Friday, June 27, 2008

getting the message...

Machine piecing was working, so I thought...How hard could stab stitching be right? Stick the needle one way, pull the thread, then stab, pull, stab, pull...Not rocket science right? I hooped up the summer birdy for the 4 Seasons BOM and went to work. Piece of cake.

Got that done and the next night I started the words... did a few things, then came back and picked up my hoop to keep going and proceeded to scream and drop the hoop. I guess I wasn't getting the message so the pain decided I need to hear it loud and clear.
STOP SEWING MORON! Okay, loud and clear, no hand work. Got it!

I did get some sewing done this past week at the machine. Simply feeding the machine seems okay, so I was able to get the Snail's Trails done for the SwLOL BOM. I'm getting behind, but nothing I can do about it at the moment. These are actually cool blocks!

I stopped by Sharon's blog and saw her totally amazing zipper bags and was in total envy. Sad to say, I have never sewn a zipper in my life. Luckily I was able to find loads of tutorials on how to make these tote/zipper bags online. So yesterday, I ran by Joann's to pick up some zippers! Very cool colors.

I also got a great treat from the mailman today! My super Jolly Packs from The Fat Quarter Shop with all the new Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I ordered 2 and should have loads to use for the super bright Kaffe inspired BOM I just started playing around with on the side. Since the quilt is done in a 2.5" scale, these nickels work perfectly.

Thanks to Wendy for noticing them!

Kathie asked what our summer plans were, and I guess for me it's going to be playing catch up...very slowly. I'm getting so behind in everything, but they are all great projects and I want them all done. SO I'll keep working on the samplers, BOM's, CW blocks, Dear Jane blocks and such till I eventually get back to myself and get caught up.

Next time I'll listen a little more carefully too!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Finally got some applique done. Slowly but surely I got the rest of the pieces sewn on that got interrupted when my arms and hands went haywire.

Finally the top was done today.

Now when it's going to get quilted?? Who knows. I have a feeling that's going to take more hand strength then I have at the moment.

It's a pattern and kit I bought at Primitives last year from Quilters Station called Tip Your Hat from Pieces from my Heart.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Somewhere in blog land one day, as I was blog hopping and following links, I found a wonderful fabulous site called The Perfect Pantry. Best site ever for recipes, pantry items, etc. I'm always looking for new recipes that do not include meat and even though it's hot now and soup would be ever so more yummy in the cold winter, we still enjoy it now.

Here is a fabulous recipe for Pasta e fagiole soup shown above.

I would make a few changes to the recipe based on what happened when I made the soup. It's a quick cook recipe, but I let mine simmer longer. Thus my liquid ended up being sucked out and I ended up adding about 2 more cups of stock. Mainly because a 1/2 pound of pasta was way too much. 1/4 pound even may be too much. Next time I'll add a couple generous handfuls and call it a day. I also added 3-4 carrots, and another half can of beans. After we ate the first night, the liquid was still scarce so I made up 2 cups of veg stock and poured it right over the soup and put it in the fridge, this let it "marinate" and mix with the soup and it was fantastic the second night.

Another image I just had to show you...isn't this the prettiest sight! All those lovely veggies turn such a bright color when they start to saute in the pot. I've always wanted one of those fantastic 6 qt. Lemongrass lime green Le Creuset pots from Williams Sonoma, but could never make myself pay $240 for one. My lovely heavy 6 qt cast iron pot came from Walmart and was $50 Made by Lodge. No doubt it will last forever and red is still a great color, especially with a lovely side of extra $$$ green $$$.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What a couple of days...

So sorry to have been gone so long. I've been slowly working up to doing more and more, sewing wise. I was all set to post earlier in the week, but I had several things to do...doctors check-ups, errands, etc. Things got away from me and I never got on the blog.

Then thursday we're watching tv and get a call from someone at my bank. I didn't pick up but listened as they said they were doing a routine check of my account. Sounds fishy.. especially at 9pm. So I wander in and check my checking account online and there's money M-I-S-S-I-N-G! Well, actually begin held as if I'd made a purchase. So CRAP! I called the number, but the guy wanted too much info and I balked. Never do this when you really don't know who you are calling. Finally find the bank number myself and call. Seems some lovely piece of crap has stolen my debit card number and bought themselves and iPod and lots of music. Probably some teenager.

Note to thief...get a freakin job! Stop stealing other people's money! Oh and by the way...the Ipod won't be getting to your house! But Apple will be calling!

So Friday I planned to spend at the bank in the morning. I wake up and walk out and realize that the tv system is awfully dark. We had the mother of all lightning storms late Thursday night. It woke us up but we drifted right back to sleep before getting up to shut things off. Bad mistake. Luckily the GFIC plug stopped the frying of the TV but surprise, the computer and phone...not so lucky. Off to the bank I go to get my money back in my account, or at least start the process. I get the cable companies call while I'm leaving...round 2.

Nothing can be done over the phone. The guy finally came today and replaced all he could and got the phones working. I now know how much I miss the computer after a whole day without. Not that I wanted anything particular...well access to my bank account, but I'm used to being able to just open it up. Anyway it seems that the lightning came into the house. Fried the phone cord, the cable box thingy, the router, the wireless card in the computer, and probably damaged my favorite phone. Walmart got lucky ($$$) today. Hubby got all those hooked up and well... here I am again!!

Still don't have my money access. Seems in order to give it back to me, I have to wait for the charges to actually come out, then they will put them back. Hopefully tonight or Tuesday at the latest.

So what did I do before all that? Sewed! I got all my swap blocks sewn for the ladies in my little swap and I got this done!
Now I need to cut the blocks and get them off to their recipients who have graciously been waiting for my arms to heal. They are getting better. Those arm bands really help tremendously, and I only bothering with straight seams at the moment. The above block looks complicated but it just straight seams and very simple. Block one of the sampler quilt BOM.

***edited to note*** Should have explained this BOM sampler. It's German and I used Babelfish to first translate enough of the text to figure out where the instructions were and how they worked. It's a nice even 2 inch finished grid, so it's great for jelly roll pieces and charm squares at 2.5" cut. Each post has instructions at the bottom and usually says something to the effect of:
Hier finden Sie die Anleitung für den ersten Quiltsamplerblock

meaning: Here find something for something quilt sampler block! If you hit the link and an Adobe box pops up you are at the right place! They do provide templates for every piece, but I just do 2.5 inch pieces and start sewing. If it's 2 sections wide...4 1/2 inches....three sections equals 6 1/2 inches. Get it? By all means pick the other links too! They go to other quilters pieces! OH last note. On the left sidebar is the link to find the complete BOM posts...under Block of the Month Sampler. Hope that helps!

Tomorrow, I'll show you my newest recipe find. Very yummy soup!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Liberated Quiltmaking...part 2!

Someone asked over at Tonya's about how the older book was different from the newer Gwen book... Collaborative Quilting with Freddy Moran. Tonya explained it very well at her blog...go read.

What I wanted to add was that I used the LQ book in a different way. I read it front to back and I while I love the kooky off center blocks and twisted stars I never saw myself as someone who would make a perfectly good 9 patch, then lay a ruler over it and purposely re-cut it off kilter.

It seemed like a big waste of fabric to me and time. HOWEVER, this book taught me that IF I sew the blocks together and the seams don't quite meet... IT'S OKAY!! Matter of fact, it looks pretty darn good that way, especially when added to other blocks that are less that "quilt police perfect". For example the picture on the left...does it look like I cared where my seams fell?

So the points on the star don't come to the exact place...who cares!
So one is off and gets chopped off...who cares!
Your seams don't intersect perfectly...who cares!

They actually look nice when they don't. Now one block in a perfect quilt might not go over well, but WHOLE quilts are fun, exciting, and loads of fun to do! It's nice to know you can use scraps and still get great blocks even if you don't have the perfect placement and size of the pieces. Garb a hunk of fabric and sew! Totally wing it. I had no idea how to make a moon, I just started cutting and sewing until I had it where I liked it. Star are more deliberate, but so much fun to make!

I still don't go out of my way to get it to look off kilter and kooky. I just let it flow and if something happens, then who cares. Making whole quilts like this is super fun and extremely freeing. It allows to to relax and really enjoy the process of making the quilt.
Halloweenie Eye Exam

From that experience I got this wonderful quilt of my favorites and one I love to hang each year!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Liberated Quilting....

Heads up readers...Tonya is heading up a very worthwhile effort to get a re-print of this book for all the Gwen Marston current fans and future fans and quilt lovers. Please take a few minutes to go over and look at her post and if you are interested in owning a copy of this all means, let Tonya know so she can add you to the numbers.

This book came to my attention because of how wonderfully Tonya spoke about it when I started quilting. I was lucky enough to find a copy by way of Laura at Pine Ridge Quilter. I believe she found a small shop on her travels one time and saw 3 copies for sale patiently sitting on a rack. Well on the phone I got the next morning and it came in the mail. I have LOVED this book ever since! I'd buy more copies if only I had someone I know who loves quilting. It's well worth having in your quilt book collection.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

now don't drop dead...

but I sewed! Armed with a muscle relaxer and 2 tennis elbow arm bands tightly wrapped around my forearms, I decided to finally sew a block together that I cut out what seems like months ago and really wanted to sew. It had taken about 2 hours to mount a plan for sewing it and draw out each step. It's from a BOM offered here, and involves a very complex piecing pattern. Or at least this is the only way I figured out to sew it. If you have other suggestions I'd love to know them.

Since I had the camera I took shots as I sewed, and thought others might like to see how to sew a very complex partial seam block! At least how I figured it out...

The finished product seen below...

First lay out all the pieces in the right place. Then sew together the top corner block completely, set back in place; and then the two gold/green side half square triangles. Then lining up the top edge of the red/pink plaid triangles, sew only HALF way down the seam. Press carefully to the green!

See the seam only goes half way down. (I should have gone another 1/4" or so) See below...

After pressing, lay one side at a time up on the pieced block. Pin this so the loose edge of the triangle doesn't shift and sew all the way down to the corner. See below...

First side sewn and pressed. See below...

Fold over the second side, pin, and sew as before.

Now both sides are done...see below. But the triangles are free.

If you tip up both sides, now you have the ability to get to the triangle edge so you can sew on the second hst. This is the only way I could figure out to do this. I pinned this because I was working with 3 bias edges and it kept shifting. Sew on the pale triangle and press. See below...

Now sew on the first flying geese block for the star points and then sew the next section after adding the corner piece first! See below...

Next, we have to finish up the final seams. Fold down the top half so that the open seams line up. I should have gone a bit farther with my first seam because I had to really sew up tight. Make sure you go about half way down the triangle side. Sew the side.

Press the seam...

and do the same thing with the next seam again. Then press....

All done! Seems complicated, but really it's just a step by step process and working them out first on paper makes it go easy. You can see my notes in the background.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

embracing the vegitarian...

When hubby decided a little over a year ago that he could no longer eat any animal that had not had a free and normal life before being "processed" out went all my regular family recipes. You adapt, but it's been harder than I thought.

Last Thursday I tried the Split Pea soup from Lacy at Razor Family Farms. I've had the best time reading about her chickens and adventures. I skipped the whole chicken part and added the regular dark mustard in the soup, leaving out the dried mustard at the end, but it was WONDERFUL!

The only thing I didn't like was once the peas bust and get mushy the skin hangs around and has a texture I don't care for. Anybody know how to solve this? Maybe the soaking would have helped? It's a no soak recipe, but I could soak them. Soup cookers? any ideas??

Monday, June 9, 2008

Kaffe quilt....

Last week I decided to slowly work on backing up my pictures. Hope you all do this regularly too. Found this from the quilt show in February.

YUM!! L-O-V-E this Kaffe Fassett quilt. In the second picture you can see the tag from Glorious Color, the place I buy all my Kaffe fabric! This was made by him and Liza Prior Lucy. It's a reproduction of another quilt.

I put the original picture I took in too, to show you how BIG this quilt really is in person. Loving' the look white glove worker lady! Seriously it wasn't cold in there.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

scared straight....

So now I won't laugh so hard at the "Stupidest Police Videos" show when they warn the guy that they are going to taze him, then they do and he flops around the ground. Imagine that...I PAID a guy to repeatedly TAZE me...about 60-70 times. O-U-C-H!!!!!! I came home with every muscle screaming and 3 times larger than before I went. It's settled down some today, but it set me back a few weeks of recovery. I know I won't be disobeying any commands any time soon by the law.

Good news is he didn't see any radial nerve damage, but figures I have a severe case of tennis my case sewing elbow. I'm sure eventually it will heal.

Now on to goodies. Bought this book after seeing it over at Wendy's blog. LOVE it! It took a while to get moving on making some bread, but with hubby's help we started.

I made the Master Recipe first using my larger mixer. Good to know that ugly bread still tastes good! I'm getting the hang of slipping it off the pizza peel onto the super hot stone in one wrist flick. The first try below was a baguette...super fat but yummy!
The second try was supposed to be a round loaf, but I didn't quite get it off in one flick of the hurt wrist and once it touches the stone it sticks, so it got a little oval-shaped. Then the third slash was too long and it sorta exploded at that place, but like I said..tastes all the same. YUMMY!

Next I've moving toward on of the sweeter breads. Best of all is no kneading which I couldn't do anyway and the dough sits right in the fridge waiting for you. It's easy and it makes me feel good to make it myself.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

not quite...

Went to see my favorite ortho doctor yesterday...if this guy retires we will be lost..and the news was good and bad. The good news is that the goose egg is almost down to normal size. Normally that's the problem I deal with on an ongoing basis. The bad news is that this time, the goose egg was just obscuring another problem. The nerve/tendon? whatever, that runs from my pointer and middle fingers to the elbow, I think. Still hurts like heck when used, pinches and burns. Trigger finger isn't getting better either.

So I'm scheduled for an EMG on Friday to check the right arm. Follow the link if you want to know the details. So we will see. I can do what I can tolerate...which is little of anything. BUT I'm going stir crazy so I think if everyone can bare with some super brief posts with loads of pictures...I'll start posting again more frequently. Typing is still using mostly the left hand and will be slow, so bare with me a bit more.

Imagine me trying to be brief..with few words. Hummm~!

So, yesterday I finally made the second bookcase curtain . 4 seams all simple. Now they can look nice and not have any sun damage. LOVE this fabric by Sandi Henderson. They are simple held up with tension rods and I just pull them down when I need to use the fabric. Super simple!

We also made some bread...our first try from "the book". I'm having so much fun with that and best kneading at all. I'll post those later.

Thanks everyone for all the good wishes. I really appreciate having such wonderful buddies as all of you!