Friday, September 26, 2008

Quilt mystery- All in the color family

I am a gluten for punishment. SOMEONE STOP ME!

I am participating in a mystery challenge from one of my message boards (the same board which led me to creat the NY Tornado).

Where's my head? I don't have time, but I see a fun challenge to do for no better reason than to push out some of my stash fabric and practice my skills. For me, only me, no one else. So, no pressure, right?

HA! There's the time pressure... what is the matter with me? You'd think I dont' have anything else to do...

Stand by, I'll let you know how it turns out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A good deed never goes unpunished.

My girlfriend calls me today and tells me the school secretary is leaving for health reasons and the principal asked if anyone had ideas of what could be done for her before she goes. She thought of making a signature quilt but of course, needed me to do that. ;) She called, asked if I'd be up for it with her acting as my diligent assistant in all things needed and I said sure, I could help. The pattern she had in mind (we deviated from anyway) wasn't difficult. Just some 4-patches with sashing.

So, she comes over after school today to develop a pattern with me and pick through some of my fabrics. We figure we may as well delve into my stash before spending money. We look through, she finds both a pattern on hand which will work plus all but one fabric needed. She's going to get that one at the store. Also, she will obtain all signatures so I don't need to worry about that item. HOORAY!

Now, with this coming together so nicely, I get the bombshell. This needs to be completed by Oct. 3. It's Sept. 22 today! I wouldn't be concerned if the end of September wasn't usually so busy at work that I hardly have time to think about showering let alone take care of house and kids. Yikes. I think she saw me a little panicked for the first time, ever, in our years long friendship.

Poor girl. I took a few deep breaths, came on here to blow off some of my anxiety and have a glass of wine and then I'm off to wash and press the fabrics. First order of business, get the freezer paper pressed to the fabric so signatures can be obtained without issue. At least, I think that's the best way to go. I'll be doing some research tonight on that also.

So, my good deed to help a friend out and show my appreciation for all the secretary has done has turned into the old adage of feeling it won't go unpunished. -wink- Aww, seriously, I know I'll feel good about this in the end and since we decided to use fleece back instead of cotton batting and backing, it will go even faster. I will likely just quilt in the ditch based on the design to highlight particular squares. We'll see, that's a decision for next weekend.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Let's talk... FOOD!

I love food.
Wait let me revise that. I love to EAT food. I like the smell when it's cooking, I like taste and texture and most of the time, I even enjoy the prep work. It seems my family is much the same way so I've decided I'm going to add the periodic rambling about food in my blog. What promted this? Well, I blame all those foodie bloggers out there. Fantastic ramblings about a recipe just made, beautiful descriptions, and just plain make your mouth water pictres. There is nothing worse than a person who has a way with words and hten follows it up with picture proof. DARN YOU ALL!
So, that said, I've found a new breakfast hit for me. It was as quick to make as the blogger posted and I took to heart her comments you can add just about any topping you wanted to the cake. So here it is...

I baked this cake and created the following topping:

- approx. 1 tsp blueberry syrup
- approx 2-3 tsp apple butter
- 1/16 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
1. Combine all ingredients and warm for 30 seconds. Spread over cake.

2. Make glaze, 1 Tbsp water to approx 4-5 Tbsps. powdered sugar, whisk together with a splash of lemon juice. When glaze consistency, drizzle over cooled cake & filling. You can drizzle over warm cake and filling but the glaze will dissolve into the filling vs sitting on top. It's your choice.


Here are pictures of my first attempt without filling (it was a little undercooked), with filling & glaze and a cut slice (YUM). I will do this again and again with many different toppings, I'm sure, since it was that simple!



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Broken fingers

Well, I was "out of sewing commission" for approximately 2 weeks (typing also). Why? 2 broken fingers on my left hand due to a basketball game with my step-son, the index and middle fingers to be precise. Because the break on both fingers was at the base of the finger, right before the knuckles on your palm, my hand had to be immobilized by a splint which ran from elbow to finger tip.
I know what you are thinking, "your finger tips still show, you wimp. You could still stabilize the fabric with your fingertips or splint and let it run through the machine, even if you couldn't hand stitch."

Well, rest assured, I thought the same thing and tried it. EXCEPT HOLY HECK! The first week it hurt (even with the 800mg of ibuprophen I was taking for swelling) to put any pressure on it. So, one week down. Week two, hardly any pain at all and I tried but straight line sewing, no matching seams was all I was able to accomplish with such a large unwieldy splint. The shap under the fingers was that of a hollowed out ball. Needless to say, 2 weeks out.

Then what happens? Kids and I return from our summer stay in TN and I've brought a new puppy into the house now also. Hmm, school starting, settling back into the house and getting a new puppy settled. Oh yeah, and making sure the old puppy can live with the change, too! Sewing took a back seat again.

Honestly, I haven't even sent my NY Tornado on its way yet but I will. I have decided who it's going to and they should receive it this week.

As for sewing, I've started that back up again with washing, ironing and cutting fabrics for the kids Christmas quilts I'm doing. J's (an attic window design) and K's (a 4-patch variation) quilts should be relatively quick to make, cutting and ironing were likely to be the longest for those two. P's quilt has all the flying geese blocks sewn, that's what I was working on when I broke my fingers, so I will start the sashing soon and S's quilt fabric has been washed and ironed but needs to be cut now. He'd like a pinapple quilt. This will take the longest to cut and piece but I'm confident I will get them done.

A couple other projects in front of me. DH wants a blanket for hunting and I owe a b-day present So here is my timeline:
DH's and B's (friend's son) to a friend's son. He's opted to forego the video game if I would make a blanket like one he saw in my son's room. The good news on both of those are they are both VERY simple fleece blankets which I should be able to crank out in a couple hours.

I also start part 2 of my Quilting the Psalms group in Oct. I have to finish a couple blocks from Part 1 but believe I can get that accomplished soon.

Finally, the cream of the crop, I am designing a quilt for dad. I do not want to say any more than that on the off chance he comes by and reads this but suffice it to say, I want to leave LOTS of time to work on that. I will speak about it retroactively after the holidays.

blankets done by 9/13.
S's fabric cut on/about 9/12-9/14.
P's sashing sewn by 9/20.
J's windows & K's 4-patch blocks sewn by 9/22.
J's sashing & K's sashing sewn by 9/29.
Psalm quilt blocks by 9/30.

Sounds like a lot for this month but I don't really think so, especially given how quick J's and K's will go.

Wish me luckfor Sept. since Oct. will focus on S's and Dad's quilts!