Monday, February 28, 2011

Last Day

Today marks the last day for a couple of things.

1) the last day of February,
2) the last day the hubs is officially on active duty (even though he's been on an extended vacation the last couple months).  CONGRATULATIONS HUBS, I'm uber-proud for you!

And that's it. I can't think of it as the last day for something else.  Is it the last day for you?

I went to the Hampton Quilt show in VA last weekend. Let me tell you, fun, fun, fun with my mom on Saturday! I wore my shirt "Out of Wine, Life is Crap" figuring there would be a few at the show who could appreciate it (come on, you know we all look around to see if anyone is wearing anything good or artsy!). I had a number of appreciative comments. LOL  

I also took a number of pictures but I don't think I'm allowed to post them. Still checking on that.

I will post pictures soon but before I do, I want to step up and remind everyone that on the Ides of March, we will begin our quilt along. Lots of repitition, an easy pattern and I have decided, a LEISURELY pace for all the new paper-piecers.

I expect (yes, I said it, expect) each and everyone one of you to follow along and participate.  If you don't make a whole quilt, so be it but there better be a table topper in there!  (Yes, for those of you brave enough to stay, I'm taking bets on how many followers I'm going to lose with that last edict. LOL)

I haven't figured out how to post a video but I think that's okay. Just trust me. I know it's hard, but I will make it worth your while. At the end, I'll be sending a prize to one of those who've participated. More on that later.

Anyway, mark those calendars and to remind you of the block pattern, take a look at the following design. I will have multiple color/layout options to provide additional inspiration soon.  Woo-Hoo!!!

Cheers! Beck

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The mail was good to me today

Yep, today my batting arrived. I will now have to get on with quilting those larger quilts in my UFO list.

I also received my first package of insul-bright batting. I wanted to try some coffee mug warmers, etc.  We will see how it goes. I only bought a little while it was on sale to test it out.

In addition to the batting, I bought a fat eighth sampler of fabric from Connecting Threads, "Sip of Summer".  Isn't it fun and bright?
Guess what else arrived today?  My mug rugs!
I'm certain it's poor form to post here first instead of sending a thank you email to my partner but I can't help it. They are too cute and I want to share.  Look at what she did!
She also sent some goodies.  I can tell you, the fat quarters are right up my alley, the cookie will be gone before the night is out (white tin) and the red hots have been claimed by the kids.  The cappucino was promptly opened and I made quick use of the rugs.  See?
Thank you, Nicole! I love the rugs, the simple yet colorful design and the little goodies.  They are very much appreciated.
And also, please know, I'll be keeping you and your hubs and kids and the rest of those soldiers in my prayers while they are so far from home. I will never forget those days and hope you are able to stay sane while you work through them yourself! God bless!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Favorite Things Friday - Mail

I am a horrible, horrible, horrible pen pal.  Even an email pal, I am hit ir miss, on or off.  Sometimes I think if I lived in Elizabethean times, I'd have been friendless because I'd never get around to writing a card of invitation!

Thank goodness for Mr. Bell.

Still, in starting my quilting, I've come to realize, I love the mail. I even don't mind sending mail (which was a chore even when I wanted to send care packages to the hubs overseas).  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE sending fabric or surprises and I like getting them, too.

I ordered batting from Connecting Threads the other day and I'm eagerly awaiting it's arrival along with a package of fat eights. (BTW, it was a 30% off sale on batting if you need some.)

I also ordered a pattern and two small pieces of fabric from Hancock's of Paducah. I love Hancock's of Paducah and nevermind there is a Hancock's down the way a bit from me, it's just not the same. Well, within 3 days, I had my order sitting outside my door. YES, THANK YOU HANCOCKS!

The pattern, I love it and am going to have to work very hard not to start it until I clear out some of these UFOs.

I'm eagerly waiting for my "swap" surprise to arrive and I've sent my mug rugs out and they have been received by my partner. She says she likes them and that makes me happy. It's a bit nerve racking while you wait for a complete stranger's verdict on your work. lol

So, today, this Friday, one of my favorite thing is mail.  Go on over to the link on the side of my blog to see many other favorites!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Anyone up for a history mystery?

First, I'm sorry for the length between posts. I've been a busy bee with work and home life (more on that later when I actually have specific news to share). I've also been sewing in bits and pieces and hardly at all so no quilting pics for you or even status updates.

I can update you on the fact that next month will begin our quilt along. I am keeping it simple. 1 block repeated over again. The block chosen will work well for fat quarters or some scraps but also yardage if you prefer. I'll post measurements, etc. later.  Just stay tuned, I am certain I can turn all you paper-piecing doubters onto this method!

Now, the history mystery I'm talking about. The home we are currently renting sits on a piece of property which has only been in 2 other families (that have been traced thus far) and has, purportedly, some civil war history with General Burnside staying at the original home while in the area.  The kids and I have begun our online search for more detail on this property as a whole but frankly, we have no clue what we are doing.  We want to get as much information from the internet we can and then resort to actual library and courthouse paper archives.

My son suggested we put the word out to any of you.  If you are interested in searching along, at your leisure and in no hurry, we welcome the assistance.  Just leave me a comment and I'll email you the details of where we live and what clues we have right now. It's very little, I warn you but I like to know the history of places, if there is one, and I like my kids are encouraged at the moment to learn some history so I'm going with it.

Now that's all for today. Hopefully I'll have some quilting updates to share by the end of the weekend and know, I may not be commenting but I am checking in on your posts at least! :)

Cheers, Beck

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Spinach Carrotaki (and a sneak peek)

I created an interesting recipe and since the hubs loved it, I decided to let him name it. He said, "This is so good, you can make this once a week."   The name he came up with is what is in the title. :)
I'm sorry I don't have any pictures, we ate it up too quickly, but you should try it.

1 tsp apricot preserves
3 Tbsp. terriyaki sauce
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
4 Baby Carrots (or 1 whole carrot), peeled and julienned
1 1/2 cups baby spinach, stems removed
1/4 cup onion, diced
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder
Oil spray

1. Place sesame seeds in a frying pan (make it large enough for the spinach later) and turn heat on medium.  Toast for about 3-5 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan or stirring the seeds. Do not over toast (YUCK). You just want them to start releasing their oils and changing to a slightly golden color.  Once toasted pour seeds on a paper towel lined bowl.
2. Mix apricot preserves, terriyaki sauce and ginger together in a small bowl, heat in a microwave for about 20-30 seconds, stir again and set aside.
3. Lightly spray frying pan and add onions and carrots. Saute on med/high heat for about 3 -4 minutes or until slightly firm (longer if you want less crispness).
4. Coursely chop spinach while carrots and onions are cooking. 
5. Add sauce mixture to carrots and onions, stir together.  Reduce heat to medium and fold in spinach with tongs being sure to coat spinach with the sauce, carrots and onions. Let spinach start wilting for a minute or two (this part is a taste/texture preference. I wilted ours well since I kow the hubs likes it that way but I would have left some shape to the spinach myself).
6. Sprinkle on as many or as little sesame seeds you want (we used all), toss together then remove from heat and serve immediately. 

Now, I want to give you a preview of the quilt top I've been feverishly working on this past mont. The postage stamp quilt top from the PS I Quilt quilt along.  Full photos will come after I have it quilted. :-)