Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I arrived here on Christmas night after working at SBux and thankfully did not fly into Detroit and get caught up in the aftermath of Mr. Attempted Terrorist. Of course now one person has yet again ruined air travel for everyone else in the world. I still curse the shoe bomber for making me take my shoes off and walk around on dirty floors.... S. predicts that we will not be able to wear civilian clothes on airplanes anymore and that TSA will issue everyone Homeland Security Snuggies (remember you heard it here first!). Anyway...
I'm having a nice visit here with family and spent about two days sewing with mom. I brought Bonnie Hunter's "Double Delight" to work on and also a super easy jelly roll quilt so I alternate between millions of 3 1/2" square-in-a-square blocks and easy jelly roll blocks. Am also having fun visiting Princess Shiloh, my parents Alaskan malamute, and my nephew dog Jack, my brother and SIL's Siberian husky. Jack remembers me because I bring him fancy dog biscuits--this time it's organic pumpkin and apple cookies.
Before I forget, the cats had a great Christmas and loved their presents from purrfectplay.com. Edgar Poe squeaked by on the "good" list and received little catnip mice to throw around.
Happy Tuesday! Catch up with everyone soon!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Hope everyone has a great day today. I am off to SBux to make gingerbread lattes.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday was our Silver Thimble Quilt Club. I worked on my December BOMs and a gift quilt. I haven't even unpacked my stuff since then so I'll show photos later. I worked every night last week so didn't have time to make cookies for the cookie swap and I left a little early, really wanting a nap more than anything.
Today more SBux and another nap. Fun times! Anyway, I am glad I stocked up on some quick dinner options so when I'm too tired to cook there's some half-way decent food around.
Tonight it was dinner from Ikea!
I love Ikea's restaurant--it's so reasonable. So tonight it was meatballs with lingonberry jam, rice, and frozen petite peas. Next time I'm there, I'll get a couple bags to stash in the freezer.
Well blog posts may be sparse. Hope everyone is having a great holiday season. Sort of wish I was snowed in with the rest of the east coast. I would love to go sledding!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Santa, you know that I often wish for things that don't come in a box like world peace, an end to global warming, more ice for the polar bears, more hunter-free territory for the tigers, loving homes for all homeless pets, food for the hungry and affordable health care for all. Kimberly knows that my wish list often is sent in a box, brought by the UPS man, and opened with glee.
Another thing you have in common is that you visit good boys and girls once a year at night and my credit card visits the Fat Quarter Shop at night once... OK more than once...alright let's just say several times a year.
Now Santa, some people may say that I have enough fabric (in fact I sometimes say this too). Other people (like S....) say I have way too much fabric (I'm not sure he is a good judge of this however). I promise I have been good this year and if some people say I have been naughty, well, that's just their opinion now isn't it.
If there is a chance that I do not have enough fabric and you really would be a good judge because if anyone knows that you can't have too much of a good thing it is you Santa (and Kimberly!), any one of these is what I would love to find in my stocking this year (P.S. I have a really big stocking so don't worry about that)
1. Simple Abundance jelly roll
Santa, you know I am addicted to jelly rolls but one more wouldn't be too much; I would just have a simple abundance of jelly rolls:)
2. Shirtings fat quarter bundle
Santa this would be something to share. Five of my sewing friends and I are doing a reproduction fabric swap in January. These fat quarters would look great in our quilts.
3. Eva jelly roll
Remember how I love jelly rolls. I don't have this one either. Just so you know.
But if you think I do have too many jelly rolls, this line comes in layer cakes too. I'm just saying.
And because I am such a GOOD girl, I'll share the post with my bloggy friends too.
Love and cookies and jelly rolls,
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Here is half of the table--featherweights, coffee, and fabric everywhere.
Cindi was working on a nicely aged project (how old was this again???)
Kristie was working on hand applique. She does the most beautiful embroidery and applique I have ever seen.
I liked this project so much, I just had to hunt down the fabric and get it too. Maybe now that she is almost out of school, she'll have time to make mine too (hee hee). The best part of hanging out all day at a quilt shop is the shopping breaks. I bought a few odds & ends just because I was there.
We also planned a new swap project for 2010. Nothing like hitting the year with more projects :)
The weather is really icky here in the ATL area--cold and dreary and rainy. I came up with the idea that it should snow while we were there so we would get snowed in at Sweet Home. How much fun would that be--stuck in a quilt shop! We definitely wouldn't be bored!
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1 c. sour cream
topping: 1 c. finely shopped pecans
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
Mix topping in a small bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9" tube or Bundt pan. Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream and mix well. Beat 3 min. at medium speed. Spread 1/2 of batter in pan then sprinkle with 1/2 of topping mix. Spread rest of batter on top and sprinkle with rest of topping mix. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan then invert onto plate and cool completely. You can dust with confectioner's sugar or top with a glaze if you want.
Becky requested the recipe for Andes mint cookies (click the link if you want to see a photo). I love Andes mints and I found Andes mint chips again this year at Target. Every year for Christmas my brother and I would get a little box of mints and try to see who could resist eating them all in the first few days. You probably can buy a box of mints and chop them up if you can't find the chips. Here is the recipe from the back of the bag.
Andes Mint Cookies
1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 2/3 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 (10oz) pkg. Andes Crème de Menthe Chips
Blend butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chips. Chill for a few minutes. Roll into 1 oz. balls and flatten slightly. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Makes approx. 4 doz.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
One big piece of advice from me--don't ever let your co-workers know you bake from scratch. You are forevermore destined to bring homemade baked goods to every party no matter how busy you are and no matter how much you would rather sign up for drinks. Trying fitting in baking between working two jobs and it's even more of a (ahem) challenge.
Second piece of advice--get thee a Kitchenaid stand mixer and a Cuisinart food processor. You will love them!
We are having an office potluck/party at my day job tomorrow so I came home and made Russian tea cakes (or Danish wedding cookies or Mexican wedding cookies or whatever other name they go by...)
I also made molasses spice cookies.
This recipe (a new one for me from the new cookbook Gourmet Today) has just about every spice in the cupboard in it--cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and allspice and is not very sweet. Yum!
Here's the finished cookies. Rolled in sugar and perfect with a cup of coffee. While I was baking away, I thought I would whip up a coffee cake for a little gathering on Saturday.
Voila! Sour cream coffee cake
A bunch of friends and I are invading Sweet Home Quilt Co. on Saturday for a day of sewing. I thought I'd bring along a cake as a thank you to Melisa for letting us take over her upstairs and to keep us in a sugar high so we can do some major sewing.
Next weekend is our Silver Thimble Quilt Club cookie swap. I still have to decide what cookies I'm going to bring. But that's next week. For now, hurry up Saturday!!!!
Monday, December 7, 2009
The backing and binding was from my stash and the kit was from Silver Thimble Quilt club.
Pattern is "Glory Bound" by Bonnie Blue Quilts.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Take a mini-break right now and hop over to Pat's blog and enter her great giveaway. She also has a very funny post. I'll wait here for you.
Back? OK now where were we? Oh yeah, ending the first week of December. On Saturday, Melisa at Sweet Home Quilt Co. had a holiday open house. I went early thinking I would beat the crowds. It was packed!!! Only a Sweet Home sale could get all these Georgia quilters out on a freezing cold morning--me included. I picked up a book called "Jelly Roll Inspirations" and some odds & ends fabric and some sale fabric. Just a wee bit. Visited with a bunch of friends and then I hightailed it home to get some sewing time in.
I did finish this top
called "Hidden Stars" from this book. The fabric is a layer cake from Barbara Brackman's Civil War Homefront line for Moda.
Did I mention it was freezing cold? A lot of places around the country had snow. It was cold enough for snow here in GA this weekend although we didn't get any in the ATL. It was 28F at 6AM this morning when I left for SBux. That is really cold for GA at the beginning of December.
The first big cold snap of the year brings swarms of people to Starbucks for hot chocolate and lattes, and everything else. The first big cold snap also is the start of the "Cats sleeping on the heat vents" season at my house.
Here is Morpheus and Gomez demonstrating why it is freezing inside my house too.
So how is your December so far?
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I seem to get stuck at the borders. Quilt top is done except for the borders. (let's not talk about the quilt tops that aren't quilted...that's for another post).
Well I had help getting borders on my Peace on Earth quilt this past weekend Who knew Gomez was so good at measuring???
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Here is my pecan pie which was gone by Friday and here's the sweet potato pie that was great for breakfast on Saturday.
(It's OK, I didn't have any whipped cream so it still counted as a vegetable).
No shopping for me this year. I didn't leave the house from Thursday afternoon until this morning when I went to Sbux. Loved it!!! I missed going to see Bad Melisa but I need to wait until I get that extra pay from working Thanksgiving at SBux. I got some sewing done but not nearly as much as I thought I would or as I needed to. We all vegged and watched a lot of movies and a seasons worth of "30 Rock" (laughter counts as exercise right?).
Here are the November blocks of the month that I finished just as November is leaving us. November, why are you leaving already; you just got here!!!
Little Quilts Saturday Sampler. I've never seen this block before. Isn't it neat?
And Fat Quarter Shop 2009 Designer Mystery
So tomorrow is Monday, let's all pout about having to go back to work....
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I should have known that I wouldn't be lucky enough to have a holiday off and was called into Starbucks to work even though I was scheduled to be off. It was a very understaffed insanely busy day, and I was slinging coffee like a mad woman
(similar to Snoopy making toast from Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving). Venti lattes and mochas for everyone!!!!
Yesterday was a furlough day so I spent the day sewing and cooking: made the cornbread for dressing, homemade pie crusts for the sweet potato pie and pecan pie, chocolate chip cookies (because according to S. and E. "there was nothing to eat in the house"), and made the dressing so all I had to do was put it in the oven. After Starbucks, I came home and made sauteed kale, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, cooked the dressing, and S. bought a honey baked ham (yes we had ham instead of turkey and went a little non-traditional this year). We now have food for the next four days and hopefully I won't have to cook and I can just sew. I didn't get to show E. how to make homemade rolls so we may do that this weekend but hopefully that will be it. Well I have hit the proverbial brick wall and am off to read and get some rest. I'm thinking tomorrow is going to be a pj day--won't see me out in the shopping crowds.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday was Starbucks day and even though it was one of the most dreary, drizzly, damp, cold, miserable days ever, lots of people got out of bed and their cozy homes to visit SBux. Thanks, I think? Personally I would have stayed home and nothing would have gotten me to leave. I planned on sewing all afternoon when I finally got home and was mid-block, literally, sewing the middle part of a block, when E. had a boredom emergency and *had* to go to the movies right away. (BTW: the siren for a boredom emergency is waaaaaaahhhhh waaaaaahhhh). So I left the poor half-sewn block and S. and I dashed off to save E. from boredom. We saw the movie "2012" and it was a rather predictable end-of-the-planet disaster movie (think "Independence Day" but with earthquakes and tsunamis instead of aliens. The CGI effects were spectacular though and I really think the computer effects people should get top billing for this one because without the effects it would be a poor-storyline-with-overly-dramatic-acting movie.
Anyway I was thinking about the whole 2012-thing (the premise being that the world will self-destruct on December 21, 2012) and realized what a great excuse this could be for not doing housework. Start around the middle of 2011 and say "oh why do deep cleaning/reorganizing/ purging the attic/basement/whole house/pantry when the world is going to end as we know it in a year and a half." And spend all that extra time quilting. And when someone (most likely a man) says "why are you spending so much time quilting when the world is going to end in a year and a half and no one will need quilts?" Look at them blankly like that is the silliest thing you have ever heard of. Do you think this will work? Do you think that maybe the Mayans had it wrong and the planet won't self-destruct from earthquakes and tsunamis but by giant mutant dust bunnies? (remember you heard it here first)
Oh and to prepare, you need to start stocking up on more fabric now, before it's too late.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Don't you just love the one red block? I really love how it is not in the center; it's just in there in the quilt. The colors are just gorgeous--no fading and only a couple of spots that should come out.
Here is a close up. My grandparents think that this was pieced by my great-great-grandma since there are some other quilts in the family that she made.
Here is the back so you can see how it was constructed.
And a close up of the stitching.
I don't know whether I should "finish" the quilt or not. If I were to finish it, my thought are I would get a solid backing of a similar color, layer it with cotton batting, and stitch in the ditch. But I don't know if I want to do that or not. What are your thoughts?
Sunday, November 15, 2009
My human has been muttering something about holidays coming up and it's nearly Thanksgiving and all kind of things I don't understand but there are paper lists and pencils out to play with so I don't care about those things unless there are treats or special food involved.
My human met one of her friends, Karin, yesterday at a place called "Bad Melisa's" and she brought home a fun bag to play in. I batted spools of thread and sat on fabric until she took them away. How come everything is called "no" around here? I did get to sleep on some new quilts that my human picked up from the lady that makes fabric more comfortable by putting something called batting in them. I am supposed to help put binding on the quilts this week and then there will be pictures of me sitting on them for this blog. I am a big help when it comes to binding and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
OK my paws are tired now and I'm late for dinner. Hope there is some left for me or I will have to get into the tupperware container again. Edgar Poe over and out.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
After looking through my sewing room for an hour, I couldn't find the project I wanted to work on. It was not in the big bins, not in the giant ziploc bags, not in the tote bags, not in the apple crate, not in the armoire, and not in the laundry basket. Where is it???? It was for a Xmas gift. I have no idea where it is although I did make sure all four cats made it out of all the fun hiding places in the sewing room. What to do??? Well of course there is always a plan B. So I am going with plan B. And I am sure I will find the project next June, well after Christmas.
After that adventure, the cats and I spent the rest of the day spreading as much quilting stuff around the house as possible. Sorry, no photos, we worked on Secret Stuff.
Friday, November 6, 2009
I am somewhat concerned as they were watching the Military Channel. No doubt learning new special ops tactics such as rappelling to the top of the cabinet to get the treat jar, resistance techniques for cat carrier threats, rapid deployment to food bowls, tunneling under quilts, and of course sneak attacks.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Since I returned from Michigan, I have been running around like my hair was on fire, working working working. For my day-job, our office relocated over the weekend which means all last week was packing packing packing, supervising movers late at night and on the weekend, and starting tomorrow unpacking unpacking unpacking. So I worked all weekend there and at SBux and missed Bad Melisa's Spooktacular party , and missed watching "Nightmare Before Christmas" and singing along with all the songs and missed carving pumpkins. Foo!
I also missed posting a photo of my super-fantastic-best-birthday-cake-ever that I had in Michigan. (thanks again Mom!!!)
I always ask for Halloween-themed b-day cakes since it's a week before Halloween. Lots of purple, a moon, plump frosting pumpkins, polka-dots and a witch--now that's a cake!!
The cake is marble cake with buttercream icing and is from Sweet and Savory Bakeshop. This was the BEST bakery cake I've ever had--perfect tasty cake and perfect not too sweet, creamy frosting. I heart Sweet and Savory Bakeshop but am REALLY glad it is nowhere close to me or I would have to make up some holidays to celebrate....I'm just saying.
Oh hello is this blog ever going to get back to quilting????? you are asking. Yes, I am working on something right now that should be done this upcoming weekend since November is dragging me along with it....
Saturday, October 31, 2009
No trick or treaters this year so far. Bummer. It's damp and drizzly and cool outside and there are not many kids in the area anyway. I think the most that have come in a year is around 10. Someday I'll live somewhere with lots of trick or treaters and then I'll decorate my house big time! Just like Martha...
In the meantime, I took some photos of houses in Michigan for inspiration. Halloween is celebrated a lot more than in the South. If you aren't too scared, check out these great houses
I love the coffin with the vampire and the big ghoul on the front facade. Nice old house too.
This person went all out with all the well-known horror movie themes. The huge spider web is a nice touch.
This house is very spooky at night with great lighting effects too.
I would love to sit on the porch of this house and see neighborhood kids' reaction!!!
Friday, October 30, 2009
This is Porter's Cider Mill. They don't have a website but I did find this fun website for finding cider mills in Michigan. It was too crowded with school group tours and people buying cider, apples, and pumpkins to get photos inside. Inside you can watch them sorting apples and pressing cider. You can get free samples of cider right from the press and buy freshly made cider doughnuts too. Cider doughnuts are cake-style doughnuts with cider in the batter giving them a tangy apple-y taste. My favorite are covered with cinnamon-sugar.
Outside were stacks of huge wooden crates filled with apples. I love that they still use wooden crates.
Apples in crates. Wish I had a shipping label with me!!!!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I had a fabulous time and it went by too fast. Unfortunately, it rained every day except for the day I arrived and the day I left. I did get a few photos of the leaves between the rain drops.
I know Karin wanted to see goodies from our quilt shop visits. My mom, SIL, and dad (we always drag him along...) went to Lake Street Mercantile and found Halloween fabric on sale. I have yet another idea for a Halloween quilt so I picked up these fabrics and some great ric-rac at Guildcrafters.
Lake Street also had some great shirtings and neutrals that just *had* to come along.
Mom and I did some sewing while I was up there. She is working on the Hocuspocusville stitchery and has a block all done! I am so jealous, mine is in little bags in a plastic bin waiting for me to start. My SIL worked on costumes for a play. I worked on "Scrappy Nines" and made a Halloween "smart bag" that was kitted up at another of my favorite quilt shops Mabelena's (sorry no website or blog).
Isn't this a great Halloween bag? I want to find some "bat" buttons to put on the folded over edge to tack down the handles.
My SIL besides quilting, making costumes, and lots of other crafty stuff, does papercrafts. She made me an awesome Halloween treats jar and filled it with caramel-apple flavored candy corn (make that "used to be filled" I had to try them out).
The TSA screeners at the airport were unfamiliar with Halloween papercraft treat jars and they had to check it out. It was deemed "nonthreatening" I guess and I was allowed to bring it home. Good thing!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday was a perfect autumn day here. I had forgotten how beautiful fall leaves were in the north. There are pumpkins everywhere, cornstalks in the fields, and houses decorated for Halloween.
Thursday, we went on our traditional when-I-visit-quilt-shop-hop to Lake St. Mercantile and Guildcrafters. My mom and my SIL found the fabrics they were looking for and I bought some helping-the-Michigan-economy fabric (the BEST kind!). We had a fabulous lunch at my favorite deli (The Bread Basket) where they have HUGE sandwiches and make their own bread, corned beef, brisket, etc. I had pastrami and swiss on rye and brought half of it home. Because we were too full from lunch, we skipped dinner and went to Cook's Dairy later for ice cream. (Do I have a great family or what?) I brought a quilt kit with me and got it cut out last night too.
Today it is raining, but we are going to ignore that and go to a cider mill and hopefully a pumpkin patch for pumpkins. Also a trip to Mabelena's quilt shop. I'll post photos when I get back to GA.
Happy Fall Y'all!!!!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I am having so much fun watching the 6-part Monty Python documentary on the Independent Film Channel and episodes of the Flying Circus. I love me some Python!
(image from The Guardian)