Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Keeping it Fresh

Whatever  your creative outlet is, 
it is the process of creating something new
out of the resources that you have.
It's taking  raw materials and making something else
that's of
value, enjoyment, or beauty.

In quiltmaking,
it's taking pieces of fabric,
  combining it with other fabric, 
doing some designing, cutting, sewing 
(tah dah)
you have an original masterpiece.

The same is true with leftover Turkey.
  You have to become a creative genius to take the last
of the Thanksgiving turkey combine
it with other interesting ingredients and 
serve it as a delicious meal.

I have to admit that I am a virgin turkey leftover user.
By that, I mean, this is the first year in 37 years of marriage,
that I have actually cooked a turkey on Thanksgiving.
I have not collected a recipe file of what to do
with the leftover parts of "the bird".
I have googled, looked through endless cookbooks,
and finally found this great recipe for

 Chipotle-Seasoned Turkey Enchiladas
Bon Appetit, 
fast easy fresh cookbook.

The recipe can be found here if you're interested.
It's a great example of taking the basics
and creating some new and fresh
out of something you already have.

Making do and using it up is to
celebrate the end of the turkey!

Until Next Time-

Monday, November 28, 2011

Transition Week

I always think of the week after Thanksgiving 
as the transition week into the Christmas holidays.

It's time to put fall away, use up the turkey leftovers,
and try to finish up a project or two before
the holiday is truly upon me.

Sometimes I need to be inspired by what other quilters are doing
Lori, over at Humble Quilts,
has reminded me of my usual manta,
"Just a Hoop a Day".

I have had several projects lingering in the shadows and 
I really want to get them done.

Project One is my Antique Ocean Wave, 
it's been an ongoing project.

I'm so close to finishing the handquilting.

I need to settle down, get my fingers calloused once again,
"Just A Hoop A Day"

In the same way, Project Two needs to be finished being machine quilted.
You can see the paper on the snowflakes waiting to be
torn away. 
It may not be "a hoop a day", but "a section a day" would do the trick.

The approach is the same, accomplishing small realistic goals.
 These small mini steps, along with some holiday music,
should motivate me into finishing these two quilts.

This transition  week will be perfect opportunity
to work on two procrastinated projects with renewed energy.

Then I can tackle the decorating,
baking, gift wrapping, shopping,...
of the holidays. 
Until Next Time-

Friday, November 25, 2011

Enticed, but Not Too Much

This morning I sat looking at the monster sized newspaper
that arrived on my front porch.
 I have worked on the Friday after Thanksgiving for many years.
Now that I'm retired,
it's my first opportunity to join the throngs of people 
shopping and doing more shopping.
Should I or Shouldn't I?
That is the question.

I admit, I have been enticed by a few ads,
but they are actually from some local businesses.
 So I think I will do my part for the economy,
shop at a few local stores,
and then probably come home and swear
"I will never do that again".

When I do get home I have some machine quilting
waiting for me.
I am working on my Snowbound quilt, last years
free block of the month from Bunny Hill.

I'm using the Golden Threads paper
to machine quilt snowflakes.

Trying to decide what is the best method for marking a quilt
can always be a challenge.
I opted for this method for several reasons.

I didn't want to mark with some kind of pencil  that would need to be removed
because I'm not washing this quilt.

I didn't have a stencil to pounce the pattern and the
fabrics are all pretty light so it might not have shown up.

I didn't want to free form all those snowflakes, so
drawing the pattern on the paper seemed the best option for this quilt.

Yes, I have to tear away the paper, but after watching a
movie or two it will be done and
I'll be happy with the results.

Enjoy your long holiday weekend.
The busy time of the year is just around the corner.

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

He Caught the Wild Hare

Some people spend Saturday mornings, 
casually sipping coffee, reading the paper,
planning what to do with the day, meeting with friends,
or just relaxing after a hectic week.

Last Saturday at 5:00 a.m. the Running Man and I were
in Giddings, Texas, east of Austin,
heading for the ranch where he would be
chasing "the Wild Hare" for a 50 mile trail run.

The race began at 6:00 am with about 85 runners
starting off with headlights bobbing into the darkness.
The temperatures were warm and a bit muggy, but
thankfully there was cloud cover most of the day.

My "running man" did just that most of the day, run,

around and around the course.

The crew, which stands for dealing with:
Cranky Runners and Endless Waiting,
stayed at her post
Fortunately, I had some stitching I could work on during the
in between times.  My guy came by about every 1hour and 45 minutes.

If he got tired, I could have opened a gate
and this might have been incentive.

He was determined on his own.

After 9 hours and 43 minutes of nonstop running,

I could see him coming.

Ed finished in tenth place, and first in his class.

His spirit, inner strength and resolve
are characteristic that I admire in him
It was a special way to spend a Saturday, 
sharing in his victory.

Thank you to everyone's lovely comments
about my new grandson.
We have certainly been blessed this year.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and
enjoy the time spent with family and friends.

Until Next Time-

Monday, November 21, 2011

We Interrupt This Regular Scheduled Program

We Interrupt this Regular Scheduled Program
with this Special Announcement.

Sanford Edward is the
 newest member of our family.

Click to play this Smilebox announcement
Create your own announcement - Powered by Smilebox
Announcement personalized with Smilebox

Baby and Daddy and Mommy are doing fine.

 I'm just super excited!

Until Next Time-

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Wild Hare

This weekend I am outside of Austin, Texas 
watching for, crewing for, encouraging,
my running man.

(Ed at the Horsetooth Half Marathon)

This run is a 50 mile trail run.
Much better than the 100 mile runs he's done in the past, especially
for the crew.
But it's still 50 miles none the less.

The weather report is good.
The time limit is from 6 am to 8 pm.
There are no mountains to climb.
No aches or pains.
Fingers are crossed.

When he crosses the finish line,

 this will be waiting for him.

 I would need to have this
waiting for me.

We all have different things that motivate us.
In reality, there really isn't anything that would 
motivate me to run 50 miles.
But I'm proud of my running man.
He's like the energizer bunny, that keeps going and going.
He's a winner.

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Quilt's for Baby Boy Backos?

When I told everyone that I was going to have a grandbaby,
people wondered how many quilts would I make,
One, two or ten?

I didn't want to smother the poor little guy so I
actually have made only one.

I wanted it to be a quilt that he could use and drag around,
cuddle with, and enjoy.
Elizabeth has an animal theme in the nursery so
I had to pick monkeys.


I started with some Riley Blake fabrics and added some
brown flannel for the bodies and bright flannels for their tummies.
The pattern is from the book Quilts, BABY! by Linda Kopp.

 Each monkey ended up with his own personality.

To add to their cuteness the ears
and face are three dimensional.
Hopefully, those ears will stay on for awhile!

And what would be most appropriate for the back...
 more monkeys.
a Robert Kaufman fabric
Don't they make you smile.

I'm looking forward to the actual day
when we get to wrap that little guy up in this quilt.
It won't be long now.
Until Next Time-

Monday, November 14, 2011

Broccoli or Cupcake

I admit I have a sweet tooth.
Maybe more like sweet teeth.

If you were placed in a room with a plate of broccoli
or a
which one would you choose?

Would it make a difference if other people were there
or if you were alone?

I admit if other people were with me I would probably
choose the broccoli, only for appearance sake,
and then have the cupcake for dessert.

If I were alone I would definitely only choose the cupcake!

Ed would say, "Isn't that broccoli a beautiful color 
and so healthy."
He would probably ignore the cupcake,
That verges on just plain weird.

I baked my last set of cupcakes for the
Stashbuster's Club last week.

I had to decide how I was going to end this,
something healthy with a vegetable included
(Carrot Cake, zucchini, pumpkin)
or something decadent and over the top.

Really there wasn't a choice.  I wanted something
loud, obnoxious and over stuffed, broccoli not included.

I made Chocolate Toffee Crunch Cupcakes.
This was one serious cupcake.
It started with a chocolate cupcake with toffee bits mixed inside,
topped with a ring of ganache coated with more toffee bits,
and finished off with a caramel Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.

Ed did indulge in one before I took them to the shop.
His comment, " This one was your best".

I think that says, "Remember Me"!
Until Next Time-

Friday, November 11, 2011

The End/Something New

It's my last day of the job I've had
for almost 18 years.

I couldn't think of a better way to let you know how I feel
than to share the ending of the Mary Tyler Moore Show. (March, 1977)

It may be the last day of working at the Fig Leaf,
but it's the first day of something new.
Until Next Time-

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November Inspiration

It's fun to look into your quilt cupboard
and see where you have been in your quilt life 
and rediscover why you decided to make a certain pattern.

I loved the patterns designed by Red Wagon in
the early 1990's.

The book Red Wagon Originals by
Gerry Kimmel and Linda Brannock
 influenced me into making several quilts.

I loved this quilt.
"Lone Cabin"

I loved digging into my stash and finding the right
plaid or stripe to create this solitude cabin.
I loved everything folk art style.
I could picture my family cabin someday tucked
into the foothills of Colorado.
(I'm still waiting)
 Of course, when this quilt was made, I hand quilted everything.
I taught this quilt several times and
everyone loved it as well, having fun personally interpreting the design.

Another quilt from the same book was this one.
"North Woods"

I grew up in Michigan and each summer my family
would take a vacation up north.
Not that we stayed in a log cabin or saw bears or
even Indians in canoes, but it reminded me of
 those vacation and shopping in the Indian souvenir shops!

I taught this quilt a couple of times as well.
The challenge was the applique.   
Each tree group were all cut from one piece fabric, cut like a snowflake, 
folded and cut and then stitched.

Don't you love those pine trees?
How about these?
These trees were really a challenge keeping everything straight.
(It's just the picture that's crooked)
We didn't do fusible applique, but did needle turn.

The label is a part of every quilt as well.

The last one I want to share is a pattern by Bareroots.
I don't have this quilt, but gave it to my dearest friend, Janet.

There were several years where I was extremely thankful for
her love and friendship. 
So this quilt expressed my sentiments perfectly.

While I sat with my dad back in Northville, Michigan for many hours, I
was able to embroidery and think
about the many blessings in my life.

Janet and I have have been friends for many many years.
Here we are getting ready for a trip on the 
Bob-Lo Boat down the Detroit River 
to Bob-Lo Island and the amusement park.
(Maybe 1953 or 1954?)

There are many reason why we make a particular quilt.
For me that includes memories, friendship,
surroundings, fabric stashes, styles and wishes.

Whatever the reason, the love of quilting continues.
Until Next Time-