Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Blocks, Quilt Tops and More

I showed a picture of the first block earlier in the month, but here are my two blocks I made for my KFC Block Exchange group. The blocks are starting to trickle in and I thought I had taken a picture of the other two that Pat had made for me, but unfortunately, I didn't have it on my camera.  (might have taken it with my phone or tablet.  I will have to check and see.)  As soon as I have 6 + blocks, I will post another picture.  I might have to sash this quilt so the blocks stand on their own, but  I will think more about that when I get a few blocks up on the wall. 
 
 
One Friday on a Missouri Star tutorial, Jenny showed how to make little chicken pin cushions.  I have seen these pin cushions all over the place for many years, but have never made one myself.  Until now.  Below is my chicken pin cushion (or will be after I stuff it) without her tail feathers.  I totally forgot about that part of the video.  This one is made with leftover made fabric from the blocks I have made in my KFC Block Exchange group.  When I get to a point where I don't know what I want to work on, or am trying to avoid something that I need to do, I pull out some scraps and make some fabric to use in a project.  I had already used some of this made fabric in another project, but had enough to cut out a couple of squares. Check out the Missouri Star tutorial and make one for yourself.  I will definitely be making a few more of these to give as gifts.

 
 
Speaking of Jenny Doan, early in June, I went to Arkansas to visit with family and got to attend a Jenny Doan trunk show with my mother and take one of her quilt classes with my sister.  Paige and I worked really hard and fast and made many blocks in the short time we were in class.  We had a great system going and were cranking out the blocks.  I didn't realize that Jenny would be leaving at noon from this "full day" bring your own lunch class that I had signed up for.  Apparently everyone in the class knew and some had made plans to stay there the rest of the day and sew and some left at noon to go do other things (some even had to go to work).   Since the teacher was leaving, Paige and I decided to leave pretty soon after she did.  So, I packed everything back into my car and went back to my mother's house.  I left all the blocks I made in a tub until yesterday when I decided to get them out and finish putting them together.  I had already started sewing them into rows during the class and had two rows sewn together and another completed and ready to add when I pulled them out of the tub.  30 blocks!!  Can you believe that we made 30 blocks (31 really) in about 3 hours time?  We did!!  Did I mention we had a system going?  It was fun.  Paige said I was the better sewer and kicked me off the cutting detail at one point  That didn't hurt my feelings - I had previously been kicked off another cutting detail many years ago when my mother, a friend and I made my bulls-eye quilt.  (I can't free cut a circle out of a square of fabric to save my life. They were more a fat football shape)  When I put the remaining blocks together, I only had to make one more "dark" block to make the pattern work.  I have two leftover "light" background blocks and they may have to go on the back somewhere.  This is probably a crib size quilt (about 45 X 52 or so) and I wasn't sure what fabric to use for the outer border.  I auditioned about 10 different fabrics and only two of them made the cut and I wasn't totally sold on either one of them.  I am glad I chose and stuck with this one.  It makes the quilt cheery and fun. 
 

 
The only other thing I am going to type about tonight is the little quilt that is to the right of the exploding block quilt.  That is made from trimmings from a company in Australia, Umbrella Prints.  They have a challenge every March - June and they send you (for a small fee) a packet of fabrics and you have to make something out of it.  I didn't learn of the challenge until late and by the time my fabric arrived it was toward the end of school when I got very busy, so I never put anything together until now.  Here again, like making fabric, I just pulled things out of the packet laid it out on the table and started sewing bits together.  Where I thought I might be going with the fabric and design, doesn't even show up here since I cut that up and sewed it all back in.  It looks like I was making a couple of log cabin pieces, but I only made one.  I was crossing my fingers on the border because I wasn't sure I would have enough fabric to go all the way around.  I am really enjoying this little piece and can't decide how I want to quilt it.  Either by hand with pink pearl cotton or by machine with pink or khaki thread.  Oh, yes, these fabrics are linens or have a rough feel to them so hand quilting may be a bit much, but it might just add some fun if I big stitch.  Until I decide, I will enjoy it on my design wall. 
 
 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kaffe Blck Exchange Blocks

I have been doing a little bit of sewing - FINALLY!!!  It is almost time to go back to school and I am in a bit of a panic mode to get in the studio and sew.    I knew I really had to get going on these paper pieced blocks for my KF Block Exchange Group.  There are 9 - 10 people in a group and we have three groups going on right now.  Each person has a month and must post his/her block pattern choice along with any fabric directions they have by the first.  Then we have one entire month plus a10 days to get the blocks made and in the mail.  (they must be posted by the 10th).  Now we all know that things happen and in the case of the June blocks .  . well,  I made them within a few days of the pattern being posted.  That was good.  I took them to show my quilt group and then I  wanted to show my mother so I took them to Arkansas planning to mail them from there, but I didn't. When I came back home I forgot all about them.  Hey, they were made and done, on to new things.  By the time I remembered them, they were already late.  I finally got around to putting them in the mail - I took the envelope up and weighed it so I could be sure and get the correct amount of postage on there and sent them off.  Well, a few days ago - 7 since I had mailed them off - they came back needing more postage.  WHAT???  That was why I weighed it out in the first place.  They went back in the mail this week with more than enough postage on them so, we will see if they make it there by Monday.  (I am hoping they arrived either today or tomorrow, but Monday at the latest) 
 
Now that June's are taken care of - it's time for July's blocks.  Below are the two blocks I made for the July person.  I should have paid better attention to the orange fabric and made sure the entire star points were from the orangiest part of that fabric and not let those other colors intrude. but that is how it came out and I think it adds some character. 
 
 
This next one has better contrast.  I used some unusual and older KFC fabrics in these blocks so maybe no one else will make the same fabric/color combinations.  They turned out well and I can't wait to see them with all the other blocks to see how they stack up.  I may have to offer to re-make the first one if it clashes too much with her other blocks.  (that gray/green background may be too weird)

 
I am the August person.  I had been thinking about what block I wanted to request and had planned on writing up some instructions, but then I realized it was the first of the month and I needed to post something within the next 30 minutes and I panicked.  I fell back on my second favorite block - Goose in the Pond and just sent everyone directions/access to the tutorial here on my blog.  I told them they could use any fabric combination as long as they used three different fabrics.  I hadn't had time to make an example one - hey, August creeped up on me! 
 
Tonight, I finally got around to making one block using my pattern - someone else has already posted a picture of their block they made and it looks great!  Here is one of mine.  I realized after I made it that I used the same warm/cool placement that I requested from last years Bee group.  I guess I just like that combo.  I have already pulled fabrics for the next one and I am mixing it all up!  Even though in person it looks a bit busier, I like how this one looks in the picture. 
 





Friday, August 8, 2014

Reunion Quilts from this Summer

I finally got around to downloading pictures off my camera and onto my computer.  Toward the last few days of school, I had 15 million things going on and things to do, so I gave my quilts and camera to a small group of students to take pictures of them for me.  I, of course, expected for two of them to hold them up and the other to take the picture.   Quilt picture taking 101, right?  Well, I was surprised later that night when I looked at the pictures and these are the pictures they took.  They set up several tables in the restaurant and laid out the quilts like they would be laying on the bed. 
 
Anyway, here are the three quilts I finished binding and gave away at family reunion.  This first one was for my aunt.  The name of the quilt is "Welcome to the Zoo".  The pattern is a 3, 6, 9, 12 quilt from Fons and Porter and the block pattern is chain link.  I love this quilt pattern and this is my 5th or 6th quilt using this style, but I have used 3 or 4 different block patterns so they all come out differently.  The hardest part about this quilt is making 15 million (my favorite number today) 3 inch blocks, but you gotta do it to make the quilt sparkle!!!  (the block is not hard, it's just tedious! and that makes it hard) (what's really hard is typing today - I think I have had to re-type almost every word) Oh, yes, this quilt is all batiks.  Everything but the green is an animal skin batik.
 
 
 
This next quilt was a long time coming!!  I made the quilt top many, many years ago and was just waiting on a back, but I just wasn't motivated enough to get it made.  Now that I have an awesome quilter, that has all changed.  This quilt is for my cousin's daughter, Chelsea.  Her favorite color used to be orange.  Now, I am not sure it still is or not, but I made this top when that was the color she told me she loved.  Technically this is her high school graduation quilt.  She has since graduated from college, technical schooling and gotten married.  (so, you see, why I said it was a long time coming?)  I named this quilt, "Good Morning Sunshine".  It is so bright and cheery.  The black and white stripe is from some found fabric that was only 36 inches wide!!  That is some old fabric, but it was perfect for this quilt.  Pattern: well that is a good one since I saw a picture of a quilt on a calendar and this quilt was made in honor of that one - not the same pattern, but some of the same colors.

 
Someone at family reunion held it up so we could take pictures.  You can just get a better feel for the quilt when it is like this.
 
 
This third quilt is another one that had to wait to be quilted and is for another cousins daughter for high school graduation.  This one even had the back and binding all ready to go, it was just waiting on me to find a quilter.  This is a flannel quilt that I named, "Firefly Fuzz".   I think it's a yellow brick road pattern, but with more blocks.  The back is a different black and white flannel, but I don't have a picture of that - or I may have one on my camera, but I didn't download it to the computer, sorry.


Alright, there are three of my 20+ quilts I need to bind all done and given away.  Now if I can just get myself motivated to do the others.  (I did finish one that was part way bound, but not included in the 20+ and I am halfway through another) 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Food Pictures

A couple of pictures to share.  First is my Chicken BLT Salad served on fresh romaine lettuce with tomato crunchie almonds and sunflower seeds.  Also, my favorite cracker of all time - or at least one of them - the everything cracker from Market Street in Lubbock.  It's really hard to see the chicken salad, but trust me it's under there.  I just mixed it all up and ate away - yum!!

 
Next is some Broccoli Cheese Soup that I made from some broccoli I forgot I had gotten from the Bountiful Baskets.  I had to do something with it and since I had a good hunk of cheddar cheese, cream, milk and chicken broth - voila - broccoli cheese soup.  I also had a good size carrot that I grated on the box grater and sautéed in some butter before beginning my roux for the soup. 

 
Everything is served in my Fiestaware dishes  (lapis pasta bowl for the salad and marigold chowder bowl for the soup).  I just love my Fiestaware!!  I was so glad I made the decision several years ago to sell my dishes I had gotten when I was in college (great blue and white set my neighbor bought in the garage sale for her daughter in college -  who coincidentally went to ACU, also)  They were really nice dishes and I had used them for about 20 years, but I finally decided to start collecting the new fiesta and I am so glad I did.  They are so bright and colorful. 
 
I have one more thing I made, but apparently it's lost somewhere in cyberspace and I will have to re-send it from my tablet tomorrow.  These were taken with my Acer tablet and even though the lights were on and the windows open, they are still a little dark around the edges away from the flash.   

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chicken BLT Salad

Yesterday, I was really craving a BLT.  Have you ever had cravings for a sandwich like that?  I knew I had some cherry tomatoes I needed to use up and three slices of bacon left in the package; that would make a perfect sandwich.  Yep, it would if the bread hadn't molded a few days ago and I had to throw it out.  It's really hard to have a sandwich with no bread.  So, my mind starts going through what I have here at the house - I really don't want to go out at lunch time here in town - waaaay tooo many people trying to get lunch at the same time.  I go ahead and cook the bacon in the microwave and dice up some tomatoes.  If nothing else, I will have scrambled eggs with tomatoes and bacon.  Sounds pretty good, but just not the same.  What else can I do, hmmm.  I have a can of chicken that the label is half way off, maybe I can mix up a chicken, bacon and tomato salad and serve it over fresh romaine lettuce.  YUM!!!  It was delicious!! Here is what I did, in case you want to make your own. 

Chicken BLT Salad

1 can of chicken, drained and shredded
about 10 cherry tomatoes, diced
3 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and chopped
1/2 - 2/3 c. mayonnaise
1 t. spicy brown mustard
2 T. blue cheese dressing - just because I love it and it adds some flavor

Mix all of the above together along with a little bit of kosher salt and a generous amount of black pepper.  Serve over torn Romaine lettuce and top with a little bit more blue cheese dressing. 

I also sprinkled some tomato crunchy almonds over the top - (get them from naturebox) or you could do some toasted pecans, regular almonds or sunflower seeds.  The bacon is crunchy, but that adds a little bit more crunch. 

It was delicious and I will be making this again.  Matter of fact, I had some leftovers for lunch again today and it was still wonderful.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.  If you don't like the blue cheese dressing you can eliminate it from the salad mixture and use your choice of dressing - ranch, thousand island, etc. over the top when you serve it.  If I had thought about it at the time, I would have chopped up some black olives and put them in there, too  Enjoy!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Red and Mom's Quilts - second posting of the day

Scrolling through some quilt blogs, I decided to check in with Abby and see if she had posted something new.  Surprise, surprise.  There on her blog were two of my mother's quilts.  One of them, is my Sudokitome pattern.  I have all my blocks made, just need to put it altogether.  Here is a picture of the quilt I borrowed from Abby's blog:


 
 
I am so excited to see I quilted.  I didn't see it when I went to Arkansas last month so this was a surprise.  We had our monthly Bee meeting yesterday and I finished up my red quilt top. I thought it was finished prior to going to Arkansas, but my mother made a suggestion about splitting the strip section (it was all one piece at one time) and then sewing it to the other side.  I immediately said no and then thought about it.  Okay, I will do that - this was a playing around quilt anyway, let's see how that looks.  So, below is my red quilt:
 
 
Someone asked if I was going to add borders and of course I said, "no".   Then I started thinking, hmm, borders, but the answer is still no.  I am going to have to re-measure this one to figure out my backing - I had already done that with the previous version.  I like how the bottom singlet is touching the strip section.  I kind of wish there was one touching the other side, but since very little of this quilt top was planned, I really like how it turned out. 
 

Apple Cobbler

Sitting at Volleyball can sometimes get quite boring.  Thank goodness for Coach Danley sometimes coming up to the front and keeping me company.  The other day she was telling me about an apple cobbler she had made using those sugar cookies that come already pre-sliced in a package of 24 for the topping.  I had a bag of small granny smith apples that I didn't know what to do with and thought that would be a fun recipe to play around with, so I did.  I had to run to Wal-Mart for a few things - didn't want to get totally dressed and go to HEB and knew no one cared at Wally World what I was wearing - or not wearing.  (makes you wonder, huh)   Anyway, I really was going to get sugar cookie dough when I spotted the oatmeal butterscotch cookies and I immediately thought of a rolled oatmeal crust on pies and cobblers and knew that would be wonderful.  So, I am going to share with you my made up kind of recipe for apple cobbler so you can make it yourself and taste the awesomeness.  I am sorry I don't have a picture to share with you, but the pan (8" X 8") is almost empty right now.  I should have taken a picture (story of my life) when it first came out of the oven, all bubbly and hot. 

Apple Cobbler

6 small granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced small.  (about 2 1/2 - 3 cups) (2 - 3 large ones)
4 T. cold butter - diced
2 T. sugar (white, granulated - regular sugar) (about)
2 1/2 T. brown sugar (about)
1 t. cinnamon (about)
1 package of 24 squares of oatmeal butterscotch cookies

Sorry for the about measurements - I really didn't measure - just sprinkled things on and in. 

Put your diced apples in the bottom of an 8" square pan.  sprinkle with the butter making sure it is evenly spaced around on the apples, sprinkle with the sugars and cinnamon.  Evenly space the cookies over the top of everything and bake at 350 (whatever temp the cookies say on the package - it may be 325) for about 20 - 25 minutes.  I may have even cooked them up to 30 minutes.  You want your cookies to be done and the apples cooked.   Eat plain or top with whipping cream or ice cream.  A butter pecan ice cream would be lovely.  You could also put a sprinkling of pecans or raisins over the apples.  Play around with this and let me know what you think.  It's a quick and easy dessert that I think will impress your family.  (or heat it up for breakfast the next day - yum!)