Monday, December 26, 2011

Long Overdue Thanks

Long overdue thank yous for a few things that have made their way to my house.  First off, Louise, Thank you for the red, cream and blue. What a lovely gesture when I got my US citizenship! I love the ribbon that ties it all together. 

Louise again, I LOVE this pin cushion.  It's a) cute b) big and c) it's from your heart.  I sew appreciate it and as you can see, I use it too!

Merry, you overwhelmed me with this gift.  I was expecting the pattern and you gifted me the whole block of the month packets. WOW. I really have my work cut out on this project.

I have to get my level of applique turned up a few notches so my blocks match the one you have already made.

 So here's the story,  Merry didn't like the colors so she switched all the fabrics to purple instead of the pink. This quilt is going to be a 2012 BOM at Calico Creation in Mt Vernon, WA (no website).

Gretchen  Monti was the machine quilter and  the picture does not begin to do  justice for the incredible custom quilting she provided.  Hopefully you  will visit Calico Creations soon and have an opportunity to actually see  the quilt (and of course, shop!).

Look at this border design, it's wonderful.

There is another version of this quilt posted on Mrs Meatloafs blog.  Her quilting is very different than the picture above, but it is also spectacular.  Definitely worth  a peek!

Once I finish my 30's BOM, I'll get back to my BTCT and start working in a few of these blocks.  I love the pieced backgrounds, this is a fabulous quilt.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Wishing all my fellow readers/bloggers/quilter friends the very best this Christmas season has to offer.  It's been a great year getting to know some of you better through the blogs, to meeting others in my travels to NYC, and also meeting others in the classroom.  It's been a blast!  THANK YOU for being a part of my quilting world, it's appreciated!  I'll be back online at New Years.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Requested Recipes

I don't have that many "go to" recipes, but the few that I have are fabulous. I shared this last year, but have been requested by my Applique group to post both of these recipes.

Shortbread Cookies
3/4 C soft butter
1/2 C corn starch
1/2 C icing sugar (aka powdered sugar)
1 C flour
Cream butter, add dry and mix until it the dough comes off the sides of the bowl. You might need your hands to get the last bit mixed in. Roll into 1" balls and flatten with floured fork.
Bake 18 - 20 min @ 350. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

These are a Canadian recipe, Naniamo Bars. I used to make a pan of these in July as my husbands birthday cake and one in Dec for Christmas. Now I make 2 pans, one for serving and taking to share and one pan for my girlfriend's husband. 
Bottom Layer:
1/2 C butter
1/4 C sugar
5 T cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 3/4 C graham wafer crumbs
1/2 C chopped nuts (optional)
1 C coconut

Melt butter/sugar in top of double boiler, add egg and stir in to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts, coconut.
Press into ungreased 8x8 pan

Second Layer:
1/2 C butter
2 T + 2 t cream
2 T custard powder (secret ingredient *see below*)
2 C icing sugar
Cream all together and spread over bottom layer. Chill.


Third Layer:
4 ounces chocolate (I use Bakers semi sweet)
2 T butter
Melt together on top of double boiler and then set aside to cool before spreading on top. Chill in fridge. After it has set up, remove from the fridge and let stand for a few minutes. Score the chocolate and then cut into squares. Return to fridge. If you don't bring it back to room temp, the chocolate just breaks and makes a mess.

These are sweet and oh so delicious. The Birds Custard pudding powder mix is what makes the second layer so good!



Monday, December 19, 2011

Six More To Go

That's right. Only 6 more blocks and my BOM envelopes from 2009 will be empty. The top will take some time putting together, as it has several partial seams along the way.
Oh, and yes, it's also 6 more sleeps until Santa comes!
Hoping you've been nice this year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Two Years Later

I finally got my redwork Santa finished into something that can be used. The is an Alpahbet pattern but I've only done a few blocks. "M"ittens, "K"ris Kringle and "L"ights are mixed in this block.
I used the bonus blocks from my Pineapple Blossom to work around the border and did triple rows of hand quilting. Plaid on the bias finished it off.

This is my "tree" in all it's glory. Having a real tree would have entailed furniture rearranging, etc. This is perfect for me!

This is what greets me at the bottom of my stairs every morning. I keep telling everyone it's Christmas in my world.

My father gave me some vintage pieces of silverware that needed to be cleaned and replated. There is only one place on the west coast of Canada that does this work. There was a platter from my parents wedding back in '58 and the engraving on it is stunning, it would be a beautiful design for a wholecloth quilt. Here is one of the chaffing dishes that was plated. I tried to photograph the tray, but it's too shiny for my little digital camera!

I'm off to my Applique Society meeting this morning, then home to do the final preparations for my party tonight. I took yesterday off work, that's how I can go stitch and visit this morning. It's all about priorities.

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the season this weekend.

Friday, December 16, 2011

and the Winner is...........

True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 9 Powered by RANDOM.O

# 9 Mimi. So please email me with your mailing address so I can get this off to you before Christmas!

Thanks to everyone who entered. I have one more I'll give away for New Years!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Red and White Giveaway

Because it's Christmas, because so many are sharing their red and white creations, and because I finally hit 100 followers, I'm giving away a set of Red & White magnets. These are from the Folk Art Museum in NYC. The sheets of magnets sold out on the first or second day!

No hoops to jump through. Mention it on your blog if you want, but just be a follower of my blog. Leave me a comment and I'll do the random number generator thingy on Friday, Dec 16th. Comments will close midnight on Thursday, Dec 15th.

Hope you're getting your Christmas organized.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hand Made Gifts

I'm not interested in buying something just because it's Christmas time and I want to give a gift. I try to have gifts that are useful, something that people will appreciate and use. I had a fresh wreath shipped to my friend in OR and I got my other gal pal a "starter" kit of solids. She's taking a Gwen Marston workshop next spring and does not have one solid in her sewing room.
All my friends are over 40 so any one of them could use a few new dish towels. This only took a few evenings to whip up, and I know it will be used. This pattern is from Crap (thank you, Carol) Crab Apple Hill and its #254 Victory Garden. There is also carrots, strawberries and radishes. My LQS has lots of tea towel selections, so I'm sure there will be more of these done over the winter.

I've got my stockings hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St Nick will soon be there.
How about you? Are you close to ready?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Quilting Withdrawals

I broke my longarm machine.  Complete operator error, so I"m waiting for a few new parts that will hopefully have me back up and quilting.  Thank goodness I only have one quilt that has a deadline and it's on my machine.
Life is busy at this time of year, so I'm only getting in bits of time for handwork. I had 3 more pieces to applique to finish the top of a pillow and tonight it was getting done.  This was my test block for this pattern that Janet so generously shared with me.  I wanted to incorporate some cheddar in the pattern. 

Hows that for adding in some cheddar?

I cut all the circles using the AccuCutter at Fabric Etc.  

I also got my JOY banner finished.  There was only a little mishap along the way.

Yes, my needle from the sewing machine completely pierced the head of the safety pin. That's why it's not a good idea to put painters tape over top of pins that are close right on the stitching path.
I like the solid green binding for this.

This is my motto for the season.