Friday, November 29, 2013


I hope everyone had a fun Thanksgiving. I have so many things to be thankful for. This little guy is no exception. He turned four weeks old Thanksgiving Day. I hogged him the entire time. His parents hosted the festivities, so someone had to hold the little bugger. I only had to pry him from his grandmother's grip a few times. Ha!

There was a roasted turkey with all the fixings... Inspector Gadget made a vat of green bean casserole, because that's his favorite Thanksgiving side dish. I brought a veggie and pita chip tray with this Kalamata Olive and Feta dip. My mom, auntie, and cousin brought all kinds of good food too. All the food was delicious.

There was a fried turkey made outside of course. My cousin is a turkey frying pro. It's my favorite way to eat turkey. We were picking on it like vultures. The weather was picture perfect too.

Shenanigans ensued. This was a wild golf cart ride driven by a kid who won't get a driver's license for another 12 years. If then. That's Hollywood holding her cell phone tighter than her year old cousin. The cart got wedged and stuck between some trees during some crazy maneuver. At least they didn't fire up the dirt bikes.

The doggy loves to fish, but the fish weren't biting. No worries, there was plenty of leftover turkey and green bean casserole. Enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sewing Up a Storm

Finally got some sewing time in this weekend. After a busy week with real job, I was getting a little twitchy. I made our guild's block of the month for December, a Christmas ornament. I don't have much Christmas fabric, but you know what I do have would say "naughty." I tried to put it upside down so it wasn't so noticeable, but it's all I see.

I eased in to another bell pepper coaster. This time in red. Polka dots and gingham, my favorites. Since I made this one at home, I was able to use felt for the stem. Much easier! Green and orange peppers might be next. Then I'll have a set of pepper coasters.

From the same book, Patchwork, Please I found a fun paper pieced hexagon project to to tackle. I really should use more color in my quilting. Ha!

An easy and colorful finish. Even the binding wasn't too difficult. The instructions were perfect.

I found some fun fabric for the backing and did minimal quilting. It will make the perfect trivet or doll house rug. Or mug rug. I was just playing. It's how I handle most of my quilting projects. One day I'll have vision and direction.

Today I decided to finally tackle the double wedding ring quilt block. I printed out the pattern weeks ago and talked myself out of it many times. Scary curves. Scary curves. At least the paper piecing part will be easy.

Easy peasy. Stitch, trim, press, repeat. I'm stuck on citrus colors at the moment. I threw in some blue because my blue scraps are out of control and I'm stuck on citrus colors.

I usually don't pin when sewing curves, but I was skeered. Think I used enough pins?

Not bad. I have no idea how those squares fit it on the side, but I'll give it a try. Two more arcs and I'll be able to test it out. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just Hanging Out

I finally finished the top to this scrap quilt at our quilt retreat. All I needed to do was stitch down the appliqued hearts, but it sat in the WIP file for a while. I found the pattern in a magazine and thought it might be a great way to use up my scraps. Didn't even put a dent in them. I need to make 700 more scrap quilts.

This bell pepper coaster was in a book I bought recently. Easy and fun. The hardest part was finding scraps in pepper colors. I didn't bring my scraps to the retreat. Luckily, I have friends with fabric. ;)

Look who was hanging out Sunday enjoying a little sunshine after a rainy day. He scared Hollywood and her little charge away from the front door. Maybe he will work on solicitors as well. When I went to get a picture of him, Hollywood's charge said "do you want me to stand by him?" Ha! What a jokester. I don't think he was joking though.

My herbs are still on overdrive, so I clipped a ton of oregano and dried it. It smells so good. Makes me crave pizza. A gross caterpillar ate two of my tomatoes, so Inspector Gadget flicked him in the pool. Not my idea of caterpillar elimination, but I didn't want to handle it. Yuck.

I've pulled some fabric for the Giant Starburst Quilt. Looking forward to using that white on white floral so it will go away. Where did I get that stuff? I swear I have 20 yards of it. It's really not that bad, but I prefer solid white. I'm going to use this stuff first.

Hollywood's charge loves to craft. She brings him over for craptastic craft sessions and Sunday dinner while his parents are at work. I'm all ready for a brown bag turkey puppet next time. Good thing I've saved all the crap craft stuff my kids used to create with. We may have to try wood burning next.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Let's Paint

Hard to believe it's been a week since I was retreating on the East coast with fellow quilters. We all brought several projects to work on and I believe everyone accomplished quite a bit. But it wasn't about deadlines for me, I was just there to sew. And eat. My favorite things. Affiliate link alert ahead.

Kathryn, wowed us with a demonstration using Inktense pencils and water soluble pastels. She brought several of her masterpieces, which were so inspiring. Then she let us play with her colors. I think more than a few of us are asking Santa for these sets.

I colored on some flowers that Kathryn had stitched up. She's a master quilter too. Girl has mad skills.

Kathryn also showed us how to use the pastels to create silk screen images. You simply color an image on the screen and use medium to squeegee the image onto fabric. How fun is that?

I whipped up another I Spy fabric book for my little cousins. Big sister loves the one I made her, so I made one for her to read to her new brother. He was born on Halloween, so I used some Halloween fabric for the cover. The blue crabs are our family's favorite, and football is big in that family too.

I brought a bag of selvages and sewed them down on muslin. Not sure where these will end up. Somewhere.

Loaded baked potato soup for dinner last night. I threw some diced tomatoes on as a garnish. I wanted to make a Thai red curry soup, but college boy and the Inspector probably preferred the potato soup. Whatever, it has cheese and bacon in it and I didn't have any cilantro for Thai cooking. I've also been craving beef and barley soup. I could make soup every day.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Stash #78


Our guild meeting at the fabric shop and the retreat shopping trip resulted in a few fun goodies. The last two photos were spoils from an adorable scrap bag I had to have. The funny bunnies caught my eye, but I love all the transportation prints too. All of the scrap pieces were very large, so I'll be able to have lots of fun with them.

This cute baby quilt was hanging in the guest house I shared with my roommate. Hi Marge! The retreat location was wonderful and we had a lot of fun. There were quilts everywhere, but I forgot to get photos of all of them.
I loved this double wedding ring quilt. It had some fun fabrics.

We set up our machines in the schoolhouse and got busy with our projects. Everyone was very productive and it was fun seeing what everyone worked on.

Yanick gifted us each a cute sewist block and I made a little quilt to remember the weekend. The fabric surrounding the block was made using water soluble oil pastels and Inktense pencils. Kathryn showed us how to use them. Beth worked with the gold Kaufman fabric and gave me the selvage.

Alejandrina worked on a T-shirt quilt featuring the band Who. Marge whipped up a gorgeous table runner using the Porcelain Blue fabric. Cara and her sister worked on a cute Sesame Street quilt with a blue gingham backing and fun watermelon blocks. Joy loves purple, so there's a swatch of purple. I had everyone sign the back. I can't wait for the next retreat. My bags can be packed in 10 minutes.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gone Retreating

I'm packed for a three-day quilt retreat over on the coast. I brought enough projects to last a month, so I'll be busy. There's a fabric store outing and an Inktense Pencils and Water Soluble Crayons demo planned as well. Wheeeee! Catch ya on the flip side.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

To Infinity and Beyond

Remember my tomato plant? I bought it October 11 to celebrate a Friday.

Look at it now! Less than a month later there are six tomatoes about tangerine size. I'm practically giddy about its progress. Maybe my plant killer days are over. Apparently plants like regular water. Who knew?

I really love to eat green tomatoes too, but I'll try to resist. The spinach, peppers, and herbs are doing well too. Fall farming is the way to go. Anyone need some basil or oregano?

Speaking of giddy, Rene' gifted me with her beautiful selvage bag. I might have squealed. Okay, I really did squeal when I saw the Hey Girl journal and Bad Ass Quilter coffee cup and pin. I love those Ryan Gosling Hey Girl memes. The Bad Ass Quilter stuff goes so well with my Holy Shit Balls Sewing's Awesome project bag. Quilters are so fun!

If you haven't seen astronaut Karen Nyberg quilting in space, check it out. Amazing! I will never whine about gravity or misplacing my snips again. Our guild is making star-themed blocks to celebrate her homecoming.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chili Overload

Inspector Gadget was in the kitchen early Saturday morning making his entry for the chili cook-off. He used ground chuck, stew meat, and hot Italian sausage. His spices included fresh chili, jalapeno, and habanero peppers, so it was pretty spicy. He also used fresh basil and oregano from the garden. And garlic, lots of garlic. He made enough for an army.

I made Whole Grain Cornbread to take to the chili cook-off. They are the brownish squares to the right. Meh, it was okay. Notice the Red Lobster cheddar biscuits were a big hit.

But we were really there for the chili. Twenty different kinds of chili. I tasted 19. It was a fun evening and we didn't trip any breakers with all our crock pots.

I made a big pan of candy corn bark to take to my chocolate-loving cousin and the cook-off. My auntie gave me this toffee recipe a long time ago, but it had pecans instead of peanuts and candy corn. I suppose you could throw any type of topping on it. No one believes the toffee part is saltines, butter, and brown sugar. After it sets up, you crack it into pieces.

Meet Buck, my newest little cousin. First cousin, once removed that is. How proper. He is a little doll. I can't believe I was holding him two days after he was born. My kids were never that little. I held him over an hour and he stayed awake and stared at me the whole time. Probably wondering who the heck I was.

Big sis Mia is also happy with her little brother. That's the birth pool in the background. My cousin's wife had both babies at home. She highly recommends it.

I brought a big stack of baby quilts over for them to choose something for Buck. They had a hard time deciding, but this little colorful quilt won out. It was one of my favorites too.

Stumbled across an easy tutorial to make the napkins to match my seafood china. Now I need to have appetizers for dinner.
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