Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Open Windows Finish & a new WIP

Just out of the dryer is Open Windows:
Open Windows - finished March 2011
The above was my best attempt at "staging" this monster.  Here is the gratuitous on-the-bench train wreck.  Design is not my forte.  

This is what my son will see when he gets home from school today.  Hope he likes it!  

While anxiously awaiting how this quilt did in the washer/dryer, I pulled out my Anna Maria Horner stash and decided on various Garden Party FQ's to use for the Supernova Quilt Along with Lee at Freshly Pieced.  So excited!  

My non crafty WIP:  Made a run to my favorite nursery yesterday to load up on these:

Tomatoes (my attempt at growing seeds this year was dismal), Onions, Peppers, Potatoes, Basil and Butternut Squash.  

Go check out Lee at Freshly Pieced to see amazing things that people are posting today.  

Off to the garden,

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's a Biscuit Morning

My children are home today due to a school furlough so as I type/publish this post, they are enjoying a late breakfast of biscuit sandwiches:

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A very stylish WIP Wednesday

I received a very humbling e-mail on Sunday from Mary over at Piece Garden telling me that she had nominated me (along with two others) for the Stylish Blogger Award.

I almost don't know what to say about this..I'm just humbled.  Before I tell you more about this award go to Mary's blog at Piece Garden and check out her Monochromatic Quilt she just finished.  GO NOW!'ve seen how amazing she is, right?  Did you see the Monochromatic Quilt, the Picnic Blanket, the pillow she made back on Feb 25th?  What about that darling raincoat?  Did you see the Hideaway?

Yes, Mary is the one who got me started on Hideaway!  I just received some in the mail yesterday and it is even cuter in person that it is on my computer screen.
Here are the details about the Stylish Blogger Award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2.  Share seven things about yourself.
3. Award six recently discovered great bloggers.

Seven things: (in no particular order)
1.  I'm starting to go grey but my husband hasn't noticed.  LOL
2.  I was adopted when I was three weeks old by the two best parents a girl could ever have.
3.  Have been inside the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.  Would go back again in an instant.
4.  My favorite sandwich is Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Tomato and Spinach on a crusty roll.
5.  I watch The Real Housewives of OC and NJ but none of the others.  Can't help it - it's like junk food for my brain.
6.  I subscribe to 179 different crafty/quilting and food blogs.  I have 254 unread posts right now.  Eeek!
7.  Sometimes I think I'm a terrible example of being a girl...I look in the mirror maybe twice a day, wear my usual blue jeans/tshirt most of my waking hours (not the same jeans/shirt!) and don't wear any makeup.

My nominations for the Stylish Blogger Award:
I have 35 Google Friends and about six more if you count those who show up on Google Reader.  I feel like those bloggers are "my people" as they (YOU) have taken the time to read what I have to say so I in turn do the same.  My six choices from among those 35 are:

Jenniffier's Sometimes Creative Life.  Jenniffier is a super cute fellow CA girl who makes some lovely quilts.  I'm diggin her Posh Quilt Top right now and can't wait to see how it turns out.

Quilter in the Gap.  Just found Rhonda last week and have already enjoyed a few e-mails back and forth.  She's doing Lily's Quilts QA and her Dresden plate fabric choices are very informative for me as I can watch along and learn.  Go check out her survey!

Fluffy Sheep Quilting.  Cindy is blogging from Ireland and was nice enough to comment on my History Quilter podcast so I found her blog and began to follow.  In her Year of the Craft post she shared with her readers a quilt she had made for her mother. It's gorgeous - go check it out.

The Rebel Homemaker.  Seriously Shelley is my newest gardening guru and she quilts!  Check out her Flickr page - amazing!  Did you see that Star Wars pillow?

Marilyn's Maze.  The lovely Marilyn Pond seriously lives within walking distance to me and I'm hoping in 2011 to get the chance to meet her at a Quilters by the Sea guild meeting.  You might have seen her recently profiled by Sew Cal Gal with her Two Wacky Women quilt retreats she puts on with her friend Robin.

Becky's Blabber. Love this gal - would have loved to have a sister like her.  She is doing her best to be crafty in a houseful of males, just like me.  :)  Love her Mardi Gras Quilt and don't miss her Medical Lab Quilt.  So cool and so creative!

Now for the WIP:
Open Windows with machine binding attached
Only going to show one...the Open Windows quilt for my son  is almost done.  I attached the binding on the front by machine this morning and will begin the hand stitching of the back tonight.  This quilt is so big I'll have to take it to the local Laundromat to wash and dry it.

Now I've got to run and study for an Economics exam at 2pm.  Wish me luck calculating GDP, but first go check out the other WIP's at Lee's Freshly Pieced!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Crepes, anyone?

The pull of travelling to Europe has been especially strong in the last few weeks and with anything it permeates my choice of what to make for me and my people.  Am I going to Europe anytime soon?  NO.  The combination of ever-getting-higher airline prices and children aging out of child fares = no three week trip to Europe this summer. Bummer.
So, I take a lot of photos of food, especially while on vacation.  Here are a few from our Summer 2009 trip:
Swiss Air 
I can't help but like airline food.  I know it's gross, made somewhere else and usually not very flavorful, but airline food is still part of the whole experience of travelling.  Planning, packing and getting to your destination are ALL enjoyable to me.   

I love food stands.  This one is in Prague, Czech Republic and yes that is me.  This was a sausage stand with about twenty different kinds of hot dogs/sausages.  So many choices makes everyone in the family happy.  

Gelato. Nectar of the Gods in my book.  Never have it here (I'm a snob) but eat it at least twice a day while in Italy.  
Our lunch or dinner of choice in Europe:  Salami, cheeses, fresh bread and wine.  Easy to procure and yes, the husband is a tightwad when it comes to parting with his hard earned $$$.  

So on to Crepes.  One reason for taking a lot of food pictures while on vacation, is to help me replicate those items at home  (NOT the airline food!). I first discovered crepes in Paris, France in 1986 while on an Easter Break study trip in my Junior year of high school.  Loved them but didn't catch the bug until the husband and I went to Spain and France in 1995 - came home and bought a Caphalon Crepe pan and have been making crepes ever since.  
Nutella and Banana Crepe
Nutella Crepe
Bottom line - anyone can make these. They are so good and easy to make.  You just need a nonstick pan and a little planning ahead and of course the ingredients. My younger son and I made these last night:

Basic Sweet Crepes (from the 1997 Joy of Cooking Edition pg 804.)
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour (I use 3/4 cup)
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Lukewarm Water
2 Large Eggs
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
1 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar
Pinch of Salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender and let rest for an hour.  When you are ready to make the crepes, give the batter another whirl in the blender.  Heat up your pan (med high) and spread a small amount of unsalted butter around.  When butter is melted, pour about 1/4 scant cup of batter in your pan and then pick up pan to swirl batter around.  It's like a pancake - you are not looking for bubbles, but the sides will show when it is ready to turn.  Turn over with a large spatula (or flip if you are really cool.  I'm not cool.) and cook for a very short time.  Your crepe is now done and ready to be embellished with anything you like.  
Nutella, bananas, butter/powdered sugar, any kind of jelly/jam - the sky is limitless.  


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quilt Top Finishes and Mac-N-Cheese

Although quiet here on my blog, my life has been far from quiet.  The stunning events in Japan have held me transfixed for a week now - I'm going to do something to help but have not decided what to do yet.

Observing in classrooms is awesome.  This week I hit 10th grade World History, 11th Grade U.S. History and 12th Grade Economics.  I'm becoming emotionally invested in the students that I observe  - I just can't help it.  A few of them know that I am the sister of another teacher at the school but it seems to make little difference - they are all great kids.  I have now completed 20 of the 45 hours required for the course.  I'll finish up with 30 at the high school and then move on to do the remaining 15 at the middle school level.  

A few quilt top finishes this week:  
School Yard top is finished.  I have backing and binding - may tackle spray basting for this one.

WooHoo!  Sliced Coins top is finished!  LOVE IT.

Picked Broccoli, Cabbage, and Green Onions on Monday. 

Back for Open Windows quilt for my son.  Just waiting for the binding.  
Yes, this is the biggest floor space in my house - barely fits this XL twin size quilt.

Birthday Cake for my 15 year old.  
I like boxed cake mixes especially Duncan Hines (my mother thought they were the best so I follow her lead) but I usually think bought frosting is especially disgusting.  I whipped up a batch of Cook's Illustrated Chocolate Frosting and then used a carrot slicer to carve shavings from a Milk Chocolate Bar for the shavings on the top.  Looks great until the one blowing out the candles blows the shavings across the table!

Mac-n-cheese for the birthday boy. 
Made this from the Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook by Ina Garten.  You can go here and get the exact recipe.  Very yummy!

Just uploaded Episode #5 of the History Quilter podcast so go listen!  

One last thing....I've been working so hard to finish existing projects so I can participate in this!

I'm so excited about the Supernova QA with Lee of Freshly Pieced.  The design is amazing and I can't help but love the name.  A little Muse inspiration perhaps?   Easy to jump in and say yes but hard to figure out which fabric to use!  The Flickr group has photos from people who have chosen fabrics and the ALL know what they are doing. Time for more learning.  

Got to finish this up so I can go cut fabric!  I'm home alone and ready to sew up a storm. 

History Quilter Podcast Episode #5

Hello Everyone!

My sincere thanks to everyone who commented both on the podbean site, here on the blog and on iTunes.  You all rock!

Links to items I talked about in this episode:

If you are interested in checking out more oral histories from the Federal Writing Project (FWP) which was part of the WPA please check out this link.  They are fascinating.  You can search by state or keywords.  If you search for documents with a keyword, that keyword will be highlighted in the oral history that you select.

How Stuff Works website regarding WPA projects that still exist:

Stuff You Missed In History Class - Great podcast if you like history.

1941 WPA - Federal Art Project poster promoting the War effort.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quilting Update and a new History Quilter Episode

Hello Everyone,

An amazing day on the soccer field in Anaheim, CA was a great way to usher in the month of March.  I'm taking one for the team though today by staying home and letting my younger son escape the misery of soccer game watching... it did allow me to record History Quilter Episode #4 and work my son's Open Windows quilt.  Photos of the back to come very soon!

Check out the show notes for Episode #4 at  and check out the new (to me) quilt shop I visited in Anaheim, CA.
Quilter's Garden
428 Lakeview Avenue
Anaheim, CA  92807

Enjoy your Sunday!

History Quilter Episode #4 Podcast Notes

My apologies for the late recording of Episode #4.

Today I spoke about Quilting Periodicals from the 1850's - 1920's with most of my research found from a terrific article written by Ms. Wilene Smith in the Uncoverings publication produced by American Quilt Study Group.  For more information about Uncoverings please check out this link:

I spoke about a new Quilt Shop that I discovered by chance yesterday located in Anaheim, CA called Quilter's Garden.  Great quilt shop with very friendly and helpful staff.  For more information about this quilt shop please visit their website at:

For more information about the 2011 Southern California Quilter's Run please check out their website at:

I'm working on this monster for my son right now:
Open Windows quilt top
This was the panel I purchased at the Quilter's Garden that I loved but had no clue what to do with.
"Petal Pushers" Riverwoods Collection from Troy Corporation
This is the "food" quilt kit I purchased from Quilter's Garden.  The main panel photo is below.
"Potpourri" by Grace Pullen
Thank you for visiting and for listening,