Saturday, June 29, 2013


I drug out my fragrant tub of vintage fabrics after work Friday. The fabrics are not really that stinky, but they do smell a bit old. Like great grandma's house. This tub weighs a ton and I know I'm going to have fun going through it. Crazy me collected vintage fabrics before I sewed. I knew I would use them one day. I found them here and there at estate and garage sales, thrift shops, church tag sales, and eBay. Some were inherited from other quilters.

This is the beautiful antique quilt that inspired me. The bow tie blocks are 2-3/4" square. That's so teeny! The quilt maker whipped up a mere 929 blocks to create this quilt. I hope the quilt sold to someone who can restore it if possible.

Here's a closeup of some of the blocks. Aren't the fabrics sweet? I'm crossing my fingers I can find some gingham or funky novelty in my stinky stash to replicate this look.

I ended up with 4" blocks that will finish at 3-1/2". Six down, 923 to go. Ha! We'll see how long it takes before I get bored.

Bones would love a shark pillow to burrow in.

The Inspector made me accompany him to Wally World last Sunday. I really don't care for shopping there, but I did make him buy me these Fred Flintstone beef ribs. I had to use my restaurant pan to get them into the oven. I wanted to throw them on the grill at the end, but the weather wasn't cooperating. I'll grill in the rain, but not if there's lightning. They don't call us the Lightning Capital of the World for nothing.

To go with the ribs, I made sun-dried tomato risotto and salad. College Boy and Inspector Gadget ate every last one of those ribs. They were fall-off-the-bone tender and very flavorful. I put barbecue sauce on them during the last 20 minutes or so of baking. Yabba dabba do!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bobble Tuesday

Inspector Gadget is enjoying this Peach, Blueberry, Basil Crisp which I'm calling practically health food. Oatmeal, fruits, and herb. That's breakfast, folks. Healthy man that he is, he adds three scoops of vanilla ice cream to get his dairy intake. And he eats it after lunch.  

Speaking of health food, we ate an entire platter of nachos for dinner one night. The kids weren't home, but they would have loved this type of dinner. Minus the avocado. As much as I love and eat avocado, I can't believe my kids won't touch it. Even the Inspector is growing to love it. It only took me 27 years to accomplish that feat.

I finished a little equilateral triangle baby quilt. This experimental top was found when I was hunting for things to sew at Sew Day. I can't remember when I made it. I got it all quilted at Sew Day and bound last weekend.

I found some backing fabric that matched, but didn't quite have enough, so I had to add a strip of yellow. I bound it with some cowboy boots fabric that was lying about. It matched, so I went with it.

Here it is washed to crinkly goodness. The colors are more true in the first picture. The weather has been iffy for photography. Woo hoo, only 5,999,999 more unfinished projects to go. I'm going to need more time to sew.

My dad sent me my first bobble head. How have I lived half a century and never had a bobble head? Si is my favorite character on Duck Dynasty. The guy cracks me up with his sayings and tea jug.

What with Talavera pottery snakes and Duck Dynasty bobble heads, my house is looking a little less formal. Oh, who am I kidding, this joint is a museum of oddities. I should charge admission.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Happy Summer!

Sew Day was last Saturday and I didn't have any new projects to work on, so I quickly unearthed around six million works in progress and crammed them into my project bag. This Amish block-of-the-month was featured on the Cabin Fever Quilt Guild's web site. The block patterns are no longer available, but it was a fun series. I've had the blocks made for some time and finally put them together. Now to add a couple of borders to grow it.

I brought a Thai shrimp and lobster salad to share with my guild buddies. My local seafood shop has great seafood. It's hard not to buy everything. I've been craving conch fritters or ceviche and my local grocery store had some in their seafood case. I may have to run up there.

As you can see, we eat well at Sew Day. There was another table of desserts and coffee.

More unearthed projects sewn into practical potholders.

This boxy travel pouch was fun to make. I didn't use laminated cotton, but found some fun sewing themed fabric that matched my zipper.

I was getting low on peppercorns so I placed another Penzey's order. I am a bit obsessed with their spices. The creamy peppercorn spice (free gift) made a great salad dressing and they've been throwing in a free lemon pepper with my orders too.

My funny mom brought me this Talavera snake this week. She thinks it funny I'm such a snake magnet. I cringe every time I see it. Thanks, Mama. I collect Talavera pottery, displaying and using it in my home, but this one has to live outside. At least the real snakes are behaving for the most part this summer, although there was a tiny ring neck in the pool a couple of days ago.

I hope your summer is going along swimmingly. It's been a busy one for me. Lots of work and traveling and little sewing or goofing off. The best part about summer is all the afternoon storms. I love them. The humidity in Florida is awful, but there's always a swimming pool, shower, lake, or ocean to cool off in. And air of the best inventions ever. Happy summer!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sunday Stash #72

I found some fun novelty prints at my favorite quilt shop. Woodstock is so cute. I've always loved that comic strip. My dad read it to me everyday before I could read. I think a Peanuts quilt might be in order. Now where did I shove those Peanuts prints?

I also scored a new seam ripper at Jo-Ann's with a 50% off coupon. This one has a rubber cap that supposedly grabs the thread crumbs.

Guess who was the lucky raffle basket winner at our guild meeting? Lots of fun stuff in there. Fabric, rulers, quilt kit, and books. Now I get to fill it up for the next meeting. I'm sure I can find a thing or two in my studio. Or stop by another quilt shop and find some fun stuff.

I made this vegetarian Italian Wonderpot Sunday night. Fettuccine noodles, vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, frozen spinach, onion, garlic, and spices are thrown in a pot and all cooked together. Top with feta cheese to serve. It was too busy for pictures, but I highly recommend the recipe. It's so easy and quick too. Here's another version that replaces the spinach and feta with basil and Parmesan. I'm going to have to try that one too. I bought new pasta bowls with birthday money. Love them.

I'm still making Artisan breads. This whole wheat boule was great with the pasta. I made a big green salad to go with the pasta and bread, so dinner was a cinch. We were swimming and goofing off, so I didn't have time for my Sunday chicken dinner. I have to remember to dust the top with whole wheat flour before I cut the slits. Looks like a bird pooped on my bread. I get a big kick out of the "oven spring" when you bake one of these loaves. They really expand. Plus, the house smells like a bakery.

Yumi, my friend from Japan, sent a bunch of pretty little quilts for our guild's charity project. The animals at the shelter will be chillin' in style won't they? They're all so pretty and I'm pretty jealous of her mad free motion quilting skills.

She also sent a bunch of snacks to share. Thanks, Yumi! I know the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild members will enjoy seeing your quilts and sampling Japanese junk food goodies!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I Love the Weekend

I thought this little wallet organizer was cute. It whipped up quickly. I didn't have the proper size notepad, but I can remedy that easy enough. Because goodness knows I need another notepad. My paper collection rivals my fabric collection.

It took great constraint, but I picked the remainder of the birthday crabs and didn't eat as I picked. It's harder than it sounds. Well, at least for me. I picked about a pound of crab meat and made a bunch of crab cakes for dinner one night.

This is College Boy's favorite salad. It's a complicated recipe. Ha! I like to use Kirby cucumbers and Vidalia onions. Toss with white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and dill weed. The longer they sit in the fridge, the better they get. The College kid can eat this entire bowl in one sitting. He might have had three large crab cakes and a huge mound of macaroni and cheese too.

Baked some chocolate donuts for the big kids. This morning, I saw Inspector Gadget eat the dud in the back with no icing with his bacon. Dunkin Donuts doesn't have anything on him. Did you hear about their new breakfast sandwich? At least his was turkey bacon. I finally figured out how to cook that stuff. A griddle gets it brown and crispy. Not bad. Not bacon, but not bad. We call it facon and people make faces when I make it.

I had two similar charm packs I've been stealing from for various projects. I decided to use the remaining squares to construct a little quilt. I'm going to find some matching border fabrics in solids.

Maybe it needs a dachshund on it. Oh, Bones.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I Should be Prancercising

Mama's got a brand new bag. I used the Asian Fan Purse pattern by La Todera. Julie's patterns are so fun. I started this bag at our last guild Sew Day and promptly forgot about it. That's what happens when you clean your studio and cram projects out of sight. I found some time yesterday to finish it.

There's a magnetic snap closure and a pocket inside. I used some of Hollywood's old jean legs for the strap. The pattern is really easy and straightforward, but it still took me three tries to get the lining and outer bag put together correctly. Geez.

I made a huge Mexican meatloaf for our big family dinner Sunday. This is the only photo I managed with a full house of kiddos. I love veggies in meatloaf, but what I love best is cold meatloaf sandwiches. The tomato topping for this recipe was especially good. It's a moist meatloaf because of all the veggies. I'd probably add more bread crumbs or oatmeal next time.

Peach cobbler before baking. Again, my photography goes by the wayside when everyone is here. Everyone was eating this warm with vanilla ice cream. I used the recipe from Penzey's.

A little playing with selvages. As usual, I got a little turned around and it buttons on the back instead of the front. Still works though.

Perfect for business cards.

For my birthday on Saturday, I ate a mess of these out by the pool. A visiting four-year-old sat beside me and kept asking for more "chicken." It was the first time he had blue crab and he enjoyed watching them alive and kicking, but enjoyed the sweet meat even more. And no, crabs do not taste like chicken. Next time he's over for crabs, he has to learn to pick them himself. That's the rule.

I'm still making pesto. That grocery store, rescued from the trash, half-dead basil plant is really producing this summer. Must be all the rain, because I never remember to water my plants.

I unearthed one of my cast iron skillets to make cornbread. Greased it with bacon grease too. My grandmother would be proud. Now let's Prancercise!
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