Tuesday, July 31, 2012

T@t{picnic}Table: Too Much Zucchini

My guess is that if you are growing vegetables in your summer garden, you may be growing zucchini.  If you are, you must have enough to stash everywhere in your house, give to the neighbors and still have some leftover that you have no idea what to do with. I've enjoyed a great deal of ratatouille, steamed zucchini and zucchini thrown in many different dishes that I wouldn't normally think of adding it too this summer but never seem to be able to use all that I grow.  

Last Saturday while on the elliptical machine at the gym I was reading the latest issue of Sunset magazine and    I happened upon an article about what to do with excess vegetables.  Zucchini relish popped out at me immediately as I had two huge ones on my counter and I knew that I had the remainder of the ingredients on hand in my kitchen. Don't you just love that when that happens?  
Zucchini Relish
You can find the recipe here at the MyRecipe link from Sunset Magazine's August 2012 issue.  Although I had no idea what it would taste like once finished, I really enjoyed it.  It has none of the cloying sweetness of traditional relish but all of the sun and freshness of summer.  A warning - this is not a canned recipe - I used 1/2 pint jars so I could pass a few out to neighbors.  Hey, at least they didn't cringe when I showed up at the door with a whole zucchini.  

Last night for dinner we enjoyed a picnic out on the patio with BBQ'd hamburgers/ahi tuna, baked french fries, zucchini relish and strawberries.  Perfect picnic summer fare.  

I'm linking up with Debbie at her Tuesday at the {picnic}Table feature today - please go visit what other's have shared for the picnic table for the month of July.  I believe she's going herbal next month!  
 
One last share - I finished basting the T-Shirt quilt.  Very happy to have this basted together.  See the fold on the left?  A reminder to me not to make quilts wider than my hallway as this is the widest surface in my house which I can baste on.  
Basting the T-Shirt Quilt
Enjoy your Tuesday!
Susan

Thursday, July 26, 2012

T-Shirt Chronicles Part IV: The Back

If you have followed this blog for the past year, every so often I report how a T-Shirt Quilt that I am working on for a cousin, is coming along.  


Tuesday I made the label block and yesterday I pieced it into the back.  I'm using flannel on the back - please, please, please strangle me if I ever purchase flannel again for something this large.  Flannel = fuzz everywhere.  Plus, it's heavy.  




Last night I purchased the batting so I have no excuse for not moving forward. Basting today and maybe quilting by the weekend.  My cousin sent the t-shirts to me last July...think I can get this baby done by next Tuesday?  We'll see...

Enjoy your Thursday,
Susan

Friday, July 20, 2012

History Quilter Podcast Episode 30 Travels & Grandmother's Quilt Blocks

Happy Friday!

Earlier this week I was away on a little vacation and I had such an enjoyable and meaningful time that I decided to record a podcast about it.  History Quilter Podcast Episode 30 where I talk about Travels and Grandmother's Quilt Blocks is now available on iTunes, Podbean and Stitcher Radio.  

Here are the photos that accompany what I spoke about:  

The Nimble Thimble quilt shop in Gilroy, CA that I parked in front of without paying attention:

My Aunt Connie and I.

 My Tribe: My Aunt Connie, myself and my super fun cousins:
 Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, CA.  Had a lovely walk around the grounds.
Tootsie's at The Stanford Barn in Palo Alto, CA.  Delicious breakfast, great atmosphere and very friendly staff.
My Grandmother's Quilt Block.  My Aunt Connie gave me all of the quilt blocks that her mother (my grandmother) was working on before she passed.  I will be making a quilt out of these blocks for my Aunt Connie. There are 15 of these in various prints and colors with about 10 more cut and pinned together.  A huge thank you to Jaye and Nonnie via my Twitter plea last night, who suggested this is an Ohio Star block on point.
 As I was making dinner while recording, here is a photo of what I ended up with:

And just because I can, I am entering in the 4th Annual Good Food Pie Contest to be held on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at LACMA.  As of right now I have no idea which pie I will enter but I will be highlighting my pie journey here in the next seven weeks.  Hope my guinea pigs are ready for PIE!

If you are a podcast listener, Good Food is an excellent food podcast originating from Santa Monica, CA.  Take a listen and read the blog.  

I'm off to make pie!  
Ciao~
Susan

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mail Goodies and Cookie Butter

My lovely mail gal brought me a very thick package yesterday....the backing and binding fabric for the Sea Glass quilt top I finished up last weekend.  I found the Moroccan Mirage fabrics that coordinated with the fabrics I had used on the top from Sew Fresh Fabrics - the only place on the web they could be found.

Also in my package were the fabrics I choose for the *Picture-Perfect*  Polaroid Block Swap hosted by Debbie from A Quilter's Table.  Can't wait to dive into fussy cutting this fabric.

Lastly, I spied the Cookie Butter from Trader Joe's on an end cap yesterday while shopping and couldn't resist.  My younger son was with me and was super excited that we were going to try it. We arrived home and before we unloaded anything else, opened this up and went in with two spoons.  It's different and neither one of us went back for more the rest of the day.  Older son tried it too and said "wow" with a puzzled look on his face. Fun to try but I'm sticking with my beloved Nutella.

I'm headed out for a few days on a little vacation...have a great week!
Susan

Friday, July 13, 2012

History Quilter Podcast Episode 29 Loads of Chatter

Yesterday afternoon I pulled my microphone out of its box, fired up Audacity and started recording.  Although I chatter on for a good forty minutes you will not year any quilt history in this episode but I do have a quilt history topic already planned for Episode 30.  Episode 29 Loads of Chatter is now available on iTunes, Podbean and Stitcher Radio.

In Episode 30 I'll be talking about the history of Double Wedding Ring Quilts and as I ask in this podcast, if you have any history of your own with this type of quilt please share that here and I'll include it in my next podcast.  Have you made one?  Have you received one? If so, please e-mail me a photograph or a link to a blogpost and I'll add it to my blogpost for that episode.

Books I'm reading:
Sacrilege by S.J. Parris. A historical thriller set in 16th century England.  Only half way through but a great read so far.

Please visit Tanesha at the Crafty Garden Mom Podcast for loads of excellent book suggestions and reviews.

What I'm working on:
Little Glam Bag for my next trip - Anna Maria Horner Good Folks in Fortune

Sea Glass Quilt Top
 Yesterday's Harvest:
Jalapenos, Zucchini, Early Girl & Roma & Yellow Pear Tomatoes

Thanks for listening!
Ciao~
Susan

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

T@t{picnic} Table: A Leftover Picnic



Last night I entered the kitchen at approximately 7pm after working out at the gym. 
Time to start the dinner I promised the troops. 
That will be at least an hour...ugh.

Open the refrigerator door to start the prep work and what do I spy?  BBQ'd chicken breasts and tomato soup left over from other meals. Light bulb!  Turn around and see the fresh bread on the counter and I've got dinner covered in 10 minutes. 

A kitchen table covered with sewing items automatically called for a picnic on the carpet.  Chicken salad sandwiches, tomato soup and red grapes on a Bliss tablecloth while watching House Hunters International.  Perfect.  
I'm linking up with Debbie from A Quilter's Table with her Tuesday at the {picnic}Table feature.  

Have you ever had a leftover picnic? Please share! 
Susan

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sea Glass: A Quilt Top Finish

I've been done with these twelve blocks from Jenna's Sew Happy Quilt QAL since April and Sunday I figured they had sat long enough.  They were lonely sitting all stacked up upon each other. They needed to be holding hands and able to look at one another.  I pulled out the Kona Celery and started cutting. I knew I wanted a large border - why?  No idea but I like the look.  Added the Kona White after the Kona Celery due to great suggestions via Twitter confirmed that another border would possibly work.  

Sea Glass Quilt Top standing up

Sea Glass Quilt Top laying down
I love it.  Makes me happy.  I'm calling it Sea Glass.  Backing and binding fabric have been ordered and hopefully soon Sea Glass will be quilted up and finished.  

I'm linking up with Jenna of Sew Happy Geek with her Manic Monday Linky Party.  A big huge thank you to Jenna for hosting such a wonderful Quilt Along - I love what I have created and I learned so much!

Happy Monday Everyone,
Susan

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Week In Photos & A Polaroid Swap

What a great first week of summer: Serious amounts of time lounging on the couch reading, 4th of July Neighborhood Block party, great conversation, cooking/baking and sewing.  

PW's Best Coffee Cake Ever...and it is.  I add blueberries to mine. 

Homemade Mini Corn Dogs - so good!  

Improvisational pasta salad made for 4th of July Block Party

Water Balloon Catapult created by all the kids on the block.  

Block 10 of the FQS 2010 Mystery Designer Block of the Month
I've just joined the *Picture Perfect* Polaroid Block Swap hosted by Debbie from A Quilter's Table.  I couldn't resist participating as I have many wonderful memories of Polaroid cameras from my youth - especially my grandfather whom loved to take photos of his grandchildren with his Polaroid camera. Join us! 

Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday,
Susan

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Summer Has Arrived

Winter Session, Spring Semester, Summer Session....I've been in school since January 3rd of this year but as of this morning at approximately 10:15am, my summer arrived.  Finally.

School has been a great distraction and motivator this past five months but I'm ready for a break. Ready for pleasure reading without guilt.  Ready to put my backpack away in my closet for the next 57 days and not have to worry about school.  Now there will be time time for visits to the beach, sewing, blog reading, gardening, great conversation, baking, new food discoveries, tomato canning and reading...copious amounts of reading.  Add in preparation for a kitchen remodel and this is my recipe for the next 57 days.  I'm going to soak up every second.

So, starting off my first afternoon of fun I received a package in the mail today from Debbie from A Quilter's Table with my prize for her Tuesday at the {Summer}Table Giveaway.  Look at the treasure I received:

Not only did she send me the potholders she had made with A Stitch in Color by Malka Dubrawsky (and the really cool grommets!) but she added in a charm pack of Summersville, a bouquet of zippers, a palate of Sea Salts (oh can't wait to dive into those) and rainbow of gel pens.  I think she is talking to the teacher in me waiting to burst out!  Thank you Debbie!

Ok two more things to share: quick trip into Target this afternoon I found these Kleenex tissues at the check out stand.  Now don't these look like the perfect tissues for quilters to carry?


Lastly, this dress.  It's a mess. The top just does not fit right (zippers are my nemesis right now) and the whole thing makes me look like a house.  Empire dresses are so deceptive - they look so cute on the models and then look about 10 sizes too big on me so the top will be cut off and I'll make this gorgeous fabric into another skirt.  Sans the zipper.


I'm off to NOT do homework.
Enjoy your Monday evening,
Susan