beyond), we had summer weather. Which meant I had a perfect evening to baste another quilt on the deck! Not quite sure why, but it makes the task so much nicer!

Unfortunately, I somehow managed to bleed on my quilt - in a white space, of course. When I realized it, I glanced at my hand and saw a teeny little prick where I must have met one of my basting pins. Fortunately for me (and you) I "bing"-ed 'blood stain on fabric' and came up with a solution I'd never heard of: 1/2 tsp. of laundry stain remover (I used Zout) in 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide. I am happy to report IT WORKED. And quick. Whew. I'm not usually one for laundry tips, but there you go.

Lastly, I sat down to watch The Next Food Network Star last night, and was able to finish binding Dream Big! Yay for a finish to end the week. Like I said, it was a very good day!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

52 lists in 52 weeks//week 8

List Makers UNITE! I love that. That's the manta of 52 lists in 52 weeks. Today's topic is "Ways to Be a Great Companion." I consulted hubby on this one. Here's our list:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In Etc.

When I looked back at last month's Friday Night Sew-In post, I was somewhat surprised to see that I'd been working on the backing for my Dream Big quilt. I wasn't too pleased with it then, but must say I am perfectly pleased with it now that it is quilted and back home. I'll post a pic when the quilt is completed later this week. Meanwhile, last night I machine-stitched the binding on and am ready to finish up the hand stitching. Love this step!

Last night I was also able to finish piecing my Kaleidoscope quilt along top. Yay! I'm really pleased with it. Now to think about the backing - and you know how much I love THAT! 
I do know that it'll mostly be gray with white dots, but I need to decide how/if I incorporate my extra Kaleidoscope blocks. We'll see.

Block #6 of the Summer Sampler Series quilt along got put together. This block involved regular piecing and paper piecing, so that was interesting. Don't think I've ever combined the two in the same block. I'm not totally happy with how the center came out, so I may be revisiting that little detail.
With six blocks complete, we're half done with the quilt along!

Finally, this morning I was able to cut and mail charm squares for Rainbow Charm Swap 2, hosted by Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts. I can hardly wait to get my swap charms back - the swap members really picked out some fantastic fabrics! This is going to be fun!
I was assigned the color blue and chose these lovelies . . .
(L-Valori Wells Wrenly Wildfield Cobalt,
R-Erin McMorris Summersault Cartwheel Lake)

By the way, during the Sew-In, I enjoyed catching up with The History Quilter's podcasts. Feel free to check her out at The quilting podcast scene is new to me, but I'm finding it's some nice company in the sewing room!

Well, that's it for today! Thankful for what I accomplished and hope you have a great day!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Finish it Up!

I still do not have another finish for the Finish it Up! challenge, though I AM a giant step closer! Dream Big returned home from the quilter's yesterday, so she just needs her binding! Here's a pic of some of the quilting detail. 
So, my list is still not showing much progress, but I should have that second finish by next week!
1. Dream Big
2. Light and Shadow Bali pop quilt 
3. Gentlemen Caller Finished!

Meanwhile, I have had a productive week - mailed off blocks for the Scrapbuster Swap (see here), am in the middle of piecing together my Kaleidoscope QA blocks (see here), and have five blocks done for the Summer Sampler Series QA.

And, Dots Swap! sign-up has closed, so to those of you joining Rachel and I, we'll be getting you your list of swappers soon! All in all, a productive week!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lucky Me!

Well, it's been a very fortuitous week for me! To start off, Susan of The History Quilter had a giveaway in celebration of her 100th post and I WON! Yesterday I received my winnings - a lovely panel, two patterns for use with pre-cuts and one for Susan's favorite "glam bag" (excited to try this!), a Clermont Farms charm pack, and a fat quarter pack of Riley Blake Designs Colorful Christmas Flannels. Wow! Thanks, Susan!! And congrats on your 100th post!
On top of that, Susan was kind enough to call out A Quilter's Table on her blog and podcast. Very kind. Do check out her podcast - it's fun!

Then, you already know I've been quilting along with the Summer Sampler Series. Am seriously enjoying it!
Well, it was a treat to be highlighted  in Swim, Bike, Quilt!'s mosaic yesterday. Revised post due to Kate's kind offer that I include her mosaic here! My block is #5.

click on links below for more information! 
1. Mosaic Block, 2. Summer Sampler Series - Greek Cross, 3. SSS8, 4. SSSQA Block #4 Flower Garden Path, 5. Block #4 ~ Flower Garden Path, 6. Summer Sampler Series Quilt Along: Flower Garden Path, 7. my favorite so far!, 8. Summer Sampler # 1, 9.Summer Sampler, Block 3, 10. S3 Block 1, 11. Block #1: Star of Virginia, 12. 13th July, 2011

Lastly, I received a fabric parcel from my favorite online vendor, and wouldn't you know, it was an incorrectly shipped order! Lucky for me, I was told to keep it with their compliments. I am happy to do so - two yards of Bella Solid Stone to enjoy. Nice!
All in all, it's been a very good week!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

W.i.P. Wednesday

Welcome back for W.i.P. Wednesday! Don't miss out on Dots Swap! Go here for details and sign up (through Thursday), and then the swapping will begin!


Completed projects
Finished up 10 half-square triangle blocks for the Scrapbuster Swap, plus the 'thank you' mod tree block. Got all that mailed - yay!

Ongoing projects
My Kaleidoscope quilt along blocks are done, though I had a little 'incident' while trimming them tonight. I started squaring blocks to 12 1/2", and after doing 3 realized that my blocks really needed to be a tad larger to not cut off all the points when I pieced the blocks together. Not sure why, but as I went forward, I squared them to 12 3/4", to keep the integrity of those points. Needless to say, 3 blocks were now useless, so barring a change of heart and making more, my quilt will now be 4 blocks by 5, rather than 5 by 6. Oh well.

The Summer Sampler Series Quilt Along blocks are coming along nicely! I'm really enjoying making these!

Dream Big is done being quilted, but alas, still in not home. Hopefully Thursday.

Afternoon Snack table runner and Cappuccino Bali Pop "Light & Shadow" are still waiting for attention. I'd really like to have both of these done in the next few weeks!

Upcoming projects
* Stash quilt - zig zag quilt
* Quilts for our siblings.

On hold for a while
Block-a-palooza quilt along needs basted and quilted.

So there's my progress for this week! Be sure and head over to Freshly Pieced to see more W.i.P.s!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday at the Table

Food was always a big deal in our home as we were raising our children. Hubby once said that the hardest part of having kids was having to share licking the beaters! Now with the 20-somethings off on their own, I can't help but reflect . . .

As a wedding present, we got the neatest set of glass nesting bowls. Though for a while, we couldn't decide what in the world the smallest one could possibly be useful for. One day, as I was baking cookies, I filled the little bowl with chocolate chips and took it to hubby. We still do that - just enough for a sweet little "thinking of you" snack.

And there was the milk bottle.
When the kids came to the breakfast table each school morning, I'd have everything they needed to help themselves already on the table. Somewhere along the line, I decided not to put the gallon of milk out - maybe just because of the heft of it, I'm not really sure. I bought this milk bottle and it held just enough for the kids' breakfast. We have fond memories of the St. Patrick's day that I colored the milk green. Imagine their shock as they poured it out onto their cereal. Funniest thing - they fell for it again the next year!

And of course there were the sack lunches. I confess to dreading the making of them! In a desperate effort to make it fun, I started cutting sandwiches with cookie cutters or making turkey roll-ups with tortillas - anything interesting but tasty. I'd try and have home-baked treats to pack, and when supplies were critically low, I was known to fill a spoon with peanut butter and wrap it in saran. And then there were the notes. On important or stressful days, or "just because" I'd pop a note in there for kids or hubby to find at lunchtime. Boy, I miss those days!

That part about home-baked treats . . . well it kind of snowballed on me! I think it all started when daughter dear was concerned that one of her friends came to school without breakfast and asked if I could bake muffins and send an extra for her friend. Well, somehow word traveled, and before I knew it, every Wednesday I was baking and sending a dozen muffins, each in a baggie, so daughter dear could distribute them to her friends! (I was a baker, remember? This really wasn't a stretch! ha) Anyway, I'd try all sorts of muffin recipes and the girls, of course, each had their favorites. So at graduation, I made up a little recipe booklet and gave one to each girl, with the hope that they would make the muffins themselves and have muffin memories for a long time. I hope they still do.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Randomness Continues

Well, my weekend ended on a lovely note when I heard from Susan from The History Quilter, that I had won her recent 100th post giveaway! How cool is that? I'll show off the goodies when they arrive! Thanks, Susan!

And, I was happy to hear that my A Little Fabric, A Little Chocolate {Swap!} partner received her package from me and really liked it. Yay.

Hubby made my day by putting shelves in the closet of our sewing room/computer room! Previously, all my stash fabrics had been stored in several plastic bins, all colors stacked together. It was great fun to pull them our and organize on the new shelves. 
Not to mention, it allowed me the chance to go through my stash and pack up another box for the Stashtacular Swap.

I have yet to add my 'modern' fabrics to the closet. They are kept conveniently under my cutting table. Need to keep them by me at all times.  :-)

As you know, I've been feverishly working on scrappy depression blocks for the Scrapbuster Swap! Part of the deal was to make a 'mod tree' block as a thank you for the moderator, Kari. I was stumped on what to do, but finally found inspiration on Pinterest, and was able to whip that little block up last night! So my 10 swap blocks and thank you block are on their way today - whew! (If you haven't yet discovered Pinterest, it's a great place to find quilty inspiration! If you'd like an invite, just let me know!)

And,  Summer Sampler Series block 3 is done. What fun blocks {and colors!} these are!

Well, that's enough randomness for today! Have a good one!

Friday, July 15, 2011


There are two things I am realllly excited about:

1 - Being accepted into do. Good Stitches, a charity bee I've been wanting to join for some time now! A spot has opened up for me and I'll begin stitching with the my circle in September! Using my craft to benefit others has been a part of what I do for ages, and this is just another {fun} way to do that. 

2 - Dots Swap! being hosted by Snippets of Sweetness and I! See details on the swap here! Sure would love to have you join us in this summer bee!

Unfortunately, I don't have a finish to show for Finish It Up! Friday with Fashioned by Meg. But I have made progress on other projects (uh-oh!). I've really enjoyed working on my blocks for the Summer Sampler Series Quilt Along. Two are done and the third tutorial came out this morning, so this project is coming along nicely.

I've made great strides on my blocks for the Scrapbuster Swap. Besides stitching up a sample blocks, I have the hst all made and trimmed for the other blocks.

Sewing the hst together should be quicker than making them! Good thing, as the deadline is looming!

And I did hear that my Central Park II quilt is on the frame! That's very good news, so it should be home by Tuesday or so.

I was thrilled to hear that Tiffany of This Crafty Fox received Mini-Swoon and put some very nice pictures on her blog (here). She seems honestly pleased to have won Mini-Swoon, so that makes me very happy!

I've been thinking about some of the things I've learned since I started blogging. Now I've been sewing since I was a teenager, and quilting for a couple of decades, but I did not know . . .

to trim block ears - This was not something I learned in my beginning quilting class!
solid is a valid choice - Like for a whole quilt! This has been eye-opening to me.
"sewist" is a word - Though it is not in! Apparently it's a combination of the words sewer and artist. Real word or no, I guess I am one!
html code - Seriously, who knew this would be a part of quilt blogging!? There is a definite learning curve here.
flickr is an active part of quilt blogging - Alot of what I do in the online quilting community is through flickr. I thought it was just a place to share photos, but it is much, much more.
Pinterest - I get it now. I thought it was just one more thing to spend time on. Which it is, of course, but SO handy to keep track of quilting and color inspiration, fabrics to purchase, etc. I like it.
pressing seams open - Another thing I didn't learn in that beginner's class. But I do see the benefit of it - at least sometimes.

Whew! That's alot! What have you learned?

Oh, and I thought I'd mention that Friday Night Sew-In in on July 22 this month. Wow, that IS alot of random isn't it?! Hoping you have a great weekend and find at least a few minutes to express the sewist in yourself!