Saturday, April 12, 2014

RSC: April Purples


I had a happy day on Friday. I stopped off at our local quilt “thrift” store. It reminds me of the gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel, you just can’t resist!

The Legacy, as it is called, is run by the city’s Senior Center. All the fabric, notions, yarns, lace, patterns, etc. are donated. They have both yardage and plastic bins of smaller pieces. I love the plastic bins because it’s a great place for scrap quilters. And the dreamy part of this is they charge $2.00 per pound for fabric!

On Friday, I went in looking for purples. I had gone through my stash and actually did very well in finding many purples. But, it was a good excuse to go there!

It was a good day for purple! It was also a good day for turquoise and orange, and pink and green and blue…you get the picture.

I looked through the orphan blocks and found some nice ones that I bought for pieced backs. I was dizzy with fabric fumes!

Take a look and see! Purple, purple, purple!

The batik on the left and the purple fourth from the right were from the Legacy. The rest were from my stash. I love the purple at the right!


The dotted fabric 2nd from left was from The Legacy.


I have some dusty pink but am not sure if I will use it.



It’s amazing the different shades of purple! Some look downright pink next to others. I only need 14 purples for my snowballs so I have leeway.

By far my favorite is this one:

RSC Favorite Purple

This was someone’s donation that I ended up taking home from our guild. I don’t have much, but I’ve used little pieces of it in a couple of quilts.

RSC Favorite Purple close up


The pinky/purple fabric the third from the right on the first picture you probably identified immediately as “old” fabric. Definitely. Where else do you see this kind of selvage?

DSC02124

Can you imagine making quilts or bags or… out of the selvages from yesteryear?

It’s not even halfway through April and I’ve got my fabric. Next step: cutting 6.5” squares! See you next week.

I’m linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Everyone there is making beautiful things. Click on the badge in the upper left side bar and see some great blocks!

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Good Start to the Day


birds chirping
I started out this morning like every other one. When I went outside with the dog I was busy thinking about the day ahead and what needed to be done.

I became aware of a little chirping. I stopped to listen and realized there were lots of birds chirping. I stood and there were hundreds of birds chirping. I was surrounded by this wonderful symphony of sound.

The sun had just come up and birds were chirping everywhere. I just took in all that beautiful music.

Maybe I should tune in to the moment more often…

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wherein We Encounter the 60s and Do The Math


Monday, Monday, so good to me;
Monday morning, it was all I hoped it would be.

Now there’s some enthusiastic people! Now if they’d written Friday, Friday, I would be more on board with it!
So, do you remember the Mamas and the Papas? And if you do, you’re from my generation! For the rest of you, the Mamas and the Papas were a singing group from the 60s.


I always wish I had more time in the week to quilt…which I think is a common theme on my blog and the same probably for many of you. I really don’t know how bloggers with children manage to quilt, much less write a blog. I didn’t start quilting until after my kiddos had left the nest! It seems impossible to quilt and blog and have kids! But forget my moaning and groaning. Really, isn’t some quilting better than none?

I did manage to work more on my Log Cabin quilt. It’s all looking good and I think I see the finish line ahead! I need to call the quilting lady and reserve time to get this behemoth done.

It’s gotten to the point that it’s difficult to sew on it because of its bulk. I think my king size quilt is actually working against me trying to maneuver it through my machine! I can just see it grabbing onto the edge of the table and saying, “No! No! Not through that tiny opening again!”

For those who haven’t been on this loooong journey with me, here is a post about the beauteous beast.

I sewed some more on the spool quilt. I also encountered a little hiccup.

The start line:

 















Advancing through my sewing machine:





Starting the next step, adding white strips:
















The progress as of late:

4-7-14

Doing the math:
56 1-sided spool blocks
+5  0-sided blocks
= 66 white strips needed
-22 white strips available
=44 white strips, that I don’t have, that are needed

And now Murphy’s Law raises his head. I have no more white fabric. I started this quilt a long time ago. Ergo, no matching fabric.

Enter the hero: My Aunt Marie, scrap quilter extraordinaire! In her scrap quilt she would often substitute  similar colored pieces when she ran out of the first color.

And there you have it (Thank you Aunt Marie). I must go down to the quilt store. Back to the quilt store and find a WOW fabric where the backside looks similar to the one it has.

You know what? I actually think it’s kinda cool…pulling a “Aunt Marie”!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Scrappy Turquoise

I know I'm not the only one who hasn't finished their turquoise/aqua blocks. At least I  hope so! When I finally got the fabric, I did have so much fun sewing them together and they look so purty, IMHO. I finally got time to sew their little snowball corners on Saturday. 

Part of my delay was I galavanted around Riverton, where Nancy Drew lives, on Spring Break. I got to visit 2 of a gazillion quilt shops there--and that's only within a 10 miles radius of her home. Okay, maybe I exaggerate a smidgen. Just a little.

It's amazing to go to Utah from a county that has 2 homegrown quilt stores, 1 Joann's and 1 California-based fabric/quilt/yarn/craft store. When I used to visit Nancy Drew in Massachusetts, her situation there was worse than mine! Now I'm eagerly waiting to go back to Utah so I can visit even more quilt stores my adorable grandchildren!

Here are my snowball blocks for March. I had fun finding some novelty fabric for this month. I guess only about half of these are scrappy. Then again, once I bought them they became part of my stash that I’ve been using to make my blocks! Nod if you agree!



If you number them right to left starting in upper left, here’s the skinny on the blocks.
1,3,5,7,8-10 were all from fat quarters from Utah
2 is a fun one from my stash
7 is a favorite that I keep cutting small pieces off to put in one quilt or another
9 is from a shirt I bought at Goodwill for fabric



I was much luckier this month than last. I had lots of purples to choose from! Next week I’ll show the ones I picked!



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Of Grandchildren, Murderous Trees, and Flimsies

Home again, home again jiggety jog!

Coming home from vacation is exquisite! Don’t get me wrong. Vacation is tremendous and this past week was the stuff dreams are made of! After all, who can resist this?


2014-03 Lilly that little charmer
Curly

Or this?


2014-03 Taylor looking pretty
Sweetie

Or for that matter, this?


2014-03 Andi-roo
Nancy Drew


Not me! Definitely not me.

But then, I miss this…horribly.


My Adorable Hubby

Now moving along to the Design Wall and another scintillating view of my garage wall!

I’m sure you don’t have to guess that I didn’t get any quilting done this past week! I bought fabric which you’ve seen on my previous posts. I had brought along a couple of blocks to work on for my Redwork Quilt. I didn’t even sew one stitch!

The week before I left I was chugging along to the finish line of the Log Cabin! I had spiderwebbed the columns and had started on the rows. I’m almost half finished with the rows then the quilt will become a flimsy!! (a quilt top without batting or backing).

I had to drag the beautiful thing out to the garage wall. Once up, I had to back way, way back to get it’s king-sizedness in the frame. On my way backing up, I met Mr. Meyers Lemon Tree. I can hear you all ooo-ing and awwww-ing in gustatory pleasure of the a Meyers Lemon.

meyers lemon

Hold it just one doggone minute. You haven’t met Mr. Meyers Lemon who resides in my front yard. Did you know that Meyers Lemons have thorns? Great, big, long thorns? Of course, the taste of the Meyers Lemon is worth it.


meyers lemon thorns
Try getting stuck with this a couple of dozen times!

Of course it is! Except when Mr. Meyers Lemon in my yard does not produce lemons! It lives just to poke me and draw blood. Fiendish, blood-sucking thing! I’ve lived in this house for 10 years and never seen even one little blossom. Mr. Meyers Lemon just hangs out there and mocks me whenever I leave the house.

I have dreams sometimes. Wonderful dreams. Lovely dreams…

axe in tree


Maybe I’ll just go out there and show it the axe…
"I want lemons! I want them now! Now!"
Oops, I see I’ve been around my 3-year-old granddaughter too much!

But I digress…Now onto more pleasant subjects. I was backing up to take a picture of my Log Cabin quilt. And ran into the thorny lemon tree. I fixed it! (evil grin). No…unfortunately…not the axe. But I did get the big snippers and hacked away all those new-growth “branchettes”.

Even so, there is some greenery in the picture. This is due to the upstart of a bush that sends its tendrils all over the side of my house. Weaving it’s way through the fake shutters, attaching itself to my screens, climbing up to the roof…

Calm yourself. Deep breaths. You need to be calm.

And now, after all the build-up! Here is my stunning quilt!


2014-03 Top over half way to flimsy

You can see the unsewn rows at the bottom, plus tangled rows on the ground. Yes, but by next week I will have a finished flimsy.

Now I have a question for you amazing, knowledge-able quilters out there:

I bought my fabrics from very reputable, well-known fabric lines. But there are two of the yellows that are fraying a lot. Some are so frayed they are getting close to the seam.

On another quilt, I used bonding crystals and strips of fabric and bonded the fabric to the seams. On another quilt with not as much fraying, I used Fray-Check. I’ve thought of zig-zagging the seams together outside of the seams, then pressing them to one side.

What do you think is the best solution? I await your suggestions!

And…beware the murderous Meyers Lemon Tree!



I’m hooking up with Patchwork Times, Show and Tell Tuesday, Fabric Story, Linky Tuesday, WiP Wednesday, Needle and Thread Thursday, I Quilt, and Fabric Frenzy. All the badges are in the right sidebar. You just need to visit each blog because there are always cool things to see and neat ideas!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Whooping Our Way to Ikea



Here is your roving blogger reporting from Riverton, Utah, home of Nancy Drew, SWH, Sweetie and Curly. Life is going swimmingly. (Love that term!) I flew in on Saturday morning, went to Church on Sunday and then on to the work week. Nancy Drew and SWH went off to work. Sweetie to school and Curly to daycare.

This blogger's "work week" has a different look to it. I got up at 10:00 a.m. Delicious! Before the readers get too jealous, let me state that I went to bed at midnight. Oh wait, I think that really didn't make a justification of ten hours of sleep.



Behold and hear my justifications:  1.  I'm running on California time (1 hour difference, backward).  2.  The higher altitude, from sea level to 5290 feet, makes me more tired.   3.  I'm catching up on the weariness from work.

I think that #2 is the best. What say you?



Since ND worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I figured I could at least be helpful! I picked up after myself. I cleaned up the kitchen and put away clean dishes. I made dinner. To be completely forthcoming, I made dinner on Monday night, Tuesday we had leftovers, Wednesday ND brought home pizza and Thursday we had leftovers again. I cannot stress how difficult this has been. Probably why I have had to sleep longer!

ND took off Thursday and Friday for total kickback and fun with Momma, as she calls me. Thursday noon we took off on a shopping! I thought it would be loads of fun to take pictures of each stop of the way and post them, like I've seen other bloggers do. I have a lot of improvement to make. I managed to do it at the very first store. After that, after each stop, as we drove away I would remember I should have taken pictures. The first stop was the most exciting to me.

   IKEA   

I have never been to Ikea! I have drooled over the thought of going one day. Ikea is a few short miles away from ND's home. Number #1 on my list of things to do, even ahead of a Quilt Store, was IKEA.

Here I am!!! I'm going IN IKEA!
I had to hold myself back from buying some cool stuff, like curtains, one of those basket cart thingies that you can choose the baskets that pull in and out, and bumerang, which is not a product from Austrailia. It's a wooden hangers with clips on it for hanging skirts. I found a perfect upright dresser for my bedroom. I only had 13 pounds left in my check-in luggage.



We hit the lighting section and my daughter saw an interesting lamp. 

The Medusa Lamp!
My objective was a little "bendy" light that Bonnie Hunter had raved about on her blog. It is perfect for getting light exactly where you need it on your sewing machine or longarm. After wandering around, and finding cool things to buy, I finally found it!

Score! I found the jansjo!
To hear more scintillating details and pictures, here is where they are on Bonnie's blog, Quiltville.blogspot.com.

After our grueling trudge through the huge IKEA store, we checked out and I decided we needed a treat! I resisted the cinnamon rolls and got us yogurt cones!


We followed up by going to a quilt store!

Turquoise for Rainbow Sampler & Reds for HST BOM


We were a tired pair when we returned home. We hit a shoe store for ND and Deseret Industry, a thrift store, before wrapping up the day. I'd say this was a day worth of Whooping about!

Check out other Friday enthusiasts at Whoop! Whoop! Friday. The badge is on the right sidebar.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

An Ode to Buttermilk

buttermilk

Oh, my piquant and captivating friend!
What wonders and delights you hold!
You are always in my refrigerator
Waiting for new adventures untold!

milk mustache


There are no words my tongue can employ
To describe thy creamy liquid wonder
I hasten to pluck thee from my refrigerator
Oh you that brings me such joy.


Yes, I admit it! I am a buttermilk fanatic!
Yes, I admit it! I gag if I have to drink it from a cup!
Okay, where’s the attraction????

heart

It’s all in the baking…yummity-yum=yum. The best bread recipes are made with buttermilk.
It’s a magical liquid. It elevates everything it’s baked in.

Then there are cookies, and pies…

Here’s a favorite from our family. Irish Soda Bread. It is a type of sheepherder’s bread, nothing like what you see as traditional Irish Soda Bread. Once made, pull off a chunk with your hand and butter. And you’re in Buttermilk Irish Heaven!

irish soda bread


Irish Soda Bread
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soda
1-1/3 to 1½ cups buttermilk

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Make a hollow in the center and pour in 1 cup of the buttermilk. Mix with spoon and add enough more buttermilk to make a firm but not dry loaf. 

Turn onto a floured board and knead lightly. Shape into a round loaf and cut across the top so that it will not crack. Place in a buttered cast iron skillet or stoneware shallow pan with edges and bake at 350' for 40 to 45 minutes.

Loaf should be broken, not cut. It is good hot or cold.


And now for another buttermilk treat!

This Buttermilk Raisin Bread came from a beloved cookbook of mine: Bread Machine Magic. I have tried dozens of recipes from it and all of them have turned out to be favorites!

buttermilk raisin bread


Buttermilk Raisin Bread
7/8 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup raisins
1-1/2 tsp yeast
3 Tbsp sugar

Place all ingredients in bread pan, select light crust or 1 pound setting. Press start.

After the baking cycle ends, remove bread from pan, place on cooling rack, and allow to cool one hour before slicing. (Oh yeah sure! Who can wait one hour? What a crummy cookbook!)

1-1/2 pound loaf

Cooking Tips: Getting it right after baking: Here’s how I make my bread have a soft crust. When you get the bread out of the pan, wrap it in a terry cloth towel (completely wrapped) Place on a cooling rack. Cool completely in towel before putting in plastic bag.

If you find yourself always having leftover buttermilk in the fridge after baking a recipe, here's a website that will show you how to freeze and store it. Very interesting!

And now…let’s find out. How many of you can wait until the bread is completely cooled before you slice it and eat?