Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Senior Class/Varsity Quilt

We're going back to school in today's post. Earlier today I attended my first class of the new semester:  History 401,  a class which is all about the grades  6-12 California Social Science standards which I'm pretty sure is going to kick my rear end. Actually, not pretty sure...I am sure. 

Excited though - very, very excited!  I feel like a Senior about to graduate.
Here are all of my current WIP's:

Sea Glass Quilt needs to be basted, quilted and bound.

Quilt for the Younger Son:  I am going to use the Varsity pattern by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts.  The fabrics arrived today in the mail: Kona Steel, Lagoon, Turquoise, Cyan, Teal Blue, Glacier, Everglade and Forest.

Copious amounts of reading and lesson plan writing:

Pie testing:  I have officially entered into the KCRW 4th Annual Good Food Pie Contest on Saturday, September 8, 2012 being held at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).  Anybody wearing an apron to LACMA on that date will get in for free! 
Caramel Custard Pie with Graham Cracker the testing stage
I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday feature.  It's been ages!   Thank you to Michelle of CityHouseStudio for guest hosting this week. 

Now I have to go read....:)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mailing A Quilt & Stargazing

Today was the first time I have mailed a full size quilt to it's recipient.  In the past I have sent off fat quarters, blocks, mug rugs and pouches but today was the first time sending a full size quilt and I have learned through swapping that sending anything made with fabric should be sent in a Ziploc bag.

Is there a Ziploc bag big enough bag to enclose a XL Twin size quilt?  YES!
Ziploc makes a "Big Bag" as you can see by the photo below which is plenty big to house a XL twin size quilt.  You might think they would be expensive, but at $6.99 for a box of 5, I think they are a very good value.  Check them out here.

So now the T-Shirt is on it's way to North Carolina.  A big thank you to Zina for helping me with the label - she has the BEST handwriting!  After a nervous wash and dry, checking for stray threads and a quick iron, I was ready to send this baby off to it's new home.  Wonderful to have this project complete.
I went "Stargazing" today for the Modern Blocks Bee I participate in.  Marci asked us to make her a "Stargazing" block from Modern Blocks (pages 189-179 by Angela Pingel) and it was fun.  First time up for this block for me and I really enjoyed making these three different sized stars which incorporated the block.

Stargazing by Angela Pingel for Modern Blocks pg 178-179   12 1/2 x 12 1/2
Buona Sera,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pictures: Polaroids & Digital

Over the last two days, in between soccer games, new parent high school orientation and the usual running around I do, I finished my first project on my new sewing machine.  Below are my Polaroid blocks for the *Picture-Perfect* Polaroid Block Swap.  This was a fun project as I had never purposefully fussy cut fabric and it came together very fast.

Speaking of new parent high school orientation, my youngest has just left for his first day of high school. It's an informal day, so no uniform but I still had to immortalize it with a photo. 

My boys have been going to school on the same day for as long as they have been in school so it's strange to have a photo with just one.  His older brother doesn't start for 2+ weeks so sleeping in till about 10 is his preferred way to begin his day.  In the photo below are my boys on my youngest's first day of pre-school - August 2000.  
Where does the time go?  I'm holding steady to the thought that my boys are growing up but I am not getting older!  
Hope you have a great Monday, 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

History Quilter Podcast Episode 31 Double Wedding Ring Quilts

I'm back with another episode! History Quilter Podcast Episode 31 where I speak about Double Wedding Ring Quilts is now available on iTunes, Podbean and Stitcher Radio.  You can also listen directly from this page by clicking the link to the right.

This was a fun episode to produce as I truly enjoyed having content from listeners to incorporate into the podcast.  The two books I was using for reference are The Romance of Double Wedding Ring Quilts by Robert Bishop and Rings That Bind by Cheryl Phillips and Linda Pysto.

In this episode I spoke about recipes that I had pulled out of magazines - they are:

Photograph by Lucas Allen from
Recipes from the June 2012 issue of Food and Wine Magazine:
Spiced-Tofu Sandwiches (photo above)
Tofu-and-Vegetable Tacos with Eggplant-Ancho Spread

Pumpkin recipes from Sunset Magazine's October 2011 Edition:
Cashew, Coconut, and Pumpkin Curry 
Pumpkin Gingersnap Ice Cream

Burger recipes from Sunset Magazine's July 2011 Edition:
Idaho Lamb Burger
Northwest Crabcake Burger
Hawaiian Pig-Out Burger
SoCal Veggie Burger
New Mexico Green Chile Burger

Lucky Peach: A Quarterly Journal of Food and Writing.  If you enjoy food writing with humor and intelligence and would rather skip the advertisements - check out Lucky Peach. I was so impressed with Issue 2 that I now subscribe.  Check it out here.

Now for listener/reader's Double Wedding Ring (DWR) Quilt photos: 
First up is Debbie from A Quilter's Table and the DWR she made for her niece in 2000. Just lovely.
Double Wedding Ring Quilt by Debbie Jeske from A Quilter's Table 

This one is from A.J.Dub (Amy) from Harriet Homemaker Strikes Again.  Her great-grandmother made this quilt possibly in the 1950's.  Please go visit her blogpost where she talks all about this quilt.
Double Wedding Ring Quilt from A.J. Dub from Harriet Homemaker Strikes Again

Look at this stunning beauty from Jackie of Sew Excited Quilts.  She made this one for her daughter when she got married.  Lucky daughter!

Double Wedding Ring Quilt made by Jackie Berdych from Sew Excited Quilts
Hope you enjoy the podcast. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

T@t {herbal} Table: A Cucumber Mint Cooler

When people talk about herbs, smell is the number one adjective used to describe them and as I lack a sense of smell, herbs challenge me.  I use them in the food I make only when directed to in recipes and always follow the exact amounts.  Herbs are like perfume to me - I have no idea how to use/wear them so I don't, unless directed too.  

So what am I doing here playing along with Debbie's Tuesday at the {herbal} Table? Trying something new to see if I can get out of the empty {herbal} box I've been in for years.  I decided to start with Mint and incorporate it into a beverage. 

I sliced up some cucumber slices and placed them in the bottom of my glasses.
 Heaped on some crushed ice from my food processor.
Added about 2 teaspoons of simple syrup (1 cup of sugar + 1 cup of water + heat = simple syrup)
 Ripped some mint leaves and placed on top.
 Topped it with cold water.
 And went and enjoyed in my sitting area just outside my kitchen.  It was delicious!

This was fun as I've never created a beverage before.  Could I smell the mint?  No...but I loved the slightly sweet cucumber mint liquid mixed paired with crushed ice.  Next time I'll add more crushed ice.  

Thank you Debbie for helping me break out of my {herbal} box!  
Please visit Debbie's Tuesday at the {herbal}Table to see what she has for us this week - I saw an amazing looking Arugula, Prosciutto and Grilled Asparagus Salad that I must make.  

Happy Tuesday everyone,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vacation Fun and It's A Girl!

I've just returned from a lovely five day vacation with the family where we drove around northern and central California in search of food, wine and swimming pools.  It was relaxing and renewing - just what I needed.  

I love the dry hills of California in the summer that are punctuated by Oak trees.  To me they look like velvet which you can just run your hands over and feel the softness.  
From afar the vineyards look like yards of fabric ready to be measured and cut.  
 Loved this idea of growing red and green grapes over a trellis to add shade in the summertime. 
 A castle with a moat?  Why not?  Wineries today have tasting rooms/houses in a myriad of shapes and themes.  

Look at this bit of fabric and wine fun I found at Birch Fabrics (online they are in Paso Robles, CA?  I couldn't resist.  This is called Cheers by Marie Perkins of Print & Pattern for Robert Kaufman. Screen Print D#12098.  

Finally, I would like to share my new addition...It's a Girl!  She doesn't have a name yet....any suggestions?  

Thank you all for your wonderfully kind words this past Monday.  I've made it over that huge hurdle and feel all the more stronger for it.  

Have a wonderful weekend,

Monday, August 6, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Six months ago today my father passed away and for the most part I have kept this blog a place where I only share the positive of what is going on in my life. Everyone of us goes through sad and painful challenges and I believe mine are no different.  Today's post is truly a selfish one for I do not expect anyone to fully understand what I am going through as everyone of us moves through grief in different paths.  The need to write about this has compelled me for days so bear with me, dear reader, while I use this blog as a cathartic medium for my thoughts.  

Today I am saying goodbye to my parent's house as escrow is closing and it will no longer be my responsibility.  Although not the house I grew up in, this house does have special meanings to me - many that  I did not fully realize until just recently.  

My father and I hosted his sibling's reunion in that house. A wonderfully joyous event with Aunt's and Uncles and cousins...tons of cousins.  
My father with his brother and three sisters. 
I took my boys trick-or-treating to that house for many years. 
Obi Wan and a Power Ranger visited Papa in 2002
My father and I helped to take care of my mother and grieved for her when she passed, in that house. 
My parents with four of their grandchildren - November 2003
There are many more reasons why this house is important but those memories are all wrapped up in the furniture inside as the buyer is also purchasing most of the furniture that belonged to my parents.  So many of those pieces hold memories: childhood memories of where those pieces were in the house I grew up in, memories of playing on top or under furniture and memories of being with my parents when they bought various pieces.  

My father was a Navy man and proudly flew this flag outside his garage door.  He would ask me to "fix it" every time we were out in the front together.  I have continued to "fix it" every day since he passed and last night I took it down and brought it home with me. There were many tears as I walked though the house, left all of my keys on a table and locked the door behind me.
Lastly, my lovely cousin recently sent me this photo of my parents in front of the first house they ever owned together.  How young and happy they look.

Thank you for obliging me this final goodbye. Now time for my renewal.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

T-Shirt Chronicles V: It's Finished

The T-Shirt Quilt is Done. 
I love this quilt now.
I didn't before.
Sorry T-Shirt Quilt.
 I took it with me to my MIL's house this afternoon to finish up the last of the hand stitching of the binding and then had the troops (my boys and their two cousins)join me outside for a little fun.  

Why not play parachute with a huge quilt?  
The details:
94 3/4" x 70"
T-Shirts sent to me by my cousin July 2011
Kona Light Grey to finish the checkerboard effect. 
Pellon 911F for the interfacing behind the T-Shirts
Kona Black for the binding.
Kona Flannel in Light Grey on the back. 
Quilting:  Done by me - stitch in the ditch. 
Finished: August 5, 2012

I'll be washing it and sending it off shortly to my cousin.  Can't wait for their reaction!   
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday~

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Birthday Gift For My MIL

My MIL's birthday is tomorrow and every year it is a challenge to figure out what to give to her.  As she has some lower back issues I thought about making her a heating pad that she can heat up in the microwave.  I found an excellent tutorial from Abbie of The Green Wife for a Heating Pad Tutorial.

 It finishes up at 18" x 7" and took me just about an hour to make.

Sure hope she likes it.  Oh well, I'm making her a cake too so my chances are good that she'll be happy.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Just Photos

T-Shirt Quilt Top quilted and ready for binding

T-Shirt Quilt Back quilted and ready for binding

Some of the *Picture-Perfect* Polaroid Block Swap 2.5 inch blocks cut out  
Pie Week #1 Chocolate Cream Pie

Pie Week #2 Key Lime Pie with Walnut Graham Cracker Crust
Happy Friday everyone!  

P.S. Excited to share that possibly today or tomorrow there will be another female added to this house....stay tuned.  No...not a baby.  :)