Sunday, December 14, 2008

Charming Skirts!

I've been busy making these cute little patchwork skirts made from 5" charm square packs. Each skirt takes one charm pack. The skirt above is made from the Smores line and I can't remember what the one below is made from. I got the pattern from this tutorial. I added a waistband and a cute little trim on the hem.
I wish I were five years old again and could wear one of these! I hope the cute little girls that will receive them like them as much as I had fun making them!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I've been tagged by my daughter in law and I'm supposed to turn the items I've eaten bold and have some friends do the same. So I'm now tagging Sharon and Pam! Have fun!

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush (don't like it one bit)
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream ( my absolute favorite ice cream flavor!)
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche (actually just the ice cream flavor)
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka + Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips (the real thing's much better)
61. S'mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. ratatouille
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs' legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict (mine is the best!)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Amaaaaazing Bread!

Yesterday I was reading one of my absolute favorite blogs here and started searching online for similar processes. I found a 10 minute no knead bread video here . I couldn't figure out how to put the video on my blog. I'll keep working on it but in the meantime go to the video link and check it out. I thought this was something I could do so I did it. Even though it says it's a 10 minute bread, that just describes the actual amount of work involved in making this bread. The whole process takes 18-24 hours. Let me tell you, it is well worth it! The bread is absolutely delicious! It's the best bread I've ever made!!!
It makes a perfect crust and crumb. It is amazingly simple and so good! Try it, you'll love it! I'll try to post a tutorial on it in the next couple of days.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Catch up time!

A couple of weeks after retreat I took a trip to visit these two guys! They live smack dab in the middle of potato country. Actually it's the southeastern portion of potato country. I sure wish they didn't live sooooo far away!

Adam is a big ham. He saw I was taking his picture and immediately started smiling. At the same time he's preparing for the flash.

Brandon is seen here posing with his I Spy Quilt that I made for him for his second birthday.

While I was visiting at my daughter's house we went to one of the craft stores in town and bought some place mats, purse handles, and fabric for lining. These little purses are really fun to make and I got the directions here. I made my daughter make one too. She didn't like the handles she chose. They were not the right size for the bag. Live and learn.

About a week after returning from Grandkid land I had to move my mother with Alzheimer's into our home. It will be a challenge and I don't know how long this arrangement will work. I'm just taking it a day at a time. All I can say is thank god for the Alzheimer's Day Care that she's been attending for about eight months now. The people that work there are so good at what they do. They are definitely angels on earth.

Thanksgiving was one of the best we've ever had. It would have been the best if our daughter Kimberly and her family were here. My new daughter in law made place cards and decorated/set our dining room table. I'm so glad she did too. It's my least favorite part of having guests over. I'm usually scrambling at the last minute trying to get it done. Now that she's showed us her talents, she's got the job as long as she wants it!

The last item to catch up on is the Advent quilt I made for my grandsons. It's all filled and on it's way to them. It will get there in a couple of days but they're too young to know what date it is anyway! I know they'll have fun looking inside the pockets for the treats. Next year I'll just have to send the treats and my daughter can put them inside the pockets.

Whew! That was a lot to catch up on. I'll be posting later on some cute little skirts I'm making. Till then happy sewing!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Quilt Retreat Projects

This past weekend I went on retreat with a group of women that have been retreating a couple times a year for over 10 years. It's the best bunch of women. We all seem to get along really well and just enjoy each other's company, ideas, and encouragement. Pam is in this group as well as Sharon, however Sharon didn't make it this time. She lives a bit far away now so she isn't able to make it twice a year. We missed you Sharon! : (
We stayed pretty close to home at a local hotel that caters to business travelers. They offered their conference room at a discount because we used it on the weekend (Friday through Sunday). They also gave us a group rate for anyone who wanted to stay there. It was so nice! My friend and I shared a two bedroom suite. We each had our own bedroom with a queen size bed and our own bathroom. There was also a livingroom and full kitchen. The hotel offers a full breakfast bar in the morning which was yummy! We all decided that we want to Retreat here three times a year instead of just two times.

I didn't know what I was going to work on prior to coming to the retreat so I made sure I packed enough projects to work on. I think I must have brought about 6 UFO's and another 6 yet to be started projects. In the end I worked on just two of the UFO's. I guess I was a bit more optimistic about what I would get done. I worked on putting these Garden Exchange blocks together in a quilt.

I wanted to give it a garden 'feel' so I chose to put random floral fabrics in with the blocks to unite them all. I really had fun creating this quilt although it took much longer than I thought it would.

I really like the way it turned out! I have the back just about pieced together so it will be ready to send to my friend Shari to do her magic with the longarm machine quilting!

Putting the binding on this quilt was the other project I worked on during retreat. It's kinda funny how these two quilts seem like companions. They have a lot of the same fabrics in them. It's very flowery and springlike. It'll make this winter seem like spring!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tushy Cushion from a great Tutorial

As I said in a previous post, I have been spending time reading lots of sewing and quilting blogs. I found this great blog This blog has lots of tutorials and I've been perusing them for awhile. I saw this great tutorial for a cushion here. I thought, "I could do that"!

My close friends and family know that in my kitchen I have a built in desk area where I spend most of my day doing paperwork and playing, I mean working on the computer. I sit on a chair with two pillows under my tushy. I like to be sitting taller than the chair alone gets me. I thought it was time to make my own fancy tushy cushion. Here is what I came up with with the help of the tutorial mentioned above.

The tutorial explained everything very clearly. It made piping easy! The zipper was even easier!!!

It even has handles so I can take it to my quilt retreats. I'll definitely be bringing this to my next retreat which so happens to be on Friday!!! I can't wait.

PIQF and honest quilters!

Last Thursday I met my friend Jeanne at PIQF as we have done for several years. Every year it amazes me. There are so many talented and creative quilters out there. This story however is about the amazing honesty and goodness that quilters possess.

As you know, my son was married not too long ago and he and his bride honeymooned in Mexico for two weeks. Upon their return we had them over for a "non salsa, non tortilla, beanless " dinner on Tuesday. They brought me this lovely turquoise bracelet from Mexico.

I wore this bracelet to the quilt show and didn't realize it was no longer on my wrist until the next morning. I was just sick about it. I realized that it must have been lost at the quilt show. I dreaded the fact that I would have to explain to my son and brand new daughter in law that I had lost the bracelet they gave me.

That evening I was talking with my husband and commenting on how maybe someone had turned it in at the quilt show. He said that whomever, if anyone, had found it would just pocket it.

The next morning, Saturday, I searched online for a phone number for security at the convention center. I called and they said they didn't have it but they gave me the number for the quilt show registration desk. I called that number and told them about losing the bracelet. The nice lady on the phone asked me to describe it which I did. She said it was there! I couldn't believe it!!! I told her I was on my way.

When I got there I went directly to the registration desk and picked up the bracelet. I asked if anyone had left a name or an address so I could thank them but there was none. I hope that the person who turned my bracelet in had the best feeling inside when she did so and I sure hope that something amazing happens for her. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Whoever you are!

I wasn't planning on returning to the show but since I still had my entrance band on I thought I should take another look around in celebration of finding my bracelet.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Beautiful Wedding!

There's a few reasons why I haven't posted for a couple of months. One of those reasons is that my son and his beautiful bride got married on September 29th. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful wedding. Matt and Aleyta were married in San Juan Bautista which is about an hour and a half from our home. It is a quaint little town where chickens roam free and reminds my daughter in law of Mexico where she lived for a while. Yes she speaks fluent spanish! Pretty good for a gringa!!!

They held the wedding in the lush gardens of a mexican restaurant named Jardines de San Juan. Jardines translates to Gardens in english. We didn't have to go far for the reception!

I must say that when I first laid eyes on my daughter in law (to be-in moments) I was taken aback by how beautiful she was in her wedding gown. I immediately was overtaken with emotion and had to give her a big hug. She had been dreaming about this day since she was a little girl and she just glowed with beauty!

As she walked down the aisle and my son saw her for the first time in her wedding gown, he also was overtaken with emotion. He's a sweetheart and a great young man who has chosen a wonderful young woman to share his life with.

This is my grandson Brandon. He's 3 1/2 years old and he was the ring bearer/reception entertainment with his harmonica that he received from his Uncle Matt and Auntie Aleyta.

This is my husband Steve and I standing in front of the quilt I made for the bride and groom. I didn't get a picture of the bride and groom in front of the quilt because the wind picked up and kept knocking the quilt over so we took it down.
Now that the rehearsal dinner and wedding is behind us maybe I can start getting some quilt related projects going. I'm afraid I've been spending a lot of time reading other quilter's blogs when I should be sewing. Anyone else have that problem too?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Crazy Block Exchange

I've taken a bit of a break from organizing fabric to work on some blocks for a block exchange that I'm in. There are 12 of us and we each chose which colorway we wanted our blocks done in and we will receive 24 blocks in the colorway of our choice. Actually we will receive 22 blocks. To make it 24 we have to make a couple of blocks for ourselves. A lot of us chose blue/green/purple colors, one chose just purple, one chose purple and orange, one chose purples, fushia, orange, rusts, and yellows, one chose just rusts, one chose just oranges and two chose off white/beige/tans.

Here's a closer view of the off white/beige/tan blocks. I sewed these last. They weren't my favorite to sew because they aren't colorful enough for me but I must say that they are very elegant and sophisticated!

Here are some pictures of the dreaded and neverending fabric organization. Above is the cupboard with florals, solids,and holiday fabrics.
This cupboard has the novelty fabrics in it. This cupboard and the one above are in the upstairs hallway fairly close to the quilt studio with no windows nearby so fading shouldn't be an issue.

I'd say I'm just about halfway done, well maybe one-third done, with this gi-normous job. It's going to take forever!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chaos in the quilt studio!

I decided that I would try to get my quilt studio organized. More accurately, my fabric stash. I got an ELFA drawer system from The Container Store. This is the view from behind. This is where I'm going to store all my fat quarters. I have built an ironing/cutting surface and placed it on top of the structure. When everything is put away you will be able to see the colorful cover I made for the ironing surface.This is a shot of my drawer system from the front with some of the drawers opened. I'm folding all my fat quarters in 60 degree triangles. I know, I'm crazy!

I have these cupboards that I've been storing all (well most) of my fabric. As you can see it was an unorganized mess!!!

Another shot of another cabinet a little closer up. It's really a mess. How can I find anything in here?
I've been folding fabric. It seems that it never ends. Once I fold it I store it in boxes and bags and it waits to be placed in the cupboards. The problem is that the cupboards are stuffed with fabric that still needs to be folded as well. I guess you need to make a bigger mess before you can get organized. This is a collection of fabric of which some has been folded and some is waiting to be folded.
These are all folded and waiting for room on the shelves. The red bag is full of solid fabrics and there's more of it somewhere!
This is a view of my quilt studio formerly known as a bedroom. I have one of those block butlers on the closet door. It's not my preferred design wall, but it'll do for now.
This is how I'm folding the fabric that is 1/2 yard cuts or more. The shelves are deep so I"m putting other items behind the fabric and will label the face of the shelf with what I can find behind the stacks of fabric. These two shelves will have pillowforms behind the stacks! I really like how it's going to look!!! I can see every piece of fabric I have here. It looks soooo neat!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Creativity is fun!!!

This was the product of a weekend of fun sewing. I used my hand dyed fabric scraps and just started sewing. No measuring, no pattern. Just lots of colorful fun! I'm definitely going to make more and will probably do some kind of black and white possibly pieced sashing.

I just love the freedom and creativity that went into these blocks!

Matt & Aleyta's Wedding Quilt in Progress

This is the quilt I'm working on for my son and his fiance. Hmmm, I don't know how to get the accent mark over the 'e' in fiance. Oh Well! It will have a small inner border of the same green as the snowball blocks, then a small pieced border in the background fabric with the lighter green fabric, then a larger border of the brown that is the center of the star blocks. Before borders this quilt measures 99"x117". This one's definitely going to be quilted by my friend Shari who has a longarm machine.

This is the happy couple. My son Matthew and his lovely bride to be, Aleyta!
They will be getting married this September.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Rabbit the frog

I attended a retreat this last weekend. We have a great group of quilters that get together a couple of times a year for retreat. We all get along so well and have a blast doing what we love to do. I brought my son and future daughter in law's wedding quilt supplies with me to work on which I did. It is a Tennessee Waltz quilt that she picked the colors for. I will post pics of this quilt later. It will be a beautiful quilt but it's not a scrappy quilt so I got a bit bored with working on it so I decided I would make this cute little frog.
As I was working on the frog I kept referring to it as a rabbit. I guess because it was so close after Easter and it was in Easter colors. I decided to name the little guy rabbit. "rabbit, rabbit"

Easter cupcakes

I'm trying to catch up with everything that happened while I didn't have time to blog them. Easter was way too early for me this year and we didn't have any young ones close enough to share it with. We still got into the spirit. My future daughter in law and I had fun dying eggs and everyone caught the decorating bug by decorating these Easter cupcakes. My husband decorated the one on the very top. At least he participated!
I ended up tossing the eggs and most of the cupcakes because we didn't eat them. The fun was in the decorating!

Vacations and Quilt Shops

My husband and I go to Oregon once a year to visit his 93 year old Uncle around his birthday. We usually turn it into a mini vacation for the two of us. We have covered nearly all of the Oregon coast and part of Washington on our trips. We have traveled from Long Beach, Washington down to Florence, Oregon.
All along the way we visit quilt shops! My husband's only request is that I pose in front of the shop and let him take a picture. I comply with his request and then he tells me to take my time shopping. He is such a great guy! He knows I have fabric up the ying yang and never complains about my new purchases.
This trip we went from Newport down to Florence. We thought this sign directing us to how many miles it is to all the Florences in the world was too cool.
The small town of Florence has two quilt shops. They are very different from each other but both are great. My absolute favorite was the 'Joy of Quilting' shop. They were very welcoming and friendly. The decor is bright and cheery. The shop has most fabrics already cut in fat quarters and 1 yard cuts. I can't tell you how much I love that! I hate dragging bolts around while I shop. There was a comfy chair for my husband to sit in with a dish of chocolate for him to nibble and they also gave me a free seam ripper as a little gift and also one for my friend Jeanne back home.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Long time no see.

It's been a long time since my last post.
Taxes are finally done. Thank God! Whew!!!

Earlier this month we received a visit from our oldest daugter and her family, the stars of which are our two grandsons Brandon and Adam. They live in Southeastern Idaho in the middle of Potato farm country. It's been a cold, snowy, never ending winter. I'm sure they enjoyed our California weather!

Brandon has his grandma's heart turned to mush! When I went to pick them up at the airport and he spotted me, he started yelling "Grandma, I lub you! Grandma, I lub you!" He ran to me and I picked him up. We hugged and he kept saying "Grandma, I lub you!" It was definitely priceless. Everybody around was smiling and we were happy as can be.

Here is a picture of Adam with his 'Papa'. He is just a happy little baby. Loves his big brother to pieces!

He is the spitting image of his grandpa. He's already had two haircuts at 8 months old! He was born needing a haircut!!!