Friday, September 26, 2014

T-Shirt Quilts

It was a little over a year ago that our next door neighbor died tragically, leaving a wife and three children.  I knew that I wanted to make memory quilts for the children and their mom gave me a couple of bags of t-shirts, shorts, pajamas, badges, etc.  After contemplating the idea for months I finally decided on my design.

Their dad was a Fire Captain so the sashing fabric I selected was firemen themed and picked up all of the colors in the T-shirts.  Other than that, I worked at arranging my squares at 6, 12, 18 or 24” measurements.  It was my first attempt at such a project, but I think they turned out well.  One is finished and the last two just need the binding applied.   Parts of the quilts were done on their grandmother's Singer 301a that their dad had given me last year.  You can read about that post here.

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This week I also finished my little cross stitch project that I started while we were in Atlanta.

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Look at these cute little buttons.  Aren’t they sweet?  I used some Weeks hand dyed floss for the project and I love the color variations in the stitching that the hand dyed floss gives. 

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I’ve had a couple of really nice wins lately too.  The first was from Soma at Whims and Fancies.  I actually got these back in August and have been negligent in posting this nice win.  I like to have the little 2” squares already precut for a project.  Thanks, Soma.

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I also won some great patriotic fabric from Debby at Debby Kratovil Quilts.  These are really nice fabrics and will be fun to use.  Thanks, Debby.

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Jodi at Pleasant Home chose me as her winner of the Olfa giveaway celebrating their anniversary.  I was really pleased to have this 28mm cutter as I love using a small cutter for cutting out patterns when I am sewing clothing.  I have so much more control over the rotary cutter when it is small.  Look at the cute little Olfa pin too.

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The mail has been so exciting…….much better than the junk mail that normally fills the mailbox.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Here, There and Back Again

It has been a whirlwind of travels around here in the last few weeks and I feel as though I need to reacquaint myself with my own bed!

It started out with a trip to Iowa, staying at my cousin’s home and welcomed each morning with this fun view. 

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The visit was actually for my uncle’s funeral, but it was wonderful to visit with family.   Of the remaining 24 first cousin there were only two that were missing so it was great to catch up.

It was back home for a few days and then off to the beach.  My cousin, her two daughters and DIL from Iowa came to visit.  The days were full as we tried to squeeze in a lot in the time they were here.

Beautiful days were spent at the beach watching sunsets, sunrises and surfers as well as visiting. 

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An interesting rock nestled in the sand...whale, tadpole????

We took a few side trips during the days…….

……a trip to the local orchid greenhouses

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Makes me want to have a blue or purple wedding!
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…..a visit to the Santa Barbara Mission

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……a stop at the gate of Never*land Ranch

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The many hearts are filled with messages for the 5th anniversary of MJ's death.
….lunch at the historic Cold Springs Tavern – an old stagecoach stop.

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….and a little wine tasting.

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We all departed on Sunday.  They left for their return to Iowa and we headed off for a business meeting in Atlanta, but we had such a great visit. 

Life is now back to a more normal (whatever that is) routine with cleaning and laundry waiting to be done.

Do you think this seagull has an identity complex?

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Again….sewing has been very portable these last few weeks.  I started a small cross stitch project to keep my idle hands busy without much concentration needed.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yeah for Gingham


Before I begin telling you about my projects I would like to pause and remember all of those who gave of their lives on this day in 2001.  Their families, friends and our country are in my prayers today.

And now….what is there not to love about the beauty of gingham?  When word went out that the ginghams by Riley Blake were going to be discontinued I believe many of us felt the loss.  Fortunately, we have since learned that there is a bit of a reprieve for some of it.

Thanks to Madam Samm and Shari, we have a hop dedicated to ginghams.  They are both fabulous cheerleaders and deserve much credit for their work.
 
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This was a hop that allowed us to work on three projects over the summer months and show in September.
 
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Project #1....My sewing this summer involved a lot of hand stitching since I was doing a bit of sitting while spending time visiting my mom following her surgery.  I first worked on my orange peels.  These are needled turned applique using fabric from “the stash”.  The borders and the buttons are a tiny gray gingham. 

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I entered this piece in the Orange Peel QAL.  Be sure to check out all of the entires and vote for the Viewer's Choice favorite at Quilty Habit.  There are so many lovely ones to been enjoyed.

Project #2....... was one I had started many several years ago and have finally finished and framed it for this fall.

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Project #3.......As a child gingham seemed to be everywhere.  It was our palette for chicken scratch stitching.  It was a great way to learn to stitch.  A little ric rac and some embroidery floss made for very feminine aprons.  I’ve always had a great love for the fresh clean look of gingham.

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What goes better with Riley Blake gingham that Riley Blake dots?  The combination is so sweet.

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Someone seems to like the results.

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Thanks so much Mdm. Samm and Shari for all of your hard work keeping us organized and on schedule for this hop. 

Please be sure to visit the other bloggers for today and the remainder of the blog hop.


Thursday, September 11

Friday, September 12




Monday, September 15


Tuesday, September 16



Thanks again to Madam Samm and Shari.  Thanks, also, to all of you who stopped in for a quick visit.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Swap Happy

I recently participated in a couple of wonderful swaps.  Now that August is behind us, I can share what was exchanged.

The first swap was a “Sister” swap hosted by Michele.  She did a great job keeping us "on tract" through the summer.  I believe this was the third year for this exchange.  We were given our secret sister information and were allowed to cyber stalk her over the summer, getting ideas and creating something special just for her. 

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My sister was Kathy at Qreative Quilts.  Kathy was a bit difficult to stalk as she keeps her information hidden.  Winking smile  I was only able to gleam that she loves the color yellow and is a Seahawk fan!!!!  As well, she is an excellent paper piecer.  This is what I made for her.  I was glad to find out that she enjoys cooking.

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My sister, Dora, then sent me an exciting package.  Everything was wrapped so beautifully.

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Inside these pretty packages I found an amazing table runner.  I have always love FMQ and Dora did a stunning job on this piece. 

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Just look at those fabulous feathers!!!!  I love everything about this piece – the color, the size and the design.  
As well, these other great goodies were included in the package – coffee from Santa Fe, a cute sewing kit, great measuring tape and wonderful little bunny scissors.  Having lost my embroidery scissors recently, I was really thrilled to get these.   I would say that Dora did a great job of stalking me over the summer.

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You can see the other swaps by checking out the linky party at Quilts from My Crayon Box.

Another group that I have been a member of for a few years was our Sewing With Friends.  Our July/August swap project was for a kitchen item.  Mhairi (no blog) made me this wonderful apron. 

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I love the chicken theme and just look at the corners of this apron.  They are potholders!  Isn’t that a great idea?  No more searching for potholders when you need to remove that dish from the oven. She also added some extra little goodies which included a really cute chicken themed quilt pattern.

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Now for a good kitchen blooper.  I was making a brioche to make a blackberry bread pudding.  I put my dough in for the first rise in a lidded container and went to visit my mom.  When I returned home I found that my dough had blown its lid…..all the way into the next room.  It must have been quite an explosion as the dough blew all the way up the cupboards and onto the high ceiling. 

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But……all’s well that ends well and the bread pudding was incredible and we baked it in the wood burning oven.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Cooking Blog?


For this week my blog is being published as a cooking blog.  We had the most amazing experience of a three day wood burning oven cooking class held up in the wine country near Napa, CA.  We’ve had a wood burning oven for about seven years and have always wanted to expand our cooking to include more than pizza. 

Well….this was exactly what we needed.  It was three days of cooking everything from cinnamon rolls for breakfast to baking peach cobbler and bread pudding for desserts.

The adventure begins…..across the Golden Gate Bridge to the charming town of Healdsburg.

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We built our first fire and started to cook.  We had six wood burning ovens for our use so there was a lot of cooking.

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These were some of our creations.  Can I just say “incredible”?   Do you see how beautifully our flame is burning over the roof of the oven?  Pizza and empanadas are done when the oven is the hottest - 650* on the floor.

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As the oven cools you can go into the roasting stage which is 550* on the oven floor.  Different areas of the oven will register different temperatures so it is a lot of playing around.  Baking is done when the oven floor reaches 450* and after removing the hot coals.  These are SOME of the foods we made.


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Prosciutto wrapped scallops on rosemary skewers.
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Peach cobbler before baking
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.....after baking
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Sweet stuffed peppers.
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Singaporean style shrimp
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Zucchini blossoms
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Zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta
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Wood roasted eggplant parmigiano
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Pan seared lamb chops marinated in garlic and rosemary
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Our appetizer table presentation.
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Rotating the bread loaves.
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Finished rustic bread loaves.
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Zucchini gratin with tomatoes and Gruyere.
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Roasted peppers.
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Halibut Ligurian style.
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Beef tenderloin.
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Paella.
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Chicken -done under a brick
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Parsnip fries.
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Limoncello Bread pudding.
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Our class with our delightful teacher, Andrea Mugnaini, in the center.
It was such a fun and busy few days made even better by meeting up with a dear friend (and our daughter’s Godmother) for dinner at her home in Healdsburg.  We have shared so many wonderful times together. 

I had a lovely squishy package in the mail when we arrived home.  I had won a giveaway from Tudy at Tudy’s Craft Cupboard and she sent me some of her exquisitely made items.  I have always admired her crochet and I am thrilled to have some of her work.  Can you say “pretty”? 

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I have been doing a bit of sewing, but I can’t share it yet.  Hopefully, I will be able to on my next post.