Monday, January 31, 2011

February Show and Tell

Well, It's almost February.

Not sure where the month 
of January has gone.

But it's time to look ahead.
What better thing to do 
than to look at a few quilts.

Looking at these quilts is like visiting old friends.
Many of these quilts are stored and 
rarely get used. 
I pulled a few that looked appropriate for 
the "month of hearts".

Stars Within Hearts

I believe this was a Red Wagon Quilt pattern.
It was made with a lot of Roberta Horton's stripes and plaids

I like how the orange plaid helps to 
give the blue a punch, i.e. complementary colors,  and the red 
star to really shine.
It's even hand quilted

Another quilt that I really like is this one.
Crazy Hearts

This is a Buggy Barn Pattern.
I love their patterns.  
It's a great way to make a scrappy quilt in an
organized way.

I chose 3 different color groups to work with,
red, black and gold.
After the fabrics are cut and shuffled, each fabric 
ends up in every position in the pattern.
Very clever and easy to do.

This next one is an example of 
the question, "What do you do with
quilts that you just don't love anymore?" 

Dresden Hearts
mid 90's

Way back when there were about 6 of us
who made and sold a few wall quilts.
We called ourselves "The Material Girls"
We mostly did it to finance other projects for ourselves.
We did a great job and we had great fun.

This is one of the quilts we made and sold.
It's a fusible applique with gold charms sewn on.
It's all plaids and homespuns with a
black buttonhole stitch around the hearts.
It's definitely a folk art style.

Unfortunately, it's not really my style anymore.
I feel a little guilty saying I don't like something I made anymore.
Today what I like and do is different.

What do quilters do with quilts that
are not their style anymore?
Do I keep it or pass it on somewhere?
Do I add some machine quilting around it to 
make it better?
I really don't want to do anything more.
Any suggestions?

Hope your day is filled with perfect stitches.

Until Next Time-

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fabulous Friday

For Today:
Looking Out My Window: Wow, it really feels like spring today.  Maybe a high of 60 degrees this afternoon.  Sounds like I might try to have my lunch outside.

My Weekend Plans Include: I have to work at the store this Saturday, "Sale Day".  Then on Sunday, it might be a good day to catch up.

I’m Reading: The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather. Almost done.

Movie Marquee: More of The Office, season 6.

Something Quiltie: I sent in my form for the Capitol Quilt Show that the Colorado Quilting Council sponsors every other year.  I have entered a quilt, I think, since the very first show, 1988.  It is a spectacular venue for displaying quilts.  The show runs from June 6 - August 19.  So if you are in the Denver area make it a point to stop by the Capitol building for a tour and also enjoy viewing 250 quilts on display. It's an awesome show.

One of My Favorite Things: Now that Ed is primarily working at home it is so nice to walk in the door after being gone all day and have dinner ready.  We tried a new pasta recipe this week.  Check it out from Cooking Light.  It was incredible, Fettuccine with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts.  It could be a new favorite.  I didn't stop to take a photo because I was too hungry and it looked too good.

I'm Thinking About: It's almost time for my running man to head off to the 100 mile Rocky Raccoon Race in Huntsville, TX.  
 The crew,Elizabeth and me, will be prepared to help him meet his challenge.  The new mantra is" Quitting is not an option." We are to be tough and to keep him moving.  I swear, this is going to be the last time so, everyone has to be rooting for his success!

What’s For Dinner: Nothing exciting today.  It's everyone man for himself.

A Favorite Photo:

Look out Texas Here we come.

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cat Head Biscuits?

I was born in Detroit.
Far from the Mason Dixon Line.
I have never lived in the south.
Therefore, I am a Yankee and not a Southern Belle.

But I do love biscuits.

Because it was soup day, Hearty Vegetable Soup, 
it always seems like we have to have some kind
of bread to go with it.

I had gotten a new magazine, 
The Best of America's Test Kitchen, 
from Cook's Illustrated.
Lots of good recipes, of course, with helpful
hints and tested for perfection.

So I came across the story of 
Cat Head Biscuits.
The name certainly makes you curious.

It appears to be an old Appalachian recipe.
And yes, they are huge, soft and fluffy.
The tops are golden brown and craggy
while the inside is tender and moist.

If you jump over to 
the blog,
the recipe is there with all of the technique included.
I didn't use the food processor, but used
my hands instead to "rub" the butter and shortening into the flour.

Make sure the baking powder you have does not include
aluminum.  I think because it calls for 1 tablespoon it might
make them taste somewhat metallic. Just my opinion.

Can't wait to see them?
Now you just have to taste them, Yum!
I couldn't resist adding my dear kitty to the blog as well.

Yup, the biscuit is as big as a Cat's Head.

Until Next Time-

Monday, January 24, 2011

Come Saturday Morning

At the store, the owners have been playing
new music from Muzak.
Even if the music is good or bad sometimes you
just can't get it out of your head.

On Friday I heard a song I hadn't heard in a very long time.
It's by the Sandpiper's.
They sang it in 1969.
"Come Saturday Morning."

I remember it from the movie, The Sterile Cuckoo, 1969, with
Liza Mennelli and Wendell Burton.
The movie itself was kind of quirky, but
I loved the song.
It seemed so carefree, untroubled, free spirited way back then.
I was a Freshman in college.

Anyway, I thought it was a good sign seeing
I was going to have 
a Saturday adventure myself.

So off I went with a couple of friends to 
check out a couple of quilt shops.
You can't get more adventurous than that.

Several yards of fabrics later, good laughs with
other customers, and new projects being created,
my friend got a phone call that her mother was
on her way to the hospital.

Wait a minute.
Put on the brakes and head back to reality.
Saturday morning was over.

Well, we slipped in a few hours of fun, but then
like the song says we traveled on.

It was a great morning and
I hope my friend's mom is doing OK.

Until Next Time-

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fabulous Friday

For Today:
Looking Out My Window: The moon is still up.  It's probably not a full moon at this point, but still pretty.  Add a little moonglow and barometric pressure and it could prove to be an interesting day.

My Weekend Plans Include: I'm going to leave Saturday open and I'll see what comes my way.  I'm predicting good things.

I’m Reading: The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather.

Movie Marquee: More of season 6 of The Office and The Prince of Tides, 1991 with Barbara Streisand and Nick Notle.  I wanted to see scenes of the Georgia coast.

Something Quiltie: I spent a couple hours organizing my threads this week.  That includes, cotton, silk, metallics and rayons, the evil twins, Polly and Esther, large coned spools, pearl cottons, quilting, and others. Everything had gotten jumbled together. This little exercise in organizing should make it much easier for me to find the exact kind of thread I'm looking for.  Who knew how much thread one person could have and need.

One of My Favorite Things: I got a box from Amazon today. I love to get good things in the mail.

I'm Thinking About: Even when a particular day seems to be handing me lemons, I can figure out a way to make lemonade.

What’s For Dinner: Do you think I can get Ed to take me out for pizza?  I'm betting on it.

A Favorite Photo:

Mini Snickerdoodle Kupcakes by Kyle

Until Next Time-

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quilters Say the Darnest Things

I've been working retail for 16 years.
Hard to believe.

I've been at the Fig Leaf helping
quilters and others make and learn more
about quilt making.
Maybe some of these ladies have been customers.

Over the years there have been some wonderful and funny
comments from our customers.
I thought I would share a few today just for fun.

Some Ultimate Quilt Questions and Comments:

"I'm looking for Debbie's Mom's fabrics"
"Or maybe it's called Debbie's Mother's fabrics"
Me: "Do you mean Debbie Mum fabric?" 
"Maybe, I guess you only have the British mom version."

Quilters are always looking for interesting and unusual
Do you have any fabric with: beer bottles,
goddesses,  orthodontic fabrics with teeth or braces,
Pomeranian fabric, or any other specific breeds of dogs, or
Thanksgiving fabrics with unicorns on it....

"The pattern says to use freezer paper in the applique,
but I think that would make the quilt too crinkly."

"Do you have any reproductive fabric?"
(I think they meant reproduction fabric)

"If I buy my fabric here, would you make the quilt for me?"

"Do you have any fun foo foo ferret fabric to make my
ferret a bed?" ... Really?

"Would your quilt basting spray hold a wedding
dress on a bride's body?"

"Is your 5th Saturday club on Wednesdays?"

A women came running into the store and yelled,
"Do ya got any fabric that looks like deer hide?"
I simply asked "Doe or Buck?"

"Of course, you know a fat quarter is a third of a yard."

"I love this fabric...but I wish it were different."

"I don't know what I want to make, 
I don't know how much I need,
or how big I want to make it.
Can you help me?"

At the Fig Leaf , yes, we can!

Until Next Time-

Monday, January 17, 2011

What's In a Name

Everyone recognizes themselves by their name.
There's power in one's name.

I'm sure what you are called has influenced 
who you are.

It probably was the first word you learned to write.
We label what's ours, it distinguishes us from others,
it gives us a sense of individuality.

When I was growing up, I wasn't very fond of my name.
It was so different from the popular names of the time, I was
always put in the boys PE class year after year,
it was a small high school and Jr. high school where everyone knew everyone,
I recieved notices from the different branches of
military services to enlist rather than be
drafted into the army during Vietnam and
I still recieve lots of mail addressed to Mr. Kyle.
Ed has gotten odd and knowing looks
when he has ordered roses for me and included
a loving sentiment.

At quilt shows, if I have entered a quilt, I'll always
hear the comment, "Look this one was done by a man!"
I was asked to enter a quilt in a special show
by the quilt museum in Golden "For Men Only". They
had sent me an invitation based on someone's recommendation
Ha Ha Ha
I do think I look rather feminine. 

Occassionally, I have heard of another female
with the name Kyle.
There's a local new anchor with the name, 
a real Housewife of Beverly Hills,
and I just found a whole facebook page of female Kyle's, who knew.

I do like my name.
It's unique, most people remember it, 
and when I hear someone call my name in the
grocery store it's usually to curb some bratty little boy.

My parents named me after a singer, Kyle MacDonnell.
She was on early television.  
I could never find any information on her.
My friend, Lisa, found a video of her singing.
It was like an instant connection.
Unfortunately, when I went back to look at it today,
it's been removed from the archives
Oh, well.

Until Next Time-

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fabulous Friday

For Today:
Looking Out My Window:  Yesterdays warm temps melted a lot of snow.  There's grass showing, dry roads, and I'm looking forward to another warmer day.

My Weekend Plans Include: Tomorrow it's practicing crewing.  Ed is off on a 40 mile "fun" run? I get to follow him around, via the car, and make sure he makes it from point A to point B, etc. Oh, boy!

I’m Reading:.  I'm still reading Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens.  Oprah, I found out, has it on her reading list. I should get quite a lot of listening done tomorrow in the car.

Movie Marquee: I wanted to watch American Graffiti.  It's been a long time and we also have the beginning of season 6 of The Office.  It's getting harder and harder for me to watch regular TV with all the commercials.

Something Quiltie: This week I was able to spend some time auditioning fabric for my newest project.  Choosing fabric from my stash and seeing how it might work in a project is always a challenge.  Then you need to see how it will work with the other fabrics.   You have to see if it's a team player.  Sometimes you just don't know until you begin to work with a particular color or pattern what it will do.  Kind of sounds like people doesn't it.

One of My Favorite Things: are quiet mornings.

I’m Thinking About: some upcoming travel plans to Savannah.  Has anyone been there?  Any recommendations? 

What’s For Dinner:Yesterday I tried a new recipe from Cooking Light, January, 2011, Mexican Chicken Casserole with Charred Tomato Salsa.  It was great.  And we get to have it again tonight!

A Favorite Photo:

Until Next Time-

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's Someone's Birthday

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!
Today is your day!
It was a day none of us will 
ever forget.
It was the day we became a family.
Welcome, little girl.
January 13, 1981

There's been lots of memories.
Lots of parties to celebrate.

And a lot more to come.
May all your wishes and dreams 
come true.
Hope your day is as wonderful as you are.
Until Next Time-

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brrr! It's Cold !

It was been a perfect day for staying inside.
Except for the time it takes to shovel the driveway.

It is COLD!
Currently it's 10 degrees with a predicted
-9 degrees tonight.

We've had more snow now than we've had
all year.
My little garden girl with an umbrella
looks like she's wearing a while fur collar.
I think it would take more than that to keep warm.

But wait.
"Even though the north wind doth blow,
and we have snow".
Don't get into a January funk.
Look what I have!
My paper whites

There's always something to be thankful for.

Until Next Time-

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Always a Silver Lining

Yesterday Ed and I spent the day in Denver helping
my daughter and her husband move...again.

They've had a little (big) cloud hanging over
their heads for a couple of months.

So with a little help from their families, I know,
that dark cloud is lifting.

I had intended to take a few pictures of everyone
helping, but honestly, we were way too busy.

Everything got moved quickly and easily.
The old apartment was repainted.
The new apartment was practically unpacked
and organized.  
Everything fit perfectly.

and best of all the snow 
waited until today.

It's wonderful when families can work together.
I am truly blessed.

Keep your heads up, Jessica and Martin,
and watch for the silver lining.

Until Next Time-

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fabulous Friday

For Today:
Looking Out My Window:  Because the weather has been so cold the lake is completely frozen over.  Yesterday there were some kids out ice skating.  It really looked like fun.  I can't even remember the last time I ice skated.  (see picture below!)

My Weekend Plans Include: It's another trip to Denver.  Jessica and Martin are moving and we're the moving team, again.  The weather should be cooperative on Saturday.  Fortunately, they don't have a lot of furniture and STUFF.  It shouldn't be too hard.   We're also heading out to dinner to celebrate Elizabeth's 30th birthday.  When did that happen!

I’m Reading: I'm starting the year off in a classic theme.  I'm reading Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens.  Was that high school freshmen reading or sophomore? 

Movie Marquee: There may not be too much time for movies but we have, My Blue Heaven with Steve Martin and Rick Moranis, and Jane Eyre, that would be a Kyle movie.

Something Quiltie: Last night the Quiltie Buddies meet at Whole Foods to begin our new BOM.  The pattern is called Snowbound. It was a freebie from Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill.  I marvel at each person's creativity and interpretation of a pattern.  We can all look at the same original drawing and in our own eyes see something new.  That's a beautiful thing.

One of My Favorite Things: Finding a few extra stolen moments in the day to do some hand stitching.

I’m Thinking About: There have been lots of "beginning of the year" quotes floating around in blog land, but this one seemed to catch my thoughts.  

"Kiss your Life, Accept it, just as it is.  Today. Now.  So that those moments of happiness you're waiting for don't pass you by."

What’s For Dinner: I found some minestrone soup frozen in the freezer.  Tah Dah!

A Favorite Photo:

This picture is for you, Janet, as you enjoy
the warm Florida sun!

Do you remember where this was?
At your Aunt Harriet's house

Until Next Time-

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Real Sewing Day

It's always a fantastic
day when I make time to quilt.

I had been working on some flying geese units 
back in December.

I have been sneaking a bit of time
here and there sewing these together.

I have been using a pattern from Miss Rosie's Quilts
called Due South.

Today I completed the top.
Depending on which way you look at it, the geese
could be flying south or flip it around they would
be flying north.

Any which way, I'm pleased how it turned out.

Next step is to piece the back
and then get it quilted.

It was a good use of my stash.
Even if it was just a little.
Until Next Time-

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Warm January Quilts

January is a good month to enjoy quilts
especially here in Colorado.
Everyone needs one or two to snuggle under to stay toasty warm
on those cold January nights.
Here are a few of my favorites.

"Snowed IN"
A Kansas Troubles Quilters' pattern
I love using  only two colors in a pattern

Each block had 17 buttons to sew on.
That's 153 buttons!
I had to buy a large jar of mother of pearl buttons
off of Ebay to have enough.

I'm glad I had the label on the back to remind me 
of the story of this quilt.

 "Wear Warm Clothes"

This pattern is from Country Threads.
It is one of my favorites.
I taught it several times as a class and
it was fun to see how everyone had fun with this collage type quilt.

I especially like the red long johns.
My label is directly behind that part of the quilt, if you 
get my drift.

 Flap door label

 " Winter Wonderland"
This pattern "Snowbound" is from "Red Wagon".
It really was the first pattern I used that pushed me into the
folk art style.
Plaids and stripes were just making there way into the quilting scene.
Roberta Horton introduced us to the concept of
"casually off-grain"
I was hooked.
Maybe because there are many times I do
feel "casually off-grain".

 The quilt is done with hand applique
and hand quilted.

Always glad I've added a label.

  " Merry Christmas"
The pattern is in Kim Diehl's book Simple Seasons.
Even though I titled this quilt Merry Christmas, 
the snowmen seem more appropriate for January.
I made this for the Stashbuster's class I teach.
I used lots of different and  favorite fabrics, but
didn't use up much.
Oh, well...
I machined appliqued these pieces and used white
wool for the snowmen.  
They're just so cute.
I machine quilted it.

The backing fabric was in my stash and 
was perfect combo with the top.

We've had several days of below zero temps.
The evenings find the 3 of us, Ed, me and the cat, cozy
under a pile quilts chasing away the chill.

The perfect  solution for a cold January night.
Until Next Time-Stay Warm,