Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Father's Day Chocolate Cake

Inside-Out Chocolate Cake, March 2000
See that cake?  Do you want to make/serve/taste a cake that makes your friends and family swoon?  Inside-Out Chocolate Cake was on the cover of Gourmet Magazine in March 2000 and whenever I make it for friends and family, they always insist that I make it again...soon.

Well I love it when people enjoy my food but with about six hours of labor that goes into this cake, I do not make it very often.  I've learned over the years to cut the process up into two days by baking the cake layers the day before (then freeze them) and toasting the coconut/pecans for the filling - also the day before.  I began working on this yesterday afternoon so I could bring this cake to my In-Law's to serve in honor of Father's Day (my father-n-law is pretty cool and he loves chocolate).  Just for fun I thought I would share with you some of the steps:


Melted Butter + Chocolate Chips + Corn Syrup 

= Chocolate Glaze...oh so gooooood.  


Condensed Milk after cooking in water bath for 90 minutes.

Cooked Condensed Milk + Toasted Coconut/Pecans

Filling sandwiched between layers of chocolate cake.

I'm getting there...about five hours in at this point.

Enrobing the cake with the Chocolate Glaze. 

Cake is ready for plating.

Crowd devours about half and I leave the rest for the FIL.
This cake is truly spectacular.  The combination of the not to dry/not to moist chocolate cake with a filling that has a lovely soft nut mouth feel (do not be deterred if you dislike coconut...toasting changes the taste) and the luscious chocolate glaze (yea at 10pm I just licked the bowl...oh so good) equal a chocolate bomb worth your time.  Try it!  

My own father was not left out of the Father's Day festivities as my brother Scott and I took him out to dinner and enjoyed a great meal with a lot of laughter.

Father's Day June 19, 2011
Hope you all have a great week.  Next week can't come soon enough.
Susan

Saturday, June 18, 2011

projects to keep my mind occupied for a break...

Yesterday summer officially began in my household and by 11:00 in the morning my oldest called me (while I was on the Southern California Quilter's Run) to say "Mom, it is now eleven hours into my summer and I am officially bored." Cracked me up.  So what did I do?  Took him to yoga class with me in the afternoon.  Yes, I took my fifteen year old teenage son to yoga class to not only give him something to do but to see if he would like it.  Turns out he did like it and he thanked me on the ride home.  Love that boy.
He likes yoga and can hold up the Torre Pendente di Pisa.
So with school out for my boys, a very easy but interesting summer class for me (1/2 way done already) and the routine of making breakfasts/lunches at 7am along with various carpool duties on hold until September...what will I work on to occupying my mind for this break?  At least for this first week or so of summer I am creating a list of what will keep me busy as I transition into summer.

  • Cook/bake three new things this week.  I'm going to try: Moussaka (a Greek style casserole), Creme Brulee and Brioche.  A main course, a dessert and a sweet bread.  I will not be trying these all in the same day.  
  • Move through my current sewing projects.  This afternoon I finished up the last block for the Block-A-Pallooza Quilt Along that I began in late January.  This evening I squared them all up and began cutting the various sashing and cornerstone fabrics I will be using to piece this top together.  I plan to have this quilt top pieced by next Friday.  
    Squaring up my blocks...I had a few wonky ones.
  • Read!  I just spent time cleaning out my bookshelves and decided to donate some to my local library and happily rediscovered some books that I have not read for a very long time.  I have a confession to make: I was a teenage vampire book lover.  Not Twilight, but the original (at least for my generation) - Lestat.  I have all eight books of The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and decided to read through them all again and then donate them to my local library. 
    To finish for this evening/very early morning by the time I finally publish this post, I give you what I made for dinner:  Steak I quickly cooked in my cast iron pan, cheese ravioli with tomato sauce from my garden, salad and focaccia.
    Steak for the omnivore in the house.


    No steak for me
    Have a great Saturday!
    Susan

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    History Quilter Podcast Episode #9 Notes

    Hi Everyone,

    The History Quilter Podcast Episode #9 is now available via the link to the right, on Podbean at http://historyquilter.podbean.com/ or on iTunes (search for The History Quilter).  In this week's episode I spoke about the history of hexagons, a few recipes I am working on to discuss in the next podcast and my thoughts of my first quilt guild meeting.  

    Here are the links:

    Quilters by the Sea Quilt Guild.  Check them out at www.quiltersbythesea.com. The lovely Marilyn Pond is the quilt guild president this year - please check out her blog at http://marilynpond.blogspot.com.  Wonderful "rock star" moment when I met Beth of Love Laugh Quilt.  Please check out her wonderful creations at http://lovelaughquilt.blogspot.com/ .

    2011 Southern California Quilter's Run:  Two weekends - June 16 -19, 2011 and June 23 - 26, 2011.  www.quiltersrun.com.

    The Jelly Roll 1,600 Quilt:  Check out this funny YouTube video from Heirloom Creations, a quilt store in Sioux Falls, SD.  What a great way to sew up a quilt top FAST with Jelly Rolls.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EomX7t7to_o&feature=player_embedded .

    A short history of using hexagons in quilting can be read at www.womenfolk.com.  Their Quilt Patterns Through Time section highlights hexagons.  http://www.womenfolk.com/quilt_pattern_history/mosaic.htm

    The Illinois State Museum has a website with a section dedicated to the arts which includes "Keeping us in Stitches: Quilts & Quilters".
    http://www.museum.state.il.us/muslink/art/htmls/ks.html

    In the pieced quilts section, hexagons are illustrated with four different quilts which show the evolution of the hexagon quilt from 1870 - 1945.
    This gorgeous hexagon mosaic quilt caught my eye for it's modernity and symmetry.  Make sure you check out the description of this quilt.
    Albert Small, Ottawa, Illinois  
    Mosaic, 1941-44
    I spoke about an Apricot Sauce or Salsa Di Albiocche that I made from The Silver Spoon, an English language translation of Il Cucchiaio d'argento, the Italian culinary "bible". I had eight ripe/almost too ripe apricots sitting on my counter and needed to use them up so I grabbed this cookbook, found Apricot Sauce in the index and went to work.  The sauce is to die for.  

    Salsa Di Albicocche (Apricot Sauce)
    adapted from The Silver Spoon cookbook

    3/4 cup superfine or granulated sugar
    about 8 apricots (pitted but not skinned, chopped fine)

    In a small sauce-pot, put the sugar and a scant 1 cup water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the simple syrup thickens.  Add the chopped apricots to the simple syrup and gently boil about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (I did use a potato masher to crush the apricots down to my personal preference). Turn the heat off and let the sauce steep for as long as you like.  I poured the sauce into a pint sized glass jar and can't wait to pour it over Vanilla ice cream tonight.  The recipe says it would go well with chocolate desserts and cakes.  

    I did sew up Block 17 of the Block-A-Pallooza yesterday.  I love pinwheels!
    Block 17
    Enjoy your Saturday!
    Susan

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Wednesday WIP and how our fabric enters the United States


    I'm moving right along with the Block-A-Pallooza blocks.  I finished up blocks 13 & 15 on Monday afternoon.  Only  2 1/2 more left and then I need to figure out how to piece the top together.  I originally bought the fat eighth bundle of Sunkissed fabric and because there is a lot left, I am hoping that divine intervention will strike me with creativity on how to use that leftover fabric.  Maybe a trip over the the Flickr group will help.
    Block 13

    Block 15
    My UFO's

    Sliced Coins - top completed.
    Supernova - four blocks to go.
    School Yard - need to baste/binding all ready
    Sidewalk Satchel Bag - fabric cut

    Do you know how our beloved quilting fabrics enter the United States?  

    When our favorite fabrics leave Asia (Moda fabrics are made in Korea, others are made in various other Asian countries), they travel by ship to various ports of call along the West Coast (Seattle, Oakland and Long Beach) and then turn back around toward Asia.  It takes huge container ships roughly a week to cross the Pacific. I live in Long Beach, CA which is one of the biggest ports in the world and this morning I had the opportunity to chaperone 12th grade students on a Port of Long Beach tour by boat.  (Thank goodness we did not go out of the break-wall - I get dreadfully seasick.)  

    Kind of a gloomy day weather wise but the two hour trip was informative and worth the $5 parking ($5? darn you City of Long Beach).  The big container ships that bring us our fabrics dock here in Long Beach and offload their huge containers full of fabrics and other important quilting goodness (and lots of other things that we need, but this is a quilting blog) to rail cars and container trucks that move the fabrics across the Western and Central part of the United States.
    Cosco Container Lines Americas
    This ship was huge!  Click on the photo and look at the size of those containers - the smallest are 20 feet long.  Imagine the quilting goodness coming off that ship right now.  

    A few other notables about the tour:
    Recognize that bridge?  If you saw Inception then you should.

    Commodore Schuyler F. Helms Draw Bridge
    This one surprised me:  This is the Mediterranean Shipping Company which is the only shipping line that travels through the Mediterranean Sea via La Spezia and Naples in Italy and Valencia in Spain before crossing the Atlantic and navigating the Panama Canal.  I'm probably not wrong to assume that my Italian Olive Oil travels from Italy to me via MSC.  
    MSC Laussane  
    Sea Launch is a company that transports satellites out into the ocean somewhere along the equator to launch satellites.  It's just cool.  

    Sea Launch
    Last one:  Sea Lions on a buoy.  

    Go check out what others are working on this week at Lee's Freshly Pieced.  
    Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday,
    Susan

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    First Tomatoes of the Season!

    I had no plan for dinner tonight and so I rummaged around looking for what I could pull together for my boys and then for the husband and I.  The boys had Spicy Sausage Sandwiches and the sweetest Strawberries possible that I bought at our local Farmer's Market yesterday morning.  I love the Sunday Farmer's Market in my town.  Just walking down the rows of fresh locally grown produce is worth the visit and the samples are enough to fill you up for breakfast of lunch, depending upon what time you show up.

    Hmmm, what would we eat?  The usual empty Monday refrigerator (I had fun today instead of going to the store) gave me no clues as to what to eat for our dinner. Then, a shred of a memory went from my unconscious to my conscious brain...the tomatoes might be ready!  I turned toward my thirteen year old who was rattling off all he knew about the China/Japan unit in his 7th grade History class and I told him to follow me out to the backyard to see if my Early Girl tomatoes were ready.  This is what we found:
    Early Girl Tomatoes - June 6th, 2011  6:45pm
    Within about five minutes those ripe tomatoes went from on the vine to this:

    To this:
    Early Girl Tomatoes

    The Early Girl tomatoes were sliced and dressed with Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Kosher Salt and a touch of Basil.  The husband and I polished off five tomatoes between the two of us...can you blame us?  In case you were wondering we also had Humus and Flatbread and a lovely Risotto made with a recipe from Lynn Rossetto Kasper from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper cookbook.  

    I'm working on content for Episode #9 of the HQ Podcast that I will be recording Friday morning.  Stay tuned for my results for making the Focaccia recipe I spoke about in Episode #8.  

    Ciao!
    Susan

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    A block cutting tip and Mac-n-cheese

    You must be wondering what cutting fabric and Mac-n-Cheese have to do with one another....nothing.  I haven't gone off my rocker by incorporating actual food into my quilting (although I do have some food fabrics) but this past Wednesday evening I had two "light bulb" moments where ideas I had gathered from elsewhere synthesized in my brain into time savers for me.  First the quilting tip:

    Back when I began the Supernova QA with Lee from Freshly Pieced, she had suggested in the cutting requirements that we cut all the fabrics from each block and separate them into plastic bags.  I followed those directions and have four sandwich sized bags left that represent the four blocks I have left with that QA top.  An excellent idea by Lee in which this past Wednesday evening I realized that I could do that with my other Works in Progress, like the Block-A-Palooza.  Doh, I thought...of course I could translate that great idea into helping me finish a few other of my WIP's.  So I give you the five remaining blocks of Block-A-Palooza sandwich bag form:
    I know that the ease of just grabbing a bag and spending some time only sewing will help me get through these quicker than my usual routine of ironing and cutting the fabric out before I begin sewing each block.  I am on a mission to finish my WIP's early in the summer so that I can spend time on Christmas projects and creating items for a craft fair that I've been asked to participate in later this year (more on that later).  

    Should not be any surprise to those who know me or have been reading this for a while that I make Mac-n-cheese from scratch.  I am not a food elitist who looks down on packaged foods as a whole but while in my 30's and as the cook/chef in the house, feeding myself and my family healthy and great tasting food became very important to me.  I know that the adjective "healthy" and Mac-n-cheese do not normally go together but when I make Mac-n-cheese from scratch at home with only six ingredients as opposed to the 14 or so listed on the ubiquitous Kraft Mac& Cheese label, I know that I am serving my boys a healthier and much better tasting (to their palates) dish.  We eat everything in this house and I buy nothing diet, low fat or low cal as I want what I eat to taste the best it can, but we do eat in moderation.  Would I like to sit in front of the TV with a pint of Ben&Jerry's Creme Brulee, S'Mores or Peanut Butter Cup and devour the whole thing?  Sure I would...but I don't.  

    So I give you my "whatever cheese is in the fridge" version of Mac-n-cheese:
    "whatever cheese is in the fridge" Mac-n-cheese

    This makes about four servings

    8 oz. pasta - any small pasta will do
    1 cup of milk - heated up 
    1 1/2 tsp flour
    1 1/2 tsp butter  
    assorted cheeses - about 1 1/2 cups grated
    salt

    Boil your pasta in water that has been salted.  It will taste better.  While the pasta is boiling, in a separate pan melt the butter.  With whisk in one hand, pour in the flour and stir the butter and flour together to make a roux.  Keep the heat on to cook this roux for about a minute, but do not let it brown so keep the heat to medium. 

    Again with whisk in hand, slowly pour in the milk into the roux mixture.  It will be very thick at first when you begin pouring the milk, but will relax once you have poured in the entire cup.  Turn up the heat to get this mixture to a slow boil.  Put your whisk away as now you need a spatula or a long handled spoon.  Now you add your cheese or cheeses.  I call this the "whatever cheese is in my fridge" Mac-n-cheese because I like to use up small amounts of cheeses so they don't go to waste.  Last week I used Pepper Jack with Cheddar and it was a hit.  This week it was Cheddar mixed with Mozzarella and Asaigo cheeses.  Once this mixture is thick, pour in your already drained pasta.  Mix this up well and then pour in to a shallow baking dish.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Enjoy!  

    I'm off to the beach now to watch my older son play soccer on the sand.  
    Enjoy your Saturday!
    Susan


    Monday, May 30, 2011

    History Quilter Podcast - The Giveaway Episode

    Good Morning everyone,

    A favorite listener suggested that I record a podcast with a live announcement of the winner of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day contest that I participated in this year.  I never expected the amount of traffic or comments that I would receive from this giveaway : 2,300 visits to my website resulted in 498 comments.  I barely had time to enter any of the giveaways of my own - I think I only went to the bloggers that I "knew" (people I follow who also follow me) that were on the list to enter.  Although I did not win anything tangible, I did win over 400 funny, interesting and informative comments from people all around the world.

    So here is the winner based on...nothing really.  Her comment taught me something new as I love to learn and I kept thinking about her comment all week.  Thank you to Lesly from Ontario, Canada for entering my giveaway and congratulations to you!

    Mt random comment - I just found a YouTube channel that has so many BBC period dramas on it that I will never run out of things to watch while I sew binding on. I'm so excited - as my local video store seems to have lost one DVD from every series ever made.
    By Lesly on Giveaway Day! on 5/25/11


    Have a great Monday everyone!
    Susan

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    History Quilter Podcast Episode #8 Podcast Notes

    My giveaway is still open...you have two more days.  Go here to the Giveaway Day post.  


    For those of you who do not know, I have a podcast called The History Quilter.  You can find The History Quilter podcast on iTunes and on Podbean.  Episode #8 was published Thursday evening and the following are the podcast notes.


    History Quilter Podcast Episode #8 Podcast Notes:
    Pioneer Women coming across the continent on the Oregon Trail and their quilts.


    White Lotus Yoga Retreat http://www.whitelotus.org/  Located in Santa Barbara, CA.

    On our way to the retreat, my friends and I stopped at Aldo's Restaurant in Santa Barbara, CA for lunch and enjoyed a fine meal of crab cakes, various pastas and salmon.  Attentive service and a picture perfect outdoor location made for a great time.
    Ristorante Aldo's 
    Listener Claire from Vermont told me about the Quilt Study podcasts on iTunes.  Search for "International Quilt Study Center" in iTunes and it will come up in the iTunes U section.  FYI:  The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (where the International Quilt Study Center is located) also has some other very informative podcasts including the Backyard Farmer which I just discovered.  

    The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, CA will be exhibiting "Quilts: Two Centuries of American Traditions and Technique" from July 3 - 31st.  

    The International Quilt Festival will be in Long Beach, CA from July 29-31st.  If you will be coming to the Festival and would like to meet up, let me know.  

    In Episode #8, I spoke about Pioneer Women traveling across the continent on the Oregon Trail.  The first female I spoke about was Lucinda Ann Leonard Worth and her experience as a nine year old on the trail.  The quilt below was made by her mother in 1840 but was carried by Lucinda along the Oregon Trail.  
    Delectable Mountains by Catherine Purdom
    If you would like to know more about those who crossed the North American continent via The Oregon Trail please check out http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/Oregontrail.html .  

    Los Angeles Times Food Section Master Class Articles:
    Chef Thomas Keller - talks about dry and wet brining.  

    Chef Nancy Silverton - one of the "bread gods" in my opinion, talks about focaccia.  

    Fancy Food Trucks and their costs. Roach Coach, Luxe Lonchera, Fancy Food Truck - whatever you call them, they are appearing everywhere in major cities across the United States.  Want to see how much these vehicles cost?  Go here to check it out.  

    Thanks for listening!  
    Susan


    Friday, May 27, 2011

    The Commencement Block

    Go here for the Giveaway.

    Yesterday I did something that I have waited approximately 23 years, 9 months, and two days to do...

    I walked in my first college commencement ceremony.  

    Although I graduated in December of 2010 with a B.A. in History and picked up my diploma back in February, putting on that cap and gown and walking across the stage was the official end of my goal.  

    I am done.  I can cross this off my list.   

    Did I wish it went faster?  Oh absolutely yes.  Sitting in classrooms with fellow students and teachers that are younger than oneself can be embarrassing and isolating as my life experiences as a parent/wife/caregiver and a child of the 80's (let's hear it for when MTV was good!) automatically separated me from 90% of the classroom.  Those feelings usually went away within a few weeks of each semester and I would find myself one or two or even a group of new friends who didn't seem to care that I could have been their mother.  The weird juxtaposition of enjoying the experience/wisdom of my age with the feeling that I am still 18 inside battles inside of me, even now.  Will that ever go away?  

    Wednesday evening I whipped up a little quilt block I call The Commencement Block and attached it to the top of my cap, just for fun.  I went to watch my fellow history majors walk last year and saw that people decorate their caps in various creative ways so I decided to put my own quilting stamp on mine.  

    The Commencement Block  
    It was an amazing day that never could have been realized without the support of my husband who has been with me practically since day one. When I took breaks he supported me and when I started up again he again was there for me.  About five years ago I took a 7:30am class with a favorite teacher and that left him to get the boys ready and taken to school two mornings a week for a semester and let me tell you, that was HUGE.

    Good friends and family all joined me yesterday to celebrate and for that I am grateful.  Their emotional support over the years along with numerous child pickups from school when I had a class that ran late were crucial to getting me to today.  
    My brother Scott came!  

    "Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” 
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Susan

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls and A Yoga Retreat Recap

    If you are looking for my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day post go here...but before you go, why don't you keep reading?  

    Last night I decided to start making Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls so I could serve them to my boys this morning. I got this recipe out of Cooking Light Magazine way back in October of 2001.  

    Here's the play-by-play:
    1.  I utilize my bread maker by dumping in all of the ingredients and letting the machine do all the hard work.
    2. Ninety minutes later I rolled out the dough on my marble slab, sprinkled on the cinnamon/sugar/butter mix and rolled it up into a log.
    3.  My younger son helped me cut them up into one inch slices and we placed them into a classic metal 9x13 cake pan.
    4. I covered the rolls with plastic wrap and popped them into the fridge for the night.
    5.  I woke up at 5:30 this morning  and turned on the oven.  Pulled the rolls out so they could warm on the counter.
    6.  I then went to read my 40 or so comments that had come in over night from my giveaway.  The comments alone are worth doing a giveaway.
    7.  At 6:30 I put the rolls in the oven and made the icing.  When a recipe says to sift the powdered sugar...sift the powdered sugar.
    8.  By 7:00am both boys were sitting at the kitchen table eating warm rolls.  Both refused to allow me to put their photo on here.  Can you imagine that?

    Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
    Yoga Retreat Weekend Review/Recap:

    Before this trip I was a casual practicer of Yoga, going a few times a year and enjoying the practice but not realizing the benefits it could bring me.  Leading up to the trip my friend Julie and I attended classes to brush up on our poses and to gain greater flexibility to prepare for the trip.  It was our way of cramming before a test.
    My friend's Julie, Susie and I arrived at the White Lotus Retreat Center in Santa Barbara, CA about 4:00pm on Friday after a leisurely drive up the coast where we stopped along the way to shop and eat lunch.  We knew we were sleeping in a loft and with the exception of the ladder we had to climb it turned out to be the best place to stay.  It was warm and had easy access to a bathroom!
    The ladder...makes one think before you climb.  

    Our loft.  My buds, Susie & Julie
    Main eating and congregation area.  Kitchen in the background.
    The food was amazing.  Beatrix Rohlson is the resident chef at the White Lotus and while many were scared of her, I liked her. I would have been in that kitchen watching every move she made if not for the vibe she gave off of wanting her space.  We ate gourmet vegetarian/vegan meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner which was wonderful for my fiends and I, but we learned that there were some attendees who neglected to read the fine print about the food offerings.  By Saturday afternoon there were a few who drove back into Santa Barbara to visit McDonald's.  

    Breakfasts:  Oatmeal, toasted granola, assorted fruits: blueberries, bananas, apples, papayas, pineapples, assorted breads and yogurt.
    Lunch and Dinner:  lentil soup, spicy tofu goodness, quinoa, millet/broccoli salad,  braised carrots, potato bar with tofu sour cream (so good!), green beans and so much more.  

    Yoga Practice:  Our first night we had Yoga Practice before dinner and was a pretty relaxed session. Saturday morning though was a two hour Yoga Practice marathon which kicked our butts.  Who knew I could move my arms in legs into such crazy poses!  Our Yoga instructor, Joe Vogt who owns Purple Yoga in Long Beach and Fullerton, CA was amazing.  He was very relaxed, encouraging, and accepting of everyone's yoga practice which flowed through the entire weekend.  

    Saturday afternoon most of the group hiked down the property into the valley floor below to view the waterfalls and natural pools.  

    The natural pools were beautiful.

    Myself, Julie and Susie.  Main natural pool just behind us.  
    Once we get down to the pools people start jumping in.  One after another they jump in, come to the surface with a gasp, a curse or a scream because of the shockingly cold water and scamper to the rocks as fast as they can.  None of us had any intention of going on until.....Susie walked over to me and I blurted out, "We should all jump in".  She laughed and told me I should go in.  Why not?

    I'm seriously numb from the cold.  
    I went in.  
    Then we had to hike all the way back up the canyon to the Center.  A hot tub never felt so good.  :)  

    Another two hour restorative Yoga practice on Saturday night followed with another two hour Yoga Practice Sunday morning made all three of us feel like we were becoming unhinged....in a good way.  

    It was a wonderful relaxing and restorative weekend for me.  Being away from my family allowed me to be bond more with my girlfriends, take a break from being a mother and do some deep thinking.  E-mail me if you want to know more about the White Lotus Retreat Center or about Yoga practice.  

    Have a wonderful Tuesday!
    Susan

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Giveaway Day!

    Welcome new visitors to my blog!  


    Tomorrow is Giveaway Day on the Sew Mama Sew website where they post three different lists of bloggers all around the world whom are giving away sewing and sewing related items.  This year I decided to join in.  

    I am giving away Elizabeth Hartman's The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker.   Her Kitchen Window quilt is on the short list of quilts I want to make this year.
    There's more!  

    I am also giving away 15 fat quarters of fabric.  All were purchases from the Fat Quarter Shop's Fat Quarter Bonanza back when I first began quilting and I went kind of crazy with fabric purchases.  11 of the fat quarters appear to be Susan Branch fabric and one is definitely Tufted Tweets by Laurie Wishbrun.  The other three are mysteries to me.    
    11 Fat Quarters - Susan Branch fabric

    Tufted Tweets on left
    To win the book and fabric please leave a comment about anything: , the weather (no more, please!) your favorite food, the worst boss you ever had, your first love, etc.

    Please make sure if you leave a comment that I can reply to you!  EDIT: As of almost 10am Pacific Time, I have already had seven people who are no-reply bloggers - please check your status or leave your e-mail address in your comment. I want everyone to have the opportunity to win.  

    This giveaway is open to everyone and I will ship internationally.  This giveaway will be open until Monday, May 30th at 6am Pacific Time.  

    Good luck!
    Susan    

     P.S.  Yoga Retreat blog post coming soon.  It was a blast!