Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Quilt

Quilt groups can be a wonderful inspiration.  In January, 2001, my quilting group, known as "the Pinheads" then, decided to work on Halloween quilts.  We would each work on our own project, but use the same pattern.  To keep with the theme, we changed our name temporarily to "The Batty Babes".  Once a month my dear friend, Becky M. and I would plan for all of us to meet at different secret locations.   Sometimes the group had to figure out clues to the whereabouts of the next meeting.  Tricky huh? When we got together, we would  share what we had done and be inspired to continue on.  Well, we kept meeting and working hard and we completed some pretty awesome and very cute tricker treaters for our quilts.  The pattern was adapted from a Sue Garman pattern. 

This is one of the funniest quilts I have ever made.  We personalized each little goblin with buttons, beads, embroidery and any other embellishments we could think of.  It was all hand appliqued.

We all got very creative.  It took us almost a year to do.


I had almost let Halloween slip by without getting out my Trick or Treaters Quilt.  It's funny how we let some of our favorite memories slip by because we just get too busy.  Well, my quilt is out now and I am having a great time enjoying it and the memories it holds.

Until next time- Kyle

Monday, October 26, 2009


I was reading a survey that said that Monday is considered the worse day of the week.  I guess because it is the beginning of most people's five day work week.  I like Mondays because it is the beginning of a new week, a fresh start.

I did a lot of errands today and guess, I mostly ran into people who dislike Mondays.  There was a lot of attitude out there.  I didn't take people's behavior personally, but instead tried to smile and be pleasant.

I have been listening to Maya Angelou's book, Letters to My Daughter.  It talks about her path in life and living a life of meaning.  She talks about having an attitude of gratitude.  Maybe Mondays wouldn't seem so negative, if we remembered how much we have to be thankful for.

5 Things I'm Thankful for on a Monday:

1.  That I was granted another Monday to see the sun rise and the sun set.
2.  That I have a job to go to on Tuesday.
3.  That I have a family who loves me no matter what day it is.
4.  I can share a kind word or a smile to someone who doesn't like Mondays
5.  I can make a pot of soup and a batch of muffins and then not cook for several days!

Chicken Noodle Soup and Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins

Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins
based on the recipe from Martha Stewarts Baking Handbook
the (****)  indicate altitude changes

1 3/4 Cups all purpose flour  (+ 3 T)
1/2 t. baking powder    (- a pinch)
1/2 t. baking soda         (- a pinch)
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
2 large eggs   (+ 1/8 cup egg beaters)         
1 cup sugar  (-2 T) 
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 t vanilla
1 cup finely grated zucchini 1/2 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries   (I coarsely chopped them instead)

Preheat oven 375 degrees ( 385 degrees)
Prepare 10 cups of a standard 12 cup muffin pan
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla.  Stir in the zucchini.  Add the flour mixture and stir to combine, do not over mix.  Using a rubber spatula fold in the cranberries.  Divide the batter evenly among the 10 prepared muffin cups.

Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the muffins are golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 - 30 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Turn the muffins on their sides in their cups and cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 Hope you enjoy the muffins and Mondays.

Until next time- Kyle

Sunday, October 25, 2009

San Francisco

I don't consider myself a true foodie, but when Ed and I travel, we certainly enjoy contemplating all of the food choices.  Last week we went to "the City on the Bay", San Francisco. So many choices, so little time.

The Bay Bridge
We walked all over the city, exploring neighborhoods, riding the trolley (that's Ed hanging on to the outside of the trolley), and checking out the food scene.  The weather was perfect.  We rode the ferry over to Sausalito and back so we could get a good view of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. We had lived in the Bay area a long time ago so it was fun to come back and check things out.

China Town

With only 2 days in the city, we had a lot of food choices to taste.  One place certainly on our list was Yank Sing in the financial district.  Home of the best Dim Sum in the city. Dim Sum is the name for a Chinese cuisine which involves a wide range of light dishes served alongside Chinese tea.  The items are usually served in a small steamer basket or on a small plate. 

Dim Sum

Sourdough bread

Boudin's is San Francisco sourdough bread.  We tasted their bread at least 3 times! Another fun place we visited was the Ferry Building Marketplace. It includes shops of cheese, exotic mushrooms, pasta's, chocolate and the home of Boccalone,  The owner of this salumeria, Chris Cosentino, appears on the food network on the show Chefs vs City.  He wasn't there, but we talked to his wife and thoroughly enjoyed his tasty salted pig parts!

Our two days went by fast.  From here we drove north, across the bridge to Napa.  I'll share more about that another time.  Where's the best food you've tried while traveling?

Until next time- Kyle

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall into the Season

I was only gone 6 days helping Kate move and look what happened in my yard.  Leaves have covered everything.

Even though I was in Florida for such a short time, you didn't even realize that it was fall.

There is something about the change of seasons that keeps you grounded.

Ed and I lived in northern California for a couple years when we first were married and we really had a hard time not having the different seasons.

This week I am in San Francisco and it doesn't seem like fall here either.

It will be good to get back home, see the colors and truly experience fall.

I  finally did  get to have my punkin bagel with punkin cream cheese!  This is my favorite time of the year.

Until next time- Kyle

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Home Again

What does 2,100 miles, 40 hours of driving, Kansas City, St. Louis, Nashville, and Atlanta, truck stops and mini marts all have in common?

It means within the last 5 days I have been there and done that.

With our spirits high and the sleep wiped from our eyes, Kate, her boyfriend, Bobby Macuen, and I set out on an adventure.  Last Friday morning at 5 am, as a cold front was blowing into Denver, we left for Tamarac, Fl.  Check out our route.

Kate and Bobby drove the Penske  truck and car trailer, while I drove Kate's car. It was a long way!!!  But we made it just fine.  The truck could only go 65 mph max so consequently it took us 40 hours to make the trip.

Minus the 5 hours that Kate drove with me, I did it all myself , all the way.  I listened to Harry Potter books, a bit of music and the Tennessee and Georgia football game.

Once we got there we needed to unload the truck, in 90 degree heat and equal parts humidity.  Welcome to southern Florida!  I kept up just fine. 

Kate's place

Bobby standing on "the grass" in the backyard!

We got a lot accomplished.  Wish I could have stayed a few more days to help out.  But it will all come together soon.  I didn't have time to take many pictures.  Should  have gotten one of the lizards that run everywhere.  I'll miss seeing "my girl" as often as I did, but I know she'll do great.

Notice I am wearing the appropriate fall colors of Colorado

This road trip wasn't on my bucket list, but maybe I should add it, just so I can cross it off.

Until next time-Kyle

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ta- Dah!

When I began quilting in 1973, the basic approach I took was... Start It-Finish It.  That meant I was working on one quilt at a time.

There are lots steps in making a quilt.  Each one can be a challenge in creativity and patience. It's fulfilling to  see a project all the way through, from conception to completion.

Today I have a very different approach...the more the merrier.  That means I am working on multiple quilts at a time.  I have a very long queue.  Some quilts are still ideas, some have fabric attached, some have been started, some are in different states of completion, and some are nearing the finish line.

Today I would like to say Ta Dah!!  In the last couple weeks I have finished, with labels, 3 quilts. 

" tis the Season" used the pattern Strip Down.  It was fast and fun.  It used 2.5" strips.  It's a pattern by G.E. Designs.  I did it in Christmas fabrics.  It even used a bit of my stash.              Ta Dah!

" Over the River"  is an embroidered  and pieced quilt.  It's a pattern from Crabapple Hill.  I traced the embroidery last July.  So it took me almost a year to complete.  It will fun to have out this holiday season. That's a second
Ta Dah!

"Autumn Winds" is a pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt co.  I made it to give to my daughter, Kate, who is moving to Florida this week.  I know she will miss the change of seasons, so hopefully, this will reminder her of Fall in Colorado and home.  Ta Dah #3.

Looking at my queue, there are many more quilts in line. Which one will be next to be finished? 

It will be a while before I can sew again.  I am heading off to Florida with Kate to help her get settled.  Wish us good thoughts as we head off on a very long drive.

Take care- Kyle

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tootsies Go Under Cover

We all talk about "the signs of a new season". Now that it is officially fall, there are signs all around us. The leaves are beginning to change, and pumpkins are appearing everywhere. I'm waiting to head to my favorite bagel shop to see if the pumpkin bagels and pumpkin cream cheese are back on the menu.  Yumm-o!
Also I am feeling colder, despite occasional "flashes of heat."

I realized the other day my attire had changed as well. I was now sporting socks. My toes were ready to go under cover. I looked in my sock bin. What happened in here? All the partners had separated during the summer. How do they do that?

Sorting socks is like seeing old friends again.
Not quite ready for wool socks.

Mismatched socks are perfect. I was at Big Daddy's bagel shop in Boulder last spring and a man came up to me and said, "Your socks are great". Really?!? He was even normal looking. Hmmmmm. I guess I'm just with it.

Fall is here, so put some new life into your sock drawer.  There are a lot of fun ways to keep your "Tootsies Under Cover"

Until Next Time- Kyle