Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow Day

My Mondrian inspired quilt is complete. Well, except for a label. I'm so bad about labels.

Playing around...

My buddy Dotty made me another cute selvage quilt. This one celebrates the year of the Rabbit. Isn't it cute? Not only do I love selvages, but I love Oriental fabrics too. Especially food-themed prints.

The snow has been amazing to see. I know everyone is sick of it, but it's so pretty on TV. I think I would enjoy being stuck inside for a few days. After a grocery store trip of course!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Link Love

Just in case you need to ignore some housework or laundry, I've compiled a few links that have inspired me to ignore housework and laundry. ; )

Cathedral Windows Tutorial
Keep Calm-o-matic
Continuous Binding Technique (The tutorial that finally got through my thick skull)
Thin Crust Pizza Dough (I'm always on the hunt for a good pizza crust recipe, gotta try this one)
Video Tutorial on Cutting a Whole Chicken
Scandinavian Stitches Free Bullfinch Pattern 
Make a Potholder in Minutes

As usual, I owe my inspiration and procrastination skills to the talented and hilarious people out there in internet world and blogland.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

They're Like Potato Chips

These wonky log cabin house blocks are like potato chips. You can't make just one. I had a great time and I'll think I'll make a few more and sash them for a quickie baby or toddler quilt.

Four down, maybe five more to go? They sure are fun. I love playing with scraps.

Monday, January 24, 2011


A little chilly here this weekend. Perfect for inside home renovations. Inspector Gadget is probably happy to be at work so he can rest. This snowman potholder arrived in the mail. Isn't it adorable?

More free piecing. The House of Krom has block two in her free piecing study. The log cabin house was so much fun I may have to try a few more.

My biohazard pineapple blocks were made into a table runner. I was going for a Valentine's Day look, but all I kept seeing were biohazard symbols, so I thought it should be a little edgier. The quilting is done, but I need to bind it. The backing fabric is Kung Fu Pandas. Not sure what I was drinking thinking for this piece!

Some bits and pieces: Zentangle ATCs in progress and finished, a cute felt bird someone made me, and a dachshund Silly Bandz a friend sent my daughter and I. I'm always amazed at how many quilters have doxies.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Creating for a Cure

My talented friend Rene has inspired me to make more Priority: Alzheimer Quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) with her Creating for a Cure post. Rene has made several quilts for AAQI and is challenging her fellow quilters to join in the fun. Check out her blog for the challenge and pictures of her gorgeous quilts.

If you haven't heard of AAQI, they sell art quilts to raise funds for Alzheimer's research. This grass roots organization has raised more than $494,000 since 2006. Of course they couldn't do it without the creations of many generous quilters and blogland buzz. I hope you will consider making a 9" x 12" miniature quilt or three. It's a great way to practice a new technique, use scraps, and FINISH something. LOL! Or use it as an excuse to buy those fat quarters you've had your eye on. As if we need excuses to buy fabric.

The minis above are some I've made for AAQI.

My doll quilt swappers made 20 quilts in May 2010 and they all sold at the Houston show. A few are shown above. Even if you can't make a quilt, consider supporting this organization by purchasing a quilt. They're all beautiful and made with such care.

Here is a Friday Funny for you:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Butterfly Flimsy Finished

Butterflies were flitting all over blogland this summer. I thought they made such fun use of scraps, that I started making blocks in my spare time. I ran out of black Kona, so these blocks were destined to be a small quilt.

I finished sewing the blocks together at our Sew Day Saturday. I really love how it turned out. I think it would make a perfect baby quilt with all those bright colors and the black. Spit up stains will blend right in! Now to get it quilted and gifted. To get the tutorial for these fun blocks, visit here.

I remembered to take a full shot of this 1930s repro nine patch. I still need to make the label. Love the crinkly look after laundering.

Some close-ups of the 1930s repro fabrics. I love them all, but the novelty prints are my favorite. Check out the grumpy dogs wearing sweaters. The Scotty dogs are cute too. And the dressed up kittens with their mittens. Cute, cute, cute!

Speaking of grumpy dogs in sweaters, here's Bones who refuses to look at the camera. I think he looks quite dapper in his corduroy. Wonder what he would put in those pockets?

This is more like it. Footloose and fancy free and using the threshold as a pillow. Note the wagging tail. What a goof.

I've been hunting for a copy of Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking for a long time. After falling in love with Liberated Quiltmaking II, I wanted to see what the first edition was all about. The ideas and projects are as inspiring as ever. I especially love the section on houses and fractured fabric. It's refreshing how "modern" Gwen's quilts are even though this book was published 15 years ago.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Charming Challenge

Robert Kaufman has generously donated charm square packs of their Kona solids to all the Modern Quilt Guilds. How cool is that, those little pushers?! The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild choose the "Dusty" palette to challenge us. I know I'll find loads of inspiration for this mini quilt challenge. The hardest part will be deciding on just one direction.

Photo by Krista, she's a great photographer too!
My partner for DQS9 was featured on Pleasant Home's Needle little Inspiration yesterday. Krista of Spotted Stones is one talented gal. I'm so lucky to have one of her creations hanging in my studio.

I'm still mug rugging. This one is for a swap. My partner's favorite color is red.

Happy birthday to my beautiful Mom! She turns 70 today. I know I'm a bit biased, but she's the best mom in the world. And see, no gray hair. I was a good teenager. Ha! If you believe that, I've got bridge in Brooklyn up for auction on eBay. Happy birthday Momster. Enjoy your day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Kitchen Sink Soup

I love making soups. You know how cold it gets here in sunny Florida, so when it does turn a little brisk, I get on a soup making binge. Oh, who am I kidding, I make soups all year long. Turn the a/c on and have a bowl! It really was cold here last week, so I whipped up what I'm calling "Kitchen Sink" soup. I threw it all together and it was really good. Even better the next day!

Kitchen Sink Soup

Salt pork, Bacon or Ham
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes (again, no salt)
V-8 Juice (I used low-sodium)
1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or any kind of bean)
Italian parsley
Seasoned salt
Chili powder
Quick cooking barley
Frozen chopped collard greens (spinach would be good too)

Render or brown a small amount of salt pork or bacon on medium low heat to release the fat. If you're using ham, you might need some olive oil to brown it slightly. Ditch some of the fat if it seems excessive. Dice onion, celery, carrot and garlic and saute in same pan/pot. Add two cans of chicken broth, one can of diced tomatoes, lots of V-8 juice and water to cover everything. Then toss in some kidney beans and fresh Italian parsley. I added seasoned salt, freshly ground pepper and chili powder too. I think that's it. Cumin would be good, and/or turmeric. Whatever dry spices you love. If you're not on a salt hiatus like me, use normal canned stuff and go easy on the seasoned salt. All that canned stuff can get salty. Let this mixture simmer covered for at least 45 minutes. Add more water if it seems too thick. It should be between soup and chili in consistency.

After the initial simmering time, add in the barley and cook for 30 minutes to get the barley done. The last 10 minutes I threw in the frozen greens. I served the soup with crusty bread, and a parsley garnish. I might add a dollop of chevre or sour cream as a garnish next time. I can see this soup going vegetarian as well. Kill the pork (that's not very nice vegetarian talk!), and use vegetable stock. Maybe double up on the beans for protein.

Some other good recipes I tried this weekend: Jan's Dilly Bread and 5-Layer Greek Dip. I made the Greek dip twice this weekend. I brought a batch to Sew Day and then my daughter wanted her "hummus needs" met.

The Label
I finished my January doll quilt with the "Show Us Where You Live" theme. I'm really bad about making labels for my quilts, but I always make them for these doll quilts. I need to remind myself that they're not that hard. Fun, even.

And speaking of sunny Florida, here's the view outside today. It's 57 degrees, but raining sideways. Lots of lightening and thunder too. Yay! Now if I can figure out how to stay inside and sew all day...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Love Those Quilters!

My mail has been so fun lately! I sure do miss all those political flyers. NOT!

My friend Yumi in Japan is an accomplished modern quilter. She made me this gorgeous miniature quilt in my favorite colors. I'm seriously thinking of decorating a room around it. Her hand quilting is what really makes it special. I'm honored to have several "Yumi Creations."

I love this calico print zipper! Yumi knows what I like. She also sends fun Japanese snacks. I forgot to get a picture of those. The college kid opened every package and sampled everything the day they came! We especially loved the plum gummy candies and chocolate? pop rocks.

These buttons are so clever! I love black and white fabric with type on it. These buttons are perfect! A fellow quilter swap buddy sent me these. I love the way they're displayed too. I may just frame the whole card!

Another swap buddy sent me a mess o' selvages and three of her beautiful postcards. She collects selvages too, so it was so sweet of her to share with me. I really enjoy seeing other quilter's creations. Ya'll are a talented bunch. And speaking of talent, tomorrow is our guild's Sew Day. As usual, I have no idea what I'll bring to work on, but I'll be there with bells on!

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